Monday, October 17, 2022

Preservation Evoker

Finally found the time/patience to hang out in a 30+ minute beta dungeon queue to try out healing on an evoker, and it was great.  I doubt I was great it being the first time I'd healed on that class and the first time I was in any Dragonflight dungeon, but we made it and by the end I had a much better feeling for how the class worked.  It definitely wasn't everyone's first dungeon, or experience with an evoker healing; I could tell as soon as I cast my first dream breath and saw all the DPS run into it.

I suspect the long queues and lack of enthusiasm from tanks, and non-evoker DPS, might be directly related by everyone wanting to try out an evoker.  If it is more likely that not going to be one of the healers first attempts at a dungeon I could see how that could be off-putting.  Shame there isn't an evoker tank spec as that would almost certainly decrease queue times, and give me one more reason to main an evoker.

That said I'm definitely going to main an evoker in Dragonflight, confirming I enjoyed the healing spec and running a couple dungeons was all I needed to finally make a decision.  I'm still slightly torn on my second main/primary alt, but leaning toward my demon hunter.  There is a nice symmetry of having "ranged" DPS/healing on one toon and melee DPS/tanking on another, plus I really enjoy demon hunter DPS, much moreso than druid DPS.  I do prefer druid tanking to demon hunter tanking, but enjoy the overall demon hunter experience more; I have tanked a bunch on my demon hunter and the only bad thing I have to say about it is that I don't feel I have as many oh shit buttons as on my druid.  I'll miss travel form and stealth, but with limited playtime some sacrifices for the greater fun are necessary.

Back to the preservation evoker, so my first dungeon (something with gnolls, freeing tortollian and corruption) I managed to completely forget about spiritbloom despite it being exactly in the right spot/hotkey.  I had tried all the healing spells out in town about a week earlier, but it's hard to get a feel for healing without actually healing a real group.  I feel that with DPS and tanking you get a better feel for how to use your abilities just doing world/solo content.  In hindsight I could have tried to find out where to queue for one of those solo instance things for medaling in a certain role, I remember those from Pandaria/Warlords, but I'm not sure if they are still relevant.  Lack of preparation aside it went well, no wipes, I never died nor did the tank, but I did lose a few DPS here and there.  Most if not all those deaths were at least partially my fault, but people just released and ran back without comment.  I didn't end up using a rez until the last trash packs before the last boss.  I didn't know it was the last boss until we'd killed it and stopped as I was focused on other things.

After my first dungeon I tweaked my healing bars a little based on what I'd learned and requeued expecting to heal again, but I was assigned DPS instead.  I suppose it makes sense there would be a lot of healer given the new class to try out.  DPS I was used to by this point and it gave me the opportunity to look around a bit more and try out some of my utility abilities.  It felt really awesome to scoop that lumbering bear up from the back and plop them in the front with the other Dracthyr running between trash mobs.  I also enjoyed helping out the evoker healer by using my own healing abilities when things got hairy.  Mostly it just felt incredibly liberating to not have to constantly hover away from and/or knock back mobs while killing them.  I could just hang out and concentrate on maximizing damage and get a feel for an actual rotation rather than constant improv.  I didn't have any add-ons/meters installed, but it felt like I was doing well.  The dungeon was some sort of blue dragonflight tower with lots of teleporters.

I tried my luck one more time after that and did end up getting into another dungeon as a healer, but the tank went afk right before the first boss and the group dissolved after we couldn't get another tank for more than a half hour.  The only reason I stuck around that long was that I was playing with transmog.

So now I just have to wait until evokers become available in pre-patch so I can level up to 60 and get everything set up for launch.  That will mostly be leveling up engineering in a couple previous expansions to get all the important gizmos like a loot-a-rang, MOLL-E and a Jeeves.  Probably an invisibility tinker to sneak past the odd mob or two and maybe a Reaves as well.  I'll also probably want to gather up some gear from the pre-launch event to catch up my evoker and get some transmog appearances on alts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Devastation Evoker

Got access to the Dragonflight beta about a week ago and jumped right in creating a new Dracthyr evoker. Luckily I had already played with my character customization in Wowhead's dressing room, so i was able to quickly transcribe those selections and jump right into playing.

Reading other posts about evokers I had a rudimentary knowledge of which abilities were available to me, but there is no substitute for first hand play experience.  Especially when considering if I want to main and evoker in a few weeks or stick with my tried and true druid.

I was hoping with the reduced range that the evoker would feel a little more melee than your normal 40+ yard caster, but I realized no matter the range a caster is a caster, and prefers not to be smacked in the face.  Luckily evokers have a lot of mobility/utility tools to help keep a distance between them and their targets.  Maintaining distance is something melee classes don’t have to worry about, unless things are going poorly and it’s time to run away.

So the added task of social distancing in one downside of maining an evoker over a melee class, and the other is perhaps less of a con and more of an opportunity to better myself.  With all the mobility evokers have it is extremely important to keep tabs on your surroundings.  It’s pretty easy out leveling in the world, or in any PVE content for that matter, to deep breath or hover too close to another mob/group and quickly bite off more than you can chew.

On that note I’m not sure if the tuning is quite right yet for leveling content, but I was getting my tail handed to me by gorloc shamans in the second leveling zone.  Their lightning attack does a ton of damage and I was trying to focus on interrupting their mud shield instead to kill them faster.  So even at ranged evokers can still feel a bit squishy, but having not been there on any other character I’ve nothing to compare it to.

One of the questions I had prior to playing an evoker was, in the context of the current classes, what does playing one feel like?  And the answer was mostly that it didn’t.  I think it sort of feels closest to a demon hunter, but more utility, maybe a little more single target oriented (but that could just be because they are squishier and I’m pretty new at them) and there are a couple (non channeled) spells with cast times.  If I overgeared and/or outleveled content and could just eat melee attacks the evoker would feel much more like a demon hunter, but social distancing is key.

I made one mistake in beta, after leaving my evoker a bit and getting my first dragon riding mount I loaded the account info from my live account which overwrote all my mounts rather than combining them.  So I had to quick run though the first few quests on my druid to relearn that mount so I could complete the dragonriding questline.  All for a yak so I could transmog my gear.  Worth it!

So I have a couple more months to decide between team druid and team dragon.  The evoker is really fun, but so are demon hunters and that wasn’t enough to deter me from my druid.  I currently prefer druid for tanking and do enjoy kitty DPS as well, prefer demon hunter for DPS, and shaman for healing.  I’ve yet to try out healing on the evoker and am planning to try that out next time I play.  I’ve not really been into healing at max level since Cataclysm, just tinkering around in leveling dungeons for the shorter queues.

I’m really excited about my dragon and the new expansion, and am planning to level my evoker first even if I do end up raiding primarily on my druid.  I went that route with my demon hunter in Legion.  It just fun to change things up and get a break from a couple years using the same abilities.  It’s possible my evoker will only be another alt in the end, but that won’t diminish the enjoyment of experiencing the new content as a dragon.