Thursday, February 10, 2011

[4.0.6] If Ferals Are Still Effective, What's the Big Deal?

So, while perusing the WoW forums on the ongoing dissatisfaction of Ferals with the loss of being able to 1) shift our of roots and 2) have Berserk break Fear and make one immune to fear during its duration, I came across a poster that was touting how happy he was with his increased ability to do damage in PvP.
I dont know what everyone is QQ about.. I dont like the fact that I can not shift out of root effects and such but then again I am absolutly over the moon with our burst potential right now though. 

I did arena today against a 1900 rated HolyPaladin/UnholyDK..  I was told that I was being to defensive and went full on into the DK and literally hit him from full life to death in 7 seconds.

I am used to bleeding draining teams but now I feel like a leather wearing warrior..

TY blizzard for changing it up and making things fresh for this class. I enjoy these small changes and even though we all fret when we hear the news, I am very happy with them.
And this was my response:
I am sincerely glad that you are happy.  Maybe there are a lot of folks like you and they are just being quiet about it.  The thing is, my goal is not a Warrior in Leather.  I don't want Druids to decay into just a another mild variant on mechanics.

Certainly, it is easier to balance a game the more simplistic/streamlined the mechanics get, and I freely admit that our "powershifting" is an odd duck.  That said, Blizzard has been balancing far more complex things for many years now, so I would think they have the skills and experience to achieve PvP parity without simply trimming off the quirky bits and giving us more DPS.

I appreciate the good side of homogenization, in that they don't want people to be one-trick ponies or have fights/roles that demand a specific class.  However, I think that this is the bad side of homogenization - stripping away the interesting characteristics and making us all less distinct for the sake of easy game balance.

It reminds me of my days studying Physics, and the saying that a Physicist/Mathematician/Engineer will assume a horse is a sphere to make the math easier.  The point is that sometimes simplifying a problem fails to achieve the best result.

I believe that is what Blizzard has done here.  They have thrown up their arms and decided they can't possibly balance the game without taking away these abilities, these "hard counters".  It seems odd, after dealing with them for so long.

Will I still play WoW?  Will I still play Feral?  I don't think it's germane to the discussion to ask or answer those questions.

What is germane is that I will love playing Feral a lot less.  Maybe time will cover that up, but with 4.0.6, the illusion of class differentiation is wearing more thinly than ever, and that makes me a sad panda.
And I do mean it.  I am glad for him that he is enjoying the changes.  I do wonder why he stuck with the class and spec since he implies it needed freshening.

I, however, didn't find my class "stale", so I didn't need it to be freshened up by making it more like a "leather wearing warrior" [sic] while ripping out core Feral mechanics.

I am increasingly of the opinion that the Blizzard designers have simply taken the expeditious path of design convenience over class/spec distinction.  Of course, apparently it makes sense for Restoration and Moonkin Druids to still be able to shift out of roots.  I guess all of that time we spend in Feral forms still has not taught us the secret of how to get out of roots (well, we are retroactively ignorant, of course).

Ultimately, as the title implies, I continue to see confusion from people that see negative feedback from Ferals on this topic as just crying.  They just don't seem to understand that the point is not if we are still effective.  The point is that these changes take a Ferocious Bite out of our Feral aesthetic.

How about for the next patch, for the sake of design convenience, we simply standardize all dual wielders to using just daggers?  That whole Titan's Grip thing gets confusing, and those Axe racials complicate stuff, not to mention weapon speed; heck, let's drop any racials with game mechanical impact while we're at it.  And let's just make Death Knight Tanks use sword and shield just like the other Plate Tanks.  It will be so much easier, and there are so many other awesome changes like this we could make to simplify game balance.

But being effective it all that really matters.  As long as they are mechanically effective, they should be giddy, right?  And think of how "fresh" it will be! Yay!


Sean said...

I know next to nothing about the Druid class or its variation on specs or even how to play them. I do know that (what has become) one of my guild's main tanks is a druid, and I love running with him. I sometimes with he had better AoE Threat ability, but generally speaking I really enjoy runs with a druid tank.

I honestly have no clue if this even remotely pertains to the issues you're speaking about, lol, but I just wanted to share a little love for the Druid :)

Skindancer said...

Sean, I appreciate the sentiment. :)

Bears saw a host of changes, one of which seems to be an increase in our armor...maybe it was a mistake though.

The overall net change for Bears, as I understand it, is a reduction in single target Threat, but we had an excess of that, so it should not be a big deal.

My understanding is that we remain one of the worst, if not the worst, for AoE threat.

As a result, we need to be very careful to manage our use of Thrash and Swipe very carefully. For example, on the Throne of Tides gauntlet, you need to have it available every time those little guys show up.

Depending on the pull, I may use Thrash and Swipe early, even on only two targets, to provide some buffer for not only the healers, but for DPS with splash damage.

I don't run with Glyph of Maul (your Maul hits a second target), because I want to be able to surgically apply Threat, so I definitely see the maximum limitations of our AoE Threat.

For the most part, though, it's a great way to help DPS and Healers tighten up their Threat generation discipline. :)

Had a PUG DPS put up Living Bomb before the mobs collapsed on my last night on the first pull in Throne of the Four Winds. One of the other *DPS* vote kicked him. xD