Blizzcon WoW Class Changes And More – Liveblog

This is the liveblog for the WoW Class Changes panel, it will be updated as the panel happens

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  • Goals for class design in WoD
    • Re-evaluate what makes classes fun
    • Strike a better balance between class and encounter mechanics
    • Stop the PvP arms race (crowd control)
    • Reduce frantic pace of healing
    • Make numbers easier to understand
  • Class Changes
    • Item squish and numerical retuning (patch 6.0), you were still meant to kill content at the same pace you could before
    • Class Ability Pruning (patch 6.0)
    • Crowd control has been reduced
    • Healing gameplay has been changed, the pace has slowed down
  • They’re talking about what makes an ability fun?
    • Strong Fantasy
    • Awesome visuals and sounds
    • Cool gameplay effects
    • They’re Powerful
    • They’re interactive
    • They have a clear purpose
  • And what makes an ability not fun?
    • Redundant (frostbolt, frostfirebolt)
    • Inconsistend fantasy, inquisition is an example of this
    • Too situational, such as nourish
    • Balanced to mediocrity, such as mortal strike it was “a wet noodle button”
    • Lack of feedback, there’s no notification if it having done anything
    • Unreliable abilities, feral druids are given as an example (shred position)
    • Too complicated, symbiosis is given as an example
  • In 2004 restoration druids had 21 core abilities.
    • In total you had 39 abilities
    • In patch 1.12 you had 46 abilities.
    • In the burning crusade 51 abilities
    • In WotLK 57 abilities
    • In Cataclysm 57 abilities, despite a talent system squish
    • In MoP 57 abilities, more useless buttons were gone
    • In Warlords they have 41 abilites, close to the 39 in original WoW
  • Healing gameplay changes
    • Why was it not fun?
      • “Health bar whiplash”, healthbars were going from full to nearly empty constantly
      • Smart heals were too smart
      • The healing rotation was big
      • Mana scaled too much
    • Solutions
      • The health of players was doubled
      • This means monsters take twice as long to kill you, giving you time to think of which heal you should use
      • Smart heals just pick injured players instead of most injured
      • Mana regen has been increased
      • Spirit will not be available as much, to not make mana trivial anymore
    • What does this mean?
      • Healing should be more tactical and less reactive
      • There’s a slower pace
      • You have more decision making to do as you can’t top people off quickly
  • Itemization Changes in WoD
    • Getting your gear wearable took a lot of work: gems, upgrades, reforging
    • They want the philosophy Kill Loot Equip
    • Raid set tokens directly convert into items like the timeless isle tokens
    • The stats such as hit and expertise were removed
    • Reforging was removed
    • Item upgrading is removed in Warlords
    • You won’t see gem slots much because they’ll be one of the random bonuses to items
    • Gem slots are all prismatic so you won’t have to color match
    • Caps and breakpoints have been removed so you won’t have to worry about balancing stats
    • Cooking, JC and enchanting will be used for you to choose which additional stats you want
    • They use secondary stats (such as crit and multistrike)
    • A goal is to make loot more useful for your group
      • Main armor slots have dual stats, such as mail will have both agility and intellect
      • Separate role items from armor type (no spirit leather gear anymore, instead just on things like rings)
      • Dodge and Parry are now just bonus armor, all tanks will want it
      • Set bonuses swap based on spec (so no matter what spec you are if you have the gear, you’ll have the set bonuses)
    • They want more variety in loot
      • There will be more sources for loot, e.g. quests, garrison missions, apexis crystals, dungeons, etc
      • Quest items can upgrade to be rare or epic
      • Chance at bonus effects in dungeons and raids
        • Gem slots
        • Warforged
        • Tertiary stats (such as avoidance and leech)
      • New stats: Versatility and Multistrike
  • Q&A
    • Gladiator’s resolve is a talent because it changed just a few things. If it had changed more then it would have had to be a 4th spec.
    • In orgrimmar holy for priests wasn’t bad it was just that discipline was too good
    • There is still depth in the game despite some simplifications. The basics should be relatively simple, but that doesn’t mean there’s not depth to the system.
    • To some extent tanks with good self healing will be able to solo more than other classes. If all classes had that it would erode the distinctions between the classes. It might take more gear but eventually all classes will be able to solo things.
    • It’s a longterm process to make moreĀ  special visual effects for class abilities.
    • The mana gem was eaten… It wasn’t interesting gameplay, so it was cut. And it was done for all mana regen abilities.
    • Once again, simulations are not accurate. In actual raid encounters damage per class/spec is a lot different.
    • There are no profession crafted greens, they didn’t like that professions made a lot of items that noone used.
    • They will keep their eye on how easily draenic dust is gotten.

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