Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Draenor Perks

From the patch notes:
Draenor Perks is a new feature that adds rewards for leveling. Over levels 91 to 99, you will earn these 9 new Draenor Perk in a random order. Each class and specialization has a different set of 9 Draenor Perks.
The perks for Holy Paladins are:

  • Empowered Beacon of Light - Your single-target heals heal your Beacon of Light target for 10% more.
  • Improved Daybreak - Increases the healing from Daybreak by 100%.
  • Improved Holy Light - Increases the healing from Holy Light by 20%.
  • Improved Denounce - Increases the damage done by Denounce by 20%.
  • Empowered Holy Shock - Increases the damage done by Holy Shock by 20%.
  • Enhanced Holy Shock - Your Holy Light and Flash of Light have a 10% chance to cause your next Holy Shock to not trigger a cooldown.
  • Improved Flash of Light - Increases the healing Flash of Light by 20%.

As you can see, these are small passives that boost your abilities. Something to make up for missing talents while leveling. Something you gain at each level. Yet at max level, every character will have all the perks.

The only problem I have is with the fact that the perks will be given out randomly. I don't think this is a good idea. It will lead to more disappointment.

To see what I mean, imagine you are a masochist and leveling as Holy during the expac. You look at the perks at level 90, and you really hope that you get Improved Denounce or Empowered Holy Shock at 91, as those two will greatly help with questing.  However, you only have a 2/9 or 22% chance of getting what you want. 88% of the time, you will be disappointed.

Randomness is not a good idea for one-time rewards. Imagine that there is a quest which rewarded 1 of 3 different mounts. But the mount a player gets is randomly determined from those three. There would be great unhappiness, as 66% of the population would not get the mount they wanted.

Another example happened to me in Diablo 3 a couple days ago. The first time you kill the last boss in D3, you are guaranteed a Legendary. I got an amazing staff, with 50% more DPS than my current weapon, gobs of intellect, and two other much-desired stats. Unfortunately, I was playing a Crusader.

(At least my Enchantress follower is happy. On paper she now does twice as much damage as my Crusader.)

The same principle was involved. A one-time reward was determined randomly, and the potential for disappointment was higher because of it. Randomness really only works when content is repeatable.

Blizzard should either allow us to choose which perk we get as we level, or give out the perks in a set order. The perks are not an appropriate place for randomness. People will end up associating Draenor Perks with disappointment. It is very unlikely that they will be lucky enough to get the Perks they want when they want them.


  1. This could get ugly in BGs, where someone who would traditionally run as Holy (or another healing spec) would be crippled next to another player merely because they didn't win the lottery.

  2. I think it's funny that this is basically a roundabout way of bringing back one aspect of the old talents trees without admitting it. The way they are doing it strikes me as pretty short-sighted though, because they can't exactly keep adding +100% output to abilities every time they increase the level cap, so whatever the expansion after WoD ends up being, they'll have to scrap and re-jig the whole system again.

  3. Good point, Shin. I hadn't thought about future expacs.

  4. I have to disagree. I like the randomness. And it serves a purpose. It gives you a little surprise each time you level.

    Also, Unlike in the Diablo example you gave, you're not going to get a perk from another class or spec, or get the same perk twice. by lvl 100 you will have all the perks. All that changes is what order you get them in.

    A random order just throws a bit of a surprise in there - I think it's quite nice while levelling to not be able to plan everything in meticulous detail.

    Aside from Gear, everything else about character customisation is predictable, plannable - that gets dull after a while.

    They are not going to be speccing the game around these perks until lvl 100 when they know you will have them all - either that or they all end up being about the same power level. So what's the issue really?

    Embrace this one little bit of randomness and enjoy the lottery every time you ding.

  5. Yeah, as pointed out, while you may be disappointed at some levels, you're never going to "miss out" on one of the rewards; you'll get them all at max level.

    And it should be pointed out that Blizz has gone on record multiple times saying that things are balanced for max level. Yes, the guy who randomly gets the bonus to the thing he does all the time at L91 is going to be better then the guy who doesn't, but at L100 it doesn't matter, and that's where you're going to be spending the majority of your time in the expansion anyway.

  6. Right, but set order or choice would avoid the disappointment entirely, while still keeping all the benefits.

    As far as I can see, set order or choice is strictly better than random, so that is what should be implemented. Even if it won't matter at max level.

  7. I like this. A lot. Unlike in your D3 example (which I agree is bad) this is good. You are not leveling for very long, the perks are not game breaking and by the time you get to end game you have all of them.

    Yes you may be a little disappointed at level 92 as a ret pally when you get a healing boost and you were hoping for some more DPS, but how long are you going to stay annoyed?

    I personally will probably have forgotten all about it by the time the next orc hits the ground in a pool of it's own blood and entrails.

    And @Shintar - the scrap the systems and redo them at the end of every expac anyway, so no change there :P