This week The Care and Feeding of Warriors finally does that long piece about Armor Penetration. You'll find Matthew Rossi screaming at the moon, caked in his own blood, after plunging into these non-Euclidian mysteries.
I've been threatening to write about it for weeks. Thing is, I'm not too sure who I'm threatening, you or me.
Armor Penetration has been with us in one form or another for quite a while now. There are abilities like Sunder Armor and Expose Armor that lower armor temporarily, of course, and the rogue talent Serrated Blades. My first conscious exposure to the mechanic was the epic weapon Bonereaver's Edge
, which dropped off of Ragnaros. Back then, the mechanic was fairly simple. Bonereaver`s Edge would ignore a certain amount of armor with each proc of an on-hit ability, in this case 700 armor. It could stack up to three times, so in a fight that lasted for long enough Bonereaver`s could maintain an effective -2100 armor debuff on a boss that only applied to the person using it.
Effects like this weren`t terribly common in Vanilla WoW. I myself never had a Bonereaver's (Don't cry for me, I did all right on Rag drops if I do constantly brag so myself
) and so Armor Pen didn't really impinge on my consciousness. Of course, I was mostly either a tank or an offtank back in the old MC/BWL/AQ/NAXX40 days anyway. Back when you could tank with an arms or fury spec and dinosaurs ruled Un'Goro. (They still do, we just don't go there very often.) So it wasn't until Burning Crusade
that I really started to notice ArP.
Back in BC, armor pen didn't have rating yet. Enchants like Executioner
read "Permanently enchant a Melee Weapon to occasionally ignore 840 of your enemy's armor. Requires a level 60 or higher item.
" Gear that had armor pen on it told you how much armor it was going to penetrate. Cataclysm's Edge
, for instance, just said "Equip: Your attacks ignore 335 of your opponent's armor." What this meant was, when you collected a whole set of ArP gear, all you had to do was add up how much armor you were ignoring. The plus side of this was, it was very simple to understand. The down side? Well, on bosses or classes with low armor (we're talking those annoying skirt wearers who can take half of your health off in one attack that completely ignores armor, you know the ones) reducing up to, say, 3000 armor at level 70 was pretty dang nasty. So they changed Armor Pen to a rating.
From there, all our troubles began.
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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, The Burning Crusade, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King