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Posts with tag Arms

Warlords of Draenor Alpha: Warrior changes

Okay, so we have the alpha patch notes, and they're a doozy. Warriors done got changed, and to my eyes, the changes aren't done - I expect fury to get a pass fairly soon, based on the changes to arms and protection. A lot of abilities were made spec specific or stance specific (the majority of these were protection or defensive stance/gladiator stance abilities) and arms saw an overhaul that completely changes the dynamic of the spec.

So what does it all mean? Well, for starters it all means that we're looking at alpha changes, which means by definition that they're not done yet. Panic is verboten. Take them as indicators of where Blizzard's design process is headed, by all means, but don't ever think of them as finalized. Until Blizzard says they're done, they're not done.

Looking over the changes, one thing that seems to be happening is that stance switching is being given some emphasis - making Rallying Cry defensive stance only, and then making it an arms/fury ability, means that there's a desire to get warriors back into using the stances. Whether or not this will actually work (I expect it will just force people to write macros again, like we did in the days of Wrath and before) is yet to be seen, but it's clearly on their minds. After the break we'll look at the changes in total as of the most recent alpha patch and discuss their impact on the class.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A Taste for Blood

The Care and Feeding of Warriors A Taste for Blood
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Let's just jump right into it, shall we?

Ghostcrawler - PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Warrior
- For Arms, we are going to try Overpower proc'ing Sudden Death instead of autoattacks. This will make haste slightly worse (which we can fix) but we hope will help make the rotation slightly more compelling, since autoattack procs can feel really random. With Overpower you can anticipate it a little more.
- Likewise, Overpower will cost no rage in Execute range. We agree that saving rage for Overpower and spending it all on Execute don't play well together.
- We haven't made a tuning pass on Arms (or any spec) yet. Don't fret about DPS numbers at this stage.


I actually like this change quite a bit. Yes, I am capable of liking things. It's not all whining about haste over here.

What I like about it is that it emphasizes Overpower over autoattacks, which are fairly unimportant for an arms warrior anyway. You hit cap at 7.5%, which is absurdly easy in comparison to fury anyway (which is why no fury warrior bothers to try, leaving hit a fairly pointless DPS statistic... but we've talked about hit and expertise before) so you're going to land those slow hits and generate rage with them... and that's pretty much all they should do, in my opinion. With Mortal Strike and Colossus Smash both so important, giving Overpower more to do is fine by me.

I also absolutely agree with the idea of making Execute completely discount Overpower's rage cost. In fact, I agree with it so strongly that I'm sort of bemused here. Usually I don't wholeheartedly endorse a proposed change.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: DPS warrior performance and perception

The Care and Feeding of Warriors DPS discrepancies and the power of situation
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

If you didn't read Brian Wood's excellent State of DPS in Mists of Pandaria post yet this week, you should before we go any further, because I'm going to be discussing it as well as GuildOx's study of the most popular raiding and PvP specs. What I'm seeing studying these two related but different posts (one about actual DPS, the other about representation) is as follows.
  • Fury is twice as popular as arms for PvE DPS, but both warrior DPS specs combined are less popular than either of the popular rogue specs or any of the really popular DPS specs.
  • Arms absolutely dominates warrior PvP, and is one of the single most popular specs in PvP at the moment.
  • Fury's DPS is absolutely middle of the road in 10 and 25 man normal raiding right now, hovering right around the baseline.
  • Fury sees a sudden shift upwards when going from normal to heroic raiding - Fury is a contender for the top DPS spec in 10's, and practically is the top spec in heroic 25's.
Now, there's a lot that we can't say based on the data we have from these two posts - for starters, which fury, TG or SMF? These also don't tell us what talents in particular these crushingly dominant arms warriors are taking for PvP (if I had to guess, though, based on the Avatar nerf in patch 5.1 I'd go with a Bladestorm/Avatar combo) or what talents fury is using in PvE. Still, there's still a lot to talk about here. What does all of this mean?

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The endless rage treadmill

The Care and Feeding of Warriors The Endless Rage Treadmill
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

You knew we were going to talk about this again, partially because rage and rage income is, by far, the most important aspect of the warrior class. The majority of warrior balance issues in the past have come from rage income. Whether it be too little rage (as it was in the first few months of The Burning Crusade) or too much rage (as was the argument for fury DPS in ICC at the end of Wrath of the Lich King), we always end up back at the same dance.

Since the post earlier this week announcing that enrage would be changed, we've seen a new beta build where exactly that happened, and Ghostcrawler responded to a post on the forums in greater detail for how the rage design in Mists of Pandaria is intended to go. We're going to talk about both of those things this week in some detail, which is code for "Matt gets all long-winded." Luckily, in this online format, I don't actually have to say all of this stuff -- I just type it out.

So let's look at the changes to Mists's beta build 15882 first. Many of these changes are merely tooltip changes, but a few definitely are more than that. They're the first stages in the change to enrage promised in that earlier post.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A Cataclysm postmortem, part 2 -- Arms

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Cataclysm postmortem Part 2  Arms
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I have yet to be guilded with more than two other warriors at any point in time since Cataclysm launched. I've had more rogues and warlocks than warrior guildmates, and those are the two least-represented classes in World of Warcraft. While I can't prove it, I suspect a lot of the warriors out there are alts, not often played these days. What I do know is, especially in a 25-man raiding situation, I have not been seeing a ton of warriors.

However, one thing is indisputable: Arms is the most-played spec of the class. There are more arms warriors than protection and fury combined in heroic Dragon Soul. Arms is, by far, the most popular spec the class has to offer right now in both PvE and PvP.

It was not always so. For most of Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm, arms lagged well behind fury both in terms of the damage it could do and the popularity of the spec, although its prominence in PvP kept it afloat. The reduction in the Mortal Strike debuff as Cataclysm launched hurt arms in PvP, but the nerfs to Vengeance and fury's mastery meant that all warrior specs suffered. Arms is just one of the pack there, while repeated nerfs to fury and small adjustments to arms gave it the eventual dominance it now enjoys.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A simpler and more variable arms spec for Mists

Image
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Sometimes, writing these columns, I struggle to find a way to encapsulate the experience I'm having in game. With the Mists of Pandaria beta, I've sat down and detailed how fury and protection warriors have played out, how they've changed and how they're the same. And so I wanted to do the same for arms warriors. For one thing, arms is the spec I'm currently playing on live, in heroic Dragon Soul, so I'm fairly intimate with the spec and its demands. For another, arms is right now probably the most played warrior spec in terms of its representation in heroic level raiding. So what of arms in the beta?

Arms in Mists of Pandaria is arms now, but simpler and more variable.

That's it. The changes to arms are the changes to all warriors. Rend's being gone and Mortal Strike's automatically applying Deep Wounds means that all you have to do to light up Overpower in Mists is use your main attack that generates rage, which you would be a crazy mad insane fool not to use.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: In arms' way

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Last month I was in the middle of discussing arms with you when I got sidetracked. Long-time readers of this column were not surprised that yet again something shiny caught my attention and I went crawling off to follow it like a cat with that stupid red bug that is in no way connected to that device the idiot human keeps waving around. At any rate, with patch 4.3 on its way, I thought it was time to start talking about why you should give arms a shot.

The first thing I did was dedicate myself to raiding and running instances and doing Battlegrounds as arms more or less exclusively, which I've done for the entire month of November to date. Having done this, I can report the following:
  • Arms is still lagging behind other melee in terms of DPS. It's not terrible, mind -- I don't embarrass myself as arms -- but on fights where fury can pull 28k, arms is lucky to pull 24k or less. What we saw in the state of Firelands DPS post holds true. Arms doesn't perform as well as melee DPS specs that are getting buffed in 4.3, even though arms itself will see no such buffs.
  • However, it's not all bad. Since arms has two bleeds (Rend and Deep Wounds) and a debuff that increased bleed damage taken (Blood Frenzy), if you have to move out of melee range to avoid splash damage or to switch targets, arms can actually fare better than fury.
  • Blood and Thunder means that when properly played, arms can hit a surprising amount of adds with Rend. Rhyolith adds, Rageface and Riplimb's coming into range of Shannox, Majordomo Staghelm's cat phase, and of course the various trash pulls all provide opportunities for arms to spread around bleeds and thus extra damage from Blood Frenzy.
  • Combining arms' mobility and Throwdown's 5-second stun means that if you need to get to something and keep it from moving (Sons on Ragnaros, for example), you're very suited to it.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Specializations in Mists of Pandaria

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

We are about to live in interesting times, my friends. Last week's BlizzCon effectively promised us most, if not all, of the candy I wanted. With the full awareness that this is all subject to change, take a look at the mock-up for abilities (not talents, core abilities) that all fury warriors will get as they level from 1 to 90 in the revamped Mists of Pandaria scheme. With the announcement that Slam will be an arms-only ability, I personally suspect that Wild Strike is the replacement for Bloodsurge's Slam proc. More importantly, you'll note a few things.

One I really want to highlight at the start are the no-brainer talents that aren't talents anymore, like Flurry, Raging Blow, Bloodsurge and both Titan's Grip and Single-Minded Fury. You'll also note that you don't have to choose between TG and SMF. You get both at level 38. I used the fury abilities screenshot because that's the one I managed to get. If Blizzard did an arms or protection one, I didn't see it. But all three talent specializations are worth discussing, because we're heading into a future where your talent choices are no longer constrained by spec.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: DPS in the Firelands

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Now that we've covered gearing up in detail, it's time to talk about what to do with that gear. Now that the Firelands have been out for a while, we've all had a chance to get in there and kill some mobs. That includes me; I have also had a chance to do that. So what have I experienced in my excursions to the hell of upside-down fire elementals? (Okay, they're not upside-down.)
  • For starters, all three DPS warrior specs are really close together right now. In my experience, arms and fury DPS is neck-and-neck, with arms performing better on some fights and fury better on others. Also, SMF and TG fury are both pretty viable, with TG seeming to move ahead once you're using a pair of Firelands 2H weapons.
  • Once again, gearing up takes you past the nerfs in a few weeks. I basically raid with a fury spec and an arms spec, and some nights I respec from TG to SMF and/or the other way around. (Now that my axes have dropped, I usually stay TG.) My DPS was much poorer going into Firelands than it is now. The difference was pretty dramatic, and while I'm hardly blowing ahead to the top of the charts, DPS is solid again. Basically, what's controlling my DPS (again) is encounter design (again).
  • Be prepared to use your utility abilities. Rallying Cry. Remember it? You'd better, because it's a raid-wide cooldown that you're definitely going to be using on Majordomo Staghelm. Speaking of Majordomo, if you have Seeds on you and you blow up the raid, it's because you forgot you have one of the best abilities in the game to get out to range in time and then some of the best abilities in the game to get back in.
  • Blizzard needs to very quickly create and implement a set of non-tier DPS plate shoulders. Look at me -- I'm still wearing ZA shoulders. I am knee-deep in Firelands every week. I've killed Domo several times now. Why won't you give me shoulders? There is absolutely no option for plate DPS save tier, although there are several pairs of tanking shoulders. This is bloody insane, and it needs to be addressed. Firelands or the valor point vendors need more loot, guys.
So let's discuss the Firelands from a DPS warrior perspective.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 4.2 lurches towards us

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

All right. With patch 4.2 dropping next week, it's time to discuss it in detail -- at least, what it means for warriors. What changes will it have in store for tanks (almost none) and DPS (less of it) warriors? What will happen to us in PVP (arms and fury warriors will lose burst, prot won't)? Why is our PVP set so ridiculously ugly that it makes me cringe?

We'll start by looking at what Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street said about class balance. And specifically about warriors, because that's the column, you see. I could give a rat's hindquarters about the other, lesser classes. Except shamans. If you can't be a warrior, being a shaman is a good backup plan. Why not be both? Go ahead and roll six warriors and a shaman, I'll wait.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms tears off limbs in 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I promised it last week. This week, I deliver: How is arms doing in patch 4.1?

Pretty darn well. I raided as arms Tuesday night and did respectable DPS (I was third for the evening, spiking between 17k and 19k DPS, depending on the pull), although I still fell short of my fury DPS. (I even managed about 17k DPS in a ZA run that same night.) For a 10-man raid, it was certainly a valid showing. On a dummy, arms seems also to come in second, but a close second to fury for me, with averages of around 14 to 15k.

What does this all mean? Well, it means if you're more comfortable as fury (which I am), you'll probably want to stick to it. But if someone who does not fully feel at ease with arms and the rotation can still put out valid raid and heroics DPS numbers, then for those of you who prefer the arms playstyle, I can't see a reason you shouldn't be able to do better. This means to me that arms is definitely raid-viable in patch 4.1 as of right now.

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

Blizzard issues Call to Arms clarification

After some good, some bad, and mostly loud reaction to the announcement that a Call to Arms feature was being added to the dungeon finder, Blizzard has issued a clarification on some issues that players were having with the system. Most importantly, DPS players felt that rewards from the new bags would only be able to be gained by tanks and healers. Thankfully, these bags will be bind on account. Also, Blizzard clarified the nature of the mount and pet drop percentages, as well as the types of flasks players could expect from what's now dubbed the Satchels of Exotic Mysteries.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms and the 4.0.6 patch notes


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Last week, we saw patch notes for the PTR and patch 4.0.6. Since then, we've seen updates to these notes. These updates mean that some of the things we talked about no longer apply. And then they went and updated them again. It would be fair to say I kind of groaned when I saw Blizzard do this, knowing I'd most likely have to basically spend another week talking about the notes. I was especially annoyed because I finally have my tank set to the point where I can tank in a raid or a heroic without feeling painfully undergeared, and I've gotten my DPS up to where I think it should be at the current gear level and talent spec design.

In general, I think warriors are almost where they should be right now. We may be slightly weaker than I'd like as tanks, and arms is frankly pretty bad as a DPS spec right now. It's still good for PvP, although that's mostly due to its ability to chain stuns, which it will be losing somewhat in 4.0.6. With Slam still not scaling at all with haste, arms is going to need flat-out DPS increases to go along with the nerfs it's taking. Fury will probably be all right -- not the absolute top DPS, even among hybrids, but it will deliver in fights where melee is unduly punished for being melee.

So let's go take a look at the cards we're going to be dealt in patch 4.0.6 as of the most recent update. If I had to sum up the entirety of the remainder of this post, it would be, "Okay, but why not buff arms for PvE?"

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms DPS is back in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Hello, suddenly viable PvE DPS spec! I remember you! You were notable from such raids as Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, AQ and Naxx 40. Also, I recall your performances in Karazhan, Gruul's Lair, Magtheridon, Tempest Keep, SSC, ZA, Black Temple and even the Sunwell.

Arms was up and down throughout the life cycle of Wrath of the Lich King. Decent in Naxx and competitive in Ulduar, it really fell by the wayside again once fury got access to i245 and better gear. And when patch 4.0.1 launched, it wasn't kind of any warrior DPS spec. But when last week's rebalancing came down the pike, I decided to finally get serious about my arms warrior alt and see what kind of damage he could actually do in PvE, as well as taking him for a ride in PvP.

Frankly, not only am I having fun, I'm actually doing surprisingly solid damage.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms 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.

And so we come to this, the last in our report card series for warrior specs in Wrath of the Lich King. In some ways, arms warriors saw the greatest amount of changes this expansion. The addition of Taste for Blood and Sudden Death making arms a far more proc-reliant spec than it had been previously, while the improvement of Rend saw the bleed damage of the spec (already somewhat of a staple of the arms playstyle in The Burning Crusade) emphasized. Arms started off in Naxx as lower in damage but competitive with fury, while it remained a fairly dominant PvP spec (but saw a challenge to its popularity from protection by about the middle range of the expansion's life cycle) throughout. Arms' damage and raid viability saw its high point in Ulduar, and unfortunately (for me, as a PvE-specced arms warrior) then entered a slow decline that continues to this day.

I said last week, "I considered writing the arms report card instead, but considering the PvE state of arms, I just got depressed. 'Still OK for PvP' doesn't seem like enough for a column." While that's a fair statement, it is extremely oversimplified. Arms is a very solid leveling spec, as it outperforms fury until a certain gear threshold is met and requires less expertise (since Overpower, one of its bread-and-butter strikes, cannot be dodged, and arms has an expertise talent), and arms can generally be sure that Overpowers will critically hit due to the higher crit rate from Improved Overpower. Arms' main PvE limitation is based around the fact that as a bleed-heavy, proc-dependent spec that makes little use of Heroic Strike, it simply doesn't scale in the same berserk manner as fury once rage becomes less of an issue.

Let's look at what arms does well and what keeps it a potent PvP force while preventing it from matching up with fury in PvE.

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

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