Archive for the ‘Warriors’ Category

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Glyphing to Become Viable?

February 25, 2009

Today marks the advent of the 3.1 major content patch going live on the Public Test Realms for the first time.  With this patch we see massive changes to most classes and specs to improve or nerf their viability as tanks, healers and dps.  While there are bigger changes to many other classes, the big changes for Warriors have thus far only been given to us by new glyphs.

Glyph of Heroic Strike Increases the critical strike chance of Heroic Strike by 5%.
The soul change to our glyph repetoire.  This glyph used to be a bread and butter for the 10 rage it gave when Heroic Strike critically hit.  We now have something that will not only help Fury and Arms warriors, but it represents a signficant increase in threat production.

Glyph of Barbaric Insults  — Your Mocking Blow ability generates 100% additional threat.
This used to change Mocking Blow into another taunt ability.  Why they are changing a less than stellar glyph from a semi useful glyph into one that makes it so much less useful I do not rightly know.

Glyph of ShockwaveReduces the cooldown on Shockwave by 3 sec.
The impact of this new treat is yet to really been number crunched.  Yet, I would not be going out on a short limb if I said this is really just not worth it.  Changing Shockwave from 20 seconds to 17 second cooldown should not signficantly impact a tps rotation that is dominated by two six second cooldowns.

Glyph of VigilanceYour Vigilance ability transfers an additional 5% of your target’s threat to you.
This is a complete waste of a glyph.  Well correction, with current threat parameters we really have little use for changing Vigiliance from a 10% to a 15% reduction in a single person’s threat.  This glyph may find a use if the threat ceiling falls signifcantly with Ulduar’s opening.

Glyph of Enraged RegenerationYour Enraged Regeneration ability heals for an additional 10% of your health over its duration.
A purely PvP orientated glyph if I ever saw one.  There is really no real use for this glyph in a tank’s glyph set.  There are much better choices of glyphs out there.

Glyph of Spell Reflection  — Reduces the cooldown on Spell Reflection by 1 sec.
This glyph is just plain too much of a drop in the ocean to be worth anything.  Reducing a lot of cooldowns by 1 second may be worth more.  However, reducing this with a glyph slot is far from worth the cost of any other glyph.

Glyph of Shield WallReduces the cooldown on Shield Wall by 3 min, but Shield Wall now only reduces damage taken by 40%.
The be all end all of the new glyphs.  Combined with Improved Disciplines we now have a signficantly less powerful damage reduction tool on a cooldown equal to that of a Death Knight’s Icebound Fortitude

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The Impact:

With the addition of Glyph of Shield Wall we now have the option to have an extremely short cooldown ability with strong mitigation benefits.  Why should we be concerned over this?

Simply put, we all got together and whined and complained about Warriors getting the rear end of the stick when it came to Effective Health and overall burst mitigation.  What we got was a forced clone of a Death Knight ability.  It may look really nice, and it may actually prove to be a boon to Protection Warriors, but we need to think about what this really means to us.  This glyph becomes as mandatory to protection warriors as Meditation is to priests of any spec.

This is a glyph that we will be balanced around.  Do we really want to be balanced around having a specific glyph?  Are other classes being balanced around them?  To some extent, but it is still an option for an Elemental Shaman to pick up Lightning Bolt or Flametongue Weapon.

This fundamentally changes our skill toolbox.  While the new version of Shield Wall will be of great use, we are sacrificing our “Oh #$#!” button for something that will be a basic part of our survivalbility.  Ask yourself, how much do you think the average Death Knight tank uses Icebound Fortitude?  That’s right, the answer is pretty much every cooldown.  Can they survive without it? Yes, but they also have multiple other cooldowns to work with.  If we become balanced around using this every cooldown, where will Warriors be?

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Glory of the Hero

February 21, 2009

 

221-redproto

It is finally done…

The recent changes to some of the achievements required to accomplish for this Meta achievement both helped and hurt our eventual obtaining of the Drake.

The biggest three changes of course have to be with Gotta Go!, Watch Him Die, and Ruby Void.

Gotta Go! –221-gottago

The change from 2 minutes to 4 minutes was a huge one. Most people couldnt get much under 3 minutes before the change (myself included). This has gone from the single most difficult achievement to obtain to one a lot of groups just happen to get while completing the dungeon.

Watch Him Die –221-watchhimdie

This is now the second most difficult of the Heroic Achievements. Where it was once possible to use pathing to gain an advantage by having your healer stand on the ledge. Blizzard has seen fit to place an invisible wall preventing use of the ledge and other areas in the battlefield to your advantage.

So now you are left with 3 distinct strategies. The “Kite Strategy”, the “Kill Adds Strategy” and the “Pure Zerg Strategy”.

The “Kite Strategy” is where we found our success. By having myself pull the watchers and adds, intervene and run to the zoneline while using cooldowns, and a speed potion we were able to heroism and down the boss with 1 person alive. Not the prettiest of kills, but it got the job done.

Ruby Void –221-rubyvoid

Once one of the easiest achievements in Oculus, now is probably one of the single most difficult achievements in the meta. Where you were once able to use 5 greens and dot and kite, you are no longer able to do this.

The 5 Amber strategy is the only feasible strategy to use on this encounter now. You can not rely on “overgearing” the instance like you can for others. You can only rely on the compentancy and coordination of your group. (As well as their willingness to work on it til you got it done.) This task took our group hours to get down correctly. We had multiple close calls, but in the end it was only with a little luck of the RNG on when he spawned adds did we get the win.

Take a look at this video.  Done by a fellow tank, the video guide is invaluable in making the 5 tank system work. We however inverted the channel cycle to make our kill happen.

Now That I Am Back… Stay Tuned For A More In Depth Guide To Each Heroic Achievement.

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Resilience and the Defense Cap

December 17, 2008

With the beginning of the Arena and PvP seasons today, I thought I would discuss a little about Resilience and the Defense Cap.

What We Know:

The defense cap for level 83 raid bosses is 540 Defense Skill or 5.6% critical hit reduction.  This is not so easily obtained these days.  With the removal of warrior and paladin talents for pure defense talents this becomes quite a bit more difficult than it was in The Burning Crusade.  There have been countless articles on TankSpot.com, TankingTips.com and various tank blogs that give you step by step instructions and gear guides on hitting the cap.  But what if you simply can not afford those epic Titansteel pieces?  What if drops just are not going your way?  Well the solution is here.

Resilience:

Arena gear is now upon us.  To be sure, it is no where ideal for PvP.  They have made great strides in making the gear to be less attractive than it was in TBC.  However, resilience can cover up some early wholes in your gear quite adequately.

Lesser Flask of Toughness:
The easiest of all the resilience methods to become crit immune.  At 80 this flask gives you .6% worth of crit immunity.  Roughly equal to 15 Defense Skill.

Enchants:
There are 3 Resilience enchants currently available.  Two of which are from TBC and are for such small amounts that using them over a defense enchant would actually be worse.  The Enchant Chest – Exceptional Resilience is the best you can do currently in Wrath and it is only for 20.  A significant amount over the 15 from the TBC enchant, but both have an extremely steep price.  Giving .24% crit reduction it is more than the .18% reduction the 22 defense rating to chest enchant gives however.  Yet at this point, its a wash and the Defense enchant is much cheaper.

Kharmaa’s Grace:
Another 20 Resilience rating option.  It is not cheap though, and it doesn not cost money.  For 20 Stone Keeper’s Shards, or about the price of a single heroic run’s worth of shards you willg et .24% crit reduction via  a gem.  The +16 defense gems on the other hand will give you much less.  You will lose the avoidance given by the defense however.

Conclusions & Theories:

The Lesser Flask of Toughness gives us a different way to look at early gemming and gearing.  We all need to be uncrittable.  However, it may flat out be better for our early progression to be gemming for stamina and using this flask instead of being forced into gemming for Defense.  If you are a good raid tank, you are more than likely going to be using a Flask of Stoneblood to gain your 650 health.   Early on you want as much Effective Health as you can get.  Now how you get this health is the key.  If you do this with a flask, you are gainign 650 health.  However, if you decide to use 3 +24 stamina gems instead of those 3 +defense gems you are using, you will gain much more while raid buffed.

Sure you are losing a small chunk of avoidance, but while you are getting your feet wet, this is a better option for your raid as a whole.  As you gain more and more defense from gear, you will be better off, and so will the raid.  Yet ensuring you are uncrittable with as much health you can get is the key to early survivability in say the Spider Wing of Naxxramas, than that extra 1% avoidance.

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Emblems of Heroism… Which to get first?

December 16, 2008

With the Paladin reaching level 80 on Sunday I had the opportunity to really sit down and think about what order I was going to be purchasing my badge gear.   Let me first say that I know there are a few lists going around the web.  I now have two tanks at 80.  One of which was geared to the nines with Sunwell level gear, the other starting out in more lackluster gear.  This list is geared towards the latter. 

I offer you my own personal beliefs on what order you should be picking up your “Badge Gear”.

First off, what can a plate tank get from badges?

Off Set Pieces:

Warrior Tier 7

Paladin Tier 7

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Big Eight-O!

November 24, 2008

Well I hit 80 a couple of days ago.  The first thing we managed to do is a couple of quick heroics.  I had every intention of hitting up Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle, but alas it was not to be.

I did manage to get into a pretty good pick up group for Culling of Stratholme.  Was a pretty good run until my only guildmate in the run had a cable outage.  We managed to blackmail a guild mage to join us for the end of the instance and voila!.

shield

Its a wonderful shield and one of the very best looking in the game at the moment.

I will be doing a few Heroic Guides over the next week or so, as I learn all of the instances.

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Leveling as Protection?!? (Warrior) – Part 2

November 18, 2008

glyphThis is the second part of a multi-part post on Leveling as Protection.  The first post can be found here.

Glyphs and Gear:

We are not tanking for 10 levels.  We are leveling.  All our gear and glyph choices must take this into account.  We want to get to 80 with the least trouble and time as possible and to that effect we will be making some choices we never would make if our goal was to tank.

Glyphing for Efficiency:

We all had a good month of 3.0.2 to play around with Glyphs.  The vast majority of us picked up glyphs such as Glyph of Sunder Armor, Glyph of Heroic Strike or Glyph of Revenge in order to tank whatever Heroics, Karazahn or any of the 25 man raid instances.  Things are different now.  We are leveling, we do not care about things that will help us tank and keep threat more easily.  We all have, as a paladin friend of mine says, “the threat of Jesus”, we do not need to worry about it right now.  We want things that make us more efficient.  We are looking for damage, mobility and an overall increase in our killing speed.

Major Glyphs:

Glyph of Rapid Charge: You are going to be using charge.  It will be the most used button you have next to your Shield Slam and Devastate buttons.  Being mobile allows us to pull large groups and get to our next kill(s) quickly.  Mobility is king in leveling, and this is our mobility as warriors.

Glyph of Revenge: Many people may say that Glyph of Heroic Strike is a keeper here.  It is a good glyph do not get me wrong.  But once again your crit rate is going down.  Even with Incite, you are going to have diminishing returns with this glyph as you level up.  While Glyph of Revenge will be just as good as it was at 70 as it is at 80.  A free Heroic Strike every 6 seconds while leveling is a lot better than 10 rage if you happen to critically hit.

Minor Glyphs:

Glyph of Charge: Adding 5 yards to Charge gives us a range of 30 yards.  This is the way you will pull while leveling.  None of the other Minor Glyphs can even compare to the usefulness of increasing our Mobility even more.

Glyph of Thunder Clap: The 2 yard increase may seem minor but that is exactly what it is meant to be.  A small increase in our range.  However, this is a 2 yard increase in the overall radius of Thunder Clap, which is actually quite a huge difference in practice.

Glyph of Bloodrage: The third minor glyph is a bit of a choice.  The first two are just plain the best and nothing can touch them.  Choose Bloodrage for one simple reason.  Bloodrage costing ~350 health is immense.  We can easily make that health up via trinkets, or a quick bandage at times.  Using Bloodrage at its normal ~780 health is prohibitive while leveling.  Halving that cost makes it extremely usable on a regular basis.

Gearing for Damage and Mitigation:

I write this from a point of view of someone who walked into Wrath with a minor about of raid DPS gear.  I managed to collect “off-spec” drops off most bosses.  It does not matter the level of your gear.  It matters what you are focusing on.

We want to concentrate on a few things to make ourselves kill and move on as quickly as possible.  The biggest thing we are doing while leveling now is collecting a good number of mobs (3-10+ depending on gear level) and using our new and improved AoE damage capabilities to kill many at once.  To do this we put our sights on certain statistics on our gear.

  1. Shield Block Value:
    • We want to keep our SBV as high as possible.  Remember this is a double stat for us.  Our ability to take damage and give damage is directly connected.  The more SBV you have, the bigger damage you are giving out with Shield Slam and Damage Shield.  Plus, with pushing your value as high as you can, you can push most mob melee damage into hit for block.
  2. Strength:
    • While we may want raw AP, strength gives us more SBV as well.
  3. Attack Power:
    • Our direct damage abilities such as Heroic Strike, Revenge, Concussion Blow, and Devastate all scale with our Attack Power.
  4. Critical Strike Rating/Agility:
    • Some people may consider Agility greater than Critical Strike Rating, but it has a much higher cost in terms of item budget.  We want to crit, we want to crit all the time.  Unfortunately, our crit will plummet to nearly half of what we start out at 70 with.  There are a limited number of quest rewards with crit rating on them.  Make sure you are keeping them as you go along to keep your crit rate up.
  5. Armor Penetration Rating:
    • Not as useful for us as protection as it is for our fury and arms brethren, but it does help us.  It scales quite well and the more we sunder the better off we are.  The one problem is that we are not sundering everything and while AoE grinding so the scaling is lower and not all of our damage is helped by APR.
  6. Stamina:
    • Stamina only helps us in terms of our survivability.  Do not go out of your way to get more stamina gear.  While upgrading your gear through quest rewards you will often find that there are many rewards with zero stamina and some with HUGE amounts of it.  Try and keep yourself at around 12-13k health unbuffed and you should be golden.

Dealing with quest rewards:

Do we take the tanking gear or the damage gear?  Well luckily most of the options are either or.  Which means we will have amble time and options to facilitate our gear choices.  It is only the random quest that will give us the options between a damage neck and a tanking pants.  Remember that we will be tanking again at 80 and that choices need to benefit us then.

Choosing between tank and damage options can be difficult though.  There are early tank-centric quest rewards that will last you deep into leveling.  For the most part, anything under level 76 is going to be easily replaced at 80.  The biggest thing you need to come to grasp with is that you can and will be able to tank virtually all of the leveling instances with your Burning Crusade tanking gear.  Your Tier 4+ and badge gear will be more than adequate for you and your party to survive.

Take damage gear when its an upgrade.

Conclusion:

Common sense in setting ourselves up for efficiency will be the best thing you can do for yourself.  Area of Effect grinding and questing will serve you well in making best use of your time.  Gearing and Glyphing for this specifically will allow you to move as quickly as possible when leveling solo or in a small group of friends.  Concentrating on mobility, shield block value and strength will be the easiest means of doing this.

I hope the small pseudo-guide will help you level.  I will be posting on the trials and pitfalls of each zone specifically over the next week. So stay tuned.

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Leveling As Protection?!? (Warrior) – Part 1

November 17, 2008

speccingIs everyone leveling as protection?  To be honest, since the expansion went live on Thursday, I have yet to see many dps warriors roaming around the frozen (and not so frozen) wastes of Northrend.  It seems that many warriors have got protection to level.

A lot of tank sites out there are dealing out their ideas on how to level.  How to spec, where to go, what to do when you get there.  I would be remiss if I was to not weigh in on the subject.  Especially since my person choices in speccing differ greatly from some of the other prominent tanking writers out there.

Speccing To Level: 

Some of the things we do not pick up will be counter-intuitive for a seasoned tank however.  My leveling spec is one that I had to really think about. At 70 there are a few things you can do and many people have said many things.  I looked at everything carefully from a stand point of pure efficiency in killing and moving on.  I came up with my level 70 leveling spec.

 

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