Friday, April 9, 2010

Cataclysm Warrior Update

New Warrior Abilities

Inner Rage (Level 81): Whenever the character reaches a full 100 Rage, he or she will gain a buff that causes attacks to consume 50% more Rage and do 15% more damage for a short amount of time. This is a passive ability so it won't need to be activated by the player. The goal for this ability is to provide a benefit for hitting max Rage instead of it feeling like a penalty. However, we also don't want warriors to feel like they're supposed to pool Rage and do nothing until they hit 100, so we'll be closely monitoring how this plays out during the beta testing, and making adjustments as needed.

This will really help out some of the tanks who are not as quick on their Heroic Strike Button. It also makes it so it isnt a true waste to hit 100 rage. It should be good for all levels of tanks.

Gushing Wound (Level 83): This ability will apply a bleed effect to the target. If the target moves, the bleed gains an extra stack and refreshes its duration, up to a maximum of three stacks. The ability is currently planned to have no cooldown, cost 10 Rage, and have a 9-second duration. Gushing Wound is designed to be weaker than Rend with one stack, but better with three stacks, which will be reached when fighting a moving target.

I am not sure if this will be available for Prot Warriors, but if it is....damn. That will be a nice chunk of extra damage if you are constantly dragging mobs around. We will have to wait and see though.

Heroic Leap (Level 85): This ability makes the character leap at their target and apply the Thunder Clap ability to all enemies in the area when they land. Heroic Leap will be usable in Battle Stance and shares a cooldown with Charge, but the Juggernaut and Warbringer talents will allow Heroic Leap to be used in any stance and possibly while in combat. The cooldown for this ability might be longer than the Charge ability, but it will also apply a stun effect so you can make sure the target will still be there when you land.

This will be awesome for chain pulling if the cooldown is not too long. Charge into group one, thunderclap, shockwave, start rotation. Heroic leap to next group, rinse and repeat. Sounds good so far.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

In addition to learning new abilities, you'll see changes to other abilities and mechanics with which you're already familiar. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we intend for each spec.

Heroic Strike will no longer be an "on next swing" attack, as we are removing this mechanic in Cataclysm. To keep the niche of Heroic Strike as a Rage dump, it will become an instant attack, but will cost between 10 and 30 Rage. This ability will not be usable until you have 10 Rage, but if you have more than 10, it will consume up to 30, adding additional damage for each point of Rage consumed above the base 10. Other abilities, such as Cleave, Execute, and Maul (for druids) will work similarly. The goal is to provide players with an option where if you can't afford the Rage, you don't push the button, but if you have excess Rage, you can push it a lot.

This will be a nice way to make it a bit more spammy. I am sure that there will be some complaining from the old school tanks about tanking being dumbed down too much.

Battle Shout, Commanding Shout, and possibly Demoralizing Shout will work more like the death knight's Horn of Winter ability. Specifically, these shouts will cost no resources, generate rage in addition to their current effects, and be on a short cooldown.

The best part of this is that it become a no-brainer to use these. And they will probably be used constantly for the extra rage generation when there is an extra global cooldown available.

Whirlwind will hit an unlimited number of targets, but only for 50% of weapon damage. The intent is for this ability to be used in multi-target scenarios and not on single targets.

Meh. I don't get into DPS spec much, so it will not affect me nearly as much.

Overall, heals cast by players in Cataclysm will be a lower number relative to players' health than the current game. So to make the Mortal Strike debuff less mandatory but still useful in PvP, Mortal Strike will reduce healing by only 20%. All equivalent debuffs, including the Shadow priest and Frost mage debuffs, will be for 20% less healing. At the moment we aren't considering giving this debuff to anyone else, though we will certainly consider PvP utility for historically under-represented specs that use other mechanics.

Another meh for me. Lets see how it turns out.

Sunder Armor will be reduced to three stacks instead of five, and still provide only a 4% reduction in armor per stack. We want to make this debuff easier to apply and less of a damage swing when it falls off.

I guess this opens more global cooldowns but will reduce damage somewhat? Another one that we will have to look at the math on. I imagine that in long fights, it will be a significant dps decrease.

New Talents and Talent Changes

The Furious Sundering talent in the Fury tree will make the Sunder Armor ability cause 25/50% weapon damage and reduce the threat generated by 50/100%.

Devastate for Fury...woohoo.

The Mace and Poleaxe Specialization talents in the Arms tree will be removed. These provided just passive stats, which are not the kinds of talents we want to design in the future. We will keep the Sword Specialization talent, but it will be changed to a talent that applies to all types of weapons.

No more respecs because you are using a new weapon. Nice little change.

As a Fury talent, Booming Voice will increase the Rage generated by shouts.
While we like how Titan's Grip plays, we recognize some warriors liked the Fury tree because of the really fast swings that dual-wielding one-handed weapons could provide. Therefore, we're planning to try out a talent called Single-Minded Fury that is parallel to Titan's Grip and will provide a large boost to the damage of a pair of one-handed weapons.

Will make you have to think of if two one handers are the way to go or two handers. I think it will be good since there really arent a lot of classes using one handed physical dps weapons at this point.

Several talents that reduce the Rage cost of abilities will be changed to focus on increased damage for those abilities instead.

More damage. Nom.

The new Arms talent called Disarming Nature will make successful disarms cause the target to cower in fear for 5/10 seconds.

Oh noes I lost mah weapon! Im gonna piss mahself!

Another new Arms talent called Blitz will make the Charge ability hit for extra damage. The amount will possibly vary depending on the distance travelled.
Improved Pummel, a Fury talent, will cause a successful interrupt to generate 10/20 Rage.

More reason for a DPS warrior to actually use their damn interrupts.

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Melee Damage
Armor Penetration
Bonus Swing

Bonus Swing: This is similar to the Sword Specialization talent that is currently in the game, but Bonus Swing will work on all attacks and with all weapons. You have a chance to proc a free, instant weapon swing that hits for 50% damage.

Melee Damage
Melee Haste
Enrage Intensity

Enrage Intensity: Every benefit of being enraged is increased. This includes doing more damage/healing/ etc. from abilities like Bloodrage, Death Wish, Enrage, Berserker Rage, and Enraged Regeneration.

Damage Reduction
Critical Block Chance

Critical Block Chance: As we mentioned in the stat changes preview, block rating is changing to a chance to block 30% of a melee swing's damage. Protection warriors have a chance that the block will be a critical block and block for 60% of a melee swing's damage instead. There will likely be talents available to push the amount blocked even higher.

This sounds pretty good. Less damage taken FTW.

Vengeance: This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn't fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will give them a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character's un-buffed health. For boss encounters, we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Protection tree. These values will be smaller at lower levels. Remember, you only get this bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Protection tree, so you won't see Arms or Fury warriors running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to make tank gear more or less the way we do today – there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so their Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is for all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking.

Delicous damage. Lots of it. This should be very sexy and keep us from falling behind all of the other tanks.

We hope you enjoyed this preview, and we're looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on these additions and changes. Please keep in mind that this information represents a work in progress and is subject to change as development on Cataclysm continues.


Kudos said...

"Vengeance: This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn't fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus."

So we warriors will still be behind the other tanks unless Blizz either nerfs the rest of them or gives us some serious love

Anonymous said...

noob warrior tank question here (mine's currently lvl 74)...Is heroic strike something I should be using all the time? I find myself hardly using it, and instead using either devastate/shield slam/revenge/thunderclap to fill the gcd's. I know I'm still low level, but I haven't noticed any aggro problems with even just simply spamming devastate over and over. On aoe pulls I've been using cleave as much as I can, and that seems to make a big difference, so is it safe to assume that I should be using heroic strike on single targets just as often? And, another question about the mechanics of hs...lets say I've clicked it, it's highlighted, and on the next swing I hit devastate...does the hs go off with the devastate, right before or after, or just whenever my next white damage swing was supposed to happen? I used to have a macro for my druid tank that I could spam that would just activate maul and would swipe over and over. It'd be nice to have a similar macro for hs and devastate. Anybody know of one? It's kind of a pain having to look down to see if hs/cleave is highlighted and binding it to a button I find that I'm turning it on then off accidentially. I know they plan on getting rid of this mechanic, but it'd be nice have in the mean time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the long-wind-edness...I'm bored at work waiting for 5 o'clock to get here (yay FRIDAY!)

Blademoun said...

Thanks for posting up the Warrior preview and your thoughts man.

I've been eyeing the upcoming Cataclysm buzz trying to decide if I wanted to try going back to WoW and raid tanking on my warrior after WotLK!