Tobold's Blog
Monday, December 06, 2010
 
Feeling unloved by Blizzard as a warrior

In the end I spent most of the time between The Shattering and Cataclysm playing two characters: A troll warrior and a tauren paladin. They were using similar degrees of twink gear, both went for their respective tanking talent spec, and after 15 levels of soloing concentrated on tanking with random pickup groups. Assuming that my tanking skills don't magically change when I switch from one character to another, and seeing how their gear was similar, the difference between these two characters is astounding. The warrior barely manages to keep aggro in multi-mob situations, and always comes in 4th place on the damage meter, just above the healer. The paladin plays like ultra-easy mode, tanks any size of mob group without ever losing aggro, and more often than not comes out on top of the damage meter at the same time. It is really ridiculous! And depressing for my warriors, not just the low level one, but also my level 80 by extension.

The differences between paladins and warriors are already quite visible when they choose their tanking spec at level 10. Warriors get Shield Slam, which is a melee range attack, hits only 1 mob, and often can't be used early in combat because the rage is lacking. Paladins at that same point get Avenger's Shield, which deals twice as much damage, then hits up to two more mobs, has a 30 yard range, and is perfect for pulling even casters, as it silences them. When soloing I one-shotted quest mobs with Avenger's Shield crits. Having that much better pull spell enables the paladin to grab a lot of aggro quickly, and keep it. The warrior needs a more complicated and less effective Rend + Thunder Clap for AoE aggro, with a much shorter range.

Besides getting aggro, the paladin also has the much better survivability, having two instant self-heals, versus none for the warrior. Between Word of Glory, which can be used several times in a combat, and Lay on Hands, which heals the paladin to full, I even survived big combats where the healer had lost connection. The only consolation for the warrior was that at least Blizzard nerfed the paladin's taunt to be identical in function with the warrior taunt. Previously the paladin version dealt damage, and the warrior version didn't, now both don't.

Now you could say that the lack of balance between low-level warriors and paladins doesn't matter. Both characters are strong enough to solo quests, and given the tank shortage it is unlikely that a group will votekick a warrior in the hope of getting a paladin the next time. But as far as I can tell, paladins are still far superior tanks to warriors in 5-man groups at level 80, and I'm not sure about which of them would be preferable in a raid now. Right now I'm hard pressed to find *any* role or environment in which I would rather have a warrior than a paladin. It really feels as if Blizzard hates the warrior class, and I can't understand why they would so obviously disadvantage them.
Comments:
With end-game tanks in all 4 classes, I have to heavily disagree with the suggestion that Warriors are disadvantaged.

Don't judge a class by its levelling capabilities. To my mind, warriors have the biggest toolbox of situational abilities.

Interrupts: Shockwave, Shield bash, Concussive Blow, Heroic Throw

AoE: Thunder Clap, Shockwave, Cleave,Command Shout

Defensive CD: Shield Wall, Shield Block, Last Stand, Enraged Regeneration

Mobility: Charge, Intercept,Intervene, Heroic Leap

TLDR: Don't covet thy neighbours AoE.
 
As Bernard said, Warriors are by the most durable and adaptable tanks.

Like him, I have all the tanks at 80, and I can say without hesitation, Warrior is the one I want to be playing.

A Warrior, unlike certain other classes, is required to be well played to get the most out of it. If you excel as a Warrior, everyone will know it, if you fail, your mistakes are immediately more noticeable.
 
I have 362 days played on my warrior.
I also have 70-80 of every other class.

I usually play as a DPS warrior in high end raids and dungeons.

It's astounding the penalties warriors have to pay, they still suffer from the mindset of specialization but get no benefits from it.

It's going to be difficult to convince people to bring a DPS warrior in Cataclysm heroics when crowd control will again be very desirable.

This became especially apparent when leveling a new hunter to the mid 70's, having ranged traps, feign death, disengage, pets - everyone is being blown away in battlegrounds and instances by hunters and the new focus system.

As for Dan, saying warriors are the most durable tanks makes me roll my eyes a bit, the vast majority of WotlK it was desirable to have a paladin and a death knight as main tanks.
 
I don't have a high level Paladin but I haven't had problems tanking with my Warrior at any point. However, I will qualify that statement by saying I do believe Paladins are a lot more powerful and "easier" to tank with as I've seen friends play them and they barely have to do anything to hold the attention of mobs whilst I'm working away like a Japanese beaver.

AOE aggro is definitely the biggest problem for a War and I've found that I have to use Cleave and Shockwave as frequently as possible plus rotate through the mobs manually to ensure I keep the threat up on them all. Before picking up Revenge and Shockwave talent though it can be very tough. Personally I don't mind too much as I quite like the challenge.

I'm not really sure what direction Blizzard want to go in with tanking but I get the feeling that it's not the case that the War is underpowered but rather that the other tanks are overpowered.

If Blizz do want to boost the War though I'd like to see Vigilance improved so it transfers a reasonable amount of threat from someone to the War. Would help glue those buggers on.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
@Zode

Blizzard recognised that DKs and Paladins were overpowered in durability and they've been repeatedly nerfed for it.

Tobold is saying that warriors are behind other tanks. I believe opposite - the toolkit is fuller at the expense of the two DPS specs.
 
You want to see unloved for tanking, you should check out druids. While 4.0.1 brought Mangle to a much lower level, it took away Swipe until level 36! The only AoE threat capable ability is Demo Roar...

If you have a druid that can tank effectively until at least level 25 [where glyph of maul allows another target], you have the makings of a skilled player.
 
Wow, I hope that now when you wrote that on your blog the guy who reads it steals your idea and implements it in WOW. Not the first time they've patched the game after reading the blog (remember the dungeon XP?)
 
I only started a warrior a few weeks back, and quickly leveled to 80. I had tried wars before, and i never really got a feel for it or liked the class. They seemed so lacking compared to other classes that just felt "funner" to play - i was always waiting for something to happen as arms, or not hitting very hard as Fury.. So i tried Prot out and leveled as prot and loved every minutes.. 7/8 mob pulls, top of dps in instances and tanking at my own pace. Brilliant.

My Warrior is my main now, although still as a fairly young warrior i do have concerns heading in to Cata. I'm worried it will be hard for the dps kids to adjust to a different play style. In the same way I'm worried about the "blame the tank" ethos a lot of healers seem to carry at the moment. Holding threat is a major issue, my gear is item level 245 at a min, and its a struggle in certain groups keeping it together - and I'm constantly taunting mobs off of other players using taunt master addon.

My hope is that one of the following happens:

1) At 85, all becomes well with the world - and warriors have just as easy/hard time as all the other tanks and it's only the massive unbalance at 80 to blame for the concerns we see at the moment.

2) Blizz does something. Most likely a nerf to cata difficulty in general to stop all the whining that will ensue if the expansion is truly as difficult as people make out, or just re-buffs aoe tanking making HC's a faceroll again.

Round and round we go!
 
@zode

In regard to warriors dps'ing in heroics without CC:

This won't be much different than in TBC, which I'm sure you remember. As a plate-wearer, you will be able to offtank or kite a mob on big pulls, which can be almost as good as CC. Sure, mages will still more more desirable (just like they were in TBC), but that's the benefit of playing a pure class. Unlike mages, you have the option of getting a tank offspec and never waiting in que again.
 
I totally agree with that.
Been playing/leveling warrior, DK and pala tanks troughout WotLK.

Paladin tanking is super easy.
At one time in Heroic Violet Hold the healer dc'd right after we started.
So I tanked and healed myself and the group through 8 waves and 1 boss - even turning out #2 dps.

I really don't get why Blizz is not seeing this.
Anyway as long as it stays this way, I'd rather dps on my warrior than tank. Yeah, I know, I'm lazy. ^^
 
Not disagreeing with the basic notion that paladin tanks are somewhat OP at low levels, but warriors aren't completely without self-heals. Victory rush is a little situational in groups but very powerful.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Blood and Thunder is a terrible talent. If you are using rend as a prot warrior you are doing it wrong. I would suggest that low level warriors stick their first two talent points into buffing heroic strike and then take the armour talents next.

Balancing issues aside (and I've tanked all through this expansion, which was fine), warriors have for me the best "look and feel". Bears are boring to watch, while DKs and paladins seem to be all flashing lights and spells, and not enough hitting things in the face with hammers.
 
1) You shouldn't just comment the strengths, but also the fun of gameplay. In my experience warriors are a lot more fun - even if not as powerful at low levels.

2) Do you want warrios to be pushed, paladins to be nerfed?

3) At 80 this whole topic needs an extra post.

4) What about 85?

5) Complaining about one specc/class better than the other should generally be avoided in my opinion. Extreme cases are an exception. Is this case extreme enough?


Otherwise: I agree that paladins are too powerful at early levels. Especially during 30-45 - but also 10-30. More I do not know.

I stopped leveling my druid that was supposed to be my main at 85. Leveling in that super-easy environment while constantly trying to not outlevel it was no fun.

I will level my existing lvl 80 druid as main and perhaps do the low-level quests with him for the story. If leveling is already totally trivial, I can use a lvl 80 to oneshot everything, anyway.
 
Everblue, do you have math to back that up? I always felt that blood and thunder was help a lot with AoE threat at low levels. Maybe I was mistaken.

As for warrior, I really love my prot warrior, although I have the caveat that I only use him prot and he is at level 80 now so...lots of warrior issues escape me.

But at level cap at least, oh boy, he is great.
 
Warriors are fine - maybe you should read the problems Druids are having.
 
Warriors are fine - maybe you should read the problems Druids are having.

I tried tanking with a level 20-45 bear. No heirlooms, but rather good equip. It was hard. And 'hard' the wrong way: There were just not buttons to press!!!

It is impossible in the current environment to hold aggro against 3+ targets with just demo shout and so few other buttons. Putting thorns on you before every pull is lame and doesn't work against casters.

But it's really not the gameplay itself. It were ok, if it was meant to be this way. But since other tanks are light years better (and take less damage, and can heal while tanking), bear tanking at low levels is really only for very stubborn people; even more stubborn than me: I tanked Nefarian at lvl 60 with my bear back in the days.

Tanking at 80 is ok, though. There are enough buttons and with 85 we even get another one.
 
As far as level 85 gameplay, warriors were supposedly very good during beta - so good they ate a pile of nerfs at the end of it. And as Nils said, Druids in particular have had a ton of tanking complaints.

I'm leveling a prot warrior now, and solo it feels much the way it did in 3.0 - absurdly easy, and very fast if you get at all lucky with dungeon drops. Maybe it's a bit less over the top.

However the low-level experience can't possibly be a good introduction for new players. I have not been running recount but all the good damage skills don't come out until later levels. Blood and thunder is a dog of a talent for grouping, and should just be labeled a situational soloing talent. DPS are never going to wait for the warrior to rend then tclap, especially when he has no rage generating abilities before 20. I was much happier when I went back to tclap and just tab-sundering. Things have gotten easier now with battle shout and then cleave, and will get even easier with (glyphed) revenge. Making 15-20 tanking tougher than later level tanking is not good design.
 
I just came back from a significant hiatus from the game. The last time I played was right before the patch for Ulduar. I've got a level 80 warrior and I started a Tauren Paladin who is up to 30 now. The Warrior, I just look at and I have no idea what I want to do for the upcoming 5 levels. But I'm having so much fun on the Tauren Pally right now, I'm not too worried about it.
 
I"ve played paladins since vanilla, and have been a tank since the start of BC.

At the start of BC, warriors were still considered the best tanks (with well geared druids being 2nd, and paladins coming in last), and warriors still being main tank in raids, with pallys being the "trash men". As people got geared, Paladins started to shine, because they could aoe everything like all the other trash.

When wrath started, i don't recall it being much harder, so paladins and warriors were pretty equal. And for raiding i'd say that they were equal as well (but druids being nonexistant).

But now that we've been at 80 for awhile, and everyone has gotten into a habit of pulling everything and just aoe'ing them down.. paladins do shine..

I would go as far to say that deathknights right now are superior to paladins at aeo tanking, but warriors are behind paladins, and druids coming inlast in terms of who you'd want for 5 man instances. As for Raids i've seen all classes do well in ICC. (with pallys and dk's still being best trash men).

But as you've heard, Cataclysm will bring back the CC's (much like an entire patch of magisters terrace's)

so i think everything will be pretty evened out at first.. until a year from now when everyone is outgearing the content, and aoe'ing comes back into fashion.

with the change in shield block mastery i think that paladins will start taking alot more damage and getting that spikey behavior making them more like dk's, but making warriors better for main tank in raids.. but we'll have to see.
 
I haven't leveled a paladin in a while, but I've been playing my lowbie warrior a lot more recently and I'm actually pretty amazed at how much more fun they are to play then they used to be.

as for the damage, my warrior is lvl 35 right now and I already have so many abilities I can use.. both multi target and single target... and as long as I remember to shout (it gives you rage now, instead of enrage) I'm usually pretty good in rage department.

I have seen warriors struggle at every level, but I've also seen pallies struggle, so I'm reserving judgment until I get there myself.

so far, I feel like blizzard has done good by warriors, even despite recent nerf.
 
P.S. not even attempting to tank on my druid until she hits 30 at least O_O

like Nils said, unlike warriors, bears have literally no buttons to hit early on :/
 
I have to agree with Tobold's comments.

We also need to bear in mind that Blizzard redesigned this game to attract and hold new players. If they've achieved 12 million subscribers, and yet only retain 10% of players past level 10 then that's over 100 million accounts they're chasing. It does not matter if the warrior plays well at end game/level cap. What matters for the 100 million potential customers is how much fun and easy to play/learn a class is while levelling.

You can't tell people to wait months/years before their class is comparable with others. This is why the paladin class is prefect for new players and or those stepping into a tank class for the first time.

I've played both Warriors (level 50+ proc) and Paladins (level 80 proc/holy). I prefer the plate classes (though have a 80 hunter BM), and have just started a new Tauren paladin (level 30 in less than a week). I can confirm the paladin is over-powered for levelling.

I'd note I have the heirloom chest, shoulders, 1H sword and x1 trinket (bonus health/XP). All other gear quest greens/blues. So far I've noticed:

>> Very OP for <85 dungeons, even when level appropriate... this morning I ran the new Gnomer for the first time, and not only tanked but topped the DPS charts and healed the group. In one fight I had 12 mobs on me, held aggro, healed myself with Word of Glory, threw out Flash of Light heals onto the healer who was struggling and near death, used consecrate and war stomp to hold aggro and stun/damage and could burn down runners with my Exorcism and Shield of Righteousness. Oh, I also have another stun, a taunt and offensive spells like Judgement etc. Seriously, I'm like the mythical Mage-Tank-Healer class.

>> Word of Glory + Plate = FTW! I'm damn near indestructible...

>> The Tauren war stomp racial (really a Warrior Thunderclap) is a serious advantage to paladin tanks, another AoE effect for holding aggro with stun

>> IN BGs, even though I'm spec'd Proc I have enough offensive spells that when they crit I don't even need to touch the other player. Exorcism, SoR, Judgement... pew pew they're dead! Teamed with another healer/paladin I can't be killed.

Before warriors jump on me, note I'm planning to role Worgen warrior and really <3<3<3 the class. And yes, at endgame things are different. But how many of those 100 million potential customers are going to be tanking at endgame?

I think warriors will be the class for purists, not beginners. They will be those who love tanking, enjoy the feel of a pure plate/tank class and like that it takes a bit more work.

Now, I'm not saying paladins are face-roll easy, but a direct comparison of the two levelling experiences lends me to think most new players (or DPS switching to tanking) will roll a paladin.

Let's not forget that the masses will find the easiest way to gain rewards for (least time/effort), and in Cataclysm I suspect the least path of resistance will be:

Protection Paladin + LFD = 85 in the least time

- short queues via LFD as tank
- easier to play
- more XP via dungeons

Thus... shortest route to 85.
 
I have to agree with Tobold's comments.

We also need to bear in mind that Blizzard redesigned this game to attract and hold new players. If they've achieved 12 million subscribers, and yet only retain 10% of players past level 10 then that's over 100 million accounts they're chasing. It does not matter if the warrior plays well at end game/level cap. What matters for the 100 million potential customers is how much fun and easy to play/learn a class is while levelling.

You can't tell people to wait months/years before their class is comparable with others. This is why the paladin class is prefect for new players and or those stepping into a tank class for the first time.

I've played both Warriors (level 50+ proc) and Paladins (level 80 proc/holy). I prefer the plate classes (though have a 80 hunter BM), and have just started a new Tauren paladin (level 30 in less than a week). I can confirm the paladin is over-powered for levelling.

I'd note I have the heirloom chest, shoulders, 1H sword and x1 trinket (bonus health/XP). All other gear quest greens/blues. So far I've noticed:

>> Very OP for <85 dungeons, even when level appropriate... this morning I ran the new Gnomer for the first time, and not only tanked but topped the DPS charts and healed the group. In one fight I had 12 mobs on me, held aggro, healed myself with Word of Glory, threw out Flash of Light heals onto the healer who was struggling and near death, used consecrate and war stomp to hold aggro and stun/damage and could burn down runners with my Exorcism and Shield of Righteousness. Oh, I also have another stun, a taunt and offensive spells like Judgement etc. Seriously, I'm like the mythical Mage-Tank-Healer class.

>> Word of Glory + Plate = FTW! I'm damn near indestructible...

>> The Tauren war stomp racial (really a Warrior Thunderclap) is a serious advantage to paladin tanks, another AoE effect for holding aggro with stun

>> IN BGs, even though I'm spec'd Proc I have enough offensive spells that when they crit I don't even need to touch the other player. Exorcism, SoR, Judgement... pew pew they're dead! Teamed with another healer/paladin I can't be killed.

Before warriors jump on me, note I'm planning to role Worgen warrior and really <3<3<3 the class. And yes, at endgame things are different. But how many of those 100 million potential customers are going to be tanking at endgame?

I think warriors will be the class for purists, not beginners. They will be those who love tanking, enjoy the feel of a pure plate/tank class and like that it takes a bit more work.

Now, I'm not saying paladins are face-roll easy, but a direct comparison of the two levelling experiences lends me to think most new players (or DPS switching to tanking) will roll a paladin.

Let's not forget that the masses will find the easiest way to gain rewards for (least time/effort), and in Cataclysm I suspect the least path of resistance will be:

Protection Paladin + LFD = 85 in the least time

- short queues via LFD as tank
- easier to play
- more XP via dungeons

Thus... shortest route to 85.
 
Cannot comment on the difference between paladin and warrior. But I started a Warrior after 4.0 hit.

I leveled as fury and as soon as I turned 15 I queued up for instant dungeon invited as a tank. Up until level 20 I stayed fury. You get a self heal and dish out enough damage to keep the mobs on you (2 heirloom weapons). Best of all you stay in battle stance and just charge each mob pack, generating enough rage to push out a thunderclap.

After level 20 I felt the need to be a real tank and respecced to protection. And this was really easy. Run into the next pull, rend, thunderclap, shield slam, sunder (once available (gylph to hit two mobs)), thunderclap, until everything if dead. Then look for healers mana and run into the next group.

Nearly all instances I did (level 56 now) I came up first in DPS. Most damaging ability is Revenge followed by Rend most of the time.
After getting Warbringer life becomes so easy. Just charge into the next group, rend and thunderclap. Most of the time DDs don't get a chance to cast anything before the thunderclap hits all mobs.

I do follow a strict code of agro. If a DD pulls a mobs, i'll tell him. If he keeps pulling on his own, he can play with the mobs he pulled on his own - I only interfere with his game if the mobs start going for the healer (who mostly manage to keep the dump DD alive).
 
This is why Ghostcrawlers little joke on stage at blizzcon about how he likes to nerf paladins didn't make any sense to me. Someone, high up at Blizzard is sleeping with someone who plays a Paladin.
 
Go to wowprogress.com
Check top 10 guilds
Notice that not a single of these guilds has a protection paladin. All of their raids are maintanked by warriors.

So maybe warriors require more skill, but they definitely are not disadvantaged in raid situations.
 
Please keep in mind that the game is obviously unbalanced out of the 80-85 range, now. Especially if you're full BoA.

Now, from *personal* (ICC) experience, at level 80, the warrior does a lot more dps in AoE, often less in single targets. Which is of no importance at all, since both classes have solid aggro, which is the real point :D

Atm anyway, you should be leveling in dps spec until 85, then check again. Don't forget that your +hit and avoidance will be butchered every time you level, if you dont upgrade your gear ...
 
In my opinion, warriors are one of the hardest, if not the hardest, classes to play. Macros, stance dancing, situational abilities that require super reactions. Its hard. Thats why I think people are complaining a lot...because it is a lot more difficult than all the other tanking classes. But there are unbalance issues, i agree.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool