A Heartfelt Goodbye

All things must come to an end eventually.

As for me as life goes on, my priorities have changed. While I still enjoy to chew over classes and changes; the time investment of staying informed and being active in the community is no longer one I want to pay. I have a growing responsibility to my family in being the best husband and father I can be and as such will be ceasing to blog and will also be closing down my Twitter account soon. I am still going to be playing WoW but my time commitment to it is moving to being more structured and unobtrusive.

I want to thank each of you for taking the time to read what I’ve had to say, especially those of you who came back time and again and maybe even commented. It’s been very humbling and gratifying to have 18 thousand people from over 80 different countries read my ramblings with over 30 thousand visits in 2 years. Its been an exciting journey, but just as every journey has a start, it also has an end.

So I’m signing off, but where one falls yet another will rise. I have no doubt a community as passionate as ours will fill these small shoes quickly.

~Martin also known as Stoic


More on Legion Class Changes (War, Pally, Hunt, Sham, Monk, DK, Druid)

Warning: Non Warrior content will be featured here. I may rant a little about other classes I play based on my impressions of having tested them in Beta and on Live since Pre-patch launch.

Before I start breaking down my take on a couple of the different class changes in 7.0 I do want to start off on a very positive note. The systems changes in Legion are fantastic. They finally fixed the default combat text and speech bubbles for massive resolutions which makes me very happy. All of the mini-map improvements and the new default nameplates are long overdue but I think what they did; they did very well. My only complaint is they didn’t add a feature to change nameplate color based on threat; a useful visual QoL perk for tanks.


I’m going to try to be brief in recapping here as I previously wrote at length on my first impressions for Warrior changes. Please excuse me if I repeat myself in an effort to keep things coherent for someone who hasn’t read my first thoughts.


My thoughts haven’t much changed regarding Arms since I discussed my initial impressions. TLDR is that it’s a spec with too many tools and identities and as a result it lacks depth and substance. The balancing on talents is problematic and the Artifact ability needs to have a modifier for striking only 1 target. See my full thoughts here.


I think the best way to describe my thoughts on Fury after having played with it alot more than I had in Beta is that the maxim “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” perfectly describes the situation. Excuse my repetition; Enrage was so important to WoD Fury that it was both it’s crowning glory and bitter failure. Instead of fixing the problem I’ve come to the conclusion that they took the easy way out and just tossed the concept for something much simpler; and I’m not convinced that it’s better. In fact I think it’s too simple. Enrage was player defining. Sure, it was frustrating and the RNG was rage enducing but the positive of it was that because it mattered it made for a very visceral and dynamic and engaging playstyle. So how do you solve the RNG issue without throwing the idea out the window?

I’m going to pitch a whole new concept with all the same tools which accomplish this, so stick with me. Making Enrage matter means that something has to require it. To accomplish this I think Rampage is a perfect opportunity. If Rampage required Enrage to use and cost 50 Rage (down from 85) then this would not only give Rage as a resource it’s use, but also highlight the importance of Enrage. Now in order to do this you need a supporting cast. Instead of Furious Slash (aka Derp Slash) being a next-to-useless filler; you make it a low damage “rotation enhancing” cleave. Instead of doing significant damage it would increase the damage and critical strike chance of your next Bloodthirst by 35% per stack with a 3 stack limit. This would function as an alternative to using Raging Blow as a filler when you want to focus your rotation on saving up for a salvo of Rampages. Thus being able to basically guarantee Enrage (at the expense of damage) and pool Rage you could unleash brutal back-to-back Rampages (remember it would only cost 50 Rage). The alternative to choosing to burst with a Rampage combo would be Raging Blow as a filler. This would cost 10 Rage and would be the main meaty filler. The Inner Rage Talent would remove the Rage cost of Raging Blow in addition to it’s current enhancements. Also in regards to Rampage; the Carnage talent could be reworked to reduce the cost of Rampage down to 40 Rage but would cause it to have a 3 second cooldown meaning you could Rampage more often but you couldn’t combo them back to back. This may seem trivial and silly but this modifies the ability to make it a more reliable AoE when throwing in Whirlwinds between those CDs. Furious Slash would also tie into the AoE rotation by bolstering Bloodthirst’s role in the AoE kit in addition to it’s weak cleave damage.

So what does this all do? Is it just spinning my wheels? You’ll have to tell me but I don’t think so. This re-emphasizes the importance of Enrage into the kit without the limitations of the previous model. Because you have control over your kit via Furious Slash it makes for an even more fast paced rotation in both AoE and Single Target, it give you the option to pool your resources for a massive Rampage combo, and it also greatly increases the value of Crit and Mastery for Warriors making a perfect marriage between the stats.

You can see my initial thoughts on Fury here.


I think Ignore Pain is a concept that Protection has needed for a very long time to make it compete with the top tanks. I don’t think it’s perfect but it’s miles better than Shield Barrier. One of my favorite changes is that Shockwave is available at level 15. I think this is a huge quality of life improvement for leveling as Prot.  I’m also a fan of Revenge being a AoE cleave, feels much better. My only big gripe with Prot right now is that we lost our AoE taunt. I thought that was a really cool niche ability and losing it to monks feelsbadman. I think this would be fairly easy to fix by adding an AoE taunt to Demoralizing Shout via the Booming Voice talent in addition to it’s current effects.  The Artifact ability is pretty cool and overall I’m excited to be able to be able to pick up tanking again for 5 mans etc.


OK Warriors, you can bounce now. I’m going to be talking other classes for the rest of this post.

I like to begin anytime I talk about Paladins with the preface that I most identify with paladins as a theme, even more than Warrior. It is due to the fact that Warrior is a close 2nd and due to Ret’s gameplay being so unappealing to me (since Cataclysm #RIPWrathRet) that I have never made the switch to the theme that appeals to me the most. So here begins my thoughts on how I think this could be fixed…for me and all my fellow gameplay enthusiasts.


Let’s start positive. I think the Prot paladin changes are fantastic. I am concerned that the Shield of the Righteous with charges is a little unintuitive to the novice, however with time that concern seems to resolve itself as players learn to track and pace their AM better. The emphasis on Consecration as a dynamic modifier is fantastic, it’s great fun. I do think that the 15 Talent which makes all the modifiers act as if they were baked in; is a cop-out for people and shouldn’t be an option. I’d much rather see that talent being that Consecration moves with you (like the glyph in WoD). Avengers Shield and it’s procs are school boy level fun at it’s finest. I was a little disappointed more Diablo Crusader themed stuff didn’t filter it’s way in; but I digress. Also Aegis of Light looks amazing. Like full eyebrows raised awesome. I was disappointed in the Artifact quest for Prot and thought it was far too easy and short.


We’re back where we belong! The new Mastery is awesome and really hones in on the intended class fantasy and kit. The beacon and aura tools are a good supporting cast for this new Mastery and I think it’s really interesting to be able to pick your raid cooldown in the auras. I only sustain 2 criticisms: The AoE healing kit is pretty underwhelming (intended I know) and the Artifact ability isn’t interesting, or “paladin-y”. I’d have much preferred a location based AoE ability (to tie in with Mastery) where the paladin raises their hammer to the sky and over a  3 second channel, a beam of light descends and surrounds them and heal anyone in proximity for a little at first and then bursting at the end. I see this as using their holy hammer to call upon a blessing of the light for a cool AoE heal at the price of not being able to move and only healing those close to them. That would have really tingled my paladin senses.


My love/hate relationship. A theme I love so much, yet a kit that drives me into rants. So my fellow Ret paladins; what was the most defining thing about the Wrath ‘glory days of Ret”? Divine Storm of course. Now the rest of the kit wasn’t all that interesting but many simply overlooked this because of how awesome and fun Divine Storm was. Now fast forward to Cata and introduce Holy Power. This solved the single target rotation issues quite neatly but it absolutely butchered the AoE Kit. It was soul crushingly bad. I barely touched my Ret for an entire expansion out of disappointment. The enigma of Ret’s AoE kit continues and still plagues the spec to this day. Some might argue that Legion changes made the AoE kit even worse than WoD, crikey! I fully understand the role of the Artifact ability and Ashes to Ashes however I think this is a very poor bandaid for a problem that should be solved instead.

So how do you maintain Single Target stability, and yet recover the glory days of Divine Storm? Well it’s actually not that hard! The first thing you have to do is you need to change the way you think about Holy Power in a AoE context. The current model operates on a Small -> Small -> Small -> BIG premise. This leads to massive issues with ramp up and cadence. It also creates a domino effect of bandaids just to make it work. So where am I going with this? Instead of S>S>S>B you change the AoE specific kit to Medium>Medium>Medium>Medium Rotation Enhancer. Instead of Divine Storm costing 3 Holy power make it do good damage and build 1 Holy Power, then after 3 uses which build 3 Holy Power; you spend it on Holy Wrath, which does identical damage to Divine Storm but also gives you a 3 charge buff which increases the damage you deal with Divine Storm by 15% reducing in effectiveness by 5% per use. So 15% then 10%, then 5% after which you Holy Wrath again to maintain the AoE rotation. What this does is it solves the ramping issues by allowing Devs to tune AoE very easily because the damage is consistent and they don’t have to worry about the BIG top end being too powerful. It also makes Divine Storm fun to use again! You can jovially go back to your nostalgia of chain Divine Storming through massive packs of demons and undead while not abandoning a rotational builder/spender incentive. Additionally this would make Ret very strong on add fights as they could focus their finishers on the boss, but use a slightly weaker Divine Storm to cleave the adds. Just this would make the overall Ret kit and gameplay significantly more fun. Every Ret paladin I’ve pitched this too has loved the idea and some may have even proposed electing me for office (yikes!).

2 more things before I end my rant on Retribution. Mobility is a very significant part of melee class kits, gap-closing in particular is one of the reasons Warriors are so well loved and played. The mobility options Ret has now are really lacking. I’m very disappointed Long Arm of the Law is no longer an option as it supplemented an otherwise stale movement kit. I believe with the focus of the class fantasy on Judgement this was a glaring oversight.

Lastly is the sheer disappointment with the Artifact ability and it’s bandaid kit. This is one of the most exciting Artifacts in the game and yet the hype is drowning it’s sorrows due to the ability it’s been given. It’s visually disappointing; and it’s use is really to bandaid the otherwise incomplete AoE kit. I would have loved if it had incorporated the weapon itself as a fount of power. Imagine while DPSing, that after landing a mighty critical strike with Templar’s Verdict (or my proposed Holy Wrath) you were able to use this really powerful mini-cooldown (on a  1 minute cooldown) that infused you with Holy might from the golden orb of Ashbringer itself and turned your character into an effigy of the Light making you shine and glow golden and bright.  It’s effect would make all of your abilities for 10 seconds apply a DoT to all enemies you strike (aka Seal of Truth 2.0) and this could stack up to 5 times during the duration. This would be both useful on Single Target and really good on sustained AoE. It would require an act of might (crit from TV or HW) to activate but I think would fit the theme of the kit visually and effectively. You could even have it reduce enemies that died from it’s effect into a pile of smoldering ashes (Fire Mage tech).

Oh the things that could have been!



Let’s admit it; we’ve been spoiled rotten by our last 4 piece bonus. Just going back to an Aimed Shot cast feels like a nerf in itself. I’ve been noticing a significant amount of dissatisfaction from Hunters over the new changes and I’ve been trying to make sense of it. I think it comes down to a number of things. While I think the new Marking concept is pretty cool I think its not sustainable to be rotation defining, and it’s existence causes some problems. Sidewinders is the main offender to me. It costs too much, and I’m not talking about resources. By taking over both Arcane Shot and Multishot it effectively guts the rotation just to provide Marked Shot some more consistent use. Alot of the negative feedback I’ve been hearing has been from hunters playing with this talent, and generally when I ask them to try playing with Piercing Shot they report the playstyle is smoother and more intuitive. I think this comes down to balance. Sidewinders isn’t bad for it’s intended purpose but right now it’s the best for both AoE and ST and that’s a detriment to the class. It should be the niche choice on that tier, not the talent of choice.

Another issue I have is the artifact weapon. It doesn’t say Marksmanship hunter to me and the whole ‘air’ runway to the boss effect is really silly to me. A fitting MM artifact ability would have been a 1 minute cooldown which made the next 3 hunter’s casted shots instant and would simultaneously fire 2 extra times, also it would buff any ally within 15 yards with 2 charges of a cast while moving buff allowing them to cast their next 2 damage dealing abilities on the move. I see this as your calculated master sniper unleashing some terrifying “covering fire” before his teammates need to move. Part of me would want the hunter to yell “Move, Move, Move!” like in many War movies but that’s me being a little overzealous. Consider the synergy of Lock and Load and this ability. This would be like full auto covering fire. Hell yeah.

Lastly, Arcane Shot feels weird to me as a filler. I almost wish that Aimed Shot generated Focus and Arcane Shot consumed it. This current 5 focus gen thing makes very little sense to me.

Beast Mastery

I think the new BM has the makings of being really great, coming from the guy who doesn’t prefer the pet specs/classes. I understand the whole rotation being focused around summoning beasts, but it feels clunky. Not having Chimera Shot makes the spec literally a 2 button spec with a focus-over-time rotational mini-cooldown. I think Chimera Shot should be baseline and that in turn would offer players the alternative to “pet play” in Dire Frenzy which currently sees very little viability, even though I think it’s a ‘gameplay positive’ talent. Dire frenzy offers an alternative which changes the focus from throwing pets at something like pokeballs and makes it more about controlling your pets. I see validity in both fantasies. Playing with 2 buttons to me is just not something I can willingly subject myself too making Chimera a must.

I think the artifact was very well designed for BM and is one of those cases where they knocked it out of the park.


I’m not going to lie; I don’t want to like Survival. I’m still mourning the loss of MoP Survival. Despite my bad attitude I think there are some defining issues. Mongoose Bite isn’t intuitive and most hunters that I’ve gotten feedback from are confused by it’s charges and effect. Either they don’t know what the charges do, or they think they are doing something wrong because it can’t be that simple. I think this was a case of complexity for complexity’s sake. There really wasn’t much of a reason to have a 3 charge self buffing ability like this other than just trying to make it different from other melee…to be different. To me Survival should play like a highly agile and reactive hunter. I think it should be very proc based and interactive with it’s abilities. Mongoose Bite should  modify Raptor Strike and Carve by increasing the critical Strike chance of those abilities by 25% and each time they crit it increases the damage of the next Mongoose Bite by 50% stacking up to 6 times. This is the same exact concept except it involves the other kit’s abilities by making them tag team to get the big finish rather than it being focused on a single ability.

The biggest issue of all with Survival is the animation of the artifact ability. This is full cringe-worthy. I really hope the Fist of Fury animation is a placeholder.



That soundtrack though. I think this spec was probably the best new design of Legion. The talent diversity is fantastic and the playstyle options are great. Literally my only complaint is that Chain Lighting didn’t get the same audio upgrade as Lightning Bolt.


I’m going to be generous and give Enhancement a high improvement rating. I think the changes to the Maelstrom builder/spender system were successful however this class has some seriously bad button bloat issues. I appreciate the diversity in the weapon imbues but I think it could have been done alot neater. I think much like Kharazim in Heroes of the Storm; Enh shaman should have had their 15 talent being all about choosing which element to modify. Earth, Fire, or Wind. Each then should have built into a similar system of enhancing and modifying the basic abilities. As such having to choose between the options makes them more important and also allows each to be tuned more powerfully. I always consider choosing between powerful abilities to be more compelling than having a glutton’s choice of poor abilities.

I do really like the Crash Lighting look, animation and it’s role in the kit. To me Sundering should have replaced Crash Lightning and been more powerful and reach longer as a result.

Overall my impression of Enh is: good changes but I lament the button bloat and I think it could have been handled much more neatly and as a result would have made the option more interesting and impactful.


I haven’t spent too much time on Resto Shaman but what I have played around with and heard report of from my friend is that it’s very similar with some subtle but nonetheless interesting improvements.



I was pretty skeptical when I heard that WW had a new Mastery, mostly due to how clunky and ineffectual all of the previous incarnations had been. I’m actually staggered (no pun intended). The new Mastery is borderline genius. I think they actually solved the problem without making the class worse. It’s very dynamic and constantly requires you to make decisions and when you make the right ones it rewards you right away with results. Stunning. What isn’t stunning is the ‘Ret paladin treatment’ that Spinning Crane Kick got. Talk about hero to zero. As I explained with Divine Storm, a S>S>S>B builder spender system doesn’t work for AoE. It would be pretty easy to solve in the same way as I suggested for Ret paladins: Make SCK do good medium damage and generate 1 chi. Then have Rushing Jade Wind baseline and consume 3 chi, do good medium damage, causing your next 3 chi building abilities do 15% more damage. The reason I make the differentiation is that in order to maintain the mastery effect; 3 back to back SCKs couldn’t be used. Easy to balance: fun to play. Win.


#RIPGUARD2016. While BrM has a good gameplay kit; the Active Mitigation kit is really concerning and I’m not sure how they landed on this design without abandoning ship over the implications. Gift of the Ox needs to be seriously buffed (to the point of being overpowered) or something else drastic to make BrM a well rounded spec. This seems to be a trend with this design; its either too weak or it needs an overpowered crutch (aka LOLGuard) to make it functional.


I haven’t played Mistweaver since they made Renewing Mists only apply to 3 players. From what I’m hearing, I’m not missing much.

Death Knight


I’m a little torn on Frost, I think almost everything they did was in the right direction in terms of design but it really took my fingers a while to make the adjustment. One of the hardest changed for my fingers to deal with was when Howling Blast and Icy Touch were combined. While I think it’s fair to say this was warranted, I did like that extra button and the dispel glyph for it. I’m sort of used to a scheme with my keybinds and the new Frost by simplifying things kind of threw a wrench into it. The talents have some good diversity and I like the options that it gives for rune control options. The new Rune system is, lets face it, long overdue. It’s so much better.

I think Glacial Advance is abit weird. I think it’s a cool talent but the fact that it’s kind of like a MOBA skillshot doesn’t make much sense to me. When I think of this ability I want to visualize something else instead. In the original WOTLK cinematic the Lich King slams down Frostmourne into the ice and these cracks come out of the point of impact. I’d like to see something similar with this where the DK does a similar animation and “ice cracks” go forward before the DK doing damage to any enemies standing over them. The current ice spike line is really visually disappointing.

Another disappointment is the Artifact ability. The Frost Death Knight has so many rich themes to draw upon so to have something as underwhelming as some swords just kinda doing their own thing doesn’t do justice to this depth. Especially since Empowered Rune Weapon already has this fantasy checked off. I think a better themed ability would have been something like having a RPPM effect causing icy ghost tendrils (In a 8 yard radius around the DK) to wisp up from the ground  wrapping themselves around the lower body of the affected target(s) which deals ticking damage and slows the target rapidly increasing over time. The effects would only be fully effective within 8 yards of the Death knight and leaving that 8 yards would rapidly reverse the ramping effect. It would be even cooler to have the effect of the wispy tendrils gradually hardening into ice fully rooting the target on the last damage tick.


I know some may disagree with me immediately, but I consider the new Unholy spec to be significantly improved. The old version was far too much micromanagement with the Necrotic plague gaming, or too much feast or famine with the Breath of Sindragosa gaming. The theme of the kit is a little gross, but besides that it’s well designed. Having 3 resources to play with is definitely interesting if you consider Festering Wounds stacks to be another resource. The Artifact ability is really cool and the effect is appropriate and thematic. Can’t have too many ghouls. The only thing that I’m disappointed with Unholy about is that the Sludge Belcher talent uses a really low resolution model for the abomination. It also should be called Stitches for all DKs, because reasons. Not having Necrotic Plague as a Talent is a little disappointing but I realize the kit has sufficient disease tools as is.


Transitioning a playstyle from absorbs/healing over to active mitigation is no easy feat. Blood DK has succeeded where Brewmaster has failed. The new Marrowrend concept is a great way to effectively solve the problem. Blood still feels like it has a plethora of tools and it has the sustained damage mitigation now to complete it. The only thing I can really identify as an issue is the fact that Heart Strike (which the new version is pretty cool) consumes a Rune rather than Runic Power. Because of how weak Death Strike is on healing there isn’t really much incentive to using Runic Power which is likely to be sitting at cap. I think switching Heart Strike to RP would make it useful as a filler and RP spender while not competing on runes with the Active Mitigation generator; Marrowrend (too nitpicky). I’m not a fan of the Blooddrinker talent. The last thing Blood needs is another CD. It should have been a talent which caused Death Strike to heal for 200% more when you have more than 8 Bone Shield stacks or something.

The Artifact ability really does round out the kit, but again: it’s another cooldown. If you take all of the options you have more cooldowns than abilities! I think that new cooldown talents should have modified existing cooldowns to make then better, rather than just adding more.



I’m going to do my darnedest to get through this with as few puns as possible, so bear with me. The changes to guardian to me really honed in on both the fantasy and the kit of the spec. It hits me right back in the TBC feels. But, before we even talk about the kit we need to stop and just appreciate the sheer ridiculous coolness of the Artifact bear skins. If you haven’t thought in the back of your mind about playing a Guardian next expac just on the grounds of those looks: you’re doing this game wrong. Sorry, back to the kit; all of the new AM tools are really good; Bears finally have a way to deal with non-physical damage effectively and the talent options give a good rounded set of options which can be used to adapt to specific types of encounters. Currently the only thing which I can say even blips on my radar as a concern is that Rage generation seems to be a case of feast or famine. I thought that having Enrage as a talent was a missed opportunity. Guardian alone accounted for Druid getting a significant ‘alt priority’ boost in ranking for me.


So the Anti-Absorbs Civil Rights Movement (AACRM) finally broke through! Those darn fun-ruiners have finally been put in their place and we can enjoy healing again! The new Mastery solves one of the fundamental gameplay problems that resto Druids have always had. When it came to healing as a druid there previously was a non-linear gradation of effort to result. It’s very easy or tempting to overly HoT someone either preventatively or due to boredom and get very little pay-off for your effort. This new mastery makes your effort effectively equal to your result, and overhealing is the only factor which interferes with this. I like the fact that Wild Growth now doesn’t cost a branch and a root to cast and the talents give you all of the tools to flex into any role needed by your raid or group. The artifact is pretty cool, and the effect is valuable and will distinguish great restos. Honestly my only nitpicking complaint is that Lifebloom isn’t refreshed by your casted heals anymore. Something about saving that GCD by preplanning a casted heal felt good.


I’ve flirted with Feral ever since TBC, but as I’ve said many times; Energy based classes are a source of great ire to me. The new animations, the new artifact forms aren’t even enough to coax me. However, there is salvation through talents. Even though they aren’t technically optimal; there are a number of gameplay positive talents which make this spec (finally) alot of fun to play. Mostly it’s Moment of Clarity but there are a number of interesting other options which lend to some interesting nuances and combos. Thematically I think that some Feral talents have strayed quite far and unfortunately those are some of the highest yielding ones. I’m a little surprised they didn’t keep the Saberstalker form around in some faculty because I thought it was very cool visually, but they may have thought it was too much of a visual dichotomy. I think the Affinity options make Feral a much more viable melee pick compared to other melee (in a suffocatingly melee heavy world). Before Feral was a PvE niche class and a PvP mainstay and now I think Feral has a legitimate claim to both.


Yes, it really is that simple. Many times before I talk to a friend or colleague to increase my own knowledge of a spec I try to just play it on my own and see how intuitive it is to pick up. In the case of balance I seriously thought I was missing something quite significant when I asked my friend about it and he assured me that it was in fact that easy. While, after playing more with it, I’ve gradually gotten used to the simplicity I’m pretty aware that many boomkins are pretty dour about it’s dumbing down. My boomy friends used to make fun of me when I told them that previously I basically just chain cast Wrath regardless of cycle due to liking it’s shorter cast time; so now I finally can without being a derp! I like the fact that the new Lunar Strike does AoE splash damage as that ‘justifies’ the longer cast time sufficiently to use it. Even though I’d say in general the new Astral Power builder spender idea has worked out OK, I think Starfall is still kind of awkward. It should just default to casting in an area around your target, yourself included. The placing reticule option should have been part of the Stellar Drift talent.

The big weakness that I identify with balance is the reliance on hardcasting and the lack of alternatives. In a world of speedboats, being a tugboat is kind of hard. Seems Balance is the new plant and turret class. For me personally the changes make me more likely to play around with Balance, but I fear this spec just like Feral will become a niche.

More Soon™

Playing all my alts takes time, and chewing over the changes and my own suggestions also takes time. I never want to just point out the negative without making a positive suggestion. I’ll add more classes to this as an ongoing ‘thought outlet’. Let me know your own thoughts or reactions to what I’ve posted thus far and I’m happy to continue the conversation. If you happen to agree with one of my ideas then tell the Devs about it!



Beta Impressions…At Long Last

So I’ve finally been given access to the Beta, unfortunately it’s at a point where pretty much everything design and gameplay wise is already locked in and the Dev’s attention is now on tuning and bug fixes. Even though I’m glad to finally get my hands on the specs it’s bittersweet because my favorite part of all this is chewing over the specs and offering alternatives and suggestions for improvement. Alas.

I’ve been reaching out to our network of expert Warriors to catch up on much that I missed and try to get abreast of the situation. So far the prevailing sentiment is that Warriors are much better now than they were in WoD and that even though there are some bugs and flaws; rotations are decent and there is at least 1 niche we preserve as top contenders. Regardless of my colleagues’ optimism I’m going to lay out my own thoughts on Arms and Fury respectively knowing full well that I’m too late to the party to effect any change.


The Devs fixed a lot of the problems with Fury simply by unchaining our rotation from a brutal reliance on Enrage. But moving from a world so focused on Enrage; to the new reality of Enrage kind of just doing it’s thing and being it’s own mini RNG cooldown of sorts takes some getting used to. Effectively to me it feels like Colossus Smash 2.0. Gear certainly helps to increase the frequency of Enrage however the duration really feels too short, almost to the point of being annoying.

With the rotation being so focused on Rampage: Raging Blow and Furious Slash seem to be ‘rotation fluff’. Raging Blow is an inglorious filler and Furious Slash is pretty much fodder for bored fingers, adding no real benefit to the rotation. The ‘fireball’ crit stacking bonus doesn’t have enough of an impact to make the GCDs worth using, making me wonder why they insisted on keeping this ability at all and didn’t just scrap it and move the crit modifier to Raging Blow. Speaking of Raging Blow; I find it very awkward that Meat Cleaver doesn’t involve Raging Blow anymore. I’ve also come to learn that Meat Cleaver doesn’t increase the amount of healing Bloodthirst does when it hits multiple targets and I see that as an opportunity squandered to beef up Fury’s multi-mob sustainability.

Fury’s defensive kit is probably the area most heatedly discussed and its easy to see why. Part of this I think comes as an initial shock due to the scaling of the Artifact Quest for those with better gear. For those of you who haven’t tried the Fury artifact quest with high item levels; prepare to embrace your mortality. It’s seriously hairy. However once you get your artifacts and you get out into the Broken Isles, things taper down to be quite manageable. My above suggestion about Meat Cleaver impacting BT‘s healing is as far as I’ll comment on this.

As far as Fury’s stat weights; I think it comes as a surprise to some that crit isn’t top dog, even initially. Haste is the new king. From the yesteryear of MoP where haste was useless to now pushing crit down the rungs; it feels like “too soon”. This is purely on a perception level because Fury still crits a lot and Recklessness is back to it’s former glory however something about crit seems to have become fused with the fantasy of DPS Warriors and those big raw hits. The reality is that Fury no longer needs it to function, and that’s not something we want to go back to is it?

So overall; I’m in full agreement with my Warrior brothers: Fury is way better than it was in WoD. While I find Enrage to be annoyingly short; it’s not the worst problem to have and the visual combat animations really do take the fantasy of this class to the next level. The appearance of the Artifact swords is still, in my opinion, a massive disappointment; but being able to transmog them immediately makes this a non-issue.


So Arms to me right now is a collection of enigmas. It’s something that’s trying to be too many things, and as such suffers. It’s got very different builds which create interesting playstyles but the overall impression I get is that you are given toolbox brimming with tools but only a couple are even useful. My biggest problems is how Arm’s triumphant returning abilities Slam and Overpower are treated. I don’t even know why Slam exists or is baseline. It’s damage is pathetic and Fervor of Battle makes it obsolete. I get having Whirlwind, and seeing Cleave back is nice, but I just don’t see the logic behind this toolbox. I almost wish Whirlwind was a talent which replaced Slam as an AoE alternative which could be paired with Fervor to make a “cleave off a target” build. This would leave Cleave as the sole AoE rotational ability in a Slam build and it would make sense therefore to have Cleave‘s damage increase apply to Whirlwind or Slam. Its obviously too late for changes like these but I feel like there could have been a much more elegant way to deal with this glut of abilities which don’t really have a reason to both exist other than nostalgia.

Overpower is dear to my heart, and for those of you who know me, you know how hard we fought for that back. My biggest problem with it right now is that it competes with Dauntless, which is the default go-to for a Whirlwind build which is very powerful due to Fervor of Battle. I really wish that Overpower and Focused Rage could swap talent spots, because I feel like it fits much better with other talents which modify rotation. So why Focused Rage? Because it’s a talent that should never ever, ever have made it into the game to start with, and should be on a tier where it’ll never be chosen unless someone wants to prefer the damage increase at the price of not having Dauntless. The PvP implications are aspiring to the level of the Heroic Strikes during the opening patch of Mists of Pandaria. It’s not fun to play and the APM is pushing over 140 which is in the same league as the artharitis-inducing macro-Gladiator in WoD. Warriorsarri was telling me that during Recklessness we’re flirting with up to 20 actions within a 5 second window. How does this fit in the slow and hard hitting fantasy spec? I don’t get it. The only reason why no one is complaining about Fervor of Battle bringing back our Whirlwind spam overlords is that no one wants to see Focused Rage be the forced choice. The other big problem with Focused Rage is that it hampers Mortal Strike from being buffed. If the top end extremes get too high due to mechanical inflation then we’ll never see MS reach the level of damage we all want to see from it. Mortal Combo can never be good because of the talent sitting right next to it won’t allow MS to get buffed enough to make Mortal Combo the go-to.

As far as the Artifact, the ability is underwhelming. I get that it’s intended to be an AoE ability but I’m unconvinced to why it should only be an AoE ability. Arms is already good on AoE; it’s lacking in Single Target damage. I like the idea behind it applying CS to everything but I’d love to see it have significantly more damage if it only hits 1 target in the same way that many abilities deal x% more if only 1 target is hit. It may very well already justify being pushed on Single Target, but you shouldn’t feel like you just wasted your “Awesome badass Artifact ability” if you use it on ST and 3 seconds later some adds join the fight. If it had the mechanic to increase it’s damage if it only hit 1 target at least you’d have less regrets about having used it early and less optimally.

As with Fury, aesthetically the Sword is more of the same visual disappointment. But as previously mentioned: Transmog is your key to look the badass you are.

Overall; Arms has a pretty decent rotation and seems to have all the tools it needs to be viable, though I worry about the balancing pass to come. If Focused Rage becomes the best option; I’ll be forced to go with the twin dragon toothpicks.


I’m interested in hearing your own impressions of the specs. My thoughts are based on my testing thus far and talking to some other Warriors. Many of my concerns aren’t really on their radars so don’t think that I’m speaking for them. These are strictly my own opinions on the specs. What spec are you planning on picking up first?


First Impressions on Warrior Changes in Legion

Before I get into my reactions to each spec’s changes I want to highlight what some might have missed from the introductory paragraphs; The developers are looking to develop a sandbox for players in which you build-it-your-way. They are taking much of the flavor of Warriors and putting those abilities into talents. In addition to what we currently have in Dragon Roar, Storm Bolt, Avatar, Bladestorm we’ll be getting some community favorite abilities back like Overpower, Heroic Strike, and Opportunity Strike. The only concern I have with this is that it adds so many more factors into balancing. If you can ‘stack’ powerful abilities, each will have to be somewhat weaker in order to accommodate the other power abilities. It runs the risk of having a plethora of so-so abilities but none that knock your socks off. I’m still pretty stoked to see Overpower back as you might well imagine after campaigning so long for it’s return.

ArmsArms Changes

So right off the get go, let’s talk about the new Mastery. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction, the WoD Mastery was fraught with potential abuse. This new mastery focuses on Colossus Smash which they are making the core gameplay of the spec. The 45 second CD on CS might seem to be a little high but keep in mind that the Tactician passive is going to be reseting CS a good bit. I can only assume it took much playtesting to finally settle on 45 seconds to rule out any PvP implications of ‘run away until CS is back up and charge in and go nuts, then run back out again’. This way Arms Warriors have to be very active in their rotation to get those CS resets. The new mastery also enables them to tune Mortal Strike, Slam, and Execute up higher since they don’t need to worry about those massively rage engorged, full CDs, stars-aligned hits that elicit nerfs.

Even though Whirlwind isn’t mentioned in the Blog specifically as an ability, it’s still there. We see mention of it in some of the other tooltips. What this means is that you’ll have 2 full alternatives to spending excess Rage; Whirlwind for AoE and Slam for Single Target, something that many of us are happy to see re-established as baseline. Speaking of Slam they have finally ditched the debuff stacks. I don’t have any proof of this but I highly suspect that their data showing how little Slam was being used as a talent in WoD really caused them to admit their failure and revert this. We may(?) see this stacking mechanic as a talent, but as far as I’m concerned; good riddance.

It’s far too early to tell how it’s going to feel without seeing it in action so we’ll all wait to see what the Beta brings, overall though, I see this very much as a step in the right direction. As far as suggestions, I am really hoping for something baseline as far as Rage is concerned. This hasn’t been as much of a talking point recently in WoD because the Tier 18 bonuses and Taste for Blood have largely made this feel OK, not to mention the high levels of Crit we have now, however lets not forget how horrible this felt before Tier 18. I think Taste for Blood should be baseline as well, with it’s talent being replaced by the option to spread bleeds to all nearby enemies. Then again Rend wasn’t mentioned at all so I may end up editing this all out. I’d like to see Shield Barrier removed from all specs, this was a silly bandaid to the Warrior kit. I’d like to see something more in line with a damage dealer’s kit. There should be nothing shield related with Arms and Fury either in abilities or in visuals. Maybe Enraged Regeneration should be baseline for Arms and Fury, which could then be coupled with a robust talent to allow Warriors to be the juggernauts in combat that they should be.

I’ll give Arms a 7/10


Fury Changes

Fury. It may finally be furious? First things first: Wild Strike. I’m so glad to be rid of the whoosh whoosh clank woosh woosh woosh. I’d express my feelings about Wild Strike more vitriolically but I think that since you feel that way about it too, we’ll just skip that. A couple things really stand out to me about Fury in Legion. First is Rampage, this ability looks awesome and a creative fix for something which we’ve been bemoaning throughout WoD: reliability. The fact that this is based off a large amount of Rage and always deals damage as if you are Enraged means that the skilled player can use this to maximum effect to keep up the cadence of their attacks.

The second thing that grabs me is Raging Blow not having a CD. This means that when Enraged we can hit this button as much as we have the Rage to use. This gives us the flexibility to ‘unload’ our damage very quickly. It all depends on how the ability is tuned but I see Raging Blow hitting pretty hard, to make up for the loss of Wild Strike between Rampages. This also adds a much needed skill trap to Fury to set the best Warriors apart from the others. Rage shouldn’t be a “blow all you got” type of resource; you should spend it with intention being mindful to play to your next set of globals, not just the current ones.

The third and most concerning thing I see is the new Enrage mechanic. It increases our attack speed but it also increases the damage we take by 30%. While I get the ‘fantasy’ aspect of this, it has very serious implications. Unless there is a PvP “talent” which directly cancels this out, this would be devastating for Fury PvP. In PvE this takes one of the squishies melee in the game in endgame content and makes them even squishier. I hate to bring it up because of all the salt but Blackhand was a perfect example of all the woes of WoD Fury. Why make a weakness even worse? While the fantasy of recklessness might be hinted at, the actual gameplay will result in quite the opposite of the fantasy; instead of being reckless, players will be forced to be very careful and hands off during periods of high damage; all of which is the opposite of brash careless rampages. I really hope they revisit this because this is a case of fantasy clashing with reality and we the players are going to bear the brunt of it.

A couple things I’d still like to see are for Enrage; keeping the addition of gaining 10 Rage. This makes being Enraged feel alot better because it puts you into a better position to make full use of the opportunity. I’d like to see Recklessness gain the full effect of the Tier 17 4 piece Bonus and make it feel as powerful as it should be, going back to regular Recklessness after that just feels lackluster. Lastly I’d like to see a more robust anti-RNG system but behind Bloodthirst still. I did notice they upped the crit bonus to 40% but I’d like to have some insurance against the extremely unlucky situation.

I’ll give Fury a 8/10 (other than the Enrage damage thing in which case 6/10)



Prot changes

Hold Up! Where is Gladiator?! I’m not sure, we’ve been asking the developers why this has been ostensibly excluded and we’ll have to wait on a response to determine Gladiator’s fate. (Update: Gladiator has been confirmed as being removed from the game until a later time [ie. new full spec]).

Overall other than Shield Barrier being axed to introduce Ignore Pain, there isn’t anything massive that pops out at me about the changes. Basically everything in the melee kit has no Rage costs which allows the resource to be focused on mitigation. In the same way that Blood DKs have their Death Strike on Runic Power now, I think this is a good change. I think about the 3rd boss in Skyreach which required frequent applications of AM in order to not be debuffed, certain classes had alot of trouble doing so with the limitations of their resources. I’m curious to see how Ignore Pain interacts with magical damage as it’s hard to tell right off the bat how effectively this will deal with Prot Warrior’s Achilles heel.

I’d still really like it if Warriors all used 2 handers and that being our thing. With Gladiator in the mix it makes complete sense to have 2h and a Shield which would make tuning a heck of alot easier and Prot could get those big meaty hits that Warriors are famous for. I’d love to see some cool combinations of 2h weapons with really big aggressive shields.

I’ll give Prot a 8/10.

I know these are just the very first glimpses of the specs, but these are also my very first impressions. I’ll be going into more depth when we get more info, as always.




The Warcraft Adventure: Chapter 1

My wife is a very casual player. She is not a ‘gamer’ in any stretch of the sense. Her experience with games is pretty much exclusive to World of Warcraft and solely because of me. She doesn’t understand the appeal of those purple pixels like you or I do, but what she does understand is the expansive Tolkien-esque fantasy epic adventure thing. Naturally when we play together you can guess we aren’t slaying giant dragons, but rather saving Mr. and Mrs. Peabody’s farm in Arathi Basin and extracting the gizzards of whatever foul creature lurks near Troubleville in Dangershire. So today’s topic is not about raiding, it’s about WoW as an RPG and the leveling experience.WoWScrnShot_103115_214103I think that after having 18 level 90s in Mists and encroaching 15 level 100s in Warlords, I have established enough credibility to speak on this subject. As such I will discuss a few of the things I have noticed going back to content I haven’t touched for years. Maxing out so many character each expansion has invariably created some distance between myself and what I will refer to as the ‘First Chapter’ of the Warcraft Adventure: aka leveling to max level. WoW is rather unique in the MMO genre in that for most players the real experience in the game comes once you achieve that final level and graduate to the endgame. Endgame content has been the engine that has driven World of Warcraft’s wildly successful tenure in gaming; however just because the second ‘chapter’ of the experience is great, doesn’t make the intro not worth experiencing or talking about.Adventure guide copy

I find myself often saying “back in the day…” while questing with my wife, not because I’m an insufferable hipster, but for me seeing these zones again is very nostalgic. In some cases I haven’t been back in years to these zones, and doing some of the quests again hearkens back memories of world PvP, or gankers. Reminiscing does have its benefits too, it reminds me how far we’ve come in this game. The quest tracking system and the little blue area highlights on the map/minimap has done a lot for making the quest experience smoother and more efficient; you don’t have to explore a whole zone just to find where your quest objectives are anymore. Also the quest autocomplete and auto-prompt added in Cataclysm was a fantastic addition to the game and something we take for granted. I was reminded of this when we went back and forth between a quest hub and a quest location at least 6 times completing quests and handing them in. The new system would have saved us 5 trips and at least 20 mins of time.questcomplete

Overall I think the WoW leveling experience is largely underrated. I get that we veteran players are quite jaded to leveling this many years in and that most of us view it as some nuisance or hurdle to cross in order to reach endgame, however I feel like this first ‘chapter’ is invaluable. Firstly it teaches you how to play your class, something which I see becoming increasingly less effective as XP cuts and heirlooms expedite the process, and secondly I very much lament the removal of specific class quests to learn abilities. I thought it was great to break the monotony of the leveling grind to do these unique special quests in order to get that exciting new spell, and a pretty cool and unique weapon while you were at it. Maybe making this mandatory was the wrong approach but I feel like you could still have them as an option for those who are up to the challenge while not hamstringing players who just want to power through. A good compromise is perhaps that these special class quests make these abilities available 5 levels early for those willing to seek out the challenge. The go-getters should be rewarded for chomping the bit by earning these trademark spells via these quests earlier than those who aren’t interested in going off the beaten path. This way all players get the spell, but the ambitious adventurer earns their reward sooner and a unique weapon to boot. If a group of levelers don’t care to split up and do these they can just grind on through and learn the ability automatically 5 levels later. I think a lot of class flavor was lost when these quests were removed, I still remember journeying up a mountain in The Barrens for Defensive stance, and going to those runes North of Hillsbrad to learn Whirlwind and getting that cool rare axe.

I’d also like to see more random world events which are less scripted, akin to Stitches attacking Darkshire in Duskwood. I think the Garrison Invasion in WoD kind of touched on this but I’d love to see it in a more dynamic and unscripted way. For example in Stranglethorn you could have several parties of players farming quests as usual and doing their humdrum of killing pirates, suddenly the watch(goblin) of Booty Bay yells to the zone that the pirates have launched an attack on the town as a result of the adventurers inciting them. The adventurers would be given 2 minutes to rush back and defend the town for a 3 minute attack on the guards (no important NPCs would be killed) and players would get a reward based on their participation. Say there were medals for the amount of pirates you killed, just like in the Garrison invasions. Killing 15 pirates would yield you an Experience potion good for 30 minutes, killing 30 pirates would gain you a hour long XP potion, and killing 45 pirates would gain you the top reward of the hour long XP potion and a Rare reward tailored to their class/spec along with a Parrot pet obtainable no other way. These kinds of invasion events could be added back into old zones in Azeroth quite easily, just pick a local faction of mobs nearby a major quest hub, pick all the different models and names, and then code the invasion into player participation in the zone. You could even have a zone wide warning like: “Beware Adventurers, the Arrakoa seem to be becoming more aggressive as their flock dwindles at your hands, they may be incited to further violence if you continue”. Which is of course is everyone’s queue to go harass the bird-brains to start an invasion. Again, this could be done literally anywhere in most zones, not something scheduled, but something caused by players. You could even see some people talking in general chat in your zone and ask them if they want to try to cause an invasion by attacking the respective creature type of that zone. I think this would really bring some of the dynamic zone event type situations that many players have been asking for many a year now.WoWScrnShot_110215_163339

Another situation while leveling with my wife brings up another thing that I noticed about leveling in Azeroth. We were headed to a quest destination and we both mounted up and headed in that direction. Soon it got to the point where we either continued along the road until the fork and headed North, or we could just shortcut across the plains offroad. Without even thinking twice I went as the crow flies straight through the brush, and my sensible wife continues on the road. I ask her “Where are you going?” to which she responds “I’m going to the next quest area”. “It’s right over here…”. “Yeah, I’m going on the road, isn’t that what it’s for?” *crickets*. She makes a good point. The World of Warcraft doesn’t feel as dangerous anymore. I remember specifically hugging roads back in Classic and TBC for fear of ‘aggroing’ mobs or even worse getting dazed! Oh how we all hated getting dazed! The dark reality is that the mechanic of dazing exists to make the world be more dangerous. With heirlooms, nothing is scary anymore. I ran into an elite mob that was a good 8 levels higher than me and without too much trouble and a little kiting, I killed it. That shouldn’t be possible, that was an objective for a group quest I couldn’t even get yet.

So what do I think is the solution? For starters, heirlooms need to scale less drastically. They shouldn’t be significantly better than anything you could get at that level. They should be marginally better with the added bonus of having the XP buff, which is reason enough to have them. You shouldn’t feel 5 levels stronger than you should be, just by wearing these special beige items. Secondly, I’d like the world to be more dangerous too. I don’t think you should be able to run into a hideout of enemies and pull all 20 mobs in sight and kill them all within seconds without so much as losing half your health. I think 1-2 mobs should be relatively routine and anything higher cause you to actually try and to use your class’ abilities like roots and novas and such. As is, if the mobs actually reach you they are doing good, usually getting one or two shot. You have players getting to higher levels without any notion of how to use their disengage abilities and defensive cooldowns. I remember leveling my Warrior in Terrokar forest and having to eat and bandage after attacking even a single mob…that was too far in the other direction, but a happy medium needs to be found where the leveling player doesn’t feel like a demi-god.

As far as dazing is concerned I think it’s time we graduated to a new model; let’s call it Intimidation. When you stray off a road and get near an enemy you should get a debuff called Intimidation which gives you several seconds to vacate the immediate proximity of the mob before this creature spooks your mount and you get dismounted. The closer you get and the higher the enemy monsters’ level the less window you have to escape. If you greatly exceed the level of the creature your mighty steed would snort at the threat of this puny rodent in your way and you would be unaffected. So what’s the point? How is this better than no Daze? Well for one it’s a dynamic system that you control, yours is the choice to risk venturing into the dangerous area and risk being dismounted. Secondly it makes the adventurer cautious about avoiding enemies when off the road, if you run into multiple enemies and your mount will get spooked extra quick then you’ll have to handle the mess you got yourself into before carrying on your ‘shortcut’. All they would have to do is add some coding on top of the already existing aggro radius of mobs, and build a simple equation based off your level and the level of the creature you’ve aggro’d. Travelling on roads is part of the basic fantasy of the RPG experience for a world like Azeroth, I’d like to see some incentive to actually do so.WoWScrnShot_110215_160409

Lighting. It’s a very tricky thing to get just right. We’ve seen some experiments lately with Elwynn Forest and darker nights and that’s all good and well, steps in the right direction, but there are some egregious lighting faux-pas. I ventured into a troll crypt in The Ghostlands, I was expecting somewhere spooky, dark, and eerie, lit only by small patches of light from lit torches. Torches there were, but darkness there wasn’t. The place was lit up like a Broadway stage. It was so bright in there I could barely see the lighting effects from the torches! What’s the point of being in a crypt if you can see as well in there as you can outside? It completely ruined the quest for me. Between the new outline mode for quest items and the sparkles and all that there are suffient tools to assist players in completing their objectives without throwing the baby out with the bathwater and just lighting the place up completely. Players should be able to navigate by torchlight, maybe not dark enough to make someone disoriented, but dark enough to make it seem somewhat real. Even in Diablo there are rifts in which your visibility extends for a couple meters as you careen headlong into the dark unknown. That is cool, maybe too dark for the likes of WoW, but we need to dial it more back to that direction. Perhaps there needs to be a toggle in the graphics settings which enables “Spotlight Mode” essentially lighting up dark areas like you were a walking spotlight. The rest of us shouldn’t be punished with an unrealistic experience because of the few who need spotlight mode. This could also toggle for outdoor lighting as well. Zones shrouded in darkness, and zones at night should be dark; dark enough that seeing that light ahead on the post along the road registers the proper experience in your brain, that of immersion. I’m no RPer, but I think that things like ambiance, environment and even lore can very much enhance the play experience significantly in the same way that music is painstakingly selected for movie scenes to really communicate the desired experience.WoWScrnShot_110215_154804

So as a recap, when it comes to ‘Chapter 1’ of the WoW experience, I think we’ve really come a long ways, but as always I think there is definitely room for improvement. I’d like WoW to recapture its feel of the adventurer in a massive and dangerous world, rather than countlessly praised immortal ‘demi-god’ carelessly auto-running while tabbed out. I’d like to see flavor class quests reintroduced to the game as a incentive for the go-getter adventurer to earn rewards sooner than Mr. Dungeonfarmer the Patient to re-instill the uniqueness of this experience and reward the extra effort. Everyone gets the same spells just like normal, however great things come (earlier) to those who are willing to go out and grab adventure by the horns. Zone events triggered by players with cool little invasions upon quest hubs would add further flavor to leveling through zones, you’d never know when you’ve stumbled into a zone ripe for an invasion and your own participation would gain you greater rewards like increasingly better experience buffs and even a unique pet at appropriate locations. This would add some level of unpredictability to your standard leveling experience and would certainly make you peel your eyes away from Netflix for the 3 minutes it would take to kill as many kobold as you could!  I’d like to see the off-road world in WoW get its reputation back and in so doing making the sensible option of the road that much more natural. I’d like to see heirloom have less of an impact on player ‘power’ as they level and to see a new ‘Intimidation’ system added to replace Dazing with something more dynamic and player controlled. Lastly I’d like to see the ambiance of WoW move towards capturing the mood of its genre, complimenting a more dangerous world with a more sinister feel, one that immerses players deeper into the sense of danger, and of course giving every player ‘Galadriel’s gift to Frodo’ in a toggle setting so that they can “bring light to the darkest places” should they need help seeing. Warlords of Draenor questing was about as good as it’s ever been for questing, especially the atmosphere of the dense thickets in Spires was inspiring, so I hope they continue to both excel in the new and retrofit the old to deliver the best possible first chapter of this epic adventure. I’ve been having a lot of fun going back and leveling with my wife who sees this world that I’m passionate about with new eyes, maybe we’ll run across you in Azeroth too!


Taking Legion to the Next Level: Raid “Seasons” and Guild Halls

One Lazy Afternoon…

So my buddy Hargalaten and I were talking yesterday, he is leveling a character, and I’m flying around Tanaan picking up items. It started like this:

“Hey, so you know the new PvP system in Legion where you earn “PvP” levels and earn cosmetic rewards and mounts and stuff?”

”Yeah, what about it?”

“We need something like that for PvE…like some kind of progression system which incentivizes weekly PvE content…something that gives guilds and players something to work towards and shows their own commitment”.

“Yeah, that’d be pretty cool…”

And thus ensued a full hour long conversation about some things which I wanted to put forward today as a suggestion going forward into Legion.

PVE Progression System

So let’s start with the basic blueprint of the PvP idea which is that as you accumulate honor you gain PvP specific abilities and then once you unlock everything fully you continue to ‘progress’ towards earning cosmetic rewards. Its almost like Paragon Levels in Diablo III without the character enhancing points. I think this system could definitely work with PvE too. Let’s approach Raiding tiers like Diablo Seasons. In Diablo seasons you have achievements just like in WoW, but they are specific to the season and they progressively amount to more ‘reputability’ each stage you complete them. This reputability is expressed both visually through the player pennant decoration and vanity items such as pets. I think this system could perfectly adapt into WoW’s end game progression. So let’s take Hellfire Citadel as our example for this. At the start of this tier we’d all start completely fresh, and we’d all start the new “Raiding Season 18”. Season 18 would have various challenges in achievement form: here are some examples:

[0/1][Kill 500 non-boss enemies in Hellfire Citadel]

[0/1][Kill all the bosses in the ___________________wing of Hellfire Citadel on any difficulty]

[0/1][Defeat Archimonde the Defiler on any difficulty]

[0/1][Construct a Shipyard at your Garrison]

So let’s just pretend that the above is the first level of challenges for Season 18 of Hellfire Citadel. Upon completion, the next level can offer even harder challenges including maybe the boss specific achievements from certain bosses (like the meta achievements) the point being; continue to validate and reward players for continuing to do the same content over and over. Having a way of visually expressing someone’s commitment to the current content I think lends to less of a feeling of purposeless grinding. The term “farm” content has a fairly negative connotation in raiding. You stop doing wings or bosses as soon as you possibly can. An achievement that continues to tally up your boss kills (and your participation on trash…cus screw those trash AFKers!) means that there is some reason to continue to do farm content. Now the reward structure for this has to be extremely specific as to not make the rewards seem mandatory. However there should be enough reward to make it worth it. My idea is that you fold the current raid “meta” achievement into this system so you’d receive the mount reward through unlocking the various levels of challenges. As you go from level to level you start at challenge level 1 as an “Aspirant”. After completing those objectives you go to stage 2 as a “Challenger”. This rank increases the requirements on all the achievements from stage 1 and also adds some new options such as the first half of the specific boss achievements. Completing these unlocks Stage 3 which further increases the requirements and adds the second half of the boss achievements and also rewards a special pet. Upon reaching Stage 4 the players unlock a raid specific mount (yes like AQ) which allows them to fully ride through HFC, rewarding them for their hard work and dedication. This mount remains raid instance specific until the end of the tier, which upon the release of the next tier becomes a regular mount and becomes ride-able elsewhere like your other mounts. Finally upon unlocking the final stage 5 of the achievements you are rewarded with the title “Conqueror of __________________” in this case: “Hellfire”. I think a system like this offers enough incentive to continue to grind out content and to fully experience the tier without forcing a player to do them. Joe Shmoe who just wants to kill all the bosses and do the least possible and unsubscribe won’t be missing out anything hugely important other than a pet, a mount, and a title. But other raid enthusiasts will be able to see the truly committed players, plus how cool would it be to zone into LFR on your alt and mount up on that raid specific mount while everyone else has to run, then they’ll know your main is a badass.

If we had a “season” for every raid tier then that would be really cool way of seeing someone’s involvement in each tier, you would be able to tell the difference between a dedicated and ambitious raider…and the guy who buys gold online and just gets carried by top guilds selling runs. You could also use this entire system to incentivize non-raid, non-seasonal content like dungeons too. You could have a separate 5 level dungeon system which doesn’t reset until the next expansion which requires high participation in dungeons for rewards such as a pet, mount, and maybe even a title. This system already exists in the meta achievements but it could be done in such a cooler way where your ‘grinding’ has a visual reference towards a reward.

Guild Halls

Our next topic of conversation was Guild Halls. Garrisons were a complete failure in my opinion. Not in that it wasn’t interesting at times, or offered a new and unique experience but it led to a social game becoming anti-social. Players spend most of their time in their garrison, or AFK in their garrison. The world became a much smaller place as a result and this magnificent continent of Draenor with its gorgeous vistas was completely drowned in deafening silence of solitude. It would have been so much cooler to be able to zone into your garrison to see your guildmates come and go, see the guild “AFKer” in his usual spot, and to see “Mr. Professions” making his small fortunes while you lamented your own apathy. So enough about garrisons. Let’s talk about Legion.

So Halls’ is the word in Legion. Each Class is getting its own and some will love theirs, and Rogues will continue to boycott their bullion laden sewers. I think that guilds need a space within Dalaran as their own instanced Guild Hall. As long as you are in a guild this instanced area will be yours to occupy. If you aren’t in a guild this area will be un-instanced and be part of regular Dalaran with its default furnishings. Guilds can customize their own space though and elevate this area from the default to something unique as they progress as a guild. Let’s say that this instanced guild area of Dalaran has 3 main parts: A crafting area with workstations for all the professions, an area for training with training dummies (and mandatory hot tub). And finally a Common Area with a table, a roaring fire with a large hearth. This is the go-to place to hearth back to after a hard day slaying demons and monsters. Your Guild Hall will have plenty of options to customize and all of these will be unlocked by your guild participating in various activities and your hall will have 3 levels. To upgrade your hall to level 2 you’ll have to accomplish certain things together as a guild, for example you’ll need to have each profession maxed by one of your guild members, you’ll need to have completed every dungeon as a guild and you’ll need to participate in the game to accumulate a new material “Guild Resources”. Once you’ve accumulated enough Guild Resources you’ll be able to spend them to purchase a Level 2 Guild Hall. This will make your hall look pretty cool, with lots of visual upgrades, banners with your emblem blazoning the walls, you might even get that hot tub I was talking about =). Special guild achievements such as AOTC achievements and PvP achievements will gain the additional reward of a trophy for your Guild Hall. What else could be better than a gold bust of Guldan’s severed head on your mantelpiece? There is so much potential here. Your Archeology exploits could yield some cool artifacts to display. You could accumulate some cool statues in your training area for your PvP exploits. So much could be done, but the central purpose is what Garrisons failed so miserably at: bringing players together. You could invite your friend or an applicant to your party and have them zone into your Guild Hall and show off your guild’s prestige in a visual way. After upgrading your Guild Hall to level 3, guilds will be able to spend their guild resources on helpful things for the guild such as discounts for repairs, crafting food and potions for raids etc.


Everything I have talked about has all of the ingredients already in the game. Everything is there, we just need to combine them and package them in a way that makes it appealing and relevant. Achievements will still be achievements but they’ll also double as a progression system. Players need something to work towards, and guilds need something to continue to unify them. WoD will be known as “The Expansion that killed guilds” maybe Legion can be the expansion that breathes new life into them.

I am taking a break from Blogging until the Legion Beta. Most of my feedback is reactive to changes and with my giant wall’o’text manifesto already out I don’t have much more to say until we see how things hash out. Thanks for the support and we’ll strike up the conversation frenzy when the changes get announced!

Stoic’s 7.0 Warrior Wishlist


Lets talk Warriors. Not much of a challenge for me since basically all I do is talk about Warriors. What I’m going to focus on in this article are the changes that I would like to see come about in the new World of Warcraft Legion expansion. I’m going to try to focus as much as possible on my own thoughts and contributions to this conversation but invariably you might see the ideas of others represented both by inspiration or just ‘collective genius’ (I jest). I don’t think that this wishlist is the be-all-end-all solution for Warriors, though frankly since it is my opinion it must be flawless and irrefutable (right?), rather this is my personal take on the situations which may in turn be expressed as a larger whole in the future along with the interesting and equally valid suggestions of other Warrior thinkers. You’ll find the most parallel in the identification of various Warrior issues, notably because you don’t need a PhD to find them.

Where we are Currently

Warlords of Draenor has been tumultuous rollercoaster for Warriors. I expressed in my previous article that I felt as a Warrior that I was ‘past my prime’, that I felt much more powerful in Mists of Pandaria. While the number crunch might be suggested as the primary cause of this, I would dismiss that by pointing out that our Blizzard spreadsheet masters actually did a smashing good job on the crunch and what is most important are the numbers relative to the target. We don’t experience any ‘number vertigo’ when we farm old content and Execute for 15 million. I think the issue lies more in the pruning. I risk repeating myself, however in MoP we had a large tool cabinet of abilities designed for counters and specific situations, each drawer had its perfectly arranged set of tools each with it’s own purpose. In WoD our impressive arsenal of tools was taken away and we were given a tool belt. While this makes some pragmatic sense, you still come across plenty of situations where you look at your belt and you miss the old days of being able to fix a problem with the right tool, instead of using a hammer and some duct tape for everything. Its interesting how, while the Developers made all these changes in the name of drawing each spec closer to it’s fantasy; ironically I think they ultimately failed. Fury doesn’t feel more furious, Wild Strike can never give the same sensation as Heroic Strike. It still is relatively fast paced, however oppressive RNG can often turn fast into standing around picking your nose until Bloodthirst crits. Arms was pinioned as finally returning to it’s roots as a slow, hard hitting spec, however what resulted completely failed the fantasy that the large majority of players recognized: A calculating master of Arms using strength and precision to overpower their enemies. There is nothing precise about Arms currently, nor is there anything calculating. Arms consists of watching your Rage bar, hitting the same 2 buttons constantly, and when execute phase rolls around; pleading the RNG gods between executes and stacking all your cooldowns for a ‘Hail Mary’. I certainly agree with differentiating the pace between Arms and Fury, and additionally I see nothing wrong with tuning Arms around heavy single hits, yet the full kit needs to support those in a way which fulfills the (real) fantasy of the specialization. The only spec which really stayed true to itself is Protection, but that’s kind of a no-brainer. Gladiator really did amplify the fantasy in a way that I think was very successful, however slightly misplaced.


I’m going to harken back to one of my very first articles I wrote on this blog about Talents. It’s been over a year since I started writing during the WoD Beta, mostly protesting in disbelief, the changes which we were seeing. One of the fundamental issues I (and many others) identified was the complete lack of logic and reason in the Talent tiers and the unsightly “buffet” of choices. I will therefor recap, and reinforce those very same concerns and suggestions, for 1 year later they still deliver the same cause for concern, especially now that we’ve fully experienced their pitfalls and sometimes their overpowered-ness.


Proposed Arms Spec Talent Rework


Proposed Protection Spec Talent Rework


Proposed Fury Spec Talent Rework

You’ll notice that many of the same talents will apply to all specs as you peruse the proposed talent rework images to the right.The main concern is to bring cohesion to each talent row in order  to both make choices and interaction more interesting, and also to enable for better and more consisted tuning of abilities both within types of talents and between specs.

15 is the Movement enhancement/utility tier.

30 is the self-healing defensive tier.

45 is Rotation enhancing/modifying tier.

60 is Utility (stun/knockback) tier.

75 is Raid/Party defensive contribution tier.

90 is Area of Effect focused tier

100 is Damage Cooldowns/Cooldown Reduction Tier.

The eagle eyed reader will have already noticed that Gladiator’s Resolve has moved from 100 to 45. This is due to the fact that I believe Protection Warriors should receive earlier access to this talent so that they can use it while leveling up and learn it’s unique playstyle. Because this is on a Rotation enhancing/modifying tier the defensive aspect of the ability would be removed and Gladiator’s Resolve would receive the benefits of Heavy Repercussions baked into the talent. Another possible solution for Gladiator is to leave Heavy Repercussions as is; and to just make Glad stance baseline for Warriors and have it replace Battle Stance, which Prot players never use anyways. You’ll also notice that Prot picks up Siegebreaker as a talent, and frankly it makes a lot more sense for Prot/Glad to knock back (read take less damage) than it does for Arms/Fury.

Ravager will also need to have it’s defensive component removed as it now joins it’s peers in the AoE Tier. What having all of these in the same tier does, is that it allows each to be tuned to a very high, very scary level, because the Developers never have to worry about you stacking these abilities. Its because they are currently usable all together that each is forced to be weaker to make sure that you don’t break the game when all are used at once. I’d love to see these AoE Talents at their true and awe-inspiring potential.

All this being said the most interesting gain from this entire rework is that it brings back some very interesting talent interactions. It forces a much more ‘hybrid’ approach to encounters, where currently Warriors struggle with this as they have to choose to make a full Single Target build, or a AoE Build. I know I wouldn’t be a minority of Warriors who would love to see Bladestorm/Bloodbath make it’s return, especially in PvP. There no more satisfying feeling in a battleground than to heroic leap into a group of enemies and engage the blood blender.

Lastly I agree with a couple notable Warriors, principally Archimtiros who voice concern over Anger Management. This is a very confusing talent for lay Warriors. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve had to spend 20 minutes just explaining this talent to a Warrior who has never ventured to try it. The biggest issue with this talent is that there is no golden rules for it. It’s subject to many unreliable variables from player gear, RNG, Guild kill times, to rotation choices. There are very few completely no-brainer AM fights. Warriors have to use approximations and logs to determine if the talent is even worth it. It makes significantly more sense in PvP, however in PvE it’s too much of a trap for those who don’t do the research, or don’t know to do the research. I’d much rather see something more along the lines of the SoO Galakras trinket which reduced cooldowns by a set amount. Or even if there was a set amount tied to an ability so that everytime you use Bloodthirst it reduces the time on your CDs by 5 seconds, or every Colossus Smash reduces time by 20 seconds, every Shield Slam reduces time by 10 seconds or something (I didn’t actually do the math on those numbers they are hypotheticals). Having AM tied to Rage spending is far too unpredictable and punishing to PvE players, especially those to which accessibility is an issue. If set amounts are tied to abilities than we can establish easy to understand golden rules for CD reduction making the choice for what to use on fights much easier, and it would make recommending talents to others a heck of a lot easier too.


There are a couple of notable areas in the Warrior toolkit that haven’t been mentioned that need some refining. First of all Defensive Stance being used by DPS Warriors as a CD of sorts was somewhat successful, yet I interact with many Warriors who never use it or think about it as such, however Shield Barrier as a part of the toolkit has been a complete failure for PvE and even PvPers tend to not like it since it is not very interesting to manage and they are so saturated with Rage for the set bonus that they don’t have much decision in using it. I’m not entirely sure why after using the justification to remove Shield Wall from DPS Warriors that it doesn’t really make sense to have an cosmetic ‘mock’ shield pop up on the Warrior for the purposes of the spell; to then give DPS Warriors Shield Barrier…when we don’t even have a shield…or even an mock one. Curoar has suggested that this Barrier type defensive should function like Paladin’s Sacred Shield, where it puts up an absorb that nullifies part of incoming damage and continues to absorb small parts over time. Now while this does make a good deal of sense for PvE, I’m not sure our PvPing brethren would very much like this because they want more interaction and sustainment.

I’m not sure I have the solution, however I think it would be interesting to instead of having a spammable shield absorb…without a shield, to use Spell Reflect to accomplish this purpose in addition to it’s current effect and remove Shield Barrier from Arms and Fury. Spell reflect is on a 25 sec cooldown, when you pop it it reflects back the next spell to it’s caster. What if it also absorbed 30% of all magic damage during it’s 5 second duration. Thus the effect would be up the full 5 seconds, but in addition, the first spell is 100% reflected, and all following are reduced by 30%. This helps PvE Warriors in giving us a much needed tool for encounter spell damage. We are pretty decent in reducing physical damage but really suffer in how much spell damage we take. For Prot this would supplement Shield Barrier by giving a semi consistent way to reduce spell damage, it’s historical Achilles heel. In PvP this removes Shield Barrier altogether for Arms/Fury but I’m not entirely sure they really need it if the rest of their kit is brought up to par.

Another area which Warriors feel uncharacteristically vulnerable is root-breaks. It strikes me as indicative of the issue that most PvP Warriors opt into using Bladestorm for Arena just because it provides far more insurance against getting CC’d constantly. I’m still confused as to why Safeguard had it’s jail-break removed. It’s really not that big of an advantage, and without it we’re either sitting ducks, or we are forced into talent choices which may not be optimal. Seems like a lot of skillful use of Safeguard was lost when this part was removed. I think WoD has shown that a revert on this talent is appropriate especially considering that every other melee has a way to get out, and Ret paladins have 2 ways to rootbreak.  Hey, I’ll take Emancipation any day.


Lets talk about my favorite spec in the game…well prior to WoD. I’ve always been a massive fan of Arms, it was fun, engaging and dynamic…so none of the things it is now. WoD Arms has been in a class of it’s own as far as disappointment, and I’m not alone. This spec may make some sense for PvP, but it does so at the expense of PvE and I’m not convinced that is justified, or even necessary. The issue is a combination of inter-related factors.

First you have it’s Mastery which increases the damage of Mortal Strike, Colossus Smash and Execute by some silly amount, which as you can see, doesn’t include any AoE abilities making the stat itself either the be-all-end-all or useless. This feast or famine stat exacerbates the further feast or famine themes marred all over the spec. The entire resource model is either Rage starved or full-on Rage glut, you could be sitting on dead GCDs back to back, or you could have more than you can possibly spend. There is very little controlling this or failsafe measures taken. If you are able to spam the crap out of Rend on targets with Taste for Blood then you have all the Rage you could want, but at the cost of a very un-fun highly micromanagement focused GCD-wasting rotation, or you can be on Single Target and be twiddling your thumb during gaps of 2-4 globals while you pray for an auto-attack crit so you have enough Rage to use an ability. This is mitigated slightly by having better gear, but the issue remains. The next feast or famine situation is Execute phase which represents the most important part of your DPS. If the stars align and you can maintain high Rage; Execute phase can be quite exhilarating. However what is more likely is that RNG screws you, you are Rage starved and you froth at the mouth while you watch your most important DPS window go to waste. So there are some fundamental issues with Arms: It’s very vulnerable to poor RNG, it’s far too focused on unreliable bursts (especially execute phase), The focus on Execute, MS and CS devalues talents which make Arms weak in AoE made significantly worse by Mastery having zero benefit to AoE. The spec without T18 4pc and Class trinket is mind-numbingly boring and with those interaction bandaids is very repetitive and still uninteresting. To explain this I might need to get slightly philosophical about rotation interaction. There are a lot of specs in the game which display the full gambit of interaction types. Specs like Frost Mage, Survival Hunter, Frost DK, and Ret paladin all have various forms of Interaction and RNG. Generally this comes in the form of a proc which grants charges of something, which then can be used to supplement the rotation to ascend from the basic rotation. In Ret pallies case in T17, with the tier bonus we saw evidence of ‘too much’ interaction. The procs were so pervasive and persistent that ret pallies didn’t feel like they were playing their rotation anymore, they were just playing whack-a-mole with the shiny buttons. And what’s so bad about that? Well they were hitting the same buttons too much and there is something that doesn’t feel all that great about hitting the same button constantly. It’s like a song that plays the same note over and over. Any parents out there who’ve had their kids start learning an instrument will attest to the torture of hearing the same note being played over and over and over. It’s kind of the same way with Mortal Strike. Yes, it’s one of our favorite buttons, and hitting often is fun….for a while. But between just giving up on the finesse of the rotation and just spamming your Mortal Strike bind regardless whether it reset or not (because WW isn’t worth wasting Rage on half the time), and the unpredictable influx of Rage, you end up with a primitive rotation which consists of mindlessly spamming Rend, and Mortal Strike…oh and Colossus Smash every 20 seconds; because that’s really fun. So spamming the same button isn’t fun…for very long…so what is?

I think Frost DKs seem to have the closest analogy to what Arms needs: A proc system which is both semi-reliable and also rewarding. As a Frost DK you get big Obliterate crits for free off your procs, and then a 3 layered RNG prevention system to make sure that the rotation stays smooth via talents. As many of you know I’ve been campaigning for the Pre-MoP Overpower to make it’s return, and the campaign has been incredibly successful, well in the community. The thread has generated some ludicrous stats and an incredible amount of support, but not a single radar ping from the Developers. You can see the original on this Blog “The Case for (old) Overpower” and it’s affiliated Official forum thread here. I won’t rewrite the entire wall of text here. But as a recap: It adds interaction in a way where its a more dynamic and diverse reaction, not just spamming the same button hoping for a proc. It also reintroduces one of Warrior’s favorite abilities from the past and brings more of that clinical, strategic fantasy back to Arms. Now there are other suggestions for other overhauls for Arms that I’d consider equally valid, however this one would be the simplest ‘quick fix’ for the current state. Given the opportunity I’d overhaul Arms completely and retrofit it with much of what used to make it one of the best specs in the game with one or two good things from WoD. For starters I’d make Mortal Strike generate Rage again, keep the rest of the spec on a AA system but allow for at least a small amount of reliability. For example if Mortal Strike could generate 10 Rage, it wouldn’t make the whole Rage system obsolete, because the rest of the spec requires more than 10 Rage to fuel. If (old) Overpower was the cheapest Rage costing ability at 10 Rage then hitting a MS and generating 10 Rage would at least give you enough Rage to use a Overpower proc even if you were completely Rage starved. The rest of the spec would therefor be reliant on AA’s to build Rage but MS giving 10 would add more control and consistency to the spec.

Another change I’d like to see is a Major Glyph which causes Thunderclap to spread Rend. This is a major quality of life thing, Arms feels incredibly micro-manage-y when you have to tab rend all the things. Makes me think back, with no fondness to tab-sundering as a prot Warrior in TBC. Ugh.

Mastery. Ok so this one sucks. Here is my suggestion:

Guile of Battle: Empowers your Mortal Strike, Whirlwind, Overpower and Execute to do 50% more damage. Using any of these abilities reduces this buff by 5% per use and when the buff depletes it causes your Execute to become available regardless of enemy health for 5 seconds, cost no Rage and causes it to deal 200% damage to all enemies within 8 yards. This devastating attack bolsters your strength renewing your 50% damage increase. If the Execute effect wears off, the buff will reset.

This to me is far more in line with the fantasy which I ascribe to Arms Warriors, a cunning and clinical warrior who strikes with devastating force, conserving his strength for a truly fearsome strike. This would mean nice juicy openers and then every 10 global a consistently exciting hit. You could also decide to save the big whammy for a specific time or in conjunction with Colossus Smash. This makes Mastery valuable for both AoE and Single target and gives you the player more control on how to put your damage down…which I think would be quite appropriate for a master of combat.

So lets recap some suggested Arms changes:

  • Mortal Strike generates 10 Rage instead of costing Rage.
  • Major Glyph to spread Rend (old blood and thunder).
  • Revive (old) Overpower as a heavy hitting proc from Rend ticks.
  • New Arms Mastery focusing more on careful timing and devastating big hits.


Don’t worry my list isn’t as extensive as for Arms. I think in general, even though I do miss Colossus Smash and Heroic Strike because I felt they really emphasized the fantasy of Fury especially with HS being off the GCD, at the end of the day I think they got away with it. My fundamental concerns with Fury lie in it’s lack of reliability. This is due to the way Enrage works as an RNG roll when using Bloodthirst. More crit doesn’t really help. You can have large amounts of crit (like 35%+) and still see 3-4 critless Bloodthirsts, over 10 seconds of not pushing buttons. I think the easiest way to solve this is by equipping Bloodthirst with a robust RNG protection system based on the already successful Fire Mage Fireball system. When Fireball fails to crit it increases the chance of critting on the next fireball incrementally so that at a certain point it caps out if you were to be that unlucky. The defining difference here is that Fireball can be cast back to back in the case of no crit, so Bloodthirst would need something a lot more robust. If after every Bloodthirst that failed to crit, a 15% crit chance increase was added, which stacked for each consecutive non-crit, this would essentially cap bad RNG streaks at 3 failed attempts, 4 if you were absurdly unlucky. In practice though, it adds a lot more stability to the rotation since you wouldn’t always need the full 75% buff to get a crit on the next one.

I’d also like to see less emphasis on Wild Strike. Its an ability that (many) Warriors don’t like. it’s fine as far as what it does, but it looks dumb, and it sounds even dumber. The Devs need to realize that while it’s a part of our rotation, it’s more of a necessary nuisance, certainly not something we want our set bonuses and rotation built around. I’d really like to see the T17 set bonuses be incorporated as baseline into Fury in 7.0. The extra charge on Raging Blow feels good and adds skill to the rotation, and the bonus to Recklessness makes the cooldown actually good. I’d kind of depressing using Recklessness without wearing t17.

I’m not quite sure why this is still a thing, but Berserking Rage still isn’t usable during Bladestorm. I’d like this fixed, because when you hit Bladestorm and your Enrage falls off, you die on the inside. Let ppl rescue their Bladestorm damages Blizzard!

Lastly I’d like to see haste become more valuable for Fury since that’s kind of core to the fantasy I’d like to see the GCD be affected more and no touching weapon speed or damage. Gotta keep getting those big hits. Maybe Crit>Haste>Mastery as blueprint for stat effectiveness.

So lets recap some suggested Fury changes:

  • RNG protection system on Bloodthirst to address reliability
  • T17 bonuses made baseline (Raging Blow charge)(Recklessness buff)
  • Berserking Rage usable during Bladestorm
  • Haste improvements for speeding up the GCD


Now I don’t play Prot a ton, so I’m going to leave most of this discussion to those Warriors in our community who are far more knowledgeable than I in this spec. Personally I’m not into the concept of sword and board, I’m far more into the big 2her type of thing. Gladiator does have it’s share of issues and I encourage you to keep tabs on Cyclonus‘ Blog about Gladiator and his suggestions. As a personal preference I hate, and I mean I loathe Unyielding Strikes talent for Glad. Which is why I advocate Glad-stance being put on the same tier as it. Those who like it might prefer the later suggestion of making Glad-stance baseline in place of Battle Stance. honestly I don’t care either way. As long as the other tiers can get their rightful reordering and I’m not forced to play UYS then I’m happy. My favorite version of Glad is definitely with Sudden Death (/blush). I already mentioned the Spell Reflect change that I wanted made, and this would be a good boon to Prot’s timeless battle for survival against spell damage. I’d also like to see Demoralizing Shout changed to Rallying Cry for Glad Stance, there is no reason why a DPS Warrior shouldn’t be able to bring the proper raid utility. Glad has already been rather obsolete in WoD for progression Raiding, time to balance the scales.


  • Gladiator Stance talent changes (See Talents section).
  • Spell Reflect given spell damage reduction (see Toolkit section).
  • Have Demo Shout switch to Rallying Cry in Glad Stance.
  • Remove Unyielding Strikes from the game (just kidding…but seriously).


So where does this leave us? Well I think all of these changes bring Warriors closer to home in fulfilling the fantasy of their specialization. The Talent rework would do wonders for balancing talents against each other, and between the specs. Having to choose only 1 means each can be much more effective and exhilarating to use. Adding talent interaction back instead of having to set up builds for 1 thing or another gives Warriors a more intuitive option for different non-cookie cutter situations. A comprehensive rework of Arms which salvages what it can from WoD while re-introducing the best of what it lost, with a new Mastery: a more spec appropriate fantasy fulfilled and much more fun for the player focusing on ego-stroking big hits while giving players the challenge to time their attacks with deadly precision. Fury tweaks to increase reliability and quality of life, and finally some Gladiator love in the spirit of fairness. Warlords of Draenor may be tagged as the worst expansion in WoW, and I think many Warriors would join me in saying this has probably been the worst expansion for us, however we look on ever forward to the future. We hope and pray that our concerns and words aren’t falling on deaf ears despite the non-existent dev presence on all topics for Warriors. We are Warriors and we endure. We’ll live to fight another day, and try to make the world a better place for our brothers.  I write this intentionally with the prospects of Legion and changes on the horizon. This is my voice, and soon (I hope) I shall be joined by others. Maybe even you.

Stoic’s Preliminary Thoughts on Legion

Introductory Thoughts

So I’m pretty hyped for World of Warcraft Legion.DHSalt It’s good to be going back to the ‘main conflict’ of Azeroth, not this weird red-herring side-show called Warlords of Draenor. I think even though WoD had a lot of promise, the fantasy fell short and things like Garrisions and Shipyards really diluted the expansion into a mindless daily chore. As Warriors, we obviously have probably thought this was one of our worst expansions ever, if not the worst. But Legion holds the same promise and far more than WoD ever did. Even though I play an Orc; I’m really tired of orcs. I’ll be happy to return to the ancient and exotic vistas of Azeroth, re-engage into the grand meta story of Warcraft and hopefully see some changes that are direly needed to keep the community engaged for more than 2 months at a time every year. It’s kind of funny how much love MoP gets retrospectively compared to WoD. I’m not sure anything could cure us of groaning over that SoO grind; but WoD has gone the opposite way, in the worst ways. MoP sure had its faults, but the story, the vistas, and the general feeling of the game with new features (which the community was actually excited about). I never felt more powerful as a player than I did in MoP. In WoD I felt like I had past my prime, like a middle-aged person trying to do an activity they had the strength and limberness in their 20s for. Part of this was pruning. One of my favorite things about a Warrior was having a large and very specific arsenal of abilities to counter specific situations. I lost a lot of my tools, and be default felt much less capable of dealing with issues I once had. I’m really hoping in Legion we’ll get some tools back. I think in particular Warriors and Hunters were far too over-pruned. I hope to see those things come back in some form in Legion. There are some new features in Legion that cause me curiosity or concern. I write about these things not to criticize them but to weigh in to giving my opinions on the matter in order to hopefully see the best possible end product.


This has been one of the most busily discussed subjects since the announcement. Now only the Protection Warrior sword and shield have received official confirmation, and this isn’t about speculating on Arms and Fury artifacts, but I do have some concerns. First off, like the vast majority of people out there I’m uncomfortable with this “Skyrim-esque” approach to an MMO. I don’t like it when MMOs try to make you, the player, the ultimate hero. We operate in a massively multiplayer environment, which means we are OK with having other people around. It feels weird and very fake to have the entire game presume you are the be-all-end-all hero wielding the most powerful weapon in Lore. In my opinion what is far more appropriate of an approach in an MMO on these Artifacts is something that I’ve seen many other community voices mirror: an entire system modelled on what the current idea for Frost Death knights’ Artifact runeblades. Now since Frostmourne was shattered; DKs will seek the shards of Frostmourne and reforge them into twin runeblades. This makes extraordinary sense and is very exciting. However it doesn’t infringe upon the Lore, nor does it give that false-reality discomfort of wielding the legendary item itself. I would see this approach for all artifacts. It makes more sense when Artifact weapons are crafted from the image, or remains of a famous weapon. For example: Ashbringer. It’s pretty insulting to the Lore that anyone…and I mean anyone can wield this sword, the subject of many a fan-made machinima. I’d much rather leave the Sword with its rightful bearer and have other swords made in its likeness: ‘Images of Ashbringer’ and have part of the power of the weapon be imbued upon each of the images of it. The glowy ball could possess transferable power so that each Ret paladin would start with an unimbued ‘Image of Ashbringer’ and then through merit earn their golden shiny imbuement of power to unleash the Light on their foes. That makes far more sense for a massively multiplayer game, having exact replicas of the same original weapon makes no sense. In the same way that when wearing Virtual Reality headsets, the brain can be uncomfortable when it knows it’s being fooled; so we the WoW players know when something doesn’t make sense. I’m all for the actual Lore hero who wields the original weapon to be the one who guides and instructs us while we forge a weapon in its likeness and then earn their blessing; earning the privilege, and burden of wielding such a powerful weapon. They should be in our Class Halls as our weapon mentors as we refine the Images of their Original weapon into weapons of equal power…yet never the one and only Original.

Class Halls

Next let’s talk about Class Halls and I think it’s a really fantastic idea and my thoughts here are only to suggest things to make sure they execute this to perfection and really fulfill the fantasy of these for the players. I really like the idea of a place where factions can actually communicate within their own class and specifically only at the hall. As far as the Warrior Class Hall there are a lot of concerns, some have already been expressed by community members: Since Warriors are capable of being played by every race in the game; what binds Warriors together? There are very few themes to draw upon that all Warrior cultures have in common…or is there? I think all Warriors, regardless of faction and race have a mutual respect for 1 thing: Prowess in Battle. It doesn’t matter if you are a green skinned goblin, or a fair night elf; everyone who calls themselves a Warrior respects the deeds and sacrifices of legendary Warriors and their extraordinary accomplishments. This respect transcends culture and race. Broxigar was a total badass, and your race doesn’t change that. Even if the hero was an opponent of your faction, respect is given to them for being a formidable opponent. Horde Warriors recognize Lothar for his fighting prowess and strength, even though they’d each relish the chance to have been the one to fight him. So what’s all this got to do with a Class Hall? Well this is the theme which I think needs to be central to the Warrior Class Hall. Personally I would love to see a Titan influenced Class Hall which is dedicated to the Warrior Titan Aggramar. I’d love it to feature an Arena in the center of a gladiatorial complex. Think of a (smaller) Colosseum with its immediate surrounding area of prep ground, training areas, lodgings, inns and markets. Around this Arena which would be the Warrior Specific Proving Grounds location there are statues looking into the arena built each on a pillar sticking out of the viewing stands and each Pillar having a famous Warrior Hero from every race in the game. Thus each legendary Warrior would be presiding over the training of future Warriors and would attach each race in the game to this complex both in purpose and in representation. The area surrounding the Arena could even be themed by the ‘pie-slice’ behind each race’s hero. So behind the Orc Warrior statue (Broxigar ofc) the section of the complex would be orc themed, behind the Gnomish Warrior there would be a gnome themed area. These don’t have to be big or ostentacious, just enough to give each race a place to identify with. If Blizzard wanted to push faction pride a little more they could split the area in half, with the horde heroes on one side, and Alliance on the other, making the cultural ‘slices’ easier to assimilate. As far as the arena being the Proving Grounds for Warriors it would be even cooler for this to incorporate the Brawler’s guild idea, so that onlookers could watch other players doing the proving grounds in the actual arena. Though, for the sake of quality of life, multiple people can queue for PGs, but only 1 will be displayed in the arena for public viewing via phasing. Or when there is no one in the arena, the next player to queue will always be displayed in the arena, until he/she has completed their turn, even though other people who queue shortly thereafter would still do theirs but wouldn’t be shown. As far as location I’m thinking somewhere nestled in the Mountains north of Winterspring, or somewhere more like the movie Gladiator in some arid location in a desert maybe Tanaris on the plateaus between Tanaris and Uldum. That would make a pretty interesting gladiatorial arena town with all its brutal trappings though a titan theme wouldn’t be fitting.

Demon Hunters

I thought I’d just write a few thoughts about Demon Hunters, I will be discussing Warriors in much more depth in my next article as to where we are and where I think we need to go in Legion. Demon Hunters look really cool. Almost ‘too cool’? Just the double jump thing alone makes me want one. Part of me thinks this might be a way to shoehorn this feature into the game? But I’m not going to tinfoil hat too much. I think Demon Hunters will have a pretty cool kit but I’m a little sad that they didn’t consider a Ranged build focused on dual crossbows. Those are like glaives with arrows shooting out of them…right? It might have been too much cross pollenisation with Diablo for some people but I think it would have been really badass to have a dual wielding crossbow version of demon hunters focusing mostly on igniting the bolts with magic that explodes on contact, oh and bolas, because who doesn’t want Bolas. There is a ton of opportunity in that direction but there would definitely have to be some major distinctions drawn between them and regular hunters. I’m definitely going to be having my main Alliance alt be a Demon Hunter because…I won’t play a blood elf. Yeah… not going to happen.

Next week I’ll be delving more into Warriors and my hopes for 7.0.