It is only a few weeks away before we get to test out our new skills. While over all I am not really as excited about this expansion as I was about cataclysm I am looking forward to something new to do and that means the prepatch is something I am looking for to so I can play with the new skill trees.
I've been spending the last few weeks playing different things and taking a break from the game for the most part but that does not mean I don't like the game any more or don't think about it. It just means I am bored with it. So any change or addition right now would be a good thing.
Oddly enough, even doing DS normal will be fun again once we get the new talent changes, so we get a chance to check out our new rotations and abilities. From a damage dealer standpoint not a lot has changed but from a tanking and healing perspective there are a lot of changes to deal with.
All healers are adjusting once again with sweeping changes. The standard mana cap is going to be something we all need to get used to when healing but I doubt it will take all that much time to get used to it. It will just be something that takes a little bit of time to adjust to.
I have a feeling that stacking regeneration will be in vogue for a while when we are all learning to adjust and then we will start taking away from regeneration once we got a feel for it. Worse case scenario should be that healers will need to stop and drink a lot at the get go.
Hopefully the mana cap will be enough to ease the lower gear issues that we had in cataclysm for healers. Most healers when they were coming up will tell you the same thing. At the start their heals did not seem like they had enough power to them and they did not have the mana to use their fast expensive heal in a pinch. The mana cap might make that fast expensive heal more of an option at lower gear levels becuase we are not restrained by having less over all mana.
So healers are going to have to make some adjustments and it will not be easy for them I am sure but they do not hold a candle to what is to be expected from tanks. Tanks have the biggest change coming and it is about time in my opinion but in a way I am really scared by the change. Not from a tanking perspective, but from a healing perspective.
Active mitigation for tanks will be an adventure for anyone that has never played a death knight tank. Those that have played one will have an idea how it feels already. While it is both an interesting turn of events, no more rage starvation for bears or warriors, it is also something that will have a learning curve that might leave many late generation tanks scratching their heads.
For the average raider I don't see it being too much of an issue. It is just a change in their style of play but it does not change what they do. Tanks are used to using cooldowns and all that this is changing really is instead of having the cooldown at a set time, like once every three minutes, they have it all the time providing they have the resources to use it.
From a personal perspective I think this could bring a great deal of fun to what has become the most boring role in the game by a large margin, tanking. That is from the playing it myself angle of course. The playing with people in randoms when I am not the tank part of it scares me.
For anyone that has ever healed before they will know exactly what I am talking about when I say this. You can tell if your death knight tank will be good or bad within 3 pulls, sometimes even only 1 pull. The active mitigation design means that there is no such thing as an average tank, there is good and bad. No in between.
There are good death knight tanks and there are bad death knight tanks. There are no average ones. There are ones you can get by with, depending on the content, but that is about it. When healing you notice things like this.
When we were doing the zul grind from hell and I would get a death knight tank it was always a gamble. I've had death knight tanks where I ran though the whole thing, never needed to drink once and barely needed to throw more than a few small heals here and there while rolling an HoT at most. Then there were the death knight tanks that I was blowing everything I had, even raid cooldowns on trash, just to keep them alive and the group alive. I needed to drink after every single pull. Both death knights could be in the exact same gear so it was not a gear issue, it was a pure skill issue.
With that said, I love they are bringing skill back to tanking. From a me playing it standpoint. I hate it from a some random person playing it. I have faith I can learn how to be good at it but my faith in the average player is not very high. Most players really can't learn, at least it seems that way in randoms.
I think blizzard forgot that most tanks, random ones more so, are only tanks for the quick queue and the super easy game play. Tanking takes little to no skill if you have a smart group behind you and only some skill in aggro management and patience if you don't. Usually for the non death knight tank there was never a need to worry about cooldowns and most random tanks didn't even notice that they had them.
Of all the roles it is the least demanding skill wise because of that and most random tanks are perfect for that because their built in mitigation would usually be more than ample for most random content. They have no skill they just beat on things and taunt once in a while. That is your random tank. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying tanking takes no skill, I am just saying that a less skilled tank can easily get away with doing their job now, but they won't be able to come MoP.
When they make all tanks active mitigation tanks that means they are going to be making all tanks death knights from a healers perspective. This means that no longer can they get by only holding aggro, they have to take an active role in keeping themselves alive. With the built in mitigation it made it a lot easier for healers. A lot of what would hit them was naturally lowered or avoided. Now with active mitigation they are going to need to worry about keeping themselves alive.
With all those nightmares I have about those horrible death knight random tanks it has me thinking if they are making a mistake doing this. It means that all tanks will have to use their cooldowns. I wonder if you asked the average pug tank to name their cooldowns and tell you were they are bound 90% would not be able to tell you what they were or where they are bound, or even on their bars to be clicked.
This does not bode well for healers that are also getting another big change and having to relearn things as well. Every run will be like the bad death knight runs where you needed to drink after every pull and wipe a dozen times a run because they can go from 150K to 0 in one global on trash packs as I had seen happen dozens of times in zuls when a death knight tanks picked out 4 mobs and did not think to use a cooldown. All tanks will now have that happen to them all because somebody, the tank, doesn't know how to hit shield wall.
Tremble in fear healers of azeroth, you are about to meet a foe more dangerous than any you have ever faced before. The pug tank.
In less then three weeks most likely, the nightmare begins for healers.
You are not prepared.