Category Archives: Warrior

PvE Arms is *not* for Dummies. (or Why I haven’t written a “How-To-Arms” post yet.)

PvE Arms is not for Dummies.  It’s for the obstinate.  That’s a fifty-cent word for stubborn as a mule.

I say this because the Arms rotation isn’t as intuitive as Fury. With Arms, you can’t follow one rotation ad naseum (1-1-1-2-3, etc.)  It takes a bit to learn. I’m still learning.
Fury shows more damage on Recount because Arms has more Raid Utility and Arms is in need of buffs. (The Devs even agree.) To eek out enough damage to justify your spot in a competitve raid, you may have to work as hard as a good Warrior Tank. But me telling you that you’re going to work your arse off doesn’t teach you how.

With that in mind, I’m going to start working on a Basics of Arms DPS series, but here are some resources that I use to work things out. Use them. Chec my math. Help me help y’all. My warrior is a little more than a year old and I’ve been Arms for about three months. I don’t claim to be infallible like certain elitist jerks often claim.

  • Advice
    • TankSpot’s DPS Forum – lots of smelly tanks, but some good damage dealers here too.
    • Twitter – Ask me questions, or ask Veneretio, Lakland, or dozens of the “twitterati”
  • Gear
    • LootRank for PvE Warriors – MaxDPS.com will leave you with 11 stamina and an over expertised corpse. Use lootrank. change numbers as you see fit.
    • WoW Gem Finder – Helps you figure out what will fit ina slot if you need something to activate a meta. Else, +str or +crit if you’re hit capped.
  • WoWwikki.com – When in doubt about mechanics, look it up!
  • Commandments of DPS – yes, it’s my article, but I wrote a lot of condensed truth into it for a reason.

Feel free to leave other resources in the comments. What all should I cover? I thought I’d start with a quick article on Specs, then one on Rotation and I’d work from there.

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Friday Funny

The only spec I like more than Arms is Smartass. Its a talent of the Comedian class.

The only spec I like more than Arms is Smartass.

It’s a talent of the new Comedian hero class. Promise.

Image Courtesy of wowbash.com

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Warrior Changes for 3.1 posted

Eyonix has laid down the proposed changes for warriors in the upcoming 3.1 patch.

Warrior

  1. Changing stances now has a much reduced cost: you lose a maximum of 20 rage (10 with Tactical Mastery). For example, if you have 100 rage and change stances, you will have 80 rage remaining. If you have 10 rage and change stances, all of your rage is lost. In addition, we may change the penalties associated with some stances.
  2. You now gain rage when damage done to you is absorbed, such as through a Power Word: Shield.
  3. Blood Frenzy now causes 2/4% physical damage done.
  4. Sunder Armor (and similar debuffs) now reduces armor by 4% per application, and is now a single rank. Creature armor has been globally reduced so that debuffed targets should take about the same damage from physical attacks that they did before this change. The net effect should be that this debuff is slightly less mandatory in PvE and is not disproportionately more powerful against cloth targets in PvP.
  5. We are also adding increased damage to Arms, possibly through Overpower or Slam.
  6. We are also looking at granting rage when the warrior blocks, dodges or parries.

Six items, some raptrous, some bland for an Arms Warrior.

  1. The Stance Dance no longer a rage hog.
    (Tangent: I wish there was a specific achievment for a warrior to do The Safety Dance in all three stances.)
    – Obviously helpful in Arenas and other PvP where jumping between Battle and ‘zerker sances is necessary to combat fear-happy classes like warlocks. Also good for hopping to ‘zerker stance to pummel (like I do on Kel’thuzad.)
  2. - Good for switching to Defensive in a hurry to try to offtank an add when shite hitteth the fan…eth. Now likely to have rage for Thunderclap and Mocking Blow as soon as you switch. (Possible Macro to equip sword’n’board, switch to defensive and mocking blow?)

  3. Rage when damage is absorbed.
    – Yay for more rage when paired with a Disc Priest.
    – Yay for no longer educating newbie priests about the counterintuitive “Shielding a warrior on a pull is bad.” (Can rage-starve them. DPS pulls aggro on adds.)
    – Does this also include Earth Shield (No, it doesn’t.) or the buff from [Essence of Gossamer]? Essence is already an OP tanking trinket.
  4. Blood Frenzy is more Uber. – This is an Arms talent, folks. Buffs for Arms! Hooray!
  5. Sunder Armor changes & mob armor nerfs
    – Good: This seems to be aimed at groups that are using non-warrior tanks (like Fire Team Alpha, my Naxx10 group that has a Druid and Pally as OT/MT)
    – Good: I don’t have to be as concerned that I’m not working sunder into my rotation if there’s not a prot warrior around.
    – Good: Any Armor Pen that a tank has (DKs and Druids, I’m looking at you here) will be more effective.
    – Bad: There’s a slight chance this will further make Armor Pen. the red-headed stepchild of all melee dps stats. depends on how they implement it.
  6. MOAR DEE-PEE-ESS FOR ARMS!! – via two of our three “musts” in our rotation; not something I’m gonna have to shoehorn in! Thank you, Devs.
  7. Unimportant since I play protection like once a month. (Until Dual Specs, that is…)

Rejoice Warriors, and rush the Field of Victory to collect your spoils!

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From Twitter: Expertise Cap

Questions from Twitter is intended to be a regular Monday Update. If you’d like a question answered post it @weryl on Twitter!

twitter_icons_128You (probably don’t) remember our first installment of Questions from Twitter. That’s likely because 3 people read it. This time, we’re shootin’ for four!

Back then, @veneretio asked:
“What are the hit and expertise caps for an Arms Warrior?”

My discussion on hit is way back down the page, so let’s follow through on that promise and talk about expertise. Expertise works a lot like hit rating, except it reduces the chance to be dodged or parried, rather than the chance to miss.

Expertise’s Effect at 80
One point of expertise decreases the chance that melee attacks made by the player will be dodged or parried by 0.25%.  At level 80, a player requires 8.2 expertise rating to achieve one point of expertise.  8.2 = .25%, therefore 32.8 expertise rating = 1% less chance to be dodged or parried.

Boss’ Chance to Dodge or Parry
Rule #1 of Melee DPS: Don’t pull Aggro. 
Rule #2 of Melee DPS: Don’t stand in front of the boss.

A Mob (and Bosses) have 0% chance to Parry an attack from behind or to their direct flank. They have a 12-15% chance to parry an attack in front. Don’t stand in front. The math is easier, you won’t get cleaved or AoEd and your dps is better. Zero expertise required if you stand behind the mob. How easy is that?

Bosses have a 6.5% chance to Dodge an attack from behind or to their direct flank. (Players have zero from behind. So unfair.)

Expertise Cap from Behind a Boss
Using our earlier math, 32.8 x 6.5 = 213.2 expertise rating required to reduce the boss’ chance of dodging you from behind. The expertise cap to reduce it from in front of the boss is so astronomically high that my calculator wept. True story.

Other Sources of Expertise

Racial Traits – If you’re an Orc, Human, or Dwarf, you probably already know that your racial talents give you expertise with certain weapon types. Orcs get 5 with axes, humans 3 with swords and maces, and dwarves get 5 with maces. That’s 3 or 5 Expertise, not Exp. rating.  If you’re using that weapon type, subtract your racial bonus from 6.5, then multiply the result by 32.8 to work out the expertise rating required now. (Hint: it’s a LOT less.) 

Talents 

  • Arms Warriors should grab Strength of Arms, which gives you 4 Expertise. You now need only 5.5% reduction or 180.4 exp. rating (assuming you’re using an Axe and aren’t an Orc.)
  • Fury Warriors should take Weapon Mastery, which drops your chance to be dodged by 2%. Take the 4.5% left, subtract any racial talents and work to that number.

If you have more questions, be sure to find me on Twitter or send me an email!

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Talents: Wrecking Crew vs. Enrage

 VS. 

Confession: Like so many warriors, I didn’t do my homework when I first went to Arms from Protection. In a rush to spec DPS for our first 25-man Naxxramas attempt, I picked talents that seemed good but was lost on how to spend my last six points. With a shrug, I put two in each of three talents, didn’t change my glyphs, and started beating on things with a De-Raged Waraxe. Then I cackled in glee. It was fun!

I was oblivious, delirious, and wasting talent points on Enrage with this 54/17/0 build.

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Sudden Death Nerf is live. Response: /facepalm

  Sudden Death: The amount of rage spent on an Execute while Sudden Death is active is now capped at 30 rage. Improved Execute and the Glyph of Execution will still increase the damage done by increasing the amount of rage able to be converted into damage.

Patch 3.0.8 went live yesterday and with it came the “nerf” to Sudden Death. 

Prior to the patch, an Arms Warrior with 3/3 Sudden Death had a 9% chance on each melee hit for the Execute Button to light up regardless of the Target’s health. When we mashed the Execute button, it would dump all of our available rage, less the cost of Execute, into damage, resulting in REALLY BIG (10-23k!) hits… and an empty-ish Rage Bar. 10 or so rage left over if Execute doesn’t Crit means I refresh Rend and wait for the next swing to get rage back.

To summarize, the old Sudden Death meant that I was often a little rage starved if it didn’t crit, but was my fourth or fifth highest source of damage. It made Thaddius and fights like him a lot of fun and I rolled the DPS charts for my guild on single-target fights without a ton of movement. (I was commonly 2nd or 3rd on thaddius and patchwerk.)

As of today, it goes more like:
*Bam*. Execute lights up, mash button, 30-ish rage disappears, 2k-4k dmg from Execute. Within the span of a Global Cooldown (GCD), a rend or DoT ticks on you or the boss and the Rage bar is still full.  Another melee swing happens and the generated rage from that swing is wasted because I’m still full on rage. I immediately Overpower or Mortal Strike for MORE damage than the Sudden Death Execute.

I got to the point that I rarely even executed above 20% on anything because a Heroic Strike, Mortal Strike, Overpower and Slam were all hitting harder. Mortal Strike was the only thing denting my Rage bar enough that Rage wasn’t being wasted. Worse, when Sudden Death lit up when the mob was BELOW 20%, Execute was only hitting for 30 rage! Continue reading

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From Twitter: Hit Caps? [Updatedx1]

Questions from Twitter is intended to be a regular Monday Update. If you’d like a question answered post it @weryl on Twitter!

twitter_icons_128  Reader Veneratio, host of Tankingtips.com, wrote in to ask:
“What are the hit and expertise caps for an Arms Warrior?”

 Thanks for our first question, Veneratio!  I suspect you know a little about what you’re asking, since your recent post on effective hit for Tanks was very well written.

The numbers are very similar on hit for both Arms warriors and our Protection brethren, but expertise has a few nuances we have to consider, i.e. positioning and overpower. That will take me a little more time so I’ll have to cover it next week, but let me start with Hit.

TLDR Version:  At level 80, 295 Hit Rating is the accepted* cap to reduce misses for special attacks and single-weapon auto-attacks, without the Draenai’s Heroic Presence.  With a space goat in your party (or if you are one), 263 is all you’ll need. (I always round up.)

*Edit: Some theorycrafters are finding results closer to 8% in tests in-game. I’m keeping an eye on this and planning to discuss it later this week. Read on for what is Known. I’ll edit it if the results turn out to be 8%.

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