Friday, October 31, 2008

What the Hell?

In the four-year history of the game, has any other class been balanced by multiple hotfixes to the Live servers? Actually, has there even been any other non-bug-related hotfixes, just for class balance?

Seriously, Blizzard, this is a breakdown of your design and development procedures of monumental proportions.


  1. Either that or due to bugs in the beta and PTR were unable to identify issues with Retribution burst damage believing the numbers were due to a known bug on the test realms. When it went to live, they discovered that they had, in fact, made Paladin numbers too high. They also uncoupled two skills from each other that people weren't used to attempting to use together. When people finally left the old paradigm and discovered this new trick, it added fuel to an already blistering fire. They need to fix things on the live realms in order to get enough play testing with the changes to see if everything is kosher before the expansion hits and everything is in flux again until people hit 80 and start their raid progression at which point they'll be able to get real numbers again.

    Either that or Blizz hates us and wants to nerf us to the ground.

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  3. im not normally one to complain bias.. but wow.. i have been getting pummeled by arms warriors, rogues and warlocks routinely since i started playing wow.

    i have never seen them so obsessive about a class being regularly dominant in bg's..

  4. Actually, has there even been any other non-bug-related hotfixes, just for class balance?


  5. @arawn

    Thanks for posting a reasonable theory to a question that was right on my mind after reading this post. "What happened in the dev process that they missed this?"

    I also wonder from a quality control aspect if the Wrath release date was too ambitious. The poor devs are probably working crazy hours and they are most likely pushing too hard too fast - and it shows. How else would you explain such panicked hotfixing.

  6. It is worth noting that the whole Pally overhaul is probably the most significant revamp to an existing class since, well, the last Pally overhaul at the 11th hour of the original beta. Patch 3.0 is an odd window into the development process in which it is easy to forget that there is actually still a beta test going on; this patch arguably should not be live to begin with, but Blizzard wanted to build some hype and work out the worst of the server stress issues before launch day of the expansion, so here we are with a beta-in-progress build on live.

    That aside, I'm pretty staggered too. You'd really think that they would have gotten the balance numbers closer, even if that meant overnerfing on beta so the subsequent changes could be tuning buffs (like they did with Death Knights a few months back).

  7. Ret may be perfectly balanced in a Lich King world at level 80. The problem is they're loose in a Burning Crusade world at 70.

  8. I seem to recall druids getting hit fairly hard shortly after BC released, but in a patch rather than a hotfix. Maybe my memory is wrong.

    I am surprised it got this far. Ever since the start of beta paladins have been all over Northrend shouting about how OP they are, or maybe it blended in with the fact that everyone seems OP right now. What is surprising is that Blizz reacted so slowly. I guess maybe PvP on beta was not representative of PvP on live servers.

  9. Lets put aside all of the things people are saying about hotnerfing paladins for a second.

    Lets put aside all the design ideas they implemented for paladins having been undone for a second.

    This hotnerf now makes wings/bubble WORSE than before 3.0. Forbearance is now two minutes! They doubled the time on it. Forget using wings in a raid if you want to ever have the escape of bubble again. It is absolutely outrageous!

  10. Didn't warriors get a hotfixed nerf after a video of someone running around two-shotting elites with slam? Even if that's true though, that was in the middle of the game, when balance was a pretty high priority. 60 was the cap and would be for at least 2-3 more years after that. Currently Blizzard knows and anticipated that balance would be screwed up at 70. They didn't freeze arena titles before 3.0 for no reason at all. They knew this was coming.

    I can understand that they'd want to get some amount of balance since we're so disliked. It wouldn't be good for sales to have lolret running around wrecking everything in sight. However there is a middle ground between shooting us down some to bring a bit of balance and shooting us down into a grave.

  11. Just a quick update as more people read BoK. In addition to the listed hotfixes we also have:

    JoJustice now lasts only 10 seconds in PvP (down from 20).

    The Sanctified Wrath talent in Ret no longer allows 50% of damage to bypass damage absorption shields.

  12. Yeah this is pretty ridiculous...I mean, even if it is broken, why can't they just leave it until the xpack comes out? I mean, the arena season is over, and raids hardly mean anything right now.

  13. @dyermaker:
    Uhm, post-patch Forbearance was upped to 3 minutes. They reduced it to 2 minutes in the Avenging Wrath nerf-hotfix.

    This is actually a buff to Paladins.

    @1st Anonymous:
    Balance is different than 'done'. They could sit and balance until the cows come home. All of the features are in (pretty much, they've got plans for a few other things that they have absolutely no time for at the moment). However, the classes are currently in a 'complete-ish' state. None of the features are in the 'Not Yet Implemented' column at the moment. Yeah, things could get swapped around next major patch and/or added, but the same could be said for every major patch. They're talking about re-working how bear armor works for the 3.1 patch. Things are done, but not perfect. Things will never be perfect, so might as well launch the expansion.

    @3rd Anonymous:
    One word: 'Testing'. They need classes to run around battlegrounds and make sure that the devs didn't miss some obscure gear/skill combo that causes massive amounts of power (like the one Warlock set bonus causing new talents to go out of whack and allow for a couple million damage per second). If people feel frustrated by getting killed over and over by a slightly over-powered class, it skews all of the testing to be done. Once the xpac goes live all numbers are going to be in flux. Forum posts will be along the lines of "Hi, I'm in random quest greens and can be beat by the other guy in random quest greens and I don't think it's fair." Is the other guy's quest greens better? Does the first guy just need better skills? Is one of the skills under/overpowered at that level? Who knows? Right now, people are comparing level 70s in known gear configurations against other level 70s in known gear configurations. Tada, we've got fairly consistent data that way.

  14. I hate being one of those conspiracy theorists guys, but I'm getting the feeling, more and more, that Blizzard pushed 3.0 and will push WotLK far soon than they are really ready. Stuff like this should have never made it out of Beta into the PTR, let alone into live.

    I just can't shake the feeling that WAR frightened Blizzard pushing out Wrath far sooner than it was ready. You have stuff like this, the timing of a huge influx of players to the Wrath Beta (right around the time of WAR going live).

    Blizzard is a company that was known for pushing back release timeframe again and again to make sure it's good enough. This doesn't even come close to good enough.

  15. @Arawn

    I was comparing what Paladins have now on Live with what we had pre-3.0.

    If Avenging Wrath and Diving Shield were OK for MONTHS on live with a 30 second or 60 second Forbearance, why the hell do they think it needs to be two minutes now? They expect us to believe they are putting any thought into this?

    How can they possibly be testing accurately if all the testing is not done at the same time? Where are the counter balances that are being planned, they never made it to live.

    Vengence, Righteous Vengence, Judgements of the Wise, Divine Storm, Sanctified Wrath... ALL nerfed. 11 days to launch and they are guessing at how to make us whole. They have no fucken clue and are basically admitting it.

  16. It's simple: Blizzard hate Paladins...having played one for 3.5 years I can't stomach the though of becoming a healadin again. My beautiful holy ret warrior was nurfed to the ground in BC and again now in WoTLK releging me to a spot up the back in raids spamming two spells (and we can;t even down rank anymore). WTF are they doing to us? I too have been pummeled to the ground by locks and stun locked by rogues more times than I care to remember. If Blizzard continue this way, well, I don't quite know how I can put words to the strength of feeling I have against this. /sadpanda

  17. @Arawn

    if you don't understand, you shouldn't even try. NOTHING have they done after the patch a buff, including the "DOT buff" that they're trying to push it.

    Before the 3.0.2, we had 1 min forbearance on all 4 spells divine shield, divine protection, blessing protection and AW.

    After the patch, they took it away for AW so it was a buff for AW but nerf the other 3 spells to 3min forbearance. Then now, they hot fix a huge nerf to AW AND the other 3 spells ...even worse than time pre-3.0.2 to have 2min on everything now.

  18. Lol, Gryphonheart, Reckoning doesn't count. That's just hilarious. And it not capping charges is closer to a bug/exploit than an actual design decision.

  19. Kaziel, actually in my opinion, except for the paladin class, Wrath is ready to go.

    All the other classes are more or less done. A couple need slight tweaks. I think Hunters need to be dropped a bit, Warlocks nudged up a bit, and Elemental Shaman need an AoE spell. But they're all in pretty good shape.

    All the initial content looks good, the initial zones, quests and raid are fine, as far as I know.

    It's really only the paladin class that Blizzard has lost control of.

  20. People will always think their class is the least powerful and all other classes need to be nerfed.
    Ofc your class is the one you see and notice changes the most, but really, all classes have nerfs and buffs and even very big changes all the time.

    Druids are a completely different class now then they were in wow 1.0.
    The speccs are not even remotely what they used to be and got changed multiple times up to what they are now.

    The warrior class has been changed a lot.
    Like hell of a lot. It's not the same as it was in 1.0.

    The priest class has seen significant changes to both the shadow and disc tree (and partly the holy tree) to become what it is now.

    Shamans have seen very massive changes as well.

    Basically blizzard struggles and always did struggle with hybrid classes.
    Either they are too powerful and dominate or they're not powerful enough and get min/maxed out of party/raid/arena groups for better classes/speccs.

    So yes the paladin class got quite a few significant changes.
    Noone really complained when the retri specc became as overpowered as it is now.
    Noone complained because prot leveling is the most imbalanced, downtime free fast leveling method in the game (at least not paladins)

    Get over it really.
    Yes your class gets a few nerfs and isn't completely balanced yet but since they change that already and not in the middle of WotLK it's a good thing imho.

    They'll do fine. They did quite ok so far for most classes (Except prot warriors who were a joke in TBC ... yeah i play a warrior.... go figure ;))

  21. Seeing comments like these makes me realize why the MUD I played back in the day never announced any balance changes to damage on skills. They would only announce things that the players could actively prove had changed such as skill duration.

    If Blizzard saw the issues with Retribution burst damage and lowered the coefficients without telling anyone, would people notice? Especially as close after the patch it was? Probably not. You'd see the Avenging Wrath change and bitch about it, but would be completely blind about how your damage on seals was pulled back. You'd be blissfully ignorant that Blizzard did any balance changes. I'm still doing high dps. I'm still doing slightly better damage than my gear level (which is starting to become difficult to tell as we've been decimating raid instances and rummaging through loot pinatas).

    I've heard very few of you point out the beauty that is the new Repentance. It is wonderful for pulls as I can nullify a caster/healer while the group works on the rest of the pull. Divine storm is a fun skill and still does a decent amount of damage. Art of War instant flash of light allows me to toss a HoT on the tank or myself to help keep the the group up. Two minute seals are also a wonderful change. Six second cooldown on Holy Shock. The mana regen for Blessing of Salvation. Itemization changes for Prot and Ret.

    We got a lot of cool things. We got a massive overhaul. It's extremely understandable for Blizzard to find things they missed.

    Just a note, the next class they're likely to start doing tweaks on is Hunters. Some of the new pet talents are a bit too good and will likely be nerfed.

  22. I feel the same, the Paladin treatment is poor considering that they have been making the game for more than a few years now.

    To say "get used to it" or "everyone thinks they're getting nurfed" is ahem - wrong. Rogues and Hunters have been boosted, overall most classes have been improved. Paladins have been twisted and thrown every which way...again.

    Enough that I think I'll stop playing mine.

  23. well now lets see for one its about time that the warriors are capable of something as everyone knew they suckd all around!!! and the ret palidans the DO NEED A SUPER NERF JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!! how is it that one such as me and be wearing full s3 s4 gear and do almost 23k damage to a paladin that has 8k damage and he wins hmmmmmm well now lets see ret paladins are op and they are uhm op and wait uhm they are op oh yeah of course they are OP so yes they need a nerf and if you are any good at all at the game with your ret paladins you too will realize that wow i am op. its only the ppl that DO NOT KNOW HOW TO PLAY THEIR RET PALADINS that think all this nerfing is ridiculous. they now have all the healing things i hit them and they get healed and i take damage just for hitting them is complete BS!!!!! and they can attack in bubble with is even more BS. IMO pallys do not need a nerf they need a remake start over with the trees and for the love of god make longer CD's on their abilities