Monday, April 13

What Kind of Warrior Shall I be? (3.0)

What Kind of Warrior Shall I Be?
for WoW 3.x (Wrath of the Lich King)

Revised 4/16/09, 5/2/09

Intro: What Kind of Warrior Shall I Be?
Part 1. Arms, Lord and Ladies of the Battlefield
Part 2. Fury, The Fast and the Furyious
Part 3. Protection, The Rock and the Hard Place

I don't know why, but I get asked this question a lot. Usually by newer players, of course, so maybe that says something. We won't go there. It probably has to do with my hot and frequently changing hair style choices. Yup.

I do get asked "What kind of warrior should I be," or "What warrior spec is best," frequently enough that, awhile back, I started a post on the subject that turned into an unintentional series, with the Protection Warrior version never getting published. (It was Blizzards fault for changing everything in 3.0, I swear!) Now that I've been a-warriorin' in Wrath for a bit, I felt it was time to update it. Mainly because I still can't walk through Stormwind without the "can i ask u a ?" tell at least once or twice.

I still get a lot of "whar u get blak hors?" as well, but that's a totally different post.

Anyhoo, while a lot of the information in those original posts still works, what follows is the updated versions, including this introduction. I hope someone finds it useful, and welcome comments, corrections and enhancements on these thoughts.

Picking your Talent Specialization is very important for any class. You'll even get familiar with several different specs. I'll letcha in on a little secret... /whisper If you're just playin' WoW and having fun, with specific exceptions aside, it really doesn't matter. ;)

Of course it matters for those specific exceptions. 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 or Arms. If you're going to fight in PvP then you'll probably seriously consider a spec that optimizes survivability and fast, hard damage.

That's what you'll read about most when you go to research "Warrior Theory." It's called min/max'ing. Which means minimizing bad stuff that can happen to your toon, while maximizing the bad stuff you can do to other toons. If you're creating a Warrior for one of those things, then you really need to read the spec guides and practice, practice, practice. The very high end of the game is unforgiving of mistakes in these roles. Perhaps a little less so in Wrath, but that will change as the expansion grows. So get that practice in now while you can.

The number of players that actually need one of the optimized specs and gear lists, however, are in the minority. Heavy, hardcore raiders need to spec appropriately. Arena fighters need to spec and gear to min/max. That's, what? Probably less than 10% of WoW's 11 million plus player-base?

In one play session I do a quest or two, farm for mats, run dailies, make a quick instance run, help guildies, 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 nor patience to respec every other night. even with dual specs. You don't have to do that. When to respec is another discussion entirely, but for the time being, pick a Warrior spec that appeals to you and enjoy.

That's what this guide is about. It's not a How-To Warrior guide. This is intended to give you a rough idea of what to expect when you choose a particular Warrior talent specialization. The goal here is to give you a feel for each spec, rather than tell you which spec you need to take. Then you can make your own decision, based on what appeals to you as a player!

With the release of World of Warcraft 3.0, and Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard made Warriors fun again. By the end of The Burning Crusade, being a "good" warrior revolved around having precisely the right spec, exactly the same gear as every other Warrior, and using the correct and same ability rotation. While that is certainly emerging again, the gap between being a Good Player and a Rock Star has narrowed a little. You can literally now play whichever type of Warrior you like, how you like, and get good results . . . as long as you play well. There's still plenty of room to be a "bad" player. But it does come down to the player and (slightly) less about gear and talent spec.

That does not mean the gear and talents aren't important! You do need to carefully consider your talent build, and work hard to acquire good items that enhance that build. You can not spend your talent points willy-nilly on stuff that just looks good, crossing multiple trees on a whim. The talent trees are intentionally built to create a certain flavor of Warrior, with each Talent enhancing previous talents or trainable skills that type of Warrior is most likely to use. Without those talent trees, all Warriors would be bland carbon copies of each other. Blah!

There is a certain amount of "less about what you have and more about how you use it" in WoW these days. I think a lot of players, many Warriors included, got a shock when they entered WoW 3 and suddenly their gear no longer compensated for their inadequacies as players. They got mad about it, too. Fury Warriors who didn't understand threat and aggro. Arms Warriors who relied on their resilience and couldn't fight multiple targets at once effectively (guilty here, learned fast). Protection Warriors who thought all they needed was a little more AoE threat to be great.

Doesn't work that way. Just cause ya got it, doesn't mean you're good. There's still plenty of room for Blizzard to improve that concept, but the game is definitely heading that way. Getting great gear and sexy new items should be a reward because it's fun. It should not be a task, something you have to plod through to get to the fun part.

If you keep that mentality, you'll enjoy your play time as a Warrior regardless of what talent spec you're playing and what gear you're toting around. On the other hand, if you're only interested in toting around imaginary armor to enhance an imaginary epeen, this guide probably isn't for you. If you're interested in playing a Warrior and want to know what it's like, read on.

Of course, study and practice are the cornerstones of becoming truly great at any profession! With that in mind, take a look at the links on the right. These are starting places, but they'll lead you to all sort of information about being a Warrior in WoW. More importantly, though, as you browse through some of the sites (specially the blogs), you'll discover there are many different types of Warriors. Even if they have the same talents, in many respects they are very different from each other. Read what these players have to say about playing a Warrior. Take what works for you and leave what doesn't. You'll get the idea.

Most importantly, make being a Warrior fun... for YOU!


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