I’ve loved the Warrior class since the first time I saw one tank a raid. Back then I was attempting to tank with my Paladin during the “seal of rage” era and to be able to see the way the warrior could just do everything better than I could was impressive. I rapidly started leveling a Warrior up with my good friend Finni as she leveled her priest, and before long I was tanking all of the Late Night Raiders off night activities like Zul’Gurub. When Burning Crusade was released I used it as an opportunity to shed Hunter as my raiding main and embrace the life of the tank. It was a good choice and I was largely happy with it until the tail end of Wrath of the Lich King when I started straying from the path by playing a Death Knight. I kept on that Deathlord path up until Warlords when they reached a point where they felt horrible, and with that I shifted back to my original love and have been a Warrior main again ever since.
As it stands right now… Warriors are not in a great place. I’ve always prided myself on being the tank that was the most healable, in that I tried my damnedest to level out the amount of damage that I am taking so that I can be healed in a predictable manner. That is no longer a protection warrior, in fact as I have seen so far they seem to be the absolute worst at taking damage spikes due to a combination of all of our active mitigation abilities being on the GCD and not being able to maintain 100% up time due to cool downs. Playing a warrior tank right now is a stressful mess in a manner that it shouldn’t be at the low gear levels and challenge levels of content that I am focused on. I always feel like I am rage starved and essentially have to choose between active mitigation and dealing damage, and the more I sway towards damage reduction…. the more trouble I have holding aggro on large packs of things.
This is exacerbated by the fact that I cannot find a weapon to save my life and finally had to plunk down 11k on a weapon that I know will be replaced almost immediately just because it is something better than the 273 weapon that I had been using. To make things worse… even in the open world while doing World Quests… Warrior tanks feel like a mess. It is a constant juggling act trying to keep myself alive while slowly chewing down the health of mobs. Sure I can solo bigger content, but it requires me to be constantly vigilant and never miss an active mitigation… or simply pull a ton of trash mobs to make sure I can always be killing something and proccing another 20% heal from Victory Rush. Basically warrioring right now is the opposite of fun for me and it is at this point that I think I am stepping away… feeling like I wasted the last few weeks on a class that I just don’t want to play.
Instead I am spending my play time right now leveling the Demon Hunter because their tank ability is just complete nonsense. They are grossly overpowered and I think honestly I am okay with that… because it feels like a fun class to play. At this point I am 113 and have tanked Underrot… one of the dungeons that has just straight up murdered me as a warrior. It was only last night that I realized that the 8.0 patch reset my talents… I was apparently doing all this with absolutely no talent choices. It is nonsense and I cannot underline that point enough, but it is fun and it allows me to have a relatively stress free play experience. Sure I have to be a damned dirty elf… but at least my Demon Hunter looks cool.
The truth is at some point Demon Hunters are going to get the ban hammer… and that is frustrating because they feel like tanks in general used to feel. Sure it took you forever to kill something, but you didn’t have to worry about incoming damage while you were slowly chewing away at mob health. More importantly than anything… Demon Hunters right now are the easiest to keep alive for the healers and knowing that as a Warrior I am stressing out my healer… stresses me out. I took Friday off and I plan on using it to do a very hard push of the Demon Hunter to 120 and start gearing it. The tanking is enjoyable enough that I am likely going to just start pugging dungeon runs for gear immediately or grabbing anyone in guild that needs gear for an instant queue.
I am deeply saddened that I have reached this point, with warriors. I am even more deeply saddened that if you go on the Warrior forums you see a lot of people claiming nothing is wrong. If the healers tell me Warriors are in general harder to heal than any other Tank class and they consider them bottom of the rung… then I believe them. They are the ones keeping my ass alive and I don’t like the notion that my choice of class makes their lives worse. I like Fury just fine so at least my Warrior won’t go to waste… I just need to acquire two weapons… which is its own challenge. I guess I could craft two fist weapons with my leatherworker Demon Hunter and use that as a starting place. I can only hope that Warriors return to glory at some point in the near future.