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Posts with tag Nerfs

Class tuning hotfixes

Yes, turns out they're still at work adjusting class tuning before we go into Warlords of Draenor. Some classes saw buffs, other classes saw another round of savage nerfs. Death knights and balance druids saw some buffs, as did elemental shamans, while mages saw a 20% nerf to frostbolt's damage (rolling back a buff from October 17th) and warriors got pummeled.

A complete list of the class changes will be posted after the jump.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Death Knight, Warlords of Draenor

Preparation, Readiness, and other cooldown resetting abilities may have grim future

Preparation, Readiness, and other cooldown resetting abilities may have grim future
Classes with cooldown resetting abilities probably won't find one of Ghostcrawler's most recent tweet all that surprising. The abilities (Preparation, Readiness, etc.) have been targeted by several nerfs and changes this expansion. Ghostcrawler wrote the following in reply to a tweet that said it may be time to stop adding cooldown resetting abilities to the game if they're constantly going to be nerfed.


The abilities are particularly problematic in PvP, where players can chain several attacks or crowd control abilities together within a short period of time. What do you think? Do cooldown resetting abilities belong in the game? Are they overpowered?


Filed under: News items

Patch 5.2 hotfixes for April 29th and 30th, nerf to Lei Shen

Throne of Thunder
There were a few hotfixes posted earlier this week, on both Monday and Tuesday. On the 29th, both Glorious Conquest Quartermasters took leave from the game for a while. Daxxarri explains in a forum thread that, because Glorious Conquest gear is changing from ilevel 512 to 496, they wanted to remove the vendors before players purchased gear that would end up being a lower ilevel than they bought it for. The change is too big to be implemented via hotfix, so the vendors will be returning with the next major content patch.

The hotfix for yesterday was a nerf to the Lei Shen encounter in the Throne of Thunder for Raid Finder groups. Lei Shen's overall hit points have been reduced by 10%, and the Static Shock effect from the North Conduit now deals only 300,000 damage at zero energy, down from 650,000. That's a big change, and hopefully will make that encounter a little simpler for struggling Raid Finder groups.

Filed under: News items, Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria

All current raids to be nerfed by 10% with Patch 5.2

All current raids nerfed by 10%
Bashiok posted late last night on the US forums, highlighting a change in the recent patch 5.2 notes. The addition is as follows:

Blizzard
On Normal and Heroic mode, zone-wide auras have been activated in Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring, reducing the health and damage of all enemies therein by 10%. A NPC near the entrance within each zone explains this, and offers to deactivate the buff for the benefit of brave/foolhardy adventurers.


Bashiok adds to his post, explaining how, in Mists, Blizzard is essentially trying to strike a happy medium between previous expansions' attitudes to gear progression. Cataclysm's gearing model devalued old content progression too quickly, allowing players to effectively jump straight into the current raids, while previous expansions had been criticized for their linearity.

Mists retains an element of that linear nature, with Bashiok saying that new characters will have to go through Mogushan Vaults, Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring, but that drop rates will be increased and the content made easier. He does note, however, that this 10% nerf is currently slated as a one-time reduction, rather than step one of a set of progressive nerfs.

What do you think of this? Hit the break for Bashiok's full post, explaining the philosophy behind the changes.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler and Dave Kosak switch jobs for an evening on Twitter

Ghostcrawler and Dave Kosak switch jobs for an evening on Twitter
When the Ghostcrawler is away, apparently the Kosak will play -- or at least, take over Ghostcrawler's job for a few days. Those following Dave "Fargo" Kosak or Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street on Twitter may have caught a flurry of tweets from the two. It all began with an innocent enough notification from everyone's favorite crustacean, letting followers on Twitter know that he would be fairly quiet over the next few days. Dave Kosak decided to respond and note that he would be taking over class tweets in the interim. Chaos, of course, ensued.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Humor

Trinket nerfs insufficient to repair PvP burst issues

Trinket nerfs insufficient to repair PvP burst issues
We reported last week on the trinket nerfs implemented by Blizzard's team, in order to help fix the current issues in PvP burst. Blizzard Community Manager Daxxarri explained that Blizzard's team's data led them to believe that the on-use trinkets were a major contributor to the very high levels of burst currently being experienced by players.

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street recently tweeted the following:


Given Ghostcrawler's tweet, it seems that warriors and mages are still putting out too much damage, in Blizzard's eyes at least. While it may be the case that specific actions are required to address these classes, any attempts to improve the situation in PvP are appreciated.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: PvP, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Do you need a nerf?

Breakfast Topic Do you need a nerf
It happens to everyone, no matter what class you play. One moment you're riding high, flavor of the month, topping the meters for DPS, or healing, or tanking -- if that's even applicable. I guess you could top avoidance or damage mitigation meters. And then a patch rolls in, or an expansion rolls in, and all of a sudden you're languishing in last place. Nobody likes being nerfed, and the official forums are full of complaints from people about their own class getting nerfed. I'm guilty of this myself, I'm currently pretty unhappy about the proposed nerfs to shaman totems, the one that means they can no longer be dropped while you're silenced.

The question is, though, have you ever thought "man, this class I'm playing is way too strong. I really need a nerf." I had a moment of this in the Mists of Pandaria beta, when I chose the talent Call of the Elements, which, at the time, reset the cooldown of every totem except the elemental ones. I knew it was way too strong to be able to drop a healing tide totem, then a mana tide totem, then use Call of the Elements, and drop both one after the other again. It was too much, too easy, and while it was lovely, I knew it needed a nerf. Unfortunately it was nerfed pretty much into uselessness, but these things happen.

The question is, have you ever, particularly on live servers, looked at your main or any of your characters, and thought "I need a nerf"? Have you ever posted on the forums that your class is far too strong? Have you ever supported another poster's call for nerfs to your class? Do you need a nerf right now?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How do you handle being lapped by updates and nerfs?

Breakfast Topic Are you consistently lapped by updates and nerfs
Despite the fact that Blizzard means for previous raid tiers to be puggably quick and easy and propel players into the most current content, plenty of slowbie guilds and players out there are moving through older content at their own dogged pace. It could be that they're part of a retro raiding group, or maybe they're trying to experience all the content in a reasonably level-appropriate fashion. Maybe they're simply new players learning the game without the benefit of leveling boosts.

But there's more to the slowbie playstyle than alts making the occasional frolic through pre-Mists raids. Many players don't have the schedules, game knowledge, group coordination, or individual skill strength to push through an entire tier of raiding before it's nerfed. If you just opened your mouth to protest "But everybody can get through LFR or normal-mode raiding nowadays!", then you're in for a whole world of surprise. Many players find it more rewarding to play with friends and family than to progress without them, which can be challenging for groups with a bad group composition, scheduling snarls, or player weaknesses in key positions. The game is just as fun and rewarding for these players -- but it doesn't move very quickly.

So if you're one of those happily playing along behind the curve, do you take advantage of the raid nerfs, or do you plug along without them? What about small-group or solo content and achievements that get the nerf bat before you can work your way through them -- how do you plan for and handle those? Are you even aware of the differences in the content as it was launched and as you're playing through it today, and do you care? What content are you playing through now, and do you foresee catching up to Mists in the near future?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Gamescom Raid Q&A with the Devs: Nerfs, the raid finder and more

Gamescom Raid and Dungeons Q&A with the Devs
You may have spotted Monday's post on how to design a raid, which was the first half of the Gamescom 2012 Raids and Dungeons round table with Ion Hazzikostas and John Lagrave. The second half of the Round Table was a Q&A session in which many interesting questions were asked, shedding light on some hot issues as well as simply providing a little more insight into the Blizzard Encounter Design Team's creative processes.

Again, these aren't verbatim quotations from Ion and John, as I simply can't write that fast, but the overall statements are accurate representations of their responses.

Are there any encounters Blizzard have had to alter or leave out due to technical constraints?

There was a boss leading up to the Lich King who you had to heal (Valithria Dreamwalker), and that was a huge challenge for their existing technology. If you think about it, Ion explained, up to that point, every healing spell in the game was designed to be cast on a friendly target, that is to say, a player. So the devs were faced with the task of reworking every healing spell in the game. They didn't want players to only be able to use certain spells on her, as that would have been bad, so they redid every healing spell. The technical team changed the game's design so that the boss basically became a raid team member. Ion and John explained that it's all about working out creative ways to implement the designers' ideas.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Should Blizzard leave heroic encounter difficulty alone?

When the Raid Finder was first introduced, I had high hopes for its impact on the game. While the main reason behind the implementation of this system was arguably to get as many players experiencing raid content as possible, at the time, I was more interested in the impact it would have on the progression races between all of the top guilds in the world. I have always had a great deal of admiration for players in these types of guilds and have watched intently during each new tier as they all vied for world firsts. I believed the Raid Finder could benefit this type of competition by preventing heroic encounters from being nerfed while the content was still current. Surely, I thought, if so many people are able to experience raiding like never before through this new tool, Blizzard would have no pressing reason to make heroic encounters any easier.

Well, it seems I was wrong, for in the very next tier of content Blizzard released, we saw progressive nerfs to these difficult fights. Personally, I prefer to keep these encounters the way they are, at least until a new tier is released. Something just feels wrong to see the hardest fights available made easier through a series of hotfixes. Even with respect to my own guild's progression, having sweeping nerfs hit Firelands just as my guild was putting in some really good attempts on Ragnaros felt like Blizzard moved the finish line, taking what would have been a very gratifying kill and turning it into an accidental one-shot that contained none of the catharsis we had felt during previous boss kills.

What do you think? With the Raid Finder now a reality and a new expansion looming on the horizon, do you think the difficulty of heroic raid encounters should be static, like those from tier 11, or should they be more flexible?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Achievements, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard announces first round of Firelands raid hotfixes

Blizzard recently announced that both the normal and heroic mode encounters in the Firelands would be rebalanced and nerfed over the coming weeks to make the raid tier more accessible to many raid groups. The nerfs and changes begin this week, with the first round of nerfs to make the raiding experience a bit less demanding.

Normal difficulty bosses Shannox, Beth'tilac, and Rhyolith took 15% decreases to health and damage, whereas all of the other bosses in Firelands took a 25% hit. Certain trash packs have had their proverbial bite removed, and Alysrazor's tornadoes will now move more slowly. All adds in these encounters have had their health pools and damage decreased in the same proportions to their corresponding bosses'.

On heroic difficulty, all bosses' health pools and damage, along with adds' corresponding health and damage, have been reduced by a blanket 15%, which is a huge nerf for heroic modes. Alysrazor also drops more feathers on both difficulty settings, and her Wings of Flame buff is now a static 30 seconds.

While many players will be upset with these nerfs, I can only imagine the many raid groups that will happily charge forward to finally defeat the encounters that they have been banging their heads against for the better part of the patch. Blizzard has said that there will be more nerfs coming, as this is just the first round, so make use of this time to get as many of the bosses as you can while the getting is hot.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Previous tier of raid content is meant to be pugged, says Bashiok

After patch 4.2 released, the previous tier of raiding content was hit with a huge swathe of nerfs and changes designed to make the content that much easier for raiders now just able to experience it. With tier 11 valor point gear now purchasable with justice points, Blizzard fully intends for the previous tier of content to be pugged by server populations. Blizzard's Bashiok took to the forums to discuss just that intention.

Bashiok does say that servers will take a bit to gain the momentum and general fluency with the encounters, but that it is entirely able to be pugged. Further, he says that from here on out, Blizzard has adopted the mantra of one cutting-edge tier, with the previous raids nerfed to allow players an easier time to complete them.

Personally, I am a huge fan of this type of content shift, and I think we've reached a pretty good compromise with regards to content accessibility and raid design. Raiders get their challenge while the content is relevant, hard modes are still skill-based encounters that do not get the nerf bat, and the previous tier of normal mode content is much more accessible to more casual raiders. Much as Ulduar drakes still presented a challenge in execution during Wrath even though we outgeared them, hard modes in Cataclysm are the execution challenges that will still prove to be tricky for meta achievements. Count me in.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

Patch 4.2: Normal mode tier 11 encounters nerfed

Patch 4.2 PTR testing is in full swing, and we've got another round of patch notes, courtesy of Zarhym and the official Warcraft blog. Today's notes are primarily a metric ton of nerfs to normal mode encounters in Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, and Throne of the Four Winds. The nerfs were explained by Nethaera as follows:

Nethaera
With the upcoming content patch, 10- and 25-person Normal mode raid encounters will be receiving a comprehensive set of tuning adjustments to decrease their difficulty.

These changes will allow players, groups, and guilds who have yet to experience the content in Blackwing Descent, Bastion of Twilight, and Throne of the the Four Winds an opportunity to do so.

With the addition of a new tier of armor and weapons, we want to make the previous tier more accessible in ways other than just a shift of currency type, so we are making item level 359 gear purchasable for Justice points in the upcoming content patch.


Follow us after the break for the full list of patch notes.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: Patch 4.0.6 healing thoughts

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand pooh-bah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related. If you're looking for more healing advice, check out the Plus Heal community and the new healing, raiding and guild management podcast Matticast.

Even though I wasn't responsible for it, its nice to believe that my little story in last weeks column might have influenced the Mana Tide change. What is the change, you ask?
Mana Tide Totem has been redesigned. The totem no longer multiplies the Spirit of those affected by it. It instead gives a flat amount of Spirit equal to 400% of the casting shaman's Spirit, exclusive of short-term Spirit buffs affecting the shaman when the totem is dropped. In addition, its effects are now raid-wide.
It won't be an overpowered mana reset ability anymore. I have to admit, I do miss having that synchronizing aspect that all the healers share. Having a shaman give a 3-second warning that he is going to drop a Mana Tide cued the rest of the healers to activate their spirit trinkets. I thought that was a neat little interaction. I wouldn't mind seeing more of it somehow later on -- little ways that help promote (but not so much require) healing coordination would be a cool addition. I'm just not sure what other ways methods can be explored.

On the bright side, I don't need to figure out which players have the lowest mana regeneration in order to stack them into the healing group.

But hey, enough about resto shaman already! Some additional healing changes (both nerfs and buffs) will be coming soon. No idea if any of this stuff is going to stick. Tell me what you think.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Raiding, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Ghostcrawler responds to heroic dungeon difficulty complaints

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted an entry on his blog yesterday called "Wow, Dungeons are Hard!" It's a rather lengthy (but worthwhile) read about the current state of Cataclysm heroics, Blizzard's philosophy on designing them, his impressions on their current difficulty level, and some advice for improving your performance.

Like I said, it's an epic post, and we won't reprint the whole thing here. This, however, is the key takeaway:

Wow, Dungeons are Hard!
The bottom line is that we want Heroics and raids to be challenging, and that is particularly true now while the content is new and characters are still collecting gear. They're only going to get easier from here on out. We want players to approach an encounter, especially a Heroic encounter, as a puzzle to be solved. We want groups to communicate and strategize. And by extension, we want you to celebrate when you win instead of it being a foregone conclusion.

On the other hand, we don't want you to stumble your way to victory. We don't want you to be able to overwhelm bosses without noticing or caring what they're doing. We don't want healers to be able to make up for all of the mistakes on the part of the other players. While at the end of the day, dungeons may just be gussied up loot vending machines, we want you to do more than push a button to get the loot.

Ultimately, we don't want to give undergeared or unorganized groups a near guaranteed chance of success, because then the content will feel absolutely trivial for players in appropriate gear who communicate, cooperate, and strategize.


All that being said, though, is Blizzard really satisfied with its dungeon designs and their current level of difficulty? Hard heroics are indeed hard, but the updated PTR patch notes for 4.0.6 (which went live just yesterday at almost the exact same time Ghostcrawler was discussing heroics) indicate that a series of nerfs is coming our way. That will no doubt lead to player rejoicing, but remember -- heroics are naturally getting easier as people get more familiar with them and players continue to compile better gear, which makes completion even easier still.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

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