Regional Flag[Rogue] Highlighting some major issuesSource
avatar
Lurine
Target Source
#1 - 2012/06/13 10:59:00 PM
For starters, this isn't intended to cover every single possible issue with us, this is intended to only address some of the most glaring issues that I see. Much of what will be said here has been said in other rogue threads, this is just trying to collect some of the major complains in one place. Some of my statements are sweeping generalizations, but they are made with the intent of highlighting some of the main issues. I don't try to propose any solutions to the problems because I'm sure the devs are smart enough to figure that out themselves. I only present what the problems are and why they are a problem.

Homogenization of specs
The issue:
Overall, the rogue specs have lost a fair amount of identity with the MoP changes. This is most drastically seen in Subtlety changes, due to a combination of losing things that were exclusive to the spec as well as the changes that were made to simplify it. The changes that were made to simplify the spec had the disadvantage of making it much more like to combat. Many players (myself included) enjoyed the complexity of the spec during cata so the loss of it was rather sad. However, this is not limited just to sub, combat and assassination have also drifted closer together due to the removal of some of the passive talents that gave the specs flavor with the MoP changes.

Why this is an issue:
Rogues are one of the four pure classes in the game. These are the four classes that can only fulfill the dps role in a raid environment. As the specs of a pure class become homogenized, it begins to feel as if you don't have three full specs anymore, and at in worst case, it feels as if there is only one spec. Since the hybrid tax is no more this issue becomes exacerbated when there is a hybrid class that also only has 1 or 2 dps specs, but additionally has specs that can do other things. It basically comes down to feeling like you are only playing 2/3rds of a hybrid class. It is for this reason that the homogenization of rogue specs is so frustrating to the community.

Spec play speed
The issue:
Due to the massive stat deflation at 90 in addition to the loss of some of the passive talents that specs had during Cata the rogue specs play very slowly in mists.

Why this is an issue:
Playing a class where multiple gcd's pass while you have nothing to do is not fun gameplay. On the opposite side of things, having a spec that is gcd locked (as combat can become in DS) is also not fun gameplay. Ideally, all of the specs should play at a speed where you do not have to hit a button every single gcd yet at the same time do not feel like you are watching paint dry as you play.

Passive Damage
The issue:
This issue is not about buttons that increase our damage passively (eg Sanguinary Vein, Slice and dice), which is an issue in its own right. This issue is about how much of our damage comes from sources a player has no control over. Currently, on live somewhere in the range of 50-60% of rogue damage comes from passive sources (autoattacks, poisons, etc..). Currently at 90 in beta, passive damage makes up a larger portion of rogue damage, somewhere in the 65-80% range.

Why this is an issue:
As passive damage increases for a spec each individual button pressed by a player matters less to the overall damage you do. Thus, due to the increase in passive damage, special attacks don't feel nearly as special because they don't seem to matter as much. Additionally, as the spec becomes more passive, the difference between a good player and a poor player shrinks. It makes it much less satisfying to play a spec really, really well when you realize someone can put very little effort into playing and can do closer to your numbers than a spec that has much less passive damage.

--Continued in the next post--

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Game Designer
Target Source
#23 - 2012/06/14 02:20:00 AM
Homogenization - to a large extent, this is fallout from the decision to make spec choice one about rotation and move utility into talents or the class as a whole. We felt like we had been moving in the direction of having 30 classes (which would be 34 in Mists) and wanted to get back to our roots a bit and have a rogue feel like a rogue. I realize that isn't going to sit well with a player who wants Combat to play wildly different from Subtlety. If you feel like the combat rotations of the 3 rogue specs play too similarly, then that is useful feedback for us, but realize that it's going to be fairly subjective.

Play speed - the real issue here is the game design that requires us to reset player power to a large extent every expansion. I'll go ahead and call it a design flaw, because I think it is, but it's also a really difficult one to address and have WoW still feel like WoW. Our reward system is structured around continually offering more powerful gear, yet our combat mechanics begin to break down when say your crit chance approaches 100% and your haste becomes so high that you can fill every GCD. It's fine if say crit chance is 70% at the final tier of content, but that means we have to start every expansion with small crit chances (or have lame upgrades). It absolutely sucks though to see your combat ratings plummet when you gain a level (which is supposed to be a fun, exciting thing that you want to do). We'd love to come up with a solution where you feel more powerful at 86 than you did at 85, but math works against us. The only silver lining is that when you get to level 90 and accrue some good gear, you'll start to feel like your old self again. We'll keep trying to come up with something better.

Passive damage - there are advantages and disadvantages of passive damage. One of the big ones, for us, is it ensures that the best players can never move too far ahead of the worst players. It's fine if good players can do much higher damage than bad players. It makes our lives very difficult if the best players do say ten times the damage of bad players, given similar gear and everything else. We also like the differentiation we get from having classes with a larger or smaller percentage of passive damage. As long as you can still improve your performance as your skill and gear increase, and you can with rogues, we think the system will work.

PvP talents - I feel like we have addressed this concern extensively. If you are never called upon to snare adds, move quickly, hit something at range, pop a survival cooldow, crowd control a dangerous creature, or interrupt a dangerous cast, then you're doing relatively easy content. Talents aren't going to be as interesting in that situation, but then again neither are gear, skill, group comp, and all of those other things that can make the difference between success and failure when the latter is a possibility. Most classes still have a few talents that are more damage or healing though. We did take a few abilities for various classes and move them into the talent trees, but we felt we had to in order to make the talents powerful. We can make a CC potent when you have to choose one. It would have to be weak if you were able to layer it along with other forms of CC. The way we figured, if there was an ability you really wanted, you still had access to it, but you could also choose to give it up for another ability that is (hopefully) just as good but a little different.

Breaking the rules - I regret a little making that comment, because I feel like it's the kind of thing that gets lawyered. "GC said the theme was breaking the rules. If we can prove that the rules aren't being broken, then they will be forced to redesign the talents." Yes, your class, like every class, has some inherent disadvantages. Yes, it would be easier to play your class if we removed those limitations. (Rogue target switching would be much easier if cps were on the rogue.) But part of mastering your class is being able to overcome those challenges. An analogy I use a lot is that racing games would be easier without curves. Those tracks would also be pretty boring. It's also the argument you used above about passive damage - if there are no limitations to overcome, then it's harder to distinguish yourself.

I realize I didn't say "yep we agree and here is how we're going to buff you," but you have to realize that isn't going to happen very often. If we thought a class mechanic needed changing, we would go ahead and change it. We wouldn't wait for a request to change it. I try to avoid responses like this because it can bum players out if they don't see a bunch of incoming buffs, but the alternative is not many posts from us, which can also bum players out.