So the new beta build came out today and even tho it’s still buggy here and there, one of the biggest changes that shocked me was the change to Berserker Rage.
Berserker Rage is a tool used by Warriors in all their stances now. For Prot it’s nice to break out of fear when tanking a boss that does fear (like Onyxia). For Prot it’s usefull for PvPing because it enables you to break out of fear effects (Fear/Howl of Terror/Psychic Scream), Sap and Repentance without having to switch stances. For Fury PvE it’s a tool to gain rage and break out of the fear that a boss does. However with the change they made to it at the moment, Berserker Rage is only a viable option for the Fury warrior. To explain why, we need to dig into the past.
Way back in Vanilla (and the start of TBC) Berserker Rage was only usable in Berserker Stance. To use this ability the Warrior had to do something called “stancedancing” which means you switch to another stance very fast to use an ability and then change back to your original stance as soon as possible. For Prot warriors this meant that they had to switch to Berserker Stance 1 or 2 seconds before Onyxia (for example) did her Fear. This required timing, and extremely good healers since giving up Defensive Stance for Berserker Stance meant an increase in damage taken by 15%. For Arms Warriors it meant that when fighting Warlocks they had to be in Berserker Stance for a fair bit of time to anticipate the incoming fear. Again, not handy because Berserker Stance increases damage done to you, something you also do not want in PvP.
With the introduction of Nightbane in Karazhan Blizzard decided to make Berserker Rage a tool to use in any stance.This meant that the Prot Warrior who was tanking the dragon now could press Berserker Rage without having to take increased amounts of damage from having to switch to Berserker Stance. It also gave an Arms warrior some more viablity in Battlegrounds because they could now break out of stuff like Fear and Sap without having to switch stances.
Now however, Blizzard has decided to make Berserker Rage back into the way it was. This means that once again Prot Warriors will have to change to Berserker Stance to handle an incoming Fear and Arms Warriors are more susceptible to CC’s. I really hope that Blizzard will not go through with these changes. I feel like I’m being transported back into the past. I know some other classes will be happy about this change (Priests and Warlocks can now Fear Warriors again without having to calculate Berserker Rage in) but I think Blizzard is making a big mistake. I hope they themselves realize this too, preferably before the Warrior Community decides to roll Fury en masse because the other speccs are just too hard (trust me, Stancedancing isn’t easy, especially as tank and with the game being as simple as it is today, people will turn away from the Warrior when effort is required).
So last night was the Developer’s Q&A from Blizzard on the new Class/Talent/Mastery stuff. I actually stayed up all night to throw some questions at them. Sadly the ones I would really loved to see answered, didn’t get answered. So I’m still in the dark about the viability of Titan’s Grip now that 2-handed weapon specialization is Arms only and I still don’t know why the hell Improved Slam is still in the Arms tree (I mean, come on! No one ever speccs that -.-). Anyway I would like to make a post here about the Warrior Q&A where actually one of my questions came through!
Q. Will rend (sigh) be refreshed by Thunderclap on all targets used with Blood and Thunder?
A. Yes. The idea is that you Rend once and then Thunder Clap from then on. We still hope it’s an optional talent, not the only way warriors can AoE tank.
I think this is a big sigh of relief by prot warriors. Having to apply Rend is consuming a global cooldown which could be used on a more usefull ability (think Heroic Strike or Shield Slam).
Q. Slam’s design is pretty archaic and not very fun. Is there any chance of Slam becoming an instant-attack baseline ability?
A. We think it makes the ability feel different. Slam as an instant attack isn’t very different from some of the other attacks. As it’s designed though, Fury shouldn’t use Slam at all without procs and Arms should only use it with the Improved Slam talent. We tried (briefly) making Slam a low-level ability, but weren’t happy with it.
I have to agree with the blues on this. Slam is an optional attack. Not required for the rotation of Arms and only usable when procced for fury. It stands out for being a “casted” attack. I like it the way it is because it makes you more alert to your procc on it as fury (aka when you see a castbar Slam, take a step back immediatly!).
Q: Will Whirlwind still be a part of a Fury warrior’s rotation on single mobs or will it be multi-mobs only?
A. Multiple mobs only.
This ^ was my question. Since the new ability isn’t implemented yet you do still use Whirlwind on single targets in the beta. Good to know that by the time Cataclysm hits it will be for trash only and the new ability will be implemented. Speaking of which…
Q: Are Fury Warriors still going to see a new attack to fill the loss of Whirlwind? Any insight?
A. Yes! It’s called Raging Blow (at least for the moment), because we wanted to distance is a little from the old Enraged Assault. It’s Fury-only and can only be used when Enraged, but does not consume the Enrage. It does indeed strike with both weapons (including the animation).
I like! Not only will this replace the loss of Whirlwind but it will be the replacement talent of Impending Victory too. Basically this talent will be up when you use any of your “enrages”. Bloodrage, Berserker Rage, Death Wish and Recklessness are all considered Enrages. I think this is also Blizzards way of saying “Specc into Enrage!” for Fury warriors since it will probably be up 24/7.
Q: Concussion Blow is rarely used these days outside of PvP. Any plans for it? Will you unlink it from Vigilance?
A. It’s pretty useful on Mr. Lich King….
Apart from the fact that it is pretty useful on the Valkyrs in the Lich King fight, it’s an useful talent to have as Prot warrior overall. What if there’s no CC and there’s healers in the instance? You as warrior then have an ability to stun them. And trust me, there are a lot of healy things in the dungeons in Cataclysm. I see a revival of this talent. Maybe not now, but it will definately come in handy in Cataclysm.
Q: How is Heroic Leap working so far? Is it progressing better than your last attempt at putting it in-game?
A. We’re pretty happy with it so far. The version we have right now lets the warrior target where they want to leap, so they can use it as an escape tool as well. We all know paladins would never retreat from a battle, but warriors have been known to do so.
I like this. I was squeeling with joy when I saw this ability would be available to Warriors. Looks like Blizzard is working hard on the ability to make sure it doesn’t only have an offensive feel but also a defensive feel. Escaping from enemies = good. Crushing that healer 20 yards away = also good. I definately like where this is going.
Q. Why does fury have two 31-point talents? Wouldn’t it be simpler to merge them so one doesn’t have to re-specialize when new weapons drop?
A. We feel the decision on which of these two talents to choose is based on play style (two fast weapons, or two slow two-handed weapons), not based on which weapons most recently dropped (like the former Arms weapon specialization talents which have been cut).
We expect the player to decide which type of dual wielder they are and collect weapons and gear that fit that type.
This question was a double, I just took the one that explained most to me. Essentially going for 1handers or 2handers is your own choice. However in my opinion Titan’s Grip HAS to change before you can even make that choice. At the moment I myself are leaning towards using 2handers because they just look better. However we’ll see what is better when Cataclysm hits. As far as viability/usability for leveling goes (as far as I’ve seen in the beta atleast) it’s safer to stick with 1handers and just see what the Dungeons/Raids will drop.
Q: Hi, it’s me Rend! I’m sort of terrible, but if tanks are having to use me in Cataclysm, may I be a good ability now?!
A. Get back to the back of the bus, Rend.
In all seriousness, though, we don’t want Rend to be the answer to Protection warrior threat. It isn’t going to keep mobs glued to you. We do think we have room to boost its damage though, even for warriors with a DPS specialization. One change we’ve made is letting it do a tick of damage immediately, so that you see and feel damage right on the application instead of waiting for the first tick.
Basically the same answerish as the first question in the Q&A. What I like is that it does immediate damage. Not only useful to Prot warriors but also to Arms in PvP.
Q: What do you think warriors will be more unique for in PvP now that Mortal Strike is available to other classes and reduced to 20%?
A. We don’t think warriors need a unique ability that is so awesome that you just have to have a warrior on your Arena team. That is bad mojo for all the other classes. We do want warriors to be useful in PvP, however. One ability we are trying out for Arms is “Throwdown,” which lets them knock an opponent to the ground for five seconds. Since it’s usable in Battle Stance, they can also use it as a Pummel in a pinch.
THANK YOU! THANK YOUUUUU. Interrupt in Battle Stance HELL YEAH. THIS IS GOD. No longer having to switch to Berserker Stance to interrupt. THANK YOU GHOSTCRAWLER. Best announcement so far.
Q: You mentioned “Disarming Glare isn’t likely to make it. Could you expand on this a bit?
A. We cut it in exchange for the Throwdown talent above.
Ok this is a bummer since a 10 second unbreakable fear after a Disarm would be awesome but I do get why it’s too overpowered. They’re replacing it with a really good ability though so not that much complaining here.
This was the Warrior section on the Blizzard Q&A. They’ve enlightened a lot, made me even more enthousiastic about Arms PvP in Cataclysm and took away some Prot tanking worries of my boyfriend. All in all a lot of new information to ponder.
The quoted questions are copied of wow.com who have put them all nicely under their respective category.
Today the new talent trees were released on the beta and consequently on MMO-Champion too. Ofcourse I hurried to see what’s happening and stuff, filled in some talents and then contacted my boyfriend what else there was to see.
All talenttrees now come with a description that is unique to the talent tree and explain what the tree stands for. Under this descriptions are abilities that you unlock the moment you choose to specc into that Talent Tree. Here is a picture of the warrior descriptions.
Some things immediatly struck my eye. The fact that precision (aka +3% hit) is only available to fury and that 2handed weapon specialization is only available to Arms.
Particularly the last bit is something that quite shocked me. An explanation to why, starts back in TBC.
When WotLK was about to launch, new talent-trees were implemented. Fury Warriors got a new talent called Titan’s Grip, allowing the warrior to wield two 2handed weapons but against a penalty (which in the end turned out to be -10% damage). This penalty is quite huge, a 10% damage loss results in 1.5k dps less in an instance like ICC where a Fury warrior is easily able to pump out 15k dps. To soften the 10% damage loss blow, you could specc into 2handed weapon specialization in the arms tree. Currently this talent gives you 6% damage increase on your 2handers and therefore makes the dps loss of a Fury warrior wielding 2handers less significant. Titan’s Grip was the only viable way to dps as Fury and having two 2handed weapons instead of one just rocked. Blizzard was quite proud of the talent as a whole.
Now with the Cataclysm Beta running and Blizzard introducing 1handed Fury again and after overhauling the entire talent tree mechanics it seems that Titan’s Grip, the talent they were so proud of has become obsolete. Since 2handed weapon specialization is now Arms only, Fury warriors will suffer that 10% damage loss to the fullest. This suddenly becomes a huge penalty again, especially during the first few months where the new rage mechanic is still being adjusted and the gear overall is quite bad. It looked like at the start, 1handed Fury would be more viable than 2handed due to better scaling of damage with 1handers with bad gear. However as it seems now, 1handed Fury will be the ONLY viable specc for Fury warriors and that is something I don’t agree on. Why kill a talent that was not bad, gave great aestethics (come on, 2 huge weapons are awesome!) and made Fury more attractive to play?
So here is where I say WTH Blizzard? Why murder Titan’s Grip? WHY? I like running around with 2 huge 2handers, smacking all that dare oppose me.
I really hope that they will fix this and restore Titan’s Grip to be viable before Cataclysm hits. Either get that 2handed weapon specialization out of Arms only, or remove the penalty from Titan’s Grip. Give the Fury Warrior a choice, don’t force them onto 1handers!
So… This weekend we had quite a surprise. My boyfriend who had opted in for the Cataclysm Beta, actually got in! This means that not only he, but also I can play and experience new zones/quests/BG’s/dungeons/abilities. You name it, I’ll play it.
I’ll be starting a series, mostly theorycrafting, about the various things that the next expansion has in store for us (and most of all my warrior). Which speccs are the most viable, how stats are getting altered, what the best place for starting is and stuff like that. I won’t be able to provide with actual screenshots or too much info since I do not want my BF to get kicked from the beta, but I’ll give some hints here and there.
You can count on Cata theories if my post starts with “An Exclusive Look”. If you are not interested in Cata, or don’t want to get spoiled do not read these posts! Untill next time.