GC, Proactive is better than Reactive:

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85 Human Paladin
7590
"Necroed" Thread to as a Thank you to Ghost Crawler


I "appreciate" the explanations from GC, but this post should come before they start making adjustments not after. That gives the community something to focus their attention on because Blizz has already concluded from their data that certain things need to be changed.

Here's an example of what I would like to see immediately before starting changes for 4.3:

Theoretical GC Post:
I would like to give a quick overview of the balance areas we feel need to be addressed in in the next patch.

--== Death Knights==--

Blood: The blood tank isn’t working the way we had initially intended. A lot of this has to do with their mastery talent, but also their disease application. As with all of the other tanks, the rotation should not be as complex as their DPS counterparts as they have a lot of other things to keep track of. We hope to simplify the complex nature of the blood tank and may be replacing the mastery with something more straight forward.

Frost & Unholy: The damage spread between these two specs was abnormally wide until last patch. The nerfs to frost pushed Unholy ahead once again. However, the spread is tighter than ever. As I mentioned previously, I do look forward to a discussion about how close two specs have to be before players play the one that is most fun rather than the highest dps.

--== Druids ==--
- Balance: Damage is lacking relative to other casters in PvP. Their heavy reliance on casted spells and limited mobility really shows in competitive situations. However, we feel they are "in the right ballpark" in PvE. So we will be trying to directly address mobility for PvP reasons.

- Feral DPS: Feral DPS has sacrificed several "sacred cows" to the balance gods, and we appreciate the sacrifices as they have brought us closer to balanced. We didn't adequately compensate Ferals for mobility losses during prior changes so we hope to improve their PvP mobility. Conversely, we over-estimated the effects STR had on damage output and damage is now scaling much faster than it otherwise should have.

- Feral Tanks: Bears seem to be having more problems during the initial agro grab than their peers. We will exploring ways to boost initial agro generation. Additionally, bears suffered the most when we normalized health pools and were not compensated enough on the mitigation front. While we made improvements last patch, it fell short of our expectations and will again be looking for ways to improve survivability.

- Resto Druids: We feel resto druids are currently in the right place. They should still feel very much the HoT healer, but not at a sizeable expense to their direct healing capabilities. We hear a lot of calls for druids to get a mitigation cooldown, however should this happen healers should know that it would come at a hefty toll on healing output.

--== Hunters ==--
All Specs: The implementation of focus has significantly impeded hunters in all PvP situations. It is likely you will see a number of iterations to help hunters become a more respected DPS class in PvP. We are considering removing the minimum range. However, damage will scale based on distance from the target. You will see a new feature that looks much like the druid eclipse bar. This will measure your “accuracy” based on distance to the target.

The highest damage point will be at 20 yards, and the lowest damage points will be at 40 and 0 respectively. We have not yet concluded the penalty for being too close or too far from the target.
Edited by Divinara on 9/28/2011 8:34 AM PDT
85 Human Paladin
7590
--== Mage ==--
Frost: We hear the cries that frost continues to have the upper hand in almost any 1v1 fight. This is an unintended consequence of their weakness to dispels in group play. With that said, frost mages will see another round of fine-tuning nerfs to their control.

Arcane: Arcane's mastery has turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. They will likely scale faster than any other class because their mastery stat scales with so many other stats including total mana pool. With that said, we don't feel this will be an issue in the near future but may be forced to decrease its scaling later on. Additionally, while the rotation for arcane is a bit bland, it is unlikely we will be able to improve this during the next patch.

Fire: Fire is the multi target behemoth, and arcane is the currently a single target monster. As such, it is unlikely you will see Fire competitive with Arcane on single target fights. With that said, we feel damage has turned out to be too reliant on RNG aspects. Expect to see changes that help alleviate some of the randomness.

--== Paladins ==--

Holy: We hear that holy mastery has been a bit of a sore spot for a lot of Holy Paladins because it didn’t function with the bulk of their spells. We improved this by making it stack, and will now be adding a feature to make it work with every paladin spell including BoL. However, this may push them too back into the tank healer role and we will be keeping a close eye on this transition.

Holy will also experience a number of mana regen changes to bring them more in line with other classes. Expect to see judgement provide a buff rather than immediately return mana. This should lower the GCDs used and allow mana regen from judgement to scale on gear and be balanced regardless of content difficulty.

Ret: In PvE, we feel they are in a good place. Damage wise, they were a bit sub-par on multi-target fights, but our recent balance adjustments seem to have fixed that. However, they still do not have a definitive role in PvP. As stated before, defensive DPS doesn’t work well. As such, we will be removing selfless healer, and replacing it with another talent to improve offensive capabilities.

Additionally, we feel Ret’s burst will be too high with the added offensive utility and will now remove the ability to overlap all of the DPS CDs.

Prot: Prot has taken a number of mitigation nerfs over the past several patches. We hope that they are now “in line” with other tanks. However, their initial threat grab is too low in single target fights. We also feel that their rotation has become a bit disjointed by removing Holy Power on miss/dodge/parry. While this change was directed at Ret paladins, it had an unexpectedly large impact on Prot. We will again balance Prot based on receiving Holy Power regardless of the attack’s outcome.

--== Priest ==--

We feel priests as a class are in the best shape across the board. They have meaningful roles in both PvP and PvE. While there are certain aspects about each spec that need touch-ups, we hope to use them as the measuring stick for other classes.
Edited by Divinara on 6/17/2011 11:02 AM PDT
85 Human Paladin
7590
--== Rogues ==--
We recognize that rogue DPS is still behind others. We had hoped the last round of buffs would make them competitive, the buffs fell short of our expectations.

--== Shaman ==--
Enhancement: Has never really been in the “top brackets” for PvE or PvP DPS potential. They were always brought for bloodlust, purge, and wind sheer. While Ret suffered from a lack of offensive pressure, Enhance suffers from a lack of burst. Expect to see Enhance receive significant burst damage improvements through strong Wolves, and an execute ability.

Elemental: Like balance druids, the proliferation of interrupts has severely punished elemental in PvP. While we understand the issues, as has been mentioned in prior posts, without a complete revamp of the interrupt system it will not likely be fixed in this patch.

Resto: Resto continues to be one of the strongest PvP healers due to their offensive strength and versatility. Expect to see wind sheer removed from resto as a reliable ranged interrupt, as it will be melee baseline. A talent will become available to elemental to provide the range outside the reach of Resto. This should help pull resto back in line with other healer’s offensive capabilities.

--== Warlocks ==--
Affliction / Demo: Feel like they are in the right place in both PvE and PvP.

Destro: Destro suffers in PvP along with the other casters based around casted spells. However, destroy suffers two additional penalties not shared by their brethren. Immolate and their pet are a considerable part of their damage. Immolate will now become a physical effect not magical. This will remove the ability to be dispelled by most means. Additionally, chaos bolt will see a considerable boost to bring it in line with what a top tier direct damage spell should be.

Finally, the destroy warlock has the option to allow its imp to cast while phase shifted. This will cause the pet to deal ½ damage, but will be immune to all damage.

--== Warriors ==--
Arms / Fury: The recent damage nerfs were still not enough. Again, we understand that melee DPS suffers from encounter design, we want to keep all melee within a reasonable bound.

Prot: Prot warriors are in the ideal spot for both mitigation and threat. We hope that the recent buffs were sufficient to pull their raid utility in line with their steadfast counterparts. Unfortunately, they are still slightly behind. We will be working towards adding mitigation affects that won’t work on the tank, but can be used on others.

Anyhow, this is how I think they should run the PTR. This directs each classes attention to the areas that the Devs feel they are falling short or are too powerful.

Note: You'll notice a complete lack of mention of "skill." As soon as you the words skill are used, it implies that some players just aren't good enough to use their class to their potential.

Hope you enjoyed the read.
17 Human Paladin
0

--== Warriors ==--
Arms / Fury: The recent damage nerfs were still not enough. Again, we understand that melee DPS suffers from encounter design, we want to keep all melee within a reasonable bound.


Do you have any proof of this? I've seen some people suggesting a 20% drop in Arms DPS, enough below Fury that most raiders will abandon the spec.
1 Undead Mage
0
The Arcane and/or Fire notes were abysmal.

Fire AoE is only a monster once every two minutes under the absolutely perfect conditions, and its single target is terrible - anywhere from "low-mid" to "bottom of the barrel" terrible.

Arcane is literally the only decent raid spec we have - if nerfed, you'll have a pure DPS spec that's going to be getting consistently beat by most hybrids.
90 Pandaren Shaman
13975
--== Shaman ==--
Enhancement: Has never really been in the “top brackets” for PvE or PvP DPS potential. They were always brought for bloodlust, purge, and wind sheer. While Ret suffered from a lack of offensive pressure, Enhance suffers from a lack of burst. Expect to see Enhance receive significant burst damage improvements through strong Wolves, and an execute ability.


wolves need a damage buff, yes, but it's a fine line between becoming two minute wonders again and being acceptable damage. Being tied to wolves for burst wasn't fun in wotlk.
85 Human Paladin
7590
Do you have any proof of this? I've seen some people suggesting a 20% drop in Arms DPS, enough below Fury that most raiders will abandon the spec.

I still have both DPS warrior specs parsing well above the other melee (with Fury ahead of Arms). With that said the bar is pretty low when compared against Enhance, and rogues.

Wolves need a damage buff, yes, but it's a fine line between becoming two minute wonders again and being acceptable damage. Being tied to wolves for burst wasn't fun in wotlk.

Yeah I agree, but hopefully we've learned a bit since then.

[Fire's] single target is terrible - anywhere from "low-mid" to "bottom of the barrel" terrible.

I would argue that having above average aoe dps makes up for a some below average single-target dps. As I said though, they could stand to have some DPS improvements as they will be less tied to RNG aspects.

Arcane is literally the only decent raid spec we have - if nerfed, you'll have a pure DPS spec that's going to be getting consistently beat by most hybrids.

I would not be nerfing arcane, it's just a concern that they scale better because their mastery scales twice from increases in Int. It gets a boost from increasing damage, and a boost from mana size (% of time above 50%). This double scaling probably won't show its strength until another patch.

[Rogue's are] dead last, near last and mid table with no scaling, headed downward in 4.2. The buffs we received buoy our dps figures for early content a little, but we'll soon be overtaken as gear progresses through firelands. I swear the rogue forums look like a harold camping fansite with all the doomsay predictions.

I feel your pain, and I would be inclined to "over buff" rogues rather than be worried about hitting the equilibrium point on the first shot. There's no reason they should stay this far down the list for any extended period of time.
Edited by Divinara on 6/17/2011 11:49 AM PDT
85 Orc Warrior
12465
Not saying they will, but if this type of thing becomes relatively common... I'd assume they would rather be proactive with this type of communication.
1 Orc Mage
0
I "appreciate" the explanations from GC, but this post should come before they start making adjustments not after. That gives the community something to focus their attention on because Blizz has already concluded from their data that certain things need to be changed.


You say this as if players should be part of the design process.

I'm quite glad we're not. Too many retard who think they know what's best for their class... i mean the game.
1 Orc Mage
0

Note: You'll notice a complete lack of mention of "skill." As soon as you the words skill are used, it implies that some players just aren't good enough to use their class to their potential.


MOST players just aren't good enough to use their class to their potential.
85 Human Paladin
7590
You say this as if players should be part of the design process.I'm quite glad we're not. Too many retard who think they know what's best for their class... i mean the game.

Again, it's not our job to "balance' the game for them. I think it's more or less a way to give players a heads about what Blizz isn't happy with regarding their class before they start making "unexplained" changes.

MOST players just aren't good enough to use their class to their potential.

This goes w/o saying, which is why skill is explicitly not mentioned in the overview.
Edited by Divinara on 6/17/2011 12:24 PM PDT
85 Night Elf Hunter
6910
Please don't pretend to be ghostcrawler.
85 Human Paladin
7590
Please don't pretend to be ghostcrawler.

Sorry, where did I say anything that even remotely suggested I was?
85 Orc Warrior
6270
It's not encounter design, it's class design's being restricted around PvP thats preventing closer balance between Melee/Ranged DPS.

Many add killing situations (not all) could be addressed simply by improving the mobility of melee across the board. Warriors have some of the best up-time for melee in the game, and we still suffer DPS downtime if we have to chase down adds. Especially if it's adds that spawn in a quick sequence or at different locations and all our gap closers are on cooldown. This is especially true in 10's where you can't always just have ranged deal with it and let your melee stick to the boss.

Not to mention because many mobs are immune to snares, spawn in fire, move faster than players, and need to be quickly positioned/killed in specific location. Tanks will have these MD'd to them allowing ranged DPS to open instantly, meanwhile it is impossible for melee to DPS them until they arrive in position. Many times that position is out of range of gap closers. So you can't always just sit on the boss until it gets positioned. Not to mention your DPS may be needed on that add to get it killed before the next on spawns.

Then there is the debuffs that AoE around an individual, forcing melee to go sit in the corner doing 0 DPS. Some of these debuffs AoE in a large enough range that you can't even stand on one foot of the boss to continue DPS. You could potentially put in a "feedback" like effect on every debuff in the game that pulls melee away from the boss. But then your punishing good players who are aware and can quickly position themselves and resume DPS. Des on occasion make is so with good positioning you can always have a location where melee can DPS. But it still overly punishes melee. And some debuffs like cutters on Sinestra, melee can't DPS at all, while ranged can pewpew while kiting.

Adding in cooldowns that allow melee to attack at low range for a short amount of time while handling these debuffs will never be implemented. It would cause a huge mess in PvP, and the RP nerds would throw a fit. It would assist in a lot of these areas though. From being able to DPS adds sooner, while they are in transit, to dealing with fatal debuffs that pull melee off the boss. There are ways to come up with other band-aids for the design challenges we're faced with.

To bad PvP will always put a huge restriction on things devs could implement to bring the balance between ranged and melee closer. Plenty of range classes have incredibly powerful abilities that are used in melee range. Seems kinda silly we don't get stuff to use at range on occasion.

The only other options are to reduce the toolbox that designers have to work with to handle these "encounter problems" Which just ends up causing further homogenization of encounters that are already extremely predictable with recycled abilities.
85 Undead Mage
8110
Your Frost mage notes only addressed PvP. How silly.
75 Troll Druid
670
06/17/2011 10:33 AMPosted by Divinara
The blood tank isn’t working the way we had initially intended


Except it's working as they intend. I agree it would be nice to see the 'Balance Blog' before the end of the ptr, but they would have to update it constantly with each patch.
Community Manager
The blog seemed to be popular, and even players who disagreed with their being nerfed seemed to appreciate the fact that we tried to give some insight into what we were thinking. GC and the his crew are going to try to keep making similar blogs for every patch. I think it was one of the more positively received blogs in long while.

Offering a lot of justification for changes early on a patch though is challenging for a number of reasons. First is that patch builds are often just snapshots of the data at any given time. We wait until everything is near perfect for actual releases (as far as you can ever do with as complex a game as this), but when we are in PTR mode the devs are trying to get builds out quickly. That means you'll often see a change that was half-implemented or something that a designer was messing around with. There often isn't justification for those type of changes -- it could just be trying to fix a bug or seeing how something feels with a slight redesign. Second, it takes a lot of time to justify those changes and designers are often really busy implementing the actual changes at that stage in the beta. When the changes are not even necessarily 'real' changes, justifying what might not stick probably isn't a great use of time. Finally, we greatly appreciate feedback from the community and it can have a big influence on our game design, but at the same time we want to avoid the perception that the players are collaborating on with us on designing the game. It's tricky to manage expectations in that way, but if we lead players to believe they have more influence on design decisions than they actually do, then there's a lot of undue frustrated and dismay when we don't make a change that some may really wants us to make. Being able to take player feedback while making sure they don't expect that feedback to be implemented as-is can be a tough balancing act, but is still a necessary one.
So Bashiok necroed a two day old thread. AWESOME. Hi :D

On a serious note, I think you guys do a pretty damned good job, considering how players expect you to sit down and talk with them about how their class/spec is designed.
85 Undead Mage
8110
Well at least you guys are talking to us more often as opposed to talking at us. That's a step in the right direction.
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