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Warlords of Draenor: Items, Class & Design Changes
2014/11/07 at 6:50 PM
WoD: Items, Class & Design Changes
BlizzCon 2014 has been awesome so far and now it's time for the Warlords of Draenor panel! We'll highlight what they talk about below and be sure to cover any relevant, new information.
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Goal was to re-evaluate what defined classes and made them fun.
Strike a better balance between class and encounter mechanics.
Healing became too frenetic, extremely harrowing--they wanted to analyze how to make healing more positive.
They did this through item squish and numerical returns; class ability prunes (removal of many spells); and crowd control reduction.
Inconsistent fantasies were plaguing the game; they weren't fun. Abilities that were situational were pretty tiring, like Druid's Nourish. Additionally, they found many abilities had been nerfed too hard, been overbalanced, and weren't satisfying anymore making them not worthwhile to have in the game (or in sore need of a redesign). They also hated abilities that had annoying requirements, like Shred's positional requirement.
There were 57 buttons for a Restoration druid in Cataclysm and in Warlords of Draenor it's back down to 41.
Healing rotations were frustrating and smart heals dumbed down gameplay significantly. Mana scaling also became an issue. So they doubled effective player health, smart heals now pick injured instead of most injured, and they increased base regen on healers while reducing spirit on gear.
They removed Hit/Expertise from the game along with reforging. Min-maxing every single piece of gear was exhausting for players. In 6.0, there are also no upgrades because it's confusing.
There are only enchants for ring, neck, and cloak in WoD because they feel it will make it clearer and more valuable to enchant.
Loot will have useful dual stats for multiple specs to help make it easier.
More sources for loot: quest items can become rares or epics, chance at bonus effects, new stats like Versatility and Multistrike.
Gladiator's Resolve is a cool talent. Why did you guys make it a talent rather than a fourth spec?
It's a cool fantasy for a Warrior, but we felt we could get away with just making it a talent--had it been any more complicated, we would have probably had to.
Are you going to go back to giving legendary weapons?
The item is a ring in WoD. It will tell a story.
With Holy you were OoM, Disc didn't need a lot of Spirit--why was the healing in Siege favored toward Disc over Holy?
Discipline stayed too good for too long. We discussed about it, we didn't make the right call most likely--certain interactions were too problematic, by the time we realized how broken it was, guilds had built their rosters around it and made their progression based on it. Changing it overnight could have hurt guilds during progression. Damage was done. We fixed it now though. We think. Maybe?
Historically it was very easy to give out loot for a raid officer, but now you have no idea if someone's going to roll or not. If I want to give my best DPS a war-forged but my worse one a lesser one, any chance we could?
We like the idea of loot being personal--e.g. "I won this, now it's my chance to see how it pans out." But we are thinking of it. Are we favoring the optimization of the raid or are we favoring the entertainment of the individual? Right now, this system favors the individual.
Complexity and depth--you're talking about simplifying things. A lot. What options do you have for those of us who like complex and more punishing gameplay?
We think there's still plenty of that, it's just more on the encounter rather than the class and character. There are still complex choices, especially with some specializations and classes, but we want it to be accessible. We want basics to be intuitive without needing to consult guides. However, we've given you places in talents to diverge and we've given your personal playstyle options to have passive versus active options.
Mages: huge difference for me to solo versus other classes. What do?
One of the certainties is that everything will be soloable eventually; it just may take some classes more. Ultimately, though, it's important to preserve the niches rather than homogenize everything.
I'm wondering about the new combined flight form of the Druid.
If Travel Form were a new ability, we would have made it exactly how it is right now; it's the right way. But we will add glyphs to help you get back to the old school feeling.
Shadow Priests have no style or visual effect besides Shadowform. Will they be changed?
We are actually working on trying to
visual noise, rather than add it.
What did you do with my mana gem?
We ate it. (Laughter) Seriously though, it didn't add an interesting decision to the game; it just added to the button bloat. We made the decision to ax abilities like this.
Why would I want to bring a Ret paladin?
We'll keep an eye on raid compositions, but we feel like if you're looking at individual DPS specs, you should have variety and diversity rather than 4-5 of the same thing.
Warlocks are becoming more utility than damage, Destro especially.
They seem to be fine, balance will be better at level 100 than 90; if they are weak, we'll definitely work on them. But philosophically we regard them as pure DPS, not utility, so there is no difference.
You tried to make things less complex, but why does the level 100 Ret talent choice involve stance dancing?
We want to make things less complex, yes, but we also want you to have a choice to amp up the difficulty. This is an intentional example.
Rogues have a lot of abilities that put us behind the boss and we can end up dying.
We have put in custom handling for bosses. The thornier problem becomes when there's a regular boss and there might be a Cleave or a Void zone. It's a tactical element, you have to choose when to go there, it's about your awareness.
Why aren't there greens for crafting?
We didn't like that you would make green items and constantly disenchant them. Now you can make blues. We're making Garrisons provide materials to help you level, the greens that drop around the world should help you as well.
If you're going for something a need/greed system doesn't go for, will you help for that?
We have the group finder for that; we want to make sure queue times aren't giant.
Do you have any plans to update the combo point UI?
We debated possible changes, but we couldn't find a good answer. You're used to looking where you do; we're hoping the mod community finds an amazing solution.
I find it boring to heal at a higher rank. Are we gonna make it more challenging?
If you're looking broadly at the pace of PvP, we're trying to make it more engaging for healers. There have been points in arena history where it was better, we're hoping to strike a balance. We also reduced the number of healers you can cast instantly to hopefully make mobility a bigger factor in arena.
What patch are you going to nerf Mortal Strike?
We currently have no plans. Maybe we'll nerf it if it gets too bursty.
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I can't believe it's almost expansion day already. Time really flies when you have an infant :)
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