Shield Bash, a key component of a Warrior's toolkit, will now officially Daze the target upon a successful hit. Let's talk about Daze for a minute and what exactly it does.
Daze causes the target to travel at 50% speed and dismounts the target if mounted. Many players experience Daze first hand when they're trying to run away from a mob since all mobs have a significant chance to daze a player when attacking the player from behind. However that is not to say that the warrior must be behind the mob for this to work (the opposite is true, in fact).
Prior to 3.0.3 Warriors could put up a Piercing Howl to Daze targets in AoE range. Now they have an official, much more directed single target attack. One that also interrupts and prevents spell casting in the given school (if it's used during a spell cast).
PvPers will love this for its obvious use during PvP, and PvE folks will enjoy the added effect it'll give on mobs. Particularly while soloing, the ability to use a Daze effect easily will be a boon to the Protection Warrior (which is now, by the way, a great option for Wrath).
In patch 3.0.2 Bladestorm was introduced as the 51 point arms talent with a 90 second cooldown. The attack does one Whirlwind a second for six seconds, and forces you to stand still during the time that you're dealing damage. In 3.0.3 there is an added effect of breaking all snares (the above mentioned Daze is a snare) and roots (such as the Druid's Entangling Roots).
Just as with the Shield Bash changes this will have a nice effect for those that are PvPing with this skill in their talent tree. Getting another way to remove a root effect is a great thing, and there is no indication as of yet that it shares a global cooldown with other such skills, like Berserker Rage. And with that said, I would be surprised if it did.
The PvE end to this buff is also significant in that you'll be able to initiate a Bladestorm to get out of the majority of all those annoying mob roots you'll find in Wrath. Remember the naga in Zangermarsh? Those things rooted you every chance they got, often times bringing a slew of mobs on you. With the ability to break that root easily and do some serious damage to the surrounding mobs – this can be a game changer in certain situations.
Any Fury Warrior build, which will inevitably include Titan's Grip now, will also include Bloodthirst. This talent provides us with an Attack Power based attack, while restoring 3% health over the next five melee attacks.
In 3.0.2 Bloodthirst dealt damage based on 45% of the Attack Power. For instance, my Warrior in DPS gear and fully raid buffed has around 3500 AP right now, which means Bloodthirst hits for a pre-mitigation amount of 1,575. In 3.0.3, the AP contribution is being raised 5% to 50%. That same attack will now do 1,750 damage. An increase of 175 damage pre-mitigation.
That's some nice extra DPS. If you combine that with some nice procs and switch around some gear, you could be looking at Bloodthirst hits that are going for as much as 2,050 to 2,100.
Edit: I forgot to mention, Bloodthirst is now down to a 5 second cooldown instead of 6 seconds, providing even a bit more DPS and a nicer fit into attack rotations.
Rend is a bleed effect that causes the mob or player to take a certain amount of damage over 15 seconds. Rend is one of those interesting skills that depending on what Warrior you talk to, they may or may not even have it on their toolbar. I've gone back and forth on using the ability myself in PvE (non Blood Frenzy spec), and overall my experience is that in certain situations the attack has its uses.
Patch 3.0.3 will do a few things to it.
First, the first tier Improved Rend talent will now increase bleed damage by 10% and 20%, down from 25% and 50%.
Second, the formula for determining total damage produced by Rend has been changed. The formula for rend is now:
If you're scratching your head and asking yourself, "Just what the hell does that equation change mean?" It basically means that Rend places a greater importance on the weapon damage of your main hand then on your attack power. This is good if you have a great weapon, and not so good if you have a bad weapon. If you have a slow weapon with a lot of base damage, you're going to be happy because rend becomes more useful. But if you have a fast weapon with not a lot of damage, Rend becomes a little less powerful.
But wait, there's more. Rend now has a little side effect for ranks 9 and 10, which you get at level 71 and level 78, respectively. If the target is above 75% health, the damage output is increased by 35%. The rend equation thus becomes a piecewise function:
Kids, never let your teachers say you can't learn math from a video game.Note: For those interested, the numbers and equations were pulled from the latest update at WoWHead.