Wednesday, February 9, 2011

4.0.6 Warrior Changes aka How we avoided the NERF BAT

Patch 4.0.6 saw some changes to the quintessential plate melee class of World of Warcraft. Just like the Paladins, the Protection Warriors have been all but left alone, while Arms and Fury saw some sweeping changes across the board. Let's get down to the changes…..

General Warrior Changes
Charge - now shares diminishing returns with stun effects. I'll post more on this later. It's a wash - In the heat of battle (in terms of raiding), there is not a whole lot of charging or stunning going on, so this effect,in my opinion is negligible

Cleave - damage has been reduced by 20%, now causing 2437 damage to target and nearby ally.

Hamstring - now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.

Heroic Strike - damage has been reduced by 20%, now causing 3250 physical damage to target.

Inner Rage - this ability has been redesigned. It now reduces the cooldown on Heroic Strike and Cleave by 50% (to 1.5 second) for the next 15 seconds. This is an ability that I have never used, though I have had it on my action bar since I learned it at 83. Now that it has no rage cost and a relatively short cooldown (30 sec), whenever I find myself AoE tanking and wanting to use my Cleave, I will be using this more often.

Recklessness - now increases special critical strike chance by 50%, down from 100%, but lasts the full 12 seconds instead of allowing only 3 charges.

Slam - weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased from 125% to 145%. (BUFF)
So, at the end of the generic changes, we are at BUFFS-3, Nerfs—2 with 2 undecided. Lets move on to our talent tree specific changes.

Drums of War - no longer lowers the rage cost of Piercing Howl. This is a nerf. Anytime something costs more of our precious rage, it’s a nerf.

Juggernaut - no longer increases the cooldown on Charge, but instead increases the duration of the Charge stun by 2 seconds. In addition, Charge is usable in all stances, however, the talent now causes Charge and Intercept to share a cooldown. This is another change that I consider to be a wash. It seems like for each positive effect Blizzard gave to this talent, they added a downside to counterbalance it.

Lambs to the Slaughter - The patch note Blizzard released for this was hella confusing, so here is what it says in game: Your Mortal Strike causes the Slaughter Effect, which increases the damage of Execute, Overpower, Slam and Mortal Strike by 10/20/30%. Lasts 15 seconds.

Mortal Strike - cost has been reduced by 5 rage.

War Academy - no longer buffs Heroic Strike or Cleave. It now buffs Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, Devastate, Victory Rush and Slam. This seems like a buff to me. Replacing a  buff to 2 abilities with 5 abilities…sounds like a win to me.

All in all, looks like Arms got a nice little BUFF. Can the same be said for the other DPS Spec??

In addition to its current effects, Bloodsurge now also causes the next Slam to deal 20% more damage.

Bloodthirst - damage has been increased by approximately 30%.

Raging Blow - weapon damage percent (at level 80+) has been increased from 110% to 120%.

Single-Minded Fury bonus has been increased to 20%, up from 15%.

Unshackled Fury (Mastery) now grants 5.6% benefit per mastery point, up from 4.7%.

All-in-all, a resounding BUFF to Fury Warriors. Every change to this spec either reduced rage costs, or increased damage. THANK YOU BLIZZARD <3

Charge - the stun continues to not trigger diminishing returns for Protection warriors who have the Warbringer talent. Like I said, there really was no change to Protection Warriors. Every Prot Warrior I have encountered has a point in Warbringer, so really we encounter no changes to our spec.

Moving on from changes to Warrior abilities, lets discuss the support changes to the class, as well as the general housekeeping changes Blizzard made to let our beloved class function more consistently.

Glyph of Rapid Charge had its text changed, replacing the percentage off the cool down with an actual time, enabling those who don’t want to do WoW math in their heads to better understand the glyph.

Warrior Bug Fixes
Warrior abilities which were incorrectly assigned the sound effect for Mangle have been updated. Very beneficial if you were tired of having you Warrior sound like your Druid.

Battle Shout - the buff tooltip should not show incorrect values when the recipient is higher level than the warrior.

Heroic Leap and Thunder Clap  - no longer incorrectly scale damage with both Strength and Agility.

Forceful Deflection - passive aura is now properly applying to warriors beginning at level 1.

The Victorious buff can no longer proc before the warrior learns Victory Rush.

The wording in the tooltip for Vigilance was inconsistent with other abilities and has been updated. The tooltip now reads “Focus your protective gaze on party or raid member. Each time they are hit by an attack, your Taunt cooldown is refreshed and you gain Vengeance as if 20% of the damage was done to you. Lasts 30 min. This effect can only affect 1 target at a time.”

All in all, I would say the Warriors got themselves a nice little buff, and fared better then many other classes out there that were hit pretty hard this week by the NERF BAT.

Have fun with the patch, and enjoy =)

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