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Monday, September 19, 2005

Reason #924 Night Elf Priests Are In Trouble

One of the things I enjoy about World of Warcraft is that the game is constantly being tweaked and improved (well, usually the changes they make are improvements).

My main character in the game is of the priest class, more of a healer than a damage-doer. Along with choosing a class, you can also choose what race your character is. The race I chose was Night Elf.

Now, all priests in the game have the same spells at their disposal (more or less). One exception to this are two spells called "racial spells". For example, a Human priest has the two racial spells called Feedback and Desperate Prayer. A Night Elf priest does not have these spells, but instead has Starshards and Elune's Grace.

Just before I get to the point of this post, let me explain one more thing. In order for Blizzard (the makers of the game) to try and achieve a good balance between players they have forums where Blizzard representatives listen to suggestions from players. There are some designated Blizzard people that are in charge of 'looking after' certain classes. Their job is to play the character class in many races, talent configurations, and situations -- this knowing the class inside-and-out. Unfortunately for priests, our guy is Eyonix.

Eyonix is renowned for ignoring the priest class, and we have been forced to sit back and watch our abilities grow stale compared with the improvements being brought in to other classes. As priests aren't primarily damage-doers it is probably harder to tell that we're falling behind, but anyone who actually plays a priest regularly can surely tell.

In addition, Night Elf priests have an even harder job than priests in general because their racial spells are very, very poor in comparison with those of all other races. Elune's Grace in particular is virtually useless. Priests have been petitioning for a very long time to have it replaced or modified in such a way as to make it useful in at least some situations.

This feeling was compounded for me today after reading this thread in the official forums. For some reason threads don't seem to last very long there so I will reproduce the relevant bits:

Player: Does anyone else think [Elune's Grace] should be fixed?

Eyonix: Admittedly, I've not used Elune's Grace much at all, as the ranged damage it prevents is seemingly less significant when compared to what my Renew spell or Healing Wave will restore - and with a worse mana to health efficiency ratio. I will try and test the ability out in more situations where it could be taken advantage of, and perhaps ask the class designers their particular thoughts on the ability.

(Emphasis added by me.)

OK, so this sounds great. Maybe Eyonix is actually going to do something that benefits priests for a change. Wait just a second. Healing Wave? I'm an experienced priest yet I don't recognise this spell. Oh! I know why! Healing Wave is a shaman spell!!

If our representative cannot even remember the most basic priest spell (called, unsurprisingly, Heal) what chance do we have?

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