The Invincible Music
The new Battlecry Mosaic tile was released last night. This time it isn’t images though; it’s a music piece called Invincible, it’s about Arthas’ mount that died during his youth, but is back from the dead to serve him even in death!
Resilience changes requires a server restart (Source)
There was some confusion on our end so here is the clarification on this change going live.
The hotfix is live, but it requires a server restart before it will actually affect your gear. Some of your realms have been restarted for various reasons, but some have not. They will all get restarted at the next maintenance period (typically Tuesday AM in the US). We might go ahead and restart all servers just so that we know everyone is having the same experience.
Encounter variety and its impact on healers (Source)
In general, we think it’s more important to the game to have diverse and interesting fights than it is to have 5 way ties for healing “usefulness” on every fight, just as we don’t go out of our way to have melee vs. ranged dps ties on every fight, or even an even number of fights.
We already place a lot of limits on our encounter designers as to whether what they want to do is fair to class balance, yet they still manage to come up with boss fights that none of us have ever seen before. Telling them they can no longer do raid-wide damage auras, or can only do them on 10% of bosses or whatever is just a restriction I don’t think the game design needs. You may feel better in the short term where you’re just as awesome on fight 2 as you are on fight 31, but in the long term you might lose interest in the raiding game when all the bosses start to feel the same.
Here is the most important part of my post: The community tendency is to push for homogeneity (in roles, in buffs, in healing and damage, in representation, in available enchants, in awesomeness of badge items, etc.) because “that’s fair.” We push for new, unpredictable and interesting things because it keeps players interested in the game.
What constitutes a support class? (Source)
In PvE there aren’t really support classes. You may adopt a support role in some encounters.
In PvP, some players call the support class the guy on a 3-player Arena team who isn’t doing the majority of the damage or the healing.
Any Arathi Basin improvements planned? (Source)
We don’t have any changes planned for Arathi Basin at this time. Cataclysm is still a ways off though so things could change. Just remember that not all Battlegrounds are meant to be a mirror, but if we feel there is an imbalance that is causing a problematic win-ratio, we will look into it.
PvP gearing focus is on crits (Source)
PvP excessively rewards focusing on crits because kills, not damage, are generally what win those fights for you. We think if resilience didn’t affect crits than those specs that focus on crits would have an extra advantage in PvP situations as well as the value of crit in general being more useful. Nobody is really preventing crits even with max resilience. Crits will still hit for more than hits even with max resilience. In fact, most of the complaints people have about dying too quickly come from the big crits they suffered.
Getting a crit is valuable for every damage spec and getting crits is more valuable in PvP than in PvE. Some talent trees have mechanics that benefit from getting crits, but the fact is that you still want crit and you still want to crit more in Arena. It doesn’t ever become a bad or problematic stat for you. Maybe your damage goes down a little, but I really don’t think the problems Fire and Balance have in Arenas is because of their lower crit chances. We could see perhaps in a Catclysm setting of allowing offensive “on crit” mechanics to work the same way defensive ones do today even if resilience changed that crit into a hit. It would be a good quality of life change, but I still think the impact this has in actual games is being overstated.
Does Moonkin Aura stack with Wrath of Air? (Source)
Currently, yes. The complexity here is we have a melee haste, a spell haste and a generic haste buff. One solution we’ve discussed is to consolidate buffs into melee or spell haste. Swift Retribution could be melee and Improved Moonkin Form could be spell. But I am just arm-waving at this point. We might go a different way with it.
Future ammo changes (Source)
We haven’t announced the Cataclysm ammo change yet, except to say that it will no longer be a consumable.
The simplest solution is certainly that ammo goes away and guns, bows and crossbows just don’t ever run out of ammo. More complicated features might be more exciting as you say, but have potential downsides too. Applying fire to your arrows sounds cool, but is ultimately any more interesting than just having a “Fire Shot” ability. Do you really conceive of a lot of situations where you’d rather do Fire damage over physical damage? Having different kinds of arrows sounds interesting until you consider the delivery mechanism of having to “catch them all” through rare drops, badge vendors or the like. As you say, hunters do have a lot of buttons and a pet to manage, so I’m not sure they really need a whole additional mechanic to worry about.
Do away with totems! (Source)
I don’t know of a kind way to say this, but if you hate totems, then you’re playing the wrong class. We are never, ever going to offer a shaman play style that involves ignoring or marginalizing totems. We have taken steps to improve those areas where totems fall behind, and any shaman that doesn’t see the massive quality of life improvement they got with the Totem Bar is just trying to downplay the positive in order to accentuate the negative.
If you consolidate haste into two types, what about Bloodlust / Heroism, etc.? (Source)
Bloodlust / Heroism we’re not just sure about yet. Only one class brings it, but there are three raid-viable specs in that class that all fill different roles, so it’s a big difference from an ability that say only an Arms warrior or Frost DK brings. We’ve considered the drum angle too, but we’re not 100% sold on that idea either. It is a very good buff, but overall players give it more credit for their success than it typically accounts for.
Totem of Wrath and Demonic Pact is something we’ve said before that we want to fix. They should be virtually the same buff (+spell power) and they definitely are not that now. It’s a big change though, because currently Elemental shaman don’t want to drop Totem of Wrath, unless they think that is the only thing getting them a raid slot, while on the other hand, Demo locks might very well vanish from raiding without their buff. None of this is ideal, but it’s also not a trivial fix or we would have done it long ago. Remember it gets even more complicated in the Cataclysm time frame because Intellect (and buffs that provide +Int) also provides spell power.
Protection dps improvements (Source)
We’ll buff sustained damage in the same patch where we nerf Warbringer and the block conversion to Shield Slam. It probably won’t end up being a 2000 dps increase for anyone, but it should help close the gap.
Upcoming Shield Slam change (Source)
The diminishing returns are applied pre Shield Block. It’s the lesser of the two nerfs you mentioned. We picked a number that would only greatly affect tanks going out of their way to get really big Shield Slam crits, which is typically not the guy tanking Icecrown bosses.