The water elemental problem

First Ghostcrawler earlier in the month and then today a blue named Kalgan weighed in on water elementals in a mage thread on the official forums.

The discussion is basically this: If water elementals are permanent then why don’t mages have tools that other permanent pet classes have? For example: the ability to heal the pet?

Why is this important? PvP in particular. Since Frost is the PvP spec of choice you can see the problem with having less-than-awesome pet tools.

Kalgan begins with some miscellany:

The post-death cooldown will definitely be lowered to around 2 min, the intent is definitely that after it dies you’re waiting a somewhat similar amount of time before it’s up again as you would have under the old scheme.

On another note, the revamped Fire tree should be in the beta sometime early next week. There will be some slight changes in the next beta patch (today/tomorrow), but don’t put much stock in them… some of those changes have been changed in other ways, and many more things will have changed the build early next week.

Except if  the pet takes so long to re-summon after being killed (and killed too easily since there’s no way to heal them) then why bother with summoning the elemental at all? And if you’re not supposed to bring a pet into a PvP situation—why make the pet permanent?

The answer:

Don’t get me wrong, I totally get the issues and there are more changes coming soon… just thought I’d point out how odd it is that a theoretical buff to a spell can end up being interpreted as a nerf. Again, I totally get why, and it’s not an unexpected outcome from the change. It’s just curiously odd.

How a buff can be a nerf is a good point. It turns out that both sides of the issue are correct. Having a permanent water elemental is a buff—but not accompanying that buff with the tools to support it actually makes the class overall weaker than it was before and that’s a shame. It makes mages weak in precisely the spec that’s de facto standard for PvP.

What the what?

The whole thing needs work—but that’s what they’re doing now, right? ‘More changes coming’ had best be the real truth.

Some fixes I wouldn’t mind seeing:

  • Healing. The ability to heal the elemental would go a long way.
  • Area snare. Direct fire freezing is nice but better would be a way to use the elemental to cover our escape.
  • Cast through. Increase mage range and reduce mage vulnerability by allowing the elemental to act as a relay station for spells. Cast Fireblast on the elemental, elemental reflects that same spell onto its target.

Beta changes to mages are just barely eking out. I’m withholding more beta observations until things are A) in place and B) relatively stable—from a beta perspective.

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Geek. (But so are you!)

Posted on July 29, 2010, in World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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