Proc Weapons and the GCD

After some testing along with others, it appears as though certain weapons (such as Nightfall) are incapable of triggering during the global cooldown.

To test this idea, I logged a bunch of hits on a blasted lands mob, and logged it here:

In this fight, I used Sense undead or seal of the crusader right before the end of each swing timer. Across 207 hits I got 1 proc off of nightfall (on that swing I was distracted and was late on putting on the GCD).

I never got a proc of nightfall when my character was waiting for the global cooldown to finish.

According to Nightfall’s proc rate, this result is ABSURDLY uncommon, and this GCD interaction is likely to blame for the reported low proc rate on Nightfall that blizzard debunked a few months back.

The proc rate is fine, it just can’t trigger if you are on GCD.

This bug may apply to other proc effects, as I assume that Nightfall is not the only weapon coded this way.


I can confirm that after 235 successful melee hits during the GCD (activated using find beasts) I did not get a single Nightfall proc. Same should be true for many other weapon procs and weapon imbues such as Coldrage Daggers and Frost Oils as they are on the GCD. This explains why Nightfall has a lower proc rate in raids (where we use abilities that activate the GCD) compared to target dummy tests. Here is a list of affected weapons gatherd on the fightclub discord by tilkku.

GCD IID Item name SID Spell name
1500 1318 Night Reaver 13480 Shadow Bolt
1500 810 Hammer of the Northern Wind 13439 Frostbolt
1500 880 Staff of Horrors 8552 Curse of Weakness
1500 937 Black Duskwood Staff 18138 Shadow Bolt
1500 869 Dazzling Longsword 13752 Faerie Fire
1500 997 Fire Sword of Crippling 89 Cripple
1500 1481 Grimclaw 13440 Shadow Bolt
1500 1482 Shadowfang 13440 Shadow Bolt
1500 1982 Nightblade 18211 Shadow Bolt
1500 3822 Runic Darkblade 16409 Shadow Bolt
1500 2256 Skeletal Club 13440 Shadow Bolt
1500 2299 Burning War Axe 18199 Fireball
1500 3687 Deprecated Unholy Avenger 13438 Fireball
1500 1387 Ghoulfang 16409 Shadow Bolt
1500 2263 Phytoblade 14119 Lightning Bolt
1500 2205 Duskbringer 18217 Shadow Bolt
1500 3194 Black Malice 18205 Shadow Bolt
1500 2163 Shadowblade 18138 Shadow Bolt
1500 2912 Claw of the Shadowmancer 16409 Shadow Bolt
1500 2915 Taran Icebreaker 16415 Fireball
1500 3854 Frost Tiger Blade 13439 Frostbolt
1500 6331 Howling Blade 13490 Howling Blade
1500 2942 Iron Knuckles 13491 Pummel
1500 4985 Test Proc Wand 2607 Shock
1500 6622 Sword of Zeal 8191 Zeal
1500 6831 Black Menace 13440 Shadow Bolt
1500 9446 Electrocutioner Leg 13482 Lightning Bolt
1500 8006 The Ziggler 13482 Lightning Bolt
1500 9386 Excavator’s Brand 13438 Fireball
1500 9651 Gryphon Rider’s Stormhammer 18081 Lightning Bolt
1500 10797 Firebreather 16413 Fireball
1500 754 Shortsword of Vengeance 13519 Holy Smite
1500 10625 Stealthblade 12685 Fade
1500 11902 Linken’s Sword of Mastery 18089 Lightning Bolt
1500 10623 Winter’s Bite 13439 Frostbolt
1500 9639 The Hand of Antu’sul 13532 Thunder Clap
1500 11121 Darkwater Talwar 16408 Shadow Bolt
1500 13051 Witchfury 18214 Shadow Bolt
1500 811 Axe of the Deep Woods 18104 Wrath
1500 13032 Sword of Corruption 17510 Corruption
1500 12992 Searing Blade 16413 Fireball
1500 10761 Coldrage Dagger 13439 Frostbolt
1500 9486 Supercharger Battle Axe 13527 Lightning Bolt
1500 8225 Tainted Pierce 13530 Corruption
1500 10803 Blade of the Wretched 18088 Corruption
1500 12621 Demonfork 16603 Demonfork
1500 13361 Skullforge Reaver 17484 Skullforge Brand
1500 13348 Demonshear 17483 Shadow Bolt
1500 12792 Volcanic Hammer 18082 Fireball
1500 12250 Midnight Axe 13440 Shadow Bolt
1500 12243 Smoldering Claw 15662 Fireball
1500 13408 Soul Breaker 17506 Soul Breaker
1500 11817 Lord General’s Sword 15602 Lord General’s Sword
1500 12974 The Black Knight 14106 Shadow Bolt
1500 13053 Doombringer 18211 Shadow Bolt
1500 14576 Ebon Hilt of Marduk 18656 Corruption
1500 14145 Cursed Felblade 18381 Cripple
1500 15418 Shimmering Platinum Warhammer 19874 Lightning Bolt
1500 17071 Gutgore Ripper 21151 Gutgore Ripper
1500 17752 Satyr’s Lash 18205 Shadow Bolt
1500 17068 Deathbringer 18138 Shadow Bolt
1500 870 Fiery War Axe 18796 Fireball
1500 17182 Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros 21162 Fireball
1500 19910 Arlokk’s Grasp 18205 Shadow Bolt
1500 19169 Nightfall 23605 Spell Vulnerability
1500 19170 Ebon Hand 18211 Shadow Bolt
1500 17193 Sulfuron Hammer 21159 Fireball
1500 18881 TEST Ragnaros Hammer 21162 Fireball
1500 19158 TEST Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros 21162 Fireball
1500 19100 Electrified Dagger 23592 Lightning Bolt


I have collected similar data from multiple Discord servers of people auto-attacking while spamming “Find Minerals” to trigger the GCD. The total is now 0 procs out of 1,612 melee attacks across 6 weapons found in that list.

Blizz, if this is accurate to the Reference Client, please let us know. Nightfall-wielders across 4 different classes will have to alter their rotations in order to maximize procs, and there’s even a Horde bias here because the Electrified Dagger from the Stormpike reputation is negatively affected by the GCD while the Frostwolf reputation parallel (the Glacial Blade) is not affected by the GCD.


Bumping for visibility.

Been following the research on Fight Club and this interaction between weapon procs that have a GCD (list above in previous post) and spamming abilities to maximize procs (as players do with nightfall or frost proc weapons on Viscidus) makes for some very unintuitive mechanics where attacking with a weapon more frequently results in fewer procs then if you just autoattack.

@Aggrend please review this behavior


This could make Visicidus a little more interesting.

The data seems conclusive. Even with Blizzard’s aforementioned “working as intended” post on Nightfall, this aspect needs clarification. We need to know if it’s working as intended.

bump for visibility.


Bump to confirm, did similar testing spamming Wing Clip with 2x Coldrage Dagger to the same effect. I assumed it was the “cast” getting interrupted by WC somehow, but the GCD explanation makes more sense given your tests.

Iv noticed other weapons behaving like this as well where the procs just seem non existent except while auto attacking. This really needs to be addressed. Bump Bump.

I wouldn’t be surprised if proc abilities like Seal of Command or items like Hand of Justice where affected by this, might be good to look in to spells and non weapons as well.

Hand of Justice has already been debunked as not being affected by the GCD on the Fight Club discord I believe
Even just looking at the proc on WoWhead, it is categorized as a 0sec GCD (so not affected by the GCD) spell, same goes for Seal of Command (don’t know if it has been debunked by the paladin discord yet tho)

I used both SoC and HoJ during my log at the top. Both procced during the GCD without issue.

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Really good find. No wonder proc based weapons feel so bad in classic and I hope this does get addressed soon.


The team took another comprehensive look at Nightfall and other similar proc-based weapon and item effects with this new information and we can confirm that certain effects cannot proc while under the effects of the Global Cooldown triggered by certain abilities. However, after extensive testing in the reference client, we can also confirm that this is true and accurate to original World of Warcraft as well.

We also discovered that there were specific provisions built into the original game to force this to be true. However, we discovered that this is true only if the spell or ability that triggered the GCD was flagged as a magic-based attack (or more specifically, spells flagged in our data with a defense category of “magical”).

This means that most physical abilities or spells that incur the GCD will not block these procs from firing while the GCD is in effect. An example of this is a Warrior’s Hamstring ability. This has a defense category of “physical”, thus you can still see Nightfall procs occur while you are on GCD following the usage of Hamstring. Alternatively, Demoralizing Shout has a defense category of “magical” and you will not see Nightfall or certain other items proc during the GCD immediately following that spell’s usage.

At this point it’s somewhat unclear if this was the original design intent or not, but at worst this was a quirk of how the original game was built, and at best this was part of the original design. Either way, this is not something that we currently consider to be a bug.

Thank you for the post about this, Smeet. Thank you as well to all of the other players who contributed to the super diligent research on this topic. We were glad to be able to revisit this and help clarify some of the inconsistencies players were experiencing around this and other proc-based items.

Edit: For posterity, I wanted to update this post and include a link to another thread with additional information on this issue (here)


Just because people did not have the same ability to catch bugs in vanilla does not mean they were not bugs.


Can you clarify if this is how it’s currently working and intended to work or if you need to fix physical abilities blocking procs on the GCD?

Thank you for the prompt response! I appreciate it greatly.

There are just a few things I’d like to say.

You may want to check this part on classic, as wingclip was certainly blocking the auto attack procs, and is a physical attack (unless it is coded as magical for some reason).

While he can’t post on the forums anymore, Theloras did ask Kevin Jordan (one of the original WoW devs) about this on his discord.

Kevin JordanYesterday at 7:27 PM
Don’t remember things working like this. If correct, I would have considered it a bug back in the day.

So, it likely wasn’t an intended interaction. There’s some evidence that Seal of Command also suffered from this bug and was fixed from being interrupted by it during the 1.11.2 patch

Fixed a bug where sometimes casting a spell immediately after a swing would prevent Seal of Command from triggering.

Overall, I don’t believe this “quirk” of the game is worth preserving, but hey, I’m not the one in charge here.

Thanks again. Have a great day!


So our shaman when he’s twisting, shocking, or doing anything else that isn’t an autoattack is basically doing nothing for us. Great design you got there. Totally worth exalted Thorium Brotherhood rep cost.

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You can still use abilities, just after the attacks land and before there is less than 1.5s left in the swing.

For Paladins it is 1s after swing start to 1.5s before swing ends…

Or on an unhasted nightfall… about 1s per swing of safe time

I don’t want to be pessimistic, but this just feels like some lack of love for Paladins and Shamans. Why must we suffer just because some of our attacks are considered magical?
This is clearly a bug

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If you guys could actually read, you’d see this is not a bug:

The original devs deliberately designed it like this. Should have taken it up with them 14 years ago.

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