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Posts with tag armor-penetration

Hunter thoughts on the Patch 3.2.2 Armor Penetration nerf


Well folks, we recently heard that Ghostcrawler announced the upcoming nerf to Armor Penetration in Patch 3.2.2.

I'll be honest with you. I'm not sure why this is turning into such a big deal is to everyone. I'm not saying I don't understand the mechanics of the change. And I do see the impact to us Hunters, especially endgame raiding Marksman Hunters. But really, let's take a step back and look at the reasoning behind the change.

Ghostcrawler said that they implemented this change after noticing everyone was picking up Armor Pen at the expense of their core stats. Really? And somehow we're surprised that when a secondary stat becomes more important than a class' primary stat and it forced a nerf? It seems more of a correction in my opinion.

If you're a raiding Marks or Survival Hunter you should be focusing on picking up as much Agility (Attack Power if you're a Beast Master) as possible. Hence why in Cataclysm we're seeing things like Armor Penetration removed from the itemization.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Armor penetration being nerfed in 3.2.2


Ghostcrawler has announced that armor penetration (ArP) is being nerfed in the upcoming Patch 3.2.2. It's an early notice to players who plan on investing in armor penetration gems. Many raiding melee players (along with Marksman hunters apparently) have begun focusing exclusively on armor penetration without caring about other stats. While the mechanics of ArP can be complicated to understand, the basic understanding is the more ArP you have the more damage you deal. Heck, a Feral Druid in my guild has been known to pass on upgrades here and there primarily because it lacked ArP.

Again, this is mainly a nerf to PvE raiding but it could end up affecting PvP slightly as well. It's not expected to completely rock the arena world or anything. The worst thing that could happen is Priests (or other soft targets) like myself will survive a few seconds longer against melee heavy teams, or people like Rogues have it worse against Plate. I guess from my perspective it could be viewed as a buff!

Note that in Cataclysm, armor penetration will be removed as a stat as it has been deemed confusing in regards to its use.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Warrior, Patches, Raiding, Death Knight, Arena, Cataclysm

Lichborne: What Cataclysm might mean for Death Knights

Worgen Death Knight concept fanart
Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight column that dares ask the hard-hitting questions of Blizzard. Questions such as: Can I make a Worgen Death Knight now? Pretty please with sugar on top?


We've now had about a week and a half to digest all the new information from BlizzCon about the Cataclysm, and while it's not a complete picture of what we can expect from the expansion, there's enough information now that we can make some pretty good educated guesses about the direction of the game and the new theorycraft of being a Death Knight. Let's take a look at we can learn from the latest information.

New Races


The new races definitely have some pretty awesome racials. The Worgen's plus damage racial will make them a very solid choice for a DPS Death Knight, and the sprint will be excellent for closing distance in PvP, especially when paired with Lichborne or Icebound Fortitude to avoid CC. Even the skinning racial will be nice for a leveling Death Knight who decides to take some time out to level the money making gathering tradeskills.

Goblins are definitely going to be a nice little convenient race, with low buy and sell prices and a free bit of banking. Combat-wise, the Rocket Boots should be nice for closing distances or running away.

As far as whether these races will end up being the "best" races for Death Knights, I don't think I can say. Part of this is because I think the idea of a "best race" is, to at least some degree, rather subjective, but also, the devs strongly hinted they'll take a look at everyone's racial abilities as they move into Cataclysm, so its certainly possible that other races will get some new or upgraded racials that will keep pace with the awesomeness that are the new races' racials.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Death Knight Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

With the arrival of Patch 3.2, let's take stock of what's going on with Death Knights and how things have turned out for us. The Patch 3.2 PTR's been the testing grounds for a few major changes to various trees and play styles, and now it'll be interesting to see how things play out on the live server. You can see the basic size of the Death Knight changes in this original analysis of the patch changes, but some things have changed since then, as we will note below.

Tanking

We do get a couple hits to tanking this patch. Frost Presence will be switching from a health buff to a stamina buff, and Veteran of the Third War will be nerfed to only a 3% stamina gain at the top level. Toughness is also dropping from 15% to 10% armor buffed at its top level. Honestly, I don't think these changes alone will be so bad as to drop us too low on the tanking totem pole, especially since we've been up at the top so long.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Raiding, Guides, Talents, Death Knight

Lichborne: Unholy issues in Patch 3.2

If there's one thing that researching the Death Knight class changes for patch 3.2 has done for me, it's reconfirmed my hatred of all these extra annoying little combat stats. You know expertise, armor penetration, haste, all those little things they added to the game for seemingly no other reason than to make determining best in slot gear a master's thesis level task or to make quest rewards suck worse than they first appear. Really, I long for the days when your choices were hit rating, AP, and spell power, heal power and spell or physical critical strike rating.

I mean, I guess if I sat down and thought about it, I can deal, especially since the system tweakage has also bought us more awesome stuff like consolidated spell power and critical rating. Still, times like this, I really long for the old days. In particular, I'm talking about the Unholy tree.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: A PTR preview of 5-man Crusader's Coliseum DPS loot for Death Knights


Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column, with your host Daniel Whitcomb.

The patch 3.2 PTR continues on apace, and with the background downloader now delivering content to the live servers, we can only hope that the release date is creeping closer. With that in mind, I am continuing our preview of the loot of the new 5-man Crusader's Coliseum loot, which is all epic all the time, and perfect for any Death Knight who just hasn't quite managed to break into the raid game.

Admittedly, this loot is a bit less outright spectacular than that tank loot, if only because it has a lot of haste and armor penetration, which are less desirable for certain specs of Death Knights since we do so much of our damage with instant abilities or with frost and shadow magic which bypasses armor penetration altogether. Then again, if your rotation is heavy on Blood or Heart Strikes and Obliterates or Death Strikes, you'll still get some nice use out of the armor penetration, and as I mentioned a few weeks ago, with enough armor penetration (Although more than the amount that you'll get from this gear), armor penetration can even make Obliterate surpass Scourge Strike. So yeah. armor penetration isn't so bad unless you're losing a lot of strength to get it, but haste is sort of pretty far down on the useful scale. There's also a lack of hit rating on a lot of this gear, so you may find yourself frantically re-gemming or passing up an upgrade to keep yourself at the soft cap as well.

And regardless, this is all epic gear, so the stats are all high enough that a bit of less desirable haste won't be that bad to deal with. Let's check it out.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Solving the mathmatical tangles of ArPen

Armor penetration is probably one of the most misunderstood stats in the game, for a number of reasons. First of all, it's only become popular lately -- while it's been in the game since 1.10, it's only started showing up regularly on items in Wrath. And even then it's really only a meta-meta stat: the core abilities like Strength and Agility are easy to understand, the next level of abilities are things like hit rating and crit rating, and then armor penetration, you could argue, goes another level after that: it's a stat that affects a stat affected by a stat. It's for that reason, then, that Xanthan argues we need a more elegant solution.

Armor penetration basically allows you to hit an opponent as if they're wearing less armor than they really are. That's not to hard to understand -- if you have a certain amount of armor penetration, then the opponent armor number in the equation that determines damage done is lower (edit: by a percentage, not a number) than it would usually be. But the confusion comes in when you see how armor penetration scales. It actually scales exponentially, not linearly -- if you have no ArP and you increase it by a little bit, you only get a little extra damage increase. But if you have a lot, and you add a little more onto that, then you'll get a bigger damage increase, due to the way the math works (I'm bad at math, but Xanthan has an excellent, clear description of the calculations in the forum thread, and we've posted some explanations before as well). Blizzard recently capped ArP at 100% (so you could never get into a place where you're reducing armor below the amount of armor that's there), but it's still possible to have the amount of armor reduced equal the amount of armor on a target, causing the equation of armor vs. armor penetration to divide by 0, and at that point, things get wacky, and terms like "infinite damage" come into play.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Buffs

Armor Penetration to be capped at 100%

I'll admit it: Armor Penetration has always confused me. I understand it moderately well - it makes your attacks act as if your opponent had less armor. The conversions from numbers to percentages, and the corresponding DPS increase, can be found at various places on the internet. But due to the fact that armor doesn't scale linearly, neither does ArP: going from 50% to 51% ArP helps you much more than going from 10% to 11%. This makes it pretty hard for me to get a good feel for.

As a consequence of the non-linear nature of ArP, getting very high amounts of it can lead to insanely boosted damage - as an unattainable example, I'm told that 300% ArP would mean thousands of times more damage. To keep ArP from getting out of control, then, Ghostcrawler has announced that they plan on capping ArP at 100%, meaning armor could no longer go negative (which it can now).

This was made with an eye towards future tiers; at the moment, it's impossible to get to 100% unless you have very specific gear and two trinkets proc at the same time. So this should have very little impact, if any, on current DPS. However, we may see a day in Icecrown when ArP, like Hit, is a completely worthless stat after you have enough of it. This strikes me as an awkward situation, but short of removing the stat entirely (which, sadly, I don't think they're going to do), I can't see a much better solution.

Filed under: News items

Phat Loot Phriday: Stormedge


This one's by request this week -- Twitter's own @Random_Tangent recommended it to us. We've done a few Ulduar items lately (we'll have to go phat next week), but here's another nice one.

Name: Stormedge (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Two-hand Axe
Damage/Speed: 594 - 892 / 3.50 (212.3 DPS)
Abilities:
  • Um, it's badass?
  • +106 Strength, +125 Stamina. Which means this is a straight-up 2h DPS weapon -- the Strength adds a huge damage bonus to Warriors, Death Knights, Feral Druids (edit: well nevermind then), and Paladins by giving them a +212 attack power just from the weapon alone, not to mention other places Strength is used. Shamans also get a buff -- not quite as big, but still nice.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Raiding, Phat Loot Phriday, Bosses

Ghostcrawler on the mechanics behind Armor Penetration

There is a great thread over on the Damage Dealing Forums started by a Rogue about the mechanics of the Armor Penetration cap/observed effectiveness. Armor Pen is a statistic that will allow an attack to ignore a given amount of armor.

The thread and the contents inside it are notable in that it is, by my recollection, the first time a Blizzard employee has given out the complete rundown of an in-game formula. While there have been hints and comments about how certain statistics impact the game from patch notes and game designer posts in the past, there has never been a "step a, step b, step c" like algorithmic definition to all those stats contained within the black box of theorycrafting.

In giving out the computations behind Armor Penetration, Ghostcrawler makes note to point out that Blizzard is not, and will not, get in a habit of delivering theorycrafting to players. They like the idea that players have to test out game mechanics, and that while the starting and end results are known, what happens in the middle of combat isn't written in stone. In the case of the Armor Penetration rating, they released it due to quite a bit of (somewhat) inaccurate information out there.

The armor penetration formula, and an example, after the break.

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Filed under: Odds and ends

The Queue: Item level, attunements, and more


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

Good morning/afternoon/generic time of day, everyone! I don't have anything funny or interesting to say here, so let's skip that part and pretend that I did it! Yay! Now imagine there's a silly poll for you to vote in! Exclamation points! More exclamation points! Not enough exclamation points yet! We need more!

Okay, that's enough of them.

Erogroth asked...


"How exactly does item level work? From what I gather its almost like talent points for an item. So any item that is the same level should be about equal in how good it is. However often items of the same item level are no where near equal. So what's the deal?"

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Patch 3.1 PTR Ulduar/Emblem of Conquest Gear for Warriors


Patch 3.1 is starting to reveal loot from Ulduar bosses as well as items that can be purchased for the new Emblems of Conquest. Thanks to MMO-Champion, we can look at these items and each class will be looking at these items differently. For instance, the new 2h weapons available from 10 and 25 man Ulduar have stats that will be more or less popular for various classes. For warriors, these new weapons may herald the return of Armor Penetration, especially with incoming changes to Deep Wounds and Battle Stance as well as upcoming buffs to armor pen itself. "Armor Penetration Rating: All classes now receive 25% more benefit from Armor Penetration Rating."

With all of this in mind, we're looking at a situation where a warrior could pretty easily reduce armor by 10 to 15% depending on spec and stance. (An arms warrior in battle stance would gain 10% actual armor reduction from his tance and around 5% actual armor reduction from his weapon, while a fury warrior dual wielding these weapons could easily reduce armor by 10-11% just from the weapons.) Mix in the effect of a trinket like Grim Toll, and you're looking at nearly 50 to 55% armor reduction during a proc. That's pretty substantial, and it's not even counting the effect of other armor pen on gear.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

The Queue: In your city, stealing your mailbox


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Today's edition of The Queue is going to be short and sweet, but it's a Sunday and nobody really has much to say on a Sunday! So let's dig right in, starting with actodd's question...

Can you explain armor penetration a bit? Is it designed more for tanks or DPS (or even heals)? Where should it fit into the 'hierarchy' of stats say, a feral tank has?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Lichborne: A Death Knight statistics primer

Death Knight Itemization: This guy is doing it wrong.
Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column by professor Daniel Whitcomb, who totally has a PhD in Death-Knightology from Ebon Hold University. It's the truth, I swear.

I've seen a lot of people asking these questions as we've been getting into the expansion: Now that I am trying to gear by Death Knights, what stats should I get? What's good for a Death Knight? Which armor should I take. We've started getting in that somewhat in the last few columns, with advice on reputation gear and starting zone gear, but I figured today we should delve a little bit more into the why of Death Knight stats.

Today's column will double as a little bit of primer on how Death Knights get their power, and what stats you should be looking for on armor in general to make your Death Knight the best it can be. It's not completely in depth, but it should get you well on the road to understanding just how Death Knights get all that awesome power and sexiness.

We'll have 3 sections today. The Good are stats that are excellent choices for DPS, Tanks, or both. The So-So are stats which still do us some good, but are pretty situational or conditional in their usefulness. The Outcasts are those stats that you should avoid -- Well, I'd say avoid like the plague, but we're Death Knights. We like the plague around here. So I'll just say you should avoid them.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Ask a Beta Tester: Scourge Strike, titles, and flying mounts


What you're seeing up above is a flaming quill in a well of frozen ink. Is it useful? No. It looks wicked awesome sitting in the Inscription trainers' shop, doesn't it? Heck yeah it does! We'll kick off today's Ask a Beta Tester with Askhill's question...

Does Lake Wintergrasp seem dominated by only one class, or is it pretty even among the 80s?

Unholy Death Knights are the current "overpowered spec of the day" (formerly the role of Ret Paladins) so there's tons of those rocking face right now. Beyond that it's pretty difficult to judge, since Blizzard hasn't balanced all of the numbers yet and few people are in Resilience gear. The only really memorable thing are the absolutely enormous Scourge Strike crits. By enormous I'm talking numbers anywhere from 10,000 to 16,000, and since it's Shadow damage, your armor isn't going to do a darn thing to help. Luckily, I was healbotting one of those Unholy Death Knights rather than being on the receiving end. Death Knights are bloody fantastic at keeping people off of Healers, by the way.

yazah asked a couple of questions...

Why does the Scarlet Crusade employ Death Knights in Northrend? Doesn't that seem unlikely since they were slaughtered by them back in Tyr's Hand?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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