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Posts with tag Armor-Penetration

Encrypted Text: Remembering 2011 as the year of the rogue

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here, like how to sneak around wearing a gaudy sweater.

With 2010 fading fast, rogues apprehensively looked forward to Cataclysm and how it would shape 2011. We were the crowned kings of Icecrown Citadel, with armor penetration and attack power as our top stats and both assassination and combat battling for first place. Mutilate rogues still tied down by Hunger for Blood, and combat rogues were spamming Blade Flurry on cooldown for the attack speed increase.

Looking back, we have grown since Wrath. Each of the rogue specs has evolved and found a niche, and even subtlety can make a reasonable claim for a raid spot now. With the massive talent system revamp, the developers struggled initially to balance each spec against the others. Rogues entered into 2011 and Cataclysm with a whimper, as the loss of armor penetration and the conversion of attack power to agility was not as smooth as Blizzard would have hoped.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Finding combat's missing damage

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions you'd like to see answered.

With patch 4.0.1 in our rearview mirror, we've had over a week to fix our addons and get our houses in order. I've already had a few decent raid DPS parses forwarded to me by subtlety rogues, who are finally able to actually do reasonable DPS. Traditionally, there has always been a few "bad" specs in WoW, but subtlety was so bad that it was tier below the other bad specs. Its arrival has brought back several of my old friends from retirement, who were looking forward to the frenetic rotation of finishers.

Assassination rogues have been enjoying the synergy between Vendetta and cooldown like Bloodlust, and their relative DPS is still decent. The addition of Rupture as a finisher and Backstab as an alternate generator has their rotation shaken up a bit, but still easily manageable. I actually found the Mutilate-centric build to be pretty fun to play after the patch, and I'll be using it to raid with for the immediate future. However, it wasn't assassination's playstyle that caused me to promote it to my main spec, but rather combat's current weakness that drove me to enchant my daggers with Mongoose.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A farewell to armor penetration

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is about warriors, who hurl themselves into the fray, the very teeth of danger, armed with nothing more than the biggest weapons and armored with the absolutely heaviest armor we can find. Hey, we're not stupid -- we're just crazy.

After some careful thought, it seemed like as good a time as any to say goodbye to that most controversial of stats, armor penetration. As of this writing, it's not even going to be baked into Battle Stance any longer once Cataclysm hits, so we can essentially call an end to warriors' bypassing or ignoring armor the way other classes do with magic damage. Like it or hate it, all warrior damage save bleeds will now be mitigated by armor. Yes, even Thunder Clap.

So what, you may ask? What's the big deal about armor penetration, anyway, and who cares about its not being around anymore in Cataclysm? Well, the short answer is, it lets our damage penetrate armor better (that is to say, it reduces the amount by which armor mitigates our damage) and warriors (and feral druids, and some rogues) care because our damage is overwhelmingly physical and thus reduced by armor.

The long, strange trip of armor penetration in this expansion started at launch with ArP being a somewhat undesirable statistic. It had been converted to a rating following its rollicking high in The Burning Crusade, due to the way it became such a devastating staple of warriors in PvP.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Fury report card for Wrath

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is about warriors, who hurl themselves into the fray, the very teeth of danger armed with nothing more than the biggest weapons and armored with the absolutely heaviest armor we can find. Hey, we're not stupid, we're just crazy.

A couple of months back, I had intended to start a series reviewing each of the warrior specs as they are in current endgame. While I freely admit I got distracted by all the shiny bells and whistles of the beta, the time has come to step away from the looming apocalypse and instead look again at the class as it is right now when you log on.

As we established last time, there are no major changes incoming for any of the classes until Cataclysm ships. The way your class plays right now is the way it will play until the pre-expansion patch drops and changes everything.

So how does fury rate overall? It's had its ups and downs ... from top of the DPS in Naxxramas to middling in Ulduar and Trial to (finally) near the top again in ICC (at least if you're in the best possible gear, much of which is still leather). Even if you're in merely solid gear, however, fury can put out a serious hurting. I have yet to be less than No. 1 on the DPS charts on any 5-man I've run since I started collecting my 264/277 DPS set. I'm hardly any great shakes as DPS; it's the nature of the spec and how rage, talents and gear all intersect for the fury warrior. A talented fury warrior (again, I make no claims to be particularly talented) can lead the DPS on any fight halfway friendly to him in ICC.

Wrath saw fury gain and lose on talents -- for example, the change to Rampage (although a late one) that made it a passive crit aura was a very positive talent change -- and ebb and flow with new gear as each raid dropped.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

Totem Talk: Ruby Sanctum loot for enhancement

Rich Maloy subsists solely on enhancement air. He experiences shortness of breath when offered spellpower gear and is easily confused by spirit and MP5. You can ask him anything about enhance at the Totem Recall roundtable or watch his WoW reality series, Big Crits.

In case you missed it in all the news about the Cataclysm beta, Ruby Sanctum was released into the wild on Tuesday. With a new instance out everyone is asking, "What's in it for me?" But my question is, "What's in it for enhancement?"

The short answer is ArP. For a stat that's going away in a few months, we're seeing a lot of it in Ruby Sanctum gear from both the 10- and 25-man versions of the raid. Armor penetration (ArP) is not the ideal stat for enhancement. Not ideal, but definitely usable. There are some definite winners among the RS loot -- on both 10 and 25.

I've created a new enhance gear spreadsheet on Google Docs including the new loot. It's read-only, so either make a copy to your Google Docs file or save a copy to your desktop as an Excel file. I've also included some sample EP values for different levels of play, including EP values derived from the latest Elitist Jerks BiS gear, setup and rotation.

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for enhancement shaman

Breaking news: enhancement shamans get the dumb in Cataclysm. Intellect is gone! Are we becoming rogues with mana?

No doubt you've read the big changes coming in Cataclysm. At this point there are a few confirmed points with the rest falling into the "confirmed they'll be changing" category. What do these changes mean for enhancement shamans? Read on.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Encrypted Text: Knowing your stats


Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the Rogue class. This week, we discuss how a few stats interact with various rogue specs.

Have you ever had a problem finding a group as a rogue? My own rogue isn't immune to this issue, and I sometimes find myself without a raid group on a Saturday night. The rogue population has been steadily growing since its sharp decline right after the launch of Wrath, and that means increased competition for the coveted melee DPS raid slots. With the plentiful bounty of Death Knights and Ret Paladins vying for the three different two-hand weapons that drop from just the first 4 bosses of ICC10 and ICC25, it can be tough finding your place.

However, with hard work and good performance, most raid leaders will see the value in bringing back quality DPS. To ensure that you're on the reinvite list, doing as much damage as possible will leave the most tangible evidence of your efforts (as well as being your overarching goal). Sometimes this means doing more with less, and using the gear you have to its highest potential before you're able to reap the benefits of the great 251/264 epics that you're working towards.

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Filed under: Rogue, Guides, Classes, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Scattered Shots: Picking the right hunter loot, part 1

Welcome back to the Scattered Shots, the weekly hunter class column. This week we begin our series "Picking the right hunter loot." Where we will review what truly makes something qualify as hunter loot, and not just loot hunters can use. We'll also review the drops off of each major raids starting with Naxxrammas and ending with the PTR Patch 3.3 raid, Ice Crown. So join me, Eddie Carrington, aka Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge, as we explore what loot we should put on our watch lists.

Things on the patch 3.3 PTR are getting closer and closer to wrapping up, so I thought it might be a good idea to review hunter stats and how they help you select the right gear for you. In the past we have talked about how to use iLevel to do a gear check. Also, we've talked about how to use the different hunter tools and resources out there to select an upgrade for your hunter.

What we really haven't talked about was what makes up good hunter gear, and in each of the different raids in Wrath of The Lich King makes up some good hunter gear. And a recent comment on the Damage Dealing forum from Ghostcrawler got me thinking that it might be a good idea to make sure to first review how stats impact our gear choices, and how they impact both our and our pet's raid performance.

Just like the hunter leveling guide, I'd like to set a few discussion guidelines.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Encrypted Text: Armor penetration and the crit cap demystified


Every Wednesday,
Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about the armor penetration and crit caps, and what they mean for rogues.

The topic of Armor Penetration and how it plays into a rogue's gearing plan is definitely the topic I've received the most requests to cover. It's been well-researched by the great folks at Elitist Jerks, and even though it will be completely gone in Cataclysm, there's still a lot of interest in how it works. The terms 'hard cap', 'soft cap', and 'arp cap' are thrown around a lot and can be confusing if you've never done a deep-dive into the mechanic.

I also received a question regarding the rogue crit cap on the WoW.com podcast the other weekend, and decided to include it in this investigation. While a few high end rogues are already brushing up against it, many rogues are wondering how the crit cap will affect them come Icecrown's plethora of high ilvl loot. Like any of the other caps, the crit cap needs to be seriously evaluated when trying to choose upgrades. Read on for details of both mechanics.

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Filed under: Rogue, Guides, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

The Daily Quest: Yummy

We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

I find it comical that November is known to someone as Peanut Butter Lovers Month. Why? Because peanut butter is obsolete when you have baconnaise at your beck and call. Here's some good things from around the web to read as you enjoy your bacon flavored awesomesauce.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

GC clarifies ArPen's stat removal and others


Ghostcrawler's hoping this answer "gets read," so we'll help. A player asks why Blizzard is worrying about armor penetration with the Scourge Strike ability -- isn't, they ask, ArPen getting removed in Cataclysm like we heard at BlizzCon? The answer is basically no: Armor Penetration rating is getting removed from gear (along with Block value, Defense, Attack Power, and a number of other gear stats), but Armor Penetration as a stat is not getting removed from the game. Talents and other abilties will still depend on removing and penetrating armor, even if your gear selection won't revolve around it. They'll still be balancing it, but as players choosing gear, it won't be a part of our calculations there.

Make sense? Just because you don't see, say, Attack Power on gear doesn't mean you won't have an Attack Power number governing how much damage you do. It just means that the AP you have will come from stats like Agility and Strength (depending on your class and a number of other factors) rather than gear adding directly to AP. Of course, as Ghostcrawler says, these changes aren't even coming until patch "4.0" and the Cataclysm expansion, so there's still lots of gear choices and balancing to do before then.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Buffs, Death Knight, Forums, Cataclysm

The Queue: Irrelevant


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's (almost) daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Embedded video has absolutely not relevance to anything in this edition of The Queue. Why did I use it? Because I like the music. Do I really need more of a reason than that? Nope! Now let's jump into the questions. Some of them came from right here on WoW.com, and others came from Twitter.

Lavoz asked...


"With Cataclysm, the blood elves will finally have access to the warrior class. Is there any information as to what order they will belong to? Will they be a part of the Blood Knights, or will we refer to them as Spellbreakers?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Armor Penetration


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

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part I


Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple Rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Okay, I'm a bit of a music buff. I love Bob Dylan, one of the most influential American singer/songwriters of our time. Here's some listening music while reading -- you can probably guess what it is. I selected it primarily because the song title goes well with our discussion -- and I love Dylan's brilliant live performance in Budokan. It's a bit much if you're not a Dylan fan, I'll freely admit.

Patch 3.2.2 has a myriad of PvP changes in it; I am stunned to see so little conversation on the interwebz about it. In fact, I've written so much about these changes that I was advised to split the article into parts. A lengthy article here on WoW.com is approximately 1000 words -- this article was over 3,000. (No, not over 9,000.)

I'm going to split up this article into three parts.
  1. Overall changes
  2. Class changes
  3. Bug fixes and Glyph Changes
Check out what's a-changin' after the break.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, News items, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Lichborne: Analyzing the latest Patch 3.2.2 PTR changes


Avast ye swabbies! Welcome to Lichborne, where Death Knights rule the Seven Seas and the rest of ye lubbers walk the - Oh. Wait. Talk like a Pirate Day is OVER? Well, dangit. At least I still have this cool buff for a few more hours.

These past few weeks have bought a flurry of updates the Patch 3.2.2 PTR servers, and a lot of the updates have a lot to do with Death Knights. Since we were the most changed class in Patch 3.2, it might be expected that we got a good amount of tweaking in 3.2.2 to complement and compensate the Patch 3.2 changes. Thus, it would behoove us to take a look at said changes and see where they'll leave us coming into the likely rapidly approaching patch.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, News items, Guides, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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