Visiting the Druid forums today is a lot like visiting the Warlock forums used to be. There are a surprising number of posts calling for nerfs to the viability of Restoration in 2v2 and 3v3 Arenas. The most acerbic outcries seem to come from Mages, Paladins, and even Warlocks (who seem all too happy to see another class be subject to so much player complaint). On the first page of the official U.S. forums, you will find the following posts:
- “Time to man up druids.”
- “Every class worse then resto druid.”
- “Nerf Druids”
- “NERF THESE NOOBS”
- “Nerf duridz”
Even worse, the nerf-callers are monopolizing already limited Blue attention. Here are the post titles from 5 of the last 10 Blue-tagged posts in the official Druid forums:
- “Improve/nerf different druids.”
Improvements are requested for Feral spec. You can guess which spec he wants nerfed.
- “Ending the 2v2/3v3 dominance of Druids”
- “Cooldown on Cyclone is needed”
- “Blizz nerf TRAVEL form”
- “IDIOTIC IDEA!”
Goes on to explain that Druids shouldn’t have access to so much crowd control.
Crowd control (primarily in the form of Cyclone) isn’t the only complaint. Players complain that it’s too easy for us to shift out of snares, too hard for them to spell interrupt us due to insta-cast HoTs, and that it’s too easy for us to get away and drink, increasing our longevity beyond that of many other healers. Of course, all of these complaints are null and void in 5v5 Arena where there are too many opponents to avoid anyone for long. But really, how “overpowered” are we? From Arena Class Breakdown data from Realm History, we see:
- At 16%, Druids are the second most populous class in 1850+ rated 2v2 (following Warriors).
- At 31%, Druids are the most populous class in 2200+ rated 2v2.
- At 11%, Druids are the fifth most populous class in 1850+ rated 3v3 (preceded by Priests in 3rd place).
- At 13%, Druids are the third most populous class in 2200+ rated 3v3 (preceded by Priests in 1st place).
- At 6%, Druids are the 8th most populous class in 1850+ rated 5v5 (preceding only Hunters in last place).
- At 4%, Druids are the 8th most populous class in 2200+ rated 5v5 (preceding only Rogues in last place).
Really the only problematic bracket I see is upper-end 2v2 (2200+). Even in the 1850+ range of 2v2, four out of the five top contenders exist within 1 percentage point of one another. This isn’t to say that I don’t feel that we Druids are very strong contenders in smallscale Arenas. I’m even willing to concede a very strong indication of overpoweredness in upper-end 2v2. But even in 3v3, we’re usurped by Priests (we also exist within 1 percentage point of those in 3rd, 4th, and 5th places). And our 5v5 ratings are simply abysmal.
Some players (usually Paladins and Priests) have suggested making Cyclone dispellable. This is, unfortunately, one of the only reasons Druids are brought to 5v5 Arenas. Another suggestion is to move Feral Charge further down the Feral tree, making it inaccessible to Restoration-specced Druids. This change wouldn’t be too horrible/nonsensical, but I also don’t think it would have a tremendous effect. (thoughts? opinions? Megan?) Some have asked that a cooldown be applied to shapeshifting, greatly reducing our ability to escape snares and put distance between ourselves and our opponents. While I think this would be a devastating change in smallscale Arenas, it would have likely have limited effect on 5v5 where our kiting abilities are already mitigated by the number of opponents we face. One of the most devastating suggestions is to make some or all Arenas considered indoors. Unfortunately, any Arena considered “indoors” is virtually a guaranteed loss for the Druid and her teammate(s). Thankfully Blizzard doesn’t typically like to enforce such binary game balance.
I really have a hard time thinking of anything that could be changed about the way our class/spec works that would reduce our effectiveness in 2v2 Arenas without completely destroying our performance in 5v5 (or, even worse, PvE). And any compensatory buff made to the class/spec in 5v5 would inevitably be too powerful in smaller brackets. Short of a complete class overhaul (no, thank you) in which we’re made to fit the mold of another healer like the Priest, Paladin, or Shaman, I don’t see how Blizzard could adjust the Restoration Druid. Nor do I think that doing so is a real necessity. A game in which populations are evenly distributed among all classes and bracket sizes would feel too homogenized. Having classes have one or two areas in which they shine is an enjoyable part of Arena competition.
Personally, I think we should all make Waffles and call it good.
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