• Bares mostly like the taste of fase!

Tag: Tanking

Hello!

As you probably know (or heard me mention at least), Theck and I started a new podcast solely about tanking in World of Warcraft. In our first show we talk about Vengeance and Resolve. Specifically their history, how they work, and what it means to a tank.

Download

00:50 – Intro
02:45 – What is this show?
09:25 – News
11:05 – 2nd Boss Grimrail Depot
12:45 – Paladins and Haste
14:00 – Holy Shield Bug
16:25 – Vengeance History
40:35 – Resolve
59:10 – Q&A

6.0 Patch Survival Guide

October 14, 2014

Introduction

Hello Guardians and welcome to the survival guide for the meaningless 4 weeks prior to Warlords! I may sound like I’m joking, but only partially. This won’t be a full “Warlords Guide” because Warlords isn’t done yet. The best I can do at this point is tell you what has changed thus-far, and maybe make some educated guesses as to what might happen once you hit level 100. If you’ve been paying attention to my twitter feed you probably know a lot of this already. Additionally if you have any experience on the PTR or Beta, you will already know all of this information. That means there’s no reason for you to read further.

For everyone else though, read on!
 

Resolve

The first and largest change to tanking in this patch (and next expansion), is the elimination of Vengeance. It has been replaced with a new ability called “Resolve” which functionally does the job – at least defensively – that Vengeance used to do. The difference is that it provides a multiplier on all self healing and absorption affects. Providing a technical description of how it works is going to be meaningless to most (but if you want one check out these three posts). All you really need to know is:

  • Just like Vengeance, you gain more Resolve the more damage you take in a 10s window.
  • Resolve no longer has diminishing returns in AoE situations, but it does diminish at higher and higher levels of damage.
  • Resolve does not affect percentage based abilities such as Ysera’s Gift.
  • Resolve is much more responsive to changes in damage intake than previously.

 

Stat Changes

As with any other expansion patch, there are a number of changes to both primary and secondary stats that you will probably want to be aware of. Before we get into that though you should be aware that all of the numbers you’re going to see in patch 6.0 will be a lot smaller than what you’ve been used to these past few expansions. It otherwise doesn’t mean much, but the “stat squish” may take a little getting used to for some people.

  • Agility now only grants 1 Attack Power per point, no longer grants increased Melee Critical Strike, and grants 80% of the Dodge Chance that it did in Mists.
  • Stamina now grants 60 health per point. “Base Health” has been removed, there is now only base Stamina.
  • Dodge, Parry, Hit, and Expertise ratings have all been removed. As a result of this change bosses will no longer Parry or Dodge attacks from the front.
  • Multistrike rating has been added. Multistrike is a chance to trigger an additional hit for 30% damage.
  • Versatility rating has been added. It provides a small boost to damage and healing, while providing an even smaller amount of damage reduction.
  • Bonus Armor has been re-added. It now also additionally provides one Attack Power per point.
  • Mastery now grants additional Attack Power.
  • Weapon DPS now increases at a rate of 1 for every 3.5AP.

There are some additional Guardian specific stat changes that I will cover a little bit later on.
 

Damage Patterns

One of the largest changes to tanks in this patch and the next expansion comes not to tanks themselves, but rather the things that will be hitting them. Throughout the past several expansions tanks have only really been threatened by “bursts”, or when a combination of melee hits and special abilities dealt a lot of damage to tanks in a short period of time. Common examples include a melee/impale combo from Heroic Beasts (ToC), and a Horridon “wombo-combo” of Melee+Triple Puncture+Dire Call. Blizzard has decided that they don’t enjoy the arms race of trying to kill tanks as quickly as possible, and then having to give tanks ways to prevent that from happening. Since Guardians lived through an entire patch cycle – really 1.5 patches since these problems existed in T14 too – I’m not too broken up about this. Further Guardians have always been one of the best tanks at reducing total DTPS, so this change can only be a good thing for us.
 

Movement Speed

A quick note on one of the under-represented changes in the next patch – movement speed. Previously in WoW all movement speed increases were multiplicative with each other (except those which were exclusive). In Mists a lot of speed boosts were made exclusive to each other to prevent people from reaching light speed. It made sense – sort of – but was really complicated and a lot of people didn’t understand what was exclusive with what.

In Warlords, movement speed has been streamlined (much like the rest of the game). All movement speed increases are now additive. This means that a boot enchant plus Feline Swiftness will give you a total of 18% increased movement speed (above whatever form you are in). Any further modifiers like Stampeding Roar are just added on top of that.
 

Ability Pruning

One of the biggest wholesale changes to this expansion is the number of abilities that have either been completely cut, or in some cases restricted to only certain specializations. I’ve included a quick list below of what has changed. It’s not in any particular order but I’ve separated them into New, Removed, and Changed. I’ve also left out abilities that have extremely niche use – such as Moonfire – which you may or may not end up binding.

New:

  • Critical Strikes (Passive) – Adds 10% Critical Strike chance. This is to at least partially make up for the loss of Critical Strike chance from Agility.
  • Mana Attunement (Passive) – Doubles mana regeneration. Added to make up for the mana regeneration loss from Leader of the Pack‘s removal.
  • Shred – Added because Mangle was made Bear-only.
  • Bladed Armor – Every point of Bonus Armor also grants 1 Attack Power. Added to give Bonus Armor an offensive function, and to keep it firmly as the #1 stat.
  • Resolve.
  • Survival of the Fittest (Passive) – Gain 5% more Mastery Rating from all sources. This is our “attunement” – meant to indicate what our primary stat should be, and it’s correct.
  • Ursa Major (Passive) – Auto Attack, Mangle, and Lacerate tick Multistrikes grant 2% temporary HP for 25 seconds. Recalculated every time a new event triggers (like Resolve).

Removed:

  • Rake – Made Cat-only.
  • Vengeance.
  • Bear Hug – Some will likely be sad about this – looking at you Lyfa, Ahanss, and Buraan – but the reality is it was too niche of an ability to be used all that often.
  • Rip – Restricted to Feral only.
  • Swipe – Combined into Thrash.
  • Pounce.
  • Track Humanoids – I *think* this was made baseline with Cat Form, but don’t quote me on that.
  • Hurricane – Restricted to Balance only.
  • Leader of the Pack – Restricted to Feral only.
  • Nature’s Grasp.
  • Innervate.
  • Ravage.
  • Hibernate.
  • Might of Ursoc – We were handily winning the “tank cooldown competition”, so something had to be removed.
  • Tranquility – Restricted to Restoration only.
  • Enrage – Never really did much, so removing it makes sense.
  • Maim – Restricted to Feral only.
  • Symbiosis – I’ve already commented that this is a good thing, but yay!

Changed:

  • Rejuvenation – Now heals for 228% of spell power. Only pertinent to questing or Heart of the Wild usage.
  • Bear Form – No longer increases Haste and Crit rating from items. Armor bonus reduced to 250%. Stamina bonus reduced to 20%. Haste now reduces the GCD and the cooldowns of Mangle and Maul.
  • Mangle – Now generates 10 Rage when used. Hits for 300% Weapon Damage. Cooldown reduced by Haste.
  • Maul – Now hits for 120% Weapon Damage. Cooldown reduced by Haste.
  • Savage Defense – Now has a 12s recharge. 2 charges.
  • Thick Hide – Now reduces magic damage by 10%. Reduces the chance to be parried by 3%.
  • Revive – Mana cost reduced to 4% of base mana.
  • Travel Form – Flight, Aquatic, and Travel forms have been combined into a single ability that automatically switches depending on what you are doing (jumping, swimming, etc.).
  • Thrash – Now deals 117% AP on hit, and 40% AP per tick. Generates 1 Rage every time it deals damage. No cooldown.
  • Faerie Fire – Now deals 32.5% AP.
  • Primal Fury (Passive) – Melee Critical Strikes now only generate 8 Rage.
  • Tooth and Claw (Passive) – You can now store up to 2 charges. Reduces the damage of the next auto attack by 240% AP.
  • Lacerate – Now deals 115% AP on hit, and 29.22% AP per tick per stack. Generates 2 Rage on impact. No cooldown.
  • Infected Wounds (Passive) – Now only triggers from Mangle.
  • Survival Instincts – Now lasts for 6 seconds. 2 Charges. 2 minute cooldown.
  • Mark of the Wild – Now also grants 3% Versatility.
  • Frenzied Regeneration – Now heals for 600% AP at 60 Rage.
  • Mastery: Primal Tenacity (Passive) – Our Mastery now generates a shield whenever we take physical damage equal to 1.5*Mastery percent. Some sources of damage (bleed, sonic) will not generate a shield. The value of this shield is not reduced by other absorption affects. If a shield is already active, receiving physical damage will not generate a new shield unless the current shield size is <= 20% of the size of the shield that would have been generated. Also increases Attack Power by 1*Mastery percent.

 

Talents and Glyphs

Very little has changed in the area of Talents and/or Glyphs. Other than the obvious – removing Glyphs for which abilities no longer exist – so this section will probably be a lot shorter than the others.

Talent Changes

  • Ysera’s Gift – Now heals for 2% HP every 5 seconds.
  • Renewal – Now heals for 22% HP when used.
  • Cenarion Ward – Now heals for 879.9% of spellpower over 6 seconds.
  • Typhoon – Range reduced to 15 yards.
  • Soul of the ForestMangle now generates 5 additional Rage.
  • Nature’s Vigil – Now heals a nearby friendly target for 40% of the damage done. Excludes Thrash, and obeys the new smart healing rules. That means there’s no guarantee it will heal you if you’re the most injured person.

Your obvious question is going to be “What talents should I take?” Well not much has really changed. What you’ve been taking for the past year (or more) is still decent. I’ll still make my recommendations though, which are in the short list below:

  • Level 15: Whatever you want. No changes to this tier, so continue to use whatever talent you prefer.
  • Level 30: Cenarion Ward has the highest throughput on this tier, but comes with the 30 second cooldown and the fact that it’s a HoT which means it might get sniped by your actual healers. Renewal is still pretty bad so you can safely ignore it unless you need an instant heal off the GCD.
  • Level 45: Nothing changes here. You basically just lock in Typhoon, even after the range nerf.
  • Level 60: Soul of the Forest. Force of Nature‘s previous “issues” still remain, which makes it an incredibly difficult talent to use. Incarnation is still a good burst talent, but for throughput over time it is very much inferior to Soul of the Forest as you’re no longer replacing 0-Rage GCDs with Mangles.
  • Level 75: Nothing changes here. You pick the same talent that you would have picked before.
  • Level 90: A sort-of minor change here. Nature’s Vigil is now horrible, and since Heart of the Wild has a very narrow niche (Do you need DPS/Healing when you’re not tanking?) your default talent here is now Dream of Cenarius. There is currently a bug where it is not scaling with Attack Power, but it still beats the pants off of Nature’s Vigil.

Glyphs

None of our glyphs have actually changed. However they have swapped around a little bit in terms of which glyphs you will want to have, and which ones have become niche. Since everyone should have the Glyph of Grace anyway, I’ve only listed the possible major glyph options below:

  • Survival Instincts – Now a niche glyph. A 3 second duration isn’t long enough to buy your healer any time to recover, but it is still most definitely enough time to handle many boss mechanics. Consider this an optional glyph.
  • Stampeding Roar – Mandatory. There’s no reason not to have this glyph. Not only is there nothing worth replacing it for, but the increased range is pretty mandatory in a raid scenario.
  • Maul – Might as well pick this up when you’re going to be hitting more than one target. Again, nothing better to have in this slot.
  • Fae Silence – This is the most interesting one. Now that Faerie Fire is out of our rotation – thanks to the removal of the cooldown on Lacerate – this glyph becomes very appetizing. Not only does it function as another interrupt, but gives you a way to move casters without having to rely on others to interrupt.

 

Rotation and Rage Generation

As you’ve probably noticed from the Ability Changes section, a lot of our Rage generation has shifted to being active – i.e. you have to press buttons – rather than the form it existed in Mists. I like this change as it gives you a greater degree of control over how you generate Rage and when. The best part is the actual rotation hasn’t changed at all. It’s still exactly the same as it was in Mists:

  1. Keep Mangle on cooldown.
  2. Keep Thrash up.
  3. Fill with Lacerate.

Easy as that. Of course the L30 and L90 talents can add some additional spice (Cenarion Ward and Dream of Cenarius respectively), but the real complexity doesn’t start until level 100 and you get access to Pulverize. For now though, you’ll just have to live with those three abilities. With the removal of Lacerate‘s cooldown Faerie Fire no longer has a place in the single-target rotation. It’s used for pulling (or possibly interrupting) only.

For AoE, just spam Thrash and keep Mangle on cooldown. Now what do you do once you’ve generated Rage? Well, the priority of your Active Mitigation abilities has changed a tiny bit.

  • For encounters with primarily avoidable damage – which is most of them – use Savage Defense as often as possible.
  • For encounters which feature auto-attack damage – again, most of them – use Tooth and Claw whenever you will not need to refresh Savage Defense shortly.
  • If you’re going to Rage cap and can heal, or are about to die, use Frenzied Regeneration.
  • It is no longer important to dump as much Rage as you can into DPS. Make sure you’re pooling Rage prior to executing a tank swap.
  • Use cooldowns as appropriate for the encounter. Using Barkskin on the pull is encouraged, as it gives you a bit of a buffer before you can generate enough Rage to start using AM abilities.
  • Berserk (and Incarnation I guess) should no longer be saved as DPS cooldowns. Use them as survival cooldowns instead.
  • Since Resolve only affects heals you do to yourself, try and avoid using Cenarion Ward or Healing Touch on others. Exceptions can obviously be made.

In other words you should be spending time attempting to train your brain to not be a damage bot anymore, but rather acting like an actual tank. Use your abilities to improve your own survival as much as possible. DPS is something that will be done purely as a by-product of being a good tank.
 

Stats and Gear

My general response to questions about gearing for a pre-expansion patch is “It’s only 4 weeks who gives a shit anyway.” That being said if you are the type of person that likes to min-max for meaningless content there’s a few things you will probably want to be aware of.

Remember that a full Warlords guide will be coming at launch. Hope this helps for now!

Level 100 Talent Comparison

September 30, 2014

Introduction

Hello Guardians!

I said I’d have this up earlier than I actually ended up doing it, but I ran into a (seemingly) never-ending series of bugs in SimC. Fortunately with the help of Theck and Pawkets I’ve managed to kill most of them. As a result, it’s now in a place where reasonably accurate tests can be done with it. The first of these is a simple talent comparison. Of course the biggest question here is just how big is the difference when it comes to the level 100 talents?

I mean, besides the obvious answer. Clearly Pulverize is vastly superior to the other two choices. But by how much? That is what I will discuss here.
 

Assumptions

As with any simulation, you have to make a certain set of assumptions about how it should operate. Not only that, but there are also a couple of bugs that you will (probably) see in the results. They don’t affect the results at all, and have since been fixed, but they are worth noting.

I ran the simulation using two different kinds of bosses. One with a 300k melee swing, and one with a 200k melee swing plus a 100k magical DoT every 3 seconds. This gives me a variety of results to use for analysis. For any further details, you can easily check the results files and find what you’re looking for.
 

Pulverize

We’ll start with the easiest (and by far the best) talent.


Pulverize Pulverize
Sim Results Sim Results

In this context, there’s nothing particularly surprising. However it does serve as a kind of benchmark that the other two talents have to be “sort of” competitive with in order to be useful. Obviously as the most “active” talent Pulverize should be the best option, but the spread is what matters.
 

Bristling Fur

And then we go all the way to the other end, to – arguably – the most passive talent.


BristlingFur BristlingFur
Sim Results Sim Results

You can clearly see here that Bristling Fur is easily 15% behind Pulverize. Makes sense since they’re virtually the same sets of conditions. I didn’t include Bristling Fur in the usage of this APL since that’s not how you would use the talent in the first place. It’s not for reducing “everyday” damage, rather as a cooldown for a specific situation. Even so, it would never make up the existing difference between where it is now, and Pulverize. Since this is probably the most “passive” of the three talents, it should be empirically the weakest but not this weak. Again since it is a “passive” talent – sorta – tacking on a simple Armor increase of around an additional 40% to 50% or so (i.e. Bear Form now grants +300% Armor) would be enough to bring it to within a reasonable distance of Pulverize.
 

Guardian of Elune

This is the real problem child. At first glance you might think this is actually a sorta-decent talent. But you would be wrong. It’s only just slightly better than Bristling Fur, as we can see below.


BristlingFur BristlingFur
Sim Results Sim Results

But how is that possible? How could a talent actually be only marginally superior to not picking a talent at all? It’s not as simple as it first might seem. The first thing we need to consider is what does Guardian of Elune actually do to Savage Defense? There are three very specific things:

  • The dodge chance is increased.
  • The duration is decreased.
  • The recharge rate is decreased.

That means one (or more) of these changes has to be responsible for this talent’s problems. We can immediately throw out the increase in dodge chance since it’s not possible for that to be a problem. Which leaves us with two possibilities. Let’s examine the possibility of the duration decrease causing us the problem first. This is reasonably easy to do with math. Ahanss already went through it in the comments below, but I’ve re-listed the calculations here for clarity (note I use a Base Dodge value of 16.7% for all of these calculations – which is the amount from BiS Heroic T17 Raid gear). This is based on a 450s encounter, with a 1.5s swing timer.

Regular Savage Defense is a pretty simple calculation. Every activation gives you on average 1.8 dodges. So all you have left to do is determine the number of additional Dodges you would have gotten throughout the fight, and add that to the Savage Defense total.

  • Savage Defense: 1.8*((450/12)+2) = 71.1
  • Base Dodge: (0.167-0.045)*(450/1.5) = 36.6
  • Total: 71.1 + 36.6 = 107.7.

Next we get the amount for Guardian of Elune. That is also pretty easy. There’s a couple of different ways to go about it, but we’ll go about it the easier way.

  • Recharge Rate: 12*(1-0.167)=9.996
  • Guardian of Elune: 2*(2+(450/9.996)) = 94
  • Base Dodge: (0.167-0.045)*((450-141.05)/1.5) = 25.12
  • Total: 119.12

That gives us an increase of around 10.5%. So clearly the effectiveness isn’t the actual issue. Something else has to be causing our problems. Since we’ve eliminated both the Dodge chance change and the duration, the only remaining possibility is the recharge rate somehow. But what does the recharge rate affect? RPS cost. The normal RPS cost of Savage Defense is 5 (60/12). But what does the RPS cost of Guardian of Elune look like? I’ve included a chart below.

GoERPS

Clearly the RPS cost of GoE gets rather out of control towards the end of an expansion. A talent essentially costing you 2+ RPS (although in the first tier that number is more like 1.25 or so) just for picking it is a bit nuts. For comparison, you can see how much Pulverize “costs” in the Sim results. A Bristling Fur build serves as the base (111133), which gives us a total RPS of 8.4. Compare this to the same build using Pulverize (111132), and we see a total RPS of 8.2. This is because Pulverize‘s RPS cost actually goes down as your gear improves since you’re more and more likely to sacrifice a Lacerate rather than a Mangle the higher your Haste is.

So we can see that the total RPS cost of GoE is far too high, which causes fewer Tooth and Claw applications, which drives DTPS up. Easy solution? Make GoE also reduce the Rage cost of Savage Defense at the same rate as the recharge time is reduced. Problem solved.
 

TLDR

  • Pulverize is too powerful relative to the other L100 talents.
  • Given that Bristling Fur is a mostly passive talent, giving it a small armor increase makes sense to put it where it should be relative to Pulverize.
  • Guardian of Elune‘s recharge rate makes it extremely lackluster compared to even not taking a talent thanks to the drastically increased Rage cost. Addressing this problem by adding a Rage cost reduction will maintain the feel of the talent while improving its value.

There’s plenty of time to address tuning concerns still, of which this is obviously one. It won’t change my own personal talent choices since I really like Pulverize, but others shouldn’t feel hamstrung because they don’t enjoy a particular playstyle.

Hello Guardians!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these. Primarily the only changes we’ve had thus far have been Alpha and/or Beta changes. Since they’ve been heavily subject to iteration and change, I didn’t feel that commenting on them would be particularly helpful. Now that we’re ~6 weeks away from the 6.0 pre-patch launch, it’s time to get a little more serious. You can definitely expect these posts to be regular from now on.

Build 18816

Bear Form Stamina bonus reduced to 20%.
Empowered Bear form reduced to an additional 10% Stamina.
Ursa Major now only lasts 25 seconds.

All three of these changes are a direct result of general tank tuning. Celestalon has made the comment last week on twitter.

All tanks. Current plans: Tweak the design of Resolve. Lower tank health. Lower tank mitigation. Lower boss damage.

It’s pretty clear that only the first objective made it into this build (that we know of). So we’ll have to wait and see for the hidden stuff (Resolve, Boss tuning), and the additional changes to tank mitigation.

CeleryTweet1

Basically the changes are fine and you shouldn’t worry about them. As long as bosses are tuned appropriately, it doesn’t matter what our HP is. I’ve included an updated EH graph below, which shows that the relative EH for different stats hasn’t really changed. Item Level is still going to be the primary driving factor – between Stamina and Armor – followed by Multistrike.

EH_Graph

Tooth and Claw now only reduces the damage of the primary victim.

This is just a tooltip correction. In previous incarnations it never included context for Glyph of Maul. So now the tooltip tells you what we already knew it did from day 1.

2t17 now reduces the cost of Maul by 10 Rage while Tooth and Claw is active.

Great change. Instead of offering a refund which could result in wasting Rage accidentally if you Mangle while using Maul and one and/or both Crit, it now just reduces the cost. The net change is 0, but I know it will feel much better to play with.

And that’s it for this build. I think it was done in the middle of the most recent round of tank tuning, so we have some changes out of context. Hopefully the next build will provide us with more information. I know that there are still a lot of “trap talent” problems (mostly thanks to Pulverize), and while there is definitely still time to address them I think we’re running out of runway.
 

How to Make Crit Cool

I put up a thread on the forums recently intending to prompt discussion on how to make Crit a cool and effective stat in Warlords. Currently it’s at the absolute bottom of the pile – similar to how Ferals feel about Haste – and that isn’t great for the spec. So I’d love to hear everyone’s ideas on how to make it an interesting and effective stat!

The most basic (and easiest) method is to rip-off Riposte. But that’s boring and uninteresting. Do you have any neat ideas? Tell us!
 

Sneak Peek

I wanted to let you in on posts for a couple of topics that I’ve been thinking about. The first is Mythic: A Conversion Journey (don’t worry I know I suck at titles). Our guild is going through the steps to convert to a Mythic guild from a 10m right now, and having a decent amount of success. I think it would be valuable to share that information with everyone else, since I’m sure there are others that are either going through the same thing, or are about to.

The second topic that I wanted to talk about – and have wanted for a while now – is Guardians: Outstanding Issues. The problem with a post like that is it requires some data in order to be able to do. If I know that data is going to change soon – like we know right now – then continuing to work on it with the current set of conditions is pointless. I definitely need to wait for the Resolve changes to be public before I can start on it, but hopefully at that point we’ll have another tuning pass done. Then I can really start gathering a lot of useful sim data.

That’s all for now!

Lazy Bear is Lazy

I’ll be honest, I’ve been kind of – OK I’ll be honest, really – slacking on writing. There are a number of things I want to talk about, but just don’t have enough information to do any sort of detailed analysis yet. Specifically?

  • What happens when Mastery scales through raid tiers?
  • Will we armor cap again (maybe)?
  • Will TDR get to a point where EH becomes worthless?
  • What happens to Rage generation?
  • How do the L100 talents compare?

The problem is, I need more itemization (specifically about item levels) before I can attempt any of these. This means that in typical Arielle fashion I’ve been ignoring things I could talk about in favour of things I can’t. However watching my good friends Hamlet, Dayani, Sunnier, and Theck put up posts this week has made me feel guilty. So I’ve decided to come back to the topic I left with. Rotations and Rage generation.
 

Push Buttons, Victory?

Over the past month or so feedback has been rolling in from Beta to a number of different sources. There are Guardian specific threads on the Official Forums, MMOC, and of course right here at TIB. One of the items that I see mention repeatedly in all of these places is how simple the rotation is now that the cooldown has been lifted from both Lacerate and Thrash. If we’re looking at a standard rotation this is completely accurate. We lost Faerie Fire since it (a) no longer resets Mangle, and deals less damage than Lacerate. On the surface this is fine, and cements Faerie Fire‘s place as a pulling tool, rather than a rarely-used rotational ability.

However that means we also lost 25% of our rotational buttons.

I’ll be the first to admit that this is – probably – at least partially my fault. I campaigned long and hard to remove the cooldown from both Lacerate and Thrash. My intention was to move our rotation closer to what it was in Cataclysm, except without the stupidity of Demoralizing Roar and needing to maintain 3 stacks of Faerie Fire. Unfortunately with Thrash having such a long duration the “rotation” just devolves into Lacerate spam with a Mangle every 4th GCD. Yes, the button presses get “faster” thanks to us gaining Sanctity of Battle – and as an aside this is a good thing, since it allows you to customize how fast your GCD is with Haste – but it’s still effectively only two buttons. So how do we make it more fun to play, especially since the most common complaint is that Guardians are boring – even on live?
 

Enter Pulverize

I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the (re)-addition of Pulverize was a good thing. We had that 4th button we so desperately needed to keep our rotation interesting. Unfortunately the more I played with it on Beta, the more I came to agree with those that disliked it – like Ahanss (sorry buddy) – it’s really braindead. It turns out that all Pulverize really does is replace Thrash in your rotation, which doesn’t even remotely solve the problem. Actually, the problem gets worse:

  • Pulverize doesn’t synergize with Incarnation at all.
  • 10 seconds is way too short a duration to fit in anything other than what is required to maintain it.
  • It’s really just another version of Thrash, except with a bigger downside to not maintaining it, and a higher upkeep cost.

To me the answer seems obvious (admittedly after thinking about it for several hours). Why not make Pulverize almost a direct clone of Revenge, except maybe with some sort of bleed hook? Maybe it could do more damage against bleeding targets, or generate a bit more Rage against bleeding targets or something. This solves:

  • Getting us back to 4 rotational buttons.
  • Lets Pulverize interact positively with Incarnation.
  • Removes what could be considered a boring, maintenance-heavy buff.
  • Forces Blizzard to revamp our L100 talents.

I’m not really seeing a downside here.

What do you think? How do you find the rotation in Beta? Do you pine for the Cataclysm days like I do?