Class Design, Too Much Pruning, PvP Gear from PvE - Developer Insights with Ion Hazzikostas
With the release of the patch date, Ion Hazzikostas has also made a video about some of the feedback that has been heard from the community including the topics of class design, pruning, PvP Gear from PvE and catch-up mechanics.
We've highlighted some interesting sections of the video. This is a loose transcription and you should watch the video above for Ion's full comments.
Class Design and Pruning
While they think there was a lot of good work there,
Blizzard agrees that the feedback that they've gone too far
. In Warlords and Legion, there were times when they were too focused on "button count" as a measure of complexity and that led them to pull back farther than they should have. As they talk about the future of class design, they're looking at buttons that were removed, which when removed, actually did more harm than good. One example was Alter Time for mages, which allowed for masterful ways of using it, or masterful ways of getting yourself killed if you misused it. Many players likely misused that ability and many players didn't even have it bound, and that's what caused them to remove it. But they're not sure that mages are better or more fun or WoW class design as a whole is better right now having Alter Time removed. No guarantees on Alter Time, it's an example, but that's the type of thing they're talking about.
There's also stuff with no quick fix, such as Warrior stances. There was something thematic and unique about stance swapping and the way the whole system played out. Even when stances were around, there was a time when abilities didn't require specific stances to use. There's a certain point where it would be too jarring for warriors to log in and find that you can't
unless you're in the appropriate stance. But for the future of class design, they're trying to figure out how they can offer that uniqueness or identity that goes along with what that used to represent.
They've talked a lot about class identity in the past, and
they think that they've probably bolstered spec identity at the expense of class identity
. They've probably gone too far away from that core choice on the character select screen, when a player decides if they want to be a hunter, mage or shaman. Ideally specialization should be just that, picking a facet that excites you the most and doubling down on that. For some classes right now, some specs are almost like an entirely different class, with entirely different abilities and a little bit of overlap. That is also something they'd like to pull back from. They want to go back to class identity as a foundation, potentially through taking some abilities that are now spec specific and spreading them back out even if they're off role. There's value in hybridity.
The way your class plays and feels is important; it's the lens in which you view the World of Warcraft. It's how you engage with your enemies and allies and interact with the world. If you don't play a class that you feel is satisfying and doesn't resonate, then it's going to affect your enjoyment. It's a top priority for Blizzard to fix. They thank everyone for the feedback and criticism.
PvE Gear in PvP
They don't mind that at the high end, some of the best PvE rewards come from PvP or some of the best PvP rewards come from PvE. They're still committed that the majority of the exciting PvE items drop from PvE and similarly for PvP, but the problem with Crucible items (
) was what they did to the pace of the gameplay and it would have been similar if they dropped from PvP. World of Warcraft is an interconnected game and participating in multiple activities makes the game richer and more fun for everybody.
Essence Catch Up
See all the current Essences in our
Regarding catch-up mechanics, Blizzard may add more Essences in the future, but the current Essences in Rise of Azshara will be enduring through Rise of Azshara. If you're going for a high ranked Essence in Season 3, you can rest assured that the work you put in to achieving that goal will not be diminished later in that expansion. There will NOT be a faster, easier way of acquiring an Essence that you have your sights set on today.
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