Posted tagged ‘Tanking’

WotLK Beta: Protection Warriors with Patch 8095

September 9, 2008

A lot of sites have talked about all the specific warrior changes in the most recent patch, so I’ll not go through the list point-for-point. I will talk a bit about the feel of having played with these changes some.

First, the protection tree has been consolidated to the point that I don’t feel like I’m having to leave behind some must have talents. Not that I couldn’t use another dozen points, it’s just that after getting the “gotta-have” talents, there is still room for a few more style picks. This is a very nice change from the last few builds where the Protection tree had been getting very bloated.

The first thing I tried after respecing was some simple grinding. Tossing on my DPS gear, along with a sword and shield, I went to town. At this point, solo-play with a tank spec is not bad. It isn’t quite up the standards of a Fury grinding build, but it is way past what most tanks have come to expect. There are even a few NYI abilities that should pick things up even more. If this was all that this patch gave Warrior Tanks, then this would be enough.

So, solo play is great, but how is the tanking? Amazing. It feels almost like cheating. I ran three different instances with this spec, and I have never had such an easy time holding mobs. The new, higher, DPS helps, but the star of the show is Thunderclap. By the second half of most of the runs my DPS simply stopped bothering to pay attention to my marks after the first mob in the pack went down. We used no CC on any of the runs, and even the with DPS not bothering with focus-fire, I was able to keep entire packs glued to me.

Thunderclap, Cleave, Shockwave. These are a few of my favorite things.

To be frank, it feels like a nerf must be incoming. Something like “Warriors can’t use weapons”, “Only 3 abilities can be used per fight”, or “From now on you must always run 1 person short”. After learning how to tank 5-mans in TBC as a warrior, this is just amazing in how much less stressful this is. It is still fun, there are still just as many choices to make, it is just that I don’t always feel like my DPSers are working against me.

Being able to tell the group to ‘let it rip’, rather than ‘wait for sunders’; Being able to pick up the packs of adds, rather than just watch them run straight at the healer; if this is what it has been like for Tankadins, I can understand why so many people have preferred to run 5-mans without a Warrior. Hell, if it weren’t for the fact that there are never enough tanks, I can’t see why anyone would take anything other than a Tankadin for small group play.

Until now.

My hope is that they do level out the tanks a bit. Make each able to blast through 5-man content, just as well as Palladins do in TBC. Also, make it easier to choose a non-warrior for raids. Pre-3.0, all tanks can certainly do all content, but we all have things that our class does better. Sure, this means that warriors will stop being the “Number 1” choice for some situations, but it also means that I’ll be less likely to want to sit myself out because I just can’t do as good of a job as some other class.

In this brave, new WotLK World, you will pick a tank for the skill of the player, not the class they chose to roll. I for one, am looking forward to it more every day.