Friday, June 5, 2009

In Flux and Flummoxed

Early in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, I was stunned to read that blogger, Big Bear Butt, was leveling his Hunter instead of his Druid. I thought that was nuts.

He made it clear he wasn’t unhappy with the Druid class or it’s abilitiy to fulfill any of the roles he liked to play. But he didn’t feel any strong desire to play his Druid.

In his own words,

“See, we know that they’re planning on big changes to the class. Changes that go beyond what our gear will be worth in terms of mitigation. From my doodling on paper, it’s still looking to me like there will have to be changes made to the base Dire Bear armor modifier, or to the Talent tree, or both to get it done.

Are any of these good ideas? Realistic? Probable?

No, not really, I’m just trying to illustrate the point that we just don’t know what they have in mind. And even if they say something specific, you never really know until it goes live.

In truth, we have always known that every class WILL experience changes in the way our class is played. It doesn’t matter what class you’re playing right now, I feel confident in stating that in one years time, your class WILL have experienced changes made that have increased or decreased the effectiveness of something you are using right now.

So why should I, or anyone, enjoy playing a class any less now because of some nebulous future change?

Well, for me it’s because I know that it’s coming.

But it’s the perception I have. I KNOW Druids are gonna see some changes, to my talent spec in particular, changes that will affect every gear choice I make, and the talent spec I will choose, and how I will fare when facing opponents of various kinds and levels and numbers.”

At the time I read it, my basic thought was that the ole Bear was taking things a bit too seriously and should just play his Druid main and not worry about it. Now, I have a whole new perspective on this, because now, it’s my class that has unknown, pending changes.

It hit me last night as Adamant Handguards dropped from Freya’s trash.

I had analyzed them before and determined them to be a downgrade from my Valorous Redemption Handguards. But look at a Adamant. You see that there? Yep, Shield Block Rating.
Right now, in 3.1.3, I know what Shield Block rating does for me. In 3.2, I don't have a clue what Block Rating, or Block Value are going to do. Will I want Block Rating more, or less? Will Block Rating and Block Value be removed from gear, and what will be put in its place?

And it's not just Block, we KNOW the Developers are planning some big changes to the class.

Block is being looked at as a mitigation stat, and will likely be changed in some way for the Shield Tanks (Warriors and Paladins). They want to give Paladin’s a second cooldown, but not a warmed over Last Stand. Retribution’s entire combat system is getting overhauled. The Developers want to change Holy’s mana regen so they care more about Spirit and/or MP5 (and ruin my Drew Carey joke).

Given the Paladin’s history, it’s more than likely that changes made to Holy and Ret will have a spill over effect on Prot. Not to mention that I AM Ret on some fights and in PVP.

We don’t have a clue what changes they are making. But we know changes are coming. “Changes that will affect every gear choice I make, and the talent spec I will choose, and how I will fare when facing opponents of various kinds and levels and numbers.” Sound familiar?

I understand how the Bear felt much better now, and I can see how his Main lost some of its luster. I’m basically going through the same thing with my main.

I’m still playing and raiding with Honors. We had a great run in Ulduar this week starting to work on Hard Modes. But I just hate the ‘in flux’ feeling I get when I’m playing him. I wish the Devs would just communicate exactly what changes are coming down the pike, so I can at least know what’s happening. The scary thought is, the developers might not yet know what the changes are going to be.
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