Ramping up the Cataclysm PR, and what I want to see for warriors

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One thing I had forgotten until I saw the first of the class previews yesterday was how important these were from a PR point of view. All it takes is for Blizzard to announce one really cool sounding ability for a beloved class. And then the next expansion starts to feel more personal. For example, how many people came into Wrath excited to try dual wielding two-handed weapons on their warriors? Whether you like the idea or not, it’s still crazy, over the top, cool, and came in with this expansion.

There is a downside, of course. No one gets excited about playing the class which has nothing fun to look forwards to. And when you get a glimpse into the future, there is no guarantee that you will like what you see. A lot of players will also be looking at the class previews to help decide which class they want to play as a main in Cataclysm — if in doubt, pick the one that is getting the coolest new stuff.

Still, Blizzard will try to get every current player excited about the Expansion That Is To Come. So expect every class preview to include at least one really cool sounding tweak or ability as well as some housekeeping, and changes to some other aspect which will be made less annoying/ easier. (e.g. for warlocks – GREEN FIRE! Yes, I’m easily pleased.)

Is it time to sort out stances?

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I don’t expect to see many changes for Protection Warriors. The spec works just fine and is more fun to play than ever.  If they can get the rage changes in smoothly, I’ll be happy. However, there still need to be three new abilities for the next expansion. I have no idea what to expect but hope it won’t require too many extra key binds because … I have small hands and most of the keys I can easily reach are busy!

Nope, the big issue for warriors from a design point of view is the stances. Like a druid, each stances locks out many of our abilities in return for giviing access to others. Unlike a druid, we don’t get much in return for this, especially with battle/berserk stance. Switching from a Death Knight (who can use all of their abilities in any presence) and being forcibly reminded that warriors can’t interrupt in battle stance is like having a bucket of cold water thrown over you.

And also, we just don’t stance dance in PvE any more. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun and quirky, and warriors were originally designed to be switching stances a lot. So if you needed an ability (like fear resist), you would quickly switch to the right stance, use it, and then switch back. These days, the design is to pick the stance which goes with your spec and stay there. I don’t expect a return to the stance dancing days – it was fun, but it’s counter to every direction in which the game is going.

So I’m hoping for some answers to the questions:

  • What are stances really for these days?
  • What benefits should we get from them? And when should we switch stance?
  • Does it still make sense to lock out so many abilities via stances?

Also, heroic leap (an ability which was notoriously present in Wrath beta testing but then got removed)!

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5 thoughts on “Ramping up the Cataclysm PR, and what I want to see for warriors

  1. It surprises me, that you do not expect stance dancing to become more important.

    Although I understand the reasons for rotations, (Micromanagement and giving you a familiar procedure to fall back into, enabling you to observe what is happening and adapting), I always felt like a hamster in a wheel. Tanking has always been my favorite role, but since my old, trusted Paladin has been dragged into a utterly boring rotation, I revived my Warrior.

    Stance Dancing is the only hope I have left to see situational awareness again. Not just moving according to a certain situation, but smart choices in abilities.

    You are perfectly right, about Stance Dancing being not rewarding at all, but I would love to see it in place again. Perhaps with a stronger emphasis on the general aspects of the picked stance.

    Small example, think of going into battle stance for rapid Aggro Build up and switching to defense stance for better mitigation. Or fast fights that require you to be in battle stance, just switching to defensive stance when the boss starts performing a severe attack.

    I share your view on the separation of abilities, especially when compared to a death knight, but that’s the reason why I never felt much sympathy for my death knight.

  2. Stance Dancing is still pretty useful in PvP, but I haven’t swapped in PvE in a long, long time.

    Heroic Leap would be all kinds of awesome, though.

  3. As someone who doesnt have a Warrior or a Druid over 30th level I must say ‘pounce’ seems much more fitting for kitties than Warriors. For all I loved my DII BarBar.

    I do think we generally need more in the way of intresting things to do. Some form of risk/reward function. Last night I was thinking as I furiously spammed Chain Heal, Rip Tide and (Greater?)Healing Wave into Spinks and others:- Really the only major decision I get to make is when to pop mana-tide or when to Ankh myself back up. Blood lust is called by the Raid leader, my healing spell choices and targets are all there but its done at a split second ‘gut’ calls, I really dont have much time to think on them. What I want to be able to do is actualy make a play that counts. Of course that normally only happens when somethings gone really badly wrong. I play to be a Hero dag nabbit not some ultra slick cog in the raid machine…or something like that.

    That and I wanna beat that damn drood on the healing meters :-p {Jokette}

  4. Awesome, Heroic Leap is back! :) And I like the idea of dual wielding one handers, I think I preferred that aesthetically.

    Need to think over the new changes some more. But nothing about stances, sadly.

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