I am a blizzard fan boy. I plan to go to Blizzcon again, I plan on playing Diablo III. I think Cataclysm made the best game ever made into a game that is just on a league of its own. I LOVE WoW… however, I think they messed up big time with the changes introduced to healing.
I was very excited about being able to pop into the DPS meters as a Discipline priest. In my head I had a new healing class almost Diablo III monk like in the way it could DPS and heal himself or hang back and just do it all. I almost dream of being able to play a Panderan monk this way, yeap I want to play a Kung Fu Panda in wow.
My discipline priest was going to be amazing at healing and skill was going to once again prevail over gear… and it looked that way intially… until my priest hit 83. Basically they made my utility belt so expensive that I have to pawn the gun to buy bullets. I know that as I gear things will get easier, but the reality is that gearing a toon takes time, and even geared I am not going to be as effective as a paladin or as a holy priest are now. You put me in a box instead of making my class more fun to play.
If gear is going to be used as the mana regain factor in the game, gearing is going to be a pointless grind where you don’t really play until you are geared. It will be a grind that will make every healer want to just not play. If instead gear affects how much you can heal, it means that the gear will be the entry to the next level, be it raid or heroics.
Blizzard talked a lot about balancing things out. They said that with Cata, you will bring the player to the encounter and not the class, but right now healing is in a pretty horrible state. They seriously think that it is working as they intended it. I know several of our healers are giving up and going DPS. Except for our Paladins, they are quite ok healing right now as are our Holy priests and some shammans, our druids are still stuck on no heroics.
Many of our tanks don’t want to deal with gearing their toons because of the current state on heroics. People don’t want to go back to things being hard, and I understand it… I liked healing with mana not being an issue, and if you are going to make it an issue make it something I can fix with my class and not just with overgearing the content… what is the point of making the content irrelevant as soon as you outgear it.
If my mana regen abilities allowed me to pop a cooldown in a smart way and get a significant amount of mana back I could continue playing disc and having fun. Right now, if I do everything just the right way, I can get some of my Mana back, but in most cases that is simply not enough to finish some “bad” pulls. I understand punishing bad DPS that stand on the fire, but I get blamed every single time even when it was not my fault at all. I have been experimenting with different builds and reforging in various ways… but when bubbling the whole party up takes such a big chunk of mana it really makes discipline not feel the same. I don’t want to play a Holy priest, I liked Discipline and not just single bubble… I did not want a rotation, I liked flexibility. I was not just a bubble spammer when I ran things, if the encounter called for it I did it, but I would have fun switching how I healed from dungeon to dungeon or raid to raid.
Even people from Paragon are saying that druids and shammans are so broken that they are not even viable for hardmode content. What hope do we as casual raiders have if the people that spend time looking at combat parses see two classes just out completely… (The dude did say that shammans are still cool for their time being because of mana tide… I want mana tide)
I don’t want this to sound like a total QQ post. I plan on figuring a way to play my priest, even if it means going holy. I just really don’t understand the mentality at blizzard that they needed to make healing “fun” and ended up making us the lightning rods for any pug group sucking. Tanking is challenging as well, but I still find it fun even with an undergeared group. The difference is that as a tank I can control the pace, as a healer I get dragged along a lot, sometimes even without full mana. The result is that I end up getting kicked from the group, not because of a wipe, but simply because I had to drink between non CCed pulls.
Take for example the first boss in BRC on heroic. Blizzard made a very interesting encounter, but I really wish they would have let us figure out how to deal with it instead of making the abilities of the boss steer you into a single path that healers cannot affect. Unless a tank is geared enough that he has his cooldowns ready for the AoE the boss does after chains, the tank also has to run away from the boss along with heals and DPS bringin along all adds that are not already dead. Our guild already has alternatives to dealing with this because we are getting geared, but I cannot affect the fight as a healer in a pug. A good healer should be able to affect that mechanic directly and telling a tank, I have you, just keep the adds with you, I will heal you through it and they will get killed by the smash. I am sure I will eventually be geared enough for it… but knowing that is a viable strategy and not being able to execute it because I am not OMG BBQ 359ed out is NOT FUN.
If blizzard wanted to make mana something we needed to watch, they did an excellent job. Where they failed is giving us a set of tools to get that mana back that is not directly connected to how much spirit you have for regen that work effectibly or might not overscale with gear. Sure that should be a variable but abilities need to be fixed to make the game more playable without gear being the only way to fix the issues. Raiders should not be the only people that are allowed to have fun playing their class.
IF Smart Spells = Mana Regain then
Challenging = FUN
Challenging = Impossible*
*Unless you outgear the content.
I have only healed with my disc priest in Cata so I don’t know the pain of druids yet. All I am saying is that what if my Holy fire also gave me a % mana back, or even my smite. Reward me for smart play. What about if archangel did not only make spells less expensive but cound proc some escaled regen as well. What if my hymn actually did something. What if my shadowfiend actually had a cooldown where I could use it after I had to spam flash because someone took too much damage, or even during heavy damage portions of an encounter… most encounters have 3 or 4… but I only seem to get 2 shadow fiends out.
While I understand that CC is necessary for heroics, the days are gone where I can actually save people. They they really got the whole triage (emergency room) healing down path now. I liked being able to heal not because I liked to do timed heroics, but because I knew that a new group of people that pulled a couple of groups or an extra pat were not going to die because of how I played my class, not because I had “unlimited” mana. I love the sense of urgency that you get from healing in raids, but I don’t necessarily want that feeling in every dungeon I run.
So I BEG blizzard, buff our mana regain abilities! make it percentage based so that gear does not affect them. Don’t leave undergeared priest out in the wilderness without even a flashlight. Make our toons playable again or you will kill your beautiful product when only 1 million out of the 11 are the ones truly having fun. The shinny new coat of pain will eventually dull, and when the majority of people start trying to do dungeons (which they will even if they are not raiders) you will start losing people.
The answer to everything should not be to outgear it. I would have never become a raid healer if I did not get the chance to actually have fun playing a priest while I was leveling and starting out. I don’t see many people picking healing up when its so challenging to do so without gear in the starting stages of the new cap.