The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Yikes, don't do that!

Matthew Rossi
M. Rossi|03.21.08

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Matthew Rossi
March 21st, 2008
In this article: Hype, Misconceptions, New, Warrior
The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Yikes, don't do that!
The Care and Feeding of Warriors grinds ever onward. This week, Matthew Rossi has picked out one of his 70 warriors who hasn't been getting as much love and has dedicated him to PvP, trying to gear him up for Arena. At the moment, he has a nice mace and not much else. In the process, he's also had to farm up some money for enchants and armor kits, leading to witnessing some interesting behavior. Interesting like the times can get, if you know what we mean.

I try and keep my various characters separate financially when they're on the same server, because the temptation to rob all of your alts to pay for your main can be overwhelming at times. I mean, I've done it. Only two of my 70's have their flying mounts because every time it looks like one of the others might make the cash, I get a hankering for a flask or what have you and I raid them. Sad for poor Sarnie pictured over there, in his mix of crafted blues and whatever greens dropped/were quest rewards. In a quest to find some use for him I've decided to take him into the Arena, which has led to increased BG's for the guy. I had enough honor for a couple of pieces of armor for him, but my impulse buying soul grabbed the mace instead.

In addition to it making PvP possible (mace stun means that even my crappy 9k health behind can contribute, if I eat some stam food and use commanding shout to get him above 10k health) the mace has made farming cobra scales and signets/marks easier in Shadowmoon. I like farming there because not many people seem to on my server of choice for Alliance, good ol' Norgannon, or maybe I'm just an insomniac.

The other night, after a fun smackdown of Leotheras, I switched over to do my usual farming/BG of choice unwind. My current build is a basic MS PVP build, which works fine for farming due to the stuns but isn't really a dedicated DPS build, so I tend to pick my fights fairly carefully so that I don't have to worry too much about adds chaining. That's when I saw another 70 warrior, this one on a flyer, land in the same general area where I was farming. Well, I figured, she might be doing Tablets of Baa'ri or something, no big deal. I watched as she landed her flyer directly in front of a group of six mobs and charged right into the middle of them.

I may have actually snorted some soda up my nose in dismay, I'm not actually sure. I know that, from my vantage point within a Shadowmeld in the corner, I began to whimper when, after her wisp got back, she resed up, didn't stop to eat or bandage, but charged right into the group again. This time a handler and his elekk had wandered over as well, so it was even messier. I figured she might be a bot, although I didn't know many folks chose warriors as bots, but I tried a whisper anyway.

Hey, what are you doing?
Yeah, I mean, why do you keep charging into that pack?

What unfolded next struck me enough that I figured I'd write about it here: he (names omitted to protect people from forum abuse) had rerolled warrior due in part to things like PvP videos and constant forum posts detailing how crazily overpowered they were. He hadn't run any instances since he wasn't going to tank anyway, and just wanted to PvP with her. He had a 60 warlock and 70 hunter, so he wasn't new to the game, but while he hadn't really had that much difficulty with the class he couldn't understand why he kept dying when he charged into groups instead of unleashing massive whirlwinds and critting everything to death while their attacks bounced off of his plate armor.

I asked him what his crit rate was, and it was a respectable 24% in zerk stance, not great but not awful in starter blues. I then asked him if with a 24% crit rate he really thought he was going to be able to crit down an entire pack of six mobs. (I held off from asking why he didn't just farm on his hunter instead.)

The problem he was having.... that a lot of warriors just hitting 70 have, in fact... is that he believed the hype. He believed the PvP videos, and the forum posts, and all his buddies telling him that at 70 warriors are unstoppable combat gods that lay waste to all that stand in their path.

Now, am I saying that warriors can't pump out massive DPS, or crush faces in PvP? Nope. Warriors can do those things, with the proper gear, spec, and support. But if you've just dinged 70 and thrown on that Ragesteel set, you cannot do these things. Especially when you're alone in a deserted zone with no one around but another warrior who is sensibly killing one mob at a time. Okay, maybe two when I get agged, but still. Warriors without support... without at least a healing buddy... have to play it careful. They can farm indefinitely with just some bandages and food, yes. Let's not pretend that warriors can't grind. Just realize that you can't ram yourself into a knot of mobs and come out of it in one piece. Some of them will probably die, sure, but the goal here is that all of the guys you want to loot end up dead and that you don't.

I've witnessed mad charges into packs of Horde/Alliance. Now, mad charges in PvP are fine. Go ahead, make them. But don't complain when you die, because dying is exactly what you've just set yourself up to do. Even in Season 3 gear, a charge into a pack of six alliance can feel great and can even throw them around if you get an Intimidating Shout off, pop a Whirlwind, get an MS or two off. But if in doing so you got too far ahead of your healers, or if your healer got jumped by a rogue while you were hurtling into the enemy ranks, then you're going to die. This is the part they leave out of the PvP videos most of the time, so try not to explode in /bg with profanities when it happens. Especially when you have 25 resilience. Warriors dying in BG's is literally the toll you have to pay to get better gear for later BG's and Arenas, so please, when you make that mad dash to break them up, accept your fate. If you live, all the better, but don't freak out when you don't.

This is hardly unique to DPS and PvP. We all remember our first time as a tank, right? The first time you get into that job, please try and fight overconfidence. Yes, warriors are an excellent choice for a tank, but there are things you will not be able to do right away. For starters, please, please, please don't tank in all DPS gear. I know you saw that one warrior tank Shadow Labs with a 2h weapon. Heck, I've seen that. I was the healer on that one. Let me tell you, he significantly outgeared the instance. Complete season 2 PvP epics and a Stormherald is not the same thing as your greens, and even with all that gear, I'll tell you for free that healing him was a pain and he still lost aggro a few times. There are things that are possible when the gear level of the group is highly inflated for the content that is simply not possible when it is not. I know this seems ridiculously obvious, but I've been in groups on my healers and on my warriors where people, even fairly skilled and talented players when playing some other class, forget this salient fact and charge directly into a pack of mobs and try and tank them with their Lionheart Blade and Thunder Clap spam and get angry when they die.

Please understand this. We were dead the moment you did that. There were five mobs in that pull. Two were casters. You have almost no avoidance or mitigation on that gear, less than 10k health, and TC only hits four targets. You were guaranteed to lose aggro on one of them even if we had somehow managed to keep you alive. No amount of cussing, shouting, screaming, or otherwise throwing a temper tantrum is going to make what you did any more reasonable.

Of course, everyone reading this is a reasonable sort and has never done anything like this. And I myself am totally blameless and saintly and have never done any of it either. (Okay, so I have. I've done every dumb thing imaginable on a warrior. I've tanked six mobs in pure DPS gear, including leather shoulders. Just because I've done something stupid doesn't mean I don't know it was stupid, it was sort of an emergency.) Some people will just continue to do these kinds of things, yes, but some folks just don't know any better: they're new to the class and aren't really aware of their misconceptions. Just like I honestly thought Warlocks were a lot more OP than they are (they can be nasty, but I used to be afraid to fight them and now I understand that they don't all have 41/41/41 builds, just that one guy I was fighting last night) and playing one helped disabuse me of some notions, these warriors can settle down into excellent players of the class. So if you see a guy about to tank your Old Hillsbrad PuG with a lot of whale greens and a spell damage weapon and he's a gnome or orc, try and see if you can gently inquire as to what he's up to. Explain that thunder clap doesn't really benefit from spell damage to the point where you should sacrifice defense for it.

He may not listen, but that's what hearthstones are for.

Next week we talk about why I should have gotten the armor pieces first, or maybe something else.
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