Game Director Tom Chilton on Balance & PvP

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Over the course of the last week, fansites across North America and Europe were given an opportunity to chat with World of Warcraft leading developers and ask questions about Mists of Pandaria, hot topics in the community, current design philosophies, the future of the game, and a lot more.

  • Arena Junkies - Tom Chilton, World of Warcraft Game Director, sits down with Diziet to talk about class balance, Arenas, tournaments/eSports, spectator UI, and other popular PvP topics.

Be sure to check out more developer interviews for information on additional topics.
Now that I have your attention:

Where are our Skirmishes?
Gotta connect with the community somehow, losing a mil subs a pop.
Pretty good cast, found the interview w/GC pretty interesting too;
Guess the feedback to 5.1 got us somewhere.

That's a first.
I quit WoW during WotLK, because the insane amount of burst made PvP a matter of latency, lag and luck. I came back during Cata and enjoyed a lot as an affliction warlock, because it was more about longevity and strategy.

Now the PvP feels worse than WotLK.
I quit WoW during WotLK, because the insane amount of burst made PvP a matter of latency, lag and luck. I came back during Cata and enjoyed a lot as an affliction warlock, because it was more about longevity and strategy.

Now the PvP feels worse than WotLK.

Exactly how I feel.

Although I didn't play aff lock (grats though on having a good time; good to know melee weren't the only ones) I had a blast in Cataclysm. Unholy, arms, ret and subtlety all felt competitive and I didn't kill anything in 3 seconds nor did I die in 3 seconds.
I liked that they asked a question about reworking Alterac Valley. I didn't really understand the 'I would still like to see that. It would be cool to have a battleground that has weak NPCs that you could fight and level up in the battleground, so they become more powerful as you kill NPCs and enemies - which is a concept that could make for a cool battleground in WoW'

...isn't that pretty much exactly what Alterac Valley is? Please, just fix AV so that we have at least one lengthy battleground. We don't need or want 10 fifteen-minute games to choose from and there's really no reason not to have a PvP orientated map where players can immerse themselves. No one is asking for the day long games back; just something that lasts an hour or two. That is what WoW is currently lacking.

It really wouldn't take too much diving into the old code to do either. You manage to create a new bracket every expansion. You just need to increase the damage and health of the NPCs significantly so they're actually challenging (and scarier when you manage to upgrade) and increase reinforcements. That's all it would take to give players a lengthier game. Quest mobs in Krasarang Wilds have more health than the captains and generals in Alterac Valley: that's how sad things have gotten.

Please show some love to AV. It's one of the very few things you guys have made worse with every update.
I thought this was a good interview, it was nice to see so much time given to discussing PVP specifically. I really do hope we get that DOTA style battleground that was discussed at some point in the future, I know they discussed it at Blizzcon 2011 as well. I also hope that Blizzard gets involved in helping to promote player run tournaments, even just mentioning them on the website would be a huge help.

I hope we see more PVP focused interviews like this in the future, it is really nice to get an idea of where the developers stand on hot PVP topics of the day.
The GC interview made me die a little on the inside because most of the times he mentioned PvP, it was whining about how hard his job was. Chilton addressed issues and even brought up some of the more frustrating problems without the interviewer even having to ask him. At one point the interviewer said he liked the PvP power addition and was ready to move on, but Chilton hesistated and talked about how Blizzard was pleased with it separating PvE and PvP gear, they weren't completely happy with it. I would love for Chilton to release water coolers or make a twitter.
Brust and constant damage; are warlocks going to play more like they did in old expansions with more of a proc based game play; I see that my molten core is very good but is just not the very beneficial in pvp when i can just use fel flame and almost do the damage in two hits "if one crits".

A thought so you can see arenas in game is to make a in arena "like the brawler's clue" and to where you can choose high ranked games to random ones on your sever grouping or a friends game. If someone telling a player in the arena in the game what is going on may be a problem just have it 15 seconds behind.

Will tanks be more usable in pvp to fit their play style or what they counter "I'm not talking about a huge damage but just being more equipped to fight that style of class"
games lasted longer in WOTLK.

I had about 30k health or so then in wrathful.

perhaps it is time to admit burst damage is a problem, and no, it isnt related to trinkets. it's related to abilities.
There are a huge number of things that need to be addressed. Many of them are quite simple.

Holy Paladin CC needs to be toned down. Paladins definitely needed a form of CC that didn't require them to run into the centre of everything and risk getting blown up, but right now their CC is the best in the game, along with the best single target heals, and very obviously the best choice for any melee team.

Druids are unkillable by melee unless the druid is not paying attention. A blink and vanish on a 30 second cooldown? Remove the vanish aspect of it and it would be balanced. It's really as simple as that. In the interview Kalgan specifically states that many class developers envision an ability being used defensively when often it gets used offensively. This is another perfect example of that. Druids blink/stealth -> pounce -> cyclone or disorienting roar to the other healer without any risk to themselves, and without the other healer having any way to avoid it.

Shamans are amazing healers with a great amount of utility to help their teammates stay alive and land a kill. Their team-defensive abilities are too strong. However their individual defensive abilities are abysmal and the silence change just exasperated that. Every other healer has a defensive ability that they can use while stunned or silenced, often on a short cooldown. If shamans are stunned or silenced without a pvp trinket they're 100% useless, especially without any dispel protection for Earth Shield.

Mage and Warrior burst is absurd. I'm sure Kalgan knows this and was thinking of this when he was talking about pvp burst. There is no denying that it's beyond overpowered. I understand that it's very tricky balancing warriors as they're often either too powerful, or too weak as their only role on the team is to do damage. People should be concerned if a warrior is sitting on a target (unlike Seasons 10 & 11), but it should not revolve around if a warrior is on you for more than 5 seconds you're likely going to die.

Mages burst revolves around such a short cooldown (deep freeze). However I believe a 4 second stun on a 30 second cooldown (coldsnap-able) is too much. Reducing the stun to 3 seconds would still allow a mage to get off a frost bomb, but not allow them to spam 2-3 ice lances for 80k on a target with 65% dmg reduction (that number is not exaggerated).

Fix hunter bugs and they should be all right. Enough said.

Warlocks need some affliction buffs. Affliction is not viable directly due to this expansion's dispel change (which was a good idea), and most players' inability to get any casts off due to the large amount of instant cc we're seeing this expansion.

Monks definitely need some buffs. However I'm pretty unfamiliar with that class so anything I could say wouldn't be based on anything other than my limited experience with them.

Classes like DKs that do a fair amount of damage but nothing over the top do not require buffs in order to become competitive. Other classes simply need to be brought down and I'm sure we'll see a greater number of these underrepresented classes being utilized in various comps. In the meantime however it's extremely rare to queue into an arena team that doesn't have a mage or a warrior on it.

I liked a lot of what Kalgan was saying about the upcoming PvP changes. However I'm disappointed that there continue to be the exact same problems that seem to plague every season. If the majority of players are consistently concerned about

1) Burst damage
2) Instant crowd control

I question why this is the burst-iest season we've seen since season 5 and easily the season with the MOST instant, unavoidable crowd control. That said, I commend your efforts to eliminate pve gear in pvp. It was a plague on competitive arena. One thing that was an unfortunate by-product of that change though is that it makes it impossible for someone to play a new character late in the season. The pvp power on weapon change was good to ensure that pve weapons weren't used, but not having a base weapon farmable by honour makes it so players have to wait a base 4 weeks before they can by the tier 1 pvp weapon in order to even participate on a semi-level playing field.

Thanks for the interview and look forward to hearing about some of the changes.
Thank you for the interview, Mr. Chilton. I for one always enjoy hearing the perspective of the developers, and I appreciate you sharing the thoughts about PvP - particularly the discussion of CC, and burst damage/healing throughput. Burst has to be high because healing is too strong and vice-versa; this makes killing outside of burst/OOM (does that still exist? lol) practically impossible.
I commend you for "taking the bullet" and doing this interview for greg'Sheet'ghostcrawler. Hopefully hes buys you lunch for the next few weeks.
12/09/2012 03:23 PMPosted by Chrisboxed

Yup, we see so many problems with pvp and blizzard rarely addresses only a few at a time.
And changes to admitted problems always takes months or years to solve.

Starting to hate twitter, so many questions that never get answered, wait, that sounds like the WOW forums. nvm. twitter ftw.

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