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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

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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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      Siege of Orgrimmar Timewalking Warfronts
      Warfronts are 20-player PvE scenarios coming in Battle for Azeroth. The first Warfront was recently enabled for testing on Alpha.
      Battle of Stromgarde Warfront Preview Warfronts Schedule in Battle for Azeroth WoW Classic
      Even though this is not BfA-related, we finally got some news about WoW Classic development in a Watercooler on June 16. You can find more details here.
      Visuals
      Hunters and Warlocks received new spell animations.
      Hunter Spell Animations Warlock Spell Animations Warlock Summon Demon Animations Summoning Stone & Soulwell Animations Zone Previews
      This section contains zone previews of Kul Tiras and Zandalar.
      Arathi Highlands Updated in Preparation for Warfronts High-Resolution Maps of Kul Tiras & Zandalar Drustvar Zone Preview Nazmir Zone Preview (Official) Vol'dun Zone Preview Uther's Tomb Visual Update Uther's Tomb Visual Update #2 Zuldazar City Official Preview Changelog
      July 14
      Added pre-patch release date, Mag'har Orcs zone & scenario steps, pre-patch customization options and more.
      July 11
      Added the official preview of the new WoW Communities feature and the Darkforge Ram preview.
      July 10
      Added map improvements in BfA and Bellular's third Class review about Death Knights.
      July 9
      The hub has been updated with all missing articles.
      June 11
      Added latest talent changes and PvP Azerite traits (Beta Build 26788).
      June 10
      Updated the hub with new mounts, new Beta build coverage, one launch to rule them all, various blue posts & more.
      June 1
      Added Uldir powers and latest Beta Build 26734 talent changes.
      May 31
      Updated the hub with all missing articles.
      May 7
      Added datamined Azerite traits for Build 26530, Heroic Uldir raid testing and PCGamesN interview with John Hight.
      May 4
      Added Legion Artifacts in BfA.
      May 3
      Updated with the latest news and the PvP section.
      April 24
      The hub has been updated with new links to our latest news and previews and Battle for Azeroth Beta is now live!
      April 5
      Blizzard revealed the release date of Battle for Azeroth. We also added the latest information to the hub, including Dark Iron Dwarf & Mag'har Orc playable classes, latest talent updates, Azerite traits, and more!
      March 26
      The hub got updated with a bunch of new articles including new customization options for Blood Elves, talent updates for Alpha Build 26287, new creature models and a post dealing with global cooldowns in Battle for Azeroth.
      March 22
      A new Alpha Build arrived on Battle for Azeroth Alpha realms. Blizzard added the Dark Iron Dwarf racial mount, two Dwarf Paladin Ram mounts and more!
      March 21
      We added our preview of Island Expeditions to the website.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard had to temporarily disable Communities due to some bugs, but the feature will be reactivated for testing on a few realms today.
      If you're playing on one of the realms below and experience issues with the new feature submit your bug reports here. Don't forget to check out the official Communities preview!
      Blizzard (Source)
      We’re planning to run an initial test of re-activating the Communities feature on a few realms this morning. Those realms are:
      Black Dragonflight Gul’dan Skullcrusher Lightbringer Mal’ganis This test is scheduled to begin at roughly 9 AM Pacific time. If you’re on one of the above realms, please let us know if you experience any issues once Communities have been re-enabled. Thanks!
    • By Stan
      Players continue to discover hidden perks of the 8.0 pre-patch. Redditor fgmenth noticed that it's possible to reach Exalted reputation standing with the Gelkis and Magram Clan Centaurs in Desolace.

      The cool thing is that you only need to complete a couple of quests to get to Exalted and both factions count toward the new 100 Exalted Reputations that rewards "the Esteemed" title and the Pureheart Courser mount.

      Quest Chain
      Maraudine Prisoner Manifest is needed to start the quest chain and the item drops from Maraudine Maulers in Desolace. You need to complete some quests in order for it to drop, more details can be found here. Completing the final quest will give you enough reputation with both factions to instantly reach Exalted.

      Individual Quests
      Behind Closed Doors Time For Change Into the Fray! Death to Agogridon Players that have completed the quest before the pre-patch are not able to reach Exalted, according to player reports. We're not really sure if the whole thing is a bug, but we'll let you know as soon as we know more!
      (Source)