With the 4.1 PTR now live we are able to see the newest changes to each of the classes. There are changes to three of the 4 tanking classes. However, the druid changes are basically buffs to their TPS abilities since they were so obviously overnerfed in a hotfix recently. The Paladin changes deserve their own post. So that leaves the Warrior Changes. One Warrior Change in particular… Rallying Cry.
3 min cooldown
Temporarily grants you and all party or raid members within 30 yards 20% of maximum health for 10 sec.
After the effect expires, the health is lost.
(Shares a cooldown with Last Stand.)
On its face this ability is a boon for all specs of Warrior. This solves our balance issues with Protection Paladins and their Divine Guardian. This gives us a raid cooldown that is actually good and useful. That is until we look at the fine print. That “Shares a cooldown with Last Stand” part of the description. Ahhh and there is the rub. What are the ramifications of this?
1) Why does Rallying Cry share Last Stand’s cooldown?
By making these abilities share a cooldown Blizzard has solved one problem while causing another. There is a reason why Divine Guardian also has fine print in its description. Divine Guardian does NOT effect the casting Paladin. Why? For one reason and one reason only, because the developers did not want to give Paladins yet another cooldown they could use while tanking.
These abilities were designed to be used as raid cooldowns and not as personal cooldowns. Thus by linking the cooldowns will force the cooldown to not be used as a personal tanking cooldown.
2) How does the linking effect Last Stand?
Unfortunately, this will cause other complications based on the overall design of this ability. By linking these two cooldowns creates a paradigm where tanking warriors are now forced to make a decision between using one of their two tanking cooldowns and saving it to benefit the raid at a set point in an encounter. Thus, for a good chunk of the more difficult encounters where a raid cooldown may be called for Warrior tanks will now be without a cooldown they would normally have.
3) What are the ramifications for Fury and Arms?
What of the other warriors inside your raid? While Arms Warriors are not a spec that are often brought to raids for their stellar dps, fury warriors are. Warrior damage is high and raids are bringing the “player” and not the “class”. After this change will warriors be brought for their class?
We had similar circumstances back in Wrath of the Lich King. Back then, all Paladins had access to Divine Guardian. Paladins of all three specs were being brought to raids because of this. Retribution Paladins in particular were being brought because of this. Divine Guardian was so powerful that when the trees were redesigned the ability was given only to tanks. Tanks and healers have a place to protect the raid. Limiting and healing damage to the raid is their pervue. The DPS pervue is to do damage and keep themselves alive.
I am not going to say that Rallying Cry will be to Warriors what Heroism/Bloodlust was to Shaman. I will however say, that the ability will shift raid makeups considerably across the board. Where there were once 1 DPS warrior in a 25 man raid, there will now be 2-3. Where there were no warriors in a 10man group, there will be 1.
Raid cooldowns should remain in the hands of the Tanks and the Healers.
4) How do we fix this ability to be what Warrior tanks need?
First off, do we as warrior tanks need a raid cooldown? Part of me wants to say, “No we do not.” While the other part of me see’s Divine Guardian and says “They have one, I want one!” What it really comes down to, will Protection Warriors be chosen more over Paladins if they had a similar raid cooldown? I can’t help but to agree that they would. Yet, that being said, is it a necessary addition to the game?
Personally, I am going to go with the “No we do not” sentiment. However, it seems like we are getting this no matter if we like it or not. So how do we make this ability workable within the Protection Warrior toolkit?
The easiest solution is perhaps the best solution. Divine Guardian has fine print, just copy it and paste it into the Last Stand talent. Create extra wording to the talent changing Rallying Cry from effecting the warrior if cast by him and preventing Last Stand and Rallying Cry from being up at the same time no matter who cast what.
Yes, it would be better if Rallying Cry was flat out attached to Last Stand’s Talent. One talent to grant both abilities within the Protection tree. Thus making it a Protection only ability.
5) What are the PvP ramifications?
I do not PvP regularly, but I can see some real issues within organized PvP. Rallying Cry during an Arena Match could turn the tide. Rallying Cry during a Tol Barad could do the same. Giving upwards of 40 people 20% extra health will be as strong or stronger than a well-timed Time Warp/Heroism/Bloodlust. Is Blizzard thinking everything as through as we’d like?