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.
Well the Undead Racial "Changes" seem rather.... boring.Guess, going Troll/Orc still nonetheless.
Retarded to lower cd on Gnome racial and raise it on Undead. Thank you arena for screwing up the game again. =(
-twitch- your touching my stormlash totem...i like my totems why are you ruining my totems...leave my totems along-angry wolf shaman-
If i can ask something of you, please don't get rid of shadow blades it is one of my all-time favorite rogue ability and he can do moderate damage. just please don't get rid of it.
Stat squish is the most horrendous idea I've heard of in my online gaming life of 14 years now. I don't see how 10,000 is any more difficult to understand than 1,000. I like the CC changes and such but nerf batting the hell out of numbers is really, really discomforting. The amount of time it is going to take for any vets to get used to this absurd twist is insane but it seems like EVERYTHING this new expansion promotes is ONLY aimed for new players.Hey, want a free 90 with better gear than people who earned the levels on your first day? Here you go!Hey, big numbers intimidate you and you see you're so weak compared to people who know the game? Here, we'll dumb it down as much as we can.My ONLY question on all of this is how are they intending to scale down old content to make this possible? With the healing "nerf" (change, whatever) and WAY less hit points... how is that going to make attempting to solo a 40-man raid still possible? While you say it's a linear change, bigger pools mean more leeway for mistakes regardless unless they REALLY hit low level creatures with a level-difference damage drop.
You are going to be able to solo just fine...because, as they've already said multiple times, the old content is being squished as well.
Lower stats means easier to balance the game don't know why anyone wouldn't like that, I guess people who only roll classes when they're OP would complain.The free 90 is for people who used to play the game but stopped because of previous content they disliked without making them go through that content again there just wasn't anyway to limit it fairly so it became a more open thing.I wouldn't say it's aimed at newer players as such but more new player friendly, less people who have no clue means more returning customers for Blizzard which is the aim of a business after all to gain profit, and more of a balanced game for everyone as your less likely to have to help or put up with as some people would call it, with newer players, and more a fair challenge in PvP for players like myself, I'd rather a close game then one where I just sit there dominating with no effort.
Cool changes so far, I wonder what else will change during the course of alpha and beta.
Can somebody explain to me the change to Heroic Presence? Have they given details on how much it affects a primary stat? I'm guessing it will be a scaling min/maxer thing that only gives 100 extra points to a level 100 character or something... Amiwrong?
Ok if we are talking about PvE unbalance why does blizzard nerf Hardiness?I just want to say the main unbalance in this game is in PvP not in PvE.only 1-2 bosses in each raid are beasts so this is a "huge" inbalance when a race gets +5% damage buff ?Believe me getting hit 200 k by a human paladin when you are full prideful geared is inbalance.I am not crying like some children" omg nerf human buff horde" I am just saying it wont bring balance nerfing horde while giving humans +x to secondary stat.Blizzard wants to bring balance to this game?Either nerf EMFH just like you nerf WotF or simply remove all racials so there wont be anymore conflict.Pure bursts must not win games but strategy and logic and team play.Thank you
I see hugely imbalanced racials (in terms of PVP) between horde and alliance. Let's look at the WoD warrior and rogue (classes i play) for example. A Draenai / Human / Gnome warriors will have huuuuuuge advantage in pvp compared to their horde counterparts looking at the loss of banners (mostly used with intervene) and chopped up second wind. Warriors looking at the new patch notes have the worst mobility and self heal among all classes. This is not a QQ guys but in my opinion i shouldn't be forced to play with a handicap if i want to do pvp with my horde warrior. If you don't agree with me guys look at the number of Human characters on the top of the ladders in PvP. So they decide to nerf WOTF, trolls' berserker, orcs' reduced stun duration AS IF they we're anything as good as EMFH. And let's not forget Shadowmeld. Another free Vanish for rogues, droods or anyone that want's to drop from target / focus. We know racials have a very minor effect in helping down a raid boss or getting a world first or doing a fast run in a heroic. It's in PVP that racials really matter more, but Blizz by all means go this way if your plans are to make certain class-race combinations to excel in PvP :)
lol Undead got hosed nothing new and Wotf got nerfed...
Gnome: Escape Artist dropped to a 1min CD (from 1.5min), and Shortblade Specialization became Nimble Fingers, 1% Haste. Also- A tweak to Expansive Mind. Was +5% max Mana. Now +5% Max Mana, Energy, Rage, or Runic Power.Humans lose the Mace/Sword racials. The Human Spirit becomes +X to two secondary stats of your choice. Source Every Man for Himself, we're still evaluating. Itemization changes may mean no nerf needed. wtf blizz! buff alliance and nerf horde? HELLO! "EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF" IS OP! INCREASE THE COOLDOWN BY ANOTHER MINUTE AT LEAST!Undead are seeing relatively few changes. Tweaks to the scaling rate of Touch of the Grave, and WotF to 3min CD (up from 2Orcs were one of the outliers we brought down. Lost the Axe Specialization, and Hardiness is 10% Stun reduction (down from 15%). Source Blood Fury is unchanged.BUT WAIT! Chris "@#$%head" Metzen is pro alliance, so I can see why they do that. I mean at Blizzcon all he talked about was how the alliance are going to kill the horde and gain glory and never once spoke to the horde players about their glory.
massively buffing alliance and nerfing horde, undeads see practically only nerf's :(is this a way to force players into playing alliance ?draeneys increase all stats as an aura ? XD and humans gain bonus stats.... horde see only nerfs with the only exception of tauren...