Welcome to the Cataclysm Warrior Leveling guide. In this post I will be covering Race Selection, Profession selection, and the basics of Warrior stat choices. Making a Warrior is easy, just select the Sword icon on the character creation screen and you are all set. Note, any bonuses listed below may change before the drop date.
Race Selection – Alliance
Draenei: Draenei were introduced with the first expansion Burning Crusade and are a fairly zealous race of space goats. Are far as Warcraft races go these are one of the few considered to be generally “good.” A Draenei’s bonuses are a +1% to hit, a small heal over time spell, a bonus to Shadow Resistance, and a bonus to the Jewelcrafting Skill. All of these add up to a flexible choice for a warrior. The healing spell can be a lifesaver in a tight spot while the hit bonus leads to more options for gearing. Of course, if you plan on being a Jewelcrafter (more on professions in a bit) then Draenei may be the way to go.
Dwarf: Dwarves have been the stalwart allies of the Alliance since the first Warcraft games. Recently revealed to be descended from Titan-created Earthen, they are a race characterized by exploration and perseverance. The Dwarven bonuses are a +1% to hit with guns, bonus Expertise with any kind of Mace, a clease/armor boosting spell, a bonus to Frost Resistance, and some tweaks to the new profession Archeology. Solid bonuses all around, but as a Warrior, the gun bonus won’t be that important, but certain areas and dungeons are overrun with Frost damage, so that might come in handy.
Gnome: Discovered and befriended by the Dwarves, the Gnomes are excentric geniuses with large amounts of know-how packed in a convenient travel size, also they are the target of many jokes. Their bonuses are 3 Expertise for daggers and one-handed swords, an increased Mana pool (which doesn’t affect Warriors), an ability to escape snares and other movement restrictions, a resistance to the arcane, and bonus points in Engineering. Before Cataclysm Gnomes wouldn’t have been the best choice for a Warrior, but now with the Shortblade Expertise bonus they have a few options especially for Tanking and Fury.
Human: The old standard race, which some may consider dull, is also easy to relate to. The bonuses here are simple, Expertise bonus for Swords & Mace, a Spirit bonus (again, not a Warrior Stat), a spell to drop snares and regain control of the character from opposing spell effects, and a bonus to Reputation gain. The Rep gain is a great boon that can save a human time, and the Weapon specializations give a human more options than most other races, while the spell is good enough to replace the standard PvP trinket. A Human Warrior doesn’t really stand out, but they aren’t held back either.
Night Elf: Long living beings who predate most of the current legacies of the other Alliances race, the Night Elves have a strong bond with nature and great amounts of experience on and off the Battlefield. Their racial bonuses are a bit less direct than the other races, having a small boost to avoid physical attacks, a resistance to Nature damage, a spell that acts like a lesser form of Stealth, and Wisp Spirit form in death that allows for faster returns to the body. Befitting of a race that was once immortal, Night Elves bonuses revolve around avoiding death, harder to hit, a combat escape, and even more rapid returns from the grave, all of which would help a fresh player get use to the world.
Worgen: The newest addition to the Alliance, these puppies are a real howl. Best described as British Werewolves, they bring a darker, brooding tone to the Alliance, also top hats and bacon jokes. The racial bonuses for being a Worgen (besides the transform between forms and ability to be your own mount) are 1% Critical Hit bonus, a resistance to Nature and Shadow damage, a speed boost spell, and a boost to the Skinning Profession. Less than thrilling stuff in comparison to the above, but they are fraking Werewolves, you know they will be around.
Race Selection – Horde
Blood Elf: A proud race of people who are an exiled offshoot of the Night Elves. They have gone from addiction to arcane energy to an addiction to fel energy, now trying to recover from both with a source of pure light energy. The racials are a Resistance to Arcane, a spell that silences enemies around you and grants rage, and a bonus to Enchanting. Warriors use to have a quick Rage generating ability called Bloodrage. The Blood Elves regain that ability in a lighter form and combine it with a silence. Blood Elves just might be a surprise hit come Cataclysm with such an ability in their arsenal.
Goblin: The new star of the Horde, the little go-getters from Kezan. After fleeing their island the Goblins, through a strange series of events, land right in the midst of the Horde war machine. The bonuses they bring to the table are, like Night Elves, a bit abstract. The Goblins capitalize with a 1% attack speed increase, Rockets that can be used to launch forward or blast a ranged target, always able to get a full discount from vendors regardless of Reputation (take that Humans), a Hobgoblin to allow Bank access and a bonus to Alchemy. That seems like a lot, but most of it is not as useful when it comes to combat as the flat stat boosts seen previously.
Orc: The poster race of the Horde. Solemn honorable to crazed berserkers, the Orcs from beyond the Dark Portal produce them in all forms. The bonuses for the Orcs are the standard Expertise bonus, but from using Axes this time, a 5% damage bonus to pet classes (which warriors are not), a Spell that grants an Attack Power boost, and 15% reduction in stun duration. Orcs are fairly standard fair for a Warrior, nothing stand out, but still able to hold its own.
Tauren: The other of the “good” races. These cows generally try to get along with everyone, even having ties to the Alliance race of Night Elves. They joined the Horde out of respect for helping to found their homeland and similar cultural beliefs to the Orcs. The big bulls are gifted with a 5% Health bonus, a Resistance to Nature damage, a small area stun for up to 5 enemies, and a bonus to Herbalism. The Tauren abilities say, “Survive,” their size says, “don’t hurt me,” and their nature says, “serve, protect, and honor,” All of which adds up to “Tank” in my book. A solid choice for a Warrior of any type.
Troll: Like the Goblins to follow years later, the Darkspear left their island homes to follow the Horde to new settlements and have been stalwart allies since. The keepers of the Voodoo gain a 1% chance to hit with Bows and Thrown weapons, a 5% damage increase against Beast type creatures, a slight increase to natural health regain and a small amount of health regeneration while in combat, an ability to increase attack speed, and a 15% reduction to movement impairing effects. Trolls be flippin’ out with some interesting balance in racial bonus that cover a lot of areas, mon.
Undead: The Forsaken of Lordaeron were the zombie minions of the Lich King during the Third War, but regained their freewill during a period of his weakness. Following the lead of former High Elf Sylvanas Windrunner, they formed their own nation and joined the Horde for mutual gain. The Undead bring an increased ability to breath underwater, a spell that removes charm, sleep, and fear effects, a Resistance to Shadow, and an ability to eat the corpses of their victims for health. The Undead are a mixed bag of things that mostly equate to given them advantage over the living of their opponents.
Race Selection – Summary
In the end any Race will work as a Warrior. Remember to use your Race’s abilities to your advantage whenever possible, seek the weapons that give you bonuses, use defensive abilities when you are in tight spots, and offensive ones to press on at key times.
Alchemy: This Profession is used to make potions from herbs which can enhance stats for lengthy duration, and Transmute gems and elements at later levels. Alchemists gain more from their potions than non-alchemists, including double duration and a slight boost to its effect. For a Warrior, this is a B, will be useful, but not the “best” choice.
Blacksmithing: This Profession is used to turn metals and other raw materials into Mail and Plate Armor. Blacksmiths are capable of adding gem sockets to their gloves and bracers, allowing for greater stat customizing options. For a Warrior, this is a A+, considered to be a standard profession.
Enchanting: This Profession is used to reduce enhanced items into magical residue and then use said residue to imbue greater power into other items. Enchanters have access to special enchants that only they may have on their rings. For a Warrior, this is a A-, every class can benefit well, but is not usually seen on a Warrior.
Engineering: This Profession allows creation of strange gadgets and gizmos, not all of which are always useful. Engineers can upgrade various pieces of their gear in a way similar to an Enchanter that provide more unique options. For a Warrior, this profession is about a B-, fun and interesting doesn’t always mean super-useful.
Herbalism: This Profession is used to gather various Herbs around the game world for use in Alchemy and Inscription. Herbalists also gain the ability Lifeblood, which has a minor healing component and a Haste increase. For a Warrior, this is a C+, can be used to fuel other professions or generate gold on the Auction House, but generally not a top profession.
Inscription: This Profession is used to turn Herbs into ink for use in making Glyphs, Buff Scrolls, and Cards which can be turned in for Trinkets. Scribes can also “enchant” their shoulder items with an enchant that is superior to what other characters can obtain. For a Warrior, this is a B, useful, but not “good.”
Jewelcrafting: This Profession is used to make Rings and Necklace as well as prospect gems and minerals from raw ore and then cut said gems. Jewelcrafters may use a limited number of Superior gems which grant higher bonuses than their standard counterparts. For a Warrior, this is an A, a fairly obvious choice, if you didn’t want to Blacksmith.
Leatherworking: This Profession is similar to Blacksmithing, except it uses leather pieces to make Leather, and at later levels, Mail (but this we be after Warriors can use Plate.) Leatherworkers gain improved Bracer Enchants similar to Scribes getting improved Shoulder Enchants. For a Warrior, this is a D, might have a decent sales market, but doesn’t benefit the class in anyway.
Mining: This Profession allows a user to both mine ore for Jewelcrafting as well as Smelt that ore into Metals for Blacksmithing. Miners also receive a Stamina boost at they level the Mining Skill. For a Warrior, this is an A+, as ore and metal sell well and are used in the top crafting professions for a Warrior.
Skining: This Profession allows for the gathering of basic leather off the dead bodies of various creatures. This Profession also grants an increase to Critical Strike Rating. For a Warrior, this is a B-, the bonus is ok and Leather has a decent market, but it won’t fully help the class.
Tailoring: This Profession is used to turn the various cloth drops into Cloth Armor. Tailors can also create increased improved Cloak enchants for themselves and various non-combat gear. For a Warrior, this is a D-, much like Leatherworking, the gear is practically useless and the market for the other craftables is low.
Secondary Professions: Every character may pick any two professions from the above list, but can also learn Cooking, Fishing, First Aid, and eventually Archeology. These Professions have great utility from the Well Fed food buffs from Cooking, to emergency healing from First Aid bandages, these should not be overlooked.
Profession Selection – Summary
Most Warriors will receive the maximum benefit from the Mining/Blacksmithing or Mining/Jewelcrafting combination, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Herbalism/Alchemy and Herbalism/Inscription both can grant you more soloing utility. A combination of Enchanting and Skinning could be profitable without much of a loss.
Warrior Gear Stats
As you quest, level, and kill creatures you will inevitably gain new gear to equip. Each piece may have stat increase to give. By holding the shift key down and holding your mouse over a piece of gear in your bag you can see the difference in stats between the new item and what you are currently wearing. The first general rule is, you should probably be wearing Mail type armor (unless the Leather is substantially better) until you gain the ability to wear Plate.
For a Warrior looking to go into the Arms Talent Tree, you are going to want a single Two-Handed Weapon. The main stats you want to focus on are Strength, Crit, and Hit in roughly that order with Expertise, Agility, and Haste being acceptable other stats.
For a Warrior going into the Fury Talent Tree, you will want two One-Handed Weapons. The main stats you would want are similar to an Arms Warrior, except you will Favor Hit more highly than Crit as Dual-Wielding increase your likelihood to miss.
Finally a Protection Warrior will want a One-Handed Weapon and a Shield. If you are looking to Quest solo you should be wearing gear fairly similar to an Arms Warrior. If you are looking to Tank Dungeons using the LFD tool or grouping with friends, you will still want some of the DPS stats, but will also want gear with large amounts of Stamina, Dodge, Parry, and bonus Armor.
This is obviously a rather quick Introduction to starting your first Warrior and things to be mindful of. I have been adjusting my layout for this series and next week we will be getting into what to expect in the level 1-9 areas as well as getting introduced to a few Beta Warriors of mine for demonstations. Hopefully the next column should be rolling out Monday Afternoon/Evening of November 22nd. See you then.
Since I haven’t heard from anyone for topic ideas, I have made a decision for the remaining few weeks before the Expansion drops. Leveling tips for people who are rolling new Warriors. I have a Beta account and a few new Warriors around level 10 and a bunch of heirlooms. The general idea would be to test all three specs for leveling in the 1-30 range pointing out advantages and the general feel of how the class is to play.
1-30 is being targeted mostly because I don’t think I will be able to get 3 characters much past that in the coming weeks. I have a busy schedule for the next couple weekends as well as achievements to go for on my main (Loremaster is almost done, I swear). Arms, Fury, and Prot are all very viable for leveling though and with Cataclysm being the time to start new toons, a class guild can be extremely useful for both people trying something new and new players. Also, I feel this type of overview will help me relearn the class a bit on a basic level (I need to get better at Arms & Fury) and lead to my own improvement in the future.
So starting Sunday, check back to meet the three warriors and get the 1-10 basics down.