Breaking News: GC confirms changes coming for melee DPS

  As far as melee dps goes, we think rogues, cats and Arms warriors are all a little low. We haven’t announced specific changes yet but they are coming. – Ghostcrawler, 02/03/2009 09:04:04 AM PST

All I have to say is “WOOT.” After the Sudden Death nerf, I was wondering if they were going to do something to ratchet our overall DPS up a bit.


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Welcome to the Neighborhood, BigHitBox!

@Stoneybaby, an enterprising enhancement shaman, has conscripted a rogue and ret pally to create, a blog for all melee classes. Welcome, y’all!

So far they only have one article on warriors, but I’ll see if I can’t talk someone into getting us some equal representation. 😉

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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.) 


  • 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


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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Well Played!: “DPS Matters”

Work has been crazy this week, so I haven’t had the time to finish, edit, or proof the copy in my draft for today’s post. Links and picture still undone. Instead, I’m going to give you a link to a well-written post by Kadomi of Tank Like A Girl.

In DPS Matters, Kadomi insists that getting the boss down by the skin of your teeth doesn’t mean you should stop improving yourself.  Far too often I’ve seen the lowest dps on a good raid’s damage meters grow too confident that they are great DPS based on the <Uber Guild Tag> over their head, not based on their performance.

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Hit Cap less than orginally thought?

eight WoW players frequent, a forum that has quickly become a pseudo-Mecca for WoW Theorycrafters. Pages of arguments have been made on every topic imaginable; DPS, healing, tanking, professions, everything mathy in WoW is up for debate. In fact, some raiders take anything on “EJ” as gospel simply because of the source.
The topic de jour amongst the physical DPS folks is a possibility that the hit cap may be lower than originally thought. Tests by several individuals, a majority of them hunters, have run tests on Patchwerk, Heroic Dummies in town, etc.  They show zero or few misses with ranged and melee weapons with just 8.02% additional chance to hit. Results with 7.89% chance to hit show 1 or 2 misses over a thousand shots. Continue reading

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