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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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      Characters Involved in the Questline
      Dark Ranger Lyana
      Veteran Dark Ranger appointed by Sylvanas to help you track down Saurfang. In the beginning, it all looks like a rescue mission, but further down the questline you learn that she was deceiving you all along. She's later killed by the player, Saurfang, and Zekhan.
      Varok Saurfang
      Saurfang escaped the Stockades and you find him hiding at a farm in the swamps with simple armor and without the "High Overlord" title, indicating his discontent with Sylvanas' Horde. You confront Dark Ranger Lyana and her forces as you uncover her vile intentions and learn that the rescue mission was actually a lie and Sylvanas wants him dead. He doesn't want you or Zekhan to follow him, because he clearly states that he must travel the path alone. The character of Saurfang remains the embodiment of the Horde's long-lost honor.
      Zekhan
      Zappyboi makes an appearance during the questline and fights alongside Saurfang. Blizzard did a really great job at portraying him loyal to Varok at times of need as we saw in the Old Soldier cinematic.
      Lady Sylvanas Windrunner
      Another lie has been told by the Warchief. First, she makes you believe it's of utmost importance to track down Saurfang, who recently escaped the Stockades, so that the Alliance does not kill him. Later, she accuses Varok of treason against the Horde and she wants him dead. After you kill Lyana and her forces, you fool her into believing that Saurfang did all that. Blizzard confirmed in an interview that Sylvanas will not be Garrosh 2.0 in Battle for Azeroth.
      Gameplay Video
      Saurfang-Sylvanas relations hit an all-time low in Tides of Vegeance.
    • By Jovovich
      World of Warcraft - [Horde][US-Arthas]Unhuman - Francais - Uldir 3/8M  -  www.unhuman.ca
       
      Unhuman est à la recherche de nouveaux visages qui seraient intéressés à joindre ses rangs!
      Forum: http://forum.unhuman.ca/forum/7-recrutement/
       
      Raiding:
      - [Raid] Hex Uldir: 3/8M, 2soir, Mercredi et Jeudi 8pm à 11pm  (EST)
         Leader: Fangpriest / Assistant: Pandov et Starbender
      - [Raid] Unknown (Heroic only) Uldir: 4/8H, 1soir, Mercredi 7pm a 10pm (EST)
         Leader: Felfâllen / Assistant: Flos,  Falmortis 
      - [Raid] Casual Uldir: 0/8N, 1soir, En formation
         Leader: Legitdh 
      - Raid ouvert a tout les membres de la guilde (normal only) uldir: 8/8N, samedi matin 10am a 1pm (EST)
         Leader: Jovovich
       
      PvP:
      - [PvP] Unhuman RBG: 1200 rating, 1soir Dimanche des 9hpm (EST)
       
      Communauté:
      - Plus de  445 accounts
       
      Unhuman est plus qu'une guilde de raiding performante, c'est aussi la plus grosse communauté Francophone sur World of Warcraft US. Depuis sa création en 2006, Unhuman cherche à offrir à ses raiders un environnement de jeu qui favorise la progression et ce avec des joueurs d'excellent calibre. Nous sommes constamment à la recherche de nouveaux joueurs que ce soit PVE ou PVP, mais aussi des masters du Pet Battles, des champions de l'Archéologie ou peu importe ce qui vous branche ingame. Vous êtes donc assuré de trouver ce que vous cherchez chez nous peu importe votre style de jeu.
       
      Pour toutes questions...
       
      - http://unhuman.ca/
       
      - Jovovich-Arthas, Guild Master
      - Falmortis-Arthas, Officier
    • By Jovovich
      World of Warcraft - [Horde][US-Arthas]Unhuman - French - Uldir: 3/8M - www.unhuman.ca
       
      Unhuman is RECRUITING!
      Forum: http://forum.unhuman.ca/forum/7-recrutement/
       
      Raiding:
      - [Raid] Hex Uldir: 3/8M, 2day, Wednesday and Thursday 8pm to 11pm  (EAST)
         Leader: Fangpriest / Assistant: Pandov et Starbender
      - [Raid] Unknown (Heroic only) Uldir: 4/8H, 1day, Wednesday 7pm to 10pm (EAST)
         Leader: Felfâllen / Assistant: Flos , Florih et Falmortis 
      - [Raid] Casual Uldir: 0/8N, 1day, in formation
         Leader: Legitdh 
      - 1 more raid in formation...
       
      PvP:
      - [PvP] Unhuman RBG: 1200 rating, 1day Sunday starting at 9hpm (EAST)
       
      Community:
      - More than 445 account
       
      Unhuman is a performing raiding guild with multiple raid groups, it's one of the biggest, for not saying the biggest one, french community on World of Warcraft US. Unhuman has been created in December 2006 and will continue to live for a long time, Unhuman is trying to give to our raiders everything they need to be focus only on good progression!. Unhuman is always looking for new players of all kind, PvE or PvP, even with Battle pets or Archeologists or anything else you can do in the game....You will be sure to find your way with Unhuman!
       
      For any question...
      - http://unhuman.ca/
      - Jovovich-Arthas, Guild Master
      - Falmortis-Arthas, Officier