Friday, April 15, 2011

Warrior’s Journal: Charge!

warrior-charge-2 I have been gnawed upon by a problem with my main warrior character for quite sometime now and that is the limitations of dual speccing in World of Warcraft. I can see Blizzard's logic when they explain why they do not want to add options to maintain more than two permanent specs per character, the way that Rift, for example, allows. However, I am currently joggling to keep track of three tanking specs and two fury specs, one for pvp and one for pve. With the new 4.1 changes that are coming around, looks like I am finally forced to switch my pvp spec to arms, adding even more complications.

Some, more politically correct players would tell you that it is already a waste of time to play fury pvp, simply due to how easy it is to counter. But still, I enjoy the fury spec in all its forms, which is why the change is coming with a heavy heart. With that in mind I have decided to separate my pvp and pve into different characters. That way I can devote each character more fully into the task which I am designing it. That is not just good for me but more than fair for my guild and arena partner.

I have already leveled a couple of characters in Cataclysm but none of them were warriors and I figured would be a fun idea to keep something of a journal through the progress. I actually once planned on doing a similar, more mechanical journal for leveling a protection warrior and I might still return that, perhaps depending on my experiences with this journal.

Choosing a Realm

I chose to level my warrior on Neptulon, a pvp realm where I had the most access to heirlooms, and also because I more in my element when playing on a pvp realm. This is an important decision though and you should not adopt for a pvp realm unless you are comfortable with the fact that, from time to time, members of the opposite factions will jump at the chance to kick your parts around the landscape. However, do keep in mind that the legends surrounding pvp realms are largely exaggerated and often blown out of proportion by explosive examples. It is all true ofc; you are as likely to be attacked by those of your level and those above you, for other reason but to kill you for fun of it. Some max level players go hunting for low level players.

But still, it happens a lot less frequently then people are letting on. I remember leveling my main character, a warrior on a pvp realm, as well as other characters, like my mage and hunter. In all cases, I got attacked maybe a handful of times between levels 1 and 80. From those times, it was rarely by anyone who was actually good at pvp and mostly I would just kill them and go on with my questing.

Choosing a Spec

For now, I have reached level 31 inside two days of leveling and my choice of spec is naturally Arms. I am unsure how fury plays at lower levels these days but my previous experiences did demonstrate an alarming lack of rage. I do not want to go through that again so I specced arms and it is working out quite well. Without dual wielding, hitting targets is easy and mostly die within two globals. For the specific talent selection, so far I have distributed my points in the following manner:

War Academy & Blitz: This was an easy choice because both contribute to my damage and the more I can deal, the faster I can move onto the next quest.

Second Wind & Deep Wounds: This was a bit more tricky; [Deep Wounds] was obvious but [Second Wind] is only a placeholder talent for now, until I finally learn pummel. When that happens, I will switch the two points over to [Drums of War]. Second Wind is still a good choice if you do more battlegrounds than I, but is inferior for free interrupts. Not only is the rage you save valuable but at lower level pvp, if you get stunned, you are most likely going to die.

It is just a simple fact. I have been doing a couple of battlegrounds so far and the experience speaks loud and clear; the classes are not well balanced. Even an heirloom geared player can get 2-3 and if the opponent can stun or kite you, it is game over.

Taste For Blood & Impale: So far this has been the hardest tier to choose between my talents and again, if you opt to play more battlegrounds than I, suggest you alternate your choices a little bit. Hamstring is pretty useless for questing, so I left it out, same as [Sweeping Strikes]. That was a painful choice and I might actually still go back to put a sixth point in this tier. Especially once I start hitting more dungeons, Sweeping Strikes will do some good damage. Just for questing however, I figured getting those overpower procs would be more valuable.

I will continue the spec as I gain more levels.


Especially if you have access to a ton of heirlooms and a high level guild, doing dungeons between quests is a perfectly valid way to level up. There are quests at the beginning of every dungeon and most of them are still extensive enough to hold a lot of trash, multiplying the amount of XP you will gain. My first Wailing Caverns run gained me two complete levels, after I had returned the quests. You will also get some gear that helps out with quests in the world, reputation, and just simply bring a change of pace to your routine.

However, be warned. If you have ever experienced bad dungeon runs at max level (which I assume you have if you have ever used the LFD tool before), expect it to be worse at low levels. People have close to no patience, ninja pull at random, and care little whether the tank is ready or the healer has enough mana. Granted, much of the early dungeons like Deadmine do not even need a tank but courtesy should still be paid no matter what. I generally do not grind gear or run a lot of dungeons as I level, but just enough to complete the quests in the dungeons and to get the daily extra XP from random queue.

Getting On With It

There is not a whole lot else that can be said about it. Just get in there and start completing quests. The nice thing about the warrior class is the fact that you get some of the most iconic abilities early on. Both charge and rend, I believe, became available before I had left the starting zone. Soon I also gained overpower and heroic strike, both which I use regularly. My main opener is charge + rend + HS. By that time, most mobs die anyway and I rarely ever drop to zero rage. I have enough to spare for a quick overpower and mortal strike if necessary.

Overpower could very well become more prevalent when I gain three points in the Taste for Blood talent because it lets me proc it from rend. All and all, I cannot find anything wrong with my leveling process so far. Since the Cataclysm revamp, Blizzard obviously made a lot of adjustments to what level and order you gain your abilities and I really cannot complain. The warrior is equally ready to function as a DPS or tank once you hit level 15. Both are viable options.

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