Delusions – New Rune System
August 23, 2010 62 Comments
If there’s one good thing which has come from our complete lack of official feedback it is that it has caused people to examine and re-examine our issues over and over again, and although there haven’t been any startling revelations or sudden epiphanies regarding how to resolve our present beta issues (and I wouldn’t expect any to come at this point), more discussion – even if it doesn’t always help – certainly can’t hurt. Just over the past weekend there’s been half a dozen threads (which, for the most part, are all relatively productive) discussing and debating our current state and various means by which our problems could be alleviated.
There is, unfortunately, one line I’ve seen stated in every single one of these discussions; some variation of “the new rune system is broken”. Sometimes it’s simply assumed as truth as the poster then “demands” a revert to the old system or some complete and utterly unnecessary reworking of the new one, while other times it’s just blatantly declared broken without any explanation or logical argument.
I’m sorry to ruin the party but, no, our new rune system is not in any way inherently flawed. Any of the numerous faults people like to mistakenly credit to the system all come from some other change to the class:
Attributed Problem: Frost and Unholy being GCD capped.
Actual Cause(s): Runic Empowerment, for the most part. Rime’s increased proc rate, the introduction of Sudden Doom, the increase in base runic power generation, the buff to Chill of the Grave, the runic power generation modifer of Frost Presence, the rune regen modifer of Unholy Presence, and the new haste functionality are all contributing factors as well.
Why The Misconception: Honestly, I have no clue why people get this confused! It’s pretty obvious that the new rune system compared to the old – ignoring everything else – has more empty globals, not less. The fact that we’re capped isn’t any sort of failure with the system itself.
Attributed Problem: Blood lacking GCD fillers.
Actual Cause(s): The lack of a Rime/Sudden Doom talent, the lack of a Chill of the Grave/Dirge talent, the nerf to avoidance, and the conflicting nature of Death Rune Mastery and the increased emphasis on Death Strike.
Why The Misconception: Don’t get me wrong – yes, the new system definitely adds to Blood’s issues, but those issues would be there regardless, just covered up by the quick rune regeneration. The fact is, Blood doesn’t have any proc’s like Rime or Sudden Doom – Crimson Scourge is as close as you get, and I don’t think I need to explain how terrible and incomparable it is. The fact is, Blood doesn’t have any runic power increasing talent like Chill of the Grave and Dirge, and although Scent of Blood might seem close in overall result, it doesn’t have the same effect when offtanking or maintanking a caster. The fact is, our avoidance rates will be way down by the time we hit level 85 – as Blizzard freely admits – and yet Rune Strike, our spec and role specific runic dump is still tied to parrying/dodging (if they removed that requirement, 90% of Blood’s rotational issues would be gone, at least in terms of empty space). The fact is, Death Rune Mastery should eat up extra globals, but we have little incentive to take advantage of it with the current emphasis on Death Strike. The fact is, the new rune system might not help Blood, but it’s not hurting it nearly as much as other changes are.
Attributed Problem: The rotation seeming “whack-a-mole”.
Actual Cause(s): Runic Empowerment.
Why The Misconception: Once again, I’m not sure how people get this one confused. The new rune system is as predictable as the old, and functions in the exact same manner aside from the fact that it’s slowed down. RE is the pretty obvious culprit to the feeling that runes come up in random and unpredictable orders, and we’re left at the whim of RNG as to what we can hit.
Attributed Problem: Cooldown resource costs being limiting.
Actual Cause(s): Cooldowns having resource costs.
Why The Misconception: Vampiric Blood, Bone Shield, Pillar of Frost (/Unbreakable Armor)… their costs are just as obnoxious on live as they are on beta, just as illogical in the old system as they are in the new. Yeah, we can use Blood Tap to cover for it, now and in the future, but there’s little point to the spell if it has to be lined up with a cooldown in order to effectively use them. All the new rune system does is make this dated mechanic more apparent. It doesn’t make the mechanic dated itself.
Attributed Problem: The class being “broken” in beta.
Actual Cause: None, because it isn’t true.
Why The Misconception: I understand our lack of feedback and lack of changes are frustrating. I understand people dislike change, especially when what little change we have received has been flawed in various manners. I understand people are just angry in general. But the class isn’t broken. We’re perfectly functional – flawed, but functional. If the numbers were right (which they inevitably will be), we’ll be able to tank and dps just fine, even if not a single thing changes from our current beta state. Yeah, we might do so in odd manners – dual-wielding as Unholy in Frost presence while treating Runic Empowerment procs as passive rune regen and not actual procs, for instance – but we wouldn’t actually be broken in the sense that something just plain isn’t working. There’s a large different between “not working” and “not working as intended or as is logical or most player-friendly”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ld love to see our problems fixed, and I’m sure it will happen in due time, but to say we’re broken (as a whole or in regards to the new rune system specifically) is a gross exaggeration.
Does the new rune system have actual issues? Sure: non-damage abilities didn’t have their effect or cost adjusted to reflect for the relatively more valuable nature of individual runes, abilities weren’t switched from the rune system to the runic power system, rune abilities likely aren’t strong enough in power (while runic power abilities are too strong in comparison), and so on. The thing is, all of these problems were the sort of stuff Blizzard very specifically said in the preview and elsewhere that they were aware would likely come about and would tackle once they did. They just… haven’t. Not yet, anyways.
When stating a problem, make sure you’re actually aware of what’s causing it. It keeps your feedback accurate and constructive, and specific to the matter at hand. Hyperbole or misdirection never helps!
When stating proposed solutions (which I’ve seen a lot of lately, which may or may not be coincidental!), remember to keep in mind what actually needs solving and what doesn’t. It keeps your suggestions more realistic and understandable to your average forum-goer, not to mention more likely to actually come to pass. Yeah, it might seem cool to completely change the focus of a tree or to completely overhaul (which the new rune system doesn’t do) a resource system, but neither needs to happen to solve our problems, and doing so is just needless and will likely turn off more people (especially devs) then it will attract.
Anyways, not a real full-fledged topic, but it’s a subject that’s been bugging me. I’ll likely make another “real post” later today, although it will likely be after I work.