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3.1 warrior information

Eyonix tacked a couple of posts up on the Blizzard general forums today about upcoming (tentative) class changes in the 3.1 content patch.  The second of the posts contained some warrior changes, thusly:

  • Changing stances now has a much reduced cost: you lose a maximum of 20 rage (10 with Tactical Mastery). For example, if you have 100 rage and change stances, you will have 80 rage remaining. If you have 10 rage and change stances, all of your rage is lost. In addition, we may change the penalties associated with some stances.
  • You now gain rage when damage done to you is absorbed, such as through a Power Word: Shield.
  • Blood Frenzy now causes 2/4% physical damage done.
  • Sunder Armor (and similar debuffs) now reduces armor by 4% per application, and is now a single rank. Creature armor has been globally reduced so that debuffed targets should take about the same damage from physical attacks that they did before this change. The net effect should be that this debuff is slightly less mandatory in PvE and is not disproportionately more powerful against cloth targets in PvP.
  • We are also adding increased damage to Arms, possibly through Overpower or Slam.
  • We are also looking at granting rage when the warrior blocks, dodges or parries.

The change to stance-switching is massive.  Remember, originally, warriors retained no rage when changing stances unless they’d trained Tactical Mastery.  For Burning Crusade, we got to keep up to 10 rage points on a stance switch, trainable to 25 with 3/3 TM.  Now, in 3.1, we’ll get to keep all our current rage, less 20 (trainable to 10) points.  For PvE, especially for tanks, this is not a big deal; Lin lives in Defensive Stance because if he’s getting hit, grinding or instance/raid-tanking, he actually does more DPS in Defensive than in any other stance due to Revenge.  But for PvP, where stance-switching is more frequent, this is really big.  And, please note the tiny ray of hope at the end–“we may change the penalties associated with some stances.”  I would personally love to see the -10% damage output penalty removed from Defensive Stance, considering that prot warriors are still the weakest of the four major tank classes in terms of DPS while tanking, despite the huge buffs we received in 3.0.

Now the nerf (and it is a slight nerf) to Sunder Armor/Devastate partially counterbalances this.  The biggest effects will probably, again, be seen in PvP.  Sunder’s effects on clothies and leather-wearers is going to get considerably reduced, from a maximum of a flat 3925 armor reduction (785/application x 5 at Rank 7) down to just 20% of the squishy’s armor (4%/application x 5).  It probably won’t have a big effect in PvE; honestly, post-Lich King, I’ve never heard any non-warrior group bemoan not having Sunder Armor along, and in a 10- or 25-man raid group, the odds are good that you’ll have a warrior along that can Sunder.  Besides, I don’t know what kind of armor figures boss NPCs have…it might even be better against them?  The boss would need a bit under 20,000 armor in order for the “new” Sunder to actually reduce the armor more than the “old” Sunder.

And finally…”[w]e are looking at granting rage when the warrior blocks, dodges, or parries.”  Prot warriors can already get 2 rage on a block if they max out Shield Specialization (20% chance per point, 5 points).  I don’t think it would be hugely overpowered to get 2 or even 3 rage on a dodge or parry, and make the 2 rage on a block automatic and just leave Shield Specialization as +1% block chance per point.  As it is, high-avoidance tanks tend to get penalized in rage generation because of the current way of doing things–avoidance gets you no rage, and 1H + shield is a hellishly inefficient way of generating rage via delivering damage.  Prot warriors still get most of our rage by taking hits, not by dishing them.


2 responses

  1. Kansin

    Being a warrior, you always raid with one. 😛 In other raids, there is always a warrior. Its a big deal, but there is always a warrior around, so nobody QQs. Sunder armor is a big difference for melee. if warriors were not taking it, rogues damn well better be bringing expose armor.

    February 6, 2009 at 00:30

  2. Lewis

    I wonder how long a fight has to be, and how many melee have to be involved, to counterbalance the rogue’s lost personal DPS by using combo points and time to keep Expose Armor up. I know in our raids, whether I’m tanking or not, I’m still hitting Devastate–even if I’m in Berserker Stance DPSing. I use it to try and proc Sword and Board for rage-free Shield Slams, and when I use it on trash, two targets get the Sunder effect thanks to a glyph. So as long as I’m around, you’ll never have to lower your personal deeps with Expose Armor. 🙂

    February 10, 2009 at 15:15

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