World of Warcraft: Upcoming Changes [Blizzcon 2015] | Broken Joysticks

Nov
06

World of Warcraft: Upcoming Changes [Blizzcon 2015]

Article By: Tamsin Skye Heineman

Today at Blizzcon, Blizzard revealed some upcoming changes for World of Warcraft based around player feedback. There are some very nice changes coming that I think will make a lot of players very pleased.

Here it is in text form from Blizzard themselves. The images from the panel are included at the bottom of this post.

Classes

  • The goal of the class changes was to keep classes fun, stop the PvP CC madness, make numbers easier to understand and slow down the pace of healing a little bit.
  • Removing abilities will make the game more fun.
  • Fantasy, visuals, cool effects, powerful, interactive, and abilities with a clear purpose are fun.
  • Redundant abilities are not fun (Frostfire bolt / Frostbolt for Fire and Arcane)
  • Abilities with inconsistent fantasy are not fun.
  • Situational abilities are not fun (Nourish)
  • Abilities that have been balanced to mediocrity are not fun (Mortal Strike)
  • Abilities with no feedback are not fun (Blood Strike – No real animation, visual, or fantasy)
  • Abilities that are unreliable are not fun (Feral druid positional requirements)
  • Complicated abilities are not fun (Symbiosis)
  • Returning players had more and more trouble figuring out how their class worked as more abilities were added. You shouldn’t have to go to another website just to figure out how to play your character.
  • The old talent system was scrapped to help combat this problem, but it didn’t solve it.

Healing

  • Players didn’t enjoy healing because of health bar whiplash, players were always almost constantly dying, healing consisted of spamming heals constantly.
  • Smart heals were too smart, the game was playing itself for you, you didn’t have to do any targeting. You ended up with a healing rotation and not paying attention to who was injured.
  • Mana was scaling poorly, lower item level characters had not enough mana, higher item level characters had excessive amounts of mana.
  • In Warlords, players have double the effective health, giving you longer to think and target your heals.
  • In Warlords, smart heals aren’t as smart. They just heal anyone who is injured rather than the most injured.
  • In Warlords, healers will have enough mana even at lower item levels.
  • In Warlords, Spirit is now on less slots, so you can’t trivialize mana anymore.
  • Healing will be more tactical and allow players to make decisions while healing in Warlords.
  • Players will have sufficient mana but not excessive mana in Warlords.

Items

  • Once a tier token dropped, you had to go to a vendor, find the right item, figure out what gems and reforges you need, upgrade the item, and then you were finally ready to use it. Once you were ready to use it, you may have to change gems and reforges on your other items as well.
  • Kill a boss, loot an item, equip the item.
  • Tier tokens will convert to an item just like the Timeless Isle tokens, this removes one of the steps.
  • Hit and expertise are removed from the game, meaning you don’t need to reforge and regem all the things with every new item you got.
  • Item upgrades are also gone, removing another step.
  • Enchants and sockets are on fewer slots now, helping remove another thing to do.
  • Caps and breakpoints are gone, making stat customization easier.
  • In Mists of Pandaria, loot can drop that no one in the raid can use, which didn’t feel good. Set bonuses and stats that switch on your main armor slots help with this problem. Spirit not being on most slots also helps.
  • Dodge and Parry are now bonus armor.
  • There are now more sources of loot, especially during questing and leveling in Draenor.
  • Versatility, Multistrike, Tertiary stats, gem sockets, and randomly upgraded quest items also help to add variety.

Q&A

  • Gladiator’s Resolve was a small enough change that it didn’t need another spec.
  • In case you missed it, the legendary item in Warlords is a ring.
  • Legendary weapons can be added when they fit the story / current state of the game.
  • Discipline priests couldn’t be nerfed earlier because so many guilds relied on them. Making guilds unable to defeat an encounter they could defeat yesterday is not fun. Doing so would have required retuning many of the Siege of Orgrimmar fights.
  • Seeing the bonus on tier tokens before they are used is something the developers are looking at. The wrong person getting the bonus won’t have a large impact on the raid (but it will to the person getting the loot).
  • There is still significant complexity, challenge, and depth in the game even after the Warlords changes. Specs are assessable as possible, but there is still depth in the class gameplay and encounters.
  • Tanks are better at soloing and the game isn’t really balanced around it.
  • Everyone will be able to solo old content at some point, some classes may just take more gear or time than others.
  • Druid travel forms being separate buttons is something that will be added with glyphs.
  • Shadow priests getting new / updated visuals is something that might be addressed in the future.
  • Mana gems didn’t add anything interesting to the gameplay, so it was removed.
  • Destro DPS is fine at level 100.
  • Raid cooldowns aren’t as important anymore, so there should be significant diversity in classes brought to raids.
  • Rogues needing to be behind the boss is part of overall awareness needed to play the class and how the encounters are balanced.
  • Professions making things that no one would ever use didn’t make sense, so going forward you can craft actually useful things while leveling. The dust from DEing things should still be sufficient. The amount of dust required to make things is tuned around the amount of dust available.
  • Adding more filtering and options to the dungeon finder would just increase queue times, especially for DPS. The Group Finder should help players that want to make groups for non standard runs.
  • The combo point UI could be improved, but a solution hasn’t been found yet. The team will look at what solutions players come up with for displaying combo points.

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About Tamsin Heineman

Tamsin writes periodically for Broken Joysticks alongside her fiancee Kaylan while managing her small gaming group of friends, Newtype Gaming. Outside of Broken Joysticks she is a gamer, amateur artist, electrical engineer, IT girl and all around Geek. Someday she plans on creating games and comics of her own. You can reach her at tsheine[at]gmail.com.

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