Cataclysm Videos - Starting Zones and Blackrock Caverns
Apparently most of you really liked yesterday's videos, let's continue with playthrough videos of the Goblins and Worgens starting zone, followed by a video of the Blackrock Caverns!
Obviously, don't watch that if you don't like spoilers.
Goblin Starting Zone
Worgen Starting Zone
Originally Posted by Blizzard EntertainmentPvP
Tanking/Protection specs in Arena
We want the Protection specs to have a place in Arena play, but to be frank, it's not our highest priority. Our sense is that most players who chose Protection chose it for tanking.
We don't want Protection dps to be trivial, but we also don't want it to rival that of say mages and rogues even in PvP. A Protection class in PvP should be more about survival and control, not about massive damage. With the added focus on BGs in Cataclysm, the tanking specs will be good at flag defense or flag-carrying, which suits their strengths.
The Vengeance mechanic is a way to help us balance tank damage. It can be as high as it needs to be in PvE, while much lower and most-importantly dispellable in PvP. (Source)
PvP Balance and counter abilities
We think class design in WoW has reached what I often call an arms race in PvP. That is a class gains a snare, then another class gains the ability to break snares, so the first class also gains a root, then the second class gets an ability to break roots, and so it goes. Players tend to ask for abilities or talents that reduce their weaknesses, but when we go there, then someone else's strength isn't a strength any longer.
On the one hand, having abilities and counter abilities adds depth to the fights. You need to be familiar with your defenses and everyone else's as well and need to decide, often in a split-second, when to use an ability or save it.
But on the other hand, it justs adds bulk to the game. Simple outcomes can have depth too.
I say all that as way of preamble, because we are taking a really hard look at a lot of the ubiquitous PvP-survival talents, such as those that reduce mechanic durations, provide pushback resistance, let you take less damage while stunned, etc. Our sense is that because so many of these have become ubiquitous, PvP is balanced around the assumption of those mechanics. Instead of them being some cool or clever power you have to mitigate their effects, they are just the norm. They become not a choice, but mandatory.
It's likely you'll start seeing a lot of these counter mechanics getting phased out. We may not be able to get rid of every one, but we can get rid of a lot of them. Warriors may freak out when they think they will be CC'd permanently, but then they will start to relax when they see everyone is losing those mechanics and we take a hard look at the CCs themselves knowing that the passive and active CC counters are no longer in play. (Source)
Healing and dispells in Cataclysm
For starters, dispels themselves are going to have higher mana and situational costs. I don't anticipate every hot is just going to be automatically removed.
The reduction talents are something we are taking a look at. We don't want healers to have to spend talent points on them, which means either everyone will get the now standard reduction across the board, or we'll just remove them from everyone and balance interrupts around that. (Source)
Healing in Cataclysm
Prior to LK, healers could run out of mana, and for the most part it worked. They didn't just use their efficient heals, because sometimes their group would die if they did. They didn't just use their big heals though, because they'd run out of mana (and then the group would die).
I think of healing like a cross-continental road race. If you go too slow, you'll lose the race, but if you just floor it the whole itme, you'll run out of fuel a lot and waste time stopping to fill it up again. There is a happy medium somewhere in between. However the encounter specifics push you out of that medium, sometimes asking you to choose big numbers over efficiency and sometimes vice-versa.
I know it sounds like we are picking on healers all the time, but once you can run out of mana again, I think everything will just feel better, your choices about what spell to cast next become more compelling, and the healing game overall will be more engaging. (Source)
I'm not convinced healers will leave tanks at half health on purpose. That wasn't a popular strategy in say Black Temple or Sunwell when mana was more of an issue. You may not be pressured to immediately top off a tank constantly, but leaving a tank purposefully injured in order to prevent overhealing isn't going to be a sound strategy. (Source)
I would put hots on people who need healing but aren't likely to die in the next few seconds. I understand there is still a lot of concern about "but he will ninja my heal!" but that is today's world where wasted mana doesn't matter. If you're on challenging content and your healers can't coordinate, then that's something your group will need to resolve. (Source)
Druid (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Restoration in Cataclysm
I wouldn't use Healing Touch that much in a 5-player dungeon. It's slow and expensive and heals for a lot, and you really don't want to be overhealing a lot in Cataclysm. Maybe if the tank has been whittled down and you just can't catch up, you could throw it out there. For the most part, I would use Rejuv and Nourish to heal the group and Lifebloom and Nourish to heal the tank, throwing out Swiftmend or Regrowth for emergencies.
We want Wild Growth (and Circle of Healing) to be really good spells, but it's hard to keep them in that niche without them just being used every time they are off cooldown. High mana costs are supposed to make you ask yourself: Am I hitting Wild Growth to heal 2 people just because it's an easy / lazy thing to do?
The limit-one Lifebloom is our attempt to make the spell a really useful tank-healing tool again. It's just too easy to keep an instant spell up on lots of targets, yet this is one case where we don't want the mana cost to be excessive. We also have a mechanic to let a stack of Lifebloom be refreshed by Nourish -- without this mechanic, druids just don't have the GCDs to do much more than keep hots up on tank and avoid any spell with a cast time. But if you could keep stacks on multiple targets so easily, druid would be too powerful at healing.
We know making this change to Lifebloom will have PvP ramifications, but we're also okay with that. We need to shift PvP healing (for everyone) back towards cast time spells. When PvP healing is balanced around heals that can't be interrupted and can be cast on the move, then we have to do crazy things to give your opponents any chance to counter them. Resto druids have had a storied history of being overpowered or underpowered in PvP and we want to avoid these extremes. You'll still be casting hots, but you'll be casting non-hots as well.
It's all early in development though and we haven't done a lot of PvP balance testing yet, so this design will evolve over time. Resto druids have a lot of spells, some of which have very subtle niches. Our initial strategy is to try and find homes for them all, because we like the spells. But if we can't make it work, we'll start cutting some. (Source)
Healing with HoTs only
It's an apt comparison because we see Affliction locks all the time who say "I only want to cast dots. Any time I cast Shadow Bolt, that's an abomination." But we want Affliction casting Shadow Bolt. Casting Shadow Bolt doesn't mean casting nothing but Shadow Bolt. Likewise, we want druids to cast Nourish and Healing Touch and not just keeping Rejuvs on everyone.
Classes can feel different from each other without being so unique that they have nothing in common with each other. If you're going to invest many hours healing on a druid, it's more important to us that what you're doing is dynamic and engaging over the long haul. You'll notice that a lot more than you will how similar or dissimilar you are to the healer standing next to you. (Source)
lol-heals (I like the name!)
The vanilla druid used a single heal for the most part, Healing Touch, so I don't find your analogy apt. What we are trying to do is give druids more heals than ever rather than having the overpowered heals vs. the lol heals. Using more cast-time heals does not mean removing the "hot flavor" of druids, unless your definition is "I only hot." Referring to my previous post, we don't think the game design will work for *any* class that relies so much on a single category of spells. It barely works for mages because they have so many mechanics to support those few spells, but even in that example we are expanding their repertoire. (Source)
Priest (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Spamming Power Word: Shield
Pre-shielding when you know big damage is on the way for select targets is fine. Trying to keep shields up on the entire raid is a strategy that we think A) is too good, and B) isn't fun. I think a lot of the players who think it is fun feel that way because it's overpowered, not because it's a really engaging activity. When your decision making consists of cycling through targets and casting PW:S on any target without Weakened Soul, then you aren't really responding to the encounter -- you're acting like a glorified macro. Now maybe some of you will argue that you take a lot more into consideration before executing a pre-heal, but the fact is that Disc priests can be unbelievably effective without doing so. (Source)
Power Word: Shield in Cataclysm
An Icecrown parse for a Disc priest might have PW: Shield (including its glyph) and Divine Aegis at 80% of healing done. Imagine that is more like 50 or 60% of healing done. That's still a lot of power for shields. The remainder would be filled in by spells like Penance, PoM, Heal and Greater Heal. (Source)
Improved Flash Heal
We have a talent, Improved Flash Heal, that does nothing else except buff flash heal. - a spell we won't likely use - Are you going to keep that talent?
I would suspect not. We tried to pump up Flash Heal for Disc before because it was the only cast-time heal that really mattered. In Cataclysm, it is basically an emergency heal, which is something PW:S and Penance already do well. (Source)
Shaman (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator)
Rockbiter taunt effect
Avoiding a wipe is the responsibility of everyone in the group. If you don't think you'll use the ability, don't use it. Simple as that. You don't even have to spend talent points to get it.
Hunters and demons have pets that are designed to tank. That doesn't mean they are a tanking class. Shaman will tank on rare occasions, just as warlocks and hunters are sometimes called upon to tank. That doesn't mean they will be able to choose the tank role in Dungeon Finder or will be very effective trying to be the MT for a group. As far as tanking classes go, there are four: warrior, paladin, druid and death knight. (Source)
Warrior (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator)
Titan's Grip ...
The budget of Titan's Grip or the fact that it's passive don't bother us at all. It's still an interesting talent in that it has a pretty big impact on how you play. If you doubt that, consider instead how it would feel if the talent gave you a damage bonus when using two one-handed axes rather than using two two-handed weapons. Everything from the swing speed to the stat budget is what makes the talent feel like it's breaking the rules. (Source)
... and Single-Minded Fury
I don't think Single-Minded Fury needs to be exactly as powerful as Titan's Grip at every gear level and in every situation. It needs to be balanced at very high or best-in-slot gear levels, or it will just get ignored. But at lower levels, I'm not convinced it will be a problem. Say it is proven that Titan's Grip wins hands-down at the pre-heroic dungeon level. Now a warrior runs a level 85 dungeon and a blue one-handed Strength weapon drops that is a big upgrade over his quest green two-handed weapon. Even though Titan's Grip is theoretically stronger with equal gear, he doesn't have equal gear. He has a one-handed upgrade.
We might have to keep tweaking one talent or the other to keep them in rough parity, but those are relatively easy knobs to adjust. (Source)
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