Sunday, 10 January 2010

A new warrior (Level 1 to 10)

So ... with the ability to transfer bind on account items across factions it was an easy feat to finally equip a fine horde warrior with the latest in heirloom fashion.

A shiny Repurposed Lava Dredger for bashing things, a bit of armour (and this one) and a sword for tanking my new shiny cow was set. Of course... I forgot to send myself the haste trinket in my haste to get all the gear transferred. It shall not stop me!

So now I have a new project. I headed off across the fertile fields of Mulgore to lay waste to anything in my path. And because it's literally been years since my last warrior was that low level, I thought I'd keep a running log of progress. It may be some use to those leveling a warrior themselves - and maybe even be a bit of inspiration to those who already have several level 80 warriors to try another one.

For starters: Questing in the starting area has gotten easier than before. There are no longer any red mobs in the "below level 6" areas. This basically means you can complete all the quests in perfect safety and get to level 5 in around an hour or so. Food and drink have been banished from the starter "kit", but this is more than made up by the enormously increased health and mana regeneration at low levels. No more need to stop - by the time you walked to the next monster, you'll be back at full health.

At level 1 warriors have their autoattack, heroic strike and racial abilities. That's it. Not much to work with, but it serves as a good measure to introduce the warriors biggest problem: rage generation.

You gain rage for hitting things (more damage = more rage) with your basic auto attack and for taking damage (more damage = more rage, although this can get you killed real fast). If you use a special ability, it will use rage. The first level one is a bad starting point, in my opinion, because it's one of those dreaded "on next swing" abilities. This means that heroic strike will consume 15 rage when you use it - and make you loose the rage from your next normal swing. (Normal swings are sometimes reffered to as "white damage" due to the appearance in normal WoW combat text - as opposed to all specials, which are yellow.)

At level 2 you gain Battle Shout. The first of two(?) warrior buffs. This increases your attack power for 2 minutes by "value + level" (around 16 when you first get it - doesn't sound like much, but it'll scale up). This is a group-wide buff - and paladins, melee shaman, rogues and hunters will tank you for keeping it up pretty permanently when you are in a group. Of course.. you are still limited by rage (Battle Shout costs 10 rage to use) - so you'll probably need to get a swing in before you can use it. It should last until you get the next enemy engaged, though - or you are running around in circles *grin*.

At level 4 you get two useful abilities nowadays. Charge and Rend. Charge will take you up to 25 yards towards your next target (as long as you are not in combat), stun the target for a short time (this does interrupt spellcasting - although you will be in combat if something is casting at you, so you might be able to use this for saving a squishy priest one day, but don't depend on it) and - most importantly - give you a tiny amount of rage. Rend is a bleed - the damage dealt depends on weapon damage. The damage will be inflicted over a rather long time (15 seconds), so each "tic" (every three seconds) will only deal low amounts of damage - but this has two important side effects. It does kill off runners (monsters running away from you at low health - especially nasty if they have friends nearby) and it prevents "rogue types" from going into stealth - the next damage taken will break them out of hiding again (probably in a puddle of blood on the ground - but no need to get gory).

Once out of the intro-intro area you'll find a mailbox. I used mine to pick up new shinies.

At level 6 you'll gain Thunderclap and Victory Rush. The last one was new to me (originally awarded past level 60). Thunderclap is an AoE attack that deals damage and slows down your targets weapon swing speed. This does not affect casters casting speed - so don't try to get them with this. The damage is comparatively low as well - you are not an AoE damage dealer like a hellfire casting, nuclear inferno mage. You will, however, survive getting hit once. Victory Rush is an "after killing something" move. It will grant you a free attack (damage based on your attack power) that does not cost any rage - great for starting a fight. It also is only available up to 20 seconds after you killed your last target - great for starting a fight! Remember that Battle Shout increases attack power? Put it up before you use victory rush for about 2 points of extra damage.

At level 8 you'll gain Hamstring and the second Heroic Strike. The second HS will just increase your damage a bit. This is required in the current stage of the game, as otherwise your 11 bonus damage (of rank one) would soon end up inconsequential. This may be changed in the future - but I'll wait and see. Good news while leveling, though - the new skill level automatically replaces your old one. So your space on the quickbar is saved. There is no need ever to use a lower level ability as a warrior - casting classes occasionally differ (depending on the state of the game), but us platewearers don't care. Proper plate, that is .. not healing paladinses. Who knows what they do in their spare time anyway *shifty eyes*. Hamstring is an ability that massively reduces movement speed. While this causes almost no damage, it can prevent a running monster from reaching a friend and making your life harder. It's also an important pvp ability - or so I am told.

At level 10 you'll get your first warrior class quest, Rend (Rank 2) and Bloodrage. Rend - as before on heroic strike - just increases your damage. Good to have, but nothing new to learn. Bloodrage uses some of your own health to generate rage. A lot of rage. 20 at the start and then another 10 over 10 seconds. This ability also is not bound to the usual "global cooldown" timer - meaning you can use it when you need it without upsetting your next ability use (typical examples are bloodrage + hamstring NOW NOW NOW! at this level).

The warrior class quest will lead to the second "Stance". Defensive stance (reduces incoming damage) and the abilities typically expected of a tank. Taunt (which snaps aggro of a monster to you and puts you at the top of its hate-list) and Sunder Armor which makes physical attacks deal more damage. That alone does not sound very impressive, but it also causes a high amount of threat, so the monster is very likely to attack you after using it - not the mage-of-nuclear-inferno cowering in his sissy robes behind your mighty shoulders. Oh... and rogues/enhancement shamans/hunters love when you use it.

I'll continue updating the "guide to lowbie warrior leveling" when I get a few more things crushed done. See you soon!

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