Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Too many buffs!

So there is now (err… rather... a while ago, but that is beside the point) talk about spreading a few of the more iconic buffs around – mages will be shamans and such.

Now one of the curious developments also combines the effects of Blessing of Might and Wisdom. Nerf enhancement shamans and retribution paladins, says I! But overall, the effect might not be all that large. It is a good start, however, to a rather major problem.

Now I’m not sure how much of an eye you keep on your buffs during a fight. Maybe you are one of those players who use an add-on (like BuffMore) and just react to red and green light*. There are many, many buffs up there (err.. or over there, or wherever you placed yours). Too many of them. More than 10, easily, and with the latest “conversion” of some buffs to permanent (that 5% crit for everyone from fury warriors not just cats? That one!) they are always present.

This seriously reduces the visibility and impact of short-term reactive buffs. Of course there are add-ons that take care of this: Power Auras (for a shiny and popular choice) or TellMeWhen (lightweight and .. err.. rather ugly) come to mind. Those remind me when my Sword and Board is up, my arcane missiles are free or my next exorcism will be instant.

Is this really necessary? I mean, what is the benefit for me as a player of buffs. Sure – they do improve my performance (sometimes by much less than I previously thought – thanks PewPewLazers), but in the end the situation is like this:

You enter a group/raid/sparkling adventure setting and every buffs. All their buffs will be applied. Especially the ones no one really needs, because otherwise you’d forget them when they come in handy (Hello Shadow Protection! – my BuffMore also tells me you are unexpected). Our raid leaders (thank you) will remind people if they forgot a buff – thanks to add-ons, by the way, not because they memorized the icon of every single one of the 2076529 buffs that should be present.


For the next expansion I’d want a different system. A system that allows three different situational buffs. In every 5-man instance you are awarded “Small Unit Tactics”, in every 10-man raid you are granted “We’re an army now” and in a 25-man raid you’ll have “Large Scale Combat”. Those buffs combine all those piddly little stupid things into one global buff (much like the charming presence of our King in the entrance to ICC does, maybe). All other buffs are removed. Gone. Good riddance.

And then we can focus on keeping an eye on the important things that actually change during combat. Short term buffs that really make a difference. Like Timewarp (err… Bloodlust).

* On that note: Why does my BuffMore tell me that “Defensive Stance” is an unexpected buff. Was I supposed to be a tank-spec when I first installed it? Does it default to DPS classes? What the hell is going on here!


  1. I'm pretty happy with my current buff tracking, but I found the concept of one that marks "unexpected" buffs interesting. (Also cos I'm a priest who *always* has shadow prot up!) Went to go look at it, but "BuffMore" doesn't seem to exist. Is that the actual name of the addon?

  2. Ahem. Now that you mention it, the name may be a little bit different. It's actually called FractalBuffTrackerIndigoSpaceship.

    Err... or BuffEnough.