[Note - This is the old version of the "What Kinda of Warrior Shall I Be?" post, Pre-Wrath. Most of it is out of date, but left here for posterity. Please see the newer post here.]
There's so much going on that I should write about that I haven't written anything! Gah! So, I figured that since I get asked this a lot (3 times the other day) and need to write something, I'd do the "what kind of warrior to choose" post. Probably been done to death, but not by me, so here goes...
Aside: I've always kinda wondered why I get asked this sort of question so frequently. I'm not particularly well geared. I spec DW Arms for most of my playing time, for crying out loud! Not exactly a mark of expertise or seriousness as far as maximizing the class, I'd say. I do try to be as good as I can, but I'm certainly not an Arena level player. I don't get to go on many raids. And getting into even a 5-man as DPS is tough for a Warrior. To get to run dungeons frequently I have to repec and tank. No idea why people ask my advice on what kind of Warrior to spec. I just like the close-in fighting a Warrior offers and the versatility offered by Arms, in particular... basically I like to hit stuffs.
I've been playing Fury for a couple of weeks now and started leveling a new Fury Warrior (FreakyFriday, currently at Level 9... so not technically any type of Warrior for at least another level. Woot!). I have a Protection Warrior I'm slowly leveling, as well. I'm starting to get a feel for the different flavors. I respec fairly often, mostly to Tank. And I'll letcha in on a little secret... /whisper With specific exceptions aside, it really doesn't matter. ;)
Okay, of course it matters for some things. If you're gonna do one thing primarily, then yes you need to spec for that one thing. If you're going to tank Raids, you need to spec Protection and you need to do it properly. If you're going to DPS instances you need to spec Fury and stay there. If you're going to fight in Arena then your only choice is a properly spec'd MS Warrior (Arms).
That's what you'll read about most when you go looking to research "Warrior Theory." And if you're creating a Warrior for one of those things, then you REALLY need to read the spec guides and practice, practice, practice your rotations. The very high end of the game is unforgiving of mistakes in these roles. From recent experience, for example, Fury has great sustained DPS. But if you stop to refresh a shout, or hamstring a loose mob, or anything else, that DPS drops like a stone! DPS Warrior is there to DPS. It's a one trick pony when assigned to do its role. Don't like that? Spec Arms. Do like it? Then wail away and rip your foes to shreds.
The number of players that actually need one of the optimized specs are very few. T4+ Raiders need to spec properly. Arena fighters need to spec properly. That's, what? Probably less than 10% of WoW's 11 million plus player-base? In one session, I farm for motes, run dailies, make a quick instance run, help quildies, play a few BGs, do a little World PvP, tank a wild boss, etc. Most players are like that and most players will have neither the resources or patience to respec three or four times a night. Or even a week. Well, you don't need to. When to respec is another discussion entirely, but for the time being, pick a spec that appeals to you and enjoy.
So, for the vast majority of WoW players what kind of Warrior you pick is largely going to be based on what kind of player you are. Your spec is going to reflect how you like to fight, not necessarily the optimal spec you need to get the job done. Because the truth is, in most situations, any Warrior spec is going to work just fine for most "casual" (I dispute that term... nother post), non-hard core players. It won't be the best, but it'll get the job done.
It comes down to play style. Which leads us to the details in the next three posts...
(Linkage to come)
Arms: Lords (and Ladies) of PvP
Fury: The Fast and the Furyous
Protection: The Rock and the Hard Place