I should take the moment to point out that I do realize there are mathematical reasons, tested in many many sims, why you would change talents or use one talent over another. The majority of PvE DPS warriors use either Bloodbath
or Storm Bolt
s cooldown is too long for the damage it does, and the nerf it received due to PvP concerns made it even more toothless for PvE. Those of us that choose Bloodbath over Storm Bolt probably do so either because we don't want to have another thirty second cooldown attack or because we'd rather have a 1 minute mini-cooldown that increases the damage all of our attacks do. For instance, I spec Titan's Grip because... well, okay, I spec Titan's Grip because I am in a long term relationship with Titan's Grip
at this point. Let me be honest. But that being said, I went TG over arms this raid tier because of Titan's Grip's ridiculously potent AoE and how it improves with gear and so far I have been rewarded for this choice on AoE fights like Horridon, Council, Tortos, and it is a thing of beauty on Lei Shen's Ball Lightning.
All of that AoE is enhanced by Bloodbath. Storm Bolt would add more single-target, and therefore I should probably consider switch to SB over BB on fights like Iron Qon, Durumu or Megaera where AoE is trivial or even meaningless (yes, you can technically hit two heads at once on Meg, but it's absolutely pointless to do so) but to be honest I find Bloodbath's 1 minute cooldown just about perfect
for a DPS cooldown. I find Colossus Smash to be about the longest cooldown I can endure in my actual rotation, which is one of the reasons I don't like
Dragon Roar very much - sure, it's great single target and
a good AoE ability, but frankly I enjoy my TG rotation more when I don't have to remember to slot in a DR every minute or so.
In the interests of science I decided this week to simply keep Bladestorm for the entire raid. I know, that's not really a particularly scientific thing to have done. But what I found was that my DPS didn't really suffer very much at all for it - without Dragon Roar I just filled that spot in the rotation with Bloodthirst, Raging Blow, Colossus Smash and Wild Strike on occasion. Quite frankly, I get enough RB procs now that it isn't like there are a lot of gaping holes in my rotation to be filled with more attacks anyway. And that's what I think has changed - fury in particular starts ramping up once you're at high enough crit, and as it does, Raging Blow becomes more and more reliable which means that the pressure to switch talents between fights is decreased. If I want
to switch to Dragon Roar and Storm Bolt I can, but if not, I have buttons to press reliably.
I think that's the point that really needs to be made about talent switching on a per-boss basis. It's conditional based not only on the conditions of the fight (i.e. whether there are adds to AoE down or not) but also on how much personal benefit you'll gather from it. If I had less crit and Raging Blow wasn't proccing often, then having a Storm Bolt every 30 seconds and a Dragon Roar every minute could help fill those gaps in my rotation. But when you have a 70% chance for any Bloodthirst to activate Raging Blow and you can use Berserker Rage to fill any gaps that come up, suddenly those talents aren't necessary. You can still take them, and even get good use out of them if you can keep them in mind, but for someone like me who likes not having to keep track of as many things (note my choice of Second Wind over Enraged Regeneration or Impending Victory) then having the free space to just use those Raging Blow procs is actually beneficial.
For my playstyle, having a cooldown I can use every minute and a big AoE that I don't have to use at all if there's nothing to AoE down is absolutely perfect. The biggest lesson I took from my week was that if you're switching talents on a per-fight basis be sure that you're doing so with an eye towards actual usability - are you actually hitting those buttons in a reliable manner? Are you making use of those abilities? One of the complexities of the new talent system that I'd failed to consider properly was that its options vary in ways that may appeal to a certain style of play more than another. If you're the kind of player who thrives on tracking numerous short cooldowns, Storm Bolt may in fact be your best possible option. For me, it's Bloodbath.
Next week, we'll talk tanking. Are warriors falling behind in tanking coolness?
At the center of the fury of battle stand the warriors: protection, arms and fury. Check out more strategies and tips especially for warriors, from hot issues for today's warriors to Cataclysm 101 for DPS warriors and our guide to reputation gear for warriors.