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In-Depth Arms DPS Discussion


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#41 Larsiak

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 01:56 PM

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.

#42 Phoenix

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 04:45 PM

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.

#43 Gorrog666

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 06:21 AM

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.

#44 ebs2002

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 04:17 PM

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.

#45 lazerpewpew

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:27 PM

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.

#46 thefatman999

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:30 PM

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.

#47 Guest_Acilius_*

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 12:31 AM

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%.

#48 LodeRunner

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 06:30 AM

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?
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

#49 Tankietka

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 07:47 AM

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.

#50 Healranktwo

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 10:44 AM

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.

#51 Guest_alkis_*

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 12:56 PM

Alright, I just tested it. Glyph of Whirlwind DOES work with bladestorm.


Of course it does. Bladestorm is actually hitting mobs with whirlwind (same spell id as if you hit them with whirlwind).

#52 Guest_alkis_*

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 02:18 PM

As far as arms vs. fury I've found them to be pretty comparable in terms of dps. On some fights I'll out do our fury warriors and vice versa. A raid benefits from having one of each generally. Here's a WWS of a fury warrior and myself both neck and neck at 4k dps (WWS).

As far as the rotation i prefer to use it's much like one mentioned in a different thread. Basically a priority queue.

  • Keep up rend
  • Execute on sudden death procs regardless of rage
  • Overpower whenever up
  • Keep bladestorm on CD (use with trinket)
  • Keep MS on CD
  • Slam to burn excess rage
  • Slam & heroic strike with full rage bar and everything else on CD
  • Don't let sunders fall off (Assuming non warrior tank)


While I agree it is a priority queue, I disagree with the order. Bladestorm and Mortal Strike should be right after Rend. Also you should differentiate between a normal Execute and a Sudden Death Execute. The former has lower priority than Overpower but the latter doesn't since it leaves enough rage for Overpower to be used. To put it down in a list format:
  • Rend
  • Bladestorm
  • MS
  • Execute - Sudden Death
  • Overpower
  • Execute - Normal sub-20%
  • Slam


#53 Larsiak

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 03:33 PM

Some more words on the spreadsheet:

I used for damage-range.

The boss armor of 6815 derives from the assumption of 12k without debuffs, -3925 from sunder armor and -1260 from fearie fire.
Perhaps something around 13k without debuffs would be more appropriate, considering Wrath boss armor testing


To adress a general missconception: It is not correct to say you can Slam two times intead of one MS. You have to consider the hidden rage costs of Slam through delaying your next white swing. Assuming you specced imp. Slam and are fully raid-buffed, the "extra costs" of Slam are in the range of 7 rage. (Secondary you have to substract the amount you lowered your white damage through the slam-delay, from your Slam damage.)

The next problem is that all 2h-axes of epic quality attainable through pve have 3.4 weaponspeed (i think it's general consensus that pole-axe spec is superior). In fact there are some interesting polearms in the current raid-content, but as an Orc im quite affixed in using an axe.
Anyways if you are using a quite "fast" 2H, your slams will suffer more to this than your MS, due to slam not beeing normalized. On top of this with imp. MS and Glyph of MS your MS will hit considerably harder than your Slam.

You need a slow 2H in the range of 3.6-3.8 and the 2pcs T7-bonus to say "It's better to Slam 2 times instead of one MS". And even then it's only better for your dps if you have plenty of free global cd's.


Execute Sweet-Spot:
Execute scales quite good with your ap. Even without a SD proc you get better damage/rage with only execute than with MS first, then execute up to 50-60 rage.
With SD the Sweet-Spot lies even higher at about 70 rage.
We are all accustomed to the concept "first burn your rage then execute to get best dps". This is not the last truth anymore. Execute has better damage/rage in the vast majority of situations and uses fewer global cd's.


The math to all of this is in the Excel Sheet posted on page 2.

Again: original credit goes to ebs2002

#54 Tankietka

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:01 PM

To adress a general missconception: It is not correct to say you can Slam two times intead of one MS. You have to consider the hidden rage costs of Slam through delaying your next white swing. Assuming you specced imp. Slam and are fully raid-buffed, the "extra costs" of Slam are in the range of 7 rage. (Secondary you have to substract the amount you lowered your white damage through the slam-delay, from your Slam damage.)


It's even more complicated than that. Additional hit from second Slam gives another 9% chance to proc Sudden Death above the chance given by one MS hit, and chance for second DeepWound instead of only one (but that can be included in average ability damage calculations).

#55 Larsiak

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:25 PM

I stand corrected.
These two points benefit Slam in this equations, and i have to admit it lies beyond my excel skills to model this.

But i believe the conceptions behind my post are still correct.

#56 Timding

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 12:23 AM

Hey, sorry if ive missed it, but afew questions regarding spec and enchants,

First off, Armoured to the teeth, I have read a few posts claiming that the armour check for this is not constant but rather at 30s intervals. If this is true the berzerking enchant becomes a double edged sword. Yes it would be awesome if every time it procced was just after a check, but if the check occurs at the end of berzerking you are left with 30s of reduced AP.

Granted I have no actual proof of whether the armour check is like this, some confirmation would be awesome. Additionally if this is the case, would it be worth dropping the 3 points in AttT and the one I put into Piercing Howl for Gluth and picking up death wish or rather just use the massacre enchant and keep AttT

#57 Paternoster

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 09:52 AM

@Timding
Not a practicing Warrior but nevertheless I have a suggestion:
If the uptime of Berzerking is less than 50% then the kind fo mechanic you assume is absolutely in favor of Berzerker. That's because the case where AttT is calculated before Zerker proccing should happen more often than AttT being calculated while Zerker is up.

#58 Guest_7Sam_*

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:05 PM

By reading the past three pages I came to the conclusion that you all agree that one could generate more DPS by spcing and gearing for TG fury build instead of staying in arms\bladestrom.
Yet you keep mentioning how having both is more beneficial to the raid then the DPS that one would gain from the other "boring" (as some say) TG play style.

If that is the case, then I must ask, what are the raid wise advantages of having one TG and one Bladestorm spced warriors over two TG warriors? is there any thing that arms warrior bring to the raid that is not already covered by another class? Surly I am missing some thing.

#59 Hamburglar

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:24 PM

The answer to your pondering about the arms-spec would be "blood frenzy" giving 2% increased physical damage pr physical damagedealer in the raid.
Im assuming this means x (for dps) * 1.02 will give you the added dps from bloodfrenzy from each class.
Lets take 3000 dps as an average for our physical damagedealers on a random fight. This is probably a bit low, but anyhow. 3000 * 1.02 = 3060. My horrible mathskills shows that with bloodfrenzy, our physical damagedealers now do 60 dps more individually. At least in naxx25, this could be a pretty good boost to damage.
Everyone should feel free to flaw this math tho, as I`m quite horrible at math and havent had the time yet to go through this with fellow guildies.

Short and sweet, though. Arms gives a buff that fury doesnt bring, and the 5% rampage-crit is ignored if a feraldruid is in the raid, so that means that you really dont get any buffing out of fury at all, except for the hypothetically higher dps.

I hope that answers your question as to why bring an arms warrior.

#60 Symphonia

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 11:38 PM

Short and sweet, though. Arms gives a buff that fury doesnt bring, and the 5% rampage-crit is ignored if a feraldruid is in the raid, so that means that you really dont get any buffing out of fury at all, except for the hypothetically higher dps.

I hope that answers your question as to why bring an arms warrior.

Blood Frenzy is also ignored if you have a combat rogue in the raid with Savage Combat.




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