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Cataclysm Beta: Warrior changes in build 12984

The beta patches are coming fast and furious now. Heck, I was still playing in the previous patch when our friends at MMO-Champion announced beta build 12984, and wow, does it have some changes for the only class that looks this good, our friendly warriors. (OK, sometimes we're not so friendly. It's part of our charm.) Let's look at the changes for our plate-clad, dual-wielding, extremely temperamental bundles of axe-cuddling joy.

Arms
  • Mortal Strike now has a 4.5-sec. cooldown, down from 5 sec.
  • Blood Frenzy no longer improves your melee attack speed, gives your auto attacks a 5/10% chance to generate 20 additional rage instead.
  • Mastery: Strikes of Opportunity additional melee attacks now deals 75% normal damage, up from 50%.
The changes here are interesting. Looking at them, I find myself wondering if they're intended to make arms more responsive to melee attack speed increases and haste on gear. With slightly fasted MS and Blood Frenzy no longer providing the attack speed boost (but some much needed rage), haste won't be so terrible. Meanwhile, the arms mastery got the buff we all figured it needed to even remotely be viable. Fury and protection changes and discussion behind the break.


Fury
  • Inner Rage has been slightly revamped -- Usable when you have over 75 rage to increase all damage you deal by 15% but increase the rage cost of all abilities by 50%. Lasts 15 sec.
  • Titan's Grip no longer reduces your physical damage done by 10% when a 2H weapon is equipped in one hand.
  • Single-Minded Fury now lets you deal 15% additional damage (down from 20%) and Slam hits with both weapons.
  • Meat Cleaver revamped -- Dealing damage with Cleave or Whirlwind increases the damage of Cleave and Whirlwind by % for 10 sec. This effect stacks up to 3 times.
  • Enrage now has a 4/8/12% chance to proc, up from 3/6/9%.
  • Dual Wield Specialization now also increases your damage by 10% while dual-wielding.
These changes are intriguing. Inner Rage puts control of whether or not you want to start dumping rage twice as fast for 15 percent more damage in your hands. If you're redlining and wasting rage, you need to be active and use the ability. I generally prefer putting control in a player's hands if it doesn't lead to ridiculously overcrowded rotations, although I think 50 percent more rage should give substantially more than 15 percent more damage -- at least 30 percent, frankly.

Titan's Grip's new wording seems to indicate to me that it's not going to have any damage penalty at all.

Huh.

If you guys will excuse me, I need to go light some candles and play some romantic music, because TG and I need some alone time. Just us. You know how it is. When a man loves a talent and that talent dresses itself up like this, well, I have to deliver the love.

Moving on from any Rossi/Titan's Grip erotic fan fiction, SMF gets a slight nerf from the most recent build. Combined with TG's buff, the two abilities are probably really close to complete parity now. The stacking buff to Meat Cleaver (instead of just a flat damage increase) means it will get better in situations when you really want to be using Cleaves or WW, but you still don't expect to see those abilities queued up in single-target situations. Enrage? Well, it got buffed. That's pretty much all you can say about that.

Finally, Dual Wield Specialization gets a flat 10 percent damage increase, if the tooltip language is to be believed. "Allows you to equip one-hand and off-hand weapons in your off-hand. Increases your damage by 10% while dual-wielding and the damage of your off-hand attacks by an additional 25%." If you guys will excuse me, I'm going to take Titan's Grip and Single-Minded Fury here for a long romantic cruise to a tropical paradise where we will all run around smashing things faces in with whatever weapons are handy.

Protection
  • Shield Slam base damage has been lowered by 25%.
  • Devastate now causes 150% of weapon damage (up from 120%), base damage reduced by 25%.
The prot changes are much less interesting, but were to be expected. To put Shield Slam into perspective, as of last night, I was hitting things with a shield so hard that their parents died. I kid, but seriously, Shield Slam is a bit out of control right now. I'm surprised that Blizzard nerfed Devastate's base damage as well; it's not at all out of control. If anything, I'd have just flat-out buffed it and left the base damage entirely alone. In fact, looking at the Wowhead entry for the build 12942 version, I didn't really see that the base damage was affected. I may be misunderstanding it. If I'm right, however, Devastate was buffed exactly as much as SS was nerfed, which would make sense. It does mean that you care even more about your weapon's damage. Frankly, I'd expect to see some more tweaks to protection (especially AoE threat, which is fairly bad right now) in a build or two.

All in all, a minor but revealing set of changes for arms (I still feel this is aimed at making haste/melee attack speed buffs more attractive to the spec), dramatic changes for fury that I am dying to play with, and disappointing but to some degree understandable changes for protection. I'd really expect more protection changes soon.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

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