Enraged: A tale of too much rage

My warrior was the first alt I rolled, it quickly got shelved in favour of the paladin alt I rolled soon after. It made it to around level 30 before Cataclysm hit. I liked the melee nature of it, but I didn’t like how it played. I’d specced prot as I thought that my warrior would be my tank alt. It was so unbelievably boring, I spent every fight just hitting Devastate, I didn’t have enough rage to do anything else. I’d made it my gatherer so I had to level it, I did it mostly through gathering so I wound up with lots of herbs at least. Once about level 74 I tried Arms as it was taking so long to kill everything. My survivability promptly disappeared and after a dozen corpse runs, over the same pack of mobs, I went back to Protection.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I liked the warrior changes on beta. With the announcement of no flying, I had to try my warrior out, to see if it would be viable for gathering. I copied it over, Outland gear and all, and checked it out. It was more than viable, I didn’t break a sweat as Protection even with packs of 6 mobs at a time. Plus it was more than just hitting Devastate, there were more buttons, I actually had rage. However, killing things in a tank spec is so slow so I decided to see if I could live as Arms. I made Arms my levelling spec and began the trek to 90.

I need more rage
I hated playing a warrior before because I was forever rage starved. I could never hit any buttons and it became a contest to see whether I could kill the mob before it killed me. Well that is true no longer, as the title of the post suggests I have more rage than I know what to do with. Being rage capped is bad, as you are wasting rage. It’s like having 5 combo points as a feral druid and continuing to hit shred/mangle. You’re losing out on dps but what to hit?

The Noxxic guide says unless you have 4 Taste for Blood stacks not to hit Heroic Strike and to use Slam to shed excess rage, unless of course you can hit Execute. Well that doesn’t work very well as Slam IS on the GCD and Heroic Strike isn’t. Between Mortal StrikeOverpower and Colossus Smash there aren’t many free GCD’s, and you have to find time to hit your cooldowns as well. The problem with hitting Heroic Strike when you shouldn’t, is if you have any Taste for Blood stacks then you’ll wipe them out. However, Taste for Blood, at least for me at the moment, isn’t stacking much at all. I don’t know if that’s a stat/gear thing but I’m lucky if I get 2 stacks of it. As the buff doesn’t last forever, and you’ll lose the single stack you have nearly everytime, using Heroic Strike does make some kind of sense. However, now I quite like playing my warrior I want to do it properly, and as I’m still very new at doing it properly, I’m hesitant to go against what the guide says.

What to track
I’m a very big fan of Tell Me When for tracking buffs/debuffs. I use it on my paladin, my druid, my warlock and now on my warrior. My warrior has the most to track with Mortal Wounds, Deep Wounds, Colossus Smash, Sudden Death, Taste for Blood, Weakened Blows and Sweeping Strikes.

The problem that I’ve found being a novice Arms Warrior is there’s too many buttons and not enough time. Given that this is the opposite of before it’s a good problem to have. However, it’s easy to get flustered and confused and not hit buttons when you should. I think getting this close to potential will be quite difficult. Already, as a freshly dinged novice level 90, I’m equalling the dps I can put out as a Retribution Paladin. I’m not sure whether that says more about how Arms Warrior’s are quite powerful, or about how rubbish I might be when dps on my paladin. There’s definitely a lot more buttons to hit when playing Arms as opposed to Retribution.

Sometimes when I’m rage capped, which I am after the first 5 seconds of any fight, I wonder whether to hit Slam, and shed some rage, rather than hitting Mortal Strike or Overpower as soon as those two are available. The guide says that they have priority, but as I mentioned earlier being rage capped can’t be good. There is never that dilemma as a paladin. Sometimes because of Divine Purpose procs I’ll have to ‘choose’ between hitting Templar’s Verdict or Crusader Strike (when single target otherwise Divine Storm and Hammer of Righteous) but given that you can bank two holy power, you hit Crusader Strike, then you have two GCD’s in which to hit Templar’s Verdict and then something else. It is a very rare occurrence when Crusader Strike is coming off cd, and I have five holy power, and that usually means I’ve made a mistake earlier.

Arms is definitely interesting, and never boring, which is it what it was pre-Mists. However, all those buttons do make for a mental challenge. Sometimes simple is best, and while maintaining Inquisition isn’t compelling, it’s about the only worry a Retribution Paladin has.

I’m 90 now what?
Research topic time. I’m not planning on playing my warrior much, I might like it now but I like quite a few classes. However, it is currently my only other level 90 character and so it is going to get some playtime. I like to try and do the best that I can, especially when playing with others. So I need to try and improve my performance.
– How does Taste for Blood work? Is it affected by stats? If so which ones, this stacking more would be good.
– Find out what the best glyphs are and use them.
– Check that the selected talents are the best, if not change them.
– Practice, practice, practice, especially with using cooldowns.
– Learn more about Enrage.

Fury is simulated as the best dps warrior spec, both for one and two handed options. However, unless you are the best warrior in the game then those simulations are a long way off actual performance. I gave Fury a try before I specced Arms as I thought dual-wielding would be really cool. I can’t do that on my paladin so thought it would be good to make a change. I didn’t last 10 minutes before I went and respecced as Arms. I had no clue what I was doing, things just wouldn’t die and it just wasn’t fun at all. So while Arms might be simming the lowest, it’s what I can do more with.

Yeah the promised warrior article. I actually surprised myself by how much I like and am interested in the warrior class now. For anyone that has never liked warriors before I really suggest giving them another look. Rage generation has changed, no more being rage starved, instead there’s way too much rage and you can’t get rid of it fast enough. It’s a lot more compelling to play now, so while it’s primary function will always be my gatherer, it’s definitely getting some playtime this expansion.