Saturday, 10 April 2010

Cataclysm Druid Preview - the Blues Respond

Here's a collection of Ghostcrawler's responses on the Druid class changes post

Once again, if you'd rather not know, don't click to read more :)

You can find these entries by clicking the "Next Blizzard Post" icon on the top right of each blue post.

If you're reading this on my site, please pretend the yellow text is blue.  If you're reading in a feedreader, carry on :)

Firstly, there were a lot of people complaining about the proposed "Tree of Life as a cooldown" thing.  These are some of GC's reponses, condensed.
We knew changing Tree of Life to a cooldown was going to be controversial. There was just no way a change this big would be unanimously accepted. My apologies if being a tree was what really drew you to the class.
Even within this thread, there are plenty of players who like the change. It's not like we design around public vote anyway, but if you look at the old "Is Tree form fun?" thread, there were a lot of players on both sides of the argument. It was a change we wanted to do anyway, but we tested the water to see if the change would be unanimously hated. We concluded there were plenty of players in favor of it. I don't know if the split was 50 / 50 or what, but it doesn't really matter because it wasn't a poll. It was just to take the community's temperature.

I'm not saying you don't have a right to feel passionately about any of this. It's fine, understandable even, if you do. I'm just asking you not to assume that everyone must naturally feel the same way you do.

I've said this before, but we don't think giving up everything (hyperbole, but you get the idea) to go into a dps form is that big a sacrifice, because you're being compared to and presumably want to fill the role of classes and specs that do nothing but dps. It's not a big deal for a druid to give up healing to dps like a mage, because the mage can't heal.

But giving up abilities to heal is tough when priests, paladins and shaman don't have to. If this was a single player game, we'd probably do something like say druids have to fully commit themselves to healing, but if they do, they'll be 10% better at healing than any other class. In an MMO, it doesn't feel fair to do that. So instead you make sacrifices just so you can heal as well as everyone else. But that ends up feeling unfair, so we give you most of the abilities you'd typically ever want to cast, and pretty soon the Tree of Life talent is just changing your visual. If it was super compelling gameplay, we'd probably be talking instead about ways to keep it.

In reponse to "constant polymorph immunity, 200% armor bonus, 15% bonus SP from spirit and 10% extra healing is kind of a big deal. Putting that on a CD is going to make an impact on Druid healing.":
None of those things need to be tied to the Tree of Life form though, and in fact they are all examples of the kind of passive bonuses we're trying to winnow out from talent trees.
It's all very well to say that everything Tree Form currently does can be shifted to talents or removed, but what about the fact that we tree-druids love our tree form, especially if you're updating the model? This was posted later:
But under your argument, the only reason to keep it is flavor. You have a talent that essentially says "gives the druid flavor" because all of the actual bonuses are baked in elsewhere. That's our actual concern about the talent: increasingly it doesn't do anything except change your art. 
But Mr GC, we LIKE tree flavour!  Please let us stay tree flavour :(

This was posted a little later, and might provide a solution to the tree-druid die-hards:
We might (*might*) consider a minor glyph that kept the visual of the old tree form in some fashion even when not using the Tree of Life cooldown.
GC added this clarification to the lack of mention of DoTs benefiting from crit and haste:
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.
There was no quote in this one, but I assume it's in response to someone asking about Healing Touch:
We think there will be more reason to cast Healing Touch (perhaps with some number tweaks) for when you need to heal someone who has a real health deficit.

Druids don't have perfect analogs to the priest heals, but you can imagine Regrowth as the Flash Heal, Nourish as the heal, and Healing Touch as the greater heal. Lifebloom is something you'd put on a tank before healing with Nourish or Healing Touch (which might even refresh the stack). Rejuv will still be good for the reason hots are good. Wild Growth is still a group heal. Tranquility is an emergency heal, and we'll change it to act more like Divine Hymn.
There were a few Balance replies.  This one, in response to "How will the Eclipse Bar factor in how much it shifts?"
We're going to try a few different things and see what feels the best. Spells cast is the simplest system, but we also get a little more dynamic system if it was damage done or even if just crits moved the meter more. We still don't want a rotation that is just 1111222211112222.  
In response to "Are the moonkin forms to be updated?"
We would like to. Those are on the list, but they're expensive tasks because they require so much art time. You might be willing to have one fewer new boss models in order to get the forms updated, but if we did that and we added a new demon for warlocks and a couple of new models for other class needs here and there and pretty soon all of those bosses are going to end up looking pretty recycled. :(

It will stay on the list though. If we don't get to it for 4.0, there's always 4.1.
 In response to "Our deep Mastery bonus for Balance is Eclipse. What exactly will the bonus be? What if we shape-shift or stop casting for awhile- does the Eclipse bonus decay or disappear?"
The bonus will be increased damage to Nature spells or to Arcane spells. We're not sure of the magnitude yet, but it will need to be hefty enough for you to actually want to switch.

It will need some kind of decay -- we don't want you farming naga or whatever before you step into the raid with a full meter -- but it shouldn't decay fast enough that you find normal encounter movement very troubling (for that reason anyway).
I do admire Ghostcrawler for his fire-fighting and objective responses in this thread, but I do feel he's missing the point a little with the tree-form thing.  True, the form doesn't provide much to us other than art, but as Keeva has been saying today, we are Trees. It's What We Do. If we can only be trees now and then, well... it wouldn't be much of a forest.
blog comments powered by Disqus