So, last night/early this morning, MMO-champ released the early listing of spells that druids are giving and receiving for the Symbiosis spell that’s been so controversial.
I’ll be honest. I knew when I first read it that it would be a balancing nightmare, but the more I see, the more I think Blizz should just scrap it and give druids another spell while leveling, because this is just NOT going to end well. So, first off, let’s take a look at what druids will be getting. I’ll mostly focus on the bear and kitty specs, since those are the ones I currently play, but if there’s a particularly horrid offender in boomkin or resto, I may touch on it. As with all beta information, all of this is subject to change at any minute in time, so take it with a grain of salt, as I have.
So here is what druids are getting from:
Death Knights – Guardians get “Bone Shield”, Feral gets “Death Coil”.
Another defensive cooldown for bears definitely couldn’t hurt anything, but it seems like taking the easy way out. Feral getting Death Coil is ridiculous since their rotation (currently) is already pretty GCD locked, and energy starved. Admittedly, I haven’t played it on the beta, but I have yet to see anything that would change that enough to justify another 40 energy-costing ability.
Hunters – Guardians get “Ice Trap”, Feral gets “Play Dead”.
Bears with Ice Trap makes absolutely no sense to me. If you’re like me and get Ice Trap and Freezing Trap mixed up all the time, Ice Trap is the one that creates the patch of slowing shit on the ground… so why on earth would tanks need an aoe slow like this? Maybe there are some mechanics in some boss fights? Maybe? I don’t know, but it seems silly. Kitties getting “play dead” (druidic version of feign death) makes sense, as kitties tend to be high on the threat scale, and cower really only drops like 10% threat or something. Play dead could definitely come in handy in some circumstances.
Mages – Guardians get “Mage Ward”, Feral gets “Frost Nova”.
Mage Ward is what used to be Frost Armor. I could see this being useful in pve on some rare situations, and making bears REALLY annoying flag runners in pvp. Frost nova for ferals… oh god, I can just hear the pvp QQ right now. Holy crap that’ll be absurd.
Monks – The spells received from monks have yet to be implemented.
Paladin – Guardians get “Consecration”, Feral gets “Divine Shield”.
Bears with consecrate… because clearly, our aoe threat is a problem at this point, amirite? Kitties getting Divine Shield will be another one that will make kitties powerful in pvp. 50% damage reduction on an already difficult to kill, FAST class? Woof.
Priest – Guardians get “Fear Ward”, Feral gets “Dispersion”.
This symbiosis makes the most sense to me. Fear Ward is a *fantastic* idea that’s not overpowered, and will see legit use in both pve and pvp. Dispersion for kitties is right in the same lines. THIS is what symbiosis should be for druids.
Rogue – Guardians get “Feint”, Feral gets “Redirect”.
I like the idea of bears having an AOE damage reduction. It may only see some modest usage at best, but it’s still a good trade. Kitties getting redirect, and all of a sudden every kitty on the planet loves their friendly neighborhood rogue. Combo points have been the major downfall of kitties in pretty much every target-switching boss fight, and this is a fantastic way to combat that.
Shaman – Guardians get “Lightning shield”, Feral gets “Feral Spirit”.
Initially, I /headtilt’ed at bears with lightning shield, but it’s a fun idea that could augment thorns, and also see legitimate usage. Kitties with spirit wolves (or spirit kitties maybe?) are an interesting idea, but with Treants being given to all specs, i’m really curious about this choice.
Warlock – Guardians get “Life Tap”, Feral gets “Soul Swap”.
A tank, willingly taking some (20% in this case) of his health for some rage may seem like a questionable choice, but I think this would see a lot of use in 5-mans, between pulls when Enrage is on cooldown. Not terrible, but not great. Kitties getting soul swap is a great way to combat the lack of opener burst that they’ve suffered from. Minor target swap fights (like Spine or Blackhorn) would see kitties ABSOLUTELY LOVING this ability.
Warrior – Guardians get “Spell Reflection”, Feral gets “Shattering Blow”.
Spell reflect will be an AMAZING ability for bears, when they already kind of suffer on magic damage fights. Ferals getting “shattering blow” is yet another one where I can see massive amounts of pvp tears. Pally bubble shattered by a kitty? what is this I don’t even
Now then… What does everybody get in return from druids?
DKs: Blood recieves “Might of Ursoc”, Frost and Unholy recieve “Wild Mushroom: Plague”.
Blood DKs get another defensive cooldown (increases health by 15% for 20 seconds)… again with taking the easy way out. Wild Mushroom: Plague is just another disease spreading ability. Simply put, it drops a mushroom for 30 seconds, and everything in it’s area get the diseases pulsed onto them every 3 seconds. It’s a cool idea, but between the level 15 talents, DKs don’t need ANOTHER way to apply diseases… and the cooldown (3 minutes) is pretty extreme for this.
Hunters (regardless of spec): Dash
This will definitely see use, but seems like it would be used more for the root/snare breaking than the movement speed increase. It doesn’t seem terrible, all things considered.
Mages (regardless of spec): Healing Touch
Mages get a heal. They’ll definitely find some use for this, but again… meh.
Monks: Brewmaster receives “Survival Instincts”, Windwalker receives “Savage Defense”, Mistweaver receives “Cyclone”.
Tanks getting a defensive cooldown, yadda yadda. Windwalker getting a large dodge cooldown… That seems like a weird choice. Mistweaver getting cyclone seems like it makes the most sense for this class, to be honest. It’ll probably see the most usage in pvp though.
Paladin: Holy gets “Rebirth”, Ret hasn’t been implemented yet, Prot gets “Barkskin”.
Spreading around the battle rezes. This really isn’t a bad idea at all. Tanks with another defensive cd, second verse same as the first.
Priest: Disc and Holy get “Entangling Roots”, Shadow gets “Tranquility”.
I *really* like the idea of Shadow having a massive aoe heal in tranq. It will definitely see some pretty good pve usage in big aoe fights. Disc and Holy getting a root will most likely be used in pvp more than anything else.
Rogue (all specs): Growl.
….rogue tank for the win? Idfk. At least they give them a big armor increase for this. It could definitely be the difference between a wipe and a kill if the tank goes down.
Shaman: Ele and Enhance get “Solar Beam”, Resto gets “Prowl”.
I have always loved “solar beam”, because packs of casters can be really nasty, in both pve and pvp. Prowl for resto shaman… I am not entirely sure the thoughts behind this, but way back in the day when I first started playing, I remember thinking that ghost wolf form WAS a stealth form, so this is probably a bit of fanservice for all of us who used to think that.
Warlocks (all specs): Rejuvenation.
DPS with a heal. yawn.
Warrior: Arms/Fury get “Stampeding Shout”, Prot gets “Frenzied Regeneration”.
This one i’m really confused about. I don’t think there will be a lot of times where you’ll need to use Stampeding Shout/Roar in quick succession, so having it on two people in the raid is a bit… strange. Although, I suppose it depends on the raid group and the encounter so who knows. I understand a tank getting a defensive CD, but Frenzied Regen for prot, when they already have Enraged Regeneration seems pretty redundant…. idk, maybe it’s just me.
Now then.. as you can see, some of these are pretty good, some of these are REALLY good, and some of these are just full of what the fuck. My evaluations may not be 100% spot-on, but that doesn’t change the fact that some of these are significantly stronger than others, and some will see a lot of one-sided usage over others. I’m not quite sure how these things are going to get balanced out. I just don’t quite know what Blizzard’s intention was for making a spell like this where druids are going to be SO FOUGHT OVER for this one bloody spell. This is yet another reason that I don’t see myself continuing on with my druid for MoP, but that is another story for another day.