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Posts with tag protection-warrior

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Protection Warrior 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.

Tanking. The role wherein you go and let very bad things do other very bad things to you so that they don't do very bad things to the rest of your party or raid, giving said party or raid time to do very bad things to them. I wrote a protection 101 guide almost exactly a year ago. We're revisiting the subject now for several reasons. Much as when we wrote the DPS warrior 101 guide, things have definitely changed for prot warriors over the past year. The addition of the mastery stat, the removal of defense on gear, the talent revamp and Vengeance have all had a cumulative effect on tanking warriors. So we're going to cover the basics and give as broad an overview as we can.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Six years of trends

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.

OK, first up: I have been playing a warrior and writing this warrior column for quite some time now. So while this week's savage, astonishing ravaging of the warrior class wasn't something I haven't seen before, I feel pretty confident in saying that yes, it was really jarring. Not jarring like a friend braking a little too hard while driving because she was totally checking out that person's butt and missed the light change. Jarring like a friend driving into a concrete abutment at 95 miles an hour seems more apt. The whole epic saga of metagem changes didn't help anything, either.

Still, we can't say we were surprised, can we? I wrote a post that mentioned it a while back, but it bears repeating in this calm after our collective jubblies have been kicked right in that we were kind of nuts for a while there. It was not uncommon for arms warriors to lead the DPS and fury warriors to do more DPS than everyone else combined on some 5-man fights. Frankly, even with these changes, fury is still capable of decent numbers. (Not great, not what I would say they should be, but good enough for now.) Arms was the more hard hit, of course, as it always seems to be. I'll also admit to disappointment that the whole rage redesign didn't remove from us the constant buff-nerf cycle we've been living with for six years now.

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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

Ghostcrawler: Vengeance not a fun toy for PvP

A lot of people seem somewhat terrified of the new Vengeance mechanic and how it might play in PvP. People are always leery of tanking specs in PvP, due to the general tendency of people playing in arenas and BGs to want to, you know, kill the other guys. Tanks are generally designed to be harder to kill, which tends to make people nervous, especially when tanking specs saw increased damage output in Wrath of the Lich King and went from "Hey, guys, look, it's a free kill!" to "Wait, you mean trying to burn down the dude specced and geared to not die is a bad idea?"

The forums seem to be rampant with terror that Vengeance will rule them all. I personally don't see the concern. Vengeance doesn't stack up terribly fast and it falls off fairly quickly; you'd need to focus fire a tank for significant levels of damage while he was being focus healed (and you'd need to completely ignore his or her healers) in order for Vengeance to really be a concern.

But don't take my word for it -- just ask Ghostcrawler. Not only do the developers not think Vengeance will be an issue in PvP, if it turns out to be, they'll just turn it off.

Ghostcrawler - Re: So Vengeance... am I doing this wrong?
Q u o t e:

In group PvP, there is an answer to vengeance. Don't attack the tank. Vengeance is a really good idea imo. If you are sitting on a tank and stacking that buff up, why shouldn't they do comparable damage? And from my experience, even with a max stacked vengeance, the coils between blood and unholy are relatively the same. Also, there is more to DPS between the two specs than Deathcoil. Even if someone is sitting on my blood DK I can assuredly say Unholy and Frost do more overall DPS, in pvp.

If a couple of people are beating on a tank, Vengeance isn't likely to stack very high. You need to take damage that is a big chunk of your whole health pool, which typically only bosses are available to provide.

Now if you have several folks beating on a tank flag carrier, then Vengeance may stack up, but once you have several people, you almost certainly have a way to dispel the Vengeance or just CC the tank.

If Vengeance ever gets to be a problem in PvP, we'll just remove it, plain and simple. The mechanic is only there to help with raid gear scaling, not to give tanks a fun toy for PvP.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Protection in 4.0.1 -- a Cataclysm spec in a Wrath world

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.

The short version: Single-target threat is pretty solid, AoE threat isn't what it used to be, and certain talents are good on paper but not really worth taking right now.

Slightly longer, before-the-cut version: Basically, the redesign of rage and abilities like Heroic Strike/Cleave, combined with the total talent redesign, have had a significant effect on protection as a spec. While it's certainly a viable tanking spec, there is definitely a noticeable shift in tanking mechanics. Threat is once again much more in the hands of the DPS to take, rather than in the hands of the tank to lose, especially when talking about AoE threat. However, while the Cataclysm mechanics are already being felt, we are still in the Wrath era and many heroics will be tanked with DPS who simply will not wait for a tank to establish any sort of threat before unloading. You will lose threat in those situations. In some cases, even if the DPS does hold back, it doesn't matter. Their damage is so much higher than your threat generation that there is simply no way to prevent them from pulling aggro, and since the mobs die so quickly, they see little to no consequences for doing so.

This is a habit that will only be solved with the coming of Cataclysm dungeons that punish such behavior with repeated wipes. Until that time comes, grit your teeth, do your best, and accept that the fundamental balance has been altered. It may feel a bit like being a whole new class, but ultimately protection is still primarily about the same things.

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

Cataclysm tanking changes expanded

If you read Fox's post yesterday, well, I hope you braced yourself for more changes. Because here they are. When the devs said more specifics were coming soon, they were not kidding us. Also, Fox is mean to tanks, but he's a DPS player; we're used to their silly little ways. Anyway, let's take a look at the newly announced changes, shall we?

Zarhym - Re: Upcoming Tanking Changes
Here are a few additional changes we are making which will be applied in patch 4.0.3a:

  • Guardian of Ancient Kings -- Damage reduction changed from 60% to 50%. Cooldown still 2 minutes (talented). Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Icebound Fortitude -- Damage reduction changed from 30% to 20% (or 60% to 50% talented). Cooldown still 2 minutes. Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Shield Wall -- Damage reduction changed from 40% to 50%. Cooldown still 2 minutes (talented). Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Glyph of Shield Wall -- Now buffs damage reduction by 10% (to 60%), but only adds 1 minute of cooldown.
  • Survival Instincts -- Damage reduction changed from 60% to 50%. Cooldown reduced from 5 minutes to 2 minutes. Duration still 12 seconds.
  • Bear Form -- Stamina bonus lowered from 20% to 10% and Heart of the Wild health bonus from 10% to 6%. Bear health should be close to plate tank health with this change.
  • Vigilance -- No longer reduces damage by 3%, but will still reset Taunt cooldown and provide Vengeance for the warrior.

In addition to these changes, there was much expounding on the tanking design philosophy, which we will cover after that jump I hear so much about. Being a tank (and thus kind of slow mentally, according to Fox ... man, see if anyone taunts for him in Cataclysm dungeons), I need to go over these things in detail.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Cataclysm

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Heroics, protection spec and build 13033

The Care and Feeding of Warriors is about warriors, who hurl themselves into the fray, the very teeth of danger, armed with nothing more than the biggest weapons and armored with the absolutely heaviest armor we can find. Hey, we're not stupid -- we're just crazy.

Last week, I said that we'd see changes to protection. This week, we're seeing them. It's build 13033, also known (to those of us who care) as the protection warrior pass. Last week firmly started balancing fury's DPS, but this week is definitely protection's turn. Today, in fact, just hours before this patch went to the beta servers, I got done writing a long post talking about protection in the beta, what I saw as its strong points and its weak points.

Every single one of the weak points was addressed in this build. Every single one. This is what you call serendipity. It also means I have to completely rewrite my column with not a lot of time to spare, so as you may understand, I am at once pleased to see things improved and irritated that I spent all that time writing a column that will never see the light of day. It should be noted that these changes are on the PTR, not live on the beta as yet. It's a little odd to see the PTR get updated first, but I'd expect the beta servers will see a new build soon as well.

Having been 85 for a week, as well as having transferred over two level 85 premades, I've been running around testing out various alternate specs and taking them into instances. Why did I do this? Because, as we have already established, I am certifiably insane. Even before this patch, protection stood out as the strongest of the warrior leveling specs, and now it should see increased power as a tanking class. Vengeance is amazing for a leveling protection warrior. It takes the greatest strength of the tanking classes -- the ability to soak up damage -- and turns it into offensive power.

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

Pimp My Profile: Derongar, protection warrior

Welcome to Pimp My Profile, the column in which the staff turns zeroes into heroes. Don't think you're performing where you should be? Not sure how your class/spec is supposed to be gearing up? E-mail us with your Armory link, and you might be next to receive our help!

I WANT TO RAID GOOD. Please, teach me to raid gooder than I already raid.

While I believe that your gear is pretty solid (at first I was confused by the lower stamina but then I realized you'd logged out in arms spec but tanking gear) there are a few places that can be adjusted.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Pimp My Profile

Patch 3.3.2 patch notes on official Korean WoW site

Blizzard, perhaps jumping the gun a little, has posted the patch notes for the upcoming Patch 3.3.2 mini-patch on the official Korean site. We've translated them for your convenience. Lots of changes to heroic dungeons, some class buffs (warlock, shaman, druid), and some class nerfs (prot warrior). All this and more, after the cut.

Disclaimer: Translation is hard! Some of these notes, especially more complex ones, may be slightly off. We'll post the official English notes when they're posted as well.

Update! Warbringer change clarified (again). Ghostcrawler chimed in about it.

Dungeons and Raids

Icecrown Citadel
  • The Frostwing Halls, the last stronghold of the Lich King and the Scourge, has been added, but the Ashen Verdict must break down the door first. (Does this mean we have to wait some additional time to fight Arthas?)
Halls of Stone
  • Brann Bronzebeard has been working out, so he'll run faster during the escort event.
Forge of Souls
  • Devourer of Souls will cast Mirrored Soul less often.
  • Trash mob Spell Reflect abilities have been changed. It now has a casting time, and will proc only twice at a rate of 75% instead of 100%.

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

You won't get a pony, but prot will get sustained DPS increase

In a forum thread discussing the recent prot warrior block changes and Warbringer nerf and the state of prot warrior DPS (it's basically acknowledged as the lowest DPS among the tanks) Ghostcrawler chimes in that they intend to buff sustained prot DPS while reducing burst in PvP. However, he quickly comes back to point that at this stage in the expansion they don't want to make any sustained mechanical changes and so, don't expect one. The sustained DPS increase will come from buffs to existing abilities.

While I can understand the trepidation from prot warriors at this statement (no one is terribly excited about a buff to Devastate, not even me) it's an unfortunate but valid point he makes here. You really don't have the time to make drastic mechanical changes this far into the cycle. We might like a more drastic solution, but with Cataclysm looming on the horizon you don't really want to see too much tinkering with the base mechanics.

Still, please don't just buff Devastate. Please. I'm begging you here.

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Blood Sport: Protection warriors overpowered?

Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in's arena column.

Listening Music: Home Video's "You Will Know What to Do." The video is some sweet NASA footage; try to not be mesmerized by it (difficult, I confess). When I first heard Home Video a few years ago (Citizen EP, We and In a Submarine), I thought the band might be a Thom Yorke solo project. That's high praise from me. These guys do not disappoint.

Last Week: Part V of our Beginner's Guide to Arena. After featuring some Miles Davis and John Coltrane, we talked a bit about some of the aspects skilled arena damage-dealers excel with.

This Week: We'll be shifting gears a bit this week. Protection warriors are an important (and hot) topic within the arena community. I was thinking about publishing this article as a stand-alone and continuing the arena guide this week, but I've just been a tad bit too busy recently. More after the break!

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena

Should rage only come from damage dealt?

Should warriors and druids no longer generate rage from damage taken? Ghostcrawler mentions this as a possibility being considered to change the way warriors and druids tank, one that would eliminate difficulties when rage-using tanks take too little damage/avoid too many attacks and have trouble tanking content that they outgear or are using avoidance heavy gear to tank.

  • Having warriors only or mostly generate rage from damage done is an intriguing idea that has come up a few times. It would help the problem where better gear leads to rage starvation (at least in lower instances) and where warriors have trouble OT'ing because they aren't getting hit. It might also get warriors to care slightly more about dps stats instead of focusing mostly on survival stats. This would all apply to druids too. This isn't a change we have in the pipe, but it is something we discuss from time to time.

Of course, this would require a real shift in how warrior/druid tanking mechanics worked. It would also have massive effects in PvP: it would essentially break the pattern of design that makes focus firing a warrior in PvP a slightly more risky proposition, since if you don't kill them they'll turn your own damage back on you. (It could also mean that switching to bear as a survival strategy in PvP for druids would become hobbling.) It's a very interesting idea: as a warrior who is currently DPS, I know that rage starvation can be a real issue when you're reliant on damage dealt, any misses or dodged/parried attacks can sink your rotation, so hit and expertise would become even more aggressively important stats for tanks.

There's a lot of issues to consider, but it would make all warriors and all rage based tanks more balanced with each other. No more praying for rage after a dodge streak, no more taking off your pants to run a heroic if you're in raid gear, and more attention paid to parity between DPS and tanking rage use. I'm not sure I want to see so big a change in the game, and I'm certainly hoping they do it right if they do it at all.

Filed under: Druid, Warrior, News items, Instances, Raiding, Forums

The woes of Block

In a discussion of tanking mechanics on the forums, Ghostcrawler made a long and in depth post about various subjects that helped consolidate one of the real problems with block and block value in Wrath of the Lich King. Not only is blocking something that only two of the four tanking classes do, but it's a pretty lackluster stat for boss tanking.

  • Block as a mechanic is somewhere between avoidance and mitigation. Ideally it removes a fair amount of damage (vs. all damage) reasonably often (vs. rarely). If block is up 100% of the time it just becomes armor that you improve through a different stat. We have let block chances creep up frankly because the amount blocked is pretty trivial when bosses are hitting for 40% of your health pool every swing. If this still strikes you as too RNG, imagine abilities like Shield Block and Holy Shield that could guarantee 100% chance to block for a short period of time.
  • We don't think block is cutting it as a mechanic, but the direction we are likely to take it is probably more of a change than you are considering.
The problem with block (which is really two mechanics in one, block rating which determines how often you block, and block value, which determines how much damage you subtract from a hit when you block it) is that for trash, it's inflated due to the block chance creeping upwards that GC mentions above. But for boss fights where a boss can either hit you physically for far, far more than you could ever block or hits you with massive magical damage that block does nothing at all against (well, unless you're a warrior in Tier 8 with the four piece set bonus) block has simply fallen behind the curve.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Forums

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Heavy

I have spent 600 gold on respecs in the past week.

Yes, you read correctly. While leveling to 80, I've been respeccing constantly. The reason is simple: I love fury, I love Titan's Grip, I have a ball running around with 2h weapons, but protection is the best leveling spec for warrior right now.

I want those of you who remember the Burning Crusade launch to read that sentence again. If you needed any proof that it's a whole new game now, then let this be your proof: protection is the best leveling spec for warriors right now. It's fast, fun and powerful. These are not things I ever expected to say about prot spec.

Now, I've been tanking for a long time now, and I've been prot since I hit 70 in TBC. It's always been excellent for tanking, but unlike other tank classes, it dedicated all of its tanking power to static threat moves and had weak multi-mob tanking abilities (I detailed what I saw as the problems of the class as tanks here) but all of that is gone now. Everything I wrote about as a weakness of protection? Gone.

Multi-mob tanking? We're strong. Damage output? Very good. Threat? Holding steady. Our health bars? You can't kill me until I run out of tricks. I have solo'd or 2 manned (with my lovely hunter wife and her pet) group quests that call for up to five people. (To be fair, I had 200 health left on one of them.) My love for DPS spec TG is still there, but if you want to finish a quest fast, nothing beats being able to pull an entire room of undead onto yourself, pop shield block, and know that they are going to kill themselves beating on you.

Protection is the best leveling spec in the game right now, good damage, excellent survivability, and moments when you revenge and shield slam for 2k back to back and things disintegrate. Today we'll talk about a protection DPS build at 70, 75 and 80. It's a strong build for grinding and can tank instances, but is not a raid tanking build for reasons we'll explain as we go.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Expansions, Leveling, Guides, Talents, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Has the upcoming release of Wrath changed how you play?

We've had a lot of talk here on WoW Insider about what you can do to prepare for Wrath of the Lich King. Stocking up on consumables, clearing out your bank, stuff like that. Some people have really drastically changed their play style to prepare for the expansion which is coming in just a few days.

Me? I've actually stopped doing things on my main, more or less. I stopped farming gold, I stopped worrying about consumables and gear. Just about the only thing I do on my main is raid since we're still doing Sunwell Plateau once or twice a week hoping for some weapon drops from Kil'jaeden. What I've been doing with the rest of my time in WoW is actually power leveling a new character to 70 as quickly as I can. Why am I doing that, so close to Wrath?

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Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Ask a Beta Tester: The Alchemist

Apologies to Paulo Coelho fans for borrowing his title, but we have two Alchemy-related questions to start us off today, in addition to questions on Blacksmithing, cinematics, and dailies:

Horizons asks...

Do the alchemy specializations in wrath still work the same way as they do now in BC? For example, will I still have a chance of getting 5 wrath potions even when I'm leveling starting at 375 such as Wrath Elixirs or Icy mana potions? And will transmute spec ever be fixed?

Yup, alchemy specializations work the exact same way in Wrath. As a potions master, I've already procced a few, but don't expect to see the Runic Mana or Runic Healing potion recipes until...I want to say it's 410 Alchemy. You'll skill up on the array of new elixirs like Elixir of Mighty Thoughts and Elixir of Mighty Agility until then, but do save mats for the new Alchemy trinkets that become available at (I think) 400, like Mighty Alchemist's Stone. We'll have more information soon on materials you'll start getting in Northrend that you'll want to set aside for crafting.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Economy, Expansions, Features, Factions, Guides, Classes, Making money, Alts, Wrath of the Lich King

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