Thursday, March 29, 2007

The [Dwarven] race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.

It's necessary to revisit the question of dual-wield versus a two-handed weapon. Beclemund and his co-star Anonymous both suggested that I reconsider two-handed weapons as my primary choice.

Beclemund pointed out to me that I had misinterpreted Kalgan's post about dual-wield for Warriors. I don't know what I was thinking when I read "1h+s" except possibly "one-handed weapon and a Stabby-dagger," but of course Kalgan was talking about the damage mitigation from shields, which I can't use. The parts about miss rates still apply, but any "damage mitigation" will come from the items' overall stats -- dps, agi, sta, etc. -- not from any inherent benefit in dual-wielding weapons or not.

A couple posts I found (finally!) that relate specifically to Hunters and dual-wield in melee seems to say that 2H weapons' dps generally outperform dual-wield dps. The anonymous comment to this blog supports 2H weapons as well, asserting that 2H+Raptor Strike+Savage Strikes should dish out markedly superior damage.

Even the question of weapon enchants is changed with the Burning Crusade, since the best of the relevant enchants, Savagery (+70 AP) and Major Agility (+35 agi), are for a two-handed weapon. Dual +15 agi enchants are no longer the king. (Yes, there's Mongoose for one-handers, but I don't see myself getting two 1H weapons that together rival a 2H and then putting Mongoose on both of them. I'm also not convinced of the superiority of Mongoose procs over a consistent +35 agi.)

The 2H weapon choices look pretty good in the expansion, too, with items like the Hellforged Halbard out there.

As long as I'm able to hold aggro against my pet when I'm using a 2H weapon, I don't mind using one. But in reality, it's the availability of weapons that dictates what you use, especially when leveling. With respect to that, polearms seem to make a great choice. Before I developed such a crush on dual-wielding, my plan had been to use polearms exclusively. There are a lot of good polearms out there with stats that complement my plan, and many of them sell for next to nothing in the auction house because so few people actually use them.

Which is the Ultimate Answer? (No, the other Ultimate Answer. Nerds.) It has to be taken on a case-by-case basis, according to what's really available. It's not just dps that matters. It's agi, sta, int... the whole kit-and-caboodle. One weapon has to be judged against another (or two) holistically to really see what's better. But having reconsidered the question, I won't be so quick to dismiss two-handers now. In fact, I think it's time to pull that Gargoyle's Bite out of storage, kick the tires, and take it on a long test drive.

Anon and Beclemund, thanks for the input!

1 comment:

Beclemund said...

Glad you're reconsidering. As tedious as grinding via melee will be, I think a two-hander will enhance your efficiency early on considerably.

I guess when you're higher level and you have money to burn, you could try out a dual Mongoose setup to see if the proc rate is enough to make a difference.

The real difficulty with that dual wield to-hit penalty later on will be stacking enough + hit rating items to close the gap on the miss rate vs. a two hander. There are some attractive options for one-handed weapons later in the game, Stellaris for instance, that could swing you back in the other direction.

My primary concern was your early leveling as + hit rating items don't really start to appear until the later levels.

I'll keep watching; good luck!