Warrior > WoWNov 20, 2016 4:00 pm CT

The Warrior’s Charge: 7.1.5 and the unknown

As of the writing of this post, we don’t know anything about 7.1.5 and Warriors. We have datamined information to look at — and I’m going to look at it — but in the absence of patch notes or any sort of official information from Blizzard we have to keep the following in mind:

First, datamined information can and does change before it goes live. Sometimes it never goes live at all. Second, even if the changes make it to the PTR, that’s not to say they won’t be abandoned, reverted or changed again before they go live.

Let’s round up some of the big highlights of the datamined changes before talking about them in detail.

  1. Charge’s root is down to 1 second from 1.5 seconds. There are a host of PVP changes and Protection changes that have me thinking this is part of an overhaul of Warriors in PVP and Prot in general.
  2. Protection is seeing some talent changes — Best Served Cold moves up to take the place of Ultimatum and a new talent, Devastator which makes Auto-Attacks a lot more important for Prot.
  3. There are too many PVP changes to list in a short round-up. Several Honor Talents are redesigned, or even entirely new.

Let’s break it down into what we can determine by looking at the datamined information. I’ll just remind you again not to assume any of this will go live.

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Protection

One thing I’m noticing is that Revenge no longer resets its cooldown on a successful dodge or parry. Instead the rage cost (that’s right, rage cost) of Revenge is dropped to zero on a successful dodge or parry. The cost listed isn’t important so much as the change from Revenge being a rage generator to a rage spender. It’s 300 rage, but again, datamined — it’s an absolute certainty it won’t be that expensive because we don’t ever have 300 rage. My assumption is this will be a 30 rage ability.

The change to Best Served Cold showcases this as well. Instead of generating more rage when it hits more targets, it will deal more damage. The idea of Revenge now costing rage is interesting. I don’t like it, but I’m hoping it’s just an early iteration, and by the time we really get into the testing this will be changed. However, the fact that several talents and Revenge itself have been changed to become rage spenders instead of rage generators, makes me think it’s here to stay.

The change to Vengeance in particular — on live, it affects Focused Rage — has me thinking that we may end up seeing a change in the design. That change may get rid of Focused Rage entirely, and make Revenge take its place as a rage dump and DPS ability. Rather than hitting a button to buff other abilities, you’ll just hit Revenge and be done with it. It’s a simpler and more elegant design, and it would get rid of a lot of problems with Focused Rage for Protection. At present, based on the datamining only, I can’t conclusively say they’re removing Focused Rage. But it would make sense if they did based on the changes to Revenge, Best Served Cold, and Vengeance.

Aside from this, Thunder Clap will be doing more damage, Shield Block looks to be going up to 15 rage (it says 150 currently but again, datamining) and Thunder Clap will help reset the cooldown on Shield Slam, since you won’t be getting Revenge nearly as often now. Once we have some patch notes we can more carefully determine what the spec will look like in 7.1.5. But for right now, my money’s on a potential redesign built around Revenge as a rage dump.

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Honor Talents

Looking at the datamining we have, there are a host of redesigned or even entirely new Honor Talents. One change that isn’t an Honor Talent but which I think is PVP related is the change to Hamstring, bringing its damage up to 105% of weapon damage. Hamstring has always been an ability we use in PVP to slow/snare enemies but always lamented that using it costs us so much damage, so this feels like a change aimed at fixing that.

The new Honor Talents include Disarm, Duel (a novel attempt to make tanking mechanics work in PVP, in my opinion — D&D 4th Edition had very similar mechanics), Master and Commander, Storm of Destruction and War Banner. Master and Commander is boring, but Storm of Destruction is a fun way to make people actually leery of a Bladestorming Warrior again. War Banner is a nice bit of buff capability for a Warrior, who is in a group trying to focus down a stubborn flag carrier or pour it on during a skirmish.

I potentially really like Duel. The idea of trading your own damage against anyone but your target while forcing her or him to either focus on you or deal half damage to anyone but you is something I am really interested to see. I hope it can possibly be as cool as it sounds in my head.

I’m not sure what these changes are meant to accomplish besides potentially  making Arms hit harder in PVP — the change to Shadow of the Colossus means they’ll have more rage to work with, as an example.

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The Unknown we don’t know

In general, there’s a lot of potential change and no real answers on what it’s intended to do, or even if we’ll actually see it go live. If these changes did go live, they’d probably streamline Protection, but I’m not sure I like losing a rage generation ability without compensation. As for the Honor Talent changes…they could be a lot of fun. Time will tell, I suppose.

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