There are just under 3 weeks left until Mists of Pandaria, and thus, just under 3 weeks during which your Humble Narrator must still concern herself with proper tanking form. I can’t work up the give-a-damn to completely rework my spreadsheet for less than a month of play – especially since most of the theorycrafting resources I rely upon, most notably Elitist Jerks’ rating conversions, have not updated their level 85 stat values, focusing instead on the upcoming level 90 formulae. I don’t begrudge them their focus on MoP – if I were upgrading, I’d focus on it too.
I’ll probably get the expansion eventually, once the sting of rage’s death has died down a little. Despite its increased power – I’m not so divorced from reality as to claim that the warrior changes weren’t a significant buff! – all I can see when I watch my rage bar stand, unmoved, in the face of a boss hit, is a mockery of the class I once loved.
To the point, and more importantly, on from the melodrama! Combat statistics received some major overhauls this patch, most notably with the introduction of the two-roll system for block; and of course, our own stat priorities widened to include hit and expertise.
Here’s the deal with my long lack of posts in this space: in addition to my own innate laziness and the real-life challenges of the past few months (overcoming my depression-induced conditioning enough to actually look for a job, running around the country for interviews, spending the majority of the rest of my time curled up in bed clutching a dolphin and freaking out), I’ve also had some major apprehensions about the changes Blizz has been making to warriors, especially protection warriors, in the name of active mitigation. I didn’t want to jump the gun by stereotypically claiming that what was going on in beta was ruining the class, especially since until a week ago I had barely played on beta due to my internet situation.
I’ve played on beta now, and found that my suspicions were, for the most part, correct.
I’d like to clarify before I get into the meat of my whining that my problems with the 5.X warrior model are a matter of personal preference and class identity. As far as I know (though I haven’t been keeping up with the theorycraft as much as I should have, see above) there’s nothing about the new warrior model that makes them unplayable; they seem to be where they’ve always been, the dependable baseline of tank acceptability. Sure, DKs will still be the kings of magical damage, and the new bear mastery is WTFoverpowered, but my objections to the new direction of the warrior class are about enjoyment, not numbers. Whether this makes them more or less relevant is your call. Read more…
Veneretio used to post his emblem-purchased gear picks every major content patch, before his untimely retirement. I of course am no Veneretio, but since I have to construct my pick order myself now, I submit them for popular consumption.
- Forgesmelter Waistplate – Belt – 1650 VP
- Signet of the Resolute – Ring – 1250 VP
- Guardspike Choker – Neck – 1250 VP
- Indefatigable Greatcloak – Cloak – 1250 VP
- Bladeshatter Treads – Boots – 1650 VP (These are BoE – use an alt to buy them ASAP if you have one.)
- Ring of Torn Flesh – Ring – 1250 VP
- Chestplate of the Unshakable Titan – 2200 VP
Note that only numbers 1-4 are best in slot pre-hardmode; whether or not you want to buy 5-7 will depend on if better has dropped for you already.
Yes, yes, I know, it’s nearly time for tier 13 and I’m posting a guide for a tier 12 normal mode fight. It’s just that my raid recently picked up a talented tank with no previous Firelands experience, and tank positioning on Alysrazor is hard to explain with words alone. Also we’re sticking to Firelands until our spriest gets his staff, so it should be relevant for… two more weeks?
Because boss guides are everywhere and because I am lazy, I’m not going to explain the whooole Alysrazor fight. Consider this guide more of a tank-oriented supplemental.
I hope you find it useful!
As you probably know, in patch 4.3, in addition to the Dragon Soul raid, Blizzard is releasing three new Caverns of Time-themed 5-man heroics, which will drop item level 378 gear, including a full tank set. This will give us a nice selection of gap fillers and minor upgrades for raiders, and a whole new baseline set for the non-raiders still stuck in 353 Troll gear.
As usual in any gear discussion, the rankings here are based on my own warrior’s gear set unless I state otherwise. What is an upgrade for one tank may be a downgrade for another, so please take recommendations with a grain of salt, and when in doubt, spreadsheet it out for your own character.
As you almost certainly know, Blizzard recently released pre-alpha information for WoW 5.0, The Mists of Pandaria. We as tanks have known that 5.0 would be a time of paradigm shift for us for quite a while, ever since Ghostcrawler confirmed that the active mitigation model he promised/threatened would not be present in patch 4.3; but we hadn’t expected the class system to experience such a paradigm shift as well. If you haven’t been keeping up with Blizzcon news, head over to MMO Champion to read the highlights.
As always for pre-release information, all of this may be subject to change.