Tuesday, May 3, 2011

4.2 changes long time coming

Most of the druid changes in 4.2 strike me as things that seemed likely to eventually happen, so long as Blizzard is actively paying attention to class design making sense. I didn't know how much Blizzard really does, and I didn't know when they'd happen, but either they had to happen eventually or Blizzard needed to come up with some sort of fundamental redesign of the class. In much the same way, I've thought for a looong time that hunter pet happiness was not a good place to put complexity in the game. Thus I'm happy overall to see Blizzard taking on these issues.

Good descriptions of the changes can be found at Gray Matter and at Rank 4 Healing Touch.

My takes on why most of these changes are good and inevitable:
  • The damage from entangling roots has never been a useful source of damage but has always been a source of concern that they would end up doing enough damage to break the crowd control. I'm happy to see the damage just dropped. Complexity in the game should make it more interesting in some way, and the damage from entangling roots is just one more random thing to think about.
  • Dots moving the Eclipse bar seemed somewhat likely, given that dotting as an AOE technique is frankly lame. It's the sort of thing that just doesn't seem like what Blizzard is going for. However, it sounds like the new design is also problematic, as is described at the above two links.
  • Innervating being able to help other players is a huge ability that no other class has. I've always wondered how they could ever balance that with what other classes can do, and now it looks like they are throwing in the towel. I agree with others that it would be better to have self-innervate only than to have it technically work on other players but not very usefully. Alternatively, I wish it could be cast on other players but on a much longer cooldown, like it was in Wrath.
Finally, while I didn't foresee the crowd-control thread issue being addressed, it's welcome. Figuring out which CC to apply first is one of those many little problems that tanks have to worry about in instances. It's somewhat fun, but it is also requires knowing all the other classes fairly well. This is a welcome simplification.

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