And poor communication kills my interest. Case in point: boomkin.
My thought process went more or less along the lines of:
- I almost never see boomkins in 5-mans
- I never see boomkins in org, and there are none in our guild
- Boomkins in pug raids are just as rare
- The few boomkins I’ve seen seem to do pretty good damage
- Orbital bombardment. And lasers. Seriously
- So, being the special snowflake I am…
- I should roll a boomkin!
But that’s where it sort of fell apart. You see, I played my tauren* durid** up to level omigawdaspecatlast. And got a funky power bar under my nameplate. “Oh cool, I knew boomkin had some weird thing where they rotate their state. Wonder if I can use it yet?”, thought I, and immediately started looking around in my spellbook. And the class summary. And everywhere else that I could find, ingame at least. There is literally no information on eclipse – what it does, how to proc it, how long it lasts, etc.
This is a core class ability. Or at least so I gathered from the various sites I visited to try and figure out the mystery. Most of the discussion you’ll find on boomkin is about gaming eclipse… but all of it assumes that you already have a working knowledge of what it is and what it does.
Now I’m all for learning to use something by trying, but when there’s this little information for the learner, that’s not practical. There are so few boomkin ingame that even trying to ask a player for advice is pretty much pointless. I eventually found a single thread to help, at ElitistJerks of all places. In the end the impression that stuck was that the spec is indeed unique in its mechanics and playstyle, but if you do not grok it deeply then you will not ever be a good boomkin, and nothing will change that.
This is without mentioning the fact that some aspects of the spec are warring with each other. In my search I’ve come across arguments that in many cases it’s actually more DPS-effective to ignore the class mechanics entirely and spam a single spell, backed up by math that I can’t parse and logs that I won’t bother reading***. There are countless horror stories of mistiming eclipses, being in the wrong state etc., and pulling the same DPS as the raid leader’s shockadin gf. Does this paint a picture of a coherent design? Erm, no. And friendly, this is not.
But what to do? Well, the big issue for Blizzard is that the eclipse mechanic should probably get a better and more accessible explanation in-game. Other than that, it’s down to the existing boomcommunity to sort it out if they want… because near as I can tell, no-one else knows enough to be any use.
* Trolls just aren’t as awesome, even if they’re superior on paper.
** Durid iz 4 win! Rouge iz 4 misspell!
*** Sure, when you get to know the spec, but if I need to wade through this just to try and understand it in the first place?