Rogues? Nerf. Mages? Nerf nerf. Shaman? BUFF. 4th Shaman spec uses HATS instead of totems. Done.- Dave Kosak (@DaveKosak) January 27, 2013
Posts with tag class-buffs
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.
For the record, I did not ask for a pony. When I logged into my account post-4.0.1, though, my cup runneth over with them. Sadly, though, Blizzard is taking all my precious ponies away for redistribution.
WoW Insider's own Matt Rossi had a terrific post yesterday about the class balancing issues that we were seeing with patch 4.0.1. Casters like me were experiencing the thrill of god mode, with reports of mages being able to one-shot their opponents. And while we casters were getting sweet, delicious ponies, melee players got a big pile of pony excrement. Arms and fury DPS were down -- way down. So was retribution paladin and kitty DPS.
Last night, Lead Systems Designer Ghostcrawler let us all know that fixes were on the way. Today, he confirmed that fixes were implemented and explained what was done to each affected class to balance them out. The full post explaining who got buffed, who got nerfed and why is available just after the break.
Balance druid performance has been noticeably lagging in raids. While moonkin have long had a problem being too easily +haste-capped with Wrath, there's another issue on the not-too-distant horizon in the form of the "lunar +crit cap." Essentially, when a lunar eclipse procs and the player turns to the Starfire portion of the rotation, the combination of raid buffs, gear, and procs make Starfire crits all but inevitable. While this may sound like a welcome DPS increase, it does have the unhappy result of the spec seeing increasingly less benefit from the +haste and +crit that exists in abundance on Icecrown raid gear.
Blizzard has known about this for a while, but the issue with Nature's Grace and the soft +haste cap isn't easily fixable without impacting both Restoration and Starfire (where the NG proc is still useful), and the +crit cap is the effect of unintended stat inflation in Wrath. Enter Zarhym on Wednesday to announce news of a possible change to the Earth and Moon talent in a future mini-patch, granting 2/4/6% spell damage to the moonkin, up from 1/2/3%. While this isn't set in stone (and Balance players are already aware that an overhaul to the Nature's Grace issue probably won't happen until the Cataclysm content patch at the earliest), it's been greeted as a decent short-term fix. It's also a means of improving the scaling of what remains the moonkin's best stat (+spellpower).
Zarhym did warn that the change may not go through in this form, and we're also waiting for news on when this mini-patch will hit. Stay tuned for future announcements.
A question for the readership this morning (well, two) -- is a recent nerf to a specific class a strong incentive against playing it for you? Conversely, does a buff to a class make you more likely to play it?
Blizzard's observed in the past that there's often a correlation between the perception of a class as overpowered and the number of people who choose to play it (witness the proliferation of rogues in classic WoW, for example), so it seems fair to say that at least a portion of the player base's class choice is impacted by the conclusion they reach on design decisions. Then again, my own experience in-game -- and the pattern of comment votes here on WoW.com concerning class changes -- leads me to believe that yo-yoing between classes based on which one is doing "best" at any given time is not the overwhelming trend. The Warcraft Census' numbers on class population also seem to be evening out, slowly but surely, from a little bit over 6 months ago (which was itself an improvement over very lopsided numbers in favor of death knights and paladins shortly after Wrath went live). This would seem to suggest that, over the long term, people continue to play the class they like most for reasons that survive design changes. Or is it just that each character represents such a significant time investment that most people don't think it's worth it to switch mains?
I'm sure that arena and PvP as a whole wind up driving a portion of this, but what impact do class nerfs and buffs really have? If your main was ever nerfed, did you wind up playing a different toon, or did it just not matter that much to you? If your main was buffed, was it genuinely more fun to play?
Filed under: Breakfast Topics
One of the most, if not the most, contentious issues in all of WoW is the near constant balancing act of the systems design team. These are the guys responsible for virtually every class ability and talent nerf, and their herald, Ghostcrawler, is oftentimes the sacrificial messenger which all the hate and vileness of the internet is spewed forth onto.
But it's all good, because he's also the leader of the systems design team and leaders often have to place themselves front and center to take the worst of the damage. And the WoW community can do a lot of damage.
Recently it was discussed how and why the community reacts to class changes, in particular nerfs, and why Blizzard does what it does when it comes to them. While most of this information is not new, it is interesting to see how clearly the message has developed since Ghostcrawler began posting on the Wrath beta forums over a year ago.
After the break we'll take a look at what Blizzard has to say on class balancing and the community's reaction. We'll also pick apart a few statements and look at alternative ways which can accomplish the same goals.
The developers mentioned at BlizzCon 2009 that they wanted groups to be a little less reliant on specific classes for the buffs which are considered to be "must haves." Good examples of these include Blessing of Kings, Gift of the Wild, and even Power Word: Fortitude. These buffs are so commonplace in most raids that the lack of them feels wild and strange. Not to mention, you feel downright underpowered.
Patch 3.2.2 is going to help raids out with that issue. Three items will be making their way to Azeroth, each of which mimics a class-specific buff. MMO-Champ posted them, but I've transcribed them for you below:
- Runescroll of Stamina (Inscription) - Snowfall Ink, Resilient Parchment x 5 - Increases Stamina by 165 for all party and raid members for 1 hr. This is an obvious replacemeent for Power Word: Fortitude.
- Drums of Forgotten Kings (Leatherworking) - Heavy Borean Leather x 8, Icy Dragonscale x 8 - Gives all members of the raid or group the Blessing of Forgotten Kings, increasing total stats by 8% for 30 min. This is your new Blessing of Kings when you don't have a Paladin.
- Drums of the Wild (Leatherworking) - Heavy Borean Leather x 4, Jormungar Scale x 20 - Gives the Gift of the Wild to all party and raid members, increasing armor by 750, all attributes by 37 and all resistances by 54 for 1 hr. Going Druidless, and lacking Gift of the Wild? Drums of the Wild will get you there.
There's no official or even unofficial word about whether these items will be useable in the Arena. However, it would really, really surprise me if they were. They obviously seemed focused on enabling 10-man raids to get by without too many required classes, without handing these three buffs out to other classes.