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Mists of Pandaria Buff and Debuff Design
2012/03/08 at 8:06 PM
We recently released an update to the
Mists of Pandaria talent tree
. Since the expansion is still in development, these updates represent a snapshot of where we are at any given moment and not a final design where we step back and say “Ladies and gentlemen, we have achieved perfection. Let us not change a thing.” If you’ve been playing the game for a while, you’ve probably realized by now that we never think we’ll hit perfection, and we probably never will.
One design that we haven’t focused on much yet is the plan for various group buffs and debuffs. Some specs have their buffs in place and some do not. Rather than trying to describe each omission, we thought we’d just dump the whole design on you here. As with the rest of the expansion’s systems, we’re not even in beta yet, so there’s plenty of time for things to change.
First, some underlying design goals, so you might understand where we’re coming from. Our main goals for group buffs are:
Make you feel more powerful when grouped with other players.
Cataclysm Post Mortem -- Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street
2012/03/07 at 11:16 AM
As part of our World of Warcraft: Cataclysm post mortem series, we sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to talk about his thoughts on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
Q. What were your main goals going into Cataclysm?
A: Westfall was a seven-year-old zone with seven-year-old trees and seven-year-old quests. It naturally felt old. It felt tired for players going back to level up an alt, and it wasn’t inspiring for new players coming to the game. We just felt like it was time to give all of those old 1-60 zones some attention again. Beyond that though, we wanted to update the classes at low level as well. The spell flow, by which we mean the level you get certain spells, just hadn’t aged well. You would get some very group-focused buffs at low level and some powerful leveling tools at high level, which would have made more sense reversed. There were some specs that just weren’t functional at low level before because they lacke
New Ghostcrawler Blog: Mists of Pandaria Stat Changes
2012/03/01 at 8:06 PM
Our recent talent calculator changes led to some players asking questions about how character and item stats were changing, because some spell and talent tooltips suggest that changes are coming. We compiled this list to attempt to explain more of what’s coming in Mists of Pandaria. First of all, please note that we actually aren’t making many stat changes compared to the ones we made in Cataclysm (“armor penetration -- gone!”). Second, the stuff below can get a little technical. If you’re not into the subtle nuance of gear itemization, then don’t worry about it -- you don’t need to be to enjoy the expansion -- but we know there are plenty of you who enjoy some nuts and bolts talk, so here we go.
Spell resistance is gone. There are no buffs that improve it and there shouldn’t be much, if any, spell resist gear left. We always thought the system was hard to understand and we weren’t getting much gameplay out of it. Now taking a step back, we can imagine how to develop a game where you’d want various forms of resist gear for certain situations and opponents. Resist gear could potentially be interesting, b
New Ghostcrawler Blog: The Role of the Role
2012/02/08 at 8:12 PM
LFR Roll Clarifications
Dungeons & Raids
Players no longer benefit from a role-based need bonus on the second of multiple copies of the same item on a single Raid Finder boss kill. For example, a player who chooses Need on two set piece tokens or two weapons (and wins the first) will only automatically roll 1-100 for the second from that particular boss.
Dev Watercooler: The Role of the Role
A monsoon is coming. We will soon inundate you with Mists of Pandaria information, starting with the upcoming media event and everything that follows. It’s going to be a very exciting time for World of Warcraft, and we are all super impatient for it to happen.
But… we’re not quite there yet. I want to make that clear upfront, because this blog isn’t directly Mists of Pandaria related. You won’t find any announcements here, just a philosophical discussion that you may or may not find interesting. If you’re looking for thrilling announcements, you know what I’m going to say: Soon™.
Explanation of 4.3 Balance Changes, Part Two
2011/11/11 at 11:03 AM
It's a holiday for some, but Blizzard was at work releasing a new blog this morning--Ghostcrawler shared more of his thoughts on the class and balance changes in 4.3. Many classes received detailed explanations about upcoming changes--such as Holy Radiance, Mortal Strike, Fire Mage buffs, and bear form Stamina. However, rogues weren't mentioned at all--and it would have been interesting to hear more thoughts on Blizzard's concerns from the live Q&A how rogues were underrepresented in raiding and their perceived lack of utility.
class="detail"><p>Don’t take this as an announcement that the release of patch 4.3 is imminent. While <a href="
have completed a lot of work</a>, it’s just hard to know at this stage when the patch will be ready. Nothing is set in stone until the actual patch, and even then we still have the ability to hotfix any major problems that we missed or caused.<br />
First, here is <a href="
link to Part One</a> of our balance explanations. W
Blizzard Insider #42 -- Meet the Pandaren Monk
2011/10/28 at 10:06 AM
With the launch of the next World of Warcraft® expansion, the Mists of Pandaria™ will lift to reveal the pandaren, a long-secluded race that has spent generations mastering the way of the monk -- World of Warcraft’s newest playable class.
To get an inside look at the upcoming World of Warcraft race and class options, the Blizzard Insider recently sat down with Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to discuss the design decisions that went into creating the pandaren monk. So read on, and be among the first to meet the brawling heroes who are, even now, secretly training within the mists.
How will the pandaren race differ from the other races of Azeroth? What ideas are being explored for their racial abilities?
Ultimately, the challenge with races is to make them feel unique without actually providing them with so much power that players feel like they don’t have a choice in which race they want to be. If tauren are the best warriors, then Horde players might feel like they are sacrificing too much in order to try out a different race or stick with a race they really like. With t
Explanation of 4.3 Balance Changes, Part One
2011/09/27 at 5:35 PM
Back in June, I wrote a blog explaining the context behind some of the changes in the upcoming patch that might not be intuitively obvious. That blog ended up being one of the most popular ones we’ve ever done; even players who disagreed with the specific changes appreciated our explanations for what we were trying to accomplish. Therefore, we’d like to continue in that fashion and we figured there was
no reason to wait until 4.3
was "on the shelves" to get the ball rolling.
One note before I dive into things. If you haven’t read the previous blog, "
Rate of Change
," now might be a good time. There are some changes that we want to make to class mechanics or balance in general that we don’t think are fair or appropriate to spring on players in the middle of an expansion. These include things like the power of interrupts or the active mitigation model we want to implement for tanks. We’ll get there, but in short term we fundamentally believe that it’s important to pick our battles.
On with the show. Note that most of these changes are mech
4.3 Preview: Warrior Tier 13 Colossal Dragonplate
2011/09/08 at 8:18 PM
It looks like Blizzard's started to share more 4.3 content, this time showing us the warrior set of tier 13! Inspired heavily by Deathwing himself, this set is pretty ferocious and very red.
We'd like to remind you that
we have several huge and in-depth guides to transmogrifying
--Blizzard links images in this preview of previous warrior tiers, but doesn't tell players where to get the items. But don't worry, we do!
Don't forget earlier that
were posted, either.
Adventurers will be tested like never before in 4.3 as they take on Deathwing and his minions, emerging with powerful new treasures. Please enjoy this preview of the warrior tier 13 set, as well as a visual guide to tiers 1 through 12 for
New Ghostcrawler Blog: Bloody Mitigation
2011/08/31 at 3:57 PM
A few weeks ago, we had
a small debate
about what the best tank was on Wowhead's forums. It got brought up time and time again that death knights had some issues, despite being an amazing class for PvP and PvE DPS. Many players, even those like myself who don't tank, just felt that they were an extremely situational tank that was worse on more fights than they were better--such as Heroic Ragnaros.
Ghostcrawler seems to be on a similar wavelength, choosing this blog to explain the DK model more in-depth and tanking as a whole as well as his plans for the class and role in 4.3.
The end result is that 4.3 will have some major changes for DKs as well as tanks in general. Blizzard isn't done refining how tanking happens, particularly cooldown management and mitigation itself.
What Active Mitigation Actually Means, and the Future of the Blood Death Knight
We recently buffed tank threat significantly and suggested that we would fill in any potential lost gameplay with new gameplay. What I meant by that was that if tanks don’t need to hit their buttons to generate threat, they may realize th
New Epic Ghostcrawler Blog Explains 4.2 Class Changes
2011/06/16 at 8:59 PM
In what is probably one of the best and most in-depth Blizzard blogs yet, Ghostcrawler takes the time to discuss the class balancing changes that have been made in Patch 4.2, giving specific examples of changes that were made, and why they were made. This new blog provides an interesting look into the development process (as Ghostcrawler's blogs always do) and will definitely answer some players' questions regarding Blizzard's justification of specific changes being made.
We understand that raw patch notes don’t always provide enough context for changes to the game, so we thought we’d take a moment to explain some of our logic behind the buffs and nerfs coming in the 4.2 "Rage of the Firelands" patch. We particularly want to try to combat the perception that classes end up nerfed in PvE as collateral damage from PvP nerfs (or vice versa). The number of PvP buffs versus PvP nerfs were about equal this time around, and we make careful consideration to keep the impact outside of PvP minimal. So, if we nerfed your class’s PvE damage, it’s most likely because we thought your class was doing too much damage in PvE.
No doubt you’
New Ghostcrawler Blog: Cataclysm Talent Tree Post-Mortem
2011/06/01 at 12:33 PM
Ghostcrawler's back after a hiatus from posting his developer blogs and this time he wants to talk talent trees. A lot of us aren't a big fan of the new trees, especially because it feels foreign to take an entire tree without looking up; frequently a good spec boils down to a cookie cutter spec with 1-2 points in a different ability or two.
Then again, cookie cutters
always popular--even in vanilla. Cataclysm just
them. All in all, this is an excellent post-mortem into why Blizzard changed talents and how they feel about it currently, even if the system has its detractors. It's also a good examination into mastery and early leveling as well as endgame goals.
You may have noticed we changed class talent trees for Cataclysm. We changed not just the trees themselves, as you might expect for an expansion, but the entire structure of the trees and the way you choose talents. Now that the Cataclysm model has been in play for several months, the team has been discussing what we like and don’t like about it, and I thought that might be of interest to some of you. As always with this series, this is design rumination,
New Ghostcrawler Blog: How Big is Your Spellbook?
2011/04/26 at 11:07 AM
Ghostcrawler is at it again and this time he's talking about abilities--particularly the number of them for each class. When designing classes, developers aim for a magic number but, as he explains, it never quite works out. It's just not as simple as one would believe and it's an interesting balancing act making each class have the right amount of abilities to both challenge and meet a player's expectations.
There are quite a lot of differences between situational abilities and ones used frequently in rotations as well. Ghostcrawler eventually closes with tackling the humanity of it all, explaining that it's not as simple as developing for a simulation; developers have to account for players and their ability levels as well as their personal experiences. Abilities change from PvE and PvP situations quite drastically. It's no walk in the park designing not only the right number of abilities, but the right variety.
Of course, that's the fun of it--right?
How Big Is Your Spellbook?
How many abilities should a max-level class have? This is something I ponder at least once a day and is a regular topic in nearly all of our class de
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