Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Libram Swapping Nerf

Yesterday's patch nerfed the practice of libram-swapping. Basically, you could macro a command to switch librams to the command to cast a spell, and get the full benefit of the libram. So you would bind a Holy Light libram to Holy Light, and a Flash of Light libram to Flash of Light, and you would get the full benefit of your libram slot for whichever spell you cast.

My response to the nerf is: Good! Libram-swapping was a lame hack.

Librams are designed to be powerful but specific. You get a bigger bonus than normal, but only for a portion of the total time. This makes gameplay interesting, as you try and shift your gameplay to maximize the use of your Libram. Rely more on HL if you have a HL libram. Tank heal if you have the BoL libram.

If you wish Librams to be more general, they're going to be weaker overall. That's just the way balance works. Swapping Librams with spellcasts allowed paladins to get all the bonuses of a libram with none of the drawbacks. This was not intended, and would have just led Blizzard to make weak, general Librams.

To see what I mean, compare [Libram of Souls Redeemed] to [Blue Diamond Witchwand]. They both drop from the Opera event in Karazhan.

The wand gives:

+13 Int
+11 Spi
+29 Healing

The libram gives a Holy paladin:

+125-150 Healing but only on targets with Blessing of Light

The libram healing bonus is significantly higher than the wand healing bonus. The drawback is that it really only works when healing the tanks. Given that the tanks are the ones taking the big hits, I would much rather have the specific libram than the general stats wand.

Specific librams are more *interesting* than general librams. They give us something to discuss, to theorycraft about, to make decisions about. Making decisions is what makes games interesting. Going from a +10 healing libram to a +20 healing libram is not an interesting decision. It's an obvious one.

Most of the other equipment slots are general, boring, and obvious. (Trinkets are a notable exception.) One slot dedicated to a new model of itemization is not too much to ask.


  1. Ah, this is from the change "Equipping an item will now cancel any spell cast currently in progress."? So it's still possible, then, to switch librams while in combat to get a different bonus, but not in such a perfect manner to coincide with every single cast of the appropriate spells?

    Seems like a very reasonable change. Make the player click twice for the effect. (Once to change libram, another to cast spell.)

  2. I don't think this is a huge impact. I can still switch librams before the actual spell is cast.

    At worst I just change the order of the switch.

    I guess this prevents me from getting the benefit of two librams on the same cast.


  3. If you swap before the cast you invoke the global cooldown hence why it was such an advantage to be able to do it at the same time as casting a spell so it shared the GCD with that spell.

    Loosing a GCD to swap librams is almost never going to be worth it.

    I don't believe there was ever a way to have 2 librams applied to the same spell.

  4. Ah this answers my question I suppose, in that: "Why don't I just put the libram equip in before the spell cast?" Well, if it invokes GCD then that would be why. I best remove from macros before the MH run tonight :P

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  6. I think is kinda funny considering the priests are considering it a nerf against them ... being spirit based, we often practice swapping out our weapons for high spirit ones during times of regen, then constantly swap weapons to make spell surge proc ... I know it didn't to me, and probably didn't to many others occur that there are other classes out there doing this.

    I guess we should just call it the "Healing Nerf" and be done with it huh?


  7. Ah, the cat-and-mouse game of players and developers.

    Developers make the cheese and put it out, and players take the cheese and make an omelette with it and the developers say

    WAIT! That's not how I meant for you to use the cheese. Let me fix that so it doesn't go with Eggs quite so well...

    I've never been such a min-maxer that I'd even have known about this before it was fixed, but it was interesting to read about hehe :)

    WoWGrrl's player blog

  8. The biggest place this has impacted me is farming (on my non-paladins). I've got Outfitter that changes my gear based on whether or not I'm mounted. I now have to dismount before trying to farm a node, rather than using the node click to automatically dismount me. If you click the node to dismount you, the change of equipment cancels the gather "cast".

    I liked the libram "exploit" as a tankadin that party heals in certain encounters. I've tanked enough dungeons and run all the quests such that I have all the healing librams. The libram exploit helped me be a little more useful. However, this does free up two bag slots, as I will probably shard the HL and BoL librams, leaving me with the one I would get the most use out of, FoL.

  9. I wonder if bliz would let the mods be able to track that and not do things like gear switches if there was a "cast" of some sort going on. also from the perspective of a tanking pally, i wonder how this will effect my HS macro, which essentially just gurantees i have the HS libram equipped when i cast it so im uncrushable when i need to be. since its an instant cast....hmm

  10. The big nerf for this is for Holy Paladins who used a mod to swap in Libram of Mending every 25 seconds to basically get a free constant 22mp5 buff while still having the benefit of another libram the majority of the time(Usually the Libram of Absolute Truth).