I haven’t played WoW much at max level since I lost my job back in March, but a friend bought me a time card to level alts with him and a couple others over the summer, so I have been keeping tabs on the Warrior game again and the big news hit on the upcoming threat revamp today, I figured I could jot down some notes to forward.
Here is the article I am referring to: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3300854
Point one: Yes, Threat has become insignificant from what I have been hearing and even a friend said on a low dungeon run yesterday, “You held threat, big deal, you are a warrior, you just do.” So the general opinion is the tank has threat if they don’t they are a moron. DPS only care if they are catching the Tank, and Tanks only care if the DPS is pulling, otherwise threat is ignored. It’s a breakpoint, it either holds no problem or breaks regularly, and it’s usually the former. Obviously Threat is not in a place they want it based on previous articles.
Point two: Yes, Tanks are the babysitters on the group in a sense, pick-up these adds, move the boss over, and watch your own rear while doing it (fire, etc). Keeping a decent threat rotation up while handling awareness isn’t hard, but making it harder would be pouring more stress on one role, a required role you don’t want to burn out (Partially the reason I stopped trying to play). So they have decided to go the other way and say, forget threat and focus on the other Tank focuses, bringing us to…
Point three: Tanks focusing on Survival and Resource management will be the key. Cooldowns costing a bit of Rage to use won’t be too bad, as long as it’s A) not too high, B) useful enough, C) not overhauling rage generation to drastically.
With those points in mind, I want to see the concepts discussed in action. Making the Tank’s damage input matter more in a fight would help prevent rage stockpiling for cooldowns (devastates, revenges, & shield slams do add up), but can’t make it too high or they will have to focus too much on a “rotation” and basically become a lesser dps, and making it too low means no point in hitting abilities at all.
What I want to see come of this is making the Tank more of a fight controller. Instead of just moving the boss/adds out of bad, perhaps there is a bonus for moving them into certain zones, like air strike targets, or runes they have to be moved onto in a certain order, but the runes position are random and change each battle. Likewise, how about points where the boss remains in one place, but the tank has to run to activate a machine or run across the room for some reason (carrying a debuff of some sort so ONLY the tank can do it.) The Tank becomes the Active Role of the raid, the DPS burn the targets, the healers keep everyone going, and the tank sets the events and phases rolling.
I want the Tank to be more than just the babysitter, let the tank be the action hero of sorts, everyone else gets to bring the boom, let us have the flash.
EDIT: Have an example to how this could work. We have a boss of unstable energy we will call Glowmore. Glowmore summons slime adds that have to be rounded up and merged by one tank, while the other handles the boss. When an attack made by Glowmore is dodged, parried, or blocked, the character (Tank) that did so gets a “buff” that does damage over time (damage is equal to X-% of character health so that for a tank it is minor compared to a non-tank.), but also this buff creates a shield against a kind of area damage. At set intervals, Glowmore moves to recharge stations, where he casts a random area spell (so dps & healers have to keep moving) and begins charging a large AOE. The shielded tank has to run to a cut off switch in an irradiated area and shut off the charging station before the AOE goes off and wipes the raid. This stuns the boss for 10 seconds allowing the tank to reset to position before the previous stage begins (the tanks could even swap roles at each recharge).
I took note of these buggers in Uldum. South of the Obelisk of the Sun in the Cradle of the Ancients area, Diseased Vultures are flying in the treetops. If you fly through them they will aggro on you. You can grab two or three and land without leashing them. They drop Delicate Wing, which is a food for cooking in one of the feasts. The vultures only have 10k health so killing them is easy and the junk they drop has solid value to it. 20 minutes farming can turn around some quick cash.
Herbalists, take note Whiptail also spawns in this section and unlike most of the river delta, is fairly competition free.
…or “How I learned to stop tanking and love the BG.”
My guild is starting to put together Rated Battleground runs. Thus far my attempts at Fury and Arms play has been less than stellar, but I did have a brief period of Protection PvP back in Wrath. I decided to look through the new talents and see what I could find and put together. What I discovered was a world of interesting choices completely unlike anything I had seen.
Heroic Throw what you thought you knew about Warrior Protection builds out the window. PvP is a lot more about Situational use abilities. Having the right moves at the right time, therefore a lot of the talents become more viable and several become less important. Certain pillars remain, but it’s definitely a whole new Talent Tree. The main goals being to outlive, outlast, and outplay our enemies. By “outplay,” I mean annoy the ever-loving Fel out of them.
Toughness is still going to be the first thing to take, Survivability being the keystone of a Prot Warrior. Between Incite and Blood & Thunder, I am giving the nod to B&T. Incite’s second guaranteed crit is nice, but it is costly to Heroic Strike twice in such a short time frame when Rage generation can get iffy. Blood & Thunder, however, becomes a solid tool to put pressure on Healers when assaulting key points on the BG. Three or four of the defenders suddenly getting a bleed debuff and an attack speed debuff turns the battle more in your side’s favor and just might freak out that Priest on the other side. Note, if I were building for Arena, I may go with Incite, Prot isn’t as viable there, but on a 5v5 team there may be a spot. Though, with the coming nerf to Heroic Strike Incite will fall further in worth.
Gag Order is the first thing to grab. Those two points give you more of a chance against caster with the power of Silence. Shield Specialization should be maxed out. This should prevent or at least limit Rage stavation with fewer people pounding on you, as you will want to be wearing PvP gear for the Resiliance, which means less Dodge & Parry, but some Mastery, but Shield Mastery will be equally important for giving you the abilities you need when you need them. Hold the Line should be skipped as your Parry rating will be low along with the fact that half of the classes won’t want to be swinging at you at all. So while leveling, grab Gag Order and split the other two, if you are already 85 max both Shield Specialization & Shield Mastery.
Last Stand, Concussion Blow, and Warbringer, take them all. Warbringer first for mobility, then Last Stand. Concussion Blow is a solid stun that will give your side a moment to turn moment, and it has a moderate cooldown, allowing it to be tossed on each new enemy. You will probably wind up taking Bastion of Defense at some point, just to hit the 30 needed for shockwave. The Reduced Crit chance and Enrage are nice, but not SUPER important in PvP, fill those open Shield talents in Level 2 first while leveling to advance.
Devestate and Improved Revenge will give you a bit more bite. Impending Victory will be mostly worthless as you will want to be switching to healthier targets to slow them down. I could see it being useful in a one on one situation for clutch healing as you both wear down, but for now, I say skip it.
Vigilance can and should be skipped. Thunderstruck has great synergy with Blood & Thunder and will give you a ramp up on damage against small crowds. Heavy Repercussions grants a bonus for a buttons you’ll want to be hitting anyway.
Sword and Board always should be maxed, just take it. Safeguard will not be as pointless in a BG or Arena as it helps save your teammates (read as healer or flag carrier). Just remember that Intervene breaks roots too.
Shockwave take it. Leaving the tree looking something like: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LZZcfhdRRobru
Arms & Fury Talents
Outside of the Protection tree there are a couple of options. First would be to go into Arms for Second Wind, which makes you harder to stop. War Academy is the most solid choice in the tree as it buffs key abilities further. Field Dressing is not as important in PvP but it is fairly equal to the advantage of Blitz, so either can work.
In the Fury Tree, the self healing of Blood Craze may be useful, but Cruelty should take priority making your Shield Slam all the better. Battle Trance will help cut back on Rage Starvation or, working with Shield Specialization, allow you to hit Inner Rage more often in the clutch, or have it ready at the right moment. Second Tier abilities worth reaching for are Piercing Howl to slow down runners and Rude Interruption to give you a damage boost on a healer or caster you just bashed.
Primes are Devestate, Revenge, and Shield Slam, all the Protection key abilities. Major Glyph selection can be a bit more difficult, but I recommend Thunder Clap to spread Rend further, Spell Reflection to give it more uptime, & Shockwave to have it ready when you need it. Minors that will work best are probably Beserker Rage for the bonus rage, Demoralizing Shout since it will benefit your teammates as much as you when you are together, and either Battle or Command based on preference (or group composition if you have someone who can supply the equivalent of the other).
With what was covered here are some example builds.
The “Can’t Put Me Down” – http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LG0bZhZcfhdRRRbbu
The “In your Face” – http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LhZcbzoZcfhdRRobru
The Living Shutdown – http://www.wowhead.com/talent#L0bZcbMoZcfhdRRobru
So next time you hit the battlefield, remember your Sword (Axe, Hammer, etc) & Board and shut some people down.
Just a bit of an undate. I have a couple posts in the works that I should be able to finish this weekend.
The first is a post on Protection Warrior PvP, a personal favorite of mine. With spec options and glyphing choices.
The other is a bit of fiction from Zeluminati’s point of view. A reason to get into character and just have fun.
My gearing is going at a steady pace. I have not been writing for the same reasons I have not been playing WoW, so I am a bit behind in the curve. Hopefully I will be able to get back to the leveling guide soon.
First, a brief status update. Holidays and work schedule do not lead to a productive gaming life. I have managed to 85, as of last night. I both love and hate Stonecore at this point. I have not geared up to a Heroic level yet, but will be working on that after Christmas. I did max out Zel’s Alchemy and Herbology, and completed both Hyjal & Vashj’ir. The questing has been fun and the dungeons are just challenging enough.
Now to the matter at hand. It is that time of year where I get a little sentimental. The spirit of the season lights a small fire inside of me and I feel a bit more positive and supportive. To all of you out there, I wish you the best of times during the holidays. Don’t focus on the presents, the food, or even your religion of choice. Across the world people celebrate different traditions at this time of year, and it’s the chance for all of us to come closer to each other and wish one another wellness and prosperity.
It’s the little things that really start to stand out, like the news story I heard about an unidentified gentlemen, who entered a Goodwill store and passed out unmarked envelopes to the patrons, which when opened, revealed a fifty dollar bill in each. The story didn’t say how many were handed out, and no one knew the man’s name, but just for a moment, someone embraced the spirit of the season and gave of himself.
I’m not going to ask you to hand out money to strangers, but just remember that the quiet DPS that is doing just ok on your next dungeon run may be having a bad day. I end this entry the same way the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” ended; with words that have more meaning & deeper meaning than possibly any other Holiday special…
“Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand. “
You have started your first Warrior. You have just gotten the run down on your race’s story and are now standing with a quest giver in front of you. I am going to assume that you either know the basic controls, or will take a moment to orientate yourself with them now. Take that first quest and let’s begin.
Glancing at your action bar you will see two abilities, Attack and Strike. For the time being Attack is Superfluous as right-clicking or using Strike on a target will accomplish the exact same goal. Depending on your race, your starting quest maybe to kill certain things or move to certain points. For the first few couple levels you will be auto-attacking targets and using Strike when ever your rage bar builds high enough. This is the simple “beat it until one of you stops moving” method that will continue to define your class with abilities being variants of “beating on the thing with something in a specific place”, “beating on the thing harder”, and “you are now harder to beat upon.” This level range is also a good time to practice using any racial ability you have to get a feel for how it works and how it can benefit you. Some races even have a quest for just that.
The quest rewards you will be taking are anything mail and any weapon that has a higher DPS than your current weapon, or eventually, Strength bonuses. If none of the above are possible from the rewards offered, you can grab a leather piece if it is in a slot not currently in use. If you hold Shift down while mousing over an item it will show what is gains over a currently equipped piece, but only if you have something already in that slot.
While doing quests picking up any junk items (with a gray name) to sell is recommended. Each time you pass by the quest hub, check for an NPC that has a bag or anvil icon when moused over, they will buy that junk for the money you will need later. Buy items or food from them at this low of level may help you, but generally will not be needed, better to save that money for new abilities or possibly an extra bag. Don’t be afraid to kill an extra mob or two while questing, the bonus Experience, loot, and/or copper always helps. Your quests for the first area are generally of the “Go get blank for me,” “Talk to this/these person/persons,” or “Kill these things.” The names of targets will light up when they are part of a quest or handy arrows may popup to point you in the right direction. Always seek out all Exclamation “!” Marks on your mini-map during these levels as quests offered at the same time will take you to the same or similar areas.
At level 3 you gain access to Charge which can be learned at the Warrior Trainer. Your mini-map should have the Trainer tracking on by default, so look for the little book icon. There is also usually a quest given to seek out the first trainer as well as a quest to practice charging on a dummy or nearby enemies. Charge becomes the default opener for the Warrior for quite sometime as it gets you to the target and gives you rage. The only two reasons you should not be using it are its on cooldown and the next mob is already next to you when the last one died, so you still have rage. More Rage means more Strikes, more Strikes means shorter fights.
At level 5 you gain access to one of the single greatest gifts to solo leveling and questing the Warrior has, Victory Rush. This ability is an instant attack that is only available for 20 seconds after delivering the killing blow to a mob or character that grants honor or experience. Meaning in common, nothing more than 8 levels below your level, and nothing someone else finishes off (why it’s less useful in groups). You can now chain pull mobs with the process of Charge, kill, loot, charge next mob, Victory Rush for a quick attack and heal, kill, loot, repeat. It can also be a life saver if a second and or third mob wanders up and trys to eat your face off, finish your current target for the Victory Rush for the Rush regain.
At level 7 you pick up Rend. This is a good ability to use earlier in a fight to slowly drain the life from your foe. If you plan on going Arms or Prot later, opening with this, after Victory Rush, is a good habit to start getting into. Several talents and/or abilities in those trees play off of Rend.
Finally for this section, at level 9 you pick up your first AOE ability, Thunder Clap. This like Rend will factor into talents more for Prot Warriors, but it is important to not that is slows the attack speed of anyone hit by it, increasing the length you can go in a fight. It may save your life when attacked by 2-4 enemies, so keep it in reach.
For the most part you will be spending these levels in your race’s home area with no real options to pick your path. That’s fine, there is some really good stories in these areas now. Take the time to enjoy them. Next time, we will take a look at the 3 Talent Trees, a brief review of professions, the late teens quest areas, and more.
… And so are my plans. The Shattering happened a week earlier than I was planning for. Also, the Beta closed. The Leveling Guide will be delayed slightly because of this. I might be able to put something together by the weekend, but there are a lot of holiday things going on with family. Due to mitigating factors I was without WoW this past weekend (local convention) and will be without next weekend as well (travelling to see family). See you all next week sometime.
Need to come up with a Warrior send off.