Blizzard’s Perspective on Healing
My point was more that when it all comes down to it, healing is generally limited by one of three things: 1) Running out of mana, 2) Running out of GCDs, and 3) Just doing the wrong thing in the wrong situation.
The type 3 fights are generally the most interesting for a healer, but you’re also not going to find every fight like that, and it might be exhausting if they were. I am generally referring to fights where you shouldn’t heal at a certain time, or you need to move at a certain time, or you need to heal the right person at exactly the right time.
Currently we think the game has strayed too far towards the type 2 style of healing, where if you miss a single global, your target might die. This may not be the case if you are on Naxxramas milk runs, but it was certainly the case in Sunwell and other more challenging content. Since you must heal for your max amount every GCD, and the penalty for failing that heal (i.e. wiping) is probably worse than the penalty for overhealing, the healing game feels very spammy. More situational or efficient heals lose out compared to heals that maximize throughput. Coordination among healers doesn’t feel particularly necessary because overhealing isn’t a big deal. Paying attention to what is going on in the fight is a luxury because you need to keep those max casts coming.
However, part of backing out of that means carving enough bandwidth out so that players can make decisions about who to heal and which spell to use. The key word is “decisions.” A rogue makes a decision about when to blow cooldowns or pop a Healthstone. A warrior tank makes a decision about when to blow Last Stand or sometimes even Taunt. If all a priest is doing is using CoH and PoM on every cooldown and filling in the space with Flash Heal, or if all a paladin is doing is spamming HL and using DP every cooldown, those aren’t interesting decisions — in fact they are the kind of thing that can be macroed and macros are often (though not always) a warning sign that the player isn’t or doesn’t have to decide which ability to use next.
There will always be some simple “gear check” style fights. Those have their place, particularly to communicate to your group that perhaps you aren’t yet ready. But they don’t all have to be that way.
[...] Here is a great paladin decision: “Should I heal that guy who likely won’t die in the next couple of seconds or does that dependable druid have hots on him already?”
Currently the answer is: “I can afford to waste the mana, so who cares?”
Note that I am not saying you need to necessarily look at the target’s active spells to know the answer. If you heal with the same people for very long, you form a good idea of what they are doing. In pugs you might need more explicit rules for who heals whom, but again, you can currently afford to be so sloppy with your mana that it’s not worth the effort.
Dual Specs and Sub-80 Characters
With new features we have learned that players tend to be much more forgiving if we are too stringent at first and relax requirements over time, than if we give away too much and end up having to “nerf” a feature that turned out to be overly generous. Make sure to ready the complte Q/A with Ghostcrawler regarding Dual Specs.
Warrior Tanking Issues
We still are not convinced that warrior tanks are operating at some huge deficit compared to other tanks. There are going to be situations where one or the other classes are going to feel easier as tanks, just because the abilities and mechanics are still different despite all of our homogenization (and we really don’t want to homogenize any more).
I think there are some quality of life issues we can improve for warriors. Heroic Strike is definitely one of them. It does its job in letting you convert excess rage to threat without consuming a global cooldown, but it requires a lot of extra button pushes. It is something we are discussing.
Warlock Voidwalker Tanking
I would not expect the Voidwalker to continue to be an excellent tank for challenging raid content.
The health boost was largely for PvP reasons and the damage avoidance was to make up for limitations in pet AI and master control, not to let you opt out of having to manage tons of incoming damage on your main tank.
Death Knights Removing HoTs
This (the hot removal of Blood Plague) is something we are definitely taking a hard look at for 3.1. Plague Strike is intentionally weak because of this ancillary effect, but that also leads to DKs not wanting to use a core ability except when doing PvP against hot-based healers (which pretty much means druids). DK survivability and utility in PvP are definitely not something we are overly worried about at the moment. [...] I meant that DKs have plenty going for them in PvP even if they could no longer remove a whole stack of Lifebloom.
Mutilate Nerf Explained
An Overkill change would have required more redesign of the talents and abilities than we were willing to make for a small patch like this. We’re also unconvinced it would have fixed the problem alone.
Basically, it might have helped stealth burst, but wouldn’t have helped with unstealthed burst, which was still too high in our opinion. Two Mutilates and a Cold Blood Eviscerate within one Kidney Shot duration is a ton of damage, and is possible with unglyphed Vigor and no Overkill. Add a partner or an interrupt or whatever and it can mean death for most players in very few GCDs.
Overkill and glyphed Vigor are something we will probably look at for 3.1, depending on how the current changes shake out.
Mutilate / Dirty Deeds Bug
There did seem to be a bug with Dirty Deeds affecting Mutilate damage, and I believe it was hotfixed yesterday (13 Feb). Mutilate should now be doing lower damage vs. poisoned targets in all cases.
Rogue poison damage had at least two bugs in the system when Lich King launched. When we fixed those bugs, rogue damage dropped significantly. There is speculation that the same thing is true of Dirty Deeds — that because Dirty Deeds was inflating poison damage more than we realized that rogue damage will drop too much with the Mutilate changes and Dirty Deeds bug fix.
We do not have that concern at this time. We are happy with Mutilate’s extra damage to poisoned targets to be 20% with or without Dirty Deeds. We plan to increase rogue PvE damage in other ways, such as through the announced (but not finalized) Hunger for Blood, Killing Spree and Lightning Reflexes changes in 3.1.
I suspect the Dirty Deeds bug was introduced at the same time as the Mutilate nerf in 3.09, but can’t know for sure without a lot of digging. (I say that because I suspect the Dirty Deeds talent had to recalculate bonus damage and we neglected to change this calculation when we changed Mutilate itself.) I’ll report back when and if I have time to investigate or if someone else at Blizzard knows the answer off the top of their head.
We are skeptical that the Mutilate change and Dirty Deeds hotfix will be the death knell for rogues in PvP, but we will keep an eye on what happens with these changes in place.
The 2009 blizzard arena tournament has now been officially announced! Check out the initial blue post regarding the tournament below.
We’re pleased to announce that the 2009 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament is nearly here. Starting next week (February 17, 2009), players will be able to sign up to compete in this year’s exciting competition. The tournament will feature an online qualifier played on our special tournament realms. Top teams will proceed to their respective regional finals and compete for a chance to reach the global world championship – with cash prizes totaling over $200,000.
These realms have been outfitted with level 80 character templates and the latest epic gear from Wrath of the Lich King. As an added bonus, we have included exclusive rewards that players can earn by participating in the tournament, including an Armored Murloc in-game pet. Top teams will also contend for a chance to achieve the “Vanquisher” title for their live characters.
If you would like to demonstrate your arena prowess, or simply want a chance to earn the exclusive loot, please check back next week for more details – including eligible countries – and register!
Free character moves.
All PvP, RP, and RPPvP transfers are scheduled to close on Tuesday, February 3, at 5:00 pm PST provided our transfer goals are not reached prior to this time.
You can begin your transfer by visiting the Character Move page located here: https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/account/character-move.html
Source A Realms (PvP):
Bloodscalp (Horde transfers only)
Cho’gall (Horde transfers only)
Destination A Realms (PvP):
Source B Realms (RP):
Destination B Realm (RP):
Source C Realms (RPPvP):
Destination C Realms:
Wyrmrest Accord (RPPvE)
We will be offering free character moves from select PvE realms below beginning on Thursday, January 29, at 6:00 p.m. PST. These transfers are scheduled to close on Monday, February 2, at 6:00 p.m. PST provided our transfer goals are not reached prior to this time.
You can begin your transfer Thursday evening by visiting the Character Move page located here: https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/account/character-move.html
Source D Realms (PvE):
Destination D Realm (PvE):
Upcoming free server transfers.
Source A (PvP)
Thaurissan (Horde transfers only)
Destination A (PvP)
Source B (PvP)
Destination B (PvP)
Source C (PVP)
Mal’Ganis (Horde transfers only)
Destination C (PvP)
Aggramar (Alliance Transfers Only)
Alleria (Alliance Transfers Only)
Lightbringer (Alliance Transfers Only)
Finally, a fix is in the works!
For the last several weeks, our players have been experiencing periodic latency in both outdoor Northrend areas and Naxxramas, and we wanted to provide you with several updates on what we’re doing to resolve these issues. As many players have discovered, the outdoor Northrend latency has been tied to activity in Wintergrasp. We are actively working on a server-side fix that should address the high latency experienced in the outdoor world when Wintergrasp is active. This fix is currently in testing on internal test realms and we anticipate that we’ll be able to push it to live realms in the near future. Concerning Naxxramas, optimizations are being made that will address both the latency and disconnection issues affecting players while in that zone. These optimizations will be included with the next minor content patch.
We appreciate your patience as we work to address these issues.
The daily blue! Most of these changes will be implemented in the upcoming patch 3.0.8, which will be on the PTR very shortly.
We are looking at the benefits of haste (or lack thereof) for all melee right now. If anything there aren’t enough stats available to make items distinct, so rather than swap out a less desirable stat with a more desirable one, we’d rather make the less desirable one desirable.
It is slightly confusing. Wintergrasp has been reworked in 3.0.8. From what I have been told, players start off at Recruit Rank if they are in the zone and require a certain number of kills to get to Corporal and use vehicles. They get 1 Mark at Recruit, 2 at Corporal, and 3 at 1st Lt. So the only change is that being in the zone now gives you a mark.
Enchanting Materials Changed
In BC we thought that dust was too common and enchants were basically gated by the cost and availability of shards. We wanted to adjust this for LK and in retrospect overcompensated, such that dust is now the rare, limiting reagent.
As Excrusiate points out, this should be better next patch.
Protection in PvP
Ultimately, we’d love to get Prot paladins as viable as Ret or Holy, but we realize we have long way to go.
Upcoming Hymn Changes
We still have plans to make some changes to the Hymns, but changes like that typically A) require a lot of discussion, B) are more technically intensive changes (which also can lead to bugs if not thoroughly tested) or both.
PW: Shield Bugs
Absorbs not (always) working is a known issue and should be easy to fix.
General Utility Discussion
You can only take that “priests are versatile” design too far or yes you will get into them either being better than everyone or jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none.
You have to look at the tools the priest has. Prayer of Mending is an amazing spell, and nobody has anything like that. Binding Heal is an interesting spell that will perhaps see more use after the Circle nerf. PW:Shield, SW:Death, Mass Dispel and Shadowfiend are all unusual mechanics that don’t directly map to another class.
For us, it always comes down to questions such as: Will Holy priests get invited to heal 5-player groups, raids and (in a perfect world) Arena teams? Will a raid feel like they are giving up something to bring a priest instead of a druid, paladin or shaman? Do groups do different things when they have healing priests? Do priests care about the same items, buffs, debuffs and mechanics as other healers?
I don’t beleive groups really organize themselves around healing niches in the sense that they want one hot guy, one AE guy and two direct heal guys. We just want enough distinction that you consider bringing e.g. a druid as your third healer once you have two priests.
Elemental Discussion for 3.0.8
This is why I am often reluctant to post actual numbers. I think they end up launching more questions than actually providing answers.
The 10 to 12% number I quoted was the additional amount we wanted to add with the changes post-Shamanism. If you recall, we did two rounds of buffs on Elemental. The first juggled the talent tree a little bit (and introduced Shamanism). The second changed a couple of additional talents (Elemental Oath, Elemental Mastery and the change to the Lightning Bolt glyph).
For an Elemental in Naxx 25 gear, *each* of these rounds should have increased dps by about 10% between patch 3.0.3 and patch 3.0.8, for a total of about 20%. If you are in heroic blues and don’t have as much spellpower, then you won’t see quite such a lift from the first (Shamanism) round of changes.
Note that the build on the PTR only contains the first round of changes, IIRC.
Spirit Walk Bugged
This issue has been documented internally and is one of the major bugs we have scheduled to fix. That said, it won’t be ready in time for 3.0.8.
General Discussion on the State of the Class
I did post a list of what we wanted to do with warlocks in LK and now that we have done those changes, we have a new list of what we want to look at in warlocks next. A few players linked it. I could have found the quote myself but I figured the community would be able to do it faster, which they did.
I am sorry if my communication sometimes seems disjoined. Reading all of these threads takes a great deal of time that I try to squeeze in during my other responsibilities. To some extent you’re going to get what you’re going to get. That may not sit well, but the alternatives are to give up on posting altogether or at least post a lot less frequently. I don’t see a way I will be able to spend more time here than I do already. (As most of you know, I’m not a CM. I also don’t want to hire people to read the forums for me, because that defeats the purpose. But I do have a lot going on.)
I think there is some truth to the notion that after enough tweaks here and there that you need to step back and take a big look at the class as a whole. I think we’ve reached this point with warlocks. We are satisfied with the changes we wanted to make in BC, which included things like giving Affliction more competitive damage, giving Destruction more than one button to push, and getting Demonology to consider more different types of demons. When I say we want to make some changes to the class, I would not interpret this as burning warlocks to the ground and starting over. Overall it’s still a really cool and distinctive play style.
I’ll reach for an analogy here, which can be illustrative but will also break if streteched too far, as all analogies do. We’ve spent some time checking the tire pressure and vacuuming out the interior, but every few thousand miles you want to actually pop the hood, check all the belts and hoses, and possibly even rebuild the engine. That is not the same as driving her off a cliff and then hitting the dealers for a newer model.
In an ideal world, we don’t want Demonology (or any spec for any class) to be THE PvP tree. This is tougher with the pure dps classes because any spec that sacrifices all for dps feels like a PvE spec and any spec that has survivability, crowd control or escape tools feels like a PvP spec. Long term though it is definitely a goal.
Additional PvP Discussion
That is the goal. I think we’ve done better at Affliction wanting the felhunter, Destruction wanting the imp and Demonology wanting the felguard, at least in PvE. We would like to get the succubus and voidwalker into Arenas more. We have some ideas….
We still like the change to how fear works overall. Because it can be broken it’s less of a long-term CC, but it’s also more consistent in the short-term.
However, I think a lot of the consternation about warlock PvP comes from losing fear as an amazing source of CC (probably replaced by stuns now which probably isn’t a good thing), coupled with losing some of the “tankiness” locks had before, but without giving you all of the get out of jail cards that a mage has.
Ultimately I think we actually do want locks to survive through mitigation (when compared to survival through CC or escape mechanisms). The trick is nailing this compromise between plate-wearers who stand and take it and glass cannons who run away. There is probably something to the fact that locks and hunters both feel like they can’t stand and fight and can’t get away from melee. It’s the mail-wearer paradox. I know you don’t wear mail per se, but we’re pushing you closer to that than we are the slippery mage.
Protection in PvP
Prot warriors are better at PvP than they used to be. They still aren’t as attractive as Arms and Fury.
These are known issues. I can’t recall off the top of my head if we’ve been able to fix them for 3.0.8 or if they required technical changes.
Mostly I wanted to add that we fix several hundred bugs in patches like this. The patch notes typically only record big changes — the kinds that might confuse players if they weren’t explained. We usually only call out bug fixes if they were so common that people had really gotten used to the buggy state.
Earlier today Blizzard announced their newest feature, paid character customization. Don’t like your character’s face, sex, or other aesthetic feature? No worries, now for just $15.00 USD you’ll be able to change virtually every aspect about your character!
Paid Customization FAQ
How much does this new feature cost?
What can I customize for this 15 dollars?
You have the option of changing all of the following features about your character…
- Other Aesthetic Features
Can I change my appereance multiple times?
Yes, but there is a 30 day cooldown per character.
Make sure to check out the complete blizzard paid customization FAQ for further inforatmion.
Hey guys, just a brief news announcement regarding both my upcoming premium and free site guides. Please note, during the next few days there will not be many posts on the site. This is so I can enjoy the initial leveling blitz of the expansion. Once things die down I’ll be releasing scores of new and updated guides.
…also, don’t forget that my best hair cut of Azeroth contest is still going on! You can win a free 60 day game card, the deadline is this Friday!
- Zuggy’s Gold Mastery Guide – WotLK Update, 11/30/08
- Zuggy’s Powerful Professions Guide – WotLK Update, 11/30/08
- Zuggy’s Speed Leveling 1-80 Horde Guide – WotLK Update, 11/30/08
Free Site Guides:
- Class Talent Builds – first guides will release 11/21/08, will continue through 11/30/08 with additional updates added as needed.
- Class Macros – updates for existing macros will begin 11/21/08, otherwise these guides are already completed.
- Class Focus Macros – updates for existing macros will begin 11/21/08, additional class focus macros will be added through 11/30/08.
- Professions Guides – existing guides will be updated following my premium guides launch, sometime around 12/1/08 to 12/7/08. No ETA on new profession guides.
- Instance Guides - 5 / 10 man instances will begin as soon as I start completing these instances, which will likely be around 11/20/08 and continue into the coming weeks and months. These will include in depth strategies, video, and possible audio explanations of encounters and bosses.
- Arena Strategies – early updates will begin 12/9/08, major strategy overhaul will begin 12/16/08 and continue through arena season 5. Most current guides will be updated and additional guides will be added for other classes, comps, strategies, etc.
If you have a guide would like to suggest just drop me an email via the contact link in the menu bar up top. I’m more than willing to divert time to a subject matter if there is a need for it. Your feedback is always appreciated to me.
I”m still working on hammering out a better way to organize all of these guides for easy viewing, and I think I’m fairly close to a workable solution. All of these new guides will be organized in such a way that they can be easily browsed and navigated.
So far I’m absolutely loving the expansion, I haven’t been this excited about WoW in a long time. I know this goes without saying, but the zones are simply beautiful. Not only are they aesthetically designed well, the overall layout and quest design is a level above anything I’ve seen before.
It’s difficult to make questing truly interesting in an MMO, but Blizzard has done an excellent job in mixing up the monotony with well placed “oddity” quests (for lack of a better word). The new vehicle system is a great addition and much needed fun factor to the questing grind.
Likewise I’ve been very pleased with the new dungeons. Unique encounters, graphically beautiful, and short enough that you don’t feel like you’ve got to schedule a time to do them, but long enough you feel like you’ve actually cleared a worthwhile instance it. My only major concern with the new dungeons is the ease of difficulty.
So far no dungeon has had any real degree of difficulty, even with PUG groups I don’t think I’ve had a wipe yet. That said, these are only on normal mode, so I won’t make any definite judgement yet, but it’s something I’ve had on my mind while completing the first few dungeons. I’m very interested to see how the difficult level ramps up for the level 80 heroic dungeons and 10 man instances.
Overall I’m incredibly happy with the expansion’s launch, it went better than I could have ever imagined.
How about you? What do you think about the WotLK?
In typical Blizzard fashion the devs have decided to pull a complete 180 after announcing that the class forums will be removed in place in “role forums”. The role forums are still going into effect, but the class forums will remain as they are.
We have decided that the class forums will stay along with the new role-based forums.
To be clear, the primary purpose of the class forums will be for players to present information to other players. The developers will not have a large presence there except to moderate. If you want to discuss class balance, this is the place.
If you want to discuss optimal dps rotations, try and decide on a talent spec, or ask someone what gear you should be using at level 70, class forums work great for that.
If you start a long thread in the class forums about how your class is the weakest on in the game or how you canâ€™t beat mages in PvP, those threads will probably get locked or deleted. Those discussions belong here where you will have to contend with other players who just might disagree (as well as the blues).