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Posts with tag Ability-bloat

Breakfast Topic: Abilities missed and unmissed


Well, you've had almost a week to play around with the new version of your favorite class. Now that it's had a bit of time to settle in, have you come to terms with your less crowded action bars?

As a hunter, the ability I miss most is probably Scatter Shot. It was one of the most iconic hunter abilities and it just feels weird not to have it anymore. I've had several instances lately where I wanted to press it only to be reminded again that it's gone. Second place would be Kill Shot for the survival specialization. I realize all specs had to be trimmed down somewhat, but I personally think they took it one step too far with with survival hunters.

The ability I miss least is probably Serpent Sting. In most cases I would cast it at the beginning of a fight and never bother with it again, which I think made it a prime candidate for pruning. The ability still exists in passive form for survival hunters, but I'm glad it's gone in its old form. Second to that would be Aspect of the Hawk. Remembering to have an arbitrary button toggled on for 20% more damage wasn't exactly compelling gameplay.

What about your class? What do you miss? What don't you miss?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Interview: Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig talks Warlords of Draenor

I was lucky enough to head over to Blizzard Campus this week to talk to Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig. Chadd is a huge part of the class design team, key to a lot of the changes we saw in the recent Warlords of Draenor patch notes, which is just what we discussed. We were also joined by Senior Community Representatives Zarhym and Lore. You can also find a much-abbreviated summary on Wowhead.

Olivia: First up, is there anything you really wanted to clarify and get out there?

Celestalon: I've tweeted about pretty much everything. This was the first version of the patch notes, there have been more changes since then, those patch notes are about a week old or so?

Zarhym: Yeah it's like, tons of changes. [Rygarius] said he had a huge list of changes.

Celestalon: There's another five thousand words that aren't up there yet, which [Rygarius] is working on now.

There have been different amounts of patch notes released for different classes. Paladins have been complaining that they haven't got enough, rogues have been really happy that not much has changed. Is it safe to assume there's more to come? This is just step one?

There's definitely more coming. Like, for example, paladins had relatively few patch notes, and a lot of that is we were relatively happy with how things played out, at least for ret and prot, with the exception of a few things we can solve with tuning – changing numbers. So a lot of what you see in the patch notes now is what we call design changes, so the mechanics that we want to change so we can get to some design that we like.

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Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Changes coming to casting on the move

Blizzard Community Manager Lore posted yesterday, giving players further information on the ability squish coming with Warlords of Draenor. He's talking about the likes and dislikes of the dev team when it comes to a rather hot topic: casting while moving.

We all know that change is coming, and it all seems brilliant until it affects us directly, and it seems like some of the changes Lore is discussing fall a little close to home, as he uses shaman as an example. Spiritwalker's Grace, he says, is a type of casting with movement that they like. It's a cooldown, it's a temporary movement ability, it requires intelligent use. The opposing example is Lightning Bolt, currently castable while moving all the time. The devs don't like that. And I for one agree with them.

When I found out about the Lightning Bolt movement changes, my first reaction was that resto didn't need them. Elemental, sure, they are a bit of a turret otherwise, Enhance not really, but they are melee so have more instants. Resto definitely didn't need them in my book, and they're mindless, there's no additional skill there, no real gameplay, especially when we have Spiritwalker's for those times when we really need to move.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Scattered Shots: Button bloat and its effect on hunter DPS

Hunter in Tsunami Armor
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing the strange cost of button bloat.

When most hunters think button bloat, they think of abilities like Eagle Eye or Distracting Shot -- completely situational abilities that many won't even bother to key bind. They may be superfluous, but these abilities are not the real bloat problem if you ask me. The true problem is having our damage distributed amongst a dozen or more DPS abilities. Having this many buttons for DPS ends up devaluing each one individually until single abilities cease to matter. Each expansion has added more, and it's beginning to get a little tedious.

It may seem counterintuitive to suggest less buttons can result in more compelling gameplay, but I believe it's the truth in the case of hunter DPS. Properly using fewer abilities with perfect focus management is more difficult than executing a long list of abilities in sequence. When you have so many buttons, using each one has less perceived impact -- as in how much the monster's health drops in response -- compared to a handful of strong, satisfying abilities. A large number of DPS buttons is only meaningful if there is a choice in what you're pressing. Currently, I feel there is very little choice here. You either hit all the buttons or you don't.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Should abilities go back to Cataclysm?

It's funny, really, how at the end of an expansion it always seems like things were better before. While Cataclysm was not the most popular expansion, there were some good things about it. PvP was in a better state than it is now, for example, and I think it's fairly safe to say that ability bloat, while a burgeoning issue, had not exploded to Mists levels. And that's what I'm interested in today.

I was talking about this recently, with friends, and it seemed to us like a lot of the problem abilities were added or altered in Mists. For example, while it's less of an issue in PvP now than it was at the start of the expansion, the addition of Stampede for hunters was made in Mists. Symbiosis, the convoluted, complicated druid ability, that grants powerful abilities to other classes was added in Mists. Gateway, the warlock ability that served to make 'locks nigh-indispensable for your raid team, along with their other utility of course, was added in Mists.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Ability bloat and the future

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

It's going to come up sooner or later - warriors, like all classes, have a lot of abilities right now. We've actually dealt with ability bloat before - the folding of Shield Bash and Pummel into one ability came about because warriors had two abilities that did basically the same thing, but usable in different stances, which was seen as pointlessly complex. Similarly, we had Rend, an on-demand bleed that didn't hit very hard, and Deep Wounds, another, better bleed that was more random, and the introduction of the passive Blood and Thunder ability meant that rend was actually part of the arms/prot warrior rotation - removing Rend simplified things all around, as did letting Thunder Clap apply Deep Wounds automatically.

So it behooves us to ask - what abilities should we consolidate or remove? What abilities can you stand to see go, and what can't you stand to live without?

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

WoW Archivist: Spells we've lost

Ghostcrawler zaps a gnome
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Back in June, Ghostcrawler identified "ability bloat" as a major issue that he'd like to address in WoW moving forward. GC later confirmed Blizzard's intention to cull spells, but admitted "there will be many tears." Since the tweet, WoW Insider and many others have speculated about which spells will disappear forever and which will remain.

While I agree that bloat is a problem, it's not the first time that Blizzard has looked at reducing our endless action bars to more manageable proportions. Many beloved spells have already vanished, along with many strange and pointless ones, too. Let's look back at some of these spells from bygone days.

Shaman

Most missed: Cleansing Totem
In Wrath, the original Poison Cleansing Totem and Disease Cleansing Totem merged to become Cleansing Totem. It attempted to cleanse a debuff of each type every three seconds. Shamans loved this "fire and forget" method of cleansing, but Blizzard killed the spell because they wanted removing debuffs to require the active attention of a player.

Least missed: Windwall Totem
This totem had a cool name, but the narrowest possible application. It reduced damage from ranged attacks. Only attacks made by bow/gun-type weapons and thrown weapons counted -- not spells. Because wind affects bullets but not fireballs?

Weirdest: Sentry Totem
Long mocked as "Screenshot Totem," Sentry Totem allowed the shaman to switch camera views to it to keep an eye on a distant location. It had some strategic applications in battlegrounds, but given that it took up the air totem slot, few shamans used it. The totem did, in fact, help players to get great screenshots of boss kills, though. Never forget!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Lichborne: Addressing ability bloat in death knight skills

Lichborne Addressing ability bloat in death knight skills
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Recently on Twitter, Lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street was asked what issues he'd fix if he could immediately wave a wand and make it better. One of the ones he mentioned was ability bloat. Ability bloat is the term used to describe a class needing to press too many buttons simply to perform the basic tasks expected of them in group PvE and PvP content.

Ability bloat is certainly something that's been on my mind as well, so this week we'll consider the possibility of ability bloat in death knights and figure out various ways to address it. Much like how talents were pared down for Mists, I wouldn't be surprised to see abilities pared down in major ways for the next expansion, and we might as well start anticipating it.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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