I Don’t Understand BfA Class Changes (I Feel Broken, So I Quit)

(Dirtymind) #1

I Don’t Understand BfA Class Changes (So I Quit)

My mains in WoW are a Feral Druid and Shadow Priest.

I don’t understand Class Changes, and I don’t think Blizzard understands how they effect players by

delaying fixes and telling us to be patient.

“Patience is not the greatest virtue, it is in fact Understanding. If you understand why you have to wait, if you understand why things take time, you can wait indefinitely on the knowledge of what will come at the end of the road. Without Understanding… your just will lose all patience in an instant, waiting for nothing and not knowing why you being kept uninformed”

What Blizzard Commented On!
Transcribed from June 14th (171 days ago) - Game Director Ion Hazzikostas

Can we get a timeline for specs that are still on the radar for major changes prior to prepatch?
The window for major change is rapidly closing. They’re still listening to feedback and talent changes may still happen, but shouldn’t see any large reworks like Demonology Warlock from the beginning of Alpha. Fury Warrior and Balance Druid aren’t as big as the Demonology Warlocks from the beginning. E.g. Tiger’s Fury for Feral Druids will be off GCD in next build.
Now they also have to focus on tuning and balance as well. Discussion on complexity, awkwardness and other feedback is still ongoing but large changes will likely need to wait until Patch 8.1 at this point as they need to work on balance and stability.
Ion specifically mentioned Enhancement, Elemental and Shadow for changes in Patch 8.1.

From the short-hand reported on the WoW Q&A Panel

It is entirely justified to blame Blizzard when a class gets the reputation for being bad, and they want to address these bad reputations. However, community perspective is often increased when players of a class constantly speak negatively of themselves.

The Character is the Players Interface. (Why I Feel Broken)

Players don’t experience through the client, user interface, or through their graphics card and monitor, or through the quest system or loot… they experience the World (or Warcraft) through the single mechanism of common to every game… The Avatar.

We form a bond with our Avatar, be it a main or alt, we invest part of ourselves into that character at different levels. For our main, our chosen class and specialisation that attachment is a deep experience for many players, either its through the play-style, the fantasy, or just after a decade or more you and that toon have been through a lot together.

This is my main, most of the buttons I press are linked to an ability your main has.… but more importantly its a reflection of me through my monitor onto this virtual world.

I will run old content happily and tirelessly for a single piece of transmog I must have, but will head butt my keyboard in frustration if I have to run LFR again to get BIS that never drops. Its a complex relationship I have with Pantsless (my druid) and Dirtymind (my shadow priest).

When the class/spec feels good, I feel good… but when it feels broken, I feel broken!

And I am talking personally, the players bond with their favourite avatar is deep and its a form of player depression… and I don’t think Blizzard understand this with their comments at Blizzcon and the attitude of “we will fix it next patch”

World of Warcraft is Competitive (VERSUS!!!)

The “we will fix it next patch” class balance can sour a players experience so much. 4 months (110 days and counting) waiting for changes since the launch of BfA, is brutally unfair way to handicap many players.

World of Warcraft is a competitive game on so many levels from casual to hardcore, from single player experiences to group progression. Trying to compete in a whole season of content with a class/spec that is already handicapped is a nightmare for most players.

… but for it also to be the opening of the new expansion, was Brutally Unfair.

Your slower, weaker, take longer to clear trash and are can be a hinderance in high level content that you just don’t want to be in the game.

The first part of an a new expansion 8.0 is a busy time for players, lots of leveling, gear and rep grinding and finding your place in mythic+, raids and pvp… with a broken class. This hurts players love for the game, cause Blizzard refuse to give their class right in Beta, we needed a little more love than a delayed patch.

The Meta is Key! (and why I get picked last in Basketball)

Why not just play another class? Cause players are attached to their favourites after 14 years.

Players don’t want to chase the meta down the rabbit hole, cause that is so messed up… by the time the meta is locked down, if you get that toon levelled and geared the nerf bat comes down and your in the same position as you were when you started.

The meta also effects players attitude to other players in that class and spec, I think Blizzcon comments ignored that and given they have Overwatch and HotS in their stable of games they should know that bringing the wrong toon creates friction between players (putting it nicely).

As a Guild player, you want to be performing your best, doing your share, beating the enrage timers and surviving the encounters/pvp… your friends deserve it. You don’t want to be carried and you don’t want to be sidelined. You want to be the pick on the team, and not the last nerd picked cause the PE teacher let the jocks pick the Basketball teams… but more importantly, you don’t want to disappoint your Guild.

When you see you missed the enrage timer and look at the DPS meters and realise no matter how much better you do, your doing the best with a handicapped character and its better if you step out rather than continue.

Blizzard you created this game to be competitive. VERSUS. You have to keep the Meta fair and NOT broken for a whole season of content.

Iterative Changes vs Innovative Changes (Shadow Priest Example)

My Shadow Priest was my dungeon and raid main for many expansions, I am bonded to it.

After waiting 171 days of it not getting its second pass in Beta, the “Major Update” promised in June 14 for Shadow Priests did not feel major (plenty of threads on this). It was for the most part iterative changes to percentages, resources and few survivals… but nothing stood out as innovative… We were expecting solutions to critical issues, that have been documented and reported. The changes while a balanced, its more of a roll-back to return some of our past glory in Legion, rather than innovative. I still don’t understand why this isn’t an immediate hotfix or an 8.0.X update to deliver improvements immediately to that class. Delays to class fixes should not be acceptable or tied to large content updates.

When I thought about it, when were the Innovative changes delivered to Shadow Priests… and I came up with a few like Shadow Apparitions and Void Form, but nothing totally on the scale of changing the way we play (pvp or pve)… like say making them Stealth Range Assassins (shadow priest stealth is my #1 wish) or something unique, and that ticked a thing in my mind, why do we still see more innovative game designs in HotS and Overwatch, but still get the cookie cutter class designs in WoW.

I tried to think about what changes really made Shadow Priests feel really good to play, what were the milestone improvements and they weren’t class changes… They were mechanical changes for all classes.

3.0 The End of Burning Crusade when they removed most of hybrid penalties and normalised damage to 10% within the core dps classes… in Black Temple made you feel like a new hero.

3.3 Bought Haste scaling for DoT classes, that changed our status from a depressing mess that was benched at the Argent Tournament (3.2 sucked) and we got front row seats to Icecrown Citadel and melted Lich Kings face…

4.0 when they made DoTs Crit and allowed clip recasting… Icecrown was epic especially the first few weeks when Shadow Apparition army procing off every crit they had to roll back the proc rate. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the sandbox that classes are made in, limits innovation to the base game code and that 11th hour of Beta/PTR results in a high number of iterative changes being thrown at a class to deliver a balanced product… and with BfA this failed to even get to this point as they ran out of time due to “scheduling”. I would like to see Blizzard spend more time looking at the fundamental mechanics of the game code, cause when they do, they always seem to bring the best changes to all classes.

Conclusion (This is the End!)

Thank-you for reading this my resignation from World of Warcraft. I hope I explain why I cancelled my subscription and why it ties directly to how classes were managed in Battle for Azeroth.

I leave WoW cause I felt broken, cause my two favourite toons felt broken, that behind the scenes the development of WoW feels broken cause they rushed a product to market without doing proper due diligence on its classes. Its was for me the worst start a new expansion feeling broken.

Please accept this is my opinion on the subject, and that I am addressing this to Blizzard. I need them to Understand why I am leaving, and its cause I don’t Understand their approach to classes and I think they misunderstand the relationship players have with their characters and that they have turned WoW into a very competitive game that should stop handicapping players and telling them to wait for fixes that take forever to release.

(Varrow) #2

This is a good post. I don’t feel like Blizzard understands how awful it feels when your class is broken. Or your spec. Maybe it’s only 6 of the specs in the game, but if one of those is your spec? There is nothing that ruins the game quicker.

I really hope we see more focus on class design ASAP, because it definitely needs it. Not every class is as bad as shamans or ferals, but basically every class does have dead talents and boring azerite. They should be able to do way better than this.

(Nuisense) #3

It isn’t just Blizzard that has forgotten. The newer players also don’t understand the attachment some of us have to our toons. I get a lot of “LOL, reroll” when they see I’m playing Feral. But I don’t want to play something other than Feral. Not as my main. Sure, I’ll do alts, but my main progression is done on Feral. Newer players always seem to be on the hunt for the FotM class/spec that allows them to flex their epeens and strut around like the roosters they view themselves as.


Not just you that’s pondering quitting. I’ve played since closed beta for vanilla, rarely took breaks and have mained this toon through thick and thin since wrath. I’m almost done with the lack of dk love specifically unholy. It’s the same boring classes dominating PvP and PvE, rogues Warriors, demon hunters, and now you can add druids to it (talking about boomies).

I’ve always mained unholy and this is the most unfun and rewardless version of the spec since I can remember.

(Lovabull) #5

Something needs to be done, that’s for sure. This “we’ll fix it later” mentality from big gaming companies will destroy the industry not just this franchise. This trend is unique to gaming, nowhere else will you have consumers take it like we do when we’re told that the product that we payed full price, is not complete, that they rushed it out to meet a deadline and that we’ll have to wait months or years to have the actual product.

Spec balance should be #1 priority on their list since you can’t enjoy any of the content when the gameplay you obtain through your character is absolutely crippled.

So, here comes 8.1 with barely ANY changes done to the classes and yet, doubling down on the Azerite system, implementing new traits that are busted in the PTR and that will most likely make it live so we can suffer another two months of dartboard balancing.


The changes done to S priest coming into BFA are maybe the worst to any spec in the history of the game. I cannot think of any other spec moving this far in reverse.

mind = boggled


Ya, like canceling subs and playing better games =)

(Xoja) #8

I don’t get it either.

Everything they’ve done since WoD has contributed to classes being less engaging and less fun to play.

Instead of listening to player feedback about it they continue to make bad decisions and design moves that make no sense.

This “bring the class, not the player” doubling down on class strengths design for BfA was executed the completely wrong way. They needed to bring things back that separated classes, not whittle them down even further.


When I put on my tin foil hat, I get visions of WoW console ports and mobile versions. Less buttons to push = easier to port, amirite?

(Netheridan) #10

You poor, poor thing. totally understandable.


Been playing since Vanilla and cancelled my sub last night for the same reasons you outline in this post. Your point about patience especially rings true to me.

It use to feel like classes were a constant work in progress and you felt that if your class wasn’t in a great spot currently, there were changes being actively worked on in the PTR to try to get back in line with others. And once those changes were ready they would be patched in on the next server maintenance day.

Now it feel like if your class is in a bad spot, you’re just out of luck until at least the next major content patch. And, even then, by the time those changes even hit the PTR, its pretty clear they have been decided on and any testing is purely for bug testing. So, if those changes don’t actually fix the problems with the class, you’re just expected to deal with it for months until the next major content patch when they might actually get around to fixing it, probably not.

Edit: I also wanted to add two other things that have frustrated me about the game. Blizzard seems to have decided to take a very macro approach to player feedback. They only seem interested in what parts of the game people enjoy and what parts do they have issue, in order to drive the topics at their meetings. On the other hand, they seem to not be interested in why people think there is issues with those parts of the game, how people think they could possibly fix those issues, or when people think they should fix them in terms of hot-fix vs arbitrarily having to wait for a major patch. That is for them to determine at said meetings.

The second issue is I can’t help but feel Blizzard’s reluctance to actively improve their game and instead trying to fix everything in major patches has a lot to do with their desire to make WoW an esports platform with MDI, world first race, and arenas. For that sake, it makes sense. What other high level competitions outside of some other esports have big sponsors and large amounts of money on the line and are constantly changing the conditions and parameters that the competitors have to deal with mid-season? One could easily see why they would want to have a decent amount of consistency for these competitions sake considering the investment they’ve made in them and the potential profits from them. I just feel it’s unfortunate it was better for 99% of players to suffer at the benefit of the 1% of competitors at that level in the hope of more profits from a successful esports scene, instead of touting the adaptability as a skill of the competitions or just having the tournament realms run on static patches for the length of a season.

(Crosshairs) #12

The bleeding subs will make them realize. Something strange happened this week… I didn’t even bother doing my +10… When I asked between my friends, I got similar replies… ‘meh, can’t be bothered’.

Never has the game become so stale, so quickly after the release of a new expac. Sadly I had my game prepaid till Feb, so I’m on the hook for it until then. After that, another long timer gone


The Feels are real, enjoy your next adventure OP


What I really dislike is how blizzard only makes class improvements during major patches now. If something is really bad about your class, you have to wait months until the next patch, with absolutely no communication about it along the way. The quote about patience really rings true.

(Yvaelle) #15

Nice job Dirty.

You did a better job here explaining why I quit than even I had words for.

It is deeply disappointing and frustrating to play a game where you feel broken, and where the devs don’t care.

(Dirtymind) #16

Quoted from "Luigisanchez-sargeras

Been playing since Vanilla and cancelled my sub last night for the same reasons you outline in this post. Your point about patience especially rings true to me.

It use to feel like classes were a constant work in progress and you felt that if your class wasn’t in a great spot currently, there were changes being actively worked on in the PTR to try to get back in line with others. And once those changes were ready they would be patched in on the next server maintenance day.

Now it feel like if your class is in a bad spot, you’re just out of luck until at least the next major content patch. And, even then, by the time those changes even hit the PTR, its pretty clear they have been decided on and any testing is purely for bug testing. So, if those changes don’t actually fix the problems with the class, you’re just expected to deal with it for months until the next major content patch when they might actually get around to fixing it, probably not.

Thank you, I feel the same way or at least I never felt it was a huge misstep that we have seen in BfA. I can’t be told by Blizzard to be “patient” when I don’t “understand” what they are doing.

172 days since they announced they ran out of time, those specs were not given a complete treatment but they release 51 days later onto live in a poorly optimised state with each spec receiving major hotfixes (plural) weeks after launch cause they needed “more data” cause they didn’t understand the problem they themselves created. A rushed product hurt 6 spec-loving communities of WoW for 111 days on live, players have been hurting cause of “scheduling” conflicts derived from a rush to deliver product thats not striving for for quality (they bought BfAs release date forward! why?)…

172 days, time is the master of us all, and I can’t understand why I have waited so long, for so little to improve for my beloved characters.

My Druid has been with me since Day 1. My raid healer, my flag runner and my gold farmer, my ferocious kitty, my first hero. My Shadow Priest, reluctantly forced upon me so my Burning Crusade guild could meta with mana-batteries… I grew to love the different play style and when she got buffed to a real dps, I stuck with her… and now I have to leave her.

Its that bond which makes the characters fun, you want to stick with them, but Blizzard doesn’t have to make it this hard… this was a brutal unfair handicap in at a start of a game that has grown more and more competitive over the years, and less responsive to fixing its woes.

I just don’t Understand.

(Plyte) #17

The Priest Discord founder, Veiled, canceled her sub last week as well. She was also a shadow priest main for multiple expansions, founded the site 6 years ago I believe.

I’m considering just deleting all my characters right now, just so I can’t come back. The WoW I knew long ago is gone, and there’s no reason to hold out hope.

(Dirtymind) #18

Thank you, and I am sorry any player feels the need to quit cause they feel broken.

We are bonded to our characters… we rarely talk about WoW without referencing the character we play. The main character is not Sylvanas, Khadgar, Jaina or Zappyboi … its our main character, its Dirtymind, it Yvaelle, and its every other players favourite toon.

I hope Blizzard reads this and understands how players feel, we don’t want our main characters to feel broken, cause it transposes that feeling onto us the players.

(Nuisense) #19

Was considering this question and I think maybe the current thinking of the new player (play FotM strong classes/specs only) has bled over into the new Dev’s philosophies. The new Dev’s are also missing that connection with a single class/spec and don’t value that connection with a toon that a lot of us longer term players have. So if they make a class/spec weak, they don’t understand why people are in an uproar. Because there are other strong classes/specs we could play. What’s the big deal?


So, their old concept of “class fantasy” faded into fantasy?