I think I hate Colossus Smash


The more I think about warrior DPS, especially fury warrior DPS, the more I come to loathe Colossus Smash.

I don’t hate the ability for itself, and I don’t hate it for the physical vulnerability debuff it places on the target. I hate the ability for how it dominates the fury priority queue, and I hate the ability for its randomness when I’m playing arms thanks to Sudden Death. Thanks to how abilities like Slam interact with it, arms benefits from spamming Slam during the six second Colossus Smash window, but you can’t do that because it’s very hard to husband rage for that window when you never know reliably when it will be. Meanwhile, Colossus Smash completely overshadows the signature moves of the DPS warrior, Mortal Strike and Bloodthirst – you hit them on cooldown or close to it because they generate the rage you need, but especially for fury, Colossus Smash is the ability that dominates and controls your rotation. You try and store up rage so you can go nuts for six seconds, then wait fourteen. Get as close to 120 rage (you have the Glyph of Unending Rage, right?) without letting it cap, then unleash it… and go back to just sitting on your rage unless you’re in danger of capping.

It combines all the charm of one of those cannons on the Gunship fight (oh no, you’ve overheated!) with the rigid, unyielding formula of a metronome. Tick, tick, tick, BOOM. I wouldn’t mind the unpredictability of arms’ version of Colossus Smash as much if it wasn’t at such odds with fury’s, I even like that the two are disparate in how they play. I think maybe my real issue is that fury is absolutely dominated by an ability on a 20 second cooldown that basically divides every minute into three periods of six seconds of activity and fourteen seconds of inactivity.

So perhaps the solution is as simple as it would be radical. Perhaps fury doesn’t need to be designed around Colossus Smash. Perhaps fury shouldn’t even have Colossus Smash.

Each warrior specialization has abilities the others do not – arms has Slam and Overpower, fury has Wild Strike and Raging Blow, protection has Shield Slam and Revenge. Protection currently doesn’t have Colossus Smash (and one could argue that it should, based on how low protection’s DPS was for all of this expansion, but we know Warlords of Draenor will utterly change tanking DPS design so we won’t) and, frankly, I think fury’s design would benefit from its removal. Right now, rage management for fury isn’t really a thing – you do as little as possible while maintaining your rage below 120 for 14 seconds, and then you blow it all in one button mashing frenzy. Get as many Heroic Strikes off as you can while hitting Raging Blow, Bloodthirst, or some other ability (I use Storm Bolt in my rotation currently, unless it’s Heroic Spoils, then I switch to Bloodbath for AoE damage) and then go back to storing up rage like a squirrel waiting for a winter in 14 seconds. A crazy, rage drunk squirrel. Okay, the metaphor breaks down.

Removing Colossus Smash and calling it a day would be ruinous for fury DPS, of course. I recognize that. But with it gone, a rotation could be designed that actually used rage management as its core feature. The new Anger Management talent (viewable here) suggests one possibility – spending rage reducing the cooldown on various abilities. Another possibility could be an ability that stored rage – you could activate the ability, and then for ten seconds every point of rage you generated was converted into bonus damage, or a Rain of Blows attack that did up to X extra attacks based on how much rage it stored. The point being, we don’t have to rely on armor penetration effects for our DPS – while at present it’s not a compelling talent, Ignite Weapon has the potential to convert our damage into something that inherently ignores damage. There are ways to revise the fury design so it’s less about bypassing armor and more about just unleashing overwhelming explosions of rage. Leave Colossus Smash as an arms move, demonstrating the weapon master’s ability to careful target a weak spot, and give fury something that embodies the frenzied berserker aspect of the class.

Frankly, having to micromanage your rage isn’t a very fury thing to do. It makes perfect sense for both the skilled wielder of arms and the armor-clad behemoth of protection (not that I don’t have all sorts of issues with how protection currently feels, which I promise you I’ll cover here) but for fury, which is supposed to be the lunatic destroyer, the mad woad-wearing berserk, it’s less compelling. Fury should be about two things – getting as much rage as possible, and spending it immediately. You shouldn’t be sitting there watching your rage bar creep towards full – you should be working as hard as possible to get it full and to empty it at the same time. A Bloodthirst should be immediately followed by a rage spending attack. Playing a fury warrior should be like playing the drums on a metal track – the big bass drum booming out is your rage generating attack, and the frenzied battering of the rest of the kit is you spending that rage. I really think a redesign removing the metronomic reliance on Colossus Smash and focusing on a more frenetic getting and spending approach would work wonders.

That being said, the modern design works, to a great degree. I freely admit that. I just don’t think it’s as fun as it should be.


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6 Responses to I think I hate Colossus Smash

  1. Kazekraze

    Totally Agree that we should be “Decoupled” from Colossus Smash. The ability just doesn’t FEEL right in its current incarnation. Mind it does give us a form of controlled burst damage but at the same time, you’re right – Waiting for your CDs to line up with CS so you can make the best use out of them can be annoying at times. But the CORE of the problem is that Fury DPS is DESIGNED around the idea that we will be spending rage while ignoring armor.

    I’ve been fury/prot (with a few dabbles in arms each Xpac just to know how it feels) since vanilla. I do have to say that right now, the play style for the DPS specs are reversed how they should feel, as MS I’m almost always in my GCD there isn’t really any time when I’m NOT doing something. While fury is like you said, wait wait OK GET IM! Wait Wait…I think that Fury does not produce enough rage. We should be swimming in it, not quite to the point of late TBC (HS every swing anyone?) but enough that I don’t have to wait 12~ seconds to hit my ceiling and start bleeding it off.

    The last look I saw of the 100 talents might fix things, with ignite weapon the capability to ignore armor 100% of the time would definitely allow fury to control when we are in the “armor free zone” but we’ll still be sitting on the “Store up rage/dump rage” tick/tock sort of rotation.

    What we need is a 2ndary attack that doesn’t make me cringe every time I miss that last stack of Bloodsurge and eat the full cost on a non hastened Wild Strike. Either make it so Bloodthirst triggers surge 100% of the time or buff its damage to not be a detriment to our DPS if we hit it outside of surge. Or give us slam back…I’d be ok with getting slam back (IT WAS FURY!)

    • Kazekraze

      To expand on that crazy line of thought, what if bloodsurge allowed Wild strike to ignore a % of armor outside of Colossus Smash, it would give us a reason to hit the ability besides a “nothing else is ready” situation they’d have to say, tack on a 10rage cost to it, but it would break up our wait wait wait – spend spend spend cycle just a bit.

  2. Hirrus

    If you ask me, the most “Fury” thing I’ve ever seen on my warrior is Flurry of Xuen. Something about hitting a thing and then going into a frenzy of frothy-mouthed clawing at everything in front of me feels more berserkery than anything else in the Fury rotation. If we could replace Colossus Smash with a readiness-affected cooldown Cleave Flurry, then spamming rage with Anger Management to reduce the cooldown as much and as quickly as possible to try and keep as high an uptime as possible would be a much more frantic rotation that would feel more “furious” and fill the needs you outline above. Overall, I think it would make the play styles fit the thematic elements attached to the specs. Arms would want to stock rage, controlling it and doling it out in measured intervals when the opportunity arises. Fury would just want to grab every point of rage they could and hurl it at the enemy as fast as possible.

    However, that depends heavily on the Anger Management talent for the playstyle, and would be limiting the options of Fury Warrior at that tier, unless cooldown reduction was baked into the ability in some other way that would give Fury the ability to ‘outgear’ the need for the talent when they could keep sufficient uptime rolling without it. Like attaching a cooldown reduction to another rage-spender, the same way Overpower and Mortal Strike are linked. Perhaps even a chance on white hits, to give Fury some benefit from Haste? It feels blasphemous to not say “whenever ability X crits”, but if we can’t reforge everything to more crit, we need some measurable benefit from other stats, and less benefit from crit.

  3. suntiger745

    Hmm, I get the argument of getting rid of Colossus Smash, at least for Fury, but if that happens I am really going to miss the sound effect.
    Shield Slam and Colossus Smash are to me two of the best attack sounds for any of the classes (Devastate for prot has a really good sound too). That big, meaty THUNK! makes it really feel like you just hit someone really hard.

    Anyway, what I’d like to see is a second rage generating attack for both Arms and Fury. Protection has two and it is a marked difference in how smooth it plays. Or to put it another way, I have almost never felt rage starved on my tank. I’ve felt that way frequently on both my arms and fury warriors.
    I’d even go so far as to say that only my main isn’t rage starved or hampered by how we curently gain rage (she’s prot/fury), and it took her reaching an ilevel of 540-something and the DPS warrior 2-piece bonus from Siege before she got to that point.

    Making our white hits generate rage is a good idea, but because of the slow switng speed it stil hampers rage generation. That’s why I’d like to see white hits still generate rage, but less of it, and put in a second rage-generating attack for Arms and Fury.

  4. wackydavo

    Agree 100%. Very well said. Another thing for me is that mashing the colossal smash button has never felt very powerful. I mean, the name indicates that the smash is indeed colossal. But it’s not the CS button mash that does the damage, it’s the buttons you mash after CS that do the heavy lifting.

  5. DeGei

    I was thinking about this on my way to work, and I think the best way to capture the Beserker feel for Fury is have each ability buff the next. For Example, have Bloodthirst do its damage and generate rage and add “For the next 10 seconds, the next ability you use which costs rage heald you for 5% of damage dealt and has a 15% increases chance to crit.” Give Wild Strike “next attack in 10 seconds which costs rage has its cost reduced 50%” and Raging Blow can add an ignore armor clause. Bonus since Bloodthirst doesnt cost rage you can drop it in and stack its buff with any other. NowFury feels like it needsto keep the pressureon and chain attacks.

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