May 012012

As promised, I went ahead and wrote up a post on Heart of the Wild, which ran on WoW Insider today. (Go over and take a look, if you haven’t already.) I attempted to show the pro-HotW and anti-HotW arguments in a balanced fashion, though I’m decidedly for the talent, as you probably guessed. Some follow-up thoughts, which didn’t make the column:

  • I agree that the other choices are lame/random and it’s not worthy of being a lvl 90 talent. Just getting that out there. I’d like to see this tier become lvl 60, a single tier of CC talents at lvl 75, and new role-boosting choices added at lvl 90. If talents stay the same, I’ll still recommend people take Disentanglement for the heal. I really have no idea of what talents they could add, but there’s a whole zone of druid lore we just went through, there’s gotta be some ideas there. (Okay, one idea. How about a druid-themed version of Guardian of Ancient Kings, but instead, you can summon one of the Ancients for some help; the ancient you summon depends on your spec, and provides a spec-appropriate buff for X seconds.)
  • Making it a talent that just adds heals to our deeps (or vice versa) isn’t the same thing. I don’t have a problem with that idea, and it sounds pretty neat to have a tier of talents that, for example, add a chance for a heal to proc off a damaging ability. That’s not at all what HotW is trying to do, though. Classes are balanced around having X numerical output on each fight, so having a DPS class who can put out X DPS PLUS Y healing would be unbalanced. The healing would be constant but mostly inconsequential (think Leader of the Pack heals back in Wrath), a short burst heal with a long cooldown (which we already have, as Tranquility), or some other spot along that axis.
  • The talent has two different use cases, and you need to consider both. 
    • It can be used strategically. “Hey, this fight has an add with a high burst DPS and low HPS requirement, we’ll plan for our resto druid to pop HotW and switch to DPS to help with the check.” In this case, the talent is helpful, but not a panacea, as most encounters with burst have multiple moments of such. It will be very fight dependent as to whether you want to use it strategically. I generally think the “stacking classes” thing is way overrated; my intuition is that it happens very infrequently, due to the large opportunity costs. (Players on “OP class” alts have less skill/gear/experience; buff coverage becomes much more difficult, etc.)
    • It can be used as an emergency button. “Tank died, hold the boss until he dies!” “Tank healer died, keep the tank up!” That bit won’t apply much to heroic raiding (where a death or two usually means a wipe anyway due to not meeting DPS checks) but it will definitely help for lesser-skilled guilds who have more…situations. Sure, it won’t work all the time, but it’d be overpowered if it did
  • I don’t think it should become a baseline class ability. As one of the commenters noted, making it baseline means that all druids will have the capability, period. If you have it and choose not to use it, the odds increase exponentially that someone will call you out for “not knowing how to play your class.” If it’s a talent, the odds of that are much less, and you have a ready-made argument that you take talent X instead because of the benefits it gives.

Oh, and the image? That was my original header, before it got edited out and replaced with a stock photo. :) Bearcat FTW!

 Posted by at 6:43 pm

  11 Responses to “More thoughts on Heart of the Wild”

  1. Seeing the quest link of the Ancients the first thing that jumped into my mind was Tortra….putting a giant shell on top of a Bear. The second thing I thought is how much I want a bear wearing a giant turtle shell.

  2. I love the idea of Heart of the Wild. I have enjoyed being a pure dps class and have been pushing dps rankings and trying to get the absolute maximum of damage I can on every single fight, but I started playing a druid because it was a hybrid.

    Saying that, as a druid, you don’t want to be forced into doing some off-spec moves in combat is like saying that you don’t want to cast Shred. It is part of the class and it is a part that a lot of us love. Personally I can’t wait to find the best places to sneak in a heart of the wild to bolster healing or wrath something up (or save the raid by becoming a bear).

    If you don’t want to play hybrid, reroll a rogue.

    • At best we we’re hybrids on a small introductory paragraph at the druid class page back at the old blizzard page. Not more, but taking into account that a lot of us wanted to play druids in reminiscence of WC 3, i.e. shapeshifters (druid of the claw – moslty permant in their forms) or caster ( Malfurion, Cenarius) and the number of actual vanilla druids was small:
      There never were more than a handful of those who loved druids for being hybrid, and even those that were never could have loved more than a mere description on a single web page.

      Also: Believe that a single talent can achieve, what blizzard failed to do in the past 7 years, when it is building upon a fundament which has nothing to do with hybrids at all, you’re – honestly speaking – delusional.

  3. – “Making it a talent that just adds heals to our deeps (or vice versa) isn’t the same thing”
    While I understand that this isn’t what HotW is trying to do all 3 of the current hybrid healing classes get talents that do just this. Palis get 4 (3 are the lvl 90), Shaman get 1, and priests get 2. Monk healers are built around causing damage to do healing. I know that mistweavers do it too well as they got their damage nerfed already. The point is that Blizzard is already pushing this mechanic for every class save druids. In every case it is a burst smart heal that is either always on, part of the rotation, or less then 1 minute cooldown. Again I know HotW isn’t trying to do this, but I would kind of rather it was.

    – “The talent has two different use cases, and you need to consider both”
    The problem with this argument is that while there are 2 use cases, they are binary. You must choose which one you are going to use before the fight starts. If you plan to use it for a mechanic you will not be able to use it as a PANIC button. Conversely if you plan on having it as a PANIC button you can’t use it for a mechanic. I am sure an edge case can come up in which you are performing an off roll for a mechanic when something goes wrong. However in that case stopping your off roll to pick up a different one will likely not change the outcome of the attempt gone wrong.

    I also have difficulty seeing the second use case being functional. In beta right now if I am not a Resto I get Tranq, HT, and Rejuv. If a tank healer dies and an offspec 2.5 second cast of HT saves the tank why did I not just Brez the tank healer and cast innervate on them? Rejuv won’t save a tank. I know with a NS I could instant cast HT. However that assumes I have taken that talent and then not used it on myself. Having to take 1 talent and not use it at all, just to make sure another talent MIGHT be useful is a failed mechanic. The only option I have in that case is Tranq. However I can do that already. With Nurturing Instinct already giving me bonus spell power pressing HotW won’t make that much of a difference. As a raid cooldown instead of a tank cool down it becomes VERY powerful in 10 man, but very weak in 25 man. In 10 man 50% of the raid is taking healing from my Tranq every tic. I could actually get Rejuv on most of the raid at once. In 25 man I could 20% of the raid with my Tranq every tic. I could get Rejuv on maybe 40% of the raid. Pretty underwhelming. It would take 3 druids hitting MotW at once to equal the power of a single druid in 10 man. I dont’ care what level of raiding you are at, if 3 of your non healers have to stop and heal at once you are not going to be successful in your attempt.

    The second part of the use case is a healer or a dps swapping to take the boss. This kind of does a flip flop from the previous example. In 10 man this is very weak. Losing 50% of your heals to tank the boss for even for a few seconds can finish the attempt off pretty quick. Same with DPS, losing just 1 for a little bit to pick up and tank will hurt. In the case of 25’s it will likely be less painful to lose a DPS, or a healer. This also assumes that you still have a Brez available to rez the tank. If the tank isn’t getting back up a healer or DPS will not be able finish out the encounter unless you were almost done. In both 10 and 25 losing a dps or a healer will just make the fight longer or harder to finish.

    The third part which is a feral dps swapping to do ranged dps (no boomkin will ever switch to melee) has been beaten to death else ware and will only be possible if the fight has an air phase.

    – “I don’t think it should become a baseline class ability”
    The reason for not wanting this to go baseline is because someone might say you suck at your class? If you didn’t take the talent won’t it just be as likely that someone will say you suck at your class for not having taken that talent thereby having wiped the raid by not saving it? How would this change in any way from what we have now with Rebirth? I know my alt has been yelled at by not rezing the “Right” tank in LFR. I was a “Fail Boomkin” for that. Haters going to hate.

  4. All of this talk about one, unfinalized talent…

    It’s nice to have so much feedback about 1-6minute cooldown which could be used to attack from ranged while not in melee range once per fight, or even safety tank as a moonkin, or God forbid as a healer (if the healer has to do this… think about it: didn’t do their primary job, what makes you think they’ll do this? elle oh elle), or to power up Tranq for a dps class… Once. per. fight.

    The likelihood that all fights are 15 minutes, have you jumping from platform to platform and fighting small packs of bloods before they reach 15 yds to the bosses head, or even knocking plates off, is a fair bit ridiculous, considering 2/8 fights currently go regularly more than 6 minutes, and in past tiers, I’m not counting, I’ll go wtih a similar percentage as a rough estimate (a guesstimate if you will).

    A lot of the “talents” are, as stated, to add variety, and will often change fight to fight, depending on length of fight, and requirements of X role.

    You’ll see a large majority of uninformed persons blowing whatever cooldowns they get at inopportune times (see Tranq being introduced to the game, as well as moonkin across the board getting Starfall [before range fixed in WotLK]… just 2 druid examples), and, same as it is today, the person that knows their class, or has a general understanding will be considered “good.”

    No matter what is said about HotW, and I kind of hope that all of the hype drops, but as we’ve been given Jack else, what’cha gon’ do, I will put fourth that as an optional talent, it’s got people guessing and thinking, probably a little too hard, but it’s got people thinking and comparing. Kudos to Blizzard on that!

    What I wish I could find more info on, though, would be Soul of the Forest (SotF) and how, currently, the values given for feral aren’t felt (if it was bumped to 10% of cost of the finishers, per combo point, would it be more worthwhile?), as well as a few other talents feeling lackluster, such as (due to current costs of abilities) Incarnation for feral… When I look at it, that whole tier is “meh.”

    Alas, to change the ‘feel’ of this post, as I’m pretty sure I started off in a light that people would consider condescending, my personal view on hybrids:

    Yeah, I get good gas mileage, and it might be “green,” but really… 8k more for the same car, getting about 5 miles per gallon more on highway, just doesn’t feel cost effective. It might make me feel better about the whole thing, that I’ve done something useful for others, but it’s still my paycheck getting put into this, so I’d like to personally enjoy what I’ve got.

    Now… take that statement, relate it to feral, and it’s about the same… minus it being 8k more to be a hybrid that the regular version (uni-role). I just want to enjoy what I play…

  5. I rolled feral to be hybrid, tank/dps and at the time have at least SOME heals I could throw around. In BC Heroics there were occasions where you could pop out of cat and save the day towards the end of a boss fight. It wasn’t often, but I really think the anti-HotW people here are solely looking at the negatives. It’s not just so 1 of your 2 healers in a 10 man raid can go tank, that’s a weak use of the talent. How about for progression attempts being able to take 3 healers and know you get some effective dps from one when you need it? Or 2 healers and know that you have a third “healing CD” from a dps. That’s amaze-balls awesome-sauce to me. I REALLY hope this makes it because if the single worst thing about MoP for me has been losing my bear-cat spec, so if I get cat-tree or something similar I’ll be pleased as punch.

    • Actually, I’ll probably even take the minor glyph for tree form so I even LOOK like a proper healing druid when I pop HotW to throw heals!

  6. “The talent has two different use cases, and you need to consider both.
    It can be used strategically”

    In this scenario, it would be better to activate a secondary spec like balance and just use the same gear (not ideal, but far more dps increase than anything hotw could do). This will become the norm increasingly for druids. Especially cat/bears. An OT feral will still be able to stack agility and mastery and do competitive dps by switching spec depending on the fight.

    “can be used as an emergency button. “Tank died, hold the boss until he dies!” ”

    This seems rather pointless. As has been mentioned before, the enrage mechanics of Cata means that if you lose a dps for even a short period the likelihood of defeating the boss is very low. Also, we already have bres for such situations.
    Would you bring a class that has more throughput and a practically passive ability to heal and dps (see priest lvl90) or… a class that plans around failing? Gee, let me think about that.

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