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Re: Dev Watercooler -- Rude interruptions (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2551279)
So, by now, everyone has seen this. What some people haven't really understood is how HUGE a change is this going to be. This is probably one of (if not THE MOST) radical change in wow history. The PvE and PvE ramifications are going to ripple throughout the game.
Basically, the gist of the article is this: Interrupts and CC are out of control. Instants play far too dominant a role then they should. The game is basically locked in an arms race between gap openers and gap closers.
And this is a good thing. This change is long overdue; despite the Dev's assertion otherwise, this is probably one of the most frustrating PvP seasons ever. They finally have perhaps realized that if they are going to push PvP content, they are going to have to make attempts to balance it.
Reading between the lines: What this means.
Blizzard is going to take a long, hard look at gap closers, gap openers and CC(in general). Some classes are going to lose gap openers. CC is going to possibly going to share more schools of DR. In fact, School lockout is probably going to go away almost entirely (to be fair, School lockout is kind of Iconic for mages, and it's possible counterspell will keep that functionality - having some aspects of uniqueness is good for the game.)
Let's take a look at one of the more infamous classes in PvP. Frost mages. Traditionally, these guys have tremendous control, decent burst, and are notoriously hard to pin down.
Some of this is going to go away. Frost mages should indeed be slippery casters; I doubt anyone would dispute this. But do they *really* need Frost Nova, Freeze, Shattered Barrier, Improved Cone of Cold, Blink, Iceblock, Polymorph AND Ring of Frost?
No. In the next expansion, I wouldn't bat an eye if Imp Cone of Cold, Shattered Barrier are among the first to go away permanently. Gap openers going to be slimmed down to encourage actually casting spells, and I've no doubt Frost mages are going to be among the first on the chopping block.
But don't worry. Gap CLOSERS are going to be slimmed down as well. Also traditionally, Warriors and DKs have very strong gap closers. If I had to bet on Warriors, you've got two(really, three) nearly identical spells. They are Charge, and Intercept. They share the same purpose - to close the distance with an enemy. Why are they both in game? Because there are too many gap openers. If you reduce the gap openers by half, and reduce the gap closers by half, you're already taken a difficult step to balance the game 1 vs 1(relative to what it is now) with classes with very little (or no) gap openers or closers.
Interrupts are another primary cause of the imbalance of PvP. Like GC said in his blog, they want to shift casting from "Shoot and scoot" to actually casting a spell more then every once in awhile. EVERY melee class has a short-cd interrupt now a days. Some even have 2,3 or 4! This makes it impossible to balance casters. Melee, if your rubbing your hands in glee because gap openers are going to eat it, get ready for the nerfbat too!
Let's look at DKs. A Frost DK has, at his disposal, mind freeze (short-cd) Strangulate (longish CD) Hungering Cold (medium CD) Deathgrip (Medium CD) and possibly even Arcane torrent or War Stomp. A skilled DK can string these CDs along to basically interrupt a caster into oblivion. Strangulate is probably going to be first to go. I wouldn't be floored to see racials like War stomp and Arcane Torrent go either. Not only does this reduce the interrupts in PvP, it also relieves a bit of faction imbalance.
There's a catch. If these interrupts(and school lockouts) go away in PvP, they go away in PvE as well. Going forward, I wouldn't be surprised to see Blizzard take advantage of adding boss mechanics that DEMAND co-coordinating interrupts in PvE. Not only is it a good way to increase difficulty, it saves them from having to re-hash mechanics you're already seen over and over throughout a tier and it's good for balancing raid composition as well (No one likes to be sat because "We need a range with an interrupt - sorry.") Some classes don't have PvE interrupts at all. To counter this, I wouldn't be sad to see dps specs who are conspicuously lacking interrupts to have new talents added (or made more accessible). This has the side effect of balancing raid composition as well making PvP less about "Just CC the guy for 10 seconds while we burst something down. Then, we win" to hopefully something more like "Since we can't burst something down anymore, we're going to carefully use our interrupts to slowly whittle this guy down and win the match"
I, for one, applaud the drastic action Blizzard is going to take (albeit, I'm sure reluctantly) to breathe new life in PvP and hopefully make it more enjoyable. Wish them luck - it's not going to be easy!
Edited by Venaliter on 4/24/2011 2:44 AM PDT
I'm not as sure as you are about what specifically the devs are going to change, but I agree that it's a move in the right direction. This proliferation of cc abilities needs to slow down. On a basic level, it's just not fun to lose control of your character. I think if they shift the focus of pvp away from cc and somewhat into damage abilities, pvp could retain its chess-like strategy while removing some of the frustration. I'm hoping they put more emphasis on damage dealing, preventing, and healing cooldowns. They would just have to come up with new ways of dealing, preventing and healing damage. Not an easy task I'm sure, but it could be rewarding in the long run.
They just need to work out that stalemates aren't as bad as they seem to have historically thought they were.
ie. (not so much wow, more a general idea)
If that caster and melee can't kill each other because:
The melee can't kill the caster because the caster keeps running.
The caster can't kill the melee because he can't stop to cast.
It really isn't as bad as it sounds.
Then again, I've always been a fan of PvP where mistakes are more critical. (And no, I don't mean the "you picked the wrong class/group comp" mistake that WoW revolves around). But WoW unfortunately started on the "lol, shut them down so they can't do anything" side of things, and only pushed further TOWARDS that over time.
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