At the moment we are all having fun playing with our new buttons. Click them or bind them it doesn't make a difference, new is new and we all want to use them to see what they can do.
The thing is, unlike some new buttons, these ones in nearly all cases are not just something you will play with for a short time and forget about, they are becoming a part of your rotation. In some cases they will become a huge part of your rotation.
They are not replacing anything in most cases, they are being added. The priest choosing to buff up their shadow fiend might not have an additional button, but that is the exception, not the rule.
So it leaves me to ask, how much is too much?
I wrote a long time ago explaining how three is a magic number. The human mind has an amazing way of dealing with things in groups of three. We can remember it easily, perhaps without even trying. So if the game wanted to make things easy they would group things in threes.
For damage dealers it would be three standard buttons for a rotation, three utility buttons, three cooldowns. Max, that would be it. For tanks it would be three damage dealing abilities, three high aggro abilities and three defensive cooldowns. For healers it would be three main heals, three situational heals and/or utilities and three big cooldowns.
It would make it easiest for people to learn if it were simple like that. Now to people like me, you and the people that read the forums these new buttons might not serve as much of a problem. In most cases it is only adding three things at the moment. While we get more later, we have three things to learn to use now. That is good design, that is what our brains are wired to understand.
But what about anyone not playing right now? What about those players that were having problems with all the buttons they already had? What about people that have not even started playing yet?
I'll learn to use my three new hunter cooldowns because it is three for me. For someone that has never played a hunter it is a lot more than three. Now they get to look at the future and see what could have already been a 7 button priority is now a 10 or 12 or even 15 button one.
The more buttons, the more intimidating it becomes. The more buttons, the more chances there are for mistakes. The more buttons the more likely people will not be able to play their role well.
Take shaman healing for an example. It was always the simplest healer to teach people with in my opinion. Yes, there are some complexities involved that would set the good and great ones apart but anyone could be a good shaman healer because it was simple.
One thing for every situation. One HoT, one small heal, one large heal, one multi heal and one quick expensive heal. They added one ground effect heal and a totem cooldown this expansion. Now they add more stuff to clutter up the bars.
The more they add the more choices the new shaman healer has and the more chance they will make the wrong choice. When it was just the basics you could have turned any person that never healed into a healer easily. The good ones would move on to learn the finer points and become great healers and the not so good ones were still capable of healing randoms and normal raids. All because there were fewer buttons. Now, shaman healing can be quite imposing to someone that never healed before because there are more buttons and while to the experienced player they are nice new abilities to anyone new to the role they just add a whole mess of confusion.
Now with all these buttons people, no matter the role, that are not already at end game and only learning a few new things, will have a mountain to climb in the learning process.
Just take Beastmastery for a hunter as an example. The spec that was always supposed to be the easy spec for players, that was the intention, has now become something that would scare a new player away. Just look at it.
Warning: This might not be the actually best rotation at 90 as that is still being worked on.
Beast Mastery Rotation:
1) Hunters Mark before pull
2) Serpent Sting
3) Dire Beast
5) Bestial Wrath
6) Rapid Fire
7) Kill Command
8) Glaive Toss
10) Kill Command
11) Glaive Toss
12) Cobra Shot (to refresh sting that should be close to falling off)
Now we can start our priority rotation
1) Serpent Sting (if it fell off)
2) Rapid Fire
3) Readiness (but only if RF and BW are on cooldown, maybe DB, GT and KC if it lines up)
5) Kill Shot (if under 20%)
6) Focus Fire (but not if BW is active, hit as soon as BW ends)
7) Bestial Wrath
8) Kill Command
9) Dire Beast (but only if a beast is not already up)
10) Lynx Rush (delay if BW will be activated in less than 10 seconds)
11) Glaive Toss
12) Arcane Shot (if needed to bleed focus)
13) Cobra Shot (to keep sting up, move up if sting is about to fall off)
If this is supposed to be the easy rotation I think blizzard and I have a different definition of easy. But compared to survival and marksman, this is easy. A 13 shot priority that follows a 12 shot set up just to lead you to using it. That is not a priority, that is a list.
Lets not forget all the little conditionals for many of those abilities. Like never hitting focus fire while your pet is under the effects of bestial wrath, never calling dire beast even if readiness resets it if there is a dire beast already out, making sure to squeeze in that cobra shot so serpent sting does not fall off, delaying lynx rush if you are going to be entering bestial wrath soon. It is a lot more that just a priority, it is a priority jam packed with conditionals.
Don't forget your situational abilities either.
2) Silencing, binding or wyvern depending on which you took.
4) Widow Venom
6) Tranquilizing Shot
7) Distracting Shot
8) Concussive Shot
Note: And you have defensive abilities too.
3) Feign Death
And lets not even get into pets because I am going to make that a post of its own but you can bring a whole slew of buffs and as BM you can bring even more than the other hunters. Not to mention your pets have cooldowns that could be used for utility or DPS that you need to micro manage to get the most of them adding even more abilities to your plate. Also, now that growl is a true taunt there will surely be times were your pet taunting will be a useful raid tool and yet another thing you will need to micro manage.
Yeap, BM is the easy hunter spec. With all that, and more I did not list, at their disposal you have to wonder, why would anyone want to start playing a class if this is the easy rotation.
Sometimes you really have to think, how much is too much?
Perhaps it is just me but I think a total of 17 key binds for DPS should be the absolute maximum. That should include all situationals, all cooldowns and all trinkets or proc based things. The basic rotation to get good DPS should be 5 keys, no more. Ever.
I wish I only had 17 now and to think more are coming, it is just too much. In my opinion at least.
How much do you think is too much?
Role Play: Pandaren philosophy in roleplay
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