Thursday, December 4, 2008

WotLK resistance

Being primarily a solo oriented player I have always strived towards making my characters tough as nails, after all survivability is king in solo play.
Whether this means overloading my warlock with stamina at the expense of some other stats or using engineering for various spell absorption or reflection items I am always looking for the next best thing to make my characters that much tougher.

With the new expansion now quickly approaching its one month anniversary it has become clear that once again all stats are on the increase and it's time to re-evaluate what have been called 'situational stats' in the past.

One such stat is resistance. Pre-WotLK resistances were the unwanted step-children of rare raiding encounters where a decent amount of resistance was required purely to be able to survive long enough to take the boss down.

Resistances beyond that were considered mostly useless outside of certain raiding encounters and a somewhat fluctuating popularity in PVP for shadow resistance gear.

So lets take a look at what has changed for resistances. If you're not yet familiar with the mechanic take a look at the wowwiki here and see if you can get a basic grasp of the concept first.

What it comes down to is that spell resistance is measured both by level difference between you and your victim and an additional check for partial resistance of direct damage spells (fireballs, icebolts, shadowbolts and other bolty things) or in case of binary spells (frost nova or anything else that carries a debuff rather than a damage component) either fully resist the spell... or not.

The magic number for the WotLK era is: 415 vs lvl 83 which puts you at the resist cap of 75% resistance.

I am not going to bore you with a re-hash of the formula's posted on the wiki but here's a little number example to clarify the formula used:

Damage reduction percentage = (effective resistance value / caster level) * 15
Damage reduction percentage = 75%
caster level = 83

75 = (effective resistance value / 83) * 15
75/15 = (effective resistance value / 83)
(75/15) * 83 = Effective resistance value
415 = Effective Resistance Value

Of course if you're more interested in PVP at level 80 resistance options then you simply jot in caster level 80 and get 400 as your magic number vs lvl 80.

Still with me? good good, I'll dispense with the math now. What is important to understand is that resistance will always work against direct damage spells. So even if you only have 50% spell resistance you can still resist a significant amount of spell damage (an about 50% chance to resist half the damage and approximately a 20% chance to resist 75% damage) which means that while you'd ideally want to be at the resistance cap you can fudge the figures a little in favor of other stats (we still need to do some damage or have some armor mitigation etc. after all).

In favor of keeping this blog post somewhat legible I will save the research of what gear is out there for another post but here's a quick display of a notable (plate) resistance set that's available for crafting:

Icebane Treads - 86 frost resistance
Icebane Girdle - 86 frost resistance
Icebane Chestguard - 115 frost resistance

If the Icebane set is any indication then you can, with just 3 pieces of gear get 287 points of pure frost resistance which means that you're a mere 113 points away from being capped against a level 80 player.

If you're a paladin running a frost resistance aura you get an additional 130 points at level 80 putting you well over the needed resistance cap for an investment of only 3 items.

Granted the items lack other important stats but make up for this with a few sockets that allow for some customization options.

Still, even without the convenience of a paladin aura you're looking at +- 54% spell resistance for those 3 items alone which gives you an above average chance to munch 50% of incoming (frost) spell damage or outright resist 50% of all frost nova's cast against you.

During one of the next blog posts here on noobding I'll delve into the topic some more and see if we can figure out an approximate maximum of resistance per magic school that we can achieve by looking at potential gear, enchantments, gems and whatnot.

The ultimate goal is to see if resistances can now be considered a significant option for increasing your survivability in solo play and potential other situations.

I'll leave the conclusions up to you; Ultimately it is your choice whether you want to put the time and effort into building a resistance set and whether it is worth it for your particular playstyle or not.

All in all it seems that the resistance caps are now easier to hit than ever with the gear available in WotLK.


Anonymous said...

A very out of date WowWiki says that spell pene(tration) will negate much if not all of your resistance. Is that true (or if it was pre WotLK, is it STILL the case)?

Nice breakdown btw.

Anonymous said...

Spell penetration will counter point for point with resistance. So if I have 140 resistance you will need 140 spell penetration to counter my resistance to 0.

Gold Guide for World of Warcraft said...

good post :)

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