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In-Depth Arms DPS Discussion

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I think with Arms vs Fury Whirlwind comparisons you're trying to compare apples and oranges slightly. Given the high priority of Overpower in an Arms PVE cycle, why bother with switching to Beserker Stance, whirlwinding and then swapping back to Battle Stance, with all the associated delays therein?

Given Tankietka's cycle above (with added imp. slam goodness), Whirlwind is pretty irrelevant.

Which raises a related (slightly noobish perhaps) question: what are the best Glyphs for Arms PVE DPS? The Sweeping Strikes Rage generation one is obvious. But apart from that? I've noticed Warrior Glyph availability seems to be aimed mainly for Fury and Protection trees.

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Well, i have not tried fury yet; however, i love arms dps. I average 2400 on single target bosses(assuming i have wf and full buffs). Meanwhile I murder trash. I have not lost dps meters in a 10 man raid. As far as 5 mans go, I average 2100 give or take. Id like to hear what other warriors are pushing as dps.

As far as rotation, its simply a priority list based on how much rage, percent of enemy life, and how long on cool downs. I personally believe, MS above everything else. Any thoughts...

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n other words - Arms warrior should not in my opinion stick to one predefined rotation without further thinking, rather decide on the fly what to use and in what order. Of course some general rules or "precalculated" priority lists for some situations (ie use Execute before Slam if under/above x rage) can be used, but sticking mindlessly to one is not good.

...

Due to the above I think there won't be one rotation for all Arms warriors. Rather guidelines for given gear level, some general priority lists, some rage sweet points etc.

With a pull with 4+ mobs, whirlwind will beat overpower any day.

Anyway, Glyph of execute is an obvious glyph for arms warriors. I personally chose the Whirlwind glyph and Rend glyph after that (I usually pop SS right before bladestorm, so I end up getting rage from my autoattacks anyway). However, if whirlwind glyph doesn't work with bladestorm, I would have to re-think which glyph to take.

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I think with Arms vs Fury Whirlwind comparisons you're trying to compare apples and oranges slightly. Given the high priority of Overpower in an Arms PVE cycle, why bother with switching to Beserker Stance, whirlwinding and then swapping back to Battle Stance, with all the associated delays therein?

Given Tankietka's cycle above (with added imp. slam goodness), Whirlwind is pretty irrelevant.

Which raises a related (slightly noobish perhaps) question: what are the best Glyphs for Arms PVE DPS? The Sweeping Strikes Rage generation one is obvious. But apart from that? I've noticed Warrior Glyph availability seems to be aimed mainly for Fury and Protection trees.

The point about Whirlwind is for trash which is, admittedly, a bit of a sidetrack. You should never be switching stances during boss encounters for Overpowers or Whirlwinds regardless of your spec.

As far as Glyphs I would have thought the obvious choices were Mortal Strike, Execute, and Rend. Sweeping Strikes has almost no use on bosses. You're not going to get parried so Overpower has no use. The Rend Glyph, I thought, would free up a little global cooldown time so you don't have to babysit the bleed refresh so constantly. Am I off base?

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I think with Arms vs Fury Whirlwind comparisons you're trying to compare apples and oranges slightly. Given the high priority of Overpower in an Arms PVE cycle, why bother with switching to Beserker Stance, whirlwinding and then swapping back to Battle Stance, with all the associated delays therein?

Given Tankietka's cycle above (with added imp. slam goodness), Whirlwind is pretty irrelevant.

Which raises a related (slightly noobish perhaps) question: what are the best Glyphs for Arms PVE DPS? The Sweeping Strikes Rage generation one is obvious. But apart from that? I've noticed Warrior Glyph availability seems to be aimed mainly for Fury and Protection trees.

I currently use Glyph of Mortal Strike (10% more damage, reduces healing debuff), Glyph of Execute, and Glyph of Sweeping Strikes.

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I don't have the gear to test it out myself, is dual wield arms still a valid build, or was that simply a glitch in the matrix, so to speak?

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The point about Whirlwind is for trash which is, admittedly, a bit of a sidetrack. You should never be switching stances during boss encounters for Overpowers or Whirlwinds regardless of your spec.

As far as Glyphs I would have thought the obvious choices were Mortal Strike, Execute, and Rend. Sweeping Strikes has almost no use on bosses. You're not going to get parried so Overpower has no use. The Rend Glyph, I thought, would free up a little global cooldown time so you don't have to babysit the bleed refresh so constantly. Am I off base?

Yeah, you're right, those are the ideal PVE DPS glyphs. I forgot about MS since I pvp often and I don't have it in me to lose the healing debuff.

I don't have the gear to test it out myself, is dual wield arms still a valid build, or was that simply a glitch in the matrix, so to speak?

It's a really hard spec to gear and spec for. You would have to forego all rend damage (weapons too fast for it any good), and obviously Mortal Strike damage would be gimped. If you get Wrecking Crew/Bladestorm, you would need to make up the hit% loss with gear. Your AOE damage would be miniscule. All your damage would be dependent upon a random proc off Sudden Death, so there would be no reliable damage.

I would say it would not be a viable spec.

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The point about Whirlwind is for trash which is, admittedly, a bit of a sidetrack. You should never be switching stances during boss encounters for Overpowers or Whirlwinds regardless of your spec.

As far as Glyphs I would have thought the obvious choices were Mortal Strike, Execute, and Rend. Sweeping Strikes has almost no use on bosses. You're not going to get parried so Overpower has no use. The Rend Glyph, I thought, would free up a little global cooldown time so you don't have to babysit the bleed refresh so constantly. Am I off base?

To be honest, the Rend glyph is better, but I think both the Rend and Sweeping Strikes glyphs aren't worthy of a major glyph slot.

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As far as Glyphs I would have thought the obvious choices were Mortal Strike, Execute, and Rend.

Definately, I used Sweeping Strikes + Execute to level but as soon as an inscriptor got MS I jumped on that over SS and picked up Rend at 80.

Slightly disappointed with my DPS atm, only pulling 3.2kish on Patchwerk (25th Nov, 26th Nov). Obvious problem number one is I'm dying at above 10% on both kills, one was completely my fault I let my HP hit max without dipping into the goo, the other one atleast one OT died and being a warrior suffering from the joy of plate, more Stam yay, I was first DPS on the chopping block. I don't think I'm doing completely horribly, those numbers would be slightly higher if I'd survived to the end of the fight but wondering if there are any mind numbing mistakes people can see? Hoping for a decent increase this coming reset as I got a few upgrades after the first day PW kill, [iTEM]40384[/iTEM] > [iTEM]37852[/iTEM].

Is dancing to Berserker viable even to put Recklessness on CD for 3 crit executes <20% or to get Deep Wounds ticking nicely with gauranteed Bladestorm crits at the begining of a fight?

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Before I started doing 25 mans in WOTLK I decided I'd switch to Arms, on my quest to find a "rotation" I found the following: It's a little different than what Furrymaker & Tankietka mentioned.

I follow these rules:

1. Rend, refresh when it's about to fade.

2. Slam spam when <45 rage.

3. >45 rage, MS.

4. Overpower proc, do that.

5. Execute proc, do that.

6. Bladestorm on every CD.

The reason behind #3 is that MS is less dmg vs the rage needed to use it compared to slam.

It seems to work well for me. I got a few WWS for comparison purpose, 3.8K Patchwerk 4.7K Loatheb

Also, as Arms with Overpower being in our "rotation", shouldn't having the least amount of Expertise possible be best ? Has anyone done the math on that ?

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I do what Yabanjin has listed instinctively, and it has worked rather well for me. The only difference is in execute range I try to use overpower, mortal strike, or slam as a white hit lands and the execute following right after, just before the next white hits, so i do not miss a gcd.

I use the whirlwind glyph, and i can confirm it does indeed work with bladestorm. MSBT tells me how many targets i'm hitting next to the damage, and it accurately shows the damage with 5 hits in mob groups larger than 4.

Arms seems to have an unfavorable public opinion on its dps competitiveness, but I top the meters in a very competitive guild. I attribute successful arms dps to perfect global cooldown usage. There should never be a time in which your gcd is waiting for your next white hit due to using skills at an inopportune moment, or due to not gearing correctly and having a swing miss or dodge.

I haven't done any math, but as counter-intuitive as it may seem to aim for the expertise soft cap (in T7+ gear levels) because it will lower Overpower usage, the potential dps loses from early bladestorm dodges (where the 5 second overpower buff may fade before out of bladestorm) and melee swing dodges are far to great.

the person that used to collect and put up our meters quit recently, so i'll post up some WWS as soon as I get them.

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i'm pretty sure a dodged MS/slam/execute is wasted DPS, since you have to spend an extra GCD to OP. I do think we suffer the least for getting a dodge compared to every other melee class. Expertise is definately not going to lower our DPS though. 1 Slam + 1 Slam > 1 missed Slam + 1 OP

I'm also curious, anyone working on a spreadsheet? Would love to see one :D

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This is exactly the topic I was looking for. There is a lot of discussion over the rotation, but what about stats? What is the hit cap for an Arm's warrior and is that cap different than Fury? I would assume so because there is no -hit penaltly in Arms. Another poster mentioned minimize your Expertise, which totally makes sense because of Overpower. What is the Expertise cap? Is it just a mix of Hit, Strength, and Crit then? What about Haste? It almost seems like if you went Axe spec that Crit/Agility would be a good stat and if you go Swords, then Haste for the SS proc.

Talents

Sudden Death: I've seen a lot of talk about this being good / bad. Is it wise to dump your rage like that early in a boss encounter? I've never raided as Arms, just Prot, so I'm not sure of the rage generation.

Wrecking Crew and Trauma: It sounds like these apply to the entire raid. If this is true, it sounds like having an Arms warrior in the raid has great utility. Also regarding Wrecking Crew, depending on how you place your talent points you can pick-up Death Wish if you only put 4/5 into Wrecking Crew. I'm not sure what the DPS difference is between the two, but at a glance it seems that Death Wish would be more useful in an encounter with an Enrage timer.

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Talents

I'm pretty sure Deatwish and Wrecking Crew don't stack (at least last time I tried was last build on PTR before expansion came out). So no, a xx/21 build isnt viable if you plan to replace Bladestorm.

Mechanics

Rotation is not really a rotation as many noticed, but rather a "use on opportunity" style.

If you have both Execute and Overpower up always prioritize exe, since after it you'll still have 10 rage spare, and I found more worth to use exe AFTER Mortal Strike but just if MS was up.

During short fights like trash pulls you can either swap to bers stance or stand in battle rending more than a target and then using BS/TC (thunderclap does good damage if there are 5+ mobs since there is not anymore a target limit), isnt worth putting points in imp TC anyway.

The priority list is more related to what you do have on cd. Slam is simply a filler for when you have rage and nothing procced. MS>Execute>Op>Rend>Slam and i try to refresh rend after an Exe or when MS is on cd.

A swing timer can be helpful to check WHEN you'll be getting next hit (=next rage income), especially when you have to choose between MS and Exe if both are up.

I don't agree that expertise isn't necessary cause I wouldn't trade a miss on execute/MS nor slam or white damage to get an overpower since it's still a reduction in dps and a waste of gcd.

Stats

As stats I found hit/expertise as close to cap as possible then stack Crit especialy if you wear an axe.

Strenght and ArP are close in values, but str scales linearly while ArP still have small increasing returns.

Haste is the only way to slightly increase SD procs. Not much overall but a faster rage generation can help filling the gcds, and it is multiplied by BF bonus and wf/bl so its value in raid is a bit higher than unbuffed.

Also if you are able to use every gcd you maximize your hit ratio and have more chances to proc sudden death.

Gear

Itemization is still for entry level raids, so few stats and high values, too much stamina and few sockets. The ilvl is not always the thing to consider.

Leather still has some very good upgrades compared to plate due to this spreading of stats (hit, crit, haste, arp, agi, pure ap and less stamina), attt gives some more ap on plate, but in therms of raw dps this favour furys over arms (or dualwielders in general).

I think the more the itemization grows the bigger will be the gap that will make us prefer leather over plate, actually is not a big gap anyway.

Conclusions

Overall Fury does more damage than Arms generally, but arms can do insane damage if you get good luck: chain exe+op procs, lucky crits etc.

RNG plays an important role since for the same fight i noticed a difference of more then 10% damage between 2 identical attempts.

Arms probably need more procs with internal cooldow (maybe 30% chance on any bleed damage and less reduction from unrelenting assault, or a 15% chance for SD) since latest changes to TG yellow penalty definetly put fury up by a quite noticeable margin.

Warriors in general are doing very good dps, sometimes hunters and rogues can come close, but ranged can only beat you on situational fights where you have to abandon melee spots.

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ebs2002, who is also on this forums, wrote a spreadsheet to evaluate when to execute.

It seems he did not update it with lvl 80 ratings, rage conversion, etc. so i took the few minutes to do so.

ArmDPS_lvl80.xls - FileFront.com

Some words from the author:

WotLK talent Preview/Discussion

I also added Overpower to the sheet, and im of the opionion that 20% glance-chance is not the right number.

As far as i know it's 25%. Correct me if i'm wrong.

I did not find any other mistakes.

Note: This is not a dps-spreadsheet. It only calculates dmg/rage-values and rage-sweetspots for execute.

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Arms spec + Rending, MS and Execute glyphs - is there a better spec' then that ? Theres a point in booming voice that can go in piercing howl if you prefer.

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It seems Arms has become the absolute most difficult raid tree possible, or so is my impression. I've been playing Arms pre-WotLK and I'm familiar with the old Slam and DST-HS Spec but currently I have more questions than ever.

I figured out 3 possible specs for Arms right now:

54/17/0 Going down fury for Imp. Execute

50/21/0 Going down fury for Deathwish

53/10/8 Going down prot for 15% Crit on HS

The first spec is probably the easiest and the most standard spec most people play.

The second is going more for the Bloodlust+Haste+Deahwish rotation.

The third would be the new DST-HS spec in which you use the Heroic Strike glyph to gain 10 rage everytime you crit, combined with new haste trinkets, with the prot spec for 15% crit on HS and a sword spec you would focus more on HS for rage burning.

I've been only able to try the last spec, eventhough I don't even have a sword, and I was able to get decent dps with it. 3.1k on Patchwerk. I was also only doing the old Slam, MS, Rend and so on rotation with it. I could, however, really imagine that the 53/10/8 is going to be the new "dummy" spec since it is rather easy to play. Most people went for the DST-HS spec in BC because you didn't have so many problems while running and I can see this problem comming back in Naxx, just try dpsing Grobbulus with a Slam rotation. Another thing is that HS got a HUGE boost in dps, eventhough it is a next hit attack the damage on it is almost twice as high as on Slam. Slam gains a damage bonus of 250 and Heroic Strike a damage bonus of 495, it would be even more powerfull if you could daze bosses. HS is also slightly above MS, which was not the case during BC, so using HS now should become more popular and possibly more effective.

In terms of stats I personally think that strenght is the way to go since it benefits your offensive as your defensive stats. Strenght results in a high block value and helps you survive the most when you have to off-tank something in an emergency. The other thing is that strenght stacks with almost everything Rend and neither Deep Wounds gain a dps boost from haste, crit or expertise. However, you do need a good ammount of crit to gain Deep Wounds up. Hit and expertise should be plenty on T7 so you shouldn't have to socket gems for it. Armor penetration is another mystery. Should you gem armor penetration? I don't know to be honest at this point.

The last thing that I want to share is a small piece of advice for tanking with Arms. If you have skilled Unrelenting Assault try using a glyph of Revenge. The glyph makes your next HS free of cost after you have used Revenge, this combined with the fact that you have a 1 second cd on Revenge makes threat generation easy as pie. Just make a macro with Revenge and Heroic Strike and spam it like crazy.

I'll post again when I get more numbers on the specs and when I finally get a new weapon.

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Thanks, Larsiak, for updating the "When to Execute" spreadsheet. One thing that needs to be changed, though, is the "Boss Armor" value should be defaulted at 16000 (the 6k in the sheet is way too low for WotLK bosses).

Making just that change to the sheet (I'm not sure which weapon you put in that does 507-761dmg with 3.4 swing time), the arms rotation in a limited rage scenario is:

Overpower every time it's up

MS on cooldown

Slam otherwise

If Sudden Death is up:

If MS is on cooldown and rage is over 88, slam

If MS is on cooldown and rage is under 88, execute

If MS is available and rage is over 70, MS

If MS is available and rage is under 70, Execute

If you're in an unlimited rage situation, then you should prioritize:

Execute > MS > OP > Slam

(Note: OP may move above MS as we factor in deep wounds damage from that crit; it's the one thing I haven't factored into my sheet).

I'm going to continue supporting this spreadsheet as time at work frees up, if people are still interested in the aid it provides to arms rotations.

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Is there any changes to mechanism of overpower? I haven't played much but in pre-wrath, you lose the rage for changing stance to battle in order to overpower. Was there any change to that? It seems very wasteful of rage if you try to use the overpower proc.

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A lot has changed since then. You no longer sit in zerker stance to dps as arms. You stay in battle stance and use rend/overpower, plus of course MS/Execute/Slam. In pve there are very few times where you need to be in zerker. The only times I could think of would be if you were in a fight where you had to be able to interrupt, but most of the time you have other classes who can take care of that.

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Is Execute spam sub 20% higher DPS than keeping with the normal arms rotation? If so, its safe to say that zerker stance is the only stance to be in sub 20%.

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Is Execute spam sub 20% higher DPS than keeping with the normal arms rotation? If so, its safe to say that zerker stance is the only stance to be in sub 20%.

This brings up an interesting point. Non Sudden Death Executes will be eating up rage, and Arms has just as spiky rage generation as ever with a single, slow two-handed weapon. The fact is you may not be able to Execute every global cooldown. Do people still consider breaking out two faster one handers for execute spam, or does the reduction to your Deep Wounds make it too cost prohibitive?

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Making just that change to the sheet (I'm not sure which weapon you put in that does 507-761dmg with 3.4 swing time), the arms rotation in a limited rage scenario is:

Overpower every time it's up

MS on cooldown

Slam otherwise

If Sudden Death is up:

If MS is on cooldown and rage is over 88, slam

If MS is on cooldown and rage is under 88, execute

If MS is available and rage is over 70, MS

If MS is available and rage is under 70, Execute

Before taking it as granted, note that this only tries to optimize locally, without taking look from a wider perspective.

For example, assume we have 60 rage after white swing and SD is up. According to the above we should always use Execute at this point. And then wait for 2-3s (depending on haste and buffs) doing nothing for next white swing and rage.

Knowing we have few seconds till next white swing it would rather be better to use our available GCDs for other damaging abilties not just dumping 50 rage into not-so-effective Execute part. In this case, it would be better to use MS first and THEN Execute. We loose 30*38=1140 damage from Execute getting MS damage intstead. If enough time is left till next swing we can even think about MS+Slam+Execute combo. Note also that more attacks mean chance for more DeepWounds, so generally it should be better to maximize the use of GCDs.

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Before taking it as granted, note that this only tries to optimize locally, without taking look from a wider perspective.

For example, assume we have 60 rage after white swing and SD is up. According to the above we should always use Execute at this point. And then wait for 2-3s (depending on haste and buffs) doing nothing for next white swing and rage.

Knowing we have few seconds till next white swing it would rather be better to use our available GCDs for other damaging abilties not just dumping 50 rage into not-so-effective Execute part. In this case, it would be better to use MS first and THEN Execute. We loose 30*38=1140 damage from Execute getting MS damage intstead. If enough time is left till next swing we can even think about MS+Slam+Execute combo. Note also that more attacks mean chance for more DeepWounds, so generally it should be better to maximize the use of GCDs.

I agree. I believe the key to good arms dps is good management of your GCDs and rage.

You have an extremely big hitter in sudden death, but it eats all your rage and if used wrong can cause you to lose DPS, not gain it.

You have your second big hitter in MS, but it costs twice of what slam does and does less compared to using two slams.

You have slam which is probably your bread and butter behind rend and probably is one of the more rage efficient moves we can spam, but at the penalty of delaying your white hit by .5 seconds for every use.

You have rend which is basically your key to thirst for blood and the move you want to keep up at all times.

You have overpower from thirst for blood, which is pretty much a guaranteed crit and our best damage per rage move, but it's our weakest attack when rage is a non factor and any other move we do crits.

Finally, you have bladestorm, which also gives a ton of DPS for the rage it costs, and a ton of DPS when the duration runs, but you risk losing SD and TfB procs.

I don't think a priority list or rotation work for arms. I honestly believe good arms dps requires really smart play on the players part. The priority for most of our attacks changes depending on the situation, and only those who excel at it can make the spec work, while others will just view arms as a bad dps spec.

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