So Patch 3.2 is out.
What does this mean for warriors?
Well, there will be a very slight upturn in DPS with the change of the Armored to the Teeth talent, and tanking warriors will see some changes to how Dodge and Parry work, as well as changes to items that have Block Value. In general, warrior tanks should see minimal changes (perhaps a slight increase in their overall damage dealt with the buff to Devastate, although the changes to how Shield Slam works might end up capping that ability's damage and threat down the line) and DPS warriors will probably barely notice.
Briefly let's cover the changes to Dodge and Parry - while they're not warrior specific, warrior tanks should still be aware of them. Basically, both the amount of Agility (which will have a negligible effect on warriors) and the amount of Dodge Rating (which will have more of an effect) necessary per point of Dodge has increased by 15%, while the amount of Parry Rating per point of Parry has increased by 8%. What this means is, your current dodge rating will drop in 3.2, your parry rating will go up to match it, although not massively so. It's a slight rebalance meant to make Block more appealing overall. (Thanks to the folks who caught that I flipped the parry change over. I blame Mondays, even though it's Tuesday.)
New Talent Builds
Quite honestly, I can't imagine there will be a lot of changes to warrior talent builds in patch 3.2. There simply weren't that many changes to warrior talents and those that were changed were ones that were being taken anyway for the most part. Only four talents and three abilities saw any change in the patch. Armored to the Teeth now grants 1, 2 or 3 attack power for every 108 AP, but it's unlikely that anyone who wanted the talent wasn't already taking it at the old value of 180 armor per AP. Bloodsurge will now notify the player in floating combat text when a slam is instant, but again, if you weren't taking Bloodsurge before it's because you weren't fury specced, this change won't get anyone to take it.
Similarly, while Devastate has been buffed and Shield Specialization is better now (granting up to five rage on a dodge, block or parry rather than 2 rage on a block) if you aren't heavily invested in the protection tree you're not going to take them, and if you are, you probably already have them. Shield Specialization is the only talent change that might get people to change their specs around to get it, but even then it's fairly low on the prot tree, meaning that overall builds are fairly likely to keep the same basic look and merely shift a few points around at best.
Bloodrage gets buffed to give 20 rage immediately (up from 10) and another 10 rage over 10 seconds. The health costs didn't change and many warriors have this glyphed, so with the talent Improved Bloodrage and the glyph we're looking at 30 rage initially and 15 rage over 10 seconds. That's a nice change all told.
Execute is changed to take at most 30 rage, folding the current Sudden Death change into the baseline talent and removing those changes from Sudden Death itself. This will most likely work out to be a slight DPS increase since it will keep warriors from bleeding out all of their rage when they hit execute range, although the days of massive execute crits are over.
As part of the change to block value on items (block value items having double the value they currently do in patch 3.2) Shield Slam has been changed as well. The benefit from additional block value this ability gains is now subject to diminishing returns. Diminishing returns occur once block value exceeds 30 times the player's level and caps the maximum damage benefit from shield block value at 34.5 times the player's level. This is basically to prevent warriors trying to assemble rigged block value sets to push their shield slams up into ridiculous amounts. Time will tell if it hurts or helps warrior tanking threat.
Let's just look directly at the bug fixes for this patch.
- Berserker Rage: Tooltip clarified to indicate this ability breaks existing Fear, Sap, and Incapacitate effects.
- Bladestorm: Now properly removes the Snare effect of Desecration in all cases.
- Blood Craze: Now properly triggered by periodic critical strikes.
- Execute: Focused Rage and the Dreadnaught Battlegear set bonus will now properly reduce the cost of Execute.
- Slam: The combat log tooltip will no longer list which rank of Slam was used. Previously it incorrectly listed rank 8 for all ranks of Slam.
- Vigilance: This talent and Blessing of Sanctuary will now both be able to be cast on the same target without sometimes overwriting each other.
The change on Execute, Focused Rage and the Dreadnaught gear is a good fix. It's a shame that Dreadnaught will be two tiers behind when it finally gets fixed, but it's better than nothing. The Slam change is minor at best, but the change to Vigilance is the best change in the entirety of the bug fixes. There was no reason for Vigilance to overwrite BoS.
What else have you got?
We'll be seeing a new five man and a new 10/25 man raid with heroic modes for each raid size. As you can expect, this means gear for everyone from the new 80 to the jaded raider who's just killed his way through Algalon naked using a spork. (Okay, so it was an iLevel 232 Spork of Absolute Power.) In addition to this, the entire emblem system is seeing an overhaul with all current content that drops emblems of heroism or valor switching to emblems of conquest, while emblems of triumph will be available via daily heroic quests and the new raids. In addition to all of this, we're also likely to want to save up our badges from our current heroics to pick up as many epic gems as possible once those go live in 3.2.
While warriors themselves won't really see a lot of direct changes in patch 3.2, there's certainly going to be a lot to do to get geared and properly outfitted once the new content drops.
| WoW's Patch 3.2 ushers in the Crusaders' Coliseum, the Isle of Conquest, flying mounts at 60, and much more. WoW.com has all the patch information your Worgen obsessed mind can handle in WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2!