AoE Cap Removed in Patch 9.1.5 - Capped Abilities Deal Reduced Damage Against More Enemies
In the Patch 9.1.5 developer notes Blizzard has highlighted that abilities that were affected by the 9.0 AoE Cap will now instead just do reduced damage. With this, abilities like
, when used against 20 targets, will still hit all enemies, but deal reduced damage. This change makes the impact of the AoE cap in legacy content not as impactful.
Developers' note: With the launch of
, we reduced the maximum number of targets that several abilities could hit specifically to address a few gameplay problems related to pulling a large number of enemies in dungeons. Players often refer to these changes as the “AOE target cap.” Our intention was to reduce the effectiveness of burst AOE buttons against large target counts (i.e. 15-20 enemies) while also increasing their effectiveness against fewer targets (e.g. 3-5 enemies) and communicating that strength clearly in the tooltips. The abilities that remained “uncapped” were generally ones that offered lower damage over a longer period of time (e.g. Blizzard or
). Along with other changes, we set out to move away from “pull as many enemies as possible, use all your cooldowns and delete them” as the predominant strategy across various forms of content.
We've received a lot of feedback that these abilities not hitting enemies in their range in any way creates a feel problem for WoW combat but is also an issue for trivial encounters like farming legacy content. For many of the abilities that underwent the change from uncapped to a strict target cap in 9.0, we're converting the damage to “reduced damage beyond 5 targets.” This means that the ability will deal full damage against 5 targets, then reduced damage to each additional target beyond 5. This means that while the overall damage done by the ability increases with the number of targets, the individual damage done to each target will decrease. This solution means these abilities and their relative classes will still have a very strong niche against packs of 4-6 enemies. As always, tuning will change as a result of this shift over the next few weeks based on your feedback from the PTR.
The following area-of-affect abilities are no longer maximum target capped and instead deal reduced damage beyond 5 targets: (These features will be available in a later PTR build)
(Talent) now deals reduced damage beyond 5 targets (previously was soft-capped at 20 targets).
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