A short reminder to the class tuning patches coming with the next weekly reset.
Things have been going quite similar the past few expansions, so we can expect 1, maybe 2 more similar “Class Tunings” until we end up with 6 months of no updates (other than bugfixes) and garbage classes / specs being garbage, while overpowered classes / specs keep dominating almost every aspect of PvE.
I’ll focus on mostly PvE since I frankly have no idea how PvP is currently holding up.
I understand the idea of “treading carefully” regarding balance patches, I really do, but we have, once again, a tank class that absolutely dominates m+ and is insanely strong in the raid, both for survivability and dps, while every other tank class is effectively handicapping themselves by not playing it.
We have a few dps classes that are heavily reliant on “very rare” drops from the raid, which is a non issue for Blizzards dear darlings the people participating in the RWF, given how they spend 16 hours a day running splitraids precisely to funnel that gear into specific characters, while regular players don’t even see these items drop for the first few weeks, if not months.
And as always, we have certain specs being entirely forgotten, while others get the most dedication, love and handcrafted changes that has ever been showcased.
I understand that Ion has said that he prefers the “only work on balance once for a few weeks every half a year”, but from my personal experience, and those experiences of the people that surround me in the World of Warcraft, it’s quite frustrating. I’d much rather see buffs on players power, especially on those classes that are often considered “unviable” because they’re being dominated by the good classes, than continuous nerfs for raids and dungeons.
My point being, I believe the intentionally chosen balance philosophy that Blizzard has taken since at some point between Legion and BFA is hurting the game in a way that’s very frustrating for its players.
Back in Uldir, elemental shaman was utter garbage. For the entire season, ele shaman was utter garbage.
Then Battle of Dazar’alor came out and suddenly, ele shaman was insanely strong. For the entire season, including the Uu’nat raid, ele shaman was insanely strong.
And finally, with Eternal palace, we’ve found a place for ele shaman to be, where the spec was neither too strong, nor too weak.
What’s my point with this anecdote? It’s simple. Those were 2 balance patches that have been required to bring a class from utter garbage to well placed. Those 2 balance patches took over a year to happen.
And given how the class tuning looks right now, we won’t be expecting any groundbreaking “THIS TALENT NOW DEALS 50% MORE DAMAGE AND HEAVILY CHANGES YOUR PLAYSTYLE” balance patches, similar to how the ele shaman lava burst azerite trait got buffed and warped its entire gameplay around, but rather
Marksmanship All ability damage reduced by 3%.
Why can’t we get those more frequently? While I understand, you don’t want to frustrate players by making their class weaker mid progress, the fact that you’re treading this carefully in the first week of the first season showcases that you’re most likely not going to ruin classes due to 3% ability damage nerfs.
And much easier, if you’re still afraid of doing precisely that, simply don’t nerf classes that aren’t overly oppressive regarding dps and healing, but rather buff those that are terrible.
My wish would be that, rather than giving players perpetual power gain from external sources such as
- More artifact power gain
- Additional Heart of Azeroth traits
- More renown and soulbind unlocks
- Additional sparks of ingenuity to spend billions of gold on crafted items
as well as perpetual raid and m+ nerfs, other than the desperately necessary fixes that should’ve happened during beta a long time ago, I’d much rather have players powers increased by their classes that they like and care about to be playable in a semi-competitive environment.
I understand there will always be slight edges and the true competitive environment will always use these, but at the same time having 90% of all tanks in the top 0.1% of mythic+ players be DK tanks is just not okay, looking at last season.
Dear Ion, you yourself said “bring the player, not the class”, why is it then, that often it’s incredibly difficult to bring a 6.5 out of 10 player with a 3 out of 10 class, rather than a 5 out of 10 player with a 9 out of 10 class?
You yourself said you wanted to go back to class identities when talking about covenants, and while you failed at that, with the entire concept of the ripcord being a lie to begin with, helping players play the class they identify with or find the most fun, rather than them just checking what class is currently dominating every other class, is one of the best ways to go back to players being true “Class XYZ” players, rather than half your guild rerolling each content.
And how do you help players play the class they identify with or find the most fun?
By making these classes and specs not utter garbage in comparison to the top tier ones.
By pushing out balance patches more than just twice a year.
By actively trying to fix broken classes, or garbage set boni (see disc s3/s4 setbonus in a direct comparison to the holy priest setbonus), rather than just ignoring them, no matter how much feedback you receive on them.
Anyway, this is my early saturday morning rant about how much I wish we could go back to the days of more frequent balance patches. I hate knowing that I’ll handicap myself by not playing warrior tank this season.