Developer Chat on Twitter -- 2/26/10
We will be holding our next Developer Chat on Twitter on Friday, February 26, at 5:00 p.m. PST with World of Warcraft's lead content designer and lead systems designer. This chat session will focus on Icecrown Citadel and other Fall of the Lich King content.
Questions will be taken live through Twitter, so be sure to sign up for a Twitter account at https://twitter.com/signup and follow account @Warcraft in order to participate!
To submit a question for the Developer Chat, please tweet using the #BlizzChat hashtag between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. PST on February 26. Due to the character limitation on responses within Twitter, all answers will be posted on the World of Warcraft forums in a dedicated thread.
Link to the last Developer Chat: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...18868790&sid=1
Originally Posted by Blizzard EntertainmentPeople with multiple Battle.net accounts cannot log on this PTR Build
There is currently a bug in the build that the PTR is being updated to that is causing this issue. This issue should be resolved in the next PTR build, but for the time being there is no work around available. If you have multiple Wow game accounts attached to a single Battle.net account, you will not be able to log into the PTR until the next PTR update.
We're aware that this temporarily blocks some people from accessing the PTR. Please understand that we're working on getting this resolved in an upcoming PTR patch. (Source)
Top guilds and raid encounters difficulty
Players try to play that card a lot, that skill isn't a big deal because the mechanics are all pretty easy to understand, and therefore it's the class mechanics that are to blame, not the player. I don't buy it. I've seen the world first, or even server first kills of difficult bosses. Those players aren't just good, they are exceptionally good. They are probably ten times better than the guilds who get those kills a month or two later, and that's really no exaggeration. In fact, skill plays such a gigantic role that we have trouble balancing harder encounters. The skilled players can beat them without new gear while the second tier of players can never beat them. Now you can try to argue that all tanks are of about the same skill and it's the dps or healers that really make up the difference, but I don't buy that either. I've seen what the best tanks in the world do. They are really good. Don't dismiss them as being just lucky or dedicated. (Source)
Now in general I wish there was a little more coordination among healers, but the current damage model we have just doesn't really allow it. I remember when tanking Molten Core, that the priest would say over vent "Big heal coming on the OT!" as he powered up a Greater Heal. You don't have that luxury these days. One of our designers was watching an old Illidan video recently and remarked how everyone was at 50% for so much of the fight. Now days someone is at 100%, will hit 100% in the next couple of GCDs, or will be dead. In that environment, you'd get "Big --" out of your mouth before it would be too late. Players need more health and heals have to be a little more expensive. (Source)
There are extremes. One is just giving everyone say block and parry and Last Stand and Demo Shout because heck those are useful, and no doubt some players would be thrilled by that. The other extreme is to be so stubborn and so scared of homogenization that we never make a change. It doesn't surprise me at all that when a player finds his dude wanting, then looks around and sees a sexy ability or mechanic on another class that that grass can look awfully green. I'm just pointing out that homogenization is often our very last solution when all else has failed.
A great deal of WoW's depth is because of the differences among the classes and among the various talent trees. We think it contributes to players not getting bored. We think it contributes to rerolling, perhaps trying another class when you get burned out instead of walking away from the game. It was cool for me the first time I healed a Feral druid in UBRS (if you're still playing, you rocked by the way) because she tanked things differently and I had to heal her differently. I felt like I was discovering something new in the game. I would have been sad if someone had pointed out, Ghost, dude, that was just bear art. Mechanically, she was blocking and Sundering (this was pre Devastate) and basically being a warrior.
Resisting homogenization may not be important to you, but it is very important to us. Understand the huge mountain you have to climb whenever you're asking us to put those concerns aside. You're thinking about how to make your character a better tank. We're thinking about how to keep this game popular for five more years, or even longer. (Source)
Death Knight (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Icy Talons changes clarifications
You put 5 points in Icy Talons. While fighting (and applying Frost Fever), you swing 20% faster. If you have talented Windfury Totem on you, you swing a total of 40% faster.
You now put a 6th point in Improved Icy Talons as well. You have a passive personal 25% haste at all times. When you engage in combat and apply Frost Fever, you now have 45% melee haste. If you have Windfury also, you still only have 45% haste since Windfury and Improved Icy Talons are exclusive.
This is basically a 20% haste buff to any DK who has Icy Talons and Improved Icy Talons. (Source)
Will of the Necropolis Buff
As I've said several times now, the Will of the Necropolis change wasn't an "OMG DKs are vanishing - let's buff" decision. A couple of designers looked at the cooldown, evaluated how often it really mattered, concluded not often, and thought the ability would be simpler to understand, less frustrating, and perhaps a small DK buff without the cooldown. The paladin and warrior health adjustments were a result of seeing progression on hard mode encounters, where bosses tend to melee for a lot all the time so health might trump cooldowns. Neither of them were huge changes and you can make the argument that things might have been fine without the changes at all. We thought a small adjustment was appropriate. I concede that these things are often subjective and others might have made a different call than we made. (Source)
Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
The Starfall change is difficult to patch note because of the nature of the spell, but I'll share the numbers so that the theorycrafters among you can plug them in. It's a significant boost to the spell's damage.
Initially, we had designed the spell to be more AE focused, but that hasn't been super useful for a class that also has Hurricane. Rather than adding another nuke we thought it made more sense to make the 51 pointer something that really delivers on damage. Yes it can be countered. PvP is designed with the intent that things can be countered.
Base points 432 -> 562
Coefficient 0.21 -> 0.37
Base points 77 -> 100
Coefficient 0.12 -> 0.13 (Source)
[...] I think I figured out how you all are calculating the coefficient, so maybe this will make more sense. Again, I'm not 100% sure we're speaking the same language here. If I have time, maybe I will just log in with a moonkin and compare the before and after and post numbers.
Old coefficient: 4.8%
New coefficient: 37%
Old coefficient: 1.2%
New coefficient: 13%
As I said, these numbers are very generous. If Balance druids melt the world we may have to back off of them. (Source)
Nature's Grasp Buff
Nature's Grasp is a self buff that causes things that hit you to become rooted. That effect now has 3 charges. There is a small internal cooldown in between roots to keep say a rogue who hits you twice very quickly from wasting two charges. In your example, both the DK and pet should get rooted. If the DK breaks the roots and gets on you again, they will get rooted again (subject to the 45 sec duration).
The intent of this spell was to be a defensive tool for druids. Since it hasn't quite kept up, we wanted to try to get it to be more useful (i.e. do its job) rather than come up with an entirely new mechanic.
[...] The DR hasn't changed. I would suggest go trying it out if you aren't sure how it works. (Source)
Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator)
3.3.3 Mage Changes
The Combustion change was to let its cooldown line up better with e.g. trinket cooldowns. It just felt awkward at 3 min.
The Fireball glyph change was because some Fire mages were getting such absurdly high crit rates that even more crit wasn't attractive. We weren't trying to make this particular glyph ridiculously powerful.
The actual dps increases are something more like adding Pyroblast to Torment the Weak and Empowered Fire. That may have missed the most recent patch notes.
I would also expect Arcane damage to fall overall with the Incanter's Absorption change. (Torment is also gratuitously overpowered, but that would be too big a change for now.) That should get Fire a lot closer to Arcane. Getting Frost up there too is harder, but we're still trying. (Source)
Torment the Weak
Let me put it this way:
The talent says: Your Frostbolt, Fireball, Frostfire Bolt, Pyroblast, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Blast, and Arcane Barrage abilities deal 12% more damage to snared or slowed targets.
What players see: Your Frostbolt, Fireball, Frostfire Bolt, Pyroblast, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Blast, and Arcane Barrage abilities deal 12% more damage at all times and if it ever doesn't provide 12% then Blizzard hates mages.
A better design: "Sometimes" your Your Frostbolt, Fireball, Frostfire Bolt, Pyroblast, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Blast, and Arcane Barrage abilities deal 4% more damage.
Because the damage swing is so huge (12%!) we have to make sure it is always up. The kit of slowed targets might as well not exist. It could say "You deal more damage when in combat," or "You deal more damage when you target someone."
Because it's so overbudget, it can't be situational or mage dps swings enormously. Eclipse is in a similar boat. It's not a bad talent per se (in our minds - druids may disagree), but because the swing is so large, any time you don't benefit from it, your dps drops a ton. (Source)
Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Yeah, as I said in another thread just now, I think the paladin is an outlier. It's okay for healers to have things they are slightly better at or slightly worse at, but the paladin is too firmly cemented into the role of MT healer. We don't want building a raid to be "Okay, grab a paladin and another healer." It should be "Grab 2 healers, preferably different ones." This doesn't mean paladin nerfs are incoming, because some of the problem is the nature of healing right now (huge constant swings, unlimited mana, much spamming, little coordination), and the other half of that is making sure a paladin on raid heal duty didn't feel gimped. (Source)
Priest (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Playing as a healing priest
I won’t give you a video, but I’ll explain to you how I do it.
Disc: PoM on cooldown. PW:S as much as you can (esp. on the Arcane mage until 3.3.3). Use Penance often when you need burst. Resort to PoH if a lot of people need healing at once, especially in 10-player raids where you don’t have a lot of other healers to pick up the slack. Keep Pain Suppression and Divine Hymn for emergencies. Use Power Infusion on a mage or lock if you don’t need it.
Holy: PoM on cooldown. CoH on cooldown if there is any raid damage. Renew to handle the rest of the raid damage. Flash Heal if someone is still low after all of that. Save GS and Divine Hymn for emergencies or timed boss cooldowns. I tend to use Binding Heal a lot more than most priests because it makes me feel smart, especially when globals are in question.
What I like: Feeling smart when I mix the right tool with the right problem. Saving lives when someone thought they were dead. Sitting there at full mana halfway through a fight because I didn’t heal when I didn’t need to. Penance in general. Body and Soul. Borrowed Time. Serendipity.
What I don’t like: Using CoH so much. Dealing with Weakened Soul (esp. as Holy). Lightwell. Seeing priests die. (In all honesty I don’t die a lot, but I see Spirits of Redemption constantly. I guess as a sweeping generalization, priests have the stare-at-Grid syndrome worse than other healers.) Blowing 3 candles every wipe. Looking like a mage if I pick the wrong gear. (Source)
[...] See, I like PoM because at least you are making a choice about who to put it on and sometimes you might even recast if it's sitting on someone that won't take damage again. (Story: Once back on Archimonde, a priest and I had both been doomfired or something and he pulled me aside and said "Just let PoM bounce between the two of us just for a sec." I was impressed.)
CoH is good. It's so good in fact, that it's usually a bad choice not to push it when it's on cooldown. This means playing Holy is really about what you use your other 4 casts or whatever when you can't CoH. I'd rather use CoH less often and other spells more often. I think Holy needs the talent and it's really tree defining. I just want to use some of my other cool toys too. (Source)
Healing talents in Cataclysm
Both Holy and Disc have really great deep talents. The ones we'd consider pruning are stuff like Spiritual Healing, Empowered Healing and Divine Providence. Borrowed Time and Serendipity are clearly healing boosts, but they do it in an interesting way. (Source)