Regional FlagRetribution nerfs in the latest beta build 3Source
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#0 - 2008/10/27 01:36:47 AM
I know many of you asked good questions before the posts hit their limit. I am not convinced that my answering many of these questions would calm anyone down, but I'll give it a shot. If not, when the paladin community has gotten it all out of their system, I'll still be here.

Also realize that there are probably a couple hundred questions at this point and I can't answer them all. Here are a few common themes:

I thought we were supposed to be bursty?
Yes, that's the design. It's also a tough design to nail because if you're too bursty the opponent doesn't even get to respond.

You reviewed our class last because you don't care.
We overhauled the entire class. We rebuilt the way Seals and Judgements work, and by and large it's a good change. Paladins got a lot of attention for Lich King. your response suggests to me that the correct way to balance the game in the future is to make a class terrible early on and then buff it so that players are happy and excited instead of fuming and disappointed. Trajectory is everything.

I thought you didn't want us to run out of mana.
We didn't want you to run out of mana in three hits, especially in a sustained dps fight. What we don't want is for a paladin to kill someone and move on to the next enemy without losing any mana. I'm a little surprised so many people deny this was going on or that it was a problem.

We think we have your mana in a good place now, but mana is one of those aspects of the game that requires a lot of adjustment and there are many classes right now who would still like us to further review how mana is working for their class. If you're running out of mana too fast, believe me, we'll hear about it and we'll adjust it if we weren't "surgical" enough this time around.

But we don't care about Battlegrounds.
A lot of people do care. And if you don't care about them right now, I'll warrant that's because they don't offer the rewards that Arenas or raiding do. This is something we want to address in the future.

Again, though, we think Ret was out of line in several situations. Other classes are OP in some situations too, and we have either recently nerfed them or are still discussing how we want to address those classes as well.

Look at all the other classes in here laughing at us.
Well, they're jerks. Many of them probably suspect they are OP too and have so far escaped the nerfbat. So far. We want Retribution to be a dangerous class to go up against. We don't want to see BGs with 30 Retadins on one side, which is actually something we were seeing. Yeah, I know it sucks that people say Lolet. It sucks when people say huntards too. That doesn't drive people away from playing either class. We're always going to have some amount of competition in this game, either directly in PvP or the damage race in PvE. If I can read 1200 angry posts from Ret pallies today, you can blow off some inane gloating from warlocks or warriors. We delete the trolling comments when we see them.

Why didn't we compensate Holy and Protection first?
We want Holy to have better dps than it did in BC, but that's a secondary consideration compared to them being good at healing (which we believe they are). We are also still committed to Protection being able to tank anything that a warrior can. Consider that the boss armor changes hurts warrior threat more than it does paladin threat. The net result should hopefully come out equal. So far I'm not aware of a boss fight in the game where a paladin MT struggles. As I said, though, this is something we're working on right now.

Why did I describe our initial attempts to nerf Ret as surgical?
Because that's what we tried to do. In retrospect, we were so worried about nerfing Ret too much that we ended up not fixing the problem. We should have done more sweeping changes initially.

Why did we say Ret was fine for so long?
Because we didn't want to have to nerf the spec. Ret players were having fun. We thought and hoped that some well publicized bugs were to blame for the excess damage. As I've said, if I wait to post until we're absolutely 100% certain, you're just not going to get as many posts. Many posters have said they appreciate getting occasional developer communication and insight. But that is going to come with some risk that things are going to change. As I said, I'll caveat it more in the future.

That you're somehow paying to beta test the game.
First, I don't really think we'll ever get game balance to a state where 90% of you would say "Yes, it's perfect! Don't touch a thing!" Second, it's an MMO. Things change. The game evolves. We are always going to be changing things on our end as well. Players would be just as happy as not enough changes as some of you are with too many changes.

You may also have noticed that we nerfed level 70 raiding and that the level 80 raids are pretty easy compared to our past instances. We wanted to make sure we weren't shining too harsh a light on balance differences until everyone had plenty of time to get used to the changes -- more time than even our large beta can offer. Nobody should get parked at the curb in Naxx, and by the time Ulduar and later instances come on line, I predict we will have made many balance changes.

We don't believe you because we've been at the bottom of the barrel before.
There's not much I can do to get you to believe me or not. I try to be honest so my words carry some weight, but I also try to joke around a little so you know I don't take myself too seriously. I don't know how many other ways to say that it sucks that your PvE wasn't competitive in BC or that you weren't a major Arena force. That's not where we wanted you to end up and not where we want you to end up this time. I'm not going to show you my daily tasks or how I spend my time so that you can oversee my progress and make sure it doesn't happen again. Sorry. The best thing you can do is point out situations where you're struggling so we can investigate. Most of you haven't even had a chance to test with these changes yet.

You're nerfing paladins because of PvP.
Read my initial post again. Ret PvE dps was also too high.

Our numbers are different from yours.
That's going to happen. We compare data when we can. I think you'd agree that the game balance would be pretty interesting if we automatically made adjustments whenever anyone suggested them.

You said I wouldn't get banned.
You're still going to get banned for explicit language, death threats or the like (thank you very much for those BTW). Try and make your point without resorting to text that will violate the posting regulations. Call me a jerk, if it will make you feel better. It boggles my mind that I actually need to point out that AIDS comments and the like aren't appropriate. If you're smart enough to raid or do Arenas on your character, you're smart enough to know how to make an intelligent post.

Added one more for clarification:

You only tested in Naxx, but paladins do bonus damage against undead.
Yes, we know that. We tested under a lot of different situations with and without undead and with different levels of gear and buffs present. I use Patchwerk as an example a lot because players understand that it is a very simple boss fight in which there is no running around, adds or damage to the raid.

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#143 - 2008/10/27 02:05:57 AM
I am sorry if I can't answer all your questions. Here are a few.

Q u o t e:
im not one to tell others how to do their jobs, but GC, you could have handled this whole situation MUCH better.. that's all i'll say.

I don't want to derail the thread, but if you have suggestions, please share them. Sometimes we need to make changes like this and figuring out better ways that don't shock the player base is useful.

Q u o t e:
you told everyone at blizcon you and the devs were happy with paladins at level 80, you said that you werent going to nerf us because of level 70 pvp, and that you wanted ret to be good in both pvp and pve, and to be within 5% of other dps classes.

What the hell happened to that?

We saw a lot of crazy numbers coming out of Naxx and Arenas. But when we looked at the data, we saw ridiculous crit numbers and other data that suggested the results were because of some of the bugs, such as the one where re-equipping a weapon could stack the bonus. We fixed that problem and hoped it would change things. But when we started running some of our own tests, we thought the numbers were still too high. We made a few changes, such as the Divine Storm change from Holy, and hoped that would fix it. It didn't. It was a pretty frustrating moment knowing we were going to have to come back out here and tell you that we nerfed you again.

Q u o t e:
don't expect GC to answer important questions like have you tested arenas? or what about mana burn or viper sting? and what about there being no int on our gear? he won't it's not going to happen because that would expose their nerfs for what they are a total gimp of the ret pally class.

You shouldn't have to stack mana and we don't expect you to put Int on your gear. Judgements of the Wise is still a good ability. But in its pre-nerfed state, we could do sustained dps in a PvE setting without *ever* going out of mana. In PvP, we might as well take the mana bar off the UI because it was just irrelevant to hitting any buttons.

Now I hear that some of you are saying you are having mana problems. Since we're not seeing that, we need to figure out the root of the discrepany. There could be another bug or a raid buff or something that is giving more mana than it should so that in some situations you never run out of mana and in some you're starved. If that's happening, we'll keep investigating and try to figure out why your experience is so different.

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#1185 - 2008/10/27 08:33:35 PM
Q u o t e:
So anyhoo, since we all know all this QQ wont amount up to anything (since i doubt they read all 50 pages of this thread, not that they care also, mind you)....

No, silly me, I did read it all.

There were some good responses, and I thank you for it. There were some good questions too, and I will try to find some time to answer them (reading them took a very long time).

While I do find some of the outrage to be over the top considering so few people have even been able to try the changes (which themselves were severe but hardly life-threatening), overall it was interesting to see the reaction. I do hope that some of it was caused, as several of you suggested, by the unfortunate timing of having a beta go live at the same time the forums went down. (Before you smell a conspiracy, do you really think I would have shifted over to the live forums if that were true?)

It's going to be challenging to keep discussing class balance in the Live forums the way I have in beta just given the magnitude of posts overall. I'm not sure how to have a conversation with so many thousands of people at once. :)

It is rewarding to once again be reminded that people really care so much about the game. Whether you choose to believe it or not, so do we.

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#1244 - 2008/10/27 09:09:56 AM
I'm not sure how many more ways to explain this, but I'll try again.

Q u o t e:
And yet, here we are. It's not just the nerfs people are angry about it is the way YOU lied to us, point bank, about it.

I never lied. I'm not sure why that is such a sticking point. I almost always say "we think" or "we believe" or "at this time." And even if I don't offer those caveats, we are allowed to change our minds. I never said "We won't ever nerf Ret." That would be a lie, and the risk of such is why I would never say it.

Q u o t e:
You said our PvE DPS was fine and squared away.

I thought it was. I never said "Expect no more changes to Ret." And even if I had, wouldn't that be a pretty ridiculous thing for me to say? What you're actually telling me, whether you are intending to or not, is never, ever say anything or it will be held against me down the road. This is why politicians end up talking so weasely, and I don't think any of us really want that.

I know everyone has antecdotal data, but I saw a Hyjal parse today in which the Ret paladin was #3 on dps AND #4 on healing. In Hyjal. Where mages, druids, locks and hunters are just AE'ing everything down. If that was the only anomaly I had seen, it wouldn't have been a big deal. But of course that has become the trend, not the outlier.

Q u o t e:
We trusted you when you said the nerfs would be small and surgical. Then not a week later you muppets run in with a chainsaw and carve up the whole thing.

I disagree that you trusted me. *You* might have, and I appreciate it if that was the case. The paladin community at large did not. They were outraged that they would be nerfed. The posts are still around - you can find them. This is usually the case when we have to nerf a class.

But I digress. The initial round of nerfs was not as severe as the most recent ones. When those changes didn't fix the problem, we had to make more severe ones. Think about it: if we thought the first round of nerfs wouldn't have worked, we would have just made big changes then rather than have to go through the whole episode twice. Heavens forbid if these changes aren't enough and we have to make any additional ones.

As I mentioned previously, if Ret had been underperforming and we recently announced buffs, I think you'd find dozens of pages of celebration here. That tells me this has a lot more to do with the... I don't know... the psychology, the humiliation or whatever of being nerfed than it does the actual numbers. It goes so far as to suggest a Machiavellian strategy: keep everyone's damage supressed and then buff everyone enormously right at the end of beta. The fans would go wild. Yeah that's cynical and manipulative and we'd never actually do it. But when you consider what I'm dealing with right now, it is attractive. :)