"There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction." ~Winston Churchill
Note to Blizzard: The proposed change to Tree of Life form in Cataclysm is exactly the kind of change that there IS something wrong with.
"Mechanically, it feels unfair for a druid to have to give up so much offense and utility in order to be just as good at healing as the other classes who are not asked to make that trade."
The obvious question I have to ask is "Why?" As a raiding tree, if I'm in an encounter where I'm even considering doing some dps, then there is absolutely no reason for me to care about changing out of tree of life form in order to do it.
Taking the obvious question one step further... "Why resto druids?" Boomkins have to change out of form to contribute to heals (other classes are not asked to make that trade). Why change one but not the other?
And, perhaps the most important question... "Why take away our identity?" Why make us the ONLY druid spec that DOESN'T spend all it's time in combat in a single form? Why make us the unwilling druid armor models? Why?
Blizzard doesn't see things my way, and that's fine. Let's talk about ways to address that issue in a way that allows resto druids to keep their identity (and that's what all this hoopla is about, Blizzard... fighting to keep our identity).
You want resto druids to be able to contribute offense and CC without giving up our healing power? Then let us dps and CC while in tree form. Create a very skippable talent in the resto tree that would allow us to do so. Give us the choice! I'm sure there are plenty of PvPers out there who would love that talent... so give it to them without taking away our form. Please?
"Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time."
News flash, there are plenty of toons that look like night elfs or taurens. We call them warriors, hunters, shammans and priests (and soon to be paladins and mages). The reason many of us rolled druid is because we DON'T want to look like just another night elf or tauren most of the time.
I would ask you, Blizzard, one more time the obvious question of "Why?" But you already gave me your answer. Because "... it would be nice." (If that isn't the biggest middle finger to trees everywhere...)
Still, fuming as I may be the more I blog about this proposed change (and the "reasons" for it), I have to try to keep a level head and offer constructive (errr annoying) alternatives.
You want to see more druids running around in caster form, bring back the much hated run speed decrease. Force us to do some more shape shifting to avoid AoE in raids. Put increased run speed on druid PvP gear (after all, that is who we're trying to cater to with these changes, correct?), slip it in with another talent in the tree, or just ignore it completely and make us suffer through it. Anything to avoid the alternative.
I just felt the entire resto forest shake their heads at that idea at the same time. But how else can I reply to such a ridiculous proposition from Blizzard ("showing off armor") than with a ridiculouse proposition of my own? I'm willing to endure any manner of annoying/obnoxious druid mechanics to avoid losing Tree of Life form as a passive ability.
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