Things to keep in mind: I have no swing timer of any kind on test, I'm purely just trying to find a solid rotation for these attacks, I'm still without one (For this experiment I tried to prioritize Execute - Overpower - Slam - MS but as you can see I got a lot more overpowers than executes on this particular run - I'm now thinking Overpower should be priority over Execute). Rend and Deep Wounds are still a very large part of my DPS but Vverpower was definitely providing a great deal of my raw damage here. I was pleasantly surprised that MS managed to come close to Rend, frankly. If I'd worked Slam more and gotten luckier with Sudden Death procs, I think I could have easily pushed 2200 DPS on this spec. Again, that's unbuffed.
This means that the developers have at least succeeded at one thing: they have brought Arms much, much closer to a viable DPS spec as compared to fury. Right now, with a human fury warrior dual wielding maces on live I can hit 2200 to 2600 DPS on a dummy. On test, it's lower, but still with familiarity I'm capable of hitting about 2000 DPS unbuffed, which is right about where Arms is ending up. Were I a better arms warrior with a swing timer and more experience with the spec? Arms is indisputably better on test than it is on live. In the past I've complained
about the pace of change
for Arms on test, but as far as Arms DPS on test is concerned right now, I have nothing to complain about. These changes have absolutely improved the spec for PvE.
in particular is the most felt change to the spec, I believe. The armor penetration is nice, yes, and I'm definitely much more of a fan of Mace Spec for PvE now, but I think even a cursory examination of my fumbling attempts on the dummy prove that Overpower is much improved with the talent.
My personal gear level meant that I have plenty of hit and expertise, but what I found most interesting was the fact that between Weapon Mastery and Strength of Arms an up and coming arms warrior in blues will be easily able to move dodge chance entirely out of play, making Arms probably the more gear-friendly DPS spec. While still improving as gear improves, it will be easier for a new 80 going into PvE to be sure he won't be dodged while attacking from behind (important because melee is still a big source of arms DPS) while also not worrying about losing his or her overpowers thanks to Taste for Blood.
I wasn't able to get an Arena match in on test, but I did run around Wintergrasp making a nuisance of myself. Right now I can say that Juggernaut
is, by itself, a positive boon. I didn't have PvP gear on, so in general I had the same problem any warrior is going to have when focus fired in PvP, I died fast. But when I got lucky enough to pick up a pocket healer the added mobility of Juggernaut makes keeping casters in range much easier, and the one-two punch of the MS debuff and the Overpower casting debuff makes healers miserable: pop a paladin's shield with Shattering Throw, then charge and MS/rend/overpower and you can hamper him a lot more effectively than warriors have ever been able to. Since we're the class with almost no real way to outlast healing, it's nice to see some viability in our old role as spoilers.
In short, Arms feels much more viable for both PvP and PvE on test. It's not perfect yet: the rotation feels ridiculously tight to me, you have to be on top of it constantly watching for procs and not missing anything, you can find youself entirely rage starved even with over 300 hit due to the fact that all of your rage generation depends on a big, slow 2h weapon. But man, it's so much better, even a middling arms warrior like myself can do reasonable damage with it. Imagine how good it will be with someone who's used to the playstyle.
Next week, we'll talk prot in 3.1. Does the change to Defensive Stance and Improved Defensive Stance mean much? Does more damage from all attacks and more damage from Thunder Clap and Shockwave produce measureable increases in threat?