Friday, June 28, 2013

Rain of Fire nerf :(

I'm honestly sad that Rain of Fire won't be a DPS gain on single targets. I thought the design was excellent.

Placing a ground effect every 8 seconds or so felt odd at first, but after a while it just felt like a natural part of my rotation, another DoT to maintain, a marginal performance gain from a more complex rotation. In the world of the hardcore they describe that as having a higher "skill-cap." Blizzard would probably describe it as "easy to learn, hard to master."

It also wasn't a spell that you could just cast without thinking-- because the gain is so marginal it's not worth casting if there is a chance the boss wont be in the area of effect for the entire duration. The marginal gain also means that, if things start getting hectic and I need to regain some headspace to deal with fight mechanics, it's an easy decision to just drop it from my rotation for a short time.

But even more than mechanics, it is a signature Destruction Warlock ability-- it plays into the fantasy perfectly. It looks cool, it feels cool. You are raining fucking hellfire, from the fucking sky. There is no such thing as a poor excuse to do that.

But I get that abilities that provide "free" AoE damage are unbalanced, [*cough*FrostDK*cough*]  especially in cleave situations, of which there are many in the current tier. So I can begrudgingly accept that it's fair enough that it got nerfed. And I guess we have to assume that the fact that they "fixed" it means that the whole situation was an oversight. Balance tweaks do regularly introduce one or two unintended situations like that.

But I keep thinking about how intelligently it adds to the class mechanics and the class fantasy... I have to wonder if it wasn't the work of some brilliant designer, quietly implementing an increase to the skill-cap on Destruction Warlocks, that also caused them to look cool as shit while doing so.


  1. I'm not sure why anyone would complain about the removal of a ridiculously short duration, targeting-required AoE from an optimal single-target rotation but I acknowledge your right to be as crazy as you want to be. Keep on keepin' on, crazy person. :)

    Me, as someone who occasionally moves my mouse cursor while playing (gasp) and won't always have it just sitting there in the right location at the right time for a full fight, I'm thrilled. Also, a very talented (and geared) LFR Destro warlock doing 160K single-target dps who was using a RoF rotation, who I unofficially polled about this on the weekend at the end of the run, was equally thrilled that RoF would be going away for single-target fights, so it's not just the noobish types who are thrilled. At least one of the heroic geared crowd agrees.

    If you wanted to turn it into an ability that, for instance, centres on the target rather than having to BE targeted, I'd be willing to discuss... make that a talent option in a dps talent tier or something, or maybe a dps-neutral glyph for single-target that boosts passive AoE a bit while limiting RoF to NEEDING a target so you can't just toss it out anywhere you want it to be - call it the "Glyph of Sticky Rain"... or something a bit less creepy sounding, maybe. But having to place a targeting reticule every 8 or so seconds? C'mon, you seriously found that to be excellent design (I actually had to go up and verify you'd written that, even now it just looks like a horrible brain-cramp of absolutely wrong words for a situation, like when someone claims that raiding in WoW is "too easy") rather than an utter, accidental failure of optimal dps rotation design by Blizzard that they're finally getting around to fixing? Seriously?