Okay, let’s talk about some things that are concerning me as far as the future of warriors in Mists of Pandaria. These are things that are bothering me about the design of the class going forward, and I think it’s worth discussing them in some detail. These issues are as follows:
- With warrior tanks relying so much on Revenge, dodge and parry end up working as both avoidance and threat stats, and hit and expertise end up devalued. Of all four tanking classes going into Mists, warriors are the least likely to want hit and expertise at the 7.5% caps. Theck’s stat weights indicate that mastery is king for prot, with dodge and parry just behind it, and hit and expertise well below them. Well below them, to the point where in the most recent set of numbers you don’t need any.
- Warrior tanks get nothing at all from haste. So when abilities like Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp get used, warrior threat doesn’t go up and neither does warrior resource generation.
- With stance-switching on a 3 second cooldown, it seems unlikely to me that most DPS warriors are going to switch to Zerk stance except in extremely specific high damage situations. At this point, PvE warriors have two stances, and PvP warriors have two, since I expect both Defensive and Zerker Stance to be the PvP flavors of choice. This depends on how well Battle Stance’s rage generation works in PvP.
- Warrior DPS seems heavily AoE dependent, even with changes to Sweeping Strikes to cut back on Arms’ cleave. Warriors have a significantly higher bite when AoEing, until you get into Execute range, and it makes warriors feel weak on any fight where you can’t get a significant chunk of Executes off.
None of this means the class is broken or unplayable. The rage redesign, stance redesign and tanking redesign are all complex, and having multiple such changes occur at the same time invariably leads to issues.