On incoming racials and warriors


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.


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20 Responses to On incoming racials and warriors

  1. nen

    Colission already did some math on this topic (http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1467134-Racial-changes?p=25723600&viewfull=1#post25723600). Assuming no changes to enrage mechanics, Blood Elf and Worgen sim highest at most gear levels. Dwarf and Tauren may pull ahead in the final tier of the expansion. That said the deltas are the smallest they’ve ever been, a praiseworthy accomplishment on devs part. Hopefully touch of the grave gets a little love to pull undead in line.

    But this is initial math based only on the changes we know so far, which is likely far from a complete picture. Still worth doing for lack of things to do other than killing garrosh again.

    • matthewrossi

      Which is why doing sims now is almost useless – it tells you what WOULD be the case if nothing else changed. But like I said in this post, we don’t know how Enrage is going to work, we don’t know what haste or mastery are going to do (not that anyone got a mastery racial, but it’s possible humans could select mastery, or even readiness/multistrike as their secondary stats) or anything, really. You don’t really need math to know that, if nothing changed, the belves and worgen would be ahead (although that would depend on the scaling of the Draenei racial and how many stats we got – if a draenei got an extra 500 Strength AND Agility at level 90, that’d be something different than if they just got 500 in one stat) but we don’t know enough to make a call.

      Sims at this point are just kind of confirming what we already know.

  2. Kazekraze

    Why do they love alliance so much!

    • Bullbar

      The question should be “What took them this long to bring Alliance racials up to par with the Horde racials?”

      • Kazekraze

        Because having a free CC break, racial bonus with 4 types of weapons, the only avoidance racial combined with stealth for ANY CLASS, the only racial that allowed for non healers to remove debuffs + Damage mitigation buff a sprint + critial strike buff (Plus near instant skinning) a pretty beefy Self heal + hit buff

        Wasn’t on par with a 0.4second at best reduction in stun time, a haste buff that only a few classes made benefit from, a redundant amount of HP (nerfed in TBC) and a AE stun WITH A CAST TIME and a Fear/MC break (that has been nerfed into the ground)

        Horde Racials were pretty situational where as Alliance racials were downright good for warriors all over, the hit racial for Space Goats was very good until they started putting so much hit on gear that you couldn’t get rid of it, the Human Racial was just insane (most tanking weapons were Swords or Maces, very very few tanking axes) a free CC break in any situation is good. Dwarves and Nightelves were considerably better at tanking since their racials beat out the Horde tanking racial (the marginal HP Tauren received ) The only Horde racial that was any good for a DPSing warrior was the Orcs Blood Fury, and thats a marginal increase at best, comes no where close to the Alliance DPS racial of 1% crit for Worgen + the additional Mobility of a sprint. The Will of the Forsaken is pretty useless in raiding, whens the last time you saw a boss spam fear enough that you couldn’t just take it out with Berz Rage and most raid type MC spells cannot be broken with WoTF.

        So Tell me again how Horde racials were so much better than alliance ones?

        • matthewrossi

          The Forsaken also have a DPS racial, and while it’s not as good as 1% crit for us (but what is, really) you’re not doing any service by ignoring it, or Blood Fury, or Berserking (a 20% haste buff IS a pretty damn solid short cooldown) which are all active DPS increases. Night elves have nothing that contributes to raiding DPS right now (they make awesome tanks) nor do dwarves, really (DPS maces are rare and often agi weapons) or gnomes. The gnome racials as they are currently in game are LAUGHABLE for PvE DPS. Horde racials are in fact mostly superior, save for the Worgen (which is the best racial for a DPS warrior, period) and Draenei (which was, for several expansions).

          I’d take Blood Fury over anything dwarves, night elves, gnomes or humans can do as a DPS. An expertise racial is nice, but it’s not that nice. And keep in mind, I used to DPS on a tauren, which I freely admit had absolutely no racial useful for DPS whatsoever, not even for survival (because they neutered the health bonus so poorly.)

          • Bullbar

            In addition to what Rossi said, isn’t Beast Slaying one of the reasons why a lot of top guilds and even a lot of players in general went Troll? It was not as pronounced in Throne of Thunder with the few beast bosses it had, but Thok heroic definitely made a lot of guilds wish they had trolls in the raid.

            Just look at the amount of early Thok heroic kills and see how many of them were Horde, in part because a straight-up 5% DPS increase against the boss across the whole raid was a massive benefit. But even that data will be skewed since there are just so many more Horde guilds than Alliance at the top-end because the racials just make a bigger difference at that level of play.

            The racials probably don’t make a big difference to a vast majority of the playerbase even now, I freely admit that just by playing a bit better I’ll able to increase my efficiency more than a racial would, but currently the Horde racials just are that tiny bit better than the Alliance ones. And I’m sure that there will be theorycrafting to math out which of the Warlords racials are best for every class and the top echelon will gravitate towards that, but I’m glad that the Alliance races are now given a fair shake in the battle of the combat racials.

          • Bullbar

            Forgot to mention that the reason I brought up Thok heroic in particular was because it was the first roadblock bosses in Siege heroic for the top guilds in the race to world first.

  3. Kazekraze

    it fits into the whole idea back to Vanilla where Alliance was far more defensive based (Paladins) and Horde took the offensive portion (Shamans) this is the legacy we’re seeing still with the current iteration of racials.

    My point was that for flat out Warrior use, Alliance hold the stars. The Orc Racial is a nice CD, its basically a beginning tier “use” effect for a trinket but its just that, a short duration CD that for its duration will increase your AP by 4500, which cuts down to about 325~ weapon. Human – CC break, you cannot understate this racial how strong it is in both PVE and PVP situation it removes EVERYTHING (Snare Fear Stun Root)

    But I take it back Racials are currently tipped toward horde in a PVP scale, PVE we’re fairly close with the Nightelf and Worgen tipping things to the alliance side..

    I stayed away from Gnomes Bloodelves and Goblins Because for warriors they have nothing worth mentioning, with no impact either way, but if you want to include them in the calculations, Alliance has 1 race with no benefit for Meat Cannonballing, Horde has 2.

    • matthewrossi

      A free 20 rage cooldown is significantly better for DPS warriors than anything night elves or dwarves can do, as is a free interrupt. We had blood elf warriors in heroic Cataclysm raids JUST for that free silence on interrupt rotations, much less the free rage. Blood Elves are far stronger than gnomes, dwarves or nelves for a DPS role.

      I’m not saying that alliance racials are terrible, but the CC break doesn’t add any DPS. Neither does Stoneform. I haven’t raided with any DPS warriors save worgen or draenei since I went Alliance. When I was horde, I raided with DPS warriors from every Horde race, even goblins.

  4. Kazekraze

    I concede your point, I shall do better not to allow my bias cloud judgement.
    (I also admit I was under the impression it was 5 rage, not 20. I suppose as an Orc I did my best to ignore blood elves) Although I’d like to see that human racial get dropped on its head a few times like they’ve done to WOTF.

    I raided as alliance during Cataclysm (and end of WoTLK) and I admit, I made my 2nd warrior (the DPS one) a Space Goat for the racial benefits. My Other was a Human (tanking) for the CC break and bonus with tanking weapons. After going back to Horde I didn’t really think about racials, I love playing Orcs so that is what I played. This is probably rooted in the idea that more people on Alliance side are into Min-maxing so that is part of their culture, while Horde players play what they find appealing visually or Lore wise. Because lets face it 😛 Alliance races look like clowns! bwahahaha (oh right bias) But I do miss that CC break a lot of the time.

    • matthewrossi

      The human racial triggers your trinket cooldown, so in essence, it already WAS dropped on its head, WOTF only triggers a 30 second cooldown locking them out. If you use EMFH it’s exactly like using a trinket, so it’s just not as in need of a nerf, ultimately.

      Dude, I played orcs (hunchback mouthbreathers) and tauren (best Horde race), so I’m biased against your bias.

      • Kazekraze

        You forgot an important part of racials, Tauren Swing animations are lacking, I think its the same problem I had with the Space goat animations, the legs just don’t LOOK right when they’re in combat, something about hooves. Tauren are my favorite race for anything that an Orc can’t be (which is limited to Paladin Priest and Druid at this point) We’ll see what happens when WoD comes out, possibly the new animations will change my mind somewhat (mebbie I’ll make my next warrior a Tauren)

        Is it wrong to want to use the “free” 90 boost on another warrior when you have 5 already? (so I can have one locked at 60 70 80 85 90 and 100?)

        • matthewrossi

          I’m sorry that playing an orc has damaged your ability to see and understand motion and made you think orcs look good doing anything, which isn’t the case. It’s sad. I’m here for you if you need to talk. Assuming your orc-itis hasn’t progressed to the point where you just scream “BLOOD AND HONOR THROM’KA” constantly.

          • Kazekraze

            Only Occasionally……..out loud…

            and I answered my own question, it would be wrong to boost a warrior to 90, a large chunk of the fun of playing a warrior is the leveling process. (Unless you don’t have a warrior at 90 yet, then by all means, join the Meat Cannonball club)

      • Hirrus

        EMFH is weaker earlier in an expansion, but as gear improves, it scales up very quickly. Because EMFH is a complete replacement for a trinket, Humans in PvP get to equip 2 DPS trinkets. While this is generally okay earlier in an expansion, once the ilvls start to climb, EMFH represents a nontrivial gain in power when compared to other racials, which stay constant as the expansion continues.

        Since they’re making other human racials into more powerful DPS increases, the advantage offered by EMFH becomes even bigger. Compared straight across with Blood Fury or Berserking, another trinket is almost okay. When you take into consideration the changes made to The Human Spirit, things might end up being actually as skewed as most Horde players claim it is now. Not that we can say anything for sure on that front without seeing the whole picture.

        • matthewrossi

          The designers have specifically said “With the itemization changes we’ve made, we think this ability will not be an issue” so, until we see those itemization changes, we won’t know. But frankly, considering that in PvP terms most players wear two PvP trinkets anyway for the bonus you receive, it’s not nearly the power increase you’re suggesting it is – it just means two DPS PvP trinkets, or foregoing a trinket bonus for a PvE trinket that gets scaled down anyway.

          • Kazekraze

            Also considering how they slimming down CCs and reducing the mobility of ranged in PVP (reduction of instant casts and cast while moving) I will admit I see EMFH seeing a reduction in power over its current MUDFlated value. Its possibly all of these things that Blizzard is taking into account while re-balancing the racials. I’m a bit worried that we’re seen alot less “unique” racials (multiple races getting the same bonuses for pure stat output)

            I really hope we don’t see another Xpac where we double-triple our health pools and increase our DPS output by 500% again. If you look up MUFLATED in the Dictionary there is a picture of a Pandaren next to it.

          • Hirrus

            That may be the case by the numbers, but I do see disproportionate representation of humans in random BGs. Occasionally I see a Druid or a Shaman, though! It might just be community bias, though, rather than a measurable advantage. I do hope the itemization changes fix it, though. But we can’t predict the outcome of those changes until we see them. It’s not like Blizzard has never said “we think this will not be an issue” on something that became an issue.

            The bonus of two DPS PvP trinkets, while retaining the CC Break is not negligible, though. Because of how much PvP relies on burst damage to overcome the current healing numbers, the ability to pop your DPS trinket again when other races’ healers have their own trinkets on cooldown is a noteworthy advantage.

            Of course, this might just be my experience. I only PvP casually for transmog. Things might be more evenly represented at higher levels of play. Not that the condition of the highest level of play is an excuse for issues encountered on the way there.

  5. DetailBear

    While I couldn’t guarantee it obviously, I would hope that whatever changes Blizzard is making to the mechanics would make the Rosin-soaked Shoulders a candidate for BIS at Level 90.

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