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Posts with tag Protection

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: We do transmog better than anyone

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I got to do some tanking in Heroic Siege this week - nothing major, just offtanking on Dark Shaman - and it was pretty fun all around. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy tanking in raids. It was fun to get to see the Warrior 2 piece Tier 16 tanking bonus in action in a current raid at the cutting edge of content, instead of in an LFR or using it to solo Cataclysm raids. It's a very solid set bonus, and I'm going to write more about it in the future - basically, I think it should be baked into the baseline Shield Block and Shield Barrier abilities, or perhaps be baked into Shield Slam in some way (so that, for ten seconds after a successful Shield Slam, you heal a percentage of your Shield Barrier absorb or Shield Block damage prevented, as one possible example) - but I'm not quite ready to write about that yet.

Now, as I said, I've been using my tank set and prot spec to solo Cataclysm raids, up to and including the first three bosses in 10 man Dragon Soul. It's not always easy, but it is possible, and the reason I've been doing this is because I freaking love transmogrification, and therefore, I've been pursuing it with a fevered dedication that has completely robbed me of bank, void storage and even bag space. I've wanted to write about transmog and warriors forever, but I felt such deep shame at letting Cable, the mutant son of Cyclops and Madeline Pryor, write about it first. I mean, I'm so in love with transmog that I started a tumblr about it.

So let's talk about transmog and warriors. (If you're not interested in transmog, you should probably come back next week.) Why do I argue that warriors do transmog better than anyone? Well, here's a few reasons.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Transmogrification

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: On reaching 90 and the basics - Protection


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Last week, we covered arms. This week, we're covering protection. Like last week, this article assumes you just leveled your first warrior to 90, but it can also be useful for someone who's played a warrior for a while but who never tried tanking on her. If you're unsure about giving tanking a try, I can understand why that would be - it's a lot of pressure, it's fairly gear dependent and you may not have it yet, and most of all it's often expected that a tank will be leading a dungeon run, which can be daunting if you're unfamiliar with a dungeon. Frankly, I always found raid tanking preferable to PuGging, but I still tanked PuG's and I had a few tricks for how to establish myself when doing so.
  1. It's okay to admit it's your first time or that you're new at something. Even experienced tanks don't always know the specific dungeon they're about to tank very well - if you're a new tank and you're feeling uncomfortable or unsure, go ahead and say so.
  2. Even if you're comfortable with your class abilities as a tank, but are unsure about boss strategies, see #1 - often someone in the dungeon will be happy to explain to you what you should or shouldn't do.
  3. Avoid the two extremes of 'tank megalomania' and 'tank doormat' - don't be an egotist who makes the tank run all about him or herself, and don't let yourself be walked over by players who deliberately make your life harder. Also, be cognizant of gear discrepancies when evaluating your own performance as a tank - if you're in 463 blues and the guy pulling threat is in Heroic Warforged gear, cut yourself some slack. You're simply not going to be able to do much against over one hundred ilevels in his favor.
  4. Be cognizant of the healer. I know that you want to run and pull more stuff while you have a full rage bar. Believe me, I know how it feels. But if your healer is undergeared and needs a break, let them have it. It's good to get in the habit of paying attention to your healer's mana - believe me, healers will tell you when you can run and pull like a fiend.
Also, one of my pet peeves as a DPS who knows how to tank is tanks who pull mobs, put no threat on them, then run down the hallway. No. I know you love chain pulling, but if you can't hold them, you're not chain pulling. You're just hitting mobs then running away and letting someone else tank them. Make sure you have solid threat before you decide to run away.

But let's get to the actual process of tanking - how do we play as protection?

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Tanking itemization

The Care and Feeding of Warriors The alternative models of tanking
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Still
waiting for the extra 1-h weapon to start looking at Single-Minded Fury. But I did start working on my tanking again recently. I went back to September to look at Theck's posts on warrior mitigation statistics and started thinking about how warrior gearing works now. To oversimplify for convenience, the value of our various active mitigation statistics and our passive avoidance statistics varies depending on how you prioritize Shield Block and Shield Barrier. This means, among other things, that you can gear, gem and reforge differently if you intend to be running primarily five man dungeons vs. raids, and that you can even change your tactical outlay of stats based on whether or not you're running 10's vs. 25's to some extent.

Really, what it comes down to is Shield Block vs. Shield Barrier use and the tension between trying to avoid the absolute most incoming damage vs. trying to create the most predictable spread of incoming damage. Theck makes the point that, while spamming Shield Barrier might cause you to take the least amount of damage overall, you're going to end up taking spiky damage. Spiky damage is something healers hate. A healer would much rather you were taking hits that kept you constantly losing about 60% of your health than be in a situation where most of the time you took no damage, but occasionally you took 90% of your health in one hit, especially when those hits could occur back to back.

As a result, while it may be mathematically best to rely on Shield Barrier, it won't work out that way in actual practice because healer mana isn't infinite and they can't just bomb heal you to full if you go down to almost dead in one or two hits. Damage spikes are the enemy, and a balanced use of Shield Block and Barrier will cause your incoming damage to be far more predictable and easier for your healers to cope with.

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The endless rage treadmill

The Care and Feeding of Warriors The Endless Rage Treadmill
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

You knew we were going to talk about this again, partially because rage and rage income is, by far, the most important aspect of the warrior class. The majority of warrior balance issues in the past have come from rage income. Whether it be too little rage (as it was in the first few months of The Burning Crusade) or too much rage (as was the argument for fury DPS in ICC at the end of Wrath of the Lich King), we always end up back at the same dance.

Since the post earlier this week announcing that enrage would be changed, we've seen a new beta build where exactly that happened, and Ghostcrawler responded to a post on the forums in greater detail for how the rage design in Mists of Pandaria is intended to go. We're going to talk about both of those things this week in some detail, which is code for "Matt gets all long-winded." Luckily, in this online format, I don't actually have to say all of this stuff -- I just type it out.

So let's look at the changes to Mists's beta build 15882 first. Many of these changes are merely tooltip changes, but a few definitely are more than that. They're the first stages in the change to enrage promised in that earlier post.

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: How to tank for non-tanks

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

So maybe you don't tank or perhaps have never tanked. Maybe you're new to the game, maybe you just haven't tried it out yet, maybe you used to tank but then stopped for whatever reason and aren't feeling comfortable picking it back up. Whatever your situation, the tanking game in World of Warcraft is available to you as a warrior.

A lot of guides tend to focus on gearing and speccing your warrior to tank, glossing over what you actually do as a tank. What buttons are you hitting and when? Sometimes that's because it seems self evident, or because specific fights call for specific things. This guide is written from an absolutely basic perspective: It will tell you what to do and when to do it, assuming you've no experience at all as a tank. Therefore, this caveat: No guide can make up for practical experience, and you may well learn different ways to perform the role that conflict with this. And that's fine. Learning the role through doing will help teach you what's suited to you; this is just intended to get you started out on that road.

This guide also assumes you are level 85. At least for the first 60 or so levels, you have few enough abilities that there's really no confusion and if you level as a prot warrior, you'll pick this up anyway. This is intended for DPS warriors and PvPers who have never tanked but would like to, as well as old hands who haven't tanked in a while.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Specializations in Mists of Pandaria

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

We are about to live in interesting times, my friends. Last week's BlizzCon effectively promised us most, if not all, of the candy I wanted. With the full awareness that this is all subject to change, take a look at the mock-up for abilities (not talents, core abilities) that all fury warriors will get as they level from 1 to 90 in the revamped Mists of Pandaria scheme. With the announcement that Slam will be an arms-only ability, I personally suspect that Wild Strike is the replacement for Bloodsurge's Slam proc. More importantly, you'll note a few things.

One I really want to highlight at the start are the no-brainer talents that aren't talents anymore, like Flurry, Raging Blow, Bloodsurge and both Titan's Grip and Single-Minded Fury. You'll also note that you don't have to choose between TG and SMF. You get both at level 38. I used the fury abilities screenshot because that's the one I managed to get. If Blizzard did an arms or protection one, I didn't see it. But all three talent specializations are worth discussing, because we're heading into a future where your talent choices are no longer constrained by spec.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A beginner's guide to leveling as protection

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Having talked about Firelands for a while and then the rather esoteric concept of reforging and optimizing your gear, this week we're going to switch gears and talk about leveling in Cataclysm. Specifically, we're going to talk about leveling as protection, which quite possibly is the best leveling spec for a new player. This guide is aimed at people who are just starting the game or the class.

Leveling as protection in the post-Cataclysm landscape offers several advantages.
  • Once you reach level 14 or so, you can begin queuing for instances as a tank, leading to fast experience and rewards. This makes gearing up a protection warrior fairly easy.
  • If you intend to tank in the endgame, leveling as protection will allow you to learn the role as you level rather than having to pick it up all at once.
  • Protection works well as a PVP spec in many brackets as you level.
  • Especially as you hit Outlands and Northrend, protection offers a good combination of survivability and the ability to destroy mobs for ease of questing, even for quests that normally indicate a group. Prot warriors can often pull more mobs and solo faster than DPS warriors.
  • Vengeance is a lot of fun.
  • If you're playing an alt, there are now several heirlooms for tanking warriors.
  • Hitting things in the face with a shield is pretty awesome -- I'm not going to lie.
Quite frankly, even if you don't intend to tank at max level, protection can be an extremely fun way to level. Let's take a beginner's-eye view.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 4.2 lurches towards us

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

All right. With patch 4.2 dropping next week, it's time to discuss it in detail -- at least, what it means for warriors. What changes will it have in store for tanks (almost none) and DPS (less of it) warriors? What will happen to us in PVP (arms and fury warriors will lose burst, prot won't)? Why is our PVP set so ridiculously ugly that it makes me cringe?

We'll start by looking at what Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street said about class balance. And specifically about warriors, because that's the column, you see. I could give a rat's hindquarters about the other, lesser classes. Except shamans. If you can't be a warrior, being a shaman is a good backup plan. Why not be both? Go ahead and roll six warriors and a shaman, I'll wait.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Cataclysm tanking, part 4

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Last week, we discussed hit and expertise. Before that, we talked about tanking etiquette and how to work up to tanking. This week, we're going to talk about the nuts and bolts of warrior tanking in heroics and raids. Before we do that, we should point you at the Protection 101 and Protection 101 talent guides, which will cover a lot of what we talk about here in more exhaustive detail.

Heroics and raiding are similar but have different demands on a tank. With the announcement this week of a new Call to Arms feature that will most likely result in added rewards for those of us willing to tank in the LFD system, it's a good time to familiarize yourself with the role and how to perform it to the best of your ability.

Frankly, I view tanking as something that requires more effort than DPSing. On my warrior, I find it takes less effort and less work to top DPS meters than it does to tank. This isn't necessarily because tanking requires more skill (I would argue it's no more complicated than DPSing in either spec) but rather due to a combination of added pressure, expectations and labor required to do it well and make it look like you haven't had to work hard at all. So let's talk about ways you can make it easier on yourself.

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Cataclysm tanking, part 3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

A week or so ago, while I was planning out this series of posts about tanking in Cataclysm, our old friend (well, okay, I've never met nor spoken to him) Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) had some interesting things to say about the current state of hit and expertise for tanks. I wasn't able to immediately address them because I'd already written out what would be published, and so I had to wait until this column to talk about the history of hit and expertise for tanks in previous expansions and what the current state of the art is.

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.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Protection Warrior 101 -- talents


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Tanking. It's what we talked about last week, and if not for a massive burst of gut rot that hit me Thursday like a hammer wielded by the Spectre himself, we would already have talked about it more this week. Better late than never, I suppose. To give you an idea of how sick I am as I type this, I didn't want to move all day, so I'm actually writing the column from the floor of my living room using my TV as my monitor. I'm so sick and exhausted that I find this screenshot of my worgen in his prot stance and gear standing on Anduin Lothar's shoulder to be hilarious. You see, Lothar was so badass, he had a werewolf for his conscience.

Maybe you have to be extremely dehydrated to appreciate it.

Anyway, this week, we're going to talk about protection's talents, which ones are niche talents and which are more generally applicable. Not all of the talents we discuss will be in the protection tree, as we'll also look at arms and fury talents that are well suited to tanking. It would be hard to justify talking about useful tanking talents without discussing Field Dressing, for instance. I had to tank those annoying parasites on Magmaw this week, and I was very glad to have the boosted self healing from Field Dressing for my Victory Rush heals.

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Cataclysm Beta: Holy power questions

Holy power is the big conversation topic for paladins right now (well, that and mobility in PvP -- but that's always a topic of conversation for paladins). For those of you who have been out of the loop, Blizzard announced during its last developer chat that for the betterment of the class, paladins would be receiving a new resource called holy power. This would be used in conjunction with mana for a variety of new and existing abilities.

So after having played with holy power on the beta realms, we decided to ask our Twitter followers if they had any questions or concerns about this new system for us to look into.
Soranomaru asks:

"How fast does it accrue? How do you spend it effectively? Is it a mechanic to empower spellcasts or another ressource like mana?"
Short answers: Currently, every 3 seconds for ret, 4 seconds for prot, and 6 seconds for holy due to the abilities and talents they'd be using to earn it. Usually, three points is the most efficient. It's a secondary resource, like runic power is to runes on a death knight, and there are certain abilities that use it and other abilities that have nothing to do with it.

Long answers: Holy power is a secondary resource that you'll have along with your current mana bar. As retribution and protection, you'll be using Crusader Strike to build up your holy power points (HPP). If you're holy, you'll still have access to Crusader Strike, but you will also be using Holy Shock to build up that HPP. The most HPP you can build up at a time is three, so you'll be earning and spending fairly quickly. Some abilities give a flat rate based on how much holy power you put into it (Word of Glory), while others get much more efficient with the more points used (Templar's Verdict).

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: New talent trees for paladins

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge -- and soon, an entire flight of black dragons.

Last night, Blizzard released the new talent tree system onto the beta realms for people to take a gander at and test out. Each class is at various stages of done-ness, with some needing pruning, others needing tuning and still others just need another iteration or two before truly being ready. Paladins fall into that last category, along with three other classes.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the beta patch notes, with bold added for emphasis:

Cataclysm Beta Patch Notes - Build 12479
While this is a first pass on all of the talent trees, death knight, druid, paladin, warlock, Arcane mage, and Assassination rogue trees are not as far along as other specializations.

...

Paladins
* We are in the process of overhauling many paladin talents, spells and abilities. Expect updates in upcoming patches.


Things like more healing abilities for holy, Holy Shield moving from a maintained ability to a tanking cooldown, and three new planned but unimplemented attack abilities for retribution are all in the pipeline, as well as a shakeup of the talents we've already been provided. So, without further ado, I present a first draft of the paladin talent trees.


The Light and How to Swing It tries to help Paladins cope with the dark times coming in Cataclysm. See the upcoming Paladin changes the expansion will bring. Wrath is coming to a close and the final showdown with the Lich King is here. With Cataclysm soon heating things up, will you be ready?

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Reaching uncrittable

For those of you who don't know much about tanking, we're going to talk quickly about a stat that won't exist in Cataclysm. This lowly stat is called defense rating, and it's something that tanks need quite a bit of. The nice thing is that it's on just about everything that tanks wear, which means at higher gear levels, we've got it coming out of our ears. The primary point of this stat is to reduce the critical strike ability for incoming melee hits from the standard of 6% to 0%. Druids currently don't need this stat, as they've got a talent called Survival of the Fittest, which means that bosses don't need to drop defense leather.

All in all, the stat is kinda boring, as while it does still do nice things after you reach the defense cap of 690 rating (or 540 skill), most people don't bother with it and stack stamina or other avoidance. So Blizzard decided that they're going to get rid of it.

Around BlizzCon 2009, we were told that the crit reduction we formerly got from defense rating was going to be tied into things that were available to all members of each tanking class. Examples used were baking it into Bear Form for druids, Righteous Fury for paladins, Defensive Stance for warriors and Frost Presence (or rather, Blood Presence in Cataclysm) for death knights. That means that if a retribution paladin or arms warrior wanted to tank, all he'd need to do was swap to vaguely appropriate gear (or just over to a sword and shield), pop his respective abilities, and away he'd go. That's not how it appears things went down, though.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing a new level 80 tankadin, part 3


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon an entire flight of black dragons.

First up, I'm looking for action screenshots of retribution and protection paladins. They can be any level between 1 and 80. I'll be using these for header graphics like the one above. Please send those as well as any other comments to my email at gregg@wow.com.

Secondly, this is it. We're almost done. We're finishing our final installment of how to gear your new level 80 protection paladin. If you've been reading our previous weeks of this guide, you know that we talked over reputation and profession gear as well as all of the various dungeon gear you can nab. This week we're going to be taking advantage of all of that dungeon running and spending our badges with a look at all of the badges from Frost to Heroism (and yes there are exactly 7 useful items that you can trade Emblems of Triumph down to Emblems of Heroism for ... and 6 of them are epic gems).

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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