I started playing World of Warcraft
around the time it came out, because my then 'it's complicated' (today, she's my wife, and she's even more gloriously complicated than before) had played it in the beta and insisted I'd love it. I wasn't interested. I didn't like RTS games and so, I hadn't played much in the way of Warcraft
games before. I didn't know who any of the characters were, I had no attachment to the setting. But it was a good way for us to keep in touch when she was far, far away from me (in the frozen wilds of Canada) and so I ended up playing. I didn't like it.
I'd started playing on a paladin, which was hard to get into for me, but I gamely kept trying. Around level 17 or so, I got into a Deadmines run and I discovered something - I had spells intended to heal
people, and I was expected to use
them. This took me aback - D&D paladins (the ones I was familiar with) had very, very limited healing capacity, and MMO-style healing itself
was new to me. The very idea that my paladin, who had been exclusively played via the giant two handed hammer approach to all problems was now expected to not
hit people with said hammer but instead to stand in the back and heal them was anathema to me. I wanted no part
of this madness. This left me with a problem. I was level 17 - did I want to level to far-off 60 being constantly told to heal things? No. No I did not. But what to do?
So I rolled a rogue. That lasted 20 minutes.
My wife suggested I try a hunter. She really liked hunters, you see (still does) and so, I got as far as picking a race before noticing one of the icons was a sword. It was kind of a plain icon, not particularly flashy or dramatic - a sword, unadorned. What was up with that? So I clicked it.
I ended up making an orc warrior. I didn't expect I'd like it - the class description made them sound kind of plain. Everyone else had something cool - a pet, magic shapeshifting, magical powers, holy light. But I figured I'd give it a shot and if I hated it, I'd go play that hunter. I liked rangers in D&D, it seemed similar. I leveled through the orc starting zone, was pretty bored, figured I was going to delete the character. At level 10, however, something happened that literally changed my life
. This is not an overstatement - I would not be here now, writing this, if it had not.
I got Charge
There are two kinds of people in the world. Those that love Charge, and those that are wrong. There are many awesome and iconic warrior abilities - Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst, Shield Slam, Thunder Clap, Whirlwind, Heroic Strike, Bladestorm - but Charge is the first one, and the one that sums up the warrior experience. Other classes shoot enemies - we are the bullet we shoot, the weapon we wield is first and foremost ourselves
. We don't cast spells. We don't change into anything. We don't summon forth the dead. We don't pray, or entreat the elements, or seek a balance, or skulk. We throw ourselves at the enemy. We hurtle into combat, relentless, seeking only to give as good as we get. We don't hide, we don't seek to evade damage, we don't shield ourselves behind impenetrable bubbles or cower behind duplicates.
We die, bloody and thrashing... and we take them with us.
Over the years I've always said that warriors didn't need anyone to tell them they were awesome - we didn't need cheerleaders. And it's true. We don't need
that. But frankly, that's always been what I am for the class.
Of course I think warriors are the best class. I have one of every race. I have five max level and another three in striking distance of it. I have played, and loved, this class since that little orc warrior got Charge and realized this. This is what I should be doing
. If I didn't love warriors, I wouldn't have stuck with them through the horrendously bad rage normalization of Burning Crusade
, the horrible limitations of warrior tanking caused in part by it, the changes of Wrath of the Lich King
that made warrior tanking so much better, the ups and downs and up and downs of warrior DPS over the years, doing ladder PvP in vanilla and arenas in BC
, my on and off affair with battlegrounds, progression tanking in Wrath
, and the past year plus of DPS warrioring. Warriors don't need a cheerleader, but I'm one anyway. It doesn't matter what faction you play, or what race you prefer - if you play a warrior, I'm cheering for you. Tauren, orc, blood elf, forsaken, troll, goblin, worgen, night elf, human, dwarf, gnome, draenei, or pandaren, if you play a warrior, you're one of us. You made the right call.
If I convinced anyone to try the class, if I gave even one player who was having trouble with his warrior any information that helped them play, if I made anyone laugh, if anyone decided to stick with their warrior or nodded alongside and agreed with anything I said, I'm glad. This hasn't been my column. It's been our
column, every warrior who has ever come by here. It's always been about us. I've been at turns critical, enthusiastic, snarky, surly, demanding, optimistic, but no matter what was happening with the class I've always loved it.
There are better theorycrafters out there. I know that. There are people who are better at specific aspects of the class, better at PvP, better tanks, better DPS warriors. I tried to master as many aspects as I could, but there was (and will be) always more to learn, always more to do. What I wanted to be... what I tried
to be... was your biggest fan. Because I love this class, and I love being one of the people who plays it, and I love talking to you all about it.
This is the end. Thank you for letting me do this for over six years. I'm grateful. I started this column wanting so very much to tell you all how much I loved playing a warrior. And I'm ending it, telling you, I love
playing a warrior. I won't stop trying to make sure every warrior gets to have that, too.
This has been The Care and Feeding of Warriors
. Thank you.Edited to add
- because I managed to give a lot of people the idea that I'm leaving the site - no, I'm not. I'll still be here, and while I won't be writing a weekly column about warriors, they (and you) will never be far from my thoughts. I promise I'll cover all warrior related news with the same passion for the class you've more than rewarded me for with the comments to this post. Thank you all again.