Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blue Post: "Next swing" attacks, Threat in ICC

Quote from Blizzard staff
"Next swing" attacks
Next swing attacks are all going to die. The experience of using them is underwhelming, their mechanics are confusing, and they might even cause real world pain. Sad (Source)

Classes Resources
Resources for all classes are supposed to matter. If they weren't supposed to matter then we could certainly simplify the game by removing them all. For some classes or specs, the actual resource is GCDs not a bar that fills up.

Rage, energy, runes and soon focus are essentially infinite. You only risk running out for short periods of time, but they'll be back eventually.

For mana-using dps specs, the gameplay is similar but the time slice is broader. A mage isn't going to run out of mana in the first few seconds of a fight. She might run out later, particularly in a longer fight, but she also has ways to get that mana back, and then using those at the right time becomes some of the skill of playing that class.

Healers all use mana, and they are supposed to run out of mana if they make bad decisions. That isn't currently happening, but it will in Cataclysm. Healers feel singled-out by that design, but we believe that when healers have infinite mana that we lose controls in designing an encounter. We have to rely on killing characters faster than healers can respond, punishing players dramatically for doing or failing to do some key event in the fight, or relying on dps checks with berserk timers and the like. Healer mana is a tool we had in BC and lost in LK. When the raid takes too much avoidable damage, then the healers eventually gas out (after using their own tools for mana restoration, like Divine Plea and Innervate) and the group then dies. Put another way, the game is just too easy when healers can just rely on their most powerful spell all of the time (many of us also think the healer gameplay is a little boring when you arne't using all your spells).

I'm not trying to derail the topic from rage, but I did want to explain why we think it's okay for some characters to have infinite resources and some to risk running out. But the resource itself still needs to matter even if it is effectively infinite. (Source)

Threat in ICC
You need to look at the specific situations in which it's actually happening. We don't see a lot of people pulling off of tanks on single-target fights say 30 seconds into the fight. That is even more true if you make use of Tricks or Misdirect.

Where it does happen is in the first few seconds of a fight or new adds coming to a fight or sometimes if you're AE'ing a large group and the tank can't generate threat on everything.

And yes, threat needs to not fall off as much as everyone gears up. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Rage Management
The problem with BC was that the rage solution we implemented felt like rage starvation and rather than adjust the model we kind of threw in the towel. I agree that having no rage and no way to get rage is frustrating. Part of our plan is to give warriors (and bears) more control over it.

It’s really not a damage issue so we don’t even need to get into whether warriors are doing too much damage in ICC or not. (Though I’d argue on some fights they are.) The real issue is that their damage doesn't stay in proportion with the other classes and is even more gear dependent. Until they have adequate rage coming in, they can’t use enough abilities. Once they have enough rage coming in, they can mash their buttons continuously. We don't want rage to be something you graduate from. It is the entire core of the warrior class, along with stances. (Source)

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