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.


  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


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



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.

  20 Responses to “Armor Penetration FAQ, Part 2”

  1. […] 10, 2009 by Alaron EDIT:  See Part 2 for a more in-depth […]

  2. Just a question, I (lightly) read both posts but maybe missed it, did you assume not only hit softcap, but expertise? From my understanding of the math, assuming you had little of expertise, and stacking armor pen, you would see little change from the stats listed above, but as you stack more expertise on top of hit cap, wouldnt the increase in dps be exponentially greater til you hit expertise hardcap? So maybe instead of gear scale being the dependant factor should expertise cap be the determining factor? maybe some math to back this up or disprove it?

  3. No, I didn’t assume caps for either, I took the current toon’s stats. You’re correct in your statement, but arpen’s scaling is increased by all dps stats, not just expertise (specifically hit/crit/AP). If there’s enough interest, I could see which affect it more, I suppose.

  4. Can you elaborate on the agility softcap? Are we talking about a softcap prior to enchant and trinket procs? What would that be range wise… I am thinking Crit would have to be really high to get to this point.

    • Jace-

      I was referring to the crit cap of 75% on autoattacks. We’re seeing crit rates in the 60’s now so it’s certainly within the realm of possibility. I’ll try to look closer at this when I get a chance.

  5. […] This sounds great! The theorycrafters are going to have to give the final word on this one, but our crit rates are going to be through the roof, so a 6-7% DPS increase seems about right. We’ll have to see what the stats look like on the Tier gear to know whether this signals the death of ArPen stacking…the crit from agi now benefits an additional ability, but the agi cap’s getting mighty close, as I predicted in my ArPen FAQ. […]

  6. I am curious as to what you guy’s dps number look like. I am a pretty heavily geared kitty and fully raid buffed now (with only 3 none 245+ lvl pieces) I can burst dps around 9-9.5K and have a maintained dps of 7.5-8.5k (all numbers from regular and. heroic ToCr)

    Armory me and leave any su ggestions, I am always looking for ways to improve my stats.

    Character: Hornybulls
    Realm: Blood Furnace

  7. Looks about right with your gear level. I am running 2T8 still though with same chest and using gloves. Did you try that or did you find breaking the 2T8 for the T9.25 gloves was a DPS increase?

    • Damn, Jace, get some sleep. :)

      HB, if those DPS numbers are accurate, I don’t HAVE to look at your gear, you’re fine. :) I burst in the 7’s, and hover in the low 6’s (in full-out kitty dps spec, which isn’t often) , but I’m still in mostly 226 gear. I usually end up tanking or healing more than I dps, unfortunately. A WMO/WOL parse is a lot more instructive, so if you have one of those laying around, we can take a look at that and see if we have any suggestions.

    • My dps did increase with the pieces of tier and the shoulders. I found that while the clearcasting proc was nice, the stats on the other gear was better. Now I think the T8.5 2 set bonus would probably be better if you were thinking of breaking it with just the T9 because the stats on those are barely an increase. That is why I have been holding out on wasting badges on it. I will be getting my 4 set bonus this tuesday (once I get enough badges) and will see how it affects me.

      Now as a side note…there is another raiding feral kitty in my guild who decided to go with the Arm Penn instead of agility (I only slightly outgear him) but I find he has a higher initial burst for the first few seconds of the fights, but I tend to quickly pass him. I also maintain a higher over time dps then he does.

  8. That is good info!

    Yeah I am running with 2T8.5 chest and hands still. I don’t see breaking it until I get some Heroic non set items or Heroic Tier Tokens.

    I still think a balance of agility and ArP is best.

  9. Excellent information. Thank you.

    If this was /., Score 5, Informative, Insightful.

  10. Well, I got the Heroic gloves and Chest from 10 man ToC and ditched 2T8.5. I socketed all ArP in those 2 items and now have 601 ArP with ArP food and 61% Crit raid buffed.

    I managed 6903 DPS and top damage on our 25 man normal mode Anub kill so I guess it is working out OK.

    I still wish I had an ArP trinket though… /sigh

  11. […] to do some writing, and WoW seemed to be a good topic. Got a few visits from guildies, but my two posts on ArPen in 3.2 got some good publicity (thanks, Kalon) and things have gone up from […]

  12. […] Penetration FAQ: A bit outdated, but still good. Part 1 covers the basics, while Part 2 covers it in a bit more […]

  13. […] September 14, 2009 by Alaron This page has moved to my new site! Please visit […]

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