Buffed. That's all I can say. I've gone from doing 1200-1500dps on heroics to 1600-2000. This is about a four hundred damage-per-second increase, which is about +33%. That is a HUGE boost (Can you imagine if a 6k dps rogue got a patch that bumped him up to 8k without any change of gear or talents or playstyle?)
1)There has been an increase in AP gained from Armored to the Teeth (which increases the damage and therefore threat of TC, Shockwave, Conc Blow, Devastate, Heroic Strike, Revenge... you get the idea) from 180-Armor-per-Attack-Power to 108-ApAP, which doesn't sound like a whole lot--it adds up to about 70 ap if you have 25,000 armor. 70 ap is only five dps (14 ap = one damage per second), which (with a weapon like my Legacy of Thunder) equals eight and a half damage extra on a swing. It's about +28 a swing with a slow weapon like Broken Promise (more on that particular tank weapon later).
This does not appear to be huge at first blush, admittedly--but that's okay, because trust me, it adds up, and I believe it does contribute (significantly) to my dps increase.
2) Devastate's damage has been doubled.
Now, back in Burning Crusade, *the* warrior rotation was Shield Slam->Revenge->Devastate->Devastate ad infinitum. If this change was implemented BC it would be a glorious boost. Now, though, Devastate is the "GCD filler you want to use to proc sword and board"--but that doesn't mean it's unused. Warriors use it on every single boss, at least five times per boss (3 if you've glyphed for it) to keep 5 stacks of sunder on the target.
Also note that unlike Heroic Strike, it's an instant attack. If you've ever played a melee dps class, you know that slow weapons benefit the most from instant attacks.
This is where Broken Promise comes back into play--the slowest tank weapon in Wrath, I do believe. Because of it's lack of Heroic Striking potential (seeing as my Legacy of Thunder attacks 50% faster, which means up to 50% more heroic strikes) Broken Promise was regarded fairly lowly--below Slayer of the Lifeless from naxx-10 and Red Sword of Courage from Utgarde Pinnacle (two items with a lower ilevel and therefore technically less powerful).
NO MORE. My devastates now do more damage than my heroic strikes. With Broken Promise my heroic strikes hit for about 1300, my devastates for about 1400 (but I can use Devastate almost twice as fast) up from 700. With Legacy of Thunder, HS is about 1100 and Devastate is 1200 or so.
Does this mean that I'm going to drop my Legacy of Thunder and pick up Broken Promise again? Actually, no. I've done some experimentation, and though I feel Broken Promise is better for AoE-tanking-devastate-spam situations, Legacy of Thunder allows me to Heroic Strike more often on bosses--not for the threat per se, but because it's a much more effective rage dump, and wasting rage is bad news.
3) Gaining rage from block/dodge/parry!
Warriors are the class most tied to gear. This is a fact, an irrefutable truth. Blizzard has admitted it multiple times--they've called dps warriors the most difficult spec to scale properly. An undergeared dps warrior is bound to do miniscule damage, wheras one decked in best-in-slot gear is guarenteed to be a raging god of destruction.
It's a double-edged sword though, for tanks. An undergeared prot warrior won't generate much threat, won't take many hits (which is why gear requirements for tanks are much more demanding than for dps--a fresh 80 cannot tank naxx-25). Worse, though, is when a tank is OVERgeared. This was a significant issue at the end of BC, when items from Sunwell had massive amounts of dodge rating on them. This was because IN the Sunwell instance, there was an aura that reduced your chance to dodge by a flat 20%. If you were a Black-Temple geared tank with 30% dodge, it'd drop down to 10% in Sunwell.
However, these Sunwell geared tanks with 40% dodge (outside of the raid itself) had an issue when they tried to run other things. They were bordering on unhittable. 44% dodge and 22% parry means you will not be hit a full two-thirds of the time.
Which means you only get one-third of the potential hits, the possible rage. Which means you can only use one-third of your potential threat generating attacks. Which means you are only generating one-third of the possible rage. The dps pulls aggro, the raid wipes. GG.
BUT IT'S ALL CHANGED NOW. Admittedly, a 20k hit will give you around 60 rage, wheras if you dodge it you'll only get 5. But 5 is infinitely better than 0. You will still have at least enough rage to do your normal rotations (minus the Heroic Strikes) which means you will be able to generate enough threat to stay ahead of the game.
It's funny, I really can't even tell you guys the potential that this has like I did with the Devastate change. Suffice it to say, this is a vastly powerful and crucial change as Protection Warriors get up to the higher tiers of content, because those higher tiers of content will mean better gear with more avoidance, which is now no longer an issue.
Suffice it to say, Patch 3.2 is one of the most important patches to Warrior tanks since... well, 3.0.3, which ALSO was a massive increase to our dps (and therefore tps)
Thank you all for reading,
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