A Farewell to Defense

The time is nearly upon us. Though nothing official has been stated, odds are pretty darn good that 4.0 will patch in this Tuesday. It’s about due, and it’ll give them a full week before Blizzcon to put out any fires. Makes good sense, but even if it’s not this Tuesday, it *will* be very soon.

If you’re a tank, and haven’t been living under a rock (and aren’t a bear) then you’re probably aware of the single biggest change we’ll be seeing. That being the removal of Defense as a stat, and the implementation of crit immunity through talents just like bears have now. Of course, this also means that if you’ve been (for some reason) tanking as Fury or Arms but wearing Defense gear to cap out… you’ll not be doing that anymore.

The Defense on our current gear will be replaced with other stats, mostly Stamina from what I’ve seen, but not Mastery. Mastery will only exist in gear obtained from Cata quests, dungeons and raids. This probably isn’t going to hurt us too much for current content, since our Master stat just increases our Block chance. Yeah, not trivial, but probably not game breaking for us to not have for a couple months.

Also, from the latest news that I’ve seen, not only are they not implementing the aggro decay but we’re getting an overall threat boost. I don’t know about you, but I’ve not had problems with threat as a Prot Warrior for… well since 3.0, honestly. I’m going to assume Blizzard knows what they’re doing, but I’m expecting no change in the ease of tanking both single and multiple targets post-4.0.

4.0 is also bringing our new talent trees of course. Here’s what I’ll be trying out for starters:


How’s that going to play out? Well, it is a little bent toward AoE tanking, but keep in mind that most of what I’ll be doing as I level (and pre-farm points for 85 starter gear) will be Heroics. I’m not a big fan of either War Academy or Blitz in the Arms tree, but Drums of War is very tempting to pick up at 85. As a Prot Warrior, I’m often expected to do a great deal of the interrupting with Shield Bash. Having that cost no rage, while far from essential, would be convenient. There are also a lot of places to move points around depending on how things work out. I have room to fix just about any problem I could run into, from survivability to rage starvation.

All in all, I think the new Prot tree is pretty interesting. It’s shaped up nicely, and I’m looking forward to taking it for a spin on Live.

So what about the down sides of the patch? Honestly, I’m not really worried about balance right now. Things are going to be weird till Cata hits, since Blizzard is not rebalancing anything in Wrath to match the new talents or class abilities. Will Arthas-H be trivialized? Will Marrowgar-N be impossible? Unlikely on both counts, but we’ll just have to see.

As a side note to my fellow RPers and anyone who has a couple of vanity weapons they like to lug around *cough* Glaives *cough*, do note that apparently Warriors will NOT be able to dual wield at all unless they are Fury. Thankfully that is my off spec, so Glaivecow is still a go, but it pretty much means I am never changing Fury in for Arms. Ever. Just one of those bits of “weird” we have to look forward to!



~ by Udiyvli on 10/11/2010.

2 Responses to “A Farewell to Defense”

  1. That build is pretty similar to what I cme up with myself. Except I was looking at it more from a raid perspective. I agree the new talents seem exciting but I am a little worries about threat generation. Although it appears there should be enough talents to play around with to fix that issue. Also looking forward to reforging and playing around with stats to fix a couple of my own issues. Never seems like I can hit hard enough. Im at a deficit of str being an undead :/

  2. Personally I am a big fan of the defense changes. There wasn’t a warrior out there who had a least a quarter of his brain that didn’t understand the need to be Def cap. It became such a given necessity that reason to have it as a stat at all disappeared. In reality this will let warriors play around more with other stats that MANY warriors either didn’t know were useful or didn’t have the gear options to really play around with, like hit and expertise not to mention the new mastery stat.

    Being in beta Tanks other than bears have really had some difficult times with threat and the threat boost they speak of is in response to that. I am unsure of all the changes but rest assured come cata it’ll be needed.

    As far as leveling goes in Cata, AoE tanking is a lot less important though you still need to be able to do it. While Defense can definitely be used to level, AoE leveling as defense will be much more dicey. Mobs hit hard, everywhere. 2 or 3 may not be an issue for defense warriors but beyond that it’ll actually take careful timing of your abilities to avoid death.

    Also as a tank interrupting is pretty much expected of you like you said but even that job should ease up some as most DPS classes have a talent of some type that gives them a dps boost when they interrupt. Making it so those zealous DPSers that look to squeeze every ounce of DPS out they can will actually be looking for those opportunities.

    Beyond the dungeons being more difficult and leveling requiring more attention the one other thing that really stands out is the seemingly random world of quests and dungeons are gone. There is a definitive theme and overall goal you are trying to accomplish in each zone culminating to a zone ending event while questing. Dungeons and quests have a lot more set pieces tying them and the overall theme of this expansion together.

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