Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PTR: Life Tap Tweaked

I hate amusement parks, mostly because I hate amusement park rides. I've never been able to stand them, not because I'm frightened of heights or anything like that, but because in my mind there's nothing fun about making yourself nauseous. How does turning your stomach inside-out equate to a good time? I just don't get it, and I just refuse to take part. While dating a girl in high school, I made her go on a roller coaster by herself. Harsh, but I just didn't feel like vomiting the rest of the evening, ya know?

Anyway, I'm getting off track (lol...).

A new build of the PTR came online today, featuring the Life Tap changes that Bliz Blue Hortus told us were coming. This change, from my perspective, and by the way Hortus had written his comment, seemed like it would be an all-out improvement on the Life Tap issue based upon the feedback Bliz had received over the last few days. However, the end result has left me, and pretty much all of the Warlocks I have spoken to, scratching their heads.

Down. Up. And down yet again.

Life Tap now, at Rank 3, converts 20% of a Warlock's maximum health into 20% of his/her maximum mana -- a more amplified version of the change that got Warlocks, and raiders in general, into a frenzy. Why should a PvP-motivated change affect PvE at all?

People are angry, no doubt. The grandeur of posts on the official forums makes that clear. But what is even more pronounced is how confused people seem to be over this most recent change. Instead of taking a step back from their original plan, which is what Hortus's post seemed to imply would be happening, the devs have taken another step "forward" in a direction players did not want to see them heading. Is it simply a matter of lazy implementation in nerfing PvP, or is there something to this change that many of us just aren't seeing?

I'm still trying to figure that one out, personally. With the reintroduction of Life Tap ranks, the sting of the initial nerf is definitely less painful since we'll be able to down-rank where necessary. But, the change is still a nerf to PvE, and is quite the annoyance for the average raiding Warlock for sure.

Changes will likely keep incoming, however. So don't get too comfortable just yet. Just keep your fingers crossed, and hopefully we'll see an up-turn in this carnival ride yet.


Anonymous said...

I think it's not yet quite a nerf. Depending on your build you may or may not need more stamina than mana points.
This way blizz forces more focus on int than stamina for PvE locks (to make mages stop whining about locks stamina/hps ?) and nerfs PvP and deep demonology builds.
We just need to adapt methinks, still being imba dps.


Rahrnok said...

It is concerning though. With so much lock gear stacked so heavily towards stam, if they finalize a change in this direction without any kind of gear balancing many a lock will be a sad panda. I think a re-balance of stats on lock set pieces to help this change, or a return towards the previous mechanic are the best solutions.

Logan said...

This is a huge deal... not because your average raiding lock is going to lose more life when he taps (a minor annoyance), but because it will severely handicap the warlock tank. Some boss encounters require a warlock to tank bosses from a distance, and to effectively do this the warlock needs to stack enough stamina to stay alive (like any other tank). This stamina usually comes at the expense of spell damage, hit, crit, and especially intellect. My current Leotheras tanking set has me at around 14k health and 6k mana, raid-buffed. With this setup (under the new lifetap rules) I'll be tapping for 2.8k health to get back 1.2k mana. With the amount of debuff stacks on me during the final stages of the fight, Leo's chaos blasts are hitting me for almost 10K damage. Lifetapping with anything less than full health means I get one-shotted.

...luckily we've just moved past SSC in our progression and the Leo fight won't be an issue anymore. But wait, we're still going to need a lock tank for Illidan. :-/

I could honestly care less about the minimal loss in DPS that the lifetap nerf will inevitably cause me for 95% of the boss fights that my guild does. I DO, however, care a lot about the fact that this nerf will make any encounter that requires a warlock tank significantly harder. I predict a lot more wipes for guilds who are learning fights like Leotheras, Kael'thas, and Illidan... all because Blizzard gives in to PvPers who whine about "imbalance" and beg them for nerfs.

...which is another issue entirely that really highlights the differences in player demographics. Seriously, how often do you hear raiding players crying to blizzard for nerfs of PvE bosses or dungeons? (Unless the boss is borderline impossible, like Sapphiron). The game isn't meant to be easy for everyone. Some bosses are going to be super hard. Some player classes are going to be super hard for your particular class/talent build to kill. The good player realizes this and deals with it. The lazy or skill-less player complains about it until he gets his way, without realizing that similar imbalances exist for everyone. If other players think locks are SOO overpowered and unfair in PvP, let them play one in a series of 1v1 matchups against rogues, warriors, and BM hunters and see how "unfair" our class really is.

Wow, end rant. Sorry about that.

Iriemon said...

Lifetap is the core ability warlocks are built around.

All of our itemization and a great number of 'core' talents are built around stam stam and more stam. Take a look at Demonic Embrace, Blood Pact and Fel Stamina. They're debuffs for raiding locks now.

That's the problem.

Jagoex said...

Two Life Taps, and we're basically halfway done with. No matter how you spin that, it stinks, and as Logan said, is especially terrible for encounters that currently benefit from Warlock tanks.

Good points all-around, you guys. Thanks for posting your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

3 ranks of lifetap.

What good will 5% maxHP to 5% maxMP do to a lv6 warlock with hardly any green equipment? When mages conjure food and water, replenishing their mp and hp, we spend the same amount of time KILLING ourselves for the same amount of mana regeneration?

And I don't think Hortus who seems to be in charge of warlock/lifetap posts is friendly toward warlocks. The feeling is somewhere between indifference to outright hostility. I mean, come on. Most blue posters have posts involving casual conversation, but not Hortus. No discussion, no explanation, no off-topie conversation, no jokes, nothing. Many times it's simply a forum post link. It feels like they are trying to contain an infestation, not encourage discussion/feedback. Like serious feedback does any good.

No wonder Maso rerolled a warrior. With all the rage generated by patch 2.4, he could probably hit mortal strike nonstop until WotLK release.