While it's difficult to speculate too much about what form protection will take until we have those two fairly crucial pieces of the puzzle, we can at least look at the warrior talents
from the show and begin making some educated guesses. The real genius of the new talent system is it will allow you to customize your talents on the fly based on what you expect to be doing. If you're going to be off tanking weak adds, the revamped form of Second Wind that combines the current talents Second Wind and Blood Craze might be ideal, whereas if you know you're going to boss tank and will be wanting an extra cooldown, Enraged Regeneration might pull ahead. Will you want
to charge more often, have total control over if you need another charge right away, or root things you charge? Do you want
a ranged silence for ease of pulling casters or to charge into a pack and silence everything?
I envision tanks using the respec on the fly system very often depending on their role in their raid, what size raid they're in, and the needs of their particular raid or guild. If you're one of only two tanks in a 10-man guild, you're less likely to switch specialization outright but fairly likely to change your talents to perform a specific task. This has the potential to make warriors, possibly the tank class with the greatest flexibility in their current toolkit, even more versatile.
Arms and the Pandaren
What about arms? We know that Slam will be a core arms ability in MoP
, at least as of the current statements this BlizzCon. I find myself wondering if Deep Wounds, Overpower and perhaps even Colossus Smash will be purely arms abilities. With Sunder Armor going away, increased bleed damage debuffs
also likely gone, and Deep Wounds likely either gone or going arms-only, arms will be potentially a lot better off than most people seem to think it will be.
(I strenuously insist on stressing that if) arms retains exclusive core abilities like Colossus Smash and Deep Wounds, then arms will have most if not all of the abilities that bypass or ignore armor as well as the best DOT warriors have. This will emphasize arms as the warrior Q&A from 2009
did, as a soldierly, disciplined specialization that makes use of precise strikes to weaken an enemy while finding the exact right way to lash out to bypass their armor.
Arms PVE will be able to really select talents that make it feel different than arms PVP. Heck, it may even be the case that no two arms PVPers will have exactly the same talent kit. While there will always be those that look for the exact
talent build for whatever they're doing, this talent tier alone
has me imagining countless hours of debate. I can imagine an arms warrior taking Shockwave for a variety of PVP or PVE reasons. Heavy add fights, for example, especially ones where a 20-second cooldown with a 4-second stun would help keep the damage on the tanks lower. Or imagine an arms warrior taking Avatar and sacrificing Bladestorm's AOE for an honest-to-Mogu DPS cooldown for boss fights (although arms will also be able to pick up Death Wish
if they desire).
The combination of being the most likely holder of the Colossus Smash/Deep Wounds combination and the ability to customize talents like this should help keep arms competitive in PVP and PVE alike. At least, it seems that way to me.
A furious attack
Fury is the proposed specialization we know the most about. In addition to the abilities listed at the opening of this post, we know that Bloodsurge will need to change, with Slam being arms only. Intercept most likely is gone with it, no longer being necessary since not only can warriors charge in all stances in combat but there being an entire tier of charge modifying talents. This makes charge, like Battle and Commanding Shout, another rage-generating attack
like we speculated on last week.
There are a lot of interesting choices for fury in this talent scheme. As rudimentary and preliminary as it is (remember, MoP
won't be out for months at the very least), what the new focus on core abilities vs. interesting talent choices does for fury is makes it a series of decisions based on what you want to do
instead of, say, what the best weapons you currently have access to are. Both Tom Chilton and the occupied Dr. Street
made excellent points about talents you simply had
to take as fury, like Flurry or Raging Blow. A fury warrior without either of those talents is simply a bad fury warrior at the moment.
But imagine the choice between Throwdown, Piercing Howl or Cripple
. This one really had me thinking hard: I'd love to have Throwdown on a fury warrior, but losing PH? And meanwhile, Cripple makes hamstring entirely automatic. If I can get a Rend on a guy, the ticks will refresh hamstring constantly
. I'd probably prefer Cripple for PVP, but man, I'd also prefer Throwdown for PVP and I can't get them both, and while PH is good for both PVP and PVE, it's a 6-second daze versus a 15-second snare or a 5-second stun. Having Throwdown would have made a lot of my Rag kills a lot, lot easier. Likewise, the choice between Bladestorm, Shockwave and Avatar has me really torn between Bladestorm (more AOE) and Avatar (a 1-minute DPS cooldown with snare immunity), especially since Avatar doesn't limit me to spinning and shouting.
These are actual choices
here. I expect there will be improvement and iteration to come. The point really is that at long, long last, warriors will be defined by what they decide to be good at, rather than a string of decisions like "Do I take Flurry, or do I take Flurry?" That in of itself has me excited for the future.
At the center of the fury of battle stand the warriors: protection, arms and fury. Check out more strategies and tips especially for warriors, including Cataclysm 101 for DPS warriors, a guide to new reputation gear for warriors, and a look back at six years of warrior trends.