Friday, November 23, 2007
Holy priest stealth fren
Okay, okay, so I made the word "fren" up by spelling "nerf" backwards. But what is the official opposite of a nerf? Anyway, somewhere hidden in long patch notes for World of Warcraft patch 2.3 is the fact that items that had a bonus to healing kept that bonus plus gained about 1/3 of that number in in spell damage bonus. So if you were a holy priest with +1,000 healing bonus, you suddenly gained +333 spell damage bonus. That makes a visible change to holy priest solo dps. But of course if you were a shadow priest with lots of spell damage bonus and little or no healing bonus items, it doesn't change a thing. So basically the patch increased the damage output of holy priests, while keeping shadow priests at the same level.
And I think this is the right direction to go, and should also be applied to other healing and tanking classes. Last week my tank was grouped with a priest and two shamans, and we had to look for a "healer", because all three of them were spec'd for dps. Fact is that as long as you solo, dps is far, far more useful than healing or the damage mitigation abilities of a tank. Not to mention that all the taunt abilities of a protection warrior become totally useless in solo combat. So many of the players who have a choice between a talent build for dps and a talent build for healing/tanking choose the former, so as not to gimp themselves for soloing. But of course that hurts their usefulness in groups, and makes it hard to find enough healers and tanks for grouping in general.
Classes who deal damage as their main job have it easier. They don't have to choose between a solo talent build and a group talent build, they usually get talents that are useful for both situations. Of course there is always some mini-maxing about what exactly is the best PvP, PvE solo, or group build. But if you went for a PvP or group PvE build, you'd still be very good in solo PvE.
By increasing the dps of people spec'd for healing or tanking to just a little bit below the dps they'd get if they would specialize in damage builds, it would make the group-friendly builds more viable and popular, and ultimately lead to more grouping. And that doesn't mean that the other talent builds would become obsolete, because they could have other interesting abilities, for example the vampiric health and mana drains of the shadow priest. It just would be better if we got away from a situation where everybody tells you that you *have to* spec shadow to solo as a priest.
Right now my holy priest is better in soloing than my tank. I can complete the Skettis escort quest easily with the priest, while the warrior sometimes gets into trouble and dies when things go wrong. How about turning my defensive and block bonuses into a damage bonus as well, Blizzard?