Welcome to another Warrior blurb, where I either discuss or whine about something on my mind related to Warriors. This week I am going to discuss (or whine about) the legendary ring and its role in Warrior parsing – particularly Arms Warriors.
Many people are probably saying that the ring greatly affects everyone’s DPS and ability to parse, and Warriors are not alone in that. Yes, that is true, but the problem truly becomes realized when you examine how Warriors parse versus everyone else. Many guilds pop the ring at about 30% on boss fights because that is usually when the last phase starts and a burn is needed – aside from the fact the ring just usually comes up around that time, anyhow. Warriors, however, do not want the ring at 30%. Instead, they want it at 20% for Execute, which is the linchpin to a Warrior’s DPS.
Both of the specs for DPS Warriors, Fury and Arms, rely on a successful Execute phase to parse well. The only time this impact is lessened for Fury is during Bladestorm fights. Even then, having a strong Execute phase can make or break a great Fury parse. Arms is hurt most by the usage of the ring at 30% because it misses the 44% damage bonus during its most critical point. An Arms Warrior’s DPS is entirely dictated by how well his Execute phase(s) went. You can have a single phase, such as Iron Reaver or Fel Lord Zakuun, or multiple phases, such as Tyrant Velhari, Xhul’horac, or High Council. Regardless of when the Execute phase is, your ideal set up to parse high is to have all cooldowns active plus a second potion and ring to pump full-rage Executes into a target affected by Colossus Smash (with Sweeping Strikes active if a target is nearby). If done correctly, an Arms Warrior can easily attain 1 mil+ Execute crits depending on gear and procs active. But the 44% damage bonus from the ring is the real contributor here.
Other classes with Execute mechanics are affected by a ring-less Execute phase just like Arms, but not nearly on the same plateau for two reasons. One, upwards of one-third of Arms’s total damage is concentrated into Execute; and two, most other specs’ Execute abilities become available around 35%. Since Arm’s damage prior to 20% is quickly outpaced by Execute damage, not having the large modifier of the ring cripples an Arms Warrior’s ability to parse well. To further compound that problem, most other Execute abilities for other specs are available at 30%, and the starting ring has almost zero impact on Arms because Execute is not available at the start of the fight. Given the fact that for Arms Warriors to parse they need the ring during Execute phase, fixing the situation is difficult because you will not convince the other 14 DPS in your raid to let you use it to benefit just you.
The real solution, and the point that has frustrated me to no end since I have been doing parse and carry runs, is having to de-synch your ring from everyone else’s. To de-synch the ring, you simply walk 100 yards away from all other DPS in your raid a certain amount of time before your pull and activate your ring. As a result, you can activate your own ring whenever you like since everyone else’s ring will be on cooldown. You may be wondering why this has me frustrated and angry despite being such a simple solution, but in practice de-synching your ring demands precise prediction and a bit of luck. Predicting when you will hit an Execute phase can be easily accomplished when you know your raid well and how much damage they do, but these things can easily be thrown out the window. Did your Mages get good Prophecy of Fear procs and your Rogues get good Soul Capacitor procs? That’s an easy 8-12% boss health difference right there, all of which throws off your predicted timetable because now Fel Lord Zakuun will reach your Execute phase with the ring having 20 seconds left on its cooldown. The same situation can be applied to the 2 big adds on Xhul’horac since their Execute phases can easily be cut short by good procs. Or even worse, they were both killed at the same time.
The whole situation is frustrating for us Warriors because we are the only class who has to jump through these hoops like circus bears just to parse. Jimmy the Marksmanship Hunter can just line up his Rapid Fire with the ring whenever he wants and parse just as well since the cooldown is exactly 2 minutes. Bobby the Retribution Paladin can always save a charge of Avenging Wrath for each ring usage. However, the Arms Warrior must game his legendary item, the thing that is supposed to make him feel powerful and have fun, simply because his class mechanics are so vastly misaligned with all of the other classes. Why was so much of Arms’s damage allocated into Execute? Why does our Execute become available at 20% instead of 35%+ like everyone else’s? Why do strings of trinket procs from Soul Capacitor and Prophecy of Fear completely dump on the projected timetable I have to create just to parse? It’s super frustrating because as a very competitive Mythic raider, parsing is basically what I’m going to be doing for the next four months until Legion launches.
I suppose none of it matters since this is just a problem felt by a small minority of players that an already part of a small minority. I’m still going to continue to de-synch my ring and pray my timetables do not get thrown off. I’m still gonna hope I have a hefty stack count of Unending Hunger active for Execute. I’m still gonna beg my fellow raiders to not destroy the caster adds on Socrethar so I can Execute cleave onto them in order to parse. I’m still gonna hope Omnus gets to Execute range right after Akkelion dies. And I’m still gonna be mad about it the entire time, too.