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Posts with tag warriors

Warlords of Draenor Beta: Changes coming for DPS warriors

Count nothing in the beta done until the beta is itself done. It's the modern equivalent of 'count no man happy before he is dead' (at least it when it comes to betas) and it's especially true for warriors this time around. Arms has seen huge changes, fury has seen a backlash over the loss of Heroic Strike, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria. Now we get to see what the intended direction for warriors is, thanks to a forum post from Celestalon.

So what's the haps? I'm glad you asked. The usual caveats (it's all still subject to change, it's the beta, don't get too worked up) apply, of course.

Celestalon - Fury Feedback
So, we don't often share our thoughts on upcoming changes this early, as plans can change very rapidly. Please keep in mind that none of the following is set in stone – it hasn't even been developed yet – and there's any number of issues that could cause us to decide to take a different approach. That said, we definitely agree that Arms feels a bit empty at the moment, and want to fill it out a bit more, and we want to add some talent choices to both Arms and Fury that provide options for more involved gameplay. Here's what we're thinking:
  • Rage generation increased by 25% for Arms.
  • Rend returns for Arms. Costs 10 Rage, deals damage over 18sec, with a burst of bleed damage at the end. Total damage is similar to a Mortal Strike.
  • Thunder Clap is usable in any stance. AoE damage and snares, 6sec cooldown. 30 Rage cost for Arms, free for Protection.
  • We're replace the level 45 talent row (Staggering Shout / Piercing Howl / Disrupting Shout) with:
  • Varies by spec:Arms –
    • Taste for Blood: Passive. Rend ticks grant 3 Rage.
    • Fury – Furious Strikes: Passive. Reduces the cost of Wild Strike by 10 Rage
    • Protection – Heavy Repercussions: Passive. Shield Slam deals 50% additional damage while Shield Block is active.
  • Sudden Death: Passive. Auto attacks have a chance to trigger Sudden Death, making your next Execute free and usable on targets above 20% health.
  • Varies by spec:
    • Arms – Slam: Active ability. Costs 10 Rage. Deals 100% weapon damage. Each consecutive use increases Slam's damage by 50% and Rage cost by 100%, stacking up to 5 times.
    • Fury – Unquenchable Thirst: Passive. Bloodthirst has no cooldown.
    • Protection – Unyielding Strikes: Passive. Devastate reduces the Rage cost of Heroic Strike by 6, stacking up to 5 times. Lasts 10 sec. No longer refreshes while at 5 stacks.

Again, this is all very much in the formative stages. Any or all of the above could end up changing in any number of ways. But we are listening, and are doing our best to make Warrior gameplay awesome in Warlords.


Some of this I don't expect to see last very long - Unquenchable Thirst in particular strikes me as an ability that will become wholly abused if it goes live. No cooldown on Bloodthirst? So, what, you just hit Bloodthirst constantly in-between Colossus Smashes? Now, I personally like that kind of rage generation option - it's very Barbarian from Diablo III really, constantly filling up the rage bar. But I don't expect to see it actually get implemented. Still, it's very interesting to see Slam as a talent (even if it is an Arms only talent - frankly I'd like to see fury get a bite of that apple).

Still, arms really is desperately in need of some more attacks, so overall I'm curious and interested.


Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha Patch Notes for June 18th

The updated patch notes for the Warlords of Draenor alpha have some significant changes in store for monks and warriors. Abilities have been removed, returned, folded into one another - it's a lot of change for those two classes. Just to give you an idea here's some highlights:
  • Several abilities have been folded together. As an example, Stance of the Sturdy Ox and Stance of the Fierce Tiger both provide the benefits of other abilities that have now been removed. For example, Stance of the Fierce Tiger now provides the benefit of Combo Breaker and Combat Conditioning, while Stance of the Sturdy Ox now provides Brewmaster Training and Desperate Measures. Likewise, Crazed Berserker for fury warriors provides both Titan's Grip and Single-Minded Fury, both of which are removed.
  • Several monk and warrior abilities have been removed. Monks lose Dematerialize, Sparring and Swift Reflexes while Touch of Death, Transcendence and Zen Meditation are no longer available to Mistweaver monks (and Zen Meditation no longer redirects harmful spells cast against party/raid members).
  • Warriors not only lose Flurry and Meat Cleaver, but a whole host of abilities have been made stance specific - Taunt, Shield Slam, Revenge, Mass Spell Reflection, Mocking Banner, Rallying Cry and many others are either Defensive Stance only, or Defensive Stance/Gladiator Stance only. Whirlwind is back for arms warriors, but is Battle Stance only, and Deep Wounds is only for protection warriors now. Slam has been removed.
Here are the patch notes themselves, and we'll be paying close attention as this definitely seems like more changes are coming.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor and the absence of Aggra

Let me tell you a little about my sister. My sister is married, in her thirties, and has four children -- all boys -- ranging from four to sixteen. Her house is a wild cacophony of boys being boys and the calls of various animals that she's acquired. It's a mini-farm, if you will, full of chickens, goats, pigs, dogs, cats, a couple of snakes, and possibly a species or two that I've missed. In addition to raising four boys with her husband, she also owns her own business. She runs her own grooming company here in town, and is both the sole employee and owner, successful enough that she's usually booked for at least a month out, if not more.

In addition to that, she runs two Renaissance festivals a year, hauls her family to regular camp-outs with the faire crew, regularly plays D&D with the gang, and knows how to shoot a longbow and a black powder rifle (and is a pretty good shot with both of them), along with cannons and trebuchets. She's a dab hand at cooking at home and over a campfire out in the wild, knows how to kill, gut and butcher just about anything, and how to tan and stretch a hide. On top of all that, I've heard she's a marvel at breaking up fights, reading bedtime stories, wiping tears from faces, kissing boo-boo's away, and snuggling in the mornings when little ones are sleepy and grumpy about getting up for school.

And god help anyone that comes between her and her family.

I'm telling you this story not to brag about my sister, although I love her very dearly, but to make a point that seems to have been sorely missed somewhere in the story of Warcraft. My sister isn't just a wife and mother. She's a warrior. She's a fighter. She's a spark of ferocity that will not be quenched. Where is her counterpart in Warcraft? That's a really good question.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, BlizzCon

Skill Mastery: Shield Barrier takes the beating for you

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Shield Barrier is one of my favorite new abilities. One of the reasons I love it is that it scales both with the amount of rage you have when you use it and with your attack power, meaning that it will continuously get better as you level and gear up. Shield Barrier provides you with a damage absorption shield that, when used with the minimum amount of rage (20 rage), puts up a respectable amount of absorption. On my level 89 tauren warrior, above, it did roughly 6k with a baseline use, eating more than half of that Agitated Seedstealer's fire spell.

But when used at full rage, it can do significantly more. The most I've seen was a 20,000 absorption shield, which will admittedly be fairly rare because it's hard to ensure you have exactly 60 rage when you use the ability. You're more likely to pepper the area with 10k or 12k absorbs that make soloing an absolute dream. Tanking in 5-mans, it's still a potent part of your arsenal, but you're much more likely to alternate it with Shield Block there.
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Shield Barrier is an ability warrior tanks have probably needed for a very long time, a way to mitigate incoming damage no matter what it is. I personally love the ability.

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, Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler talks warriors on the Mists of Pandaria beta forums

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Ghostcrawler has contributed a great deal to an already large list of consolidated warrior issues on the Mists of Pandaria beta forums, and then just kept on posting. It's actually a lot to consider -- so much so that I'm fairly certain I can get two big posts out of it. This post will be the one that tries to break down what it all means.

Some of what he's posting is of more concern to beta testers than the general population (for instance, how the devs prefer their feedback), but we can still take some interesting points from the two posts where GC lays everything out for us. If you'll forgive me for a lot of paraphrasing and selecting:
  • Tanking for warriors (the oft-discussed active mitigation system) is designed around the concept of turning rage into survival. Shield Block and Shield Barrier are designed that keeping them up reliably will improve your survival, but in cutting-edge content, you'll want to use them in a smart way (that is, save them for big damage situations) rather than just hitting them as soon as you have the rage. Tanking for new tanks will be designed so that missing a Shield Block now and again won't wreck you.
  • Rage is the limiting mechanic for the class, not cooldowns, at least so far as the design vision of the class is concerned.
  • Arms and fury have a big rage generation attack and a big rage spending attack, but that's where the similarities between them are intended to end. Arms should feel more predictable but have slower rage generation due to its use of a single, slow weapon, while fury abilities proc less reliably, but the spec has more rage to spend because it uses two weapons, to fit the distinction between arms as a disciplined blade expert and fury as a screaming madman.
  • The intention for Battle Stance is to be the default battle stance (as the name would suggest), while Berserker Stance will be attractive for PvP or fights with high incoming damage. Blizzard's still working on Berserker Stance's design, but that's the goal.
There's more to discuss, so let's get to discussing it.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 4.1 PTR Warrior changes

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 wouldn't be a patch without warrior changes, and patch 4.1 is nothing if it isn't a patch. What are the really big standouts from an initial overview pass of the changes?
  • Rallying Cry is a new ability that seems to work like Last Stand for the entire party or raid.
  • Colossus Smash now only lowers armor by 70% for 6 seconds, down from 100%.
  • Intercept stun is reduced to 1 second. In addition, Juggernaut will no longer increase the stun duration of Charge.
  • Whirlwind will now reduce its cooldown by 6 seconds if it strikes four or more targets.
  • Several arms abilities have had their damage increased, from Mortal Strike (175% weapon damage) to Overpower (145% weapon damage) to the talented Improved Slam (increases slam damage by 20/40%, up from 10/20%). These are most likely intended to compensate arms for losing Colossus Smash's armor penetration, indicating that nerf was aimed at fury DPS.
  • Finally, Improved Hamstring will now also reduce the global cooldown on Hamstring by half a second for 1 point and a full second for two. Less stunning for warriors and more snaring seems to be the order of the day.

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

Breakfast Topic: What's new with you?

I've been having a lot of fun with my It Came From the Blog alt lately,(check the polls and updates to follow along with the latest adventures from the guild!) now that I've hit level 20 and I can ride around in comfort. With level 20 came a few milestones; getting a mount, the fact that this is the first time I've gotten a warrior beyond level oh ... 15 or so, and suddenly I had a level 20 warrior quest! I realized as I accepted it that this was something entirely new. I'd never done this quest before. For someone that has Loremaster on multiple characters, this is a rare and exciting thing -- I had no idea what it was for, or what I would be doing, or what I would get at the end!

So I decided to go through the chain and deliberately keep myself in the dark. No Wowhead, no hints, no spoilers, just playing it through how it was intended to be played. I'm in the middle of the chain now and the quests are red, so I'll complete them as I go along, but I'm looking forward to finishing it! The warrior class is entertaining -- I find I'm enjoying the aspect of being the one that wants to be hit, rather than the one that's trying to avoid it.

Speaking of having my head beat in, the other "new" thing I found myself doing was registering for the 2010 Arena Tournament last night. I don't arena. I barely PvP. I'm terrible at PvP, so I've simply never done it, because I figure it is better not to clutter up the arena and frustrate other players with my outright awfulness. However, a friend has convinced me to give it a try, and against my better judgment I am going for it -- after all, the worst that can happen is I will get beaten repeatedly.

Arena scores don't go into the negatives, right guys? ... right?

So what's new with you? What's something in game that you've never, ever done before? It's rare that I find these things and seek them out, but as Cataclysm approaches I find myself wanting to try the things I've never done before just in case they disappear or change. And an additional challenge to those of you looking for one -- that new thing that you thought of? Go out and do it! You may end up like me, somewhat bewildered by the experience but thoroughly enjoying it.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Revenge of the Warrior, now Improved

In the most recent bout of data mining the PTR patch (specifically build 11623), the fine folks at MMO-Champion discovered more changes and clarifications to how warrior abilities will work. Keeping in mind again that this is the PTR and you never know how things are going to change, here are the specifics.

Protection
  • Revenge damage has been slightly lowered, it now deals [ 31% of AP + 1636 ] to [ 31% of AP + 1998 ] damage at max rank. Down from [ 31% of AP + 2181 ] to [ 31% of AP + 2665 ] damage.
  • Improved Revenge now Increases damage of your Revenge ability by 30/60% (up from 10/20%) and causes Revenge to strike an additional target for 50% damage.
  • Vitality now increases your total Strength by 2/4/6%, Stamina by 3/6/9% and your Expertise by 2/4/6.(On live, this is Strength and Stamina by 2/4/6% and Expertise by 2/4/6.)
Arms
  • Trauma now lasts 1 min, up from 15 sec.
The Trauma change is probably one for convenience, as it can be hard in a high mobility fight (like, say, running out of a Defile) to keep Trauma up and this way you'll have more leeway to keep those bleeds ticking at max efficiency while still getting out of bombs or fissures or what have you. Vitality is pretty much exactly as it was the last time we talked about it.

As for Revenge, the baseline ability is being adjusted slightly downward from our original exciting 3.3.3 revelation. But Improved Revenge is being hugely buffed. Hugely. When we first heard the news that Revenge would be getting some improvements, we speculated in the comments that perhaps they'd throw some AoE viability in there, and now they have done exactly that. By baking it into the talent instead of the baseline ability (and by removing the stun from Imp Revenge, it appears) you cut back on prot warrior stuns in PvP while giving a strong new reason to pick up Imp Revenge for more damage and more AoE threat. It's a pretty solid change for a tanking prot warrior.

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Cataclysm: Stats and system changes for DPS warriors

So, what's happening with gear for warriors who like to actually get to kill things in Cataclysm? I'm glad you asked, gentle friend. I'm glad you asked. Well, okay, whether or not you asked I was going to talk about it anyway.
  • If you've been using various leather or mail pieces with attack power, said AP is about to drop off of them. There will be no attack power on gear of any kind. Attack power will purely be converted from either strength or agility depending on class. This has been said before but it bears repeating. If gear currently has AP on it, that AP will convert to agi and stam.
More changes after the break.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Cataclysm: Stat and system changes for prot warriors

Well, we knew the times would be a changing with Cataclysm, but how much they're going to change has been revealed, and it's quite a lot all told. For warrior tanks, what are the big issues?
  • Block will be heavily redesigned. There will be no more block value of any kind and all blocks will remove 30% of a blocked attack's damage. Block rating will still improve your chance to block as it does now, but if you do block an attack, rather than the current system where you block (as an example) 2000 damage because you have a shield block value of 2000, you'll block 30% of whatever the damage would have been. This means a gimmick block set won't make you invulnerable to trash mobs, but also that block will be more useful against bosses who hit for 50k. (A boss who hits for 50k now would hit for 48k using our hypothetical block value. He'd hit for 35k with the new system, as 30% of 50k is 15k.) This also means that Shield Slam will need some other method of calculating its damage.
More changes after the break.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Blood Sport: Beginner's guide to arena, part III


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 WoW.com's arena column.

Listening Music: Modeselektor's Tetrispack. Allison Robert offered a challenge to our most beloved columnist last week. Ms. Roberts has chosen a clever and palatable piece with Richard Shindell's On-A-Sea-Of-Fleur-De-Lis. And now we come to my retaliation. My wife recommended our musical selection today -- it just happened to be on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. How fitting. We love this song, albeit mostly for the intro. Upon your first listen, if you correctly predict the timing and type of shift in the first thirty seconds, serious e-props to you.

To wit, Robert: pan flute > no pan flute. Your move.

Last Week: part two of our beginner's arena guide. We featured the cute ukulele kid who pretty much controls the internet right now. After that, we discussed frequently asked questions from new arena players. We talked about how to spec and what team composition to choose, with two different types of answers (easy and long).

Today, we'll be talking some very basic class strategy. If you know your class inside and out, you'll know what I'm going to say when it comes to your class and arena. You can still learn about other classes here. I've written over 2500 words about individual class perspective inside arenas, that's a lot. Full article after the break.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Walkthroughs, Blizzard, PvP, Guides, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Battlegrounds, Arena, Achievements

Blood Sport: Patch 3.2.2, the times they are a-changin, Part II


In keeping with our musical theme, here's David Bowie's Changes. Most of you have probably heard it, but most of us have not really listened to it. Take some time to enjoy one of Bowie's most renowned pieces with the article today.

Last time, I went over a few significant arena modifications that 3.2.2 brought us. Square pillars for line-of-sight, the armor penetration nerf, focus frames, flying in battlegrounds, and the Onyxia loot table can be found here.

This article is going to talk about five of the nine classes discussed in the 3.2.2 patch notes (warlocks were left out). The reason we won't be talking about the other four is sheer article size. I'm not getting blamed for breaking anyone's scroll wheel today! We'll go over death knights, hunters, druids, and mages in the second part of this part II (which should be in a day or two).

I'm giving analysis on class changes; I hope we will agree on most things, but if you disagree or decide I don't understand a mechanic properly, please let me know in the comments below. I read all your comments and am often stunned with how gracious our readers have been towards me. Thank you for all the kind words, those of you who took the time to write them!

Please don't assume that I don't care if I don't write a large amount about the horrors of nerfing or the glories of buffing your main character's class (triple negative hooray). I probably don't know enough about the intricacies of the change to make an educated prediction, and would say little rather than proclaim "this will gimp class X vs. class Y" and have it fail to come to fruition.

I'm going to be ignoring all non-pvp related notes. If you think I left something out, please post a comment below and I will (most likely) edit the post accordingly.

Also, 3.3 patch notes are out already! Next week, part III will be merged with the 3.3 patch notes that are coming; there's a lot to talk about!

So, without further ado, here's what 3.2.2 is cha-cha-cha-cha-changing in the arena world.

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Filed under: Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, News items, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

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