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Cataclysm Warrior Changes

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I will focus on changes that affect Warrior tanking:

Mechanics changes

- Defense rating from gear and gems will be removed.

Source

- Block Value will be removed and a successful Block will now always reduce 30% damage. Block rating will remain and increase our block chance just like before. Talents will presumably boost the block amount and chance like before.

Source

- Dodge and Parry will be reworked. Dodge is now the only form of "real" avoidance we can gem or gear for. A dodge will still reduce damage by 100% just like it does now, wheras Parry no longer provides 100% avoidance and no longer speeds up attacks. Instead, when you parry an attack, it and the next attack will each hit for 50% damage (assuming they hit at all). It is unknown if mobs will also lose their Parry haste or even if their Parry won't still count as full avoidance for them.

Source

- Ratings will be alot steeper than in WotLK meaning that capping out stats such as Expertise or Hit should be harder, on top of lowering overall dodge, parry and block chances. I remember reading that the goal for tank avoidance was supposed to be around 30%.

Source

- Bonus armor will go down slightly across the board.

Source

- Technically not a mechanics change but still relevant: Warrior AoE threat will not be buffed. Blizzard is happy with our AoE threat and heavily implied they will just nerf the outliers that do more AoE threat instead. On top of that, they want to remedy the AoE zerg fest that WotLK trash has become by making individual mobs hit harder so tanks are at risk of dying instead losing aggro.

Source

- Tank damage is supposed to scale better with gear. Tanks are supposed to do around 50% of the DPS a real DPS spec/class does. It wasn't mentioned if that means that tanks will get more DPS stats on their gear now, but considering the rage normalization below (Haste and Crit providing bonus rage) it might be a possibility.

Source

- Healer mana will matter. It's not a tank change per se, but the ramifications should be obvious. Damage taken will matter. It also means that tanks are not supposed to die in 2 GCDs anymore but that they are supposed to remain a "wounded" state for longer (i.e. anything less than 100% health but more than dead obviously :P).

Rage normalization and generation:

- Autoattacks will generate a set amount of rage, regardless of damage done. Basically, the damage we deal with our weapons will not matter anymore. Avoided or missed attacks will not generate rage anymore, which is a small nerf. The only thing that would improve rage gain would be Haste, Hit, Expertise and Crit.

Source

- Rage from incoming damage will be calculated from our health. Avoidance (!), absorbs and similar will not affect this. The more health you have, the less rage you gain from a set amount of damage.

Source

- Battle Shout (and presumably Commanding Shout) will now generate rage instead of consuming it like Horn of Winter does for DKs. The drawback will be short CDs on either skills but that should not matter anyway. They also implied that there might be other skills to generate Rage with, but the post doesn't mention it.

Source

Ability changes:

- On next swing attacks are gone. Heroic Strike will now be an instant attack, consuming between 10 to 30 Rage (no cooldown). The more rage it burns off, the more damage it will do. Presumably the same will be true for Cleave since it is also an On next swing skill. It is not mentioned whether HS or Cleave will remain off the GCD but it could go either way. Personally I hope they stay off the GCD.

Also, GC acknowledged the fact about increased glancing blows now that HS is not spammable anymore. He didn't mention how they would deal with that though, possibly by making up the damage we lose from white attacks with our specials?

Source

The other implication is that fast tanking weapons are officially dead. The only benefit of fast weapons was the fact that we could HS more than with a slow weapon but thankfully that is gone now. Slower autoattacks also reduce parry-gib chances significantly while providing more threat/damage per GCD with Devastate (if mobs retain the ability to parry haste anyway).

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The other implication is that fast tanking weapons are officially dead. The only benefit of fast weapons was the fact that we could HS more than with a slow weapon but thankfully that is gone now. Slower autoattacks also reduce parry-gib chances significantly while providing more threat/damage per GCD with Devastate (if mobs retain the ability to parry haste anyway).

I'm going to say the second part I quoted will remain up in the air until we get the nitty gritty on rage generation. Remember, as you pointed out in your post that hit and expertise will become much harder to cap, and they're already tricky to cap using tanking gear until higher gear levels. Unless they make rage intake from being hit enough to sustain you, a constant inflow of rage may depend on having a faster weapon so you can deal with missing now and then. Either that or we may see a deep prot talent that allows rage generation when you miss/parry.

It may be that fast tank weapons are dead for the warrior, but I personally won't be placing any bets without more information.

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And the critical blocking sounds as though it'll put Warrior tanks back up to the top on mitigation unless ...

... the DK, Paladin and Druid masteries are comparable, or the talent trees themselves are tweaked to compensate for mastery differences, or a number of many other possibilities. It's really way too early to tell.

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Damage ability-wise I think they're moving to a priority system much like what arms does BT if up then slam if BS up then sunder/heroic. Also note all the shouts that give you rage and the fury mastery bonus, clearly shouts and zerker rage are to become part of the rotation.

I'm not so excited on Heroic Leap, from their language it feels like it won't be usable in combat by default, so little point for fury. I can totally see this being a long-ish cooldown (like a minute) available for everyone to use in combat. It would still be a tool for arms/prot - using the AE thunderclap part instead of one of the charges (here I'm saying that using Heroic Leap would put 1 min cd on the leap and 15/20 seconds on charge), but obviously a big boon for fury.

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I don't quite understand what the advantage of heroic leap over just charging in and thunderclapping is. No doubt we'll get a cool animation of us flying through the air, and we might save half-a second on the first global cooldown, maybe some rage, but what am I missing here? As it is a level 85 ability, its got to have some awesomeness that I'm missing...

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I don't quite understand what the advantage of heroic leap over just charging in and thunderclapping is. No doubt we'll get a cool animation of us flying through the air, and we might save half-a second on the first global cooldown, maybe some rage, but what am I missing here? As it is a level 85 ability, its got to have some awesomeness that I'm missing...

Perhaps a stun for those affected by thunderclap..

I am wondering about the vengeance mechanic, theyre going to give you 10% of your TOTAL health in attack power? and make all attacks instant strikes?

Suddenly a prot warrior gets hit by a mage, he spell reflects, finds his target, intercept, Heroicstrikeheroicstrikeheroicstrike?

(or devastate)

Well something like that, if you took 10% of a current prot warriors health into attack power, at level 80, he would have +5000 ap... on top of strength, that sounds a little strong.

Even with the creative changes to the gameplay, I dont know how well they will work with the new stat scales.

To be honest, I was hoping for a selfbuff that periodically reduces snares by 5% per second? In terms of "fun" mechanics, I never enjoy being rooted/snared.

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Heroic Leap (Level 85): This ability makes the character leap at their target and apply the Thunder Clap ability to all enemies in the area when they land. Heroic Leap will be usable in Battle Stance and shares a cooldown with Charge, but the Juggernaut and Warbringer talents will allow Heroic Leap to be used in any stance and possibly while in combat. The cooldown for this ability might be longer than the Charge ability, but it will also apply a stun effect so you can make sure the target will still be there when you land.

I don't quite see what they want to accomplish with that. For PvE you always have a better thunderclap debuff on your target, so I guess this should be some PvP talent, because there is no reason to use Heroic Leap when you can charge. For PvP, why should we use an ability that has a higher cooldown and applies an attack speed debuff on your target, when you want to focus a caster? Besides that, charge also stuns your target (given the global delay there are often times when the target is still out of range after the stun).

Inner Rage seems like an interesting ability. I was somewhat concerned after the Heroic Strike changes, that you just have your rotation and no way of increasing your damage with intelligent rage burns, like HS was for Arms and Fury on lower gear levels. Inner Rage could bring some interesting choices if you use your globals or wait one or two weapon swings for full rage.

Overall I feel that these changes are more of a backstep for the warrior class. Titan's Grip felt like an excellent talent why a Fury Warrior is a Fury Warrior and not a Rogue or Enhancement Shaman. Making two choices of playstyle to work for only one talent tree seems like an unreachable goal.

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If Heroic Leap were a Berserker Stance ability I could see the point. It originated as a Fury talent in the BC beta for one, and Arms already has Charge/Juggernaught. Putting it in Battle Stance just makes the same as Charge+Thunderclap in one GCD.

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I wonder how the Inner rage will work ingame.

If we will have to save up to 100 rage for the proc and then go BT->WW(???)->HS->HS->HS->0 rage...

And It feels like HS to be more of a dps output then what it is now and thats why the WW nerf. Sure it is nice with some good AOE but I still rather do more dps on the boss then on the trash.

Heroic Leap (Level 85): This ability makes the character leap at their target and apply the Thunder Clap ability to all enemies in the area when they land. Heroic Leap will be usable in Battle Stance and shares a cooldown with Charge

It say that it will share CD with Charge but will it "cast" Thunder Clap or will it just apply the effect on the targets? aka will it not share CD with Thunder clap then ? because then it looks like its more for tanking.

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If Heroic Leap were a Berserker Stance ability I could see the point. It originated as a Fury talent in the BC beta for one, and Arms already has Charge/Juggernaught. Putting it in Battle Stance just makes the same as Charge+Thunderclap in one GCD.

Yeah, but they said that the warbringer talent would make it usable in all stances. Unless Heroic leap were a very shallow Fury talent, its hard to see how you could get both that and warbringer. Seems to me like they are just going to make it an ability trainable at lvl 85.

Shaving 1 global cooldown off of your opening move is nice, I guess, but it doesn't seem like a game changer. There's got to be more to it than just this....

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Yeah, but they said that the warbringer talent would make it usable in all stances. Unless Heroic leap were a very shallow Fury talent, its hard to see how you could get both that and warbringer. Seems to me like they are just going to make it an ability trainable at lvl 85.

Shaving 1 global cooldown off of your opening move is nice, I guess, but it doesn't seem like a game changer. There's got to be more to it than just this....

Warbringer doesn't really address the issue because it also affects Charge and is out of reach for Fury Warriors. The bottom line is, anywhere/time you can use Charge you can use Heroic Leap, and the question is what purpose the latter serves. They're even on the same cooldown.

If Heroic Leap had been primarily a Berserker Stance ability it would have served as Fury's combat opener, replacing Charge -> Stance Dance. With it being based in Battle Stance, it's unclear why it's being added.

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It say that it will share CD with Charge but will it "cast" Thunder Clap or will it just apply the effect on the targets? aka will it not share CD with Thunder clap then ? because then it looks like its more for tanking.

I think they're just saying it will apply the Thunder Clap effect and do the same amount of damage as Thunder Clap. I reckon any talents that boost its damage or whatnot will also apply to Leap. Could be a cool opener for AoE pulls as well as just a fun ability to mess around with.

Also sounds like it won't be a talent, but an ability everyone will get.

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If Heroic Leap had been primarily a Berserker Stance ability it would have served as Fury's combat opener, replacing Charge -> Stance Dance. With it being based in Battle Stance, it's unclear why it's being added.

Ah I see, ty. I wonder if it will also trigger a TC cooldown? Being able to effectively TC twice would help with snap aggro, for sure.

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Irky about the usefulness of gushing wound in pve content - will we want to ask the tanks to keep kiting the target/boss for our dot to be refreshed? Is it meant to be a fury-only thing and is fury supposed to be more about keeping said dot and sunders up on target as part of normal rotation?

Inner rage seems an interesting concept, i'd personally be very happy if they'd implement a lower cap for it as well (i.e. if attacks put you beneath 20 rage the buff falls off as the 50% extra rage cost of abilities enhances the risk of being rage starved). At this point it just seems fairly easy to backfire due to the extra rage cost.

Heroic leap seems a bit pvp and tanking oriented, though it will have it's uses in aoe situations - not much to comment.

With the removal of WW from fury single target rotation it does seem it will still have a much more lenient rotation (HS, sunder, slam?) while arms will still seem a bit too clunky with a total of 5 (MS, OP, HS, Slam, execute) abilities to choose from at any given time, though i do think that removing HS from being on-swings makes arms rotations much more entertaining :D

Also not sure what to think about giving fury the option of being DW 1h and DW2h and how they'll keep both specs in balance while essentially having (from what i can read) only 1 end-talent different than the other, sounds very interesting.

All in all i really hope more dynamic will be brought into fury rotation in the near future.

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The new spells and talents seem a bit concerning for the Fury tree imho.

WW is off regular rotation, so you end up with HS en BT. Slam procs could fill that up, but it would be a very boring rotation. The Gushing wound doesn't really seems like a PVE/Fury skill since bosses usually don't move that much, and if they don't move it's less damage then rend.

For heroic leap, I think it was intended originally to use it without a target to give the warrior more freedom. All in all just a fun/pvp thing at this time.

While we like how Titan's Grip plays, we recognize some warriors liked the Fury tree because of the really fast swings that dual-wielding one-handed weapons could provide. Therefore, we're planning to try out a talent called Single-Minded Fury that is parallel to Titan's Grip and will provide a large boost to the damage of a pair of one-handed weapons.

Where did they get that its more fun to hit with 1 handers then with 2 handers? I really wonder..

Making us going back to 1 handers makes us kind off the same as rogues and enhancement shamans.

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With the removal of WW from fury single target rotation it does seem it will still have a much more lenient rotation (HS, sunder, slam?) while arms will still seem a bit too clunky with a total of 5 (MS, OP, HS, Slam, execute) abilities to choose from at any given time, though i do think that removing HS from being on-swings makes arms rotations much more entertaining :D

I'd suspect that removing HS from on-swing would actually bump slam way down the priority list. The rage cost of slam is less, but I'd probably pick HS over slam to not pause the white swing timer which over the course of a fight would end up being more DPS (depending on the damage of each attack, rage normalization, etc). It may actually make the arms rotation more like a rotation and less complicated (i.e wack-a-mole priority list) - the current need to make the split second decision of if to queue up HS will be gone.

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I'd suspect that removing HS from on-swing would actually bump slam way down the priority list. The rage cost of slam is less, but I'd probably pick HS over slam to not pause the white swing timer which over the course of a fight would end up being more DPS (depending on the damage of each attack, rage normalization, etc). It may actually make the arms rotation more like a rotation and less complicated (i.e wack-a-mole priority list) - the current need to make the split second decision of if to queue up HS will be gone.

This means 10rage HS will have to hit harder than 0.5s delay slam to ensure slam stays out of arms rotation. At the same time if that happens will slam have any part in fury rotation at all, even with 10% damage bonus it gets from fury talents (Unending Fury - Spell - World of Warcraft). And DW 1h fury will be even less competitive if that happens unless that talent that makes 1h DW possilbe gets an addendum similar to Threat of Thassarian - Spell - World of Warcraft

I wouldn't mind slam taken out of arms rotation at all as i think it's too keyboard-mashy currently while fury is too simple. Also curious how HS will scale depending on available rage vs Execute. If they don't want people to ignore execute in their rotations it will still hit harder than at least some abilities at 30 rage while HS will possibly be the low-rage option (unless you want to delay a gcd and use a shout of/c)

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Between the functionality of rage generation from damage taken and the Vengeance buff, it seems likely that they are trying to tie a tank's health pool to his threat output.

Vengeance is a buff which increases attack power proportional to the amount of damage taken, and is currently intended to cap at 10% of your health pool. If this were in effect now, a stam gem would give something like 36 AP per gem when the buff is fully stacked (which they stated it should be, during boss fights).

In addition, if they choose to make rage generation be affected by your current health as a % rather than as a value, then having a higher health pool might allow you to have a larger threat generation. As stated above in liar's post above, healers will likely strive to keep you at a "wounded" state, due to the newly introduced mana constraints, but the value of health they intend to hold you at is independent of your health pool (a larger health pool simply allows them more room for error). For instance, let's say that your healers aim to keep you around 20k health for the duration of a given fight. If you have a 60k health pool, this is 30% of your life, but if you have a 70k health pool, this is 28.57% of your life. This affords you extra rage, provided that the rage generation scales on health as a % rather than as a value.

It's far too early to tell the relative value of anything, but the thought that Stamina is likely to have a threat component in Cataclysm is certainly unexpected.

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The more I think about it the more it feels like the on swing nature of HS is the only thing truly separating dual wielding from say arms purely from game feel perspective. In the end they'll make the damage numbers the same anyway and if the game fell will be the same then why burden yourself with having to get two weapons anyway.

Which also brings me to the one handed weapons thing. I don't get that part at all why would they want to get into a mess like this? It's bad enough to have to balance a spec against other spec, here they're basically adding a talent that produces a spec in its own right to balance. In one talent point. They've been complaining about how tough it is to balance TG as a talent and now they've elected to add another talent to balance out just like that.

Personally I think they should just make TG baseline. I doubt prot would want to go there anyway with the damage hit on revenge and shield slam for some extra stamina. And I don't know, do something with arms to make it undesirable, not that hard.

@Belltoll I doubt HS would ever hit harder than slam. Since you still can gear for rage gen you could invest enough into crit and haste to remove slam from your keybinds. That also means talent points for arms and fury.

@Casstor Stamina has had a threat component for paladins for a while, I'm not really surprised with that.

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With the introduction of Inner Rage I can see pre-potting Mighty Rage Potion to start with the increased damage being quite an option.

In general the changes aren't half bad really.

Rend and (hopefully?) gushing wounds being able to crit seems good news (unless we get some improvement on stance dancing I still think that rend isn't really worth for fury in cata),

making sunder hit for damage, even low a bit, is excelent as not every raid has prot tank and in fights with any sort of long-term movement (like marrowgar or any boss with air phase) sunderring as it is now can lower your dps by a few hundred.

Overall I am glad to see we finally got some thoughtful attention, although needs some tweaking (no, buffing/nerfing random things because we become OP or worthless isn't good) and I am curious on how the 1h fury will turn out..

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Which also brings me to the one handed weapons thing. I don't get that part at all why would they want to get into a mess like this? It's bad enough to have to balance a spec against other spec, here they're basically adding a talent that produces a spec in its own right to balance. In one talent point. They've been complaining about how tough it is to balance TG as a talent and now they've elected to add another talent to balance out just like that.

The new stat changes are, in a way, forcing Blizzard to include 1H DW as fury regardless of whether they like the idea or not. With how agil and str affect AP/Crit for different armor wearing classes as well as the recent announcements for Frost DK's, Blizzard has to introduce 1H DPS weapons with strength on them for Frost DK's. I seem to recall that the introduction of an item of this type was stated officially (by a blue). So, with the introduction of these types of items to the game, Blizzard is attempting to get more potential use from these items, rather than having them attached to the same stigma that healing plate has become infamous for.

I personally welcome the flexibility, due to the difficulty I had obtaining 2-2H weapons over the course of this expansion (until ICC). Yet we can only hope that the numbers are tweaked in a way where both are completely viable in terms of DPS.

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I think the upshot from this is that Blizzard has so far been concentrating more on Prot and Arms than on Fury, so they may not have the answers to some of the questions put forward in this thread. The way dual wield DPS works for DKs is that it scales best off of slower 1H, so it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to make talents in the fury tree that boost slow 2H weapons also boost the DPS for slower 1H weapons. It may be a situation where you move one talent point around depending upon whether your best weapons right now are 2 2Hs or 2 1Hs, but they will probably be the same ones that frost DPS DKs want, so they'll still be slow (like the 2H) and have Str on them.

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