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Posts with tag cynwise

Cynwise talks about faction imbalance in random battlegrounds

If you only read one post about faction imbalance in random BG's this year, it should be this one. The always excellent Cynwise of Cynwise's Warcraft Manual (ask for it by name) does his usual thorough job exploring the numbers behind the game. If you were a fan of Nate Silver's election coverage, then you should be reading Cyn's work, as he does much the same kind of thing with the information behind what's going on in World of Warcraft.

This particular post is too dense for me to do it any justice, but just as a summation, Cyn explores the way faction imbalance affects random BG's in several ways - how perceived imbalance affects player choices, how the overall popularity of the factions plays out, and the way in which dividing players into factions in the first place causes instability in the representation. It's really a remarkable and remarkably well presented post, and I urge you to go read it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Encrypted Text: Are rogues truly an unpopular class?

Ruffy vs. the Day Off
Every week or two, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Scott Helfand (@sveltekumquat) will be your shadow on this treacherous journey; try not to keep your back turned for too long, and make sure your valuables are stashed somewhere safe.

It is a lament that we, the ever-beleaguered players of the ever-shunned, ever-maligned, ever-misunderstood rogue class, often turn to when we're feeling glum.

Nobody plays a rogue.

We're WoW's most-hated, least-popular class. We never get the changes we need, so the class just continues to decay, month after month, patch after patch, year after year. If Blizzard hates us so much, why don't they just remove the class entirely already? Monks and ferals already have all the stuff we want anyway.

Nobody. Plays. A rogue.

... Right?

You guys should know me well enough by now to know my answer.

Read more →

Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Will we see an ability purge?

Will we see an ability purge
A fact of any MMO is that over time, as we get expansions to the game, we get more abilities, talents, and spells and as a result, our bars get complicated. Cynwise in his recent return to blogging (hopefully a long return) pointed out this exact issue recently, and now Ghostcrawler has tweeted a response to a question about ability bloat that has me wondering.

Clearly, the easiest way to reduce the number of spells on the action bar is to remove some of them. Either fold separate attacks/spells into a smaller amount, combining them or just flat out removing ones that see less use. We saw some of this moving into Mists of Pandaria (one example that springs to mind is the folding of Deep Wounds and Rend into one ability) and we could always see more. Of course, the concern is always that you're getting rid of someone's favorites in the process. At any rate, we have only the idea that there are plans out there, and that they will cause some crying.

Keep an eye out, folks.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Are rogues a dying class?

Warcraft population data indicates Rogue decline
If you remember, last year Cynwise launched on a study of Warcraft's class popularity that led to his producing a book, The Decline and Fall of Warlocks in Cataclysm. We talked about some of the conclusions he drew here. Now he's back looking at class population vs. popularity in Mists of Pandaria, and some of the numbers he's compiled from Worldofwargraphs and realmpop are extremely interesting. One of the most shocking pieces of information to come out of all of this is this stark graphic above, where you can see the rogue population plummet.

Rogues went from 7.67% of max level at patch 5.0.4, the pre-Mists of Pandaria patch, to 5.51% of max level as of patch 5.1, a drop of over 2%. This is at a time when most other classes either held steady (Paladins, Druids, DK's and Hunters all held at about even with their Cataclysm and patch 5.0.4 numbers), went up (Warriors saw a jump from 9.25% at max level to 10.14% between 5.0.4 and 5.1, while Warlocks went up from 6.7% to 7%) or saw slight declines (Shamans, Priests and Mages all saw slight declines). By comparison, the rogue decline becomes stark.

So, where have all the rogues gone? Monks have taken a slim 4.9% of the total playerbase, which means that they're hardly the dominant juggernauts that Death Knights became in Wrath of the Lich King, so can they explain the rogue decline?

Read more →

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

Complexity of systems and player retention

If you don't read Cynwise's Warcraft Journal, you probably should. Cyn's been doing an excellent series of posts about warlocks in Cataclysm that are interesting and thought-provoking -- even if, like me, you're not a warlock and don't really know much about the class. For me, one of the most striking tidbits was that rogues are the second-to-least-played class overall, but the second-most-played class in high-end PvP, implying that people only play rogues to PvP. There's a lot of interesting data in there about class representation, role representation, and who is playing what and at what levels.

The post that really grabbed my attention was this one about warlock complexity in Cataclysm because it highlights an extreme form of something we've talked about before, the design philosophy that argues for increased complexity in a character's suite of abilities. In its simplest form, it can be summed up as the hitting buttons is fun argument, although at the extreme Cyn describes for warlocks, it becomes a game of if X, then Y that resembles programming your first computer in Basic. If you remember making a chain of dirty words scroll on a loop up the screen, congratulations on being old with me.

Cyn's comparison of the destruction rotation in Wrath and Cataclysm shows a rotation with seven elements mushroom out to one with 14 elements to remember and consider. That if X, then Y flowchart just got as complex as a subway map. In my experience, all DPS rotations in general have a little bit of this kind of gameplay nowadays. The difficulty is in hitting the sweet spot where the rotation is designed so that random elements or procs serve to liven up an otherwise predictable set of abilities (providing the fun in the hitting buttons scenario) without making a rotation so complex you need six to seven addons to help you plot it out.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

If WoW is social media, what function do guilds serve?

Wil Wheaton and the rest of the Axis of Anarchy from The Guild
In my time playing WoW, I've been in a lot of guilds. I've played in guilds that were fighting for the realm-first heroic progression spot and others that were content at realm 15th. I've been a part of the Reddit guild families, which are so large that they need a chat mod to link the multiple guilds for all their members. I've also been in guilds like my current one that have a grand total of 15 people as members.

The World of Warcraft guild experience is as wide and varied as the players who play this game. I'm an unabashed guild-hopper who wants very specific things from a guild and is willing to leave if they don't happen. Other players are loyalists, who find one guild and form lasting bonds that keep them playing with the same group of friends for their entire WoW experience.

Is WoW social media?

Cynwise at Cynwise's Battlefield Manual wrote a post last month about the fact that World of Warcraft is a form of social media. There's no denying that fact: The entire MMORPG genre is based on the idea that you are playing a game with other human beings, not just facing off against the computer as in the genre's predecessors. In fact, I'd go even further and suggest that in many ways, WoW has potential to be an ideal form of social media.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds

The Daily Quest: Children's Week

Here at WoW.com we're on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere. Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment and you may see it here tomorrow! Take a look at the links below, and be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW related sites.

It's holiday time again in World of Warcraft and this week it's all about orphans. We are introducing them to dragons, taking them into battlegrounds and abandoning them on zeppelin platforms in droves. The blogging community has a few things to say about them too.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

The Daily Quest: Trinkets, magazine reviews, and more


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.
  • Youtube superstar MrVoletron has released another remix, which you can see embedded above or over on his channel. Be warned, the beginning of this one is a little ear-shattering. Turn your volume down.
  • Here's yet another review of the World of Warcraft magazine, this time from Azure Shadows.
  • Empowered Fire compares Icecrown Citadel trinkets for mages.
  • Shades of Grey connects a few lore dots and speculates on what the Cataclysm may bring. Is it just the beginning?
  • With the introduction of the dungeon finder, could that design be used to improve queueing for battlegrounds? Cynwise thinks so.

Filed under: Fan stuff, The Daily Quest

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