Saturday, September 27

Building A Better Arms Warrior, Part 2

I'm gonna ramble about Arms Warrior gear and stuff in Wrath, so skip this one if you want to wait and see, or just don't give a ... yah. That's all the Wrath spoiler I'm givin' at this point. :D

I've been trying to browse through the various WoW databases online to learn what kind of gear will be available to us Arms Warriors types. There's some fun stuff, but it's a bit different than we've grown use to in Burning Crusade. I'm not gonna link a big load of gear here, yet. I've got my eye on few favorites, but this is really just general commentary. I'll wait until we get a little closer to start serious shopping.

First, the important part... fashion! It's all very Norse-ish. Not all the designs are implemented yet, but so far it looks like pieces will match better. I like it way better than the BC bad-70s-porn-movie and gem'd glow-in-the-dark stuff. I don't love it, mind you. No chain mail skirts, blindingly heroic sets, or sexy plate outfits, yet. Unfortunately. But it'll be a fun I'm-a-Viking-come-to-pillage-your-ass look for awhile.

I'm gonna switch armor fast even if it's not as good as my current gear. I wanna experience it. For that reason, I've been looking over the early quest, drop and craftable items. Be ready to spend some gold on a few of the Blacksmith peices that'll be popping up. Very nice blue gear. There's a few quest and repuation items that are looking good, as well. I'll recommend WoWhead's Wrath of Lich King site for browsing.

Heirloom stuff looks fun. There's several pieces that are great generic level gear we'll be able to pass down to alts. This is an awesome idea. I've got a Fury and Prot Warrior I need to level. They'll get neglected a bit when Wrath hits, but once I'm ready for 'em again, they'll be able to go quick in some very nice, scalable hand-me-downs. Brilliant. Although I wonder... will we start seeing Warrior enchanters? They won't need that quest and dungeon BoP gear any more. Might as well DE it for cash and enchants. Hmmmm.

As for stats, things are a bit confused right now. Arms Warriors seem to be pretty set. But there's a lack of +Hit gear in the plate category. Not too bad for Arms, but I suspect Fury Warriors will be selecting leather a lot, at least early on. Arms Warriors will get a bit of Hit (enough?), decent Crit (more please!), plenty of yummy Strength, and good ol' Resilience and Attack Power. The big surprise, and the one that's got me thinkin' a lot (what?), is that most of the Arms Warrior gear is piled with Stamina!

What's that mean?


Could mean a lot of things. The big Attack Power is understandable. A lot of Warrior abilities are gonna be AP based now. So that's a Good Thang. But why all the Stam for Arms Warriors? Honestly, I think it's cause of the "multiple roles" part of Blizzard's plan. With all that Stamina AND Resilience, an Arms Warrior can easily dance from effective DPS to effective tank with one button and a weapon/shield swap. No more carrying around two and half sets of armor. Swap a trinket, rings and neck, and suddenly you're a very, um, well-endowed tank. :D

What happens is that the Arms Warrior will remain quite beefy for PvP, but now becomes a lot more effective and desirable for PvE situations. Consider the utility of the Arms Warrior in, say, 10-person raids where space is limited. You've got kick-ass DPS with built in toughness. And with a quick-click-macro, you've got a very effective third tank. That's pretty nice. It's the essence of Arms Warrior, as well. Versatile and tough. The PvP focus for the spec during BC was nice, but it's time for somethin' different. Well... a little different.

Another thought (two???) that comes to mind is, apparently, crushing blows are going away. Tanks are now gonna be concerned primarily with mitigating Critical Hits. Prots will do this with Defense. Arms will do it with Resil. Prot will still have high Block and other damage reducing abilities, and thus be way better at avoiding damage. But with a good deal of Stamina, an Arms Warrior becomes a difficult to Crit, viable tank option for many more situations. This could be a very Good Thing, as well. It's a crafty way for Blizzard to make an Arms Warrior more adept at different roles without completely ripping apart the spec.

Is that how it'll work? Dunno. But it's a great idea.

Bottom line for Armsies is, we're gonna get a LOT tougher. Probably need it from seeing all the massive hurt some other classes are getting loaded with. But it'll be kinda nice, as well. :)


Saturday, September 20

Journey to the Grim Guzzler

[Update: As Andrea points out in the comments below, just take a right when you enter BRD, kill the three Dark Irons, click the box, pull the handle, and you'll end up right in front of Coren. Sheesh! If you need the exercise, though, keep reading. -Fri]

It's BREWFEST! Yeah!

Not my all time favorite Azerothian holiday (that'll be coming in October), but it sure is a fun one. And Bliz was kind enough to enhance it a little bit from last year. This year, ya gotta go after a boss in Blackrock Depths to get a cool mount. Or a lusty bar wench to help out by throwing beer at your enemies. I'm not much into mounts (me and Bruce have been together way too long), but a combat companion that tosses beer stiens? Too fun!

When I was but a wee lil' Warrior I blew past BRD. Only went in there at level twice, I think. Never even got half way through, and definately never got to The Grim Guzzler. That's where the Brewfest boss you have to kill is located. Nice bar, too, if you like 'em shady and with booze that'll literally sets you on fire. My kinda place. :)

Anyhoo, since then I located it, of course. But it took awhile. I ran through BRD for hours trying to find it. Didn't have the Shadowforge Key, either. So I finally figured out a needed that, and then I spent another good while wandering around in the Depths until I stumbled onto the bar. Then awhile after that I stumbled out. By the way, don't try crossing those bridges over all that lava while you're hammered four different ways from Tuesday. Not Good. :P

So, for Brestfest this year I thought I'd share the route in pictures and video. These aren't great, but they'll getcha there if you've never been. Don't forget to sneak behind the bar and sample some of the Brewmaster's experiments. Strongest booze in the game. Wow.

Directions to the Grim Guzzler

These direction assume you have the Shadowforge Key. I'm kinda also assuming you know how to get to Blackrock Depths. In the screenshots and video, I've cleared some mobs to make it easier to get through. In particular, just before you enter the Guzzler, there's four elite fire elementals that hit pretty hard. Pull 'em two at a time and they aren't too much trouble.

You don't have to fight your way through everything unless you really wanna. At level 70, the aggro circle is pretty small and you shouldn't need to fight too much. Watch out, though. Most mobs in here run when they get low on health. Don't let 'em get away or you'll have a real fight on your hands.

And yah, I made a wrong turn in the video. Bite me. :P

Detention Block

From the entrance to the dungeon, go straight forward into the large cavern.

Take the left most tunnel.

Use the Shadowforge Key to open the East Garrison door.

East Garrison

On the lower level of East Garrison, unlock the door above by right clicking
on the giant lock mechanism in the lower portion of the room.
It's like Tomb Raider on easy mode!

Go up the stairs.

At the top of the stairs go leftish (northeast) and follow the passage.

The door should now be open. Continue down the passage to the next room.

West Garrison

Take a right and turn into the passage on the right, heading north.

The Manufactory

Go straight across the room until you get past the last pillar.
Directly ahead will be Golem Lord Argelmach.

Turn right (east) and head for Shadowforge City

Cross the bridge, take out the fire elementals and go into the Grim Guzzler.

The Grim Guzzler

The Grim Guzzler, Lower Level.

Coren Direbrew.

The Grim Guzzler, Upper Level

Don't forget to kill some mobs on your way out, if you're in the mood. They drop Dark Iron Scraps for Argent Dawn rep, and Dark Iron Residue for Thorium Brotherhood rep. The Brotherhood's rep vendor is located here in the Grim Guzzler, as well.

Happy Brewfest!


Sunday, September 7

Building a Better Arms Warrior, Round 1

It's that time... :)

Time to start looking at that old MS Arms build and begin retro-fitting it for Patch 3.0. I know, things will still change between now and then. But it's not much longer. I hope.

I'm sure there's plenty of discussion and Warrior theory crafting going on out there. And I ain't gonna read it. I'll do it m'self thank you. :) Well, okay, I'll read it eventually. But for now I'm gonna have fun with some of the changes and new stuff and not let some stuffy number cruncher ruin it for me.

These are the builds I've come up with. Two are just for fun to try stuff out. Probably day one and day two builds after 3.0 goes live. The third is probably closer to what I'll end up with for awhile.

For reference: The original MS Arms Build

If ya don't want ANYTHING about Wrath, then don't read any further.

Fun Build

This one is just to test out some of the new stuff. It does not take the new bleed stuff, but otherwise gets most of the new Arms changes. This isn't for testing or anything. It's just to take some of it out for a spin and have some fun.

Bleed Build

This one is trying out all the new bleed effects and boosts. Is Rend a viable tool now? Maybe. I'm not reading that formula very well, but it looks like it's based on AP, Weapon Damage, and Weapon Speed??? And if you Enrage it's even better??? If so, gonna hafta to play with combinations of bleed effects and Enrage stuff to see how big it can be. I'm thinking this is gonna work. We're gonna find out very soon.

New MS Arms Build

Iron Will is now 3 talent points instead of 5. Forces taking one of the usually skipped over 2/3 pointers. For utility, I went with Improved Thunderclap for 2 points. Some may prefer a couple points in Improved Heroic Strike. I've never needed Improved Charge, but if you're having trouble with Rage at the start of a fight, it might work.

Because Impale and Deep Wounds have switched places, you're no longer required to take Deep Wounds. While it'll probably be awesome for a Bleed Warrior build, I'm skipping it for now to put points elsewhere.

Death Wish is, of course, gone and replaced with Sweeping Strikes. I think this is gonna be great, but we'll see. Anyhoo, ya have to take it to get to Mortal Strike so in it goes. Mortal Strike without the one second cool down? Gonna take some getting use to. Compensated for by increasing the damage.

Blood Frenzy moved way down the tree. Since I'm not taking Deep Wounds, won't need it anyhow. Not sure if Strength of Arms will be worth it or not, but I'm not going to say no to 4% more Strength and Health. Took it.

One of the biggest changes for MS Warriors? Toughness and Last Stand bump down a tier. Ouch! Incite is great, but doesn't help this build much. It'd bump up Thunderclap a bit, and if you went with Improved Heroic Strike instead it might be worth considering. Anticipation, on the other hand, looks pretty groovy. As good as Toughness? Probably not, but in addition to Toughness it'll certainly do. Take Toughness for 4 as well, though, on account of the nifty new ability to reduce the effect of movement hampering abilities. I like!

Debated very hard about taking Sudden Death. And if the build ends up Rage heavy, it'll be worth it. For now, though, I'm gonna stick with Toughness. The movement thingie is just too tasty.

So, over all I think MS Warriors are getting a win out of this one, so far. Not nearly the beefy upgrades others have seen, but we're already pretty beefy. Yah, I'd like to see more and maybe we will. But for 3.0, it'll do. And no QQ, this time. :)

So... whatcha got planned for 3.0???


PS And yah, I'm adding complete random and unrelated pictures to my posts because... I can. :P