Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Long Rambling Post On Arms

First off I did my first ever Karazhan one shot today, and killed Netherspite for the very first time ever. Thats right I've killed Maggy, Gruul, 6/6 in SSC, 3/4 in TK, and one boss in MH... but never killed Netherspite until today. What was amazing in my mind was that we did the entire run with the exception of Netherspite with only one tank.

And while I only managed to achieve second place on the Damage Done, just take a look at the list I did top .... can you tell what it is?

Thats right I topped the death list. It's a running joke in raids that I die the most, and while this is not always true it's close enough as makes no difference. It was during this run that I stopped to ask myself why this is. Well some of it is just plain bad luck and there's nothing I can do about that, but as for the rest ...

The fist answer that came to mind was in fact another question. What does an arms warrior bring to the raid?

So I started to list things off in my mind. The most obvious is that they bring the Blood Frenzy buff increasing physical damage for the entire raid by 4%. The other obvious one was good melee dps. Yet another was the shout buffs. But none of these helped me reach a conclusive answer. So what else does an Arms Warrior bring to the raid?

The answer lies in the question. He's a warrior, and warriors have plate, which is admittedly a very minor advantage in end game, but they also have a large stack of health to go with it, and this is not a minor advantage, it's a bloody great big advantage if you know how to use it.

Yes yes, I know that a dps warrior will almost exclusively be in Berserker Stance and will consequently be taking 10% extra damage, but stop to think for a second, look at the mage, the priest, the shaman and the rogue. They, at the same gearing level as my dps gear, will be running around with ~7k health unbuffed, where as I am running around with 9.5-10k unbuffed. thats a damn slight more than a 10% increase. Don't get me wrong I can and have been one shotted by raid bosses and understand that if anything seriously sets it's eyes on me instead of a tank I'm a goner, but that doesn't mean there is no damage to be taken elsewhere.

Ok, so you have more health than the average dps, how does this explain you dieing so often?

This is because I use my health bar as a weapon and a resource.

Use your health bar as a weapon? Than make no sense Stunty.

Ok let me try and explain. If your a regular reader of my blog, you will have by now seen some screen shots of my UI. I have it all arranged by order of importance and set it out so it's easy to read. I have incoming damage scrolling up at the left of my character, incoming heals scrolling down to the left, and Out going damage floating around at the top of the screen since it's the least important. I have large unit frames for both myself and my target just above my action bars, compact but easy to read raid frames to the top left, and Buffs and Debuffs to the top right.

Why did I go to all this trouble with my UI when blizzard provides you with a workable and functional one? It's because I wanted more information readily available in an easy to process format. This allows me to look at the amount of incoming damage, incoming heals, state of the raid, and then make an informed decision as to whether or not I should allow myself to take more damage to increase my dps time. I can instantly tell if I'm going to be putting too much pressure on the healers, or if the damage I will take will kill me and how much damage I will do in return for this health pay off. And the better you know the fight and the players in your raid the harder you can push this health resource.

25 man raids are filled with AoE damage, and from judging rage, health, heals, incoming damage, position in my dps rotation, my brain is constantly running estimates on whether taking a couple of thousand more damage will provide a significant bonus in dps out put. Sometimes the answer is no, sometimes yes, I just go with my gut instincts on it and it rarely lets me down.

This is the reason why even with my sub par gear (mostly crafted and karazhan/gruuls gear) I can still provide good dps in most fights. But this comes at the price of the "always dead" reputation. Because I push so hard one small mistake is often all it takes to kill me, and I am the Incompetent Warrior after all. Also there are times, usually in the last few percent of a boss fight, where I feel that the extra damage I can do in the time it takes for me to die is actually more than the damage I would do if I were to play it safe and survive, and a quick study of the combat log and the situation after I died have proved me to be right more often than not. There are also times where I know I'm going to die whatever I do, and getting in one last damage rotation has got to be better than running away and dieing anyway.

Told you it was a long ramble about arms, and for the life of me I don't know why I wrote it ... but I'm sure as hell not going to throw it away after spending so long on it.

So until next time this is Stuntyone the Incompetent Warrior signing off.

1 comment:

Sheldreyn said...

Just discovered your blog.

I'm also an arms warrior and I can definitely understand what you just rambled about.

I die way too often to my liking still though.