I do expect that Blizzard will address the spellsteal issue in Black Rook Hold. For the uninitiated, there is a mob (Risen Arcanist) that casts a buff (Arcane Blitz
) that increases damage dealt by 50%. This buff also stacks. So a mage (typically an arcane mage in the MDI) will Spellsteal
this buff multiple times (I believe it stacks to 10) allowing the mage to deal ridiculous amounts of damage. The Arcanist is undead, meaning a Death Knight can control it, and every team in the MDI runs a blood DK. The “hack” then is to have the DK control the Arcanist until the mage needs the buff, then the DK will release the Arcanist long enough for the mage to stack the buff up after which the DK will control the Arcanist again. Done right, this allows the mage to have incredible single target burst damage on Illysanna, Smashspite and Kur’Talos (upwards of 20M DPS) and shaving at least a minute off each of these boss fights.
The problem with this strategy is two-fold: first, it’s obviously incredibly imbalanced. Any team with a mage is nearly guaranteed to win BRH against a team without a mage. Having the buff not only makes the dungeon go faster, but it also makes the dungeon much safer because you spend less time exposed to boss mechanics. It was not uncommon for mage teams to only spend about a minute killing Illysanna. A boss doesn’t get an opportunity to do much in a minute.
Second, the strat is incredibly boring to watch. The mage has to stand around spellstealing a buff over and over, and since Spellsteal
costs quite a bit of mana, the mage also has to be given an opportunity to sit down and drink back up to full at least once during the process. So what you end up seeing is a team huddling in front of a boss spellstealing for a long time, then a super short boss fight where nothing happens because the mage basically solos the boss. The setup required for the spellstealing isn’t interesting to watch, and it makes boss fights less interesting, so on the whole the strat just makes BRH less entertaining.
I think the only reason the spellstealing has survived this long in the MDI is because its effectiveness caught Blizzard off guard. It was first seen in the tournament during the China regionals, and once one region had been allowed to use it, my guess is that Blizzard felt it was only fair to allow all regions to use it. Now that regionals have concluded, I’m guessing that Blizzard will feel they can make changes.