I can’t say I followed the Blizzcon information with bated breath. Instead, I skimmed over MMO Champion, and that’s almost it. Let me first say that a lot of information disappoints me. However, I realized that a lot of my posts lately had a negative vibe. So I’ll start with a positive thing I found in the information. Besides, it’s already past 1am here, and it’s a lot faster to write a post about the things I like instead of the things I don’t (sadly).
The saving grace for me so far? The mistweaver. It is a monk specialization, a healer. But not one of those pansy healers in dresses that stand in the back. No! This healer is supposed to be in the middle of things, punching and healing. A melee healer. This sounds all kinds of awesome on paper.
Back when I started playing Vanguard, the disciple was one of the classes I fell in love with. It worked wonderfully in this game. You hit stuff and healed people in your group. It was awesome fun. If Blizzard can pull this off well, this might be a real reason for me to try out this expansion.
Of course, and though I hate it, I have to become a bit negative or at least wary again. How are they actually going to pull that off, especially in raid settings? Melee has had a disadvantage in many situations in the game since… forever, almost. It’s only gotten worse over the years. Melee has to pay attention to at least as many environmental effects as ranged, and they lose their possibility to do damage if they have to move into the wrong direction. A healer that can’t heal because they have to dodge an environmental effect doesn’t sound very appealing. Especially because exactly those elemental effects might necessitate healing. And especially especially since healers already have to juggle health bars. Watching health bars plus watching the ground around you plus intricate melee positioning is more than anybody has had to do so far, and sounds like a little bit too much stress in my book.
Vanguard also has another large advantage. In Vanguard, you can have two targets at all times. An offensive target, which you attack, and a defensive target, which gets beneficial effects. In Vanguard, disciples do their healing and buffing by cycling between group members, while they still can attack whatever is in front of them. I wonder how targeted healing will work with damage dealing in WoW, if you can always only attack or heal.
Of course, Blizzard could change a lot of things around to make the mistweaver work out better. They could reduce their reliance on move-out-of-the-fire effects, which would also make melee more fun again at the same time. In that way, by designing it to cater to a melee healer, they could fix the game back to an (in my opinion) overall better state. They could even extend their focus system to create something similar to the Vanguard offensive/defensive target system.
Blizzard obviously isn’t afraid of change, just look at the “yet another major talent remake” that is planned for the next expansion. But we’ll see whether they can change the game in a way to make this class/spec work.
What do you think? How on earth could Blizzard make a melee healer class work in WoW? Or do you disagree and think such a class would be fine in the current situation, without any changes needed?