Armor Penetration Nerf Incoming

Yesterday evening Ghostcrawler announced in the Damage Dealing forum that a nerf to Armor Penetration was likely going to be on the horizon for Patch 3.2.2. The news wasn’t received so well by the forum community, and as a result, the thread has reached 13 pages. Needless to say, we’re not talking about 13 pages of “thank you Blizzard”. 😉

The nerf to armor pen in 3.2.2 is intentional. Compared to the recent buff where we increased the value of armor rating to 125%, this nerf would take it back down to 110%. While we are still evaluating the effects of this change in the 3.2.2 build, we did want to let you know of the possibility in case you were about to spend a lot on armor pen gems.

In fact, this was really the point. Several melee specs (and Marksman hunters) had begun to focus on armor pen at the expense of all other stats. Gear without armor pen was being passed over and gem sockets were increasingly being filled with just this one stat. While every spec has stats that are more valuable than others, this one felt like it was starting to trump everything. Not coincidentally, characters stacking lots of armor pen were starting to do more damage than their peers and more damage than we were comfortable with.

This change is largely for PvE reasons, though we won’t cry at all if melee damage in PvP drops a little as a result.

We’re letting you know now so that this doesn’t feel like a stealth nerf, assuming it goes live. While you might disagree or be frustrated by the change (though I also suspect it won’t come as a surprise to many players), we ask that you try and keep your response to something appropriate for these forums.

Fortunately for me, my latest upgrades were void of the stat. I’m not geared enough, nor do I have any of the necessary trinkets to make an effective MM armor penetration build. Instead, I’ve been focusing on crit more so as opposed to armor penetration.

However, for those that have stacked this stat and been able to post huge numbers doing so, this change is likely going to piss them off. 😡

We know that armor penetration is going to be removed altogether in Cataclysm, but this preemptive change is a bit of a surprise. I guess Blizz is going to be taking baby steps towards some of the radical itemization and mechanics changes mentioned at BlizzCon.

This change hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s very likely that it will go live with Patch 3.2.2. In other words, if you’re thinking of trying a MM armor penetration build, you may want to rethink that move. 😉

9 thoughts on “Armor Penetration Nerf Incoming”

  1. so i can sum1 plz fill me in do i still stak armor pen if i can reach the 100% cap with trinks cuz the hunters on my server in the top guilds still staking it to a certain extent so that they reach the soft cap and still have the trinks to make them reach 100% can sum 1 plz help out?

    • @ john

      This is really only practical if you have top end raiding gear, a very high damage weapon and are MM specced. Don’t bother with the armor pen unless you have all three of those things.

  2. Not that that is settled, my issue will be whether or not Grim Toll is worth holding on to now or trying to switch out for a different trinket. I’m already gemmed for Agility and RAP so that won’t be a big deal there but but when Grim Toll procs I’m at around 70 or 75 % Armor pen. This will bring it down to around 60% so I’ll lose a good chunk of DPS. I might go for the greatness card or another RAP trinket now, not sure.

  3. Been building up my ArPen set for ages with the intention of going MM as my raiding spec, but I knew this was coming. Will be interesting to see though if 110% really does break it like they want though, I would imagine a lot of people are going to be theorycrafting like mad from now until the 3.2.2 patch to see if 110% is more or less than a “regular” specced player.


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