Healin’ in Hyjal: Let’s talk Cataclysm
I’m not one to scour every last word of blue Blizzard posts for changes to the game due in Cataclysm; partially because these changes are often drastic, but mostly because I like to have some sense of discovery when I have the game in my carpal-tunneled little paws. I do keep up with the broad changes, and there are a few I’m really excited about. The new talent trees are exciting–I like the idea of slimming them down and streamlining so that I don’t have to choose between one crappy talent and another crappy talent. I always like seeing what they’re doing with professions, especially Engineering. What I’ve really been paying attention to lately, though, are changes in Healing.
Blizz is tossing around a couple of ideas that are really going to make it challenging for healers and tanks. The first major change to healers is the way our mana pools work. Their claim is that we healers have too easy a time with mana regeneration and large mana pools; I agree 100% with this. The hardest part of healing in WOTLK is dealing with the environmental dangers (fire shooting up from the floor, dragon tailswipes) or dealing with races against time (healing someone up quickly enough). I run out of mana more quickly on my mage than I ever do on my shaman.
On the other hand, I’m so used to it being cushy now, that despite thinking that it’s too easy, I will probably complain a lot the first time I’m out of mana.
The other thing I’m thinking about is threat decay. This is being implemented to make tanks work harder, but with lazy DPS used to magic tanking, it will be a challenge for healers as well. Threat decay basically means that threat will start to drop off after awhile and a tank will have to work to re-establish threat. It means no more faceroll tanking. That means when the hunter in your raid doesn’t use his misdirect properly and goes balls to the wall before the tank can establish threat, you will have to be on your toes–or, do what I do and let him die.
What do you think–are you excited to be returning to a healing challenge or tanking challenge? Are you ready for World of Warcraft to be difficult again–or, do you believe it will be?