18 August 2008

Bitter and twisted

Hands up if you think hunters are broken.


So why can't I find beta news without tripping over the hunter's latest amazing talent overhaul, or choking on the latest gushing hunter promise from a Blizzard rep?

I admit it, I'm jealous. I'm sick as fifteen parrots. All these great new ideas, all this exciting dialogue on the forums, about the development of a class that — let's be frank — was pretty damn spiffing to start with.

Even if the picture's not as rosy as I paint it, who cares? At least they are getting some attention. It's the silence that I can't stand.

Are priests next? Is there a roadmap that puts priest development further down the line? Or are they done with us?

All I really need is an indication one way or the other. I want someone to manage my expectations. Because if further review is on its way, I can bite back my impatience and sit on my hands till it comes.

And if we're done, I'll hang up my shadowy gloves and gear up my shaman.





Cynra said...

As someone who raids in Hyjal Summit and Black Temple as both a healing priest and a Beast Mastery hunter, I think I have a pretty good grasp of both classes. And, like every class, they have areas in which they need fixed.

Priests in particular need some fixing. The Holy tree is a horrible mess of talents that really aren't too beneficial. If you look at other healing classes, it's not uncommon for them to put more than 41 points into their main healing tree; a priest who did that would be ridiculed. The Shadow tree does damage, but serves as utility by providing mana, health, and increased damage for others. And Discipline? Discipline is locked into PvP with some raids opting to bring a single Discipline priest if they're feeling generous.

The thing about Wrath of the Lich King is that I see added utility for both Discipline and Shadow priests. Discipline becomes a mana battery as well, in addition to increased healing prowess; Shadow gains more damage and more benefit. The Holy tree, however, seems to be falling behind again.

I have to wonder if part of this is the result of the old prejudices that existed pre-expansion. The vast majority of your healers in a raid were priests. Other healing classes were helpful but not as effective as priests, resulting in their losing a lot of slots. The Burning Crusade introduced talents and revamps that made the other classes viable, but didn't boost priests as much -- and what boosts we gained we much, much later.

Shadow priests seem to be getting a nerf with Vampiric Touch, but the reduction allows them to gain more in damage -- which is one of the biggest complaints Shadow priests have regarding their class. This makes DPS races where a minimal amount of DPS is required that much more flexible in taking Shadow priest. It won't be par with mages or warlocks (and it shouldn't be!), but you're looking at an increase of damage that makes you more viable for raiding encounters.

Anyways, some thoughts given my admittedly brief research on priests in the expansion. I'm actually very excited about the changes to Shadow and Discipline, but Holy feels lacking.

Jason said...

They have stated multiple times on the beta forums that NO classes are done and still need at least one more pass for polish and tweaking, but most of the classes need more than that.

Just have some patience... despite the feeling that WotLK is "right around the corner" it won't be released until mid-late November at the earliest... but I think it will get pushed to Q1 2009.

MD said...

Responding to Cynra, I agree that the nerf for VT is the way to address our scaling problem. In that sense, the developers do understand about our concern. But as Merlot pointed in earlier post, this scaling is just not enough. The problem with shadow priest is that the nerf in our utility (and we didn't get any new utility unless VT becomes raid wide) was not rewarded with the equivalent damage scaling. Or that's what we (and the shadowpriest community) experience right now. Yes, we do see an increase in our damage output. But they are not at the level that brings the same amount of Mana return. Additionally so does every other class receives higher damage output, including ones that receive new utilities. All it boils down to is whether it will be worth it to bring even just one shadow priest.

Of course, everything may still be proven to be wrong since end game's experience in WotLK is still non existence. Maybe the amount of spirit in the end game gears would magically fix our scaling problem. But there is also other issue such that there is not enough new play style for shadow priest - with exception of Mind Sear, there's no new damage spells or utilities. Look at our proposed glyphs (and think about them in shadow priest perspective), they are as boring as they can be.

I totally understand Merlot's frustration. We do need a bone thrown at us.

MD said...

Btw Merlot,


Time to sit on your hands :)

I'm keeping my fingers cross too!

Ho Ho said...

"Shadow priests seem to be getting a nerf with Vampiric Touch, but the reduction allows them to gain more in damage -- which is one of the biggest complaints Shadow priests have regarding their class."

Yes, it allows but so far we haven't got any bigger boost than all other dps classes so our relative position in damage meters stays the same: rock bottom. Also as shadow doesn't scale with gear we will be getting worse and worse compared to other dps'ers as raid gear improves.

"Maybe the amount of spirit in the end game gears would magically fix our scaling problem"

If there is more spirit than stamina/int combined then maybe it actually gives us meaningful boost.

Merlot said...

MD, thanks for that link. It's typical of my timing that I should post a QQ the very day a blue post crops up on the issue! Even if it is a rather lacklustre, non-commital answer.

The OP is a fine explanation of the state of shadow priests. I just hope that someone at HQ understands it.

Cynra, I don't play holy and don't know how that side of the class feels. I do know you're not the only one who's unhappy with it though, and hope when shadow gets its 'tweaks' you get yours too :)