A complete list of the class changes will be posted after the jump.
Posts with tag class-balance
A complete list of the class changes will be posted after the jump.
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.
By the time this column is published, it will be official. Greg Tiberus Street, the man formerly known as Ghostcrawler, will no longer be Lead Systems Designer for World of Warcraft. For many years now, even if his job encompassed so much more, he was pretty much the target for class-based arguments. The most passionate, angry arguments for class changes were directed at him. In his final days as Ghostcrawler, I noticed he did a lot of tweeting about some of the aspects of his job and how the dev team saw class feedback from the community.
With that in mind, I want to take a look at the forms of class feedback and some terms that come up again and again as discussed by Ghostcrawler, not just as a tribute to Ghostcrawler, but as a way to hone our toolkit for when the Warlords of Draenor beta test drops and it's time for us all to give our feedback on the future of the death knight class.
I've talked about this with a few other people, and as expected, opinions are mixed. Some people are horrified at the idea of never having a new class again in WoW, and other people, like myself, are relieved. I really, truly do believe that adding more classes to WoW would only create headaches for everyone, developers and players alike. I'd much rather see the required resources in design, development, and maintenance go to other aspects of the game such as dungeons, raids, scenarios, quests, and events, than to creating and continuously balancing still more classes. So, without further ado, I present three arguments as to why there should be no more new classes in WoW.
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion
What I love about these posts is that little glimpse of insight they provide into the thought process that goes into balancing the class mechanics in a game like World of Warcraft. I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm not one of the people involved in that job. To me it seems like an endless headache to try and make sure all classes are different enough to feel unique, but similar enough such that a raid or dungeon group isn't punished for lacking one indispensable class, and I wouldn't have the patience for it. But I certainly admire and respect those who do!
While the patch notes serve to give you the details on the changes, this series of posts exists to give you the motivation and reasoning behind the changes to the classes. Why did they buff this or nerf that? The motivations towards each change are explained in detail, letting you get a sense of just what's going on for you in patch 5.2.
Part one is up now, so keep an eye peeled to the official site for more.
Death knight complaints and requests can change with patches, dealing with current issues or balance problems, but there are other death knight requests that come up time and time again, and will probably be asked about until the day they finally shut down the servers for good.
This week, we're going to look at three requests that probably will be around that long, just because it seems very unlikely Blizzard will ever fulfill them.
The power of the hero class
The "hero class" moniker has a long and storied history. It comes from Warcraft III, where hero units like paladins and death knights towered over the rest. By design, you only had a few of these every game, and they had more powerful skills that allowed them to dominate the battlefield when deployed.
When WoW came around, rumors of the hero classes spread throughout beta, but in the end, Blizzard went away from the model. Paladins, a hero class in WCIII, were made a regular class, for example, while other hero class mechanics, such as the Far Seer's Chain Lightning, went to regular classes.
One constant, no matter how hard I've tried to ignore it, that has always existed in WoW is that one spec is always "best." The class designers are constantly tweaking the numbers and trying to keep things balanced, but once we all sit down with our collective calculator and spreadsheet, one spec always emerges to rule them all.
It has been a sad reality that while we have always had freedom to choose a spec and personalize it to fit our preferences, when it comes time to raid at high levels or take part in PvP at high levels, that freedom essentially vanishes. You can make arguments for utility over damage or for certain specs in certain fights, but in most cases, under most circumstances, you're going with whatever cookie-cutter spec the internet has agreed upon that week, or you're not getting an invite.
Well, now we have a fresh expansion to leverage our calculators and spreadsheets upon. It's still early in the beta process, and hard numbers are in short supply. Still, the overall design of the specs seems to be fairly well-defined, even if the actual percentage points are still in flux. What conclusions can we draw at this stage? Which spec looks to put out the best damage? And most importantly, which spec will let us kill warlocks most efficiently?
Mind you, this is not meant to be a simple thread for pleading for buffs to your favorite ability. Blizzard's looking for serious theorycrafters slinging serious math to justify their positions. In addition, while this thread does mean the dev team feels numbers are in a solid place right now, it does not mean beta class balance is done or that further issues won't be addressed. Right now, the devs want to give player beta testers a chance to run wild, crunch numbers, and reconcile their data with Blizzard's data.
Read on after the break for the full text of Zarhym's post, and if you have some serious analysis to share, go post in that thread.
This has been the case in World of Warcraft since its debut. Heck, thanks to Indalamar, warriors got nerfed before the game went live. Balance is ephemeral. Your class may be on top one day, but your day will end. Anyone who's tanked for the past six years can attest to the roller coaster of which class is best at which aspect of the role. There was a time where paladins were the undisputed kings of AoE tanking, a time before Death and Decay or Blood and Thunder.
So just a heads up in case you haven't seen it somewhere else: The latest build on the PTR is tagged as a release candidate, which means patch 4.3 is imminent. I'm expecting it some time in the next few weeks. I wouldn't be at all surprised to be eating turkey and pie while queuing for the Raid Finder. Although, disclaimer: I eat turkey and pie for every meal. In other news, my heart just stopped. No worries, though. That also happens every meal. It's nothing a good chest compression or two can't fix. Look for a mage patch prep column right here next week.
Now, on to the business at hand. On Wednesday, the developers allowed us to pick their brains with all of our most burning questions about our classes. The mage community asked some good ones, and some of them even got answered. And though the answers given are perhaps not as definitive as you or I may have preferred, there's still a great deal of enlightening information to be gleaned from what the developers did share. And no, my own question -- "If I turn a warlock into a sheep, then hit him with a Pyroblast, then add a bit of mint and some red potatoes, what should I serve for dessert?" -- wasn't answered. Though I think we all know the answer to that question is "pie."
Death knight and druid tanks are getting some buffs to bring them more in line with the block-heavy warriors and paladins, and block capping for both warriors and paladins is not being discouraged. Feral druids are getting a Glyph of Shred change that will hopefully help their rotations, and beast mastery hunters are getting a slight buff. As we found out from before, paladins' Holy Radiance is getting a change to be more of a focused AOE heal, and priests are getting a buff to Guardian Spirit.
Shaman initially were hit with a huge Wind Shear nerf, which has been rolled back slightly. Demonology and destruction warlocks are getting a slight buff to be more competitive with afflocks, and hopefully warrior "charge jumping" has been fixed for good. You've promised me this before, Ghostcrawler! Where's my charge-jumping pony-moose? Check out the full blog post after the jump.
Filed under: Cataclysm
If you're at work or otherwise away from your computer and were unable to attend the event, don't sweat it. We have a transcript of the entire event for you and we've broken it all down by class.
Filed under: News items
As with the last Q&A, the chat will use the CoverItLive system, so make sure you're signed up and familiar with it if you want to ask a question. Check after the break for the text of the announcement.
BlizzCon's just around the corner, and while we discussed bandaid fixes last week, the recent winding down of the class feedback threads and the existence of a class talent panel at BlizzCon itself suggests that we may be getting so more long-term information soon, if not on the death knight class, on the general focus of class development in general. With that in mind, this week I wanted to discuss some of the possible long-term changes the death knight class could use to keep it fresh, relevant, and fun to play in patch 5.0 and beyond, some of which we might just expect to hear about or ask questions about this coming weekend.