Class Balance Update

General
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Since the expansion launched, aside from fixing bugs, our class and systems teams have been keeping an eye on qualitative class feedback, looking for things that can be addressed via hotfix. We recently increased the default number of Warlock Soul Shards to 3 to decrease their ramp-up time; we also reduced the base cooldown of Arms Warrior Colossus Smash to 30 seconds, to mitigate the worst-case scenario when Tactician failed to reset its cooldown.

In the Developer Q&A last week, we touched on the general topic of class balance so far in Legion, and suggested that we were looking at making tuning changes via hotfix towards the end of this week. However, after further consideration of available data and the current state of the game, we feel that it’s still premature for a broad tuning pass.

World of Warcraft’s endgame consists of a range of activities, including varied raid encounters at different difficulty levels, random matchmade dungeons, Mythic dungeons (both baseline and Keystone-modified), outdoor questing, and of course arenas and battlegrounds (though I’ll be focusing on other gameplay modes in this post, since we can now handle PvP tuning separately). That’s the game that was available in beta, and it’s what our classes are designed and balanced around. But right now, everyone at max level is playing a very narrow slice of that diverse endgame: we are running dungeons, and we’re specifically running them with a focus on efficiency rather than success. Many players have learned the various dungeon encounters, and now zone in with their Heroic or Mythic groups not wondering whether they’ll be able to prevail over the challenges within, but rather how quickly. Unsurprisingly, that places an inordinate value on sustained AoE/cleave damage, and especially on-demand burst against the groups of four or five targets that comprise most enemy packs in dungeons, and so those specs that excel in those areas seem elevated above the rest.

But in a couple of weeks, when we talk about balance, major considerations will include things like meeting the single-target DPS check on Ursoc or handling the spread-out tentacles of Il’gynoth in the Emerald Nightmare, or making sure that your group can reliably interrupt Odyn’s Stormforged Obliterator in Halls of Valor, while running away from Radiant Tempest, so that he doesn’t derail your Mythic Keystone run entirely. Until we can see data from the endgame in its entirety, we can’t make informed decisions about which numbers need adjusting, and by how much. Therefore, at this point we’re aiming to hold off on a broad pass of tuning hotfixes until the end of the first week of raiding and Mythic Keystone dungeons.

In the meantime, we are looking at a couple of targeted changes to address some clear outliers: in the near future, we’re planning on deploying hotfixes that reduce tank damage output across the board (tanks should be very sturdy and effective at killing things, but too often their damage output rivals that of pure damage dealers), as well as reducing the AoE burst damage capabilities of Windwalker monks (mainly Strike of the Windlord’s area component) and Havoc Demon Hunters (mainly Fel Barrage). Those specializations will still excel in that area, but will not be so clearly dominant over their peers.

In the long run, our tuning goal is simply for everyone to feel that they can play the class and specialization they prefer. There will of course be areas of strength and weakness, and some specs will thrive in certain situations while lagging behind in others, but those gaps should not preclude viability. We’ll continue to look at available data and player feedback and make adjustments until that is the case, but that process will not begin until next week. Thank you for your patience.
Can you refund us AP if our class gets nerfed?
I thought the prune and homogenisation of classes was in the name of the balance?

Did Blizzard even listen to testers in the Beta?
Very happy to hear of these changes and thanks for the update. keep up the good work.
Make Frost DK good again please.
15/09/2016 17:27Posted by Infuria
Make Frost DK good again please.


How constructive -_-
I really hope you don't forget about elemental shamans this time.
15/09/2016 17:29Posted by Jonyaa
15/09/2016 17:27Posted by Infuria
Make Frost DK good again please.


How constructive -_-

It's not meant to be constructive. It's a request, not feedback.
15/09/2016 17:34Posted by Infuria
It's not meant to be constructive. It's a request, not feedback.


You are expecting them to fix something based on 'fix this plz'? Nice, nice.
It's not like they listen to feedback anyway, is it?
15/09/2016 17:20Posted by Watcher
Since the expansion launched, aside from fixing bugs, our class and systems teams have been keeping an eye on qualitative class feedback, looking for things that can be addressed via hotfix. We recently increased the default number of Warlock Soul Shards to 3 to decrease their ramp-up time; we also reduced the base cooldown of Arms Warrior Colossus Smash to 30 seconds, to mitigate the worst-case scenario when Tactician failed to reset its cooldown.

In the Developer Q&A last week, we touched on the general topic of class balance so far in Legion, and suggested that we were looking at making tuning changes via hotfix towards the end of this week. However, after further consideration of available data and the current state of the game, we feel that it’s still premature for a broad tuning pass.

World of Warcraft’s endgame consists of a range of activities, including varied raid encounters at different difficulty levels, random matchmade dungeons, Mythic dungeons (both baseline and Keystone-modified), outdoor questing, and of course arenas and battlegrounds (though I’ll be focusing on other gameplay modes in this post, since we can now handle PvP tuning separately). That’s the game that was available in beta, and it’s what our classes are designed and balanced around. But right now, everyone at max level is playing a very narrow slice of that diverse endgame: we are running dungeons, and we’re specifically running them with a focus on efficiency rather than success. Many players have learned the various dungeon encounters, and now zone in with their Heroic or Mythic groups not wondering whether they’ll be able to prevail over the challenges within, but rather how quickly. Unsurprisingly, that places an inordinate value on sustained AoE/cleave damage, and especially on-demand burst against the groups of four or five targets that comprise most enemy packs in dungeons, and so those specs that excel in those areas seem elevated above the rest.

But in a couple of weeks, when we talk about balance, major considerations will include things like meeting the single-target DPS check on Ursoc or handling the spread-out tentacles of Il’gynoth in the Emerald Nightmare, or making sure that your group can reliably interrupt Odyn’s Stormforged Obliterator in Halls of Valor, while running away from Radiant Tempest, so that he doesn’t derail your Mythic Keystone run entirely. Until we can see data from the endgame in its entirety, we can’t make informed decisions about which numbers need adjusting, and by how much. Therefore, at this point we’re aiming to hold off on a broad pass of tuning hotfixes until the end of the first week of raiding and Mythic Keystone dungeons.

In the meantime, we are looking at a couple of targeted changes to address some clear outliers: in the near future, we’re planning on deploying hotfixes that reduce tank damage output across the board (tanks should be very sturdy and effective at killing things, but too often their damage output rivals that of pure damage dealers), as well as reducing the AoE burst damage capabilities of Windwalker monks (mainly Strike of the Windlord’s area component) and Havoc Demon Hunters (mainly Fel Barrage). Those specializations will still excel in that area, but will not be so clearly dominant over their peers.

In the long run, our tuning goal is simply for everyone to feel that they can play the class and specialization they prefer. There will of course be areas of strength and weakness, and some specs will thrive in certain situations while lagging behind in others, but those gaps should not preclude viability. We’ll continue to look at available data and player feedback and make adjustments until that is the case, but that process will not begin until next week. Thank you for your patience.


Please look at fury warriors. In our current state no sane guild will take us on near future progression runs. We need more damage and less damage taken (enrage). This cannot wait. You can do a hotfix now and figure it out weeks from now when you do the larger pass.

Thank you.
-Warrior community
Fix Shadow Priests please. Make Void Erruption instant not a timed cast,give them some AoE too hat doesn't suck.
15/09/2016 17:40Posted by Infuria
It's not like they listen to feedback anyway, is it?


When said feedback has people like you, can't really listen.
Thank you for some explanation! Much appreciated, good post.
Good!
Fine. Bring back desecrated ground, bring back nectrotic strike, bring back strangulate, bring back plague strike, boost obliterate damage.

Edit: And Dominion over Acherus!!!!
Watcher, As one of the harshest critics on twitter of the Legion balancing, I'd like to say thank you for the update. The communication - more than anything - is what the community have been dying for since launch.

I understand the data from raids being important and helping to shape the overall balance of the end game and respect the decision. Thank You :)
15/09/2016 17:44Posted by Infuria
Fine. Bring back desecrated ground, bring back nectrotic strike, bring back strangulate, bring back plague strike, boost obliterate damage.

Edit: And Dominion over Acherus!!!!


And while you're at it lower the CD of Sindragosa's Fury in Battlegrounds and enable Runeforging in PvP for frost.
More reason to kick Warlocks and bring in a higher DPS to make up for loss of Tank damage? Ok then.

On a serious note:, OK, I get why this change is being made (tank damage is crazy high) but is this not painting over the real problem of classes struggling to compete and being vote kicked?
Plz give every tank something similar to warriors so they can still dps while losing some tanking ability, i think now with artifacts this is more important then ever, atleast for solo.

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