Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Highmaul Gladiator : Logscraft #2

Hello Gladiators!

The world first race is over, and the champions Paragon made a few really interesting comments in their interview on manaflask. Most importantly ( to me ) is that Bear Prime aka Sejta, went Prot Warrior. When asked why Warrior, he said that when a fight has 50% tank time the ideal tank was Prot Warrior, since we're able to have mitigation up whenever we're the active tank. I would call this a win for Prot Warrior, he might not be a Gladiator, but it's nice to see.

Shortly before the release of Mythic Highmaul we saw buffs come in for Fury, and I heard some serious rioting over twitter and the forums. Basically a lot of people had the misconception that Glad wasn't the best choice in Highmaul. And from the numbers it looks like a lot of the Fury and Arms Warriors were able to do some pretty sick damage. Gladiator however, is up there on some of the fights. Lets take a look at how some of those who did have the constitution to stick to Glad ranked up. Right now it's a good time to look at the Mythic rankings on Warcraftlogs as most of these fights are still too hard to start using cheese/stacking strategies that inevitably ruin the rankings. I've taken a look at the Boss DPS for these examples because on >4 Add fights right now we're going to get ruined by Arms Warriors.


One of the fights still being hidden is Butcher, a single target, patchwerk style, tunnel vision fight and I hope we see a few gladiators way up there. Looking at the current rankings it's telling in that we a competitive with fury and arms on the 1 or 2 Target fights, but we seem to fall out of the top 10 if the boss has more than 2 targets. Personally I've been stuck tanking and since i'm only in Normal/Heroic I've been keeping my APM up with Unyielding strikes and seeing some decent tank damage.

I thought it was interesting to see one of us in second place on Ko'Ragh, so I thought i'd take a deeper look at how it was done. Emperorz from the new Nihilium ranked 2nd for all warriors, and 21st worldwide on Mythic Ko'Ragh.

Using Bloodbath, Unyielding Strikes and Dragon Roar, he was definitely built to burn through Ko'ragh single target. He only used his dragon roar and thunder clap a few times to help with adds.
Also he chose to use the Rude Interruption glyph as you have to deal with Mind Controlled teammates on this fight. You can also see from his Heroic Strike damage that he was using the cleave glyph as they were keeping volatile anomalies near the boss until they were low enough to put in a suppression circle and kill. Looking at rage usage, you can also see that he wasn't using the extra rage glyph. Emperorz wasted 360 rage, which is pretty good considering the kind of situations you can get in at 4+ stacks of Unyielding and SS coming off cooldown.

- Cyc

Friday, December 5, 2014

Highmaul Gladiator : Logscraft #1


After having been required to tank for my guild this week, suffice to say I'm a bit sad to see everyone else shield charging without me. However, Prot Tanking itself has been a blast and not all is grim. I know I'm always 1 GCD away from Gladstance. Today's topic will be some advice on what talents/configurations are working best for Gladiators in Highmaul Heroic. This will be a series and as of next week I'll start digging into Mythic kills instead :).  What I've done is review the top parsers on Warcraftlogs to look for any tricks/common themes.

Remember that your raid leaders strategy may not allow for these recommendations.

Kargath Bladefist

Reviewing the top Gladiator's on Kargath shows that there are two route to go here. You can either focus Kargath the entire time, or help with adds. We've got Bladestorm and Dragon Roar which is decent, but in this instance I think it's our best bet to forgo the adds for some pretty amazing single target damage. If you wanted to focus adds for your raid, I would recommend you go Arms!

In the top 10 Gladiator parses we're seeing between 23 and 25k DPS. The top parse is also the top damage done to Kargath himself by Intrepid ( Armory ). Dropping a staggering 8.6M Damage on Kargath in a 22man raid.

Unyielding Strikes

If you take a look at the above picture, you can see a great uptime on Unyielding Strikes. 91.36% is a great uptime. Just having US up is half the game though, you need to make sure you don't let it drop early, and take advantage of it at top stacks. Below you can see that Intrepid only ONCE let US drop at 5 stacks. And It looks like he decided to start executing sub 20% and stopped keeping US going. This was actually a DPS Loss, as you can see that he dropped to 23k DPS from a Solid 25k before that.

Lining up CD's. 
One of the most important factors is to look at how he lined up use of his Scabbard ( Sword Technique ) with his other Trinket ( Strength of Steel ), Potion and Bloodbath proc's.

This really shows the power of a right click trinket being used effectively!

Tracking these sorts of Proc's is a UI Issue, and while I plan to do a comprehensive post for gladiator UI soon, I think what you will want to do is either have an addon that automatically shows you when proc's like "Strength of Steel" are active, and even the internal cooldown of that trinket to know when to save a right click trinket like the scabbard. With the RPPM trinkets, is very important to know when the trinket CAN'T proc. Look at the mountains of DPS when all of that lined up.

- Cyc

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gladiator's First Night in Highmaul


Heroic Highmaul has been released, and I am happy to say we're doing extremely well. Just browsing Warcraftlogs you can see that the top parses for Warriors in Heroic Highmaul are almost all Gladiators.


Looking at the first two bosses we did extremely well. The Arms warrior who beat us on Kargath only did 11K DPS to Kargath himself ( with glads bringing in 22k ). Arms is for killing adds, and this is expected.


The top ranked Formality has a glad and arms warrior at around 18k dps.
Near the bottom of their raid. Link
Enigma had a Glad doing 22k dps here. Middle of the pack.
Consolium at 21k DPS here. Also middle of the pack.

Kargath is an easy fight with only a few short windows to do aoe burst ( the coliseum adds ) so unless the Glad is going up there, and planning for that burst it's going to fall behind Boomkin, Ret, and of course Arms. Rest assured though, planning for burst that inconsequential is padding ( anyone remember Mythic Immerseus? ).


A fight more in our favor would be the Butcher. Basically Patchwerk, and depending on strat, you really shouldn't lose more than a second or two on the boss ( when he knocks us back ).

Hard in the Paint - Jin with a respectable 21k DPS, Ranking 6th in his raid.
Reckless - Rigge in 5th at nearly 23k DPS. Ranking 5th.
Enigma - Tartarus at 22.1k DPS. Ranking 4th.
Adapt - With TWO Gladiators at 3rd and 6th.

So we're not topping the meters, but the difference between us and the top class is within a thousand or two dps. NOT TOO BAD Gladiators.  I can't wait to see how we do in Mythic, once we've had a week to gear up.

One other note is the Hotfixed Trinket Changes make Knight's Badge extremely desirable for Gladiator's now. Far outshining the Skull of War.

- Cyc

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gladiator Warriors : To Execute or Not to Execute


The latest simcraft results have been posted for the different ilvl groups and we're doing extremely well! Glad is a top parsing spec currently, and I'm sure you've all heard the hype that seems to only build every day since WoD launch. 

Remember though, that Simcraft results are dps in a vaccuum, with 0 movement and no mechanics, or a Patchwerk style fight. They simulate encounters and should always be taken with a grain of salt. Just because a spec might be low on simcraft doesn't mean that the spec is worthless either. I'm sure everyone had those moments in 5.4 when a Boomkin or Arcane mage destroyed the meters, and the fury warriors cried WHAAAT? It can happen, and to be fair, 5.4 was a large minigame of using trinket proc's effectively once you were done gearing.

Execute is viable. But Optional.

What I found the most interesting was that Execute was re-introduced to the gladiator warrior rotation! Sub 20% it is a DPS increase, a small one ( only a few hundred dps ) to execute under a few conditions. So because this change is only a few hundred dps, this is an optional rotation.

BASIC Rotation ( about 200 dps increase seen in current simC doing this )

BB+SC+SS > Revenge > Execute > Devastate

ADVANCED Execute Rotation :

BB+SC+SS > Revenge > Devastate > Execute if SS CD is 1.5-2s remaining

Only use Execute when Shield Slam is about to come off CD, and resetting via Devastate won't speed it up.

You are sub 20%, Revenge has 5s left, Shield Slam has 2-1.5s left, you're above 60 Rage, and might or might not be inside a Shield Charge. Then you Execute.

Also I've updated the rotation/stat priorities post to include execute and linked it to this post as well.

One other caveat in the use of Execute within your rotation ( sub 20% ) is that it changes the APM required for the spec, so you end up pressing less buttons. I know most of you will want to do the most dps so you'll already be wearing out hands/mice/keyboards spamming heroic strike with unyielding strikes, so this might be a nice change if you're looking to slow it down a little without costing too much dps.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Gladiator Optimization : Stat Priorities and Rotation * Updated Dec 17,2014*

Hello Gladiators!

Now that we are getting closer to the end of Beta, and actual release of the new stance, I'm happy to provide some of the basics that should hopefully be our bread and butter when we ding 100 and equip our shield again. Blizzard has addressed quite a few of the concerns I've had for Gladstance and it is definitely nice to be heard. They've buffed Execute, given PVP Gear Bonus Armor and delivered on a very fun spec to play.

This is just basic information I've collected through use of Simcraft and actual play in Beta, and it's very possible that changes in tuning might skewer these steps. Be warned that I may be editing this post :)

Stat Priority and Weights

Now that Beta is over, I've updated the scale factors. It still holds true that you need a bit of haste to get that extra GCD inside Shield Charges. This factors in that you have the 5% haste buff as well. But going forward into Heroic and Mythic gear the values change a bit. I've detailed this below.

The basic stat priority is when gearing up to raid Highmaul :
STR > Bonus Armor > 330 Haste Breakpoint > Crit > Haste > Multistrike > Versatility > Mastery

Here are the weights:

630 ilvl
WDPS STR Bonus Armor/AP 330 Haste Crit Haste Multistrike Versatility Mastery
1.54 1.0 0.95 .90 .41 .40 .36 .32 .30

665 ilvl
WDPSSTRBonus Armor/AP330 HasteCritHasteMultistrikeVersatilityMastery

Importable for Ask Mr Robot (edit depending on ilvl):
MainHandDps               1.54
Strength                  1.00
AttackPower               0.95
BonusArmor                0.95
Haste          < 3.3%     0.90
CriticalStrike            0.41
Haste          3.3% +     0.40
Multistrike               0.36
Versatility               0.32
Mastery                   0.30

What this means for us when we hit 100 is the following:
1. Use the Draenic Armor Potion, this is because you get a lot more stat then you would with a strength potion.
2. Use Crit enchants on cloak/neck/rings. This is assuming you made that 330 haste breakpoint with your gear.
3. Get Bonus Armor gear on your Neck, Rings, Cloak and Trinkets, otherwise use the stat priority for the rest of your gear.
4. Mark of the Thunderlord is your best bet for DPS. The Mark of Blackrock looks like it could be competitive, but you don't want to be trying to drop to 50% hp to set it off.

POST Heroic and gearing for Mythic, you're going to have a lot better gear and the value of each stat changes. You will see the following:
- The gap between Mastery / Vers becomes largers. With Crit > Haste > Multi becoming more important.

Mythic Highmaul BIS Gear Stat Priorities:

WDPSSTRBonus Armor/AP330 HasteCritHasteMultistrikeVersatilityMastery


Level 15 : Juggernaut / Double Time / Warbringer

This is definitely just your preference. I like the mobility of Double Time so I usually choose that.

Level 30 : Enraged Regen / Second Wind / Impending Victory

Impending is a DPS loss, Second Wind isn't as powerful as it used to be, and Enraged seems to be the best with my own testing thus far. I'd still go with Second Wind if I was soloing old content or fights where I was low on health for long periods.

Level 45: Heavy Repercussions / Sudden Death / Unyielding Strikes

US is currently going to net you the most dps. You should try out heavy repercussions, sudden death and unyielding strikes to choose here. They greatly affect how the rotation feels and if I had to choose, I would do the following:

HR/SD for PVP where burst is needed.
Otherwise, US with the Cleave Glyph.

Level 60 : Storm Bolt / Shockwave / Dragon Roar

The DPS Difference is enough that I would recommend Dragon Roar. Especially if using Bloodbath below.

Level 75 : Mass Spell Reflection / Safeguard / Vigilance

I've used MSR all through levelling and dungeons, it's been awesome. But in raids I'd go with safeguard. It's hard to top the 20% damage reduction all the time on your tanks/comrades.

Level 90 : Avatar / Bloodbath / Bladestorm

Bloodbath unless you have waves of 3+ adds every minute. Avatar if you overgear the fight so bad you won't see a second CD needed or the raid needed some intense dps burn every 3mins.

Level 100 : GLADIATOR STANCE!!!!!


The Glad rotation will primarily be the similar to the one Protection Warriors have been using all through 5.4. However with the addition of shield charge, it is better to pool rage until you are within a Shield Charge.

Unyielding Strikes Rotation:
Devastate if under 6 stacks of US and US is about to Fall Off > Bloodbath + Shield Slam + Shield Charge > Revenge > Dragon Roar > Devastate

Heavy Repercussions Rotation:
Bloodbath + Shield Slam + Shield Charge > Revenge > Dragon Roar > Devastate

Sudden Death Rotation:
SD Execute > Bloodbath + Shield Slam + Shield Charge > Revenge > Dragon Roar > Devastate

Optional Execute Rotation:
Simply Execute (Sub 20%) before Devastate at the end of each rotation. Adding in Execute is optional and I cover reasons for and against in another post HERE.
Bloodbath + Shield Slam + Shield Charge > Revenge > Dragon Roar > Execute (Sub 20%) Devastate

For All Rotations Use Heroic Strike to prevent capping rage, or when you get Ultimatum Proc's. Unyielding Strikes users will be using Heroic Strike a lot. Be sure to dump your rage during Shield Charge using Heroic Strike.

Note: Remember that you can hit Shield Charge and Slam at the same time, and should. You can delay a Shield Charge for 1 Second to allow for an extra Slam inside the charge, but should NEVER Delay Shield Slam.

The Perfect Pull

Bloodbath+Berserker Rage+Shield Charge+Shield Slam
Heroic Strike + Revenge
Heroic Strike + Dragon Roar
Heroic Strike + Devastate
Shield Slam

Also one side tidbit I found funny with some other Warriors on Twitter was that because some races perform pretty visual jumps, twirls, flips etc on heroic strikes you might be able to look fairly hilarious playing as glad :)


- Cyc out :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Gladiator Stance is a GO


I am happy to announce that through some crafty keyword trapping on twitter, I managed to get myself a WoD Beta Key. I've probably entered 40 contests so I'm pretty happy with myself. This guy on twitter asked if anyone wanted a key, and I happened to be on twitter at 10am on a Sunday morning. I responded immediately, opened up my code redemption page in case he responded with the key out loud, and he sure did. I had the fasted copy/paste that day.

My experiences on Beta as Gladiator have so far been pretty much amazing. Here is why:

1. Gladiator Stance does good damage. We compete extremely well in single target, and right now with current AOE tuning I can say we're slightly behind. The lack of Ravager at level 100 hurts but there has been mention that current AOE Damage tuning is still being worked on.

2. Gladiator Stance is extremely fun to play. We have next to NO downtime in our rotation because we have a filler ability that doesn't cost us anything ( devastate ). We also have Heroic Strike, so I expect we hit more buttons than a lot of our DPS comrades.

3. Some of our concerns have been addressed! While the Blues haven't done a lot of tweeting about us lately, the biggest bug on the Beta was that Heavy Repercussions wasn't actually giving our shield slams that sweet 50% bonus after a shield charge.

4. Unyielding Strikes is actually good! Sudden Death not so much. Right now Execute hits like a wet noodle (we're missing the execute perk), so you won't want to use Sudden Death. But the damage output between US and Heavy Repercussions is pretty close, so you're able to play an even MORE spammy playstyle if you are missing that burn in your wrist =P.

5. Survivability. With Shield Barrier, you can very much help the healer out a ton. There have been a few boss situations where it was just me, the tank, and the healer left, and I was having to do my damndest to stay alive. Barrier will put a bubble on you to allow your Blood Craze healing to catch up. Between this and the levels of Resolve you can get with your defensives ( shield wall and demo shout ), you can do a very nice amount of healing.

Current Issues that still stick out for Glad on Beta:

- We can't shield charge a Boss that we can't walk up to. Think of Ultraxion. The Shield Charge thankfully doesn't just run you off the cliff haha. It just doesn't work. There is a new Boss in UBRS like this. You fight it on a Bridge.

I actually recorded a stream of the Beta I played last night. I tanked a dungeon with a Blue! And then I went and killed Bashiok in PVP. To be fair, both Bashiok and myself are PVE Allstars, so that probably helped :).

Then I also ran the new UBRS as Gladiator! This one is a pretty good example of some bad play at times.. but I had a ton of fun. The only person I was really competing with on the meters was the Tank!

Monday, August 11, 2014

10 Years of Warcraft

Alternative Blog has Asked us to answer these questions in an effort to try to get a handle on the WoW collective consciousness, I think it's a great opportunity as we're at the 10 year Anniversary of Warcraft.

While this is a new Blog, I'm definitely not a new player. Just new to contributing back to this amazing community. 

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft? Having Raided a bit ( as Warrior ) in Everquest, and spending the majority of my teenage years tinkering with an learning computers, so that I could play EQ @ Home.. I was excited for the genre. I saw WoW as the natural next step in MMO Progression. At the time of WOW Launch, I had quit playing EQ in Favour of competitive Counter-Strike and it wasn't until a friend of mine declared WoW a success that I purchased the game and we then LAN'd that entire weekend. He was an Undead Holy Priest, and I was a Tauren Warrior. We cleared Blackfathom Deeps and I can still remember him yelling "HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO THIS" as he got cornered and ruined by about 10 Elementals I spawned when I lit all of the candles. 

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
A Tauren Warrior named Kaerthon. This used to be my handle in Counter-Strike and EQ. I levelled him to about 45 before taking a break due to some RL Mixup, and then creating the Tauren Warrior Cyclonus I play today on Mannoroth US. I chose the Tauren because I'm a Taurus, Year of the Ox, and it's a freaking Minotaur.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game? I didn't even question this one as Minotaurs were an option for Horde. And I always played Orcs in Warcraft II. Since then I've played Horde right up until they made it easy to boost characters with the Refer-A-Friend System, and I think I've got a few 60-80 Alliance all over the place now. I have recently payed to Boost a second Warrior ( with the same name ) on Alliance, and have been having a blast challenging Flex runs in Timeless Gear, and pulling it off as Prot. Good knowledge of when to shield barrier goes a loooong way.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why? Definitely this one right here: So Proud!. Moofur is my girlfriend and this is just one of those moments. She had started out as a clicker and very frustrated player. She'd had a rough time with Trolls and once we met, and decided to play again, it didn't take long to get her into shape. We now run a 3 year old guild that's nearly done the current tier in Heroics playing only with people we like and we only run 2 nights a week.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case? By far the social aspect of the game. Whenever I play, I can make friends, some of which have resulted in decade long lasting friendships. In 40man Raiding I think I spent most of my time chatting with all the people I liked in the raid, and now days I run my own raids, and find myself getting extremely attached :).

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to? 
Blackrock Depths. I always make sure to do this dungeon on my way up when levelling. It's a better dungeon than it used to be, and we're definitely a lot more powerful than we used to be, but it's hard to not be reminded of that candle scenario I mentioned earlier.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous? 
 I've played off and on since October the year of release. I missed out on most of BC Raiding, and End of Wrath Raiding. Just ICC and Everything after Karazhan.

Total Time Played Across All Toons is > 440 Days. Cyclonus being my only major character until Wrath @ 340 Days played.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not? I do now. It wasn't until MoP that I really got into the quests. Before that I'd click through them as fast as they would let me.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game? Well, I didn't get a Beta invite for WoD. So definitely that I unsubbed... ever. And delete/vendoring all of my gear after Vanilla. I WISH I could have recovered some of that Dreadnaught I had.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming? It's definitely helped in becoming confident as a leader. I'm a Manager at work and have become very comfortable leading the team. I've also made a few friends that have lasted the entirety of the game. I'm in a 3 year long relationship where my first message to her was Taunt ( not joking ). I've been to Blizzcon and am going this year as well, with a lot of friends meeting me there. The way that is going, I think we'll be one of those guilds renting a house soon :).