Combo Point Conundrum
Am I missing something?
TLDR at the bottom.
I joined season 8 and one of my first builds was Hoplite. It was fun playing solo, mostly, but in dungeons I may as well have done something else because most things die quicker than I can rack up combo points on my target. Because of this, combo points is just something I've been steered away from. Not a huge deal; there's a great amount of mage and/or warrior based builds I could use instead. But as I tried to play using the Dark Surgeon RE I realized that it's not something I can ignore anymore.
The leveling experience as a [Dark Surgeon] healer has been atrocious, mostly because of how combo points work. I'd primarily use [Mediate] to.. mediate my mana problems, but in a game environment where everything is OP enough to pull a group of 20 mobs, I'd then have to; stack enough combo points on a target whilst keeping the tank alive, which is easier said than done because my offensive attacks and healing spells share the same global cooldown, so I often end up having to pick between either healing or maintaining my mana. I'd hopefully stack enough combo points on an enemy before they die, but if they do die, I can still use [Mediate] on their corpse. However, when a target dies, you automatically untarget them, meaning I'll have to frantically search for the dead enemy with my precious combo points so I can regain my mana whilst also trying to keep the group alive. I can't even consider using [Dark Transfusion]. And even if I'm 100% certain of where the dead target carrying my combo points is, 9 times out of 10 some skill that anyone in my party uses makes their character hitbox wonk out and cover about 15 yards, making me target them even if I'm clicking on the ground.
I think is was in Cataclysm that retail added a new system where the combo points were saved on you rather than your enemy. It meant that stacking combo points and getting the kind of damage every other class can do without combo points is much less stressful. From the global cooldowns being shared between my attacks and my healing spells, to my combo points most of the time being lost on something that dies before I can even stack 2 of them together, to never really being able to reach the maximum potential of my combo point spenders, to not even being able to target the corpse with my combo points because player hitboxes are wonky... it's incredibly stressful and I just gave up. Either I'm really missing something crucial here, or Dark Surgeon is primarily meant to be a DPS spec and secondarily meant to be a healer. I'm fine with that, I'd even understand it, it's just that trying this spec highlighted my issue with combo points on Ascension in a way I couldn't just shrug off. I've only seen a single other post on the forum talk about this, and the single reply on that post suggested using [Redirection]. My problem with that is that it doesn't really solve the core issue, it just puts a bandaid on what could be described as a crudely amputated leg of an issue. It has a 15 second cooldown and let's not forget that if you're playing draft (which I currently am) you also have to roll that ability in the first place.
Thank you for reading this far.
TLDR; Hate using combo points, stopped using specs that need combo points. Tried Dark Surgeon, AGI healer seemed fun. Sucked because of combo points. Please consider, if you haven't already, adding retail combo point system where the points are stacked on the player instead of the target.
@SidhionOakbranch I agree that combo points feel bad right now, the same way they did back in live WoW. I hope that they do what WoW eventually did and make it so that combo points build up on the player rather than the target so that you don't lose your combo if the mobs die.
@SidhionOakbranch Hells yes, combo points are unpleasant to utilize. Have an upvote, here's hoping for the retail system to come to ascension!
It feels similarly wonky for dps and I agree completely.
I assume you can make some kind of "if no target, target last target" macro combined with the finisher you want but I haven't had the.. energy, to get it done myself.
It works like it did in retail at its worst, which I assume is wotlk since that's the ascension patch, but in vanilla for example I don't think the target was cleared after dying so combo points weren't so easily wasted.
Devs could really improve on it.