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#81 Molp

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 04:04 AM

What makes a druid the worst 5v5 healer in your opinion? Lack of single-target throughput? Inability to dispel magic effects? Vulnerablilty of hot spells to purge? How are these perceived weaknesses enough to cancel out their strengths of mobility, crowd control, and instant cast heals? It is not enough to say they are under-represented, because power is only one of many factors affecting representation.


It does not matter what I think. The burden of proof is not on me. It matters what the top teams think. And the top teams have, by and large, decided that druids are lacking. We can theorycraft until the tauren come home why some class is strong and some class is weak, but it is all for naught. People have voted with their feet. What matters are the following facts.

- The vast majority of top 5v5 teams have warriors.
- The vast majority of top 5v5 teams have paladins.
- The vast majority of top 5v5 teams have priests.
- The vast majority of top 5v5 teams do not have druids.

Anything past that is most likely biased and self-serving. How many people want their own class nerfed? Because of that, Blizzard is generally ignoring our opinions, and rightfully so. But they cannot, and should not, ignore the facts above. They are unbiased. They are facts.

You can argue against the facts, and people have. Most of it is, again, biased and self-serving spin and should be ignored. Top teams have voted with their feet. And as long as they continue to vote the same way, the outcome will not change. Serennia made a post on how strong druids are with the instant shifting bug fix. But still not strong enough for him to invite his 2v2/3v3 partner to his 5v5. So it is, again, all for naught.

You took it a step further and proposed balance changes based on what you think will happen in the future. It is easy to see how that could lead to desaster. It is hard enough to balance this game with all facts known. Trying to balance the game on facts you think will materialize at some point is outright impossible.
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#82 buena

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 05:44 AM

Everyone likes to think that they are beating the odds to succeed. It's a comforting thought. I'm not immune; of course I tell myself that if I would focus on one class instead of playing them all, that if I would ditch my RL friends and move to a more PvP active server, then I could compete for top in the world and cash prizes. This may or may not be true - I'll likely never test it and find out.

But you're bordering into downright obsessional in your attachment to your comforting thought. Is it seriously so important to you to maintain your image of being the underdog that you can't even TALK about strategy? That you have to declare strategic thinking to not matter at all, because it might threaten your illusion?

The following are factors which influence successful team compositions:
- Power of classes.
- Synergy between classes for a particular playstyle.
- Most commonly faced opponents.
- Overall distribution of players by class. More commonly played classes should be more heavily represented.
- Ease of play of classes. Difficult-to-learn classes will have fewer available players good enough for top teams.
- Newness factor of classes. Classes more recently and heavily changed will have a lower overall level of mastery.
- Past power of classes. The best players rolled classes that were strong in the past and may choose not to reroll or may still be leveling.
- Past synergy of classes. The best players got used to playing in groups that were strongest in the past, and developed teamwork with them.


The list could continue, but you get the idea: using currently successful team compositions as a metric for class power is incomplete at best. Especially if you are choosing only one division and defining "top teams" nebulously to suit your biases. Top teams can be dogmatic with adjusting to new factors just like everyone else. Sometimes more so because of the importance and difficulty of having built up practice and teamwork with a certain set of players.

I could cite innumerable examples where a new, superior technology is slow to be adopted even by those at the top of the ladder. Especially by those at the top of the ladder. I could give you the B-school curve of early adopters, late adopters, early majority, etc, that every new trend follows. But I think I have already done more than enough to prove a very simple and, really, self-evident point: that looking at rosters in BG9 is not a substitute for actually using your own brain.
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#83 buena

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 05:50 AM

Here would be a much better metric for measuring class power: Look at all the teams in gladiator range, in all divisions, 6 months ago, and measure the classes represented. Do the same for 3 months ago, one month ago, and now.

Track the trend. The ascendent classes are the powerful ones, the increasingly less represented ones the weak ones. If the game stayed in its current state (ie no major nerfs or buffs), the upwards trending classes would eventually come to dominate. Because they are the most powerful in the current mechanics.

I have not done this and do not know what the results would be. But if you cared to do it, I would be much more convinced by that data than by ill-defined perceptions of what the top teams are currently running.
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#84 Neajane

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 03:02 PM

Here's a top ten gib type team that would be top 5, on any other battlegroup.

http://wowarmory.com...g Naturals&fl=1
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#85 Unraveller

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 03:24 PM

Buena:

http://bp2.blogger.c..._2007-10-24.png

I'll skip the rhetoric and go straight to the metrics:

5v5 Healing Class composition:
92% Paladins
75% Priests
55% Shamans
19% Druids
---

Or, a little more simply:

There are 5 paladins for every druid in 5v5 above 2200. It is likely that EVERY team you play will contain a Paladin, while 2 of the ten teams you play will have a druid.

The results for 2v2 and 3v3 imply that their are SOME druids who know how to play, so where are they?

Leave the rhetoric, answer the numbers.
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#86 Gunnolf

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 03:45 PM

Here would be a much better metric for measuring class power: Look at all the teams in gladiator range, in all divisions, 6 months ago, and measure the classes represented. Do the same for 3 months ago, one month ago, and now.

Track the trend. The ascendent classes are the powerful ones, the increasingly less represented ones the weak ones. If the game stayed in its current state (ie no major nerfs or buffs), the upwards trending classes would eventually come to dominate. Because they are the most powerful in the current mechanics.

I have not done this and do not know what the results would be. But if you cared to do it, I would be much more convinced by that data than by ill-defined perceptions of what the top teams are currently running.


Except there were significant buffs, the lifebloom change and arena water. Before that we were even bad in 2v2.
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#87 Molp

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 06:28 PM

Eh, I don't think my class is holding back my 5v5 ratings. The fact that we play 10 games a week with fluctuating lineups and two alts is. So I don't need to be comforted. I don't really have time to play much these days anyway.

And I am tracking the trends. Druids have been dead last in 5v5 each and every week since arena came out. There has been no significant upward trend that suggests druids are on the verge of breaking out. This is decidedly different from 2v2.

As I said, the burden of proof is not on me. I have numbers on my side. You are making a wild claim, namely that druid representation in 5v5 will all of a sudden skyrocket. But you have provided no real evidence and instead tried to turn the tables on those siding with the current, actual, observable facts. That is not how things work. If you want the class nerfed based on imaginary facts you better be having some good imagination.
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#88 buena

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 07:59 PM

I said that druids are overpowered. You chose the measurement of druid representation in nebulously defined "top 5v5 teams" yourself. You chose it because it is their weakest bracket and by picking it and defining top teams however you like, you are best able to convince yourself that your class is in fact underdogs in arenas and you are succeeding despite long odds.

Despite this straw man you have set up, I will even take up that call. I argue that class power is not the only determinant of top - however you are defining top - 5v5 teams. I gave a list of 7 other factors which also influence team composition, and the list is not complete by any means.

However you still insist on using only one, flawed, metric - class composition of "top 5v5 teams" - to measure class power. I suggested a better and more complete and logical metric involving trends in all brackets, but you just went right back to "top 5v5 teams right now." Why? Because it is the data set that you found that most supports your need to feel an underdog. If you played a mage, undoubtedly you would refuse to count any division other than 2v2, and you would focus on the trends because mages are weak and getting weaker in that bracket. You are cherry-picking data to suit your bias.

So there's a tangent of me getting offended by unscientific thinking. I like science and will stick up for it! But to move back to the main issue: even in your chosen disadvantaged ground of top team 5v5, I beleive the druid class is a much stronger healer than it is currently getting credit for.

As more druid players and their teammates get used to their relatively recently added strengths, and more hardcore PvPers reroll to them (I beleive Tyveris is leveling one atm), their success can only increase. This is due to the class mechanics of having the best instant heals, the best battlefield mobility, the best crowd control, and the best (debatable with paladins) resistance to control. These strengths, while more readily apparent in smaller brackets, are still very relevant in 5v5 at high levels of strategy.

A plea for anyone to debate these strategic points on the basis of strategy, without mentioning the compositions of current top 5v5 teams. I have just spent multiple posts explaining why those compositions are a starting point for debate, not an ending point.
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#89 Neajane

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 08:04 PM

[Inc random post about how druids are the least represented in 5v5]
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#90 Gunnolf

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 09:07 PM

Fine, druids are on an upward trend from the beginning of the season till now in 2s and 3s.

They have not moved in 5v5. Guess where blizzard is supposed to balance arenas around? 5s.

No one is saying that we are being the "underdog" in succeeding in 2s and 3s.
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#91 Molp

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 09:20 PM

TLDR version: If you want druids nerfed, invite them to your 5v5. Complaining about a class you did not deem good enough for your team impresses nobody. Especially not the people balancing this game.



I chose 5v5 because it suits my argument and because nerfing ANY class that is dead last in ANY bracket is nonsense. This applies equally to all classes (my alt is a mage, who are in the opposite boat as druids).

I don't care about other metrics. Why? Because they are self-serving theorycraft. I have seen paladins theorycraft how they are completely useless in highly rated 5v5. Clearly that is not the case.

If the other metrics hold any value, they will sooner or later show in representation. Simple mental exercise. Imagine moonfire did 1000000 damage. Tomorrow, all top teams would have druids, and probably nothing but druids. You are trying to get ahead of the trend by balancing around metrics that show themselves before representation, since representation always lags behind. That is a noble goal, and also completely unrealistic because YOU CANNOT PREDICT THE FUTURE.

I remember, when gib teams rose to power people predicted that by the end of season 2 druids would be highly represented in top 5v5, because people looked at the success of a few gib teams and deduced that the ladder at the end of S2 would be nothing but druid based gib teams. They were wrong. What gives you such supreme confidence in your predictions? And do you think Blizzard will really risk it? I will make a bold prediction here, they won't. Why? Because the last thing you want to do when you are running the most financially successful game in history is mess it up by taking wild bets. They are conservative. They take things slow. Now you want them to change to fix things BEFORE they even become a problem. Ask yourself, is that anywhere near realistic?

This has nothing to do with the strength of druids in 2v2. I have said many times, a nerf to CC is a much bigger hit to 5v5 than 2v2. As such it is a non-starter from the get-go, because ANYTHING THAT NERFS THE LEAST REPRESENTED CLASS IN THAT BRACKET IS UTTER STUPIDITY FROM A BALANCE PERSPECTIVE. If you have a change that equally nerfs 2v2 and buffs 5v5, lets hear it. I have seen none so far. It is a hard problem to solve.

P.S.: I will not theorycraft about what could be workable with druids and what could not. It is a waste of time. Top players are like mice. They are good at sniffing out the cheese. If druids were the cheese, they would notice. Look at Pandemic. Hunters and rogues turned out to be poor choices for 5v5, and voila, they kicked them and put in an elemental shaman. I have no doubt that they would do the same with a druid if they deemed it advantageous. So I don't have to theorycraft. I can just look at people who are better at this game than you and me and see what they are doing. Actions speak louder than words.

P.P.S.: I know what works with a druid. I play one, in a lineup that works relatively well. I also know what does not work, but due to what I said above, discussing it is moot.

I said that druids are overpowered. You chose the measurement of druid representation in nebulously defined "top 5v5 teams" yourself. You chose it because it is their weakest bracket and by picking it and defining top teams however you like, you are best able to convince yourself that your class is in fact underdogs in arenas and you are succeeding despite long odds.

Despite this straw man you have set up, I will even take up that call. I argue that class power is not the only determinant of top - however you are defining top - 5v5 teams. I gave a list of 7 other factors which also influence team composition, and the list is not complete by any means.

However you still insist on using only one, flawed, metric - class composition of "top 5v5 teams" - to measure class power. I suggested a better and more complete and logical metric involving trends in all brackets, but you just went right back to "top 5v5 teams right now." Why? Because it is the data set that you found that most supports your need to feel an underdog. If you played a mage, undoubtedly you would refuse to count any division other than 2v2, and you would focus on the trends because mages are weak and getting weaker in that bracket. You are cherry-picking data to suit your bias.

So there's a tangent of me getting offended by unscientific thinking. I like science and will stick up for it! But to move back to the main issue: even in your chosen disadvantaged ground of top team 5v5, I beleive the druid class is a much stronger healer than it is currently getting credit for.

As more druid players and their teammates get used to their relatively recently added strengths, and more hardcore PvPers reroll to them (I beleive Tyveris is leveling one atm), their success can only increase. This is due to the class mechanics of having the best instant heals, the best battlefield mobility, the best crowd control, and the best (debatable with paladins) resistance to control. These strengths, while more readily apparent in smaller brackets, are still very relevant in 5v5 at high levels of strategy.

A plea for anyone to debate these strategic points on the basis of strategy, without mentioning the compositions of current top 5v5 teams. I have just spent multiple posts explaining why those compositions are a starting point for debate, not an ending point.


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#92 Duraeas

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 10:24 PM

TLDR version: If you want druids nerfed, invite them to your 5v5. Complaining about a class you did not deem good enough for your team impresses nobody. Especially not the people balancing this game.



I chose 5v5 because it suits my argument and because nerfing ANY class that is dead last in ANY bracket is nonsense. This applies equally to all classes (my alt is a mage, who are in the opposite boat as druids).

I don't care about other metrics. Why? Because they are self-serving theorycraft. I have seen paladins theorycraft how they are completely useless in highly rated 5v5. Clearly that is not the case.

If the other metrics hold any value, they will sooner or later show in representation. Simple mental exercise. Imagine moonfire did 1000000 damage. Tomorrow, all top teams would have druids, and probably nothing but druids. You are trying to get ahead of the trend by balancing around metrics that show themselves before representation, since representation always lags behind. That is a noble goal, and also completely unrealistic because YOU CANNOT PREDICT THE FUTURE.

I remember, when gib teams rose to power people predicted that by the end of season 2 druids would be highly represented in top 5v5, because people looked at the success of a few gib teams and deduced that the ladder at the end of S2 would be nothing but druid based gib teams. They were wrong. What gives you such supreme confidence in your predictions? And do you think Blizzard will really risk it? I will make a bold prediction here, they won't. Why? Because the last thing you want to do when you are running the most financially successful game in history is mess it up by taking wild bets. They are conservative. They take things slow. Now you want them to change to fix things BEFORE they even become a problem. Ask yourself, is that anywhere near realistic?

This has nothing to do with the strength of druids in 2v2. I have said many times, a nerf to CC is a much bigger hit to 5v5 than 2v2. As such it is a non-starter from the get-go, because ANYTHING THAT NERFS THE LEAST REPRESENTED CLASS IN THAT BRACKET IS UTTER STUPIDITY FROM A BALANCE PERSPECTIVE. If you have a change that equally nerfs 2v2 and buffs 5v5, lets hear it. I have seen none so far. It is a hard problem to solve.

P.S.: I will not theorycraft about what could be workable with druids and what could not. It is a waste of time. Top players are like mice. They are good at sniffing out the cheese. If druids were the cheese, they would notice. Look at Pandemic. Hunters and rogues turned out to be poor choices for 5v5, and voila, they kicked them and put in an elemental shaman. I have no doubt that they would do the same with a druid if they deemed it advantageous. So I don't have to theorycraft. I can just look at people who are better at this game than you and me and see what they are doing. Actions speak louder than words.

P.P.S.: I know what works with a druid. I play one, in a lineup that works relatively well. I also know what does not work, but due to what I said above, discussing it is moot.


I agree entirely with Buena. You are not in any way refuting his points regarding the class. Anyone can get a statistic to prove anything, it doesn't mean that their argument is relevant. I would like to point out that your 5v5 rating is higher than your 3v3 and equal to your 2v2. Does this mean Druids' best or second best bracket is 5v5? Of course not.

The reason Druids are underrepresented in 5s is because of the teams they fit in. Paladins fit easily, and perhaps necessarily, in 2-healer teams. Druids fit in good gib teams extremely well.

http://www.wowarmory...rge W Bush&fl=1

We played them 8 times and split games. I would have preferred they had any healer but a Druid. The fact is that less people are willing to put together and learn teams like this, and so people choose Druids less frequently. Representation often has very little to do with viability. People last season were upset with how gimp Rogues are. They didn't realize how well Mace-specced Rogues completely dominate 4-DPS teams.

I would like to see you defend the class based on strategy.
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#93 Gunnolf

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:33 PM

I really am done posting here, you guys are saying theorycraft>Statistics while Molp and i are trying to explain that even with your theorycraft, the statistics prove otherwise.

If druids and druid based teams were really overpowered, don't you think people would be scrambling to put them together constantly?

Whether something is overpowered or not is an opinion, you can have yours.

Mine is that druids are not overpowered and may even be weak in 5v5, the bracket that blizzard balances arena around (supposedly). The statistics prove this both in flat numbers and normalized for population.

http://bp2.blogger.c...10-24.png&sid=1

However, the druid style of healing and the druid's strength-mobility is overpowered in 2v2 when combined with arena water.

How do you balance this? You tell me.
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#94 Molp

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:44 PM

Representation often has very little to do with viability.


Basically, all these walls of text can be condensed to stating that we disagree on this point.

I believe that viability is a leading indicator for representation. Meaning that anything that is viable will eventually be represented. You claim that a viable class can be eternally underrepresented due to outside factors.

The problem is, reasonable people can disagree on the outside factors. And most of us are not even reasonable. We are biased towards the class we are playing. And worse than that, we all suffer from selective memory. You remember all the times your partner died because you got chain cycloned. I remember all the times I died while trying to chain cyclone a pally. Both memories are valid. They are just not representative.

I know I am not unbiased when arguing game balance. I hope you realize that you are, too. Who is closer to the truth? No idea. Which is why ultimately both our opinions are worthless.

Because of all that, trying to balance a class around those outside factors is doomed to fail. Unless you can quantify it, you will not get it right. Blizzard knows that. Which is why they balance items around stat budgets and not around how powerful they feel an item should be. Items with stats that cannot be quantified tend to be highly unbalanced. How many here are not using the PvP trinket? That item has quite the strong showing for a low-ilvl blue. Nobody complains because that item is equally useful for and attainable by everyone, but that does not change the fact that most PvPers prefer a low-ilvl blue over BT purples.

Blizzard designers might have a more enlightened perspective on things, but they are still ultimately only human. The only thing Blizzard can reliably hang their hat on are numbers. If you go by what you feel is weak and strong you are bound to miss a lot of times. If you blindly buff the underrepresented classes and blindly nerf the overrepresented classes, you will never be too far off. And when you are off, representation will change and you can rebalance.

The one thing that can sink WoW is Blizzard doing something completely stupid. The odds of that happening are lower when you go by the numbers. You might not get it perfectly right, but Blizzard needs to get it just right enough for us to keep playing while taking minimal risks.
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#95 buena

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 06:55 PM

I am done attempting to discuss strategy with a player who says "trying to talk about strategy is a waste of time" . . . in the middle of literally hundreds of lines of text repeating the same point over and over and over with no evoloution of argument whatsoever. WHAT is a waste of time now?

Some points to Gunnolf for claiming the lack of dispells and relative weakness of buffs as limiting factors strategically. These are legit issues and I would have liked to talk about them if the potential debate hadn't been drowned out by the aforementioned hundreds of lines of moronic chanting "top teams.... composition.... top teams.... composition..."

Also a token point to Molp for making me laugh IRL by claiming, essentially "I'm really an expert at strategy, I know all about what works, I just refuse to ever talk about it." A bold stance there! Who could possibly doubt such a claim?
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#96 Neajane

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 07:05 PM

Pretty much.
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#97 Molp

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 07:09 PM

There is a difference between discussing strategy to improve one's game and discussing strategy to theorycraft away cold hard facts. This forum is for the former. You are trying to do the latter.

When you have things to discuss that align with observable facts then we can talk strategy.

EDIT: I will end with another observable fact. In the recruitment section of this very site, there is not a single 5v5 team looking for a druid. LF pally? Sure. LF priest? Definitely. LF shaman? Yep. LF mage? You guessed it. LF druid? Not so much. So I guess the majority agrees that druids are lacking, even right here. Is there a chance that everyone is wrong and you are right? Sure. Is it likely? Eh...
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#98 Unraveller

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 07:40 PM

You chose the measurement of druid representation in nebulously defined "top 5v5 teams" yourself.


I addressed this quite clearly. I gave you a statistical sample with tens of thousands of teams.

I'll repost it:

http://bp2.blogger.c..._2007-10-24.png

5v5 Healing Class composition:
92% Paladins
75% Priests
55% Shamans
19% Druids
---

Or, a little more simply:

There are 5 paladins for every druid in 5v5 above 2200. It is likely that EVERY team you play will contain a Paladin, while 2 of the ten teams you play will have a druid.

The results for 2v2 and 3v3 imply that their are SOME druids who know how to play, so where are they?


Here is the proof behind the "dubious" claims. The burden of proof has been met.

Respond.
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#99 Dirane

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 08:22 PM

Only if shapeshifting removes JoJ.



I actually agree that FC should be moved up the feral tree in 2.3. As it stands right now in 2.3 with the talent buffs we are getting I see no need for FC. FC was mainly to get away from people and a good team will not position themselves in such ways that you can FC away from the dpser.

FC is really just a crutch and while it is nice to have right now in 2.3 I do not believe it will be as needed. Sure I can switch to bear and FC a pally but in reality I do believe that if you removed this in 2v2 we would be much more balanced. I think that locking down a pally for that long is a bit OP and if you removed FC from the equation then we would not get other things nerfed.

And lets be real if you need that 4 seconds extra to shut down the healer than I am sure there are other things you can improve on to compensate for that 4 seconds. Our class has the tools to do the job without FC. FC just makes it easy for newbs to shut down healers and is good for getting away from focus fire. In 2.3 Focus fire will be addressed so really its only good for letting newbs shut down healers.

This is just my opinion from playing a little bit so take it however you like.
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#100 Molp

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 08:27 PM

Yes the offensive potential is quite strong. You could move the interrupt and root effect (its not actually a stun for some reason) to be a 21 point talent and give every druid the move part for free. But I do think that the defensive aspect of getting away is needed, especially with abilities like JoJ around which make us move slower than the guy chasing us.

And I disagree that it is a crutch. It is a tool that is core to a druid's arsenal. Which is why the vast majority of resto druids spec for it. It also adds skill to the game, since positioning becomes vital to properly use FC. Without it, once I am JoJed the best I can do against warrior pally is bear up and wait for NG to be up again. Not exactly exciting gameplay.
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