Like every day since the Wrath of the Lich King beta began, there's a large amount of blue posts which has surfaced today -- we got the summary, courtesy of World of Raids.
Also, since the summer is drawing to a close, the Harvest Festival has arrived!
Quote from: Wryxian (Source)
Summer draws to a close and the leaves of the trees begin to turn from vibrant green to rusty red, reminiscent of the blood of fallen heroes. The Harvest Festival has arrived and adventurers from all over Azeroth are gathering in Stormwind and Orgrimmar to remember those who have passed on into the Light over the fading year. Processions wind their way to Uther the Lightbringer's tomb and to Grom Hellscream's memorial as both the Horde and Alliance take a moment to pause, reflect, and remember the great ones.
To learn more about this festival, please check out our Harvest Festival page.
Quote from: Vaneras (Source)
As we're moving ahead with the beta we feel specific testing on high-end PvP balance is required. Hence one (US) realm does have level 80 pre-mades available.
Between internal test realms, (upcoming) PTRs and beta realms for all regions our testing hardware is already fully utilized, and as the main testing needs are still on the vast amount of other content, other realms are kept as is.
While we appreciate everybody's eagerness to test high-end characters and PvP gear we hope you understand the need for having testing resources spread on all parts of the expansion.
WotLK Beta - Blue Posts
Casters and mana regeneration / Spirit on Naxx gear
All casters are going to need to take mana regeneration seriously again. For too long we let casters just stack +damage stats and fill themselves back up with shadow priests. You also have to consider downranking is also gone now so you can't rely on that to save you mana. Spirit is a seriously good stat now. I realize Dreamstate isn't directly a Spirit buff, but neither does it let you opt out of stat-based mana regen. (src)
As I posted in another thread, some amount of Spirit is something that all casters are going to need a lot more of. You can't stack shadow priests like you used to, and you can't downrank. Mana management is a part of all caster classes, not just trying to maximize the pewpew. We got away from that a little in BC.
We also don't always design gear to be perfectly optimal for everyone. Part of the game is examining a piece of gear, deciding if you need it or not, and how it will really benefit you. If your set pieces are perfectly optimized, it makes it less interesting to look at any other drops until you're at the next tier. (Now I'm not saying we're going to give you Str and Parry either. That said, I will bring up whether we could afford to trade a little spirit for crit on your gear. (src)
Yellow vs White damage
We did consider purposely lowering DK white damage so that the specials could be bigger. But it actually does some wacky things to scaling when melee classes do a much larger proportion of yellow damage than white damage -- 40% white damage is about what we shoot for, though that isn't always realized.
On-next swing attacks are very controversial. They make more sense for classes that need rage dump, but don't specifically help the DK. When we tried them for the DK, there were some people who liked the mechanic, but a lot who didn't.
You can make a compelling argument that the vision of the DK as someone swinging a big two-hander like Frostmourne doesn't jive well with runes as a power cost, since the latter tend to push you towards using more abilities more often (which necessarily pushes the damage down to compensate).
Changing that now though would be a huge setback, and I'm actually pretty happy with the DK rotations at the moment. We just need to get the damage somewhere that feels satisfying while still balanced with other classes. (src)
Balance Druids needs
What do we want balance to be able to do? What's your role?
You're a caster. Surprise, I know. But we think we didn't always give you the tools to be a good caster before. You need:
- Competitive dps. Mages and warlocks just tend to get a lot of attention, maybe because there are more of them, or more races of them, or they are more archetypal classes (in the familiarity sense).
- Good AE utility. Encounters and dungeons tend to get designed with the assumption that the ranged dps can do AE. Hurricane is phenomenal now. I healed a run today and did really competitive dps with Hurricane on the ranged pulls. And I wasn't even Balance! I love Starfall. It's a rare spell because it feels new -- it isn't single target and it isn't classical Hurricane-style AE either.
- CC. If a group has a choice between a druid and a mage and only the mage can CC, the decision gets a lot easier. With Entangling Roots used inside, problem solved.
- Group utility. I think deep balance provides that now. Even Insect Swarm and Faerie Fire have a better role now. Without the vicious cycle of Curse of Shadows buffing warlocks which lead to inviting more warlocks somewhat solved, I think it will be easier for Balance druids to get into raids regardless. We've just opened space for more classes now.
- The ability to keep causing damage. I think the oomkin thing was largely addressed in BC, but it's still something we need to keep an eye on, or at least try and banish the stigma that other players still think it has.
So that's it for role. Beyond that, what I think Balance needed was a means not to go insane by mashing the same buttons all the time. My favorite talent for attempting to solve this is Eclipse. Eclipse almost by itself "saved" Balance for me. Several times I tried going Balance in Classic and BC and just couldn't do it. But Eclipse is fun just because sometimes you want to Wrath and sometimes you want to Starfire. Improved Insect Swarm starts to get at this kind of mixed up of rotations too, and even the haste benefit from Moonkin a little as well.
Those are my thoughts. I don't think Balance is done yet by any stretch, but I don't hesitate to go Balance in a dungeon or raid now, which actually says quite a lot. I think the designers have done a good job with the tree so far. (src)
Balance / Feral concerns (src)
- There are no tank niches, at least the way they have been defined here. When you ask why would anyone take a druid tank over a warrior tank, the answer is because that player is a better player, not because they have the magic ability that makes an encounter much easier. If you're concern is that the preponderance of warrior mitigation and abilities makes warriors a much more effective tank than druids, then that is a legitimate problem.
- We haven't finished tuning numbers yet. If cat dps is low, we'll fix it before Lich King goes live. We haven't focused on that yet because we are still working on talent trees and bugs. But you're starting to see some of it. One thing I forgot to mention is that the raid buff overhaul was a net dps loss to melee classes. We expected that would happen, but we have not yet adjusted their dps accordingly. That might not be all cats need, but I wanted to mention it before I forgot.
- I know balance druids feel neglected. My time is limited, and it's totally valid feedback that I don't give all specs or classes equal attention. My choices seem to be post a little or not post at all. I'm not a CM and any time I spend here (while very valuable for me) is time I'm not fixing classes. We'll try to give balance some more love.
- I think bears in particular could use a couple more situational abilities. We did lower the cooldown on Berserk and we might even do it again. I assume this doesn't count or you wouldn't be asking for more flashy abilities, but when I did Feral Charge as cat in Utgarde last night, the fight virtually stopped while everyone said "Wait? What did you just do? That looked so cool!"
- Feral is going to feel a little bigger than other trees because we are specifically trying to offer you more talents than you can get. The design is that you can choose 2-3 talents to emphasize your bear role over your cart role... if you choose. If you want to try and be relatively good at both, then split the difference between those talents.
Rebirth & Innervate
At the moment we have no plans to give those abilities to other classes. The raid buff stacking change was done because it was disheartening to see players spend so much effort trying to min / max the buffs different classes brought, and understandably so, rather than trying the encounters.
We understand that the risk of having more redundant buffs across classes is homogenization and too much homogenization hurts class diversity. So long as we avoid any fights in which Innervate or brez offer a huge bonus, we don't see a reason to hand them out to everybody. That goes true for similar abilities that other classes have. (src)
Avoiding the daze effect
I believe bears with the right talents can avoid daze now. We discussed an implementation for that. It may not be in the data you have at the moment. (src)
This is kind of a specific request, but please give us any feedback you have on Metamorphosis, the 51 Demo talent. Assume that we aren't going to swap this talent out with something else, but other than that, nothing needs to be set in stone.
Please don't use this thread for a lot of other questions or concerns about the class. (src)