Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bluepost: Stealth nerf & Revenge change

Quote from Blizzard staff
"Stealth" nerfs
I guess you are using "stealth nerf" as synonymous with "nerf." My general impression of the use of the term "stealth nerf" is that the developers decide to sneakily change a spell or an ability in a way players won't immediately recognize and have to explore and math out. For example, if we thought Exorcism did too much damage, we might lower its coefficient. Players might notice, but it would take a lot of testing before anyone was convinced. Someone mentioned the Windfury ICD above, which is a good example of what I would call a stealth nerf. It was hard to notice. Making a change so that a spell doesn't work on players doesn't really sound like "stealth" because it's going to be noticed immediately.

There is little point in us making actual "stealth nerfs" with the intent to deceive, because players are going to figure it out anyway. (The WF one wasn't made recently.) What you seem to be calling "stealth nerfs" are hotfixes or mini patch changes that came without a GC or other blue post. But there are many of these made regularly, probably far more than you realize. Many of them will never affect your character, but some will. Some are made late at night when good developers are asleep or at blues bars.

We haven't yet come up with a great way to communicate changes that come in between patches. For patches we have the patch notes. Sometimes I'll make a blue post and we've tried to get better about documenting hotfixes. We've considered trying to use the launcher or login screen for breaking news or maybe even have a place in game where you can check out recent patch notes. Again, we make a lot of these, and some of them are too trivial for most players to care, and we wouldn't want the list to be so long that players just skip through it.

If you're defining "stealth nerf" as any change that comes in between patches or any nerf in general, well then you're just using your own private use of the term, which is a big problem with game jargon (see examples just as "cleave," "WG," "dead zone" etc.) (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Upcoming Revenge change
In the interest of avoiding the unflattering scent of stealth nerf, allow me to post that we are going to make that change (one Revenge per proc) I suggested above. (Source)

If we change Revenge to basically be one charge then the warrior can still pop the rogue or pet or whatever that triggers the block, dodge or parry, but they'd only get one hit instead of multiples. Such a change should not affect Protection at all.

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