World of Warcraft has changed a lot over the years, some of it for the better, some just for the sake of change. There are big changes just over the horizon once again coming to the game in the form of Cataclysm. No one other than Blizzard is really sure of when it is going to hit the stores or just exactly what it is going to change in the game, but it will change a lot. We know that Azeroth will change, we know that stats will change, and that is just the tip of the changes apparently.
Things both class types need
Healers and Tanks ideally need to work well together, that’s a key point of making both classes fun and interesting to play. The symbiotic relationship between the two is what creates a lot of interest and what ties players together in game. Luckily many of the things that I believe are needed in Cataclysm to make both class types better, are the same for both class types. Both class types need some excitement added for them, both need some interesting gear choices, and better cohesion between them. How to do this though?
For excitement both class types need a little more variety thrown at them. Again some things translate to both, such as more base abilities to be used to break up standard rotations. This can be done by adding more specialty abilities, which could become unwieldy or adding more interesting mechanics to fights. Aggro drops or juggling aggro can do this for tanks in most fights.
One thing that could fix part of this for healers is the much talked about larger health pools coming in Cataclysm. Right now players spend far too much of their time at either 100% health or dead. There is very little in-between other than on a tank. This is due to healers being able to top off most players in a single heal, which does not lead to a very exciting game, everyone is either full health or dead. Blizzard has already said they will be implementing bigger health pools and smaller heals to try to address this.
There is one major thing that tanks need to make them interesting to play and that is bringing threat back into play. Right now threat is almost a non-issue in the game for almost any tank that is geared remotely close to their DPS players. When was the last time that DPS pulled aggro or really had to slow down drastically? When was the last time a healer pulled healing aggro? Neither happens any more to any great degree. Fighting aggro and stressing over the amount you can produce brings excitement to the class type. Right now, I do not remember the last time I had to worry about it.
Threat per second on large groups is a bit of a joke currently for Paladins
Some issues come into play for Warriors on AOE pulls and sometimes for Death Knights or Druids if DPS starts too early after an AOE pull. In general though AOE threat is so easy for every tanking class that most non-boss pulls have devolved to simple AOE pulls with single target DPS and coordinated crowd control being a thing of the past. And don’t even get me started on Paladins! Paladins are a complete joke on AOE pulls. All we have to do is run in toss our shield and consecrate and all the enemies are locked onto us. The current AOE threat situation has removed so much skill, finesse, and coordination from the game it is sad.
Healers, or at least certain classes of healers, need more choices in their healing rotation. They also need more time to think and make intelligent decisions instead of constantly spamming one heal over and over again. For many classes that is what healing has devolved to. For example many Shaman healers get assigned to raid healing and just pick a player that has taken damage and cast chain heal. They do this over and over just picking different targets.
A friend that just quit the game as a Shaman healer said he got tired of clicking a player and pressing 1, clicking a new player and pressing 1, etc. That is all he had to do throughout a raid if players were anywhere near geared for it. It was effective, it worked, but it got boring to the point he has left the game for a while. Paladins are much like Shamans as well with only two main heals and many Paladins focus on just one of those heals. They need to have some more options and reasons to use them.
Many healers use either Grid of Healbot instead of the default UI
Not all healers need them though. Druid healers seem to provide an interesting balance unless you are worried about absolute efficiency. They have lots of options and can do multiple things, jumping from player to player for HoTs, through a big heal, or throw a fast small heal. All of their spells seem to have a place and work well. They are by far the most interesting healer to play. All healers should be that interesting, they should be able to raid heal or single target heal, not have one specific role.
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