Disarmed, Fury Warrior Concerns patch 2.3
A compilation of Fury concerns in Patch 2.3
To begin, let's discuss Fury raid viability.
What do we bring to a raid?
Three things, from least to most important:
- One raid shout buff to our party. Either Battle Shout or Commanding Shout. 305AP or 1080HP respectively, untalented.
- A plate wearing Off tank. The ability to throw on tank gear and off tank hard hitting mobs is an important utility feature that we bring to raids, just because we are specced to DPS does not mean we can ignore one of the fundamental roles a warrior can fill.
- Raw unadulterated single target DPS. Without a threat cap, the only thing keeping us from unleashing a flurry of DPS is our six and ten second cooldown on bloodthirst and whirlwind.
How does patch 2.3 effect these three things we bring to a raid group?
- Our shouts. Our shouts are unaffected by patch 2.3, and thus, are fine. I do think though, that with recent increases to the length of most raid buffs, making our shouts last four or five minutes is not too too much to ask for.
- Off tanking. Fury warriors have already been off tanking mobs from Karazhan to Black Temple. We weren't lacking any ability to off tank as it was, and the buffs to Tactical Mastery, while nice, were unnecessary. Even with the other changes to the Fury tree and Arms tree, we likely still won't spec into tactical mastery... The losses of speccing into this talent are too great. If we wanted to tank and be good at it, we'd spec prot, not a hybrid fury build that is mediocre at tanking and DPS.
- High single target DPS. This is where Fury takes its largest hit. Having already sustained DPS nerfs in the form of Flurry haste reductions and other such nerfs, the removal of Deathwish from the Fury tree is devastating.
--What did we gain from the patch?
- Ten percent less threat in zerker stance, increased threat of BT and MS in defensive stance, weapon mastery, our off-hand weapon also striking an opponent when we use Whirlwind, and a new ten charge, ten second, sweeping strikes in place of deathwish.
--What did we lose from the patch?
- Deathwish and any PVP fury viability we had through Imp. Intercept.
What are the implications of these changes?
At first glance it looks like a DPS boost, where at most we are coming out even in DPS. Any semi-intelligent fury warrior got more than a 3% damage boost from Deathwish through uses during weakened phases or in conjunction with recklessness or trinkets etc. The WW change was a long time coming and the way it should have worked in the first place, it is a buff, but still something that should have been in place since the inception of WoW. The sweeping strikes move is moot, most times you are single target DPS'ing on trash anyway, breaking CC with SS or with WW is out of the question and will get you yelled at in a raid quite quickly, the uses of this talent will be far and in between. Finally, the new weapon mastery talent will likely take the place of the two extra talent points we put into imp. execute, 4% less chance to dodge on specials will result in a slightly larger DPS increase on bosses than the 100 or so extra damage per execute during the last 20% of a bosses life, but we are still sacrificing something to get something... and while sacrifice isn't a bad thing, it seems counter intuitive to what blizzard has been saying of late at streamlining talents to give more options. While we have more options, they are in such places that we sacrifice too much to get them.
By speccing any points into the Prot Tree we lose Impale(and the rest of our arms talents, unacceptable), Imp. Execute(the less of the 4 evils), Points in precision, or the new weapon mastery talent. Any of those losses are too much when considering all you'd get in return from tact mastery is a mediocre threat increase for BT, which also has a terrible rage:threat ratio due to no AP in tank gear anyway.
Finally, speccing to be a better tank with more points into prot while also being Fury DPS is like shooting yourself in the foot. By taking points out of Arms tree and going three tiers deep into the prot tree you would reduce DPS by at least 5-10% while also losing deflection and imp t-clap, and you wouldn't even be able to gain all 3 points in defiance, nor could you get last stand or imp. shield block without sacrificing even more Fury talents.
Outside of switching these talents back, how can we improve the situation?
There are a few other movements and prereq removals that would at least compensate for our current losses.
- Remove the enrage prereq to flurry. Enrage is a PVP talent, forcing PVE players to get enrage in order to get flurry results in wasted points. Those two talents have no place being linked.
- Switch blood frenzy and Imp. Slam. Slam is a 2h specific talent, DW warriors do not get it. Giving a fury warrior the ability to buff raid melee DPS by 4% would go a long way in enticing guilds to bring fury warriors to raids. This is also in line with blizzard's thinking in that it streamlines both the fury and arms trees.
- Fury pvp is in bad shape any way I look at it.
Deathwish and Bloodthirst being linked made sense, Sweeping Strikes and Bloodthirst being linked does not. The lack of fluidity to our trees due to recent changes to appease the PVP world has really made our talent trees a mess.
Simply implementing the first two ideas would allow a fury warrior to spec completely out of enrage, get 2 points in imp. execute, keep 2 points in weapon mastery, get 2 points in blood frenzy and have one left over for piercing howl or the talent of your choice. That would be a somewhat even trade for the loss of an on demand 20% damage increase for thirty seconds every three minutes.
This patch hurts fury warriors more than it helps them. The deathwish movement alone is enough to be up in arms about, but I'm also disappointed in the way we are being pigeonholed into being an off-tank, at the sacrifice of too much of our PVE DPS viability. If I wanted to off-tank or tank, I'd spec heavy protection, if I want to do PVE DPS, and put all of my talent points and gearing effort into maximizing DPS, I should be able to do that too. Unfortunately that option is not currently available to us.
Thanks for reading,