Can you tell us why it takes so long for class changes to occur?


(Varrow) #1

Why does this feel like a such a taboo topic to ever engage with the community? Why does it take 5 months for talent tuning to take place for Enh shamans? Why do many specs still have awful talent tuning?

Ok, you made some decent new azerite traits. What else has the class team done? Why is utility grossly imbalanced? Why are spriests, warlocks, and moonkins completely dominant in the raid? And still awesome in M+? Why do various gameplay issues go unaddressed?

Why did you completely gut multiple aspects of the Arms execute phase? Why is the super slow pace of the spec good?

Can you please tell us why it’s so hard to make class changes and respond to community concerns. I understand there are always things that are going have widely different opinions, but there is a heck of a lot that seems to be pretty universal. And now looking at 8.1.5 and essentially no changes taking place at all I’m simply extremely confused.

What does the class team spend all their time doing? Because it sure doesn’t seem like much of it is spent actually working on the classes.


(Bigdiggles) #2

I worked in the video game industry for a while. I can tell you that there are multiple versions of the game that are being developed simultaneously, IE: 8.2, 8,3, and even work probably being done on 9.0.

Sometimes it’s just conceptual work or art assets, but their timeline is more robust than what we see with live versions.

There is probably also a lot of red tape at Blizzard, because for every balance change that’s made, there must be testing in many areas to make sure it doesn’t imbalance something else.

Regardless of all this, Blizzards current level of attention to class balance is disappointing. In the past, Blizzard was more ambitious and aggressive with class changes; whereas now with corporate activision playing their part, Blizzard seems less willing to make changes and take risks. Which I believe ultimately can translate as boring and stale for the majority of the longtime playerbase.


(Turbocharged) #3

I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again -

Blizzard needs to come out and directly say what THEY want each class/spec to be. They own the game and need to have a solid vision of all strengths and weaknesses for every single class spec. It doesn’t matter what the players want a specific class to be, that’s purely in the hands of Blizz. Once every class and spec is completely identified, THEN the players can pick what they like and offer feedback. It’s freaking OK to share this information with your players!

You want an enhance Shaman to be this, this and this but have nothing to do with that? Ok, great. The player will either play it or not knowing the boundaries.

It’s almost like they don’t want to commit to anything so they can have every option available going forward. That’s a piss poor way of creating classes. Or even worse, they just don’t know what they want or need and are procrastinating with class design/balance.


(Gurthäng) #4

Legion had tunning happening pretty often, its bfa tuning thats complete shi t, i believe its all due to their cutting costs stuff.


(Bepples) #5

This slowing down of class adjustments came far, far more recently than Activision’s merge with Blizzard. All of WotLK onwards came in the era of Activision Blizzard, why didn’t all of those expansions have such a slow response to class design?

The cutting costs is more in the area of support. We aren’t aware of any layoffs of core development teams. So this doesn’t really make sense.

Also, Legion had similar problems; they would take months or even years to address problems that first became evident from the beginning of Legion alpha.


(Lacryma) #6

I agree, and they should offer a free one time class change for players who feel the characters that they have worked on for close to 14 years no longer align with the new vision they have for each class. Case and point. Shadow Priests.

We were amazing in Mists. Shadow Ravens, Shadow Orbs, Devouring Plague.

And now Tentacles everywhere. One is not like the other. I feel like Blizzard decided to just up and delete my class in Legion, and then they gave me some new class that is NOT what I leveled and fell in love with. That’s pure bullcrap.


(Gurthäng) #7

Cutting costs involve reducing amount of ppl working on a set area they judge not worth having too much ppl working and the amount of work time spent on that area, you cant know they are just cutting costs on support, usualy cutting costs involve cutting costs everywhere, and knowing legion commitment to balance we can assume that cutting costs is the cause of this crap balance this xpac.


#8

I don’t often agree with a lot of Bepples comments but I think his points here are probably right. Activision have been around since Wrath and cost cuts have mostly been around support, in fact I read somewherr they are actively hiring developers.

My guess is the issue is mostly around internal processes and testing. The process to get a change approved and tested is to long. I suspect this might have something to do with pushing a faster expansion/revenue cycle and focusing more developer resources towards 9.0 than on current content


(Tewa) #9

The problem with this theory is that they didn’t give a damn about class design in BfA development, either.

Hundreds of requests and reports from players of all classes and specs during alpha and beta went largely unheeded.

Class design simply isn’t important to the new dev team. Or the new game director.


(Tewa) #10

The problem is that WoW has so much turnover on the dev team staff that what the current developers have as their vision won’t hold for long.

For almost a decade, Blizzard’s vision of WoW included flying at max level. Then they had more dev team turnover and look what happened. If Blizzard can’t stick to a coherent design principle for something that affects everybody, no way can they stay consistent from class spec to class spec, over time.


(Myronas) #11

My point has always been the communication and feedback. Since Legion you have specs like Unholy and Survival giving feedback around the lines of asking for redesigns, and we dont hear a peep.

If it truly does come down to support structure costs savings, then where does our feedback fit in? I know they read it, they had to have ignored the feedback, most likely meaning they werent willing to go back and change their design.


(Bigdiggles) #12

It’s worth mentioning also that there are SO many ways to play the game, this becomes a drawback for balancing.

For instance one class may be very overpowered in PvP but underpowered in PvE or vice versa. I almost think that PvP and PvE should be kept separate for that reason.


(Xoja) #13

Looks like “Warcraft” is one of the IPs getting an increase in developers so I’m sure that includes WoW. I mean it could literally be 1 developer but yeah.

Maybe things really were spread a little too thin and that contributed.


#14

Every single PvP-only spell/ability/passive says hi.


(Rannoch) #15

Well, if we’re lucky, maybe they got laid off so someone who actually listens can get on the job.


(Varrow) #16

You know another thing that would be really interesting to know is who the intended audience is they generally balance for.

Like, buffing moonkins doesn’t make any sense at all to me. Not reigning in spriests and locks a bit is also a real thonker lol.


(Betademon) #17

That is more than ok. They should at least let us know they have acknowledged the various problems, so we can be hopeful. Right now, even myself, who is usually really patient with this kind of stuff, feel like I’m beating a dead horse. The first step to fixing a problem, is recognising their is a problem… but Blizzard refuse to communicate.

I desperately want to tank on my VDH, but I just can’t keep sh*ting myself every :clap: single :clap: pull :clap:. So I instead just revert to Havoc and hopefully I’m able to ride it out until the issues get addressed.


(Dremall) #18

I wouldn’t expect anything major until 9.0. outside of azurite traits (yuck). We can hope we’ve been heard. However the major changes that are needed typically don’t occur until a new xpac.


#19

Agree. Our feedback has been ignored for this expansion. Pack it up and unsub if you don’t enjoy these god-awful class designs. Blizzard does what they want when they want to and never before.


#20

I think most people are waiting for patch 8.2 to hit the PTR. It will be the make or break moment for this expansion.