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-nerfs
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.
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.