World of Warcraft

I tried to design a more interesting Protection Warrior

wow9 - I tried to design a more interesting Protection Warrior

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I enjoy working out ways to improve/create new ways to play WoW, my favorite game. I hope you all enjoy, please feel free to leave comments to add to the discussion. Currently, I think Tank gameplay as a whole is incredibly spammy, uninteresting, and unfulfilling. I don't think it needs to be this way.

Specialization/Class Fantasy

Warriors (the class) aren't your average run-of-the-mill "Sword and Board" footmen and standard infantry units of the Warcraft mythos. They are incredibly skilled, mighty, and in some cases, vicious. The Protection Warrior to me feels flat and uninteresting. It is centered around passively negating damage through the use/spam of short cooldown defensive abilities and small buffs (like Commanding Shout, Ignore Pain, and Shield Wall.) Instead, I propose a more active playstyle, which focuses on the long-removed Stances. How your Warrior chooses to hold himself relative to his shield is the main focus of the proposed Protection Warrior gameplay change. To fit the "Masterful" playstyle, this design generates Threat through Critical Strikes, rather than passively through just sitting in Tank Spec. This allows for a more impactful and noticeable contribution as a tank to your group.

Redesigning the "Stance"

Protection Warriors used to essentially stay in a "defensive stance" for most of their time tanking a dungeon. Sometimes, you could swap out to use certain abilities, like Thunderclap, but it wasn't necessary smooth or conducive to Rage efficiency. Instead, I want to propose a more "active" playstyle for the Protection Warrior. Your Stance is a very powerful toggle which requires strategic changing in order to defeat your opponent. You should always be swapping stances during combat to overwhelm and outsmart your opponent. You should NEVER just leave your stance in one place. Everything about this new Protection Warrior centers around when to PROPERLY and EFFECTIVELY swap your Stance to either defend against savage blows or dish out some revenge to your enemy. Utilizing your stance effectively is will ultimately determine if you are a good player or a bad player. A lot of abilities will be the same as they are now, with key differences being the abilities below. This is not an all-inclusive design, and runs on the assumption there will be other abilities and talents to fill in the blanks. This is a brief overview of what I imagine a fun tank would be to play.


Offensive Stance

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Shield to the side, weapon ready. When the ENEMY is on the defensive.

Defensive Stance:

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Shield to the Front, weapon to the side. When YOU are on the defensive.

Spells and Abilties

  • Stance Mastery (New Passive)
    • You are able to change your Fighting Stance, significantly altering your fighting style to outwit your opponent. Stances last indefinitely, and have a 6 second cooldown before you can change your stance again. NOTE: Stances don't require a preemptive ability like "Turn the Tables" to toggle, however these abilities are meant to help bridge and synergize the duality of the Offensive/Defensive playstyles.
  • Defensive Stance (New Toggle) This is where you primarily BUILD Rage.
    • Enter a Defensive Stance. While in the Defensive Stance, you can not attack. Damage taken is reduced by an additional 20%. Your Block chance is doubled, and you can Block projectiles. In addition, you gain access to special Defensive Stance abilities. This new stance has a much more powerful effect, and has a unique animation where your character situates themselves behind their shield.
    • Opportunity Attack (Replaces Heroic Strike in Def stance)
      • When you Block a Melee attack, you can sometimes use Opportunity Attack. This is a Hard-Hitting spell which automatically Crits and can not be dodged, blocked, or parried.
    • Redouble (New Defensive Stance Ability)
      • Redouble your efforts, regaining 20% of your maximum HP rapidly over 3 seconds. In addition, your movement speed is increased by 40% during this time.
    • Iron Will (New Defensive Stance Ability)
      • Focus on your task at hand, making you temporarily immune to Charm, Sleep, and Fear effects for 3 seconds. Uninterruptible channel. (Can be stopped early by canceling the ability or by being Stunned or Displaced)
    • Shield Bash (Redesigned)
      • Bash your opponent, dealing damage equal to 1/4 your shield's Armor Rating and Dazing the enemy for 3 seconds.
    • Striking Edge (New Spell)
      • Strike your opponent with your shield's edge, dealing Minor Damage and interrupting them. If this ability Critically Hits, it will additionally silence them for 1 second.
    • Turn the Tables (New Spell)
      • Aggressively thrusts your shield forward and to the side, dealing Minor Damage and knocking them back 3 yards. In addition, your subsequent Offensive Stance abilities will not consume Rage for 3 seconds.
  • Offensive Stance (New Toggle) This is where you primarily SPEND Rage.
    • Enter an Offensive Stance. While in Offensive Stance, you can attack freely. However, you gain no bonus Defensive capabilities. In addition, you gain access to Offensive Stance abilties. Your critical strike chance is increased by X%.
    • Concussive Blow (New Spell)
      • Place your weight into your swing. Deal X Damage to the target and stun them for 2 seconds. Consumes Rage. If target is immune to stuns, it automatically Crits instead.
    • Sever (New Spell)
      • Strike at your opponent's extremities, dealing X Damage and Disarming them for 2 seconds. If this ability Crits, the opponent will be disarmed for 4 seconds instead.
    • Lunging Thrust (New Spell)
      • Thrust your blade forward through your opponents, charging 6 yards forward and dealing X damage to those in your path. Consumes Rage.
    • Shield Wall! (Redesigned Spell; Long cooldown)
      • Gain an absorb shield, absorbing X damage for 3 seconds. In addition, you automatically enter Defensive Stance. This is your new OH SHIT spell.
    • Arterial Focus (Offensive Cooldown)
      • For 10 seconds, your critical strike chance is increased by 10% and you now apply a Bleed every time you critically hit an enemy.
    • Denial (New Spell)
      • You anticipate your opponents next move. You automatically Parry their next attack or Resist their next spell. In addition, your next Defensive Stance spell generates double Rage. Lasts 5 seconds.

Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to add your ideas into the mix! I like the idea of having to be very Reactive in tanking. Something I DON'T like about current tanking is that so much of your time revolves around simply Taunt-Swapping or just standing there and spamming Heroic Strike or Ignore Pain to dump your Rage.

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