World of Warcraft lead designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street knows you may be confused by some of the modifications coming to the classes of Blizzard's popular MMORPG. So he breaks down the changes.
The upcoming 5.4 patch does some crazy things with the 11 character classes in the game, so Street took to the official blog to tell players the reasoning behind some of the planned class changes coming sometime in the near future.
Some of you will only find a few sections of interest, but I need to pay attention to 10 of the 11. OK, I admit I have a problem when eight of my characters are level 80 and above, but I'm getting help. Luckily, I didn't start a monk -- yet.
But I digress. Street noted that there are a lot of glyph changes coming, specifically detailed in the 5.4 PTR patch notes, so he doesn't talk about those, other than to say that the idea was to fix ones that weren't working out too well or add some new choices. But here's some nuggets from the class changes:
Death Knight: "Most of our core changes were to Blood DKs. We added the Riposte passive to DKs (and Warriors) to allow them to increase their damage using the avoidance stats that naturally occur on their tanking gear. We also removed the Runic Power cost of Dancing Rune Weapon to allow it to be used more as a cooldown when needed. Finally, we changed Scent of Blood to also be proc'd by avoidance, to make sure avoidance stats can help provide more active mitigation."
Druid: "Most of the changes to Druid talents were because of the situation where certain specs leaned heavily on certain talents in a row and tended to ignore the others-Dream of Cenarius, Force of Nature, Nature's Vigil, and Soul of the Forest fall into this category. We changed Nature's Swiftness to be a core Restoration ability because we felt the healers were dependent upon it. We replaced it with a new passive talent, Ysera's Gift."
Hunter: "We had three main issues we wanted to resolve for Hunters this patch: Silencing Shot, Readiness, and Stampede." (I'm crying here, really. Read the details to find out why)
Mage: "We didn't think Mages needed many changes overall. One goal of ours was to fix Frost Mastery, which we felt was increasingly making them difficult to tune in PvP. When you take a spec with high burst and good control and then give them Mastery that links the two together, you're bound to have trouble. The new Mastery, called Icicles, spreads the burst out over a few seconds but in a novel way that doesn't feel too similar to, say, Ignite." (I played Fire or Arcane, so I'm OK with this).
Enter the world of Azeroth and battle against the Alliance of humans, dwarves and night elves or the brutish orcs, trolls and undead of the Horde. World of Warcraft has a very large community of players with hundreds of servers and a myriad of endgame pursuits from raiding dungeons, questing, achievement hunting, PVP arenas, and now pet battles.
Monk: "Several Monk talents were underpowered or difficult to use. We buffed Chi Brew, Zen Sphere, Power Strikes, and Healing Elixirs. We made Xuen easier to control by providing him with a true pet bar. We changed Chi Burst to require no target. Ring of Peace has a better visual that's more representative of the affected area, and we tweaked its numbers."
Paladin: "Most of our core changes were to Holy Paladins. Specifically, we felt like the healing style of blanketing a group with Eternal Flame to proc absorbs from Illuminate Healing had become too widespread, and didn't fit the healing style we wanted for Paladins."
Priest: "For Priest talents, we are trying one more time to make Angelic Feather compete with the other movement talents, and let Mindbender and From Darkness, Comes Light compete better with Solace and Insanity. We also buffed Divine Insight for Discipline and Twist of Fate for all three specs."
Rogue: "We buffed Evasion for Rogues outright to increase their survivability against melee. We also buffed Recuperate because we agree that it went from being a potent heal in Cataclysm to a more middling one in MoP. The other core changes were really focused on Combat."
Shaman: "We're happy with Enhancement and Elemental performance overall, but we are keeping an eye on their burst in PvP. We did feel that Restoration wasn't really delivering on healing when grouped and stationary, which should be a Shaman's strength. To remedy that, we changed Chain Heal to no longer decrease effectiveness per jump and buffed Healing Rain's radius and healing."
Warlock: "Our biggest challenge with Warlock talents was the level-90 tier, where most Warlocks chose Kil'jaeden's Cunning (often to the frustration of raid leaders forced to deal with slow-moving Warlocks). We removed the snare from KJC but reduced the number of spells it affected. The talent should help with movement but not guarantee characters never need to stop moving. We buffed Mannoroth's Fury by allowing it to increase the damage as well as radius of area-effect spells, but on a cooldown so the Warlock has more control over the effect and so it'll feel more potent when active."
Warrior: "Most of our Warrior changes were to increase Protection Warrior damage, try to improve the area-effect and cleave damage of Arms, or to address PvP quality-of-life issues. Buffing Blood and Thunder helped both Arms and Protection. Changing Enrage and Ultimatum for Protection Warriors provided both more damage and active mitigation by making Critical Strike a more valuable stat. We don't expect Prot to heavily stack crit, but they're going to have some anyway just from core stats and group buffs, and it does open up the possibility of using crit gear."
Street concluded by saying "our primary goal is to keep everyone having fun. That includes redesigning awkward mechanics and buffing weak spells, but it also means nerfing overpowered mechanics so that other classes or specs don't feel as if they can't compete." I guess we'll find out how fun it is when the patch eventually goes live.
Source: Official site