Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pushback talents suffer

There's a widespread change happening to the way pushback talents work. We already know about the change to continued spell pushback; while casting a regular spell (Frostbolt, Arcane Blast), the first two hits against you will increase the spell's cast time by 0.5 seconds. However, after the second hit, every other hit after that will be pushback-free for the remainder of the cast.

While channeling a spell (Blizzard, Arcane Missiles), damaging attacks will cut the total time channeled by 25% (that would be 2 seconds per hit while channeling Blizzard, and 1.25 seconds off your Arcane Missiles, effectively removing one missile from your spell). Like regular spellcasting, you will only suffer pushback twice while channeling a spell.

Now, another change has been made to talents that offer[ed] pushback resistance. Pretty much every caster class has talents that increase your chance to resist spell pushback; many of these spells give you a 70% resist chance. Obviously these talents are very useful, especially in PvP. However, all of these talents have been changed; instead of giving you x% chance to fully resist pushback, instead they reduce the amount of pushback suffered by x%. I suppose that means if normally an attack would increase a spell's duration by 0.5 sec (for a total of 1 extra second of cast time), 70% less pushback would mean only 0.15 sec added to the cast time (for a total of 0.3 sec).

Talents affected by this change include:

Nature's Focus for Balance/Resto Druids
Improved Barrage for Marks Hunters
Arcane Stability for Arcane Mages and Burning Soul for Fire Mages; note that because Arcane Stability is 100% anyway, there's no real change to how the talent works when maxed out.
Spiritual Focus for Holy Paladins
Healing Focus for Holy Priests and Improved Shadowform for Shadow Priests
Eye of the Storm for Ele Shaman and Healing Focus for Resto Shaman; note that EotS didn't offer pushback resistance in Burning Crusade.
Fel Concentration for Affliction Locks and Intensity for Destro Locks

When I first heard about the changes to spell/channeling pushback, my intial thoughts were this: if you're casting a fast spell, it won't matter because you won't get to three hits anyway, and if you're casting a slightly slower spell, it won't matter because by the time you reach pushback immunity at three hits, whatever melee class is beating on you is going to find a way to interrupt your spell or otherwise screw you.

I'm sure the changes to pushback talents exsist because Blizzard is hesitant to grant casters nearly complete pushback immunity: with a 70% chance to fully resist pushback, and only two chances to be pushed back per cast, that's a really good chance to experience no pushback on most of your spells. So instead, with talents you only get 0.15 seconds per hit on your spells, which really doesn't sound bad.

I have a caster Druid with Nature's Focus, and I have a Mage I could spec back into the Fire tree and Burning Soul. I need to get on the PTR and do some random soloing and try this out. Theoretically I'm against the change to pushback talents, but maybe I'll find it doesn't actually mean much anyway.

But before I can do that, I need a new card. Account expired on Friday. Gotta see that Brewfest! I let my account expire during Children's Week, which made me sad :( No mini Elekk for me.

No comments: