16
Feb
09

Will warriors have to relearn their waltzing?

Stance dancing is taking a major turn in patch 3.1. For better or for worse. Instead of the old mechanic where we save up to 25 rage on a stance shift, it’ll now cost us between 10 and 25 rage to shift.  So we’re no longer guaranteed to have any rage following a stance shift.

The critics of the new mechanic, as I see it, are mainly PVP’ers, who rely on having rage to be able to CC opponents. For a PVE person like me, the change is actually a great benefit. Currently, doing anything outside of zerker stance is a big nono for me, the rage loss is simply too great. Which means that things like overpower and rend are never used.

The question is, are the Battle Stance Only abilities worth it? Specifically, is Rend worth the 30 rage and the time it takes to switch back and forth?

The answer to that question will take quite a bit of testing and number crunching. It’ll also involve quite a bit of button mashing to reduce the time lost. Any rending will have to happen while Whirlwind and Bloodthirst are on cooldown. Ideally, it will not result in losing any Bloodsurge procs either. And finally, we dont want to cap rage.

The timing problem is eased somewhat, since stance changes are not on the GCD, so its theoretically possible to stancedance while the GCD runs. However, one has to take the latency into account, which does factor into an extremely tight rotation. And of course, theres the human reaction time to add to that.

Does it sound like a tight squeeze? It is. At most, we’ll have a window of 3.5 seconds where we do not have to hit WW or BT. The CD of WW is 8 seconds (assuming a glyph), and the CD on BT is 5 seconds. So ideally, we can get 2 BT’s off during the CD of WW (1.5s GCD+5s BT CD+1.5s GCD=8s), which leaves 5s-1.5s=3.5s between our BT hits. Plenty of time to get off our Bloodsurge Slam, which triggers the GCD.

There remains 2 seconds in which to Rend. At best. Subtracting the GCD we have 0.5 seconds for human reaction and latency. Remember, this is the best case scenario, where we have the largest “empty” window betweeen our crucial CD’s. Luckily, Rend is a DOT which runs for 15/21 seconds, so it we don’t need to apply it often. The WW/BT rotation is 16 seconds long, so we will lose 1s where the mob doesnt bleed (unless we glyph it of course).

The conclusion is, yes its viable to use Rend. At least when you look at the timing required. Its a tight squeeze, and it requires timing down to the second (as well as a minimal latency), but its theoretically possible.

The above is only a timing discussion, whether its at all possible to fit Rend into a rotation without delaying WW or BT. The next question is, whether it is worth spending the rage on it at all, whether the damage/rage ratio is high enough to warrant it. Finally, its a matter of pure rage generation; do we generate enough rage at all? Using Rend at the behest of WW, BT or Slam is quite simply a no go.

We’ve tackled one issue. But we’re not at all done yet. Until next time.

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