As I briefly mentioned last post, mages now have access to a miniature mortal strike, via the talent Permafrost, at a 7/13/20% reduction to healing, afflicting all targets suffering from on of your chill effects.
My initial reaction is as follows:
After that… I thought about it, and then said the following:
The first “why” being in legitimate confusion, the second being more of a philosophical conjecture.
The Mortal Strike debuff itself used to be a warrior only thing. Nearly completely by itself, it made Arms the PvP spec of choice. It gave warriors the ability to provide massive pressure against enemy healers, and as a result warriors became very prevalent in PvP.
With only a little bit of exaggeration, every successful 5v5 arena team had a warrior for one reason and one reason only, and that was the godly mortal strike debuff.
Blizzard, apparently, decided that it was too powerful an ability for one class to sport. So it’s been spread around a bit. Rogues can do it, hunters can do it, and even Arms’ angrier, less eloquent brethren the fury warriors can do it. Well, I suppose troll priests could do it too back in the day, but that isn’t relevant anymore.
Thing is, Mortal Strike is powerful, and Blizzard decided to take the attitude of “bring the classes, not the class” for Wrath PvP.
As with all homogenization, this is a slippery slope. Where do you draw the line, or as GC put it, when do you decide to just apply the debuff to everyone as soon as a match starts?
In the Wrath beta, enhancement shamans were given a mortal strike, in an effort to get them in a better place for PvP. Fearing homogenization, they lost the ability and in exchange received… well, nothing.
So with 3.2, mortal strike is getting spread around a little more.
Mages have it, as mentioned above, as do Shadow Priests, via Improved Mind Blast.
The latter makes sense, to an extent.
Shadow Priests aren’t exactly in the ideal… screw it, I calls it as I sees it. Shadow Priests suck, and suck badly. As far as being an offensive caster goes, they are stuck somewhere between a moonkin and an affliction warlock, but lacking all the perks and possessing all the crap.
A mortal strike debuff for shadow priests make sense. They need the PvP buff, and classwise, this fits rather neatly into the shadow priest mythos.
I mean, shadow priests already flay the minds of their opponents, leech their energy, wrack their bodies with disease, and can even cause them to drop their weapons from sheer terror.
Is adding a mortal strike to that skillset really a stretch?
Warriors: my axe is coated in rabies, that’s why it’s harder for you to get better.
Rogues: it’s taken centuries to perfect this poison, a poison that rots you from the inside.
Hunters: well, yer see, there be this weetle spot right above yer heart.
Shadow Priests: hush, now, don’t speak. Let the darkness consume you…
Mages: Man, you know what sucks? Being really cold. It’s hard to heal when you’re really cold. I mean, that frostbolt is, what, -90 degrees?
Just as a quick recap, this is where mages are:
Arcane and Frost PvP are fine. Frost PvP, in fact, is in such a good place right now that Blizzard refuses to buff frost PvE out of fear of making frost PvP overpowered. Fire PvP, on the other hand, is pretty crap.
On the flipside, fire and arcane mages are in a pretty damn good spot as far as PvE goes. Sure, there are differences, but nothing hugely significant. Frost mages, of course, are pretty crappy, lagging 20-30% behind their non-frosty brethren.
So given this situation, what is your first reaction?
Is it to buff frost mage PvP? No? Why not? Clearly that’s the biggest issue with the mage class right now.
All snark aside, there are a few conclusions I can draw from this:
- This is not, in fact, going to go live, but merely Blizzard’s way of testing what a change like this would do. Consider Mortal Strike the Replenishment of PvP, and expect it to get spread around to multiple specs the same way.
- Following the same idea, mortal strike is going to be spread around, and nerfed across the board to 20%. Say goodbye to 50% mortal strike, say hello to the not quite as game changing 20%.
Personally, I think this change is following the same idea as the current Living Bomb change.
Oh, in case you didn’t know, Blizzard is currently testing with not giving LB a limit to the number of targets it can afflict. They don’t know whether they’ll go through with it, it’s just being tested.
Same thing here, methinks. It’s just a test, just to see, maybe it’ll go live, maybe it won’t. Mortal Strike is sort of in the same boat as the whole dispel game, it’s an out of control mechanic that is in desperate need of a do over.
So here’s the real question: why does MS need to be spread around at all? Why does it need to be in a place where it can be counted on to always be up?
In my opinion, Blizzard is doing this backward. Rather than weakening mortal strike and spreading it around, it should be strengthened and consolidated.
At its core, what is mortal strike? Well, it’s a way to pressure an enemy healer, just like spell interrupts, crowd controls, or other cooldowns and effects of that nature.
Why does MS need to be in a place where it’s always up? Can we not take the complete other direction, and have it be something that’s up only sometimes?
Rather than warriors having a 50% mortal strike that’s nearly always up, why not have a 80% mortal strike that can only be put up once every 45 seconds?
Instead of having it be a flat debuff that is always up, resulting in this current dilemna, why not have it be a cooldown? Something that is used to push for a kill and something that can be countered against… you know, something that actually requires strategy.
Look at it this way.
Healers have passive talents and abilities that provide small boosts to their healing. They have active abilities and cooldowns to provide large boosts to their healing.
So opposing DPS type classes should have abilities and talents that mirror that. Why should warriors, or anyone else for that matter, have access to something to passively reduce healing by such a huge amount?
And hey, if being unable to provide 100% mortal strike uptime somehow cripples warriors in PvP, then Blizzard is just going to have to buff them intelligently, aren’t they?