Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) just made an interesting blog post about the changes in patch 4.2. I don’t recall seeing this level of explanation before – previously there were changes and the community guessed at why. You can see the original blog post here.
Here’s Ghostcrawler’s comments on the druid changes:
- We boosted Feral damage to compensate for their losing the attack power from Strength. Net DPS shouldn’t change much overall, though burst may be slightly higher. (We didn’t want to buff bleeds since that was a problem before in PvP.)
- We cut back on the power of Innervates from Feral and Balance druids because we felt they were contributing to too much healer mana.
- We changed several Balance druid mechanics to cut down on the damage they could do while moving in both PvP and PvE and to cut back on some of their strength in multi-dot fights in PvE. Furthermore, we felt like druids were spending too much time at one end or the other of the Eclipse bar by using dots rather than moving the bar back and forth as intended.
- We toned down bear damage, because they were going to do more DPS than other tanks while tanking. Other changes were made to keep bears from neglecting certain core abilities.
- We redesigned Restoration’s mastery because it was devalued in situations where druids did a lot of raid healing by HoT-ing different targets, especially in 25-player raids.
While this is all very high level, it is really nice to see some of the thought process behind the changes.
One of the general changes is the most likely to have a noticeable impact on tanking gameplay:
- We removed the threat caused by buffs or crowd control because we wanted to make communication and coordination easier in dungeons, especially among strangers using Dungeon Finder. We want the challenge of a dungeon encounter to be the encounter mechanics, not marking targets. We also think this change will be a quality of life improvement for tanks, who inherited a lot of the responsibility for explaining fights, marking targets and otherwise setting the pace.
While this crowd control threat change won’t prevent group leadership falling onto the shoulders of a tank in many cases, it will allow sheep-pulls (or whatever CC is used) to be much less of an issue. Especially since it is possible for bears to start a pull rage starved, with Enrage still on cool-down from the previous trash pack.
In my view any quality of life improvement for tanks is a good one. Maybe it will reduce the barrier to entry for tanking, and encourage a few more people to give tanking a go.
On a personal note I’m not too fussed about the changes, mainly because they have a minimal impact on my main spec. Bears almost do too much damage now, and when looking at the scaling, were going to do even more. The overall game-play changes for druid tanks seem small.
I like the crowd control change, but I’m curious to see how it will affect me in heroics. I suspect that the answer will be “not much”. Paladins will find it pretty awesome, since Avenger’s Shield doesn’t break crowd control at the moment, but the other tanks are left with the option of pulling the rest of a pack away from the sheep (or turtle, pig, penguin, cat, frog or boring stunned mob) to prevent a mess.
Let’s bring on the CC 🙂