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Spell Pushback Gone?

After the recent heated debate about spell pushback on WI and Wrath forums, it seems the change got pushed through. I was going to post my thoughts about that too but there’s been too much negative rant here lately (do you know how hard it is not to flame comments like this one?).

The latest beta patch notes revealed an interesting change to this mechanic:

Spell casting and spell channeling pushback has been changed to the following:

When casting a spell:

  • The first and second hit will add .5 secs each to the cast time.
  • All hits after the second will have no effect.

When channeling a spell:

  • The first and second hit reduces current duration by 25% of total duration each.
  • All hits after the second will have no effect.

What does it mean

At most we’ll be getting a one second longer cast on any of our spells. Channeled spells like Drain Life will be pushed back by 50%, or 2.5 seconds.

Will it help

Yes and no. If you’re fighting against melee, there’s plenty of silences and interrupts and you still have to be extra careful with casting. If you combine random mace stuns and pushback, sometimes it’s near impossible to get a cast off even when your opponents interrupt is on cooldown. It’s a bit easier now for mages since they can keep their target at range, but priests and warlocks still suffer a lot from it (and I already mentioned Demonic Circle won’t help). Mages and Elemental Shaman should be thrilled about this since they will finally be able to cast a Frostbolt/Lightning Bolt against hunters, which is definitely good. In PvE, it’s without a doubt a good change and I can’t think of any negative consequences.

Why not get rid of pushback completely

Because that would be extremely overpowered. Currently, it would mean a serious increase in caster DPS which would by far outshine any melee. Beta is still beta, and things can change - I’m sure melee vs. caster damage will be balanced accordingly.

The game evolved in the last two years from oneshotting players to the point where some classes are unkillable, but it still suffers from outdated mechanics, and spell pushback is one of those. Melee classes are only limited with their range, and with the myriad of abilities available to keep us at bay they are hardly as limited as they used to be.

Now, if we could only pushback that warrior’s melee swing… just to hear them cry about it.

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4 responses to “Spell Pushback Gone?”

  1. Gnomeaggedon says:

    This is great news!

  2. Ivan256 says:

    I love this change. Love it.

    I also consider it to be a Rogue nerf. Major rogue nerf. You can’t stop me from fearing you forever! We’ve got a fighting chance now.

    Now, if only warrior’s charge stun didn’t take effect until they got to you (instead of when they start the charge)…. If I kill you before you get to me (or charge-stun you with my demon, or get a death coil off in that split second, or step out of LOS before you get to me, or…), why should your stun work?

  3. Drazharan says:

    Skilled rogues will still stomp all over us, but yeah, it’ll help with the clueless-to-average ones.

  4. Jafari says:

    Before deciding that reduced or eliminated pushback would be op, consider the 3 seconds cast time that it takes to cast an interesting spell (e.g. wrath, fireball). 3 seconds is a long time in pvp.

    Even without pushback, most melee classes can either:

    1. Stun you, blind you, fear you, death coil you, cyclone you, sheep you, or in some other way cc you, ending your cast
    2. Interrupt your cast using counterspell, earth shock, spell lock, silence, kick, shield bash, ending your cast and locking out that school/silencing you
    3. Run out of range (maybe a new use for sprint?)– btw, this is the primary reason I find fireball useless in pvp.
    4. Back up and charge/intercept (warriors/bears)
    5. Break LOS
    6. Take half a step forward and get behind you just as the cast is going to get off (while mysteriously swinging a weapon that hits you anyway…?)
    7. Vanish
    8. Cloak of Shadows

    Any of those, and a failed cast results, leaving exactly ZERO damage (and since there is no reliable autoattack for casters) and leaving the caster to have to decide what to try next.

    Reducing or eliminating pushback will really only dramatically affect the situations where you have one person at range and a DIFFERENT person in your face. That and hunters, who are OP against casters anyway, if they ahve the sense to get a fast attack speed pet and spam arcane shot.

    Bottom line:
    Pushback or not, a long cast still takes a long time, and is not that reliable anyway.