Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Can Brown Do For You?

The State of the Warrior in 5.0

Big things are coming. There really is no other way to put it. Mists of Pandaria has announced some big things ahead for Warriors - while this is truly big this for all the classes, lets focus of the Warriors for now.

 The biggest change that Blizzard has announced for our beloved class is a complete retooling of the talent trees. Gone will be the days of cookie-cutting specs (for the most part) and more emphasis will be placed on the feel of abilities, and how well certain “flavor” abilities will enhance the Warriors abilities to dominate on the battlefield.

I guess the largest change is that we now get 6 talent points—one at 15, at 30, 45, 60, 75 and the final at 90. That is it. Not every other level like it is now, not every level like we had before. Six whole talents points. Spend them wisely. The other change to this is that there is one unified talent tree for all 3 specs—there will be an Arms tree, a Fury tree and a Protection tree with spec-specific abilities, but as far as the customizable talent trees there will only be 1 tree that you actually spend points in.

The advantage to having only six talent points is that a lot of the filler talents that bolster an ability or two are gone. It is unclear if these functions are going to be rolled into the actual abilities in the different trees, or if they simply go away. It is still too early to tell. One thing we can report on is the different abilities from the talent tree.

Tier 1 - Level 15

Level 15 is all about the charge. In Juggernaut we can charge every 12 seconds instead of every 20; this is very useful for Warriors who charge around the battlefield from mob to mob (or player to player) stunning and wailing away and watching dead bodies pile around them. Double Time grants us the opportunity to charge twice before the ability goes on cooldown. Again, this makes it useful to charge around and take the fight to the enemy. The 20 sec cooldown on Double Time is nice because it shares the cooldown with your second charge, keeping you ready to be the most mobile killing machine on the battlefield. Warbringer has the unique side effect of applying roots to the target once you smash them in the face. To me, this seems kinda pointless, as charge stuns the opponent and you don’t need to roots a stunned opponent. But its whatever.

Tier 2 - Level 30

Level 30 is all about the survivability cooldowns. Enraged Generation works much like it does now, giving back life over time. The only thing I don’t like about ER (I don’t like it about it now) is that you need to be enraged to use it, and as a Prot warrior, it seems that I am never enraged when I want to use this. Second Wind seems like a very nice talent, as it is the only passive life regeneration tool that Warriors have—even if it is only 3% over 5 sec, or 5% over 10 sec when stunned. Impending Victory removes the life restriction on the useage of Victory Rush—but adds a 20 rage cost to it. It seems like a good talent, unless you find yourself rage starved and needing a life boost, in which case this talent wont help you at all.

Tier 3 - Level 45

Level 45 is all about crowd control. Throwdown comes to us as an old Arms talent that knocks an opponent to the floor and stuns him—a good place for him to get used to because he will be dead soon anyway. Piercing Howl is an AoE daze, with a radius of 10 yards—perfect for keeping those adds close at hands. Cripple slows down anyone you hit OR anyone your Rend ticks on by 50% for 15 secs—a great combination id Blood and Thunder survives the changeover.

Tier 4 - Level 60

Level 60 is all about shutting the other person up, be it one other person, or everyone all around you. Gag Order adds a 3 second silence to Pummel and Heroic Throw—a great addition to pull casters away from groups to prevent breaking CC by accident. Rude Interruption adds a good damage buff (5% extra) after a successful Pummel for 30 secs. And the new Disrupting Shout is a good AoE silence that seems like it would be most beneficial in PvP enviornments, but in groups of casters it has PvE merits as well.

Tier 5 - Level 75

Level 75 concentrates on making you a bad-ass-pissed-off warrior. Deadly Calm hones you into the warrior that can use your Heroic Strikes and Cleaves with no rage cost—and for someone that loves to HS, this is an awesome ability. Death Wish will enrage you, and allow you to generate more rage from the damage you take (with a 5% increase in the amount of damage you take. Bull Rush has you charge at someone get “in-their-face” pissed off, enraging you for 6 secs. These abilities have the benefit of enraging you, which helps out for some of the warrior abilities that require you to be enraged. As I said above, one drawback to some abilities, most notably Enraged Regeneration, is that you need to be enraged to use it. These abilities give you that guaranteed enraged option.

Tier 6 - Level 90

Level 90, as one would expect, is full of our most powerful abilities. Bladestorm and Shockwave function the same as they do now, so there is little point in saying how awesome they are. Avatar will turn you into a DPS machine—increasing your damage output by 10% and generating extra rage from your attacks.

Overall, I like what is happening with the Warrior Talent Tree. It pulls some of the bet parts of the current Warrior trees, and pulls them so they are available to any warrior in any spec. Looking back at them, I see a lot of flavor, but nothing that’ll make-or-break a fight, so choices will depend a lot on play style, and what feels right to you.

Now, Blizzard, Release the spec ability trees so we can salivate over them. Do it. Now.

No comments: