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Posts with tag warrior

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

Skill Mastery: Dragon Roar a crit among new level 60 warrior talents

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Dragon Roar is the new talent in the level 60 tier of Mists of Pandaria talents for warriors. As such, you won't be able to take it and either Bladestorm or Shockwave; you have to pick one of the three. That being said, it's not an easy decision. Dragon Roar has several significant benefits.

For starters, it's a guaranteed critical hit. You can have no critical strike rating at all, and you'll know that Dragon Roar is going to crit. This means that it's a dynamite AoE threat move if you want an ability you can save for emergencies instead of using on cooldown the way you will Shockwave.

In addition, Dragon Roar's damage is substantial, and it combines an AoE knockback with a full 5-second stun, making it very potent for PvP as well as for dealing with sudden adds or keeping adds under control longer. And while it has a 1-minute cooldown, making it longer than Shockwave, it's a full half-minute shorter than Bladestorm, meaning you can use it more often.

Also, it's bloody awesome to yell and see an expanding blast of damage flow out from you in all directions. It's hard to catch a good screenshot of that, though. Dragon Roar combines good damage with excellent short-term control, and I have a very hard time deciding between it and its rivals.

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

Complexity of systems and player retention

If you don't read Cynwise's Warcraft Journal, you probably should. Cyn's been doing an excellent series of posts about warlocks in Cataclysm that are interesting and thought-provoking -- even if, like me, you're not a warlock and don't really know much about the class. For me, one of the most striking tidbits was that rogues are the second-to-least-played class overall, but the second-most-played class in high-end PvP, implying that people only play rogues to PvP. There's a lot of interesting data in there about class representation, role representation, and who is playing what and at what levels.

The post that really grabbed my attention was this one about warlock complexity in Cataclysm because it highlights an extreme form of something we've talked about before, the design philosophy that argues for increased complexity in a character's suite of abilities. In its simplest form, it can be summed up as the hitting buttons is fun argument, although at the extreme Cyn describes for warlocks, it becomes a game of if X, then Y that resembles programming your first computer in Basic. If you remember making a chain of dirty words scroll on a loop up the screen, congratulations on being old with me.

Cyn's comparison of the destruction rotation in Wrath and Cataclysm shows a rotation with seven elements mushroom out to one with 14 elements to remember and consider. That if X, then Y flowchart just got as complex as a subway map. In my experience, all DPS rotations in general have a little bit of this kind of gameplay nowadays. The difficulty is in hitting the sweet spot where the rotation is designed so that random elements or procs serve to liven up an otherwise predictable set of abilities (providing the fun in the hitting buttons scenario) without making a rotation so complex you need six to seven addons to help you plot it out.

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Filed under: Paladin, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

A priest's guide to class romance

It's a troubling yet underpublicized fact that four out of five shadow priests respecced shadow for the first time after experiencing a romantic break-up. Recent studies show that priests are 63% more likely to respec shadow within 72 hours of a break-up, while a separate poll found that 78% of healing priests had seriously considered respeccing to shadow after having an argument with their spouse or significant other. To the tenderhearted healing priest, shadow probably seems like a quick way to steel yourself and mend a broken heart; unfortunately, too few priests realize the two points they're putting into Masochism 'til they're staring down into an empty bottle of Volcanic Potion and wishing they could do the same DPS as a warlock.

The simple way to avoid all these drastic courses of action is, of course, to skip getting your heart broken in the first place. Easier said than done, you think? Perhaps, but knowing the battlefield of love will certainly help you avoid the more obvious pitfalls. Want to know what your best match is? What about your worst? This week, I've got the answers in a special guide to the classes.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

How could tanking design be changed?

Tanking is designed around holding threat and using abilities to stay alive. The current paradigm, wherein tanks work hard to passively gear themselves for predictable incoming damage in order to make healing them easier, has its drawbacks. Tanks usually ignore stats that contribute to threat generation (to a degree that baseline threat generation has repeatedly been increased, currently sitting at five times damage dealt by the tank), which has led to the discussion of active mitigation in the tank design of Mists of Pandaria. The goal is to make tanks desire threat generation stats such as hit and expertise by making them not just threat stats, but also to tie them into survivability.

By making threat gen stats also generate resources that are used to actively mitigate incoming damage, the goal is to make tanks want those stats, rather than simply aiming as close to complete coverage of the combat table as they can get, reducing incoming damage to something as reliable and easily anticipated by healers as possible. Tanks currently value dodge, parry, and their mastery stats well over any potential threat generation from hit and expertise.

Since we've already seen quite a bit of the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator, we know that design of the new tanking system is probably fairly well advanced. We also know that the monk, another tank/DPS/healing hybrid class, will be debuting with the expansion. Therefore, it's worthwhile to examine tanking changes that could be implemented, even to stretch our vision of tanking significantly past where it is now and most likely past where it will go in Mists.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight, Monk

Why We Fight: Roleplaying the warrior

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

When you're roleplaying a particular class, you can either choose to ignore the class aspects of what you play, or you can fully incorporate it into your roleplay. A studious magic user or priest can be just as much fun as a sneaky, devious rogue or a dark and brooding warlock -- and death knights are a little bundle of joy, as we discovered last week.

But what about the warrior class? Strong, steadfast and fiercely devoted to bashing heads in, it's a wonder to anyone what exactly goes through a warrior's head. Some incorrectly view them automatically as less intelligent -- after all, if you deliberately go out to get your head bashed in on a regular basis, what does that really say about your level of smarts? But warriors, as simplistic as they may appear to the outside observer, can be multileveled bundles of fun to roleplay, just as much as any other class out there.

This is not to say you can't play your warrior as a character who is dumb as a brick -- heck, sometimes it's fun to do for comedic relief. But there are other aspects to the class and to the character to bring forward, even if the warrior class is lacking in a particular organization dedicated to their cause.

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

BlizzCon 2011: Screenshots of the new Pandaria talents for all classes

If you wanted to look at the new talents that will be debuting in Mists of Pandaria, I would hope you followed our liveblog of the talent system overhaul. The short version is you get to pick 1 talent from a pool of 3 talents every 15 levels. By the time you hit the new level cap of 90, you will have 6 talents. Each set of talents does the same thing, more or less, in different ways.

Now, for your perusal, we present a class by class gallery of the new talent system as it stands today. Remember this is subject to change, alot, before Pandaria, launches.
Make no mistake, this is a significant game changer for everyone. This is the dawning of unparalleled flexibility in personal customization choice. Arms warriors with Shockwave, fury warriors with Bladestorm. This is the biggest change to the game since reforging.

There are no tree examples for the upcoming Monk class yet. Galleries of each class's talents after the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon

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

Patch 4.3: Warrior tier 13 armor revealed, looks like Deathwing

Oh, what a wonderful day to be a warrior. Blizzard has just released a preview of the tier 13 warrior set, Colossal Dragonplate, releasing with the raiding content in patch 4.3. Blizzard decided to fashion this warrior set after Deathwing himself, giant metal chin and all, and it looks absolutely fantastic. Included in the blog post is a retrospective on all of the warrior tier sets from the beginning, which hints at retrospectives for each class coming up as patch 4.3 approaches.

Check out the Blizzard blog post for the images from all of the previous tiers as well as a great picture of the new warrior tier set coming in the next patch.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Is it time to kill pure DPS?

Hi guys, you may remember me from last week when I threw a rock into a hornet's nest. I was frankly blown away by the responses, some of which were very well thought-out, that supported, refuted, or elaborated on the issue of tanking and if it is here to stay or on its last legs. Since I find that kind of discussion valuable, I thought, "Well, I can always find another rock, right?" And so here we are.

The DPS classes in World of Warcraft present us with a conundrum. If we consider the holy trinity of tanking, damage dealing and healing to be a pyramid that the game relies on, then the base of the pyramid is most easily envisioned as cornered by the tanking and healing classes and the apex occupied by the DPSers. The issue is, only four classes can hold up the tanking corner, only four can hold up the healing corner (and two of those classes are also in the tanking corner), and absolutely every single class in the game can stand on the top of the pyramid. This results in a pyramid that's metaphorically heavier on top than at the bottom.

Furthermore, of the game's 10 classes, four of them (the rogue, mage, warlock, and hunter) can only stand at the top. Whether or not they want to do something else is immaterial (although one assumes that they do not, elsewise they might have chosen a different class), because they simply cannot do so -- at least if we continue to visualize the game as based around the tanking/damaging/healing triad. So what to do?

Well, we can get rid of DPS classes entirely.

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

Is it time to kill tanking?

Please note I said "tanking" and not "tanks." If you know a tank, give him or her a hug. He or she isn't clad in cold metal or an angry bear that will tear off your face because of you; it's those pesky mobs.

The tanking system has long been somewhat problematic in World of Warcraft. While it scales to some degree, from 5-man dungeons to 10-man raids, the scaling falls apart when we get to 25-man raiding, which currently demands about the same amount of tanking as 10-man. You can get through most of Firelands with two tanks, no matter your raid size. Majordomo Staghelm only requires one tank, again, no matter your raid size. This means that the scaling from five to 10 works, but as soon as you go from 10 to 25, instead of needing 2.5 times more tanks, you need no more tanks.

The other problem is simply that there already aren't enough tanks for every 5-man group. When the Call to Arms feature was announced for the Dungeon Finder tool, it was created out of the simple fact that we're not seeing the distribution we'd expect in the playerbase. In order for the Dungeon Finder to work without significant group queues, we would need 20% of the people queuing up to be tanks (1 in 5 = 20%). This is not the case.

People simply don't want the perceived group responsibility of tanking. It's why changes were made to CC mechanics that allow groups to CC on the fly without pulling. It's why Call to Arms exists. And yet, despite both of these changes, tanking was still so unattractive to players that threat itself needed to be redesigned. All of this work to try and get people to tank. Maybe the problem isn't the players here, though. Maybe it's the role.

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

Ask the Devs Round 9 wants your tanking questions

At precisely noon today (that's right now!), Ask the Devs Round 9 will be up on the official forums. This time, the devs want to know what you want to know about tanking. Are you interested in the incoming 4.2 change that strips dodge from agility for warrior, paladin and death knight tanks? I'm personally interested in why they bothered to do that. Maybe you're more curious about the general direction of tanking in 5-mans, raids and even tank specs in PVP, or you're wondering about how good mastery is going to be for your paladin tank in 4.2.

Whatever your questions are, now is your chance to answer them. So go! Go, my legion of the tanks, go and get the developers' aggro and do not let it go until your questions are answered!

The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!

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

Raid Rx: Pick the best moments for Rallying Cry

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading on the Matticast.

4.1's out! I've been busy killing trolls in Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub, grabbing healing loot for my alts. I wasn't able to get a chance to explore the new healing synergies with all the new healer abilities and Rallying Cry. Warriors have that new ability which temporarily grants 20% maximum health to members in your party or raid for 10 seconds before the health fades away.

Like it or not, warriors are now a part of the arsenal that healing leaders have.

Also, a nifty trick includes combining both Rallying Cry and Last Stand that leads to mega-health for your tank. Doing this requires two warriors. From what I can see, Rallying Cry needs to be used first, before Last Stand, to maximize benefits. Get your tanking warrior to use Enraged Regeneration, and that'll just about outheal anything most healers can do.

Get used to adding Rallying Cry to your skills. Warriors, please remind your leaders that you have it available. Now, on what fights would your warriors be doing their whole yelling thing? I've got several in mind.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

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