Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Jumping the Whale Shark

I don't think I've posted on Patch notes much before now, if at all. But something in the patch notes for 4.1 couldn't fail to catch my eye.

  • Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

Erm, say what?? Deme will be able to B-rez her allies and instead of 'spamming 1' they can actually fight? First reaction, Yippee!! What a great update for a spell that isn't really made the most of currently. Then I thought about it some more. Death knights. The clue is in the name surely? D E A T H. We shouldn't be able to resurrect people, as Shizukera on Twitter said "They're harbingers of death, not bringers of life".

Rioriel said "HI! Want to play a class defined by unique abilities? TOUGH THEY'RE ALL THE SAME. In 5 years we'll just have one stat: Awesome." Which was kind of my 3rd thought. If I wanted to be able to 'rescue' players I'd be a healing class. I have a lowbie priest, specced in holy and disc. She's low level for a reason. I like smashing stuff in the face with a big sword in my hand.

Which brings me to Psynister's recent Rift review where, understandably, he compares it to WoW. It was the remarks about class balance which struck me most.

There’s a lot of simplifying going on in WoW right now where classes and roles are being standardized so that everyone can do the same things with every class, and that takes away some of the uniqueness that used to be really appealing in WoW. So right now Rift is at one extreme (lacking balance) and WoW is at the other (excessive balance)."

The emphasis there is mine, but it sums up how I feel about this change pretty well and it makes me wonder what else is about to happen in the name of balance and how much do I want to be a part of that? I'm starting to think WoW has jumped the Whale Shark.


  1. While I think Raise Ghoul was a cool, thematic ability, I can see that it's just not very useful. Whenever I'd get raised I'd be like... uh... I spam 1, right? It was a poor man's rez.

    With the incoming changes to Warlock Soulstones, though, I think this is actually improving the DK arsenal, albeit in a homogenized way. You'll actually use your brez now!

    But, like warlocks, you're going to have to think about it in battle, since it's going to screw with everyone else's CDs. That part I'm not so thrilled about. :-(

  2. Hi! This is Poeryth from twitter. I found you through Shizu and Shatterbound. :)

    Here's my thoughts on this, as someone who RPs and also has a dps dk for a main:

    It's strictly game mechanics, for the convenience of game play. They took a skill that was kind of useless and made it useful. It gives people incentive to bring a dps dk , for example, instead of a warrior, ret pally, rogue, shaman, etc. Now that numbers are not as important all the time as say, crowd control (the only thing dks have is MAYBE chains of ice, and it SUCKS. It's NOT sap or hex.), or aggro dumps (of which our only choice is stop dpsing, compared to a rogue's four or so options, one of which includes the option of an aggro dump for the entire party) or other strategic advantages. This gives us a strategic advantage that most other classes don't have. So honestly it makes me happy.

    And as someone who loves melee dps and has a level 80 paladin and a level 84 rogue as well as my main dk, I can assure you that the classes play very differently.

    Now, I can understand how this would upset the RPer within, because it feels like a rez is something that belongs to a light-based class, or a nature based class-- druids, paladins, priests, shamans... not someone who was to be the very best of the scourge at one point. But that's the thing. DKs are supposed to be incredibly powerful necromancers. Now, we're not allowed to be as powerful as we should be for the sake of again, game mechanics, because if we were all as awesome as Pre-LK Arthas (who one manned Illidan- when supposedly weakened. Illidan who takes 25 people to kill) or Rivendare were, no one would want to play any other class. But it would make sense for a dk to be able to bring back something other than a drippy, weak ghoul that falls apart easily and explodes, or even ten of those. I think when you use raise ally, in character, you're bringing someone back as a very high end zombie. To quote Fethas on twitter: "okay i am going to rez you..but i take NO responsbility for brain cravings or a lost limb...or soul..." Of course, they're not going to do that to your character every time you wipe on a 5 man boss in Grim Batol. Hence game mechanics. It's the same reason I don't really consider ANY rez IC- if paladins, druids, priests, and shamans could REALLY bring people back from the dead, no one in Azeroth would ever die. But since no one wants to lose a character they put so much work into because they "died" game mechanics give you these ways to bring them back.

  3. I think the DK's brez would have been a good thing had it been introduced without the shared cooldown on all brez abilities. As it is, I think it's only really going to be useful in heroics where the tank/healer dies for whatever reason and a DK tank/dps tosses an instant brez to get them back up. In raiding I don't think it's very likely that you're going to lack a Druid/Shaman/Warlock to where the DK becomes a necessity for their brez.

    Customization is a big thing for me, and I must say that the more patch notes we see coming out the more I see customization getting kicked swiftly in the junk. I think they're taking the "bring the player, not the class" thing a bit too literally by turning all the classes into the same thing with a different name and different animations. Basically they're doing the exact opposite of Rift, compressing the classes down into 3-4 unique spell collections.

    Raise Ally was always a fairly worthless spell. I intentionally died with a DK in my party specifically so he could use it every time it was off cooldown so that I could figure out how to fight as a ghoul. Yeah, the ghoul sucked but it was really fun once you got used to playing it. I like that they're doing something to make it actually useful, but I don't think a brez was the way to go. I don't know what I would suggest in it's stead, save perhaps a second ghoul NPC that hit harder over a shorter duration than the primary ghoul? I don't know, just pulled that one out there. Not sure what I'd do with it, but not a brez.

  4. Thanks for the comments folks. It's not the mechanics of the game that I find perturbing about this proposed change and I do like the fact that the Raise Ally ability will now be useful, what I find hard to come to terms with is the homogenisation of the classes. That's what I find quite alarming because at the moment I'm struggling to see the flavour in a death knight that is it's own and adding this ability makes my brain go "Bolvar must have been so pleased we killed Arthas off that he's given us a B-Rez as part of the 'Light' left over from Tirion."

    I'm panicking that instead of having beef flavour tanks, salmon flavoured dps and lamb flavoured healers, we'll all end up tasting like chicken with no class flare or flavour left. Just bland chicken. Not even a pinch of salt.


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