Here at BBB Worldwide Amalgamated (or is that Wordwise Propagated?) we have a tradition of initially ignoring most BlizzCon buzz, then following up later with a call for calmness.
This time I was sure I could break the chain. I hate being predictable.
For the most part I eschew discussing the meatier news that comes out of a ‘con, because I know that by the time an actual PTR hits the potential delicious entree of awesome will turn into a bland tidbit of taste, if it doesn’t evaporate entirely like dry ice first.
This time I knew that people wouldn’t rise to the usual bait of BlizzCons past, getting frenzied from speculation and building castles made of sand from the cool-sounding ideas that were tossed out off the cuff.
I had faith in the cynicism of my peers in WoWland. Wiser heads shall prevail.
Time to throw that caber by the wayside, because they just keep pushing and pushing this one potential piece of kickass thought out in Blue posts, and I’m seeing excitement ramping up fast. Cool your jets.
From this Blue post by Kaivax;
Here is a Ghostcrawler quote for you —
“One of the potential ideas we’re considering for a new hunter ability is one where they send all 5 of their current pets to attack, for a short period of time, on a long cooldown. No guarantees that we’ll go with it, but we’re at least considering something like that.”
Um, what? Okay, am I awake? Or did I dream reading that just now? They don’t honestly expect me to believe they would really do that, right?
Further comments from Kaivax keep appearing, fanning the idea as though this were really under consideration.
We’re talking about something that is completely hypothetical, so anything is possible.
I personally would want the ability to call the five pets that I actually have on hand at the time, since that would give me control over what everyone sees when I send out the stampede.
Furthermore, it makes a lot of sense for the spell effects to not vary much from hunter to hunter, so special abilities would be right out, *but* I wouldn’t mind seeing the pets going through their best motions.
Okay, Hunters? All of you but most especially Beastmasters that are following this and saying “Oh please oh please oh please?!?”
Take a deep breath.
Is it an idea worthy of excitement? Yes, of course it is, because it fires the imagination. If you dwell on the potential of Stampede as described and as hoped by Kaivax, if you start thinking about what pets you’d want in your stable to be called out by the spell, say a pack of five wolves, or a pride of powerful pussycats, or a who’s who of various T-rexes, or even one of every kind of spirit beast, why you can just go on like this for days.
That is exactly what makes a spell like Stampede the msot dangerous in terms of unwonted enthusiasm. The base idea allows for us to take it and run with it, getting all excited as we mentally explore the possibilities for us to make it our own within their framework.
Let me remind you of another BlizzCon, and another concept tossed out that fired our imagination.
They just tossed out this idea, Warriors could dual wield TWO HANDED WEAPONS as their max class talent. Isn’t that awesome? And now moving on to other boring things as though we never said that…
Credit to Blizzard, in the end they went through with Titan’s Grip. We can dual wield two handers. And yes, I did originally level my Warrior as Fury simply because of my enthusiasm inspired by that idea.
But what really happened?
When it was first implemented, it was just as incredibly OP as we all expected. It was amazing. And if you’re badass enough to dual wield two-handed weapons while Whirlwinding, shouldn’t you expect it to be?
But what happened next?
Which meant, after unleashing the full might of Titan’s Grip on the PTR, came the inevitable reigning it in and bringing it in line so as not to be too OP in overall DPS compared to other classes, who didn’t all get the same level of awesome.
They built in a big miss percentage, then brought it back down. Then they just nerfed overall damage output by 10%, then brought that back up.
The point to carry away from Titan’s Grip from first mention to final iteration, is that YES, we did get Titan’s Grip, BUT don’t go into it imagining that the pony or moose you thought you were promised will be what you actually get at the end of the 5.0 PTR cycle.
There is the first awesome idea, but there WILL come the inevitable balancing. Especially if the other classes don’t get something comparable.
Think of Titan’s Grip, and Stampede, and then think of the challenge that Blizzard faces with Mists of Pandaria.
It’s a challenge of bringing the awesome. They have to do it equally for all God’s children.
Blizzard is mommy and daddy, and the players are the kids. Mists of Pandaria is Christmas (or your festive gift-giving season of choice).
Blizzard CANNOT give one kid an Xbox 360, and give the rest slipper socks. Well, they could, with the sure and certain knowledge that the rest of the kids will cry and cry and cry.
Whatever brilliant idea for a class ability that Blizzard may have, they know going in that if they don’t bring equal levels of awesome to ALL the other classes, they WILL hear about it later in the forums, at BlizzCon Q&As, on blogs, wherever.
So even putting aside the issue of class balance and having a button that sics FIVE Hunter pets on a target to nom nom nom them, by bringing out Stampede, Blizzard would be committing to coming up with at least one new class-specific ability for every other class that would be just as freaking awesome. And then balancing ALL of them.
PLUS a new Race and Class thrown in!
Now, between you and me, I feel that setting the goal of coming up with awesome new kickass OMIGOD stuff should be at the top of the brainstorming board.
You shouldn’t set yourself the goal of ‘meeting expectations with more of the same’. Not when you are bringing the next expansion to your product. It should be, dare I say it, expansive? You should be challenging yourself to push the limits, to make your customers say, “Holy shit, that is going to ROCK!!”
Stampede, on the Hunter front, is one of those things that, as a Hunter, you would say, “Holy shit, that would totally ROCK!”
I truly hope that Blizzard really is keeping silent on core class abilities because they are trying to dream up that one special class ability for each class that all specs can share, available at max level, that is a Stampede-level holy shit “that is so going to ROCK!” moment.
That is what I hope.
But these are hopes and dreams and wishes and wingéd goldfish. They are the stuff of candyfloss and hot summer days you wish would last forever.
Don’t build it up too much in your mind. Any dreaming done now, any plans and speculation made based on BlizzCon statements or Blue posts is not just premature but counter-productive.
Whatever Blizzard creates will have to be balanced so it is not OP for burst damage in PvP, and so it does not bring that class higher in average overall DPS in comparison to other classes. So go ahead and dream of useful and fun and neat abilities, but keep your expectations in check.
Mists of Pandaria seems very ambitious in scope, so I think they are committed to building and improving WoW for at least the next few years, new MMO or no new MMO on the horizon. They might do a Stampede and a whole lot more for all classes.
But please, just relax for now. Get interested, but don’t get all crazy. We’ve been here before, we’ve seen the attempts to build early buzz in the month RIGHT before a massive new competitor MMO gets released.
Don’t buy into it until you see the five pets rush out on the screen and eat the entrails of your enemies like so much colored licorice.
I guess, what I’m trying to say here, is;
I wonder, wouldn’t it be fun to have a thread requesting players to come up with their own wild ideas for new, outrageous class abilities in keeping with the spirit of Stampede? I mean, the hardest part is coming up with the creative idea, the implementation is, as John Ringo might say, ‘fiddly bits’.
Do you think you can do as good or better for your class? Do you think you can come up with that ‘holy shit that would ROCK!’ ability for your class to be on the same plane as Hunters with Stampede?
Tell you what. Contest right now say what?
Post your own imaginative idea for a new outrageous (but possible, damnit make it possible!) class ability in the comments down below, one that could hold it’s own in awesome with Stampede, and I will pick a couple of my favorites to give Big Bear Butt cafepress t-shirts to. I might use some real scientific and fair method of picking the winners, such as random number generators, or reading them all aloud to my 8 year old boy and letting him pick the ones he likes best, so you’re warned.
You want in? You’ve got until next Friday, November 18th, to make your comment on this post. Go for it!
And no, this totally is not a test to see who read all the way to the end of the Bearwall. Would I do that?