Blue posts, MMO Report

Blue posts

Quote from Blizzard staff
Vashj'ir – Underwater Combat
We're working to ensure combat, breathing and travel are less cumbersome in this underwater zone than many of you may be thinking. The zone is quite large with a great deal of quest content and exploration to be done. In many areas you'll really get a deep ocean feel, but since you're questing down there, we want to make sure underwater gameplay is greatly improved. (Source)

Uldum / Larger 5-man Dungeons
There's a level 85 five-player dungeon you might just learn about soon which holds seven bosses in a single instance. It's in a place you may have heard of before… Uldum. ^.^ (Source)

Armor upgrades at level 40
We talked about changing it, but decided we liked it the way it is. It's a pretty nice reward to suddenly be able to equip mail or plate at higher level. By similar logic, you could argue that we should make helms, shoulders, trinkets and even mounts at low level because they're awesome upgrades and players are going to get them anyway.

It doesn't actually make the itemization simpler to add plate at lower levels. We have to create more items and make sure they are well distributed. That's not a huge consideration either way, but you listed it as a benefit and we don't see it like that.

We also don't think it's a huge balance problem either way. Nobody is so weak below level 40 that perfect gear optimization is really going to make a difference between success and failure.

The strongest justification for letting e.g. warriors use plate at level 1 is the feeling at level 40 of having to swap out all of your gear. But even in that case if you hold on to the mail for a few more levels until you get a more suitable quest reward you're not really going to be at a noticeable disadvantage. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Winter's Chill
Yeah, we probably need to make Winter's Chill apply the entire stack at once like Improved Scorch and Improved Shadow Bolt. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Healing in Cataclysm
Our goal is for paladins to be able to raid heal. Don't look at the designs for spells that none of you have even been able to try and conclude those mechanics can't possibly allow you to raid heal and therefore our goal can't possibly be met and will therefore be abandoned. It's fine to raise concerns — that's one of the reasons we announce stuff like this early — but some of you are trying to get a spell buffed that you haven't even cast yet.

I will say our vision for the AE spell though is not that the paladin runs around constantly, but that you position yourself where you can do the most good. Sometimes that will be back with the healers. Sometimes that might be in the melee. Sometimes you'll have to spread out and your group healing won't be as efficient (in the same way a shaman's group healing isn't as good in the same scenario).

Tranquility is on a very long cooldown. It is not the way druids AE heal. We want to shift it from 5-person group to raid because we'd like to do that with every spell. Having to organize players by arbitrary group is a strange concept since it doesn't actually manifest itself in the real world (in the way distance from you on the battlefield does).

We aren't going to give paladins anything resembling Circle of Healing. One (or two) of those spells in the game is plenty.

Spirit will be a good stat to stack but only to a point. Once you can heal say a six minute boss fight without going out of mana, then any additional Spirit is pretty much wasted. At that point stats like crit start to look pretty attractive because they increase your spell's throughput without increasing the mana cost. Maybe you'll be able to heal someone with one cast, allowing you to swap over and heal another player. In today's healing environment, where a lot of that excess healing will be wasted overhealing, getting a huge crit on a spell isn't nearly as valuable.

We'll have to see how raid healing goes. We might be okay with the tendency for groups to still assign paladins to tank healing because they are particularly good at it. What we want to avoid are those cases where a group feels like they can't possibly keep tanks alive because they lack a paladin or they can't possibly keep groups alive because they have too many paladins. (Source)

Rogue (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Rogues Cooldowns

In actuality it's not quite this extreme, but the stereotypical rogue encounter is that if they have their cooldowns available, they're going to wreck you and if they don't have their cooldowns available, you're going to wreck them. Giving Cloak a chance to fail was a way to make sure that rogues couldn't guarantee that they would be immune to spells for a few seconds. Usually they would be, but sometimes they'd get unlucky and the lock or whoever would have a chance against them.

In Cataclysm, we want to reduce both extremes. That is, the rogue shouldn't feel invulnerable when they have all of their cooldowns available and they shouldn't feel helpless when they get caught without them. In that environment we think it's safe to remove the chance to fail because Cloak won't be the only thing that determines victory or defeat vs. a caster. Things like Smoke Bomb and larger health pools as well as other changes should help keep a rogue alive when Cloak is on cooldown. Likewise, the warlock won't be stunned so much so they won't be quite so frustrated when the rogue does pop CoS.

Having a ninety percent chance to succeed is actually a pretty frustrating place to be. At that point you aren't grateful when you roll lucky. You're mad because you were so unlucky. At 90% you start to count on something, which makes it worse for it to fail. If Cloak had a 10% chance to succeed (we wouldn't do that, but just for sake of argument) then you'd feel awesome when it did work because you got lucky. What I'm getting at is that it's not like we thought the 90% deal was super fun gameplay. We just thought it was necessary.

Without the entire gamut of Cataclysm changes though, we're not sure rogues need a PvP survival boost at the moment.

My paladin comment above was more poking at the silliness of expressing "Gotcha!" because we figured out a way that we're comfortable getting rid of a 10% chance to fail on Cloak of Shadows. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
It isn't necessary to change Bladestorm just because Whirlwind changes. If you want to blow the cooldown for a single target damage boost we don't really have a problem with that. Whirlwind was balanced around doing single target damage, which meant it just got free damage when there was more than one target. Bladestorm by contrast doesn't amount to a sizable chunk of damage in PvE. (Source)

The MMO Report
A slightly earlier MMO Report this week because I don't like posting blue posts alone.