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.
I have a few ideas for posts, but I don’t know what anyone wants to hear. Soloing guides for BC Dungeons, tips and things to watch for in Classic and BC raids, more theorycrafting (Talent Trees, Offspec Basics, Prot PvP), or Warriors in Lore even? Come on Azeroth, hit me! Tell me what you want to see on this blog over the next month and a half before Cataclysm.
… Or how to actually make your Healers wake up a bit and smell the Cataclysm.
Right now the common theory is to stack Stamina and let the Healers sort it out. That kind of thinking is going out of the window in favor of a more complex system of mana management. Taking loads of damage and expecting the Healer to just handle it all just won’t cut it. I am going to ask you for a minute to follow me with this. Warning any and all math involved is going to be brief and simple.
Currently we Gem for Stamina, the only thing with higher priority is Hit and Expertise to their respective caps. At the moment I have a total of 18 Gem slots. Now considering approximately 3 slots worth of those is spent adjusting Hit and Expertise that leaves us 15 to put straight Stam in. Doing so (without any Jewelcrafting or Blacksmithing bonus) would be worth 450 Stamina or basically 4500 HP. Assuming your average Boss swings for about 10k thats two swings worth.
I recently Reforged my gear (using mostly Dodge and Parry) to Mastery netting me a total Block Chance of 40.45%, my Parry and Dodge dropping from about 22.5% each. I then switched my gems to favor Parry, Dodge, and Agility (using some half Stamina Gems in places) which has reduced my Stamina bonus from that 450 to about 180, a loss of 2700 HP. My Parry is currently 20.23 and my Dodge is 20.07 (Parry being more favorable due to the Talent Hold the Line). So Basically in exchange for 4.7% avoidance I Picked up 10% Block all of this is without any buffs. Which is an increase overall. That 5.3% more reductions when spread over an encounter really starts to add up, but basically each boss’ physical swing is reduced by about 1.6% which on that 10k swing means about 160 damage which is more than the difference in a full 30 Stamina Gem and a +15 Stamina + something else gem. Factor in longer fights and Critical Blocks and those numbers start to add up.
The reason all this is important is come Cataclysm our Shield Block will only give us 25% chance to Block increase for 10 Seconds, but will convert the overages of using it that push us above the 100% mark of Block, Dodge, & Parry from Block percentage to Critical Block percentage. We want to be as close to the line as possible. Right now however, what we gain is survivability. I haven’t checked my fully buffed Dodge & Parry ratings, but in the last run in ICC I had a full 40% less damage taken than the off tank. We favor Block a bit because we no longer gain Rage from Dodges and Parries.
With the Healers focusing on keeping Mana managed we need to focus more on keeping down on incoming damage, not how we can just take more of it. Maybe spending the Gold to swap out now isn’t entirely worth it, especially if your guild is on break, but it is definitely something to keep in mind for the future when making Gear choices at 81 and beyond.
I currently have two drafts saved on two different topics, but I just can’t seem to find the time to get around to finishing them. Between falling asleep early, work, Jury Duty, finishing Stormrage, starting The Shattering, work, getting my cell phone fixed, mount runs and crafting Sulfuras, The Hand of Ragnaros on WoW, and work, I just keep running out of hours in the day. Now the pre-cataclysm event has started with crazy elementals and cultists.
I hoped on over to Stormwind to participate. I grabbed a few items befitting an elemental destruction cultist from my bank and reported in for the infiltration mission. I took up the call, did some recruiting, met an image of Cho’gall and finally reported back to Varian. Then it was off to Northrend to spend a couple hours hunting Elementals for the “Tripping the Rift” Feat of Strength. Definitely not a bad night, but nothing of substance for the blog accomplished. Tomorrow is another day, however, and maybe I can get these things done.
I am currently working on a Talent by talent review of the Protection tree, but it has come to my attention that one talent in particular is causing a lot of grief. The general consensus has been reached that at this time the Talent Blood & Thunder is simply not worth taking for a Prot Warrior. There are multiple combined factors that sort of mess into this view. Most of the blogs I have looked at have come to this decision after testing it out. My personal experience agrees with them, but lets break it down point by point.
Rend‘s damage is not substantial enough. That is, in Defensive Stance with a one hand weapon and minimal Attack Power bonuses, a Protection Warrior is going to be doing far less damage per Rend tick than an Arms Warrior would, and the ability is (as it should be) Balanced for Arms. There are two bonuses in Protection that would boost Rend, Thunderstruck (which is a synergistic Talent which gives a 20% damage boost to Rend when maxed out), the other being the Attack Power bonus from Vengeance, which takes a good deal of time to build on a trash pull; leading to my next point.
Cooldowns need to be used effectively and efficiently early in a pull, Charge, Rend, Thunderclap, then start building threat is too long. This seems to be the most easily identified part of the problem. Blood & Thunder forces a change to the “rotation” of a Prot Warrior that is ineffective at holding a single target. A dps attacking the “skull” or main target (or any target, especially if a kill order is not marked) will be able to get off 2 or even 3 (based on Haste) attacks in this time and will probably rip aggro. DPS patience is extremely low and very few will wait 5 to 7 seconds to begin bringing the pain, even if it is in their best interest. Which is just another of the compounding issues.
Speaking of other players, other Tanks still seem to hold snap AoE threat better. My personal experience is from ICC trash with two Paladin Tanks holding trash threat so easily I could hardly get a target to myself. I think this might be more of the time needed to pull off Blood & Thunder just not being effective, but I do just feel worth less on most trash pulls.
Having identified some of the problems, what are possible solutions?
If Rend isn’t hitting hard enough, the obvious solution would be buff Rend. However, Rend is, as I said earlier, balanced around Arms using it, not Prot (Tip: Blood & Thunder is actually useful as a secondary Talent in an Arms PvE build). So buffing the skill directly would not be a likely scenario. Adding a damage boost to Blood & Thunder along the lines of, “When Rend is applied via Blood & Thunder, its damage is increased by 10%/20%” is a reasonable balance and makes the talent more appealing to Arms as well. Lastly, increasing the Rend Damage boost in Thunderstruck could work as well, and wouldn’t in anyway affect Arms’ use of the skill.
If the problem more lies in the time needed, maybe there needs to be an alternate way to apply Rend. A wiser Tank than me suggested glyphing Heroic Throw to apply Rend instead of Sunder Armor. Heroic Throw does open most pulls before the Charge and this may be effective (obviously testing would have to be done). My thought was to add or change one of the Glyphs dealing with Charge itself to apply Rend. Currently we have a Glyph to reduce Charge’s cooldown and one to increase its distance (both of which have more PvP utility than PvE), adding a Glyph that causes Charge to apply Rend to the target would remove one of the cooldown uses and speed up the entire process without altering our toolbox too dramatically.
The final choice is to tell DPS to wait for the Sunders, but the odds of that happening seem low. Any ideas or concerns I missed?
http://www.tankingtips.com/ is closing. Veneretio was a great blogger. Inspirational is also a good choice of words. He will be missed. He was probably the first blog I ever read on Warrior Tanking. I recommend flipping through the archive at least once, and don’t ignore the comments.