Monday, October 20, 2008

The End of spell pushback reduction talents?

Having spent most of the weekend setting up new characters and running my druid through outland as well as trying myself in the occasional bout of PVP I was able to take a closer look at the new spell pushback system.

What we see now is that only the first 2 hits will push your spells back meaning that even if you get beaten on heavily by melee you can still squeeze out a spell with long casting time.

Where previously it was completely unthinkable to try and cast something like starfire, seed of corruption, pyroblast or similar spells with long casting times it is now very much feasible to use these even when being beat on.

In fact the change is so dramatic that in some cases spells with a longer cast time and therefore a stronger effect (be it more damage or more healing) have become my preferred spell when being beaten on.

Before the spell pushback changes it was wise to stop casting a spell with long cast times because dual wielding melee or anyone with any significant attack speed (hell even hunter pets) would keep pushing back your spell so much that you would most likely never get it to cast without being pummeled into the ground first.

Now such a limitation no longer exists since your spell will practically always fire...

But what does this mean for PVE and PVP?

My first knee-jerk reaction was to simply go and respec and toss all the push-back talents overboard. Previously critical to your survival in both solo PVE as well as PVP the new pushback system allows you to re-allocate these talent points to somewhere else if you're willing to put up with the minor inconvenience of 2 'little' pushbacks for each cast.

Running without pushback resistance did little or nothing to change my PVE experience. The pushback I experienced especially on spells like seed of corruption or starfire was so insignificant in solo PVE that I can see absolutely no reason to keep push-back resistance if you're main attacks revolve around cast-time spells.

Channeled spells will lose up to 50% of their cast time without pushback resistance but even here the question begs to be asked if 50% of a channeled spellcast isn't enough to get the job done.

That said we're looking at a situation where the need for pushback reduction has been virtually eliminated in a (solo) PVE setting unless your channeled spells are your main form of attack.

Interestingly enough the spell pushback changes also had their effect on PVP. Where I previously never dreamed of casting anything with a longer cast time than 1.5 seconds especially not when being beat on I now find myself winding up a stronger spell (especially healing ones) while being pressured by melee. Spell pushback is only a minor factor here because the spell tends to fire quick enough even with spell pushback.

Still in PVP pushback isn't the biggest issue. The real worry here is interrupts that lock out your entire school and there's nothing worse than getting your school locked out while being beaten on.

As a result in PVP we still prefer to cast spells with short cast times or instant cast to avoid the dreaded school lockout meaning we get less use out of pushback resistance now than we did before the patch.

With only limited need for spell-pushback in PVE and PVP both the question whether or not investing +- 5 talent points in pushback resistance becomes a lot more prominent.

Where previously you couldn't survive without it (imagine a warlock drain tanking without pushback resistance before the patch) we can now get by with practically no investment in spell-pushback and still retain 50% of our channeled spell whilst only incurring minor pushbacks on cast-time spells.

Beyond specialist application such as PVP healers, are we looking at the end of pushback reduction talents?

With the new talent trees and so many talents worth investing points into there's no doubt that there are solid alternatives to spending points into things other than spell-pushback. If you're looking at not being inconvienced by spell-pushback vs 5% more crit/damage/healing or whatever else useful you may find my choice falls squarely in the power upgrades.

Is spell pushback resistance still important in the new World of Warcraft as of 3.0.2 or are we looking at a relic of soon to be forgotten times?

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