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Posts with tag Rage-Normalization

Ghostcrawler discusses warriors and rage in Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler discusses warriors and rage in Mists of Pandaria
Rage as a resource has been the bane and boon of warrior existence. It starts off weak every expansion, as we miss the auto-attacks needed to generate it in our leveling gear, and then grows stronger as we level and gain the offensive stats needed. Classes that mocked our weakness are suddenly discontented by our strength and demand nerfs, which are granted despite the fact that we had to live with being far below par for months to get there.

This cycle is by now so familiar to us old-timers that we have debates as to when exactly in the expansion the nerfs will come. (For the record, since we saw nerfs in pretty much every patch this expansion -- we all won the pool -- but it was an extremely hollow victory.) I've talked a lot about rage in the upcoming expansion and how I expect to see the same cycle we always have. If anything, making us so dependent on white hits and enrage procs will just exacerbate the problem.

Well, it appears that the devs are aware of the problem as well. How could they not be aware of it, really, since it's the same problem we've had for eight years now? Ghostcrawler recently commented on a thread on the Mists beta forums about warrior issues, and I want to share his comments and discuss them here.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: 2011's warrior in review

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.

In the past, I've done Year in Review columns and liked them well enough. The first one I wrote was in 2007 and discussed rage normalization, which to my eyes was the biggest and worst change the warrior class had undergone in The Burning Crusade. Flash forward four years. Here we are in 2011, and rage normalization has been with us for a year and the sky didn't fall. This has me in a contemplative mood. The future is Mists of Pandaria and a new talent system, but right now, it's time to look back at what were the biggest developments for the warrior class.

I don't necessarily mean good or bad, here. These are simply profound changes, things that may have also affected other classes but which definitely affected us. While 2011 was a year we made contact (because we're melee, we have to make contact) it was also a year of a great many changes.


I've talked about it before, but mastery really has been a game-changer for warriors this past year. Fury warriors got so much out of the stat before patch 4.1 that the amount of mastery they have at base was nerfed from 8 points to 2 points. It worked, after a fashion, because until patch 4.3, it became impossible for fury warriors to assemble enough mastery to make them interested in the stat again. It may be possible with Dragon Soul gear for TG fury, but with arms the dominant DPS spec for warriors in Dragon Soul raids right now, it's not likely to be tested exhaustively.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Rage in Cataclysm, part 2

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 talked about rage as a DPS and tanking mechanic. This week, we're going to talk more about it as a mechanic, period. What are its defining characteristics?
  • Rage is self-generated. There's no predictable rate of return, and even if you geared for rage generation, you're at the mercy of encounter design. (A fight that forces you to break off of your target for any reason is bad for rage generation.)
  • Rage never inflates. An ability that costs you 15 rage to use when you learn it will forever cost you 15 rage unless a talent or ability discounts you in some way. Rage also never inflates in terms of how much you have. You will always have a maximum of 100 rage; there is no talent or ability that increases the size of your rage bar. It's 100 forever.
  • You can generate rage via specific abilities when it is absolutely necessary. The most common are Battle or Commanding Shout, or perhaps Charge.
  • With the exception of white attacks and some special cooldowns (Berserker Rage, Recklessness, Shield Wall, Retaliation, Rallying Cry), almost anything that doesn't generate rage costs rage.
  • Damage taken also generates rage, but for most DPS warriors, it's not worth courting death by deliberately taking damage for rage. Tanks make heavy use of this aspect of rage generation, since they take damage anyway.
Rage is alone among all other resource systems in that it starts at zero. While Runic Power also technically starts at zero, unlike a DK, a warrior has no secondary resource system like runes to allow him to still use major abilities in the way DKs can.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Rage in Cataclysm, part 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.

We should talk briefly about two nerfs to warrior DPS in the most recent patch 4.2 PTR. They're not earthshaking in and of themselves, but I would be remiss if I didn't address them.

  • Recklessness and Deadly Calm can no longer be used at the same time. One cannot be used while the other is active, but using one does not put the other on its full cooldown.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Arms
      • Two-Handed Weapon Specialization weapon damage increase has been lowered to 12%, down from 20%.
    • Fury
      • Dual Wield Specialization weapon damage increase has been lowered to 5%, down from 10%.
If I thought warrior DPS was through the roof or overpowered in any way right now, I guess I'd understand these nerfs. It more seems to me like, "Well, we nerfed some other classes ... We might as well nerf them, too -- it's protocol." I'm going to assume it's a change similar to the one we saw when Ulduar went live aimed at keeping warrior scaling from getting out of whack with the higher amounts of hit, crit and mastery that will be available.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Answers to questions nobody asked

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting feral/restoration druids and those who group with them. This week, we get a beta key, and maybe a little sloshed.

After getting a beta key, it was my intent to hit the servers and write an FAQ/reader mailbag-type column, but I'm not going to do that today. I'm going to answer my questions, not yours. I don't care about any of you.

Well, that's not true. I do care. But I've been in the beta for less than a week and:
  • Half the stuff we've read about has been scrapped or just hasn't been implemented.
  • The other half is a writhing mass of angry, toxic bugs.
  • The servers crash like that drunk buddy who swore he'd only be on your couch for a few days but is still there weeks later and you poke him with a stick every morning to make sure he's alive and unfortunately he is.
  • About the most I could do without pulling several consecutive all-nighters was level a worgen and troll druid to level 13 as quickly as I could. Oh, and wipe a Blackwing Caverns group several times over.
Readers beware: while I may not answer any useful questions past the cut, there are still a few serious spoilers here.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Breakfast Topic: Which class will change the most?

Over the next three days (and a week from Friday for paladins), Blizzard will be announcing some of the class revamp information that will be implemented in Cataclysm. This will by no means be all of the information, and if you followed us during the Wrath beta, you'll know that these things might change before the expansion comes out.

While I'm sure that the class you're waiting to hear info on the most is your own class, I've got a little bit of a different question for you: Which class do you think is going to be changing the most in Cataclysm?

Will it be warriors, due to the impending rage normalization? How about death knights, since blood will be the only tanking spec after the expansion hits? Will it be hunters with their mana changing to a focus system or warlocks with their complete revamp of Soul Shards? Let us know what you think.

Which class will change the most in Cataclysm?
Death Knight5123 (19.7%)
Druid1113 (4.3%)
Hunter5550 (21.4%)
Mage1007 (3.9%)
Paladin5664 (21.8%)
Priest610 (2.4%)
Rogue661 (2.5%)
Shaman1575 (6.1%)
Warlock2877 (11.1%)
Warrior1760 (6.8%)

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Breakfast Topics, Death Knight, Cataclysm

A quick and dirty guide to rage normalization for bears

I started playing after Burning Crusade launched, so I don't have any personal history with the rage normalization fiasco that happened in the transition to BC. I'm told by old warrior hands that it went something like this:

Blizzard: We're normalizing rage.
Warriors: What does that mean?
Blizzard: It means that normally you won't have any.
Warriors: ... oh.

Right now, all of what we know concerning rage normalization for Cataclysm can be found in this post here. I won't repeat stuff we already know but try to look into how the changes will affect bear tanking. Rossi covered the expected effect on warriors yesterday, and while we share a number of these changes, there are a few wrinkles that I expect will have a specific impact on bears.

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Filed under: Druid, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

WoW Insider Show Episode 134: On that genocidal note...

Every week, we present you with the WoW Insider Show podcast -- an hour's worth of WoW community discussion, covering everything from the week's top stories here on to emails from our readers to what's been going on with our particular characters in Azeroth.

Along with your hosts, editor Michael Sacco and contributing editor Matthew Rossi, we also feature rotating guest hosts, whether regular contributors or personalities from other sites.

Want to have your question answered on the air? Email!

Today's show features:
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Filed under: Podcasts, WoW Insider Show

A quick and dirty guide to rage normalization for Warriors

So we're getting rage normalization in Cataclysm. Great, you say. What does that mean for my level 22 warrior in Darkshore? First off, shouldn't you be in Ashenvale by now? Second, rage normalization takes the random factor of rage generation and makes it more predictable, reducing its scaling factor. At present, rage is based on how much damage you deal per attack and how much damage you take, modified by things like the attacker's level and so forth.

As a result, we often see peculiar artifacts of the rage system. As a DPS warrior gears up, as an example, his rage generation becomes effectively infinite: He or she does enough damage to make rage a near constant, creating a situation where the only limitation to her or his DPS is the amount of time between abilities and making on-next-swing Heroic Strike effectively unlimited in use. (This is one of the reasons HS is going to become an instant in Cataclysm.) Another artifact of this process is that as they gear up, rage-based tanks often find themselves rage starved in content they outgear, becoming less able to hold threat without removing or substituting their tanking gear. (I wrote more about the current state of rage generation here.)

Rage normalization is intended to move from an exponential rage model (the more damage you do/take, the more rage you have), which penalizes lower-geared warriors and rewards the absolute best itemization, toward a more controllable system where the difference between a level 25 warrior in quest greens and a level 85 in full raid gear isn't that they are almost effectively different classes.

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Filed under: Warrior, Cataclysm

Heroic Strike changes in Cataclysm

The announced warrior and druid rage normalization changes in Cataclysm have brought with them a ton of questions and speculation on how numerous abilities are going to function. One of the largest changes is the removal of "on next swing" attacks. This means the old and trusted Heroic Strike is going to be undergoing a major revmap.

Ghostcrawler has provided clarification:

To clarify on Heroic Strike, it costs a third of your rage bar when you hit the button, but you can't hit it unless you have 10 rage and it will only ever take a max of 30 (since that's essentially a third of your full bar). The intent is that when you don't have a lot of rage, it's not an attractive button. When you are gaining too much rage, then you want to start pushing it.

We debated whether or not to push this story before we talked about all of the warrior changes in Cataclysm. In the end we decided players might not focus on anything but the rage changes if we announced them at the same time. However, some of this will make a little more sense with the additional context of the warrior changes. For example, we have a plan to keep tank damage and threat high and we have other systems to let you convert excess rage into damage.

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Filed under: Warrior, News items, Cataclysm

Rage normalization in Cataclysm

Straight from the mouth of Bornakk this morning comes some critical news for warriors and druids concerning the rage mechanic in Cataclysm. The short summary: rage is going to be normalized, each auto-attack will give a set amount of rage. This will solve rage starvation at lower levels and make rage an interesting mechanic at the higher tiers of raiding.

Some of the major points:
  • Rage [will be] no longer generated based on damage done by auto-attacks. Instead, each auto-attack provides a set amount of Rage, and off-hand weapons will generate 50% of the Rage main hands do.
  • If the attack is a critical strike, it will generate 200% Rage. Haste will accelerate swing times to generate Rage faster.
  • Rage from damage taken will no longer be based on a standard creature of the character's level, but instead will based on the health of the warrior or druid.
  • All "on next swing" attacks in Cataclysm are being removed. Heroic Strike and Maul will be instant swings that cost a variable amount of Rage.
Personally, I find the removal of the "on next swing" attacks to be a major change that is long overdue. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out, especially given the years of theory-crafting and playing style that has been devoted to rage management. It's all going to change when Cataclysm comes out.

The full statement after the break.

This post is currently being edited.

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Filed under: Druid, Warrior, News items, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Terror, fear, loathing and rage

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is about warriors, those lovable, squeezable, strokeable bundles of pure joy who seethe with a burning inner fire, a rage that can only be quenched in blood. Matthew Rossi tries quenching it in delicious caffeinated beverages. You'd be surprised how often that works.

Rage is a broken mechanic.

It's broken in that it allows DPS warriors (well, okay, fury warriors) to do DPS almost equivalent to that of "pure" DPS classes, if the warriors are wearing the absolutely perfectly ideal gear setup and are in an encounter that is absolutely, perfectly suited to them (i.e., one that allows for a lot of Heroic Strike and Cleave spamming with minimal lost time that keeps rage generation down). It's also broken in that it constricts lesser-geared warriors to doing a fraction of equivalent hybrid-class DPS.

Rage is broken in that it starts at zero, forcing a warrior to either take damage or deal white damage to generate rage or use an ability like Bloodrage, while other classes start with some or all of their resources and can open up with a powerful ability to start. This makes it far harder for warrior tanks to generate snap aggro and keeps warriors from having any sort of a rotation, forcing them to rely on priority systems instead. Both tanking and DPS warriors tend to find themselves spamming abilities to generate threat/damage, with one of the biggest culprits being Heroic Strike.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: This is the year that was

The Care and Feeding of Warriors strides forth like a colossus, possibly my favorite X-Man because he's the team tank (I also kind of like Cyclops because he can shoot people with his eyes, which is just cool) to present you, the reader, with an overview of the year in warrioring. No, warrioring isn't a word. Yes, Matthew Rossi knows he can't just make up words whenever he feels like it.

Ah, 2007. A roistering, boistering year. What? No, I'm pretty sure boistering is a word. You can't find it in the OED, you say? Look again, I'm sure it's in there.

So what can we say about what's gone on the past year for warriors? The big changes (to my admittedly jaundiced eye) were the total overhaul of the honor system, the addition of the Arenas, allowing Thunderclap in defensive stance (a tacit admission that warriors were deficient multi-mob tanks compared to druids and paladins), the nerf to Thunderfury's aggro (okay, not so much important as just kinda sad), and rage normalization.

The change to the honor system (taking place in December of 2006) caused a flood of poorly geared warriors, my tauren among them, to flood the BG's looking to improve their gear. I know at the time I was fed up with running instances for marginal upgrades and then losing the rolls on those items (items I'd already collected twice on two previous 70 warriors) over and over again. While the old system forced you to grind for ranks on a ladder week in, week out, the new system simply allowed you to collect honor and marks . While a lot of long time PvPers protested seeing the same gear they'd sweated for suddenly available to more people, in general it was a positive change allowing a lot of players to step through the Dark Portal with better gear than they otherwise would have had. In the time between 2.0.1 and the actually release of The Burning Crusade, I managed to get a whole set of PvP blues and a couple of epics, and I wasn't really running the battlegrounds all that much.

Rage normalization, on the other hand, was a giant kick in the teeth. I'm still angry about it a year later. To me, rage normalization was the biggest change of 2007, the earliest screw up in the class balance, and is still felt the most almost a year later.

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Filed under: Warrior, Blacksmithing, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Battlegrounds, Arena

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