Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Nitro Boost Includes a Painful Backfire.

I love Engineering, you love Engineering. And so it pains me to say that there's been a bout of mass amnesia during the events of the Shattering (probably from too much Mind Amplification) and everyone seems to have forgotten how to make Nitro Boots. Goblins and Gnomes have rushed to bring a quick substitute to the marketplace of innovation, Nitro Boosts, with rather mixed results.

The first thing to note is that Nitro's are no longer a Boot augmentation, they now take up the Belt tinker slot in which you may previously have had the Frag Belt/Spyglass. No, I don't think that a speed boost coming from your belt is at all logical either, but I won't be complaining too much. The upshot is: you can now use regular Enchants such as Greater Assault on your boots (Yay!) but lose the use of Frag Grenades (Boo). At a very reasonable 6 Volatile Triggers and 6 Handfuls of Cobalt Bolts, Nitro Boosts are hardly likely to break the bank and would be a no brainer.

I say 'would be', because there's now a couple of pretty big downsides to this Engineering augment. Backfire rates are up, way up, and can now occur in Raids and Battlegrounds. At level 80 there are some reports that the tinker is backfiring more often than it's actually working, but under normal circumstances the tinker would still be well worth it.

The second pieces to this horrid puzzle is a new additional backfire effect. No longer will Nitro backfires only throw you up in the air and deploy a parachute for a nice and soft landing, you additionally may get the following debuff in BGs and Raids:-

Yes, that's 120% of your Maximum Health over 8 seconds, otherwise known as 'ouch'. The idea was probably to discourage the highest-end raiding guilds from stacking this profession simply for the Boots, but now using the boots is just too damn risky unless the levels of healing flying around is huge. I'm tempted to suggest that Blizzard adjusted the backfire rate for >lvl80 and inadvertently upped the level 80 backfire rate. If you're an Engineer you may want to consider just using the Frag Belt for now.

It's a shame really, Nitro Boots were a massive boon to melee specs in Wrath (especially for 'stay out of the Defile' moments) and a very competitive profession in end-game raiding if you looked beyond the pure numbers. In Cataclysm it's a shadow of its' former self for melee dps, though Casters will gain the very strong +480 Intellect/12 sec Synapse Springs and Tanks an armour cooldown in the form of Quickflip Deflection Plates. As times goes on Engineering remains pretty weak for Retribution, and without at the very least a lvl85 speed boost (with associated low backfire rates that do much less damage) it may well be one to avoid if you're a top-flight Raider.


Klepsacovic 30/11/2010, 18:39  

I was already irritated when I realized that the MC dish and boots, both fun PvP tools, would become exclusive. But a backfire that can kill the player in a non-entertaining way? No good. I say just remove the parachute.

Blizzard needs to stop balancing professions around the highest levels. I'm sorry, but they will always follow the FOTM and the latest bug/exploit. They're a lost cause and a waste of time to balance for.

Anonymous 30/11/2010, 20:19  

with the recent nerf to ret and now this, i am finding it hard to log in to my paladin.

Anonymous 03/12/2010, 17:40  

Engineering just keeps getting hit hard. While I won't say that a particular profession giving someone a huge advantage in PvP is fair - which it isn't - Engineering is a huge money-sink for very low profit.

By the way, Peregrine is back and blogging at www.paladin-storm.blogspot.com and I'd really appreciate some followers, comments, or feedback! :)

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