Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Prot Warrior Thoughts on Wotlk Pre-Patch

While I don't feel done with TBC yet and could've easily spent another year running around in Outlands, I feel a lot better prepared to move on this time around than I did last time. My main has turned out to be my prot warrior and as such I probably looked forward to the pre -patch with more delight than most.

Let me give you a quick rundown of warrior tanking in TBC in case you haven't tried it yourself. It's essentially crisis management. Don't ever think you've got things under control because you must likely haven't. Why Blizzard every thought it would be a good idea to endow most dps with decent to smashing aoe damage while give warrior tanks exactly zero tools for aoe threat is beyond me. My guess is that they counted on cooperation in the group, a beautiful collaboration and communication forced between dps and tank to make sure no one dies, and everyone stays happy. And to be fair, in most pugs and definitely in guild runs this usually works really well. I make it sound like warrior tanking was an impossible task, but I still enjoyed it immensely. It was just that tiny bit short of what was actually required, and it was easy to get frustrated. It was definitely not for everyone.

Then comes the pre-patch. I knew things were going to change, though I hadn't bothered to check up exactly what. New talents, of which I remembered some, like Shockwave. I remembered tanking in Wotlk being a delight, and aoe threat being a non-issue. Just how much of a non-issue quickly became apparent as soon as I had logged on, re-specced my warrior and gave it a run through an instance. It was crazy. It was bonkers. I was laughing out loud. I almost had tears at the corner of my eyes from being flabbergasted. I mean I knew it was going to improve but what the heck had Blizzard done?

I was now madly overpowered for the content in TBC, that was to be expected. But being a contender for the lead and often even the actual highest damage dealer in an instance, as a protection warrior? It was almost like Blizzard had looked at everything that was a struggle with prot warrior in TBC and decided to dial it down to "stupidly overpowered". 

Rage starvation? A complete one-eighty. Where before I had to plan my Bloodrage cooldown and manage my rage to make sure I always had a bit left over at the end of a pack, I now barely even had to glance at my rage bar. It was always full, my skills were only limited by their GCDs and CDs. I don't even use Bloodrage anymore...

No aoe threat? How about all the aoe threat? How about Thunder Clap does damage to everything? Even if they're 5, 10, 100 mobs. Sure you might think, that is how every aoe has worked, never being limited to a certain number of mobs. That is true, but I am also not limited by resources like mana and can clap away to infinity and beyond. It's a good thing it has a cooldown at least...

Ok, so I still don't have a ranged threat until I get Heroic Throw at level 80, but at least now I can charge in defensive stance and have got tools like Spell Reflect and Intervene. 

Even as a good tank (as I consider myself) I could count on losing aggro to some dps who wasn't following kill order who got some lucky crit streak. Now it's like I cannot lose aggro even if I completely let go of the keyboard and mouse and go make myself a cup of tea.

I just charge through instances with dps huffing behind me trying to keep up. It's fun, it's exhilarating, and it's going to get boring quite soon. It's just... too easy. I like tanking because it requires a lot of thought (if I want to chill while playing, I go heal in instances instead). I enjoy planning my pulls, planning my rotation and adapting it to the situation. Things are always the most fun when they go wrong and you just barely to make it because you used everything in your arsenal, and it worked. 

Fortunately, I know to enjoy it while it lasts, things are going to change once we actually get out to Northrend in a few weeks. I am definitely looking forward to that and in the meantime, I am going to blast through some more instances as the killing machine I am.


  1. I keep hearing about how Paladin tanking in raids for Wrath is "where it's at", but I remember Warrior tanking being very much a thing in Wrath. So I don't get a lack of love for Warrior tanking on the guides.

    1. Yeah, I've heard people say that prot warriors are the least favored tanks in Wrath and vaguely remember that being the case. I enjoyed paladin and DK tanking much as well and will probably have of each of those eventually. But that prot warriors aren't good? I disagree. In any case they're a lot of fun and I am quite happy with sticking to dungeon tanking (which I think is a lot more fun than raid tanking).