Regional FlagNot understanding the Cata goals and ideals.Source
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Feanorion
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#0 - 2010/02/14 03:52:33 PM
Big changes are in store come Cataclysm. I do not understand why; I do not agree with what I have seen. Completely revamping a workable, comfortable, flawed-but-functional combat system should ONLY be done with a clear mandate from the consumers as well as with a clear and focused goal in mind.

There is no sign of the former.
There is no evidence of the latter.

Why re-design the entire combat system? What is the goal? What can possibly make it worth the risk of breaking down the whole system? Why risk sending the entirety of WoW into the ash bin of history alongside that Star Wars mmorpg and countless other failed or time-lost MMORPG's? What we have works. What we have is perfectly viable. It is not perfect, but there does not exist anywhere in the universe (aside from Scarlett Johansson) true perfection. Everything (other than--- you know---) is varying shades of "good-enough".

This design team has struggled mightily with simple adjustments to existing mechanics. What would lead me or anyone else to have blind faith in a thus far undemonstrated level of flawless technical skill from this design team? Why risk killing the goose that lays the golden eggs? What design objective is worth this risk?

I have invested a disturbing amount of hours and emotional connection to these fictional characters. As a former RP'er I have more of me, personally invested in them than other raiders, for whom the toon is simplya vehicle for the gear they have earned and an engine driving them to further clearing of content. Mine are not "toons"; I refer to them as "characters". I am loathe to see their existence risked over nothing more pressing than a design team's attempt to justify their continued employment and desire to "leave their mark" on WoW. Making the game easier for people who barely play and are only dimly aware of game mechanics is not a strong selling point to me. The people for whom the changes seem aimed at will often not be aware of the changes AT ALL.

I question--- for the good and the health of the game we all play and love--- the direction and focus of Blizzard's design team. The past preference shown to the less-than-1% of WoW population who are Arena 2000+ players in the area of balance was one such example of flawed focus. Future catering to people who do not care enough to learn basic game mechanics and theorycraft, at the risk of breaking the game for people who have been loyal and dedicated hard-core fans and subscribers for half a decade or so, seems foolish and silly to me. It is the reverse of the customer-relation philosophy most service industry organizations exhibit. The norm is to treat the most loyal and dedicated consumers with the most deference; Blizzard seems to crap on the most loyal in search of appeasing more and more casual players who may or may not stick around. I feel like we, the dedicated, are taken for granted. They just assume that no matter how badly they treat us, no matter how deaf their ears are to our desires, next month we'll pony up another $15.

So far, they have been right.
It will not always be so.

What I suppose I am looking for is a truly justified reasoning and rationale for this shocking and seemingly completely unnecessary divergence from what has worked for years. I have never asked for a blue response, but for once, I do. I want to be sold. I want to be given assurance that these guys are not going to kill the game, drive off the masses that are what I find attractive in the first place. I want a reason to believe that the goals and aims are worth the risks associated with the cataclysmic (pun fully intended) changes in store.

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Blue Poster
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#47 - 2010/02/14 06:40:06 PM
I think some of you are misinterpreting a couple of the Cataclysm goals.

We're not "overhauling the combat system." We are changing some lame stats to be more interesting (like Intellect) and removing some that just added complexity to the game without adding depth (like armor pen, which is pretty much just damage modified by how much physical damage you do). We are adding more health across the board, but that's to add a few seconds in between the time you take damage and the time you die, which we think will improve both PvE and PvP.

We're also not trying to "dumb down stats." Complexity and depth are two different things. Depth is really important to us. Without it, the game starts to get predictable and stale. Complexity can be a route to depth, but it doesn't have to be. The game of go has very simple rules but almost limitless depth (you can use chess if you aren't familiar with go). The game tic-tac-toe has very simple rules and almost no depth. It's hard to come up with examples that lots of players will get for games with too much complexity and not enough depth, mostly because those games either never become widely popular or don't endure. Ever heard the phrase "quick to learn but a lifetime to master?" That's depth.

Yes, we are messing with talent trees, but a simple skimming of the forums should suggest why. There are too many talents that have little depth but are mandatory (most of the talents right about the 51-pointer). There are possibly interesting talents that you can't afford because of the passive dps / healing / tanking increasers. There are also modifications we need to make just because you'll have 5 more talent points. There are also talents that we have modified along the course of LK in the name of closer spec balance that are now out of budget. We're not deleting any talent trees and starting over. We're trying to make them more interesting and more fun.

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#156 - 2010/02/15 06:13:25 PM
Q u o t e:
Will we keep simple talents that staticly reduce cooldown or cast times?
Will talents that staticly increase walk/run speed by 15% count as interesting?
Will talents that staticly increase or decrease the length of time a dot or hot ticks for count as interesting?


Yes, all of those are "interesting." Sure reducing cooldown or cast time is just a dps (or healing) increase, but it does so in a way that requires more on the part of the player than just passively boosting dps (or healing). It changes your rotation depending on whether you have that talent or not. It makes your dps tree play differently from your healing tree.

Everyone can come up with the example of "I think X talent is really fun, but I only have 2 free points in my build, so I can't get it." We'd like to see that 2 be a much larger number, like 10 or more.

Another way to think about it is that every talent in say the Elemental tree also says "...and increases your spell damage." That's the bonus you get just for investing in the tree.

Talents are one of the few choices with regard to customizing their character that players really get. Gear is often subject to random elements or even whether you have access to the content or not. Everyone gets the same spells as they level. We can't get away from cookie-cutter builds completely, but we can have more of the type that say "and spend your last several points wherever you want."

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Blue Poster
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#158 - 2010/02/15 06:25:52 PM
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Spirit is the lamest stat of them all and yet you are going to force that on all the healers. So I guess what your goal here is is to improve the quality of life for everyone else, while healers still get second rate gear and stats. Neat.

I don't know how you guys can't see that MP5 is superior to spirit. MP5 doesn't need talents to function, and it works at maximum capacity 100% of the time. Spirit needs talents to function at all and you have to stop casting for too long to even see any increased regen.


I was about to write what I often do about healer mana management, which is that without mana being a consideration, healing is boring because you can just use your most powerful spell non-stop. Then I read your second paragraph, and it seems like you sort of agree with that. Imagine then that both MP5 and Spirit are going away and being replaced by a new stat called "Regen." Then imagine that a few weeks down the road, we decided that "Spirit" was a sexier name than "Regen."

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#501 - 2010/02/26 01:46:06 AM
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I don't care if they intended this whole entire expansion to be a zerg-fest or if it was an accident. That is not the point or the issue. The point is that it IS a zerg-fest with few exceptions. Why it is so is irrelevant.


We're a little off topic here now, but it's really only a zerg fest when you overgear the content. Many people quickly overgeared the content because Naxx was available early and was relatively easy. Halls of Reflection is not a zerg fest for players not in Icecrown raiding gear. Shattered Halls was probably a zerg fest for characters in Sunwell gear.

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Blue Poster
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#502 - 2010/02/26 01:50:00 AM
Q u o t e:
Although Blizzard is one of the most successful companies in the market, giving us games of the highest quality over the years, they certainly aren't perfect and there are some things you can obviously see they have failed. For example, arenas were just a really bad idea they're trying to backpedal from now. I do understand the appeal and how many people enjoy it but it is something that doesn't really fits with the game, Blizzard's and the player's vision about what warcraft is, and it has been perhaps the biggest, most time-consuming problem they've had to face through WoW's lifespan. They've pretty much admitted it so as I said Blizzard isn't perfect.


We definitely make mistakes, but you are mischaracterizing how we feel about Arena. The problem was that the initial BC Arena gear was so easy to obtain, that it attracted many players to Arenas who really had no business being in there or in fact didn't even enjoy it. They just went where the loot was. In LK, we offered the same or better loot through raiding and lots of people went raiding.

We like Arena. It isn't going anywhere. We just want to reserve it for people who actually like it, not for those who feel like they have to do it.

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Blue Poster
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#545 - 2010/02/26 04:27:05 PM
Q u o t e:
I know that, I was just pointing out you're trying to backpedal from it not completely getting rid of it. Yourself and several other devs have said that Battlegrounds are coming back to the front of pvp (which is where they should be) and Tom Chilton (I think) recently stated how much effort you have put into that to get minimal returns and it's something that up to this day is still lightyears more imbalanced than the PvE aspect of the game. When only a few comps work well in PvP but on the PvE side it's mostly "bring the player not the class", it can't be taken as an accomplishment.


You're trying to read between the lines too much here instead of focusing on what was actually said. We recognize some players like to PvP, but like BGs over Arenas. They like the strategic goals instead of just killing people, or they like the larger fights, or they like the sense of Horde vs. Alliance instead of fighting some random blood elf. We haven't been able to offer competitive rewards from BGs because we didn't have a way to measure skill and we weren't going to return to a horrible grinding experience to get PvP epics. In raiding and in Arenas, the best rewards are reserved for the best players. That's the only model that's going to work in BGs as well, but now we have developed a way for that to work.

We did want to downplay the influence of comp on raiding, in part because raiding is a major time commitment and often the basis of your guild or your entire social circle in WoW. We like the role of comp in Arena, and I don't think we'll ever shift to a design where you grab 3 random people and go. We'd like to get more specs in there for sure, but that's not the same thing. If you need a soundbite, bring the class AND the player for Arenas.

Put it this way... is your best friend in WoW also a warrior? If so, you should have no trouble raiding with them. You're probably not going to be able to Arena with them unless one of you rolls an alt. You should be able to do BGs with them, even when they're rated.

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Blue Poster
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#547 - 2010/02/26 04:34:06 PM
Q u o t e:

Have no business being in there? Is this really the view of the head of the Blizzard dev team? How awful, I can't believe my eyes.

I would love to know what Michael Morhaime thinks of this exclusionary statement? In what sense for example is it in keeping with the mantra "Make it fun".


Players who go do something they hate because they think it's the only way to get the rewards they want are not having fun by definition. We attracted a lot of players to Arena who then got frustrated when they lost a lot of fights or couldn't progress or had an unworkable comp. If those players hadn't felt like Blizzard was telling them they were supposed to go participate in the Arena, I don't think it would have left a bitter taste in their mouth.

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Blue Poster
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#548 - 2010/02/26 04:35:58 PM
Q u o t e:

Not sure if this was what you were alluding to, but I consider this to be indicative of the same mistake being applied to raiding in WotLK. You went too far out of your way to make it too easy and accessible for people, and too many that went, and you do like to tout those raider participation numbers!, are simply "going where the loot is". Many don't care about raiding much at all. They get no particular thrill from boss kills or loot. It's risk/reward as it's most basic and uninspiring.


I'm sure there are some of those players out there, but I don't think there are many. Why? Because we don't hear from them often (with the exception of PvP players who feel the need to get PvE gear, and they have a more legit point). On the other hand, we hear all the time from players who don't like Arenas but feel the need to enter them anyway.

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Blue Poster
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#550 - 2010/02/26 04:40:15 PM
Q u o t e:
Why don't you apply the same philosophy to raiding? I'm sure there are other players like me, who would rather get gear from 5 or 10 man dungeons rather than 25 man raids. But we have to do 25 man raids, because that is where the best gear is.


We don't think it's possible to tune 5-player encounters on the same razor's edge. Things like class composition would end up trumping player skill when you can only bring 5 players. "Oops, our healer can't cleanse disease. Guess we're done." As a result, the system would tend towards being grindy... which it sort of does already for the player who wants a set of tier 10 without stepping foot into a raid.

We're pretty generous with gear by most MMO standards, and even compared to the shipping version of WoW. But players like to be challenged and rewarded for meeting those challenges. Currently we think we can only offer that level of challenge in rated Arenas and high-end raiding, but soon rated Battlegrounds will join them.

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Blue Poster
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#552 - 2010/02/26 04:45:14 PM
Q u o t e:
The cake is a lie.

SH was a available at release in TBC. Halls of Reflection was any instance released half why throught the expansion. If you want to compared HoR to anything in BC you should compared it to MgT.

Oh and by the way, all Wotlk have been zerg fest no matter what gear you're wearing. We zerg'd through all the heroic in November 2008 with 24k health and 2K dps. There's nothing heroic about wotlk heroics.

SH was never a zerg fest in any gear during BC.


Magister's Terrace was hard when it first came out. Shattered Halls was hard when it first came out. I don't think it was that hard in BT or Sunwell gear. Likewise, I don't think Heroic Ahn'kahet would have felt easy when you were running it in all 200 blue gear. If you have 232 or 251 gear, it's not too surprising that it's a zerg fest.

That said, we made both AE tanking and AE damage pretty potent in LK. Naxx, especially Naxx 25, was probably a little too easy in that regard. It's possible we will keep tanking as is, but chill out the AE damage so that the dps feel compelled to go single target on some pulls, and the risk to tanks is dying if they try and tank too many things at once. Still, once you overgear the content, you overgear the content.

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Blue Poster
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#553 - 2010/02/26 04:48:32 PM
Q u o t e:
Well, on that note, how are the rated battlegrounds going to look in terms of rewards? Are PVE players going to have to think about doing them for gear, or can you assure us that the dungeon gear at the time will be better for raiding? It seems like "new" things are promoted fairly heavily and sometimes overdone in terms of rewards at first in this game before scaling back.


They should feel like parallel progression paths. The BGs won't have their own set of gear. Where we get into trouble sometimes is we like for someone who has worked to complete a set of PvP gear to be able to use it in a raid until they get more appropriate PvE gear. It sucks to have an awesome set of epics all enchanted and then have to strip down to blues when you switch content. The same is true of PvE gear in Arena, but sometimes the PvE gear ends up being too good when players feel they can skip the resilience, which they can do ironically when it's so easy to kill people that defenses aren't valued.