Ask the Devs - Answers #1

General Discussion
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@ Arabeth

I chuckled IRL.
If nothing else I hope this encourages MORE people to vote when round 2 starts.
Q: During the expansions released since vanilla, the specialities of the different classes were watered down more and more. By now, many classes can do almost everything and almost none is still special. Are there any steps planned to give the classes more “charisma”, so that they are more distinguished from each other and regain their special flair? – Blades (Europe [German])
A: Sometimes when players say “special flair” what they really mean is “something so awesome that everyone will have to take me.”

That sounds like an easy excuse.

I want my hunter to need to buy bullets! I want the pet to have moods and need to be fed! I want the warlock to have a ton of soul shards etc etc etc. I want them to be different. Or you can just make one class and call it "Bob" - and Bob does everything. It seems to be where you are heading as it is.

Never better said, really.

My next character: a Tauren Bob. They can do anything the other Bob classes can! Want a tank? Choose a Bob! Want to heal? Do a Bob! DPS? No problem, just Bob it!

The Bob Class: soon in a WoW realm near you!
Q: Would you tell me your thoughts about the recent PvP balance? I’m wondering about the future plans that Devs has on PvP balance change. For example, only a few number of Hunter are found in the Arena and this has not been changed for years. - Stormnreaker (Korea)
A: We are pretty happy with PvP balance overall. We think this season may be the best overall in terms of balance. There are definitely some areas where we can improve. Remember that part of our goal with Cataclysm was to encourage more players to try Rated Battlegrounds as an alternative to Arenas. Some classes that struggle in Arena, like hunters and Balance druids, perform very well in Battlegrounds. We recognize that Rated Battlegrounds haven’t yet caught on with players, especially more casual PvP players, as much as we’d like.

Hoping that balance druids and hunters participate in rated bgs instead of arenas, not only avoids the root of the problem, but assumes these players have the same opportunity as anyone else.

The first problem is; Rated battlegrounds takes a lot more to prepare for. It is much easier scheduling around 3 or 5 people's schedules than it is 10 people. If a class is already having issues in arenas, and if your intention is for that class to fall back on rated bgs to obtain rating, you will need to give the same perks to bgs as you do in arenas. Otherwise the class is still at a disadvantage.

The second problem; While you may say hunters and balance druids have statistically less problems in battlegrounds, that does not necessarily mean they are OK. Class/spec balancing aside, there are several other factors that can make this possible.

I realize you may not be balancing around 2's or 3's, but balance of any form requires one point of reference. If you are balancing one class around arenas, it should go without saying that balancing other classes around bgs is not truly "balance".
Very interesting and informative. Glad the series will continue with more focus going forward. I am a big fan of this kind of Dev-to-Community interaction with Bashiok Community Overreaction Patrol.

Also, @Arabeth, <3.
This is my third character in Cataclysm and I'd like to address questions #2 and #3. Questing in Outlands and Northrend is #%#!ing terrible.

I think I've gone through all the Vanilla content, besides Ungoro, and it seems fine. The parts that are reused (Silithus, Tanaris, etc.) are okay and the new parts (Thousand Needles, Darkshore, WS) are pretty great. But going from 60-80 is an awful experience and definitely needs more attention.

The only positive thing about it is that with the experience boosts, I can get 4-5 levels out of the starting zone and 5 from the next area so I don't have to spend much time there. Still, I've tried to vary up my play and different parts each time but they're all so bad. The quests take a long time and they're so spread out that I can't wait to get to Hyjal/Vashjr.

The most obvious example is Howling Fjord and those Hidalgo quests. You literally get better xp grinding on mobs than trying to do some of the quests in Outlands/Northrend.
Q: Players don’t use the client-implemented Voice Chat feature because third party applications are much betters. Can I expect improvements in the voice quality and a fix in the delay issue in the future? – 밥상의달인 (Korea)
A: We aren’t at all happy with the quality and feature set of Voice Chat. We think we can do a lot better. While we aren’t working on it right this moment, the next time we revisit Voice Chat, we want it to be an epic improvement, the same way Dungeon Finder redefined Looking for Group.

I approve of this.
Thank you for giving some insight on arch changes. That was something many of us were hoping to hear about. Especially the being able to focus on certain races part.
Yes! Finally we get our answers. I have to say I am very happy to see these answers.

They may not be what I wanted to hear for all of them but I am very interested/happy to hear more on when and how they plan on implementing storage and appearance tabs.

The only question I was disappointed in the answer was the PVE vs. PVP balance. BUT I have to say that I do understand Blizzards stand on why they wouldn't apply such a change. An answer I've heard before from players actually.

Thank you Blizzard for answering our questions and please have another Q&A soon!
Very casual pvper here.

I can never get a group to do a rated bg's. I play after 10pm central time. And I usually only play for about 2 hours.

I think more people would want to do rated bg's if they were open to the single player.

I did arena in season 1 and 2. I thought it sucked. But that was the only way to get decent gear. Then they decided to allow you to get the previous seasons gear and weapons with honor. And that was awesome! then in season 4 they decided to change it to you need an arena rating for some of the gear and all of the weapons. that was sad. I pretty much gave up the ghost for pvp. I still do it on occasion. But not at all like I did before.

So in closing Open up the rated BG's to single players and you will see more people go into them. Even if they get totally rolled. They will still do them.
Overall you should not expect to see any announcements through these Q&A's. Because of that we're going to be theming all future Ask the Devs to ensure we're able to focus them to smaller, but maybe even more important questions to be answered, that don't include big grandiose announcements of features.

I still feel like you guys should use this as a tool to surprise us with an anouncment, at least once. You have to agree it would be pretty awesome to be reading along in something, knowing nothing game-changing is going to be posted and then all of a sudden you read something that you just can't believe and have to re-read. You can make it an official announcment on the main page a few hours later even, but all the people that read the Q&A's are in for a treat.

Oh and I support any appearance tab ideas. Mostly the once in the main thread.

Q: Daily Battlegrounds only reward 25 conquest points, which is really low (considering the fact that daily heroic dungeon rewards 70 valor points). Would you consider to adjust that, as Battlegrounds attracts PvP beginner more than Arena does. –賽君 (Taiwan)
A: I think it’s fair to say that Rated Battlegrounds aren’t yet offering rewards commensurate with the logistical and time commitments that they ask. We really wanted Rated Battlegrounds to be attractive to players who loved PvP but weren’t huge fans of Arenas. We don’t think we’re quite there yet and Arenas continue to be very popular just because they take fewer players and can be completed quickly. If you love Arenas, great. But we want there to be alternatives.

You guys failed on this one. The person is asking to increase the daily, NORMAL, battleground conquest reward, not rated. You guys really seem to be stuck on the whole rated battlegrounds over arena when the question isn't even about it.
Are the Devs happy with how easily gold is achieved? Compared to classic where it would take months to afford an epic mount, a trip through the new leveling zones could easily generate near 5,000. Are there plans to increase the prices of certain items, or to make a new, important "money sink" such as flying mounts with BC, and what the travelers mammoth was meant to be in WotLK?
Q: During the expansions released since vanilla, the specialities of the different classes were watered down more and more. By now, many classes can do almost everything and almost none is still special. Are there any steps planned to give the classes more “charisma”, so that they are more distinguished from each other and regain their special flair? – Blades (Europe [German])
A: Sometimes when players say “special flair” what they really mean is “something so awesome that everyone will have to take me.” We really don’t want to go back to that model, which just isn’t tenable in a game with 10-player raids and 30 different talent trees. We have no problem spreading around buffs and utility that we consider more-or-less mandatory, such as the battle rezes and raid buffs. At the same time, we think there are enough unique abilities out there to make the various talent trees shine. Shaman have a great interrupt with Wind Shear. Warlocks can get out of danger with Demonic Portal. Discipline priests can mitigate a lot of damage with Power Word: Barrier, but Unholy death knights have their own version in Anti-Magic Zone. We struggle a lot with how much homogenization is good for the game, largely so that you can play with your friends, and how much is bad for the game, because then your character feels less special. It’s something we’ll continue to work on in an attempt to strike that perfect balance.

Are you kidding me?!?!? Shamans unique ablity is to interupt spellcasting?!?!?!

I must be missing something when you decided that damage interupt spellcasting all classes have it. Is a shaman unique ablity to be able to interupt spellcasting? This is outright a slap in the face and what shamans have been complaining about for the last 5 years. You as CM and Developers have farmed out every unique talent that we were based off of, we were to bring buffs to raids. And as for the unique tallent to drop a tremor totem that is a kick in the B_LLS after the duration reduction. Pass the nerfs around and drop the facad. Play an ele shammy and see the problems if you do not understand. Get your head out of the dirt and look around. Create an ele shaman and play him and get him up to lvl 85 and see how OP every other class is to ours. That is if you can play him.

It was ment so that we provided Unique buffs and we could heal, as to why our dps and heals were nerfed, as in being a 'Hybrid Class'. And not to worry the meaning has changed to any class that can fill in for more then one position in LFD. The nerf that we originally based off of needs to be removed and needs to be addressed, NOW! Not just another kick in the groin or slap in the face. QUIT INSULTING US.

Sorry I though Unique was something someone else does not have. Or are you are impling removing all other interups except Wind Shear from the game I am all for it. This would give us back the Unique tallent again. Ranging from hunters stun bolts that can no longer interupt casting. To a mage who tries to shut down our casting school for 8 seconds, that interupts our casting. That is a great idea. I fully support any other interupt removal out of the game on the grounds that it is a Unique ablitiy that the CM and Dev have determined is a Unique ablitiy for shamans only.Or are you making it so that ele shamans can not be interupted while casting except by another shaman. And casting will no longer be interupted by taking damage, so that a 1 second spell cast is exactly that, 1 second.

Unique. Do you understand the meaning of words you use, or are you just tring to string words along in an excuse for the total lack of understanind what you have written?

Name 4 classes that do not have this Unique ablity of interupting spell casting. If you can not, I have proven my words. What excuse now will you come up with for ignoring us now?
i can say without a doubt now that hunters are the most whined about class in the game any ways what i want to know is this......

with all the changes that are coming for other classes why does it feel like rogues are yet again being left out yet again and it will as usual take an entire expansion to get rogues "right"?

if you look at the patch notes rogues are getting a nerf/buff to recuperate and a buff to stealth (which as far as i know druids stealth is STILL better than a rogues and its OUR core mechanic) do you guys actually GO into the rogue forums or are we just ignored on the things that are wrong/broken with our class?

Druid stealth still requires a 10 second cooldown, and we have never had a way to reduce that cooldown. However, ferals can spec to reduce stealth detection which is probably what you are referring to at being better. That's only if the druid is feral though, not all druids. Subtlety stealth is right on par with feral stealth, and may even see a small improvement now that Nightstalker will be increase movement speed in stealth as well.
Wonderful answers, I look forward to the next list. Thanks!

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