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.
Remember when I argued that rage should work more like the Diablo 3 barbarian? Well, it totally will in Mists of Pandaria. Battle and Defensive Stance will mean that your rage is purely determined by your active use of rage generation abilities. Your shouts and active rage generation attacks like Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam and Charge will be how you generate rage, along with normal melee attacks. You will only generate rage from damage you take by switching into Berserker Stance, which will reduce your rage generated by attacks since you'll lose the new bonus to rage gen Battle Stance provides (100% more rage from normal melee attacks), and you'll lose threat and your 6% critical strike removal from Defensive Stance.
This means that you won't switch to zerk anymore for AoE; you'll switch to zerk if you expect to take a lot of damage and want to generate rage for it. My greatest fears are that this will render zerk almost unused except for when we're running from point A to point B and expecting to take a lot of damage while we do, since Battle Stance doubles the rage generated by auto-attacks. I'm also concerned that warriors have absolutely no direct damage increases anymore. Stances don't give damage multipliers; enrage just increases rage generation. While these caveats concern me, I do think I enjoy the idea of rage being built up by your actions rather than just being a sponge for incoming damage. I do seriously worry about tanks, however.