Sep 142009
 

This post is a continuation of part 1, where I explored whether a feral DPS character should gem/eat for Agi/ArPen. The conclusion from that post was that agility was a superior choice; left open, however, was the question as to whether better supporting gear would make the switch to ArPen more viable. I’ll look at that today, briefly discuss my thoughts about the playstyle differences between Agi and ArPen, and make some final conclusions.

Agi vs. ArPen…Round 2

For this test, I went to wow-heroes and whistled up some much better geared ferals than myself. We’ll compare Numa, Wildoak (both from Magtheridon) and myself, in my updated gear. See table below. For a better comparison, I’ve subtracted 200 Agi/200AP and added 200 ArPen from my Armory stats in order to simulate having gemmed ArPen as well.

Character: Numa Wildoak Alaron
Wow-Heroes Score: 2880 2604 2434
Attack Power: 8749 8464 7989
Agility: 1932 1830 1641
Strength: 114 112 167
Crit Rating: 846 476 717
Hit Rating: 233 260 211
Expertise Rating: 130 105 42
Haste Rating: 509 203 190
ArPen Rating: 530 641 455
Avoided Attacks: 0.93% 0.87% 4.28%

We’ll plug each kitty’s stats into Toskk’s Cat DPS calculator, and evaluate whether +1 ArPen vs. +1 Agi results in more DPS, under the following 3 cases:

  • Case 1- 10man buffs: Flask of E. Rage, F. Feast, Imp. MOTW, Horn of Winter, Heroic Presence, BoKings, Sunderx5, FF
  • Case 2- 25man buffs: add Imp. BoMight, Windfury, Unl. Rage, Bloodlust, F. Inspiration, Imp. Moonkin Form, Heart of the Crusader, Mangle/Trauma always up
  • Case 3- 25man buffs, with Grim Toll or Mjolnir Runestone equipped

Admin notes: All cats assumed to have all DPS talents, Relentless Earthsiege meta, Mongoose enchant, Rip/Shred/SR glyphs, and are given equipped idols/ set bonuses/trinkets. For Case 1 and 2, cats with ArPen trinket (Numa/WO) given Mirror of Truth proc instead. For case 3, Alaron/WO given GT proc, Numa regains MR proc. All settings default, except all OoC procs for Shred checked.

Results:

  Case 1 Case 2  Case 3
Numa 0.93 1.02 1.09
Wildoak 0.89 0.98 1.03
Alaron 0.82 0.89 0.93

Arpen3.2.2_gearvary

And here’s the relevant DPS numbers, just for grins:

  Case 1 Case 2  Case 3
Numa 6868 9092 9236
Wildoak 6158 8127 8237
Alaron 5771 7501 7801

Arpen3.2.2_gearvaryDPS

Analysis:

As you can see above, whether to switch from gemming Agi to ArPen depends on three factors; your gear, your raid, and an ArPen trinket.  You can’t simplify the answer to just “if your ArPen > X, switch.” For example, Numa has good enough gear to where he no longer needs the trinket for ArPen gemming to be an upgrade, whereas Wildoak is on the bubble, where either Agi or ArPen could make sense, even though Wildoak has more ArPen then Numa. This is because ArPen’s value also scales better with other stats, mostly AP, hit, and expertise, than Agi. As for me? I’m not even close to considering a switch.

Final thoughts:

ArPen has some very important things going for it. It’s more consistent then Agi; you get less crits, but they all hit harder. This is good for encounters with tight DPS requirements, where a string of “good” luck can pull aggro, or burst DPS, where Berserk/Heroism/trinket CD’s generally favor ArPen to Agi. Of course, the converse applies on other fights, where sustained DPS/high-movement DPS dilutes CD effectiveness. You also give up some emergency off-tanking viability, and the reduced crit makes maintaining uptimes on all your effects slightly more challenging.

Lastly, put it in context. For all the discussion about it, we’re talking, at best, a difference of +/- 300 between Agi and Arpen. Unlike 3.2.1 where some well-geared cats were seeing a 25-30% difference in gemming ArPen for Agi, it’s a much less profound difference now, and you’ll only see a DPS difference of 3-5%, at best (and that’s well within average DPS variability, so you may not notice an increase at all).

Overall, ArPen remains a good stat for geared ferals, but I wouldn’t recommend gemming for it on a general basis. Obviously, if  you have absolutely insane gear like Numa above, it’s a much tougher choice, but I think I’d still prefer agility.  Don’t take my word for it; plug your stats and usual buffs into the Calculator and decide for yourself, based on your situation. Assuming the 3.2.2 numbers remain the same into Icecrown, however, the better gear available will tilt the pendulum back towards armor penetration again…especially if ferals start softcapping agility.