Sep 192011

MMO-Champion has the full roundup, but a few things I wanted to comment on:

So another thing that came with Cataclysm, well even in other expansions, was that some fights favored some types of DPS that led to some classes being kind of sat out on certain encounters. Do you think that in the Deathwing fight this might happen as well or are you trying to balance that?
 We try to keep in mind, I mean on one hand we really want to encourage all available players to play. It’s tough not to go in and try to change things when you find that someone is too weak on a fight and a more competitive guild risks sitting that player out. We really don’t like that, but at the same time if we aren’t careful then the fights will all kind of feel the same because we’ll have to say “Okay, where’s the AE moment so that my Demonology Warlock can shine and where is the movement component of this fight because that is really good for my Fire Mage” or whatever. So we kind of give… it’s hard enough coming up with new encounters where players don’t immediately say “Oh, you’ve done that already; we’ve seen it all before”. We make so many hundreds of bosses that we like to give our encounter designers a lot of room to maneuver.

It becomes a problem when it feels like consistently the same types of characters aren’t competing. We’ve seen a lot of concern about the melee classes just can’t compete with the ranged classes. Part of that is class mechanics; part of it is that we just have a lot of encounters that really favor ranged. So for the Deathwing tier, what we’re going to do is just a straight up buff to the melee classes that hopefully helps them a little bit. We’re going to do that in such a way that the raid buffs will just end up buffing melee a little more than they’ll buff ranged. So hopefully you won’t have a lot of widespread effects in PvP or things like that, but melee characters who are just stabbing away on a boss in optimal situations will feel like their DPS is very competitive.

Hmm, I wonder who said that melee needed a buff across the board? Very good to see this being looked at. Not sure exactly how it’s going to be implemented via raid buffs to hit melee harder than ranged without splitting stats up again (if they just buff strength, I might cry) but I’m sure they’ll figure something out.

Where does the gear fit in terms of the new 5-mans? Will they be like ZA and ZG were or will they be a bit lower… where will they fit?
 A little bit higher… we’re still debating the exact numbers but I think they’re probably slotting it maybe between Normal Firelands and Heroic Firelands. It will be slightly weaker than the Looking for Raid tier and obviously weaker than the remaining Deathwing raid tier.

Interesting. I’m still unsure if LFR will be open for all tiers or just the current tier. Assuming just the current tier for discussion purposes,this means roughly:

  • 346: 4.0 5-mans (H)
  • 353: 4.1 5-mans
  • 359: 4.0 raids
  • 365: 4.2 daily quests
  • 372: 4.0 heroic raids
  • 378: 4.0 final(H) boss, 4.2 raids (Yes I know Sinestra is 379, close enough)
  • 384: 4.2 final boss, 4.3 5-mans, new profession items (guess)
  • 391: 4.2 heroic raids, 4.3 LFR raids
  • 397: 4.2 final(H) boss, 4.3 normal raids? (likely)
  • 404: 4.3 normal raids? (less likely)
  • 410/417: 4.3 heroic raids
I’m astonished that LFR will have that high of an ilvl. With all the comments that “this was expected to be something to get people used to raiding, we don’t want to make it too attractive,” …this looks really attractive to me, and is a half tier higher than what I was expecting. I bet the “don’t make it too attractive” faction and the “if you make it too low, nobody will do it” faction are arguing. Anyway, LFR sounds pretty sweet, though it shows that Blizzard is firmly moving into the “multiple difficulties for one encounter” camp, instead of the “multiple difficulties for multiple encounters” model of classic/BC. People already complain that killing a boss on heroic doesn’t feel special since they’ve done it on normal…what if you’ve killed it “two” times before?
Also, time until LFR gets called “ez-mode?” 3…2…1…


 Posted by at 1:25 pm

  9 Responses to “New 4.3 details”

  1. Very solid post! I enjoyed it. I am sure that there will be much hand-wringing over LFR, “casuals” and “bads”, and item levels in the weeks to come before 4.3. I also wonder if the LFR raiders will ever qualify to be “called up” to the normal and heroic-level difficulty, or if their achievements will mark them as lesser somehow.

    • I doubt it highly. LFR will slot in alongside BH as the “thing to raid when you’re not raiding,” since it has a separate lockout.

      Perversely, assuming that LFR gives you an idea of the mechanics of the fight, it wouldn’t surprise me to see top guilds requiring all members to clear the new raids in LFR during downtime. Hell, if it lets you queue as a raid, then it could take the place of a farm night.

  2. I feel that Blizzard is approaching the melee versus ranged thing the wrong way. The numbers are not really the issue for most encounters (Rhyolith, Heroic Shannox, etc.), but more so the mechanics. Buffing the numbers that I pull as a Feral Druid DPS will not get me a raid slot, it will simply mean that I will not do so badly when I do.

    • Right, unfortunately, there’s no easy mechanics fix to combat the advantages ranged have over melee when target switching.

      • I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily hard to fix melees target switching issues. I for one have at least a handful of ideas that would make target switching relatively seamless with a bit of planning, gut feeling and a touch of magic.
        Problem I see is that I’m fairly clueless about pvp, so any of my solutions would probably mean that ferals and melee in general would be able to instantly swap pressure in a way that no healer could ever keep up with in arenas.
        My biggest issue in this tier is definitely not damage (just like thetenmanbear), but that it’s generally too painful to effectively deal with some mechanics, like bloods on Cho, Seeds on Rag, Sparks on Rhyo, and so on, ad infinitum.
        My point is, I guess, that they’re not understanding the plight of the ferals, since they’re seemingly not adressing the issues that make raid leaders pick a ranged alt over a great melee, and that makes half the high-end ferals out there have a bad conscience for not helping their friends out by going boomkin.

    • I agree with Alaron. Based on everything they have described about the upcoming T13 raid tells me they designed enounters that are very ranged friendly and this time they are trying to be pro active. I will be honest, I would rather fun mechanics then patchwork style fights. Those always offer a challange in figuring out a strat that works for max dps while still being a benefit to the raid. I just dislike when I am handicapped from the start due to the class I have chosen.

      I think the only thing I am worried about is the Deathwing fight. From the sound of it I doubt there is going to be any place for us to shred. Hoping they give him the Chimaron treatment and not the just 280 degree (cause that still has issues).

  3. To me this is solid proof of poor designs by Blizzard. In their holy quest for the hard mechanic grail they ended up hurting melee. It was noticed very early on from the frist couple of bosses in Cata.

    So much for their comment on bringing the player and not the class.

    Here’s a drastic (very drastic) solution. Do away with all positional and range requirements. You can use ‘magic’ as the excuse. Otherwise expect even more of this all the way till WOW ends it run.

  4. They would have an easier time of balancing melee if they would just bite the bullet and split PvP and PVE numbrs from each other. They keep flirting with it for certain abilities, guit fucking around and make the split official so one doesn’t fuck up the other (yes I am still pissed at my UW nerf :P )

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