WotLK: 540 Defense at Level 80

edit:My list of early level 80 gear to get crit immune can be found here.
An update to this post (with what it took to hit 540 in Beta) can be found
in this new post

Over the weekend my Prot Warrior hit level 80 in the Wrath of the Lich King Beta. I actually managed to ‘ding’ on a kill of the final boss in Gun’Drak, which was fun.

On my way to 80 I’ve replaced a lot of my level 70 epics – though not all. The rings, weapons, shield, and trinkets were all replaced by the mid-70’s. The Patch 2.4 badge gear was all gone by 78. A pair of the earlier badge pieces, my ZA boots, and (gasp) my helm from Prince are still around though.

Even with the upgrades, all my defensive abilities are much lower. Much, much lower. The change in ‘ratings’ (parry/dodge/block/defense) is very noticeable as you level. Even with the gear upgrades I’ve gotten, I cringe every time I look at my character panel.

The stat that is going to cause the most pain for tanking Warriors, Death Knights and Paladins, is defense. By the time I hit level 80 my defense has dropped all the way to 486. Ouch. That is 15 or 20 less than I ran with at level 70, and I’ve gotten several high defense upgrades. Most of the pain comes from the fact that a point of “defense rating” only gives half as much “defense skill” as i did at level 70.

To get the required 5.6% of crit reduction at level 70 and level 80 requires 140 defense over the base (350 at 70, 400 at 80). However at level 70, 2.37 ‘defense rating’ gives 1 point of ‘defense skill’. At level 80 it takes 4.92 ‘defense rating’ to get the same effect. Add to that the talent changes that have taken away 20 ‘free’ defense skill, and you now need to add more than 400 ‘defense rating’ on the trip to 80.

As such, I find myself needing roughly 50 more defense skill. This is a far bigger hole than I faced at level 70, and I’m starting with far better gear than I did then.

The good news is that the lack of defense isn’t causing serious problems yet. I’ve run every pre-80 instance (several times), and one level 80 instance (Halls of Lightening), and not had and problems. In fact, I don’t think we’ve experience even a single case of STD (Sudden Tank Death) across all the runs.. we’ve ever only wiped on horribly mismanaged pulls, or (more frequently) on severely bugged content.

For now, the occasional incoming Critical isn’t causing too much healer pain, but I presume that walking into a Heroic (or Naxx) would be a different story. I will explore my gearing options over the next few days, and try to get an idea if I should prioritize one particular faction grind once WotLK goes live.

edit:My list of early level 80 gear to get crit immune can be found here.
An update to this post (with what it took to hit 540 in Beta) can be found
in this new post

Explore posts in the same categories: Raiding, Tanking, WotLK, WotLK Beta, WoW

8 Comments on “WotLK: 540 Defense at Level 80”

  1. Apollya Says:

    Please Check the coefficient of Defence Rating that gives Defence Skill

    in your post you’ved said that 4.92 Defence rating = 1 Defence Skill at Level 80.

    I beleive this to be incorrect and a typo, think you meand 2.92 Defence rating = 1 Defence skill it’d certainly make mroe sense when after you say over 400 def rating needed.

  2. notcoding Says:

    Apollya, I wasn’t terribly clear about my math there, so I’ll try to explain it better here.

    @ 70: Base 350 Defense + 20 Defense from Talents = 370 Defense ‘free’
    @ 80: Base 400 Defense + 0 Defense from Talents = 400 Defense ‘free’

    Needed for Crit Immunity (this is the gap your gear needs to cover):
    @ 70: 490 Defense total. 490 – 370 = 120 Defense Skill needed
    @ 80: 540 Defense total. 540 – 400 = 140 Defense Skill needed.

    Defense Skill Needed to cover the gap:
    @ 70: 2.37 Rating = 1 Skill. 120 * 2.37 = 285 Defense Rating Needed
    @ 80: 4.92 Rating = 1 Skill. 140 * 4.92 = 689 Defense Rating Needed.

    This means you need to add another 404 Defense Rating while you level.
    However, if you simply take your level 70 (490 Defense) gear to level 80 you will only be sitting at 457 Defense, well short of the 540 Needed. (400 + (285/4.92))

    Source: http://www.wowwiki.com/Combat_rating_system#Defense_skills

  3. […] 540 Defense at Level 80, A Pre-Heroic Path We know that Warriors, at level 80, require 540 Defense to be Crit-Immune. This means getting 689 Defense Rating from gear (for a summary of where these numbers come from, see here.) […]

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