First up, and usually the most exciting part of any expansion, is new abilities. Warriors often get some fairly straightforward changes when it comes to this part of the preview. In TBC, while everyone was getting elementals and new attacks, we got erm… Endless Rage… which nobody even specced for. Yay! But WoTLK gave us Bladestorm, which was both exciting and obviously has become a key part of the Warrior class in PvP.
But so far Cataclysm looks to be going back to the TBC style functionality improvements. Inner Rage, while seemingly useful, is pretty straightforward. Still, it seems a bit weird to complain about doing 15% with almost no down side, so I won’t. If we’re going to be regularly getting up to max rage in Cata, which seems plausible, this is going to make warriors hit like a truck.
Gushing Wound has been one of the most talked-about additions for warriors so far. I’ve already seen it called “fuck rogues” but realistically, who stands still for nine seconds to let it drop off? Pretty much nobody. Assuming it stacks with Rend/DW, this is really pushing warriors in an unholy DK direction with three potential DoTs. Again, not very flashy, but it seems pretty damn good in its current state.
Heroic Leap is apparently making a comeback in this beta, after being canned in the WoTLK event. I didn’t play in that but I haven’t heard much good about it and it seems pretty underwhelming right now. Our reward for getting to 85 is yet another charge? With thunderclap? Really? Even if this costs zero rage, it still seems pretty weak. I can see how using it as a rogue peel might be useful, but thunderclapping a mage who just blinked? No thanks.
I suppose it’s quite fitting for warriors that our flashiest spell is probably going to be the most useless. That’s assuming it even makes it into the game in the first place. I’ve seen various people mention some Y axis shenanigans, which might help, but couldn’t Blizzard just add to Charge and/or Intercept anyway? I want to like this spell, and it does sound fun, but it also seems worthless.
Arguably, though, the biggest change for warrior PvP is nothing to do with new spells. The ability that has defined warriors since the dawn of WoW is getting nerfed after all these years. Not content with giving Mortal Strike effects to half the class already, Blizzard has now decided to nerf the so-called “premier” MS to be in-line with mage/shadow priest. After all the talk in the past of trying to avoid class homogenisation, I’m still trying to figure out the logic behind this decision. All that stuff about healing being reduced naturally and health pools being larger doesn’t really make me feel any better.
It’s like my warrior is going to have his manhood removed and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Considering the bleed-heavy direction Blizzard seems to be taking, it feels like the class will just be a less shadowy version of the deathknight with nothing to make them stand out. Will warriors be getting something new to compensate or is Unrelenting Assault supposed to be what makes our MS “The MS?” I guess time will tell.
On the positive side, our new Masteries seem pretty handy. Granted, they were fairly predictable but the melee swing/weapon spec change was a pleasant surprise for me. Removing the weapon specs feels like another big move towards homogenisation but at the same time, we will get mace spec’s ArP from another mastery and, well… you can always gem for crit if you liked axes so much.
Still, after so much self-contradiction from Blizzard over the years regarding RNG, giving us all sword spec sends a confusing message. “We want to reduce RNG in PvP” versus “boom, all arms warriors can proc an extra attack,” doesn’t quite sit right. Still, with it only doing 50% damage it shouldn’t be as game breaking as mace stun was.
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