Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Swap Heroic Strike and Slam

One of the problems with the warrior class is that in a high-rage situation, warriors have to spam Heroic Strike in addition to their normal abilities. A lot of warriors complain that this makes their gameplay physically stressful, and Blizzard has been looking to alleviate this issue.

However, Heroic Strike is the level 1 ability, the first ability given to new warriors. Any change to it would greatly change the initial levelling experience of warriors.

I think Blizzard should swap Heroic Strike and Slam. A warrior would get Slam at level 1. Then Heroic Strike would be an ability gained at 30 or so, and could be changed into a better form of rage dump.

The other advantage would be that lowbie warriors would have a bit more rage, as they wouldn't lose the rage from the Heroic Strike auto-attack. That means they could press more buttons, and it would make low level fights a bit more fun. I have a lowbie warrior, and Heroic Striking is a little boring. You really live for new abilities, or for Overpower to light up so you don't have to just wait for Heroic Strike.

Plus, with the changes to defensive stance, and since you have Sunder and Revenge, I don't think you'll really miss the threat from Heroic Strike for low level tanking.

As a mid-to-late-game ability, Heroic Strike could be tailored as an ability specifically used in high-rage situations. For example, what if Heroic Strike cost 60-75 rage, but did a correspondingly large amount of damage and threat? Such an ability would be useless at level 1, as it would take forever to build that much rage, but it might be a very valuable late-game ability.


  1. I like the idea. I hate low level warrior leveling because of HS. Auto-attack for a while and finally, I get to press a button! Though that button doesn't actually do anything, I have to wait for a swing before anything happens.

  2. This is a good idea. However, I think the main problem warriors have with Heroic Strike is that it is "on next melee attack" meaning that they are constantly hitting that button.

    So your button mashing basically goes Random Ability-HS-RA-HS which can cause serious wrist pain.

    I tank as a bear and it's the same way with maul. It sounds like a woodpecker hitting the keyboard repeatedly.

  3. I like the idea of making Slam available sooner.

    Unfortunately, Heroic Strike is a tricky ability, and 60 rage is too expensive for it. Perhaps 30 rage would work, but it's not clear.

    One of the difficulties with heroic strike is that DPS warriors need rage dumps too, and Heroic Strike is a normal part of Fury warrior DPS. If heroic strikes cost 60 rage, a Fury warrior would have two problems:
    - Their dps cycle would consist of frustrating extremes, high rage and low rage and nothing in the middle
    - Their 60-rage heroic strikes would hit HARD, and opponents in battlegrounds would complain about dying from burst damage.

    Heroic Strike is actually fine for a Fury warrior - you have a 3.5-speed weapon, so you have plenty of time to make a decision whether or not to press Heroic Strike.

    For a Prot warrior, you have a 1.5-speed weapon, and there's hardly time to make a decision - so you press heroic strike all the time. It works out OK, because if you get hit by the boss, you gain 70 rage, and you'll want to burn that as fast as possible to be ready for the next time you get rage.

    A better model might be to make tanks take smoother damage in Cataclysm, so tanks have smoother rage flow, and hopefully can make slower decisions about Heroic Strike.

  4. What, Slam? I wouldn't even have it on my actionbar if I didn't have talents in Arms making it 1 second faster (and that is a talent beside Mortal Strike, so we are talking level 40+) and a talent in Fury (50+) that has a chance to making it instant. No, if anything they should make Shield Slam a level 1 ability since Warriors actually start with sword and board. (And so that you could level as Protection right from the start.)

    If it's any class that need updated skills in the beginning it's the Paladin. I tried one a while ago and barely got out of the noob zone before I died of boredom. Until Paladins get Crusader Strike they get to use Judgement once at the beginning of combat, and then they auto-attacking until dead.

  5. The weapons you start with depends on race. Humans and Night Elves start with sword and board. Dwarves and Tauren start with 2H weapons. I'm not sure what the others start with.

    Plus you only get Defensive Stance and Sunder/Revenge at level 10.

  6. The biggest issue I see with heroic strike is as protection. Arms I don't really use it and fury I use it but it fits in nicely... but protection threat is built around pushing 2 buttons every 1.5 seconds which means they have to work twice as hard as any other tank in the game. (except maybe druids)

    What they could do is have Heroic Strike become Heroic strikes. An ability that at level 80 causes your next 3 auto attacks to hit for X damage more. You could have it cost 45 rage or something to that affect but then it scales down for lower levels. At level 1 it is an identical ability to what it is now. Costs 15 rage and activates off of your next auto attack.

    Maybe at level 40 it grows to be your next two auto attacks and costs 30 rage.

    I don't like the idea of having slam at level 1. Its cast time is too prohibitive and leads to the warrior taking more damage due to not being able to dodge or parry.

  7. Honestly, when leveling I don't think Slam is a bad ability. It delays the next swing, right? So it's basically a chance to do a 1.5 second swing, which is awesome if you have a 3.0 two hander.

    At high levels, even as fury, I feel like HS spam is annoying. I'm regularly pushing two buttons every GCD as I try to manage rage and other attacks. I'd much prefer it was just a toggle to, say, reduce rage generation by 50% but increase auto-attack damage by 10-25% (whatever is balanced).

    And I agree that it's probably not the best starting ability for warriors. Sadly, warriors don't have a good instant attack to give them at low levels like Judgement, Sinister Strike, or Earth Shock.

  8. (sigh)

    Every good bear knows you macro Maul to 3 different keys so you NEVER have to hit the maul button.

    I did the same with a warrior... I macroed HS to various different buttons I'd use in any situation, and suddenly... no more key-slamming! I have HS macroed bars and non-HS macroed bars. I just CTRL-3 when I don't have as much rage.