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Posts with tag Item-Squish

Why did we have to squish stats?

The item squish is a hotly debated topic on the forums. That's not really surprising. It's a pretty big change. Any time you're talking about any sort of reduction to character power (which, it must be restated, the item squish isn't, but it can appear to be) people get nervous. Part of the problem is calling it an item squish at all. It's not merely that, however - the squish is taking place across the board, to monsters and NPC's and encounters as well as our gear. And it's happening in a broad way, relative to the expansion endgame spikes of level's 60, 70, 80, 85 and 90. It's not a surprise that endgame play tends to introduce gear of escalating power, nor is it a surprise that as the next expansion comes out, we tend to see a gradual increase in mob health and damage and gear so that by the max level cap of said expansion, everyone's essentially shed most if not all of their endgame gear from the last expansion only to see a new cycle of gear escalation.

This isn't really in dispute. However, looking at the chart above, you can see that the steepness of the player power gain was getting ever sharper, and the projected 90 to 100 jump magnified the already high 80 to 85 and 85 to 90 curves. Why did gear start expanding in power so much more dramatically after level 80? Why were both the level 85 and level 90 endgames such steep climbs in power at endgame?

Let's take a look all the way back to Wrath of the Lich King to answer that question.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Gear requirements for leveling dungeons to be removed

It's one of the weird artifacts of content being moved from current to a legacy role - players queue for dungeons in the dungeon finder as they're leveling up, only to find that the dungeons have a gear requirement that they don't meet. With the speed that heirlooms and guild bonuses can bring, it's easy to find yourself level 83 and unable to enter any Cataclysm five mans because you don't meet the gear requirements (something because of those heirlooms) and it can be very annoying. But now, there's good news - Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas recently responded to the idea that those gear requirements could be removed with the stat squish with an affirmative.


This would be a very positive change in my opinion - it was easier for me to just level via quests than it was to try and queue for Cata dungeons when leveling up my tauren. Not that I miss all the dungeons we had back then, but it would have been nice to see a few places.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Dev Watercooler: Pruning the Gardens of War

We've been waiting for it forever and it's finally here -- Blizzard released the first in a series of Dev Watercoolers discussing Warlords of Draenor. This particular post is about systems changes and the reasons behind them. So what did they reveal this time?
  • The upcoming item squish is detailed, both in terms of the reasoning behind it and the effects it will have. In order to ensure old content will still be soloable, you'll even see a buff implemented when higher level characters clear older content to make them even more powerful by comparison.
  • Base damage on player spells and abilities is being removed - all abilities and damage will scale with spell or attack power.
  • Racial traits are being adjusted - high outliers (like, perhaps, Every Man For Himself) will be reduced in power, while obsolete abilities will be removed entirely.
  • In terms of the ability purge (called 'pruning' here), one big target is Cooldowns. Various classes with multiple cooldowns will see them removed or combined.
  • Crowd Control is seeing a significant overhaul and reduction, with a complete list on the blog post - examples include interrupts no longer having added silences, certain CC's like Cyclone now being dispellable, and all stuns now sharing the same DR.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

110% guarantee soloing old raids will not be harder post squish

Sapphiron
Technical Game Designer Chadd Nervig, aka Celestalon on Twitter, has answered a tweeter's question about item squishing with the following tidbit:



I read this, and my ears perked up. I really enjoy running around killing things indiscriminately in old raids, and I've wondered as to whether or not that would continue to be possible after the item squish. It's good to hear that Blizzard has no intention of letting older content stay as it is while our characters' ability to pump out damage is drastically reduced.

Of course, this leads to the obvious question -- what approach is Blizzard going to take for keeping older raids and dungeons' mobs and bosses abilities proportional? The obvious answer is that all of it will be squished along with our characters' gear and abilities. I suppose that will include items dropped of of old bosses too. It will be interesting to see the approach that Blizzards' designers take with the new expansion to make this change go as smoothly as possible.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Item Squish won't affect soloing capabilities, but other changes may.

The devs have been very keen to reassure us that the item squish incoming with Warlords will have no impact on our ability to solo old content. And Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig has tweeted, reasserting this point. However, in response to well-known death knight soloer Aelobin, he comments that other factors may have an effect.

What Chadd doesn't do is expand on just what exactly these "other changes" might be. At a guess, I would imagine that they may relate to ability changes, as there is a planned sweep to address the issue of button bloat, so you may lose some of the skills that you currently use to solo older content. Perhaps it relates to the non-linearity of expansion transition gear, or perhaps it's none of the above. Nonetheless, the message regarding the item squish is being received loud and clear.

Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

More reassurance on post-squish soloing

Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has taken to the forums to reassure players on post-squish soloing. Despite Blizzard's repeated assertions that the squish will do nothing to affect soloing, the message is going unheard by many, so Ion has provided some clarity on just how the downscaling will work for old raids and the like.
Watcher
Quote:
That's great! But I could have sworn solo raiding was frowned upon by Blizzard. Not sure they'll be too worried about keeping it a possibility. Hopefully though.

There's nothing at all wrong with going back and doing legacy raids and other content. The achievement system, cosmetic rewards and titles, and most recently transmogrification all serve to reward that playstyle. There's also a lot to be said for just being able to revisit old locations, for the sake of nostalgia or getting to experience them for the first time, without needing to find a like-minded group. As Rygarius noted, we're committed to making sure that we don't disrupt players' ability to engage in that gameplay.

Without getting into the math, our goal is to make sure that if Kael'thas's Pyroblast does damage equal to 10% of your maximum health today, it will take off no more than 10% of your health post-squish. And if you kill Onyxia in 30 seconds today, you'll be able to kill Onyxia in 30 seconds post-squish.

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Filed under: Raid Guides, Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: All health will come from Stamina

Blizzard Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig is a recent arrival to Twitter, and in the wake of Ghostcrawler's departure, has been recommended as your main person to complain to point of contact from the dev team for PvE issues. He's been starting as he means to continue, talking about the new secondary stats and more. Today, though, he's been chatting about how health pools will work in Warlords with the squish.
Now, stop freaking out. It's scary, I know, to see that you'll have no base health whatsoever. But if you've thought of an issue, it's likely that designers like Celestalon will have too. So, for example, he follows up by pointing out that you will still have base stamina, so you're not going to get into a situation where you're sitting at 0 health at low level.

Currently, characters have base HP and base stamina. A level one brand new naked alt in the start zone has 22 base stamina, increasing base health by 40, 1.8 health per stamina. Of their total health of 123, 83 is base health. At level 90, same class, same race, base stamina is 164, but that gives 2036 health. This is around 12.4 health per stamina. Level 90 health for a naked restoration shaman is 148,699, so of that, 146,663 is health.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

BlizzCon 2013: Huge changes coming to itemization

BlizzCon New Item Stats
In the gameplay and systems panel, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street just revealed some massive changes to gear itemization in Warlords of Draenor. The fabled item squish is finally coming, stats are being removed, new stats are being added, and reforging is gone. There's a lot to cover so let's get right down to it.

Enchanting, reforging, and gems
  • They feel like there is too much modification needed to be done every time you get a new piece of gear: enchants, gemming, and reforging your caps.
  • There will be fewer items which can accept enchants, but the items which can still be enchanted will have more powerful enchants and more choice.
  • Fewer gem sockets, but gems will be much more powerful. No more socket bonuses or metagems. Sockets are a bonus which can appear on gear and do not count towards item budget.
  • Reforging is gone!

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Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2013: Hands on with Warlords of Draenor

"If you could describe the upcoming expansion [Warlords of Draenor] in one word, what would it be?" I asked an anonymous Blizzard developer.

"Savage describes it."

They weren't kidding. I'll tell you why in a moment.

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Filed under: BlizzCon

Item Squish extremely likely for WoW's next expansion

Item Squish very likely for WoW's next expansion
Gamescom is drawing to a close, and with it a flurry of developer interviews have been taking place. One which happened just a couple of hours ago was a raiding-specific round table with Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton. One of the questions asked related to the much-debated item squish, and whether we would see it in WoW 6.0. Tom and Cory responded as follows:
TC: "If we don't do the item squish it's going to require a lot of re-engineering of our combat code to actually support bigger numbers. We're getting really close to the point where the code can't..."
CS: "Yeah, the code can't compile the numbers"
TC: "Yeah it can't compile the numbers, so we are testing the item squish internally with the expansion, and I think a good time to launch it would be right before the next expansion so people are already used to it by the time the expansion launches. So, that's the current plan, but we'll see how it works out. I hope we can."
Of course that isn't a firm confirmation, there have been many changes, certainly ones of this magnitude, that have gone into internal testing and not ever made it live. This is no cast iron guarantee. But, the devs mention how their combat code is nearing the point where it can't actually handle the big numbers, and it seems that a full expansion of item level escalation would do nothing to help with this issue. So an item squish certainly seems extremely likely for the next expansion.

Filed under: News items

Mists of Pandaria: UI Updates

If you've been nervous about how Blizzard intends to handle the item squish that Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street discussed in a developer blog back in November, worry no more -- we saw the solution in action first-hand at the press event. We also saw a few other notable UI updates and additions, such as the full implementation of the new talent pane, a new buff tracker, and a revamped character creation screen.

Mega Damage

Rather than compressing item levels and retuning seven years' worth of content, the developers appear to have opted to go with the concept of Mega Damage, replacing a bunch of spare 0s with a K or an M where appropriate. When killing mobs in Pandaria, my four-digit damage was not compressed. If I hit something for 3,000 damage, it displayed as 3,000 damage. However, five-digit numbers and higher were compressed. 30,000 became 30K. It's a very simple solution and should have very little impact on your gameplay overall.

Here's Ghostcrawler's explanation of the Mega Damage solution from that old dev blog:

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Live, from Hollywood, it's the Fox Van Allen show

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. The stunningly handsome Fox Van Allen will be your host today.

I'm sure some of you are already familiar with my travels, but I've been in California since Tuesday. The last few days, I've been checking in at the Venice Beach offices of Tecca (my new day job), and yesterday afternoon, I went down to Irvine to get lunch with Mike Sacco.

Of course, no trip to southern California would ever be complete without a trip to The Price is Right. I met up with actress Michele Morrow in Hollywood, and after a few mimosas, an afternoon of pricing games, and a cocktail at lunch, we went back and recorded a brief vlog. (What a terrible word that is. Vlog.) Enjoy.

Oh, wait -- what's that? I have to answer your questions today, too? What nonsense is this? I'm supposed to be vacationing.

Darren asked:

Do you think Blizzard will take a few minutes while working on Mists and reduce the level requirement for the Outland cooking and fishing dailies? Its kinda dumb that they arent available until you character is already in Northrend.

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Filed under: The Queue

Ol' Grumpy and the grimoire of gear inflation

Hello again, everybody. I'm Ol' Grumpy. You might remember me from such posts as Ol' Grumpy and the Goblet of Firelands adjustments or Ol' Grumpy's guide to outdated content and you. This time, we're going to be talking about what gear inflation is, how it happens, and why something eventually has to be done about it.

Gear inflation has actually been a concern of mine since about halfway through Wrath of the Lich King's expansion cycle. Back then, it was armor penetration that really set off my gear inflation warning bells, a stat that's since gone the way of the dodo. If you remember ArP, you remember that it start acting extremely weird at higher gear levels and often had to be adjusted and capped to keep it from doing things like reducing target armor into the negative.

In essence, for a brief period after Ulduar dropped, ArP could actually cause your target to have negative armor values so that their damage taken was increased by a percentage instead of just reduced by a percentage. This was very wonky. It was quickly capped and the stat adjusted. But by ICC levels of gear, it was possible again to reach 100% ArP, and doing so was absolutely your best bet as a melee DPS.

Now, let's be honest: Gear inflation is the inevitable by-product of a game where one increases in power via leveling and gaining new gear. It must happen. If you simply look at gear from original World of Warcraft's 1 to 60 game, you'll see that gear steadily increases in power and that raid gear from MC to BWL/AQ and to the now-vanished Naxxramas-40 steadily increases in power. Indeed, Naxx-40 gear was such an upgrade in power that it was roughly as strong as blue drops from level 70 instances. You could raid Karazhan in Naxx-40 gear. The Burning Crusade dealt with gear inflation differently than its successors did because it could.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

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