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Dual Wielding - The Theory Behind Slow Main Fast Offhand


Graham
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Hi people, is there somebody who can explain to me the theory behind dualwielding a slow in the main hand and a fast in the offhand; as opposed to fast weapons in both hands?

I'm a dual wielding sword specced combat rogue if that helps the explanation - currently using 2 60ish dps swords at 1.60ish seconds

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Gah I'm shit at explaining this but until someone better comes along;

Most of your "special" attacks (ie not auto attacks) are based on your main hand hitting. Ie so if you Backstab your damage is based on whats in your main hand. Because a slower weapon has higher damage per hit it would do more damage. However, it doesnt work that way really now as damage has been "normalised", basically theres a calculation that works the damage vs speed calculation out so that its actually worked out on a ratio of the DPS, meaning it makes no difference what speed the weapon is. AFAIK the only Rogue talent which truly benefits from the slow weapon is Hemo because of the way this scales against the Weapon Damage of the weapon.

Happy to be corrected if thats a load of crap but its what I understood about 6 months ago when I was last Hemo (not Homo!)

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However, it doesnt work that way really now as damage has been "normalised", basically theres a calculation that works the damage vs speed calculation out so that its actually worked out on a ratio of the DPS, meaning it makes no difference what speed the weapon is.

<snip>

Happy to be corrected if thats a load of crap

:(

That is a load of crap isn't it?

For two equal DPS weapons the slower one will hit for more on special attacks (sinister strike, e.t.c) because it'll have a higher avg damage than the quicker weapon. Which is why you'd favour a slower main hand when choosing between two equal DPS weapons.

Weapon speed used to calculate damage for instant attacks is what's been normalised. So all swords are now 2.4 speed (I think) for the basis of calculating sinister strike damage. The damage range or the weapon does still factor in though and for 2 equal dps weapons the slower one will have a higher avg damage therefore more damage.

Fast offhands (for combat rogues) are mainly to proc combat potency more and poisons more often..

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Fast offhands (for combat rogues) are mainly to proc combat potency more and poisons more often..

Right, which, thinking about it is what I'm finding and am quite happy with.

Ok - thanks both for the explanation. So there might be some worth in hunting out a slow main hander to swap in/out as necessary despite my current comfort with 2 fast swords.

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If you've got combat potency, I believe having a 1.5 second or less is de rigeur for your off hand. Apart from mutilate, I don't think there's any special move hitting with both daggers, so the off hand is just going to provide white damage and the ability to proc combat potency, which in turn allows you to sinister strike more often (on average giving more damage).

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It all depends on the class and the types of attacks you're using. For example, a dual wielding fury warrior would favour 2 fast hitting weapons for heroic strike spam and rage generation (thats how it used to be before all the rage changes anyway, not sure now). Heroic strike is an "on next" attack move, so the damage range is not important. It'll hit for less per hit than heroic striking with a slower weapon, but you'd make up for it with the extra white damage (non special) hits, and gain rage quicker, thus allowing more heroic strikes and more damage. Couldnt say how it affected bloodlust though, as I never got my warrior that far!

Fast weapons also benefit some procs, usually talented ones but mainly for rogues its poisons that get the benefit. As the damage range makes no difference for a rogues off hand weapon, its often best to take slower weapons as they'll proc poison attacks more often. This doesnt work with everything though, a lot of enchants work on procs per minute. This means that slower weapons will seem to proc more, as they'll proc on more hits, but you should get around the same over the same period of time as you would with a faster weapon. Anything that has a % chance on hit though will benefit from a fast weapon.

Main hand rogue attacks have pretty much been covered, so I wont bother too much except to say Alask is right. And I've never played a Shammy enough to dual wield. And with hunters, you'd just pick the weapons with the best stats. Only crazy foo's melee with hunters.

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Fast weapons also benefit some procs, usually talented ones but mainly for rogues its poisons that get the benefit. As the damage range makes no difference for a rogues off hand weapon, its often best to take slower weapons as they'll proc poison attacks more often.

Mistype? Rogue poisons are a flat % chance of proc per hit so you get more poison applications the faster your weapon is.

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Thinking about it, there is another good reason for a fast off-hand and thats if you're using shiv a lot. The faster the weapon is the cheaper shiv is, which can be good for getting combo points faster than using SS and for applying more deadly poison if you happen to be using that and envenom.

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