Warriors have seen several renditions so far in the alpha. With each new version, some problems get fixed while others become even more glaring. I wrote my first wish list back before alpha was released to give myself some comparison points as we progressed deeper into the alpha cycle. After nearly ten builds worth of class changes, I figure it’s not a bad time to update my wish list as classes are starting to coalesce into real specs with a semblance of identity.
Fury has had an incredibly hard time becoming a fun spec to play. The spec started out terrific, but Blizzard hated that for some reason and completely destroyed it. The overarching issue I have with the spec comes down to Furious Slash being required in all aspects of gameplay.
These are some of the issues I would like to see addressed:
1. Bring Bloodthirst‘s base crit chance back.
Enrage‘s uptime is still your highest priority as Fury in Legion, but maintaining the buff has only become harder as Blizzard’s war on Enrage continues.
Currently, we are forced to dedicate several global cooldowns to perhaps the most unsatisfying and infuriating ability ever, Furious Slash, in the hopes that our next Furious Slash crits so we don’t lose Enrage (which we are still punished for not having). For the single-target rotation (excluding Execute rotation), this is not a gigantic hindrance. Granted, it’s not fun and doesn’t feel good because Furious Slash is a disgustingly weak clone of Wild Strike, but the slow crit ramping doesn’t do much to make the single-target rotation worse; it definitely does not improve it, and it’s only slightly worse-off because of it.
However, the Bloodthirst ramping you must do with Furious Slash becomes a massive problem for your Execute and AoE rotations. Enrage is still our #1 priority in our Execute and AoE rotations, but there are other abilities added in during this time. For AoE, you have to fit in Whirlwind every other global to make sure your next Bloodthirst hits multiple targets. So with multiple Furious Slashes thrown in, you can see how many globals you have to use before you actually get to AoE.
For the Execute rotation, you basically just want to spam Execute as it’s our hardest hitting ability by far, but you still have to maintain Enrage, so that requires the standard 2 to 3 globals dedicated to Furious Slash. My pipe dream is to have Bloodthirst’s base crit chance back to 30% or 40%, but the number ultimately doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s decent. I would also like to see Furious Slash removed entirely and just have the spec adjusted accordingly, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.
2. Make our AoE rotation (meat cleaving) smoother and fun.
In the first alpha build, Meat Cleaving felt really good. Enraged lasted 6 seconds and Meat Cleaver was simply a buff that enabled your Raging Blow to hit 5 enemies so that when you used Whirlwind, you became a lawn mower for 8 seconds. Many changes later, we are left with Meat Cleaver being reverted to next-hit and affecting Bloodthirst while Enrage’s duration and proc chance were nerfed into oblivion.
Bloodthirst doesn’t feel good as the candidate for Meat Cleaver because of its cooldown. There are only two models where Meat Cleaving is fun:
The first being the ‘one, two, one, two’ model – which had us doing Whirlwind -> Raging Blow -> WW -> RB, etc. That was fun because I got to press my big AoE button (RB) every other gcd, so my AoE rotation actually felt like I was actively doing something.
The other model that was fun was the first one we had in alpha – the ‘one, two, two, two, etc.’ model, where Meat Cleaver was simply a buff and we got to spam Raging Blow. This method is a bit less interactive than the first because Whirlwind simply serves as a way to maintain a buff, but this is till fun because I’m just continuously AoEing like a Beyblade.
The current model with Bloodthirst as the main AoE nuke just feels clunky. Whirlwind -> Bloodthirst… wait… wait…Whirlwind -> Bloodthirst is how our current Meat Cleaving rotation goes. It lacks that element of interactivity that makes you feel like you are accomplishing something. Waiting two globals between WW -> BT feels like an eternity when there is a multitude of adds around me that are dying rapidly and all I can do is watch them drop as I wait for Bloodthirst. I understand why Blizzard removed Raging Blow; reliably Meat Cleaving with Raging Blow feels terrible with a 4 second Enrage. What they don’t get is that the rotation feels even worse now because I am forced to slip in two Furious Slashes between each Whirlwind -> Bloodthirst combo in hopes that my Bloodthirst enrages me so my damage is not garbage. Why am I spamming a single-target ability (that does not even feel fun) during my AoE rotation? Bloodthirst being the Meat Cleaver target and Bloodthirst having no base crit (thus requiring prop-up by Furious Slash) are the main culprits here.
My wish to solve this issue is to address those two things. Personally, I would love to see Meat Cleaving return to one of the two models I mentioned before, while also putting the base crit chance back into Bloodthirst to further help smooth out the rotation.
3. Do something with Raging Blow.
Raging Blow has been a strong Fury ability ever since its implementation in Cataclysm. Many Warriors have leveled criticisms against the Enrage and Meat Cleaving systems that Raging Blow is integral to, but almost all Warriors like the theme and damage of Raging Blow.
Through the neutering of Enrage and its related mechanics, Raging Blow has not found a place in the new rotation that is dominated by Rampage. Enrage now has a static 4 second duration, giving us two global cooldowns to use during its duration with a one second ‘cushion’. Since Raging Blow is only usable while Enraged, you have two global cooldowns to use it. In the past, Raging Blow was your highest priority ability during Enrage because it was your hardest hitting ability (aside from Execute) and it was only usable during that window.
In the most recent alpha build, Bloodthirst does just as much damage as Raging Blow and generates more rage, but is usable while you’re not enraged. In addition, Bloodthirst has replaced Raging Blow in our Meat Cleaving rotation. All of these changes together have pushed Raging Blow into a useless spot. There are no procs attached to Raging Blow and only one talent. Nothing is propping Raging Blow up and it has no use. The Warrior community loves Raging Blow, and since Inner Rage was implemented, we can have hope that Blizzard is prepared to think outside of the box so that Raging Blow can have a place again.
My wish here is for Blizzard to breath some life into Raging Blow by giving it a distinct use that makes sense and feels good to use. Personally, I would love to see Raging Blow, in its cooldown-less form, be put back into the Meat Cleaving rotation and have the base crit chance returned to Bloodthirst because I am going to keep driving this point home until it happens.
4. Make the Massacre talent baseline.
Execute is an important part of Warrior damage, and it will be even more important for Fury in Legion due to the massive buffs it has received. However, Blizzard has consistently been pushing Rampage as the center of Fury’s kit and rotation. This push has displaced many other abilities in the process.
Since the beginning of time, when the boss reached sub-20%, that meant Execute was your number one priority (this had some caveats depending on the patch, but for the most part it’s true) and any other action you had available during that time was weighted directly against Execute. If that action didn’t deal more or as much damage as Execute, or was a way to buff your Execute, then you didn’t use it because it would be a DPS loss. That rule of thumb will persist until the end of time as long as Execute exists in its current form. Bloodthirst is still a priority during Execute phase because you need to get Enraged so your rage generation goes up (allowing for more Executes) and you can benefit from your mastery (increasing the damage of Execute). Bloodthirst, without its innate crit chance, requires Furious Slash to prop it up so you can get Enraged more easily, and this still rings true during the Execute phase.
You can see where these two rules clash; you want to only be using Execute + Bloodthirst to maximize damage, but you need to be Enraged which requires you to use Furious Slash. Massacre helps make these two rules play together better, even if it is not a perfect solution (such as giving Bloodthirst its base crit chance back). The free rampage from Massacre means you can continue spamming Execute and if you get a lucky crit, you can Enrage yourself with a free Rampage. This can help cut out awkward bouts of Furious Slash spam during Execute, and frankly it’s silly that we have to take a talent in order to prevent our Execute rotation not becoming garbage.
My wish here is for Blizzard to make Massacre a baseline passive and have the base crit chance on Bloodthirst returned because I am going to keep driving this point home until it happens.
Arms does not have a myriad of problems like Fury does and is actually a much smoother and fun spec overall. The overarching problems I have with the spec come down to minor tweaks I would like to see made, rather than like the large, sweeping changes I would like for Fury. My main concern is adding some more interactivity and fun to the rotation in general.
Here are two issues I would love to see addressed:
1. Make the talent In for the Kill baseline.
Execute is the coolest, most iconic and fun ability that Arms has in its small arsenal.
When people think of an Arms Warrior, Execute and its huge amount of damage are usually a large part of how they see the spec. Arms is one of the few specs that has an Execute ability and the only spec whose Execute ability is able to be spammed.
The Execute phase is huge for Arms’s overall gameplay and it’s definitely one of the unique traits of the spec that attracts people to play it, but it needs some help. The most fun part of an Arms Execute phase is dumping your pooled rage for a handful of full-rage Executes that are boosted by Colossus Smash and Battle Cry. You get those gigantic Execute crits that are signature to the spec and have great fun doing it, but that moment is brief and it doesn’t happen again for the rest of the Execute phase because you just constantly spam the ability while weaving in Colossus Smash. The talent In for the Kill was implemented in the last build in response to a great call from the Warrior community, and the talent enhances the rotation greatly. With Mortal Strike being a net gain of 20 Rage when using the talent, players finally have a way to manually inject some rage into their rotation without completely halting gameplay. The talent is fun, interactive, and helps Warriors put in more of those big money, full-rage Executes that make the ability attractive in the first place. Just like Massacre fills a huge awkward gap for Fury, In for the Kill fills its own significant role by elevating the Arms Execute rotation to what it should be at all times. This is all while giving Mortal Strike, the exclusive and iconic attack of Arms since vanilla, a use sub-20%.
My wish here is for them to make In for the Kill baseline and replace the talent spot with something else.
2. Bring back the Colossus Smash extending mechanic.
Colosuss Smash is the ability the entire Arms rotation revolves around. It enhances your damage significantly and adds a dynamic and random element to an otherwise static and unchanging rotation.
A few alpha builds ago, the Arms artifact, Strom’kar, the Warbreaker, had a trait that allowed your Mortal Strike and Execute crits to extend the duration of Colossus Smash on your target by 1 to 4 seconds, depending on the rank of the trait. It was well loved by the community because it was interactive and added another way for Arms’s small kit of abilities to work together. The artifact trait was removed two builds ago, much to the dismay of the Warrior community, and we have not seen it, or a similar mechanic, re-implemented since. A case can be made for the inclusion or exclusion of this CS-extending mechanic in the single-target rotation before Execute, but I feel there is no good counter-argument for not having it in the Execute rotation.
As I mentioned in my first Arms wish, the Execute rotation is one of the major selling points of the spec, so it should offer a distinct form of gameplay that gives you a huge sense of impact suitable for Execute. Re-implementing the CS-extension mechanic adds another layer of fun to that ‘big money burst’ moment that Arms Warriors have when they initially go into the Execute phase. Not only would you be getting massive Execute crits, you would also be extending the duration of CS at the same time if this mechanic was brought back. Not only does it allow for longer periods of big damage, but it adds some much needed value to the Anger Management talent. If Mortal Strike crits were also included in the CS-extension, then In for the Kill and Mortal Combo would also become more valuable as a result. This change is a simple one, but I feel that it has a lot to offer. Arms’s rotation is all about circular synergy and having its abilities support or enable each other, so the CS-extension mechanic fits right in.
Obviously, my wish here is for them to just re-implement the mechanic, preferably as close to its original form as possible.
That wraps up my current DPS Warrior wish list.
Some of you may be wondering why I have no problems with talents, such as Carnage for Fury or Overpower for Arms. I am not discussing replacing or changing talents because my wishes are simply to make the base rotation of Arms and Fury feel smooth and fun. I feel that Arms is already great and is on the verge of something even better, but I also feel that Fury is just a hodgepodge barely being held together. The amount of changes needed definitely differs between the specs, but they both have the same time left until launch, so I am going to hold out hope that they will be improved.
Thanks for reading!