Monday, February 07, 2011

Death Strike Redux

A month ago I went over the distribution of different Death Strike results for a BWD run. After making that post I downloaded a mod to try to better track when I should Death Strike and when I should _not_ Heart Strike (because it would use a death rune). I've also gotten better gear (base death strike value went from 12211 to 13396 in that month, so I've gotten about 10% more base health). How have things changed, if at all?

I used to get a lot of 'full big heals', with almost 52% of all Death Strikes across Argaloth, trash, and 5 BWD bosses. (Though only one pull of Atramedes.) This week I had only 37% 'full big heals'. Chimaeron was again the biggest contributor, this time going up to 76% of my Chimaeron Death Strikes being a 'full big heal'. And it's only that low because of the 99% healing penalty during the final phase and my inability to properly handle it. (I should probably just delete them straight up.) Chimaeron is a pretty ludicrous fight for Death Strike anyway, with it consistently healing in the 47-55k range.

Filtering out Chimaeron, I had 42% of my Death Strikes being a base heal of some kind a month ago. This time around it was almost 60% being a base heal. Sadly the percentage of 'full base heals' barely changed and the increase came from extra overhealing. I do get to keep the shield, apparently, so that's not abysmal. It does mean that stamina is actually better than I was previously giving it credit for, though, with so much of my Death Strikes being base heals.

If I filter out Argaloth and trash (who cares about those, anyway) things come a little closer together. The big change is I lost 10% from my 'full big heal' number and moved it to a 'partial base heal' number. I think this is going to be because our gear as a whole is just better. Healers are more willing to throw extra healing my way since they have better gear. I mitigate more damage, reducing the size of my heals. And I have more base health, turning some previous big heals into base heals. (A heal could be a 'big' heal if it was just a few points above base.)

The final thing I cared about, which I didn't go into last time but which I still have the raw data for, was frequency of Death Strikes. Back in the middle of December I looked at Death Strike frequency and found I was hitting the button every 12.5 seconds which is way below theoretical maximums. At the time I was never using Outbreak and was often spamming Heart Strike when it lit up, burning away death runes. This is bad, and I've been trying to get better at it. Have I succeeded?

Well, a month ago I was at 10.7s on Argaloth, 13.3s on Omnitron, 15.3s on Maloriak, 8.4s on Chimaeron, and 10.3s on Atramedes. This week I was at 9.2s on Argaloth, 10.2s on Omnitron, 8.9s on Maloriak, 8.7s on Chimaeron, 8.5s on Atramedes. On the surface this is _way_ better than before and may also help explain why I'm overhealing more with Death Strike and getting more base heals with it. I'm just using it more (and not timing it very well other than Chimaeron).

Digging a little deeper, I had to make some assumptions on both the Maloriak and Atramedes numbers. It's not really fair to ding me for not Death Strike during the air phases of Atramedes, for example, since I don't fly and can't hit him with it. So I cut out big gaps in the log that presumably were air phases, but if I was being really terrible it would have been cut out too. (I really don't think I went 40+ seconds without hitting Death Strike when he's on the ground, but it's possible.) Similarly with Maloriak, when there are no adds up I can't hit Death Strike. Unfortunately here I just tend to not hit Death Strike period. (I frequently have to pull adds in to me and use Icy Touch to facilitate that. If I'm using a melee strike on anything it's going to be Rune Strike, not Death Strike, at least until I get 6+ adds on me.) I think just flat out throwing the Maloriak numbers out is wise. However, this does beg the question of why I'm tanking Maloriak's adds at all. If incoming tank damage was at all relevant on the fight it really seems like the block tank should be on adds and I should be on the boss.

Chimaeron was a little worse this week than last month but that's actually explained by Pounda having aggro when we transitioned to phase 3 instead of me. I ran off to a corner and waited for him to die (and therefore didn't hit any buttons). Possibly this is wrong and I should be getting in my anemic beatdown while Pounda survives. I also did my best this week to not hit Death Strike excessively during feud. He knocks me back to 1 right after anyway, so it's pretty much wasted. I want to end feud with 2 frost, 2 unholy, and 0 blood runes active and I know I did a better job of that this week than last month.

One thing is clear, though. I am doing a lot better at hitting the button more often than every 12.5 seconds. My tanking stat valuation post assumed Death Strike every 12 seconds with 50% being base when in actuality it's more like every 9.3 seconds with 60% being base which substantially increases the value of stamina, mastery, and haste relative to armour, dodge, and parry.

But this is all for farm content. I'm in almost full 359 gear so comparing how I do against Maloriak's adds is a little silly. Unfortunately I don't actually tank the hard fights we're doing right now (Howling Blast is both fair and reasonable) so it's hard to judge where I actually stand. Hopefully we actually get to work on Nef or heroics soon so I can have some bigger numbers to crunch.

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