WoW Legion Warrior class preview
The Warrior class in World of Warcraft is my favorite class, and so, I decided I had to be awake and here when Blizzard posted its Warrior class preview for Legion. Unlike some of the other class previews, this one isn’t about any huge mechanical changes that totally redefine the way the class plays — Arms is not a ranged DPS spec now, for example. What’s being focused on here is customization and differentiation between specs, especially Arms and Fury, with over five rows of throughput talents to allow you to decide exactly how you want to put the hurt on people.
Let’s start looking at what the Warrior will be in Legion.
In Legion we’ve opened up a wider variety of potential gameplay styles based on your talent choices, as discussed above. We also replaced their Mastery with Colossal Might, which increases the effectiveness of Colossus Smash, playing into their theme more directly.
Arms Warriors in Legion should look pretty familiar. Slam is back in the rotation, and there’s no mention of Rend (perhaps a talent choice?) but otherwise it’s the same set of attacks we’re used to — Mortal Strike, Colossus Smash, and Execute being your main hurt-bringers. Rage is still auto-attack generated, and the new Mastery for the spec is Colossal Might, increasing the damage of Colossus Smash as well as the damage bonus it applies to its targets. Tactician is a new passive, with a chance to reset the cooldown on Colossus Smash when you use Slam, Whirlwind, or Execute, which isn’t a new idea if you’ve played Arms in previous expansions. In general it feels like a bit of a return to Cataclysm/Mists of Pandaria Arms.
The example talent, Titanic Might, is a standard one, increasing the duration of Colossus Smash’s debuff by 200% but halving its effectiveness.
Fury is a thematically grandiose take on the classic warrior archetype, and in Legion we want the gameplay to convey this better. To help deliver on the fantasy of a relentless death-dealer, we’ve bolstered their gameplay around quickly building Rage and then going wild with Rampage. In particular, Enrage is now considerably more powerful, doubling your attack speed (and thus Rage generation, since the majority of Rage is still generated by auto-attacks), along with increasing damage based on Mastery
Fury is, again, not drastically changed but the addition of Rampage definitely bolsters the spec’s feel. Berserker Rage once again allows you to enter Enrage at will to some degree, and the aforementioned buff to how Enrage (the 100% attack speed increase) makes it a certainty you’ll want to do that. Rampage is an attractive new button for Fury to hit, and otherwise the spec’s current rotation (Bloodthirst, Raging Blow, Execute) remains unchanged. No mention of Wild Strike, so possibly Rampage takes its place.
The example Fury talent, Frenzy, is both another attack and a stackable self-buff to Haste. Could be interesting to use before building up rage for a Rampage burst.
Shield Block and Shield Barrier in particular often created a trap choice for players. We’ve replaced Shield Barrier with a new ability, Ignore Pain, which massively reduces damage taken (up to a cap based on maximum health) and functions as your primary defensive Rage-spender. It doesn’t compete as much with Shield Block, and thus provides you with distinct tools in your arsenal to apply to different situations.
Protection sees some changes based on older iterations of the Warrior class. For example, Protection Warriors once again generate rage through taking damage, with their abilities supplementing this rage income and not entirely replacing it. The addition of Ignore Pain and the removal of Shield Barrier means no more absorbs (a mechanic Blizzard feels got out of hand) and instead an overall focus on simply not taking damage. (It’s also a Diablo 3 Barbarian ability, so kudos there, Blizz.) Overall it’s an interesting change of direction. We see the old standby abilities here — Devastate, Shield Slam, Revenge, Thunder Clap and Heroic Strike — so if you play Protection now, you’ll more or less recognize the spec in Legion.
For defensive abilities, Shield Block is greatly discounted in cost and buffs your Shield Slam damage innately, Ignore Pain is a 40 rage button that reduces incoming damage by 90% (I’m interested to see if that makes it live), and Spell Reflect now reduces all magic damage by 30% making it a sort of mini-cooldown. The Shield Discipline talent isn’t terribly exciting.
What wasn’t mentioned was the fate of Gladiator’s Resolve, the level 100 talent that allows Protection to be a viable DPS spec. Hopefully that remains.
- 11am PT: Monk
- 5pm PT: Druid
Finally, Rogues will get their Legion class preview sometime tomorrow. Keep your eyes peeled to Blizzard Watch for more class previews throughout the day.
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