March 6, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Blizzard Hates Shamans

BREAKING NEWS: Shaman's Flame Tongue Weapon buff and Warlock's Life Tap nerf have been reverted on World of Warcraft's public test realm. Show no signs of return. Blizzard cites Arena participation numbers as key determinant. Details at noon.

Ok, I'm not that surprised by the rollback. Blizzard is notorious for announcing big changes, only to baulk on implementation and pull them before patches go live. It is just a bit irritating to see Blizzard quoting "Arena participation numbers", of the top few percent of players, as their reason.

Just a cursory glance at the numbers they provided clearly shows some issues for certain classes. Not to mention, an easily noticed abundance of Warlocks in all brackets. However, I am not going to take the time to poke all the obvious holes in the data provided. I'll just hope Blizzard has someone with a brain looking at more than just what was posted.

I truly hope that Arenas are not the deciding factor in everything that is class balance in WoW.

If anything is true of Patch 2.4, it's been a hell of a roller coaster for Shamans! The patch notes started off quiet, but then Blizzard spilled the beans on their plans to "progressively patch the test realm". Instead of releasing a big list of changes, they decided to slowly roll out various changes to the test realm, announcing them as the test realm updated.

I have to admit, the "progressive" approach is turning out to be one hell of a soap opera. One second Warlocks are finally getting nerfed, the next, its another sad joke on the part of Enhancement Shamans everywhere!

Patch 2.4 isn't as bad as I'm squealing about right now for Shamans. Shamans still receive meaningful updates to Ghost Wolf, Totem cooldown, and the Toughness talent. Shamans only lost an anti-healing buff to Flame Tongue weapon, which would have forced Shamans to lose some burst damage in favor of some anti-heal. Sadly, there is no real change to make non-Restoration (healing) Shamans viable in Arenas.

Oh well, at least Blizzard built the Shamans up a bit this time, before crushing them. At least now, I don't have to get a new offhand weapon for my Shaman, and I can stick with the status quo: WINDFURY OR DIE!!!