I played the level 60 end game as a Fury warrior. I actually have two level 70 warriors, one of which is Arms, but my former main and best geared Warrior is the Fury warrior. In the 60 end-game, I played the role of DPS and Offtank. Back then, this was a really viable spec and role in a Raid. My proudest moments as a Warrior were when I could OT as Fury (and do it well), then turn around and rise to the top of the damage charts on a boss fight. And in addition, I was also great for farming (killing stuff) and when geared appropriately, could more than hold my own in PvP.
That’s not to say that Arms didn’t pwn more face in BGs or that Protection spec couldn’t tank better. They could and did perform their role better. It’s just that Fury was also viable as both if the player was well skilled. Today, the spec has been relegated to the soloing or leveling spec and doesn’t really have a place in PvP or in PvE raids or instancing.
I notice that a growing sentiment within the Warrior community is this feeling that if you are Prot, then you are unwanted or useless in pvp or soloing. And if you are Arms, you are worthless and unwanted in PvE. For many warriors, they don’t care. They tank and tank, have support from the guild and love to tank. Whee! Or they are out there pwn’ing your ass in arena or BGs and could care less about anything else. *Flex*
It’s that group in the middle, that want to do both, that are the most disgruntled with their warrior. These are the players that in a prior age would have simply specced Fury and been really happy about it. Now, once they hit the end-game, they must make a choice to get the most out of the content. Do I want to tank or do I want to pvp? What is the future of warriors, they ask? Well, that’s it. Choose your spec, Arms or Protection.
There are a number of contributing causes to the downfall of the Fury spec. Arguably, adding another utility class (Paladins for Horde, Shamans for Alliance) hasn’t helped much. And certainly having other classes becoming more viable at tanking (Druids and Paladins) that offer more group benefit is direct competition for offtank spots. The 2.0 rage nerf was pretty devastating too and brought Fury down several notches on the damage meters. And the nerf to Flurry is nearly unforgivable. Likewise, moving Deathwish and Imp Intercept all but killed a Fury warriors viability in pvp.
Ironically however, I can’t really argue that any of those changes didn’t better the game overall. I like grouping with both Shamans and Paladins. I like having a Druid or Paladin tank a 5 man for me. Things just seem to go a bit smoother and easier. And while Fury lost Deathwish and Imp Intercept, the pvp minded Arms folks got a huge buff and quite frankly, by this point no one was playing Fury anyway.
Now I play Rogues almost exclusively and both warriors are my forgotten step children that never get played. Of course, this has little to do with the downfall of Fury and everything to do with my personal preference for rogues. In short, I rolled a rogue alt to help level up a friend and really enjoyed it. So while I would likely never return to my old main, I still very much emphasize with the plight of the Fury warrior and warriors in general.