Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gladstance Representation and Suggestions

Gladiator Stance DPS is under represented in Mythic Blackrock Foundry. This makes me sad, I feel like we've been defending the pass for 2 patches and there's only a few guys left standing, stumbling around being stubborn about a switch to Fury/Arms to do 10-20k more damage. Gladiator is not BAD, but it's not keeping up with AOE damage done by Fury and Arms, and it lacks utility that a lot of raids want, like massive execute phases, or defensive raid cooldowns ( rallying cry ). Sure, on a single target fight you can beat the Arms Warrior ( maybe ) but to me, that's not good enough. Gladiator's aren't getting raid spots in Mythic Guilds.

Constructive feedback has always been a promoted part of the Blizzard communities. I can only name a handful of games that really listen to their player base. Some of my Warrior friends are working on constructive feedback and while I didn't agree with some of their suggestions I thought maybe I would throw my 2 cents on here. I see really good design ideas show up in the forums all the time, and I'm not sure I've ever seen as many "here's how to fix X-spec" than I did with the Beta for WoD. I'm not going to even try to re-design gladiator, but what I believe I am capable of is identifying the problems I see, to lend some weight to a ton of feedback the dev's see every day. Really just pouring water in an ocean of feedback at this point, which is okay. This will probably be a bit therapeutic.

1. Gear Scaling.
Gladiator's do not scale well with Gear. A lot of our damage relies on passive damage increases from Shield Charge or the 4piece bonus for example. The flipside of this is that at lower gear levels we do pretty well. I would prefer doing less damage with less gear, and the reverse.


  • Move more damage onto the Damaging Abilities themselves. Move it off of Shield Charge.

2. Tank Gear
I like the idea of wearing tank gear and doing damage with it. But this creates situations where we need to compete for the same gear the tank does. Most guilds favor their tanks when it comes to gearing strategies and while you could argue Active Mitigation has made gear a bit less relevant, there just simply isn't a guild that's going to risk wipes during progression because the tanks didn't have enough gear. Gladiators would strongly benefit from being able to compete with Arms/Fury for items.


  • Lower Bonus Armor's damage benefit. Let us get our damage from the other secondaries so we can go in for Crit/Haste cloaks and whatnot.
  • Allow Gladiators to wield either 1 or 2handed weapons. This means we can go in for weapons and also have the option to switch to Arms/Fury if we preferred it for a fight. Plus, it would be pretty sweet to use a 2handed spear with a shield. 

3. Utility
Mocking Banner is useful in a few situations. Rallying Cry is used every pull. We've been sat because a raid needed another RC for one of the rough damage phases.


  • A Melee group specific Raid Defensive. Like AMZ or PW:B. Call it Shield Wall, make it a real shield wall. I've love to see a gladiator blow a defensive during Breath on Kromog and see all the melee huddle into a blade barrier or something. It could be like deterrence but for the melee group.
  • Execute. This phase should be all about execute, just like Arms and Fury. I don't want to be sat because the 20% burn is the most important part. Right now it's not much of a damage increase to even execute sub 20%, AFTER the buffs.

That's it. I want the spec to cause less frustration with a raid group by just using normal dps gear/weapons, less reliance on tank equipment, and better scaling and a defensive CD.

- Cyclonus


  1. Dear Cyclonus. I'm sad that you are sad because I also love the Gladiator stance (even if raid lead doesn't) and enjoyed your blog. Hope you will still continue it?

    I wanted ask you a lot of questions but was always too scared that it may be stupid questions. As example: I'm not good at math and still don't understand why bonus amor is a little lower rated than strength. Also comparing numbers of other Gladiators, it seems that I'm doing it wrong.

    However, I can see and understand your thoughts about the Gladiators problems, but at one point I disagree. Since I was Tank for years and never got happy with fury/arms, I was very excited hearing about Gladiator Stance. I loved the Idea just to switch the stance and doing damage while keeping my tank gear on. In fact, even if I feel the first time in WoW (playing Tank since vanilla) able to perform damage, it made me a little sad, that stat-weight were different (Mastery!).

    However, thanks for your great blog, sharing your thaughts and doing some maths. And, of course, excuse my poor english language skills. :o)

    Emerelle (EU - Die Aldor), wannabe Gladiator from Germany

    1. HI Emerelle thanks for the message! I'll definitely be continuing the blog. I'll just have less to say while Glad isn't being played at the top level. I'm always around on twitter if you have a quick question.

  2. Have you posted your thoughts on wow forum? If you could post there and link it here we would be able to support you - and maybe blizzard would pay attention. I highly agree with what you said, specially about dps gear.
    But I also have some thoughts on the matter...
    I believe blizzard can do two different things with gladiator (or a little of both): or they make it scales better with gear so it can be as good dps as fury/arms, or they should make it better in survivability and utility, so gladiators could be really tanky and compensate lower dps by staying alive and not needing the same healing. They could even allow stances changes (with some sec cooldown for defensive stance), so gladiators could replace a dead tank [but I don't think they would let gladiators be the only full-perfect off-tank in the game. Still, it would be cool].

    1. I like the idea of it being a potential talent, just like Heart of the Wild. That's pretty cool. But that's kind of a druid niche. Hmm

      As for a forums post, i'm thinking you're right.

  3. nice suggestions, but you said "it's not keeping up with AOE damage done by Fury and Arms" and thats true.... You have 5 suggestions but they arent for AOE damage imo...
    About tank gear... i think its OK, every guild has mostly only 2 tanks and they are getting gear really fast compared to other DPS classes. After the 2 tanks are equipped, all the tank stuff is going to the glad warr :) so i didnt see any problem with this... i think getting gear as fury/arms is harder, because there are more plate classes and they all need the same item...

    1. Right, I don't necessarily need to recommend anything in regards to Aoe buffs, we just need to do more damage, that's a dial knob they can tune internally. You'll notice to I didn't really suggest any major changes to the rotation, as I love it.

      I definitely would prefer to be going for DPS gear over tank gear as every raiding DPS warrior might need to use a different spec for certain fights. This way you can still swap into arms or Fury without need a completely separate set of gear. I think the fact that everyone levelling and gearing for WOD had to collect extra gear just IN CASE gladiator was still best for certain fights was a bad experience.

    2. IMO tank gear as glad warrior is good. We're a tank spec, dps stance. If anything, I wish they'd make mastery more viable for Glad instead of its worst secondary. This would make tank gear truly viable for Glad stance vs needing some tank and some dps (read: hast/crit). I do agree with the scaling though.

      I will play Glad no matter what. If for whatever reason I lose a raid spot in my guild, I will find another guild. I play WoW for fun and, to me, Fury is not fun (no experience with arms in years). I fully agree with Bliz that Glad should not be better than Arms/Fury, and I agree that there should definitely be a dps gap between the 2 dedicated warrior dps specs and the hybrid tank/dps spec.

      I would like to see the gap narrowed a little, but more than that I agree with you that the Glad (Prot) warrior needs more utility as well. Gladiator stance is a compromise for prot warriors, allowing them to go dps, but it needs something to make it more viable and not a wasted raid slot. I like your shield wall idea and was trying to come up with some sort of way to make it a glyph without it being a mandatory one, but I couldn't, so it would have to be a new ability or a change to shield wall itself.

    3. The problem with tank gear is that you don't really use tank gear, you only use bonus armor. It means you can get a stamina trinket from spoils you'll never use. And, like joshua said, you "can't" use your mastery from your tank gear if you want to maximize your dps.
      Maybe they should improve our benefits from critical, hast, versatility, mastery and multistrike. Like getting x% more from gear while in gladiator stance. This could improve our scaling with gear and make dps gear more viable.
      I believe tank gear - including even stamina (maybe) - should be useful, but not the better attributes for gladiators. So we could somewhat play with tank gear, but would do more damage with dps gear.

    4. The concept, I would assume at least and I do hate to make assumptions, is that Bliz wanted Prot warriors to tank but have the option to go DPS for ___ reason. As such, Mastery would be an important stat for Prot warriors, and they would stack it pretty high. In an effort to make sure the 2 other DPS specs remained top of the pile, they made Glad stance rely more on Crit and gain very little from mastery, among other things. This, in effect, means that a Prot warrior, who both tanks and dpses, would need 2 sets of gear. Not full sets necessarily, although without a full set you end up with gems/enchants not optimized, but some various pieces where you can switch crit and mastery.

      The reality is Mastery is a problem. It's one thing to require 2 different gear sets for Fury and Arms, or Fury and Prot, but for Prot and Prot ... it's a bad system. Gladiator is not a spec, it's a stance, and the tuning needs to reflect that. Mastery needs to be more viable for Glad stance so you don't need 2 sets of armor for 1 spec. I mean our tuned stat is Mastery, so why is it our worst?

    5. Interesting ideas in this thread for sure. I think that the use of tank gear with gladiator is a double edged sword. It means that people who want to use glad in a raiding situation need a second set of gear. And while it gives prot warrior Tanks the ability to just swap and dps, to full effect, it pigeon holes the raider who spends his dkps on bonus armor gear, then needs to go arms/fury for thogar or whatever. I don't mind tank gear being an option, I just don't think it should be top. The whole reason for the tank gear in Glad stance was to give the option to DPS as a Tank. But they kind of shot themself in the foot when they buffed tank dps ( esp prot warriors ) to the point where I can keep up with a lot of my raids DPS as the tank already. Remember tank damage got buffed to compensate for the loss of Vengeance after 5.4. Hope that makes sense. And it's just my 2 cents, I'm not a game designer ( none of us are ) and the ones they employ at Blizzard are going to be top of class. I just wanted to highlight the points where I believe the design decisions have made it harder to play gladiator in raids.