MMO-Champion - Explanation of 4.3 Balance Changes, Part Two
Update - For people who bought the Blizzcon Live Stream or attended Blizzcon, the BlizzCon 2011 Store Post-Show Sale is Now Live!

Explanation of 4.3 Balance Changes, Part Two
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Don’t take this as an announcement that the release of patch 4.3 is imminent. While we have completed a lot of work, it’s just hard to know at this stage when the patch will be ready. Nothing is set in stone until the actual patch, and even then we still have the ability to hotfix any major problems that we missed or caused.

First, here is the link to Part One of our balance explanations. We’ll discuss additional changes below.

In particular, you may want to pay attention to my comments about rates of change. While we do overhaul mechanics when we think it’s warranted, we try to save as many of those as possible for expansions. As exhilarating as it can be for players who log in regularly to suddenly be able to look at a talent or spell in a different light, it can also be frustrating for players who maybe took a break in between patch 4.2 and 4.3 to have to relearn rotations or re-gem their character. In particular, we try to be really conservative when buffing spec B of a class upwards to compete with spec A of the same class. We have gotten it wrong before, and forced a large number of players to swap specs. Ideally we want you to play the spec you enjoy the most and not the one that does the highest DPS, but asking you to continually swap specs to achieve that highest DPS is an unreasonable thing for us to ask.

Mortal Strike (and similar debuffs)
We dropped the healing debuff from 50% to 10% some time ago, but were convinced at 10% that it was hard to appreciate the effect at all. We want to try Mortal Strike et al. at 25% to see if it feels useful but not mandatory. If 25% is too much and 10% is too little, then it may mean the entire mechanic may not have much of a future. We decided to only change the debuff for the warrior, rogue, and hunter, restoring the original relationship between “strong” and “weak” MS that we had in Lich King.

Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator)
We decided not to prevent or discourage block capping for paladins and warriors, because it would have required several corresponding changes to compensate for such severe nerfs and the risk of getting things wrong or asking players to change gear was just too great. Instead, we decided to buff DK and druid tanks to improve their ability to handle streaks of bad luck. In the DK’s case, we increased the armor bonus of Blood Presence.

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
As mentioned above, we increased the Stamina bonus of bear form in order to reduce the chance of tanks being killed too quickly by bad luck. We also changed the armor bonus for bears at lower levels by removing the mechanic that mimicked the warrior and paladin transition from mail to plate. Bears were having difficulty surviving in low-level dungeons, which honestly we don’t want to be that challenging. The armor change should not affect end-game tank balance. We changed the Glyph of Shred so that Feral druids wouldn’t need to vary their rotation in situations where they could not Shred (such as on Ultraxion). We changed the pushback on Cyclone because we decided that it was appropriate for DPS casters to not have pushback protection on heals, and for healers to not have pushback protection on nukes, but that utility spells should be protected for both roles. This will be a small PvP buff for caster druids.

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator)
We provided a modest DPS buff for Beast Mastery and Survival hunters to help them catch up with the Marksman spec. As I mentioned above, we wouldn’t consider it a success if we made every Marks hunter respec to Survival, so our intent is to get close without going over. BM also suffers from a lack of AE damage, so we increased the damage of two of their AE pets.

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator)
We offered some buffs to Fire mages to help them compete with Arcane. Frost is viable in PvE, but at high-end raiding we understand that its damage isn’t perceived as comparable to Arcane or Fire. The problem is that Frost has a lot of control and survivability, and if their damage were also identical, there would be no reason to choose Arcane or Fire. Note that the 5.0 talent design is partially to fix this specific problem, where specs have either higher DPS or higher utility.

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)
We continued to adjust Holy Radiance for its new 4.3 design. We want paladins to be a viable group healer without suddenly becoming far and away the best AE healer. We also want Holy paladins to continue to care about Holy Power and Light of Dawn and not revert to just spamming Holy Radiance. We changed Beacon of Light largely because it was unclear which mechanics were supposed to cause the Beacon transfer. This is a change from our previous design, which allowed Protector of the Innocent and other forms of healing to benefit from Beacon. We want Beacon of Light to remain a powerful spell, and it will be even with these changes, but putting slightly less focus on Beacon will allow paladins to still shine in situations where Beacon isn’t operating at its maximum effectiveness. For Retribution, as we suggested previously, we lowered the crit chance of Hammer of Wrath to reduce burst but increased sustained damage through Two-Handed Specialization and Seal of Truth.

Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Most of our Holy adjustments were discussed in Part One, but we did buff Guardian Spirit to make it more competitive with Pain Suppression. The Shadowform glyph was strictly a quality of life improvement requested by several Shadow priests.

Shaman (Forums / Talent Calculator)
We have slightly unnerfed the initial Wind Shear nerf, but we still want it to be much harder for a healer spec to have such a potent interrupt. Wind Shear (originally Earth Shock) was balanced in the hands of a Resto shaman as a tool for coping with enemy casters in the absence of a magic dispel. While a priest could remove an ally’s Polymorph, the shaman’s only recourse was to prevent it from ever landing in the first place. But in a world where Resto shaman gained the ability to remove magic debuffs, the net result was too potent. We nerfed Elemental’s tier 12 set bonus because it was so powerful that shaman risked passing over their tier 13 set bonus. We increased the passive benefit of Shamanism and Fire Elemental scaling to help compensate for this nerf. There are many other shaman changes discussed in Part One.

Warlock (Forums / Talent Calculator)
We increased Demonology and Destruction’s DPS to be more competitive with Affliction, and increased the duration on Improved Soul Fire to make that buff a bit easier to manage. We also fixed a long-standing bug that caused the Doomguard to do too much damage, so Demo’s buff also needed to offset that.

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
We believe we have fixed “charge jumping,” where a target who jumped ended up in a different location from the warrior. The warrior should now end up next to the target. We needed to nerf Fury’s DPS slightly to keep them from being ahead of other melee DPS.

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer for World of Warcraft. His first hunter pet was a crab named Sushi.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Explanation of 4.3 Balance Changes, Part Two started by Sunshine View original post
Comments 83 Comments
  1. Marlamin's Avatar
    very nice ghostcrawler post A++ would read again
  1. Susej's Avatar
    No rogue changes and no warrior mobility changes. Fak my life.
  1. celinamuna's Avatar
    Nothing on rogues at all..... -__- greaaat
  1. Everything Nice's Avatar
    tl;dr - Transmog not in the headline.
  1. Baltaer's Avatar
    I think i can live with the Fury dps nerf, feel bad no other melee than Frost DK's are keeping up with me.
  1. Ra's Al Ghul's Avatar
    So...nothing for Rogues? Last I had read they were giving us a general buff to a few bits, but nothing major.
  1. Verain's Avatar
    What is the secret code to access the rogue discussion?
  1. Nelle's Avatar
    Yeah, lets buff 2 specs up to UNDER an already underperforming PURE dps spec (MM). GJ !

    Talking hunter here, 4.3 looks very dark. All melee get 10% buff, Rogues get Legendary Dagger and all casters with some self respect run around with Legendary staff. Wonder what class will be the bottom of the DPS foodchain.

    And why bother doing anything with BM AoE, so you expect them to swap pet when there is a part of a fight where you need to AoE ? Yeah those 2 seconds to dismiss the pet + the global to call a new one, send it to the targets, and then another 2 seconds to dismiss AoE pet and then another global to call back your main dps pet will surely be awesome !

    How about you make Multishot cost a LOT less focus, or do a LOT more damage, so we ain't forced to save Rapid fire for it so we actually have some AoE that last more than a few seconds before you need to rebuild a full focus bar.
  1. celinamuna's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Everything Nice View Post
    tl;dr - Transmog not in the headline.
    Balance changes, why would transmog be here ?
  1. Spl4sh3r's Avatar
    Not sure why people expected changes in this post. They are just explaining the things they are changing in the PTR. The changes themselves we have known for quite some time.
  1. Shadow12234's Avatar
    Of course rogue isn't there ...
  1. Stalemate's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Verain View Post
    What is the secret code to access the rogue discussion?
    l.e.g.e.n.d.a.r.y. *break* d.a.g.g.e.r.s. ....end transmission
  1. Andelormon's Avatar
    I really enjoy reading Ghostcrawler's blog. He does a really good job of explaining changes so everyone understands them.
  1. shadowkras's Avatar
    Mage
    We offered some buffs to Fire mages to help them compete with Arcane. Frost is viable in PvE, but at high-end raiding we understand that its damage isn’t perceived as comparable to Arcane or Fire. The problem is that Frost has a lot of control and survivability, and if their damage were also identical, there would be no reason to choose Arcane or Fire. Note that the 5.0 talent design is partially to fix this specific problem, where specs have either higher DPS or higher utility.
    Couldnt they add some scaling debuff that helps to ramp up their dps? That wouldnt be so bursty in pvp but could let to better scaling in long term dps.
    Something like X frost damage every Y seconds per stack, up to 5 (or 10) stacks on the target, applyed by Frostbolt. Make it scale with crit and haste and you just gave a non-burst dps buff to frost mages.

    @Mortal Strike
    7 years and still not learning with the mistakes. Dont do drastic nerfs/buffs, a 5% change is enough to be a change and not completely make an ability overpowered or useless.
  1. Munjica's Avatar
    Explanation for elemental shaman nerf = "We had to cut their leg, they have been running as fast as others. Now we gave them prosthesis so they can barely run"
  1. Firebert's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nelle View Post
    Wonder what class will be the bottom of the DPS foodchain.
    http://www.simulationcraft.org/430/Raid_T12H.html
    Surv Hunters, Balance Druids, Fury Warriors with 1Hers, 2H Frost Death Knights, Elemental Shamen, Frost Mages, Affliction Locks, and Assassination Rogues.
  1. wiIdi's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    Mortal Strike. If 25% is too much and 10% is too little, then it may mean the entire mechanic may not have much of a future.
    or it means 17.5% would be ideal.
  1. Mozu's Avatar
    Sick rogue changes
  1. Drakoes's Avatar
    Nothing for rogues because they're fine imo. Just look at WoL.
  1. Andelormon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowkras View Post
    Couldnt they add some scaling debuff that helps to ramp up their dps? That wouldnt be so bursty in pvp but could let to better scaling in long term dps.
    Something like X frost damage every Y seconds per stack, up to 5 (or 10) stacks on the target, applyed by Frostbolt. Make it scale with crit and haste and you just gave a non-burst dps buff to frost mages.

    @Mortal Strike
    7 years and still not learning with the mistakes. Dont do drastic nerfs/buffs, a 5% change is enough to be a change and not completely make an ability overpowered or useless.

    I think the issue with Mortal Strike (Warriors) in Wrath was not MS itself, but the Overpower talent we got as well. It allowed a Warrior to basicly kill a Healers healing done (To the healer) by 75% if you could hit the over power during the cast (Which wasn't hard to do with any healer except Druids).

    I do agree that a 40% nerf to compesate was a bad idea, and upping it by 15% now isn't a good idea either. But they needed to look at the over all abilities that can potentially reduce healing done or recieved.

Site Navigation