Monday, April 12, 2010

Leap of Faith, aka Life Grip, aka Liquid Awesome

Okay, we need to talk about Leap of Faith. Seriously. From the Cataclysm Priest preview:
Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or "Life Grip") is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can't seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.

Now, we don't need to talk about the spell itself. It's clearly a clever little cantrip, a creative and useful addition to our arsenal. It even has a hilarious nickname.

What we need to talk about is peoples' reactions to this spell. I know reactions will always be across the board for any new spell announced. I know Blizzard could announce a new spell called Holyform that increased healing by 25%, and someone would complain that they can't cast SW:Pain while healing.

But I am just shocked reading opinions on the Priest Preview when it comes to Leap of Faith. Most of peoples' opinions seem logical: Heal? Yay for more healing granularity. Inner Will? Yay for choice of armor spell, and for a movement buff. Mind Spike? Yay for ummm... damage? I guess? But then people single out Leap of Faith and say things like:

  • DPS should not be pulling agro and if they do, it's their own darn problem
  • If they DO pull agro, why do I want them (and the Big Bad Mob) closer to me?
  • DPS should get out of the fire themselves, by engaging their brains and then their legs
  • Why pull someone to me when I can just heal them at 30 yards?
  • Great, now when someone dies I'm going to be blamed for not Lifegripping them!

Now, I can see the train of thought here (i.e., some DPS are drooling facerollers and I don't want them anywhere near me, after all, stupid might be contagious), and I don't really disagree with it. But that's besides the point! We're not getting this spell for their benefit, we're getting it for OUR benefit! (And I guess for the benefit of the competent tanks and raid leaders we like)

Leap of Faith is an absolutely unique spell. With it, we'll be able to do things no one else can. And with style! Sure we'll be able to yank DPS into out of the fire and towards away from rampaging mobs, but we'll also be able to help reposition tanks! Pull people onto platforms if they mis-time a jump! Help people with Frogger! Help tanks who are kiting fast mobs! Save people being focused in PvP or arena-style fights! Help people with poor connections to avoid explosions! Make sure we're always covered when a fight requires people to group up! Pull DPS who pull agro TO the tank so the tank can pick up the mob! Help the poor clueless hunter who was supposed to carry debuff X to location Z! The list goes on and on.

I mean, seriously, this is one of the coolest spells we could have: we will now be literally able to move people around on our screen, like we are playing Tetris with their tiny pixelated backsides! How many times have each of us wanted to yoink that idiot warlock out of a void zone, or a firewall, or a meteor impact, or grab the over-eager fury warrior away from the Demon Of Doom? Or, alternately, reach through your monitor, wrap your hands around that rogue's neck, and squeeze? NOW WE CAN!!

And all this is just based on the mechanics of the spell. There will also be the aesthetic side: think of the graphics and sounds they could associate with Leap of Faith! Personally I'm hoping a magical shepherd's crook will appear, snake around the target, and give them a big yank. I suppose a *HURCKK** sound effect would be a bit much but you never know. And just think of the macros you can write to whisper someone when you Lifegrip them!

In all seriousness, Leap of Faith will be an awesome addition for Priests. We priests have some of the most unique heals in the game, from a shield that absorbs more damage than many heals can restore, to an autonomous healing prayer, to a hymn that can keep a whole raid up, to the ability to heal after death. Now in Cataclysm, we'll be adding in an armor spell that offers us greater mobility, a smaller heal for greater finesse, and Leap of Faith, the new ultimate micromanaging spell. Made of liquid awesome.

1 comment:

  1. For me the best application of Life Grip is helping slow melee classes (like tanks) get away from a boss about to do a big timed AoE spell (Sethykk Halls anyone?). Get your ass near a pillar, when DBM signals AoE, Life Grip tank to pillar and all is well. I can't tell you how many times as a tank my slow, metal clad ass has been poking out just enough to get hit by that effect. If I was on my priest I could ensure that the most important member of the group was safe from that.

    And if DPS refuse to get out of fire, well thats their fault!