Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wherein I Refrain from PTR Excitement

If you've been reading around here for a bit, you probably know I have a long standing tradition of trying very hard to completely ignore the PTR. Well, maybe not completely, but I certainly try not to waste a whole lot of e-ink on analyzing what is most certainly going to go through umpteen revisions before hitting live. Not that analyzing the PTR is "bad" or "wrong," just that I don't always see the value in it. At best, you can only get a general idea for where the devs want to go, and sometimes not even that.

Still, there has been a lot of PTR buzz in the last couple of days, and a lot of it is directed at the classes I write about. Thus, I wanted to touch on a few of them and conjecture about where we might end up.

For DK's, the news is simple: we're going to get a b-rez. I'm sure they'll have to hotfix cooldowns and play around with stuff like that before it goes live. There's not really a whole lot to a b-rez as far as scaling though, mostly how long before you can use it again and what other classes it shares a cooldown with. Like the growing family of Heroisms, expect the devs to follow the patterns already set by the Druid b-rez.

For Warlocks, we get a bit more involved, especially for Aff'locks. Rumor still has it that our soulstone is going to join the b-rez family as well. I'm not sure whether or not it's going to happen in the next patch, but it seems to loom ever closer. Expect it to follow the same pattern as the proposed DK rez and druidric rebirthing.

The other scosche of news seems to reaffirm my initial misgivings during the last patching. Namely, I felt nerfed. Now they're talking about giving a substantial buff to Haunt. In addition, our Felpup's Shadowbite might get a boost. Theses are more Affliction oriented changes that should bump our DPS as well as entice us away from the Succubus.

For Warlocks at large, the Doomguard is likely going to get a buff as well. We all knew that they wanted Infernal to be for AoE and DG to be for single target, but they'd fubbed the design along the way. They'll fix that in the next patch I think, and we should see a re-emergence of big red.

It seems to me that they're struggling to make mana an issue for 'locks. They're talking about increasing the effects of Mana Feed, the low hanging fruit of the Demo tree, presumably to entice us to take it for free mana returns. I still don't see where the tipping point is going to be that I'd rather choose a mana talent over a stamina talent. Theoretically, it would mean we'd have to Life Tap less, but I'm not tapping a whole lot as it is. Unless the redesign of Mana Feed eliminates the need to tap altogether, I will likely continue to pass on it.

It's worth noting that the redesign is only planned to include the Felpup and Felguard for now. Thus, Destro 'locks really only have the DG change to look forward to. I think the take home here is that they want each tree to use different pets and are trying to tweak things to keep them even in terms of damage but slightly ahead for each tree... no easy task when you consider it. The DG and Haunt buffs are a lot more straightforward and are likely just a matter of "what percent goes live."

Stay tuned, it seems, as they continue to muck around with stuff. It's been quite some time since we've received so much attention. I supposed I'd grown used to seeing only one or two relatively minor Warlock patch notes. Now I'm starting to feel like a Pally.


  1. Bit strange that they're worrying about Mana for locks. DPS classes usually don't have to worry about their mana. Unless of course this is for PVP.

  2. Well I think it's always been a problem for, say, Mages. The theme of Cata seems to be "difficult choices for everyone." They want to make WoW a game of decisions, I think.

  3. I hope to see big red make a come back. Personally, while in a big fight, I love to have the instant cast demon, instead of the channeled infernal. PVP with the doomguard is great if just as an intimidation factor, imp not so much.

    Still would love the b-rez, or even just a "oops let me res the healer" after the fight stone. :| some day... Thinking of PVP, hmm, that could be really interesting. defend flag with one other, then rez them when they die.. love it.

  4. Generally this is how they approach balance: they overshoot, nerf, overshoot, nerf... getting progressively smaller until they hopefully hit balance. We got nerfed last time, it's our turn for an overshoot.

    Or, we could just be like the Pallies and = ???.

  5. So are you of the mindset that it is the initial damage of haunt or the increased percentage to our DoTs damage?

  6. Ooh, that's a good question. I think the answer will be telling:

    1. Initial Damage - Their way of giving us a modest bump and some more upfront damage with increased healing returns (recall it heals for what it hits)

    2. Percent - A simple way to buff Aff'locks only without screwing with Mastery values. Makes up for a bit of the nerf?

    I'm leaning toward 2 right now, but unsure. I could totally see either.

  7. Ever the feeling WoW is getting overly homogenized? What is next? Locks in plate with a tanking tree? Mage healers?

    Elsewhere on the 'new and different' front, I'm playing Rift. New, yes. Different, not so much.
    But I'm only a level 4 rogue.

  8. Depends on your definition of "overly." For me, I think a lot of what they're doing is fixing things that I think make no sense. Soulstone guessing for the rezzed target? Ugh. I'd rather be able to use it like a b-rez.

    The slippery slope argument is, in and of itself, a slippery slope. At the end of the day, as long as I'm still enjoying my time/cost comparison on a weekly basis (my personal fun/$ is still WAY higher than any other game I've played), then I'm not overly concerned with any perceived homogenization.

    That being said, it certainly exists, it's just arguable to what extent is "good" and "bad." I'm still on the "good" side for now.

  9. I used to raid with a resto-druid. Cata took us from being pro-active raid healers to re-active tank healers. And then they made ToL a cooldown. I was like, "If I wanted to play my priest, well, I'd play my priest." Now they're giving a battle-rez to DKs. Battle rezzing was a fairly unique druid ability.
    I used to think playing a resto-druid was somewhat special but now it is just run of the mill. So I'd say that is overly homogenized.

    I know Blizz says, "Bring the player, not the class." but if there is nothing special about your class then where is fun in that? It is not there yet but it seems to be heading that way. In my book that equals less fun. Your mileage may differ.

  10. From someone with an burning jealousy for Druids, I would argue that y'all have always had the better end of the uniqueness stick. You get so many cool models and flight form is totally OP when doing collection quests. Popping in and out of form to drop debuffs and such... Druids have had it good.

    At the same time, it is probably a lot different for healers than for DPS. I still feel like Warlocks retain identity even though we're essentially doing the same as other classes and always have. Other classes have DoTs, other classes have nukes, other classes have CC. The different is very thin (and always has been) between how we work (especially if you look at mages vs. 'locks).

    In that way, it's perhaps much more poignant for healer-types.

  11. I have both a priest and a druid that I heal on, and no they are not the same. Nor do I feel like they are the same.

    I also have a fire mage on top of my warlock (main). They too play differently.

    I have found that people who complain about each class playing the same aren't looking for a way to have fun. They are looking for something to complain about. If you hate WoW so much, why keep playing? Because you need something to bitch about.

    Sorry Ful, I just get frustrated with trolls.

  12. I don't think the intent was to troll and there is some valid concern with homogenization considering the trend the devs have been setting. Thus, I wouldn't call it "baseless," it's just an opinion that we both apparently disagree with.

    Beauty is in the eye of the holder sometimes. :-)

  13. holder, beholder. WTB edit button.

    I guess it depends what the holder is holding. If it's holding eyes...

  14. In all fairness, there were other, bigger reasons for the abandonment of my raiding resto-druid but I'll still think the trees got a bad deal in Cata.
    Seriously, symbiosis seems modeled after disco-priests abusing the crap out of borrowed time. I know I did. =)