Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tension in Gearing

When it comes to choosing gear, tanks and healers seem to differ from DPS in a significant way. Tanks and healers are trying to reach a balance between two points, while DPS is only intent on maximizing one point.

Tanks need to choose between Survivability and Threat. There's no need to put out 50% more threat than the nearest DPS, and there's no need to have so much health that you never drop below 75% health. Similarly, healers need to choose between Healing Throughput and Mana Longevity. You need to put out enough healing to keep people alive, but you also need enough mana to last the entire fight.

DPS, on the other hand, really optimizes for only one thing, DPS. When looking at gear, pretty much the only thing that matters is which gear results in higher damage.

Part of the reason for the difference is that, past a certain point, Threat, Survivability, Healing Throughput and Mana Longevity stops being useful. But higher DPS is *always* useful. There's no tension, no balance you need to maintain as DPS.

The ramifications for this show up in a lot of different places. Tank and Healer builds often make trade-offs. DPS builds, on the other hand, are pretty much the maximum damage builds possible. Tanks and Healers are more likely to use different colour gems because each color enhances a different aspect. On the other hand, DPS absolutely hate blue gems, because blue gems rarely contribute to increasing damage.

I'm not really sure which is a better system. DPS is simpler and straightforward, and makes gear evaluation a lot easier. As well, you can minimize the amount of gear you carry. Tank and healer gear can get more complex, and you can try for a balance that is very specific to the needs of a specific fight.

The DPS class that comes the closest to needing a balance are mages, and there is a lot of complaints among mages for needing that balance. Mages complain that Spirit is useless, about needing to use Mage Armor over Molten Armor, etc. Mage builds rarely emphasize the trade-off, and usually sacrifice longevity for DPS.

35 comments:

TFX said...

This is pretty much why you see such a lack of healers and tanks in the game as opposed to dps. I think the main reason that makes people decide not to be a healer or a tank, besides the gear choice, is the added responsibility for your group. As a healer of a tank, I can severely alter the outcome of my group, and a lot of people don't like that. I enjoy the fact that I have such power, which I think is why I enjoyed being a paladin.
That responsibility for your group also includes your gear, which is where the argument you bring up about gear comes in. I would much rather prefer that every class have to deal with the decisions that healers and tanks have to make in our gear, or even mid-fight. I think it adds another layer of complexity into the game, which in turn makes it that much more entertaining.

theeriver said...

Big fan of your blog. You are 100% correct. Speaking only as I play only a Warrior-Tank we are on the constant look out for gear choices to balance our threat, and avoidance. It's like I got to carry this set for this encounter, that set for that encounter. Where the DPS I think I see them with one set of stuff ever. Don't get me wrong, I love being the prot warrior that I am, but little stuff like always making sure I got the right gear on for the right encounter, and so on and so forth makes my job harder.

And it's all these little things that add up to those of us who get burnt out faster then say that mage who has one set a gear for everything.

Josh said...

Rohan, you're oversimplifying the issue. Tanks and healers both have to walk a tightrope when selecting gear, carefully balancing threat/survivability or throughput/longevity, you're right. DPS'ers have to walk a tightrope too though. To optimize threat, a warrior tank stacks expertise/hit/block value in equal parts. For a paladin tank, it's basically just stack spell damage for threat. For a healer to increase healing, just stack more +heal. For a DPS'er to optimally increase DPS though, it's a bit more intricate. Careful balance of crit, AP/dmg, haste and/or armor penetration is required for best results.

I'd say that healers and tanks need to balance two roles but have clear-cut ways to increase the effectiveness in each of those roles, but DPS'ers increasing their effectiveness is a bit murkier, even though they have only one role to focus on.

Rohan said...

For a DPS'er to optimally increase DPS though, it's a bit more intricate. Careful balance of crit, AP/dmg, haste and/or armor penetration is required for best results.

I'm not knocking the effort involved. Calculating max DPS is complicated, and I fully acknowledge that.

It's more that, given a starting set of attributes, there is one correct answer for DPS. I.e. given my current gear and spec, Weapon A gives more DPS than Weapon B.

Whereas for tanks, it's more like Weapon A gives better Threat, but Weapon B gives better Survivability. The correct answer may depend on the specific fight.

I just thought the difference was interesting enough to point out. Would DPS be better if their mechanics were simpler, but they had to negotiate a balance? Would tanking be better if the mechanics were more complex, but Threat scaled directly with Survivability?

Rohan said...

Also, Blizzard doesn't really embrace the difference. For example, if this is intended, there really needs to be a blue gem that increases DPS. That would make gemming a lot more interesting for DPS classes, and make socket bonuses a lot more appealing for those classes.

Joseph Montes said...

quick noob question: what's the difference between pve healer gear and pvp healer gear besides resilience?

i play a mage and need +spell hit for pve. is there defining stat like that that makes them distinct?

Jon said...

Also, Blizzard doesn't really embrace the difference. For example, if this is intended, there really needs to be a blue gem that increases DPS. That would make gemming a lot more interesting for DPS classes, and make socket bonuses a lot more appealing for those classes.

I agree with the post and your follow-ups, up to you comment on the blue socket. At first glance the blue socket can look like a waste of potential DPS, but you always have to remember that your DPS drops to zero when you die.

I think of the blue socket and its socket bonuses as more of a way to "force" DPS players to choose survivability over damage output, and less of embracing one type of class itemization over another.

For example, you'll find a lot of caster gear with 1 blue socket where the bonus is +stam. Could you maximize your output by putting in a +spelldam or +spellcrit gem? Yes, more spell damage/crit equals more damage. Should you? Probably not. Mages as squishy and the only thing between you and death in a bad situation is how low it takes you to die.

So in that respect I don't think that this duality in gearing is being ignored when it comes to the blue gem slot, I think it could have been surpassed by the need to herd less focused players into good gear choices.

Also: I know what I'm saying is much more true in raiding situations where the whole raid is taking damage as opposed to 5-mans where its possible to leave totally unhurt; but most real gear decisions like you discuss don't happen until you are moving into heroics and raids anyway.

Rohan said...

quick noob question: what's the difference between pve healer gear and pvp healer gear besides resilience?

i play a mage and need +spell hit for pve. is there defining stat like that that makes them distinct?


Not really. Just resilience and stamina.

ben said...

I think balancing haste and hit is fairly challenging for DPS classes, while not totally nerfing their stats at the same time. It seems to me that for tanks anyway, there's a more obvious gear-progression line. For example, to begin Kara, there are very specific items a tank needs to get. Once you get deeper in the game there are many more options, but the upgrades are more clearly defined.

Rohan said...

ben, what I'm trying to get at is:

Haste - increases DPS
Hit rating - increases DPS

They both do the same thing. The only question is which one does it better.

In contrast, tanks have:

Hit rating - increases Threat
Stamina - increases Survivability

Both are desirable stats, but they accomplish different ends.

knowbuddy said...

While I agree with the overall gist of what you are saying here -- that gearing for DPS it is generally more clear-cut than for tank/heal -- I think you're comparing apples to oranges.

For apples to apples, you should be comparing tanking to the threat-reduction that a DPS toon has to worry about, as then you are comparing two methods of threat management. For oranges to oranges, you should be comparing DPS to HPS. Because, really, you can play the "bigger is better" game with healing and tanking just as much as you can play it with DPS. Check out the sigs on lightnatured.com and see how many of them show you how big their crit heal is.

Similarly, DPS classes can move beyond the biggest-DPS numbers into long-term strategies. Most really great DPSers aren't going to be so concerned with burst DPS so much as they are concerned with sustainable DPS. That, right there, is the balancing act for the DPS classes that non-DPSers tend not to see.

The easiest way to play is to spam all of your high-DPS instant cast spells ... for the first 60 seconds. Once you are OOM, what then? Is your play style so horrible that you can't go anywhere without a SP/Lock/Druid/whatever?

There is definitely a balance there, but you're right that many people don't see it because the first part is the easier and sexier part. You don't often hear someone say "it took me 5 whole minutes to go oom", but I would argue that you'd want to try to find and recruit people that think like that.

Jon said...

I think balancing haste and hit is fairly challenging for DPS classes, while not totally nerfing their stats at the same time. It seems to me that for tanks anyway, there's a more obvious gear-progression line. For example, to begin Kara, there are very specific items a tank needs to get. Once you get deeper in the game there are many more options, but the upgrades are more clearly defined.

I don't agree with either of your points.

Is there a balancing act from a DPS perspective? Yes, josh and rohan already discussed it a little. Balancing haste vs hit is easy (numerically), which outputs more DPS. Balancing threat vs survivability is much different. Which makes you a better tank?

This also isn't a "list" or required gear to get into Kara. Granted there are "standard" items that "everyone" recommends before going in, but if you go to [insert fav wow website here] and look at 70 non-raid tanking items you'll find that there is a wide, wide selection of gear and hardly a progression of items. I just finished leveling a warrior-tank and the options he has for getting a pre-kara tanking weapon alone are quite numerous.

As an aside, haste vs. hit should be a simple choice. Your misses are a direct removable of damage from your overall DPS. Just take into consideration your hit rating cap (depends on class and talents) when trading hit for haste and you should be fine. This includes casters as well, though it should be less of an issue for them as the spell hit caps are pretty easy to get to.

Being as close as possible to your cap at all times is one of the best ways to increase overall damage in raids.

Leafar said...

I agree that healers and tanks have more obvious trade off to make when it comes to gear selection, but in my experience knowledgeable DPS will use different gear based on the situation. In a raid situation, most mana using DPSers must make the same kind of choices as healers, ie. burst damage vs. sustained damage. Non-mana dps tend to take a lot of damage. I know some high quality rogues who favor stamina enchants over DPS enchants.

I personally play a hunter most of the time. I carry a mix of items on a raid that I swap out at different times. For trash mobs I maximize my Rap and crit. On a boss I switch out some items to up my hit rating, and also my stamina so that I can actually stay alive though the boss encounter.

Jon said...

100% agree with knowbuddy, great post.

Rohan said...

Threat reduction is actually a great example of something that could be used to create tension for DPS.

Imagine if DPS had no built-in threat reduction, or complete threat wipes, and instead had a series of abilities/spells that reduced threat (like Feint/Cower). Now imagine that those moves scaled with a new stat called "threat reduction rating".

Now DPS would have to balance the threat reduction rating on their gear (and the use of threat reducing moves) with DPS stats and DPS gear.

Stack too much DPS stats, and you're constantly threat-capped. Stack too much threat reduction rating and you aren't doing enough damage.
---
Also, sustainable DPS really only matters for Mages. And even then, very few mages actually care about it. The "cookie-cutter" builds have always been about 10/48/3 or 2/47/11, ignoring Meditation which would have taken a relatively minor trade-off to pick up.

Tfx said...

quick noob question: what's the difference between pve healer gear and pvp healer gear besides resilience?

For paladins and shaman, the pvp gear has more crit for more overall healing and nuke healing, while the pve gear is balanced in mp5 and crit.

kadaan said...

Healers only maximize one point: Keeping people alive.

Tanks only maximize one point: Keeping their target(s) off the raid.

Keeping people alive and keeping the target off the raid both consist of juggling stats to enable you to perform that goal, but saying that juggling crit/hit/damage/haste/regen/survivability to maximize your overall damage output isn't the same as juggling mitigation/avoidance/threat or raw healing/regen to maximize a tank/healer's job is a very restrictive viewpoint.

Mages haven't complained that spirit is useless post-2.4. If they do, they don't theorycraft at all. The changes have brought out the 40/0/21 arcane/frost build as a comparable spec to 3/47/11. In that build, socketing pure spirit gems in blue sockets and pure int gems in yellow will net an overall damage increase than traditional damage gems.

As to minimizing the amount of gear you have to carry as dps... HAH! :). DPS needs to keep stamina gear so they can bump up their hp on fights that may need it (dead dps = 0 dps.) Caster dps can keep a separate trash set (since the hit cap is only +8% on level 72 trash) that focuses on haste/crit.

Oncelot - Frostmourne said...

@kadaan

I totally agree

@rohan

Before I start my comment, I want to let know that I have a feral tank and a raid-fire mage; so I can see from different prespective.

My druid have 3 sets of gears; my mage have 4 sets!

Druid: Tank, DPS, Heal
Mage: Hit, Stamina, Thrash, elementals (spell-fire, aldor's regalia)

For my tank - I focus on survivability (stamina) vs mitigation (armor/agility) vs threat generation (agility/strength/AP);

For my mage - due to the current gear level - I focus on hitting raid bosses (spell hit), to tanking mob HKM or AOE mobs (stamina), to pumping damage aka rape that Amani scout down now! (spell damage); elemental fight (frost damage for Alar, fire damage for all else)

I agree on average most DPS has it much much much more easier than us, the tank and healer.

But there are rare breed - ahem - like minority that cares about doing their job and their class to the maximum potential. Tank has 1 spec, us mage have to respec for different fights at time, and weear different set of gears at different fight (true for tank and heal as well). Even my long time lock friend, carries a few sets of gears.

Tanks and heals need much more situation awareness - as they orchestrate the whole encounter; well except for 5v5 in H MGST, for which you just need to stay alive in whatever means, hence I love H MGST - but I digress.

So, I think how much more time that one dedicate time or have gear tension it has got to do with the player himself/herself. I believe for every class, if care enough, there are definitely tensions in gears/stats decisions.

However - I do agree, tanks and heals, generally, cares more - cuz they need to else its easier to wipe to bad tank/heals than to bad dps.

I have ran many a heroics where its only my heal and me, the tank, as the last two standing.

Or even in some occasion, with my tank, as the last man standing.

but I digress, again.

ben said...

getting to the magic number of hit is of course the first goal (164 for the mage I play, but I've tanked and healed too). But once you hit that number, the theorycraft goal is to stay there no matter what kind of "other upgrades" you pick up along the way. So, in order to maintain that optimum level, you have to regularly customize your gear, whether that be in gem selection or re-using "old" items. For example, I used the Scryer Bloodgem early on to hit the cap, but eventually replaced it with my Blessings deck once I got some spell hit gear in Kara/crafting. Now though, I've been acquiring spell haste gear, and at one point I needed my Bloodgem once more to stay hit capped. There's a lot more adjustment required than at first glance.


I did a quick scan through WoW-Loot to see how many mage items there were and how many prot-warrior items there were in Karazhan and Black Temple. While I'm sure the sample size isn't perfect, there are only 28 listed warrior tank items in those two instances, as opposed to 49 for mages. While a warrior tank has less competition for gear than a caster, competition being equal, a mage (or most casters) simply has more combinations of gear they need to calculate to reach the optimum result. Ultimately, all a tank needs to do is increase Survivability to a baseline "I'll live if I'm healed" level and then plow the rest into threat generation. While tanks admittedly have a harder fight-to-fight adjustment to make, DPS classes have a harder outside-the-zone adjustment period.

All I'm saying is, it's not as easy as first glance. Using resources like MaxDPS and TankPoints or EJ makes the choices academic for the most part, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Due to downranking, throughput normally confers longevity (although the reverse is not true). So the 'balance' you're describing is largely illusionary - in theory you could gear your Paladin with no mp5 at all (just +healing and +critical) and simply downrank very, very far.

Of course, such gear doesn't exist. A better way to describe the situation is that healers are forced into balance.

Shalkis said...

I had long been a proponent of balancing survivability and longevity against damage when it comes to mage itemization/speccing. Naturally, I was wrong. You literally cannot afford to focus on anything but pure DPS.

Merlot said...

For tanks and healers, where you see complexity, I see choice and variety. How many options for a weapon does a caster have compared to tanks or healers? I'm still waiting for the one weapon in the whole of Karazhan that I can use to drop. There are no weapons in the entire range of heroics. That's just an example. There is a similar dearth of options for dps in other slots too. As dps, you are railroaded into one way of gearing. I don't know what gem colours are: if it isn't a runed living ruby I can't use it.

Having said all that, I agree with some of the other comments when they point out the tricky balance of some dps classes — the healing/spirit/mp5 balance for healers is no more complicated than the hit/crit/damage of dps, there's just more gear available.

Doeg said...

Good topic!

Ironically, this idea seems to tie back into the post a while back that talked about 'bad DPS' performance, and how tanks & healers always seem to catch the blame, but sometimes the fault is really with bad DPS.

In the same way, it's important for DPS to get past the notion that it's "all about spell damage" or "it's all about crit" or "it's all about AP" (or whatever stat is supposed to maximize you classes' DPS). Often in an instance / raid situation, hit rating to cap is important (since a miss or resist = 0 DPS). Then you need to research (outside the game, unfortunately) how to maximize DPS for your class. Casters, for example, have to look at spell damage, spell hit, spell crit, threat, mana management for long fights, and now spell haste.

And one should remember that you might do great damage, but if you pull threat and get one-shotted by the boss your DPS = 0. If you're missing or getting resisted because you didn't pay any attention to hit or spell hit, your DPS goes down. If you stand in the fire and die, your DPS = 0. If you're the top DPS but your CC assignment is forgotten and kills a healer, you've failed. If my shadow priest is doing great DPS but I'm not keeping up VT for mana regen, then I'm not doing my job.

So yes, DPS can drop in a cookie-cutter raid spec and load up on the one best DPS stat for their class, but that it really just the starting point, not the end point.

Rohan said...

Wow, DPS is touchy. I'm not saying one style is easier or harder, or one style is better or worse, just making the observation that there are two styles.

If you think about it in mathematical terms, DPS has one super-complex equation that they attempt to maximize. All the gearing statistics that they care about fit in that one equation.

Tanks/Healers have two simpler equations that they have to balance. Different statistics plug into different equations (though some stats plug into both).

In theory, mages (and maybe SPriests) have two equations as well. In practice though, most mages put the maximum effort into maximizing the one DPS equation.

Can a mage give me an example of a gearing choice (similar ilevel) that would reduce DPS, but increase Longevity, and where there is an debate about which is the better option?

Rudolphe said...

Regardles of all that, DPS still has one main thing to worry about increasing. DPS.

Pain said...

Because all the Mp5/crit and +heal you get from items makes it hard to itemize?

Most druids itemize for straight +heal (Gems/enchants) because the class is so effecient. All of their additional MP5/Spirit comes from base items

Shamans socket for +heal/mp5.
Priests go for heal/spirit/mp5.

How is this any different then socketing for:

+spell hit/+spell dmg/+spell haste that any caster dps goes for?

Because you have to have healing gear with better regen? I've got news for you on a fight like Illidari Council, while your caster dps isn't swapping gear, they're probably holding back to go through the entire fight.

As a shadowpriest this was a huge issue for me.

Most dps hitting HWL Najentus in BT from 3/5 MH are going to have to swap gear on initial kills so they can get over 9.5k health.

Paladins and shamans would have more stamina then dps would at that stage in progression, so they would be able to use mostly normal raid gear, whereas with a dps your spellstrike and frozen shadow weave isn't giving you much stamina.

Anyway I can't imagine you actually play a DPS class, or ever have because reading your articles you have a direct healer bias. Stop acting like healing is hard, it really isn't. I could Spam FoL/HL over and over again, but I bet you couldn't nail down a shadowpriest or Imp. Slam Warrior rotation.

sid67 said...

You write as-if maximizing DPS is a simple task. It’s not. What’s better +30 hit or +100 AP or Spell Damage? What about haste? Or Spell Penetration? Or armor reduction? Now take all of those things and tell me how it impacts your DPS?

One of the things that greatly frustrates me about forming groups is when someone of another class asks – what’s your [insert mono-stat]? Well geez – maybe I only have +1 of that stat but + gazillion of another one that matters. More often than not, DPS types have to constantly judge tradeoffs to figure that stuff out and there is no “magic formula” that tells us what is better. DPS itself is also a difficult thing to judge as well. Are we talking about strictly boss fights or everything? Does the boss have immunities or resistances?

I’ve never played a Healer, but I have played a Warrior and quite honestly gear itemization for a Warrior is pretty simple. All you need to know is how many HP, how much defense, how much avoidance, how much armor. The game will actually tabulate all of those things for you, so you simply need to hover over the stat and make some decisions. By contrast, there is no auto-magic tabulation for how much extra DPS 1% crit will provide over +50 attack power.

In regards to threat: This is really more of a Paladin specific issue, I think. For Warriors, your ability to generate threat is really more of an weapon/ability choice problem (with the notable exception of maybe +hit to ensure you don’t miss). It’s also bit different for Druid Tanks, but itemization for them is really only terribly difficult due to a lack of proper + Defense tanking gear. Threat isn’t so much a problem for Bears as stacking avoidance. I suspect that Paladins face a similar issue with regards to threat since they can use all the same mitigating gear that a Warrior can utilize.

Your argument is basically that since DPS don’t really care about blue gems than they must have an easier time making gear choices. That’s pretty silly considering how many different types of Red, Green, Orange, Yellow and Purple gems are out there. Maximizing DPS is actually quite difficult because there is no magic formula to what is most helpful to you. The best answer is – well, it depends. As a result, you top DPS folks are likely turning to spreadsheets and complex formulas to measure relative DPS.

So yes – DPS only have to worry about one thing. But unfortunately, there is no magic handbook that spells out the recipe for success. In that regard, tanking and healing itemization are much simpler.

kadaan said...

There aren't too many direct posts comparing mage gear, since it's very much tied to your current gear and the fight length. Kalvan wrote a RAWR module for mages which you can use to optimize your gear for your spec. Most requests for "is X > Y?" or any gear-related requests are simply pointed to RAWR.

As an example, I input my current gear and changed the spec to 40/0/21 Arc/Frost. I ran the optimizer with the gear I have (1-4 pieces per slot) for both three and eight minute boss fights.

For the three minute fight, damage/haste obviously comes out ahead. Relative stat weights come out to:
1 haste rating = 1.06 damage
1 crit rating = 0.72 damage
1 intellect = 0.62 damage
1 spirit = 0.07 damage
1 mp5 = 0.06 damage
(hit is 0, as it's capped)

The eight minute fight relative stat weights look like this:
1 haste rating = 1.06 damage
1 intellect = 0.82 damage
1 crit rating = 0.73 damage
1 spirit = 0.47 damage
1 mp5 = 0.21 damage

Some of the notable changes in gear include:
- Bracers of Nimble Thought > Cuffs of Devastation as the best entry t6 bracers (19spi/14crit/12dmg > 28 haste).
- Violet Signet of the Archmage > Ring of Recurrence at entry T5 level (8int > 3dmg/2crit.)
- Collar of the Aldor > Hood of Hexing when hit capped (14int/17spi/3crit > 39dmg)

That's with my existing frost gear that focuses on damage over stats. Int takes a jump, and spirit takes a massive jump. With gear focused on int/spi, they go even higher.

I just have a problem with your wording. Every class has multiple inputs into their equation to reach a single goal. I actually think healers have it the easiest, as they have no hit/defense cap to worry about when comparing gear. They can make raw healing/mana longevity tradeoffs without having to re-gem all their gear.

Shalkis said...

Can a mage give me an example of a gearing choice (similar ilevel) that would reduce DPS, but increase Longevity, and where there is an debate about which is the better option?
It's hard to find such an encounter where longeivity would be more valuable than DPS. You can always use shadowpriests, resto shamans, potions and gems. Not even Illidan or the Illidari Council require gearing for longeivity, you have plenty of time to recast gems and wait for potion cooldowns.

Well.. perhaps Hyjal trash. I skip all Spell Crit gear in favor of equivalent Spell Haste gear, switch to Mage Armor and spam Blizzard. Arcane Explosion would do more DPS, but you'd need to use a potion or two per wave, and there's 24 waves of mobs between the start and Kaz'rogal.

Rohan said...

kadaan, I think you have convinced me that Arcane Mages fall into the dual points tension that healers and tanks have. However, I don't think the same is true for Frost and Fire Mages, let alone Warlocks, Rogues, Hunters, Warriors, etc.

For example, looking at your gear, I don't see any points where you chose Longevity over DPS.

oncelot - frostmourne said...

To the blog-owner, look I like your blog, I read it regularly for tank tips and adventure because I play a tank.

BUT, I also play a DPS, and your post, how mildly you put it, have over-simplified the effort required to play a GOOD DPS.

From the original post,

When it comes to choosing gear, tanks and healers seem to differ from DPS in a significant way. Tanks and healers are trying to reach a balance between two points, while DPS is only intent on maximizing one point.

I do not find it differs in significant way.

Lets define the balance that each role need to achieve in terms of gear, and see how significant, (* FYI I don't play any end-game energy-base DPS so I am not commenting on it)

Tank: Survival, Mitigation, Threat Generation

Tank Stats balancing : Armor, Stamina, Agility, Dodge rating, Defense Rating, Strength, Crit, Attack power

Mana based DPS: Survival, Damage, Longetivity

Mana based DPS Stats balancing: Stamina, Spell Damage, Spell Crits, Spell Hits, Spell Haste, Intellect

Ok - I think you get my point; there are a lot of factors to consider for both Tanks and DPS but you can't compare them one to one.

Both Tank and DPS are in constant "tension" in determining what gears to wear.

Both Tank and DPS has a SINGLE point to achieve in every fight - Tank to stay alive and hold mobs down, DPS to do maximum damage without pulling aggro and CC!

Tank weigh and wear different gears to stay alive and hold mobs down- and DPS weigh and wear different gears to do max damage and CC.

Yes CC is DPS job too, I personally know a hunter that have a set of gears that allow him to trap more efficiently in fight where he really need to trap really well.

I also dislike your generalization that dps optimized only on one thing as such pointed out by my previous post and above consideration. At the very least, each DPS strike a balance between survival and max dps. A dead DPS-er = zero DPS.

and the subsequent question,

Can a mage give me an example of a gearing choice (similar ilevel) that would reduce DPS, but increase Longevity, and where there is an debate about which is the better option?

I think your question is flawed. There is no clear better option, no 1 size fit all gears.

I can't recall my gears by slot off hand and I don't bother to check it up in armory, but my mage,

1. Set 1 - Raid Boss - spell-fire + hit gears

2. Set 2 - Tank/AOE gears - Aldor's regalia + stamina gears

3. Set 3 - Raw Damage Gears - spell-fire + high spell damage/crit gear

Should I debate whether to use 3-peice spellfire + 2piece spell-strike better OR 5 piece Aldor regalia is better? No I won't, I will have both and use it for different situation.

In conclusion, every role, Tank/Heal/DPS has its own challenge or tension. I think to try to put a statement such as one is have it harder than another, is oversimplifying, holier than thou attitude. For which I do not encourage.

Shalkis said...

1. Set 1 - Raid Boss - spell-fire + hit gears

2. Set 2 - Tank/AOE gears - Aldor's regalia + stamina gears

3. Set 3 - Raw Damage Gears - spell-fire + high spell damage/crit gear

Of those three sets, #3 is mainly useful for anything but a raid/heroic, so I'd skip it altogether. Spell Hit is simply too good to skip in a raid.

Set #2 is more viable, but the problem is that there is little debate when you'd be better off using set #2 instead of set #1. You either go all out on one or the other, there's no balancing involved.

Set #2 is the choice for Aran, Zul'jin, Naj'entus, Gurtogg and Archimonde. Add in Maulgar and Illidari Council if you're tanking. In a way, set #2 could be compared to the resistance sets. You don't use it unless you have a very specific reason to do so.

oncelot - frostmourne said...

How is it different from a tank, I wonder, which is the discussion over here. Tank having it more tough than DPS.

I still do not see a valid reply that can show clearly tank has it significant different than DPS - which is what I am disagreeing with.

When you tank Hydross, wear a iceguard or wildguard depending on which phase - no tension.

Tank have resistance gear, so does DPS .

Tank have stamina gear, so does DPS

Tank have threat gear, DPS have damage/CC gear.

You see, I do not see a significant different, really I don't. If you can point it out, please do so.

@shalkis

Spell hit has a diminishing return - the amount of spell-hit you need is corresponding to the target you are hitting. No way my mage is going to wear his 166spellhit set in clearing thrash, heroic or raid.

I am not going to argue with you whether it is balancing or it is not.

I have few sets of gears and each sets there are duplicates, and depending on encounter, I mix and match the sets of gears I have. I haven't even talk about gemming, enchant and item enhancement. If you do not call that balancing - its fine, to each its own.

And Shalkis, can we stay on the topic, we are in a discussion on the comment, "Does tank have significant more gear tension when selecting gears to a DPS?". This is the topic about, I am not asking you to recommend which gears I use for which fight, I think I know very well.

And to all you tank, and healers - that include me cuz I am a tank, too, go armory me; DPS might be a plenty - but plenty does not equal to easy definitely does not equal to lesser.

The lack of tanks in game, in my opinion, have has nothing to do with gears btw, its about the playstyle that each individual like. Most people find it appealing to fight the boss using fancyful skills, especially for range, we can see the whole encounter, full visual of it. For us tank, especially feral tank, a lot of time all I see is my butt (aka tanking against the wall?). Gee, all us feral tank are butt lover!

cheers!

Shalkis said...

And Shalkis, can we stay on the topic, we are in a discussion on the comment, "Does tank have significant more gear tension when selecting gears to a DPS?"
And that's what I am answering. Tanks have three different interests that they have to balance for every encounter. If you skip avoidance/mitigation, your healers run OOM. If you skip stamina, your risk being killed by damage spikes. If you skip threat generation, you risk hitting hard/soft enrage timers because your DPS has to hold back.

Aside from those few encounters I mentioned, mages can skip the survivability part of their competing interests by staying out of harm's way. With shadowpriests, resto shamans, gems, potions and Evocation, they can skip longeivity. That leaves DPS.

I have few sets of gears and each sets there are duplicates, and depending on encounter, I mix and match the sets of gears I have.
But there's no need to mix and match. There are well-reseached formulas and online calculators available that can tell you what the optimal gear is. Aside from those encounters I mentioned, you're always better off wearing that optimal set of gear. I don't call that balancing. Either you wear the optimal gear or you don't.

Rav said...

[i][b]quick noob question: what's the difference between pve healer gear and pvp healer gear besides resilience?

i play a mage and need +spell hit for pve. is there defining stat like that that makes them distinct?[/b]

Not really. Just resilience and stamina.[/i]

For Priests and Druids, PvE healing gear is vastly different from PvP healing gear. These two classes rely on Spirit for many talent builds, which is severely lacking in PvP.