Friday, January 9, 2009

Expertise: Addendum

Thank you to Dradis for pointing out that paladins can't use staves. (What am I, a walking WoW Guru?! Geez, you people expect way too much of me.)

I'd like to point out on my own that the Titansteel Bonecrusher, as lovely as it is with expertise, is a one-hander. A fact I somehow managed to overlook earlier.

Additionally, my wowhead searches left out a few pieces of gear! I'm ashamed of myself.

Battleplate of Unheard Ovation obtained through the Battle of Valhalas quest line in Icecrown is purdy. And appropriately leveled!

Two other pieces of gear that are level 74... but have expertise and are plate...
Eternal Observer's Legplates drops off the rare elite Zul'Drak Sentinel in... Zul'Drak.
Muradin's Lost Greaves is off a boss in Drak'Tharon Keep, Prophet Tharon'ja.

A trinket I found that's nifty is Crusader's Locket from the quest line Defending the Vanguard in Icecrown.

Granted, it's a trinket that's 'chance on melee', but when it procs, you are over your expertise cap if you're DPS. It's probably a trinket that works better on classes with a faster swing rate than most ret pallies. However, I'm using it over Chuchu's Tiny Box of Horrors just to see how often it seems to work and whether it's worth it for me.

Now, a question I fielded yesterday from a few friends was the benefit of expertise over attack power or critical strike rating or even hit rating.

The adage for hit vs. crit is... you can't crit if you can't hit.

The same rule applies, IMNSHO, to expertise (now that I know more about it) versus other stats. Granted, you don't want to seriously gimp your damage output by doing nothing BUT stacking expertise over strength, crit rating, attack power... but 6% of your attacks are being dodged.

What difference is there in saying 'I need hit rating because otherwise, 8-9% of my attacks are missing!' and in saying, 'I need expertise rating because otherwise, 6% of my attacks are being dodged!'.

Lost DPS is lost DPS. I can have one kazillion crit rating or attack power, and still do poor damage if my attacks aren't landing.

Some things we can't help - melee fighters are at a slight disadvantage in terms of 'time on mob' in moving fights, or positioning ourselves, or in having to run in and out of AoE, or running to free a teammate from some spell... why not help ourselves where we can? If we're not missing 8-9% of the time (there's some debate whether the hit cap is 8 or 9%. Something to play with.) and we're not being dodged 6% of the time... that's 14% more 'time hitting mob' that we can get in.

I'm bad at math, so though to me it sounds like I should be doing 14% more damage(!!!) I don't think that's how it works out. Would be nice though.

Either way, for us ret pallies swinging big ol' 3.3+ second two handers, if our attack is dodged, it's another 3.3+ seconds before we get another shot at hitting the boss and doing melee damage. Granted, we have OTHER attacks which do a great deal of damage in and of themselves... but Seal of Command (or whatever Seal you're using) can't proc if you aren't hitting. And that big ol' honkin' two hander makes a better weapon than a fan.


  1. The problem with hit, crit, exp, and AP that you are working with a zero sum setup. That is, your toon has a generic set of a "slots" to fill -- slots for gear, a slot for a food buff, slots for enchants, etc. -- the expertise food that you eat gives you more expertise, but at the cost of the attack power or agility food. The same with all the other slots.

    So yeah, spending 14% more time hitting is good, but because you've given up some other stat (perhaps attack power) in order to get the extra hit and expertise... each of your attacks has slightly less power.

    The question is: how much less?

    My hunter is 20 points from the hit cap. If I didn't have a draenei in the raid (<3 Kvasira), the question would be, do I overcap with 40 hit power food, or do I just eat the misses and go with 80 attack power food?

    I think I'll go do the math.

  2. Very true. I still go with the thought that 'you can't crit if you can't hit' as my guiding line. Could there be a point where you go to far? Yes. But I think we're a long way from it right now.

  3. awwww shucks, you would help me out, its the least I could do :P Oh, and a search tip for you on Wowhead (although you may have figured it out). Instead of searching by player level, just search everything that is new to WoTLK, then sort by item level once you get your results. I have missed a few things before in TBC by doing searches simply by player level. Did that makes sense? I need to go home!