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.


Gowron said...

Well, we completely needed to relearn tanking with patch 3.0. I think retri had a lot of changes around 2.4, going from spelldamage to strength.

And we were one of the few tanakdins in 2007, where the sceptical world ws against us.

But, we relearned, adjusted and conquered everything they threw at us :p So, history just repeats...

Anonymous said...

As someone who just started leveling/playing a paladin it bothers me that it is in so much flux. I love playing it and am levleing it primarily to play as a holy paladin...but I keep finding myself wondering what I should worry about in the next few patches.

Rhidach said...

I've started hoarding block gear now, rather than simply dismissing it with a passive wave when it drops. I share your concern that it might be worth using in the future.

It's like that Sun Eater I looted way back in TBC (like pre-2.3). I just kept in my bank because it looked cool, and then when I came back from my WoW hiatus after 3.0 it was a much better tanking weapon than anything else I had.

Azrak said...

I totally know how you and Bear feel. Due to a lot of real life issues, I've shelved my Tankadin and have been playing my mage exclusively for the last few months. Now a big part of that decision was not having the play time I think is required of a serious tank, but another part of that decision was this flux that has surrounded the pally class for quite a while now.

I still love my pally, but I think I'm just getting tired of "relearning" instead of "fine-tunig".

Anyway, keep up the good fight, I'm not raiding much, so I love hearing about the progress you and your group are making.

/tanking vicariously through Honors
Azrak (Retired Tankadin)
aka Kelvin

Firespiri said...

I guess what bothers me so much is the fact that most... Wait, no wait... Let me get that straight.... ALL of the reasons that they want to redesign Ret's rotation is solely because of PvP.

Then, on top of that, they don't fix the glaringly obvious holes in Ret's PvP Repitoire (I.E. Kite-ing, stunning, complete and utter lack of an ability to kill any class that can heal, or even bandage, itself).

They have said they do not want to have PvP and PvE completely separate talent trees. One should not have to spec PvP or PvE for their second spec. But don't we already do that? What self respecting Ret pally taking down Yogg has the talent "Eye for an Eye" yet it is pretty much staple for PvP.

Im really tired of it, and I have voiced this may times. We already respec for PvP. Lets knock the crap off about redesigning the entire combat system, and lets let PvP and PvE be finally separate and give the dev's an easier time of balancing both.

Hey, maybe we will get content a smidge faster :)

Whatsmymain said...

I remember reading that post on BBB in fact I think I commented on that one as well. I was going through the same emotions with Artorin who was my druid main during BC. In the end I felt it was easier to choose another class to play first then to level my druid with all of the changes. In fact Artorin is still lvl 70 though I'm getting the itch finally to level him.

Actually come to think of it I haven't healed anything on my priest since they made the changes to discipline in 3.1. I know that it is still an effective healing but for some reason the changes discouraged me from playing because it would be different.

Kind of funny that with as many alts that I have, that I would be resistant to change... but I find that I get comfortable with things the way they are and knowing everything about the spec... only to have blizzard change everything the next major patch.

Anyway I know they won't make anything that will destroy the class but sometimes those changes can disassociate you with the class you love.

AHAntics said...

I'm ignoring it, personally, aside from minor theorycrafting and armchair developing/designing, of course.

I play for today.
Today, I can tank anything my raid group is capable of downing. I usually don't, of course. I *prefer* to be the Add Tank. I don't really care what comes with 3.2, and when it comes, I'll make changes to my gear, glyphs, gems, enchants and whatever else I might be able to that would help me be a better tank.

Play the game that is on the servers RIGHT NOW.
Don't worry about tomorrow.
Don't fear the Reaper.
Tank for today, for tomorrow, we may die.

Anonymous said...

I'd have to say that guy is nuts if he doesn't want to play his druid due to changes they made. The changes were necessary. Feral druids are in a better position now than they've ever been.

Looking at your own blog, you've shown dissatisfaction that blizzard used to be happy with hybrids not being as good. Basically, this guy seemed like he was upset that blizzard was making necessary changes to keep druids up to par. Wouldn't you welcome changes to your pally if they were far behind the pack in what you wanted to do, even if it changed a few talents around?

Honors Code said...

I would want and do want Blizzard to make any change neccessary to keep Paladins up to par.

I think what is really bothering me now is that I don't have a good handle on how to value gear. I'm basically bidding on everything since I don't know if piece A will be better than piece B in a month.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry so much about your gear. I'd worry that once again, since WotLK came out, we don't have a CD to help us on fights like Sarth+3 and now for another tier and all it's hard modes. We can't wait for another tier for them to fix this, but the maintankadin/tankspot community has been quiet about it. It's a game breaker for my casual guild since we're not coordinated enough due to time to learn these hard mode fights with a tankadin as a MT.