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The return of incoming warrior changes

Matthew Rossi

Once again Ghostcrawler strikes with the fury of her scuttling avatar, depositing a myriad of changes for warriors.

What, may you ask, are these changes? Well, while I'll replicate the entirety of her post after the jump for those of us who have trouble accessing the forums for whatever reason, here's a big change to tide you over.

Remember Thunder Clap? Sure, we all do. It has no target limit anymore. Wrap your heads around this, the single most requested change to warrior tanking since paladins began consecrate spamming their way through dungeons. Combined with a threat increase and our new Damage Shield talent, warriors will finally be viable AoE tanks.

For the entirely of Ghost's post, we adjourn to after the jump. Leap with me!

Okay, after we look at Ghostcrawler's words I'll discuss the changes in more depth.

NOTE: These changes were in the works before the recent round of dps discussions. I hope to have some Arms and Fury changes to report soon.

Armored to the Teeth -- Changed to AP, but amount reduced to 1 per 360 armor (to compensate for the loss of Blessings of Kings etc.). We implemented this talent for dps warriors and didn't want it to feel like the ultimate Shield Block Value talent. It's still good for Protection, just not as good. Death Knights will get the same treatment.

EDIT: I meant 2 AP : 360 per talent point. My point was that we understand 1 Str > 2 AP for warriors.

Thunder Clap -- Increase in threat generation. No target limit. Swipe gets the same treatment. With these changes, all 4 tank classes should be able to generate very respectable AE threat. Consecration is still a little higher in threat to account for Thunder Clap's debuff.

Revenge -- Added to Sword and Board as a chance to proc Shield Slam. Increased its damage significantly. We want Revenge to be the button you push first.

Shield Slam -- Increased its flat damage to compensate for the Devastate nerf a few weeks ago. The Revenge change will help dps too, though only when you're tanking. We didn't want to increase the scaling portion of Shield Slam for fear that warrior threat becomes too high at ultimate gear levels, but we might still change it if they fall behind. We're not saying (for now) that Prot must do dps with a shield instead of dual-wielding Devastates, but this should make it more viable.

We're doing some more mitigation and survivability tests now. Our suspicion is that warriors are fine in this department and paladins might fall behind in the area of Shield Block Value at very high gear levels. But we'll see.

Well, first off: while I didn't mind Armored To The Teeth being the ultimate shield block value talent, it's still good for DPS warriors (needs to be better in my opinion) and since TC and Shield Slam still scale with AP, it's also still good for them. Damage Shield would also have gotten a lot of mileage out of Armored to the Teeth in the Armor to Strength form and that was probably a concern. (This was in fact absolutely going to be my threat generation strategy, using AttT to boost my block value ridiculously to make my Shield Slam and Damage Shield hit like angry trucks, but I'll live without it.) Lower that armor value to 300 or maybe even 200 and this will be an amazing talent, although it still doesn't fix inferior plate itemization compared to leather.

I want to have Thunder Clap's babies. Armored to the Teeth still synergizes here, too.,

Revenge added to Sword and Board won't make us use it more because we really don't have a choice: we don't control when Revenge is up anymore. We used to be able to count on it because we could force a block with Shield Block, but that's been changed to a 40 second talented cooldown, so now nothing they do is going to make us use Revenge more: we'll use it when we can and that's at the mercy of the random number generator. Still, anything that gets me more shield slams has my vote.

It's pretty clear that jacking up Shield Slam's damage to compensate for Devastate being reduced is a means to keep devastate spam out of the DPS warrior strategy. While it's a shame that DPS warriors are as yet still in a state where a heavy prot build with devastate is the superior DPS move (and I'm seriously hoping for those arms and fury changes soon) - I'm interested in seeing just how much DPS a shield using prot warrior can put out. It's a strategy I often use for grinding now, so color me excited.

Make no mistake, the change to Thunder Clap alone is a monstrously huge deal. I cannot wait for Patch 3.0.2 to get here.

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