Warrior Change Analysis: Fury is the new black (actually it was also the old black)

Reading through the list of warrior changes, there were two things that heroic leaped out at me.

1. Heroic Leap, it’s all about the fluff

Heroic leap sounds cool and all, but it’s functionally equivalent to  Charge + Thunderclap. And to hammer home the similarity, Juggernaut and Warbringer will allow this to be used in any stance and possibly while in combat.  From this we can deduce that the cooldown on Heroic Leap will be greater than the cooldown on Charge, because it’s cooler and therefore should not be used as frequently. (This is game designer logic, by the way.)

And also, the entire appeal of this ability lies in the animation and sound effect. Really as a Prot Warrior, I’d have preferred a Shockwave  to a Thunderclap, just for the sheer cartoon ‘Anvil falling on your head’ effect, but that’s probably deemed overpowered for the dps specs.

2. One handed Fury is back in style?

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.

I always liked the cuisinart style of the one handed fury builds, so count me among the people who would be happy to see that return. But do Blizzard really want to have to balance two handed fury builds, one handed fury builds, and arms for PvE at the same time?

There are some big advantages from bringing back the option to dual wield one handed weapons, mostly that Fury warriors could share weapons with Frost Death Knights since they use similar stats. It would also make sense for one of the one-handed weapon types to be solely itemised for strength (i.e. for plate users) and others for agility (i.e. everyone else). This would not fit with the weapon related racial bonuses – but really, what’s the chance of finding a matching pair of strength-based one handed axes when the one handed drops are going to be split between several classes, specs, and races?

One thing is for sure, warriors are going to have enormous and impressive …. weapon collections.

Other tweaks to Fury will make it easier and more rewarding to apply sunders, and will generate rage on interrupts as well as regular hits. (This latter really should be inherent in Pummel and not require a talent, but I guess that if people feel they don’t need the rage then they can just skip it.) Whirlwind also becomes a true AE, with a note that it should no longer be part of the regular DPS rotation but without any specifics.

I don’t get a strong feel yet for how the Fury rotation is going to look in future. One staple (Whirlwind) is being de-emphasised, so maybe that gets replaced by cleave or heroic strike? Who knows. We’ll have to try it out.

3. So how popular will warriors be in Cataclysm?

Hatch reckons that the numbers will decrease because this preview doesn’t offer anything very exciting. I think that we haven’t seen previews for the other tanking classes yet to compare this with, and that a lot of Death Knight tanks will switch to Protection Warrior if they don’t fancy tanking in Blood spec.

I also think that some of these changes, together with the rage changes, will be exciting to some players. (I know people who have been moping about losing one handed fury builds since Wrath first dropped and all DPS warriors will be happy for easier sunders.) I also think that Warrior will be a popular Worgen class, and that Blood Elf Warriors will appeal to a lot of players.

So I think that warriors will continue to be the most popular class for raid tanks, and that numbers overall will stay about the same.


21 thoughts on “Warrior Change Analysis: Fury is the new black (actually it was also the old black)

  1. I thought pretty much like you. Heroic leap doesn’t that heroic. More like a charge+thunderclap.

    One handed weapons to fury? Can’t they make up their minds?

    No, compared to the Priest preview the warrior’s felt very “meh” and not at all impressive. Still thinking which class I should roll in Cataclysm so I’m keeping an open mind about them all.

  2. A lot of this isn’t particularly exciting, but there are a lot of quality of life issues being addressed. I guess if you like warriors now, you’ll still like them in six months time.

    Priests (and healers in general) are getting a lot of changes, so it’s more of a gamble.

  3. No Comment on Gushing Wounds?

    A bleed that reapplies itself every time you MOVE, has no cooldown, and costs ten rage (just in case you actually stood still for 9 seconds?)


    (and it’s known I have an 80 warrior, I just think this is pretty ridiculous, especially since you can’t dispel bleeds, and how many talents make good use of such a bleed)

    • I guess the reason I let it pass without comment is because it’s quite similar to abilities I’ve seen in WAR, so I know it could work quite well and not be a game breaker.

      Also, don’t rogues have an ability to remove all DoTs? Save it for this.

      Having said that, I don’t PvP much which is the main reason I don’t have much to say about PvP type abilities. This does look as though Arms is being reinforced as the PvP tree though, with the 10s fear on improved disarm as well (which seems way over the top to me.)

      • The rogue’s Cloak of Shadows will not remove any non-dispellable debuffs, including bleeds. Rupture, Rend, and Rip are all wonderful tools for countering rogue vanishes. Gushing Wound will be mildly absurd in PvP, though, as almost no one is willing to stand toe-to-toe with a warrior and just soak Mortal Strikes and Bladestorms.

        What you’ll need to watch in PvE is the fail warrior that begs you to kite trash and bosses around to keep his bleeds up. Hell, if it can be used in Defensive stance, it might become a useful threat ability: apply once, and move every six seconds or so to keep the target bleeding until it dies. That adds up to a whole lot of damage and threat for just one GCD and 10 rage.

        Disarming Nature was pretty cute, I thought. Warriors finally have an excuse for disarming casters. Given their lack of other CC (one fear on a 3minute cooldown, and charge stuns), and the debuff to Mortal Strike, adding in some compensation seems important. Without some new trick, Warriors will just be left behind for other melee that can DPS and bring utility.

  4. I think warrior numbers will remain static myself. Okay their demographic in top/mid end raiding guilds may change depending on how mechanics work out but thats always true…especially for DPS spec middle of the road raiders (Tanks tend to be more conservative ,small c for the Brits, espeically in top end guilds).

    Worgen warriors and rogues will be very popular and for the same reason I suspect warriors in General will be. A lot of people stick with their first character to get a mount and generally get on a roll. The traditional RPG classes simply have more asttraction because folk with no WoW background know what they should do..Warriors hit stuff, Priests heal stuff, Mages throw fireballs and Rogues steal and are stealthy. What does a Shamna do? Go ask Shatner I guess…

  5. I did not know you played Warhammer, it’s sad that they never made it running smoothly.

    At the moment I am a bit unsure. My Paladin has been a good comrade for years, but with those changes the tide turns in favor of my warrior.

    Heroic Leap does not convince me that much, although I am surprised that your recommended Anvil Effect didn’t made you excited. Or maybe I am reading it wrong:
    “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.”

    One handed Fury would re-awake my hidden love for it, although I found a lot of comfort in Arms in the recent years.
    The problems with Arms is that I miss it’s promised “iconic move”. Mortal Strike effect reduced and handed out to other classes, does not sound as iconic as they promised. So maybe they still have something in their mind.
    A 10 second fear is way out of line and does not feel suitable to me. It’s hard to explain, but maybe you know what I mean.

    At the moment Protection and One handed Fury got me, but my choice is affected by my girlfriends choice.
    But the Priest changes seem to be exactly what she hoped for, so I somehow see it coming back to the good old Healer/Tank Combination.

    • I used to co-write a Warhammer blog before I started this site up 🙂 I played it for a few months when it went live, and enjoyed it. The end game issues soured it for me, but mostly I just enjoyed Wrath more.

  6. It’s awful awful Spinks.

    What will fury warriors use to attack with now that WW is being nerfed by 50%? there is no answer to that in the preview, meaning they haven’t thought of it.

    One handed fury is either going to be better than 2h or it isn’t. Someone at EJ will do that maths. You won’t really have a choice, you will just have to go with whatever is better.

    They have said that they will make strength one handers for fury warriors and frost DKs. More special snowflake loot that no-one in the raid wants and will be disenchanted.

    It’s just a total mess. I posted a wall of text about just how disappointing it is in my blog.

    • I believe them silly blues have sort of addressed that fear by recognizing that Fury will now need a new ability in Whirlwind’s place.

      Given that this is moreso a preview of philosophy and intent, I don’t think we’ll see specifics about it until beta hits.

  7. “You won’t really have a choice, you will just have to go with whatever is better.”

    I think you’ll go with whichever weapons you have at the time that do the best damage. And as far as the strength weapons go, I suspect they may also end up as tanking weapons for warriors/ paladins which would kill two birds with one stone (ie. because tanking one handers are also special snowflake loot right now).

    I do agree that there’s nothing very exciting about warrior dps here. It wouldn’t be my pick, and that’s rather sad. DPS warriors still don’t bring much utility compared to any of the other melee dps.

    My views are just coloured by protection being very fun at the moment, and so I don’t mind that they don’t want to mess with it much other than to sort out some quality of life issues.

    Great post, btw, Everblue.

    • I currently can’t think of a situation that is much like this one. While it’s usually the case that you use what weapons provide the greatest benefit as a rule, I wonder if raids will still distribute loot in a way that makes swapping between the two styles viable.

      From my perspective, as a raiding guild designed around loot council (and a current councilor, As it were), I would rather support my raiders playing in the style they prefer and rewarding them for that choice. These players would not choose a spec that limits their DPS by a significant amount, but they will play what they like to play, as long as it’s competitive.

      In this case I would not award a new sexy Strength 1-hander to the TG Fury Warrior who sees it as an upgrade if he switches. I would give it to the DW Frost DK who has established that DW is his style, rewarding him for his chosen enjoyment, enriching his raid experience, and hopefully making him want to participate far more readily.

      If that sounds like one of those empowerment voodoo speeches, then just think of it as a way NOT to piss off those players who spend most of their time perfecting their style.

      • I think that sounds like a very sensible way to run a loot council. It’s just that in my raid the DKs and warriors alike tend to switch specs after a patch if one combination gets tweaked to become superior, so although people will get priority for their current spec, it’s sensible for them to want to build up an armoury just in case.

        And if no 2 handers drop for awhile but there’s a slew of strength 1 handers, then that’s what people will work around.

  8. If you haven’t seen it already, GC commented on the purpose of Heroic Leap. He compared the relationship of Heroic Leap and Thunder Clap (or Charge and TC if you want to get specific) as that between Whirlwind and Bladestorm. As it is now, nobody opts out of Bladestorm because ‘they can already Whirlwind perfectly fine’.

    He used the words ‘massive damage’, which, coming from an individual who represents himself as a giant crab, seems like a clever sort of gamer humour I wouldn’t have expected from Mr. Gin-in-coffee-mug.

    When it comes to Gushing Wounds, I think the PvE goal was to try and infuse a decision into Rend to make that choice more compelling. As it stands Rend is a weak tool used to enable the use of other tools, like Overpower for Arms. It isn’t used because the damage is attractive…it most certainly is not, though the addition of haste and crit scaling might make it a more significant portion of Warrior damage.

    On highly mobile fights, the Warrior would not risk losing time and resources when the bleed falls off…not to mention a disruption in rotation. While I’m not sure this happens often now, we can all agree that it certainly wouldn’t be fun if/when it did. With the new level 85 Shaman cooldown spell, Inner Will, Life Grip, and Mind Spike for Priests, and now GW, it seems to me that mobile fights are on Blizzard’s mind.

  9. Personally, I would love to see them ditch tanking 1 handers, but even if they don’t, 1 handed fury will still be an ideal for an offspec for tanks, since DPS weapons are still pretty awesome to tank with. This will be particularly true they finally put in an enchant to replace Mongoose that does essentially what Mongoose does only more. It’s not a bad enchant for tanking or DPS, its just been superseded by newer ones on the DPS side.

    • I certainly agree here on the tanks using 1 handed Strength weapons. In fact, I sort of championed that concept for a bit during Wrath beta. It would certainly remove the desire for Fury to use one-handers from the point of view of ‘we need more than Frost DKs to want these’. Many would love to see a return to furiously smashing things to bits with quick attacks, but if it ends up not being fun enough (due to balance issues), then I’m sure we can expect it to be cut.

  10. Good points about the population, Spinks. It definitely remains to be seen how the other tanking classes will look, and I agree that warrior will be a very popular Worgen class, while Blood Elves are always popular. I had been thinking about the warrior changes only in comparison to the already-released previews at that point (healing rain!). But looking at it with more context, and with the DK preview out, I think your analysis is more accurate than my initial analysis. I’ll have to try to take everything into account when I try to predict future population numbers. 🙂

  11. Wasn’t this heroic leap in during the early part of wrath? or was it early tbc? Can’t remember when, but I do remember using it one of the ptrs. In fact, the metamorphed demonology locks had a similar spell…it never seemed to work right because you’d always land too far from your opponent to melee them, which is why assume they added the stun factor this time.

    • You’re right, Heroic Leap was an ability originally implemented in the early Wrath beta. However, some pathing issues and the lack of requiring a target made it sort of troublesome. Eventually they decided to spend more time on other abilities and talents.

      It seems so far the theme for Cata is to bring back some of the abilities people actually thought would be fun from the early Wrath beta and try them out properly.

  12. Pingback: Cataclysm: Warrior Preview « AGENCY NEWS

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