Feb 18, 2009

Heroic Strike, the Warrior's worst friend

Edit 19/07/11: This blog entry is horridly outdated and shouldn't be read in any serious manner by anyone. I want to point this out because it has been one of my most read posts even until today. Heroic Strike got "fixed" although not in the way I wanted. I'm not exactly thrilled about it being an extra button push for instant (awful) damage at 50-70 rage either. I'm glad Heroic Strike is an instant attack now which is something warriors needed, but even in freak occurences where it keeps critting, using it with our 0 cost procs, and incite, it remains an afterthought, a trick to push out a couple hundred dps in rage satiated situations.

In the current Firelands tier of content, there are a number of fights where Warriors are fed rage, where the current heroic strike and its counterpart cleave are spammed on their 3 second cooldowns, but I'm not entirely sure I want Warriors DPS based around that. And come on, you know a nerf to heroic strike/cleave is coming just because of these fights, however pitiful rage dumps they are.

Oh, and Warriors whether tanking or dps are still spamming their heroic strike/cleave hotkeys like crazy, even more so in situations where it can be kept up thanks to Inner Rage. Was that the best "fix" Blizzard could think of, really ?

With that out of the way, if you want to read my ancient rant about Heroic Strike with the mechanic it used to have, read on.

What about Heroic Strike, exactly?

For those uninitiated in the "fine art" of protection warrior tanking, it is an essentual tool for keeping up aggro during any raid encounter. It has been in the game since day one and has always been useful while tanking for dumping rage and gaining extra threat, but these days it seen more as a mandatory keypress every 0-0.5 seconds (can think of at least one wws +video to show it, will try to dig it out tomorrow), just to be able to keep aggro and let those dps'ers show their true potential.

There's countless WWS logs out there on single target bossfights where the tank takes lots of damage, where good tanks do 0-5 autoattacks. Over several minutes. Thats a lot of heroic strike hammering. While the warrior tank is doing this, he or she is also spamming his regular short CD abilities, and it all adds up to AT LEAST 3-5 key presses per second if the tank is on the ball, as expected.

There has not only been concern but also obvious evidence that this kind of keyboard mashing is not only expensive as it obviously destroys your keyboards rather fast, but also causes hand and arm motor damage. There have been numerous suggestions as to how to ease the job of putting out acceptable tps and ragedumping, which have largely gone unnoticed.. until now!

This is perhaps the best news I've heard in a long time ( ok that says something about my life in general, I KNOW ), I sincerely desperately hope Blizzard acknowledges this and takes action for a fix before permanent hand and arm nerve injuries join the usual line of counter-effects warriors have to deal with while doing their job, and this is no call for nerf, but being forced to mash our keyboards to stumps doing the same job a DK does pressing 4-5 buttons every 5 seconds (assuming GCD reducing "aura", even less without it), it ain't right.

I am hoping for a heroic strike toggle, instead of manually using it constantly, perhaps even with a lower rage limit for activating it to make sure rage is conserved for the regular GCD's. Here's to hoping... *crosses fingers*

Update: Found the video mentioned above, Patchwerk 25 man 1m54s kill, tank doing average 10.5 keystrokes per second, 3.3k dps. The video spawned a very interesting debate over at tankspot, well worth reading (link includes video and discussion board). High quality download available at filefront, recommend taking 5 mins to download it, its just 105 mb. If the topic isnt of interest it may still be worth a watch if you like raid encounter vids, or angry music! ;)


Darraxus said...

Just posted a similar topic on my blog. I agree 100 percent. HS is a pain in the ass.

Poul said...

Very will written. Couldn't agree more!