Theorycrafting and how it sometimes fails

I’ve been discussing some trinkets and gear stuff with some friends over the past few days. Firstly, a pally wanted to buy the Nobles deck for the 90 int + proc 300 int trinket (costs about 10k gold on our server). Int is the prime stat now, especially for holy pallies due to many synergies with spellpower, crit, and mana regen from replenishment. He claimed that its a great trinket according to many holy pallies (and wanted to borrow 10k gold to buy it…). Another friend wanted to run normal CoT: Strat for the Soul Preserver, a trinket for his druid’s resto set as it is listed as one of the best healing trinkets.

The problem is that any ranking of gear is theoretical and is based on certain assumptions. It depends entirely on how much you weight each stat. It’s more clearcut for dps classes because any increase in dps always has a positive effect : the target will die faster. The question then remains which stat gives a bigger dps boost, and even that ranking depends on your existing stats.

For healing and tanking however, my opinion is that there are certain “breakpoints” beyond which an increase in a stat may be completely meaningless. To give an example, lets say (totally out of my ass here) Soul Preserver will return around 5000 mana to a resto druid over a certain 2 minute fight. That’s technically a 42 mp5 trinket, which sounds pretty damn good. However, what if that resto druid ends the fight with 7000 mana? That means that the trinket was practically worthless. “But it also has spellpower!” Ok sure, but a large proportion of that increase would probably go to overheal… which does nothing. As long as a healer is not running out of mana and is able to keep up with incoming damage, then any additional mana regen gear does nothing, even if theory says its one of the best.

Same goes for tanks and hp. Unless you need a certain amount of hp to survive a hard hitting attack, extra hp actually doesn’t really do anything. E.g. if a boss hits for 20k, then increasing from 21k hp to 25k hp doesn’t really do anything since you still have to heal the tank anyway. It looks scarier having the tank dip to 1k hp instead of 5k, but there isn’t any actual benefit.

Of course better gear is always good (everyone loves loot) but it helps to be aware of the rationale behind theorycraft and why an item is supposed to be good. You might be paying 10k gold just to have 75% mana leftover instead of 50% mana.

2 thoughts on “Theorycrafting and how it sometimes fails

  1. I’d like to say for tanking, health sometimes does matter. No health = dead. You need enough health to withstand hits in a multimob environment, especially those spell casting ones..

    Health acts as additional buffer in case the healer sucks :p

  2. Yeah, but once you have “enough”, which will vary a lot depending on the situation, the extra doesn’t do anything. If a pack of mobs hits for 20k damage every 2 seconds, and the healers can heal through that damage sustainably, then having 50k health is no benefit. You’d probably want a buffer so something like 30+k health would be fine, the rest would be better put into avoidance even if a stamina piece is supposedly ranked very high…

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