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. 😉