In the spirit of Trying New Things, I tried Focus spec for a few levels when I took my Sentinel through Makeb. I did not love it, especially since I was comparing it to the Focus spec of pre-2.0 when the Force Sweep (Smash) actually hit hard. Cry.
Now in the spirit of Still Trying New Things, I’m leveling my marauder as rage. This time, I’m quite impressed. While the top of the tree is lackluster, and pretty nerfed, the bottom portion of the tree packs a nice wallop for low levels.
At lower levels, Focus/Rage spec buffs your already frequently-used aoe Force Sweep (Smash), but more than that, provides decent single-target burst damage. At level 20, you can get Zealous Leap (Obliterate). It creates a powerful (and cheap) combo since it procs a freebie Blade Storm (Force Scream) via the Momentum (Battle Cry) talent. There’s pretty much no ramp-up time, since you just hop in there and start smacking things around. A few levels later, Zealous Leap (Obliterate) also buffs the next Force Sweep (Smash) to be an auto-crit.
Since Zealous Leap (Obliterate) is also a small gap closer, this spec is pretty nice for mobility within the same pull – jumping to the next mob that is 4-10m away. This effect is similar to taking Close Quarters in the Annihilation/Watchman tree.
Powerful burst and powerful aoe low down in the tree make this spec a winner at lower levels. Having said that, I’m at level 36 now, and I will likely switch specs soon. Both the other specs outperform this one at higher levels, and now that Force Sweep (Smash) has been nerfed quite a bit, it’s not worth keeping the spec just for marginally improved AOE at the expense of single-target pwndom.