Friday, 14 May 2010

Last Word

I was called in to dps in one of my guild's 25 man raids last night and picked up the Last Word, which no-one else wanted and would otherwise have been sharded.

I've been trying to decide whether this weapon is any good or not. To compare, I am currently using The Facelifter, and I have Crusader's Glory which I might use for EH fights such as Saurfang heroic (if we ever get there). Leaving aside Crusader's Glory for the moment, and on the assumption that the Last Word proc has 100% uptime (which I believe it has), essentially the decision comes down to

Last Word
1.8 speed
+21.1 dps
+12 stamina
+60 strength
+300 healing received

The Facelifter
1.6 speed
+41 defence rating
+41 parry rating
+36 expertise rating

I think that the extra weapon dps and the harder devastates which derive from the strength (120 attack power), the weapon dps and the slower speed will be outweighed by the loss of expertise rating and the chance for fewer heroic strikes. So as a threat weapon, I think The Facelifter wins out although there is probably not very much in it.

The next consideration is defence. I use the two ilevel 264 crafter armour pieces and neither has +defence on it. I am about 20 defence over the cap, and so replacing The Facelifter with Last Word means that I will need to start gemming for defence. On the assumption that I will need to replace two +30 stam gems with +10 def / +15 stamina gems, and both of those new green gems will allow me to complete a +6 stamina socket bonuses (which I think is right), the overall effect of losing the defence rating is that I lose 21 defence rating and 19 stamina. Using that to restate the above gives me the following

Last Word
+60 strength (= 30 block value)
+300 healing received

The Facelifter
+6 stamina
+21 defence rating
+41 parry rating

The 6 stamina is trivial - 65 health or so, and so is the block value. We are therefore comparing avoidance on The Facelifter with the +health buff on Last Word.

The efficacy of the health buff is hard to measure and it comes down to the thorny old question of why tanks die. At present I never go from 100% to 0% in one hit. It simply does not happen. When I die it is often from a series of hits (soul reaper + melee on LK, or a string of unavoided hits on Festergut are the only times I can remember recently). Quite often my death lasts 3 or 4 seconds and is along the lines of - big hit - big hit - little heal - big hit - dead. The point is that I almost always get a heal of some kind during the burst period which leads to my death, be it an earth shield bubble popping, or a renew tick, or something similar. The +heals buff supplied by Last Word would be helpful in that scenario as follows (on the assumption that my healer is a holy priest, as she is now):

- Each renew tick would heal for an extra 200 or so (my rough maths based on EJ's overall coefficient of 3.3)
- A holy priest's flash heal would heal for an extra 320 -ish (EJ)

So on that basis, on the assumption that during the period of burst damage you get a renew tick and a flash heal the +health buff would be worth about 520 extra health, or about 47 stamina.

The +heal effect is broadly like +armour because you need less healing to go from an injured state into a state where you can survive the next hit. It might help if you think of it as an armour effect which is proportional to healing taken (and you don't know the healing taken because it will vary from occasion to occasion - you have to estimate based on what is reasonable).

There's a great quote about this weapon on Maintankadin

"the RNG of avoidance fails me roughly ~55% of the time; my healers, however, rarely fail me"

This makes sense to me - my healers normally manage to get a heal in on me, even if it's a small heal. Anything that makes that small heal better is essentially EH.

And there, I've made my decision! Once I've sorted out my defence stats, I'll be using this I think.

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