Damplify Magic is gone, and Frost and Fire Ward are biting the dust, that we know “for sure”. What other magey things are getting the expansion banhammer?
Maybe teleports/portals are being simplified so that we have one button to port/teleport wherever we wish, similar to how an engineer’s Northrend wormhole machine works. Summon one thing, and then just select your destination from there.
Maybe Mana Shield will finally die.
It’s not that I dislike Mana Shield, really, it’s just that it is such a poor ability. And I don’t mean just WoW’s version of Mana Shield, I mean every single rendition of Mana Shield in every single game ever that has featured such a mechanic. Admittedly I haven’t played every RPG ever, but I would be quite surprised to find a game that featured a mana shield mechanic that was actually decent.
Decent as in “balanced and has a point”. The mana shield mechanic in, say, Fable, was truly excellent in that it could make you immortal and give you unlimited experience. WoW has one of the best versions of Mana Shield I’ve seen, but this doesn’t really have anything to do with mana shield itself.
The power of mana shield, and thus it’s worth as a defensive ability, is directly proportional to how the resource of mana is managed in its game. In WoW, mana is neither scarce nor abundant, at least for a mage. It is a resource that, should you abuse it, will break and wilt, but if you take good care of it, will remain vibrant and strong nearly forever.
Compare to the extremes.
In Fable, mana potions are very nearly unlimited. You can purchase enough of them to never run out of mana whilst keeping mana shield permanently active for the entire game. Mana is thus unlimited, thus the power of mana shield is extremely high.
In Dragon Age, mana is an extremely scarce resource. Mana potions are few and expensive, and even if you wanted to craft them the mats aren’t exactly easy to get. Mana is thus extremely limited, each and every point of it a precious resource that needs to be carefully managed. Mana Shield isn’t so much bad as it is pointless.
Sure, mana shield saves a caster’s life, but at what cost? In Fable, there is no cost. In Dragon Age, there is a steep cost, and that mana could be better spent on any number of things. It would have been cheaper to just let the attack land and then expend mana to heal the damage, for example. Or use another ability altogether, using the GCD you would have spent on mana shield, to ensure the attack never lands in the first place.
I posit that mana shield is a pointless ability. Note that this is different from useless! Mana shield can save your life, it is after all a defensive button. But it is one that I don’t think needs to exist.
What does mana shield do, intrinsically? It trades mana for damage you otherwise would have taken. In other words, it is a more direct version of every single defensive cooldown every single caster has.
Ice Barrier, for example. You spend some mana, now you’ve avoided taking some damage. You still take the damage, it just doesn’t hurt you.
Blink, for example. You spend some mana, now the bad stuff you were standing in doesn’t hurt you, the rogue you ran away from isn’t stabbing you.
Frost Nova, for example. You spend some mana, now the warrior is stuck and can’t chase you and swing his axe at your face.
Every single time I’ve played a character in an RPG that has a mana pool, there is always some stupid mana shield mechanic I can use. Why? Was it so hard to come up with other, better defensive options?
Mana Shield is redundant. It doesn’t need to exist. Scrap it and find something else.
The loss of Fire/Frost Ward is a little more intriguing. These were admittedly extremely niche abilities that were nonetheless very useful and could be very powerful with the right talents backing them up.
Ghostcrawler mentions to consider if it was ever fun to push such buttons. Was it fun to push fire and frost ward?
Remember that time Ignis used his big spell interrupt explosion thing? Remember that time you were specced for frost warding as an arcane mage, and that big spell was completely negated, restored 8k mana instantly and boosted your spellpower by a thousand?
Remember that time you specced for fire on my advice and reflected a Conflagrate right back into a warlock’s face? Or that one time an elemental shaman crit themselves for 12k with Lava Burst?
Yeah, hitting fire and frost ward was a huge amount of fun. I’m sad to see it go.
But… this opens up a new avenue for Blizzard. With no elemental wards, we have an opening for mana shield to be ramped up significantly more into a less retarded defensive option. I can’t really say for certain whether us mages actually need any more defensive buttons, but it is now a possibility!
Rename it magic ward, perhaps, have it only work on non-physical damage. Spend 400 mana, it absorbs 4000 points of magic damage, and we can cast it on others to boot. Attach a 40 second cooldown or something.
Or have mana shield do extra things depending on spec. Fire can use it as a personal spell reflect, arcane uses it to restore mana from damage taken.
Or (now I forget who suggested this, and I think I’ve lost your e-mail on the matter) have mana shield behave similar to the shield thing in Halo. It just negates damage up to a certain breaking point, say any hit less than a thousand damage simply gets negated. But go over that limit and the shield breaks, costing some mana.
By the way, shamans, the key to getting mages on your side is not to get mad at us. Try to remember how us mages spent the burning crusade. The term “token mage” was used unironically. Our primary purpose in raids was replaced by an AoE buff in Sunwell.
We mages know exactly how you feel, dear shamans, and we would be more than happy to show some sympathy if you would only stop saying idiotic things.
did we just fucking lose Bloodlust???
You should give warlocks totems. That way everything we could ever possible bring to a group is filled by another class.
Stuff like this isn’t going to make you friends. We’re just going to crack jokes about how your rage and despair sates our desperate hunger for the anguish of others.
Though admittedly there are some extremely loud mages complaining about the changes too, despite the fact that we, as a class, have probably gotten the most promising and buff-filled preview of any class yet.
Not that I’m biased or anything. No sir.
AND SERIOUSLY YOU SHAMANS HAVE AN ABILITY THAT LETS YOU FUCKING CAST SPELLS WHILE MOVING WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT OH MY GOD.