Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.
There are columns I don’t like to write. This is one of them.
When multiple players from all levels of raiding tell you that they’ve dropped the warrior class for better alternatives, there’s a problem. When people who have played a warrior for six years (and who therefore have survived from BC through Wrath and Cataclysm to the present day) tell you they had to switch to keep from hindering their raids, there’s a serious problem. It’s not just tanking, it’s not just DPS, and it’s not just PvP – it’s all of them. When the expansion opened, arms warriors were at a ridiculously high 14% of high end PvP – now that number has dwindled to around 5%, and that’s around a 2% drop in two months. Meanwhile, prot warrior numbers in raiding have only fallen slightly, but that doesn’t change the fact that other tanks like Death Knights, Paladins and Guardian Druids are all going up in numbers – even Brewmaster Monks are up to 2.2% of the raid population.
Another way to put it is like this – protection warriors are 2.5% of total representation in raiding, but overall are 3.5% of the game population. Both Guardian Druids and Brewmaster Monks see more representation in raids than in the game at large – prot paladins are almost twice as common in raids as they are in the game. Death Knights are an interesting outlier, in that they make up 3.7% of raiding, but 4% of the total DK population – clearly DK’s are still very popular tanks, but even they lag behind the prot paladin juggernauts.
We’ve talked about fury warrior DPS and the complete lack of arms warriors in raiding – to some degree, arms will probably see a bit of a bump when 5.4 comes out and significantly buffs their AoE DPS. Since the PTR hasn’t done damage balancing yet, harping on fury or arms DPS issues seems disingenuous. We’ll wait for that balancing. Let’s talk about where warriors are going, instead.