Class feedback, 4.3 and other wibbling

I haven’t really paid attention to the official class feedback forum threads; previous experience suggests there’d be enough posts which I found irritating to pose a serious risk to my desk (and possibly my forehead).

I have read through a few of the summaries which the various Wow Insider class writers have written, and some of the comments. And I’m quite prepared to hold opinions, however misguided :).

Minimum range *can* be annoying (I’ve been playing my hunter a fair bit recently, and the bear boss in the zulroics can be a PITA if the other players don’t move out far enough) but to me, an admittedly fairly new hunter, it’s a core part of the class. How do I know I’m not a good hunter yet? Because I have a nasty habit of finding myself in the wrong place when a fight’s moving around. If I was a better hunter, that would happen much, much less. Apart from anything else, it’s something I can measure as I play — how often do I end up with greyed out shot buttons? Also, if hunters have no penalty for being in melee range, then I’m afraid disengage has no place. And you can have my disengage when you pry my cold dead dwarven fingers from it. Assuming you can get past my scorpid.

Pretty please, can some of the yo-yo RNG be taken out of fire spec? I *like* that there’s an RNG proc element to fire — it’s one of the things that appeals — but it seems to me to be a bit too critical (ha!) to the spec’s capabilities. Good RNG = ZOMGburnallthethings. Bad RNG = respec arcane, nub. Centrella (my mage) was rather enjoying being a fire mage before having one too many bad RNG patches and switching to arcane. Not because of it’s theoretical higher DPS, but because it leaves her, or possibly me, with the lions share of responsibility for how well she does. Not a fickle and easily distracted goddess.

Arcane *is* an interesting spec, I think, although only for longer fights. For shorter fights, as we all know, arcane is 1-button spam with a couple of cooldowns. And, bizarrely, I’m quite happy with arcane AoE being centred on … er … Cent. ¬†Yes, it can be hugely limiting. I don’t mind. It’s an interesting variation and distinct from fire/frost AoE. The flavour tastes good to me.

Holy Paladins
Another patch, another rewrite of paladin abilities. Still, the idea of having a targeted AoE and possibly an AoE healing priority,as opposed to “hit Holy Radiance, hope people are nearby, spot heal/light of dawn if you’re well placed, maybe”, could make things interesting. Right now I’m back in the DPS camp, where the atmosphere is more raucous but the facilities are much dirtier, so I’ve not been as focused on this, but conceptually it sounds promising. Plus the opportunity to turn other players into little beacons of light-based healing sounds like a giggle.

Ret Paladins
I still don’t get all the wah-wah about the retribution “rotation” in cataclysm. Don’t get me wrong, I loved ret in Wrath, it was manic and fun, but there’s so much more to it now. The biggest problem with ret is probably that keeping track of inquistion and to a degree, holy power, is a PITA with the default interface. Fix that (which Blizzard probably should do, but which is trivial to handle addons anyway) and you’re away. It’s been a while since I played it, but I did find that when I wanted a quick blast of the old ret playstyle, Unholy DK dps could stand in as a “hit the button that’s off cooldown and remember the priority when you have choices” and served as both a patch of simple fun and a reminder that the “new” ret is, long term, more engaging for me.

Other than that, I think Antigen‘s post hits most of the major markers. I confess, I don’t do a lot of seal swapping mid fight precisely because it feels like the GCD loss either side is in many cases going to override the benefit of the cleave damage gain, but with a GCDless seal, that’d be a different thing. Although there’d *would* need to be some kind of tradeoff (like the increased mana cost) otherwise you’d just macro seals to crusader strike and divine storm and it’d be invisible. I’ve only just hit the “gearwall” of not being able to get any meaningful upgrades without winning a head/shoulder token (the 378 trinket from Hyjal rep appears to be a fairly minor upgrade over the Caber) or killing Raggy and being lucky enough to grab Sufuras (pleasepleaseplease), so I don’t know firsthand how much variation there is on boss fights due to RNG. My *feeling* is that it’s nowhere near as bad as Cent’s fire spec, but I’ll know better soon.

All that said, I’m not feeling particularly underpowered, There are still aspects of my personal play to improve which are likely to contribute more DPS than buffing X or twiddling with Y, and I like that.

Other nice things about 4.3: it seems like, once the initial run-the-new-dungeons-because-they’re-new phase is done, and once the run-new-dungeon-X-until-the-blasted-[item]-drops is over, running heroics for VP will be a) much less boring, and b) probably less essential. With actual tier pieces only dropping from raid bosses, the whole “should you cap VP” debate could well become moot. Of course, it could be replaced by the “should you run looking-for-raid groups to gear up?” debate instead, but that’s the wow community for you — if we didn’t have something to complain about, we’d complain about the lack of problems instead.

I’m in two minds about LFR: I’m not massively keen on raiding with a selection of randoms from servers all over Europe just to get interim pieces, but it could be a fun thing to do when you’ve got a little time and aren’t in the mood for a 5man. I’m a little concerned that it might effectively kill raid pugging though — call me a freak if you like, but I do actually enjoy joining the occasional pug raid on my alts and part of that is the possibility of meeting friendly people whom I might play with again.

On the Firelands nerfs:
I’m not especially keen. For our guild, which is as much limited by available players than by gear/skill, it’s trivialised everything except Ragnaros. Post patch, every single encounter up to Ragnaros is made so much easier I actually think it’s has negative effects on the Ragnaros fight, which we’ve just started working on. Players’ full attention simply isn’t required anymore, and errors which would have made fights incredibly difficult or possibly caused a wipe can now be compensated for by other members of the raid. Which means a drop in concentration in time for a new boss which still requires us to focus.

The other downside is that it takes some of the joy out of the other bosses. It’s just less satisfying killing a boss you know is now fighting with one hand tied behind their back. It feels a bit unfair.

I just hope they don’t look at the number of guilds who were making slow-but-steady progress pre-nerf who are now stacked up on Ragnaros, and nerf him further, because that would achieve NOTHING, and really strip from me any satisfaction I might get from killing him. Guilds like ours who have made slower progress (for whatever the reason) are by their nature not filled with people desperate to be raiding heroic modes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have no interest at all, but we obviously don’t feel like we’re “doin it rong” if we kill the end-of-raid boss before the next patch/expansion and don’t do much else. So if we have a good run through a tier, and naturally progress into hardmodes, great! But the nature of these nerfs make me feel like I’m being told that normal modes are completely irrelevant, which is a) crap, and b) rather missing the point of having bosses and “modes” at different difficulty levels.

I’m not looking at this as a “if you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough” deal. It’s personal. By trying and failing, I learn both a fight’s mechanics and to better use my character’s abilities to manage them. This, along with the gradual process of making my character more powerful through gear upgrades, is my personal progression. Obviating that by eliminating the requirement that I play a little better and/or upgrade my gear a little takes away one of the things which make playing fun. It’s not the whole of the thing, but it’s a significant part.

One thought on “Class feedback, 4.3 and other wibbling”

  1. I may have to link this on my blog at some point. I can’t remember who wrote about the considerable drop in enthusiastic cheering at boss kills, but they hit it on the head for me. We down a pre-nerfed boss after a good few wipes, it feels satisfying. We down a new nerfed boss after a couple of attempts we cheer, but there’s a hollowness to it. I was pretty tempted to blog about it over at Tree, but to be honest, you’ve done it more eloquently than I could have!

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