The Beta is on!!! And I didn't get an invite. Pout. I cried. Okay that's all the QQ today... on to the goodies. (You know I'm lying about the QQ, right? There's gonna be some QQ. Uh huh. Yup. It's comin'.)
I've just been playing with the talent calculators on WoWhead again. Some interesting possibilities. And yah, they changed slightly from the Alpha. Yah, expect more changes.
Note: All the mouse over tooltips are from the WotLK information on WoW Head, not actually in game. So these will look a little different than the talents and abilities you're use to.
Understand that all these builds are based on just having some fun. None of this is theorycraft becuase... well, I don't give a Druid's furry bear butt about theorycraft. I spec'd dual wield at 20 and never looked back. Why? Because my toon looks wicked cool and super hot chopping beasties to bits with those giant e-peen swords in each dainty hand. When I hit 70 I'd saved up a pile of marks and honor from fighting in the battlegrounds, so I immediately ran out and bought Bruce and two shiney, ginormous one handers. But I still spec'd Arms. I finally broke down and used a variant of the 31/30 spec, which is a hybrid, but it was as close as I was gonna get to DW Arms. I love Arms. I wanna stay Arms. Yes, I'll switch to a two-hander and I'm saving my honor points for that now. But it doesn't "feel" right for Arms. Anyhoo...
Some thoughts and builds from the Beta talent trees for Arms Warriors (all of these are at level 80):
Bloodletting replaces Improved Rend and the tooltip mentions a Bloodbath ability. Bloodbath adds to the "damage multiple targets at once" abilities of Arms warriors. At the very least, it gives us even more utility in multi-mob fights. We can hope cause there's lots of ways to enhance the "bleed 'em to death" abilities. And warriors need a nice big fat anti-lock/rogue debuff. Wouldn't it be nice to slap a Rend on that curse-casting lock and watch him bleed to death in a few seconds. I'm thinking /rofl-waffles. :) [Edit: 7/26/08 As of the last Beta Batch this has been renamed Improved Rend and got nerfed to no longer include a bonus to Bloodbath. So far, alas, Rend isn't looking great. But keep your fingers crossed.]
Unfortunately, 2H-weapon specialization is still stuck there at the top of the tree like an albatross. So Arms warriors are pretty much gonna be limited to lugging around a two hander. No easy-peezy DW builds, alas.
From the patch notes (I read them on 70 TW's site), Mace's got a bit of a nerf in that the stun proc can only happen every 6 seconds now. So no more multiple stuns in a row. Swords got the same treatment, so good-bye to that wicked Flurry/Sword Spec spectacle of death repeating constantly. 6 Second proc isn't too bad, but keep your fingers crossed they'll reconsider. Overpower got nerfed and now only does weapon damage, no bonus. In an interesting buff, not too bad, but there's plenty of nerfs and other changes for Warriors, so have a peek.
Full Arms Build
Just for grins, a full Arms build. I don't know how practical it would be for the "every ounce of number crunch you can get" crowd, but it sure looks like a lot of fun. It also appears to have plenty of utility, too. Which is what Arms is suppose to be about. Since there will be endless debates when Wrath comes out about which Arms spec is best for what, I plan to go back to "pure" Arms (with the extras in Protection) while I level to 80 just for fun. I got to 70 that way, what's 10 more? :)
DW Arms Build
This was as close as I could get. We pick up Sudden Death, Second Wind, Improved MS, and Sweeping Strikes. Which is great, but not going to be at all competitive with a DW Fury build. Unfortunately, you can't take Bladestorm and Improved Whirlwind. Which makes no damn sense at all.
Aside: The reason I tried this is because the current situation in the game doesn't make any sense to me. I see Fury warriors as Conan, the enraged barbarian charging through the battle swinging a giant hunk of metal and tossing his enemy's body parts around like rag dolls on fire. I see Arms warriors as the slick and fast kind of warrior that will cut you into little pieces with a fruity drink umbrella while you're still deciding if you're going to fight or not. All while sipping her tropical adult beverage and smiling politely, of course. Think Zoro. DW just makes more sense to me as Arms, not Fury. And no, Rogues shouldn't be superior, at all, to an Arms warrior as masters of arms. But as it stands, they're a lot closer than we are.
This one has BOTH Improved Mortal Strike and full Flurry. Pop in Sweeping Strikes and Improved Slam for good measure. I skipped Improved Overpower, but adjustments for it would be fairly easy. Basically, really fast, really big damage for PvE.
Arms Toughness Build
And finally, to make an Arms Warrior a little tougher, here's a nice build with Protection in it. (The two points in Incite are extras, so whatever... maybe a little Cruelty instead.) Something like this might be more interesting for Battlegrounds and Solo grinding. It's also possible to build an Arms/Prot build a little deeper into Protection by ignoring more of the deep tree Arms tree. You end up with a neat Improved MS looking build for Off Tanking and even Main Tanking 5-mans.
So my IMHO at the moment is that there's a LOT of potential here. I'm very please to see Arms getting some groovy new skills and, possibly, some upgrades to existing talents. But also think Bliz has a long way to go. They need to decide the "direction" of each tree. I'm not happy about the cross-utility plan they have. I don't think it will work, but hey maybe. Regardless, it's still a long way to release and there's plenty of things that could change. Let me know what ya think.
And, hey, we finally get Sweeping Strikes back! Hooray for our side! :D