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wow Warrior - Warlords of Draenor Alpha Patch Notes Analysis

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Icy Veins asks the experts' opinions on their favorite class changes! Today, Poyo and Jalopy discuss Warrior patch notes.

The Warlords of Draenor Alpha patch notes have been out for only a few days, but millions of players are already voicing strong opinions of the direction Blizzard is headed with the game in this coming expansion. Some class changes have received overwhelmingly positive feedback, while others have left many a player scratching their head. A few changes have even caused a substantial outcry of rage!


To see things more clearly, we've invited a handful of our class MVPs to share their opinions on the changes made to their respective class. For this patch notes analysis topic, we have requested feedback from our resident expert on the projected changes being made to the Warrior class. Poyo and Jalopy have been kind enough to share their thoughts on the upcoming Warrior changes!

Poyo is the Guild Master, Raid Leader, and Protection Warrior of Envy, one of the best PvE guilds in the world. He is also our Hearthstone writer. Jalopy is one of the best DPS Warriors. His replies to our questions are a condensed version of an article he recently wrote.

Blizzard Icon Warrior WoD Alpha Changes

+ Show- Hide

Ability Pruning

  • Battle Shout now lasts 1 hour and no longer generates Rage.
  • Berserker Rage no longer generates Rage or increases Physical damage dealt.
  • Berserker Stance has been removed.
  • Cleave has been removed.
  • Commanding Shout now lasts 1 hour and no longer generates Rage.
  • Demoralizing Banner has been removed.
  • Hamstring is now a passive ability that causes Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Revenge, and Raging Blow to also reduce the target’s movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds.
  • Rallying Cry is no longer available to Protection Warriors.
  • Recklessness is now available only to Fury and Arms Warriors.
  • Skull Banner has been removed.
  • Throw has been removed.
  • Thunder Clap is no longer available to Fury Warriors.
  • Whirlwind is now available only to Fury Warriors.

Hit and Expertise Removal

  • Unwavering Sentinel now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.

Crowd Control and Diminishing Returns

  • Charge now Roots the target (instead of stunning). The Root effect does not share a Diminishing Return with other Roots.
  • Warbringer now causes Charge to stun the target for 1.5 sec instead of rooting it.
  • Disarm has been removed.
  • Intimidating Shout now has a 6 sec duration in PvP (down from 8 sec).

Buffs and Debuffs

  • Weakened Blows was a debuff that mattered almost exclusively to tanks, and that every tank automatically applied. We removed the debuff and reduced creature damage to compensate.
    • Weakened Blows
      • Thunder Clap no longer apply the Weakened Blows effect.

Tank Vengeance and Resolve

  • Bladed Armor is a new passive ability for Blood Death Knights, Guardian Druids, Brewmaster Monks, Protection Paladins, and Protection Warriors.
    • Bladed Armor increases Attack Power by 100% of the character's Bonus Armor.
  • Vengeance has been removed and replaced with a new passive ability, Resolve. Resolve increases your healing and absorption done to yourself, based on Stamina and damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 seconds.
  • Mastery: Critical Block now also passively increases Attack Power by 12% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.

Raid Utility Balance

  • Rallying Cry now increases health by 15% (down from 20%), and is no longer available to Protection Warriors.
  • Skull Banner has been removed.

Class Changes


We wanted to fix a few problems with Warriors. First, we still weren't happy with Arms' rotation (and neither were many players), so we've made some more changes, primarily through cutting abilities (see Ability Pruning above).

As with other classes, we wanted to reduce cooldown stacking. Cutting Skull Banner did a ton to help that across the whole game. But for Warriors specifically, we needed to make further changes, including merging some of the personal benefit of Skull Banner back into Recklessness. Also, to make up for Throw being removed, we modified Heroic Throw to be more frequently usable.
  • Heroic Throw now has a 6-second cooldown (down from 30 seconds), but now has a 15 yard minimum range.
  • Recklessness now increases Critical Strike chance by 15% (down from 30%) and increases Critical Strike damage by 10% (up from 0%).
  • Shattering Throw no longer reduces the armor of the target; it only does damage and breaks immunities.
  • It also is no longer learned via any specialization, but instead through a new Major Glyph, Glyph of Shattering Throw.
Haste has long been a problematic stat for Warriors, usually being of little value. As part of our commitment to ensuring all secondary stats are valuable (except Bonus Armor for non-tanks and Spirit for non-healers, of course), we're making a significant change to Warriors, to ensure that Haste has strong, competitive value. We're giving all Warriors a new passive, which lets haste affect their global cooldown, and the cooldowns of their very-short-cooldown rotational abilities.
  • Headlong Rush is a new passive ability for Warriors:
    • Headlong Rush: Haste reduces global cooldown and the cooldowns of Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam, and Thunder Clap.
  • Sudden Death can no longer trigger from Opportunity Strikes.
Protection Warriors have received a few notable changes. First, we removed Dodge and Parry from gear, and expect Protection Warriors to value Haste and Crit as important secondary stats. In order to achieve that, we made Riposte give defensive value to Crits. The aforementioned Headlong Rush also helps for valuing Haste.
  • Blood Craze is a new passive ability for Protection Warriors.
    • Blood Craze causes Multistrike auto attacks to trigger a Blood Craze, which regenerates 3% of the Warrior's health over 3 seconds. When this effect is refreshed, the remaining duration is added to the new effect.
  • Riposte has been redesigned.
    • Riposte gives the Warrior +100% to Parry chance until they Parry an attack after getting a critical strike with an Auto Attack.
A few Warrior Talents also were in need of revision. First, Second Wind was problematic; it was sometimes too weak, and sometimes too strong. We chose to change it from a passive health regeneration effect to the new Leech effect, so that low-health Warriors have to maintain combat in order to benefit, instead of kiting, hiding, or otherwise playing defensively. For the level-60 and level-90 Talent rows, certain combinations were proving problematic. We decided that Stormbolt would better compete with Shockwave and Dragon Roar, and that Bladestorm would better compete with Avatar and Bloodbath, so swapped Stormbolt and Bladestorm's positions.
  • Second Wind no longer directly heals the Warrior while active. Instead, Second Wind grants the Warrior 10% Leech while active, which causes the Warrior to heal for 10% of all damage and healing done by the Warrior while active.
  • Bladestorm is now a level-90 Talent, swapping places with Stormbolt.
    • Bladestorm no longer allows use of Shouts while active. It does still allow the use of Taunt, Enraged Regeneration, Shield Wall, and Last Stand.
  • Stormbolt is now a level-60 Talent, swapping places with Bladestorm.
Fury Warriors are receiving updates to spell alerts to improve usability.
  • Bloodsurge's spell alert has moved to the top slot instead of the left/right slots.
  • Raging Blow now has a spell alert on the left and right slots.
With the introduction of one of the level-100 Warrior Talents, which deals Fire damage, we also expanded Enrage to affect all damage, not just Physical damage.
  • Enrage now increases all damage (up from only Physical damage).
  • Mastery: Unshackled Fury (Fury) now increases all damage (up from only Physical damage).
We're also making a change to the design of Deep Wounds, to try to limit is effectiveness in PvP, without hurting its effectiveness in PvE.
  • Deep Wounds now lasts 15 seconds, or until the target is healed to full health.


1. What is your overall impression of Blizzard's changes to the Warrior class?


Poyo (Protection): Raid utility is one of the reasons why I decided to play a warrior during progress, while vengeance is what made me stick to the class and role during long and boring farm, despite having best in slot gear for any spec or gear setup. The first glance at the class changes left me with an impression that I am giving up the things I love about the class and role, however tanking will become a lot more active and I am sure that the new tanking model will compensate for the things we are currently giving up.

Jalopy (Arms / Fury): I'm a bit mixed on my feelings toward fury right now. No comment on arms, as there quite simply isn't enough known about any changes to it (outside of general warrior changes) to extrapolate anything about it, even Celestalon has tweeted that they aren't done playing with arms' rotation. I think most of the changes are good, although a few rub me in the wrong way, such as loss of berserker stance.

2. Which changes do you think are the best and why?


Poyo (Protection): I like the concept of the "active mitigation" model and the introduction of haste will atone for dodge and parry. I would like to believe that these changes are being made made in order to improve the loot model as gear with dodge and parry always was a curse for the raid, however I am quite certain that Blizzard will manage to screw that up with the introduction of the new stats.

Jalopy (Arms / Fury): Quite honestly, there are not enough changes in the notes yet for me to really see one that I like. Every change is either "well that's cool I guess" or "that's kinda dumb." I think we'll have to wait for some more dedicated warrior notes regarding changes to our direct playstyle for me to really see something that grabs me.

3. Which changes do you think are the worst and why?


Poyo (Protection): Draenor Perks... These perks are supposed to enhance my character through out leveling process, while at max level they will be taken for granted and since I will spend only a few hours leveling and hundreds of hours playing at max level, I think it would make more sense to simply buff the abilities rather than wasting time and resources. Giving players the ability to choose a few perks out of several available would very much feel like talent points, but it would at least have some end game application and it would justify the resource allocation and development time. Removing the whole thing would probably be even easier.

Jalopy (Arms / Fury): I'm not a fan of the haste changes. Maybe I'm just biased on haste from an entire expansion of hating it. However, the way haste will now interact with our GCDs and abilities (similar to paladin's Sanctity of Battle) seems like it's going to be very annoying to deal with in moments of burst haste. Fury is an extremely metronomical playstyle at its core, 20s cooldown on Colossus Smash, 6.5s duration of the debuff, build up on the other 13.5s. Having a GCD that can variably go down and up based on haste buffs might create some finnicky gameplay choices depending how many free filler abilities we'll have in Warlords, or our incoming rage.

4. How would you alter any of the existing changes?


Poyo (Protection): How about incorporating Battle / Commanding Shout as passives to our stances?

Jalopy (Arms / Fury): Berserker Rage no longer refreshing our enrage. With this component of the spell gone, Fury has no more backup plan for when a Bloodthirst doesn't crit. While mostly a PVP change, the ramifications it presents on the PVE aspect of the game are fairly large. Also, the loss of Berserker Stance is....well, uncalled for, really. I don't really think anybody knows exactly why it was removed, as it was far from what anybody would consider to be a culprit of button bloat.

5. What changes would you like to see in WoD?


Poyo (Protection): I never liked Warrior's Mastery, especially because there always were situations where the usage of Shield Block was inferior to Shield Barrier. Current tanking model allowed me to dump my mastery entirely, which made tanking a lot more active and fun. I find the Shield Block model extremely boring and I dislike the idea of tank's mastery being viewed as a DPS stat. I would like to see mastery reworked so it had more passive tanking potential, especially in situations where resolve will make Shield Block inferior to Shield Barrier.

Jalopy (Arms / Fury): Hopefully some changes to fury that even out the gear scaling 'requirements' that it is. Maybe a change in the crit-chance modifier on Bloodthirst would be a good start. More ways to fill our GCDs at lower levels might help, too, though the heroic throw change might be a good start. They should also take the opportunity of a lull between expansions to rework Arms completely, from the ground up.

Patch Notes Last Updated - 23 April 2014
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      Saving profiles for different specs / toons:
      Go to VuhDo Options->Tools Tab->Profiles.

      On the left side in 'Profiles' part you will see a line '...or enter profile name' with some name already typed in. Change it to a name that will make you remember what exactly you are saving here. I normally use a toon name with encounter type or a toon name with a group size, but if you are going to store profiles for different specs, it may be a good idea to mention a spec too.
      I stopped on profile naming in such a details because the default name is a bit weird - it's just made of a chain of nicknames for every toon you ever saved this profile for, so after having 2-4 toons in the chain it almost impossible to understand what exactly is stored there.
       
      Type a new name for your profile and press 'Save' Button. Do not confuse 'Save' with 'Apply' or you will cancel all the changes you made.
      After saving a profile, you can choose in the central part of the Tab the activation type: by group size and / or by spec. You will be able to choose it only after profile is saved, so don't be surprised if you are not able to check anything there.
      If you want to make this profile a default for all the new characters on the account, check 'Default Profile' button.
      Loading and deleting a profile:
      If you don't want VuhDo to activate profiles for you automatically or you want to load some specific profile for a new toon, go to the 'Select a profile' dropdown menu, choose whatever you need from there and hit 'Apply'.
      To delete a profile, choose it from the same dropdown menu and hit 'Delete'.
      Settings:
      Two useful buttons: 'Quiet mode' allows you to get rid of Confirmation Dialog spam, 'Lock' prevents an accidental overwriting of a profile.
      Key Layouts:
      An important note: Spell assignments are not saved in Profiles. To save, load or delete Spell and HoTs assignments you should go to Tools->Key Layouts:

      Export and share profiles:
      You can export selected features, share or receive profiles from other VuhDo users.
      To be able to receive a profile you have to go to 'Tools->Share->Receive Data' and tick 'Enable'.
      To share a profile you should click on a button 'Share' in the 'Send Profile' area. A new window will pop up: a dropdown menu with a line where you can type specific player's name and server. The dropdown menu will show your online guildies and people you are in group / raid with (disregarding of them having or not having VuhDo).

       
      Here's an example of my VuhDo profiles:
      I made a UI screenshot with opened talent tree and VuhDo HoT assignments.
      Key Layouts (how I assign spells to mouse): remember they are configured separately from the main setup and you have to import them separately too in Tools->Key Layouts->Import

      In 5-man HoT icons I track only my HoTs because obviously there are no other healers. Threat and personal CDs people may use are being tracked through Indicators (General->Advanced->Indicators). In this bouquet everyone should add his group specifics if you are aiming for Mythic+: I found a bit redundant to keep there damage mitigation abilities for all the classes.
      Regarding the Hot Keys you see on the screen - it may be a bit confusing because I don't really use all of them but:
      1,2,3 - dps abilities
      = - Tranq
      F1 - Barkskin
      F2 - Dash
      F4 - Inner
      F - Efflorescence
      G - shapeshift
      Q - Artifact spell
      D - Ironbark mouseover macro
      J - Cenarion Ward mouseover macro
      E,H - interrupts
      T - Flourish
       
      The raid setup:
      I'm raiding Mythic so my healing frames are tuned for 20-man.

      As you can see, HoT icon section changed - now I track what other healers are doing too so we wouldn't overlap with the healing and I'm be sure that assigned damage mitigation spells are used.
      The actual strings to import are in this separate thread because it's technically problematic to update them here in guide.
       
      I have to say that there are loads of options that I didn’t speak about here. But I tried to keep it short and basic.
      I always can answer any of your questions about VuhDo or you can continue to dig it by yourselves.