So brewmasters aren’t so popular anymore, but they’re still as powerful as ever. How can this be? Why am I still playing one? Why does the community at large think they’re terrible? What can be done to fix it?
I’ve said before that if I were making choices solely based on progression, and not my irrational need to experiment with new things, I would be favoring my brewmaster in raids. And truth be told, I’m getting closer and closer to my ideal of playing my monk and demon hunter equally. The deeper we get into the expansion, the more my love of brewmasters grows, and it becomes ever more frustrating to see that not only do people fail to appreciate them the same way I do, but they think their strengths are actually weaknesses!
Maybe I need to do a better job of professing my love for this specialization, and so here it is: a whole lot of words about what keeps me playing a brewmaster and what could make playing one better.
The brewmaster is a quirky character, though dangerous when underestimated. Brewmasters may seem to struggle with balance as they chug their concoctions in the middle of a fight, but this unpredictable behavior is far from foolhardiness. Most opponents barely have time to process the erratic nature of the brewmaster’s fighting tactics before they find themselves laid low—possibly the result of a keg smash to the head. When an opponent actually manages to land an attack, it’s often unclear how much the brewmaster feels it . . . if at all.
The gameplay for Brewmasters hasn’t quite fit their archetypes to this point. Rather than being the tricky martial artists, staggering around with an evasiveness that frustrates their opponent while being a little squishy when taking an unmitigated blow, Brewmasters have been more focused around large absorption shields and clutch self-healing. Our new design approach is to get more gameplay depth out of their strong, thematic abilities. Instead of Chi as a resource, which had little depth for Brewmasters, we’re switching to charges on Brew abilities that other abilities still interact with.
A few weeks ago on Tankcast, Arielle and I discussed the class fantasies behind each tanking spec. Blizzard has stated that they intend to bring each class and specialization closer to their fantastical roots. This post is me elaborating on what I think the monk and brewmaster fantasy is.
Sometimes I see the word “brewmaster” used in a real life context and I get a little confused because my brain defaults to the WoW version. But the truth is there is a lot of real world inspiration behind the brewmaster and the “drunken ox” fighting style.
Don’t freak out. It’s still beta; it’s all a work in progress. Bears in Mists of Pandaria are still like bears in Cataclysm but with the cat half of their toolkit cut out and nothing filled in to replace all that flavor. It’s up to us to keep things from staying the way they are. With the power of <announcer voice> CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM!
To start out, look at the difference between my beta monk’s action bars and my beta druid’s.
I’m going to assume everyone is caught up with all of the recent Blizzcon news. If not, read up on it at MMO-Champion.
The biggest event for us bear druids was the separation of the traditional feral spec. Melee dps druids will continue to be called “feral combat,” and tanking druids will become “guardian”. I will miss referring to myself as feral, but guardian has a nice ring to it.