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[US] Feedback: Warrior Updates

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[US] Feedback: Warrior Updates

In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Warriors in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.
Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

Thank You

Before we continue testing The War Within, we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who read and responded to the Hero Talent previews we posted over the last few months.

Looking to the Alpha

In this first Alpha build, every single class has at least one new Hero Talent tree available for testing, with the rest coming in the following weeks. We’re asking testers to initially keep several things in mind:

There are UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI)
New spell visuals and audio for several new Hero Talent trees are still a work in progress. Many trees are using placeholder assets for now that will be updated over the course of Alpha.
There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus right now that we are prioritizing over other concerns such as tuning or generic class updates/maintenance:

Finish building the remainder of the Hero Talent trees that are not yet available.
Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

With the Alpha build being playable and all of the discussion that will occur around the flood of data, we wanted to reiterate that the responses to our blog previews were highly valuable. The feedback we received allowed us to make some early improvements or revisions while we didn’t yet have a public test environment. It allowed us to take some big early swings on certain trees, and then react to early feedback quickly.
Going forward, we aren’t planning to publish any additional Hero Talent previews in blog form, since we’ll add the remaining classes to the Alpha as soon as they reach their ready-to-test state.

Working from Feedback

Several Hero Talent trees have received changes after reading feedback to the blog posts. Some of these were tuning changes to ensure that the Hero Talent tree felt competitive, while others were significant design changes. The feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.
Going into Alpha, we feel good about the shape of the Hero Talent tree designs. Keeping a consistent number of utility and defensives nodes across all trees, having parity between number of choice nodes, and the overall structure of the trees are things we’re confident in.
We’re also working on tweaking some core class designs as well. In some cases, it was necessary to make adjustments to the class or specialization talent trees before significant work was done on a Hero Talent tree. In other cases, we did work seeking to improve base class talent tree designs.

Alpha Feedback

Now that we’re in Alpha, we’re looking for feedback on how it feels to playtest these trees. We’re specifically curious about:

Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree.
Hero Talents that create frustrating or unsatisfying gameplay or rotations for your spec.
Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.

Throughput comparisons of Hero Talent trees are helpful, but we’re more interested in gameplay, feel, and choice feedback at this stage. Also, when possible, we appreciate it when you focus posts or articles on a single spec and Hero Talent tree, rather than combining feedback about multiple issues.

Again, Thank You

We greatly appreciate all your feedback on Hero Talent trees and are very excited for you to see everything else we’re working on. Thank you!
– The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team

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Kaivax
Community Manager

#2 – April 18, 2024, 6:39 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Warrior Class Tree

Our main goals for the warrior class tree are to increase build options and diversity as well as improve access to important warrior utility abilities. Berserker Rage is now baseline, learned automatically by all Warriors at level 12. Shockwave has been moved from the bottom of the tree to the middle to position it as a core Warrior utility ability. The rest of the tree has been rearranged with more connectors and a choice of active and passive abilities in each section, with damage and disruption-focused abilities on the left and survival and utility abilities on the right of the tree.

Warrior Rage Economy

In Dragonflight, Rage generation for warriors of all specs was higher than what we are happy with. We feel that warriors play best when Rage is a resource they must manage tactically, so we have reduced or removed the Rage generated by several talents and abilities. Several warrior abilities have had their Rage costs adjusted as well, as described in the Spec sections below.
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Kaivax
Community Manager

#3 – April 18, 2024, 6:40 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Arms Warrior

Overall, we think that the Arms fantasy, abilities, and talents are in a good place, but a few talents and the abundance of Rage in Dragonflight strongly affected rotations and locked in builds with very little variation. Our goals for Arms in The War Within are to restore Arms Warriors’ tactical relationship with Rage generation and spending and provide more choices in your talent builds.
Arms was the spec most impacted by Rage overgeneration, as Arms’ rotation is most closely tied to availability of Rage to spend. Arms also has several talents that interact with Rage spend (Tactician, Anger Management, and Test of Might), and over-generation of Rage turns talents like Storm of Swords and Barbaric Training from being trade-offs or optional Rage dumps into required rotational picks. The cycle of heavy Rage generation and spending caused frequent Overpower resets, which empowered talents like Battlelord and Strength of Arms, which fed even more Rage into the cycle.

Arms Rage Economy

We have taken a holistic approach to addressing the issues caused by Rage overgeneration for Arms in The War Within. We have normalized Rage costs and damage for most Arms abilities, redesigned Storm of Swords, and removed the increased Rage cost for Arms on Barbaric Training. Rage cost between similar abilities like Thunder Clap, Whirlwind, and Slam should not be a factor in talent build and rotational decisions.
It is our goal for Arms players to have choice in how much additional Rage they want and when via passive talents like Bloodsurge or active abilities like Skullsplitter, Bladestorm, and Ravager, which has been added to the Arms tree as a choice with Bladestorm. We will be closely monitoring Arms Warrior’s Rage economy and feedback during The War Within testing.

Overpower

Arms has several talents that add multiple effects to an ability, like Dreadnaught and Strength of Arms. We feel that these multipurpose talents decrease talent choices and build options; you may want 2 charges of Overpower, but you may not want the Dreadnaught AOE for the content you’re playing. We have re-arranged the effects of these talents to make them less one-size-fits-all and give players more decisions to make about how they want to embellish their Overpower.
Tactician’s chance to reset the cooldown of Overpower has been reduced to a max of 2% per Rage spent. This, combined with the redesign of Storm of Swords, should reduce the frequency of Overpower resets to create more space in Arms’ rotation for other abilities and cooldowns.

Colossus Smash

There are several talents related to Colossus Smash that are taken for almost all Arms builds. To increase build diversity, we are changing several of these Colossus Smash talents.
Warlord’s Torment will no longer trigger from Colossus Smash, and the Recklessness buff it provides will now increase Rage generation by 25%, down from 100%. The Rage granted by Recklessness during Colossus Smash synergized strongly with Test of Might and Anger Management as you had virtually limitless Rage during that time.
To provide more build options, we also buffed alternatives to Test of Might. In for the Kill’s Haste buff now lasts for the duration of the Colossus Smash effect, which will give synergy with Spiteful Serenity and Blunt Instruments. It is our goal that players who do not want to play with Test of Might or Anger Management have viable options to do so.
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Kaivax
Community Manager

#4 – April 18, 2024, 6:40 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Fury Warrior

We feel that Fury is in a good place in terms of fantasy and talents, but the Fury tree in Dragonflight went beyond what we are happy with in terms of overspecialization. Season by season in Dragonflight, Fury’s builds and rotation changed dramatically, often to the point of excluding one or more abilities and talents related to those abilities. We’ve made some adjustments to the Fury tree to address the extremes while retaining a large amount of the build diversity that Fury Warriors have come to enjoy.

Bloodthirst and Raging Blow

In Dragonflight, it was possible to spec into a build that focused on either Bloodthirst or Raging Blow to the exclusion of the other. We feel that Fury plays best when it has a consistent core of rotational abilities to manage Rage generation and Enrage uptime, and to that end, we are changing several related talents.
Raging Armaments has been removed, Improved Raging Blow and Cruelty have swapped positions, and Wrath and Fury now increases Improved Raging Blow’s chance to reset the cooldown of Raging Blow. These changes should keep Raging Blow as a highly-available Rage-generating ability, but not allow it to be used as the only such ability in your rotation.
Deft Experience no longer reduces the cooldown of Bloodthirst and now instead increases its chance to Enrage you. Tenderize no longer increases the duration of Enrage. One of Bloodthirst’s intended purposes is to trigger Enrage and Tenderizer combined with Dragonflight’s increased Rage generation trivialized maintaining Enrage uptime and thus devalued Bloodthirst’s role. These changes should restore more value to Bloodthirst while also preventing it from becoming dominant in Fury’s rotation.
We will be monitoring these changes closely during The War Within testing and making adjustments as needed.

Annihilator and Powerful Enrage

Annihilator was intended to provide an option to players who enjoy the Fury fantasy but preferred a lower “actions per minute” playstyle. We’re not happy with how Annihilator accomplishes that goal in the new talent system, since it eliminates Raging Blow and thus value for many talents in the Fury tree. We’re taking a new approach to serving those Fury Warriors in The War Within.
A new talent, Powerful Enrage, has been added as a choice node with Improved Enrage. Powerful Enrage increases the damage dealt by your abilities by 15% and increases the duration of Enrage by 1 sec. This should provide a slower-paced Fury playstyle for those players that want it, without requiring an entirely different style of play.
Annihilator and Storm of Swords have been removed.

Bladestorm

Bladestorm is an iconic DPS Warrior ability and we are bringing it back to Fury as a choice with Ravager. This gives Fury Warriors more options on how they can deal sustained AOE damage and generate additional Rage.
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