Friday, April 8, 2011

Unnecessary buffs

A few bloggers I read have responded predictably to the new LFD queue reward system with their typical fear of change, making their wild claims of what will happen based on totally-not-circumstantial "facts" that of course apply to the entire playerbase.

I've been keeping an eye on the 4.1 patch notes and noticed a few things that I thought were interesting.

Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter's level, rather than 3 levels below.

In my opinion this is an iconic example of the way features which add flavour to the game are streamlined out for gameplay reasons. I happen to really like the immersive aspect that my newly-tamed pet wont perform at its peak until I spend three levels training and "bonding" with it. But one person's flavour is another person's annoyance, and so everything must now happen instantly to save players from the "inconvenience" of having to play the game.

[I'm less attached to the also-to-be-removed Happiness mechanic, as the only interaction I typically have with it is to waste the occasional GCD casting Mend Pet if I notice my pet has dropped below "Happy".]

Druid tanking seems to be getting a significant buff. I wasn't aware Druid tanks were doing that badly, and suspect this is just that whole "x class/spec is underrepresented-- buff it until it's FOTM again" reaction Blizzard seems to have.

With interrupts now joining taunts as non-missing abilities, Hit Rating will be even more of a junk stat for tanks. While I'm extremely happy with the change from a gameplay perspective, but it's hard not to be a little bit sad that this stat which is already plastered all over our gear will lose its only unique purpose, and now is just a gimped version of expertise. I'm guessing there's probably some "major technical limitation" that would prevent Blizzard from changing all the hit rating on tank-specific gear into expertise, but it would be nice for them to go all the way with it.

And I'd like to say a few words for another classic piece of flavour which is being patched out in 4.1:

Rest In Peace, Sheild Bash.

You were the original Warrior interrupt. You've been with us since the beginning, and now this young upstart with a shorter CD has come and muscled you out.

Remember when off-global interrupts were still relatively underground? Now everyone's got one. How times have changed. You will be missed.

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