Wednesday, February 25, 2009

540 Defense or maybe not

My pally hit 80 last night somewhere in sholazar basin in fact it was an oracle daily that did the trick. Of course I immediately aborted questing and ran back to the nearest bank to don my titansteel gear that I had crafted not too long ago. Between the boots, the helm, the shield and the two icebane epics (girdle, chest) I had hoped I would have enough slots / raw defense rating available to hit the elusive 540 defense cap.
After socketing in all the defense gems I could find, slapping on the right enchants and sidegrading some of my rings, basically doing everything elfingly possible on a low budget I was severely dissapointed to see that despite focussing 100% on defense/defense rating I only hit about 520 defense.

I figure I will reach the no-crit defense value of 540 with a little work (better gems, better enchants and some trinket/ring/neck adjustments) but in the meantime it seems that working with defense as a stat is very restrictive to what else you can possibly do in terms of gemming enchanting.

So there I am at 520 defense and I can't help but thinking that defense rating is somewhat hard to come by through pure questing/crafting. Sure, the items that do have defense rating on them usually have quite a bit, but it also takes a massive amount of defense rating to become uncrittable.

I suppose it's the mechanic that bothers me. You NEED to be uncrittable; not being uncrittable is hardly an option if you're being slapped around by some raid-boss unless you can soak up a lot of damage and have a healer or two that never heard of the words 'out of mana'.

Compare this to say a warlock where you stack spellpower till there's no tomorrow. There's no real set minimum there... you can go into an instance with a warlock that has 0 spellpower and it's not going to wipe the raid if the rest of the group can compensate for it.

You can't really compensate for a tank who is being crit regularly unless your healer is better than the content you're doing (as if it wasn't hard enough to find a healer in the first place).

That being said, my warlock in his paltry crafted gear does sufficient damage (by most scales) and still has plenty of room to gem/enchant outside of the box.

It's somewhat dissapointing, I had hoped to be able to stack some strength in there for some block value and general oompf but instead I will have to consider defense a top priority to the detriment of literally everything else.

Be that as it may, my paladin is officially done and will soon find his place in my scheme of solo-ing/duo-ing instances giving the old war veteran warlock a nice run for his money despite his obviously less than perfect un-critability.

Looking on the bright side my character sheet now says 'very good' in the frost resistance column with the frost resistance aura up and a quick test with one of the few frost mages left on my server resulted in the frost mage immediately re-speccing to arcane out of sheer frostration (pun intended).

The conclusion would be this: If you don't have a good chance at defense gear via raids/5mans (not everyone can play hours at a time) you're going to have moderate difficulty in hitting that elusive defense value of 540 and you will actually have to work for it a little (i.e. do more than just rely on Blacksmithing to bail you out like I did).

All fixable if you instance a lot, but in the meantime I will divert my attention to my next levelling victim: The druid (and yes I'll be posting something a little less personal and a bit more useful in the near future :P)


Balerina said...

As a long time warrior I feel your pain when it comes to Def rating.

My suggestion would be to actually use the blue pieces (I believe Tempered Saronite, but I'm at work and can't look it up) until you get the upgrades from heroics to be able to use the Titansteel pieces. The Tempered Saronite pieces have an absurd amount of Def, specifically to allow the freshly dinged tank to surpass the 540 mark.

Actually, as I got heroic/raid upgrades I had a difficult time staying over 540 def when I dropped the Saronite items.

It may feel counterintutive to do so, but the mountains of def on the blue pieces are your best bet for now.

David said...

You should probably note that 540 def is only required when fighting raid (lvl 83) bosses. 5 mans only have level 81 or 82 bosses and 520 is most likely sufficient. Of course, good luck convincing your group of that....

Darraxus said...

You only need 535 for heroics. Start working on your Wyrmrest rep and they have a few outstanding tanking pieces that will last you a while including a cloak, chest, and legs with bunches of defense.

Occeleta said...

Yes yes, to Darraxus you listen. At honored you can pick up the cloak with 43 defense rating. And at honored you can get the boots at 58 and the chest piece with 76 defense rating. Then there are the blue you fan pickup of AH, Tempered Saronite are well known but I think people forget about the Daunting Gauntlets as well. Just keep questing as the gold payout at 80 will make these affordable.

Occeleta said...

Le sigh. iPhone blogging FTL. I meant to see at revered you can pick up the boots and chest. There's also the head enchant that helps with defense rating at revered with Argent Crusade.

Captain The First said...

521 now... mostly tempered saronite and daunting things with the titansteel stuff thrown in for good measure. I'll work on my enchanting to see if I can't dig up a better enchant for defense rating. Upgrading all my gems would help...

Either way thanks for all the good suggestions.

@Occeleta: I'd rather rip my hair out than blog via my iphone... probably drain half the battery before I'd finish a post :P

CowTank said...

Ahh the problems of 540 defense rating for raiding. I feel your pain, it seems so long ago now but I find it even harder when you're getting the odd Naxx drop as the defense is usually lower than the crafted/reputation stuff from outside.

You've already had advice on the Daunting and Saronite pieces which I got hold of first. I also did Wyrmrest dailies until I could get the cloak and breastplate.

There's a quest in Zul'Drak which nets you a nice tanking mace with a decent amount of +def on it that works nicely. Then you can get +22 def on your chest from an enchant and there's also a +20 def enchant for your shield too which may help.

There's a very nice post on tankspot here:

Hope some of that helps!

Anonymous said...

Hey Caps, jager/scara here. If you'd just dinged, odds are you were only at 395 natural defense. Remember to take into account the last 5 points you'll get from being smacked around for a while.

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