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Posts with tag Rage

Stats 101: Your character's resources and attributes

If you've been around the game for a while, you know World of Warcraft's system of resources and attributes so well that it seems like it needs no explanation. However, for players diving into their first MMO or even just switching classes, the basics of WoW's resources and stats -- otherwise known as the jumble of numbers listed on your character sheet (just hit "c" to see what we're talking about) -- may as well be a foreign language.

So if you're trying to get started and you're a little lost as to what all of these numbers mean, how they affect your game, and the kind of gear you should equip to play your best, this guide is for you. Read on and we'll walk you through the numbers in plain English.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Internet rage, dissociation, and difficult consequences

Rage, dissociation, and difficult communities
Everyone who plays World of Warcraft has encountered player rage at some point in their WoW career, it's almost part of the initiation ritual, the normal progress of the game. Some days are worse than others, some servers and regions and battlegroups are likely worse than others, some times are worse than others, but the one constant is that it's everywhere, there's no reality in which you can proceed through your entire WoW existence and not encounter one single moment of rage.

A recent article in a major UK newspaper discussed two recent and public incidents of net-based rage, and its impact on two game designers, David Vonderhaar of COD: Black Ops, and Fez developer Phil Fish. Regardless of the causes of the incidents, these guys were the subject of quite some internet unpleasantness. And yes, CoD is well known for being a less pleasant cyberspace to inhabit than many others, and Fish engaged in quite some nerd-baiting, but our own devs are far from exempt from this sort of treatment. Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted recently that it was not uncommon for him to receive death threats.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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: Rage forever changes in the 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.

Remember when I argued that rage should work more like the Diablo 3 barbarian? Well, it totally will in Mists of Pandaria. Battle and Defensive Stance will mean that your rage is purely determined by your active use of rage generation abilities. Your shouts and active rage generation attacks like Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam and Charge will be how you generate rage, along with normal melee attacks. You will only generate rage from damage you take by switching into Berserker Stance, which will reduce your rage generated by attacks since you'll lose the new bonus to rage gen Battle Stance provides (100% more rage from normal melee attacks), and you'll lose threat and your 6% critical strike removal from Defensive Stance.

This means that you won't switch to zerk anymore for AoE; you'll switch to zerk if you expect to take a lot of damage and want to generate rage for it. My greatest fears are that this will render zerk almost unused except for when we're running from point A to point B and expecting to take a lot of damage while we do, since Battle Stance doubles the rage generated by auto-attacks. I'm also concerned that warriors have absolutely no direct damage increases anymore. Stances don't give damage multipliers; enrage just increases rage generation. While these caveats concern me, I do think I enjoy the idea of rage being built up by your actions rather than just being a sponge for incoming damage. I do seriously worry about tanks, however.

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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: 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

Is it time to kill mana?

In your heart, you always knew we were coming here.

Mana is one of WoW's biggest sacred cows. Paladins, shaman, druids, mages, warlocks, priests all make use of it, and hunters were once also on the mana teat, as it were. Every healer uses it, and when the monk class is introduced, they'll heal with mana as well. Every ranged caster uses it. It's the resource system the majority of WoW players are most familiar with, a pool that starts at full and empties as you use it. Over the course of its existence, stats like spirit and MP5 have filled it back up during combat, keeping those classes that rely on it supplied. Since it's the lifeblood for all healers, it effectively is the same for all tanks, even though only one tanking class actually tanks with it. Two classes use it to melee DPS, both hybrids, and these two classes effectively ignore the regeneration of the mana pool via talents and class abilities that make mana regeneration a non-issue.

Mana is fairly easy to understand. You have it, you use it. There are various systems built in to make regenerating it easier. With the addition of runes and runic power for death knights and holy power for paladins, secondary resource systems (similar to the combo point system of rogues) have also been introduced to the game. Holy p-ower in particular is interesting to this discussion because it is a secondary resource added to a mana class and one that works for healing, tanking and melee DPS. (Everyone has their own opinion of how well it does so.)

This leads us to the subject of this post. Do we need mana at all? As my intrepid coworker Michael Gray pointed out to me when discussing this article, mana serves many uses. It's not just that it's a resource for healing and DPSing, but the finite nature of the mana system serves to limit encounters in both PvP and PvE. Doing away with mana could have as many negative effects as positive ones.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

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

Breakfast Topic: Share your ragequit moments

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Online gaming allows people the anonymity to be jerks if they want to and not face many actual consequences, whether it is trolling, ninjaing a piece of loot, rage-quitting a group because of a single wipe, or getting into a shouting match over Vent. Sometimes we carry real-life events in game with us. We have a bad day at work or break up with a girlfriend or worse, and we are unable to suffer noobs lightly. Sometimes we're rude, telling the guy doing terrible DPS he is bad and removing him from the group, as opposed to trying to help him; sometimes it is far worse.

Back in The Burning Crusade, I was in a raiding guild I particularly liked. Good progression, mostly decent people, raid times that fit my schedule well at the time -- I thought all was good. However, there was on officer who I just did not get along with. So one Saturday, she was forming a ZG raid and asked me if I wanted to go. I said no, I was dealing with something in real life and was about to log. I didn't go into details, but we had a death in the family, and I just wasn't able to really concentrate on tanking at the time. I logged off.

So a couple of hours later, I logged back on an alt and noticed they were still in ZG, so I asked what's up and how many chests they got. The officer went on a rant, just berating me endlessly, taking out their bad raid on me. I gquit on the spot -- all of my characters. Other officers talked to me later and asked me what happened, and I told them ... but I just could not go back after that.

While I am currently in a guild that suits me better, I still wish I had left the previous guild on better terms. So have you done anything in a fit of rage you truly regret, something you actually felt guilty about afterwards?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Encrypted Text: The energy resource system

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, I'm talking about my experiences in as a beta tester.

I love energy. Of the three different resources in WoW at level 60, energy was definitely the best around. While death knights may argue that runes are more fun, they suffer from up to 10-second lockouts on some abilities once a particular rune is used up. Some hunters in the Cataclysm beta have claimed that focus is the best thing to happen to their class since pets. That's fine, but energy doesn't require us to play the regeneration minigame to ensure that we're producing enough.

Energy is simple to model and even simpler to use; no ability is more than 6 seconds away. The system has seen constant upgrades since its humble origins, though its core functionality has remained unaltered. It's become a crucial part of our mindset, and it defines the experience of playing a rogue. I had an old friend that used to say that all true rogues set their watches to only tick every 2 seconds. What is about energy that keeps it marching on so reliably?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Keeping perspective

It's sometimes astonishing to me how passionate World of Warcraft players can be about the game. This includes myself: I have hot-button topics that absolutely flood me with adrenaline and cause me to rant (just ask my coworkers here at all about that some time), and later I'll sit back and be amazed. I'm still amazed I managed to put out a thousand-word column about Sentry Totem. (You have no idea how sad it was for me to not be working on shaman content the day they announced they were going to take Sentry Totem out. Lost a chance for a thousand-word eulogy.)

But as passionate and involved as we can get, and as excited about upcoming patches and new expansions and even sparkly ponies, sometimes we lose perspective. The infamous "slap in the face" forum ranting is based on a real mentality that X (fill in whatever you want) is the absolute ruination of the game. Downsizing raids to 25-man max is ruining the game. Arenas are ruining the game. The badge system is ruining the game, hybrids are ruining the game, pures are ruining the game, 10/25 variable raids are ruining the game, micro transactions, dual specs, what have you. The game has been constantly in a state of ruination since early 2005 when some realms were undergoing severe latency on peak nights and it was, you guessed it, ruining the game.

Frankly, sometimes rather than posting that comment, forum post, or what have you, we as involved, passionate people need to take a couple of deep breaths and chill out.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

Breakfast Topic: PC voices

I'll admit it. I rolled a female gnome warrior alt because I enjoyed the idea of a perky short gearhead chick kicking the ass of a big hulky green dude. But you know what's kept me coming back? The voice. Whenever I spam heroic strike and hear my gnome warrior insisting that she "needs more rage" I get a little bit giddy. It seriously is about the most adorable thing in game. She's just so enthusiastic about getting some rage and beating up bad guys and I want to hug her and why is everyone looking at me like that? She's just adorable, all right?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

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

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