Friday, February 28, 2014

WARLORDS :: Change with the Times

The Avengers are ready... oh, hang on...

Late yesterday evening, Blizzard ACTUALLY ADMITTED THE BETA IS COMING.

They also published what was, by their own admission, the Patch Notes for the Expansion minus most of the actual detail, as part of the new approach to the game where it is explained WHY things are happening, not simply that they are. CM's also made themselves available for an utter barrage of questioning from players via Twitter, which all happened while I was asleep, and as a result Wowhead did a far better job than I would ever have done of gathering all the disparate elements together and making a blog post on it. I had considered staying up to blog this 'live' as it were but a CM told me to go to bed [*] as he didn't consider this worth losing a night's sleep over. On reflection, he's absolutely right. However, for those of you starved of any really 'new' details, there was a fair bit to take in. More of that in a second.

The thing is, very little of this is actually news, per se. If you've been following the events of the last couple of weeks you will know that stats were going to be squished, that racials would have to change because certain abilities granted by them would cease to exist, that crowd control was being reviewed. However, what the Twitter scrum afterwards did do was put meat on the bones of the racial changes, and those are clearly important. Overpowered abilities have been scaled back, and new ones give a bonus to a range of key stats. What these changes show is a statement of intent from the Designers, to remove bias from certain classes and to allow all races a chance to have a solid foundation of choice. I'm very happy to see Dwarves gain the ability to further self-dispel using Stoneform (and I'll live it won't break crowd control, that's what I have my pet for :D)

Ex Blizzard staff join in last night's inevitable bandwagon :D

If you want to digest the racial details go check out the Wowhead post, what I'm going to focus on are the changes to how we deal with mobs. Crowd Control is being 'streamlined' as follows (and this is taken directly from the Watercooler itself):

  • Removed Silence effects from interrupts. Silence effects still exist, but are never attached to an interrupt.
  • Removed all Disarms.
  • Reduced the number of Diminishing Returns (DR) categories.
  • All Roots now share the same DR category.
  • Exception: Roots on Charge-type abilities have no DR category, but have a very short duration instead.
  • All Stuns now share the same DR category.
  • All Incapacitate (sometimes called "mesmerize") effects now share the same DR category and have been merged with the Horror DR category.
  • Removed the ability to make cast-time CC spells instant with a cooldown.
  • Removed many CC spells entirely, and increased the cooldowns and restrictions on others.
  • Pet-cast CC is more limited, and in many cases has been removed.
  • Cyclone can now be dispelled by immunities and Mass Dispel.
  • PvP trinkets now grant immunity to reapplication of an effect from the same spell cast when they break abilities with persistent effects, like Solar Beam.
  • Long fears are now shorter in PvP due to the added benefit of a fear changing the players position.

When you look at that list it can appear a bit daunting, but actually it seems like a pretty solid solution to a problem that's built up over four Expansions. Some stuff has to go, and that appears to be the lot of disarm, with (unsurprisingly) Hunter pets being stripped of a great deal of  usefulness. Silence never interrupts and perhaps most significantly there are no more 'instant' CC breakers. As to what we lose... well, we will need an actual Beta for the real details of that, but I do know that Scatter Shot has gone for Hunters. No, I never used it ^^

No more pre-trapping. BOO.

In fact, information was spilling out all over the shop last night and although various news sites picked up bits and pieces, Mr Rossi on WoW Insider has probably got the most comprehensive list of what's vanished/changed from Dev discussion. There was even an admission in the chatroom of the Legendary Videocast that Marksmanship Hunters will be using Aimed Shot as their focus dump. What is clear however, at least from this view of proceedings, is that things appear to be pretty close to being decided on a vast number of fronts. What people are going to be asking however is when we'll actually see a Beta. If we work on the theory that we'll get a Dev Watercooler next Thursday and that will cover healing and health... how many more after that? I'm gonna suggest we have another three weeks of this to explain everything (with the professions/Garrisons Watercooler being deliberately last), which would mean the last Article is done on March 20th.

I reckon we'll get the Beta on March 25th :D

It also means that next week I'm planning to be up for the Twitter Q&A after publication :D



catinglasses said...

That would be the 25th for us Stateside.. Perhaps we can look for a summer release, then.

On a side note: my hunter does actually use Scatter Shot - for soloing the pandaren elites who use Spinning Crane Kick.

TheGrumpyElf said...

I too use scatter often. Those panda catinglasses mentions, the spinning warriors and rogues on nazgrim, in PvP to scatter trap, and in various other situations. Usually as an interrupt for spells that are not interruptible.

There was no reason to remove it. It was not part of the bloat issue and it was no OP in PvP.

I'm still hoping for the beta announcement to be in... 4 hours.

I desperately hope your guess is wrong. It is already way over due. We should be playing the release soon, not the beta soon.