Changing of Dispel Mechanics

These changes went up the other day and are altering the way us healers do things. I gotta admit, I am more the intrigued in how the system is being set up. Here’s the summary:

  • Druids will be able to dispel defensive magic, curses, and poison.
  • Paladins will be able to dispel defensive magic, diseases, and poison.
  • Priests will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and disease.
  • Shaman will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and curses.

This leads me to conclude that upcoming encounters in Cataclysm will revolve primarily around removing magic. Also, is anyone else a little confused about the way they’ve worded defensive magic and offensive magic? I’ve read it as all classes can remove magic debuffs on friendlies while Priests and Shamans can remove magic buffs on enemies. I did have to think about that one for a good minute to make sure I had it right.

How this affects raid utility and healing

* Protection and Retribution paladins will lose their current ability to dispel magic.
* All shaman will lose dispel disease and dispel poison in exchange for Restoration gaining dispel magic.
* Restoration shaman, Restoration druids, and Holy paladins will need to talent into their defensive magic dispels.
* Shadow priests won’t be able to remove disease in Shadowform.
* Mage, hunter, and warlock will retain their current dispel mechanics.
* Body and Soul remains the same, and basically any dispel mechanic not mentioned above is currently planned to remain as it is.
* When possible, we’d like to combine dispels into a single action. For example, the druid ability to dispel curses and poisons might be a single spell with a Restoration talent that also allows it to dispel magic. This part of the design isn’t finalized, however.

On encounters like Rotface, I’d usually ask a Prot Paladin to handle dispels since they’re the ones on the outside anyway (on 10 man at least). With this change, this means that I’ll need to assign a healer to take care of that. It shouldn’t be a significant problem at all. What it means is that the healing “bandwidth” is going to get a little clogged up more with extra dispels that need to be done.

To be honest though, I don’t foresee it being a serious issue. As a reflex healer, I’m already spending my GCDs on player dispelling anyway and on some fights, I like to have a fun competition on the dispel meters to see who can squeeze off the most and the fastest.

For example, you know that guy in Warsong Gulch who just sits around while the rest of the team is killing the opposing flag carrier but is just spamming the space around the carrier with right clicks and your jaw drops in amazement when they return the flag even though you could’ve sworn you got to it first?

Yeah, that’s me!

I’m also thinking that encounter mechanics will change so that poisons, diseases and curses won’t be as punishing to the raid unless you’re on hard modes. My expectation is that debuff mechanics will simply need to be healed through since if you don’t have the class composition to cleanse it, there isn’t much that can be done. With the pool of available dispellers narrowing, there is a greater emphasis on healing teams to contain at least 1 healing class of each type. Just having the classes alone aren’t enough since non-Priests will need to talent into the ability to dispel.

As for PvP, I’m not too sure what effect this change alone will have. It’s going to make things increasingly tougher, I would imagine. But let’s not forget the increased stamina change coming to all the classes. So for example, while that Rogue you’re engaging has all his poisons on you, I imagine it wouldn’t be as deadly at 85 as it would be right now in the game.

Don’t forget about the Cataclysm class information changes. They’re coming out with them tomorrow (at least for Shamans and Priests).

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. The only real difference I see there (if I’m not mistaken) is that druids will be able to dispell magic. Priests and shamen can already dispell offensively.

    Also a little confused about your comment that your protadin will no longer be able to remove the disease on rotface. According to what you posted, paladins will still be able to remove diseases.

    • @Clariph: I forgot to include something.

      * Protection and Retribution paladins will lose their current ability to dispel magic.

  2. Actually, that reads just magic only. I forgot those were diseases/poisons. I was under the impression _everything_ had to be talented into. All the same though.

  3. Xaathras says:

    Matt,

    I think you have the magic thing a little backwards. One of the stated goals is that in PvP you’re not going to be as penalized for choosing the “wrong” healer for your arena team.

    The way I read it is that all healers will be able to dispel/purge (I play a shaman) buffs on other players. Only certain healers will be able to dispel things like polymorph.

    Defensive Magic = Prayer of Fortitude, Earth Shield
    Offensive Magic = Polymorph, Hex

    I could always be wrong though. I really need to get into the beta now.

  4. The wording is confusing, but I think you have it backwards. I think all healers will be able to dispel buffs from enemies (primarily done for arena balancing) while only priests and shamans will be able to dispel effects done to your friends. Nearly all (or all?) the buffs we place on ourselves are magic, while the debuffs placed on us come in all varieties. I’m curious how the raid encounter mechanics will work, especially on 10 man, to make up for the fact that it will be harder to cover all dispels. Of course, as you say, if the effects themselves are less punishing, it may work out.

  5. @Xaathras, ObiChad

    Matticus actually has the magic thing correct. If you read the original comment on the forums by the blue poster, Zarhym he explains it a little more:

    “An example of defensive magic dispelling would be using a dispel to free a polymorphed ally, while offensive magic dispelling would be utilizing a dispel ability to strip away an enemy’s buff or heal-over-time (HoT) spell. The main distinction between these two types is in whether or not you can target an enemy with your dispel.”
    .-= Kaelynn´s last blog ..It Begins With A Trickle =-.

  6. ObiChad says:

    It looks like a did have it backwards (as a commentor whose comment has not yet appeared here pointed out). Odd. Seems weird from a pvp point of view.

    As to pve, it seems they have this covered well, as Zarhym explains:
    “We want to stress yet again that one of our goals behind these changes was to help us design 5-player dungeons and 10-player raids. Currently having the ability to remove, say, a poison or disease can make an encounter go from challenging to easy, yet not every group has those abilities. With this new matrix, the encounter designers can make anything that must be dispelled a magical effect, while curses, poisons or diseases would be in the category of helping you win, but not an instant wipe if you lose. In 25-player raids, we have more flexibility to ask you to dispel more types of effects.”

    http://blue.mmo-champion.com/28/24038610691-upcoming-cataclysm-dispel-mechanics.html

  7. The other thing to keep in mind is that they’ll be penalizing dispel spammers by allowing you to still cast the spell even if there’s nothing to dispel AND mana costs will go up. Those dispel contests will have to go to the wayside, in favour of more organized, controlled and thoughtful dispelling.

  8. One thing I saw in the notes that disturbed me a bit was:

    “In Cataclysm we are raising the mana costs, making it possible to waste mana by casting a dispel when there is nothing to dispel, and removing Cleansing Totem, Abolish Disease, and Abolish Poison from the game.”

    Each of those spells that are to be removed shares a dispel-over-time component, that currently lets us throw the spell in debuff heavy fights and have a few seconds breathing room while it continues to tick. Unless they add that time component to existing spells, it looks like they are going to make us handle each debuff with a separate cast. I’m thinking anything like the poison-heavy AN fights we hit early in Wrath will become much more stressful to heal.

  9. I can’t wait to see the new encounters to see how these will work.

  10. I expect that there will be less debuff spamming by boss’ and therefore no need to spam dispells.

    Instead I think there will be fewer debuffs that may or may not need to be dispelled. e.g. 10% damage taken increase, worth getting rid of if you have a GCD spare, but not essential, can just be AoE healed through.

    This all has to tie into the change in healing dynamic.

  11. I’m really interested to see how they handle dispel balancing for classes like rogues (poisons). As a Disc Priest, it was pretty rough to be hard countered by rogues in PVP just because you couldn’t dispel their poisons.

  12. “To be honest though, I don’t foresee it being a serious issue. As a reflex healer, I’m already spending my GCDs on player dispelling anyway and on some fights, I like to have a fun competition on the dispel meters to see who can squeeze off the most and the fastest.”

    we better stop that compition or we’ll be OOM fast.
    It is indeed going to be interesting.

    The cure disease not in shadowform for priest is not going to be fun in encounters vs deathknights

  13. “I like to have a fun competition on the dispel meters to see who can squeeze off the most and the fastest.”

    I knew it!!

  14. Lychordia says:

    I thought priests were already used deffensive spells in ToC on Jaxx. I could be wrong.

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