Dual Wielding Pause

Sorry for the pause but I’ve kind of been fuming for the last couple of days. I’ve got to put a pause Dual Wielding for a bit until I can get my hands on that axe. It’s complicated and I’ll explain it later on for folks that are interested. The short of it is that the main hand I have right now is a little too weak to help my spells layeth the smacketh down. That means I’m rocking a honking two hander for now. It’s not remotely as elegant but hey it’s really hard for me to log in and do less damage just because I prefer the ‘look’ of something else. Yeah it grates me the wrong way though because now I look like every other single weapon Death Knight roaming Northrend. Oy I think I got a karmic slap by pointing out “hey there’s not a lot of level 80 DK’s on my server.” So then the fates that be decided to say (in a Yoda like voice none the less) “Oh there will be, there will be.”

So yeah, that’s what I get for trying to be different. I get gimpy weapons and surrounded by folks playing the same class. I can just imagine how Paladins felt just before 3.0 was released (shivers to think of all the Paladins folks were rolling because they wanted to be on the OP train).
First they were cursed with nerfs, then blessed with OP status. This of course opened the floodgates of the pwn thirsty.

While there is a whole lot of “don’t tank Dual Wield” ranting and raving going on (with a lot of good facts behind it) I have to say that with a good slow main hand weapon it’s not so bad. WITHOUT a good slow one main hand weapon it’s an exercise in futility. There’s enough futility in life so I like to leave it alone whenever I possibly can. Safe to say though I am kind of glad that I’m switching over even if temporarily because I’m skilling up my 2 handed axes and 2 handed swords. Of all the gear I’ve traded out, I miss my axes the most. (sigh)

Why do I miss my axes? Well in the Outlands they did a crap load of damage, they had a slow swing rate and they had +hit. But why are these things important? Well it all relates to how Death Knights actually do damage. Death Knights want each swing to be associated with a rune (spell) because the rune adds damage (sort of like ‘insult to injury’). So slower weapons like the humungous 2 handers are nice and slow and give the rune cool downs a chance to wear off and rune power a chance to build up so that you can add a rune to as many swings as possible. More runes means more damage, more damage means less time spent hacking at the mobs and more quests completed for me. Woot

Also the amount of damage that the weapon can do also adds to the amount of damage that the runes will do. A weapon with a greater damage quotient is going to have a bigger rune impact behind it. Keep in mind too that when Dual Wielding only the main hand actually adds that runic bite so the off-hand is basically just there for parry and weapon only damage. So this means that Dual Wielding Death Knights not only want a slow swinging weapon but also a heavy hitter.

Finally the +hit helps by removing the off-hand miss rate. Evidently when you’re Dual Wielding there’s a 9% chance that you’re going to miss with that off hand. I know, great, but by adding +hit or by boosting experience you can lower that down and actually do some damage with the off-hand as well as the main hand. This means that while you’re not hitting as hard at least you’re hitting more often to compensate.

Skeleton Jack did however post this handy tidbit tonight so I figured I’d cross post it:

Dual Wield (DW) versus Two Handed (2H) Tanking

The main reason everyone screams why DW tanks are bad is because of parry haste.  Long story short, if a boss parries your attack his next attack is hasted.  So if he parried enough attacks, you could potentially take a spike of hasted burst damage that your healers can’t keep you alive through.

If you Expertise cap as a Death Knight then the boss will not parry.

The Expertise cap is 15 as Blood and 21 as Frost/Unholy.  If you’re at this range, then that argument is null and void.  So the next one that comes in is TPS.  Basically the way Dual Wield is designed for Death Knights is that it is very gear, haste, and proc dependent.  Something which tank specs tend to have very little of.  Also most of the DK abilities strongly favor the use of 2H weapons for instant cast strikes.

The flip side however is that there are multiple 1H weapons with tanking stats.  If you wish to DW then you need a slow MH and a fast OH weapon.  You should focus on weapons that are heavy on tanking stats, and you should also Expertise cap.  This will reduce your total TPS and DPS as a tank spec, for only a minor tanking avoidance/mitigation gain.  I cannot find any numbers to truly suggest this is a real increase.  However if you have no dps players who are ever threat capped and you’d like to find a way to increase your survivability this would be an alternative option.”

I wanted to add this bit mostly because I’m still trying to get my head around the additional boss parries that basically blow out the tank. This also applies to folks that melee DPS by standing next to the mob as opposed to standing behind it because mobs can’t block or parry attacks from behind, but if you’re standing next to them they can and they’ll usually do it to the
tank.

With this info and everything I’ve been picking up from the Elitist Jerks forum and WoWWiki, I’m pretty sure that if I wanted to tank as a Dual Wield I could, but I might as well keep up my weapons skills on my 2 handers just in case I end up having to run with “Duel Wielders can’t tank noob” sort
of folks. I’m sure that I will eventually.

For the most part however I’m still just working on actually leveling and since I’m online either really late or only on the weekends I don’t worry too much about finding groups for instances. So for me as long as I follow the slow heavy main and the swift biting off-hand I should be able to work through the mobs at least fast enough to get through to 80. Hopefully I’ll also be able to pick up some leather for the auction house while I’m at it.

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