25
Feb
09

Rapture; a Second Glance

Edit #1: Seems it was bugged after all, see bottom of post.

The step from Ignorance to Knowledge can be one with severe impact – in a single understanding your whole perspective on a singular person, event or inanimate thing can take a one-eighty and become something completely opposite of what it once was. You can’t really step back either – knowledge changes you, and it’s not something that can be just un-changed once it’s happened.

My case is far less dramatic, but in the scope of a few hours, I’ve essentially gone from dreading the upcoming patch 3.1 and wishing for the announced changes to the Rapture talent, to reluctant acceptance to .. well, actually disquieting giddyness. So what’s changed! Well… let me quote up the talent first.

Rapture
Rank 3/3
When your Power Word: Shield is completely absorbed or dispelled you are instantly energized with 2.5% of your total mana, and you have a 100% chance to energize your shielded target with 2% total mana, 8 rage, 16 energy or 32 runic power. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds.

The main issues here are the “completely absorbed or dispelled” and the “once every 12 seconds” bits. 12 seconds doesn’t really sync with the 15 second enforced (by debuff) target cooldown of shield, and even if you managed to proc it exactly once every 12 seconds, it’d be unwieldy to handle and wouldn’t offer that amazing a return.

A friend linked me to a particular thread on the Elitist Jerks forum where people had given the PTR a spin. So to summarize what they found.. first off, it triggers from anything that removes the shield – even it being right-clicked off or overwritten by another shield spell. Secondly, that 12 second cooldown? It’s on the target, not the caster.

That’s starting to sound a whole lot more awesome now, doesn’t it?

Basicly, the new Rapture for 3.1 means that every shield spell you cast is pretty much guaranteed to eventually return 2.5% of your mana pool as well as give some mana/energy/rage to the shielded target as well. Furthermore, seeing how Power Word: Shield right now costs 799 mana with talents.. and will get a talent to reduce its mana cost by 30%, going down to around 560 mana.. in theory, if you have a mana pool at around 22’500 mana, you hit break even – that is, every shield you cast will eventually return its entire casting cost to you whenever it becomes removed in some way, even if that removal is you replacing it with a new shield. Larger mana pool than that will only further the returns to make shield actually give you more mana back whenever it’s overwritten.

So if you hit past 22.5k mana, there’ll really be no reason for you not to shield everyone you can at every opportunity if you don’t need that global cooldown for something else. Combine this with that the talent that makes the shield 30% cheaper to cast also removes the 4 second cooldown of the spell itself So, if these changes are indeed Working as Intended and won’t be changed/bugfixed/whatever, what we’ve essentially gotten is a talent to encourage overzealous use of the Power Word: Shield spell. With enough mana, it’ll even give you mana back. And, in fact, even give mana (or whatever other power type is appropriate) to the target too, giving Discipline some unexpected lightweight mana battery role.

It does raise the question of why the 12 second limitation, though, considering it’s a tad misguiding if the talent is indeed working as intended – Shield already has its own enforced 15 second cooldown per target, and the PvP set only reduces that cooldown by 2 seconds down to 13. Unless they’re planning on unveiling some talent that lowers it further, it seems a tad odd. Then again, the Rogue talent Honor Among Thieves worked the same way, and that turned out to be fine (though it had another bug going instead).

I don’t discount the notion that it might be bugged, and I was linked to a random Blizzard rep post stating that community-friendly forum-stalking developer Ghostcrawler expected there was still one or two things left to unveil in the Disc talent tree for 3.1 that we haven’t seen yet. (here’s to hoping one of them will be Barrier!) so there’s still space for dramatic changes.

It’s a good omen, though, and has provided one of those situations where I’m quite happy to have been (atleast thus far) wrong.

Edit: Or not, seems like the Honor Among Thieves system was deemed bugged, hence:

They fixed the PWS thing, just tested it in an instance. Also cast on me and a target and had us both click it off, only got mana for the one. GRRRR its worthless again.

(from the same link as above). Back to it being unwieldy and utterly weird, then. Why put an oddly timed target proc that you can’t even really control in? Giving mana to other people is nice, but if it’s totally random who ends up with it unless you purposefully set it up, which makes it seems like an actually really pointless addition to it. Randomly giving mana to other people isn’t really a plus when you can’t direct it anyhow? Eh.. I wish I knew what exactly they’re trying to do with this..

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