I put up the original 4.1 patch note text HERE and you can find updated notes on blizzards blog http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2356431. Although there are a handful of other changes from the original notes (shown in red on their blog) there’s one in particular that I think could potentially be a sign of things to come.
This is important because Blizzard had previously taken a stance against making an ability different for PVP and PVE, instead wanting to rely on resilience to keep the balance. They specifically called this out in their “Ask the Devs” Q/A post. What does this mean now? Well I’m sure it’s targeted at the ridiculous burst damage that fury can put out. In arena with a feral druid friend of mine, he was brought down from 95% hp to death in the matter of one warrior stun. Admittedly there was a bit of gear difference and my friend was in only a small amount of resilience gear, but ~110k damage in a few seconds is definitely not supposed to be the PVP model for cataclysm.
What does this mean for the future? Maybe nothing – I don’t want to just to claim a false slippery slope, but there’s always that chance. If this change works out without much player complaint or confusion, I could see Blizzard devs using this strategy to balance PVP without breaking PVE. Resto Druid healing too strong in rated battlegrounds? Nerf the PVP coefficients. Ret paladin seem too much like a nuke-launching God of Death during avenging wrath? Lower the hammer of wrath damage versus players. The possibilities are nearly endless. One thing I could see them trying to stick to though, is the level the spell or ability is acquired. What I mean is that, given their main argument is the confusion potential of a dual tool tip for the same spell, if they only tinker with high level spells and abilities then the people using them should be better equipped to figure out how the ability is being altered and when to use it. A brand new player at level 14 might not understand the difference between a “hostile player” and “non-player character”. Or, without consideration to the tool-tip at all, they could use an ability on a player and when it sucks, decide without further research or experimentation not to use it on enemy mobs either. Keeping to abilities that don’t come until later should give a potentially confused player the chance to have learned more of the games mechanics, the difference between PVP and PVE, and maybe a little bit of why the spell is different from one place to another.
I am completely for these type of changes. If this is the kind of change Blizzard can make to keep both aspects of the game balanced it could definitely lead to a more satisfied player base. Not much is more frustrating in Wow than watching your DPS, survivability or healing in one area get nerfed because of another aspect of the game that you don’t play. This could help to provide a little cushion of separation between PVE and PVP and help relieve a little of the justification behind the regular complaints that X part of the game is ruining it for those who play Y.