Blizzchat recap – Druids & Relics!

So, there is actually a lot to cover with the twitter Blizzchat that is relevant to druids (mostly resto & balance, tho).

Q: How will haste affect channeled spells. Will it be similar to DoTs and HoTs?
A: They will channel faster but their duration will remain unchanged. You will get more ticks on the same cast.

Right now, when you cast a channeled spell, haste will make the duration shorter (ie. my hurricane ticks for 8.5 seconds instead of 10). However, this change would make my hurricane last for 10 seconds, and just have more ticks.  It’s interesting to see that they’re confirming this change, since it will effect tranquility as well as hurricane for us. More ticks for the same amount of mana is definitely good for hurricane. With tranquility, you can always cancel the channeling early if you need to stop and cast other spells part way through.

Q: Will relics and wands be getting any new attention in Cataclysm?

A: With relics, the plan is to make them class agnostic. In other words, there might be a +strength relic that a death knight or paladin might want to equip. We think that will let us add more of them to the game without them being so specialized.

This design change is something I’ve been asking about for a LONG time. Sometimes, it takes the developers years to catch onto something that multiple players & theorycrafters have said from the start, lol. This is the one thing that I’ve wanted for so long that I’m really, really happy to see that they have finally decided that the relic system wasn’t working right, and that they needed to make it just regular stats that could be used cross-class. I’m sure some people disagree with me, but I expect this to be a quality of life change that makes gearing more straightforward. They should have done this before WotLK when they consolidated everything else. This is going to be a good change for druids, because our idols will become a more interesting (rather than frustrating) part of gearing. This change is going to be good. Not being able to get an idol off the 1st boss in shadow labs was one of the reasons why I switched my main to a shaman half way through Burning Crusade. WotLK’s badge-for-idol design was really just boring and silly. This way, I could even pick up a +int idol that would work for both moonkin & resto. This has a lot of potential to be a quality of life improvement for us.

Q. Why are Restoration druids the only spec in the game not receiving a new spell?
A. Restoration druids are actually getting a fair bit. For one, Tree of Life is getting a whole new model (think Ancients of War) and will also “morph” some of your spells to do crazy things while in the form, such as cause Regrowth to be instant, or Lifebloom to apply two applications at once. Tranquility will be raid-wide. We’re also touching nearly every Restoration druid spell to make sure each has a niche and feels good. In general, playing a Restoration druid should feel a lot different (better!) in Cataclysm than it does today.

When the druid class preview came out, pretty much all the feedback focused on the negative aspects (even what I posted about here). What I want to highlight here is that there is some potential for really good things to happen to resto druids in Cata, and we really should give the developers a chance to show us how much more fun the future of resto druids can be.

Q. What change are you most excited about?
A. Some of the new Balance talents for druids, like Solar Beam, which works like Freya’s spell where it instantly silences a target and they have to move out of the beam to get rid of the debuff.

Talents are something that we haven’t seen yet, and solar beam wasn’t something they talked about in our class preview. They have various fun toys & tricks they haven’t shown us yet. This is a reminder that they haven’t shown us everything cool that is coming in Cata yet. The class talent trees are changing, and without seeing what those talent trees look like, we’re missing an aweful lot of the picture. I can’t wait to see what the new moonkin & resto talent trees look like! Also… OMG a cool silence ability! Overall, they never tell us too much new stuff in the class previews. However, I’m really excited about some of the new changes we have seen so far, and I can’t wait to see what other new fun & cool toys we’re going to get!

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17 Comments

  1. Hamlet
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    They’re trying hard to make Tree not lame, which as I discussed in my long commentary ( http://elitistjerks.com/blogs/arawethion/449-comments_druid_resto_balance_preview.html ), is important–it’s our only new spell.

    Disagree on Relics. Right now Relic classes have two advantages:
    1) We use that slot for something more interesting than +whatever stats. They’re more “fun.”
    2) Relics tend to benefit specific spells and allow better min/maxing.
    I see no particular reason to happy about giving those up.

  2. Shingetsu
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Tbh after reading this i am some what happier with the choices the devs are making and how there are defeantly more goodies to be had ^^.

    The boomkin solar beam is nice, makes sense and is something that carries alot of pvp and pve potential with it.
    Just wondering when did boomkins become pokemon ^^, anyways pew pew ^^.

    Tbh i am still a little dissapointed with the minimal amount of changes instore( so far )for restoration druids but again like they have said there are going to be mechanics in play with going meta-form tree and they look good.

    I guess with all previews time will tell on what is going to happen to the class of forms ^^.

  3. Verdus
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    So far I’m far more excited about all the positive boomkin changes than I am about the royal shafting that tree are getting. The core problems with the Balance tree seem to be getting addressed and they’re getting a bunch of fun new toys. Resto, on the other hand, is losing tree dance and Abolish Poison, while gaining a cooldown which so far appears to offer us… more throughput? /facepalm

  4. Verdus
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Oh, right, Rebirth is having its cooldown tripled, too. Another fun and exciting change for the Restoration tree in Cataclysm.

  5. Maor
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I like the changes mentioned there, and the new ToL sound very interesting!

  6. Lissanna
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Hamlet – Right now, we really aren’t using that slot for something more interesting than +stats (at least for the last couple tiers of content). Right now, we have +stats tied to a specific spell. Now, I can see why you like them, but from a practical (non-theorycrafting) standpoint, they’ve really been a pain for everyone involved over the course of the game. If their goal is to get us to use a more diverse toolset, then tieing a specific spell to the +stat bonus ends up working against them in the long run across all the hybrid classes using relics, and when they have done things to boost a particular spell, it’s only accepted if it boosts the most used spells (which makes them even more likely to one-button spam). Also, they’ve had to move idols to being things you only get from badges, which solved the frustration of having to run shadow labs 70 times to never see the only resto idol worth a darn in BC, but they also aren’t an interesting choice to make at this point. You just buy with badges the highest ilevel one for your spec if they design them right. You will still be able to min/max with the new idols, I think having more diversity in idols would allow for that even better (if you could reforge your idol, it would leave open even more interesting choices, I think).

  7. Treeboi
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I just wish relics were actual ranged weapons….

  8. Neyuna
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Wow… never thought they’d give Balance a silence. I remember reading something where they said we were designed around not having one.

    As far as the idols go, while the +125 starfire dmg idol was amazing, something that helped all of our spells would be nice. Some of the wands now are pretty beastly and even have sockets. I suppose the massive boost to one spell might be worth more than a little boost to all and some extra stats though, I’m not a math person.

  9. Posted April 17, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    When I first read about Solar Beam I was filled with excitement and anticipation which is something that this game hasn’t been able to evoke within me for a while now. It’s hard to describe how great it makes me feel, not only about Balance Druids but knowing that this is a sign that other classes are going to get completely new and interesting talents. I guess the thought just never registered until now.

    The only thing about the relics that confuses me is that they’re going to make them available to other classes but that’s going to exclude the wand classes, right? So even though the relics will benefit more classes, it won’t benefit them all. At least this is what I understood and I’m not completely sure I like this idea or not.

  10. Ellimist
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Solar beam eh? I forsee many new macros for this.

    /y Lissanna used SOLAR BEAM!
    /cast Solar Beam
    /y It’s super effective!

  11. Lissanna
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Relic classes would just be the ones that can use relics now (ie. shaman, paladin, druids, DK).

    I need a macro for announcing when I’m going to pop starfall & probably pull aggro from the tank, so the paladins know when to bubble me. lol

  12. Lauraya
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    I must agree with Hamlet about the Relics. While I understand that with the current design, for Blizzard it may be more difficult to balance, especially when you’re trying to keep all abilities viable, I don’t like the idea of making Relics simply add to stats. Further, I don’t understand the real reasoning behind the proposed change. They already have ways to benefit individual abilities or give bonuses for using them in the Glyph system. Why a Relic doing this is somehow uninteresting, I’m unclear on.

    The interesting thing Relics is that in some cases you can choose to use one or the other, and that gives greater depth to the classes. The last thing I want Relics to be is like Meta-gems, which is the apparent direction.

    I’ll be happy if they can somehow make Relics give unique bonuses and simultaneously be beneficial to many spells/specs. But right now it seems like they’re headed down this road just for the sake of removing more thought from the process of gearing, and while I appreciate the concept of transparency in the new gearing philosophy, this decision doesn’t seem to benefit that. I guess we’ll have to see how they roll it out.

  13. Lissanna
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I still think that the new relic system is going to have just as much (or more) choice involved – since they can make a variety of different stat options, where a resto druid could choose between an int, spirit, or haste choice (for example). Or, a tanking feral could have to choose between agi or stam. A DPS moonkin could choose between int, haste, or crit, & so on.

    For my resto & moonkin sets, there has pretty much always been an obvious “best” relic item to use.

  14. Hamlet
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  15. Lissanna
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Hamlet.

  16. Posted April 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Ok, have a bit more time now than when I posted this morning (er . . . morning at 12:40 when I woke up). That post I linked spells out more what I think, but I didn’t respond specifically to what you said about there being a best one.

    There’s always a best item in each slot. Sometimes it’s a bit tricky to figure out, or varies by situation, and those things can be perfectly true of Relics too. With Relics, if they’re designed well, there’s a chance for interested decisions about what you need most. And it’s pretty transparent even for beginners–generally “pick which spell you want to buff.” Routine blobs of stats are never interesting. With Relics gone, you will literally never do anything with your Relic slot in Cataclysm besides “ok, better check the spreadsheet.”

    There’s one good reason for them to remove Relics, which is that they’re hard to balance–which is the case because they’re [i]better[/i] than non-Relic ranged items in every way. All the complaining from people about losing a class perk which is both more interesting and more powerful than the alternative is completely incongruous.

  17. Donnavar
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    The current relics are nothing more than a very limited stat stick. You use Rejuv and you gain this amount of spellpower. You use Hammer of the Righteous and you gain this amount of dodge rating. You use Scourge Strike and you gain this amount of strength. It’s nothing more than a stat stick. If it’s tied to an ability that isn’t worth using, we call it crap and use a lower tier one.

    The point? There’s too little choice in the current relic system. You get one per spec per tier, that’s it. That, is what breaks down the current system. The system has good potential that was never realized due to practical constraints (design resources).

    Making Relics more like wands means more shared design resources, resulting in more relic choices for us. Instead of buying one relic and use it until the next tier comes out, now you have a choice of relics that you can tune to different sets of gear. I’m all for this change.

    Remember that one general design goal around gear, for Cataclysm, is that we should be able to eye-ball a piece of gear and get a pretty good idea whether it’s an upgrade. Meta gems generally go against that, and having one slot like that is enough.

    As for tree form, I was really put off when I saw the change. But having the Ancients model makes up for a lot of it; having all our spells behave differently to make the cool-down really cool and make us feel really powerful, is what made me change my mind. Now I’m looking forward to see the new stuff we can do in tree form.

    In Cataclysm, trees will finally be associated with the idea of “power”.