Initial Battle for Azeroth Warrior and Demon Hunter Impressions

These are my rough notes. I haven’t had a whole lot of time for the beta, just a few hours spread across weekends (planning a wedding is a real time suck). I don’t really feel like spending much time polishing them up into formal responses (I’d rather spend that time on the BfA guides), but I’d like to put them somewhere at least in this preliminary form.

Initial BfA Warrior Impressions

  • Content tested: Leveling to 113, went through two of the three Alliance dungeons. Only a small amount of experimenting with talents. Most of these notes are a few weeks old, so they don’t take the newest changes into consideration.
  • GCD: Wasn’t as frustrated as I thought I’d be with the GCD attached to Ignore Pain and Demo Shout. There were a few times I’d thought I’d pushed them but it didn’t go through, which left me a little frustrated. Part of that can be trained out (since I’m used to them behaving like on live), though part of it is just the inconsistency between abilities. Shield Block is off gcd, but IP is on it? Demo shout is on gcd, but Shield Wall isn’t? Those abilities are grouped together in my brain (and in my weak auras), so it’s hard to keep it straight.
    • I am concerned about how this will feel with the more steady rage flow that comes with gear. If IP was on the GCD with similar rage flow to T20 or T21, I’d pull my hair out.
  • Rage: I’ve heard lots of complaints about how slow warrior rage gain is, but it didn’t seem out of the ordinary for me. Perhaps because it was only a few months ago that I was in quest greens on my live warrior, with all the slow rage that comes with that. I knew going in that rage gen would feel much slower simply because I’m used to playing with a well-geared warrior in T21, and that’s a long way away from a warrior in blue questing gear. It did feel uncomfortably slow only early in pulls, since I can no longer Shield Block quite as early as before (as it costs more).  I had to be more careful with spending rage on Revenge, especially early on, which made threat on some pulls a little iffy.
    • It’s important to note I haven’t tested many talents on my warrior, so it might feel better with a different configuration.
    • However, compared to the DH, resource generation is wildly different, so much that it feels unfair.
  • Rotation: Right now it’s pretty similar to live, which is good, I like live warrior. The rotation changed quite a bit before seemingly settling down into something very similar to where it started.
  • Biggest changes I noticed (besides above): Avatar and Shockwave are baseline, and have Rallying Cry and the aoe fear back again.

Initial BfA Vengeance thoughts

  • Content tested: leveled to 113. Ran through two of the first three horde dungeons. Experimenting with the talent rows that shifted the most. These notes are from this weekend, so pretty fresh.
  • Soul Cleave feels like a trap. All these talents and azerite traits effect it, but it does hardly anything (both in damage and healing). Soul Bomb is SC but better in almost every way. I want to think that SC will be like Keg Smash or Thrash but with a little Death Strike, but it’s more like Swipe (i.e., not great).
    • One case where Soul Bomb isn’t better is the delayed damage, so it’s not so quick at threat, but demon hunters have a million other things to establish snap aggro that was rarely an issue.
    • Another case where Soul Cleave is useful might be when you’re full on pain but have no souls to cast SB. However, the damage is so low it’s quite possibly still worth it to overflow on pain.
    • No point in taking the SC talents with SB.
  • I really like the increased soul generation and spending. Souls flying everywhere is fun. Feels less bad when I have to move away from them, since I can make more pretty quickly.
  • With fracture I often have too much pain to spend. I’ve basically been alternating between fracture and soul bomb to keep from capping pain.
  • Felblade: One of my favorite talents (I just love flipping through the air okay), but I worry it’s going to be even worse in BfA. It’s difficult to fit in with Fracture (not to mention the pain overflow when you have both talents), and now that Shear guarantees a soul fragment, the decision to push Felblade seems less clear cut.
  • Why doesn’t demon spikes consume pain anymore? It’s limited only by charges now. Seems like a weird change, especially with how much pain I’m generating. And compared to my poor warrior who can’t even put up her primary AM until after her first few attacks, this feels super unfair.

General things

  • Threat reduction: Threat generation was reduced for all tanks. I lost threat a handful of times times in dungeons, but not as much as I predicted. Mostly it was on my warrior, and specifically when I only Thunderclapped some adds that then got pulled off me. My talents weren’t optimal for what I needed so I plan on going back and testing with some extra snap threat.
  • Dungeons: So far they look great. I’ve obviously only seen them with normal mechanics, but we were able to sail through even on our first tries. The few wipes were due to accidentally pulling too many trash packs because no one knows where the pats (or mysterious tentacles that appear from the ground) are yet.
  • Leveling as a tank: Just like Legion, leveling as a tank could very well be the fastest way to go. Quite fast to pull many mobs and AoE them down.