Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Upcoming changes - Cataclysm style

So we've all seen the upcoming 'proposed' changes to the cleansing mechanic, and nobody can deny that this is clearly meant to help balance PvP. The ability for every healer to defensively dispel magic also tells me we're probably going to see some bosses with polymorph and other CC abiliities in the future.

I don't really care what class can dispel what, though I guess some shamans are up in arms about the potential loss of cleansing disease and poisons, but I'm more interested in the way they are going about it. Specifically for Paladins.

Fixing the PvP problem

One of the big issues for Paladins, specifically in PvP, is our ability to be effective healers in any tree (with the right setup, of course). From Sheathadins in early Wrath, to ProtHeals dominating General Vezack, these strange healing specs have been popping up like the proverbial mole. Blizzard is obviously working to make healing something you have to spec Holy for to be effective. I imagine we're going to see something similar for all the classes.

Now don't get me wrong. I loved having the ability to cleanse while tanking, it was something that set the Paladin apart from the other tanks (besides the lack of a closer move). We could be fully defensive, tanking the world, and still help ease the healer's load (especially if you had a priest healing in AN/OK). Fortunately, as of the current postings, the ability to cleanse disease/poison isn't being restricted to the Holy tree - just magics.

So what does it mean?

First, I think you're definitely going to see a shift in Cata arena tactics. While this is designed to ensure that you can't stack dispellers without gimping your team's DPS, it means that keeping the CC off your healer is going to be that much tougher. It also means that there could be issues with fights like say, Sethhik Halls, where your healer runs the risk of being crowd controlled by the boss.

Say it ain't so. Difficult encounters again? I can definitely see more of the "miss this mechanic and you die" type fights in Cata - something I felt was really missing in Wrath. But I digress.

I don't want to get all Chicken Little, and really I think the changes are great. I'll miss the ability in my other specs for sure, but it isn't the end of the world. This doesn't break a class, it just brings it in line with everything else. When you have healers who have less than 21 points in their designated healing tree, something is broken.

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