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 Post subject: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:18 am  
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Healer Boredom
One of the things we hear a lot from disaffected healers is they felt like they were playing the UI and not the game. Healers are notorious for standing in fires or whatever because they aren't even looking at the battlefield much of the time.

Here are some random thoughts on the issue:

If everyone threw larger heals more rarely (and damage input matched) you could look away from the UI more often.
We can't just increase healing range without also increasing the range at which the boss can hit you.
Nameplates (if refined) could have a lot of potential for combining UI with the game wold more effectively.
Integrating things into the base WoW UI such as out-of-range indicators, better debuff indicators, or heals from other about to land on a target might make healers be less dependent on mobs. (Source)

Tanking too easy in its current state
I do agree that everything is easier right now at 70. But keep in mind these 3 things coming up at 80:

-- Bosses have more armor. That is going to affect the threat generation, particularly of warriors and bears.
-- A lot of groups are AE tanking and burning down groups. It's fun, but at higher levels the risk you're going to take is that those groups kill you.
-- Threat is easy to manage now, and not too bad in Naxx. Naxx was designed to be more of an introduction to raiding. It won't stay that easy. I wouldn't expect a lot of Void Walker-style competitions to stay on top of threat meters compared to other tanks, but you might have to worry about the dps'rs catching up to you at some point. (Source)

DPS Balance in PvE
Pure classes should be able to out dps hybrid classes by a small margin. However, hybrid classes should be able to be a lot closer than they were in BC, and depending on the skill, gear and encounter involved, will sometimes beat the pure dps classes.

For purposes of this discussion, pure = mage, warlock, hunter, rogue. These are the classes that cannot spec into healing or tanking roles. I don't want to get too far down into what that margin should be, because then players return with a WWS parse saying "See, the mage beat me. You said we would be competitive."

I'm not saying the difference is only 1%, but even if it was, just look at how many players get freaked out about something that could increase or decrease their sustained dps by 1%. If your group doesn't notice a difference when it runs with all hybrids, then chances are you have e.g. awesome shamans and really cruddy mages. That's cool. If you can still kill the boss, you're golden. (Source)

Post expansion PvP balance
I'm not going to promise that we will automatically buff any class that can't obtain X arena rating in the first season. That takes all of the onus off of the community and makes the assumption that strategies and tactics never evolve, which they do. But we will make balance changes for PvP purposes after LK ships. Absolutely. (Source)

The logic behind the revamp of Hybrid classes
Our logic worked out like this:

1) Buffs are breaking the game. There are many examples you could insert here, but here are a few:
-- Ret paladins can't get into the melee group because of all the buffers in there.
-- Stacking shamans for Bloodlust rotations.
-- Stacking Shadow Priests so mana conservation would be irrelevant.
-- Mages getting shut out of raids, in part because it was better to bring yet another lock to benefit from Curse of Shadows.
2) We decided to consolidate buffs such that similar ones would not stack, but we extended the effects to raid wide.
3) Thus, in a 25-player raid, you need far fewer than 25 players to get the buffs you need, allowing you to fill those remaining slots with who you want.
4) Without the benefits of those buffs, those remaining slots would most likely just go to pure dps classes. Shamans, for example, might go from 5 per raid to 1 (or 1 death knight instead).
5) So we buffed hybrid dps a lot.
6) But we knew at the other extreme that pure dps classes risked getting shut out of raids if hybrids could do their damage.
7) So we made sure the pure classes could still do superior dps given similar skill and gear. We wanted you to risk having lower dps if you brought all hybrids.

We don't go into a lot of detail about how much higher or lower certain classes should be, because we noticed that players respond to this by posting WWS parses that shows their class in the #10 spot and get all bent out of shape about it (and totally ignoring the bit about equal gear or skill).

The net result is that hybrid dps is much higher, but not as high as pure classes. If you are an awesome hybrid player, then you will sometimes top the damage meters depending on your gear, skill and the specific encounter. But you probably won't do it as much as a rogue, mage, warlock or hunter (again depending on their skill).

I know the edge here sometimes seems fuzzy. It is. WoW's combat system is pretty complicated and hard and fast rules can only get you so far. But that is the basic model in very simple terms. (Source)



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:38 am  
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I don't really see how nameplates would work - you'd have to be searching the entire room for nameplates, which would probably be even worse than looking at raid frames. :/

... not to mention the fact that nameplates move, and raid frames don't.

Mouseover macros + moving nameplates = ........extra challenge for healers? :P



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:51 am  
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Even in Naxx you can tell the difference between a good tank and a bad one:

The good one is constantly tab targeting the AOE packs so a mage doesn't need to ice block while the bad one is hitting his aoe button while watching TV.



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:28 pm  
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I don’t really see the “healer boredom” problem as mentioned being solved, especially with WoW’s mechanics. The frames will always be the easiest and most efficient way to see the health of your raid, which means for targeted heals (all of them except SP stuff) its going to be the best way to keep up. And the single resource (mana) means anything you do to contribute to the fight other than heal actively cuts against your healing in terms of both time *and* resources *and* with sub-par stats (even if the gearing problem has made great strides).

Despite it’s huge faults, AoC had a pretty decent healing system that focused most of the healer’s attention on the fight and key targets, while almost passively taking care of touching up lower priorities. WAR has the same problem WoW has with UI watching, but 4 of its 6 healing classes have a secondary resource to manage that encourages offensive actions to boost healing ability. Weirdly, the game that did healing best, imo, is/was the relatively old City of X – but that game was very very different from the style of the others. It’ll be interesting to see how the archetype is handled moving forward, or if it remains in a “pure” form at all. Healing is just so powerful, it seems every developer has trouble balancing it beyond whack-a-mole. In games that have it as a mechanic, not having healing generally dooms you. When you have healing, the ability to do anything else tends to make you too powerful unless your secondary role is very weak / useless. Difficult.


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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:51 pm  
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The issues with healing are two-fold, as I see them.

1) The whole "not watching anything but raid frames" bit is almost more of a fault of the healer than the game. I think people get so complacent at only having to be aware of their environment 20% of the time, that it's easy to fall into the trap of doing what they do 80% of the time (OMG PULL THAT SPINE OUT OF ME). If the game changed such that they'd have to be situationally aware over 50% of the time, it would both make things more interesting and challenging. I would think that in order to compensate, healing would have to get somewhat less intense (as in, you can stop healing for the 2 seconds it takes you to move without the tank dying).

2) DPS classes have more procs to react to to change up their spell rotation. Healing classes...not so much. What if healing classes had something like, oh, Brain Freeze for a mage? Sure, priests get Clearcasts, but they can't always do something super-different with them. Generally, anything that gives you a bonus that says "you now get to use this ability that's pretty useless to you normally, and it'll do something awesome/cost you no mana/have squirrels attack your enemy/etc."

Blizz has tried to change this a little bit with some self-bonus spells (Riptide benefits Chain Heal power; Chain Heal benefits LHW/HW cast time) to introduce some more variety in the cast rotations, but it's still mostly a self-imposed cycle.



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:01 pm  
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Raputo wrote:
1) The whole "not watching anything but raid frames" bit is almost more of a fault of the healer than the game. I think people get so complacent at only having to be aware of their environment 20% of the time, that it's easy to fall into the trap of doing what they do 80% of the time

Hmm, I really disagree. I'm damn good at avoiding fires and being the first person out of my group when it is hit by encapsulate.. but the fact is, I *have* to watch my raid frames for every other spare moment in a fight. The last 30-60 seconds of KJ is ridiculous for healers because they are constantly bouncing in and out of meteor hellfire but still having to watch 25 health bars at the same time. It's nuts. If I could be watching more of what is going on around me, I would love that - it's not because I'm complacent or I am staring lazily at my frames - I have to keep an eye on them or people go splat. I don't think it is fair to say that it is the healers' fault that this is the case.

I've done as much as I can to create UI elements that alert me to things happening - giant buff squares, Grid events, etc - all as close to my frames as possible so that if I can't be watching my feet just then, it might warn me that something is happening. Apart from that, there's really not much else I can do to be more aware of what's going on around me while having to watch frames.

Also, if you made fights that required healers to stop what they were doing for half the fight (in chunks of a few seconds), that will HEAVILY favour druids because we can run around healing everyone non-stop (see Felmyst). In a perfect world raids would still take their usual healer roster to do things "properly", but in the real world, we know that they would just lean towards stacking whichever healers make the job much easier (read: resto shamans in Sunwell). If they made fights that forced everyone to run around like headless chickens most of the time, I think raids would start getting more druid (and possibly CoH) heavy, and then once again you run into the trouble of having to sub in a bunch of people for fight X and then sub them back out again for fight Y, which was the reason a lot of guilds fell apart in Sunwell.

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2) DPS classes have more procs to react to to change up their spell rotation. Healing classes...not so much. What if healing classes had something like, oh, Brain Freeze for a mage?

I don't think I would like this. I have enough to worry about without extra procs and cooldowns.. ick. Plus, procs such as extra spellpower or haste or whatever are less useful for healers because you can only ever heal as much as there is damage coming in (which is why I generally choose passive trinkets rather than Use trinkets or proc items). DPS is about maximising your dps as much as you possibly can. Healing on the other hand is not always about squeezing out the highest hps, and a lot of the time boosting your healing temporarily is a waste - if bigger or faster heals are not needed, then it's probably just going to end up as overheal and/or wasted mana for healers. Essentially it would add something that is situational at best, and complicates our job a little more.

I suppose it depends on what people think the cure for boredom is. I don't necessarily think that adding more gimmicks fixes anything. People are bored with healing for different reasons. Some because you only press certain buttons, some because it's not dpsing, some because you stare at frames all day and miss out on the fight, etc. I don't really think that making things more involved for us will fix the problem.

Personally I've never been bored with healing so I consider myself lucky :P



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:37 pm  
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Caoimhe wrote:
Personally I've never been bored with healing so I consider myself lucky :P

I'm on the same page.

It's very funny, since I've had Penance and more of my cast rotation is not long cast, I have the exact opposite experience of what Bliz says. I spend much more time staring at my cooldowns to make sure I am keeping my spell rotation tight, whereas renew/gheal or CoH/etc was much less difficult to manage. I never played my UI as much as now, although it's getting better as I get practiced at the spec.



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:06 pm  
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Caoimhe wrote:
Raputo wrote:
1) The whole "not watching anything but raid frames" bit is almost more of a fault of the healer than the game. I think people get so complacent at only having to be aware of their environment 20% of the time, that it's easy to fall into the trap of doing what they do 80% of the time

Hmm, I really disagree. I'm damn good at avoiding fires and being the first person out of my group when it is hit by encapsulate.. but the fact is, I *have* to watch my raid frames for every other spare moment in a fight. The last 30-60 seconds of KJ is ridiculous for healers because they are constantly bouncing in and out of meteor hellfire but still having to watch 25 health bars at the same time. It's nuts. If I could be watching more of what is going on around me, I would love that - it's not because I'm complacent or I am staring lazily at my frames - I have to keep an eye on them or people go splat. I don't think it is fair to say that it is the healers' fault that this is the case.

Well, I haven't done Kil'jaeden beyond on our "hey, let's see how this works!" run, so I can't really speak to that. The best comparison cases I can bring up are fights like Archimonde, Naj'entus, Illidari Council, etc. Sure, my main focus is on the raid frames, but any motion in the area is something I try to catch out of the corner of my eye, if you will. It may not be player difference, it may be class difference in this case. My main heal is a 2.5 second cast (~2 seconds with gear, though). In the time between when I hit Healing Wave or Chain Heal, there is nothing I can do to affect the raid's health. Restarting a cast is usually detrimental - so I have a second or so to glance back at the main area of the screen before I go back and select a new target to cast on, just before my current cast completes. As a druid, you typically don't have that luxury because the vast majority of your casting is limited only by the global cooldown. As such, you're constantly watching bars and HoT durations.

There's a second aspect to this, which is that on my druid, I do all my healing on mouseover (as I know you do), whereas on my shaman, since I didn't have to cast as often, I would only cast heals on my target or focus. That meant that, again, in between my casts, I was free to rotate my view and constantly keep an eye on my surroundings. It's part of what I gained simply from leveling on PvP servers, but it's also not something you can easily (or practically) do when you're doing mouseover healing. I also do that to keep in mind who's standing near other people for CH casts vs. HW/LHW, whereas druid healing (pre-Wild Growth) was only concerned with who's in range of you, but not where people are relative to each other.
Quote:
Quote:
2) DPS classes have more procs to react to to change up their spell rotation. Healing classes...not so much. What if healing classes had something like, oh, Brain Freeze for a mage?

I don't think I would like this. I have enough to worry about without extra procs and cooldowns.. ick.

See, I think again this is a class difference. I like that Swiftmend has such a short cooldown because it means I can be a bit more reactionary in my healing. On my shaman, aside from a Nature's Swiftness every 3 minutes, there wasn't anything reactionary. Main tank healing is similar - you've got your normal variety of rotations because playing reactively as opposed to proactively will get a tank killed. As I mentioned, this was partially addressed by things like Tidal Waves and Riptide, but I would like for every healing class to have "mini" emergency instant-casts heals to level off spikes of damage. It gives you something to react with - pre-3.0, if I was on tank healing and Nature's Swiftness was on cooldown, what would I do differently to react to a big spike in damage? Keep casting Healing Wave like I have been for the past 2 minutes? Erm...



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:39 pm  
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PvP - Crowd Control spell reduced to 10 seconds
We made a pass to get all of the CC or movement impairing effects down to the standard 10 sec duration in PvP. There are still a few exceptions. Sorry I didn't pre-announce that one. I don't always know when something is going out the door. (Source)

Mortal Strike debuff
The Mortal Strike debuff is a tricky one. We do realize how potent it is in Arenas and we have used it on occasion to give classes or specs a good role in Arenas. But then recently we stopped and asked ourself where we were going with MS. If Ret and Enhancement and Feral and whoever ends up with MS, what's the point really? Shouldn't we just start you in Arenas with healing at 50% and be done with it? This is a topic we're thinking a lot about. (Source)

200% damage spell crits talents
We don't think 200% spell crits need to be baseline for most classes. They make some really good talents and if we pulled those away, you might be left with less interesting talents to choose.

We do think it's a problem that some specs don't have access to those talents though. (Source)

Achievement Known Issue: A Simple Re-Quest
There is currently an issue with "A Simple Re-Quest". The achievement has a bug that will sometimes cause it to reset if you enter a Cross-Realm Battleground. We have a fix in place for this that will go live with patch 3.0.3 (soon). In the meantime, if you absolutely want this achievement, the best thing to do is to not enter a BG while working on it. Many apologies. (Source)

Achievement - Fish Caught
Currently, 1000 fish is the extend of the achievement. But we can definitely add more in a patch. (Source)

51-Points talents
I think there is some truth there. In most cases they were trying to fill a niche, and depending on the spec, that niche might be very small. Some of the mechanics are unusual just because we wanted something players hadn't already seen a thousand times in the game.

If there is anything we could do differently, I think that some of the talents are too weighted towards PvP or in some cases PvE. It's hard to make an ability that can do both well without being OP, but if it can only do one, then players only focused on one aspect of the game end up not liking it. (Source)

New class forums
I think there is a lot of QQ at the moment, but I also think players are getting used to the idea of a new forum and figuring out how it's going to work.

Usually what happens is the players who say uninformed or dare I say dumb things get ignored or shouted down. Eventually, it's still our hope that we can foster some intelligent discussion about the things that are working and not working in the current class balance.

That is going to take some e.g. mages posting on warrior concerns, and the warriors getting comfortable with that happening.

There is a lot of bad behavior to unlearn, but I remain optimistic. The tanking and healing forums are already off to a good start, in part because those specs are typically not trying to kill each other in PvP settings, in part because they aren't competing quite as much for raid spots, and in part because there are just more specs that do dps. (Source)

Dungeon Itemization
There are still pieces which are more appropriate for one class or spec than another. Some of the changes we made, such as spell power, will blur the lines slightly more. Our goal with that was more to help say an undergeared paladin get healing gear or an undergeared warlock be able to benefit from the "healing" cloth rather than just sharding it.

I've played a priest enough (I've played every class) to know that it can be frustrating when a paladin wants to roll on a piece of cloth, but most of the time the raid leaders I have run with tend to let the cloth-wearers get first dibs. I agree that there is a big social aspect to loot distribution. To some extent, that is by design. (Source)

Hunter (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))
Disengage
There is a limitation to Disengage in which a hunter who is already snared leaps as if snared. That issue will require new tech to fix it, but when we get it, we can solve that problem. We are also getting new tech to make Disengage work better on uneven ground.

The last time I used Disengage, I didn't have to aim at all. You just leap backwards, much like the way a mage Blinks. If you want to control where you land, you can rotate in place. But we thought actually requiring you to click where you wanted to go would make the ability too hard to use when you're supposed to use it -- to retreat. (Source)

Mage (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))
Arcane Stability and pushback reduciton talents
I think some of these talents probably need to be tweaked with the new pushback system in place (assuming that we like the way it plays out). (Source)

Arcane tree balancing
We think we know how to adjust Arcane to make their rotations work better in PvE (which will also help the PvP burst at the same time). It involves changing a couple of spells though so it will take some time and isn't the kind of thing easily hotfixed (as it will make tooltips incorrect).

We don't think Arcane is so broken that it's useless to take raiding. We just want to make the rotations a little smoother and perhaps bring up PvE damage a little bit. (Source)

Arcane tree balancing #2
We are very concerned about the burst damage of Arcane in PvP. If we end up nerfing Arcane Barrage in particular, nobody should be surprised.

We understand that it is fun to have an instant spell that does so much damage, even on a cooldown. But we also think Arcane is a bit of a one-trick pony at the moment -- run around and Fireball or whatever, then Barrage when it's on cooldown. A more interesting and balanced rotation would be something like getting an Arcane Blast out first, which then buffs Barrage up to its current big numbers.

In PvE, Arcane doesn't seem to be OP and might even be low compared to Frost and Fire. Buffing Arcane Blast might help in this situation too. (Source)

Paladin (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))
Holy & Protection DPS
We are concerned that Holy and Protection may have lost too much dps as "collateral damage" from the Ret nerfs. It is something we're working on now, though I do believe Holy dps is still a lot better than it was in BC. Healers will always level more slowly than dps specs since using your abilities may keep you alive but doesn't always kill stuff faster. (Source)

Retribution - Developer Q&A
1) Do you really think we'll use AW now other than select PvE encounters? (Source)
We understand that AW will be used much, much less than it is now in Arenas. That wasn't the intention, but we felt we needed to counter the standard winged bubble opening move that so many paladins were doing. If this change actually seems to make a difference (because to be honest despite the number of nerfs we've done to Ret, they were still overpowered) than we'll consider other ways of getting the same effect that don't involve Forbearance.

2) Why is it that you're so hot to balance out a class that has been a joke for 2+ years for two weeks of playtime when PvE progression and arena rankings are now all but meaningless?
We can't let one spec run around killing everyone just because they were underpowered before. I expect you'd be just as frustrated as other classes if it was Elemental shammies or Feral druids dominating everyone in PvP. Where Ret's history did come into play is we originally tried relatively small nerfs originally (though the paladin community didn't perceive them as such at the time). In retrospect, being gentle there didn't do you guys any favors because then we just had to come back two more times with big nerfs.

3) Where were our desperately needed hot fix buffs for the past two years? Is this new insta-balance stance going to swing both ways?
We made a lot of big changes to classes for LK and we need to able to adjust them as needed. I honestly wasn't doing this job for the past two years, so I'm not in a position to comment on why certain decisions were made the way they were. I have faith they were made for good reasons, but I just can't share them with you because I don't know. I will say that the perception around Blizzard was that the Ret paladin situation was very severe. I don't want to understate it. It was considered one of the most egregious balance problems we've had in some time.

4) Where were the desperately needed nerfs to certain classes in arena for the past two season?
See above.

5) Will problems such as lack of MS debuffs, interrupts, distance closing, and susceptibility to mana burns/silences be addressed?
Mana burns - yes.
Distance closing and interrupts - we are considering giving Ret or paladins in general some new utility to make up for all the nerfs we have made to their damage. It will almost certanly not be MS though. You can find a thread where I recently attempted to explain why we don't want to give out more MS debuffs.
I haven't heard a lot of silence complaints from paladins recently (more than normal I mean). Is this a new problem? Care to elaborate?

Ghostcrawler - I'm not understanding why the winged bubble move was such a big deal? Bubble in and of itself is overpowered, but that's OK because it's on a 5 minute cooldown. It sort of seems like it's possible that you're letting people's anecdotes guide this decision.
The problem was that the cooldown was irrelevant. The paladin could wing + bubble, then go in with a stun, DS, CS, JoC and maybe Consecrate, all within a few GCDs. If the poor sap on the receiving end was below 35% (now 20%), which was likely, he would get hammered as well. If somehow the target was still alive after all that, or had an ally, the paladin usually had enough mana to heal himself to full. Then, even if the battle was over, the paladin had enough mana to just go on to the next target (minus bubble). In Arenas this didn't matter of course, because with a death that early, the match is usually decided. This strategy was the entire PvP problem with Ret in a nutshell. It didn't take a lot of skill and was impossible to counter. Most other classes can't open with that many abilities at once (ignoring the bubble defense and healing potential). Players complain about rogues stun-locking them, but at least that takes some skill from the rogue to do things in the right order and usually requires an element of surprise.

Tons of explanation about the nerfs
See the post

More Retribution Q&A ... (Source)
So my question to you would be, has it been discussed between the developers about our mana regeneration, and if it would be at all possible to have it scale?
It's not clear to me why your mana needs to scale. Your spells don't keep increasing their cost as your gear increases, and in fact your damage does increase as your gear improves. Caster mana increases with gear, but whatever item budget they are spending on Int, you get to spend on other stats, such as Strength.

As I've said though, we do think we will change mana drains to a percent so that they aren't strictly more effective against classes with smaller mana pools.

I know you've been busy reading, but has something like this been considered? I'm sure you realize how we feel about Divine Storm being more or less just like a warriors whirlwind and why we are petitioning for this to go back to holy damage.
If Divine Storm went back to Holy, its damage would have to drop by a lot to compensate (maybe 40% or so). There are some design advantages to having it stay physical. For example, an Arena team can send a plate wearer to fight the Ret pally since Divine Storm will do less damage to that person.

Ultimately, we would like to have the spell feel more different from Whirlwind, but understand that our first priority was just to get paladin damage under control.

My final question and then i'll let you get back to working on the class, has to do with Righteous Vengence.
You're going to have to explain a little more what you mean about it being resisted often and doubly affected by resilience. Maybe someone else explains it in this forum and I'll see it soon. When crits are prevented from resilience, they typically do not prevent secondary effects that would have been a result of that crit. It's physical damage IIRC, so it shouldn't be resisted or dispelled at all, but I'll look into that. Ultimately though we wanted this talent mostly for PvE utility, so you shouldn't expect us to buff it a lot for PvP purposes.

4) 51 Pointers are broadly situational. I don't think it's totally fair to expect something other out of Divine Storm.
This is true, and Divine Storm is less situational than a lot of the 51 point talents.

41pt better than 51pt...what?
We don't inflate the value of deeper talents. If the bottom talents were always the best there would never be any reason to take less than 51 points in a tree.

The core rotation should be sustainable without requiring the use of JoW. JoW should be for mana regen above and beyond that core rotation. It's bad enough in PvP that judgements don't return mana when they are absorbed. Now we essentially have to use JoW in PvP because of that limitation to JotW which means we're no longer choosing between extra mana or stopping a runner: we're choosing between necessary mana to function and stopping a runner.

I really don't see a lot of paladins judging Wisdom in PvP. Unless you are being mana drained a ton (which as I mentioned is something we do plan on fixing) I don't understand how you can be going out of mana while fighting someone. Now if you blow a lot of mana, you may have to pause in between fights. Most mana-using classes have to do that.

There is still a lot of debate on these forums about how long a paladin can go before running on fumes. So far a lot of players are finding results similar to ours, and I think some (though not all) who do claim to have trouble are being disingenous in hopes of getting it buffed. But we'll keep watching to see what happens. If we reach the point where Ret paladins are just getting slaughtered in PvP then we'll know we went way too far. I don't see that happening yet though.

GC will delete anything that makes him look bad, post something were he contradicted himself in and it will get deleted. he only leaves messeges that benefit him. Trick me once, shame on you, trick me twice GC then shame on me
This is just name calling as far as I can tell. The only posts that get deleted are those that violate the forum terms of use. Players catch me in contradictions all the time -- I tend to type fast so that I can respond to as many posts as possible. Life goes on. In any case, it doesn't really matter what was said in the past. Ret paladins were broken and we had to fix them. As I have said dozens of times, we don't like nerfing classes but we still have to do it when necessary.

Retribution in PvP
On utility, the designers did agree that if we were going to keep hurting Ret's burst dps, which is a big thing they brought to a team, that we needed to give them some kind of tool to make up for it. We're not sure whether that will be a snare or interrupt or whatever, but the feedback on forums like this one will certainly help determine it. I am surprised to hear you say you don't have a lot of control, becaue I think that is the preception of a lot of classes on the receiving ends of your stuns.

Mana, rage and energy are different mechanics. Yeah, duh, I know, but hear me out. To a class with mana seeing players with a resource that never runs out can seem amazing. But the flip side of that is you start a battle with a full bar. A rogue (or druid) does too, but their bar goes dry in 2-3 hits while yours can last for a long time and pack a lot of hits into a short period. Rage can come back for a warrior (or druid) but they start with none and use a lot of it on every swing. Each of them has their advantages and disadvantages and I think we've done a pretty good job overall of preventing any one of them from dominating either PvP or PvE. (Source)

Holy Paladins Q&A (Source)
Aura Mastery - This needs to be removed and made baseline, Holy paladins need a new 11 point talent.
A little bit of explanation wouldn't hurt when you make claims like this. Typically we don't like to turn good talents into baseline abilities. That either leaves you with mediocre talents or the next tier of good talents (that you ask to be turned into core abilities).

Illumination - Needs a buff, mana return back to 100%? At least 75%
There was a time not too long ago where Holy paladins just didn't run out of mana. This was not good for the game. (Source)

Holy paladins are still locked down to easy in pvp and bring nothing special to aid the group, whats being done to fix this?
This is a little vague for me to be able to address your concerns. I do think there may be something to the issue that Arena teams want a healer with some offensive capabilities as well, even if that means Mass Dispel.

We are close to no longer being the best single target healer. Other classes are catching up and paladins are being removed from raids.
I haven't seen any evidence that paladins are being removed from raids in LK. In BC, that started to happen because healers needed to move a lot and raids required a ton of AE heals which didn't play into paladin strengths. We chilled down those elements as well as giving paladins more tools for those situations (such as Infusion of Light and Beacon of Light).

Beacon of Light - Is horrible in its current state, at least lower the mana cost, make it work on overhealing, and make it last longer.
I have seen an awful lot of paladins who really like Beacon. Since you sound like someone who is active in the community, I would imagine you know this, so it surprises me you would state that Beacon is horrible as if it were an accepted fact. You're at least going to have to offer some more evidence.

Judgements of the Pure - Worst 5 point talent ever made. Its so deep in the holy tree and all it dose is give 15% haste? Not worth it at all.
Before we buffed Pure, I think it was underpowered. We hesitated because we saw some player calculations that it could have been decent even in its own form. Now in its new form, we feel like it is pretty potent. If it has a disadvantage, it's that it might invalidate some of the earlier Holy talents.

JUDGEING IN COMBAT ISNT FUN. Its very annoying, mobs are taken down way to fast to even bother, this would only work on bosses.
Part of the reason we did this was because a complaint we heard from Holy paladins was they wanted more buttons to push than just FoL and HL. Judging seemed like a natural fit since it was already part of the paladin repetoire. This perplexes me a little since you then ask for new healing spells down below. Perhaps you or someone else could elaborate? (Having 40 yard ranged Judgements is pretty nice too.)

Holy Guidance - Every other tree has a similar talent but theres is 3 points, gives more spell power AND has a secondary effeft!! Why do Holy paladins have such a horible version!
It's difficult to just directly compare talents between two different classes or specs. We can take a look at this one in particular though.

NO NEW HEALING SPELLS? ok in BC i could settle for no new spells but now in wrath its just plain stupid.
Sorry, we disagree. We don't want to just keep adding new rotational spells every expansion or classes are going to end up with just too many buttons -- some specs are dangerously close to that already. Instead we added some more situational heals. The paladin has been designed around Flash of Light, just like the shaman was designed around Chain Heal. We didn't want to completely change what these classes were all about, in part because a lot of players like them as they are. We figured players who gravitate towards wanting lots of different kinds of heals can play the druid or priest. Players who want to have relatively few spells and can then focus on cooldowns, trinkets or the like can play the paladin or shaman. We think it would be dangerous for paladins to pick up Lich King and find their class had completely changed.

But we did make some major changes to specs like the Prot warrior and Shadow priest. If there are enough Holy paladins who think the spec is fundamentally broken and not fun, then that's something on which we'd like to see more discussion from you guys. Just remember not everyone automatically agrees with you.

Priest (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))
Mindflay bugs (See source)
We'll look into it. I don't have the bug list right in front of me at the moment. (Source)

Developer Q&A (Source)
1) Dispersion. Some call this the 'self cyclone.' In other ways it's very similar to a mage's Ice Block.
We've gone back and forth on Dispersion. At times in beta it was overpowered and we backed off of it. We do think casting out of it would be too powerful. It's supposed to be a defensive ability, not something you do to keep someone from being able to counter you when you're wailing on them. (Source)

2) Being Dispelled... Dispelling resistance.
We are working on a redesign of the whole dispel system. This is a big topic, but to be brief:
1) It adds a lot of randomness to who wins or loses a battle, just based on whether the dispel worked.
2) Some classes were designed with powerful self buffs. It's hard to balance those when they are often immediately gone.
3) The whole strategy of junk buffs feels lame to both sides, but it's effective so players feel like they must do it.
4) Defensive dispelling (getting a debuff off of you) feels more legitimate than removing someone else's Fort or whatever. We want to try and steer the system towards that.
5) We need to be more consistent with dispel resistance among classes. (Source)

4) Hymn of Hope is useless in Shadowform...
We have some plans for hymns. More when we have the details worked out a little more.

5) Dropping shadowform to heal. Again, there is a severe mana penalty when we are forced to heal. All our healing casts cost a lot more plus we take on added damage and do less damage. While I'm fine with this increase/decrease aspect, I think the mana cost of switching forms needs to be removed entirely.
I don't think we'd remove it entirely, but we can look at how much it really ends up costing. There should be a decision involved with going in and out of forms, but we're re-evaluating what that is right now. Druids have a similar problem.

6) No real burst damage... In PvP, Priests really don't base their overall damage around critting. Our current gear doesn't reflect spell critical strike... As for Penance, I really like this spell. However, we cannot self-cast and it's also currently target-faced bugged.
We made a recent change to allow Shadowform to do more with crits. I believe the target-facing bug on Penance was also fixed. Preventing self-casting is by design.

7) Current Vampiric Touch is useless. You reduced the mana regeneration so raids are less reliant on Shadow Priests in order to run instance.
Um, Vampiric Touch does a lot of damage. It's coefficient was doubled and is now almost overpowered. When we noticed Shadow's damage was a little low, we gave a lot of it back just through VT. As far as Replenishment goes, I explained why we tied it into Mindblast elsewhere. It has to do with the cooldown - duration of the spells involved as well as not wanting to lose ticks.

9) Fade/Improved Shadowform does not match up with the tooltip. 2/2 Improved Shadowform states that it will have 100% chance to 'remove all movement impairing effects.' It doesn't remove Cyclones...
There aren't many things that remove Cyclones, but we'll look into how the bonus to Fade is implemented.

10) Overall Survivability. It's really lackluster.
Do you mean priests in general or specifically Shadow priests are squishy? We do think everyone feels a little squishy at 70. Players understandably got the new talents that enchance damage without getting the corresponding survival oriented ones that they will probably pick up in the next 10 levels. In addition, health just grows faster than damage on the way to 80. Compare PvP gear and you can see that it gains defensive stats a lot faster than offensive ones.

One reason why pre-3.0.2 that warlocks were more successful is that you could live over time through their dots and fears but their armor/survivability was high so they weren't focused as much. Basically they were a persistent CC nuisance.
Warlocks were designed to have high dps while Shadow priests were designed to have much lower dps. They were a utility class that paid in dps in order to justify their amazing group benefits. With the buff overhaul, we improved Shadow's dps significantly. (We also dropped lock survivability in PvP too.)

Missing 11-point Prot talent
We're not sure if we're going to do this or not. If we do it (make an 11-point Prot talent that is attractive to Ret) it would be for these reasons:

-- It would be cooler if the talent was something fun for Prot and not something they "need" to tank.
-- In our experience, Ret paladins who PvP often go down into Prot anyway to get Imp Hammer of Justice.
-- I suggested we might offer Ret more PvP utility since we are stripping some of the burst damage, so PvE Retadins might not want this ability anyway.
-- We wouldn't want this talent to be something Prot would never get and Ret would always get. If anything we need to err on the side of something Prot definitely wants. (Source)

Rogue (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))
Developers Q&A (Source)
1. With the reworking of “tanking” stats the rogue ability to dodge as a primary form of melee damage reduction has been significantly reduced to levels which impair their survivability in PvP, it is feared. What is Blizzard’s position, and possible compensation for the reduction in the rogues ability to dodge?
You could be refering to one of two things -- the higher dodge ratings required, in which case you'll eventually catch up with good gear, or the diminishing returns at very high avoidance rating, but in those cases they are just diminishing returns. Your dodge does still increase.

We're not too worried about rogue survival in PvP at the current time. Rogues still have plenty of tricks. We do think PvP is a little bursty overall at level 70, but the recent change in resilience and the higher health pools at level 80 should help that.

2. With the removal of the snare negating effect on shadowstep, there are concerns about the mobility of rogues in a PvP environment where utility is just as important as damage. At the very least many players feel obligated to try and acquire the improved sprint talent lest waste cooldowns normally reserved for other aspects of combat, e.g. Cloak of shadows to break frost nova. With the emphasis and ability of many classes to snare, hamstring, slow, and chill with little to no cooldown increasing, how do the developers plan to compensate in the mobility of melee classes, especially when our mobility is specifically being reduced and the prevalence of snares is increasing?
Again, your question is all about compensation. We don't know that any is needed. Rogues were a very good PvP class in BC and Cloak was either overpowered or bordering on overpowered for a lot of that time.

3. We understand that play style of a class may change, and change is scary for us all. Hemorrhage has been a main attack for almost four year and we understand it is to be considered a debuff attack in the upcoming expansion. It has been the general consensus that the debuff is rather insignificant to be a dedicated supportive roll in the realm of PvP combat. What do the developers think about the debuff and damage provided by the hemorrhage ability with respect to PvP combat? Are there any plans to either increase the debuff to resemble those available to other classes or uphold and restore the ability’s role as a primary attack within the configuration of certain builds?
As a debuff, it can still account for a lot of damage. Usually when rogues complain about it, it's because it isn't boosting their personal damage enough (because other players are using all the charges). On that last part, players may use it as a primary attack, but that doesn't mean we designed it to be.

4. Finally, as will all new programs and games there are bugs to work out, and the rogue community is fairly adamant about issues with the proper function of stealth and vanish. Are the programmers and developers aware of any particular bugs or problems with the workings of stealth and vanish and is so are steps being taken, as I imagine they would be, to rectify the situation?
One could write several volumes on the epic adventures of Vanish. Here is how I think the story goes: Players were convinced for a long time that there were bugs with Vanish. We finally got a few good cases where we could repro the problem and those were fixed (say sometime post-Sunwell). There may still be some edge cases where it still happens. I believe those are more rare, but some players are so used to the concept of Vanish being bugged that they assume nothing has ever changed. It's one of those jokes that has become larger than life (almost like Ony deep breathing more).

There were some more recent legitimate stealth bugs, at least in PvP. We just fixed several of them. I can't recall if those were hotfixed or not.

Shaman (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))
Purge
We have no plans AT THIS TIME to change purge. That's not a promise to never ever change it. Any dispel changes we might implement are weeks or months away, and purge is not ever specifically mentioned as a problem in those discussions.

Dispelling can be a pretty cool mechanic in PvP. We just need to tone down the annoying, frustrating and overly random parts. (Source)

Elemental Tree AOE
I don't think it's a good idea to keep bumping posts. You're just going to start an arms race with every other player in the forum.

We have several ideas on AE for Elemental:

A modification of Thunderstorm.
A modification of AE Totems.
A modification of Chain Lightning.
A new spell.

Feedback is of course appreciated. (Source)

Warlock (Skills List / Talent Calc. (9095))
Metamorphosis and Demonology Tree
The taunt is there because we thought it might be fun in a 5-player instance for the warlock to be able to tank once in awhile, especially if the main tank goes down on a pull. It's not the signature ability of Metamorphosis. We don't have a problem with the spell. It is useful in PvP and provides a nice damage buff in PvE. Some of its abilities, like the Immolate, can be useful in the right situations.

[...] What I said, and I clarified later, was that Affliction and Destro seem to do competitive damage in PvE. Demo is lower than that, which is not ideal, but we are also concerned Demo's survivability might make it the only raiding spec if its dps was just as high. In the meantime, we think people will still spec Demo because it is useful in PvP.

Our new design is there are no PvP vs. PvE trees. But it will take some time to reach this point because we didn't want to rip out every talent of every class and start over. The death knight has 3 trees with different flavors, but no PvP, PvE and tanking tree. The warrior and hunter are a lot closer to that than they used to be. We're working on all the others, including Demo. (Source)

Warlock Pets
I doubt raid leaders are going to be bringing death knights just for Hysteria. The whole point is nobody brings something unique to raids so important that it gaurantees them a spot. Locks still have several very potent buffs -- it's just that there are other ways to get those now too.

The Felhunter was just too well-suited for PvP. There was no reason to bring any other pet.

We would like to get the Voidwalker a little more use besides just leveling though. (Source)



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:11 pm  
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Quote:
Dispelling can be a pretty cool mechanic in PvP. We just need to tone down the annoying, frustrating and overly random parts. (Source)


Awesome.
See, my biggest problem with ret pallies at the moment is that it's impossible to get them off me. And a melee class that does as much burst as that, left free to stick to me like glue with no recourse = automatic loss for me.

Of course, if I can spellsteal the hands of freedom, then I stand a fair chance. The problem is that's a crapshoot. I drop a fucking ridiculous amount of mana on each spellsteal (most expensive magic dispel in the game, but one of the least useful. The fact that I get the buff I dispel is almost never useful and almost never justifies the premium I spend in mana, when I just want a dispel) and it's a total crapshoot whether, over the course of 20 seconds worth of freedom uptime, I ever manage to steal it even once.

If I could reliably steal freedom, a lot of my problems with ret would be a lot more reasonable. Dispel randomness = suck. Especially when you're not using dispel magic or purge as wildly inaccurate "broad dispels", but the more expensive spellsteal as more of a surgical tool (typically, a mage won't spellsteal as a simple matter of buff dispelling like shamans or priests will in PVP, but in reaction to one specific dangerous ability that we need to neutralize or want to nab for ourselves)

So yeah, if they can make it less random, I'd be ducky.



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:26 pm  
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Originally they were going to introduce tank/healy/dps forums and wipe the old class forums - argh. So glad they went with adding the new forums only.



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:59 pm  
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I'm honestly largely dependent on raid warnings to know if I am, or am about to be standing in flames or what-not. From a healing perspective, in most fights you could honestly just fill your entire screen with a grid window and not know a difference. That's why I like watching fights and wish WoW had an observer mode. It's wonderful to be a part of a guild first kill, but you're really just spending your time looking at what amounts to a real-time interactive excel spreadsheet. And no amount of piss-poor excuses like 'you could turn on name plates' can hide the fact that it's a product of poor encounter design on the part of the developers.

Despite all of that yammering on my part, I love playing a healer class, it's just that I read their 'Philosophy' and my internal nonsense alarm goes off.



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:46 pm  
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It really doesn't matter how many fancy ways they think up to add UI elements on player characters - if you are looking at those elements, you won't be looking at the fight. It might only be for a second, but you're still not looking at the boss, the fight, or the AOE at your feet.

I just don't think you can get any better than Grid (or similar). It shows you everything you need in a very compact little square. Unlike players, Grid never runs behind a corner, or steps behind you and out of your field of view. You don't need to have every player standing in front of you to be able to heal with Grid.

I want LESS on my screen, not more. I play with player names turned off - I don't want them to take up MORE space. I don't want to have to look over the entire playing field to find people who need to be healed - I honestly think this would make us less efficient. Would it make things less boring? Probably..but only because it would force us to scan the entire room constantly instead of watching a nice neat square of raid frames. I do not think this would make it easier to see AoE at our feet - because we would have even worse tunnel vision from trying to watch the entire screen for health bars dipping.

They would have to do something pretty amazing for me to ditch grid and go with nameplates.



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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:15 pm  
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it'd be neat if there was a mod that gave players a color aura so that you could easily see if they were healthy, needed to be topped off or about to die without having to click on them.

I don't like the nameplate idea or flying bars all over the place (like hitting shift-v), but something that healers could turn on like the above where you could easily & visually see roughly how much health the player has w/o adding much to the game screen would be nice.

it could be given an alpha transparency around them or something along those lines too. Then again, I wonder if that were to happen, how many healers would opt to play the game following little green/yellow/red men around? heh.


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 Post subject: Re: More Blizz Philosophy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:20 pm  
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Uthadys wrote:
it could be given an alpha transparency around them or something along those lines too. Then again, I wonder if that were to happen, how many healers would opt to play the game following little green/yellow/red men around? heh.


I'd still use raid frames, once put into their desired location, they don't move around. Players do.


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