Monday, December 13, 2010

Gevlon has a point

Sometimes I ask myself why I keep Gevlon's anti-social drivel blog on my newsreader. And then he writes something to remind me why, usually a highly intelligent analysis of something, followed by a completely disgusting interpretation and rant about morons and slackers. So if you manage to just ignore the sociopathic nonsense, you'll find that Gevlon has a point in his analysis that Cataclysm dungeons can be trivialized by simply taking two healers.

Of course if you look at it closely, the same analysis is true for Wrath of the Lich King heroics: Bosses don't have an enrage timer, so if you come with 2 healers and a tank sufficiently competent enough to keep aggro from the healers, a group can't possibly lose a fight, and thus will by definition eventually win. Only that in WotLK of course the group would also most probably win with just one healer, and bringing one more dps makes the dungeon go faster.

In Cataclysm wipes in dungeons are more common. I even wiped several times with guild groups in the new dungeons, because we were all of the mindset that it would be better to just try stuff out instead of getting a ready-made video guide from YouTube. So we fell in all the traps, like killing the fourth puppy at Beauty in Blackrock Caverns. We laughed, it made for a great story in guild chat, and we moved on. In a pickup group a wipe is likely to lead to the break up of the group, and not necessarily to players learning something and doing better next time. Thus with dungeons being a lot harder, a strategy to never make a pickup group wipe is definitely a possibility to consider.

Of course the analysis of the social consequences by Gevlon is completely wrong. The two-healer method is not going to become the standard for pickup groups, because it requires the tank and the first healer to queue together, with the healer "disguised" as dps, in order to get a second healer assigned by the Dungeon Finder. For that to work we need tanks having special relationships with one healer, but not with anyone else. That will happen rarely enough to not make any difference on the queue time for DPS.

What is more likely is that certain classes realize that they can benefit from being hybrids, and heal a bit in tight situations in dungeons. For example Tranquility is a great spell to heal everybody when things are starting to go south, even if the person casting it is currently a Moonkin. It is *because* everybody tends to blame the healer that even pickup groups might feel that some added healing would allow them to overcome their problems, and they might ask hybrids to help out with healing a bit.

Furthermore the discussion on how to make heroics easier is one which will only pose itself for a few month. Of course now, with people just reaching 85, heroics are very hard. But they will most probably stay at exactly this level of challenge for the next two years, while players on the other hand will continue to improve their stats through gear. Cataclysm didn't fundamentally change the emblem system of Wrath of the Lich King. Doing heroics long enough will still end you up with a set of gear that outgears the heroics. And if I understood the new system correctly, there is even a built-in progression, where heroics rewards get better over time, while people reach new raid dungeons. In a year nobody will consider bringing a second healer to a heroic a good idea. Right now it is a neat trick.

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