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

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: 5.0.4 prot warriors and the looming shadow of Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors The 504 discussion for protection warriors
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.

It's hard for me to write about protection right now, because it still doesn't feel finalized to me. I've been tanking on the side lately, since raiding is on hiatus until Mists, and I have mixed feelings about it. The thing is, I don't think it's because the current state of protection is bad, so much as I'm spoiled a bit.

See, here's part of my problem in terms of being fair to patch 5.0.4 for protection. The protection warrior talent specialization was the best designed talent specialization in Wrath of the Lich King, and it was the best designed talent specialization in Cataclysm as well. And it was better in Cataclysm than it was in Wrath. In short, not only was protection the best spec in the game for four years (2008 to 2012) but it managed to be the best spec in the game without being overpowered, in fact being a better spec than specs that were overpowered. You can keep your paladins, your druids and your DK's, all of whom had their moments of being blatantly too good for this fight or that fight. Warriors were never that. The tanking warrior was the best designed spec because it managed to have tools for every single possible potential tanking situation you could imagine without ever once being considered the only possible option for the job.

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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: Mists of Pandaria Protection 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 will be your host.

Last week, we covered fury; this week, we're moving to protection. Before I do, yes, I saw the most recent beta patches. This is what we have to expect and to some degree endure from the beta, continuous patch cycles that can follow hard upon each other. All we can do is wait for release, ultimately, and see where we stand then. The Vengeance changes will have an effect on several abilities including our scaling ones like Shield Barrier, but that doesn't really change their intended use, which is what this post will be covering.

Protection is the warrior tanking spec. Of the three warrior specs, it's the most "ready to go" spec in terms of how it feels to play on the beta right now, and I suspect it will launch with patch 5.0.4 feeling pretty good to most warrior tanks. It's not completely unchanged -- far from it, in fact, as rage for protection warriors has been fundamentally altered and new abilities have been introduced -- but warrior tanks in Mists of Pandaria will still be charging in combat, still using Heroic Leap to drop a huge burst of threat on certain pulls, still pinballing with Intervene and still slapping bleeds on multiple targets with their AoE. Some of it will even be easier now.

A lot of the stuff that's changed is under the hood change, stuff that will affect the game fundamentally but not in immediately obvious ways.

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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: Protection Warriors in Mists of Pandaria

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.

Remember what I said last week? About how the beta is not in damage balancing mode? That goes double for protection warriors right now. Along with feral druids, protection warriors are doing substantially low DPS on the beta. How low? Low enough that threat's a real issue. This low, to be precise.

Ghostcrawler - Protection Warriors & Rage
As I mentioned recently, Prot warrior damage is probably 50% of where it needs to be. When we have that adjusted, your threat will be higher and those Shield Slam and Revenge hits in particular should feel meatier.


When they come right out and tell you you're at 50% of where Blizzard expects you to be, you know it's bad. But again, this is a beta and not one intended to balance our DPS yet. In fact, those prolific data miners over at MMO-Champion have already found signs in the next beta patch that the damage balancing is beginning.

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Filed under: Warrior, (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: 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: Let's get everyone 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.

Now for whatever reason, I've been tanking lately, usually due to a connection issue or what have you. It's one of those confluences of my gear's being just good enough and my no longer being burned out on the role. While I still define myself as a DPS warrior and raid with that as my main spec, I was surprised to find tanking wasn't that hard to pick back up. In fact, it may be a little too easy.

I hesitate to make this statement because, in part, I know I'm not a typical player. I main tanked for years. I tanked in vanilla, in The Burning Crusade, in Wrath, and for the opening of Cataclysm. I was the undergeared tank trying to do heroics in greens when the expansion came out. I was the guy tanking heroic LK. I've tanked in all sorts of situations and gear and specs. I tanked when TC only hit four mobs and did not work in Defensive Stance. What I'm saying is, I've been tanking for so long there's almost no way for me to evaluate how difficult tanking is for other players. I have years of muscle memory. I've kited. I've done adds; I've done bosses. I've picked up murlocs and traded adds on Yogg.

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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: 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: Snapshots of tanking tomorrow

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.

There's been a lot of news about class balance lately. Not only did the devs do a live Q&A recently (here are the important -- that is, the warrior-related -- answers), but they've also been commenting and clarifying on the forums. There's a lot of interesting stuff to consider, and so here we go considering it and the ramifications it all brings or will bring. Here's just one example.

Daxxari - Mastery Raid Buff
Quote:
Q: "Currently block is a superior mastery to Blood Shield and Savage Defense. Are there any plans to bring the masteries closer together?"

A: Yes, in 5.0. Block capping and mastery in general is currently too good for warriors and paladins. We think tank balance is close enough in 4.3 that dramatic overhauls could make matters worse. In 5.0 we will change things.


Right now, mastery is decent for arms, terrible for fury, and very solid for protection warriors. Apparently, it's too good for protection right now. While both paladins and warriors use block somewhat differently (Critical Block and Shield Block work together very well), it's pretty easy for either to get pretty high block. Since the active mitigation tanking model didn't manifest in time for patch 4.3, it seems likely that the mastery and block issue will be addressed when that rolls out. It's frustrating, but right now all we can do is wait and see.

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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: PVP with a PVE spec -- 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.

This is part 2 of our look at PVPing with a spec mainly thought of by others as a PVE spec. Protection has waxed and waned in popularity as a PVP spec since Wrath of the Lich King launched. Its mobility, stun potential and kite resistance (as well as some nice spell interrupt utility), combined with excellent survival, weigh against its lack of raw burst potential. Protection can do many things well in PVP, from carrying a flag or protecting a tower or cap point to tanking in Alterac Valley or the Isle of Conquest, but its strengths are balanced by one factor. Compared to other warrior specs, protection in PVP just plain lacks the raw killing throughput of arms or fury.

This doesn't mean a prot warrior can't get off a Shield Slam that will make another player cross-eyed, because it can and does. But unlike arms, when prot charges a target and stuns it, even using Shockwave immediately afterwards, it simply isn't likely to burst out anything close to the raw damage of the non-tanking specs. If you're prot in PVP, you should be maximizing your strengths, not dwelling on your weaknesses.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The newly 85 warrior tank blues

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.

Okay, so you leveled as protection. Let's assume you intend to tank on said warrior. Since you're now level 85, it follows that you should look up what the top raiding tanks are doing and do that, yes?

No.

Sweet candy-coated Garrosh clusters, no, you should not do that. Those guys are wearing gear you haven't even started to collect and are in 10- or 25-man raids that are composed of some of the best players in the world. You're just starting. You're most likely going to be tanking in pickup groups where the other four players are complete strangers who neither know you nor care one whit about your gameplay. In some cases, sure, you'll get a good group and everyone will work together and kill the monsters as a unit. That's great.

I'm here to write columns to help you out, and frankly, you don't need help with good groups. You need my help for the groups with the fury warrior in full Firelands gear who shows up in your heroic Deadmines run and does 28k DPS. (I said I was sorry.) You need my help for the ret paladin who doesn't know what his interrupt is called (Rebuke) or the mage who won't cast Polymorph because it's just going to break anyway when he starts jumping around casting Arcane Explosion constantly for no reason.

This week, we're going to talk about how to gear and play a tank starting out in normal level 85 instances and the first tier of Cataclysm heroics.

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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

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: Rage in Cataclysm, part 1

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 should talk briefly about two nerfs to warrior DPS in the most recent patch 4.2 PTR. They're not earthshaking in and of themselves, but I would be remiss if I didn't address them.

Warriors
  • Recklessness and Deadly Calm can no longer be used at the same time. One cannot be used while the other is active, but using one does not put the other on its full cooldown.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Arms
      • Two-Handed Weapon Specialization weapon damage increase has been lowered to 12%, down from 20%.
    • Fury
      • Dual Wield Specialization weapon damage increase has been lowered to 5%, down from 10%.
If I thought warrior DPS was through the roof or overpowered in any way right now, I guess I'd understand these nerfs. It more seems to me like, "Well, we nerfed some other classes ... We might as well nerf them, too -- it's protocol." I'm going to assume it's a change similar to the one we saw when Ulduar went live aimed at keeping warrior scaling from getting out of whack with the higher amounts of hit, crit and mastery that will be available.

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

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