Okay, this one is a bit speculative – we still don’t know a lot about how warriors are going to interact with stats in Warlords, for instance. We can’t just assume that haste will stay terrible for us even though it has been so for years at this point. So I won’t go into this post assuming anything will remain bad just because it’s bad now. Still, it’s worth looking over the revised racial abilities coming in Warlords of Draenor and contemplating if they’ll make it more compelling to play warriors of any race rather than just a few races. (My draenei, pictured above, is deliberately doing less DPS than he could be because he has the semi-useless hit racial rather than the worgen crit racial – so it’s an issue I’m interested in.) So let’s take a look at the racials as they were last explained to us, always keeping in mind things could change before release.
The Blood Elf racials are Arcane Torrent, which doesn’t change at all for warriors, and Arcane Acuity, a 1% passive chance to crit. We can’t assume crit will be good or bad for us – for all we know we won’t Enrage from Bloodthirst/Mortal Strike/Shield Slam and Devastate crits anymore. But it should at the least be a DPS increase. If we still Enrage from crits as we do now it will be as strong as the worgen racial for DPS.
The draenei racials are re-engineered – Gift of the Naaru now heals its full amount over five seconds instead of fifteen, which makes it a slight buff (it’ll heal you up faster, but not by any more than it did) while Heroic Presence is now redesigned. “Heroic Presence has been redesigned. It no longer increases Hit by 1%, and instead increases Strength, Agility, and Intellect, scaling with character level.” I’m not sure if it gives you all three, or only one based on your spec/class – does a mage get strength, agility and int, or just int? It could turn out to be a really great racial, depending on how it is actually implemented in game.
Dwarves lose their racial expertise (so do humans and orcs so don’t expect me to mention it again when they come up) but get Might of the Mountain, which increases critical strike bonus damage and healing by 2% (don’t confuse this with a straight crit strike bonus – this doesn’t affect how much you crit, just how much damage you do when you do) and Stoneform becomes an even better survivability cooldown. “Stoneform now also removes magic and curse effects in addition to poison, disease, and bleed effects, along with reducing damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds. ” That’s pretty awesome either as a tank or as a DPS.
I’m going to reproduce the gnome racials in their entirety.
- Expansive Mind now increases maximum Mana, Energy, Rage, and Runic Power by 5% instead of only increasing maximum Mana.
- Escape Artist’s cooldown has been reduced to 1 minute (down from 1.5 minutes).
- Shortblade Specialization (was 1% Expertise with one-handed swords and daggers) has been replaced with Nimble Fingers. – Nimble Fingers is a new racial passive ability that increases Haste by 1%.
I don’t know yet how Expansive Mind will interact with the Glyph of Unending Rage – 5% of 120 rage is 6 rage, so it would only be 1 point more than 5% of 100 rage, then slap the Glyph on over that – but either way, gnomes will have a little extra rage room to work with. It’s not huge, but it’s better than what the racial gives warriors now – namely nothing at all. Escape Artist is a nice little racial, not terribly strong but decent for PvP. Nimble Fingers is one of those racials I’m trying hard not to assume will be bad just because it is haste. If they make haste good, it’ll be good. That’s about the best I can do for it.
The goblin change is in the same boat as Nimble Fingers – they get a flat 1% haste. If haste is good, it will be good. If our Enrage mechanics remain the same, crit will still be better.
Humans lose their various expertises and get a redesigned Human Spirit. “The Human Spirit has been redesigned. It no longer increases Spirit by 3%, and instead now increases two secondary stats by an amount scaling with character level. You can choose which two secondary stats it increases.” You can supposedly pick which secondary stats. So if it was, for example, crit and mastery it would be good now. It’ll presumably be just as good in Warlords. It’s an interesting idea to be sure. I suspect Heroic Presence might be better, but we’ll find out.
For night elves, there’s a redesigned Quickness that still adds 2% chance to dodge (even though dodge won’t be on gear anymore, it still exists in the game) and also adds 2% to movement speed. Still an amazing tanking racial, in my opinion. Then there’s Touch of Elune. “Touch of Elune is a new passive ability which increases Haste by 1% at night, and Critical Strike Chance by 1% during the day.”
Look, even if you make all stats desirable there’s no way they’re all going to be equally desirable for all classes and specs. It just isn’t possible. For warriors, if we keep the Mists of Pandaria enrage mechanics crit is still going to be king, so the value of this particular racial will fluctuate wildly depending on circumstances. It’s another interesting racial – potentially the most interesting racial in terms of class flavor I’ve seen – but it’s still going to be a nightmare to keep balanced. And considering most raiders I know raid at night, I can already envision some unhappy warriors. What I’m saying is, in order for this to be good, Blizzard really needs to deliver on that ‘all stats will be good’ promise.
Orcs see their Blood Fury racial unchanged, and hardiness gets nerfed from 15% stun reduction to 10%. No change here, ultimately.
Tauren get Brawn, a critical strike damage and healing passive identical to Might of the Mountain (2%) and Endurance is now based on Stamina and scales with character level. This could make them very nice for tanking again, or it could end up OP as heck. We’ll see how that goes.’
Trolls get a slight nerf to Berserking (15% haste when used, down from 20%) and Beast Slayer now gives them 20% XP when killing beasts, instead of bonus damage. This means trolls are an even worse choice than they already were, in my opinion.
Forsaken got a nerf to Will of the Forsaken, and worgen and pandaren saw no changes. So what does this all mean?
Well, the ones that stand out are blood elves, dwarves, draenei, night elves, tauren and humans. If haste ends up being good, then maybe goblins and gnomes, Worgen will remain one of the best options for a DPS warrior, but depending on implementation humans, draenei and nelves could rival them, and the dwarves and tauren could well become absolutely dominant as tanks (although with Quickness, nelves still have a lot to offer there as well). Even with Blood Fury and Berserking, orcs and trolls look to be taking a hit as DPS and offer nothing particularly amazing as tanks. Blood elves will have a free extra rage button and 1% crit, making them at least as good as worgen. Once we see how haste works out for us in Warlords, we’ll know more, of course.
For DPS, I’d put belves and worgen in the top spot for their factions, with draenei, dwarves, humans and nelves all being much stronger options than they were, and even gnomes looking better. For the Horde side, nobody got anything new that’ll make much of a change to their DPS besides belves. For tanking, tauren are the undisputed kings of tanking Horde side, while nelves and dwarves will be fighting for the crown Alliance side (but both the draenei and human racials are still somewhat attractive to tanks). Again, all of this is subject to change based on how good other stats end up being.