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Posts with tag crushing-blows

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Mastery, threat decay and Cataclysm tanking

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is about warriors, who hurl themselves into the fray, the very teeth of danger, armed with nothing more than the biggest weapons and armored with the absolutely heaviest armor we can find. Hey, we're not stupid -- we're just crazy.

Last week we talked about tanking and Cataclysm beta patch 13033, which was superseded almost immediately by patch 13066. Hard upon the heels of that comes patch 13117. If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that there will be more beta patches that will bring with them more mechanical changes to the class. But I wanted to take this time to cover a couple of interesting recent posts about the way the class is shaping up.

We'll cover the patch 13117 changes first, the move on.

Arms Obviously a nice little quality of life change but not a major dealmaker, I would think.

Fury
  • Slam now costs 20 rage, up from 15 rage.
  • Bloodthirst now restores 0.5% of max health, down from 1%.
I'm honestly not sure why these changes were made. I guess Bloodsurge was too easy to use? Or it's aimed at arms warriors using Improved Slam in their builds. The Bloodthirst change must be aimed at Field Dressing making it too good.

Protection
Not much to say, other than it's a welcome buff. More would be better, as initial threat is still somewhat wonky (once Vengeance stacks up, it's not a concern, but the initial seconds of a pull can be rough for a warrior without Bloodrage, shouts just aren't making up for the loss of that ability) especially if trying to hold more than one.

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

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, "Wrath," and crushing blows


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the roots of the uproar over the proposed Heart of the Wild nerf, and also ask ourselves if it wouldn't just be easier to reroll a Death Knight and have done with it.

"Why would you title the column this way?" you ask, as you reach for your "Please fire _______ from WoW Insider" form letter. "Crushing blows are out of the game, dipwad."

Well, yes. The crushing blow is technically out of the game, but another and worse mechanic has taken its place.

In this article I'm going to try to explain the source of "shield tank" frustration over health pools -- and why they are correct to see it as a problem -- and the Druid tank's unhappiness over the nerfing of Heart of the Wild -- and why Druids are also correct to see it as a problem.

Why the crushing blow was important

One of the biggest differences between pre-Wrath and Wrath tanking is the absence of the crushing blow. If you're unfamiliar with the term, then as a very simple explanation: any given raid boss had a 15% chance per melee hit to perform a 150% damage attack, which was also known as the crushing blow. It was typically a big damage spike and could lead to a wipe on progression content, with healers struggling to compensate in the small window of time before the boss' next attack landed. Burst damage is very unwelcome as it's often the greatest contributing factor to tank death. This is why reaching crit immunity is still so important to all tanks, and why the ability to avoid or absorb crushing blows was a fundamental part of pre-Wrath tanking mechanics.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Shifting Perspectives: Dealing with Crushing Blows

Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives is supposed to explore issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week John Patricelli, the Big Bear Butt Blogger, does what no one seems to want, and discusses playing a druid in the game as it is still known, rather than the expansion that is still two months away. Although it is likely Wrath of the Lich King will worm it's way in somehow.

I'd like to take a minute to talk about a mechanic that has defined the Feral Druid tanking philosophy, even though you might not know it.

I'm talking here about Crushing Blows.

A Crushing Blow is an attack made only by NPCs that does 150% of normal attack damage.

A Crushing Blow can happen if the NPC you are fighting has a base weapon skill 15 or more points higher than your base defense skill. Base defense skill is the only thing that counts towards the chance of a Crushing Blow; Defense Rating and Expertise are of no help whatsoever.

At level 70, if you are fully trained up, your defense and weapon skills should be 350 each.

Raid Bosses are level 73. They have 365 weapon skill. That's 15 weapon skill points higher than your possible defense.

Do you see the connection, my friends? If you are main tanking a raid boss that is level 73, then you are susceptible to Crushing Blows

As you might expect, tanks wish to know how to avoid taking these suddenly massive chunks of damage, if at all possible.

You may have heard before that Paladins and Warriors can "push Crushing Blows off the table", but you might not know what that means, exactly.

What kind of table is it? A nice mahogany? Teak? Perhaps inlaid parquet? Are they pushed off the table vigorously, so that they clatter all over the floor?

You may also have heard that having your attacks Parried by a raid boss can cause BAD THINGS to happen, especially if you can suffer from Crushing Blows.

Well, let's talk about this whole thing a little more after the break, shall we?

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Features, Bosses, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Bear armor woes in Wrath to be addressed

You may recall a while back that we covered the problem with bear tanks in Wrath of the Lich King. In short, the new shared gear itemization between Rogues and Feral Druids is leaving bear Druids incredibly starved for armor and stamina. Extra stamina and armor is wasted on rogues, but is mandatory for Bears. Bears, therefore, have suffered.

Ghostcrawler has now let us know that the dev team has noticed the problem. The justification, of course, is as usual: They want less useless stuff to drop. Ideally, itemization should be tight enough that there is a high chance of people getting stuff they can use off a boss, even if that means 12 other people in the raid can use it as well.

Filed under: Druid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show Episode 49: Death Knights picking Peacebloom

The latest episode of our podcast is now up for listening over on WoW Radio, and in there, Daniel "BigRedKitty" Howell, Duncor the Dependable and I all break down the Wrath beta at length, talking about what we're most excited about (and what you're most excited about, too).
And of course we answered your emails -- if you have a question, comment, or insight on the show, you can email us at theshow@wow.com, and you could even hear your email on the next show.

Which is going to be a good one, by the way -- as you may have noticed, next weekend is our 50th show, so we'll have to do something fun. More singing? Giveaways? Drinking by the host? You'll have to tune in and see. As always, enjoy the show and we'll see you next week.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Humor, Leveling, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

Crushing blows (mostly) removed in Wrath as raiding changes

I'd be smiling in glee if I could figure out how to close my mouth. We've known for a while that the developers have wanted to remove crushing blows, but now it looks like they're starting the process for good: Ghostcrawler has confirmed that crushing blows will now occur only when a mob is 4 levels above you, rather than 3. Since "Boss" mobs are automatically 3 levels above the max level, that means that if you're running level appropriate content, you should no longer have to worry about crushing blows at all.

As Ghostcrawler explains it, crushing blows were originally meant to discourage you from attacking high level mobs and to make bosses more challenging. Now, they serve only the former purpose, and Blizzard is working on other ways to make bosses challenging without making them so random.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Bosses, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Sunwell Radiance, nerf or band-aid?

The Dungeons and Raids forum has been discussion the existence of an interesting buff in the Sunwell Plateau. The Sunwell Radiance, an invisible buff that everything in the 25-man raid dungeon seems to have, is ticking off quite a few people. What this buff does, is it gives the mob/boss an additional 5% To Hit, and reduces your chance to dodge their attacks by 20%.

This existence of this buff was hotly debated at first, but analysis of boss attempts and long nights of fighting in the Plateau have mostly proven it to be true. There are a few theories as to why this buff exists, the most likely being that it is a band-aid on a gearing issue as they move away from Crushing Blows. As far as I know, nothing in the raid dungeon can land a Crush. If I understand Druid tank mechanics correctly(and there's a chance I don't), removing Crushing Blows would make them nearly unbreakable. However, removing Crushing Blows and implementing this buff is decent enough way to put a band-aid on something they want to move away from before they're able to make sweeping changes in Wrath of the Lich King. There's a net increase in damage taken, but it isn't as massive as it sounds. Bosses are still being killed.

If you're interested in this little(big) buff(nerf?), take a look behind the cut!
Patch 2.4 sounds great, but what's in it for you? Find out on our Sunwell Isle page where we list the impact on classes, professions, PvP, Raiders and many other playstyles and interests including walkthroughs on the new Sunwell Daily Quests. Looking for more great info? Check out the WoW Insider Directory for the best of our guides and analysis.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, NPCs, Death Knight

A small defense skill change in 2.4 could herald larger things

Bear tank approves of no more crushing blows.It seems like a small change, but it could be the herald of something larger. It's a change to the way the defense skill is described in-game in patch 2.4, as reported by World of Raids. I'll let them describe it:

* Old value: Higher defense makes you harder to hit and makes monsters less likely to land a crushing blow.

* New value: Higher defense improves your chance to dodge, parry, and block attacks, makes you harder to hit, and makes monsters less likely to land a critical strike against you.

So what does this mean? They've added things that have always been part of the skill, but have not been explicitly mentioned on the defense tab before, but what's most intriguing is what they've taken away.

I'll explain after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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