Posts Tagged ‘3.2

06
Jul
09

Priests, Awesome Class or the Awesomest Class?

Who knew?

Who knew?

Hey everyone!  Sorry about missing out ion my usual weekend posts, but as I said on Friday, I went upstate to Cooperstown for the weekend and it was pretty awesome.  You haven’t lived till you’ve seen a full blown tractor parade, btw.  When I got back, I, of course, had many many blog posts to read and updates to sift through to see how things had changed and what updates were coming.  This process involved swinging on over to MMO-Champion in order to check the latest relevant blue posts on priests and see what was coming out of the Argent Tournament next patch.

I was delighted to see that they had posted the full informal shadow priest Q & A since I hadn’t had a chance to read through it before I left for the weekend.  Though I’m usually healing in a raid or group environment, I do still have shadow as my off spec and, as such, like to keep abreast of changes involving them.  I thought it was a fantastic Q & A with some poignant questions and observations regarding shadow priests and their roles in PvE and PvP.  However, reading through the full post, I kept getting the same vibe from Ghostcrawler in his answers of “the devs think the class is fine for the most part and you just want to be OP again.”

I happen to disagree myself.  I feel like the class does need another nuke or to make Mind Flay a more PvE friendly spell instead of filler or that Devouring Plague needs to be made into a single target only spell with no cooldown.  As a shadow priest, the only way to truly shine in raids is through AoE damage or have gear out the yin yang.  But it appears as though the devs pretty much think the class is good where it’s at and though they might tweak it at some point in the future, there’s no plans to do so now.  The funny thing is that if you look back through the archives of priest changes since Wrath landed, that seems to be their philosophy regarding priests in general.

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been any changes.  Just like everyone else in the game, we had sweeping changes in our talent trees in 3.1 and the tweaking of a couple of our spells to improve their raiding and PvE capabilities.  Since then, however, we’ve seen minor nerfs with almost no improvements overall to the class in subsequent patches, cutting back on the effectiveness of some of our bigger spells because of it.  So I decided to meander on over to the official patch notes for the upcoming 3.2 patch and peruse through it to see what buffs we could expect along with all the other classes.  I’ll list all of them for you now:

Inspiration: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 3/7/10% instead of increasing the target’s armor.

That’s it, and I’m not even sure how much of a buff that turns out to be in the end after all the math is done.  The only other two changes are nerfs, one lowering the cooldown on Penance from 10 to 12 seconds, which is a huge nerf for disc priests, and a nerf to the effectiveness of Prayer of Healing, a 28.1% reduction of the bonus it gets from your spell power.  Every other class seems to be getting either a buff or a major change to try and improve them while it appears as though priests have slowly been becoming OP in the dev’s opinions, or that we kicked their dog.  This, of course, is crap.

In raids, priests are the muscle of the healing team, constantly banging out big heals all over the place.  Both of these nerfs to the two trees deals a blow to the healing priests’ overall healing total and in the case of the discipline priest, puts further restriction on their prime healing spells.  I’m also befuddled as to why they would encourage us to cast Prayer of Healing with Serendipity in 3.1 and then stifle that same spell in 3.2.  It’s not as if the spell is cheap or anything, casting it over and over again will burn your mana bar so quickly that it’s only truly effective in predictable AoE damage situations.  But now, not so much.

Not to mention that the Replenishment nerf will hit Holy Priests especially hard.  In long fights with things set the way they are now, holy priests still have to tiptoe and dance a little here and there in order to last to the end.  We can’t just chain cast because we have bigger mana costs on the spells that Blizzard wants us to start weaving into our rotation.  So what they’re saying to priests is “Oh, hey, use these spells now, they cost a bunch, but they’ll be the best way to keep your raid alive in Ulduar.  Oh, and btw, one of them now sucks a little bit more in addition to costing an arm and a leg.  Oh, also, we feel like you’re not worried enough during boss fights, so now you have less mana regen.  We’ll be over here if you need us, but you won’t, cause you’re awesome.  Ta ta.”

Of course, I must put the caveat here that the patch has not gone live yet and changes could still be made.  But for the most part, the priest as a class has seen few benefits added to balance all these nerfs they’re laying on us since 3.1.  Plus, if they’re not close enough to implementing anything new that they feel comfortable adding it to the PTR, you’re probably not going to see anything major added in the next couple of weeks.  I will also say that I can’t judge with accuracy whether a lot of these changes to other classes are big buffs or anything, there is at least more than one beneficial change to other classes that involve more than one talent tree.  I agree with Blizzard that my class is the best one in the game, but c’mon, throw me a bone here, will ya?

-Dueg

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25
Jun
09

Tier 9 Separation Anxiety

3.2 speculation is on the way!  With the PTR up and running and new changes filtering down to us as quickly as people can find it out, we’re all being treated to a wealth of changes upcoming for WoW.  One of the major points that regular raiders are looking at with those hungry, wild eyes is the new tier of loot that’s dropping.  First off, this is a full tier of loot, but unlike the previous ones, this one is separated into three distinct ilevels instead of just two.  When I heard this, I immediately began to wonder as to how they were planning on distributing this with the new normal / heroic system that they’re doing for the raids.

The popular and most likely theory, as espoused by WoW.com, is that you’re going to have the lowest level of igear awarded for running the normal raid.  You’ll then have the middle level awarded for heroic ten man and normal 25 man and finally, heroic 25 man will award the highest level of loot available.  Simple enough and this is most likely the way that things will be done.  But is this the way it should be done?

Maybe it’s because I’ve decided that I’m done with 25 mans for the foreseeable future and that I’m such an unapologetic loot whore to boot, but I’m beginning to wonder why Blizzard has this need for separating loot like this.  Well, I suppose that’s a bit of a lie, I understand that you have to give incentive to players to run 25 mans or else every raiding guild would shrink down to about 15 solid people for ten mans.  So I can understand why they had to make 25 man loot better.  I also get that often enough 25 mans are tuned up to the point where though you have more people in better gear, it can be tougher and take longer to progress at it.  I get all that.

But have you noticed the new items coming out?  Have you checked the ilevels separating the different sub tiers of this gear?  In Ulduar, each item sub tier was separated by 7 ilevels.  Enough to know there was a difference, but not enough to really be too concerned about it.  Someone decked out in full Ulduar 10 gear was never really too far behind someone decked out in a comparable Ulduar 25 set.  Now, however, you’re looking at a separation of 13 ilevels per set with noticeable differences between each sub tier.  This means that the difference between running the 10 and 25 mans has once more increased.

Of course, this was the way of things when Wrath first hit, with a separation of 13 ilevels between 10 and 25 man dungeons.  Things were also notably easier back then, with people able to PuG Naxx 25 and OS 25 and eventually even Maly 25 to the point where you didn’t need a guild in order to grab the better gear.  Now, however, Ulduar 10 is difficult to PuG, though not impossible, and if you want to be seeing Ulduar 25, you better know 24 other good people in order to get past the first few bosses.  I can only assume that the new Crusader’s Coliseum will also scale in difficulty, meaning you’ll need guilds and solid raiders to see the content.

So what’s my issue with 25 man raids getting better gear than 10 mans?  None, really.  What I take issue with is the huge difference in gear you’ll be seeing in the ilevels.  I’m not saying that 10 man groups are punished gear wise, because how can someone be punished when you’re given something, but by making such a huge difference in the gear levels, you feel a sense of incompleteness.  Though you’re not being punished for running ten mans, you’re not being rewarded like 25 mans are.  It’s like your group is handed a 50 dollar bill each for working all day, then seeing a bigger group each being handed a 100 dollar bill for the same amount of work.

Of course, nothing’s set in stone at the moment.  There are three sub tiers, but no one knows for sure how they would be distributed, we just have a good idea based on how things have worked in the past.  We also know that at the moment, the middle sub tier is the one that will have tokens available for purchase through emblems.  So it looks as though they’re creating a system where the most hardcore 10 man raiders will only ever be as good as the average 25 man raider gear-wise.  This is where I get a little rankled by the whole system and the idea that though I’m doing more content and achieving more things, I don’t have the ilevels to show it.

In the end though, I suppose it will be what it is.  Truth be told, I’d rather do ten mans and avoid the frustration of unmotivated 25 mans.  It makes you feel more elite and I always had more fun wiping on hard modes than I did while looting high level gear.  Perhaps the new tribute run mechanic will allow heroic raids to loot the same type of gear regardless of whether you’re in 10 or 25 man mode.  Though I doubt it, because Blizzard wants and probably needs a defined line between the loot tables of 10 and 25 man raids.  I just wish it didn’t make the loot whore in me cry so much.

-Dueg




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