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9-16-2011 @ 4:25PM
A thought for revamping the balance druid flavor: make Eclipse more visually impressive. Rather than just having a sun/moon pop up above our heads when it procs, give us a bright orange or blue version of the shadow priest haziness or make plants sprout beneath us during solar and lights twinkle around us in lunar or something. If we can be visually distinct without the need for moonkin form that might solve the problem. This could be a bit risky because aesthetics are very subjective, but if it worked out we could preserve moonkin form in the same way tree of life was preserved for restos. I think a giant owlbear is a sufficiently awesome looking CD.Or, perhaps, blizz could give moonkin form a more interesting impact on gameplay. Perhaps limit celestially based spells to moonkin form only. Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall, and Starsurge have little to do with the flavor of either the feral or resto trees, so limiting them to balance's iconic shapeshift wouldn't be a very large shift in flavor. While not exactly a visionary solution, it does bring moonkin form more in line with bear and cat form (which I think we can agree are interesting enough to warrant their existence) rather than just being a static boost to stats.Either way, I think it's important that some form of shapeshifting is preserved (as a CD or static form) because shapeshifting is the central bit of flavor that ties the druid class together, whatever your nostalgia for caster druids in vanilla might be.
9-16-2011 @ 4:41PM
Quick point: I think having something to replace the visual distinctiveness of Moonkin form is a must if we are to get rid of it. Mages define themselves by being pure casters and can get away with not being visually special, but other casters have to differentiate themselves in some way. Locks use demons, shamans use totems, and shadow priests are shadow incarnate. That's a lot to live up to if we want to avoid being mage 2.0.
9-16-2011 @ 4:52PM
Be careful what you wish for; the Shaman Class Feedback thread has seen an overwhelming plea to ditch the totems already. Just because a mechanic is distinctive doesn't mean it's very good.
9-16-2011 @ 5:06PM
@GauriskI hope that's not true. But if it is I hope to Elune Blizzard doesn't cave in. I mean what the hell would they replace it with? That would strip Shamans of their most unique mechanic. Don't get me wrong, sometimes totems can be difficult to get used to at first but overall removing them doesn't sound like the solution.
9-16-2011 @ 5:16PM
I have to agree with the Shaman players here. If planting sticks in the ground was what makes a Shaman interesting, Thrall and Drek'thar would use them. But that's a subject for whenever the Totem Talk column has its feedback analysis post.
9-16-2011 @ 5:25PM
@GauriskMmmm. Well I'll just have to go read the Shaman post, but you're correct that discussion is best left for later. I'll close my end of this topic by adding that I'm just one of those players that doesn't jump to the same conclusions about class homogenization until core mechanics and flavor start getting chucked out the window. I don't care if every class has a silence mechanic, or a stun mechanic, that's not homogenization. But removing the ability to shapeshift for druids or removing totems for Shamans starts sounding more like homogenization to me.
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