Did you ever play with one of these sliding number puzzles? You start off with all the numbers in order.. and the blank in the bottom right-hand corner.. and you give it to a 3-year-old to play with for an hour.. and it comes back all scrambled. So then you have to spend time trying to unscramble what the three-year-old had scrambled.
Often you’ll get 1, 2 and 3 in the right place.. but 4 and 5 are in the totally wrong place. Eventually you have to move 2 and 3 out of their proper place in order to get 4 and 5 to go into the right place. When you do it.. a little voice in the back of your head is just screaming.. “THEY’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE DON’T MOVE THEM!!!” and “OMG NOW IT’S ALL SCREWED UP. YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO FIGURE IT OUT NOW”. But eventually, with a lot of perseverance you do get it unscrambled.
This is what I feel like is currently going on with the Warlock class. (see this -is- related to Wow.. try to keep up)
On Friday Blizz release updated patch notes. These were added to warlocks:
– Drain Soul: Each time Drain Soul deals damage to a target which can grant experience, it now has a chance to generate a Soul Shard.
– Soul Shard: This item now has a maximum count of 32 in inventory.
The forums -freaked- (or at least the warlock portion did). SO . MUCH . QQ .
– “I can’t raid with less than 80 shards”
– “Think of the progression!!! THE PROGRESSION!!” (in the same tone of voice as “think of the children”)
– “OMG! NERF to PVP. Blizz sucks and hates warlocks.”
So anyway, take a deep breath. Take another. Close your eyes. Let it all drift away. You’re drifting.. on a warm breeze. Let’s imagine…
… that Blizz loves all the classes equally.(Yes, even mages)
… that Blizz makes changes to the game to steer classes in the direction Blizz thinks they should go.(**)
… that once-upon-a-time Blizz thought Soul Shards were “neat” and “different from everything else” and made the warlock class “distinct”.
… that it wasn’t until it was finished..and tested for a while that Blizz found out that the “neat” and “distinctive” feature was actually kind of annoying. (Really, it’s not -that- annoying until you’re doing raiding or lots of PVP)
… that 1,001 other things in other classes were more annoying/counter-productive than soul shards.. so Blizz hasn’t been able to give this the attention it needed. (We can all acknowledge that Wrath shipped in a not-totally-finished state).
… that when time was available Blizz applied bandaids to the problem. (Soul Well, Evil TV)
Ghostcrawler seems to indicate that even the current PTR changes (DS/32-soul shards) are bandaid fixes. He hints at something very very cool. I can’t quite see it yet. And actually, at this point it looks like it might -not- be in 3.1.. but I’m watching carefully. At this point I think the changes on the PTR sort of maintain the status quo.
So why not just remove Soul Shards as a reagent? Because then we’re just Mages who use shadow instead of frost. Lord knows we don’t need more Mages.
** When I was in college a professor once described “steering the economy by changing the prime rate” to be the equivalent to “steering a ship by encoding the steering orders as a crossword puzzle.. and then having the crossword puzzle delivered to a monkey in the engine room. The success of the ‘steering’ depends both on the captain’s ability to encode the instructions.. and the monkey’s ability to decode the instructions.” -THIS- reminds me alot of what Blizz is doing. Unfortunatley, I think we’re the monkeys.
*** Someone once accused me of having no soul. I told them they were wrong, I have a bag full of them.