Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Current Warrior Issues

So far, 3.0 has been pretty good to protection warriors. We haven't seen any huge overhauls, I'd I've felt like my protection warrior has never been better at tanking bosses, trash, and even PvP.

There are only three things that I would say need to be addressed. One isn't a huge problem yet, but will be. One is a decent problem that needs a little bit of mechanics tinkering, and one is just a "quality of life" fix.

Competitiveness in Progression Fights.
This is pretty big. Sarth+3 highlighted a weakness of warriors (and paladins) - huge spikes of (magic) damage. I wasn't too worried about future prospects, though, till I started reading some Tankspot Community articles, which developed into a dialogue with some Dev's on the WoW Forums.

What it boils down to, is that DK's high cooldown availability gives them a large advantage. When your undergeared, you take more damage. This makes damage spikes (more) lethal. Having more, low-cooldown abilities lets DKs cheat death in more situations, more often. Their CDs also help deal with magic burst, which while they not new (every dragon breath ever), have never gotten close to one-shot levels.

Feral druids are also rising in attractiveness for progression tanking, as burst damage is pushed to the point of one shotting warriors/paladins. Feral druids will always have more EH then warriors/paladins, and thats fine - until developers push damage closer and closer to the point that warriors/paladins get one shot, in an attempt to make physical damage to ferals/CD-poped-DKs non-trivial. Sarth 3D gives the impression that future hard mode bosses will use this method of raising "difficulty" as well.

Patch 3.1 does offer some hope, in the form of Glyph of Shield Wall. It, along with improved disciplines, gives us a 40% SW on a 1 Min CD - at the cost of talent points and a glyph slot. If this makes it live, it will be one step in an arguably right direction.

Inverse Rage Scaling
More avoidance reduces the chance you get hit. Rage generation gets spotty, and threat drops. This went on all through BC, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel. We had talents in prot and arms that granted rage on a dodge/parry/miss - but they were all phased out over time.

The only thing that made it to live was Blessing of Sanctuary. 10 rage on an avoided hit made rage/threat bearable, though the difference between warrior tanks that had it, and ones that didn't, was large.

Patch notes for 3.1, though, show that BoS now only gives mana - severely nerfing it. Some compensation (talent or ability) needs to pick up the slack.

Heroic Strike
The amount of key presses needed to insure 100% HS usage is insane. While less then 100% in unlimited rage situations is passable, it will be sought after by serious tanks for top performance. A toggle for HS would be one solution with a minimal impact. A cooldown (~4seconds) would also work, provided there was an equitable trade off for the frequency loss.


7echno7im said...

A CAPS Lock Toggle On/Off for Heroic Strike/Auto attack would be awesome. As we have already discussed, the HS spam for queuing one up on every swing is outta control. Its like the old shield block spam, but worse.

spinksville said...

Makes sense.

I can live with HS but my main issue at the moment is how badly I do when I'm not actually tanking. ie. off tanking or dps (in prot spec) due to some raid encounters needing more tanks than others.

The comparison between druids/ DKs and paladins/ warriors in that situation is not great.

If I could MT every encounter it would be fine. But I'm not in that position in our raid since one of our RLs is a protection paladin. I'm hoping that dual specs will help a bit, but I wish we could put out something much closer to druid/DK damage while not being hit.

Tarsus said...

Toggle for Heroic strike would be workable, but I would much rather see an execute style rage dump where the challenge is more about split second decision making. Seems to me that it would end up being a bit more exciting in terms of game-play.

Vads said...

A big damage next swing "execute" for say 30-50 rage somewhere would be nice. Heck it could even solve some of the on demand burst dps problems warriors face in pvp in some situations.

My preferred solution though would still be a on/off toggle for it, hopefully with some means to set a minimum rage treshold for casting it.

I showed the tankspot discussion to a death knight tanking friend of mine and he was shocked at how much work it actually is to TPS decently compared to his own experience with the DK.

Not being forced to hit that heroic strike ability 1-2 times per second is something I wouldnt miss at all, if it comes to that.