I'm going to take this opportunity to summarize the approach Blizzard is taking with Warriors. This should be a fairly in-depth overview of what we're going to be looking at in Wrath of the Lich King.
Yes, All Tanks Equal
Save your breath. This philosophy isn't going to change. This philosophy does not suggest that Warriors will be inferior. Once you accept that this is their intention, read on and start enjoying your new potential.
You'll Want To Level With A Shield
This is first because it's the most important piece of information you'll need stepping into Northrend -- if you've spent Burning Crusade preparing tanking gear but have not focused as much on a DPS set, you're in for a treat. For the first time in WoW, dedicated Protection Warriors will have a dedicated Sword and Shield build designed for every aspect of the game.
Love respecing Arms and think that Arms or Fury should be what you spec if you want to do something else? Then keep it up. None of the changes will prevent you from doing so.
It's About Damage
Tanking, leveling, grinding, and PVP will all be focused on damage output that has not been seen before. Threat is, by and large, being replaced by damage. Abilities like Concussion Blow are now going to see 4-digit crits. Shield Slam has seen a huge number of new and revised talents that increase it's potency and effectiveness. Strength, once considered one of the weakest means of scaling Threat output for Warriors, is now front and center in everything. The Defensive Stance damage penalty is now effectively removed.
Enraged Regeneration Makes All The Difference
Don't overlook Enraged Regeneration. This brings Warrior into the fold with other tanks, all of whom have self-healing that is immensely useful for speeding up leveling, grinding, and dailies.
To explain Enraged Regeneration in a complete way, we have to summarize several aspects of damage intake. First, Enraged Regeneration is a percentage of Health, and Protection Warriors have high Health in tanking gear and this scales with gear. Second, Protection Warriors have high damage reduction and this scales with gear. Third, any given mob has a maximum amount of damage it is capable of dealing to you.
Enraged Regeneration is virtually guaranteed to increase the type and the number of mobs we can solo grind at any given time. Combine this with trinkets or Health Potions, or both, high Thunderclap and Shockwave damage, and reactive damage: Protection Warriors will be able to effectively AOE grind.
The bottom line: Never underestimate the value of scaling healing when you're wearing gear with scaling damage reduction.
The Trees Will Be Slimmer
We're already aware the trees are getting slimmed down. I'm confident the next serious Beta push will prove this out. Stay tuned!
We'll Worry About Balancing When It's Balanced
Blizzard has stated numerous times that they will balance disparities to bring them in line. This will be done and is currently being done by dedicated test teams and by data from the Beta.
You can bet that balancing issues will be on TankSpot's news page when there are serious issues. We don't want the balance issues going into Wrath that we saw going into Burning Crusade. But we also really don't have a way of making judgment calls without knowing glyphs, itemization, or even many of the instances. After everything else we've seen, I'll place my trust in Blizzard, but we'll stay on alert.
Many of our mitigation and Threat talents that once filled our trees are baseline. Don't worry about Defiance. Don't worry about the Defense Skill. They're baseline, either in our class or in our gear, because they took too many points and allowed too little choice. Them going baseline means Arms and Fury Warriors will be capable of tanking better than they currently have been able -- this is great!
Almost every talent that will be in the final tree will have a real purpose and a real benefit. These aren't obscure benefits the way they have been in the past, but tangible benefits like decreasing the new Shield Block cooldown, which also happens to greatly increase Shield Slam damage for the duration.
PVP Functionality Does Not Diminish PVE
Hate PVP and hate the idea of Protection having anything to do with PVP? Don't worry! The PVP talents are small and are in no way required to get deeper in the tree. In other words, they are 100% optional, and skipping them will not have a negative impact on the tanking functionality of the class. They are as deep as they are in the tree because they are intended to be off-limits to Arms or Fury builds.
With the inevitably-slimmer trees, Protection Warriors will have a real choice to pick up some of these talents after min/maxing their builds.
Vigilance Does Not Replace Shield Slam
That 31-point talent just doesn't measure up to the impact Shield Slam had on Protection? That's fine. Remember, Shield Slam is baseline, so Vigilance did not replace it.
AOE Tanking -- It's Not Just Shockwave
We've been worrying about Shockwave and it's conal effect but much of the community has looked past Thunderclap. Thunderclap is receiving major buffs and, while it doesn't have an unlimited number of targets, the new instances are not designed around massive AOE tanking. Keep an eye out on the potential for this ability in multi-mob packs.
Blizzard Listened To Us
Blizzard has listened to us and our community in a way they haven't shown before. This is, perhaps, the most heartening thing of all.
Last edited by Kazeyonoma; 09-05-2008 at 10:25 AM.
anyhow the thing that excites me the most is the multi-mob tanking abilities i've always liked tanking many mobbs and all the new things like shockwave and T-clap gives us better potential to do that in an effective way
I like the enraging regeneration ability. It is nice we are getting a staple feral power in return for all our panic buttons that bears have been granted.
This will make us much more viable.
I do feel a bit sorry enraging assault got taken out. It was a powerful cheap attack that especially fury looked to benefit alot from.
Hope they throw Fury another bone the concept of enraging assault was great and very fitting in my opinion. I do not understand why we can not have the option of both since there is a 3 minut cooldown on enraging regeneration. What can we burn our enrage on the rest of the time ???
Looking forward to what benefit they will give fury and arms instead of enraging assault. I still think enraging assault had its place as a good way of punishing crit happy pvp opponents (evil twisted grin). Big loss for fury spec.
Ok, I am a relatively new warrior tank and have been accumulating gear over the past few months. I have mostly Kara/ZA gear and some notable badge pieces.
Quick question: should I start building a block value set for leveling in Wrath? For example, should I spend the badges on the block value badge legs? I have Sunguard currently but don't have that chunk of block that Unwavering have.
I'm trying to look forward and best prepare myself for the expansion, any tips appreciated as it relates to gearing in that direction.
They had mentioned a while back that tier sets may get new stats based on massive changes to talents. I haven't seen a new change to any of my items yet but I will say that my prot dps set which is heavy in strength anyway does well for prot in beta.
Strength will be superior in that in addition to the block value, it will add attack power to scale every other threat ability besides just shield slam, will have a 10% bonus with Vitality, and also benefit from blessing of kings.
Block Value is a good stat because of all the new mods on Shield Slam, but in general Strength will probably be more useful.
Any word on if our current tier gear will be adjusted to reflect these changes? I'm hoping my T6 will get some Str added to it so I don't have to quest grind in my DPS suit.
They recently reitemized the shaman sets to have AP rather than strength to reflect class changes. On the other hand, you'll still be better off wearing your DPS gear to level. Tanking on the other hand... they've still not made changes that'll make T6 / sunwell loot better for tanking WotLK 5 mans than PVP gear.
It wouldn't be -that- hard though. Strip 25% avoidance off all the current gear and use those ilvls to add STR. Remove sunwell radiance. Done. Probably makes M'uru and learning BT & archimonde tougher though, so I wouldn't nessisarily expect a change to our gear.