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Are slower weapons better?

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Nenicirene's picture

In general, weapon speed has no effect on DPS. Slower weapons will have higher burst damage, balanced out by periods of lower damage. Technically speaking, DPS is your mean damage, while weapon attack speed correlates with the variance in your DPS over a given window. High burst DPS is useful in PvP to overwhelm enemy healers' ability to react. In PvE, it is substantially less useful, and more consistent damage over time is arguably preferable.

Where weapon speed matters is with extra attacks and abilities that otherwise change your attack speed. Shaman abilities that grant extra attacks are based on a chance of occurring on each attack, so weapon speed does not affect the DPS they generate. Slower weapons have more powerful Windfury procs, but they happen less often. Flurry boosts your attack speed for the next few hits, but with slower weapons you crit less often. A comparable-DPS-but-slower weapon is only better if you have abilities that outright grant extra attacks without being based on a chance per attack you make, like warriors and rogues get.

Lastly, there is the issue of attacks disrupting enemy casters, where faster weapons are straight-out better.

Slower weapons may have less Windfury procs, but not by a huge margin...Windfury cannot proc more than once every three seconds, so it's impossible for REALLY low speed weapons to get "runs" of repeated Windfury procs.

This is different than, say, Sword Specialiazation where your proc can trigger a proc, can trigger a proc...same with Ironfoe, Flurry Axe, Thrash Blade...etc.

Nenicirene's picture

It is my understanding that the three-second limit was once true, but was removed at some point and that there are no limits on the frequency of Windfury procs at present.