- The upcoming item squish is detailed, both in terms of the reasoning behind it and the effects it will have. In order to ensure old content will still be soloable, you'll even see a buff implemented when higher level characters clear older content to make them even more powerful by comparison.
- Base damage on player spells and abilities is being removed - all abilities and damage will scale with spell or attack power.
- Racial traits are being adjusted - high outliers (like, perhaps, Every Man For Himself) will be reduced in power, while obsolete abilities will be removed entirely.
- In terms of the ability purge (called 'pruning' here), one big target is Cooldowns. Various classes with multiple cooldowns will see them removed or combined.
- Crowd Control is seeing a significant overhaul and reduction, with a complete list on the blog post - examples include interrupts no longer having added silences, certain CC's like Cyclone now being dispellable, and all stuns now sharing the same DR.
Posts with tag dev-watercooler
As a raiding restoration druid, I personally am very happy about a lot of the changes coming our way. Making Nature's Swiftness a base resto ability in particular is a nice return to some Good Ol' Days, and now I'll have to decide whether I want the new Ysera's Gift talent, or Cenarion Ward (for now I'm leaning Cenarion Ward). I also--from the perspective of a resto druid--find the discussion on the state of holy paladins, and the changes coming their way, to be interesting as well. Ghostcrawler talks a bit about the way the developers at Blizzard believe paladin healing should feel, and specifically contrast it against druid healing. Many players have long pointed out how druid healing and paladin healing were basically opposites on a spectrum--the former being primarily pre-emptive, healing over time focused, and the other being primarily reactive, direct healing focused--and it's fascinating to read about the official thoughts on just those differences.
The full blue post is after the break.
In addition, Ion covered:
- Creative use of ingame mechanics vs exploits
- Adjusting the difficulty of encounters
- Unintended strategies
- How mages make life difficult for encounter designers
MMR, or Match-Making Rating is how teams are matched in rated PvP. MMR is separate from rating, but both are altered when you win or lose against other rated teams. Explaining the difference between the two is a little tricky, but essentially, MMR is how your matches are found. MMR is linked to players and teams, so a player forming a new team will carry some of their MMR with them from previous PvP escapades, in order for them not to face far lower-rated players. Rating is also linked to both players and teams, but doesn't dictate who you face.
Rating is won and lost via winning and losing against teams with better and worse MMRs. Say you're at 1500 MMR and 1500 rating, and you face a team at 1600 MMR and 1600 rating, and you lose. You will only lose a small amount of rating, let's say 5, and they will only gain a small amount, again let's say 5. Both your MMRs will adjust similarly. Now say you beat them. They will lose a big chunk of rating, but likely not such a big chunk of MMR. You, equally, will gain a big chunk of rating, and depending on how many matches you've played, likely gain a reasonable amount of MMR. The MMR is saying "hey these guys beat a 1600 team. They're better than a 1500 MMR".
Ghostcrawler comments on MMR or Matchmaking Rating, as well as class balance, even addressing specific concerns about certain specs. He also provides a sneak peek into new features which are coming up for PvP in the future of Mists of Pandaria.
Hit the break for the full post.
Filed under: Mists of Pandaria
While rolling for transmog stuff is definitely an issue when the game decides who gets what, Ghostcrawler flat-out states that Raid Finder is not the place for vying for transmog loot. There are other places for that. This new personal loot system will be used for world bosses as well.
Ghostcrawler also revealed the bonus roll system, where players will be able to earn tokens from various factions in Pandaria to spend on (among other things) a bonus roll when attempting to get loot off of a boss. This system will award tokens through tasks and dailies, giving people who prepare for Raid Finder a bit of an advantage if they choose to spend a token earned. Faction rewards, enchantments, epic items, and factional gear can also be purchased with these tokens.
The valor points system is also undergoing a revamp, with points taking on a new role of upgrading existing gear, but the final system is not really ready for much discussion. And, yes, the explanation for AoE looting is priceless. Hit the jump for the full post.
The full interview is after the break.
As promised, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, the Lead Systems Designer for World of Warcraft, has returned to the official WoW blog with an explanation of stat changes in Mists of Pandaria. Here's a quick rundown of some important changes, with the full blue post after the break.
- Spell resistance is gone, and so is spell penetration.
- The chance to block will be handled by a separate combat roll for each attack that is not avoided.
- Resilience will be renamed "Defense (PvP)" or possibly "PvP Defense." All players will have 30% base Defense, the same way all characters have some base Stamina.
- All spells and abilities will crit for double damage, baseline.
But at the same time, the struggle of what to do with class roles is one that's always relevant and ongoing within the game, and that includes Mists of Pandaria. Ghostcrawler gets right into the meat of it with this blog, asking questions and discussing various methods of balance. Do we strive for perfect balance among all DPS specs? Is it fine to leave certain specs with specialties? Should we return to the days of the solid divide between PvP and PvE specs, as it was in the vanilla era? Should each class just have one DPS talent tree? Read on for all of Ghostcrawler's comments.
The way Kosak explains it, the devs definitely want to make sure that there is faction pride for both sides, and, he argues, while the Alliance may be getting beat up, the Horde has taken its share of lumps too. But in the long run, heroes are not born out of easy times. The Alliance will go through tough times, but it will give heroes the opportunity to arise. The Alliance's time is coming.
One thing he did admit to is that Blizzard needs to do a better job of making sure people can interact with their heroes. He acknowledges that the Alliance may not think of Thrall as theirs or part of their story, and he promises that once Cataclysm as over, we will catch up with other characters.
Whether you agree with all of his reasonings and conclusions or not, it's a good read, and it does prove that Blizzard is hearing us and is at least planning to try to address some of the complaints of faction parity and Thrall overload. Check after the break for the complete text of Kosak's post.
Gear inflation has actually been a concern of mine since about halfway through Wrath of the Lich King's expansion cycle. Back then, it was armor penetration that really set off my gear inflation warning bells, a stat that's since gone the way of the dodo. If you remember ArP, you remember that it start acting extremely weird at higher gear levels and often had to be adjusted and capped to keep it from doing things like reducing target armor into the negative.
In essence, for a brief period after Ulduar dropped, ArP could actually cause your target to have negative armor values so that their damage taken was increased by a percentage instead of just reduced by a percentage. This was very wonky. It was quickly capped and the stat adjusted. But by ICC levels of gear, it was possible again to reach 100% ArP, and doing so was absolutely your best bet as a melee DPS.
Now, let's be honest: Gear inflation is the inevitable by-product of a game where one increases in power via leveling and gaining new gear. It must happen. If you simply look at gear from original World of Warcraft's 1 to 60 game, you'll see that gear steadily increases in power and that raid gear from MC to BWL/AQ and to the now-vanished Naxxramas-40 steadily increases in power. Indeed, Naxx-40 gear was such an upgrade in power that it was roughly as strong as blue drops from level 70 instances. You could raid Karazhan in Naxx-40 gear. The Burning Crusade dealt with gear inflation differently than its successors did because it could.
The changes made are being done to balance out melee and ranged DPS going forward, to get enhancement shaman to stop using caster weapons and mail (the huge changes to Mental Quickness, for instance) and to use Lava Lash to spread the Flame Shock debuff around in order to simplify enhancement's AOE. Resto shaman also get a bit of a buff, which should be nice for them, while DKs see some quality of life simplifcation.
Overall, the post is worthwhile reading (and the first of more posts to come) to get an idea of where Blizzard is going with design in 4.3.
The post starts off with some general technical information about how WoW works based on its client-server relationships and why the game works the way it does. From there, Ghostcrawler begins to discuss different time frames that Blizzard looks to when deciding when and how to update the game. Time frames run the gamut from patches to exploits, which get little to no attention in terms of announcements, and class balance, which mixes parts of expansion announcements and brand new changes that fundamentally alter a class.
If you've ever had an inkling of interest in how game design works and the thought processes that go into keeping a game like WoW running as smoothly as it does, this is the post to read.
Today, Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer Greg Street) posted more thoughts about overhauling tanking. He delves into what active mitigation means for the WoW team, some potential models that the future of tanking can hold for many tanking classes, and a deep, introspective look into what it means to hit buttons as a tank. Plus, he goes in-depth on how these major changes ahead will affect death knights first.
- Threat generated by tanks has been increased from 300% of damage dealt to 500%. What this means in practice is if your tank is doing 5k DPS, you'd need to do over 25k DPS to pull threat off of him or her. (You need to do roughly 110% of tank threat to pull once he or she has aggro, so you'd actually need to do 27.5k DPS to pull off of a tank doing 5k DPS.) This change was hotfixed in, so if you're noticing your tank is suddenly doing a lot more threat per second, that's why.
- The way Vengeance stacks is going to be streamlined. Vengeance currently ramps up somewhat slowly. In the current model, every time you take damage as a tank, you gain 5% of the damage you take as attack power. So if you're hit for 20,000 damage, you gain 1,000 attack power. As you take more and more damage, this stacks up to a maximum of 10% of your health, so for a tank with 165,000 health, this caps at 16,500 attack power. In the new version, when a tank takes that 20,000 damage, he or she will gain one-third of the damage of the attack as attack power immediately, or 6,600 AP. This is more than six times as much attack power gained as in the current model. Vengeance will otherwise work the way it does now.
This is really groundbreaking stuff, and it means that patch 4.3 will see the complete dismantling of the legacy of vanilla WoW tanking design. Once, gaining and keeping threat was the most important role of the tank, more important even that survival, and many endgame tanks were warriors 31/5/15 specced into Defiance in the protection tree to ensure threat. These changes can be seen as driving a final nail into that kind of tanking's coffin.