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Blue Posts and Other WoW News: Paladin/Gurthalak nerfs, and Zarhym on LFR loot issues

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Blue posts

Zarhym on LFR loot issues
Quote:

They have managed to work out what role each item is intended for so why can't blizzard?

We know this information. The item designers have plenty of spreadsheets too. If you're saying creating said spreadsheet takes an equivalent amount of time as coding a system in the game whereby item distribution accounts for the spec you're fulfilling in a dungeon, you're wrong.

Quote:

If you are DPSing you get the need bonus on (your) DPS gear. Tanks on tank gear. Healers on healer gear. A little common sense with things like bears and spriests on their slightly different needs and all of a sudden the loot issues where everyone needs everything are all fixed.

Then a little common sense when there are two of an item, you treat it as any guild would, you roll and the top two get it. Not treat each piece separately.

It should have been completely obvious that everyone would need on everything they could regardless of whether they need it as your getting 20G for that shiny new weapon is much better for you than the person stuck with an i353 weapon getting a much hoped for upgrade because you will never see them again.

Blizzard fixed frost orbs from being needable soon after LFD launched. They fixed needing on BoEs in 5 mans. Why on earth didn't they fix LFR loot when it was glaringly obvious that the current LFR loot tags would not be sufficient?

New loot systems must be so depressing for GC and crew. Every time a new one comes out they must be so hopeful that their customers will all be pulling together. I wonder if they have a shrink on call each time a new one launches when they get reminded, yet again, about simple game theory, and the fact that in a group of strangers each person will do what is best for them.

We're not that naive. We knew from the start of designing the Raid Finder system that we'd need to build a smarter loot distribution system to regulate fair play. It was also really important to us to get Raid Finder working and implemented with the Dragon Soul raid. We had to be realists about it.

The loot system will be improved in upcoming updates -- including in patch 4.3.2, where it'll no longer be possible to win two of the same item for a single boss kill. But we're really happy with the implementation of Raid Finder and feel it's a great new feature for the game, and one we'll continue refining over time.

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Quote:

Already aware of your stated concerns, the business decision of how to optimally allocate resources restricted us from immediately addressing this issue. We confidently felt that the improvements to the game sufficiently outweighed this issue, and that its severity would be further mitigated in future patches.

I usually hate it when people decide to read into what I've said and translate it into some other meaning, but this was pretty fair, lol. ;)

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Quote:

I don't think this is an issue of money... you can only throw so many developers on a project before it stops being effective to add more people. At some point there's just an amount of time it takes to get something done. So if they want to roll it out with 4.3 they have to do that parts that work in that timeline.

You can put together a plan for a project that says 9 women can make a baby in a month, but it doesn't mean that will work in reality.

This is well said. Money isn't nearly the overarching, limiting factor people love to claim it is. And the common argument I see in response to the above quote is "hire more people then." But I think it's pretty easy to understand that looking for the perfect fit for a position is not always a quick process, nor is the training of new employees. This is particularly true when one is speaking about development studios generating creative media. Expertise, design philosophy, synergy, etc. are very important to the success of a project, not sheer headcount.

Our development teams are quite modest in size compared to a lot of studios, but it's because we genuinely feel it's not always good to have so many hands on a project. If that means we have to make tough decisions about how and when to release a product or feature, so be it.

That said, we do still have plenty of positions we're looking to fill. ;)


Paladin Nerfs
There are several things that we want to follow-up on and clarify:
  • We noticed Retribution DPS was higher than we expected. We investigated and realized Gurthalak was the cause. We further realized (and several players independently discovered) that the weapon proc was activating twice as often for Retribution as intended.
  • Retribution was getting more than twice as many proc chances than we intended. This was caused by the application of Censure, not the dot itself ticking.
  • This was not an accidental bug fix of some sort. The proc was happening more often than we expected and desired, leading to damage higher than we expected and desired, so we took steps to fix it.
  • We changed the duration of Gurthalak's proc some time ago. The 4.3.2 tooltip change simply acknowledges this fix. The weapon's damage should not change in 4.3.2.
  • Gurthalak is still a fantastic weapon for Retribution paladins and any other two-handed DPS plate-wearers. The average DPS reduction is lower than the 10% figure some have quoted. The sword's damage can be quite variable, and there are isolated cases where it may have briefly contributed 20% or more of someone's damage, but those are statistical outliers.
  • Being nerfed is never fun. We get that. The increased proc chance was our mistake, as always, and we apologize for not catching it sooner. Retribution paladin damage for players without Gurthalak is where we intended it to be. We expect Retribution damage with this change to also end up where we intend it to be. If damage falls unacceptably low for some reason, we will certainly consider taking additional measures.
Again, thank you very much for all of the useful feedback. We pay close attention to these things.


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