Development on World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is progressing well, and we'll soon be ready to enter the first phases of public testing. To help prep you for battle, let’s break down some of the upcoming changes we’re making to stats, abilities, and crowd control for the expansion.
Character progression is one of the hallmarks of any role-playing game, and naturally that means we're always adding more power for players to acquire. After multiple expansions and content updates, we've reached a point where the numbers for health, damage, and other stats are so big they’re no longer easy for players to grasp. What’s more, a lot of power granularity is tied up in tiers of older content, from Molten Core to Dragon Soul—and while it was once necessary for your character's power to spike up suddenly when you hit level 70, that’s not the case anymore.
In order to bring things down to a more understandable level, we'll be reducing the scale of stats throughout the game and smoothing out those obsolete spikes, so that power scales linearly through questing content from levels 1 to 85. This applies to creatures, spells, abilities, consumables, gear . . . everything. And while that means your numbers for stats and damage are being reduced by a huge amount, the same goes for creatures' health and damage output. For example, a Fireball that previously hit a creature for 450,000 out of his 3,000,000 health (15% of its health) may now hit that same creature for 30,000 out of its 200,000 health (still 15% of its health).
It's important to understand that this isn’t a nerf—in effect, you’ll still be just as powerful, but the numbers that you see will be easier to comprehend. This also won’t reduce your ability to solo old content. In fact, to provide some additional peace of mind, we're implementing further scaling of your power against lower-level targets so that earlier content will be even more accessible than it is now.
We’re also removing all base damage on player spells and abilities and adjusting attack power or spell power scaling as needed, making it so that all specializations will scale at the same rate.
We want races to have fun and interesting perks, but if some of those traits are too powerful, players may feel compelled to play a specific race even if it’s not really the one they want to play. For example, Trolls' Berserking ability was extremely powerful, and their Beast Slaying passive was either completely irrelevant or tremendously powerful, based on the situation, compared to other racial traits. On the other end of the spectrum, many races had few or no performance-affecting perks. On top of that, a number of racials that currently grant Hit or Expertise will soon need replacing, since those stats are being removed in Warlords of Draenor.
To keep racials more in line with one another, we’ve decided to bring down the couple high outliers, then establish a fair baseline and bring everyone else up to that. We’re accomplishing this by improving old passives, replacing obsolete ones, and adding a few new ones where necessary. Ultimately, our goal is to achieve much better parity among races.
Over the years, we've added significantly more new spells and abilities than we've removed, and the game’s complexity has steadily increased. We’re to the point now where players are starting to get overwhelmed, sometimes feeling like they need dozens of keybinds (in a few extreme cases, over a hundred). While the game is loaded with niche abilities that could theoretically be useful in some rare scenario, in reality, many of these are barely used at all—and in some cases, the game would simply be better off without them.
For Warlords of Draenor, we decided that we needed to pare down the number of abilities available to each class and spec in order to remove some of that unnecessary complexity. That means restricting some abilities to certain specs that really need them instead of being class-wide, and outright removing some other abilities. It also includes removing some Spellbook clutter, such as passives that we can merged with other passives or base abilities.
This doesn’t mean that we want to reduce the depth of gameplay or dumb things down. We still want players to face interesting decisions during combat, and we still want skill to matter . . . but we can achieve that without the needless complexity in the game now, and we can remove some of the game’s more convoluted mechanics while maintaining depth and skill variety.
One type of ability that we focused on removing is temporary power buffs (aka "cooldowns"). Removing these also helps achieve one of our other goals, which is to reduce the amount of cooldown stacking in the game. In cases where a class or spec has multiple cooldowns that typically end up getting used together (often in a single macro), we merged them, or removed some of them entirely.
The process of determining which spells and abilities to cut or change is a very complex one—we know that every ability feels vital to someone, and we don't take this process lightly. Even if we ended up cutting your favorite ability, we hope you’ll understand why we did so in the context of our larger goals for the expansion. Ultimately, the point of these changes is to increase players' ability to understand the game, not to reduce gameplay depth.
One other big takeaway from Mists of Pandaria is that there is currently simply too much crowd control (CC) in the game, especially when it comes to PvP. To address that, we knew that we needed an across-the-board disarmament. Here's a summary of the player-cast CC changes:
Additionally, we've significantly reduced the number of throughput-increasing cooldowns and procs in order to further reduce burst damage.
Whether your favorite class is losing an ability or taking a hit to its CC potential, we hope this discussion helped you better understand why we’re making these changes. It’s important to remember that other classes will be getting some of their CC removed too. We think this entire package will make exploring Azeroth and PvPing a more enjoyable experience for everyone, and we’re looking forward to having you try them out when we open up the expansion for testing.
In the next Dev Watercooler, we'll explore the changes coming to health and healing in Warlords of Draenor.
The last thing wow needs is to be more accessible to Removed. There are enough baddies as it is. The complexity is one of the things that keeps fails out of real endgame content, and we don't want them there.
stormlash totem never addded complexity to my fights. remembering its keybind was also not that hard. i'll miss it dearly. i just hope they add that effect to something else, because every little bit helps. :| maybe i'll keep it on cooldown till WoD to honor its memory. :Dbut i'll try to keep in mind that there's a whole new addon coming and these changes are not going to be the last and i don't know how things'll turn out and none of us can foresee how these changes will affect the game and...LEAVE MY TOTEMS ALONE! xDaanyway, leaving out abilities like this won't get baddies into true endgame content. they'll be stuck in lfr and maybe get to see a !@#$ty normal group sometimes. because they're baddies. they're bad! why'd you invite them...
Remove fear entirely please!
tauren racial is now overpowered to the rest... stamina + 2% crit/heal... dwarf is just 2% dmg. still bending the alliance over the table as usual blizzard. if they were smart they would just remove stat racials. if you're going to give 3 races 1% crit, and 2 others 2% crit... you're just digging a deeper hole.
Alliance racial skills: +Horde racial skills: --nice work -.-"
I wish glyph of bear trap was a thing, that'd be amazing
Reducing ability bloat is one thing, but their goal is to remove most burst cds and utilities and then procs? And removing raidwide utilities.... so. Different specs and classes now have less abilities to contribute to the raid, will probably be streamlined in terms of damage so every single dps spec is now a streamlined constant damage output ( as opposed to having some burstier ones) with less cc tools to differentiate them. Is the end goal to make every class and spec feel exactly the same?
Spitting on the corpse while rolling the dice should be a new stat buff.
come on! why nerfing trolls!
Blizzard if you read this PLS GIVE A BL TO THE PALADINS AND NAME IT "CALL FOR A CRUSADE" thats all i asked you pls! jajajaja
the only thing i can see from this is theyre homogenizing the classes. Burst dps is awesome, and differentiates a warlock from say, a feral druid. which is also awesome. but if youre smoothing out burst damage, PvP will probably last forever, and youre gonna have to scale the locks lesser abilities up to make up the less bursty chaos bolt hits. or the locks dps is gonna plummet. as well as all other classes that rely on crit, like my disc priest and Atonement, etc. Enhancement shamans, in my opinion, could use some tweaking. Ascendance is wicked in Elemental spec, but pretty lacklustre as enhance. but its potential is so huge! maybe have it lower the cooldown on Stormstrike when it pops so we can actually USE that sweet Windstrike more than two or three times. i dont know. something balanced, but it has to feel unique and fun. like that nelf racial is sweet. and the tauren buff. things that rely on landscape arent a bad place to start. especially bringing it back to shamans and druids and their natural affinities. maybe have spellcasters find random hotzones or something....though not sure whatd work for melee as an area type thing... =DAlso, i second that call for a Critterpocalypse Trap. the more summons, the better. though, granted, glyph of bear trap is ironic. though id miss the poison damage; undead poisonous bear cubs?
So far the Horde racials are complete garbage.
It would be awesome if they finally brought back Plainsrunning for Tauren, but made it work just like a mount, the way Worgens' Running Wild does.
5% rage/energy isnt realy worth as much as 5% increase to mana on the Gnome Racial, 6 increased rage/energy meter doesnt exactly let you squeeze out even a single or even a half additional ability unlike the mana thing, that and the fact that mana is at full at start, wheras rage needs to be gathered and managed through combat.
Horde nerf, Alliance buff.Typical.