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Posts with tag critical-strike

The future of itemization

I've written long, eloquent defenses of reforging. And this week, I finally snapped. The fact that I have to reforge between my arms spec and my fury spec (and not just reforge, but regem) has finally broken me. I now take it all back - reforging sucks. It compensates for things that are flaws in the modern game, but I no longer find that charming. I just find it irritating that those faults exist and that we have a means to wallpaper over them doesn't change the fact that they exist.

In a way, my relationship with reforging mirrors my relationship with the old tanking scheme that existed before Mists of Pandaria - I knew there were flaws with threat generation, but I'd grown familiar with them. I understood that they were there and how to circumvent them. In the modern game, there are significant flaws with itemization, and reforging is that means to circumvent them, so I've been a big booster of and supporter of it ever since it was introduced back in Cataclysm. But I was wrong. Using reforging to sandpaper down the jagged edges where gear doesn't meet our needs doesn't change the fact that gear doesn't meet our needs - it merely conceals those edges.

We know that we're going to have two new stats - multistrike and readiness - in addition to critical strike, haste and mastery. None of these are caps in the same way that hit or expertise are (soon to be were) - we'll see how they work, but we already know some talents will affect them or be affected by them, like the upcoming Anger Management talent for warriors. So what I'm wondering is, are we finally going to see a situation where there's enough gear with stats individual classes want that we don't need a system to make up for gear's shortcomings? Or are we just going to have to make the best of bad itemization again, like we did back in Wrath?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Lichborne: Common death knight questions in patch 5.4

Lichborne Common Death Knight questions in patch 54
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With patch 5.4 well underway, we're to the point where we can make some solid observations on the state of the class and take a look at what matters to death knights in this raiding tier. This week's column will attempt to answer some basic questions I've seen floating around the web from death knights about some of the basic realities of patch 5.4.

How are death knights in PvE?

Death knights, simply put, are doing pretty well. We're upper-middle of the pack DPS wise, which is a solidly comfortable place to be, and so far, there haven't been any hot fixes to change that. Frost is still edging out unholy on DPS for most fights, but unholy is close enough that you should be able to spec into it without being too much of a drain on your raid.

Death knight tanks are doing well, especially with a fix that allows Purgatory to "stack" with the legendary tank cloak proc. Assuming you have adequate stamina, mastery is still our best stat for survival, but Riposte ensures that if you need more threat, you can add some avoidance and get good DPS without sacrificing as much survivability as you otherwise would.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Blood Pact: Warlock stats and set bonuses in patch 5.4

Blood Pact Warlock stats in patch 54 MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill gets cleansed of disease and starts on a new rivalry.

*cough* *cough* *haaaaaack* Megan coughs violently into a clutch of raggy, mucused-up robes.

It's all good. I'm going to survive. The healers haven't cleansed me since that last time I dropped the Gateway still inside the windstorm, so I'm stuck to my cookie cooldown. I really don't blame them for that. But, I gotta say it was worth a little cough to see all the melee drop dead like that. Don't worry, I'm not cursed or anyth--

What is that. No -- THAT. Who the ... You guys let a mage in here?!

Well. *Megan steeples her fingers.* No matter. Warlocks are still better than those muffinmakers in patch 5.4.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne: The problem with Killing Machine and DPS stat weights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With patch 5.4 coming along on the PTR, one thing that came into my brain as I reviewed the latest changes is thinking about what death knight issues weren't addressed, in this patch or others. Some class changes in this patch are inevitable, because you do want all classes to have a good experience and be well balanced going into the final raid of the expansion, the shining centerpiece of it all. At the same time, though, there's still problems, problems that may not be addressed until patch 6.0, if at all. Today, we're going to discuss one of those problems, namely, Killing Machine, and the deeper flaws it may magnify in the current frost death knight stat priority.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: DPS stats for tanking death knights

Lichborne DPS stats for tanking death knights
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

So Rossi bought this up in his last column, and I feel like it is a valid question. If haste is a valid gearing strategy for Paladins, why shouldn't it be for the other tanks? The idea of haste and critical strike as being valid, even desirable stats for a tank seems almost anathema, but as of Mists, especially, it's worth a look. Paladins even have a gearing strategy built around haste. Are they the only ones? Should death knights be considering haste and critical strike rating? Should Blizzard be looking at ways to make haste and critical strike rating more desirable for tanks? We'll consider those questions this week.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Itemization Concerns

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Itemization Concerns
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 admit the title is a fancy way for me to say I want to talk about a bunch of stuff, all related to warriors without dedicating the entire column to one of the topics. These things I want to discuss include:
  1. The ridiculous dependence on crit to the exclusion of pretty much all other DPS stats for fury.
  2. Warrior tank threat/DPS and how it holds back the class.
  3. The ridiculous amount of hit on Throne of Thunder gear.
  4. Why I'm still annoyed that haste does nothing for protection warriors.
I know I've been flogging that haste for protection horse for a while, but it just irks me to see two of the plate classes getting solid use out of haste/expertise or haste/mastery gear for their tank sets and we get nothing. Considering point #2 for warrior tanks (namely, that our DPS and thus threat is just way behind the other tanks) I find it absolutely maddening to see haste be so completely useless for protection warriors. It doesn't give us resources at all, due to the way rage regenerates in Defensive Stance - it doesn't even help us with our rage generators like Shield Slam and Revenge because haste does nothing for our GCD. I took a pair of haste legs for my tank set recently (they were still a huge upgrade, that's how bad my old tank legs were) and every time I look at that haste on them, and know I can't reforge all of it away, I get this lump in my gut where the snarky itemization elitist in me says haste? Really?

I hate that guy. I hate him even more because I know he's right. Haste has no business on my tanking gear because haste does nothing for a warrior tank. Nothing. We don't even generate rage from our autoattacks, so the miniscule increase in attack speed doesn't even avail us.

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

Blood Pact: Find greater knowledge in elites' tricks

Blood Pact Exploring off the tricks of the elite MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill finally landed a heroic-mode soulwell this Ji-Kun kill.

Every time we hit Ji-Kun, I try to place a soulwell mid-air. There isn't any performance-breaking reason to do this other than pure amusement as raidmates try to "grab the cookie from my jar, young grasshopper." But it's possibly my favorite use of KJC so far.

This isn't an trick that requires super skill. Mostly, it's whether or not you can time your cast, your latency, and the wind that grabs you off Gastropod Boulevard.

But what I do like to do sometimes is watch elite players from the top guilds in the world do fights in a crazy or simply slightly different way. Usually this involves watching a lot of soloing videos: e.g, Spygnesy, who just uploaded a warlock solo of Ragnaros in Firelands. But when it comes to minor tips for huge meter wrecking, I love watching Sparkuggz of play.

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Blood Pact: The chaotic influence of haste

Blood Pact The chaotic influence of haste MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill may play affliction in-game, but really she's a destro 'lock IRL.

I'm starting to dislike hit rating again. Previously, with reforging, it was totally possible to sit there with 14.96%, 14.97%, 14.98%, 14.99%, or the occasional rare times I nearly hit fifteen-even, just off by a mere handful of rating points. Now, with the huge amounts of stats on our gear, I feel like we're approaching Wrath-era hit rating juggling, where a new piece means you're way under hit cap or way over hit cap.

This is not a fun stat balancing. Hit is coming back around to the pre-reforge era where it it's actually irritating to balance, not just annoying.

But I don't want to talk about spell hit this time. I want to talk about the very-coolness of haste.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne: The effect of the new stat changes on death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

We're still a couple of weeks away from the dam burst that is the Mists of Pandaria press event, but in the meantime, Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has posted a new Dev Watercooler. He listed some stat changes coming in Mists that, while ostensibly not as complicated as those in Wrath, still hold some interesting and possibly major implications for class balance in the coming expansion. Let's dive right in and see what they mean for death knights.

Blocking takes a week

While it doesn't directly affect us, the blocking changes will certainly shake up the tanking hierarchy that we're a part of, so it's worth pointing out that the usual single roll combat table for dodging, parrying, or blocking a hit is gone. Instead, the chance to block will be calculated only after the dodge and parry chance is calculated. This essentially means that being unhittable is gone. You can't just stack to 102.4%. Of course, death knights and druids have never been able to do this, but they will now be joined by the shield tanks.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Light and How to Swing It: Examining secondary stats for holy paladins

haste
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Despite any arguments to the contrary, I don't feel that spirit is a true secondary stat. I know you can reforge in and out of it and that it's not as ubiquitous as intellect, but it's actually closer to being our fifth primary stat. In Mists of Pandaria, intellect will no longer grant additional mana, making spirit the only game in town for improving longevity. Because of the way holy paladins function with the new Judgements of the Pure regeneration mechanic, spirit has gone from a good choice to a must-have stat.

When we start talking about the true secondary stats, we realize that there's a lot of baggage here. Haste rating was the de facto champion due to its ability to affect all of our heals, critical strike rating was avoided after the removal of Illumination, and our master rating has gone through more iterations than any other spell in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Lichborne: BlizzCon cause and effect for death knights in patch 4.3

darkmoon arena
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

So the past few weeks have actually been pretty exciting for death knights. We saw a lot of new info come out of BlizzCon, including getting a couple long-standing questions answered with new updates to the patch 4.3 PTR. Today, we'll cover the basics of what we discussed with the devs at BlizzCon and see what fruit those discussions have borne on the PTR itself.

Bloody questions

One of the first questions asked at the Class Q&A on BlizzCon 2011 day two was more of a laundry list of blood death knight grievances, such as our issues with spike damage and with avoidance working against mastery. While we have gotten a good bit of dev love on the forums on these beefs, it was actually pretty nice to see it answered candidly on stage, if only to see a dev give an on-the-spot, straight-up answer.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Spiritual Guidance: Further changes on Patch 4.2 PTR to consider

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen tries to go back to the future -- or the past, or something. Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

It's been another exciting week for healing priests who have their sight focused on patch 4.2 and the next raiding tier. First, Blizzard announced that it was going to go ahead with its plan to change how critical heals worked. Previously, Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) explained that the developers were looking to increase the value of crit for healers, since most classes were ignoring it in favor of other stats. Now that they've gone ahead with their plans, we'll need to examine the impact this will have on discipline and holy priests.

But before we do that, we have to look at the most exciting news for priests this past week: Our set bonuses got changed! If you missed it, last Thursday Zarhym hopped on the forums and announced that the developers had made some changes to the set bonuses of several classes. Priests were, of course, on that list.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

The Light and How to Swing It: Illuminating holy paladin stats

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Intellect has been our best stat for quite some time, and Cataclysm has only reinforced that. We get spellpower, mana, and critical strike chance from every point of intellect, which makes it valuable for every aspect of holy paladin play. We want to gem for intellect, enchant for intellect, use intellect consumables like Severed Sagefish Head and the Flask of the Draconic Mind. All of our spells scale off of spellpower, which makes it an amazing throughput stat. The fact that it gives us critical strike rating is just icing on the cake.

Divine Plea's mana regeneration scales off of our maximum mana, and so stacking intellect gives us both mana at the start of the fight and then additional mana every time we use Divine Plea. My only advice is to be sure to use all plate gear, as we receive a 5% intellect bonus when wearing all plate. Mail caster gear may seem attractive, but the intellect loss isn't worth it. Intellect is designed to be our best stat, and that's why we can find it on all of our gear. Even if you hated intellect, you can't get rid of it. The real gearing decisions come down to choices between the secondary stats.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Encrypted Text: Dissecting rogue stats

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any article suggestions!

Do you remember when armor penetration was all the rage? While combat rogues lusted after all the ArP as they could get their hands on, the other physical DPS classes shared the same desire. I forgave all of the feral druids who asked for the leather gear with armor penetration on it; I know we have to share the agility-based leather gear with our furry friends. I didn't put my foot down until hunters, warriors, and even death knights started rolling on our stuff. While having such a powerful stat allowed us to scale competitively, it also created a massive amount of gear competition.

Blizzard's developers decided to end armor penetration's reign as the top stat and actually named a successor to the throne -- agility. Agility is now a rogue's best stat, and since it's always on our gear, we never have to worry about whether we'll see it or not. The plate DPS classes now only want strength, and so our precious leather is safe from their clutches. The stat redesign also shifted the balance of power between the other secondary stats, and we saw several stat functions changed as well.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Encrypted Text: Slicing up hit and expertise for Cataclysm rogues


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me, especially if you've been playing subtlety lately!

I love hit and expertise. While their mechanics and nuances can be complicated, I enjoy the diversity they bring to our gear options. We have stats like critical strike chance, which give us a chance to hit harder; haste, which lets us hit more often; and of course, hit and expertise, which let us hit our targets more often. The interaction between all of these different gear stats is one of the most interesting parts of theorycrafting for me. Think about it, would you really enjoy picking gear if you were just choosing between haste, mastery, and crit?

Unfortunately for us, hit and expertise are also our only two remaining stats with tangible caps on their potency. While we were able to cap out on critical strike chance and armor penetration in the past, one of those stats has been rebalanced and the other completely removed. Because of the caps in place, hit and expertise's value drops off immediately after reaching that golden value, and so we're left always keeping those caps in mind.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

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