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Posts with tag arms-warrior-the-care-and-feeding-of-warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms in 5.2

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Arms in 52
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're not doing gear again this week. Sorry, but with Patch 5.2 freshly out, and the warrior class review posted by Blizzard, there's other stuff to discuss and one of them is the arms warrior spec. I've switched to arms for my DPS spec right now because, frankly, it's astonishingly improved in my opinion. My initial test run with the spec this week saw me putting out very solid numbers near the top of the meter, even when I was making target switch calls on Council. Part of this was a strat that favored arms - we parked some DPS on Sul full time and I got to be one of those, and then we parked Sul right next to whichever boss was possessed so that I could use Sweeping Strikes liberally. But part of it was the redesigned Taste for Blood, and another part of it was the redesigned Recklessness.

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

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 61 to 90

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 61 to 90
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.

Before we get started, let's cover the previous posts in this series:
What levels 61 through 90 cover is a staggering array of content, if you think about it, going from Burning Crusade (in many ways the oldest content still available in WoW) to Wrath, then Cataclysm and finally Mists of Pandaria itself. Even without raiding or running heroic dungeons, you're still looking at over 30 zones (I'm being conservative and not counting the DK start zone, the Worgen/Goblin start zones, Wintergrasp or Tol Barad) of content. And that content varies greatly, since it ranges from first being introduced in 2007 to 2012. That's over five years of game design iteration, and you can really feel it - in many ways, going from the Cataclysm revamped old world to TBC era Outland to start this patch of leveling off is like stepping into a time machine. Hellfire is a scattered zone, with multiple quest hubs only loosely connected and even with the quests having been adjusted to be much easier to solo it feels like the artifact of its time that it is.

Still, since both Outland and Northrend have had their experience requirements relaxed from their debut periods, it's not hard to get through them. Ironically enough, it's when you hit level 80 and start in on Cataclysm content that the game starts to feel bogged down. Several heirlooms currently stop working at level 80 (the hat, cloak and legs currently available last until 85, and new heirlooms are coming in 5.2) and the experience requirements, while reduced, are still more significant than the previous two expansions.

Still, let's talk about what you, as a warrior, will find when you hit these levels.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 31 to 60

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 31 to 60
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 starting out and going from 1 to 30 as a warrior. This week, we'll finish off the Cataclysm-revamped content before heading to Outland. Some points to make before we get started:
  • It's my opinion that the warrior class starts to open up in these levels, with several important class abilities like Deep Wounds, Titan's Grip and Single-Minded Fury, Shield Wall and other favorites. We also gain the last warrior stance, Berserker Stance, although with the revamp to stances with Mists of Pandaria it's not as important for leveling.
  • Both tanking and DPSing become a lot more 'real' with these levels. Being the proper spec for your role is a lot more important, and by level 60 each spec feels like it will for the rest of your leveling. You'll still gain new abilities, but they'll supplement rather than define you compared to 31 to 60, which is where that definition comes in.
  • PvP is, to my mind, more fun here than at lower levels. You just feel more like a warrior with certain abilities, after all.
  • In past years, I would have advised a leveling warrior to get to Outland as soon as possible. Now, however, I advise that you wait until 60. There are some excellent quest chains in the revamped Winterspring, Burning Steppes and Blasted Lands that will get you to 60 painlessly, and once you head to Hellfire Peninsula you're heading into some of the oldest leveling content the game has. Delay that system shock if you can, I would argue.
All the initial points I made last week are still viable. So now, let's break open what you'll be getting as you level through the zones, hit the dungeons, or run some PvP.

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

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 1 to 30

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Leveling in Mists, 1 to 30
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.

Continued from last week, our guide to leveling a warrior in Mists of Pandaria talks about the 1 to 60 game, focusing on the first 30 levels. Redesigned in Cataclysm, the content remains the same, but the process has literally never been simpler than it is right now. Even excluding elements like heirlooms and refer a friend bonuses, the following changes happened to make it easier than ever.
  • There is no need to see a trainer to learn new abilities as you level. Instead, as soon as you gain the appropriate level, they appear in your spellbook, ready to be used.
  • The talent trees from Cataclysm were removed, and most abilities were either removed or folded into class abilities you simply gain as you level. You now need only choose 1 talent out of three every fifteen levels, starting at level 15.
  • By level 60, you will have four talents, up to and including one of three AoE damage abilities. Each talent is accessible to any class specialization, meaning that your chosen role doesn't limit you from choosing a talent that sounds interesting to you.
  • Almost all dungeon quests are accessible via a quest giver inside the dungeon entrance as you zone in, which combines with the Dungeon Finder to make it easier than ever to run dungeons as a means to level your character.
With abilities having been redesigned, leveling provides something useful roughly every 2 to 3 levels between specialization abilities (strikes like Colossus Smash are a specialization ability, accessible only by arms and fury warriors), talents, and class abilities. You get Charge at level 3 now, and once you do, it will open up the real fun of the warrior class. Namely running headlong into things and smashing them.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A Taste for Blood

The Care and Feeding of Warriors A Taste for Blood
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 just jump right into it, shall we?

Ghostcrawler - PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Warrior
- For Arms, we are going to try Overpower proc'ing Sudden Death instead of autoattacks. This will make haste slightly worse (which we can fix) but we hope will help make the rotation slightly more compelling, since autoattack procs can feel really random. With Overpower you can anticipate it a little more.
- Likewise, Overpower will cost no rage in Execute range. We agree that saving rage for Overpower and spending it all on Execute don't play well together.
- We haven't made a tuning pass on Arms (or any spec) yet. Don't fret about DPS numbers at this stage.


I actually like this change quite a bit. Yes, I am capable of liking things. It's not all whining about haste over here.

What I like about it is that it emphasizes Overpower over autoattacks, which are fairly unimportant for an arms warrior anyway. You hit cap at 7.5%, which is absurdly easy in comparison to fury anyway (which is why no fury warrior bothers to try, leaving hit a fairly pointless DPS statistic... but we've talked about hit and expertise before) so you're going to land those slow hits and generate rage with them... and that's pretty much all they should do, in my opinion. With Mortal Strike and Colossus Smash both so important, giving Overpower more to do is fine by me.

I also absolutely agree with the idea of making Execute completely discount Overpower's rage cost. In fact, I agree with it so strongly that I'm sort of bemused here. Usually I don't wholeheartedly endorse a proposed change.

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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: DPS warrior performance and perception

The Care and Feeding of Warriors DPS discrepancies and the power of situation
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.

If you didn't read Brian Wood's excellent State of DPS in Mists of Pandaria post yet this week, you should before we go any further, because I'm going to be discussing it as well as GuildOx's study of the most popular raiding and PvP specs. What I'm seeing studying these two related but different posts (one about actual DPS, the other about representation) is as follows.
  • Fury is twice as popular as arms for PvE DPS, but both warrior DPS specs combined are less popular than either of the popular rogue specs or any of the really popular DPS specs.
  • Arms absolutely dominates warrior PvP, and is one of the single most popular specs in PvP at the moment.
  • Fury's DPS is absolutely middle of the road in 10 and 25 man normal raiding right now, hovering right around the baseline.
  • Fury sees a sudden shift upwards when going from normal to heroic raiding - Fury is a contender for the top DPS spec in 10's, and practically is the top spec in heroic 25's.
Now, there's a lot that we can't say based on the data we have from these two posts - for starters, which fury, TG or SMF? These also don't tell us what talents in particular these crushingly dominant arms warriors are taking for PvP (if I had to guess, though, based on the Avatar nerf in patch 5.1 I'd go with a Bladestorm/Avatar combo) or what talents fury is using in PvE. Still, there's still a lot to talk about here. What does all of this mean?

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Mists of Pandaria Arms 101

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 doesn't want to tame your animal style.

If there had been any way in the world that I believed it possible that ye olde editors would have let me name this post "Shooting at the walls of heartache," that's exactly what it would have been called. However, since this is week four of our 101 guides to Mists of Pandaria for warriors, I felt constrained by the already established naming convention. Nevertheless, what is true is true, and heart to heart you'll win, if you survive. Bang bang.

Anyway, I really have to stop referencing that song and give you an article about arms in Mists.

Arms is one of two DPS specs the warrior class will have available in Mists of Pandaria, and it's a storied specialization with a lot of history. The arms spec was the premier PvP and PvE spec in vanilla World of Warcraft. It was not only the most-played spec for PvP, it was the most-played spec for both DPSing in raids and for tanking. The 31/5/15 arms/fury/protection spec ruled the class.

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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: A Cataclysm postmortem, part 2 -- Arms

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Cataclysm postmortem Part 2  Arms
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 have yet to be guilded with more than two other warriors at any point in time since Cataclysm launched. I've had more rogues and warlocks than warrior guildmates, and those are the two least-represented classes in World of Warcraft. While I can't prove it, I suspect a lot of the warriors out there are alts, not often played these days. What I do know is, especially in a 25-man raiding situation, I have not been seeing a ton of warriors.

However, one thing is indisputable: Arms is the most-played spec of the class. There are more arms warriors than protection and fury combined in heroic Dragon Soul. Arms is, by far, the most popular spec the class has to offer right now in both PvE and PvP.

It was not always so. For most of Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm, arms lagged well behind fury both in terms of the damage it could do and the popularity of the spec, although its prominence in PvP kept it afloat. The reduction in the Mortal Strike debuff as Cataclysm launched hurt arms in PvP, but the nerfs to Vengeance and fury's mastery meant that all warrior specs suffered. Arms is just one of the pack there, while repeated nerfs to fury and small adjustments to arms gave it the eventual dominance it now enjoys.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A simpler and more variable arms spec for Mists

Image
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.

Sometimes, writing these columns, I struggle to find a way to encapsulate the experience I'm having in game. With the Mists of Pandaria beta, I've sat down and detailed how fury and protection warriors have played out, how they've changed and how they're the same. And so I wanted to do the same for arms warriors. For one thing, arms is the spec I'm currently playing on live, in heroic Dragon Soul, so I'm fairly intimate with the spec and its demands. For another, arms is right now probably the most played warrior spec in terms of its representation in heroic level raiding. So what of arms in the beta?

Arms in Mists of Pandaria is arms now, but simpler and more variable.

That's it. The changes to arms are the changes to all warriors. Rend's being gone and Mortal Strike's automatically applying Deep Wounds means that all you have to do to light up Overpower in Mists is use your main attack that generates rage, which you would be a crazy mad insane fool not to use.

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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: Stat changes and you

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.

This week, we have statistics and how they will work in Mists of Pandaria to talk about, thanks to our metaphorical friend Dr. Greg Street. (I've never met the man; I can't in good conscience call him my friend, although I have appreciated his work over the years.) These are some big changes to how stats work for every class. I don't write about every class, of course. If you don't wear plate, tank with a shield, and have Bladestorm or Titan's Grip in your talent trees, then someone else is going to have to explain what this all means for you.

One of the really big changes is the change to the Block mechanic. Currently, World of Warcraft operates on a single combat roll system, wherein an attack is made and either succeeds or fails based on factors like dodge, parry, block and outright chance to miss. In Mists, things will be very different.

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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: Keep yourself alive

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.

One of the most important lessons I was forcibly reminded when killing heroic Yor'sahj this week was that dying makes you useless. Even if you can be given a battle res, that's not only lost damage time for you, it's lost damage or healing time for the person bringing you back from the dead. It means that battle res won't be available for a tank as the fight progresses, it's just a big mess. This was further reinforced by our Ultraxion kill. Killing Ultraxion on heroic means not only does everyone need to hit a minimum DPS threshold of about 33k sustained throughout the fight, they need to do this while performing nearly flawlessly on Hour of Twilight and Fading Light.

Having tanked the past couple of weeks, it was a lesson I needed to relearn. DPS players can't rely on being the target of a dedicated healer -- there's usually two or three healers at most in 25 man raids (and less, perhaps just one in 10's) focusing their attention on the raid as a whole. Even if they break the healing up into assignments and don't deviate, there's still several people at any given time needing the healers attention. While they certainly usually do their best, if we don't help them out we're only hindering ourselves. The days of 'meh, they'll heal me through it' are long gone.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Considering the Mists talent calculator

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 now have a new version of the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator to discuss. While we've covered the Mists talents and abilities before, every new iteration of the design process brings us new elements to consider. What we're effectively being presented is a snapshot of the future through the lens of current design, giving us a chance to muse about what warriors will be doing and not doing.

One of the things that jumps out immediately when considering the new talents is that the current capstones Bladestorm and Shockwave (as well as Avatar), which had been gained at level 90 before, are now level 60 abilities. I'm not actually surprised by this change, but I am pleased by it. Those are abilities people can currently get by around the end of Outland, so making them level 60 talents means they'll be useful for leveling characters again.

Let's go over what can be gleaned from the calculator update and discuss what it all means.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: In arms' way

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 month I was in the middle of discussing arms with you when I got sidetracked. Long-time readers of this column were not surprised that yet again something shiny caught my attention and I went crawling off to follow it like a cat with that stupid red bug that is in no way connected to that device the idiot human keeps waving around. At any rate, with patch 4.3 on its way, I thought it was time to start talking about why you should give arms a shot.

The first thing I did was dedicate myself to raiding and running instances and doing Battlegrounds as arms more or less exclusively, which I've done for the entire month of November to date. Having done this, I can report the following:
  • Arms is still lagging behind other melee in terms of DPS. It's not terrible, mind -- I don't embarrass myself as arms -- but on fights where fury can pull 28k, arms is lucky to pull 24k or less. What we saw in the state of Firelands DPS post holds true. Arms doesn't perform as well as melee DPS specs that are getting buffed in 4.3, even though arms itself will see no such buffs.
  • However, it's not all bad. Since arms has two bleeds (Rend and Deep Wounds) and a debuff that increased bleed damage taken (Blood Frenzy), if you have to move out of melee range to avoid splash damage or to switch targets, arms can actually fare better than fury.
  • Blood and Thunder means that when properly played, arms can hit a surprising amount of adds with Rend. Rhyolith adds, Rageface and Riplimb's coming into range of Shannox, Majordomo Staghelm's cat phase, and of course the various trash pulls all provide opportunities for arms to spread around bleeds and thus extra damage from Blood Frenzy.
  • Combining arms' mobility and Throwdown's 5-second stun means that if you need to get to something and keep it from moving (Sons on Ragnaros, for example), you're very suited to it.

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

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: DPS in the Firelands

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.

Now that we've covered gearing up in detail, it's time to talk about what to do with that gear. Now that the Firelands have been out for a while, we've all had a chance to get in there and kill some mobs. That includes me; I have also had a chance to do that. So what have I experienced in my excursions to the hell of upside-down fire elementals? (Okay, they're not upside-down.)
  • For starters, all three DPS warrior specs are really close together right now. In my experience, arms and fury DPS is neck-and-neck, with arms performing better on some fights and fury better on others. Also, SMF and TG fury are both pretty viable, with TG seeming to move ahead once you're using a pair of Firelands 2H weapons.
  • Once again, gearing up takes you past the nerfs in a few weeks. I basically raid with a fury spec and an arms spec, and some nights I respec from TG to SMF and/or the other way around. (Now that my axes have dropped, I usually stay TG.) My DPS was much poorer going into Firelands than it is now. The difference was pretty dramatic, and while I'm hardly blowing ahead to the top of the charts, DPS is solid again. Basically, what's controlling my DPS (again) is encounter design (again).
  • Be prepared to use your utility abilities. Rallying Cry. Remember it? You'd better, because it's a raid-wide cooldown that you're definitely going to be using on Majordomo Staghelm. Speaking of Majordomo, if you have Seeds on you and you blow up the raid, it's because you forgot you have one of the best abilities in the game to get out to range in time and then some of the best abilities in the game to get back in.
  • Blizzard needs to very quickly create and implement a set of non-tier DPS plate shoulders. Look at me -- I'm still wearing ZA shoulders. I am knee-deep in Firelands every week. I've killed Domo several times now. Why won't you give me shoulders? There is absolutely no option for plate DPS save tier, although there are several pairs of tanking shoulders. This is bloody insane, and it needs to be addressed. Firelands or the valor point vendors need more loot, guys.
So let's discuss the Firelands from a DPS warrior perspective.

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

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