Wednesday, March 18, 2009

[Druid]Oh yeah, swipe!

I guess I didn't make any announcement or OMG on how they've changed swipe. Heh. Oops.

So yeah, they're changing swipe to have no target requirement and hit everything in an 8-yard range around the druid. It's neat. It's much like playing my pally in TBC was in terms of feel. You always want to reposition yourself, clearly - but now you don't have to immediately, which makes your threat a lot more consistent and your pulls less prone to random mobs wandering off.

The animation hasn't changed a bit, so it still looks like you're just swiping the thing in front of you. I desperately hope for some kind of bear whirlwind when swipe happens.

Swipefarting is damn, damn fun. Basically, instead of kiting mobs by aggroing them, turning around, swiping, turning back and running again, you just run past, swipe, and swipe as you're running. Swipe swipe swipe every 1.5 seconds, and the mobs never run away from you ever again. You might occasionally have to slow down to hit more, but it's not that hard. And with Savage Defense not having positional requirements, you can actually block attacks while swipefarting.

It's bugged right now, of course, and only effects things in a less than 5 yard range. Even with that limitation, the ability to swipe things without targeting them is a huge boon for me. I have onmouseover macros for my FFF, charge and taunt, but it's still very nice to be able to actually target them so that I can charge them and then hit them, for example.

Doesn't work in cat form as far as I can tell. It still requires a target and still requires a cone. I'll test it more thoroughly though.

I do miss not having more fine-grained control of AoE, but not so much that I'll complain. It makes one headache less headachy. I still don't want to spam things as much, but with the maul toggle macro (more on that later today) it's not nearly as much a headache. It does feel less skillful though, which is amusing given some of my earliest posts on Karthis' blog. I still don't think that it's that crucial that they remove the skill components or not, but I also think that having one big AoE "I win" button is a bit lazy and not particularly fun. It's interesting to know how to use a cone effect vs. a 360 one. It's not that interesting to have only one tool without significant limitations. Better tanks will still be more situationally aware, know how to build threat on multiple mobs better, break CC less, do cleaner pulls, use cooldowns more wisely, gear better and do more damage - but now swipe is an Easy button, and it's slightly poorer for it.

But hey, I can swipefart. So it's all good.

What do y'all think about the new swipe?


Karthis said...

Yet another difference between bears and other tanks removed. Yet more skill removed from the game. How hard was it to keep things in front of you?!? Really, I never had problems.

But the whining must have reached critical mass, and the developers bowed to it.


Marino said...

Still don't agree about the kiting thing (see comment #16 on your previous post).

As you can read on my blog, I was at Emperor Vezax and never even dared to use swipe. Well as soon as I was out of range of anything cc-ed I used it (very much interested in your maul marco though).

I don't think aoe tanking will be that good in Ulduar. If you still keep doing Naxx runs and heroic you will be happy, but in Ulduar it is a an ability that because of the change has become a lot more dangerous. I might even see this as a nerf, or a catboost. We are because of aoe hebind us and cc no longer the best tanks to tank trash when now we will also hit cc-ed targets not in front of us.

Swipe change in current content is super, but in new contant it is really overrated.

felkan said...

Keeping mobs in front isn't really the problem with swipe vs other AoE. It is server latency. You might think a pack of mobs running toward you is in front of you but the server thinks they are behind you, so they don't get hit. It is a RPITA. Happens to me all the time in VH with the patrol packs. Sure we still kill them all, but I look stupid in the process.

Same thing happens in the computer event in HoS and in the first boss of plague wing in Naxx (adds run right by me when I think they are in front of me).

You still want them in front for the glyph'd maul (and dodge??). But the initial grab is no longer much of an issue. Good druids will still reposition and won't turn into sloppy pally tanks.

secretagentcat said...

I love the un-targeted aspect of it, but I think the 360 degree swipe was unnecessary.

Just as Karthis said, it's not all that hard to keep the mobs in front of you, it makes for very mobile tanking which is a GOOD thing. My problem was always with its need to be targeted, I was always getting out of range errors.

Kalon said...

Karthis - I agree. It was a solution largely in search of a problem. I do think that bears really could have used an AoE threat move; all other tanks have at least one, and it does make druids less optimal tanks in common situations. But I didn't think changing swipe was the way to do it.

Ah, that's what you meant, Marino. I was confused. Kiting in this case is more referring to grabbing hundreds of low-level dorks and killing them all after running through an entire instance. It's fun and good for you. And then, of course, there's times when you're wanting to build aggro on things while you're moving, which is another form of kiting. This is especially true on something like adds on Sarth. You don't care about positioning, but you do still want to be doing damage and putting up threat on the mobs you have. This is just that much faster.

It's also useful on something like Gluth - not having to turn and run is pretty stellar there.

On Ulduar, I fully expect that my dual spec won't have a maul glyph. It's just that deadly with respect to CC needed. So yeah, this is also likely a nerf, but at the same time swipe wasn't going to be part of the retinue there anyway.

Anonymous said...

Not a lot of fights made me hide in the corner, but the swipe change will aid in those. Make them too easy? Maybe...

Specifically: Bran event in HoS, Gauntlet in Old Strat, gauntlet in Pinnacle (doable, but messy), some of the pulls in Violet Hold (too spread out to pick up cleanly)

Peter said...

Oooo maul toggle macro???? say more say more. I have maul on every attack now - almost never out of rage. But an on/off would be nice.

I'm all for 360 swipe. I dont understand the skill argument: for alot of us who play alot, swipe and repositioning is a well honed twitch reflex. I've never considered that "skill" but I suppose it is. Botttom line is that, as we all know, bears are the weakest add tanks on Sarth+3, and this is a nice boost. You dont want to feel you're running with a liability tank in hard mode content. So much of the tank rebalancing has focused around what Sarth+3 has shown us. My former guild that I recently left is now wiping on sarth because they have no druids or DKs, while my new guild is succesfully 3-shotting him in 10/25 mode each week. How fair is that? How would we feel if aoe type encounters existing in hard-Ulduar that bears simply couldnt tank?

The best players today still have uber situational awareness. Server firsts and creating progression curves continue to exist no matter how they dumb down an individual class's abilities.

My sense is that situational awareness in Ulduar will have less to do with managing CC carefully, and more to do with the "avoid firewalls, void zones, and watch that dragons cast bar at the same time" mechanic. Oh - and require the rest of your raid to do so. CC is very old school, and while they're bringing some of it back, I suspect the sarth3d creativity and hardness is the way of the future. Its also a lot more fun. Poeple bemoaned the lack of the threat mini game at first... but there's still a bit of threat management in the game - its just not a big focus of every raid. I'd far rather be dodging enormous graphic walls of fire than micromanaging threat + CC. You can make really hard & fun encounters that way.

Chambord said...

360 swipe was the last nail in the coffin for one of my bear tanks (I have one on two different servers), who is now resto. Just when I thought bear tanking couldn't get much more mindless, here comes swipe-for-dummies. Ugh. Compared to the complexity of DK tanking in which I'm using 4-6 step rotations, and different ones for multi vs single target threat, it just no longer holds a candle. And, it makes me a sad tree.

Flyv said...

Yeah, this simplifies and homogenizes things too much for me. Karthis and I joke about the "it's too hard to have the mob in front of me" thing but the truth is in fights with chaotic adds (say, Sartharion) it is a bit of a challenge to keep adds in front of you. A great time to let another tank do that job or else show your chops.

Now there's no need. The only difference between Druids and Paladins AoE tanking is we have to press the Consecrate button once a second.

monkeytree said...

I think the swipe change is excellent. Not needing to have a target selected makes it much more natural and usable in the quick thinking situations. And having it be a 360 degrees hit really compensates for server lag and the tendency for mobs to randomly wander through the tank and start hitting from behind.

To all the naysayers who don't like the 360 degree change, I put it to you that it's the best way to compensate for the technical limitations of the game (like wandering mobs and latency). In theory I quite like the idea of a frontal swipe, but in practice it just means more frustration at the flaky mechanics.

Marino said...

Ah that is how you meant kiting. I agree on Sarth, but didn't think of that since that never was my job. Well only when all drakes were down.

Gluth I think paladins and DK's are still a lot better. They do threat while they are 100 yards away (well they can't run that fast, but still that is how consecration works).

Phil Jackson said...

All I wanted was for blizzard to take the target requirement and I would haven been happy. Making druid tanking even more similar (but not equal) to other tanks is not what I wanted.

Wintersdark said...

Skill really isn't the right word in regards to old vs new swipes. It was never hard to keep mobs in front (though it was sometimes annoying). But with 360 swipe, it just seems a bit more boring. It'll be awesome for instance soloing/milk runs, but... Meh.

Darsh said...

Never had a problem with the actual bear swipe, to regroup mobs in front of me and keeping aggro. If you're tanking, mobs stay packed and close of you. The new swipe seems only a easier tanking tool to gather errants mobs.

However, in cat form, i had more difficulty with swipe, mobs moving, having to change frequently of tazrget.

I hope they will implement the new swipe for cats too.

Anonymous said...

Oh for all these people talking about "boring" and "easy": have you all got your gotr & hgotrs yet? Do you all have black drakes & twilight drakes? There's a ton of hard things to do in the game - it just depends on how you spend your time.

Mekias said...

I would have preferred them to deal with the situation by increasing the threat of Demoralizing Roar (maybe adding a CD to compensate). My only problem with the current swipe was initial aggro on a group. I could hit maybe 75% of the mobs with my first swipe but some would always be missed. Once I have threat on them, I can position them easily in front of me but it's getting that initial threat that was hard given lag and trigger happy dps.

If Demo Roar could give good threat, then I'd just throw that out and it would give me a few seconds to get everything positioned. Swipe as 360 degrees is a far less elegant solution and promotes a one-button tanking style. Still, I'll be much more confident running into a group of mobs in 3.1 than I am now.

johnmlinn said...

Hilarious. We get a buff, and you guys complain about that too. This is a good change, it's annoying to not be able to swipe without a target. The 360 part is just an added bonus. But yeah, call a buff an easy-mode button if it makes you feel better.

Anonymous said...

The non-targeted swipe is going to be the new king of WG!

It's like a mage with plate armor, lots of hp, and an arcane explosion that generates mana as you cast it.