So, Blizzard made a pretty big announcement on the 8th. They’re making some changes to what is easily considered the most controversial and infamous racial ability in the game. After reading this announcement I had a few initial thoughts that rapidly snowballed into something far more comprehensive. Thus, I thought I should share my string of thoughts and the findings that came as a result. Enjoy!
- Were you aware that the Human racial, Every Man for Himself (EMfH) currently functions exactly the same way that a PvP freedom trinket does?
- “Duh, Womp!”
- Bare with me. I’m going somewhere with this. It’s pretty obvious that Blizz needs to adjust the existing incarnation of EMfH to fit in Legion, right? Otherwise Humans would get two freedom trinkets. That wouldn’t be fair would it?
- “No shit, Sherlock. I’m not going to take your bullshit much longer. Get to it!”
- “That looks comparable Womp! Will of the Forsaken can be very useful.”
To be honest, my original impressions weren’t far from ‘comparable’ either. So, I started doing some digging. It didn’t take long before I remembered that I suck at digging so, I lured my lover Knuttgaard (He loves it when I call him that) to help me dig. Our process took longer than I anticipated when I tweeted that I would be doing this article that very same day. Onward to the raw-dog, big-dick data. (“Why…. Just Why….??”)
It’s not eluding anyone that the factions are super unbalanced currently. It’s also no surprise that EMfH is the chief culprit in the overwhelming majority of PvPers switching to the Alliance. After all, being able to have two DPS trinkets equipped for a significant power advantage over races that require a freedom trinket has a substantial allure to it. Many of us drew a deep breath, smiled hesitant smiles and let our hearts feel the slightest of tingles when the PvP talent system was announced and the freedom trinket was clearly the first obtainable talent on the board. On our podcast, I jovially boasting about how this change should even the keels and thus, casual PvP will become bearable again! Those tingles are now gone and have eroded into to angst and disappointment.
Blizz has compared their new rendition of EMfH to the Undead racial: Will of the Forsaken (WotF.) This comparison is at the very heart of my turmoil and disappointment. It’s also why I’ve sat down to write this article. This is pure misdirection. On the surface this comparison seems legit. They’re both racials. They’re on opposite factions and they both provide the player with an escape from different pools of CC. That last part – hmmm. Could be important… I think. I’ll elaborate – extensively. Currently there are more than double the amount of stuns in the game as there are spells which WotF can be used to escape from.
- “Okay, they’ll probably see this coming and adjust it to bring these two racials closer together.”
- “You said you were gonna stop doing this…”
One would think that if you’ve made such a comparison, that the aforementioned comparison would be somewhat comparable, right?! Heh, heh, heh. You silly goose. You gullible devil, you. I bet you would have never guessed that they’re actually putting MORE stuns in the game and potentially taking a spell away from the WotF pool.
Below you will find two scenarios:
1. How would the two racials stack up if the proposed incarnation was implemented today (with the current information.)
2. How they’ll stack up in legion in it’s current alpha implementation. Because… that’s the best info we have.
Today EMfH would be slightly more than twice as effective as WotF which, is bad enough if we’re “comparing them.” In legion (currently) it will more than triple the effectiveness of WotF… …. …………
So, let’s take a moment to compare other Alliance and Horde racials. The Horde has a 20% stun reduction coupled with a somewhat significant DPS increase (Orc). There’s also a blanket 2 second silence (BE) which can bury a healer when caught at low health, especially when chained together by melee cleaves who are conducting the — chugga chugga chugga — Pain-Train. But, the other Horde racials are pretty run-of-the-mill. On the other side of the coin there’s Shadowmeld (NE.) Shadowmeld can be STRONG when there are no interrupts and that player would otherwise be caught in CC. Humans and Night Elves literally represent 10 out of the 11 classes with one exception: the shaman. The argument simply cannot be made that EMfH isn’t a juggernaut — a man amongst boys. Obviously The Horde doesn’t have an array potent choices, nor do they have anything “comparable” to EMfH. The only conclusion left to draw is that EMfH still skull-fucks every other racial without breaking a sweat and immediately sits down for a bowl of turtle truffle to reflect on its sovereignty!
It gets better! Not only is EMfH still on top, but I speculate that it will actually make humans more powerful than they currently are.
- “How the fuck is that, Womp? They’re detracting from the ability!”
- Why do you continue to interrupt me? No, they’re not. They’re essentially giving everyone what humans currently have and then giving humans a button that removes all stun effects. In WoD, Humans can only counter one stun every two minutes! Do you realize how fucking effective stuns are compared to every other CC?? Who the fuck ever died inside a fear, trap or sap?! NO ONE!
I was tempted to gloss over that last line, but it’s an important point. You can, and at some point will, die inside of a stun. And, if you don’t have a trinket, there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. Fear, on the other hand, is broken with minimal damage. Spells like sap and freezing trap (which can’t be removed by WotF) break instantly upon damage taken. These spells require delicate positioning and cleave control. Otherwise they’re a useless waste of resources. Not so for stuns — the only way to remove a physical stun is with a freedom trinket, nimble brew (until Legion), Ice Block or other such abilities. In Legion, Humans will be able to remove 2 stuns within relative succession of the other. Honestly, when I faction swap (and I will, if these changes stick), I will probably lean toward Adaptation and shave 30 seconds off my trinket for lengthy, non-stun CC while maintaining my get-out-of-stun-free card for the rapid, shorter, more threatening stuns. It’s okay though, my human mage has a killer slut-mog!
We have asked for racials to be balanced for a long, long time and this feels like the opposite of balance. EMfH is actually becoming more powerful in conjunction with the tier 1 PvP talents. So, after all of this pissing, moaning and bitching, I will offer my preferred solution. I cannot take credit for this. I found it on reddit and unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the user who posted it, but I find it appealing: make the racials mirror each other for each faction. Give Undead EMfH (after all, they used to be human (have you ever seen an UD cow? NO!)), Give Draeni a blanket 2 sec silence, and so on. OR (this is mine) make WotF so that it removes all incapacitating effects (sap, trap, poly, etc.). It could then, at least be called comparable.