Vaeflare & Input on Warrior Arena Balance

Regardless of anyone’s rankings past or present, the process of learning and striving to improve never stops: it helps even the most battle-hardened gladiator remain able to go toe-to-toe with their fiercest opponents.

In team-based combat such as Arenas, pressuring an enemy in order to go for a kill or striving to protect your comrade from being the brunt of a focused assault are part of the experience, no matter what classes are driving to get the job done. Most matches are an incredibly complicated dance between combatants: a push and pull of offensive and defensive tactics, of coordinating switches, interrupts, dispels, crowd control, and of learning when to use your particular cooldowns or abilities, and when to change your tactics on the fly. Depending on who you ask, what class they are, what brackets they are in, and what team compositions they run, you are likely to get a totally different answer as to what particular class gives them the most trouble at any given time.

As far as the current balance of various classes: it’s something we are, as always, keeping a close watch on. We welcome you to post constructively about your observations in the appropriate threads, and the more focused and on-topic you can keep it, the better.

While it's not possible to address every individual thread or concern of the community, rest assured we are listening, regardless if you see us post within a particular thread or not.

I respect the motivation behind this post, however I want to bring up some issues with points Vaeflare made and specifically how they impact Warriors and our current position in Arena. His post identified the following topics:

      Players, both veteran and beginner, constantly evolve and improve
      I entirely agree with this statement, however it seems to give the impression that the developer's current stance on PvP balance is that it is in a good place and issues are simply L2P problems. While I agree that everyone can always improve, there are mechanic imbalances in PvP regarding Warriors (and Resto Druids) in particular.

    Arena game-play is shaped around both offensive and defensive tactics
      Again this statement is true to an extent, however it grossly misrepresents the capability of some classes to implement those tactics such as peel / burst / defensive / cd use / etc far more effectively then others. It isn't an issue of game design or philosophy so much as it is the individual balancing between classes regarding capabilities available for each. The current position of Warrior in each of those categories is one of the worst in the game with limited peels or cc, mediocre burst, extremely long defensive CDs and some of the lowest overall versatility of any class in the game. Each class should have strengths along with weakness in other areas to balance them out. However, once a class falls into a situation of being mediocre to poor in every category, then adjustments need to be made.

    Mechanics of Arena are similar for every team no matter what (normal) comp is used
      Although the 'approach' toward Arena with regard to switches, peels, burst and cc may be similar, the capability to implement those tactics are vastly different from one composition to another. It comes back to the long standing "Bring the player not the class" mentality (which I love), but does not seem to be the current state of Arena. The goal of keeping each class unique is admirable but the simple fact is the current PvP balance of some classes compared with others leaves substantial room for improvement. One of the most obvious examples would be comparing Rogue vs Warrior and the resulting representation statistics of Arena considering Warrior being replaceable in virtually every single composition for a higher potential alternative.

    Balance is an extremely complex issue taking all aspects of PvP into account
      I absolutely agree and consider this one of the best aspects of WoW PvP. However, my concern is that the implementation of strengths vs weaknesses for each class needs some serious improvement with regard to Warrior in particular. I understand that Bliz is considering this for MoP, but you have to understand how disheartening it is for someone such as myself that plays only a Warrior and to be in a terrible balance position for two full, consecutive seasons. If a problem exists it should be identified, fixed, tested and released. Instead we have received not only zero improvements, but more importantly there has been no public recognition of our issues despite community involvement in threads such as this one to help identify the problems and options for solutions:

    Dev recognition of balance concerns and resulting implementation of improvements
      The reason I made this thread (trying to remain optimistic)
Although I would love to see balance improvements prior to MoP, I am concerned even beyond MoP release since these sort of issues have plagued WoW since Arena's initial release. I would ideally like to see the following:

    1. PvE balanced separately from PvP
    2. Bliz assemble a panel of developers, top-end arena performers and active PvP community participants with representation spanning all classes to identify & voice concerns along with recommendations for improvements and avoid 'group think' leaving arena in a position such as it is today
    3. Scheduled balance reviews with documentation provided to the public regarding known issues so that there is less of a feeling of being completely ignored
    4. PvP fixes implemented with a similar level of dedication to that demonstrated with regard to PvE so that each patch release includes adjustments as needed to provide an even playing field and enhance the mantra "Bring the player not the class"

Don't get me wrong I know there will always be people unhappy with something and the ingenuity of players will always make certain comps strong in certain areas. However, I firmly believe WoW, its player base and the longevity of the game as a whole would be substantially improved if some of these issues are reviewed and improved.

No class should be left 'replaceable' in virtually every composition for various higher potential alternatives. Moreover, no class should EVER have that be the case for multiple, consecutive seasons such as Warriors and Resto Druids currently experience with nothing more then a vague 'wait for MoP to fix it' hope for improvements.

I understand other classes have had similar problems in the past and that is my point exactly, if changes aren't made, your class may be the next one to suffer for season after season in MoP (Unless you are a mage/rogue lol).

TL-DR for those who hate reading: PvP isn't balanced, it is more then a L2P issue, fundamental issues need to be addressed or MoP won't fix it.
I don't have a comp yet, went through 5 terrible options looking for someone decent after my Rogue transferred (Alliance human of course lol). Hopefully trying a feral druid tonight for some Kittycleave.

Right there with you, gentlemen.
I enjoyed the content of your post, but it all reads a bit too much like 'buff warriors and resto druids,' or at least it will to some who read it. I'd recommend trying to cut down on these and leaving them to the appropriate threads in which they sit, as no matter my opinion on the subject, you will get bogged down by trolls who turn this into a Warrior QQ vs. Warriors are fine thread. This is a thread that seems like it is more about the design philosophy (or lack thereof) Blizzard has taken for PvP this expansion, rather than specifically Warrior and Resto Druid issues.

Signed, your friendly Death Knight.
Considering Warrior and Resto Druid are the two that currently do need adjustment it isn't surprising that it sounded that way. They are prime examples of the result when PvP design philosophy doesn't garner the attention it needs from a developer time investment perspective.

Theory is fine but examples bring more to the table. As an alternative, I like to point at Unholy DKs as being what I would call one of the more 'balanced' for the following reasons:
Good damage, good versatility with IBF/AMS/AMZ/Pet stuns/Dark Sim/etc but they have weaknesses which balance them out being susceptible to melee damage and requiring team assistance to minimize that weakness. That is how each class should be balanced: a set of unique strengths that are counter-balanced by weaknesses in other areas and it is each team's job to learn how to minimize their weakness while maximizing their strength.

However, when you have something such as Warrior that is literally weak in every single balance category other then damage (which is average), they are replaced in virtually every comp for higher potential alternatives. That is essentially the definition of 'imbalance' and should be a priority for fix as soon as identified... not ignored for two consecutive seasons.

Whether you point the finger at one particular example or look at the situation as a whole, the issue is the same. Due to the complexity of PvP balance, it needs to be balanced separately from PvE and more effort needs to be put into making adjustments as needed!
Blizzard is taking far too much advantage of the position of "PvP is incredibly complex to balance." At first, it's an understandable position. But when you look at the current state of the game, and see things that not only are unbalanced, but are HORRIBLY out of balance, it is a plain fact that there is not enough commitment to the situation. These aren't subtle issues that Glads see once a week with unusual compositions; these are glaring, obvious flaws that newcomers in the 1000 bracket see all the time and their lack of experience doesn't negate their observation.

The biggest culprit:

>1. PvE balanced separately from PvP

Blizzard has... **HAS** to address the fact these are two totally different systems and design accordingly. Certain abilities are fun and create distinction in PvE and have no tangible negative impact on the PvE game, but utterly destroy PvP balance. Specifically: Immunity. Immunity has no place in PvP-- unless EVERY class has access to it, and at that point, why have it? In and of itself it takes away from the game, but in conjunction with other classes it only highlights these aforementioned OBVIOUS flaws. The list of these glaring flaws can go on and on, it's deplorable.

Especially from the company that made its name on being able to precisely balance its games. I fondly recall reading Starcraft updates about how certain things went from 100 "ticks" to create to 108. That might seem like just a minor tweak to a casual player, but it's an EXACTING amount. It is an attempt at *perfection*. Compare to WoW where things are always done in common multiples. An ability was 10-20-30... now it's nerfed to 10-15-20. Then it's nerfed to 5-10-15. Why is 13 never mentioned? How can I believe they are striving for real balance in (their words) "an extremely complicated process" if they're not using all the numbers available to them? If 15 is too much and 10 is too little... uh... there are other options still available to you besides buffing Rogues, Mages, and Pallies.

Again, it only highlights their incompetence and complete lack of attention to obvious detail. This is not something Blizzard was known for. Not before.

But unfortunately there seems to be no sense of direction, no sense of admission of a problem. It made financial sense to opt-in for the Diablo3 offer, but it's sad that I can't wait to vote with my dollars and quit what I have long considered the best game franchise of all.
Nice post Brock, the only thing I would add is that I tend to think it is less of a "lack of direction" and more of an intentional directive handed down from management to NOT put in the time to implement PvP balance.

The real problem is not their inability to balance PvP, it is the fact that management doesn't consider WoW PvP as a valid revenue stream and as a result developers are not given the time-frame & budget to legitimately implement the needed balance improvements.

I guarantee Bliz is aware of the poor state of PvP, and the fundamental problem is that they don't consider it an important issue. They are hanging on to the legacy concept that "WoW is a PvE Game" and PvP is nothing more then a minor attraction similar to holiday events; some people like it but it doesn't draw enough attention to warrant wide-scale developer involvement.

I am convinced that Bliz management needs a proverbial slap in the face wake-up call. They need to have someone intelligently verbalize the fact that they are ignoring a potential goldmine of ongoing subscriptions and sustained revenue stream. If they were to actually balance PvP separately from PvE and provide a level playing field, the resulting transformation into an eSport would carry huge benefits.

PvP does not require constant content development; players always evolve with new compositions, strats, etc to keep things new and exciting. It is a self-sustaining model that would exponentially expand if accurately balanced. Tournaments would grow, people would would follow WoW as an eSport and it would rise in popularity similar to how Starcraft has been able to succeed.

Bliz... LEARN FROM YOUR OWN GAMES! WoW could be a prime example of being both a PvE and PvP game unmatched by anything else. Why limit yourself to only half your potential?
02/27/2012 01:41 PMPosted by Squirrelnut
One of the most obvious examples would be comparing Rogue vs Warrior and the resulting representation statistics of Arena considering Warrior being replaceable in virtually every single composition for a higher potential alternative.

This is not unique to warriors. I wish warriors would stop using this line... Ferals invented this line, but it used to be "replace the Feral with a Rogue or Warrior and you have a better team." All top-tier Feral comps can be improved by replacing the Feral with a Rogue.
02/28/2012 10:15 AMPosted by Reygahnci
This is not unique to warriors. I wish warriors would stop using this line... Ferals invented this line, but it used to be "replace the Feral with a Rogue or Warrior and you have a better team." All top-tier Feral comps can be improved by replacing the Feral with a Rogue.

You misunderstand, the issue is not that "Warrior is replaceable by Rogue" that is simply the easiest example to point at because they basically surpass Warrior in virtually every single balance category. More importantly, the issue is that "Warrior is replaceable by MULTIPLE alternatives in every single comp". For example:
    RLS > WLS
    RMP > WMP
    Junglecleave > KFC
    Ret/DK/Disc > TSG
    DK/Rogue/Healer > War/Rogue/Healer

Dev recognition of balance concerns and resulting implementation of improvements
    The reason I made this thread (trying to remain optimistic)

According to one GM Devs aren't legally able to give you recognition. Sorry :x

Actually the IDEAL form of developer recognition would come in the form of improvements in one of the various patches that have come out over the last two seasons. Asking for some sort of recognition does not mean we need to have a blue come post in the forum, we need to see actual results. At the very least they could identify areas under review in one of their blog posts to let people know the most obvious balance issues aren't being completely ignored.
In regards to your followup post Squirrel, I would add this undeniable fact:

The game is focused on PvE. But the PvP element surrounds them. People talk about it in trade chat all the time. The underlying conflict between the Alliance and the Horde is the foundation for the PvE game that they're selling and it's my observation that at some point... EVERYONE has tried it.

And so, the worse your PvP game is, the less likely people are to enjoy that experience and come back to it. And right now, even the people that normally enjoy PvP ... HATE IT.

And like you (Squirrel) said: all Blizzard is doing at that point is restricting people to "part" of their game, when they could be enjoying the whole thing.

How many times have I logged in, bored of the PvE thing and decided to PvP? If you can excite more of your PvE playerbase to do that same, your game grows. Someone needs to explain this basic, obvious fact to the people in charge.

Making the WHOLE GAME better is just good business. And just like they can't use the "PvP is too complex" excuse, this isn't a start-up company worried about costs. They can afford to do... *.ANY.THING.* To suggest otherwise is insulting.

I recommend flooding the general section of the forum. The developers never check the arena section or class sections in their lifetimes.
I recommend flooding the general section of the forum. The developers never check the arena section or class sections in their lifetimes.

If this was true, then why do they even have an arena forum? They do, and if they don't, and should stay up to date with the arena forum. If you ask me I would say blizzard is afraid to put anything promising about PvP balance on the forums because PvP is like piss in the wind, eventually ideas and intentions used by devs will be shot back in their face just like this thread did. This is not the player's fault but the dev's fault for such a thing like this and I think that is why they avoid it.

Common posts from devs hardly ever discuss something important (like the "I'm too scared to arena" post) and attempt to appeal to the forum instead of telling them something they don't like.

If you look through General forum, you will find devs replying to things like "If you woke up as your main" and "what was vanilla wow like?". Are devs putting their time into important topics or even doing their job?

I may never post again because they may ban me for harassing bliz employees. Peace.

They have it so we can squabble between ourselves without the interruption of dargon slayers.
Not saying we don't get any, but we don't get as many as if we were posting in the general forums.

But yes, I wish Warriors were a lot stronger than they are now, why? Because I love playing with them, they're a fun class to play too!

Just, at the moment Warriors are very... Well, just read the posts in here.

Also regarding the Blues posting in the "Too scared to Arena" post, all they were saying was pretty much along the lines of "L2P", which Is really annoying, I mean, you trying to L2P against RNG trinkets.
02/28/2012 03:41 PMPosted by Slickx
I recommend flooding the general section of the forum. The developers never check the arena section or class sections in their lifetimes.

If this was true, then why do they even have an arena forum?

Because they don't pay attention to a single post on the PvP and class sections of the forum. If the "hug character above you" gets noticed 1000% more than LEGITIMATE issues, then we need to take the fight to the place where there's people. They created the PvP section so that they would know which forum subsection they would never have to pay attention to.
I highly doubt there is even a remote chance that they would review legitimate Arena balance concern threads in the General section any more then they do here.

The fact is they KNOW PvP is unbalanced and I would expect they intentionally direct mods to NOT reply here because at least no response leaves a vague sense of hope. They have not wanted to invest the development time to implement balance so they certainly wouldn't want to open discussion with the community because that fact would come out.

My goal with this sort of thread is to hopefully have devs take notice and push management for changes even if they aren't allowed to reply here.

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