Whine now, cheese later.
My apology for the title, I couldn’t resist. See, this post is going to be one of those “Priests would be so much better if…” things you see in nauseating numbers on the forums — usually things that if implemented would make priest able to solo Mt. Hyjal and rule the Arenas. Well, till they got bored with level 20 and started leveling. OK, enough sarcasm. I’m going to try to be less obvious.
My problem with the priest – my favorite character – is an apparent disconnect. If you read background notes and flavor notes and pay attention to the gear and all of that you begin to realize that at its root, the Priest is supposed to be dominated by and in turn dominate through Spirit. Int, Agi, Sta and Str have their place and the classes who champion them, but we are the guardians of Spirit.
And Spirit is not critical for anyone.
Oh, the developers intended it to be so. Take another look at the 5SR (Five Second Rule) and what Spirit does. It returns mana, sure. But it’s also returning health. So, how many classes ever wait around to regenerate health – who worry about their recovery? Right. Blizzard has put out three absolutely common items – food, drink, and bandages – that overwhelm anything you can do ‘naturally’. And between food and bandages, the question of whether you’re in combat is… immaterial.
It’s really too late to fix, of course. And to be honest, I’m not certain there’s a decent fix for that particular problem even if time could be rewound. But… but late at night when I ponder what might have been, I dream of another role for spirit. I dream of a role that makes the decision between Int and Spirit not a swift and painless one for all the classes, but one that forces the same agony as deciding between Agi and Sta. I dream that Spirit be allowed to play off Intellect as Strength plays off Agility (or vice versa). Let Int be the source for mana and speed of learning skills. But as Agi produces dodge, allow Spirit to underlie resistance.
Oh, there’s an alternative that’s more complex. That’s to have food and drink act as an accelerator. A multiplier to the base rate from Spirit’s recovery. In some ways it’d be easier to incorporate. However, like the big thing it’d require a major change in the game as a whole.
Oh, there are other things I’d recommend – small things. Things like adding some trinkets and tokens that enhance the surge-and-stop playstyle that is the essence of dancing with the 5SR. (One example: On use, the next five spells gain +100 to damage/healing. Cooldown 3 minutes.) Or perhaps allow priests to add 2H maces to their skills. Or… small things. Because changes shift the balance, so they need be small to avoid it.
But if I could be allowed one big change, that’s it. Make Spirit an obviously useful stat for all players.
I’ll pass out some cheese later.