Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The New 4.0.1 Warrior

One of the reasons I picked my Warrior over my Paladin was the breadth of changes the Paladin class underwent in 4.0.1. With the possible exception of the Hunter class, no class saw a bigger change to its core mechanics than the Paladin.
But I was wrong thinking that the Warrior would be pretty much the same as he had been previously. I was very excited to see an actual raid had been scheduled for Thursday night, and I wanted to do the best I could for my fellow guild mates. That meant I needed to understand the new Fury Warrior.
There are three ways Warrior DPS could go in 4.0.1 and Cataclysm: Titan’s Grip, Single Minded Fury, or Arms. Titan’s Grip is using two two-handed weapons. This is what Warriors have done through Wrath. Single Minded Fury is a Fury Warrior using two one-handed weapons. This is how Fury Warriors worked in Vanilla and Burning Crusade. Arms, is well, Arms, and has traditionally been the PVP tree. Once the dust settles at Level 85, one of these three options will be mathed out to be ‘the best’, and that is what the majority of DPS Warriors will play.
But the Warrior at 80 is a different beast from she will be at 85. Since 4.0.1 hit, Warriors have seen the removal of Armor Penetration. Every melee class benefitted from it, but its removal really hit Warriors in the teeth. Most other melee dps, with the possible exception of Rogues, all have some magic attacks as part of their arsenal. These attacks bypass armor and were not affected by the removal of Armor Penetration. The next issue is the removal of the talent, Armed to the Teeth, which gave Warriors 1 attack power for ever 3 armor they had. The talent was an incentive to use Plate Armor, but it wasn’t strong enough. In its place is Plate Specialization which is a flat 5% damage increase if you use all Plate Armor. In addition, there was a bug with Heroic Strike that caused Fury Warriors to need very little in the way of hit rating. Because we could turn virtually every white swing into a Heroic Strike, Fury Warriors needed only 5% hit. With the bug fixed, Fury Warriors needed more hit.
For Fury specifically, the revamped talent trees meant that we could no longer access the talent Deep Wounds. This talent put a DoT on our target when we crit, and was staple of Fury DPS. Further exacerbating this issue, was the Warrior 2 piece bonus which gave a chance to proc Attack Power every time Deep Wounds ticked. Things are not much better for our Arms Warriors brothers. Much of their rotation is built around a proc that resets the cool down of Colossus Smash, a new spell trained at Level 81. They sort of don’t have that yet. Colossus Smash puts up a debuff that basically emulates 100% Armor Penetration.
When you combine these changes with no one really knowing how to play their toon anymore, you get the reduced DPS Warriors were seeing last week. Blizzard came to the rescue with a hotfix that increased Warriors damage.
I initially chose Fury for my Warrior because it was the superior Raid DPS, and let’s face it, dual wielding two huge axes (how I do love being Tauren) is freaking cool looking.
The theme of the two Specs was elucidated by Ghostcralwer. “The Arms warrior has pet names for all his weapons, while the Fury warrior shows up for battle drunk and half clothed.”  I certainly like the idea of the Arms Warrior better, but the execution of the Fury Warrior in the actual game is just more fun.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention that for the first time in the history of the known universe, Retribution Paladins actually got a hotfix buffed after a patch rather than a quick knee-jerk nerf. Someone please check the temperature in Hades, they may have freeze warnings up. I did take Honors out for a spin to try the new system, but with SpartanUI not including the Holy Power Bar, I was lost.
Tomorrow, I’m going to go through the current spec, stats, and rotation I’m using on my Warrior.
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