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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Best things about warriors

Matthew Rossi

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

We talked about how specializations will work for us warrior folks in Mists of Pandaria last week, so this week I wanted to ground us. So I turned to the lovely folks on Twitter and asked them what they thought we should talk about. Some of the topics they suggested would make full-fledged columns of their own, but others can be handled in bite-sized chunks. That's what I'm going to do today.

Please remember you can always find me on twitter at @matthewwrossi if you want to pose me a question. I'll do my best to answer one way or another.

@Neener_nina asked: what race/gender combinations look best in plate? For both factions?

Well, it's no secret I'm a sucker for Tauren. I generally think that big, blocky races look the best in plate because it allows for all the detail to really show. But to be fair, let's do a best to worst ranking for both factions, completely and totally biased, and let you see what I think and why.

Horde races

  • Tauren Both male and female Tauren have excellent animations, look big and imposing and show off a lot of detail in their gear.
  • Blood Elves Female Blood Elves have very good combat animations and are generally the go-to gender for anyone playing this race, but Belf males are surprisingly well animated and combine sleek with muscular. Sure, their faces irritate me, but that's what helms are for.
  • Orcs Always a fan favorite, but for my money, Tauren do everything they do better than they do it. Orc females look better in plate to me because they stand up more directly.
  • Trolls I don't like Troll females, personally (although a lot of awesome people I've known over the years played Troll females) and don't think they look good in plate. Troll males are better, but not much better. Trolls take the Horde tendency to slouch to a ridiculous extreme.
  • Forsaken I'd have ranked these a lot higher, especially Forsaken female models, who do some of the best combat animations in the game. But I hate the "bones poking out of my armor" look, and there's only ever been one Forsaken male I could stand. Hope you're doing well, Vish.
  • Goblins I hate the Goblin model. Just hate it. It's got a very detailed look, and I can understand why other players like it, but I don't at all.
Alliance races
  • Draenei The race I tanked on all through Wrath and my favorite race in the game. Combines the Orc massive build with the Human posture. Draenei females also look really nice in plate, but I'm a sucker for Draenei males. They look like tanks.
  • Worgen My current highest-level Alliance warrior is a Worgen. I think Worgen males are incredibly well designed. Worgen females look good as long as you have helmets turned off. I'm not a fan of the Worgen female face.
  • Night Elves Night Elf females look awesome as tanks. Night Elf males work well (they have linebacker builds) except for their disturbingly enormous hands. I don't like those hands, I will admit.
  • Gnomes I love their animations and how they look in plate, especially Gnome females. They just look like they're having fun swinging gigantic weapons at you.
  • Dwarves Dwarf females look good to me, solid. Dwarf males look like a jar of smashed expletive deleteds.
  • Humans I played a human until race change came up. In terms of pure aesthetics, Humans commit the worst two crimes. Human females are boring, boring, and then boring some more. Human males are boring and ugly.
Please note that I'm not talking about racials here. This is purely aesthetic. As for racials, for a DPS warrior, the Orc (Blood Fury, Axe Spec) and Troll (Berserking) probably have the best racials for DPS, the Blood Elf has an extra interrupt (often uselful) and Goblins can choose between extra mobility and extra damage. Tauren have extra stam and an short-duration AOE stun. For Alliance, Worgen have extra crit and Draenei have extra hit, both solid DPS racials. Humans have baseline expertise with swords and maces, Dwarves with maces, both solid for DPS. Dwarves have Stoneform, a very solid tanking racial. Night Elves have the best tanking racial in existence with Quickness.

@keithschon suggests: Have you considered doing a write-up on why someone might consider playing a warrior if their main is another class? Or possibly why someone should return to their warrior in 4.3 if they have moved on to another class in this expansion cycle?

Well, no, but I will now, Keith. Why would you play a warrior if your main is another class?
  • Warriors are better than every other class in the game put together.
  • Did you read the first line of this bullet list? Go back and read that again.
  • I'm serious.
  • No, really, there's really nothing else to be said. Warriors are the best class in the game, just accept it.
  • I don't understand why you feel like there needs to be more said about this.
OK, OK, I'll be serious now that I've gotten to play the my class is better than your class card. Warriors are fun to play for a variety of reasons. The fury DPS specialization is the most visceral of any melee spec in the game. It relies on nothing but brute killing power; it does not touch upon poison, magic, or strange mechanics like runes or holy power. The rage mechanic means that warriors scale exceptionally well with gear. Arms functions well both as PVE DPS tree (especially if you like having decent battlefield control with abilities like Throwdown) and a solid PVP spec. Protection is the most varied and flexible tanking class with solid mobility and a broad tool kit including interrupts, silences, stuns and decent damage cooldowns.

If you're used to playing more diffuse classes like paladins or druids, or classes that rely on gimmicks or themes like death knights, rogues or one of the ranged classes, the simplicity and straightfoward nature of the warrior is a positive boon.

If you played a warrior only to switch to another class and are wondering why you should switch back, well, it depends on if you're enjoying your new class or not. At present, warriors aren't looking to change much in patch 4.3. But if you miss hurling yourself into combat, leaping or charging from mob to mob, and a pure physical playstyle that relies on nothing but the class itself -- no stealth, no magic of any kind, no fancy extra resource systems -- then the warrior will always be waiting for you with blood streaming down a scarred face.

@Pompitus asked, also I think something was said at blizzcon about arms being the only spec with slam, what will fury use in its place?

We don't know yet, Pompitus. My money's on the Wild Strike ability we saw in the fury ability mock-up, but we simply don't know. It's too soon, Pompitus.

@Ash_O_o suggests Maybe not this week, but a post on good weapons to pick up while leveling for those w/o heirlooms? (wtb 1h str dps heirloom)

I personally like leveling without an heirloom weapon, because it allows me to pick up solid upgrades as I level. I probably will tackle this subject in more depth later (as I will @vicTORIrush's question about fury DPS and UI mods), but for now, here are some candidates for one-handed weapons to look for as you level up. This is not a complete list.
Next week, I hope to discuss at length why melee DPS (especially warriors) have suffered in a lot of Cataclysm fights and why DPS potential isn't always DPS realized.

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.

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