June 19, 2011

What are the WoW warrior DPS specs? And their benefits\drawbacks?

What are the warrior DPS specs?

This one's fairly easy. When you hit level 10 or selected your talent points after the Shattering, did you choose protection as your primary spec? Yes? Then you're not a DPS warrior. You're a tank. Thank you for your interest in DPS warriors; please do not show up for an instance with a sword and board and 31 points in protection and try to DPS in defensive stance. You'll give the tank fits, generate little to no DPS, and confuse everyone.

If you chose arms or fury, however, congratulations. You're a DPS warrior. That's right, two out of the three warrior specs are all about hurting things. Whether you like hitting things with a big two-hander, two smaller one-handers, or two big two-handers, it all comes back to hitting things.

Arms is, in a nutshell, the finesse spec. You're still interested in picking up a colossal sword, axe, mace or polearm and ruining someone's day, but you do so with an eye towards efficiency and precise, debilitating strikes. Arms warriors deal their enemies small wounds to cause them to bleed and crippling wounds that inhibit magical healing. They take advantage of their opponent's tendency to duck out of the way to deal strikes that overpower their defenses entirely. Arms warriors are specialists, tacticians on the battleground. They can even weave their weapon into a storm of strikes at higher levels.

At its heart, fury is about grabbing a couple of weapons and smashing everything hostile with them until everything is dead ... and then probably hitting them a few more times. In the words of Théoden, "Fell deeds awake, fire and slaughter! Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered, a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now, ride now! Ride to ruin, and the world's ending!" Or as that notable fury warrior the Incredible Hulk might put it, "Hulk smash." Leveling fury warriors will use two weapons that are designed to be used in one hand, but the talent Titan's Grip will allow a fury warrior to dual wield two-handers if desired. (If you'd rather not, Single-Minded Fury allows you to continue using one-handers while boosting damage to compensate for losing the higher damage of two-handers.)

What are their benefits?

If you prefer offense to defense, these are the specs for you. Either DPS spec can generally produce much higher damage output than a tanking warrior. If you want to dual wield, fury is required (it's one of the specialization bonuses for fury), while arms gets significant bonuses to two-handed weapon use. Most PvP (player vs. player) warriors are arms warriors, due to the talent spec's combination of debuffs, offensive power and mobility. Fury warriors are generally more popular for PvE (player vs. environment) content such as dungeons and raids, but each spec sees use in each context.

If you want to be one of the ones doing the direct killing, these are the specs for you.

What are their drawbacks?

Warriors are intended to be a hybrid class, one that can fulfill more than one role in the game. The roles are defined as tanking, DPS and healing. Since warriors can specialize their talents to either tank or DPS, they are designed to be inferior DPSers than classes that can only DPS. (Crowd control abilities, such as are possessed by most pure DPS classes, are not considered a role in this case.) Warriors do not have any significant CC (not counting the Glyph of Intimidating Shout) and so cannot fulfill that role in an instance group or raid. In essence, if a warrior is there to deal damage, that's all he's going to be able to do, save for perhaps emergency tanking for a few seconds.

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