Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Few Words About Movement

I've seen a few recent posts on forums around the net and a few recent posts on blog from my blog roll and others not on it all concerning movement.  More so movement issues with locks and shaman.  They have, in my opinion, a right to be concerned about this change.  While blizzard has said they are trying to limit movement for casters it seems only locks and shaman are taking a movement hit.  Some might say shadow priest are getting off easy but they forget that shadow priests had nothing really decent to use on the move to begin with and the change to their level 90 talents which now give them a cast time basically took away any and all movement they had, save one dot.

So it seems that only mages have gotten off the hook, for the most part and not completely, with the lock down on caster movement.  Locks and elemental shaman are still in for a change of game style.  For anyone that started playing one of those classes in mists this will be a complete shock to their system.  More so with locks because for much of the expansion they have been the flavor of the month, or should we say flavor of the expansion, as they were so over powered in one spec or another for the entire expansion basically.  This meant a lot of new players to the class popped up and all those new players learned to play the class with their filler being capable of being cast on the move as well as having a nice little instant in fel flame.

But now that is all over for locks.  All those new locks will be land locks (bad play on words, I know) and will need to learn how to play a caster from the beginning.  Throughout the history of the game casters have been land locked, it was done by design and they are trying to return them to that sort of game play.

But I am writing this post not to ponder what life will be like in the world of casters with the return to standing still but to ask a simple question of why should they have to stand still?

I am a hunter first and foremost and I too have lived the life of being land locked.  Overall the changes in the last four years for the most part I have went from a stand and shoot class to a fully ranged dealer of death and I love it.

I like to think of myself as a decent player, not great but more than capable of holding my own, but it is when movement became part of the hunter arsenal that I really started to shine.  I've seen hunters that were fantastic start to lose a step once they were forced into moving but I never lose a step.  I guess it is my design of how I play with doing all my movement with my mouse which makes keybinding so much easier but when the movement part of the fight starts to pick up and everyone else starts to dip a little with their numbers there I go plugging along and not losing a beat.  I do the same numbers, for the most part, while moving, even if moving 100% of the time.  Like I said, I might not be a great hunter over all, but when I am moving, that is when you see my strength of play.

I think of moving while attacking as a high skill cap thing.  I think all classes should be able to cast while moving.  Anyone can stand in one place and hit a rotation or priority because there is nothing else to think about.  It takes someone that knows that rotation or priority well so they can do it on the fly to keep doing it while moving.  The skill cap of playing while moving has always been and will always be amazingly higher than someone just standing still and hitting buttons based on some sort of which is best to hit right now priority or rotation.

That is one of the reasons why I believe that all classes, not just hunters, should be able to cast almost everything while moving.  I see no reason to land lock people.  Why would you do that?  To make the game boring because lets face it standing on one place and not being able to move is kind of boring.

Attacking while moving is exciting.  It is one of the things I have come to really love about being a hunter and it is one of the things I have always loved about being melee, even if I do not like being melee in general.  I love that melee is about movement.  As long as I keep in range of the mob I am attacking I can keep doing everything I have on my bars, no matter what.  I do not have to stop to get an ability to work.  I can do my entire rotation on the move and I have to say I love that.  It is one of the reasons I had so much fun PvPing on my rogue.  No cast times, no need to stand still, just stick on the person and pew pew away.  No restrictions, just fun.

Movement makes playing a class fun, for me at least.  It makes it feel more dynamic, it makes it feel faster paced, it makes it feel like I have to do more than just hit some buttons.  Moving while playing makes for a very active play style which I like, I like a lot.

Then there is the added factor of who does the casters not being able to move hurt.  For a good player they will learn the fights and learn when they need to move.  Once they get used to their abilities, the cast times involved, the bosses telegraphed moves, they will be able to keep up with their rotation just fine even if they can not cast while moving because they will learn when they will need to move and how much they will need to move.   So not being able to move will not really hurt the casters much.  A good caster will learn, will compensate, will adapt, and will sometimes stand in something, even if only for a split second here and there, to get their numbers out.

And that leads to who land locked casters hurt.  It needlessly hurts the healers.  They are forced to heal people because they are standing in stuff so they can finish that one cast.  I know I have not played my lock much this expansion but I can't tell you how annoying some fights are when you start your chaos bolt, have to move, start again, have to move, start again, have to move, screw this I am not playing a lock again, and that is why my lock hit the shelf.  Sure I could have done things differently, if I had cared to do so, but it was an alt, an alt I had no intention of really playing, so I did not care to get better and manage it.  It was so much easier to just shelf it and get on one of my many hunters who can actually enjoy the game and attack while moving.

But I could have finished the chaos bolt, it would have only meant standing in the bad for half a second. Who is half a second going to hurt?  The healer, that is who.  Sure the healer could easily heal me through it, even more so at this stage of the expansion when mana is rarely if ever an issue.  But it is bad game play.  Even if your healer can heal you through it.  Even if you standing there and doing more DPS will help down the boss faster.  Even if it is no big deal and no one cares.  It is still bad game play.  If you are capable of moving, you should move, and saying I have to finish my cast is not a good excuse.  If everyone said that, you would wipe on the first boss in SoO because the healers would never be able to keep up an entire raid of people standing in puddles because it will get them more DPS.   So it is not okay.

Now, I guess this all comes down to what you consider exciting game play.  If you like the idea of micromanaging your abilities around the need to move you might not mind being land locked, but if you are like me and like to see if you can keep up your maximum potential while moving, you might prefer the more active play style of attacking while moving.

Over all, in my opinion, I think blizzard is going in the wrong direction.  I would like to see more active game play.  I would like to see all ranged being able to attack while moving.  I would like to see fights that reward people for being able to move and do what they are supposed to do at the same time.  I would like to see the days of the land locked caster gone forever.  It has no place in a game like this any longer.  At least not as I see it.  The game should be more active, it should require more movement.  Not less.


  1. if casters are getting land locked, then you can bet, unfortunately, hunters will be next.

    I do stand still, but I do jump out the way of puddles and such. :)

    Thanks for the heads up. I won't make my one and only locky 1 lvl 90, but I will ook at her tonight and probable in all likely hood deleted her.

    I wonder if warriors and rogues will be be feeling any blizzard love?

    -roo "time to clock in for that 4 letter word that is not spoken too loud - w o r k"

    1. I doubt it. Hunters have always had more mobility than all the other ranged classes. I don't think they want to change that.

      They did make a change to marksmans mastery that requires them to stand still for the most part to take advantage of it and I can maybe see them adding more to that spec in terms of standing still, but they will not go the full land locked way of the casters. After all, hunters are not casters. They are ranged melee and as such should be able to do everything while moving.

    2. we aren't?!? Why do we still have spells? :P

    3. We do, technically, but basically we do not. Remember when they removed valley they said it was because it felt too much like a magical effect and they did not want hunters to feel like casters. It was part of the reason we lost mana too.

      But I agree, we basically are still casters even if we are not.

  2. Hunters could always do more than casters while moving. It was their niche.
    But I love Blizzard going back to forcing casters to stand still if they want to deal serious damage. It makes the game as a whole more tactical and less fast. Something I like am lot.

    I never liked warriors getting 3 or more skills to close the distance and casters getting 3 or more building distance. Everything instant - of course. It is an arms race that hurts the game overall.

    However, I do expect them to not keep it, just like no flying. They are going to return cater to the forums again, and I will once again quit :/

    1. This is true. Hunters have always had a fair amount of movement compared to other casters. Even back in the day when they could not move or auto shot while casting there were plenty of instants, mana permitting, that they could use.

      There are two styles of game play. As you say, tactical, and as I say active. I would prefer the skill of movement over the skill of hitting 4 or 3 while standing still any day. But that is just my opinion. I like actively playing so much more.

      In the end I would say the skill level for doing everything right while moving is massively higher than doing everything right while standing still. This is partly why I like it. The reward for doing everything right while moving well is more apparently than the reward for doing everything right while standing still.

      This makes me the exact opposite of you. If they ever took away the hunter movement I have become spoiled with I would quit or switch mains to a tank. I do not like standing still. It is boring game play in my opinion.

  3. There's little enough reason to bring melee to a fight now, let alone if all ranged dps could dps on the move full time.

    1. Now that is a statement I can agree with but the fights are balanced around that fact. Melee need to move much less often. Most ground effects and things that force movement happen to ranged, not melee. Most bosses do not move too often. Most adds are the job of ranged, not melee. There is a balance there. But I do agree. I would rather have a full raid of ranged than even a half raid of melee any day.

      With all that said, it does not change the fact I stated. Moving is just more fun and more challenging. So it is a more compelling game play. My opinion of course. Some people would not agree movement adds anything to the game.

  4. Movement is basically why I don't play my mage very much. I instinctively always try to move out of the fire and always interrupt my casting...

    I remember having to stand still as a hunter and most of the time I still do. I find my spot in the raid encounter where I don't have to move much. Out in the world or doing PvP though, movement is much more important than it is in raiding (except for those boss encounters that require constant movement).

    The melee vs ranged argument is really the only thing to consider when it comes to movement. There needs to be a reason to bring melee... and ranged can't have a big advantage in PvP either.

    On a side note, I need to try using my mouse for movement. I use it for turning, but I still run/strafe with my keyboard. My dps is hurt a little during movement by that since I have one less finger to hit my keybinds. I can use the run by clicking both mouse buttons, but I rarely do that. I'm usually strafing (A,D) or moving backwards slightly (S); Shift-S is my disengage keybind :D

    Grumpy, do you strafe with your mouse? If so, how do you have it setup?

    1. I am the same way, even if I can move I usually find a nice place I am comfortable in and tend to stay there. I might bounce a little but that is only because I can. ;P

      Melee have some major advantages. Such as they need to move less so they can concentrate more on their rotation. They can also interrupt off the global cooldown and usually have more raid utility than a ranged. It equals out in other ways for sure.

      I use a trackball mouse, makes moving a lot easier. Sure I occasionally still need to hit keys for certain things, but not much. Most people do not use, or never have even tried, a trackball, so it would be hard to explain how it works to someone that never used one, if that makes sense.

      To put it this way, if I use a normal mouse, I can not play. lol I am horrible with it. And god forbid I try to fly, I am all over the place like a drunk driver. No thanks. Trackball movement is so smooth, so direct, so easy for me.

      About the one less finger, it would just take practice hitting multiple keys. Sometimes I have played one handed and move with my keyboard and did my rotation and barely missed a step. It can be done, just takes practice, like anything else in life. I just like the mouse because I like being able to turn faster and I have gotten so used to it.

    2. LOL, a trackball. I know what a trackball is. Probably haven't used one in 15 years though... :D

      With less buttons in WoD, I'll be changing up my keybinds a bit anyway. May try moving my interrupt and traps from my mouse and try using those for movement. Questing is a good time to practice those kinds of things.

    3. I am a relic. :(

      Do you know how hard it is to find a new mouse when mine dies? It is a freaking nightmare.

      Absolutely questing can be great practice for stuff like that. Just keep killing and moving, because, well, that is what we do.

  5. Even my druid is going to be landlocked a little bit! Casting time on Wild Growth oh my goodness. But it will be an interesting time - especially in PvP. And sometimes I think, it should be ok to have hunters move for crappy auto shots and low damage shots, but really, you should have to take aim and draw your bow longer if you want a big damage shot! And you have pet damage too and that doesn't require any movement. I think you guys are lucky - for now.

    Trackball! You are hardcore Elf :D

    1. I only recently started druid healing for the first time since wrath, my heal set is 528, fear me, but I love being able to jump around as a tree while healing and I can't believe they are already taking that away from me.

      Lucky is not the word. If I spec BM I can just let my pet auto and myself auto attack and probably still be top 5 in damage done in an LFR. I think auto shots hit for way to much for a set it and forget it thing. The damage from them should be greatly lowered and the damage from shot increased. My opinion only of course, some hunters would kill me for saying that. lol

      Yes, I am hardcore. Sucks for healing however as I use my house to heal with mouse overs and end up having to move with my keys and because I am not used to it I always end up turned around and running the the wrong direction. :P

  6. The skill cap on being landlocked while still needing to move regularly is even higher than the skill cap when you can use any ability while moving. You say it won't have any effect on casters, yet you gave up your lock because Chaos Bolt required you to work it around movement. The game doesn't have patchwerk fights anymore where you stand still for the whole fight and perform your rotation, so comparing hunters to that and saying it's a higher skill cap doesn't mean anything. No matter what you are going to have to move at some point, so it takes more skill to deal with that if you can't cast while moving. You can prefer being able to always move on your hunters, I know I did because it was easier, but you can't argue it takes more skill.

    1. I disagree. You can stand still for "split seconds" and take the damage to get the numbers out. As a matter of fact many guilds let their casters stand in stuff, within reason, and leave it to the healer to heal them.

      If you stutter step between casts it is not a problem at all. Remember, as a hunter I am (was) well versed in stutter stepping and not clipping auto shots. Difficult, no, annoying as hell, yes. So casters are more annoying to play, but being annoying to play land locked is not harder.

      Moving is harder for one reason and one reason only. Because not many have learned how to do it, that is why they are so bad at it.

      I would be willing to bet money in real life that you let mages, locks, shadow priests, boomies, elementals cast everything while moving but told them they could not stop moving that their DPS would drop drastically. As in less than 50% of what they were doing.

      Then after seeing that try to tell me doing a rotation, following priorities, reacting to procs, ground effect, cool downs, trinkets, mechanics, etc all while moving constantly is easier.

      In the end it will always be a matter of perspective. I see how easy I do it and then see how bad others are while trying to do it, so in my mind it shows it is harder than just standing still. You are just looking at it from the caster perspective, so you think that is harder. It is human nature to believe what you do is harder than what other people do. Not just in game but in life.

      So perhaps we are both wrong and both right. But I'll still say my little test would prove I am right. ;)

  7. Long time warlock here. I played before move and cast was an option, so I do I know how to stand still and play. But for warlocks, these changes are disastrous. Why? 1. Destro (and other specs) were redesigned around movement in MoP. Our resource generation depends on it. If they want to take away movement, then give us back our Cata rotations and I'm fine with it. As I said, I know how to handle a non-moving caster,
    this isn't one. As currently designed, it's a joke.
    2. Casters generally have instant procs, DoTs and things to cast while moving. Destro currently has none. My Shadowpriest has plenty to cast while moving if I talent her correctly, and I do for fights where there is high movement. My mage has procs and instants. My warlock has --- virtually nothing. They could balance our damage so that standing still we are so OP that it evens out dps-wise, but that is not good game design, nor is it what most locks are concerned with. We don't need to be OP sometimes and useless the rest. Playstyle and good design are our concern, not numbers.
    3. Destro locks are not a spammy class. Our nukes are already slow and timed around procs. Our best damage comes when we plan our use of cleaves and executes. Playing slower is not something we really need.

    1. You make a great point. The classes as they stand now are designed around having a certain degree of moment. With the changes they are not exactly working as they should because they were designed for movement and no longer have it. Nicely said.

      I was going to mention that the being OP while standing still part will not work. Heroic guilds, world first guilds, etc, will stack that class and just tell healers to heal them through it so they get to be OP all the time. That is why I think it is bad design and it seems you agree.

      The slowness of it is why I never liked it. I love the fast placed game play of hunters that moving to a lock really felt like I was waiting forever for my nuke to go off. So I can see what you mean by not wanting it to be even slower. I would go insane if that were my main and they wanted to do that to me.