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Posts with tag wow-warrior

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A Single-Minded Fury

The Care and Feeding of Warriors A SingleMinded Fury
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.

For most of 2012 and 2013 I was simply unable to test SMF out myself. It was simming to be the best DPS spec for warriors as early as normal Mogu'shan Vaults. but like all warrior specs it's ludicrously gear dependent and arms was simply easier for me to gear up - you can completely hit cap arms, it's not so shackled to crit as the only worthwhile DPS stat, and most importantly I had a two handed weapons. One handers were a myth told to me in a dream by ghostly apparitions, not items I actually saw drop. Even my tanking weapon was in fact an agi weapon that would have gotten disenchanted if I hadn't picked it up.

Then I found myself in a situation with three other DPS warriors, and again getting 1h DPS weapons seemed absolutely impossible because I was constantly competing with two other players for them. But the funny thing is, eventually everyone else gets geared up, and then? Then the drops are yours to rescue from the disenchant pile. When a thunderforged Qon's Flaming Scimitar dropped and no one wanted it (saving their points for heroic drops, no doubt) I decided I'd snap that up and go SMF for a week. What did I learn?

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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: What Celestial Blessings tells us about warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors What Celestial Blessings tells us about warriors
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

First, you should read this - it gives you a solid overview of what the Celestial Blessings fights require from a tank or melee DPS. Now that you've read that, I figure I'll spend this column taking the lessons of my day spent doing Celestial Blessings (about two hours of attempts all told before I finally got the cape) explaining what the quest taught me. I did both the melee DPS and tank options several times, ultimately settling on the tanking quest after four 5% wipes on Wrathion on the melee DPS challenge.

I'm of two minds about these quests. On the one hand, I'm really happy I got through them - I feel like it was a worthy achievement and forced me to use a lot of my toolkit. Getting Wrathion reliably to 5% feels like a moral victory, especially because the four times he killed me I was killed by being inside his cone despite the graphic showing that I was outside of it - that feels like cheating, you dragon jerk. Doing the tanking challenge definitely is easier than the melee DPS one, purely because it's easier to control the tanking challenge. Sure, Wrathion will do his level best to take damage and die, but almost all of it is something you can work to prevent.

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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: Look at all these trees

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Look at all these trees 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.

There's an old saying about not seeing the forest for the trees. It can be applied to World of Warcraft - sometimes you can't see the problem with your class because you're operating in a vacuum composed of yourself and your raid group and you have no way of knowing how others are doing. I let this happen to myself over the course of Throne of Thunder and now I'm forced to realize things aren't fine after all. The problem is fairly simple - warrior DPS has not kept up.

Warrior DPS falls as more mobility and/or target switching become required on fights. While it's hardly conclusive of anything, take a look at this listing of DPS rankings from Noxxic. If you remember the same rankings back when patch 5.2 first came out, you'll remember that fury was a lot higher up on it, not ranked around number 19/20. Arms is an even more depressing number 23. What happened to our DPS?

Well, for starters, all the fights did. There's always a difference between optimal DPS (that is, you can stand there, hit all your buttons properly, and put out your best) and realistic DPS. If you look at Noxxic's maximum DPS for 522 gear, you'll see a pretty substantial improvement, popping fury back up to number 11 or so. Again, this isn't conclusive, it just points to a trend. If you want more evidence of that trend, take a look at the World of Logs DPS rankings for Throne of Thunder. On Normal, looking at all regions, warriors only manage to make the top 10 on Tortos. On heroic, they don't even manage that. Even heroic Tortos, a fight warriors excel on in normal mode, becomes grueling on heroic.

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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: Fourth Spec Blues

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Fourth Spec Blues
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

So yeah, I just plain forgot they'd nerfed Sweeping Strikes down to 50% a while ago. I haven't played arms since I got my second 2h weapon in ToT, so it just plain slipped my mind. Sorry, everyone. This of course means that arms is just plain getting an AoE buff, and I still maintain that single target DPS is where both arms and fury fall behind other classes.

Right now the only class that can reliably beat me on AoE fights is warlocks. I don't know if warlocks have an incredible means to spread AoE damage or I'm just running into the best warlocks in existence. So I find this emphasis on AoE for arms a little baffling. I'm not necessarily complaining about it, just confused by it.

It's also fairly clear that as of right now the PTR has no significant changes for fury outside of TG polearms. So we're basically in a situation where prot is getting DPS buffs, arms is getting AoE buffs, and fury gets to look like a helicopter. Since there are no egregious nerfs on the horizon, Shield Wall and Spell Reflection are shaping up to work on live without shields (Horde players currently pull an old Horde PvP shield out, Alliance the Ally shield) we're clear to discuss something I've been thinking about for a while, namely whether warriors should have a fourth spec and if so what should it do?

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The deaths of the multitude

The Care and Feeding of Warriors The deaths of the multitude 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.

The changes to arms in patch 5.4 are good if viewed from the lens that the fury warrior DPS model is one that arms should be emulating - namely, more AoE than burst or single target. Quite frankly, when discussing warrior DPS, I think the emphasis on our damage isn't where it should be. Fury does good to very good AoE damage, especially with the right talents, but our single target burst and sustained damage lags far behind other classes. Fury simple doesn't hit as hard, especially not on fights where rage gets interrupted for any reason, and arms adopting the same shotgun blast AoE damage model has problems. Yes, it will bring arms up on the charts. But it could also cement warriors as the trash DPS - bring them to clear to the boss or kill a lot of adds, but if you need someone to put sustained high damage on a single target, you may want to switch them out.

This isn't to say that fury is terrible at single-target. It isn't. It's simply a concern of mine that fury, which underperforms compared to other melee in that regard, should perhaps not be the model for how arms is designed. If the two specs are functionally both concerned with AoE DPS, they come dangerously close to feeling homogenized. But for now, we have to deal with the spec we have, not the spec we might think we would rather have. So what will be happening with arms in patch 5.4?

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A snapshot of change

The Care and Feeding of Warriors A snapshot of change
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.

Yeah, we're going to be talking about patch 5.4 again. Honestly, it's hard not to when they keep dropping changes on us. Between all taunts now adding 200% threat for 3 seconds after they're used (a move seemingly aimed at helping with tank swaps), the addition of Riposte, and a whole lot of small changes to damage abilities for protection and arms.

I'll admit, I was ecstatic just to see Shield Wall and Spell Reflection no longer requiring a shield, and frankly I don't really care about players who are saying 'It doesn't make sense to have Shield Wall without a shield' because warriors have needed the survival improvement this gives for years now. It's a minimal change for PvP (since no warrior seriously PvP's without a shield equip macro) but it gives arms and fury warriors in PvE a nice survival ability on a three minute cooldown.

We'll go over the other changes in detail after the break, reproducing the patch notes and working from there.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Diving into Patch 5.4's PTR

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Diving into Patch 54's PTR
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Okay, so let's look at what we're getting as of the most recent Patch 5.4 PTR build. What stands out?
Patch 5.4 PTR Patch notes
Warrior

General
  • Enrage now also triggers on critical hits from Devastate and Shield Slam.
  • Shattering Throw no longer costs rage.
Talents
  • Enraged Regeneration now instantly heals the warrior for 10% of their total health (up from 5%), and an additional 10% over 5 seconds (up from 5%).
  • Vigilance no longer transfers damage to the Warrior. The talent now reduces amount of damage the target takes by 30% for 12 seconds.
Arms
  • Slam now does an additional 10% damage to targets affected by the warrior's Colossus Smash.
Fury
  • Titan's Grip now works with polearms.


There are actually some other changes if you log onto the PTR itself that aren't in the notes: Bladestorm is down to a 1 minute cooldown on the PTR, for instance. I like to call this the Christmas in Pandaria. In fact, if you look at these spell changes on Wowhead, you'll see that a lot of spells got buffed - Storm Bolt's damage got increased, Impending Victory's heal got doubled to 30%. So now that we've looked at the changes, what do they mean?

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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: Speculative solutions

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Speculative solutions
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.

In the past few weeks I've talked about warrior survivability concerns and our problems with itemization and that's got me thinking: what are the solutions? Now, I'm not a dev nor even playing one on TV, I'm basically just a fan of the game, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about these things. It's easy to complain about issues, after all, but harder to discuss meaningful solutions. So I've decided to do just that, since the comments alone are usually worth the price of admission in cases like that.

The main concerns I'll be discussing are as follows:
  1. DPS warrior survivability in PvE
  2. The rapid decline of Arms warriors in PvP (Cynwise's recent class distribution numbers went a lot more in depth than my own class rep post, and it's convinced me the warrior decline in PvP is more meaningful than I first thought)
  3. Warrior tanking issues (haste, overall DPS, our lack of 'cheese')
So what could we see that would help with these issues? What changes would be effective without being too effective?

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Itemization Concerns

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Itemization Concerns
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 admit the title is a fancy way for me to say I want to talk about a bunch of stuff, all related to warriors without dedicating the entire column to one of the topics. These things I want to discuss include:
  1. The ridiculous dependence on crit to the exclusion of pretty much all other DPS stats for fury.
  2. Warrior tank threat/DPS and how it holds back the class.
  3. The ridiculous amount of hit on Throne of Thunder gear.
  4. Why I'm still annoyed that haste does nothing for protection warriors.
I know I've been flogging that haste for protection horse for a while, but it just irks me to see two of the plate classes getting solid use out of haste/expertise or haste/mastery gear for their tank sets and we get nothing. Considering point #2 for warrior tanks (namely, that our DPS and thus threat is just way behind the other tanks) I find it absolutely maddening to see haste be so completely useless for protection warriors. It doesn't give us resources at all, due to the way rage regenerates in Defensive Stance - it doesn't even help us with our rage generators like Shield Slam and Revenge because haste does nothing for our GCD. I took a pair of haste legs for my tank set recently (they were still a huge upgrade, that's how bad my old tank legs were) and every time I look at that haste on them, and know I can't reforge all of it away, I get this lump in my gut where the snarky itemization elitist in me says haste? Really?

I hate that guy. I hate him even more because I know he's right. Haste has no business on my tanking gear because haste does nothing for a warrior tank. Nothing. We don't even generate rage from our autoattacks, so the miniscule increase in attack speed doesn't even avail us.

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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: Survival and the modern warrior

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Survival and the modern 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'm not looking for a buff to warrior DPS. Every time I talk about warriors as DPS (and half the time I talk about warriors as tanks) it comes back around to people assuming I want a DPS buff, but I don't. At least, I'm not asking for our damaging abilities to do more damage. What I am asking for is parity in terms of methods to be able to apply that DPS.

Quite frankly, raiding today has lots of methods to prevent a warrior from doing damage. There are mazes to run, debuffs that force you to switch targets, interrupts to hit, and conditions that will instantly kill you if you don't take them into account. To use one example, let's look at Heroic Jin'rokh. Both his Ionization and Lightning Strike force players to move out of optimal position (you don't want to be decursed of Ionization inside the Conductive Water, or you'll blow up the raid) and in the case of Lightning Strike, you'll spend half the phase dancing around. For a warrior, this is DPS death. We have no abilities outside of a couple of throws (one with a cast time) that can do damage at range, and we have no method to remove Ionization or prevent its application.

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

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Warrior representation

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Warrior representation 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.

I find myself wondering about protection warriors as tanks. Clearly, we're neither the most nor least popular tanks, holding steady in the middle of the pack - both blood DK's and protection paladins absolutely own tank representation. Blood is at 4.2% and prot pallies at 4.1% of total class/spec representation in Throne of Thunder, with prot warriors at 2.7% and guardian druids in about the same spot as brewmaster monks, 2% for guardians and 1.8% for brewmasters.

It's fairly clear that fury warriors, despite being a relatively smaller fraction of total class representation, are by far the most popular warriors in current raiding. Protection is not only second, but a distant second, and arms (despite being a solid 3% of the total player base overall) is vanishingly under-represented in raiding. We'll worry about arms in raids later. For now let's ask why protection warriors aren't being seen in raids. It's not based on class popularity by itself - based on looking over Realmpop for a couple of hours I'd argue that warriors are holding pretty steady at about 9.6% of the total population. (It's a slight drop from the 10.14% we saw last December) World of Wargraphs puts the number at about 9.5%, so either way, there are a lot of warriors. But looking at the Wargraphs data, two things come to mind.

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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: Talent switching, conditional use and gear

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Talent switching and conditional use
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 switch around my talents pretty consistently when raiding Throne of Thunder. I know some people will tell you it's always a DPS decrease to use Bladestorm, but on Tortos Bladestorm is an absolute treasure if your tank is rounding up the bats and bringing them to melee. When I say it is a treasure, I mean that it is an idol and I think you should have to engage in a whip based economy for it. (I don't use Shockwave much as DPS due to the positioning needed.) But like a lot of you, I drop it on fights with a minimal AoE component for Dragon Roar, because DR always crits and does a pretty healthy amount of damage even on single target. Here's a question I hadn't asked myself until this week, however: do I really need to be doing this?

I use Second Wind as a raiding talent for two reasons:
  1. I don't have to think about it at all. If I go below 35%, I get some healing. That's it. It's not better than Enraged Regeneration, but it doesn't require me to do anything. Similarly, it's not that Impending Victory isn't good, but it's another attack and I don't need another attack right now. Both my arms and fury rotations are plenty busy (arms in particular does not have a lot of slack time when I'm not doing anything) and putting in another attack doesn't really benefit me.
  2. It's never unavailable. With Enraged Regeneration and Impending Victory, there are times I can't use them because I have recently used them. Second Wind will always proc once I drop below 35%. It's always there. It does nothing for me if I never drop that low, and it won't save me if I get gibbed for huge damage and die, but if I drop below 35% and don't immediately die, there it is, plugging away some healing for me.
This is what got me thinking about talent switching while raiding. There are some talents I just never switch out of, and then there's the big three of Bladestorm, Dragon Roar and Shockwave. These see a lot of switching, to the point where I carry about 40 tomes per raid because I know I'll use at least five and I want to make sure I don't run out. But am I obsessing over nothing? Does it really matter if I don't switch between Bladestorm and Dragon Roar depending on the fight?

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

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

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