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Posts with tag Warrior

Warlords of Draenor: Tanking and the future

One of the things I'm thinking about lately is how tanking is changing in Warlords of Draenor. In at least one major way, it's not changing - Active Mitigation established itself in Mists, based in part on DK tanking in Cataclysm, and it's going to be front and center in Warlords of Draenor. But right now, AM tanking heavily relies on four stats (depending on the tank class) and all four of those stats will be gone come Warlords, meaning that we're looking at a pretty significant change depending on the class. The remaining stat, mastery, is probably going up in value, and in addition, we'll have crit, haste, readiness and multistrike to consider. But stats aren't the whole of the game, and they're not the whole of the changes, either.

In addition to new stats, there are the abilities each tank will see affected by readiness to consider. There are also Draenor Perks for each tank spec, granted randomly as we level from 90 to 100. There are changes in what abilities exist, in what specs get them. Vengeance is gone, replaced with Resolve, buffing our self heals and absorbs. In short, while the basic idea remains the same - generate resources via attacks to spend on damage reduction in one fashion or another - how we go about it, how it interacts with us has so many changes that it's worth discussing in length. There's so much change coming in that I don't pretend I'll catch all of it, which is why we have comments, after all.

So what do I expect to see out of tanking coming 6.0? It should be noted, this discussion is based on the Warlords alpha patch notes and such datamining as I've looked over, and I freely admit I only tank on one class, so while these are general observations I may be missing key class specific factors.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: This is the end

Yeah, goodbyes are hard.

I started this column on June 15th, 2007. It has run continuously, one column a week, since that time. No one else has ever written a single The Care and Feeding of Warriors but me, and I have never missed a week. That's because, when I started this job, I had one goal - to tell you all how much I love playing a warrior in World of Warcraft. How awesome warriors are.

It's 2014. A lot has changed in my life and in the game but one thing has not - I still love playing a warrior in World of Warcraft. I've loved the class through my days of PvP and through every raid in the game. I've loved them through being the least popular tank, through being underpowered and overpowered, through every mechanical change and system. I was here when Titan's Grip was announced. I was here when we got, and lost, and got Heroic Leap. I have played this class since 2004, and I have written about it since 2007.

I'm going to keep playing a warrior, of course - I have like five max level warriors at this point, I'm not likely to stop now. And I'll keep writing about warrior news as it comes up. But this column you're reading now will be the last weekly The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the last time I sit down and write what has been a part of my weekly routine for more than six years now. There were many ways I could have chosen to end it - we could have done a retrospective column, going over my favorites from the past several years. I could do a big "This is what I hope for the class in Warlords" post. (I expect I'll be doing that in a different format anyway.) But this is the end.

So I'm going to end it the way I started it - I'm going to tell you a story.

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

Warlords of Draenor: Character boost and Shadowmoon Valley gameplay footage

What we have here is video from today's Korean press event, showing footage of an orc warrior playing both on the Timeless Isle in the starter gear you get when boosting to level 90, followed at the four minute mark by a dwarf warrior running around Shadowmoon Valley on Warlords of Draenor's Draenor. We get to see the maps for several zones (most appear to be unfinished) as well as Draenor's position on the map next to Outland and Azeroth. We get to see several mobs, including a nether ray style mob, and the local draenei at the Temple of Karabor. Even better, we get extremely brief glimpses of new level 100 warrior talents!

All in all it's pretty tantalizing, and perhaps they're further along than I would have thought - it seems more likely to me now that a beta is a month or two away than it did before I saw the video.

Edited to add - The folks at MMO-Champion posted two more videos from the same source, Korean webzine Inven. You can watch them here and here.

Thanks to Mintie for the tip.


Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Nerfs to Warriors' Charge and Warbringer reverted... for now

Blizzard Community Manager Lore has posted on the official forums about the reversion of a recent, controversial change to Warrior control against casters. While any class will likely complain about the removal of a CC ability, warriors were particularly vehement about their dislike of the change to take the stun off Charge on the patch 5.4.7 PTR. Warbringer was also altered to stun instead of rooting, so that if you were happy to sacrifice the tier's other talents, you could get the stun back.

Those nay-sayers will be happy to hear that this change has been reverted. Instead, Pummel will be on a shared 15-second cooldown with Disrupting Shout. So, if you Pummel, that will mean your Disrupting Shout is put on a 15-second cooldown, and if you use Disrupting Shout, your Pummel will be put on a 15-second cooldown. The purpose of this change is to make warriors less disruptive to casters -- the same as the purpose of the previous change to Charge, but Charge is a far more difficult ability to alter in the proposed way. Lore gives the example of Charge onto a target with Hand of Freedom active, and there are several other issues that may arise. While this change is superior for PvP, it might have a larger impact on PvE warriors than the previous Charge nerf.

With the changes to CC going forward, in Warlords, it would be no surprise to see this CC change return. But Lore says they don't have time right now... does this mean the new season and patch 5.4.7 are imminent?

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Filed under: Warrior, PvP

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: All we know so far from BlizzCon

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.

Let's go over some things we learned this weekend that will have an effect on us as warriors (as always, keep in mind this is all subject to change):
  • We learned that there will be new level 100 talents (which we'll go over)
  • Hit and expertise are gone, baby. In their place are will be new stats like movement speed and Cleave, which will act like the Siege of Orgrimmar trinkets we've seen that allow either damage or healing to chain to other nearby targets.
  • Also gone? Dodge and parry as stats on gear. We will still be dodging and parrying, but not via gear itemization. Also also gone? Reforging. A lot of gear changes, in total.
  • There will also be changes to armor itemization to make it easier to share gear between classes and specs. Plate will switch primary stat based on your spec, so all plate with be strength plate unless you're a holy pally (which you aren't) whereupon it will switch to int plate. Plate is plate now.
  • You will be able to choose one character and boost it to level 90, be it a new fresh level 1 you roll as soon as you get Warlords of Draenor or an old alt you left by the wayside. Did you stop playing in Wrath? Your level 80 can skip those 10 levels. Since we know a lot of people have rerolled other classes, this could be useful to get some warriors back in the saddle.
I don't pretend that this is all we'll end up finding out, but it's enough to start talking about.

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

Patch 5.4 PTR: Vengeance changes

Patch 54 PTR Vengeance changes
If you're a tank in World of Warcraft you know what Vengeance is. Originally intended to allow tanks to keep up with increased DPS from improved gear with DPS stats on it while accumulating tanking gear that generally lacked those stats, it's turned into a means for tanking players to do chart topping DPS on some pulls (especially AoE ones with multiple tanked mobs). There's been a lot of discussion about what might happen with Vengeance in patch 5.4, and now we have our first look at what Blizzard is contemplating for the tanking specialization.
Rygarius - 5.4 PTR Patch Notes - August 2

Vengeance has received several changes.
  • Vengeance now grants Attack Power equal to 1.5% of the damage taken, down from 1.8% (The tooltip said 2% but it was actually 1.8%).
  • Tanks no longer receive Vengeance from many persistent area damage effects (standing in the fire) or from missed attacks (dodging and parrying an attack will continue to work as it has before).
  • There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.


These changes are almost certainly aimed at reducing the very high DPS that we can see on trash pulls and boss fights with a great many streaming adds (such as Tortos' bats or the packs before Iron Qon) especially as we head into the final tier of gear for Mists of Pandaria, which would inflate these numbers even more. Raids that use tanks with the highest DPS tanks will probably feel these changes the most. As always, this is the PTR, so if you have an opinion on these changes getting on the test servers and testing them out is useful so you can give proper feedback.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 5.4

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 54
Yes, patch 5.3 isn't even out yet, and we're already looking towards patch 5.4. Thanks to Ghostcrawler, we have this to think about for the future, namely that Vengeance is getting capped at a significantly lower threshold in raids in the future. If you remember back at August of last year, Vengeance saw some significant changes that increased how fast it could ramp up in raids and also gave it a far larger maximum potential. It's been adjusted over time, but in general what GC said back last August has held true -- tank DPS in raiding really did go up. To the point where on some pulls it's not unusual to see tanks leading the DPS, sometimes by extremely large numbers.

Since this is a big change that will drastically lower tank damage output (25-man tanks with their 600,000 or more health buffed will lose roughly 300,000 AP on fights where Vengeance was capping at 100% of their health) I'm not surprise it won't be coming in 5.3 -- I am a little surprised it's happening at all, because we all knew Vengeance and tank damage would do exactly what it has done when it was changed. Still, I wait to observe if it has much practical difference since aside from AoE tanking where a multitude of hits can roll in a short window of time (that 20 second ramp up period) and the tanks can make effective use of all that AP I'm not sure it will matter. 5-mans and scenarios were not mentioned, so for now I'm assuming this is only for the raids mentioned.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Rage tanks get angrier

Rage tanks get angrier and harder to hurt

Rage tanking is in a weird place right now. Both as a tank and as a DPS in runs I've noticed a certain amount of squishiness that wasn't there before, both due to certain abilities being fairly hard to use (Both Shield Block and a full Shield Barrier are expensive, costing 60 rage) and the loss of a lot of passive mitigation we were all accustomed to. Apparently the devs have noticed it too: Ghostcrawler posted these changes coming for rage warriors on live and the beta fairly soon.

Ghostcrawler - Beta Class Balance Analysis
Tank Time
I mentioned previously (though it very well could have been in another thread) that we have been looking a lot at tank balance. We think tanks surviving short windows of spike damage has been fairly balanced in beta for some time, and indeed we are seeing all tank classes used effectively in beta Challenge Modes and Heroic raid testing.

We have made a few changes to longer-term tank healing required, which will show up both on beta and live very soon. I mentioned that we were initially going to nerf monk and DK, but we now think they and paladins are fine. Instead, the rage tanks required too much healing, so we are causing them to take less damage and have more rage for active mitigation.

Druid
-- Auto attack rage generation increased by 75%.
-- Thick Hide now provides 12% physical damage reduction.

Warrior
-- Rage generation from Revenge increased from 10 to 15.
-- Rage generation from Shield Slam increased from 15 to 20. (Sword and Board continues to give 5 extra, so 25 now).
-- Reduced internal cooldown on Critical Block from Enrage from 5 sec to 3 sec.
-- Increased damage reduction from Defensive Stance from 15% to 25%.
-- Increased armor from Unwavering Sentinel from 10% to 25%.



The rage changes are nice (druids will now get 10.85 rage from an auto attack) because they'll allow for rage tanks to be more often using their active mitigation. Honestly, high incoming rage really isn't an issue for tanks, since we don't use rage abilities for threat anymore (with the exception of rage bleeds like Heroic Strike or Maul) as much as we do for survival.

What impressed me was the change to Thick Hide and the Defensive Stance/Unwavering Sentinel changes. Were they warranted? Absolutely. Warriors in particular have been the squishiest tanks since the patch, with druids not far behind, and this change will help even out some of that sustained damage that erodes healer mana and thus, our lives. This is me, being happy over here.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Druid, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Warrior glyph changes in patch 5.0.4

Warrior glyph changes in patch 504
When the new 5.0 patch flips over on Aug. 28, will you be ready with glyphs? Blizzard is recycling old glyphs instead of making new spell IDs and charring old ones. Some glyphs are staying the same, some are new, but some share IDs with old Cataclysm glyphs.

Below is our list of new or changing glyphs for warriors. This is not a list of changing tooltips, just which glyphs you ought to have if you want to automatically have the new glyphs when the patch flips over.

Warriors have a few brand new minor glyphs:
Glyphs that are changing into new majors:
Glyphs that are changing into new minors:

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Warrior, Mists of Pandaria

The Azeroth Ethicist: Cheating (or not cheating) the roll system

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I was healing a Well of Eternity PUG a few days ago when I got a whisper from the group's warrior tank.

Warrior: Could you help me out with something?

Me: Sure, what do you need?

Warrior: If Varo'then's Brooch drops at the end, would you roll on it for me?

Me: Um ...

I'd been off in my own little world watching health bars and thinking about next week's Shifting Perspectives column and hadn't paid any attention to the group's composition. It turns out the DPSers were a mage, a hunter, and -- oh, there we go -- a frost death knight. So in the event that the strength trinket dropped, the warrior tank wanted me to roll on it and, if I won, give it to him over the DK. He probably asked the mage and the priest to do the same thing, but the group was quiet in party chat, so I have no way of knowing.

We had a small and, to his credit, civil conversation over it, and there are a few issues here on which I'd like to get readers' opinions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Skill Mastery: Shield Barrier takes the beating for you

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Shield Barrier is one of my favorite new abilities. One of the reasons I love it is that it scales both with the amount of rage you have when you use it and with your attack power, meaning that it will continuously get better as you level and gear up. Shield Barrier provides you with a damage absorption shield that, when used with the minimum amount of rage (20 rage), puts up a respectable amount of absorption. On my level 89 tauren warrior, above, it did roughly 6k with a baseline use, eating more than half of that Agitated Seedstealer's fire spell.

But when used at full rage, it can do significantly more. The most I've seen was a 20,000 absorption shield, which will admittedly be fairly rare because it's hard to ensure you have exactly 60 rage when you use the ability. You're more likely to pepper the area with 10k or 12k absorbs that make soloing an absolute dream. Tanking in 5-mans, it's still a potent part of your arsenal, but you're much more likely to alternate it with Shield Block there.
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Shield Barrier is an ability warrior tanks have probably needed for a very long time, a way to mitigate incoming damage no matter what it is. I personally love the ability.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler talks warriors on the Mists of Pandaria beta forums

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Ghostcrawler has contributed a great deal to an already large list of consolidated warrior issues on the Mists of Pandaria beta forums, and then just kept on posting. It's actually a lot to consider -- so much so that I'm fairly certain I can get two big posts out of it. This post will be the one that tries to break down what it all means.

Some of what he's posting is of more concern to beta testers than the general population (for instance, how the devs prefer their feedback), but we can still take some interesting points from the two posts where GC lays everything out for us. If you'll forgive me for a lot of paraphrasing and selecting:
  • Tanking for warriors (the oft-discussed active mitigation system) is designed around the concept of turning rage into survival. Shield Block and Shield Barrier are designed that keeping them up reliably will improve your survival, but in cutting-edge content, you'll want to use them in a smart way (that is, save them for big damage situations) rather than just hitting them as soon as you have the rage. Tanking for new tanks will be designed so that missing a Shield Block now and again won't wreck you.
  • Rage is the limiting mechanic for the class, not cooldowns, at least so far as the design vision of the class is concerned.
  • Arms and fury have a big rage generation attack and a big rage spending attack, but that's where the similarities between them are intended to end. Arms should feel more predictable but have slower rage generation due to its use of a single, slow weapon, while fury abilities proc less reliably, but the spec has more rage to spend because it uses two weapons, to fit the distinction between arms as a disciplined blade expert and fury as a screaming madman.
  • The intention for Battle Stance is to be the default battle stance (as the name would suggest), while Berserker Stance will be attractive for PvP or fights with high incoming damage. Blizzard's still working on Berserker Stance's design, but that's the goal.
There's more to discuss, so let's get to discussing it.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New strings hint at help for sweeping class changes

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One of the biggest complaints players have about the ever-changing system design of World of Warcraft is that each expansion brings with it sweeping changes or new mechanics that need to be relearned. In addition, if you were absent from World of Warcraft for an expansion or two, your class will not look the same in any way, shape, or form (with respect to rogues, of course). Blizzard has apparently been listening to these concerns, if these new beta strings are any indication.

With the release of a new beta patch comes new data strings and the information contained within. Recently uncovered was a family of strings called "What has changed," with some examples for the warrior listed in the files. "What has changed" looks to re-educate old players or bring new players up to speed on the design, rotation, and role of each class. The warrior, for instance, has four strings at this time, letting the player know about the Rend/Deep Wounds change, how some old talents are now just learned specialization spells, and some examples of the new rage mechanics.
  • WHAT_HAS_CHANGED - What has changed?
  • WHC_WARRIOR_1 - Many old talents have become specialization spells.
  • WHC_WARRIOR_2 - Warrior abilities no longer require specific stances. You can use any ability in any stance.
  • WHC_WARRIOR_3 - Rage is generated by Mortal Strike (id 12294), Bloodthirst (id 23881) or Shield Slam (id 23922). Only use Heroic Strike (id 78) when you have more Rage than you can spend.
  • WHC_WARRIOR_4 - Rend (icon ability_gouge) is now called Deep Wounds (id 115768). It is automatically applied so it won't appear in your spell book.
I couldn't be happier for these new helpful tips. I don't even know where to begin with rotations or strategies with new classes (especially mages, for some reason). Hopefully with these new tips, old players and players tired of mechanics changes will be able to slip into Mists of Pandaria much more easily, if that's what these strings indicate at all.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

War Banner is three abilities in one

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War Banner is one of the abilities I was most curious to play with on the beta -- so curious, in fact, that I stayed up to level to 87 once the latest patch fixed my constant crashing issue. The downside to playing six warriors on the beta is that none of them levels very fast. However, now that I have the ability, I have to report I find it very interesting.

The interface is very familiar if you've ever had a shaman, since it's similar to the totem interface. Mouse over the War Banner, and you can select one of three banners, the Skull, Demoralizing or Mocking Banner. The banners are currently designated as totems in game, but all three have a far more limited duration. On the plus side, all three can be Intervened to, so placing one at a distances means you can use it to get distance for a charge or otherwise move around the battlefield. The banners do not share a cooldown aside from the global cooldown; I dropped each banner one after the other to test them out.

At present, Skull Banner increases critical damage of any party or raid member within 30 yards by 20%, lasting 10 seconds with a 3-minute cooldown. It's the handsome yellow banner in the screenshot above. Mocking Banner taunts mobs within 15 yards of the banner to you, forcing them to attack you for 6 seconds. It lasts for 30 seconds, making it the best banner to drop if you intend to use it for Intervene. Finally, Demoralizing Banner reduces all damage by every enemy in range (30 yards) by 10% for 15 seconds. Since each banner has a 3-minute cooldown, you can choose to stagger them out or drop them all one after the other, depending on your need.

The banners themselves look pretty cool, although they seem to have a tendency to float over the ground rather than sink into it. Time will tell if they become beloved additions to the class, but right now I'm fairly enjoying them just for novelty and using them to creatively mess with mobs.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Warrior, Mists of Pandaria

GuildOx player analysis highlights the warlock decline

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The folks at GuildOx have gone through their database and done some simple filtering that reveals some fascinating things about who is raiding heroic Dragon Soul. GuildOx started with level 85 characters, filtered for characters with ilevel 400 gear, and then filtered out anyone with PvP gear. What you see in the chart above is the result of that work -- a representative sample of who out of the over 13 million level 85 characters in the GuildOx database is raiding heroic Dragon Soul.

If you remember the post about the complexity of systems and player retention that I made a couple of weeks back, you'll remember that I mentioned Cynwise's excellent posts about the warlock decline. Well, here it is again reflected in GuildOx's data. Warlocks are the least played class in heroic raiding.

Warriors aren't doing much better, really. Most other classes seem fairly healthy, with classes that have healing specs doing fairly well and rogues absolutely ruling heroic raiding despite being one of the least-played classes in the game overall. It gets even more interesting once we get to look at the GuildOx spec-by-spec breakdown.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Cataclysm

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