Community Manager Eyonix (US) recently started a thread in the official Druid forums requesting feedback about potential changes to the Druid class with an eye toward the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Rather than a request for new ideas, Blizzard seems primarily interested in feedback for changes to be made to existing mechanics and perceived class shortcomings:
We’re currently gathering class feedback from players for Wrath of the Lich King concerning thoughts on the areas of each class that is perceived to be most in need of improvement. This thread is not intended for discussion purposes and we ask that you please review the below format before presenting your feedback. It’s very important for us to be able to review all provided feedback and as a result, not following the required format will very likely result in your post being removed.
- List your primary talent tree(s), i.e. Holy/Disc.
- List the content you’re primarily pursuing or most enjoy, i.e. Raiding, PvP, Solo, etc…
- Provide a brief description of the areas you feel are most in need of improvement (you may list a maximum of three issues and each issue should be described in one or two sentences).
- List up to five specific spells/abilities/talents you feel most need change, redesign or improvement in the order you feel each is most in need of attention. (MOST to LESS)
I took this very welcome opportunity to share what I perceive to be some of our most grievous class/spec shortcomings. Obviously, my post was written with an eye toward the Restoration spec, and none of these items are likely to surprise most readers:
Primary Talents: Restoration
Content Pursued: Raiding, Heroic PvE, Arena PvP
Areas Needing Improvement:
- Raid stacking: Presently Restoration Druids bring very little that is unique to the table that cannot better be contributed by a Feral or Balance Druid. It is sometimes more desirable to have Feral or Balance because of their superior auras and, in the case of Ferals, willingness and ability to give their Innervate to someone else. Paladins and Shamans are almost always a better addition to a raid given what they can bring to the table (Blessings and Totems).
- Viability as a group healer. Druids need a standard resurrection spell available to them to be viable 5-man healers. Being forced to look for a Shaman, Paladin, or Priest to bring along to instances is an unfair restriction imposed on no other healer.
- Itemization: If WotLK continues to emphasize Spell Haste as an item stat, Druids will continue to have points wasted on a stat which affords us little benefit. Either make HoTs benefit from spell haste in some way, provide alternative drops which do not include this stat, or do not itemize in this way.
- Aesthetic Customization: Unlike players of other classes, Druids do not progress aesthetically as their gear improves due to our frequent use of forms. This problem is especially pronounced for Feral and Balance Druids but does effect Druids who make frequent use of ToL. It would be more enjoyable if the appearance of our forms changed as certain stats considered “core” to those forms increased.
Spells and Abilities Needing Change:
- Tree of Life Aura: This aura is often discarded in favor of another aura benefitting the tank more. It is nowhere on par with the benefits afforded by a Feral or Balance Druid to her respective groups. Change the aura back to the way it was at inception (benefitting all healers within a group) and prevent it from stacking. As it is, Tree of Life is a very limiting form providing only its mana reduction benefit when it can actually be used.
- Mark of the Wild is widely regarded as a worthless buff that provides very little to a raid as a whole. A rework of this buff (and it’s corresponding Tier 1 5/5 talent, Improved Mark of the Wild) would help make Restoration more desired by raids. At the very least, the resistances provided by this buff should be made to stack with the other, more powerful auras.
- Innervate: A core ability of our class and essential in longer Arena matches, it is extremely vulnerable to dispel by other classes (Priest, Shaman, Warlock, Hunter) and almost invariably worth the mana it costs to take it from a Druid. This ability should be made more difficult or not possible to dispel.
- Lifebloom: As it is, there is no penalty for dispelling the first or second stack of Lifebloom if a Druid has 3 stacks running. Any stack that is dispelled should be changed to bloom in the same way as the last, ensuring that this HoT performs the function that seems to be intended (dispel protection for a class whose usefulness as a healer is tied to its ability to keep one or more HoTs running on groupmates).
U.S. players can submit their own responses here. European readers can respond to an identical thread from Community Manager Vaneras (EU) here. And for a Balance Druid’s perspective and response, check out the response from Graylo of Gray Matter!
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