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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Are warrior attacks boring?

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Are warrior attacks boring
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.

Are we boring?

Obviously I don't think so or I'd be fairly unhappy with my choice of class. But when you see certain statements like this one from Ghostcrawler, you do start to wonder. One of the difficulties I had in writing a wishlist for the class in the future was that our toolkit is fairly limited. We don't channel any weird energies like nature or divine magic or chi, we just get angry and use that anger to smash things, yell at things, and then there's the 'pinball in a washing machine' and 'here is my flag' aspects of the class.

Aesthetically, I enjoy the warrior class quite a bit. But that aesthetic comes in the form of plate armor and is hardly unique to the class - death knights and paladins can wear almost all of the same gear as we can, especially now that transmogrification exists. The fact is, as much as I hate to admit it, Ghostcrawler is right and warriors don't look all that interesting when we attack.

The question becomes, why does that matter? And the answer is, it matters for the overall health of the class and its representation.

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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: Future Wishlist

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Future Wishlist SatSun
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 this week we had the big Dev Q&A, and there were some things in there that got me thinking.

From the Q&A
Dread: Why do Warriors (Arms & Fury) still have moves that require Shields, and thus, macros? You think a master of arms or a raging berserker could hit a fire ball back like a baseball. (Link could do it!)

Ghostcrawler: Shields are cool. We'd like to do more with them, for paladins and shaman too. We agree that macros aren't an awesome way to handle shields. We'd rather do more with the base UI. Imagine you had a shield slot on your character pane even if you didn't have it "out" at the moment. Something along those lines.


The specific moves that require a shield for arms and fury warriors are abilities like Shield Wall and Spell Reflection. (Mass Spell Reflection does not require a shield.) The idea of a 'Shield Slot' rather than using shields as offhand items fascinates me, especially if it led to the possibility of protection warriors using a two-handed weapon and a shield to tank with (as many have asked for, since the old spear and shield was a big part of historical warfare).

This led me to wonder: what would my dream additions be to the warrior class? What do I want to see make it into the class' toolkit for the future?

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Too good and not good enough

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Too good and not good enough
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, I'm just going to say it: Titan's Grip is ludicrous AoE right now. I switched to TG this week because I got a Zerat's off of a coin roll and another dropped, and so I'm still getting used to TG's more random proc based gameplay. On the whole I'd say my single target DPS was fair to middling, not awful, but not as good as SMF and not as good as I'm currently capable of as arms because, well, in part I'm still in that weird place gear wise where arms does really well and partly I'm very used to arms and can perform the priority of attacks without though, while TG still requires me to think about what I'm doing. This need to concentrate on Raging Blow procs actually got me killed a few times on Durumu, so that's embarrassing.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Tanking stats and design

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Tanking design
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.

I decided it was time to give some attention to tanking, because I've been all about the DPS lately. Now, I haven't raid tanked in quite a while, since Tier 14 really, so outside of some LFR and some heroics I haven't really been putting tanking through its paces. Still, I do keep my prot offspec current, keep my gear up as best I can, and run both LFR and heroics as prot to keep my hand in.

What got me thinking about tanking for this week was this older column from Theck that I never got around to discussing. Part of that is the piece is mostly math, which for the average warrior tank just wanting to know what she or he should do is kind of over the top. What's really important about the piece is that it helps to explain why dodge and avoidance are better for warrior tanks than paladin tanks (or, really, any tanks) - basically, it highlights how Revenge works with avoidance stats on gear. It also covers how Revenge as a rage generation ability falls off when you're not getting directly attacked so that you can't dodge or parry anything, and how while it's not a crippling result (He puts it at about 4% of your total rage generation, due to Shield Slam being a higher priority than Revenge) it does cost you.

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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: Theoretical limits and the DPS warrior

The Care and Feeding of Warriors The life of a DPS warrior
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.

I always agonize over breaking set bonuses. You can sim it out all you like, you can run dummy tests, you can hit up LFR to test it out, but at the end there's always that brief period of self doubt over abandoning a set bonus for overall higher stats. My current raid had something like four warriors, four hunters, and a fair amount of shamans and monks so I'm not even trying for tier right now, instead focusing on overall upgrades. So last night, after getting a nice DPS ring and breastplate, I decided to break my Tier 14 4 piece set bonus.

To be honest, my performance seems to have improved, and I find myself wondering if it's because I raid as arms, since we don't get the double-crit on Mortal Strike that fury gets on Bloodthirst. I did do some LFR after the raid as fury, but my weapons are significantly below my arms weapon (since I can't use a polearm with Titan's Grip and I haven't gotten squat for SMF in two tiers of raiding) so in the end it felt like a wash. Heck, in order to even test TG I had to do an item restore on my upgraded Starshatter.

One of the issues facing us as DPS warriors is the idea of maximum DPS by spec. A lot of people will use sites like Noxxic, look up what the maximum DPS is for their class by spec, and just spec that. It doesn't work, and they get frustrated. Based on a conversation I had in LFR last night, I'm doing everything imaginable wrong by speccing arms as a DPS warrior, and I found myself forced to defend my spec choice even while outperforming everyone else. In fact, it seemed to irritate said person that I was doing what he said couldn't be done. Now, let me be clear that this isn't Noxxic's fault - it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools, and it's a worse craftsman who tries to use a power drill as a belt sander. But let's talk a bit about the difference between your DPS in a perfect vacuum vs. your DPS in an actual raid situation.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 5.2 and warrior gear part 3

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Patch 52 and warrior gear part 3
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 has been something of a wild month for me. I started it playing a tauren warrior, and I'm ending it as a worgen. I've spent the month raiding Throne of Thunder and thinking about warrior gear I need to pick up as we progress through the place. The weird thing about gear is, it's really just a means to an end. You get gear to get better to progress through harder content, that's pretty much all there is to the gearing cycle. Each new patch, each new raid opens up new angles for progression, but it's really always heading towards that brass ring of "Beat X boss, get Y gear to beat Z boss." Until the expansion ends, anyway.

As one of the largest raids we've seen in a while, Throne of Thunder has a lot of gear. We covered six bosses last time, taking us to the mid point of the raid. Now we get to look at the remaining bosses. The Halls of Flesh Shaping and Pinnacle of Storms await. As before, I'm just going to list the 522 gear that drops in normal 10/25 - thunderforged variants are 6 ilevels higher, and thus are usually the best option in normal raids.

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Filed under: Warrior, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Preliminary DPS in Throne of Thunder

The Care and Feeding of Warriors DPS in Throne of Thunder
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 we've had the Throne of Thunder for three weeks now, and we're all progressing through it at our various paces. Some of us are working on heroic bosses, others are at particular normal mode bosses, still others are primarily exploring the raid via the LFR tool. However you're going about it, you've had a couple of weeks to start seeing the new fights.

One of the things that's struck me as a DPS player so far is how varied the individual fights are. Love them or hate them (so far I can't think of one I hate although I'll admit I don't like doing Ji-Kun when I have to do nest duty) there's a wide range of mechanics at play. As a result, although this is still a fairly preliminary statement there are a few things I feel comfortable saying at this point.

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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: Patch 5.2 and warrior gear part 2

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Patch 52 and warrior gear part 2
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 Throne of Thunder has twelve bosses (thirteen on heroic) and that's a fair bit. For comparison, Ulduar had 13 with a special 14th heroic boss, Naxxramas had 15 and ICC had 12, so Throne of Thunder is tied for third place as largest raid instance in WoW history, and wins the third slot if you count Ra-Den. Throne of Thunder is the largest raid instance we've had in years, and as a result, there's a lot of gear in here for us to comb through.

That's kind of why I chickened out and covered faction items and Oondasta last time. Covering the loot drops off of twelve bosses is pretty daunting. I guess there's no way to get through it except to get started. All of these items will be examined from a warrior mindset, so a belt with haste and mastery will not be a first choice for a prot warrior since haste is useless for protection.

Also, keep in mind that many thunderforged items drop, many of which have the same name and basic stat spread, but a six item level increase. I won't be talking about them specifically, but if one drops, it's better than the regular version. I'm also not covering LFR itemization, but just remember that LFR drops are iLevel 502, making them as good as heroic MSV drops. If you've been running normal modes, LFR Throne of Thunder items are clear upgrades in most cases.

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Filed under: Warrior, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms in 5.2

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Arms in 52
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're not doing gear again this week. Sorry, but with Patch 5.2 freshly out, and the warrior class review posted by Blizzard, there's other stuff to discuss and one of them is the arms warrior spec. I've switched to arms for my DPS spec right now because, frankly, it's astonishingly improved in my opinion. My initial test run with the spec this week saw me putting out very solid numbers near the top of the meter, even when I was making target switch calls on Council. Part of this was a strat that favored arms - we parked some DPS on Sul full time and I got to be one of those, and then we parked Sul right next to whichever boss was possessed so that I could use Sweeping Strikes liberally. But part of it was the redesigned Taste for Blood, and another part of it was the redesigned Recklessness.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Patch 5.2 and warrior gear part 1

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Patch 52 and warrior gear 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.

Gear constantly changes. Every major patch, there's new gear to drool over and want. For the next few weeks, I'm going to look at the gear we're getting in patch 5.2 from the Throne of Thunder, Oondasta (holder of the greatest loot table in the universe), and Nalak. We'll also take a look at Shado-Pan Assault, Kirin Tor Offensive, and Sunreaver Onslaught gear. This means we'll be looking at gear with a wide variety of item levels, from the 522 of the world bosses and normal mode Throne of Thunder to the 476 of some of the faction gear.

Also, although I won't be covering the items here, transmog minded warriors should take a look at the return of these Burning Crusade blacksmithing models. These weapons won't be an upgrade for you in almost all cases, but they're a welcome addition to our cosmetic arsenal. Now, to discuss gear.

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

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 61 to 90

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 61 to 90
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.

Before we get started, let's cover the previous posts in this series:
What levels 61 through 90 cover is a staggering array of content, if you think about it, going from Burning Crusade (in many ways the oldest content still available in WoW) to Wrath, then Cataclysm and finally Mists of Pandaria itself. Even without raiding or running heroic dungeons, you're still looking at over 30 zones (I'm being conservative and not counting the DK start zone, the Worgen/Goblin start zones, Wintergrasp or Tol Barad) of content. And that content varies greatly, since it ranges from first being introduced in 2007 to 2012. That's over five years of game design iteration, and you can really feel it - in many ways, going from the Cataclysm revamped old world to TBC era Outland to start this patch of leveling off is like stepping into a time machine. Hellfire is a scattered zone, with multiple quest hubs only loosely connected and even with the quests having been adjusted to be much easier to solo it feels like the artifact of its time that it is.

Still, since both Outland and Northrend have had their experience requirements relaxed from their debut periods, it's not hard to get through them. Ironically enough, it's when you hit level 80 and start in on Cataclysm content that the game starts to feel bogged down. Several heirlooms currently stop working at level 80 (the hat, cloak and legs currently available last until 85, and new heirlooms are coming in 5.2) and the experience requirements, while reduced, are still more significant than the previous two expansions.

Still, let's talk about what you, as a warrior, will find when you hit these levels.

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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, Mists of Pandaria

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 31 to 60

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 31 to 60
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 starting out and going from 1 to 30 as a warrior. This week, we'll finish off the Cataclysm-revamped content before heading to Outland. Some points to make before we get started:
  • It's my opinion that the warrior class starts to open up in these levels, with several important class abilities like Deep Wounds, Titan's Grip and Single-Minded Fury, Shield Wall and other favorites. We also gain the last warrior stance, Berserker Stance, although with the revamp to stances with Mists of Pandaria it's not as important for leveling.
  • Both tanking and DPSing become a lot more 'real' with these levels. Being the proper spec for your role is a lot more important, and by level 60 each spec feels like it will for the rest of your leveling. You'll still gain new abilities, but they'll supplement rather than define you compared to 31 to 60, which is where that definition comes in.
  • PvP is, to my mind, more fun here than at lower levels. You just feel more like a warrior with certain abilities, after all.
  • In past years, I would have advised a leveling warrior to get to Outland as soon as possible. Now, however, I advise that you wait until 60. There are some excellent quest chains in the revamped Winterspring, Burning Steppes and Blasted Lands that will get you to 60 painlessly, and once you head to Hellfire Peninsula you're heading into some of the oldest leveling content the game has. Delay that system shock if you can, I would argue.
All the initial points I made last week are still viable. So now, let's break open what you'll be getting as you level through the zones, hit the dungeons, or run some PvP.

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

Leveling warriors in Mists of Pandaria, 1 to 30

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Leveling in Mists, 1 to 30
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.

Continued from last week, our guide to leveling a warrior in Mists of Pandaria talks about the 1 to 60 game, focusing on the first 30 levels. Redesigned in Cataclysm, the content remains the same, but the process has literally never been simpler than it is right now. Even excluding elements like heirlooms and refer a friend bonuses, the following changes happened to make it easier than ever.
  • There is no need to see a trainer to learn new abilities as you level. Instead, as soon as you gain the appropriate level, they appear in your spellbook, ready to be used.
  • The talent trees from Cataclysm were removed, and most abilities were either removed or folded into class abilities you simply gain as you level. You now need only choose 1 talent out of three every fifteen levels, starting at level 15.
  • By level 60, you will have four talents, up to and including one of three AoE damage abilities. Each talent is accessible to any class specialization, meaning that your chosen role doesn't limit you from choosing a talent that sounds interesting to you.
  • Almost all dungeon quests are accessible via a quest giver inside the dungeon entrance as you zone in, which combines with the Dungeon Finder to make it easier than ever to run dungeons as a means to level your character.
With abilities having been redesigned, leveling provides something useful roughly every 2 to 3 levels between specialization abilities (strikes like Colossus Smash are a specialization ability, accessible only by arms and fury warriors), talents, and class abilities. You get Charge at level 3 now, and once you do, it will open up the real fun of the warrior class. Namely running headlong into things and smashing them.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Leveling a new warrior, Part 1

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Leveling a new warrior 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.

Congratulations! You've decided to level a warrior. I applaud your choice in leveling satisfaction. This article is designed for the use of a new warrior, whether it be an experienced WoW player who hasn't picked up the class yet or an entirely new player.

Warriors are a melee DPS/tanking hybrid class that use a variety of combat stances tailored towards their specific role in combat as well as the situation to hand. They're uniquely mobile due to several abilities and talents designed for quick movement on the battlefield, and can use every single kind of melee weapon, although weapons with strength should definitely be the priority over ones with agility, and no warrior should use a weapon with intellect, spellpower or spirit on it.

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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: A Taste for Blood

The Care and Feeding of Warriors A Taste for Blood
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.

Let's just jump right into it, shall we?

Ghostcrawler - PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Warrior
- For Arms, we are going to try Overpower proc'ing Sudden Death instead of autoattacks. This will make haste slightly worse (which we can fix) but we hope will help make the rotation slightly more compelling, since autoattack procs can feel really random. With Overpower you can anticipate it a little more.
- Likewise, Overpower will cost no rage in Execute range. We agree that saving rage for Overpower and spending it all on Execute don't play well together.
- We haven't made a tuning pass on Arms (or any spec) yet. Don't fret about DPS numbers at this stage.


I actually like this change quite a bit. Yes, I am capable of liking things. It's not all whining about haste over here.

What I like about it is that it emphasizes Overpower over autoattacks, which are fairly unimportant for an arms warrior anyway. You hit cap at 7.5%, which is absurdly easy in comparison to fury anyway (which is why no fury warrior bothers to try, leaving hit a fairly pointless DPS statistic... but we've talked about hit and expertise before) so you're going to land those slow hits and generate rage with them... and that's pretty much all they should do, in my opinion. With Mortal Strike and Colossus Smash both so important, giving Overpower more to do is fine by me.

I also absolutely agree with the idea of making Execute completely discount Overpower's rage cost. In fact, I agree with it so strongly that I'm sort of bemused here. Usually I don't wholeheartedly endorse a proposed change.

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

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