Updated Sat, Apr 10, 2010 by Messiah
The changes keep coming as Blizzard has announced numerous upcoming changes for the Warrior, Death Knight, and Rogue. First up in our look at the changes is the Warrior and all the new steel coated death-dealing goodness that the class entails.
First up in our look at the class are a trio of new abilities that the Warrior will gain on the way to level 85.
Inner Rage – This ability is scheduled to be learned at level 81. This is going to be a passive ability that engages whenever a character reaches a full 100 rage, he or she will gain a buff that causes attacks to consume 50% more Rage and do 15% more damage for a short amount of time. Blizzards stated goal is for it to provide enough of a boost that hitting max rage does not feel like a penalty but a reward. They also do not want it to be too good that warriors feel they shouldn’t do anything until they hit 100 rage, so it may change along the road to Cataclysm.
Gushing Wound - This attack is set to be a new style bleed that starts off slightly weaker than Rend but gains strength (up to 3 stacks) as a player moves with it. It will be learnable at level 83 and is not planned to have a cooldown, cost 10 rage and last 9 seconds. Sounds like a wicked PvP style ability that may make targets willing to stay put and fight rather than try to get away from you.
Heroic Leap – This is similar to charge but different. It will be available at level 85 and allows the warrior to leap at their target and apply the Thunder Clap ability to all enemies in the area when they land. Heroic Leap will be usable in Battle Stance and shares a cooldown with Charge, but the Juggernaut and Warbringer talents will allow Heroic Leap to be used in any stance and possibly while in combat. This ability will allow warriors to get into position on a charge and either start DPS or tanking right away while the enemies are stunned.
In addition to several new abilities, several of the existing Warrior mechanics are changing significantly. While they can be seen as buffs or nerfs you really need to hold off final judgement until we see all the changes to classes, mechanics, and stats coming in Cataclysm.
The first big change is Heroic Strike will no longer be an "on next swing" attack, as Blizzard is removing the whole mechanic in Cataclysm. Instead it will become an instant attack, and cost between 10 and 30 Rage. It will not be usable until you have 10 Rage, but if you have more than 10, it will consume up to 30, adding additional damage for each point of Rage consumed above the base 10. This can be viewed as a good or bad thing, since Warriors will have more exact control over when it occurs and be able to cause more damage with it. However it could be bad as it is now on the GCD list and will have to be fit into rotations.
Another chance is how Battle Shout, Commanding Shout, and possibly Demoralizing Shout will function more like the death knight's Horn of Winter ability. Specifically, these shouts will cost no resources, generate rage in addition to their current effects, and be on a short cooldown.
Next up is a pretty massive change to Mortal strike. Mortal Strike will now only reduce healing by 20% down from 50%. This is due to two things, first healing amounts will be lower in Cataclysm and Blizzard does not want a Mortal Strike debuff to be mandatory in PvP. At this point warriors will probably start screaming about this as a nerf, but with the reduced overall healing it is probably really required so that Mortal Strike is not over powered.
Next up sunder Armor will be reduced to three stacks instead of five, and still provide only a 4% reduction in armor per stack. This means that the max reduction will be down to 12% from 20%. The thought is to have it faster to get up on a target and not effect DPS as drastically if it falls off. This can be seen as a good thing for DPS Warriors that get stuck doing Sunder if there is no Warrior tank in the group, since they should have an easier time putting it in place and therefore have more time to DPS.
A change that will effect many Warriors DPS rotations is a nerf to Whirlwind so that it only does 50% weapon damage to targets. On the plus side it hits an unlimited number of targets. This means it will do half current damage but hit everything nearby. It will likely lose its place in current rotations other than AOE rotations against large groups of enemies, which is really where it is meant to be,
Along with the new abilities and mechanic changes Blizzard also outlined the new mastery bonuses that warriors will receive.
Arms Warriors will gain extra melee damage, armor penetration, and a Bonus Swing ability. The bonus swing will be much like the current Sword Specialization talent but apply to all weapons and any attack. Any time it procs you will instantly swing again and hit for 50% damage.
Fury Warriors will gain extra melee damage, melee haste, and the Enrage Intensity ability. This is described by Blizzard as every benefit of being enraged being increased. This includes doing more damage/healing/ etc. from abilities like Bloodrage, Death Wish, Enrage, Berserker Rage, and Enraged Regeneration.
Lastly, Protection Warriors gain extra damage reduction, vengeance, and a critical block chance. Vengeance is a new mechanic being added to all tanks to ensure their threat and damage dealing ability does not fall behind DPS classes. Vengeance will apply a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done to them up to a maximum of 10% of the character unbuffed health. The critical block ability will allow protection warriors to have a chance to block 60% of an incoming attacks damage instead of the normal 30%.
Overall the Warrior changes seem pretty cool and most seem as if they add to the class. There are some obvious contentious points here such as the Whirlwind and Mortal Strike nerfs , however whirlwind really should only be used against mass targets, and the mortal strike change can not really be judged until we see how healing and damage changes. On the flip side abilities like inner rage and heroic strike have the potential to allow greater burst damage.
You can find the original post from Blizzard here: Cataclysm Warrior Preview.
Keep going to the next pages for the Death Knight and Rogue previews.