As promised, I went ahead and wrote up a post on Heart of the Wild, which ran on WoW Insider today. (Go over and take a look, if you haven’t already.) I attempted to show the pro-HotW and anti-HotW arguments in a balanced fashion, though I’m decidedly for the talent, as you probably guessed. Some follow-up thoughts, which didn’t make the column:
- I agree that the other choices are lame/random and it’s not worthy of being a lvl 90 talent. Just getting that out there. I’d like to see this tier become lvl 60, a single tier of CC talents at lvl 75, and new role-boosting choices added at lvl 90. If talents stay the same, I’ll still recommend people take Disentanglement for the heal. I really have no idea of what talents they could add, but there’s a whole zone of druid lore we just went through, there’s gotta be some ideas there. (Okay, one idea. How about a druid-themed version of Guardian of Ancient Kings, but instead, you can summon one of the Ancients for some help; the ancient you summon depends on your spec, and provides a spec-appropriate buff for X seconds.)
- Making it a talent that just adds heals to our deeps (or vice versa) isn’t the same thing. I don’t have a problem with that idea, and it sounds pretty neat to have a tier of talents that, for example, add a chance for a heal to proc off a damaging ability. That’s not at all what HotW is trying to do, though. Classes are balanced around having X numerical output on each fight, so having a DPS class who can put out X DPS PLUS Y healing would be unbalanced. The healing would be constant but mostly inconsequential (think Leader of the Pack heals back in Wrath), a short burst heal with a long cooldown (which we already have, as Tranquility), or some other spot along that axis.
- The talent has two different use cases, and you need to consider both.
- It can be used strategically. “Hey, this fight has an add with a high burst DPS and low HPS requirement, we’ll plan for our resto druid to pop HotW and switch to DPS to help with the check.” In this case, the talent is helpful, but not a panacea, as most encounters with burst have multiple moments of such. It will be very fight dependent as to whether you want to use it strategically. I generally think the “stacking classes” thing is way overrated; my intuition is that it happens very infrequently, due to the large opportunity costs. (Players on “OP class” alts have less skill/gear/experience; buff coverage becomes much more difficult, etc.)
- It can be used as an emergency button. “Tank died, hold the boss until he dies!” “Tank healer died, keep the tank up!” That bit won’t apply much to heroic raiding (where a death or two usually means a wipe anyway due to not meeting DPS checks) but it will definitely help for lesser-skilled guilds who have more…situations. Sure, it won’t work all the time, but it’d be overpowered if it did
- I don’t think it should become a baseline class ability. As one of the commenters noted, making it baseline means that all druids will have the capability, period. If you have it and choose not to use it, the odds increase exponentially that someone will call you out for “not knowing how to play your class.” If it’s a talent, the odds of that are much less, and you have a ready-made argument that you take talent X instead because of the benefits it gives.
Oh, and the image? That was my original header, before it got edited out and replaced with a stock photo. :) Bearcat FTW!