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Posts with tag arms

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms 101

This week, The Care and Feeding of Warriors continues its look at the warrior specs with Arms 101. Matthew Rossi spends some time this week talking about that peculiar form of finesse that involves smashing things with a two handed weapon.

We've talked about protection, the tanking spec, and we've talked about fury, the Tasmanian Devil spec. This week, we're talking about arms. We defined fury last week as the spec for people who want to kill things, and that's fair, but if fury is that, what's arms? Well, fury is the 'kill it kill it kill it until it's dead and then kill it some more' spec, defined by Blizzard as the 'screaming barbarians in woad'. Arms, however, is the finesse spec. Yes, that's right, I'm defining the spec that relies on using a great whacking axe, polearm, sword or mace as 'finesse'. Welcome to the warrior class, where the fanciest Dan at the party is still a hulking madman in plate. As the class Q&A put it:
However, we would like to reinforce a little more the kits of Arms and Fury. Everyone (I hope) gets the difference between Frost and Fire mages. Arms is supposed to be about weapons and martial training and feel "soldierly." Fury is supposed to be about screaming barbarians in woad. You get a sense of that, but it could be stronger.
Indeed it could, and for my money, eventually will be, but that in a nutshell is arms. Fury is about grabbing anything big enough and beating on things until they're paste. Arms is about style, about finesse, about perfect control of your weapon, and about taking advantage of openings for huge, devastating blows that get around normal conventions and defenses. If you like the idea of being really, really good at hitting people with a sword the size of a barn door, then arms is for you.

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

Ashen Verdict strength ring in minor content patch

Bornakk popped onto the forums late Thursday to confirm that Blizzard is planning to add a +strength version to the Ashen Verdict rings in an upcoming mini-patch. The appearance of the four current rings with patch 3.3 caused a minor furor on the forums, with plate DPS being left out in the cold. While there are +strength DPS rings available elsewhere in Icecrown Citadel, there's no replacement for a reputation ring's valuable proc.

One of the interesting things about the +strength ring's initial absence wasn't its absence per se, but the reason for omitting it. Apparently the Ashen Verdict choices were a reproduction of older reputation-linked quest items (e.g. Violet Eye and Scale of the Sands rings) that allowed only four choices, and Blizzard wasn't able to get past the programming issues to add a fifth option before 3.3 went live. Well, that's going to get fixed in the upcoming mini-patch, which will also see a few other class-related changes. The date of the patch is still anyone's guess, but we'll keep an eye out for you.

Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Patches, News items, Death Knight

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Just like it used to be

This week, The Care and Feeding of Warriors chronicles a turn. After 11 months as fury, Matthew Rossi has changed gears and transitioned his role once more. Sometimes you can go home again.

I've given fury up for dead. Not because it actually is dead. You can do good DPS with it if you have best in slot gear in every slot, which is par for the course with fury, really... I'm sure we'll see some nerfs heading into patch 3.3 to soft reset fury DPS to keep it below everyone else the same way we did going into Ulduar. But for me, it's not even the fact that you have to gear with a spreadsheet and compete with every other physical DPS class for those few drops that actually have the stats you want, it's the fact that when you do this, you get to follow the exact same stultifying rotation we've had since forever. Fury may or may not be fine, but frankly, it's gotten boring.

Bloodsurge can only make up for so much. At least with an Arms spec, while the DPS is slightly less, you get to do fun things. And so my DPS spec is now arms all the way since I have Trial of the Crusader/Grand Crusader gear to support it, a honking great 2h sword (and so far I'm liking the retooled sword spec) and plenty of things to swing it at. Arms is active. You're constantly using abilities, and while it's ultimately almost as predictable as fury when you get right down to it, it doesn't feel like it is. Between keeping your Rend active (letting it fall off then reapplying it for maximum Overpowers), hitting Sudden Death Executes and Slam in between MS and Overpower feels less like a clunky, hit this key then that key then this key rotation and more like you're weaving in attacks.

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

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms gearing for beginners

The Care and Feeding of Warriors promised it would discuss Arms gearing for the warrior just hitting 80 three columns ago. Since we covered the changes to warriors in patch 3.2.2 this week already, it seems like a good time to at least try and discuss it now.

Let's get this out of the way up front: if every week you're rolling over Trial of the Crusader and Trial of the Grand Crusader heading for A Tribute to Insanity, then this column will be completely wasted on you. It's like bringing coals to Newcastle (not the bitter, the actual town). While my human warrior is geared pretty well by this point, he's a fury/prot warrior most of the time, so the test bed for most of my Arms play is my tauren, who is mainly gearing up via Wintergrasp and various Battlegrounds as well as five man TotC and its heroic counterpart. (As an aside, if someone could explain to me why the Grand Champions and Paletress seem to have forgotten that they have 2H weapons on their loot tables, I'd really appreciate it.)

This column will be focused on a general overview of gear specifically for an arms warrior that you can acquire via PvP (not Arena, but Wintergrasp and BG's), reputation grinding, emblem vendors and running TotC 5/heroic 5. There's actually a great deal of easily acquired gear out there to catch up your new arms warrior.

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Filed under: Warrior, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Guides, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Battlegrounds

Patch 3.2.2 changes for Warriors

Are you ready for big, exciting changes? Are you all set to be floored, destroyed, blown away even by all the tweaks and adjustments to the Warrior class in Patch 3.2.2? I hope you're ready for a tectonic shift all told. Here we go! Please, brace yourselves, I can't be responsible for your safety once you digest this critical new information.


  • Talents
      • Arms
          • Sword Specialization: Now has a 2/4/6/8/10% chance to proc an extra attack, up from 1/2/3/4/5%.
      • Protection
          • Critical Block: This talent now grants a 20/40/60% chance to block double the normal amount instead of 10/20/30%.
As I said to a friend recently, you paid for the whole seat, so I suggest scooting back there. You've got lots of room. To any with heart conditions or delicate constitutions, I apologize if you just weren't prepared for a mind altering paradigm shift like the one these patch notes provided. Such senses shattering power wasn't meant for mortals.

Should I keep going or was that enough sarcasm? I honestly can't tell. I know that these are both buffs, really I do. And the Critical Block change is nice: I mean, you're going to take the talent anyway in your prot build, so having it be twice as likely to proc is pretty sweet. Of course, even if you stack all the block value you possibly can, block's still a fairly weak tanking stat against bosses who hit for 27k.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A Call To Arms

The Care and Feeding of Warriors takes this week to explore Arms. Matthew Rossi has been Bladestorm crazy all week, it's really rather disturbing.

The last time I dedicated a column to Arms, it was April. It seems overdue for discussion again.

Part of the problem was, I didn't have an axe or polearm. Heck, I didn't even have a mace. Swords? Yeah, I had swords up the wazoo. Unfortunately, swords are not good for Arms. This is because Sword Specialization is just plain inferior to Poleaxe Specialization. Sad but true, the once might Sword Spec is now hampered by an internal cooldown that prevents the ability from proccing twice in close succession, meaning that at most you'll get an extra attack that might be a crit and then nothing for 45 seconds. Compare that to Poleaxe's 5% crit bonus and 5% more damage from each crit, with no messy hidden cooldown so that the more crit you have, the more chances you have to do more damage with each crit. Sword spec is so bad it's getting buffed in the 3.2.2 patch, and yet even doubling the chance for an extra hit doesn't seem to excite most dyed in the wool arms players.

Although Justicebringer still won't drop for us I did manage to snag myself an axe this week and decided to play around with Arms again.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, PvP, Raiding, Classes, Talents, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Battlegrounds, Arena

Warrior Q&A Analysis

Well, the warrior Q&A is finally here. if you play a warrior and you were hoping that this would be the beam of sunshine that would fix your issues with the class, I'm sorry to tell you that it probably won't be. This isn't a huge surprise... so far the entire Q&A series has been fairly conservative and this one's no different... but let's go over it anyway.

First off, of course, we have the intro to the class, which contains this interesting sentence: The warrior class has been a very tricky one to balance, largely due to the way rage converts into damage (which converts into rage, which converts into damage...), and we haven't completely nailed that design just yet.

I think it's fair to say that anyone who remembers Rage Normalization trembles just a little bit when they see sentences like that. It's so very easy to render warriors absolutely impotent by tinkering with our rage generation, so I'm going to say right now that I desperately hope they test whatever changes they make very, very thoroughly.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, PvP, Instances, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Forums

Class Q&A: Warrior

Just days after the Druid Class Q&A, the blues have seen fit to post the Warrior edition. Look for in-depth analysis from our very own Warrior expert, Matt Rossi, soon. This purpose of this post is to get the news out there to you, dear readers, as fast as possible. Here's my very brief summary:

  • Historically, Warriors have been dominant in tanking and competitive in DPS and PvP. Balance is in a "fairer place" now.
  • Arms and Fury need a "hard look." They are happier with the Prot tree.
  • "Arms is supposed to be about weapons and martial training and feel 'soldierly.' Fury is supposed to be about screaming barbarians in woad."
  • They still want to get rid of stance penalties (like increased incoming damage in Berserker) eventually.
  • In the future, Prot warriors will generate more rage through doing damage. Long-term, they need "a better solution to rage generation."
  • "Block needs to be a percentage of damage blocked in order for the stat to do what we want" (though the frequency of block, and avoidance in general, would probably have to come down to compensate).
  • They want tanks to not ignore DPS stats quite so much.
  • Warriors have too much downtime when leveling.
Read on for the full Q&A with Ghostcrawler and friends.

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Filed under: Warrior, News items, Classes

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Leveling Warrior in Wrath

I promise we'll get back to our Ulduar guide for tanks and DPS warriors next week. For this week, however, since we're midway through the sixth month of 2009 and we've seen patches up to 3.1 released (and we're waiting on 3.2) I thought it would be a good idea to go back and cover some of the things a leveling warrior might want discussed. We get emails from all kinds of warriors, and so it's only fair to cover the concerns of warriors who aren't raiding Ulduar but rather just setting foot off of the dock in Howling Fjord.

Before we get started, though, the upcoming Patch 3.2 changes for Warriors in their current entirety: Armored to the Teeth: This talent now provides 1/2/3 attack power per 108 armor, up from per 180 armor. Try not to get too excited, people.

First off, I'm often asked about stats for up-and-coming warriors. We have covered some of these before back in the beta, but the beta was a year ago now and things have been changed and polished. First off, I'm going to link all the posts of interest to a leveling warrior and discuss how they may have changed, and then I'll try and cover some more general advice.
  • Building Up To It covers some target numbers and stats to focus on. I should note that this was written before the changes to Armor Penetration made it much, much better as a DPS stat for warriors: the more ArP you have, the better it is as a DPS stat until you have enough ArP to reduce target armor by 100%.
  • We covered Hit and Expertise in two posts, one for DPS warriors and one for Tanks. The tanking post is still accurate as of 3.1, but the talent changes to Arms and Fury mean that there is currently no talent that reduces chance to dodge for Fury Warriors and Arms has both Strength of Arms for passive expertise and Weapon Mastery.
  • We discussed the dangers of overstacking a stat to the exclusion of other, also necessary stats.
  • Finally, we covered gearing up in a four part post just before Wrath launched Parts one, two, three and four were all published before Wrath itself had actually come out, but they're still reasonably accurate to help your warrior get from 70 to 80, We covered weapons between 70 and 80 too.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 3.1.3 and Ulduar Tips

This week has been a heady one for me: I got my four piece Conqueror's Siegebreaker Battlegear on patch day, which was pretty sweet, and then in our second night of raiding this week we finally killed the big brain slug squid monster himself. Combine that with patch 3.1.3 dropping (which meant we had fun times like an announced server shutdown just as we were about to pull Thorim, leading to the fastest Thorim kill I've ever been on) and all in all, it's been quite a week. Heck, I even got to go prot and get some prot goodies like pants and a belt.

It was a small patch all in all, so I wasn't expecting huge improvement and I didn't see it. I saw a marginal DPS increase as fury (2 to 300 DPS unbuffed, not too much more fully buffed) and I made sure to compare notes with the arms warrior in our raids, and his DPS was very close to my own. We're still below the other hybrids, but not by as great a margin, so that's nice at least. As for the PvP change to Juggernaut, well, it's painful. Before respeccing prot for my secondary spec for good this week I went out on a Wintergrasp jaunt, and I'll probably never do that again.At least with Heroic Fury I can make a choice about how long I will allow someone to kite me to death. To be fair the Juggernaut change isn't really all that bad, but over the years I've played warriors I've moved from prefering arms as my DPS/PvP spec to being a fury warrior so I'm easier to discourage from arms than I used to be.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The strange case of rage generation in 3.1

Since 3.1, DPS warriors (including myself) have been complaining about a lack of rage. To the point where Ghostcrawler himself chimed in recently (in a discussion of the nerf to Titan's Grip and the effect it had on warrior DPS) to inform us that the claim that warrior rage generation was hurt by the changes was a myth created by warriors upset with the nerf.

Now we have the following post by Landsoul. I freely admit this is the kind of math that makes my eyes cross and roll up into my head. But Landsoul's well known as a contributor to the EJ forums and frankly, his math-fu's good enough for me. (I should also mention Hellord, the original poster who saw things were hinky.) What this means is, while it's very possible that yes, the developers took Titan's Grip's decreased damage into account when they were making the changes, there was somehow another change made that cost warriors some rage generation. 25% of it, to be precise.

Bornakk posts later in the thread that they'll take a look "as we didn't make any intended changes recently to rage generation". So the good news is, for warriors, if this change did happen (and again, I'd tend to trust the math from the people behind the best warrior spreadsheets) then it wasn't a deliberate loss of 25% of our rage generation.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Buffs, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: More Ulduar gear

One of the things that keeps messing with my head as we progress into Ulduar is, loot actually drops here. Gear that I want and, even better, that I actually get. I still look back with horror at our weekly Naxx clears and how, every single week, we could kill everything in sight only to have no weapons drop at all. Now, the danger of talking about Ulduar gear is that it keeps changing. Older items get revamped and newer items get discovered. This is the nature of the beast, so to speak, all you can really do is keep going.

As an addendum to last week's post about DPS warriors, I've now switched to fury full time for DPS. My numbers are better now than they were as arms (most likely due to my greater sympathy for the spec and my upgraded dual wield set, 2 Rune Edges) and I'm happier. I do find it somewhat galling that I need two weapons better than a Betrayer of Humanity just to break even with an arms spec that used Sword Specialization, possibly the worst choice for arms DPS in PvE right now. I'm still not quite where I should be in relation to other melee hybrids (after all, their gear is improving too) but once fury gets its incoming buffs I should be very competitive with DK's and Druids and Retribution Paladins. (Now all we need is for shamans to get a health buff.)

Rather than pile on more or changed weapons which we'll probably have to go back and update, this week I figured we'd talk about our Tier 8 sets from 10 and 25 man. We'll begin with the Valorous (10 man) Siegebreaker Battlegear and the Valorous (25 man) Dreadnaught Battlegear, then compare the Conqueror to the 25 Dreadnaught. I'm not going to compare the Heroes Dreadnaught because it's never even a question of an upgrade at that point.

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Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Instances, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Unspecified Warrior damage buffs in the works

The devs have been promising some buffs to warrior DPS for a while, but there haven't been any specifics. Today is no change. There are "buffs planned" for Arms and Fury, but there are no details announced yet. Ghostcrawler does mention that "there is almost no chance of a Titan's Grip change at any time in the near future," so don't hold your breath about that. My guess would be they're simply tired of making changes to that talent.

The only other piece of new information in the post is that the impending DPS buffs "might come with PvP nerfs," since they're seeing a ton of Warriors in the arena right now. The Juggernaut nerf that went live today might address that some, as well. What do you think Blizzard should do to buff warriors in PvE, without making them (more) overpowered in PvP?

Filed under: Warrior

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Warrior DPS Blues

If you've been reading this column over the past few weeks you know I've been threatening to rant about fury DPS being too low. I've stopped myself because I dislike mindless griping and rant posts (I've done them in the past, that doesn't make them any more palatable to me) and I wanted to wait and see how things shook out with better gear.

By now I have some of the best gear you can get before hard modes in 25 man, and my general opinion is that both arms and fury DPS is too low. I linked to that post because, despite the fact that it states that fury and arms will see buffs, it not only has no specifics to offer yet but it also fails to address why such staggering nerfs were implemented in the first place.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Instances, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Forums

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