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Blizzard have taken to the Wrath Classic forums to write up a very in-depth post on class balance and Retribution Paladins in particular.
Ret Paladin (Source)
The team has been looking at this thread and discussing the topic of class balance amongst ourselves a lot recently, and we wanted to take a moment to talk about class balance vs. spec balance and clarify some comments that we’ve made in recent discussions and interviews, and also generally explain our philosophy around class balance in Wrath Classic.
We’ve seen this quote and others like it that we’ve made increasingly taken out of context and it’s important to highlight a few key words here. Namely; “class” balance is the key word in this statement, and this might be being conflated with “spec” balance.
Using Paladins as an example, we are hard pressed to think of a class that is more well-represented in Wrath Classic raiding across multiple specializations. Holy is one of the strongest healing specs in Wrath of the Lich King, and Protection Paladins have never been stronger tanks. While Ret is not at the top of the meters relative to other damage specs, they provide stellar raid utility across the course of the entire expansion with several key raid buffs, including Sanctified Retribution, the effect of which is only shared by Beast Mastery Hunters (another spec that is traditionally seen as a PvP spec and has lower representation in raids) and Arcane Mages (a spec that scales well early, but starts to taper off later into the expansion). Additionally, late last week we fixed a bug with Hammer of Wrath that was causing it to not scale properly from Melee attack power, which should be a fairly significant increase to Retribution damage, especially on longer fights with sizable execute phases.
In general, we feel that Paladins are in an exceptionally strong position as a class and see no reason for any major changes at this time. The scenario in which we would step in to make a direct buff to baseline class functionality is quite specific and that’s when a class as a whole is at a point where they are almost never taken in raids across a broad spectrum of skill and performance levels. Having one spec be stronger than another is not a problem if the class itself is well represented. Also, if bleeding-edge groups going for realm firsts, or engaging in speed runs or other highly competitive activities choose to eschew a certain spec to hyper-optimize their setup, that alone is not a sufficient reason to make direct and inauthentic changes to a spec’s core functionality or scaling. Those groups simply do not represent the majority of the raiding population in Wrath Classic and we should not be attempting to balance the game around them.
I hope this helps clarify some of our previous statements. The team is watching this very closely, and we will take action if specific classes start to see a significant drop in inclusion in raid groups, but we are nowhere near feeling the need to do that at this time. The place we do not want to find ourselves in however is making a lot of inauthentic class changes and trying to chase perfect balance across every damage, healing, and tanking spec in the game during every phase of Wrath Classic. Doing so is extremely dangerous and we run the risk of damaging the original gameplay feel of individual classes and specs, which is directly counter to our design pillars for Wrath Classic.
Thanks to everyone for participating in the discussion!
Blizzard have shared their development notes for the Wrath Classic 3.4.1 PTR, including the new Titan Rune dungeons and the first phase of the Argent Tournament.
Welcome to the Wrath Classic patch 3.4.1 PTR!
November 21, 2022
Titan Rune Dungeons
Titan Rune Dungeons have been added to Wrath of the Lich King Classic and are now available for testing. To access this feature, enter any level 80 heroic dungeon and interact with the Mysterious Titanic Relic floating near the entrance. All five members of your group channeling the Relic will cause all enemies in the dungeon to gain additional health and damage, as well as additional effects, depending on the dungeon. Gear that formerly dropped in Normal 10-player versions of Naxxramas, Eye of Eternity, and The Obsidian Sanctum can now drop from dungeon bosses when they’re under the effects of the Mysterious Titanic Relic. Please use this thread for Feedback on Titan Rune Dungeons 40. In order to facilitate testing of Titan Rune Dungeons, we’ve wiped the PTR of all existing characters, and we’ve disabled the character copy function. Our intent is to do our initial round of testing with less-geared characters. We’re specifically looking for feedback around how these dungeons feel in mostly blue/heroic gear. Please use the starter templates and gear vendors to set up a fresh character for these tests. Raids
Ulduar testing is coming soon. Please note that Naxxramas, Eye of Eternity, and The Obsidian Sanctum are not available on the PTR at this time. Argent Tournament Grounds
The first Phase of the Argent Tournament Grounds area in northeastern Icecrown is now available for testing. In this initial phase of the Argent Tournament event, the Crusader’s Coliseum is still under construction and the Argent Tournament Grounds are available as a daily quest hub. In the coming weeks we’ll re-open character copy, and we’ll test Ulduar in its “pre-nerf” state. Please keep an eye on this thread for updates as we unlock additional content on the Wrath Classic PTR for testing.
More WotLK Classic hotfixes arrive.
November 18 (Source)
NOVEMBER 18, 2022
Classes Paladin Fixed an issue where Hammer of Wrath was incorrectly scaling its damage from ranged Attack Power instead of melee Attack Power. Warlock Fixed an issue where Soul Siphon was increasing damage by more than its intended 18% limit in some cases. NOVEMBER 17, 2022
Player versus Player Updated the Arena Points cap from 5,000 to 10,000 to be consistent with original Wrath of the Lich King’s season 5 cap.
Blizzard currently has no plans to increase the gold cap in Wrath Classic.
Someone asked the devs on the official forums if they had plans to increase the gold cap in Wrath Classic. Unfortunately, they think increasing the gold cap would not be healthy for the game at this point. The full response is included below.
While gold is definitely more plentiful from quests, dailies, and other sources in Wrath Classic, we don’t really feel like raising the gold cap would be healthy for the game at this point. We’ve been looking at gold data across all characters and also across all level 80s, and in general even the 100th percentile average (among level 80 characters in particular) is nowhere near the gold cap. We’ll keep an eye on it and may revisit this if we start seeing averages across the high-90’s percentiles start to bump up against the cap but we aren’t very close to that point and the cap that is in place is likely still appropriate.
More WotLK Classic hotfixes arrive, with some changes to the PvP rating calculations.
November 16 (Source)
Classes Warlock Fixed an issue where pets were not properly benefiting from resilience. Player versus Player The PvP rating calculation has been adjusted to provide a continuous, modest increase of MMR for the rest of the season. Developers' note: We've been monitoring players' rating distribution, and the percentage of players who have reached the rating requirements is much lower than we want it to be.