So recently a lot of people have been saying Guardians are approaching Berserker dps, and that they will overtake us or come close in RoK in DPS, and will retain us in maintaining a defensive superiority. This is a popular topic in many berserker communities lately, with the promises of betrayal pouring in. It's even spawned some rather lengthy discussions already in some forum communities. So I decided to do a little investigating into the CA differences of the two classes in terms of damage potential. I had always known that Guardians had better CAs than us (we had a better auto-attack table) but now that Berserkers and Guardians have the same auto-attack tables, maybe something needs to be done about the CA issue. I logged in my fully mastered level 70 Berserker, wiped my berserker tree of all points using a respec, and turned off every buff I had. Then I examined my CAs, and compared them to links of Guardian CAs of M1 quality. My STR was 432 for the entire trial. Let's go one by one and look at the pairs of CAs available to the two classes. The goal of this investigation is to compare the WARRIOR mirror lines, not to get into ancients/marquee or TRULY class specific spells (like buffs.) You'll find that many of these pairs are near copies. But you'll also find that in some cases one class has a significant and inexplicable advantage over the other. The berserker skill ALWAYS comes first. The Guardian skill is second. Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Breach 57 177 532 354.5 10 35.45 46 None Overpower 57 266 444 355 10 35.5 46 None Our first pair is Breach and Overpower. Unsurprisingly these are almost exact carbon copies of each other, except that berserker has more variance. Winner: Guardian by a tiny margin due to variance Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Weapon Aegis 58 246 410 328 30 10.93333 103 Reactive Damage, three charges Goading Assault 58 246 410 328 30 10.93333 103 AOE, also taunts for 918 The next pair is a little more difficult to compare. They look and feel like carbon copies except the Berserker ability requires being hit, and can proc up to 3 times on a single target. The Guardian ability scales up better if AoE, but it also has a rather large taunt component attached to it as well, meaning it is effective single target. Winner: Can not be compared Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Ruthless Strike 59 167 501 334 20 16.7 72 Focus Debuff of 42, Interrupts Buffet 59 300 501 400.5 20 20.025 72 Casting Skills Debuff of 28 The casting skill debuffs. First thing we notice is that the Guardian skill does more DPS. The berserker skill interrupts instead. We also notice the Guardian skill actually drops enemy casting skill (improving spell resistability) but the Berserker debuff (focus) has no effect outside of PVP, as PVE targets can NOT (to my knowledge) be interrupted by non-interrupting/stifling/stunning style attacks. Winner: Guardian by a fair margin Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Stampede 61 172 518 345 10 34.5 49 None Compression 61 285 475 380 10 38 55 Interrupts Kicking time. Also looks like we found the Guardian's lost interrupt. It comes on a faster recast skill. We also see that the Guardian skill does more DPS, but costs a bit more power. Berserker is also more variable. Winner: Guardian by a large margin Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Bloodbath 63 287 802 544.5 30 18.15 115 AoE, also stuns for 1.5 seconds Besiege 63 535 891 713 30 23.76667 115 None Basic AoEs. In this case the Guardian does more damage by a rather large amount, but the berserker ability also stuns/knockdowns for 1.5 seconds. The berserker skill also has a huge variance in comparison. The berserker AoE stun useful, but dangerous in some situations as it results in all enemies waking up from stun to attack together at once. Not useful against epics or stun immune targets. Winner: Guardian by a fair margin Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Violent Pledge 66 140 420 280 10 28 53 Taunts for 871 Vindictive Strike 66 140 233 186.5 10 18.65 53 Taunts for 980-1198 Taunting strikes. Berserker does more DPS, but generates less threat. In terms of threat generation this is a tie, but in terms of killing the win goes to berserker. Winner: Berserker by a small margin Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Persistent Battering 67 397 663 530 20 26.5 81 Decreases combat skills -16.1 Merciless Charge 67 656 914 785 20 39.25 81 Decreases combat skills -16.1, some damage is DOT An offensive debuff. Berserker upfronts the damage, Guardian DoTs but does higher overall damage. Everything else is copy paste. This is a difficult match to choose, but Guardian DPS output is almost 150% of berserker's on this, so it goes to Guardian. Winner: Guardian by a fair margin Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Demolish 68 432 1297 864.5 60 14.40833 184 Stifles for 6 seconds Retaliation Strike 68 720 1201 960.5 60 16.00833 138 Dazes for 6 seconds This match is probably the single ugliest and most one-sided in the entire comparison. Demolish was once a powerful stun and fantastic move for Berserkers. Now it is a power-hungry ineffective stifle. Now we see that not only does it cost MORE power than the Guardian ability, but it does LESS DPS and has a less effective debuff (stifle vs daze) attached to it. Dazing a mob for 6 seconds can prevent 3-4 auto-attacks. Stifling it can block one spell. Mobs usually hit harder than they nuke for, even on plate. Those that nuke hard are usually stifle immune. Winner: Guardian by a longshot Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Agonizing Press 69 243 730 486.5 20 24.325 84 2.5 second stun, shield requirement Staggering Blow 69 365 609 487 20 24.35 84 2.5 second stun, shield requirement Complete copy pastes except that the Berserker skill has higher variance. Winner: Guardian by a tiny margin Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect Disfigure 70 814 962 888 20 44.4 85 Haste debuff 13.6, DoT component Sever 70 851 925 888 20 44.4 85 DPS debuff 20.0, DoT component Near complete copy pastes except the Berserker one has more variance. The Guardian skill has significantly more offensive reduction as well, and DPS debuffs are superior to haste debuffs in almost -every- case because reducing haste does nothing to protect from spiking, and works poorly with reactive and defensive procs such as reactive taunts. Winner: Guardian by a large margin Now having compared those, there are a few other abilities out there that don't have direct comparison. Here they are: Berserkers: Stunning Howl 60 509 849 679 60 11.31667 147 Encounter AoE, 2.5s Stun Frenzied Blows 58 615 1847 1231 60 20.51667 107 Triple Attack, if any miss it stops Berserker Onslaught 70 592 1777 1184.5 70 19.741667 166 Frontal Cone AoE Guardians: Flay 64 951 1585 1268 60 21.13333 117 Precise Strike 68 576 960 768 30 25.6 83 Rarely misses Berserkers have an AoE stun (carries some danger) and a HIGHLY variable ability that requires a bit of luck to land fully for around 20 dps. Guardians on the flipside have an ability that rarely misses, and does more DPS than Frenzied Blows, as well as a very powerful heavy single target strike to counter Berserker's AoE in Stunning Howl. Winner: Can't be compared fairly as they are not directly comparable. Now some people may want comparisons of every ability side by side, in which case berserkers have a few more offensive abilities (Destruction, Open Wounds and Juggernaught) vs Guardians having Obliterate. But those abilities aren't directly comparable, just like the 4 above, so it would be pointless in the end. So let's talk about some of the trends we see here: 1. Variance. Variance is something often equated to risk, especially in investments. Since CAs are an investment of power with an expected return on damage (same as any investment) we could go on to show that the expected value of every berserker copy/paste CA is actually worth less as a CA in and of itself. Before someone tries to counter this by saying that crits work off max, so high variance is good- this is true for auto-attack. CAs only get a flat 30% bonus, meaning the spread does nothing. 2. Guardians do more DPS through CAs, pretty much period. In fact in this comparison they would average almost 10-15% better from their CAs. Why is this? Well, once upon a time Berserkers did more auto-attack damage (maybe 10-15% more? I can't be sure.) But then Guardians were put on par with berserkers, but this CA discrepancy wasn't fixed. Some people would argue that Berserkers have other offensive skills that really pump up their damage. Yes, we do. But we're the offensive warrior, even though you would think Guardians were by the above CA analysis. We pay for every offensive ability by losing an equivalent defensive ability that Guardians gain such as Tower of Stone, etc. However, there is a convergence of the two warriors going on right now. As Haste/DPS become easier and easier to get, berserker berserking has become worth less and less. And as more achievements are introduced, proxy skills that compare to Berserker specific DPS boosters (such as open wounds) become available to Guardians, allowing them to close the gap without surrendering much if any of their defensive identities through proxies. So there are three mechanical issues at fault for this convergence: 1. Diminishing returns on Haste/DPS has decreased the effectiveness of Berserking for Berserkers, and has closed some of the auto-attack gap. 2. Moving Guardians to Berserker auto-attack tables but not moving Berserkers to Guardian CA tables closed another large chunk of the auto-attack gap and highlighted the CA gap that was already in Guardian's favor. 3. More achievements will allow berserker-like proxies to be achieved by Guardians, discounting berserker-specific class defining abilities, but Berserkers will not gain anything close to this. Suggested solutions: 1. Add other effects to Berserker berserkering (critical chance, double attack chance) to bring it back onto par to what it once was (a huge 30% or more auto-attack DPS booster.) 2. Improve Berserker CAs by increasing average damage and reducing variance. If Guardians can be brought up to Berserker auto-attack tables, then this should be a matter of course. If #1 is done then berserkers would regain their supremacy as the more powerful auto-attacker whereas guardians would still dominate with technique and finesse (in combat arts.) It is dangerous to boost berserker CAs as they does nothing but drag them closer to a scout role. 3. Regarding achievements, I don't really think this is a huge problem, and I don't think an easy solution is necessarily available either. If 1 and 2 are taken care of then Berserkers will be better defined and lending Guardians a bit of Berserker flavor will not be a terrible loss. Possible improvements would be improving the WIS tree to offer Guardian proxies, such as combat skills, stoneskins, etc.