Monday, October 6, 2014

Gladiator Optimization : Stat Priorities and Rotation

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

These numbers could change with every beta revision going forward, but one thing that is probably to be expected is that Strength and Bonus Armor are on par with each other. Also that you're going to need about 330 Haste before you start collecting other stats so that you can fit an extra GCD into your 7 Second Shield Charges.

The basic stat priority is :
STR > Bonus Armor > 330 Haste Breakpoint > Crit > Multi > Mastery > Vers > Haste

Here are the weights:
STR Bonus Armor 330 Haste Crit Multistrike Mastery Versitility Haste
1.0 0.99 .90 .61 .43 .41 .38 .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.


The Glad rotation will primarily be the same 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.

Bloodbath > Shield Slam > Shield Charge > Revenge > Dragon Roar  > Devastate,
Use Heroic Strike to prevent capping rage, or when you get Ultimatum Proc's.  Dump your rage during Shield Charge using Heroic Strike.

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 :).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Level 45 Talents

Hello Gladiator's,

I've put off this post while I wrapped up doing about 25 different entries for Warlords Beta keys. I've created my own hearthstone card, created Draenor postcards? You name it. However, through use of new media coming from sites like Wowhead and MMO Champ, I will continue to provide this blog as a repository for Gladiator Warrior information aggregated from those sites. Should I end up getting into the Beta, I'll be sure to start generating some video's to go along with these posts.

Today's topic is our new level 45 Talent row. This a replacement for the removal of Staggering and Disrupting shout, as well as Piercing Howl. What they've done to provide us with a ranged snare is to add the snare to Thunderclap.

The new Talents:

Heavy Repercussions - Shield Slam deals 50% additional damage while Shield Block is active.

Previously, a glyph, this should be the more commonly used Talent with our Stance. I expect most Glad's will want to use this as Shield Block gets replaced by Shield Charge, and that will end up giving us a huge bonus to Shield Slam. 30% damage from Shield Charge and 50% from HR.

Sudden Death - Your autoattack hits have a 10% chance to make your next Execute cost no initial Rage and be usable on any target, regardless of health level.

Previously available as a baseline talent to Arms Warriors, this one should be rarely used as execute hits like a wet noodle for protection, since we don't have the Perk for Execute ( missing 20% damage ) and we're not going to be Executing that much as it is.

Unyielding Strikes - Devastate reduces the Rage cost of Heroic Strike by 6 for 6 sec, stacking up to 5 times.  Once this effect reaches 5 applications, its duration will no longer refresh.

Really the only viable alternative to Heavy Repercussions, this should result in a ton of damage from Heroic Strike. Current Parses were showing that you can actually end up doing slightly more damage with US vs HR as a talent, but remember tuning is not yet done. I'd be interested to see if we end up capping on rage using this talent.

Overall this is a pretty cool tier of choices as it will greatly affect our rotation, for not only Glad, but all of our spec's.

- Cyc

Monday, July 7, 2014

Defensive Toolkit Questions

Hello Gladiator's,

I know you're probably staring at that animated gladstance gif ( made by Archimtiros ) and getting pretty excited, but stay with me for a moment.

Right now the Alpha patch notes appear to have restricted many abilities to defensive stance only. A lot of the raid utility abilities that Fury/Arms get ( like rallying cry ) require you to stancedance to defensive stance prior to being able to cast your rally. The same sort of revision on abilities was seen on some of the Prot Only utility, like mocking banner, and spell reflection. Now, knowing that Gladiator's Resolve replaces defensive stance, raises the question:

Do we lose out on Prot Only utility when going Gladstance?

The answer is not perfectly clear.. yet.

But what I did manage to find out is that their intent is clear in that, you can expect abilities that work for Protection to work for Gladiator.

Now obviously this doesn't give us the clarity we'd like. But it's definitely a positive response. So if you're concerned, just give the dev's time, they will update patch notes, they will address these questions. In the meantime, did you see the new gladstance animation? It's just below in gif form.

Update 7/11/2014

We've been given the clarity we requested as seen below, I hope my lucky Beta Gladiator's are wrecking it in there. I plan to do a followup post on our new Talents once the iteration appears to slow down a little.

  • Warrior Stances now once again have their own action bars.
    • Attempting to use an ability that requires a different stance will now automatically switch to that stance.
  • Hamstring now requires Battle Stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Intervene now requires Defensive Stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Mass Spell Reflection now requires Defensive Stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Mocking Banner now requires Defensive Stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Revenge now requires Defensive Stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Safeguard now requires Defensive Stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Shield Slam now requires Defensive stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Spell Reflection now requires Defensive Stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Taunt now requires Defensive Stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Thunder Clap now requires Defensive Stance or Gladiator Stance.
  • Vigilance now requires Defensive Stance or Gladiator Stance.

- Cyc

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Quick Link

Hello Gladiator's.

Just a quick link to another blog that's focusing more heavily on the theorycrafting:

And from said blog comes a pretty sweet video of the new 6.0 fury showing off Headlong Rush ( which has probably already changed ). I'm not sure if you guys like this kind of stuff, but i'm getting really excited for WOD!

- Cyc