Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nerfs incoming

All the information coming out of the Cataclysm beta has got me excited but also a bit worried. The thing that gets me worried is healer mana. From what I understand, it will be a lot harder for healers in Cataclysm to manage their mana.

Mana conservation will become the new healing game, starting with patch 4.01 in fact, when all the new mechanics come into effect. This comes at a bad time for me personally because I have just gotten used to healing and started enjoying it, after spending most of my WoW career dps-ing. I'm at a point where I am comfortable healing normal dungeons on my discipline priest, even though heroics still give me trouble.

Healing is not easy when you're not sufficiently geared. For example I'm not geared enough for heroics, though I can heal normal dungeons very well. In fact I seldom drop below 75% mana. Right now I'm enjoying healing normals and I try to queue every day for a normal dungeon, just so I can exercise my skills.

Patch 4.01 will apparently change things such that those who weren't uber-healers before (like yours truly) will probably struggle to heal, maybe even to the point of giving up on healing. I might be one of those. Of course, now I'm being over-dramatic but it is certainly a possibility.

I don't quite get this mana regen nerfing. If Blizzard think there are too many healers, well, nerfing their regen will sure weed out the more casual ones. I might be a casualty in this new war. My idea of having fun in a group is not exactly to be stressed out by the game mechanics. I sometimes enjoy a challenge but if the odds are too much against me and if my fun turns into stress, I will quickly abandon that activity and concentrate on something more pleasant. That's the main reason why I almost gave up on healing after holy healing started sucking.

I'm sure there are others like me and unfortunately healers are almost as scarce as tanks. Is there a point in making their life even harder?

And then there's the new thing that healing priests are getting, which is damage dealing. Wait, a dps healer? It seems that if priests want to get some of that drained mana back, they better dps the hell out of those mobs, or else they won't be able to do their job.

I have mixed feelings about this new mechanic. On the one hand, it's something new and it feels interesting. Hell, it's a novel concept, at least as far as WoW is concerned. Just imagine: in order to heal properly you need to deal damage! I can see it being useful in those dead intervals when I'm waiting for the tank to take damage. This happens in normal dungeons for me, since I'm starting to over-gear them.

Heroics, on the other hand, are a whole 'nother story. I've healed a heroic once and it was very tough. Very often, even on trash, I had to constantly spam my healing abilities. Yeah, the tank wasn't great either but still... There was no way in hell I would have had time to cast a single Smite during those times when I was healing like crazy.

Maybe I'm being just a whiny kid right now but we shall see, soon. I'm hoping that patch 4.01 will hit next Tuesday (October 5th) or the following one (October 12th). If healing as a priest becomes too complicated, fine, I'll be happy to switch to shadow 100% of the time and enjoy my lack of responsibility as damage dealer.

Moving on to the other classes and roles, my feelings about the potential nerfs and buffs to them are rather simple.

For dps classes and specs, if I won't enjoy the new mechanics it won't be such a big deal. I just won't play that class. As it is, I have too many characters that I have to juggle. I'll just focus on the ones that are fun to play. As an example, my hunter has been my main but after I re-discovered the joys of retribution, I abandoned him in favor of my paladin. If the new focus mechanic sucks, I'll have the best reason to abandon him for good. I don't know, but at this juncture focus seems to be turning hunters into ranged rogues and that's not what I want to play.

As for tanking, well, I won't be tanking on my level 80 paladin again, that's for sure. My biggest mistake was to spend a lot of gold trying to gear him up for tanking heroics, only to discover that I suck at the job. The changes that are coming with 4.01 will probably make paladin tanking an even more foreign concept to me. On the other hand, I do want to level a new druid in Cataclysm as a bear tank. That's because I'll be starting with a clean slate and no pre-conceived notions of how the class should work. I haven't played a druid before so I won't be jaded.

So these are my (probably flawed) arguments regarding the "incoming nerfs" to healing. Maybe I'm just crying "wolf" or maybe things will become that more complicated for healers (especially priests). We'll find out soon enough. My opinions are those of a casual so they don't weigh a lot but I still think that Blizzard should lay off the nerf bat and make healing more attractive, not less.


Vads said...

Hey there.

I think WoW:Cata will pretty much reset everything in the game as you're used to now. From what I've seen of the encouters so far yes, healing will be tougher, but it will also be less mana pool dependant. You will probably have to know about what dastardly abilities a boss has in order to heal it effectively.

DPS won just enter the expansion and aoe the instances like they are used to, either. There's not a lot of heroic instance footage out yet, but you could take a look at for an idea. He has some excellent wipe run videos up of heroic 85 instances from the beta.

I don't know what to say about you feeling you can't tank with your paladin.. Do your research :) All you need is a basic idea of gearing and a 5 ability rotation that you do over and over.

Just.. search youtube for like paladin tanking 101, or paladin rotation 696 or something. Basically you have 5 major threat ability, 2 of them have 6 seconds cooldown , 3 of them have 9 sec cooldown. Once you have a pull going its VERY simply just doing 6s cd, 9s cd, 6s cd, 9s cd, 6s cd. etc etc.

Darth Solo said...

Thanks for the input Vads. I've seen some of TotalHalibut's videos. From what I hear, heroics in Cata will be a lot tougher than in the current expansion and yes, there will be less AoE and more crowd control. I actually welcome CC because I haven't seen people use CC since vanilla WoW. It pisses me that most classes have some form of CC but no one is interested in using it.

As for paladin tanking... I do know my rotations, my gear is pretty good but I've had some bad runs and they scarred me for life :) I know the theory well but actual tanking is somewhat harder. Besides, I enjoy dps-ing as retribution more. Since time is limited, I'd rather play the more enjoyable of the two specs.