I tend not to do a lot of AoE
Play to your spec's advantage. If you go Protection, go AOE. Forget pulling targets one at a time; run in and pull them all!
Just to make things clear, I am talking about solo PvE, not dungeons.
The problem with AoE pulling is that a lot of times, mobs are too far spread apart. Sometimes, some quests this isn't the case and you can easily round up a bunch of mobs, but yet I find that a lot of times I'll see 2 mobs here, a mob over there, maybe a couple more way over there... which leads me to my next points:
Starting from behind here.
3) None of the other specs have crit immunity, so you can't hold that against Protection. Your board still gives you a defensive advantage.
I was comparing Prot Pre-40 to Prot Post-40. I wasn't comparing Prot to Arms.
2) Devastate is underwhelming, even at higher levels. It's not your "mash to kill" button, it's your "mash to keep aggro" button. Your "mash to kill" button is Shield Slam.
Shield Slam has a 6 second cooldown. My Level 82 Warrior does ~4000 damage with it. He's wearing full crafted gear (hardened obsidium), and a quested sword, that's about the best he's capable of getting without running a dungeon. Devastate has a 1.5 second cooldown (GCD to be technical) and does ~2400 damage on the first use
. 4th Devastate and up, he's doing quite a bit more. The only time Shield Slam does significantly more damage than Devastate is when he's got Sword and Board Active and I use Shield Block (which has a 30 second cooldown).
Normal Shield Slams, however, they do roughly 30% more damage than Devastate, but have 4x as long of a cooldown.
Getting Devastate gives you a huge
increase to your single-target DPS, especially when you consider that Devastate also applies Sunders which makes everything else you do even more damage
1) The lack of a Defensive Stance charge sucks, aye, but stance dancing is key. Go Battle Stance, charge in, switch to Defensive Stance. You won't keep much (if any) of the rage it generates, but it does give you the mobility. As for charging in combat, Arms won't give you that ability until level 49 at the earliest and Fury doesn't have an ability that makes Charge usable in combat at all.
Arms/Fury doesn't need In-Combat charge; you're likely fighting single mobs in rapid succession, charging a target, killing it, then charging the next and killing it too, etc. The reason why I like in-combat charge for Prot is, yes, for rounding up mobs. My routine goes something like this:
I'll throw my weapon at one mob (btw, you don't get Heroic Throw until 20).
I'll taunt a second mob.
I'll charge at the third mob (which you can't do until you get appropriate talents).
If there are any other mobs nearby, I'll body pull them as well. I usually drop a Rend on the mob I charged and when they're all close enough, I start that whole Thunderclap/Cleave spam while throwing Devastates and Shield Slams when I can, praying I get my first Victory Rush soon.
Well, I can't throw my weapon until 20, so that leaves 1 ranged attack out, and I can't charge while in combat until a bit later which means I take several more hits while slowly running over to the third mob.
What? When did you level up your Protection Warrior? Shield Slam kills stuff so fast now. Or at least it did back in January, I don't know if they've patched anything since then. Shield Slam is like Mortal Strike, except it also dispels buffs and HoTs and such on hits.
See above for comparisons between Devastate and Shield Slam damage.
My Warrior rivaled Hunters and Rogues on bosses in dungeons. And I completely blew them out of the water when I was tanking the boss (due to Vengeance). If your pre-40 Protection Warrior has crappy single-target DPS then you're doing something completely wrong. I'm talking about Donald wrong
. Edited, Jun 27th 2012 1:13pm by Mazra
Maybe not crappy
DPS, per se, but quite a bit less DPS than Post-40 with Devastate would have. The spec just feels clunky when you're missing several key buttons that you're frequently mashing at later levels. If you play a Level 70+ Prot Warrior and then go back to a Level 10 prot warrior its... "No Heroic Throw? No Devastate? No Shockwave? No Concussion Blow?" I end up staring at my hotkey bar, going "come on, hurry up Thunderclap/Shield Slam" while waiting on those abilities to cool down.