Arms Warrior Rage Costs

#1 - May 15, 2018, 10:32 a.m.
Blizzard Post
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?
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Class Designer
#10 - June 6, 2018, 9:52 p.m.
Blizzard Post
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!