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#1 - 2014/06/27 08:20:00 PM
Continuation of: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/13243934550

Obligatory website link for the feelings: www.heroicstrike.org

I don't know what the long-term plan is for Fury, but if the last 4-5 weeks are any indication, just stop, revert everything in the last 5 weeks, and don't touch it except for tuning.

First, it was berserker stance. I didn't particularly like that, but I understand the reasoning behind it. Probably only properly used by the top 5-10% of fury warriors.

Second, it was deep wounds and meat cleaver. Deep wounds I am ambivalent about, however, meat cleaver is an entirely different story.
**edit** Meat cleavers back. That's great!

But you know what? I didn't feel strongly enough to post a thread about all of that. Specs need to change/evolve over time, and hard decisions have to be made occasionally. I'd much rather keep meat cleaver, but I'm not going to war for it.

Then, I logon alpha today and after searching through my bars to see where heroic strike is... that's weird, it's not here.

https://twitter.com/Celestalon/status/482024138303746049

Now, THAT is a reason to go to war.

First, there is not a spell in Fury's spell book that is more iconic than heroic strike, but the decision was made to instead keep wild strike, an ability that no fury warrior has ever had strong feelings for. This isn’t even including the gameplay implications.

https://twitter.com/Celestalon/status/447164226675560448

Focusing your rage spending inside Colossus Smash windows, without wasting rage, is very much an intended gameplay element.

It’s a little hard to focus my rage inside of CS without heroic strike.

I think the following 2 videos are perfect for describing how different the game feels without heroic strike. I'm so glad I made a video before they removed it. The gear/character are the same in both videos.

This is how fury played the build before heroic strike was removed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rORmST6sdTc

This is how fury played after the build:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9TWRG6g4_Y

That is a completely different spec.

Updated:

The new and improved wild strike is on the beta servers. I tried it out for a while, and it’s… not very good. If this is meant to replace the feeling of pre-wod fury, then they missed the mark by a mile.

The 0.5 second GCD makes it near-impossible to play with precision, you’ll either spam the key and fire off more wild strikes than you want, or you’ll be more deliberate with key presses and have dead-gcd time between wild strikes. Also, Fury just doesn't feel right not spamming the keyboard.

You might say, “But there are more open GCDs so dead-gcd time doesn't matter!”…. well, that’s true. Except for inside of Colossus Smash, where globals are at a premium and accidentally hitting wild strike an extra time could mean not getting storm bolt off inside of the debuff, and dead-gcd time could do the same.

Ultimately, there IS a difference between spamming 2 keys every 1.5 seconds, and spamming 1 key every 0.5 seconds. Having 2 keys with separate 1.5 second cooldowns (On-gcd/off-gcd) that can be pressed at the same time allows for precision while spamming.

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#42 - 2014/07/01 09:25:00 AM
Some general thoughts in response to this thread, which is lighter on hyperbole (and hashtags) than a number of other discussions I've seen today - that's appreciated.

Fury and Heroic Strike

Fury warriors currently have four buttons that are some flavor of "Deal X% weapon damage to a target." One of them generates Rage. Two of them have a base cost of 30 Rage. Two of them are only usable sometimes. One of them is off the GCD. But those are nuances, and at a basic level there's a significant amount of overlap. (And this isn't even counting Colossus Smash.) That both qualifies as what we'd generally consider "bloat" and it also makes the spec much less intuitive to figure out without doing some math (or, more likely, consulting a guide compiled by someone else who did the math). Fury doesn't need three different single-target rotational Rage spenders in order to be effective and engaging as a spec - for the majority of WoW's history, Fury hasn't had all three of those buttons. We think it's one too many.

Our vision of a successful Fury design certainly is not one where the warrior sits at the Rage cap for protracted periods of time. We're not saying that the current (as of June 30th) Beta iteration of Fury is perfect or final. It's not. In the next build, we have a change to Wild Strike (reduced GCD) that should allow it to more distinctly serve as an outlet for excess Rage, keeping some of the frenetic pace that defines Fury and distinguishes it from the more deliberate and tactical Arms spec.

Without Heroic Strike, Bloodthirst would clearly be your Rage builder, Raging Blow your most efficient spender (when usable), and Wild Strike would be your filler. There's little lost depth there (instead of hitting HS when Rage-capped or during Colossus, as you currently do, you'd use non-Bloodsurge Wild Strikes), and one fewer keybind and ability of which to make sense.

But maybe we're missing something - we're certainly fallible. We'd like you to check out the changes in the next build, give feedback, update your petition websites where applicable, and then we can discuss further. None of this is final.

The Beta Design/Iteration Process

To repeat, none of this is final. If you haven't followed one of our Alpha (or now Beta) cycles before, there's a ton of iteration that happens in a public format, much of which never sees the light of day on live retail servers. Our betas are not a sneak preview or an advertisement - they are a genuine invitation to join us as we wrap up the development and refinement of our game, to give feedback, to help us find bugs, and yes, to witness some thorns and missteps along the way.

This sort of experimentation on our part happens all the time internally, long before we open our doors to public testing. Back in February or March some skills were cut or redesigned entirely, then returned days later after playtesting internally and realizing that we'd made things worse, and not better. Other times we tried experiments (e.g. moving combo points off the target and onto the player) and ended up keeping them (for now). The nature of our class design process is that we work on live data, right alongside quest content, encounter content, and everything else that gets added into each build. We want those changes to be part of the same data branch in order to test them properly in a realistic and relevant setting. But, of course, once we've moved into Alpha and Beta, this means that you get to witness some of those experiments too.

We could make separate internal builds to keep any class changes that aren't 100% final in our eyes from seeing the light of day. That would limit our ability to test them somewhat; it would certainly limit your ability to play with them, and to give us feedback. It would reduce the rate at which we could iterate, and the number of ideas we could try out. It might save some frayed nerves in the short run, but I'm not sure it would make for a better game in the long run.

Some of our experimental changes make it into patch notes, because our Beta patch notes are ultimately a living record of our moment-to-moment changes to the game. If we don't document those changes on our end, they'll be seen via datamining anyway, potentially out of context and giving rise to greater alarm. But just because something shows up in "official" Beta patch notes does not mean it's going to be in the official patch notes when Warlords actually goes live. And those are the ones that count.

[continued]

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#43 - 2014/07/01 09:25:00 AM
"Skill Caps" and Pruning

The goal of some of our changes to a number of classes or specializations is to make them more accessible. Note that this doesn't necessarily mean "simple." We want our classes to have nuance and depth in practice, and inquisitive and competitive players will always ferret out and theorycraft ways to maximize performance. We're not looking to get rid of that behavior, but we are looking to refocus its impact.

A player should not need a guide to figure out a basic rotation for their spec (e.g. "if I have enough Rage to do either, should I prefer to Heroic Strike or Wild Strike?"), or to understand the basic purpose of their abilities, or their value (e.g. keeping Steady Focus from dropping off is pretty much the most important thing for a Marks hunter, but reading its tooltip doesn't tell you that). But the difference between the master and the above-average player lies in none of those things: it lies in more subtle timing, cooldown usage, interactions of talents, set bonuses, and trinkets, and in an understanding of how to adjust those considerations to suit differing contexts.

Context is essential. There is much focus on training dummy rotations, or theoretical "Patchwerk" rotations for raiders. But in the situations where performance matters, and in which players can truly exhibit mastery, there is far more multitasking involved. Being the best raiding warrior isn't just about being able to mechanically execute a perfect priority rotation: it's about maintaining your best facsimile of that rotation while avoiding Hisek's Rapid Fire and Ka'roz's Whirl; it's about shifting priorities to maximize damage on specific targets in specific windows that are most vital to your overall raid's success rather than your personal place on damage meters; it's about handling interrupts, stuns, or other needed raid utility while continuing to DPS "optimally"; and so forth. Being the best PvP warrior is far more about positioning, communication, awareness, predicting enemy actions, and quick reaction time, than it is about executing any sort of DPS rotation.

I'd venture so far as to say that when you move away from the training dummies in town and into realistic situations, no one has reached the absolute skill cap in either sphere of gameplay in WoW. A precious few players might come close at times, and may string together a few near-flawless pulls or arena matches, but in the big picture, there's always room for improvement, and removing a single rotational ability or a proc-driving passive is not likely to change that.

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#46 - 2014/07/01 10:21:00 AM
07/01/2014 02:45 AMPosted by Chairmanmao
It seems like you could just solve all this by removing the spell literally no one has ever cared about (Wild Strike) and giving them back Heroic Strike, aka the most or second most iconic warrior ability? I don't understand why this is hard.


We see this asked a lot, but what are the implications of that change?

  • The rotation includes significantly more time waiting for rage.
  • The very thing that makes Heroic Strike special, being off the GCD, loses most of its significance.


That's not to say that it may not be the right course of action; it may. But that's our thought process for why to give Wild Strike a fair shake first.

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#127 - 2014/07/03 06:46:00 PM
So, we don't often share our thoughts on upcoming changes this early, as plans can change very rapidly. Please keep in mind that none of the following is set in stone – it hasn't even been developed yet – and there’s any number of issues that could cause us to decide to take a different approach. That said, we definitely agree that Arms feels a bit empty at the moment, and want to fill it out a bit more, and we want to add some talent choices to both Arms and Fury that provide options for more involved gameplay. Here’s what we're thinking:

  • Rage generation increased by 20% for Arms.
  • Rend returns for Arms. Costs 10 Rage, deals damage over 18sec, with a burst of bleed damage at the end. Total damage is similar to a Mortal Strike.
  • Thunder Clap is usable in any stance. AoE damage and snares, 6sec cooldown. 30 Rage cost for Arms, free for Protection.
  • We’re replace the level 45 talent row (Staggering Shout / Piercing Howl / Disrupting Shout) with:
  • Varies by spec:
  • Arms – Taste for Blood: Passive. Rend ticks grant 3 Rage.
  • Fury – Furious Strikes: Passive. Reduces the cost of Wild Strike by 10 Rage.
  • Protection – Heavy Repercussions: Passive. Shield Slam deals 50% additional damage while Shield Block or Shield Charge is active.
  • Sudden Death: Passive. Auto attacks have a chance to trigger Sudden Death, making your next Execute free and usable on targets above 20% health.
  • Varies by spec:
  • Arms – Slam: Active ability. Costs 10 Rage. Deals 100% weapon damage. Each consecutive use increases Slam’s damage by 50% and Rage cost by 100%, stacking up to 2 times. Benefits from Mastery.
  • Fury – Unquenchable Thirst: Passive. Bloodthirst has no cooldown.
  • Protection – Unyielding Strikes: Passive. Devastate reduces the Rage cost of Heroic Strike by 6, stacking up to 5 times. Lasts 10 sec. No longer refreshes while at 5 stacks.


Again, this is all very much in the formative stages. Any or all of the above could end up changing in any number of ways. But we are listening, and are doing our best to make Warrior gameplay awesome in Warlords.

EDIT: As mentioned, lots of iteration on these early plans. Changed the +25% Rage gen to +20%, so that 3.6speed weapon swings generate an even 30 rage. Changed Slam's max stack count to 2, since Slamming at any point higher than that is a trap.

EDIT 2: Clarified that Heavy Repercussions does count Shield Charge as well.

EDIT 3: Oh, forgot to mention, Slam benefits from Mastery.

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#138 - 2014/07/03 07:39:00 PM
07/03/2014 12:30 PMPosted by Axebeard
(Finally, and this is mild, but the flavor names for skills/passives for warriors could stand to be a little bit cooler. "Unyielding Strikes" is up there with "Unwavering Sentinel" for being florid.)


"Hey guys, I'm ready to make that post about DPS Warrior plans, but we don't have a name for that idea we brainstormed an hour ago. Relentless something... Frequent attacks turn into Heroic Strike spam... Unyielding? Sure, Unyielding sounds good. Unyielding Strikes. *clicks Submit*"

The earlier we let you see into the design process, the more unpolished it will be. That said, I don't know that Unyielding Strikes is the worst name... :)