BRK has been grumbling about hunter mana issues for a while, and this has got me thinking…
He gripes about how his combat decisions, and even spec, are up to the whim of another class (namely, their presence – or not).
This isn’t just true for hunters, and hasn’t been ever since Vampiric Touch was introduced into the game. As a mage, I’m very reliant on Replenishment and at least the 13% bonus spell damage debuff from somebody. A shaman in the group, the 5% crit boost from somewhere else…
All of those things add up extremely quickly. With them, the damage flies fast and hard, with truly massive crits lighting up the damage meters.
Without them… and even a casual observer can tell I’m crippled.
I ran with a Naxx-10 pug where I was the only offensive caster. The only support I had was resto shaman in my group. No replenishment. No extra crit, no percentiles to be seen anywhere.
Just a Flametongue totem and Mana Spring.
It’s a somewhat alarming thought. I do alright without those buffs, DPS isn’t low enough to cause wipes without them, it’s the mana part that gets… concerning.
Consider. With more mana regeneration thrown around in the raid, the more you can safely throw around your mana dump abilities. Arcane mages can sit in ABlast mode for longer, fire mages can spam Pyros and LB’s all day, and frost mages… uhh… nevermind.
With mana regeneration poorer, this constraints the DPS a mage can do. With less mana to draw from, this forces the mage to conserve it, in order to last longer. This results in less room to mana dump, and the whole premise might even be scrapped entirely if the situation is dire enough.
Essentially, if there is a lot of mana regeneration being thrown around, then specs/rotations with high mana consumption (and thus, higher damage) are favoured.
If there is little to no mana regen, then specs/rotations with high longevity are favoured.
Picking some numbers from the invisible calculator here, let’s say we have two specs of the same class. Let’s call this class “Not-Mage”.
Now, one Not-Mage is specced into Not-Arcane, a spec which excels at taking advantage of high amounts of mana to produce a lot of damage. This type of mage thrives in a mana rich environment, but performs poorly when there is little.
The other Not-Mage is specced into Not-Frost-I-Swear, a spec which could really couldn’t care less about any of this mana regeneration crap. As it can’t take advantage of mana regeneration, it’s presence is irrelevant. Due to the specs inherent mana longevity, it performs extremely well in low mana environments.
The one that performs better in a given raid is entirely up to the presence of Ret Paladins, Shamans, Priests, etc.
This can actually be taken a step further…
Because mages dependant on these classes existence, this means we are nerfed and buffed as these classes are nerfed and buffed.
If Shadow Priests are nerfed, mages are nerfed a little too. There’ll be less Shadow Priests around, therefore less Replenishment buffers.
Some priests will be ditched for poor DPS, some will reroll to a different class, others will respec to something that isn’t nerfed.
If there’s a raiding guild that only has a S.Priest for Replenishment, and he gets fed up with his shoddy DPS and quits, that means every mage in his guild was just nerfed, and every mage he had the potential to do any raiding or instances with in the future.
Same for Ret Pallies and Survival Hunters. Let’s say Survival Hunters are buffed. More hunters spec that way, people who had left their hunter behind start to play it again…
Net result, more Survival Hunters than before, more Replenishments being tossed around, mages get buffed.
The same applies to all the other buffs and debuffs mages benefit from out there. Moonkins get nerfed, less Moonkins are around, thus less +13% spell damage modifiers around… mages are nerfed.
Elemental Shamans get buffed, therefore there will be more of them running around in raids and instances. That means more Totems of Wrath, more Elemental Oath procs… mages are buffed.
Why, then, would anyone call for nerfs to these classes and specs when they know full well when their own performance depends on them?
Either they don’t know, haven’t thought about it that way, are spiteful jerks, or just blithering idiots.
By contrast, all these spellcasters depend on us, too.
If mages get nerfed, there’ll be less of them around. Maybe they reroll a different class, go play an alt, or they’re simply not brought to raids anymore (see Sunwell).
This means less refreshment tables, less portals, and less 10% spell crit debuffs being stacked.
Net result, everyone else gets nerfed.
This has to make sense to more people than me and my invisible friend Bernardo.