A new alpha build is up, and that means a new slew of changes to Fury to even further butcher the spec. Let’s review the changes and assess the damage, shall we? Keep in mind these are just the changes I want to highlight, not the entire list.
Bloodthirst: Buffed from 200% damage to 300%, bonus crit chance removed, now generates 10 Rage (I thought it did already, but whatever).
Furious Slash: Nerfed from 360% to 200%; no longer operates on a charge system; cooldown removed; now costs 10 Rage. Using it also increases the crit chance of your next Bloodthirst by 15% (stacking up to 90% and only consumed on BT crits).
Raging Blow: Nerfed from 200% to 150%, Rage generation nerfed from 6 to 5.
Whirlwind: Using it also increases the crit chance of your next Bloodthirst by 15% (stacking up to 90%, and only consumed on BT crits).
Rampage: Now requires Enrage, increases the duration of Enrage by 2 sec (increased by Haste, undocumented) upon use, Rage cost from 90 to 85, and damage buffed.
Shortly after this build dropped, the Fury feedback thread in the alpha forums erupted in anger. Today, Celestalon made a post saying changes were coming, naming two specifically; Rampage will no longer require Enrage and Furious Slash will become free. While this news just came out, my experience is based on the few days before, so my feedback will also take into consideration the upcoming changes.
My main problems with the last build were Furious Slash feeling superfluous, Rampage costing too much Rage, and the terrible AoE rotation. In the new build, Furious Slash now has very forced relevance, Rampage’s Rage cost is still ludicrous and the AoE rotation is now more terrible than ever due to the Enrage change. Having tested the new rotation over the past couple of days, these are my thoughts:
The current single target rotation feels the worst it has ever felt, and that is saying something, considering my feedback on Fury up to this point. The newest problem presented by the most recent alpha build is the Furious Strike changes, which have resulted in a slow, laborious rotation that is mired in awkward Rage generation and costs. That slow transition is attributed to the Rage and GCDs you must invest in Furious Strike, with the Rage cost making Rampage much harder to use in its enrage-only incarnation. Once the changes outlined by Celestalon take effect, the Rage problem will be addressed, but the GCD investment will not. Bloodthirst’s last crit bonus before removal was 30%, meaning at least two Furious Slashes must be used before Bloodthirst even gets the baseline bonus it had before. The new Furious Slash design reeks of the new Heroic Strike, and I very much dislike it, even after the promised changes.
The AoE rotation is now the worst it has ever been in alpha, and this new low has been achieved by yet another butchering of Enrage. The duration reduction mechanic from Haste means even less time is available for Raging Blow than before, which is a key mechanic to Fury’s AoE. In addition, Bladestorm now has negative scaling with Haste, due to the Haste scaling change for Enrage, even further weakening this once-strong ability. Rampage was given the new Enrage duration-increasing effect to maintain the same amount of abilities used per Enrage regardless of Haste, but if you do not take the Meat Grinder talent, that change has no affect for AoE. Blizzard’s reasoning for making the Enrage changes was to enhance how quickly you can pull off Enrage windows (meaning the same static 2 abilities per Enrage), but I simply cannot see how that concept can be reconciled with keeping Fury’s AoE smooth.
Enrage has always been a problem, but at least in WoD the problem became easier to address with bigger stats as the expansion went along. The first Fury iteration on alpha was hailed by many Warriors as a step in the right direction, but it was changed. The second Fury iteration was worse than the first due to Enrage duration and proc nerfs, but was somewhat salvaged by Rampage being able to Enrage you (despite the disgusting Rage cost). This newest iteration has completely thrown it all away, nerfing Enrage even more, despite the Warrior players begging and pleading the developers to stop. Blizzard keeps making these changes to Enrage to make a smooth and fun rotation, but they keep ignoring all the mechanics, artifact traits, and talents that are completely reliant on it, so their efforts continue to fall flat.
Blizzard, please just return Enrage back to a 6 sec duration, not reduced by Haste or extended by Rampage, and just balance from there. Enrage literally enables our rotation, which continues to be more and more mangled with each Enrage nerf. Just go back to what worked, please.