Archive for the ‘WoW Warrior Guides’ Category

by Matthew Rossi

 

As warriors, we’ve been grappling with hit and expertise for years now. Why, you may ask, are they suddenly less viable for tanks than they were during Wrath? Well, believe it or not, hit and expertise have become less compelling for tanks entirely because of two big quality of life changes for tanks: the removal of parry hasting and taunt miss chance.

Detailing the shift

As GC himself points out, tanks working on new content will almost always make the trade-off between threat and survivability in favor of survivability. Tank deaths are often the end of an attempt on a boss, while in most cases, a loss of threat can be compensated for by taunting or threat drop abilities. It’s hard to fault a tank for wanting to make the healer’s job easier, especially now that mana is once again an issue in raid tanking and Vengeance exists to make threat less of an issue as time goes by.
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by Matthew Rossi

 

we talked about tanking etiquette and how you can deal with the heightened stress of tanking an instance without convincing your run that your brother is actor Emilio Estevez. This week, we’re going to talk about how you, as a new or returning warrior, can learn how to tank.

I’ve been playing warriors for a long time now. Right now, I have three 85 warriors that I’m working on, for DPS, tanking, and PvP. This means to some degree I’m in a constant state of relearning the class. In addition, I’m leveling a druid, DK, and paladin for tanking purposes as well, because I think it does help you as a warrior tank to see how other classes tank. (So far, my perspective is that paladins and DKs are brokenly good and druids need a little work. I don’t pretend this is unbiased.) The first and best advice I can give someone who wants to learn to tank is, go out and tank things. While this is akin to the old teaching people to swim via throwing them in deep water approach to swimming, it has several advantages.
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by Matthew Rossi

 

One of the things warriors do in game is tank. We’re one of four classes that can tank, and one of two classes that can only tank or DPS, meaning that there’s a reasonable chance that any warrior you meet will be a tank and an absolute certainty that if your warrior isn’t DPS specced, it’s tank specced. (I don’t include PvP in this because there are PvP warriors of all three specs.) Since tanking is something I talked about at great length during the past year or so, I have been endeavoring to talk more about the DPS specs since Cataclysm launched. So, I’ve done that, and I’ll continue to do it, but this week and as a recurring feature here at TCAFOW I’m starting a Cataclysm Tanking series of posts. These will come as topics suggest themselves to me.

For this week, rather than discuss gear or rotations (some of which we covered in theCataclysm Protection 101 posts a little while ago) I wanted to talk about something less tangible but more immediate in its impact, namely, how to behave while tanking and how to behave towards your tank. Lately, with running heroics so much a part of the gearing for raiding experience, and some people really feeling at the mercy of the tank and resenting it, it’s time to talk about how we can all make each others lives easier and more enjoyable.
Do not sign up to tank unless you actually want to
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by Matthew Rossi

 

One of the oldest truisms in WoW is the old saw, “You don’t do any DPS when you’re dead.” It’s a truism because, well, it’s true. And with the days of multiple combat resurrections during an encounter being a thing of the past, it’s more important than ever for DPS warriorsnot to die. With healing classes having to save their mana as much as possible and so many things causing unavoidable, raid-wide bursts of damage, making sure to avoid damage that you can avoid becomes crucial.

I have to make a lot of calls when I raid, so I’m pretty sensitive to the issue of avoidable damage and/or minimizing what damage you do take. Between abandoning the old Wrathidea of avoiding any talent that doesn’t give you immediate DPS increases to simply grasping situational awareness instead of counting on the healer to pull you through every experience, the warrior DPS has to pay attention more than ever to what’s going on around him or her.

What are the biggest complications for a DPS warrior?

Let’s break up the basics for ease of discussion.
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by Matthew Rossi

Time to talk about arms talents. Patch 4.0.6 has probably made arms as close in raw DPS to fury as it’s been in quite some time. At the same time, some of its PvP bite has been pared away. I would vociferously deny that arms is broken in PvP; I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. It’s definitely the case that the arms rotation suffers in fights in which it becomes harder to maintain time on the boss. (I saw a rather significant DPS loss on Omnotron, with its rather constant target switching.) But if you can keep face time, arms has a lot more teeth than it did even a month ago with Slam hitting much harder and Mortal Strike costing less rage. I will say that with health pools so huge now, the 10% healing debuff on MS seems completely pointless.

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by Matthew Rossi

 

Another set of patch notes for the 4.1 PTR is among us, and as always, some of the changes are unforeseen. While I am not surprised at the removal of Shield Slam and the change to Pummel (the two abilites were doing the same job and one was better), some of these other changes, clearly aimed at PvP protection warriors, did surprise me. Just when I thought I was getting my bearings, another set of patch notes came along today and completely altered things again.

Let’s take a look at exactly what they did and then discuss what it means.
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by Matthew Rossi

 

Yes, we’re still talking about patch 4.1 on the PTR. To be fair, Blizzard keeps making tweaks and changes, so many that it seems like we can’t talk about them all. But with the rapid flurry of changes comes a need to at least try and suss out what we’re looking at.

The most recent changes mean that in total, warriors probably have the most patch notes changes of any class in the game. This is somewhat baffling considering how many times we’ve been told over the past weeks that warrior DPS and tanking were right about where they should be. It seems astonishing to me that a class that is performing in the zone it should receive so many iterative changes in one patch. But let’s take a look at the complete (as of March 3, anyway) notes for warriors first, before we get into discussing what these changes tell us about the class as a whole.
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by Matthew Rossi

Tanking is what we’ve talked about for the past couple of weeks, so let’s switch it back up. DPS warriors come in two varieties, arms and fury, and for the next couple of weeks (depending on if/when patch 4.0.6 comes out), we’ll be talking about the talents of each of those DPS trees and what you can use them for. Fury’s going first because I despise alphabetical order and all of its works. Do you hear me, alphabet? I do not fear you. Well, except for when I try and spell Cataclysm. I always get the Y and the S flipped around.

With some of the fights in Cataclysm being among the most unfriendly to melee DPS of any expansion, it’s important to consider that taking survivability and mobility talents can be just as important for PvE as for PvP. So let’s take a look at fury and its talents.

At this point in time, I don’t think I can overemphasize mobility and survival talents. Why are they important? Because right now, most heroics and raids have tons of avoidable damage, and tons more area damage that often cannot be avoided. Being harder to kill and more able to escape said damage is crucial. In Wrath of the Lich King, there was a mentality that said that all talent choices should increase our DPS. This was at least in part because in Wrath, healers had enough mana to heal through just about anything up to and including stupid. InCataclysm, it’s often not at all the case. You’re expected to avoid as much damage as you possibly can and to do at least something to help out with unavoidable damage.

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by Matthew Rossi

 

It wouldn’t be a patch without warrior changes, and patch 4.1 is nothing if it isn’t a patch. What are the really big standouts from an initial overview pass of the changes?

  • Rallying Cry is a new ability that seems to work like Last Stand for the entire party or raid.
  • Colossus Smash now only lowers armor by 70% for 6 seconds, down from 100%.
  • Intercept stun is reduced to 1 second. In addition, Juggernaut will no longer increase the stun duration of Charge.
  • Whirlwind will now reduce its cooldown by 6 seconds if it strikes four or more targets.
  • Several arms abilities have had their damage increased, from Mortal Strike (175% weapon damage) to Overpower (145% weapon damage) to the talented Improved Slam(increases slam damage by 20/40%, up from 10/20%). These are most likely intended to compensate arms for losing Colossus Smash’s armor penetration, indicating that nerf was aimed at fury DPS.
  • Finally, Improved Hamstring will now also reduce the global cooldown on Hamstring by half a second for 1 point and a full second for two. Less stunning for warriors and more snaring seems to be the order of the day.

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by Matthew Rossi

I mentioned that if 4.0.6 dropped this week (which it did), I’d be talking about it this week. So far, my initial impressions are as follows:

  • Tanking doesn’t feel particularly changed. I like Devastate more now that War Academy affects it, but it’s not a major deal one way or another for me.
  • I’ve been playing around with the proposed Crit/Mastery gearing for fury warriorsproposed by Landsoul, and as you would expect from one of the supreme warrior theorycrafters, it’s valid. It does seem very dependent on high targets (about 22% crit or better and 17% mastery), although part of that might just be because some fights are so ridiculously punishing for melee right now that you have to compensate for lost DPS time.
  • I still like hit for fury if you’re in ilvl333-346 blues and some mixed-in 359 epics. As your gear improves to all 359 and you start mixing in the BiS epics, you can start tinkering to drop to 10% hit. Hit’s never bad; it’s just prohibitively hard to actually cap out at this point. I suspect if hit starts falling way behind, stuff will be changed to make it more attractive to us, as well.
  • Arms feels slightly buffed. Fury feels like the damage just moved around. Prot feels absolutely unchanged. How the hotfix to raging blow will shake out is as yet undetermined.

So now let’s talk about 4.0.6 in detail.

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