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Regional FlagWhy did the number "tweaks"Source
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Frostvein
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#1 - 2011/10/15 07:51:00 PM
take so long to implement?

Don't get me wrong, if Fire turns out to be "viable" in T13 I'll be grateful for the buffs, as will the rest of the under-performing specs that are receiving buffs this upcoming patch.

I'm just curious as to why they waited so long - I think everyone assumed the reason that the underperfoming classes weren't buffed in a more timely fashion was because they were working on solutions to/for the problems facing the specs. When it turned out that the upcoming patch only included number tweaks, I think most of us were just disappointed that it took so long.

Does it really take that long to add/decrease spell damage and change the modifiers?

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Community Manager
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#15 - 2011/10/18 02:13:00 AM
As we mentioned in the Rate of Change blog not long ago, we feel like we have reached a point where too many changes can do as much damage as not enough changes. It shouldn’t be too surprising to see lots of requests (or demands!) here on the forums for balance changes, whether those are small numbers tweaks or larger ability redesigns. The risk of the echo chamber effect can be strong though. A great majority of players don’t participate in forum discussions at all, and even among those who do, it tends to be those with a grievance who make a post. Indifferent players don’t often post to say they are indifferent, and many players won’t expend the effort to publicly state that they disagree with your idea. (When they do, they also risk igniting some exhausting flame wars.) But you have to remember that even if it seems like “everyone” is rallying for a certain change, you’re not seeing the majority and you have no idea if they would agree with the necessity of the change.

When asked directly, they might not even disagree with the their character getting buffed or a mechanic smoothed out. But over time these seemingly “no brainer” changes can build up into an intimidating list. Class changes, especially in between expansions, and especially when hotfixed in between two patches, can be exhausting for many players. They don’t want to have to figure out if their rotation or gear strategies have changed overnight. They don’t want to have to devour all the latest theorycrafting and wonder if they’re supposed to respec every time they log in. That sort of thing may be fun for a lot of you guys – the active forum community. Heck, it’s fun for the kind of people that end up being game developers. But that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for the game. We have to weigh very carefully whether a seemingly innocuous change is worth making, because those changes are not “free” in the sense that they do burn some political capital with players. We have definitely been getting the message lately that the design churn in the last few patches has been too great, so we’re trying to be more cautious.

It's the kind of topic that is worth discussing though. It may be that small changes to passive abilities, like the hunter, warlock and DK tweaks in 4.3, are small enough not to bother people. On the other hand, it could be that some players may be still living under a fear of change and we haven’t scaled back enough.

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Community Manager
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#254 - 2011/10/18 08:27:00 PM
We didn’t say we weren’t going to make balance changes when we feel they are justified, and we have made many for 4.3 already. We just wanted to point out that too many changes, even with the noblest of goals, can be as unhealthy for the game as failing to make changes that are necessary. We don’t want to hit either extreme. Some players seem to be looking for near constant balance adjustments (weekly or more often), and while the designers would be thrilled to do it, they also believe it would have severe long-term consequences. You may not know the kinds of players who get weary of constant design noodling, because they might not post on the forums, but there are a lot of them out there. Our strategy will continue to be: make most changes in expansions, some changes with patches, and the occasional change via hotfix.