Cataclysm: Rage Normalization

The trickle of Cataclysm information continues, as we’ve now learned that Warriors and Druids will see changes to the Rage mechanic come Cataclysm. Rage will be normalized as a result of the upcoming changes, resulting in more consistent gains, as opposed to the current extremes which starve Warriors and Druids with low-end gear, and make Rage management for Warriors and Druids with high-end gear trivial.

Some of you who have been playing WoW for a long time might be feeling a bit skpetical about these changes, as Bornakk recalls that Blizzard has tried to normalize Rage in The Burning Crusade, but failed to achieve the desired outcome. However, this time is promised to be different, as Blizzard admits that the past implementation was wrong, but they still feel the concept is sound.

Below are the specific changes Rage will see in Cataclysm:

1) Rage is no longer generated based on damage done by auto-attacks. Instead, each auto-attack provides a set amount of Rage, and off-hand weapons will generate 50% of the Rage main hands do. This amount is based on a constant formula which factors in the base swing speed of the weapon. This means the Rage gained should be averaged out between fast and slow weapons. The constant formula also gives us the ability to easily increase the rage gained if it feels too low (or reduce it if is too high). We are also implementing the following mechanics, which will still allow rage to improve to some extent as you improve gear.

    If the attack is a critical strike, it will generate 200% Rage.
    Haste will accelerate swing times to generate Rage faster.
2) Rage from damage taken will no longer be based on a standard creature of the character’s level, but instead will be based on the health of the warrior or druid. Again, there is a constant that is multiplied by the rage generated in order to allow for fine-tuning. This calculation ignores all damage reduction from armor, absorption, avoidance, block, or similar mechanics, so improving your gear will not reduce Rage gained.

3) We will provide warriors and druids with more instant sources of rage. For example, the warrior shouts are changing to work more like the death knight ability Horn of Winter. Instead of Battle Shout consuming Rage, it will generate Rage but have a short cooldown. Both classes will have additional methods to generate Rage in an emergency or bleed off Rage when they have too much.

4) All “on next swing” attacks in Cataclysm are being removed. Heroic Strike and Maul will be instant swings that cost a variable amount of Rage. For example, imagine Heroic Strike costs between 10 and 30 Rage. You must have at least 10 Rage to use the attack, but it will consume all available Rage up to a maximum of 30. Any Rage consumed above the minimum will cause the ability to hit harder, and in some cases much harder. We will tune the ability so that it’s generally not a good idea to hit it when you have low Rage (unless everything else is somehow on cooldown) but becomes a more attractive button the higher your Rage.


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