There have been a lot of blogs and chatter about squishing numbers, as we get higher levels. This week’s Community Blog question was does Blizzard need to squish abilities?
And I thought about this and all the healing buttons my tree has, and then I realized that Blizzard pretty much squishes abilities with every expansion, and even sometimes in new patches.
I started this game back in TBC, and in those days, many abilities had rankings to go with them. For example, on my holy paladin, there were about 5 or so “levels” of Holy Light and Flash of Light. (I don’t remember the exact number it was a long time ago so shaddup Mav). The lower levels of the spells weren’t very powerful in end game, but they were there. With every ding or so, we got a new level to our abilities. But then it became a mana conservatory. Healers began to downgrade their abilities to save mana. End of a fight and I was running low? We didn’t have no stinking Divine Plea! That came in Wrath. I had to down rank my healing spells to level 2 or so, since they cost lest mana to cast. Blizzard didn’t like this so they put the kibosh on the ability levels and squished them into one.
While we’re on the subject of pallies, we had a blessing for everything. 25-man raiding with 8 pallies in the group took a lot of coordination of who was blessing what. Someone cast might, someone cast kings, someone cast wisdom, someone cast light, etc. Now we have a bunch of hands and two blessings. That’s it. Squish! And we were flogged if we forgot our sacred candles! I still miss Divine Intervention and Righteous Defense.
In Wrath, I enjoyed dabbling on my affliction warlock. We had a LOT of dots and debuffs to manage back then. Agony was a curse that had to be juggled with other warlock curses. We had a fire dot that was a big part of our rotation (it was a long time ago and I can’t remember the name of it, shaddup Mav). When Cataclysm hit, affliction was squished into a much simpler rotation. Just when I got the rotation down /shakes fist.
In Cataclysm, I offspec’d kitty on two-heal fights in heroic Dragon Soul. Kitty rotation was a beast, and I had it down to a science. It was a fun rotation. When 5.0 hit, we were declawed into a simple rotation of shred spam and two dots.
Abilities are squished and taken away all the time. It’s part of the game, and making the game less intimidating to learn for new players. Some rotations are complex, and Blizzard takes some abilities away, and often adds new better ones. If abilities didn’t get squished, every expansion, every 5-10 levels when new abilities and talents are added, our bars would get so big they’d cover our screen.
If I had a choice as to what current abilities to lose, here’s my list of top 5:
1. Rockbiter Weapon. Seriously, why the hell is this still in the game? Maybe someday Shamans will tank again?
2. Not really an “ability squish” per se, but for the love of cheesecake make Harmony passive! I know it’s listed as passive, but it’s not truly passive when we have to use specific spells to activate it! We have enough hots and buffs to monitor. Just give us a flat passive throughput buff from Mastery and be done with it.
3. Mind Vision – Has any priest really used this?
4. Track Humanoids – I’ve PVP’d on my druid a lot, and I totally forgot this ability even existed.
5. Soothe – I’ve never used this, because we’ve always had a hunter with Tranq shot. The last time I even remember needing a Tranq shot was in T11.
And there you have it. Keep on squishing. My ADHD doesn’t like to remember too many buttons to push!