GC's announcement as to our nerfs

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GC's announcement as to our nerfs

Postby Karock » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:24 am

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/threa ... &pageNo=1&

Hello paladins,

Sorry we didn't get a chance to pre-announce these changes before the data were pushed to the beta. I won't try to sugarcoat it -- these are nerfs.

As I tried to explain before, we concluded a couple of weeks ago that Retribution was doing too much damage in PvP. We tried to nerf the burst damage through the previous changes to Divine Storm etc. Unfortunately, those changes didn't prove sufficient. Not only were paladins still destroying other classes in PvP, but we also found their PvE damage, even at level 80, was too high. Many classes were concluding they were too weak based on comparing their numbers to paladin numbers (and to be fair, hunters and in some cases mages and warriors).

Here are the new changes:

1) Judgements of the Wise: Mana gained reduced from 33% to 15% of base mana. We spent many hours arriving at this number. For example, we did a lot of Patchwerk fights, watching the mana bar to see when and if it ever went down. In BGs, we were seeing paladins able to go from target to target without pausing even when unleashing all of their attacks. While we don't want you to go OOM in a few seconds, we don't want you to ignore the mana bar either. Mana is not rage -- warriors can't typically start a battle with a full bar.

2) Judgement of Wisdom: mana gained reduced to 1% of maximum mana and proc frequency cut by 50%. This ability was flat out better than Vampiric Touch when the mana provided between the two really needs to be close in order for the decision between Shadow priest and Retribution paladin to be a real one.

3) Judgement and Seals: Damage reduced by 20%. This is the major damage adjustment -- a lot of damage was coming from these. We do realize this hurts Holy and Protection as well, and that is something for which we are prepared to offer compensation (particularly if it hurts Protection's threat generation).

4) Hammer of Wrath: Now can’t be used until the target is below 20% health. Our rule of thumb is that core "Execute-style" abilities work at 20% and talented abilities work at 35% health. We originally had Hammer at 35% based on some other limitations of the spell.

5) Art of War: Increased damage bonus to Judgements, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm. I'll report back on the exact numbers here when we've settled on them.

I also want to add that the token Blessing of Might change wasn't intended as a joke -- it is designed so that Battle Shouts won't cancel the longer and more expensive Blessing of Might in a group setting.

These seem like pretty severe nerfs, but that was the intention. It is difficult for some players to ever be truly objective with issues surrounding their class, but in this case we felt Ret was severely overpowered. This was not in the realm of small tweaks to fix (though we did try originally). We overhauled the paladin class for Lich King, so it is unfortunate but not too surprising that the numbers for the dps spec require a lot of iteration. The mistake is ours, not the fault of the player base or beta testers.

Nerfing a spec or class is never fun. It means that our initial estimates of numbers were off and we know that the community is going to react negatively (to put it mildly). But we have to try and keep the game in a relatively balanced state and that is going to mean making decisions that are unpopular sometimes. If you need to blame someone for the nerfs, blame me.

As always, if we over-compensated, we'll adjust the numbers again. But as I said, our initial round of nerfs wasn't sufficient. Lest you fear that Lich King is upon as and you won't see any additional changes, that is not our point of view. We changed a lot in the game and we need to be able to recitfy problems. I would expect early patches or even hotfixes to deal with class or balance problems, and hopefully these will slow down as we get closer to major content releases. But nothing is off the table after we ship, down to rearchitecting talent trees if we think that is called for. This isn't to suggest we aren't happy with the state of the game. Rather, my word that we will continue to iterate on problem areas as they come up.

I also want to stress that we do not make balance decisions based on the QQ of other classes. At most, if there is a pretty vocal outcry that will encourage us to rerun the numbers to see if something is amiss. As vocal, and sometimes passionate and even logical as forum posts can be, they represent a fraction of the entire fanbase and it would be foolish for us to clobber one group of players solely based on the whining from another group.

Go ahead and vent if you have to. We won't delete posts or ban posters in this thread unless they are overly offensive. We do ask that you not launch a thousand other threads so that other paladin issues can still be discussed. Likewise, we have no problem with other classes engaging in the discussion but outright gloating or trolling will be frowned upon.

And I do apologize for putting you through this.
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Postby Erendis » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:33 am

The judgement of Wisdom nerf is also a nerf to Hunters. Combined with the already planned nerf to hunters. I see Hunter DPS taking a huge fall as we spend even more time in Viper.

So, 20% less seal and judge damage. Will that include the damage from the SoV DOT?
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Postby Jasari » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:36 am

No surprises. I'd expect a few prot pally threat buffs in the near future, since he specifically said they might be needed.
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Postby Worldie » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:38 am

Jasari wrote:No surprises. I'd expect a few prot pally threat buffs in the near future, since he specifically said they might be needed.

Actually, instead of threat buffs, they have to do some decent DPS buff if they want me to not change character in WotLK.

Well, not like anyone cares of *me*, but i'd love to have a reason to keep playing my paladin other than the craptons of achievements :\
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Postby Macha » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:39 am

Yes, it is across the board.

since he specifically said they might be needed.


If they want tanks to do equal threat, these buffs were needed before these nerfs, sadly.

Well, one good thing this has: This puts further emphasis on Strength as a threat stat, spelldamage gets weaker and weaker, while the contribution of autoattack, HotR and SHoR grows even further.

One good thing this has: Judgement will be replaced every two cooldowns in our rotations now. No point to judge more often than that.

Well, not like anyone cares of *me*, but i'd love to have a reason to keep playing my paladin other than the craptons of achievements :\


I am in exactly this boat. I WANT to continue to play my Paladin, but currently, only my 26 reputations, two rare mounts and 2400 Archivement points are keeping me.
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Postby Belarkan » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:50 am

Isn't that what they already give as an excuses to the nerf pre BC for retribution ?

I'm really feeling betrayed both as a protection paladin and former retribution.
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Postby Belarkan » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:51 am

Worldie wrote:
Jasari wrote:No surprises. I'd expect a few prot pally threat buffs in the near future, since he specifically said they might be needed.

Actually, instead of threat buffs, they have to do some decent DPS buff if they want me to not change character in WotLK.

Well, not like anyone cares of *me*, but i'd love to have a reason to keep playing my paladin other than the craptons of achievements :\


Same goes here.
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Postby Worldie » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:52 am

I don't feel betrayed, retri was a bit excessive atm. They nerfed something, BUT they boosted their substained DPS in other ways.

What i'm worried about is that everytime they nerf retri, who gets fucked is protection.

I mean, would it be THAT hard to make SoV/JoV have retardedly low coefficients with a 2hander?
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Postby Sonic » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:54 am

Jasari wrote:No surprises. I'd expect a few prot pally threat buffs in the near future, since he specifically said they might be needed.


I wonder what exactlly they are going to buff though. About the only things they can do is a flat added increase to HotR. We don't even have ShoR rank 2 yet in beta do we?

Which on that note would be funny as hell if they buffed ShoR. First they complain abuot it being 45% of our dps/tps. Then they nerf it, now seals get butchered and to "compensate" they'll rebuff ShoR, putting us right back where we started.
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Postby Constantine » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:05 pm

Well... I will say I am unhappy with these changes. Then again, I'm sure we all are. They are starting to take away every reason I had for playing a pally to begin with. I wanted to be able to tank, I didn't want to be like every other tank, and it was cool that pallys could AoE tank better than anyone else. We don't have any of that anymore; at the least warriors are slightly worse, at the most we're only slightly better. I can't really do anything that other tanks can't do anymore. If they keep this up I will barely be able to tank at all. I dont want to re-roll an entirely new character from level 1, so it is starting to look like DK tank for me.

At least DK can be ANY race. (I wonder what a Troll DK will look like :? )

Yes, I realize I'm QQing, and I hate myself for it. I will proceed to STFU, spec Ret and farm for my new main.

Edited to fill in incoherent thoughts.
Last edited by Constantine on Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby iliya » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:09 pm

Worldie wrote:
Jasari wrote:No surprises. I'd expect a few prot pally threat buffs in the near future, since he specifically said they might be needed.

Actually, instead of threat buffs, they have to do some decent DPS buff if they want me to not change character in WotLK.

Well, not like anyone cares of *me*, but i'd love to have a reason to keep playing my paladin other than the craptons of achievements :\


And you were the one that made the "Does Blizz Hate Us" sticky... might wanna reconsider that one.
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Postby Karock » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:12 pm

Worldie wrote:I don't feel betrayed, retri was a bit excessive atm. They nerfed something, BUT they boosted their substained DPS in other ways.

What i'm worried about is that everytime they nerf retri, who gets fucked is protection.

I mean, would it be THAT hard to make SoV/JoV have retardedly low coefficients with a 2hander?


In my anecdotal experience retribution paladin have maybe a little over arms warrior's sustained dps in equal gear (we burst for a bit more though, sadly, not that much more). Typically what happens for us is the warrior leads till ~35% and then the ret paladin starts to pull ahead. Even GC admits in his post that also hunters, warriors and mages were being compared to as the dps standard.

Hunters are being nerfed (they are apparently doing WAY more damage than anyone else currently).

Mages (specifically arcane) doing unreasonable damage are fine, L2P. <--Paraphrased Ghostcrawler.

Fury is being buffed to arms dps because they just "weren't happy" with the nerfs to arms warriors.

Uh... yeah.

Anyways so far for this expansion I have two nice and shiney promises to keep me going! =D

1) If retribution is being almost completely excluded like the majority of raids in TBC they'll "fix" it!

2) Bosses will just have to not mana drain or silence the tank! (fear is fine, L2P warrior or bring a shaman)
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Postby Jasari » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:26 pm

I wouldn't be surprised to see Judgements of the Just buffed to also give some increased damage from judgements, or something along those lines.

I know a lot of people are nervous right now, but i'm pretty confident that when all's said and done prot pallies will be competitive MTs.

In BC, a lot of classes weren't competitive or even viable, but blizzard has admitted that they purposefully kept the dps of utility classes down and never inteded to have paladins MT as well as warriors. Now they've said they want every class/spec to have a place in a raid and they want paladins to MT "within a couple %" of warriors. No, they're not going to get everything perfect and make everyone happy, but I'd be surprised if we don't end up being very close to warrior tanks in the end.
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Postby stevebeiser » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:31 pm

My confusion lies in that our threat was already behind at 80, meaning to balance it we'd be expecting buffs, if nothing else. And then these very significant nerfs come into play. Even when they say they "might" compensate for *these* nerfs - does that mean our previous position of last-place-tps was already acceptable at that point?
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Postby Jasari » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:36 pm

stevebeiser wrote:My confusion lies in that our threat was already behind at 80, meaning to balance it we'd be expecting buffs, if nothing else. And then these very significant nerfs come into play. Even when they say they "might" compensate for *these* nerfs - does that mean our previous position of last-place-tps was already acceptable at that point?


I'll bet they weren't even really looking at TPS comparisons between tanks yet. It seems they're more concerned with balancing DPS output between DPS classes right now. Kind of like when we were behind in mitigation and it took them a while to actually do serious mitigation balancing. Eventually they got around to it, and did a pretty good job. Once they're pleased with DPS class balance, I'm sure they'll take a closer look at tank threat output. Until they say something along the lines of "we're happy with tank threat balance" I'm gong to assume they haven't addressed it yet.
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