World of Warcraft Class Balance Hotfix Goes Live, Round 1

| 15 Oct 2010 03:01

We all knew it was coming, but who expected it so quickly?

imageWhen the 4.0 changes hit, there were a lot of reactions. Some rejoiced in their new-found Ultimate Power (many of my mage guildmates were reporting one-shotting opponents in battlegrounds), while others wept tears of blood and unfathomable sorrow at their lost numbers (arms and fury warriors, I'm looking at you - crybabies).

What is constant is that we all expected there to be not only large changes in performance such as these, but also a hotfix at some point to address the issues of class balance (which I find impossible to say without a smirk). What I found unexpected, however, was the speed with which the hotfix was implemented.

Just yesterday, Ghostcrawler posts:

Rather than try and address multiple threads, I'm just going to plop our current thoughts in this one post. Please excuse the brevity.

1) We think Fury, Arms, Feral cat and Retribution dps is too low and we will be buffing them.

2) We think mage dps is too high, especially Fire, and will be nerfing it.

3) We think Shadow priest dps is too high, but that's largely a result of Shadow Word: Death spam, which is tough on healers. We'll be fixing that.

4) We think Destro warlock dps is too high, but that's largely a result of Searing Pain spam, which is tough on tanks. We'll be fixing that.

5) As we suspected, PvP dps is just too high given that the health pools of Cataclysm haven't kicked in yet. While competitive PvP is over for the moment, we still want the environment to feel better so we will be buffing resilience. This change might be reverted at level 85.

There will probably be more changes after another night of raiding and BGs. Many of the bug fixes we have made today will affect dps as well. Stay tuned.

Quite a fast turnaround, especially for Blizzard. In just a scant two days (24 hours, if you consider how long the servers were down on patch day), Blizzard had evaluated the patch changes, determined what was out of sync with their intentions, and changed it. Not bad.

Another post from Ghostcrawler hit today, illustrating the specifics of the changes made:

We made many changes yesterday. A lot of these were bug fixes, and many bug fixes will affect damage one way or the other. So just because you don't see a specific change referenced below, doesn't mean it didn't change.

With that said, here are the specific changes we made in reference to my previous post:

1) We buffed the base points and coefficients of many warrior dps abilities. We didn't do as much to tanking abilities.

We buffed the base points and coefficients of many Ret abilities.

We buffed the base points and coefficients of many Feral cat abilities.

2) We lowered the base points and coefficients of many mage abilities, but lowered Fire more than the other two.

3) We nerfed Shadow Word: Death, but it is possible we didn't nerf it enough. It should not be Shadow's biggest spell.

4) We returned Searing Pain's damage to its 3.3.5 levels.

5) We increased the benefit of resilience by 50% for players level 80 and below. The tooltips will probably not reflect this change.

We don't have any other changes to announce at this time. I am reluctant to mention additional classes or specs that we are looking at currently for fear of instilling excitement or panic.

I'll draw your attention to the final sentence of that last post. Whether you're like the Lawnmower Man, proudly proclaiming "I am GOD here" or on the other end of the fence, wallowing your low-dps sorrows away with Innkeeper Allison, your ears should perk up at that. Blizzard isn't through with you yet; don't get too comfortable or disheartened. Keep your eyes here for new changes as they happen.

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