Arms Warrior Rage Costs

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
All in all, Arms Warrior feels pretty close to finished and smartly designed with a few issues here or there, and most of it is centered around rage as a resource.

I feel like our biggest issue right now is rage costs. Maybe we're intended to have a certain level of haste % before we're "online" but with / without specific talents, I feel like I'm suffering a lot of downtime.

1) Skull Splitter / Avatar / Dreadnaught feels pretty flush with rage. Under this setup I feel closer to live in that I usually have to do a GCD or two with no rage before I get to do a full rotation again. This feels kind of what the rotation should be. But without this setup I kind of go into a rage spiral where I'm often sitting on lots of empty GCD's.

2) Core problem: Some talents give too much rage. Or too little.
This is an easy one to unpack. Try picking Sudden Death, Impending Victory, Rend, Cleave, and Fervor of Battle. Now try to pick Skull Splitter, Double Time, Avatar, Deadly Calm and Dreadnaught. The difference in rage costs pretty significant. Now obviously these aren't good synergistic talent setups but the point still stands. One you will be in famine and the other you will feast with rage when doing the rotation. Some talents give too much. Some give too little.

I feel like either the best solution entirely is less rage costs for rotational abilities then nerf all the talents overall rage generating power.

3) A lot of talents feel like they're available to help manage rage- but this doesn't feel great most of the time. Both the level 15 and 90 rows both have a theme of turning rage into damage. War Machine and Skull Splitter have rage increasers, while Sudden Death has a rage free execute which gives you time to build rage through auto-attacks but is unreliable.

Maybe it's a design intention that Skull Splitter is supposed to be taken to get the limited GCD windows we're typically used to. But I feel like it gives too much rage compared to the other talents. Our baseline rage generation just doesn't feel great. I like the idea of a rotational talent that gives you extra rage to play with but it seems to go too far. War Machine is obviously terrific on short-lived numerous kill scenario. As it should be.

The level 45 row remains one of the best designed rows in the game. The problem is Avatar gives rage, while Trauma is Rage-neutral and Rend costs exorbitant amounts of rage. I think Avatar will likely end up being the best talent in the row simply because it gives rage back. I like the idea of Rend as a powerful ST or two-target rotational ability, but the WoW: Legion rage cost is too exorbitant in the new system.

3B) Holy moley Fervor of Battle costs too much Rage. Even on Live it's a big problem. Maybe this is meant to be the "downside" of the talent but it leads to hilarious GCD issues. It almost feels like Deadly Calm would actually be a worthwhile talent to pick with this but they're both in the same row. Picking and using Fervor of Battle leads to an incredible amount of open GCD windows. It makes it a weak talent.

Instead of adding damage % to Whirlwind, why not just make it lower the rage cost? It'd easily make up the 10% when you actually get to use your rotational ability.

3C) These kinds of issues seem to make Warbreaker / In For the Kill the most attractive talents. Because cleave costs significant amounts of rage and Warbreaker/In For the Kill has such amazing synergy and outright offensive power it seems we're being pushed into using these talents. I'm sure Cleave has some terrific uses in sustained AoE fights but the burst potential and rage generation benefits of Warbreaker/IFTK seems to significantly outweigh that.

Burst AoE is kind of our niche anyway so it's about making something we're good at, much better. Basically the tradeoff just doesn't feel worth it. I can be mildly better at sustained AoE at the cost of rotational rage issues or I can be 30-100% better at burst AoE, and have rotational benefits too. Is this really a choice?

3D) I'm not sure where Deadly Calm is attractive at all beyond execute phases / In For the Kill seems to do Everything? Deadly Calm seems to be a talent entirely designed for execute phases. With In For the Kill being the "baseline" generalist talent to pick. I'm sure for a significant execute phase Deadly Calm is a very powerful talent, but In For the Kill just seems to deliver on all boxes for every situation to a satisfactory margin. It's terrific in Single Target. It's terrific in AoE. It's terrific in execute phases. It's terrific for PVP. It's ok rotationally. It's terrific for burst. I don't quite know why I'd pick any other talent to be honest?

Should it be baseline at this point? Or nerfed? Or changed?
4) Honestly I don't like talents like "Deadly Calm", that lead to rage feast scenarios as Arms. It seems counter-intuitive to the class fantasy in general It feels more like a Fury talent that is very much a build and spend, where Arms has been more about rage management. Having a talent that lets you spend without cost sounds far more attractive to Fury than Arms. It lets you circumvent the build / spend scenario every now and then whereas Arms class fantasy feels closer to making tactical decisions. Raging berserker vs Seasoned Soldier. Maybe it is a tactical decision, but it doesn't feel very Armsy.

4B) Deadly Calm is also counter-intuitive to the class design. Let me explain what I mean by the previous post. Deadly calm gives too much rage. Outside of an execute phase it's basically a bunch of excess and therefore wasted rage. Rage is meant to be spent with arms- the ideal is to always be spending your rage as soon as you can. If you have 100 rage you've essentially failed rotationally. Big boosts of rage / free rage scenarios like Skull Splitter or Sudden Death are there merely to keep the rotation going smoothly by giving rage or freeing up your rotation of rage-spenders.

Deadly calm should probably lower the cooldown on Mortal Strike on top of rage reduction or have some other side benefit beyond unlimited rage. This gives us a significant burst cooldown that leads to later rotational utility while keeping the execute phase power intact. Otherwise outside of execute phase it's essentially just for extending a rotation every now and then. Depending on your talents, the empty GCD you use to cast this ability might actually be questionable!

4C) Deadly Calm gives us a lot of extra throughput cooldowns, and throughput as an empty cooldown doesn't feel good with GCDs. Blizzard has already brought this up before as far as throughput that does nothing doesn't feel good. If Deadly Calm is here to stay, maybe it should be off the GCD for maximal rage gains? Avatar + Deadly Calm leads to an amazing surge of burst damage and rage- but a lot of empty GCD's to start and wasted rage outside of a execute phase.

Summery TLDR: All in all, Rage Costs Seem Too High. Talents seem entirely built too much around our primary resource and this is probably going to lead to problems down the road. What if we just need to hit a haste threshold before our rage issues get downplayed? Then the throughput talents become the only good ones. Or if we always need our rage talents to function, our throughput talents end up kind of sucking. It's a vicious cycle. I'd rather see it changed now then later on.
05/15/2018 03:32 AMPosted by Culin

3B) Holy moley Fervor of Battle costs too much Rage. Even on Live it's a big problem. Maybe this is meant to be the "downside" of the talent but it leads to hilarious GCD issues. It almost feels like Deadly Calm would actually be a worthwhile talent to pick with this but they're both in the same row. Picking and using Fervor of Battle leads to an incredible amount of open GCD windows. It makes it a weak talent.

Instead of adding damage % to Whirlwind, why not just make it lower the rage cost? It'd easily make up the 10% when you actually get to use your rotational ability.
With Fervor of Battle Whirlwind becomes considerably more rage efficient single-target than Slam is. If you've got full GCDs using Slam and not with Fervor that just means that Slam isn't burning rage fast enough, and you're doing less damage into the bargain. Fervor gives more damage per Rage and per GCD over baseline Slam. If Fervor is weak compared to In for the Kill, that's because of issues of throughput talents vs efficiency ones (as you mention). If it's weak vs Deadly Calm, that's a matter of tuning Whirlwind and/or Slam.
No I definitely will run out of juice using a normal rotation with slam in it. Honestly with specific talents the rotation feels fine. I think The Ideal is you have enough rage to do a full rotation, and then depending on procs have to wait a GCD or two to do another full rotation. It's fun to press buttons and it's nice to have a breather.

However with FoB, I find myself gassed and sitting through empty GCD's a significant amount of the time. The frequency of it with this talent just feels excessive.
I never saw the use of deadly calm unless it made mortal strike have no CD. There is just nothing to spend the rage on besides whirlwind or slam which are underwhelming.

Deadly calm needs a little extra.

Ps please update overpowers animation and add something to skull splinters animation please
yeah right now get periods where I'm just standing there rage starved
05/15/2018 03:32 AMPosted by Culin
Now obviously these aren't good synergistic talent setups


Also known as "user error." It's the same sort of reason you don't take rend with FoB on live. Talents that play well together is not a bad thing in any sense at all.

Barring very particular efficiency builds, arms isn't gonna reliably have the rage to be GCD locked. That's by design. Personally my rage situation on beta hasn't been noticeably worse than on live in Antorus gear yet, even running the god-damned whirlwind build.

Deadly calm is just a bad talent, in or out of the vacuum.
I feel arms has some weird and under performing talents, but nothing to crazy. The biggest issue I had with Arms was survivability. It felt like if I wasn't killing stuff fast I was getting chunked down really fast with no way to really heal myself. I didn't have this problem on other melee classes I tried.
Overall, I think the mechanics feel better than on live: Gameplay is no longer entirely reliant on a buff or debuff (i.e., Shattered Defenses).

I do agree that we are rage-starved (a lack of Haste may play into it), though the extent depends on your talent set-up. Many attacks have had their rage cost upped, and with talents as they are at present there's a lot of inconsistency. As you've stated, some are definitely over-performing in that regard, others underperforming. Certain talents seem redundant as a result.

I haven't noticed any change in survivability.

Edit: Necro'd, but Arms needs some attention.
In the next Beta build, you'll see a few changes for Arms that should address the Rage economy issues pointed out in threads like this one. The baseline pacing is slightly lower than intended, and talents can cause too big of a swing in either direction (slowing down or speeding up the pace).

• Rage generation from auto attacks is increased by ~16%.
• Tactician's proc chance is increased to 1.4% per Rage spent (it was 0.9%).


This adds more button presses to the rotation regardless of your talent build, and pushes Overpower more than other abilities to avoid creeping too close to "Slam-spam" territory. The moment we’re trying to eliminate as much as possible is the, “I have enough Rage to Slam right now, but I don’t know if I’ll have enough to Mortal Strike afterwards unless I have a swing timer.” These changes add enough Rage, and enough Overpower procs, to make that a rarer occurrence.

However, pumping more Rage into the rotation doesn't solve the problems with certain talent setups that have been highlighted here. There are a handful of Rage management talents that have big impacts on the spec's feel and flow, but it is easy to accidentally put together a build that is either starved or flooded.

• Avatar and Fervor of Battle swap places (Avatar to 90, Fervor to 45).
• Trauma removed, and replaced with the new Massacre design: "Execute is now usable against targets below 35% health."


This makes the purpose of each row clearer. 45 is all about spending more Rage. The row will have a more predictable impact on total button presses over time, while each talent still has a distinct impact on moment-to-moment gameplay.

Similarly, the 90 row is now all about cooldowns. Putting Avatar and Deadly Calm against each other limits the pacing swing between different talent setups, as well as lowering overall burst potential (something at which Arms already excels). Having strengths is important, but pushing them too far can lead to feeling like you’re a one-trick pony.

Finally, two more related tweaks:

• Skullsplitter generates 20 Rage (was 30 Rage).
• Anger Management no longer affects Deadly Calm. It now only affects Colossus Smash/Warbreaker, and Bladestorm.


Skullsplitter was adding too much activity, relative to the other options on the 15 row. Even with this change, it is still the most active choice for players who enjoy being closer to GCD-locked.

Rather than adding Avatar to Anger Management, we've opted to keep it simpler on the surface while still having all three 90 talents interact with it in different ways: In For The Kill is directly buffed, Avatar feeds extra Rage into Anger Management, and Deadly Calm makes it easier to set up for the more regular Colossus Smash windows.

Oh -- we're also trying out a different animation for Overpower.

As always, thanks for the feedback and discussion!
Pretty much everything we've been asking for, which is great.

I am apprehensive of Massacre however. On the one hand, I understand why it's better not to allow one spec to (talent to) be inherently better at Executing, but on the other hand it was really interesting that Fury had an option which Arms did not.

From a balancing perspective, I also worry that Fury's Massacre is up against much stiffer competition (in Carnage and Frothing Berserker) than Arms' Massacre (v. Rend and Fervor), which in turn could end up making Arms better at Executing from a practical standpoint. We'll just have to wait and see how tuning works out in that regard.

All in all though, great changes, well done and thanks for the info.
06/06/2018 02:52 PMPosted by Solanis

Oh -- we're also trying out a different animation for Overpower.


Finally! Thanks.
06/06/2018 02:52 PMPosted by Solanis
Oh -- we're also trying out a different animation for Overpower.


:)))))
wow nice
Is there any chance you're looking at underused defensive talents like Second Wind? It seems like players rarely use it outside of leveling.

Also, how will massacre interact with the current warrior war mode talents? It seems like being able to charge execute at 35% is really, really excessive in terms of mobility (not to mention death row already exists which allows us to execute at 25%)
I like those adjustments and look forward to testing those talent changes out.
Terrific changes. I worry that Avatar will outperform the rest of the row but otherwise I'm a big fan.
06/06/2018 03:43 PMPosted by Giant
Is there any chance you're looking at underused defensive talents like Second Wind? It seems like players rarely use it outside of leveling.

Also, how will massacre interact with the current warrior war mode talents? It seems like being able to charge execute at 35% is really, really excessive in terms of mobility (not to mention death row already exists which allows us to execute at 25%)

Second Wind may be somewhat underused (though it's by far the best open world talent until you're overgeared), but it is situationally much more powerful than others. There are a lot of boss mechanics which don't interrupt it, which allows significantly more healing over time than you'd think from a simple reading.

Death Row is certainly getting changed for Arms and Fury both.
Thank you tons for the feedback + attention on arms.

Specs that I'll likely be playing will be all set and good to go after we get some enhancement shaman love! :D
06/06/2018 02:52 PMPosted by Solanis


Oh -- we're also trying out a different animation for Overpower.

Most important change!

Looking forward to trying out the changes.

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