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Preservation & Devastation Evoker Cast Range in Dragonflight: Is 25yds Too Restrictive?
2022/09/20 시간 08:00
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Dracthyr Evokers have undergone significant iteration throughout the Dragonflight Alpha/Beta testing cycles that has dramatically improved the gameplay of the new Ranged DPS and Healer class. However, one major point of contention that still remains for both Preservation and Devastation Evokers is the strict 25yd cast range for nearly all Evoker spells and abilities. While Evokers have exceptional mobility to compensate for this major downside, many believe it's not enough to alleviate concerns.
Our Evoker Guide Writers, Voulk (Preservation) and Preheat (Devastation), break down the range issue helping visualize the problem in current live content while offering feedback on how to take this class from frustrating to sensational.
About the Authors
This article was co-authored by our Evoker Guide Writers, Voulk (Preservation) and Preheat (Devastation). Voulk is the author of
, a healer-centric blog and a theorycrafter in several healer discords. Preheat, a previous World First raider and MDI participant, contributes to the theorycrafting of Mages and now Evoker as well as commentates several community events throughout the year.
Current Range Limitations on Preservation & Devastation Evoker
All targeted Evoker spells have a 25 yard range. Breath spells like
reach a little further and can hit targets 30 yards away. Preservation’s
fires out a small orb which can make it around 40 yards but it is not practical to use it this way.
are notable exceptions. These abilities require a range of 20 to 50 yards and move your character to where you place the reticle, so they can also be used for movement.
Visualizing the Evoker Range Limits
If you have been playing ranged for a while you probably have a pretty good sense for how far 40 yards is. Having a 25 yard range when attempting to damage foes or heal allies around you means you only have 39% of the coverage you would with a 40 yard range.
Below is a graphic to illustrate what 25 yards looks like ingame.
The white area is 20 yards, the minimum range for
The green area is 25 yards, the effective range of Evoker.
The orange is 40 yards, the baseline for most other ranged specializations.
The red outer border is 50 yards, the range of
How are Preservation and Devastation Impacted Differently?
Evoker having a 25 yard range certainly makes it more challenging to play. The way this design decision actually affects the specs depends on the situation, but generally it is easier to work around a shorter range when you only need to cast on a handful of targets. Preservation ends up worse off here because it is much more difficult to be within 25 yards of everyone who needs healing than it is to be within 25 yards of the boss. Mechanics are also much more likely to split the raid than they are to take the boss a substantial distance away. You end up being able to heal just 39% of the same area that you could with a 40 yard range.
There could be situations where Devastation is unable to damage a target due to a requirement to be out of range for a mechanic, but in most cases timers and proactive play can mitigate how much it affects your damage.
How Would Evoker Struggle in Shadowlands Encounters?
Halondrus is a clear example where Preservation would have felt near impossible to play but it was also a very unique fight in terms of range restrictions and positioning so I won’t go into it too in depth except to say that it would have been very difficult in progression. I’m generally more worried about more typical fights where Evoker would struggle similarly.
You’re required to play toward the front of the “ranged section” in order to reach melee & the tanks (who are taking heavy damage). Half of your kit including
are near impossible to use, others like
only have very limited uses. Your mobility is difficult or impossible to use – even
has to be used very carefully.
Phase 2 presents quite a few issues with our short range preventing us from healing both the raid and
soakers without putting ourselves in a perilous position. The general spread of the raid here is also pretty difficult to play around. 40 yard range specs can contribute to the phase in a much more effective way.
Multiple moments in P1 but particularly near the end in the intermission. The raid is bleeding out from
, you’re constantly on the move, and Evoker can only cast a few of its spells. It should be worth mentioning though that Preservation would have been very good in phase 3.
Lords of Dread:
Preservation's biggest problem here is our designation as a ranged character. You’re unable to stack with melee, and you’ll end up in a mid range zone between the longer range specs and the melee. You’ll never be able to hit ranged and melee with the same spell, you’ll make the fight more dangerous by spawning
much closer to the boss and you’ll have worse bait spots for
. The upside is that Evoker’s healing style is a great fit for the Swarms.
Rune and bomb targets are frequently spread heavily and it leaves the Evoker chasing them around. Playable but you’re working much harder than the other healers here.
The raid is split into ranged and melee stack points and the ranged stack point has to be more than 20 yards away from the boss due to
. This creates a scenario where the Evoker is unable to heal tanks and often the melee themselves unless your raid is willing to sit in a risky ~25-yard range zone.
There are often alternate strategies that can make these fights a little bit easier but it often means abandoning significant parts of your kit. This heavy restriction on spell choice wouldn’t apply with a 40 yard range. It’s true that Blizzard might design fights differently with Evoker in mind, but that kind of restriction on fight design could prove equally unappealing.
On any given encounter, ranged will deliberately plant their feet and deal damage until they have to move again. Moving is typically a damage loss for ranged, and having a 25 yard range as a specialization that is able to get ranged mechanics can lead to a lot of challenges, because it means you have to move more often. As a Devastation Evoker you have a lot of tools to get around and hover to cast while moving. Proactive play, boss timers, and raid strategies that account for the decreased range will play a big part, but the viability of Devastation Evoker will depend mostly on specific encounter design. Below are examples of fights from Shadowlands that Evoker would likely struggle with due to its decreased range in order of severity. These examples are based on the pre-nerf progression versions of the fights:
In the pre-nerf version of the fight I don’t see Evoker as viable due to the inability to carry a bomb in ranged without it being a nightmare for you and your partner. Typically the range stand far enough away to not be affected by the
Lords of Dread:
This fight is already a nightmare with too many ranged, I don’t see any reason you would willingly bring an Evoker to Lords of Dread, since you want to bring the exact minimum required for
and baits. Having a 25 yard range would mean you would likely need to stay near melee for most of the fight when ranged are beyond 25 yards.
Depending on your strategy, Evoker would likely play as a melee for most of this fight. Evoker would not do well as a
soaker unless they are able to go with the melee group.
would also likely require you to idle while other ranged can continue dealing damage (similar to melee). Evoker could do just fine on this fight, but bringing one means one less ranged to do a lot of the important jobs.
Sylvanas (Phase 1):
Many of the ranged baits for this fight would be out of range of the boss. This doesn’t make Evoker unviable, but it does mean that bringing one means one less ranged to actually do the important mechanics. Devastation would likely do well at killing chains with burst AoE, so Evoker might be good for Phase 1 despite needing special treatment.
If Evoker can be paired with Boomkin or MM Hunter in this fight, it’s going to be a bad time for everyone involved. Being paired with melee is probably just as bad since
would snap chains unless the melee you are paired with reacts quickly. Evoker would probably be fine on Sludgefist, but you would need to make a rule for the raid that whoever is paired with them has to play at the very front.
As mentioned, you can make accommodations for Devastation, but the bigger question is if Devastation is worth changing your strategy for.
Current Evoker Mobility in Dragonflight
: +30% movement speed for 6 seconds with an optional push forward on cast. Allows you to cast non-empowered spells while moving. Can talent into +4s duration, a sprint for the first 4 seconds and a second charge. 30 second cooldown with Blessing of the Bronze active.
: 25 yard range spell that moves you to an ally and heals them. No movement if you’re right next to them. 24 second cooldown for Devastation and 18 second cooldown for Preservation (both reduced by haste).
(optional talent): 30 yard range spell that grabs an ally and moves both of you to the targeted area.
Exuberance (optional talent): +10% movement speed while above 75% health.
: 20-50 yard range ability that causes your character to damage or heal everyone in your path. You are immune to movement impairing and loss of control effects while flying. This is a 2 minute cooldown, but for Devastation it can be reduced to 1 min with the Onyx Legacy talent.
In most cases
will not be used primarily for movement. Other talents include movement components, such as
which has an AoE movement speed increase.
Does Mobility Solve the Range Issues?
Being able to reposition quickly does help a little and
is our key piece of mobility. You can use it to set up better
casts, fire a more useful
and to get you through mechanics where being fast is worth a premium. Unfortunately it isn’t sufficient to solve the range issue but it’s an interesting balance against how long Preservation cast times are. A lot of the difficult Shadowlands fights wouldn’t be solved with more mobility since you’re often not able to even move into the areas you’d like to be present in (near the blood line on Jailer or in the melee zone on Skolex). The only real solution is a 40 yard range. It’s also worth highlighting other healers mobility kits which are often similar in power to Evokers already or in some cases even stronger. We’re currently in a position where we have the slowest casts, the worst range, and do not even possess the games strongest mobility kit.
For Devastation, mobility makes a huge difference for any mechanic that is “baited” into a specific position, so long as you don’t have to stay out of range. In situations like this you can play closer to the boss than the rest of the ranged then
out to do the ranged mechanic and swoop back in with
or similar spells. Devastation only needs to worry about the short range when the strategy involves staying stacked for a prolonged period. No amount of movement will help in these situations, unless you are able to “cheat” into the range of the boss during downtime between mechanics. Unfortunately because
and other spells for movement are on the GCD, movement still affects your damage quite a bit.
Does Evoker Range Need to Be Extended?
Preservation would benefit greatly from a 40 yard range on key targeted spells. Half measures like even more mobility or temporary range increases are likely to prove insufficient and an aura that increases the range of healing spells when you spec preservation should be an absolute priority. Personal positioning can still be a focus in the Preservation Evoker Design by leaving breath spells at their current 30 yard range and keeping
as a projectile that you shoot forward.
should all be increased to a standard range and that consistency will also make raid frames as easy to use as they are on other specs. You can keep all of what makes Evoker special like emphatic, high value spells and an awareness of where you and your raid are positioned without making the spec endlessly frustrating to play. It’s ok for a spec to have strengths and weaknesses and Evoker has these already. You prefer stacked allies, you are fast (via mobility) but also slow (via long cast times). The limited range is unnecessary and feels like a burden rather than an interesting dimension of the spec.
The biggest change I would like to see is
coming off of the GCD and allowing it to be cast while casting. If the primary purpose of this spell is to aid in movement, it would make sense for you to not lose uptime when using it.
Preservation is far worse off with a 25 yard range. With healing, it's best to consider your coverage in terms of the area around your character, and a 25 yard range results in less than half the effective healing coverage of a normal healer. I don’t really see a benefit that would make Preservation worth bringing into a typical raid encounter in its current state. This seems like something that will likely change, it’s just a question of when.
For Devastation, the ranged limit is less restrictive than Preservation but it is still something to consider. Is it worth it to account for an Evoker in your raid, or change already planned range movements and strategy based on 40 yards to accommodate an Evoker? Will Blizzard be mindful of Evoker’s shorter range and exclude them from mechanics that would make them not viable in an encounter? Will they continue to do this for
from now on?
These are the questions that I’m most concerned about for Evoker. I also wonder if giving a class a short range is innovative or if having a gimmick like this improves the design of the class. More than anything else, the range restriction seems like it will be a thorn in the side of encounter designers.
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