Thursday, April 15, 2010

Druid Preview

After several days of waiting I'm sure everyone was exited to find out what the druid class had in it's future. Overall I'm very satisfied with how it turned out, but there are still so many issues and details left unsaid I'm aching for more. I suppose I'll get right to it in order of changes, I'll be doing balance changes first then after that I'll comment on the other specs changes in a later post as well since I enjoy every aspect of the druid class.

Wild Mushroom (Level 85): Grows a magical mushroom at the target location. After 4 seconds the mushroom becomes invisible. Enemies who cross the mushroom detonate it, causing it to deal area-of-effect damage, though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. The druid can also choose to detonate the mushroom ahead of time. This is primarily a tool for the Balance druid, and there will be talents that play off of it. No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast.

Ok, did anyone else read this ability and just sit there with a blank face WHO THOUGHT THAT AN INVISIBLE EXPLODING MUSHROOM WAS JUST WHAT THE DRUID CLASS NEEDED?! well the problem with this preview is until we know the damage is deals its pretty much pointless to even theorize it's use. I mean obviously it has pvp implications, but the way they refere to it like "though its damage component will remain very effective against single targets" seems to imply pve at least that's how I interpreted it. Also, the way we detonate it early is also unknown, I'm really hoping is a dual spell like demo portal for warlocks: one to place it another to detonate it. That way it would be a lot more useful then waiting for it get a proximity target. Also though since I'm assuming that you place it like FoN that casting it while moving ( the only real reason i can think to cast it in pve) will prove annoying. And assuming it works like the dual spell ability then it could be rediculous for pvp since it has no cd and probly decent damage at leats on players. Lastly I wonder how its natural exlposion happens can you put it on a target and it will explode imediately or does the target have to walk over it or eve off it first or what. Of coarse that will all be explained eventually, BUT DADDY I WANT IT NOW!!! either wayi Ilol'd when I saw it so it might be a really cool ability especially since they said they have talants that play into it.

Most hots and dots, including druid ones, will benefit from haste and crit. The exceptions are things like Deep Wounds and Ignite, which are already tied to crit.

This was a given, a great change and I cant wait to see how this changes the way we use dots.

* Spell Damage
* Spell Haste
* Eclipse

Eclipse: We are moving Eclipse from a talent into a core mechanic of the class and making it less random. Balance druids will have a new UI element that shows a sun and a moon. Whenever they cast an Arcane spell, it will move the UI closer to the sun, and buff their Nature damage. Whenever they cast a Nature spell, it will move the UI closer to the moon, and buff their Arcane damage. The gameplay intention is to alternate Arcane and Nature spells (largely Starfire and Wrath) to maintain the balance.

This was a very interesting way of keeping eclipse a a core part of our rotation while also reducing its RNG and movement unfriendlyness. that also leaves too much room for speculation for me to start throwing out ideas, and most other druids have come to a consensus it will be a stacking damage buff for each side probobly affect all our damaging spells. Honestly all I can say is im really exited about it and cant wait to try it out. On a lesser note im really glad they gave us haste for our passive mastery I've always loved the way haste works im im glad to see it being considered a core stat, though i do wonder how exactly mastery will enhance us because if you get a piece with mastery and haste wont that sorta be a stacknig thing? and will mastery be a percentage or what? And does it affect eclipse? All this im sure will come in time, but so far mastery seems far more muddled and confusing then arpen imo.

Balance druids will have a new talent ability called Nature’s Torrent, which strikes for either Nature or Arcane damage depending on which will do the most damage (or possibly both), and moves the Eclipse meter more (details below). The improved version of Nature’s Torrent also reduces the target's movement speed. 10-second cooldown.

I'm really glad we get a new ability even on a cd and probly not used for its damage its still nice to have a little bit of diversity as far as spells go balance druids always felt so limited as far as damaging spells go. Of coarse the main point of this spell seems to be altering our eclipse meter oh well as i've said before only time will tell

Monday, April 5, 2010

limited by options

One thing that has been a major issue in quite a few guilds I have been in is cloth on a balance druid and it usually comes down to the same argument every time: druids can wear cloth AND leather, but clothies only cloth so they should get dibsies right? Well its not that simple and anyone that thinks that it is that black and white is very narrow minded.

Lets look at it from both sides point of view. clothie: can only choose from cloth items even though cloth is the most plentiful and usually best itemized as far as non-tier items go so they don't lose anything, but don't gain anything either. Leather/mail users: have the ability to wear both their armour type and cloth(or leather for mail users), but both are usually itemized more heavily with spirit or mp5 which is even worse. Not to mention the amount of those is a lot less, but still they do have additional options and when they do have more options i believe they should pass to clothies

Now where it starts to get very muddled and more subjective is when your talking about BIS items that are cloth. Say I'm a balance druid wearing a 264 piece of cloth or leather in a random slot, then a 277 cloth piece drops, its bis for every single caster in the raid, and this is where you need to re-evaluate the options idea, if the only upgrade you can get is cloth then how does a druid have any more options then a clothie? But a lot of clothies just assume that since leather can be put on your character sheet that that means you magically have "different" BIS items. There is only one BIS item, if there is a leather equivalent or something reasonably close then still its just common courtousy to pass, but i feel druids are punished because people misunderstand what the term option actually means and the idea of telling the druid to not upgrade an item is more then unfair.

so to put it simply so that most ppl can understand it. what makes a clothie a clothie is the fact that the only upgrade he can get is cloth, so if your a balance druid and you only feasible upgrade is a piece of cloth you are literally on the same level and the clothie should be awarded no dibs at all, especially since blizz designed the game so that moonkins could wear cloth and come on clothies would just bitch if they ever made leather that was itemized better then cloth, so just be happy you always have access to BIS caster loot, but of coarse it seems with the idea of mastery and spirit/hit conversion this argument is going to be mostly if not entirely invalid come cata.