Q. Will Rend be refreshed by Thunderclap on all targets used with Blood and Thunder?
- 2010/07/19 02:50:24 PM
A. Yes. The idea is that you Rend once and then Thunderclap from then on. We still hope it’s an optional talent, not the only way warriors can AoE tank.
Q. Is there any intent to bring back the On A Pale Horse talent for death knights, possibly in a different tree?
A. Yes, On a Pale Horse is back as a sub-specialization-accessible Frost talent in our latest internal build.
Q. Will each Mage talent tree be on a level PvE and PvP footing, or do you plan to make them bias to specific modes?
A. The idea is to make them have equal footing. If that doesn’t work out, then we would prefer for one specialization to not be completely dead. But we want, for example, for players to choose Frost because they like Frost.
Q. With the 31-point tree, many talents still cost two or three points. Is this going to be changed, as it basically increases their cost?
A. For the most part, yes. There are some overpowered talents that don’t need the boost, but many of the others will have their effects increased.
Q. Slam's design is pretty archaic and not very fun. Is there any chance of Slam becoming an instant-attack baseline ability?
A. We think it makes the ability feel different. Slam as an instant attack isn’t very different from some of the other attacks. As it’s designed though, Fury shouldn’t use Slam at all without procs and Arms should only use it with the Improved Slam talent. We tried briefly making Slam a low-level ability, but weren’t happy with it.
Q. How will the Demon Soul talent work? Is it like a replacement for Demonology's Metamorphosis, another cooldown to pop, or...?
A. While Demonology has potentially two (with Metamorphosis and Demonic Empowerment), warlocks in general usually don’t have a power-up ability they can cast for burst damage in PvP or PvE. This is what it is intended to be.
Q. How do the mastery bonuses work now that they don't show up on the talent interface anymore?
A. The mastery bonuses will be trainable passive bonuses somewhere around level 75. Each talent specialization will have a different Mastery available on the trainer with a base potency and 0 Mastery Rating. The character sheet interface will have additional information on the additional potency gained from Mastery Rating.
Q. Why is Vampiric Touch being changed back after the 3.0 Replenishment revamp?
A. Talents like these are still in developmental flux. Players should expect most abilities to stay generally the same as they are today. For example, when revamping the trees we changed some ranks of talents down from five points to three, and didn’t re-balance the talent for three points. Most five-pointers that become three-pointers will be as strong as they were when they were five-pointers.
Q. Will druids finally get shapeshifting on a separate global cooldown like hunter aspects & warrior stances?
A. We have no plans to remove shapeshifting from the global cooldown. Shapeshifting can be used to escape Root and Polymorph mechanics, so it must be on a global cooldown.
Q. Do you consider Primal Wisdom or Shamanistic Rage "required" so Enhancement shaman won't run out of mana? Is running out of mana intended to be a danger?
A. Yes, once high-level Enhancement shaman have all their abilities and are using them in sequence, Primal Wisdom will be required to sustain a rotation. We’d like to let shaman use Shamanistic Rage for survival or emergency situations, rather than assuming rotational use for mana.
Q. Will mages get pets for Arcane and Fire specializations at any time?
A. No plans for this currently.
Q. With each expansion boss mechanics become more and more complex. Don't you think that bosses will be overcomplicated soon?
A. We have a lot of players who have been killing bosses for nearly six years now. We think we need to keep it fresh for them. Having normal vs. hard modes is our way of making sure the complexity doesn’t make those fights inaccessible for some players.
Q. Any thought to having Retribution paladins use spell power plate to help put Holy paladins on equal footing as other healers?
A. We think Retribution paladins needs to use strength plate. Changing this would require a lot of funky solutions, such as how we handle Crusader Strike damage, and trying to control Retribution from being too powerful a healer. We realize it’s odd to itemize spell power plate for one specialization, but we think all of the solutions to this issue are worse than just living with it.
Q. Have some of the old talents been made into new glyphs?
A. Usually when we cut a talent it’s because we thought it was a bad talent, but we might bring some talents that were so situational to fit in the new model back as glyphs. We are still designing glyphs. Players shouldn’t necessarily assume that any of their current glyphs are going to still be around. Some will, but many are changing.
Q. In general, do you expect mana-saving talents to be something all players take, or are they designed to be optional utility?
A. For healers, we expect players will take most of these talents (maybe not the ones related to taking damage or dealing damage though). For non-healers, we make sure all of them have reasonably reliable ways to restore mana, but these often come with the potential for damage-dealing loss. In that vein, the mana-saving talents can be thought of as damage-dealing talents, and nukers can take them if they think they impact their bottom line. After all, we all know that the only thing that matters at the end of the day is who won the meters. :)
Q. Will there be account-wide Achievements? If so, can we expect to see things like vanity gifts for having multiple characters?
A. It’s an idea we definitely want to do, but it’s pretty challenging technically, so it’s not on the immediate horizon. We can’t promise anything obviously, but I wouldn’t feel the need to get difficult Achievements on more than one character on the same account.
Q. I'm excited about the Smite mechanic in Discipline. Are you going to do anything about hit so that mechanic can be effective?
A. We had a talent to give you a bunch of spell hit in a beta build, but spell hit on your offensive spells is a hard sell in the new talent model. But yes, we want to do something about spell hit for the Discipline Archangel specialization, possibly move up Twisting Faith to a tier that Discipline can obtain it in Shadow (so your spirit would convert to hit as a Discipline/Shadow sub-specialization).
Q. If every specialization is intended to take their 31-point talent, why is it not baseline at the level you could acquire it?
A. Those talents are a good “brass ring” to work towards. They often change your character pretty dramatically when you get them, so it’s a fun moment. There is definitely an interesting philosophical discussion about talent trees and how many talents should be mandatory vs. optional. Some players would like a model where everything is on equal footing with everything else. Others want to make sure there are some safe decisions so that they don’t have to do tons of theory-crafting research every time they talent their character. We are trying to shoot for something in the middle where we have some expectation for how a particular spec will play (for example, we don’t want to have to develop and support the non-Chaos Bolt Destruction rotation) but players can still decide if say Blitz is something their Arms warrior will use or not.
Q. Are all characters getting 5% stun/fear reduction baseline since they are no longer talents?
A. We would rather adjust the crowd control durations to appropriate levels. Currently some crowd-control effects are so easy to get out of that only really layered crowd-control (using crowd control effects of different diminishing returns) really matters. We don’t want all of PvP to be kiting each other around with instant nukes and heals. Knowing what average durations are (rather than having some classes with duration reducers and some without) will let us judge the baseline better. We think players are individually just looking at their own trees now and thinking that they were made less powerful without realizing how across-the-board all the changes are.
Q. Some of the new talent trees for healers seem to emphasize a style of "mana regeneration by dealing damage." Is that intentional? If so, why?
A. Yes. In almost any situation, there are periods where heals are not urgently needed 100% of the time. Today, you probably just cast heals anyway in case someone takes damage, since mana doesn’t matter much. But if mana did matter, the “right” thing to do would be to do nothing. Talents such as Telluric Currents provide an active way to recharge mana while contributing damage.
Q. How does Smoke Bomb help me take on a Frost mage? Isn't Blizzard a pretty trivial counter to keep me in combat?
A. Keep you in combat, perhaps. But Frostbolt you? Polymorph you to stop you from killing the stunned healer that you just shrouded in smoke? Nope!
Q. Please talk about Lightwell. There has been much wailing about it on priest forums. Are you intent on keeping it in?
A. Lightwell is complicated because it deals very much with the healing philosophy we’re trying to resurrect in Cataclysm. Remember when your raid would make a conscious effort to survive before doing damage, would bring stacks of bandages and use them throughout the fight to save their healers mana? Lightwell is very strong – if not overpowered – in that environment.