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Eldacar recently posted an excellent guide to PvP Power and Resilience. Make sure to check it out! It answers pretty much every frequently asked questions to PvP Power and Resilience. Original post here.

Eldacar's Guide to PVP Power & Resilience

Hello everyone, I have written this guide to provide the player base with an in-depth understanding of how the new PVP Power and revised PVP Resilience stats work for level 90 players in Mists of Pandaria. This guide is very in depth and as a result is quite long. It is broken down into sections for easier reading, and I have included a brief summary for those that want it. To make things easier to understand both stats will first be looked at and explained independently, and then we will look at how they interact and scale with each other.

****NOTE - This guide was written for level 90 players, many of the concepts will still apply at 85 and other levels but the numbers and scaling will be different!****


-PVP Resilience has slightly increasing returns.
-You can get a significant increase in PVP Resilience through gemming.
-PVP Power does not "cancel out" a target's PVP Resilience but it will still help you hit them harder.
-PVP Power has linear returns (+265 PVP Power gives you +1% damage/healing in PVP)
-I do not definitively know if PVP Power is better than the primary stats for every class and spec, it will require theory crafting by players who really know each class.

Table of Contents:

Section 1 - PVP Resilience

1A - The Exponential Returns of Damage Reduction
1B - The Diminishing Returns of PVP Resilience Rating
1C - Baseline Damage Reduction
1D - Effective Health
1E - Resilience Graphs and Independent Scaling

Section 2 - PVP Power, Stat Interaction, and Combined Scaling

2A - The Absolute vs Relative Returns of PVP Power
2B - PVP Power's Interaction with PVP Resilience
2C - PVP Power Vs Baseline Damage Reduction
2D - PVP Power Vs Full PVP Gear
2E - PVP Power Vs Max Resilience
2F - Combined Stat Scaling of PVP Power and PVP Resilience

Section 3 - PVP Stat vs Primary Stat Gemming

3A - Strength, Agility & Intellect vs PVP Power
3B - Stamina vs Resilience

Section 4 - Closing Thoughts and Remarks

Section 5 - Appendix

Appendix A - Valuation and Frame of Reference
Appendix B - Extended PVP Power Range vs Full PVP Gear

Section 1 - PVP Resilience

Everyone reading this likely already has at least a general understanding of how resilience works, it's fundamental purpose is to provide percentage based damage reduction against all damage done by players, the more resilience you have the less damage you take. That is fairly straightforward and easy to understand, however understanding how the stat scales and all the factors at work is more complicated.

There are four main factors that go into how resilience scales, first is the exponential returns of percentage based damage reduction, second is the diminishing returns of resilience rating, third is the baseline 40% reduction that all players have in PVP, and fourth is it's interaction with PVP Power. Only the first three factors will be examined in this section, the fourth; interaction with PVP Power is looked at in Section 2.

Section 1A - The Exponential Returns of Damage Reduction

The effects of percentage based damage reduction scale exponentially, the more you have the more valuable additional damage reduction becomes. For example, let's say someone is hitting you for 100 damage, if you have 0% damage reduction and you add 1% that 100 damage is reduced to 99 damage, a 1% effective reduction. However if you already have 90% damage reduction and you add another 1% that 100 base damage which was already reduced to 10 is now further reduced to 9. That change in incoming damage from 10 to 9 is a 10% reduction in actual damage taken by adding just 1% of damage reduction.
Here is a graph that shows how the value of damage reduction increases as you gain more:

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As you can see at 50% damage reduction additional reduction is worth twice as much as normal, at 90% its worth ten times as much as normal. This kind of scaling isn't unique to resilience, armor and any other percentage based damage reduction (even in other games) function the same way, games control the overall scaling of these mechanics by manipulating how fast you are awarded the damage reduction.

One additional note on this, in World of Warcraft different damage reduction mechanics have multiplicative relationships NOT additive, what that means is that the value scaling for any one of these mechanics is only accurate within that one mechanic. At 50% damage reduction from resilience an extra 1% from resilience is effectively worth 2%, however none of this has any bearing on the value of additional damage reduction from say armor, that scales totally independently but in a similar fashion. Because these defensive stats scale independently from each other and have a multiplicative relationship they can each be examined and valued independently.

Section 1B - The Diminishing Returns of PVP Resilience Rating

For PVP Resilience the main factor that counters the exponential scaling of percentage based damage reduction is the diminishing returns on PVP Resilience rating. The more resilience rating you have, the less damage reduction is awarded by each additional point of rating. This is how Blizzard controls the overall scaling of resilience as a whole, and it is what they change when they want to alter the way resilience scales.

Currently at lvl 90 the rate at which the returns from resilience rating diminish is slower than the rate at which the relative value of damage reduction increases, as a result the net effect of resilience has increasing returns. Simply put the diminishing returns on resilience rating is not intense enough to cancel out the exponential returns of damage reduction.

Section 1C - Baseline PVP Damage Reduction

Mists of Pandaria has added two new factors to the way PVP Resilience scales, one of them is the new baseline 40% PVP damage reduction that all players have. What this has effectively done is significantly shrink the damage reduction gap between under geared players and fully geared players compared to Cataclysm. In Cataclysm the damage reduction range on gear before gems was roughly 0-45.5%. In Mists that range shrinks to 40-58.7%, so while the gear is still providing a solid increase in survivability it provides fully geared players much less of an advantage.

With a full gear set providing such a relatively small increase in damage reduction as compared to Cataclysm it may seem like gemming for more resilience would be ineffective in Mists, however that is not the case. In the last season of Cataclysm a full gear set plus socket bonuses would net you about 4800 resilience, if you fully gemmed for resilience (including smithing sockets and JC-only gems) you could get that up to about 5700, or a rating increase of roughly 18% (before patch 5.0). In Mists however a full gear set plus socket bonuses will net you about 6400 resilience, and if you fully gemmed for resilience (including smithing sockets) you can bump that all the way up to about 9750 resilience, or a rating increase of roughly 50%! Clearly gemming for resilience to increase your survival is still viable, arguably more so than before.

Section 1D - Effective Health

Before you can understand most of the graphs in this guide you need to understand what effective health is. Effective health is essentially how much pre-mitigated damage it takes to kill you. If you have 100k health and 0% damage reduction your effective health is just that same 100k. However if you have 100k health and 50% damage reduction your effective health is 200k, because someone would need to do the equivalent of 200k pre-mitigaged damage to kill you.

It is also important to note that more than just increasing the size of your effective health pool, that damage reduction also increases the relative effectiveness of heals on you. With 50% damage reduction a 1k heal actually restores 2k of effective health, this is one of the reasons why having a larger effective health through damage reduction is better than having a larger displayed health through stamina.

Because effective health is such a great indicator of survivability it is also a great metric to use for evaluating the overall effectiveness of resilience, which is why I used it in these graphs. It is really the stat that best indicates the value you are getting from resilience and the stat you need to be paying attention to in the graphs. Effective health is displayed on the graphs as a percentage relative to displayed health, an effective health (EH) value of 150% for a player with a 100k displayed health pool would mean that player has an effective health from just resilience of 150k. (When you factor in other effects like armor and damage reduction from talents your EH is higher but we are just looking at resilience by itself here)

Section 1E - Resilience Graphs and Independent Scaling

Now that we have gone through all of the critical factors at work it is time to get into the graphs. These graphs display the scaling of damage reduction and effective health based on resilience rating at level 90 in Mists of Pandaria. The first graph shows the full attainable resilience rating range for S12 from 0 to 10,000 with markers in 500 rating increments. The second graph focuses on the range most fully geared PVP'ers will play in from 6,000 to 10,000 with markers in 250 rating increments.
Keep in mind these graphs show the scaling of resilience before the effects of PVP power are factored in, so it is effectively your damage reduction and effective health vs a player in full PVE gear.

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As you can see in this graph, as you gain more resilience you get less and less damage reduction per resilience rating, however your effective health continues to increase faster and faster anyways indicating slightly increasing returns. Make note of the fact that there is NO resilience cap, you are only limited by the amount of resilience you can actually manage to get on your gear which for S12 is approximately 9750.

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This graph is a closer look at the range most fully geared PVP'ers will play in. Because of the substantial benefits of PVP power it is likely most PVP'ers will stick primarily to PVP gear over PVE gear in Mists, as a result the only most differences in the resilience of fully geared players should come from gemming, and as this graph shows gemming can make a noticeable difference in effective health.

Section 2 - PVP Power, Stat Interaction, and Combined Scaling

PVP Power is a new stat introduced to the game in Mists of Pandaria which acts as the offensive compliment to PVP Resilience. The idea behind this new stat is to encourage players to use PVP gear in PVP by putting major PVP-only offensive gains onto PVP gear (or in the case of healers, healing gains). PVP Power increases all damage done to players (under all circumstances), and healing done (while in battlegrounds & arenas), by a percentage that increases based on how much PVP Power rating you have. There has been a lot of confusion on the forums as to how PVP power works and particularly how it interacts with resilience, hopefully I can clear some of that up here.

Before we dive in thought I would like to note that this guide focuses primarily on the +damage aspect of PVP Power because the +healing aspect does not have an easily quantifiable relationship with the other aspects of the PVP stats. The only thing that I will really mention about the +healing part of PVP power is that it does help increase player survivability beyond what resilience alone grants, just how much depends entirely on the volume of heals going around.

Section 2A - The Absolute vs Relative Returns of PVP Power

Unlike Resilience PVP Power has fairly straight forward linear returns when looking at it in an absolute sense, adding 265 PVP Power will always give you another +1% damage/healing in PVP. So every additional point of PVP Power will increase your damage/healing by the same amount. However I have seen some players around the forums describing PVP Power as having diminishing returns, and they are correct to an extent.

If you evaluate the returns of PVP Power in a relative sense it does have diminishing returns, going from 0%-1% will give you the same absolute damage increase as going from 30-31%, but in the latter case that damage increase is smaller relative to the damage you are already doing. This is a valid way of evaluating the data mathematically, but it is not very useful in practice.

Virtually everything in the game operates the same way, think about primary stats for example; +300 strength would give a warrior a pretty nice bump in damage right now, but if Blizzard said "Hey we like you random warrior!" and bumped their strength up to 100,000 that +300 strength would suddenly be worth a lot less to them even though it would still increase their damage by the same amount.

The reality is that in order for a stat to offer you consistent relative gains as you gear up the stat would need to have increasing absolute returns, in other words it would need to give you more and more damage the more of it you got.
(For more info on absolute vs relative valuation see Appendix A)

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PVP Power's returns are perfectly linear, you gain 1% damage/healing for every 265 PVP Power.
Please note: The top end for PVP power in the graphs from this point forward is based on a typical player with one PVP DPS/Healing Trinket, One PVP Medallion Trinket, and one two-hand PVP Weapon (or two 1 handers). Humans and Warriors can get their PVP Power higher than the max for everyone else, but rather than skew the graphs for the majority of players I decided to add an extra graph with a higher range for these players which you can find in Appendix B.

Section 2B - PVP Power's Interaction with PVP Resilience

The most common misconception that most players seem to have about PVP Power is that it acts as a kind of "Resilience Penetration" which counteracts the target's resilience 1 for 1, that is simply not true. PVP Power increases your damage by the percentage shown in your stat pane, it always increases it by that same amount regardless of how much resilience the target has. The target's resilience then mitigates that incoming damage based on how much damage reduction that target has.

Take for example a warrior who's swing always does 100 damage per swing in PVE. This warrior gets a +50% damage increase from PVP Power in PVP, so that 100 damage get's increased to 150 damage in PVP. This warrior has now decided to attack a paladin that looked at him the wrong way. The paladin has +50% damage reduction from his resilience, so when the warrior's 150 damage hits him it is reduced to down to 75. That is how PVP Power and Resilience interact, the outgoing damage is boosted up by PVP Power, then the total incoming damage is mitigated down by PVP Resilience.

Section 2C - PVP Power Vs Baseline Damage Reduction

These next few sections all evaluate the interaction between PVP Power and Resilience and they show two different metrics. First they show how much effective damage you will do to targets that have a few different levels of resilience (baseline, fully geared, and maximum), based on how much PVP power you have. In other words, if you were to go beat on a level 90 target dummy for a DPS number these graphs will show you what percentage of that DPS will hit a PVP target of the listed resilience level based on how much PVP Power you have. Second, they show the effective health of the target player with the listed damage reduction vs the full range of PVP Power for a typical player in S12.
This first graph shows the effective damage of various PVP Power amounts vs a target that has nothing but the baseline PVP damage reduction of 40%.

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One thing that is immediately apparent here is that you will never do full damage to anyone in PVP, even if you get the maximum possible amount of PVP power for a typical player in S12 and you are hitting a player in full PVE gear you will still only do about 88.9% of the DPS you do against a level 90 target dummy (assuming the player and target dummy have equal armor and no other damage reduction!).

Section 2D - PVP Power Vs Full PVP Gear

This next graph shows the effective damage of various PVP Power amounts vs a target that has full S12 PVP Gear (note the amount of resilience offered by full PVP gear varies slightly from class to class, the graph uses an approximate amount).

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This graph makes it pretty clear how effective resilience is at mitigating damage in PVP, even someone with the maximum possible amount of PVP power for a typical player in S12 will only be doing about 60.6% of normal damage to a player in full PVP gear.

Section 2E - PVP Power Vs Max Resilience

This next graph shows the effective damage of various PVP Power amounts vs a target that has max Resilience for S12 (note the exact max varies slightly from class to class, the graph uses an approximate amount).

Posted Image

This graph shows just how powerful max resilience is in PVP, the most a typical player will be doing to a player wearing this much resilience is around 48% of normal damage, and that is if the attacking player has full PVP gear gemmed for full PVP power. Looking back at season 11 this is about the same kind of mitigation max resilience players were seeing then as well.

Keep in mind however this is just the first season of the expansion and resilience scales better than PVP power, so it is likely that max resilience prot spec players will be walking fortresses by the end of Mists unless Blizzard changes something. In addition keep in mind that healing will be significantly boosted in battlegrounds by PVP power as well, which in turn will increase player survivability even further.

Section 2F - Combined Stat Scaling of PVP Power and PVP Resilience

This final graph is a bit more complicated than the previous graphs, it shows the combined scaling of PVP Power and Resilience. The metrics represent the effective damage and effective health of two players with roughly equivalent gear fighting each other across the entire gear scale. At the left end it shows a player with no PVP power vs a player with baseline resilience. At the right end it shows a player with the typical max PVP power vs a player with max resilience.

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This graph really shows how effective health from resilience continues to have increasing returns even after PVP power has been factored in. It also shows how the PVP stats slowly push things in favor of survivability as the gear level increases. However keep in mind that this in only part of the damage vs survivability battle, other stats and the scaling of player abilities both will factor into the overall picture to determine if fights get longer or shorter as players gear up.

Section 3 - PVP Stat vs Primary Stat Gemming

One of the most popular questions on the forums lately has been "What should I gem? My primary stat or PVP Power?" Unfortunately I cannot provide a clear cut answer to that question for most players just yet, but I will provide what information I can.

Section 3A - Strength, Agility & Intellect vs PVP Power

Comparing and evaluating the choice between Strength, Agility & Intellect vs PVP Power for each class is unfortunately a fairly complicated matter. There are two primary issues involved with making this determination, the synergistic relationship of primary stats with PVP Power, and the difficulty of quantifying the value that the primary stats provide for each class.

The issue of stat synergy refers to the fact that getting more of your primary stat makes PVP Power more valuable, and the same works in reverse, more PVP Power makes your primary stat more valuable. This creates a situation where there the line determining which is better shifts based on how much of each you already have. This makes the calculation more complicated but not impossible.

It is the second issue that is really holding things up; the issue of quantifying the value provided by the primary stats. Each class gets different benefits from their primary stat, including side benefits that can affect dps, healing, or survivability. Additionally there is no easy way to measure the DPS or healing boost provided by increasing the primary stats. There is no single stat to go by, neither the spell power stat for casters nor the attack power stat for melee accurately represent the total DPS that character will do as different abilities and specs scale with them to different degrees. Really the only reliable way to determine the benefit provided by these stats is to perform a lot of methodical in-game testing on each class and spec at level 90 or to use a very detailed simulator.

As a result of these issues I cannot provide a clear cut answer as to what you should gem for, but here is the information I have, hopefully in time experts of each class can use this along with their own research to find some definitive answers for players of their respective classes.
Here is the information I can provide:
-265 PVP Power grants +1% damage/healing
-PVP Power gems grant +320 PVP Power
-Primary stat gems grand +160 of their primary stat

I did do some limited testing on my level 90 ret paladin to see if I could at least give people some ballpark figures. My testing consisted simply of auto-attacking a target dummy with different amounts of strength to determine the increase in the average swing damage. Using that data I calculated that 381 strength increased the average swing damage by 1%. Now this clearly is not the whole story, as various abilities scale with weapon damage significantly better than auto attack does. However given that it only takes 265 PVP Power to get a 1% damage increase, a PVP Power gem gives twice as much as a primary stat gem, and PVP Power boosts healing in addition to damage, it does seem like PVP Power is the way to go for ret paladins, at least based on this limited ballpark testing.

I am sure this information will become available in time, likely once Mists is out and there are more players at level 90 who are able to do some testing. In the mean time my personal recommendation for everyone is to just stick with what you have, it's not worth the cost to regem with the expansion so close. Also primary stats will help you level faster, where as PVP power is useless in questing (save for some world pvp!).

Section 3B - Stamina vs Resilience

One gemming question that I can definitively answer is that of Stamina vs Resilience; Resilience is better by a large margin. Things are so far in favor of Resilience that when I attempted to graph the breaking point for S12 gear it was simply non-existent, instead what I have here is a graph showing just how much better resilience gems are compared to stamina gems. Each colored band in the graph represents a range of how much more effective health a resilience gem will give you over a stamina gem based on how much of each stat you already have.

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As you can see at the higher gear levels resilience gems are better by such an enormous amount that using even one stamina gem over a resilience gem would cause a major loss in effective health.

Section 4 - Closing Thoughts and Remarks

I hope that this guide has been illuminating for everyone that has taken the time to read it, I have tried to provide as much accurate and detailed information as possible about the way these stats work. If you have questions about these stats or about anything written here feel free to ask and I will do my best to get you an answer.

I error checked this guide many times however I am still human, so if you believe you see an error please let know and I will look into it. I also want to make it clear that although I am a member of Blizzard's Forum MVP program I am NOT a Blizzard employee and nothing in this guide is based on any kind of inside information. All the data in this guide was all generated based on direct in-game observation and calculations based on that observed data.

Section 5 - Appendices

This is some additional information about some of the ideas, concepts, and data discussed in this guide. Additional appendices may be added over time as needed.

Appendix A - Valuation and Frame of Reference

Absolute valuation compares numbers based on addition and subtraction, IE going from 30% damage reduction to 60% damage reduction is an absolute gain of 30%. Relative valuation compares numbers using ratios, IE going from 30% damage reduction to 60% damage reduction is a relative gain of 100%. Why is this important? Because taking the example a step further, going from 60% to 90% is an absolute gain of 30%, exactly the same as before, but it is a relative gain of 50%, half as much as before. So if this trend were to continue, it would signify linear absolute returns but diminishing relative returns. This guide primarily uses absolute valuation because it is much easier to understand and work with when comparing a large number of data points to a common baseline.

Frame of reference is another critical concept for evaluating data, particularly when most of the data is in percentages. There are two basic methods that can be used to evaluate a string of data points; constant frame of reference, or progressive frame of reference. Constant frame of reference uses one common baseline value as a reference point, every data point is compared to that baseline. In contrast a progressive frame of reference compares each data point to the data point before it. Take for example this set of data points: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. On a graph using a constant frame of reference they would be displayed as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (all data points were compared to a baseline of 0). However on a graph using a progressive frame of reference they would be displayed as 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 (each data point was 1 larger than the number before it).

Using a constant frame of reference makes it much easier to evaluate the actual changes in the progression of a data set, where as using a relative frame of reference allows you to better evaluate changes in the rate of change over the progression of a data set. Since we are more interested in the actual changes than the rate of change when viewing the scaling of stats I chose to use a constant frame of reference for the graphs in this guide.

Appendix B - Extended PVP Power Range vs Full PVP Gear

This graph is similar to PVP Power Vs Full PVP Gear graph in section 2D but it's range has shifted reach out to 16500 PVP Power to show the full range that humans and warriors can achieve in S12.

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This graph shows that being a human or a titans grip warrior (or both) can offer a fairly substantial advantage through the extra PVP Power you can pick up, knocking a fully PVP geared player's effective damage reduction down to around 33.5% will probably make them feel like they are wearing blues and greens.

Thanks for reading!
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#1 Burleyx

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:00 AM


Also very good read.
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#2 free3er

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:24 PM

I hope BZD will do somethink with warriors and humans. This is just too overpowered. I want to play my gnome mage, and have same benefits.
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#3 Huppins

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:16 PM

you typed "it's" instead of "its", i didn't set out looking for typos or anything just fyi

"...and fourth is it's interaction with PVP Power..."
"...but it's range has shifted reach out to 16500 PVP Power..."
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<img src="http://i.imgur.com/OCLzJ.gif"/>

#4 Xylon666Darkstar

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 10:11 AM

Good read. Thanks a lot for this.
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#5 killapete

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:53 PM

Great breakdown, bookmarking this for sure. Thanks for the time you put in for this post, cheers.
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Real niggas do real things.

#6 Taras

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 10:58 PM

I feel retarded but how exactly are humans able to increase their pvp stats more so than other races? I understand the case of warriors with TG.
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Underwhelmed with WoW PvP since patch 4.0.6

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#7 Morzuleti

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:41 AM

Watch this

Equip: Increases your pvp power by 2235(Unique).

Any idea about sign "Unique" near pvp power bonus? All cryes about warriors is illegal))) lol
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#8 sibosibel

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:05 PM

thank you for your explination
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