Friday, February 6, 2009

Not My Mana Regen!

Of course no sooner than I post my ambivalence towards any changes for moonkin, my paladin keels over from a strong kick to the nuts. (First thought: There goes my ability to solo elites for fifteen minutes straight.)

Though this does have implications for both my favored classes, it has a different meaning for each them due to their different specs and their roles in a party. Rather than post the gigantic thing here, I recommend reading the full Blizzard post over here.

First, my druid.

I knew the mana overhaul was coming and I was concerned because the current path for a raiding moonkin is to start with mana regen talents and dispose of them as better gear is obtained. It would suck if I had to respec to get all my regen talents back just as I had persuaded myself to remove them.

The good news is that moonkin are largely uneffected. Mana regen from Spirit will be reduced, but Intensity will be boosted to so that our regeneration while casting should not change. Since moonkin are usually casting, being dps, this should have minimal effect on us. The only way I could see this coming into play as a nerf is a fight where there are periodic downtimes and the moonkin is depending on that period outside the five second rule for mana regen. Even then, gear should fix that and high level moonkin are already dropping every regen talent they have.

I'm still concerned because I think this rapid progress from needing regen talents to not needing them at all based on gear obtained through the first tier of raid instances is not natural, and though moonkin tend to fly under the radar, I'm afraid someone's going to notice this and take a large whack at us.

And then my poor paladin…

Honestly, I enjoyed my 15-minute bout with Sarathstra. I joked with my guild about moving on to solo-ing ZG once I hit 80 (because all the DKs are doing it). But the reason I could melee elites for 15 minutes or longer is because I have two very good tools: 1) the ability to heal through the damage I was taking, and 2) the regen to ensure that I would never run out of mana. If I fail at either of those conditions I will not be able to beat the elite.

They're obviously straightforward conditions, but not always possible meet. My druid would usually fail at 1) so 2) would never even come into play. Thanks to his armor and spellpower, my paladin can typically heal through the damage any elite throws at him, making regen the primary concern in a long fight, but with the nerf to Divine Plea, maintaining my regen will endanger my ability to heal. It'll be like putting a Mortal Strike on myself. I'm currently trying to solo the Conquest Pit chain and finally hit a 3-man quest I might not be able to do by myself (doh!) and I know that if the Divine Plea nerf went into effect tomorrow that would essentially kill any attempt to do so before I simply outgear the quest.

But that's a bit of a self-centric look at the issue. And obviously once I hit 80, my concerns with the new limitations to Divine Plea will go beyond whether or not I can solo an elite; primarily my ability to last in PvP. Mana burn was the bane of my existence in Season 4 and Divine Plea would've been a nice mitigation for that, but with a 50% hit there's no way I can afford to effectively place a Mortal Strike effect on all my teammates. If I manage to have a few seconds of downtime I can see myself using it, but I'll probably end up clicking it off before I get even close to the full effect.

Though I do raid, oddly enough the raid environment is where I'm least concerned about the nerf. It's not just that raiding with Gillien is a secondary thing for me (I only plan to take him if our 10-mans are short a healer), but also that I think Blizzard is on to something with the fact that mana currently doesn't matter. I like the idea that part of being a good healer is also managing your mana pool. There should be more to healing than spamming heals with the concept that as long as nobody dies it's all good. It might be nice to… I don't know… actually eat the mage's mana strudels from time to time?

The way things stand, we're not going to have a challenge in Ulduar unless this change happens, so it's a good thing. But oof, for everything but raids I'm gonna miss my Divine Plea.

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