There is a post on the damage dealing forum whining about the damage done by the Thorns buff that druids have. Apparently, they’re afraid that restoration druids will live long enough in PvP that melee can suicide by thorns. Come on, Seriously? Right now, burst damage is a bigger problem than death by slow suicide.
Rank 8 of thorns has tooltip damage listed at 73 damage to your attacker, when you get hit. If someone is hitting you a lot, it can start to add up, but not enough to be worth complaining about.
It’s true that thorns scales with spell damage, so healers decked out in tons of spell power can make thorns do much more than 73 damage per hit, but not enough to be life-threatening to melee classes. Balance druids also have a talent that increases the damage done by thorns by 75%, but balance druid survivability is so low that the moonkin will die long before thorns kills their attacker.
There are other classes with damage shields that proc when someone hits you, such as:
- Shaman have Lightning shield, which gives them a chance to do 350 (or more, depending on spec) damage when hit, but it’s not applied every single time someone hits them, and only has a couple charges before it has to be re-cast.
- Mage’s Molten armor is another damage shield that does 170 damage when hit, along with increasing their chance to hit, and decreasing the opposing attacker’s chance to hit. This mage shield isn’t even really used in PvP, since they would rather use their ice armor for better survivability.
- Paladin’s retribution aura does 112 damage (or more, depending on spec and scaling with spell damage) to attackers, and is a raid-wide (30 yard) aura now.
So, with similar types of abilities, shaman, mages, & paladins aren’t dominating PvP with using their damage shields to out-last their opponents through a slow and drawn out death. Why would druids? Perhaps some people are just afraid that if resto druid survivability gets too high, that the healer spec will become too powerful in PvP. If that became true, then nerfing a damage shield that isn’t very powerful in the first place is not the right answer to their problem. In addition, nerfing thorns would hurt moonkin worse than restoration druids, and until moonkin are viable for PvP, they can’t handle any more nerfs.
Yes, I do remember the old days of killing things by just never dieing, but we have come far from those days, and are unlikely to return to them any time soon. If damage shields weren’t overpowered when they were the only way we could kill things, these damage sheilds sure aren’t going to dominate in arenas any time soon.