This opinion-laden post follows on from my previous MoP In Review topic, Healer Representation, and builds on themes I started to explore in the introduction. Go back and catch up there if you’d like
In the interests of full disclosure, I have to admit something. When I first started writing this series, I was of the opinion that mana regeneration in Mists was completely bananas – that despite the developers’ stated intentions and best efforts, they had created a scenario in which mana is unlimited, scaling way out of tune with player power and content, and that the overabundance of mana was the root cause of all my other issues in the game. I was ready to rail against just about every mana regen mechanic in the game, to vilify the legendary meta gem, and to burn Spirit at the stake.
And then I had the pleasure of talking about this topic to the inimitable Hamlet while he worked on this post, which is a far more elegant and insightful analysis of the mana regen issue in this expansion than I could possibly have ever made, and the conclusion he came to at the end shifted my perspective. (This is one of my favourite parts of the theorycrafting-slash-commentating process, incidentally, and why it is incredibly valuable that there is a commentator community and not just a bunch of individual voices. It’s great when we all agree, but there’s so much more value in disagreement and coming to understand why we each hold the positions we do. It’s always awesome when someone can change my mind with well-supported logic. But I’m getting off-topic!)
Anyway, as I was saying, after reading that post, I realised that it’s not that bad. In fact, it’s pretty good. We do have more mana than we should, we are less reliant on Spirit than we ought to be, and it has a definitive effect on the endgame. But I can no longer maintain that mana is the entire, or even the primary problem, and that meant I had to rethink exactly what I wanted to say about mana regen in this series; hence the delay. (Why, yes, this is just a long-winded apology! What else would you expect?)
Regardless, Hamlet’s post, and my own experiences and thoughts on mana regen, highlight issues that are relevant enough to us now that they are worth discussing while we are anticipating more Warlords information, so let’s get into it, starting out with a discussion of the evolution of mana regeneration mechanics from Vanilla to today.