I do want to thank the designers for taking time to answer my question. I do appreciate it.
Mostly I'm glad to hear that you want us to be viable.
Q: Balance druids are widely recognized as deficient in PvP. Can you describe your motivation for nerfing Balance druids' burst damage, crowd control, and self-healing in 4.1? This seems like a lot, given that you have acknowledged that Balance druids are currently weak in Arena (during your first Q&A). (It would be great if you could speak generally to what your vision or plan is for this class, in PvP. Some players believe that Blizzard does not intend for feral or balance druids to be played in arena. Please tell us for the record that this is not true!) Thank you. – Jynks (North America/ANZ)
A: Last week the words actually used were that Balance druids struggle in Arena. They are exceptional in Battlegrounds. But Balance druids cast hard spells a lot, which are more likely to be interrupted in Arenas. They do good damage in Battlegrounds when they can dot multiple targets, but those are more likely to be dispelled in Arenas. Despite those weaknesses, Starsurge needed to be nerfed. Broken spells shouldn’t make up for being weak in Arena.
We want Feral and Balance to be played in PvP and ideally in Arena. It is hard to make every spec equally viable in Arenas without giving everyone all the same set of tools, which was part of the entire genesis towards the emphasis on Rated Battlegrounds for Cataclysm. We know some players scratch their heads when we nerf Balance and Feral in PvP because they historically haven’t been as highly represented as some other specs. However, it’s not cool for a spec to be super annoying or frustrating to play against just because they aren’t common. But to answer your question for the record, yes we want them to be viable.
Is it possible to just get clarification on why
Starsurge needed to be nerfed, or was considered broken? That's what we don't understand. Was that just more burst than you were comfortable with in PvP? You mentioned stomping out crazy burst when you see it.
I also don't understand why Balance is considered super annoying or frustrating to play against? I've heard many Balance players describe the spec as super frustrating to play
, but I've never heard anyone describe us as more than free lunch as opponents. I'm not trying to be a wiseguy but I just can't understand this.
Trying to connect the dots, is your feeling that you want to leave Balance druids alone until you get around to toning down dispels and interrupts, and then see how we're doing after that? That sounds reasonable, although post-starsurge, self-healing and cyclone nerf, it certain leaves us in an even worse state during the interim.
Also, have you considered that a lot of our deficit in arena could be addressed by providing us with dispel protection? Warlocks, shadow priests and even DK's have this. And even in your own example you point to the reason we do well in battlegrounds is because we can spread our dots and that they tend to stick better in that setting.