The previous post was just me getting the notes out (scroll down to see what's new). Here's what I'm seeing in-game. This is a Beta, and issues do constantly come up, but several of these issues are worrying since they could also be undocumented changes.
This is strictly my opinion: This ability managed to get nerfed this patch, and it was already bad.
To put it in perspective, 2 points in Cruelty would do significantly more for allowing increased raid DPS than 1 point in Vigilance and the 1 pre-requisite point in Concussion Blow.
It may be useful for 5-mans, but only so long as it doesn't pick up the community stigma associated with Taunt. I'd like to be proven wrong, or find that Taunt is important in more of the game, but so far this looks like it's taking the route of Endless Rage in Burning Crusade.
Sword and Board No Longer Reducing Cooldown
While Sword and Board and Devastate both proc the Rage reduction on Shield Slam, they are not affecting the cooldown. The tooltip on the buff has been reworded from the last build as well (it used to say it refreshed the cooldown and reduced the cost; now it says it reduces the cost).
However, the tooltip may have been updated since refreshing the cooldown doesn't really need to be included in the buff tooltip (after all, it's abundantly clear that you're able to use the ability again once it's proced).
Chalking this up to a bug, but keeping it at the top of the news in case it's not.
Improved Defensive Stance Enrage
So far as I can tell, this talent is not working. There is no change in my Melee stats at any point during combat, nor do I see a buff. However, I haven't parsed this, so it's possible it is working but not showing up anywhere as a buff.
Charge can be used in combat with the 41-point talent. However, it's still restricted to Battle Stance, making it relatively annoying since the Rage bonus is negated by stance-dancing, and if I'm dancing and willing to lose rage, Intercept was already doing well.
However, it's a 1-point talent, and it's good for grinding. It's also good with Safeguard as an additional means of clearing impairing effects. While I hope it's buffed or altered, I'd still pick this up in it's current form.
Dealing substantially less damage than the tooltip suggests. According to other Beta testers, it's actually going off a 10% AP conversion rather than 100%.
Yeah, there's a lot of conflicting information out there at the moment. MMO Champion shows in their patch notes that Shield Block is at 60 seconds, and Blizzard's patch notes show it as 30 seconds. Maybe my optimism is getting the better of me is all. I would love to believe in huge, constantly available shield blocks.
So in the best case scenario hand-picking our favorite parts of all sources:
We have the addition of:
If we do not avoid, we always block. (Imp. SB)
100% BV (Imp. SB)
30% BV (Shield Mastery)
10% damage to SS (Imp. Shield Bash)
10% Str. (2 str = 1 BV, Vitality)
30% chance to block double damage
15% Shield Slam crit
15% free Shield Slam on devestate
10% increased damage (Imp. Def stance)*
Stupid dated information. We might not always block. It seems to me like the design philosophy of warrior tanking has become "Warrior Tanks are Shields on a stick"
While I'm not yet completely sold on the idea, I'm thinking it would make for a great class-design aspect that can make our mechanics and our feel different from other tanking classes but still maintain the same functionality as other classes.
We will be blocking huge amounts of damage with our shields, and dealing huge damage with them.
2-handed shield anyone? Dual wield? Oh the possibilities...
The change to Improved Defensive Stance are pretty neat. With as much as we dodge, parry, and block, the Enrage effect should stay up constantly. This leads to experimentation with Enraged Assault, y'know, the one where we attack with all weapons and consumes an Enraged effect. I'm not in Beta and not in a position to test any of this out, but this sounds like a cool addition.
By the way, I can't seem to find Bloodbath on mmo-champion anymore. Anyone know if it's been scrapped?
I'm digging a lot of the new talent changes, especially where they have reduced the talent point cost to get the same effect (Imp. Revenge, Improved Defensive Stance, etc.). This frees up a few points to stack in a few more talents into a tank build, which is nice. Improved Revenge was always one of my favorite talents that I could never work in before, but will most likely now be part of my standard spec.
The Charge looks pretty lousy for a 40 point talent. Intervene works well enough for me, really... seems like they're fixing something that isn't broke there.
It's still really early in the beta for protection though, seeing as how we just got our first real batch of changes. Hopefully next week will have some more tweaks and maybe a new talent or skill.
I'm still confused as to whether or not these were the major changes that were supposed to be coming. Kamani posted this in the forum, and he's pretty much on the money:
Originally Posted by Kamani
We were completely unaddressed, basically, up until recently. We were promised big changes. All we got is an inch. An inch in every talent. EVERY TALENT.
Ghostcrawler said "we are definitely placing a premium on talents that look so fun that you'll just have to get them..." in reference to the prot tree. Well, where are they? This latest build just looks like a tuning pass on things like damage and threat generation. But why tune if there are going to be big changes? Or is this it, the "fun" talents aren't coming, and they've just decided to give us extra damage here and there and tinker with the mechanics of what's already in the tree? I hope we get some explanation of what's going on soon.
As far as new fun stuff, the Weapon Throw that every warrior will get sounds awesome. Likewise the Imp DStance enrage. The 41 point Charge seems like a flub, and maybe where Blizz was trying to go with it was an offensive charge that could be used in DStance. That'd be kinda neat, covering ground quickly while gaining rage.
Now that I think about it, the damage and threat increases are very cool and very welcome. But aside from the weapon throw, I'm not seeing much that's making my eyes pop out of my head. Then again, I can't actually try this stuff out, so I have to rely on what the beta testers say. Still, I'm remaining cautiously optimistic.
Weapon Throw will be nice for countering pvp kiting, but everybody's getting that, not just prot. The only new thing specific to us in this build is the charge talent, and it's not like we were screaming for a feral charge equivalent - stance-dance-and-intercept works well enough on the rare occasions we have reason to use it.