Class Balance Update

General Discussion
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Since the expansion launched, aside from fixing bugs, our class and systems teams have been keeping an eye on qualitative class feedback, looking for things that can be addressed via hotfix. We recently increased the default number of Warlock Soul Shards to 3 to decrease their ramp-up time; we also reduced the base cooldown of Arms Warrior Colossus Smash to 30 seconds, to mitigate the worst-case scenario when Tactician failed to reset its cooldown.

In the Developer Q&A last week, we touched on the general topic of class balance so far in Legion, and suggested that we were looking at making tuning changes via hotfix towards the end of this week. However, after further consideration of available data and the current state of the game, we feel that it’s still premature for a broad tuning pass.

World of Warcraft’s endgame consists of a range of activities, including varied raid encounters at different difficulty levels, random matchmade dungeons, Mythic dungeons (both baseline and Keystone-modified), outdoor questing, and of course arenas and battlegrounds (though I’ll be focusing on other gameplay modes in this post, since we can now handle PvP tuning separately). That’s the game that was available in beta, and it’s what our classes are designed and balanced around. But right now, everyone at max level is playing a very narrow slice of that diverse endgame: we are running dungeons, and we’re specifically running them with a focus on efficiency rather than success. Many players have learned the various dungeon encounters, and now zone in with their Heroic or Mythic groups not wondering whether they’ll be able to prevail over the challenges within, but rather how quickly. Unsurprisingly, that places an inordinate value on sustained AoE/cleave damage, and especially on-demand burst against the groups of four or five targets that comprise most enemy packs in dungeons, and so those specs that excel in those areas seem elevated above the rest.

But in a couple of weeks, when we talk about balance, major considerations will include things like meeting the single-target DPS check on Ursoc or handling the spread-out tentacles of Il’gynoth in the Emerald Nightmare, or making sure that your group can reliably interrupt Odyn’s Stormforged Obliterator in Halls of Valor, while running away from Radiant Tempest, so that he doesn’t derail your Mythic Keystone run entirely. Until we can see data from the endgame in its entirety, we can’t make informed decisions about which numbers need adjusting, and by how much. Therefore, at this point we’re aiming to hold off on a broad pass of tuning hotfixes until the end of the first week of raiding and Mythic Keystone dungeons.

In the meantime, we are looking at a couple of targeted changes to address some clear outliers: in the near future, we’re planning on deploying hotfixes that reduce tank damage output across the board (tanks should be very sturdy and effective at killing things, but too often their damage output rivals that of pure damage dealers), as well as reducing the AoE burst damage capabilities of Windwalker monks (mainly Strike of the Windlord’s area component) and Havoc Demon Hunters (mainly Fel Barrage). Those specializations will still excel in that area, but will not be so clearly dominant over their peers.

In the long run, our tuning goal is simply for everyone to feel that they can play the class and specialization they prefer. There will of course be areas of strength and weakness, and some specs will thrive in certain situations while lagging behind in others, but those gaps should not preclude viability. We’ll continue to look at available data and player feedback and make adjustments until that is the case, but that process will not begin until next week. Thank you for your patience.
Good job on the warlock buff. It's nice to see that you guys care.

Keep up the hard work, Legion is awesome.
Thank for the update on it
:)
Thank you for informing us! :D
Thanks for the update, Watcher!

People say Fury is bad, but I don't care. I'm a berserker and I will just smash them with my Warblades.
The watcher on the Blizz wall
notice me ion
this should be good
"In the long run, our tuning goal is simply for everyone to feel that they can play the class and specialization they prefer."

Great line and great philosophy.
Rip Monks. Least played class getting nerfed again.
Thank you for letting us know.
So what you're saying is I should cancel my subscription because you have no plans on fixing things right now? Got it.

Edit: Come on. We can break 100 Down votes. It doesn't change the fact that the current class balancing is disgustingly terrible.

Edit 2: Come on, idiots! Get me to -200. I believe in you!
09/15/2016 09:28 AMPosted by Shadokoou
So what you're saying is I should cancel my subscription because you have no plans on fixing things right now? Got it.


Bye. Can I have your gold?
You better not go through with the holy paladin crusader strike nerf. I would like to be able to do world quests without having to auto attack my way through them thanks.
Thanks for the update!!
09/15/2016 09:21 AMPosted by Watcher
We recently increased the default number of Warlock Soul Shards to 3 to decrease their ramp-up time


That's great and all, and I'm sure you're going to retune numbers for abilities when the time comes. Don't get me wrong here, the shard hotfix was a nice QoL change but there's much more work to be done from the point of view of a Warlock.

Anything going to be done about Destruction AoE? Right now we have to choose between AoE and single target talents in the same tier. Pardon me for saying but this is extremely poor design. We shouldn't have to constantly change talents in dungeons just to make it look like we're at least making an effort to perform.
I'd love to be able to play Affliction someday. We'll see how it goes. =/
09/15/2016 09:26 AMPosted by Pandocalypse
"In the long run, our tuning goal is simply for everyone to feel that they can play the class and specialization they prefer."

Great line and great philosophy.


Except that it's more like "Play the class and specialization we tell you to prefer." Because anyone who has been around this game longer than six months *knows* that's going to be the case.

09/15/2016 09:29 AMPosted by Xoja
Anything going to be done about Destruction AoE? Right now we have to choose between AoE and single target talents in the same tier. Pardon me for saying but this is extremely poor design. We shouldn't have to constantly change talents in dungeons just to make it look like we're at least making an effort to perform.


You're hardly alone in that ***backwards talent setup. In fact, it exists all over the place. Talent for AoE, sucky single-target. Talent for single-target, sucky AoE. FEED SCRIBES THEIR GOLD, B*****S!
Please make Shaman lightening masters! Not fire masters.... like Fire mages and destro locks. Our lightening spells are very bad in comparison to lava burst.
Spoilers: classes that are currently dominant in farm-mode runs will once again be dominant two or three weeks after the release of the raids/keystones when that content goes on farm-mode.

RE: Weird interrupt situations like the mention Odyn one. Either a class is going to be 100% required for it, or not. And if it's not 100% required to handle that mechanic, it will still be replaced by another class that can get that job done AND do better damage at the same time.

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