After a roller-coaster of tweets back and forth, we finally have some more information regarding the design of Mistweavers in Legion. I have had a chance to absorb the new information and ponder my exact feelings to the new changes, which I will discuss in this post. First, a short summary of how the discussion has passed regarding the subject of Mistweaver’s potential ranged status.
The first notion of the loss of our melee status was stated, slightly ambiguously, in the Monk post. It said:
“We’re also focusing Mistweavers solely on healing, rather than supporting a type of mixed attack-healing gameplay that felt awkward and ultimately didn’t live up to our goals for the spec—it was unintuitive, and chiefly useful as a mana management tool.”
The description implied that the Crane stance was gone, and possibly even our melee abilities. Tweets was sent to @WarcraftDevs to find out what exactly has been changed. They responded:
We were in effect ranged healers then. Questions about our DPS rotation were then raised.
Eminence was a confirmed goner, but we had no clarification of how we were supposed to deal damage in raid encounters if we couldn’t stand in melee. We knew healers would get a damage buff, based on this bit of information from Blizzcon:
- The change you’ll notice in group PvE content is that you will be doing a lot more damage when you chose to spend resources on it.
- Your damage will be a useful contribution to the raid now.
And this tweet:
We are supposed to be able to deal damage, we have melee spells, but we could be targeted by ranged mechanics. How did that add up? Another bout of tweets sent to the Developers, and here’s the answer:
My Thoughts on the Subject
To be perfectly frank, I was deeply disappointed to learn that our main DPS spell would be Crackling Jade Lightning. Partly, because constantly channeling one spell is not anyone’s idea of fun and engaging gameplay, and partly because we would essentially be locked out from our melee abilities. I’m not only disappointed in this design, but also incredulous to how it came about.
As the design is now, we retain our melee abilities (I would hazard a guess at Jab, Tiger Palm, Blackout Kick and Spinning Crane Kick, though it is still unconfirmed), but we will be effectively discouraged from using these abilities by the risk of endangering the other melees with possible hits of ranged mechanics. No Mistweaver would jeopardize the raid in such a way. As a result, our opportunities would be small to use the melee abilities in PvE settings – it would be completely dependent on each specific encounter design. And unless raid encounters will go through any remarkable changes, that would mean the majority of encounters would lock us out of melee. The new talent Mistwalk would also be unusable in melee, for the same reason.
It seems like poor design to encourage healers to DPS (by bolstering it), give us melee abilities and then so strongly discourage us from using them at all. Instead of having melee status to enable us to safely use our melee abilities, or give us a proper ranged toolkit (and by proper, I mean something more engaging than channeling one single spell), we are stranded somewhere in between, left with unusable abilities and a mindless spamming of Crackling Jade Lightning. Can this truly be the intended design?
In the light of making Holy Paladin into melee instead of Mistweavers, and making Discipline Priests into a hybrid DPS healer instead of Mistweavers, I would hope that the developers give us a properly working toolkit with which we can carve our own niche. Either make Mistweavers properly ranged or properly melee, with appropriate abilities, instead of leaving us somewhere in between, with a toolkit we can’t use.