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Posts with tag button-bloat

Breakfast Topic: Is this really the end of button bloat?

We already knew that Warlords of Draenor would be revamping the game in a big way, but the first look at the 6.0 patch notes gives us a real sense of the scale of the changes that will be hitting us when the patch -- and the expansion -- goes live. It's no surprise that in 15,000 words of patch notes that there's a lot changes in the works. But even knowing that changes were coming, it was still a shock -- especially the skills removed.

But while there are skills I'll miss, what I won't miss is having bars packed with buttons. My screen is full of them, bars upon bars of skills, macros, and consumables I might need at any given time -- not to mention raid bars and other addons that take up screen space. So I'm all for any pruning that lets me stare at buttons less and focus on the game more. The real question is whether this pruning will really be the end of button bloat or if by the end of Warlords -- or the next expansion -- we'll be back to the same button problems we have today.

So, readers, what do you think? Are you for the removal of button bloat -- and do you think this will really fix it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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

Arcane Brilliance: A timely discussion

A photograph of antique timepieces and watches
Every other week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. Stacey Landry is the resident mage here, bender of space and time, conjurer of delicious confectioneries and expert at dressing well while setting things on fire.

I'm interrupting my planned final installment in the Challenge Mode tips series to talk about a more pressing topic. Things have really been heating up in the mage community over the past few days. (I'm sorry, I couldn't help it).

It all started when Celestalon made his fateful tweet about button bloat, asking what ability we worried about losing that might potentially be cut. Discussions about button bloat have happened in the recent past, but this sparked the discussion anew. A few mages suggested Alter Time might be a suitable candidate for a variety of reasons. More mages began to speak up that were vehemently opposed to its removal. Both sides became more vocal and some heated forum posts were created.

I don't mention this all to sow any more discord. At the end of the day, we're all robe-wearing, spell-flinging casters of magic. I'd like to see things kept civil. But it's a worthwhile discussion to have, if a "cut" is coming (and all evidence suggests that it is), what could we stand to lose and why?

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Filed under: Mage, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

What ability would you rather not say goodbye to?

Game Designer Celestalon had an interesting question posed to Twitter earlier today -- what ability are you afraid Blizzard will get rid of, in its quest to defeat button bloat? Obviously each class is incredibly different and the answers are colored by personal opinion, but it's still a question worth asking. I think what struck me as odd was that I couldn't really come up with any kind of reasonable answer. As a rogue, there are very few abilities I can safely say I love -- Burst of Speed, Shadowstep, Fan of Knives -- but those are all situational abilities that I don't use with every raid encounter.

As for the rest of the rogue toolkit, I'm decidedly ambivalent about the whole thing. The rotation for an Assassination rogue isn't what I'd call particularly complex, it's simply a matter of watching timers to make sure you're performing the right moves at the right moment. Mutilate, Rupture, Envenom -- they're all abilities I use regularly. There's nothing really remarkable about them. I like that Envenom refreshes Slice and Dice, but that's not really liking an ability so much as liking a side effect of using that ability.

Which is really kind of weird, when you think about it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Scattered Shots: Hunter predictions for 2014

Hunter at Dark Portal
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 predictions for hunters in 2014.

Happy New Year, Hunters! I hope you're all enjoying our late Christmas present from Blizzard. For the past three years, Frostheim (former Scattered Shots columnist) has been doing annual hunter predictions and looking back at them to see how accurate he was a year later. I'm going to continue the tradition today with 2014 hunter predictions. Trying to guess what's going to happen in an expansion year is pretty tough compared to predicting what will happen during an already-released expansion, but that just lets me get a little more crazy with the predictions. I'll try to have a decent mix of realistic and outrageous predictions, but before that we'll start with doing a quick review of Frostheim's 2013 predictions which he made a year ago. At that point, patch 5.1 was about a month old and the Throne of Thunder was still a couple months away.

2013 predictions review
  • Hunters get a DPS buff. This one turned out to be slightly true. We never ended up topping the meters in Mists, but after getting some PvP-driven nerfs early in the expansion, we were finally compensated somewhat in 5.4 with signature shot buffs and having Stampede restored to full damage in PvE. There was also Aspect of the Hawk -- which started out this expansion as a 10% RAP buff -- now a whopping 35% after three mid-tier buffs.
  • Sniper Training or something similar returns. This didn't happen in 2013, but one of the level 100 talents (which could and probably will change), is called Snipe and can only be used while standing still.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Warlords of Draenor: What CC needs to be cut?

Blizzard Community Manager Lore posted yesterday about the devs' plans to reduce CC with Warlords of Draenor's changes to abilities. If you haven't been keeping up, their general plan is a so-called ability squish, removing certain skills from every class, with a particular focus on those suffering from button bloat, such as hunters and shaman. We spoke a little while back about how they should cut abilities, and what you could stand to lose, and now Lore's weighing on CC.
Lore
We are planning to take a strong look at CC in Warlords with the intent of dialing things back a little. We do think it's important that players are rewarded for using CC intelligently (by coordinating usage, being mindful of diminishing returns, etc), but we think we can approach things in a way that allows us to tone down CC overall while still providing that gameplay.

To me, the key here is this: "We do think it's important that players are rewarded for using CC intelligently..." CC, in my opinion should have to be used intelligently. It shouldn't be something you use just because it's off cooldown, because there's no risk to using it, because it's effectively a surefire thing. That is not intelligently using CC, that's using CC blindly, and it's because there's no risk to doing so. So, what's bad CC? What would I cut, if it was up to me?

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Warlords of Draenor

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