The Blue Posts:
A lot has already been said about these changes on the forums, and I want to try and cut through the hysteria.
- The Need Before Greed loot system will be the unalterable default looting system for pick-up groups in the Dungeon System and has been updated.
- Need Before Greed will now recognize gear appropriate for a class in three ways: the class must be able to equip the item, pure melee will be unable to roll on spell power items, and classes are limited to their dominant armor type (ex. paladins for plate). All items will still be available via Greed rolls as well as the new Disenchant option should no member be able to use the item.
- Group Disenchanting Option: In addition to rolling “Need” or “Greed” on items, players now have the option to elect for an item to be disenchanted. “Disenchant” works exactly like “Greed” except if a player wins the “Greed” roll, they will receive the disenchanted materials instead. Players who choose “Need” will always win the item and will always beat those that choose “Greed” or “Disenchant.”
The Actual Impact:
In a literal sense this change means that Moonkin will not be able to "Need" cloth when using the random group feature coming out in 3.3. A moonkin can "Greed" on cloth using the tool, but their rolls are grouped with everyone that just wants the item for enchanting mats or vendor gold.
In actual play this change will probably have very little impact. Who is running instances for gear any more? Most of the people using this too will be doing so to get emblems, get rep, or get achievements. The only really problem I have with the actual system is that it treats "Greed" and "DE" on the same level. Therefore an item that is a real upgrade for a new moonkin may get automatically DEed so that another player can have a shard in the bank. Other then that, the impact will only be felt by people who are leveling.
The Symbolic Impact:
The reason I have a problem with this change is the symbolic impact. Whether Blizzard means to or not, this change will be interpreted as a big flashing sign that says: "MOONKIN SHOULDN'T WEAR CLOTH!!!"
I am trying to look at it optimistically. First, this will probably have little or no impact right away. Thoughtful guilds like mine will still realize that there are valid reasons for Moonkin to wear cloth in some situations. Thoughtful Moonkin will pick their battles wisely and try not to rock the boat to much. Guilds that currently prevent moonkin from rolling on cloth will continue to do so. The status quo will be maintained.
Another reason to be optimistic is that there are massive changed coming to gear itemization in the next expansion. Moonkin shouldn't have to worry about Spirit any more and hopefully Blizzard will be better about providing gear with the necessary stats like Hit Rating. I may be dreaming but we may actually get to a place where spell leather is equal to cloth. If that happens then the leather vs cloth debate will change quite a bit.
That said, the pessimist in me is worried. Blizzard has gotten a lot better about providing quality spell leather, but there are a couple of facts that make me think that spell leather will never equal cloth.
- If you exclude Ele Shaman, there is one spec that will want to use DPS spell leather. There are 3 classes that are restricted to cloth.
- Most raids will run with only one Moonkin. Two at the most. On the flip side, most raids will have 6 or more cloth DPSers.
- In WotLK, cloth drops are twice as frequent as spell leather drops.
Blizzard has said many times that they don't like seeing items useful to only one class getting sharded week after week when there are possible upgrades for other classes. This is why they don't like to have idols drop from bosses. This means that there will always be better cloth options because there will always be more cloth options. If you only have one non-tier leather piece with Hit Rating you might be forced to use it, because you don't have other options. Moonkin will be back to the same cookie cutter gear we had in TBC.
A Failure of Logic:
Blizzard has acknowledged that this change was likely to be controversial, but they feel it is necessary to protect people against ninja's because it will be harder for players to protect themselves with cross-realm LFG. I understand the reasoning, but I question its logic. Blizzard explained it this way:
Ultimately, our logic went like this: If a Holy paladin loses a great non-plate upgrade to another player, one out of five players might feel bad. If a Holy paladin rolls Need on every type of armor that drops, then four out of five players might have a bad experience. The jerk potential seemed worse than the lost-an-upgrade potential as far as whether or not players buy into using the new dungeon tool.On the surface the logic seems reasonable. Upsetting 1 person is better then upsetting 4, but I want to ask one question. How big of a problem are Jerks/Ninjas?
I've played WoW for a long time and I've done a lot of pugs. I've met my fair share of assholes, but I would say the vast majority players are reasonable and aren't going to "Need" every single drop.
For arguments sake, lets say that in 1 out of 10 instantance runs there is a jerk that decides ninja loot. Then lets say that in 5 out of 10 instance runs there is a Druid, Shaman or Pally that loses a legitimate upgrade, because they couldn't roll need or another player wanted a shard. Who knows what the actual rate for these to events will be, but I think everyone can see how the 1 vs 4 argument is misleading.
To use Blizzard's example, only the Holy Pally will be upset that he can't roll on the non-plate item, but he may be upset every time he runs that instance because there will usually be someone that hits the DE button without checking to see if it's an upgrade for someone that can't roll need.
I think we would all agree that ninja's suck, but someone getting screwed out of a legitimate upgrade is going to be much more common.
I agree Nature's Grace is a big part of the problem here. We changed Gift of the Earth Mother for pretty similar reasons. However, Nature's Grace is a Really Big Deal. We honestly keep talking about changing it, but we're also paranoid about screwing it up because Balance dps is dependent on it. NG is probably an overbudget talent, but in this case if we nerfed it, we'd have to mess with Balance in a lot of other areas to compensate. We'll almost certainly do it at some point, but I worry about messing with it for 3.3.Translation: "Nature's Grace is getting nerfed in 4.0."
After reading all of the discussion, I agree with Ghostcrawler's comment quite a bit. If Nature's Grace wasn't so powerful we wouldn't be clipping the GCD, but it's such a powerful talent that nerfing it is more difficult then it sounds. Given that we are so close to an expansion it is probably a lot easier to alter the talent and the spec as they are making the massive changes that come with every expansion.
Twisted Nether Blogcast:
In case you missed it, my appearance on the Twisted Nether Blogcast round table is now available. You can find it here. I am also told it is available on Itunes.