Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tom's thoughts on hunters/arena/ from gamespy interview

"GameSpy: Have you had similar balance issues with the battlegrounds as opposed to arenas?
Tom Chilton : Definitely, they're very different PvP experiences. The PvP balance feels different between arenas and battlegrounds, but also between 2v2, 3v3, 5v5. Class synergies come into play more in the smaller environments. There are certain classes that feel like they're extremely strong in battlegrounds, but are either harder to play or are just not as good in some arena formats.

A good example is the Hunter class. If you're playing a Hunter in a battleground, you generally feel they're a very strong class. Arguably one of the stronger battleground classes in the game. But they're extremely skill-sensitive in the arena environment because of the line of sight issues, that sort of thing. We find that the very skilled players can play Hunters well in the arenas, but I think it's fair to say that it may take a higher level of player skill to achieve the same kind of result in the smaller arena environment."

Pretty much what I've been saying for quite a while, even before I started playing one. You can read the entire interview here. So what does this mean, you ask? Well, you can probably count on some hunter changes to streamline the class into being a little more forgiving, at least as far as shot timings go if I had to guess. I'm looking forward to see what's in store for the class. Although, I wonder if hunters will see any needed changes prior to WotLK? I guess only time will tell.


Zek said...

And yet even when he knows hunters excel in BGs and have trouble in arenas (closed quarters). He goes and pops "BG" bonuses on hunter Arena set.

1. +5% Multi-Shot Damage on Gloves
2. -1 sec CD on Multi-Shot

I mean whats the point? In 2v2 I fired 1-3 MSs per match either for pressure on 2xDPS teams or just for added burst after attrition(cc/drain) war.
And some of those matches went into 30min+ times (Hunter+Priest) - saw 4h D/H vs D/H match btw.

Why there is no
1. +70% steady shot interruption resist on gloves
2. -5sec CD on traps
Thats Arena bonuses!

New data from Vhairi's armory crawler... it's silly. 2.4 totally negated positive numbers we hunters were watching in 2.3 (where our representation was 200% higher than in 2.2 but still just at 50% of Blizzard expected.)


Hunters are extremely harder to play compared to other classes on same level, whatever the level is in PvP and PvE.
Poor shot mechanics (your previous post) witch influences PvE more than PvP. And too extreme punishment in melee range witch shows in PvP.

Still I love to play my hunter, defying gravity.. emm.. "Huntardnes" gives me great pleasure... but bitter taste after you train new (hunter) recruits and most find out hey can't cut it...

Draele said...

Just read the whole interview. Very good read! In particular I liked the segment on LoS in arenas and the philosophy he takes in regard to it, though I wonder if cubic pillars rather than cylindrical pillars have crossed their minds as a possibility for WotLK...

Anonymous said...

For zek:


1. a person, now esp. a woman, who professes or is supposed to practice magic, esp. black magic or the black art; sorceress. Compare warlock.
2. an ugly or mean old woman; hag: the old witch who used to own this building.
3. a person who uses a divining rod; dowser.
–verb (used with object)
4. to bring by or as by witchcraft (often fol. by into, to, etc.): She witched him into going.
5. Archaic. to affect as if by witchcraft; bewitch; charm.
–verb (used without object)
6. to prospect with a divining rod; dowse.
7. of, pertaining to, or designed as protection against witches.


1. what one?: Which of these do you want? Which do you want?
2. whichever: Choose which appeals to you.
3. (used relatively in restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses to represent a specified antecedent): The book, which I read last night, was exciting. The socialism which Owen preached was unpalatable to many. The lawyer represented five families, of which the Costello family was the largest.
4. (used relatively in restrictive clauses having that as the antecedent): Damaged goods constituted part of that which was sold at the auction.
5. (used after a preposition to represent a specified antecedent): the horse on which I rode.
6. (used relatively to represent a specified or implied antecedent) the one that; a particular one that: You may choose which you like.
7. (used in parenthetic clauses) the thing or fact that: He hung around for hours and, which was worse, kept me from doing my work.
8. Nonstandard. who or whom: a friend which helped me move; the lawyer which you hired.
9. what one of (a certain number or group mentioned or implied)?: Which book do you want?
10. whichever; any that: Go which way you please, you'll end up here.
11. being previously mentioned: It stormed all day, during which time the ship broke up.

Class dismissed.

Rayvik/Abeyance said...

"One of our class designers is the guild leader of probably one of the most well-known PvP guilds in the world."

Quoted from Kalgan in that interview. I'm thinking the guild is Quality Control, and the GM of QC is Affix. That would most definitely explain all the Mage love in the past few patches.

Regarding the quoted portion of the interview, it's good that he recognizes the potential of the class in the hands of skilled players. I'm interested to see what's in store for Hunters, as fixing the issue without making the class downright broken for the top players is certainly a challenge I wouldn't want to undertake.

I like his thoughts on LoS, and I totally agree that an open arena would be stagnant and highly biased toward instant spamming as you'd have to continuously run in a circle to avoid hard casts like Mana Burn, etc.

Overall, a promising interview for a pure PvP player like myself.

Zek said...

For Anonymous(last boss of the internet?):

English is my... 4th? language. And my best friend is firefox spellchecker. ;)

Contribute to discussion WHICH you failed to do.(I learned something tho it seems(again)) :D

Leiah said...

Close, Rayvik. Close.

Affix is not a Blizzard employee, however. Many prominent guild leaders obviously have inside info into WoW and Tom & crew obviously take their feedback (as well as mine) very seriously.

When designing end game pve or pvp content, who do you want to get feedback from? Random scrubs that can't even keyboard turn their way to victory? Or those who know their class (and others) inside and out? But now I'm just stating the obvious.

By the way, to give you an idea of the time frame that some changes take to make. Many of the suggestions that I made for the rogue back in the alpha/beta LAST YEAR didn't go in until a few months ago. (Yes, I've played rogues extensively as well)

Anonymous said...

Tichondrius is right but the guild is Notorious instead of Quality Control.

Leiah said...

@ the first anonymous person who commented in this thread.

Keep it clean. If you have nothing constructive to add to the discussion, we're not interested to hear what you have to say. People make mistakes. Get over it. I will not have the comments on this blog turn into a world of ming style environment.

baek said...

"By the way, to give you an idea of the time frame that some changes take to make. Many of the suggestions that I made for the rogue back in the alpha/beta LAST YEAR didn't go in until a few months ago. (Yes, I've played rogues extensively as well)"

This is a problem. I know that any blue would say that the whole process is difficult and things take time to test, but that's exactly why we have a problem.

When balance changes take several months to be implemented, you start to get garbage like Natural Perfection which did little for the Druid's 5v5 situation but only made them even more retardedly OP in 2v2 and 3v3.

You get things like additional melee buffs and armor penetration, combined with a massive nerfing of mana drain abilities, like in 2.4.

If the balancing process takes so long as to actually buff classes that have become too powerful, something is wrong. They don't seem to understand that the competitive environment is constantly changing. Discoveries are made, and abuses (like in PvE encounters) generally cannot be hotfixed.

If Blizzard wants to truly turn their game into an e-sport, they're going to have to show that they have some sort of clue on how to balance their game. Giving significant buffs to already-dominant classes just before an official tournament is retarded on many levels.

Rayvik/Abeyance said...

Baek, which already-dominant classes received buffs in 2.4 relevant to the 3v3 format with Merciless Gladiator gear on the Tournament Realm?

Warriors were nerfed with a cooldown on Improved Hamstring procs. Rogues got no relevant PvP changes. Druids got SIGNIFICANT nerfs, and anyone who says otherwise doesn't play a Druid. Priests got nerfed via Mana Burn change and resilience change. Locks got no relevant PvP changes.

Which already-dominant 3v3 class am I missing?

The only class that I recall receiving a significant buff in 2.4 that is relevant on the Tournament Realm was Mage with the change to Icy Veins stopping spell pushback. And I would hardly call Mage an already-dominant class considering there's really only one top-end comp, Rog/Mage/Prst, in which a Mage is featured. Granted, everyone is saying that RMP is the strongest comp in the tournament format now, but I think that has more to do with the lack of armor ignore decreasing the power level of Rog/War/Drd than the change to Icy Veins.

Also, I don't think it's fair to expect the entire balancing vision of the devs to come into place all at once. Think of WoW like a painting; the artist has a clear vision of the end product, but he can't just throw all of the paint at the canvas simultaneously and expect anything near his final vision (barring abstract of course :P). Every single change must be carefully considered before being implemented lest you break a class in one area of the game while trying to balance said class in another area of the game.

baek said...

Warriors: Endless Rage was a beneficial bug fix and allows for Warriors to stack Sunder Armors even faster. DR on Imp. Hamstring is barely a nerf, considering it didn't often proc enough to even put itself on any sort of serious DR. The whole talent is an RNG-based IWIN piece of bullshit anyways and should've been nerfed harder if anything.

Mutilate - +15% crit on both hands. I don't see how this is buff is "irrelevant" at all. BTW I play a Mutilate Rogue. There's also the change to Imp. Sprint.

Druids got nerfed but they are still easily the dominant healer in any comp that isn't RMP. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't play 3v3.

On top of this we have a VERY significant nerf to any comp that doesn't involve zerging someone down with one class + Warrior: Mana drains being affected by resilience.

Furthermore, the TTR grants everybody easy access to raid items. Who gets to equip the most PvE gear in PvP? Healers, Rogues, and Warriors (to an extent). Who is forced to stack resilience to max? Warlocks, Priests, and Mages.

And of course, that's only talking about the TTR. The live realms still give melee all that badge garbage and additional armor pen items while casters get what? Worthless, budget expensive (in PvP) haste and redundant amounts of hit rating.

No fixes to extremely obvious things like pets not getting any resilience. I should add that the only viable Warlock tree for arenas is completely reliant on its 6k hp, 0 resilience pet that will die quickly even in s2 gear.

As for your whole "painting" thing: I know it takes a long time. I'm telling them to hurry it up. I'll go ahead and say it again: if they want to make WoW e-sport viable, they need to show that they can make competant changes towards balancing their game.

Doing stupid shit like buffing Druids when they were already dominating 2v2 and 3v3, further buffing melee itemization like what was done in 2.4, and even THINKING of doing a retarded nerf like the whole Life Tap thing shows to me that their methods of balance are extremely flawed.

Mani said...

I agree with Maso here, the biggest problem with Blizz is their slow reaction to the fast changing game trends. Some problems can stay for sometime if they are not game breaking, but the way the game is right now is simply shafting almost all casters in arena. Today we got farmed for 100 points because of retarded melee zerg teams that require no skill at all.

Rayvik/Abeyance said...

Baek, you seem a little angry man. :P

Anywho, to rebut:

Endless Rage - Meaningless to all but Warriors who will insist on dual-wield MS being viable because they want to feel different. The dominant spec will remain 33/2x/x with a 2H because class design and PvP balance dictates that Warriors do their damage in bursts between being cc'd. I do agree that Improved Hamstring, and talents like it, need to be reconsidered.

+15% crit to Mutilate - Look at the top Rogues across all formats on the SK 100. The VAST majority are 20/0/41. You can't argue with the statistics here; Mutilate is a comp-specific spec while Shadowstep/Vile Poisons is not. Again, I contend that this buff was largely irrelevant on both the Tournament Realm and Live.

I do play 3v3 on my Druid, and you are correct that in terms of general usage, Druids are dominant. However, savvy teams now are either running comps that can outdamage a Druid's healing or lockdown and kill the Druid. The same can be said for 2v2. The change to the 4pc set bonus combined with the range nerf to Cyclone means that, at some point during a match the Druid is forced to expose himself for a Cyclone, and a good team will immediately call a switch to the Druid who, without the old 4pc bonus, now has a harder time getting out of melee range, back behind cover, or both. Trust me when I say that Druids are much more killable now, and that you would be wise to adjust your strats to exploit it.

Mana draining was nerfed due to its interaction with Haste. It had to be done. Even now, an uncontrolled Discipline Priest can drain someone nearly dry in the duration of a Fear with Power Infusion.

I don't agree that Mages are forced to stack resilience. Warlocks and Priests do, sure. But every class that doesn't have a talent like Cheat Death or an ability like Ice Block or Divine Shield is wont to neglect their resilience. Even then, I've won many a match by killing the squishy PvE-geared Paladin after the bubble.

I do agree that Armor Ignore is undervalued while Haste is overvalued in terms of item budget. That is something that should definitely change.

I'm of the opinion that increasing the survivability of pets would overpower the pet classes in arena. The advantage of denying the opposing healer a drink for the entire match without his team having to strategize almost entirely for dealing with the pet is good enough already. There should be considerable risk involved in maintaining a pet throughout the course of a match considering what it brings to the table, and a competent healer combined with a player that can play well enough to properly micro their pet should be more than enough to account for said risk.

I do agree that the changes are taking too long. Hopefully, considering the interview, going forward they will have a team of people who constantly monitor trends in arena and are able to submit suggestions for immediate changes that could even be given hotfix priority. Other esports games have the ability to hotfix abuses, and I agree that if WoW is serious about esports they should too. However, other esports games don't have the dynamic of needing to balance for PvE as well as PvP. So I feel that consideration needs to be given instead of pounding our collective fists on the table in some sort of demanding tantrum because we can't have what we want RIGHT NOW.

Mike said...

I agree, that set/gloves bonuses need to be changed.

70% pushback resistance on the gloves.

15% snare/stun resistance as the 4 piece bonus.

Pets NEED to have resilience.They don't need to have 500 resilience but they need to have SOME, pets need to have more armor as well. While hunters can manage to keep their pets alive in 2s in 3s and 5s it might be not an option if the other team feels like getting rid of them.

I disagree that hunters need any new escape options. Making a hunter less trainable would go a long way though. For starters, deterrance cooldown should be decreased to 2 min and duration needs to be increased to 15 sec. Counter-Attack needs to be "parry and dodge", not just "parry". Making Aspect of the Beast work as a Soul Link could go a long way helping hunters survive melee zergs.

There was a post on the rogue forums with "fake" patch notes the other day, it listed Wyvern Sting cooldown being removed. That's an amazing idea, really. Many classes/races can remove it, it would require hunters to make some trade offs, and it would make survival the PvP tree it should be.

Most of these changes would have no impact on BG PvP but will help hunters take a better place in arenas.

Frankly, I wouldn't mind hunters being OP. They were completely shafted in S1 and most of the S2. They got some good buffs in 2.3 but they were more than negated by the 2.4 drain nerf.

baek said...

The biggest loss in speccing ER is the lack of Enrage. If a Warrior is being attacked, chances are he's being blown up and Enrage isn't going to help much anyway. Proccing an Enrage off of Frost Novas and random WW's are nice, but so is being able to stack Sunder Armors faster and always having the rage to keep MS up. ER is, admittedly, more of a 5v5 spec than anything however.

Considering RMP is one of the comps Mutilate does well at, and RMP is obviously going to see lots of play in the tournament scene, I don't see how a buff to it is irrelevant.

Of course Druids can die. So can Warriors. So can Warlocks. Druids have a weakness against fast damage, I know. Warlocks had a weakness in s1/2 in being completely reliant on a 6khp 0 resilience pet, yet they were still OP. Warriors have a weakness in being very vulnerable to magic damage, yet they are still OP. Where are you going with this?

Oh, I see about mana drains. Mana Drains need nerfs because they actually threaten a healer's mana pool in PvP... unlike the ridiculous amounts of damage and pressure combined with MS effects that melee classes have against cloth targets especially when armor penetration gear/abilities are taken into consideration? Oh, the solution is obviously the nerf mana drains but give Rogues and Warriors access to more, easily obtained armor pen gear.

Mages don't have stack resilience gems/enchants to succeed, true. But they're sure as hell not going to substitute several slots of gear for PvE items and see major gains from it like Rogues do.

Pets shouldn't get survivability? Why play a Warlock then? Your survivability and control options are completely reliant on the survival of a non-scaling, 6khp, low-medium armor, 0 resilience pet.

There are many ways to implement balance changes that won't kill PvE. People ask for Destruction buffs, but almost no one is asking for a buff to Destruction's standing DPS. The same goes with Affliction. The same goes with Arcane/Fire. The same goes with Shadow Priests. I'm pretty sure giving these classes at least a minor buff to their PvP survivability will not trivialize PvE encounters.

My ranting here and on the forums is hardly "pounding my fist on the table in tantrum," because there is no table to begin with. This is a friend of a dev's blog, not the office at Blizzard.

Skeld said...

Maso you are right on as usual. How is it not an indirect buff to Melee who "drain mana" by doing damage and applying a healing debuff to nerf direct mana drains? The result is clearly that Melee will drain a healer's mana much faster as well as cause more pressure and have more opportunities for outright kills because of their burst and healing debuffs. Warlocks on the other hand have a whopping 3 DoTs ticking and a Mana Drain ticking for 150 mana/second. Pathetic.

This seems so clear to me, but I'm sure for Blizzard it's just one issue in a sea of problems and they are very slow to react. It would also seem logical that since Locks/Priests have had capped resilience since S1, and that melee damage has increased, that the relative survivability of said cloth classes would decrease with time. Also, Drain Nerfs didn't help either.

Rayvik/Abeyance said...

The Mutilate buff in 2.4 is irrelevant because a Mutilate Rogue doesn't have the mobility of a Shadowstep Rogue, nor can they be as aggressive with cooldown use. Again, there's a reason the vast majority of the top rated Rogues in the world are 20/0/41 Shadowstep/Vile Poisons, even ones playing in RMP comps. What you give up when you spec Mutilate just isn't worth it compared to what Shadowstep offers, and the statistics fully support my opinion. Yes, Mutilate will fit the playstyle of certain players better and will therefore be successful in the hands of those players, but that is clearly the exception rather than the rule.

My point regarding Druid dominance in 3v3 was that savvy teams are now either running comps that outdamage Druid healing capabilities or comps that are specifically designed to lock down and kill a Druid. If the trend continues, Druid dominance will wane as teams adapt to the new dynamic. But just because a class is dominant doesn't mean said class is necessarily overpowered. It can mean that the current dynamic of a given format lends itself more to the strengths of said class, and it may be a different, less obvious element that is causing the imbalance rather than the class design itself.

For example, look at Warlocks during the midpoint of S2 before Resilience was changed to affect DoT damage. The class was so dominant that people were running double Warlock in 5v5. Yet rather than nerf the shit out of the class to pacify the flood of tears on the forums, they adjusted an aspect of the game that was not directly class related while making very minor adjustments to the class itself. 2.4 did the same with Druid, and now the dynamic in 3v3 has shifted such that the possibility exists for certain comps to make Druids a non-factor. Rogue/Elemental Shaman/Shadow Priest does just that. People just have to be willing to think outside the box and try new comps.

Regarding mana drains, I'm sorry, but if you think that they're completely irrelevant after 2.4, I completely disagree. The problem wasn't just that they pressured healer mana. The problem was that, combined with the various Spell Haste effects becoming more and more common, they pressured healer mana TOO MUCH. Especially Mana Burn itself. Thus Mana Burn was the only spell of the three (Viper Sting, Drain Mana, Mana Burn) to receive a direct nerf on top of the Resilience adjustment. Also, if you recall, Drain Mana actually got buffed to slightly offset the Resilience change. I feel that you're unable to see the big picture of arena balance as a whole if you can't see why this change was needed.

Why play a Warlock then? Yep, they're totally obsolete. I mean, look at the top rated 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 comps in the world. NONE of them contain a Warlock. Not a single one. Except the complete opposite of what I just said. I've already explained my position on pets in my previous post; there should be considerable risk involved in maintaining a pet throughout the course of a match considering what they bring to the table.

As for buffs to non-PvP-viable talent trees, Blizzard has already stated that they seek to have one or two builds for each class be viable for arena PvP. Expecting every possible variation of every spec of every class in the game is completely unreasonable. Certain specs will be better for PvE and others better for PvP. It's been this way since day one, except certain classes didn't even have ONE spec that was good enough. Now nearly every class has at least two specs that are arena viable. It's fine, L2P. =P

Leiah said...

Rayvik, you took the words right out of my mouth. Except for one thing: The drain mana buffs that warlocks received on PTR was reverted before it went live. It's still 200/tick. :P

Gary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary said...

Rayvik, the doomsday sayings are predictions of Season 4 rather than the current state of Season 3.

Cloth casters are still competitive in all brackets (sans mages in 2v2). Despite a few things that irk me (pets not scaling with resilience, Fel Armor has effective dispel resistence), it is far from hopeless. Hell, I've been having fun trying out Warlock + Shadow Priest for the first time since Season 2 and absolutely destroying Warrior + Druid teams. I would complain about sunder armor/expose armor if I would actually encounter warriors/rogues that used their respective abilities more than once every 20~ games or so, even 2000+ rated.

I am worried about Season 4 though, as it is evident melee is going to be much more problematic than they are now. I reserve any conclusive judgment until after season 4 comes out.

Rayvik/Abeyance said...

At this point, speculation as to the dynamics of S4 is exactly that: speculation. Who knows what they're going to do about the current effectiveness of melee zerging and the impact that melee scaling/armor ignore has had on arena in all brackets. I'm sure they're aware that there is a problem, but we are certainly in no position to go all Chicken Little about it right now without even seeing solid info on S4 gear.

Personally, I find Mage/Rogue to be a very effective 2v2 comp, only struggling against Lock/Rogue as a true counter. I know at least 5 Mages on my server that got their shoulders and weapons with it. Watch Vilden's videos to see how effective it is.

I'm sorry, but as you can see from my earlier posts, I can't get on board with giving pets more survivability. But thank you for proving my point regarding how to deal with Druid dominance; run a comp that can outdamage Druid healing capabilities or just outright kill the Druid (as Mage/Rogue does).

As for 2k+ rated Warriors and Rogues not using Sunder/Expose, you beat those teams, right? What can you say about people who get carried by stronger players other than the problem exists in every team sport?

How is it evident that melee is going to be much more problematic than they are now? Are the slightly higher stats, resil, crit, attack power, and armor ignore somehow going to magically make melee classes harder to cc? I don't think so. And, if you're playing at 2k+, I'm sure you understand that the best way to shut down a melee class is to cc them.

baek said...

There is still a population of Rogues who spec Mutilate for RMP. If anything, the biggest reason to spec ShS for it is to better deal with mirror matches, which are common. Yes, most Rogues spec ShS. However, Mutilate is still a competitive spec and it got buffed, and therefore melees were buffed.

You tell me about Mage/Rogue combinations, yet how many Mage/Rogue teams actually exist at the top tier? There's a number of them at 2k+, but they're nowhere near as common as Druid/DPS or Priest/Rogue. Yet, you still regard them as significant.

The whole concept of tiers/overpoweredness in any game deals with how well the game's environment caters towards a certain class/race/character. For ewxample, Jin was overpowered in Tekken 4 because Tekken 4 was all about pokes, and Jin had the best pokes by far. If the nature of 2v2 and 3v3 allows for Druids to dominate the healer slot for both of those brackets, then Druids are overpowered in 2v2 and 3v3.

The DoTs vs resilience thing was obviously a nerf meant to directly hit SP's and Warlocks. I believe that nerf was justified; every form of damage in PvP should have to scale with the primary defensive PvP stat. The nerf affected everybody that has a DoT (which is just about every class in the game?), but it affects some classes much more than others. Just like if a nerf were made to make melee range a pixel in front of the character, every class would be affected, but melees would be hurt the most (and no, I do not support such a ridiculous nerf).

I never said that mana drains are irrelevant after 2.4. Drain Mana's buff was very quickly reverted, but I'm sure that you were just testing me. Mana Burn itself received a nerf because of PI. Haste doesn't even affect VS, and Drain Mana would've gone out of style anyways thanks to melee buffs.

Warlocks are pretty much forced to spec Demo. Most of Demo's decent talents rely on the survivability of a 0 resilience, 6k hp pet. We're not dealing with a risk, we're dealing with an already fragile class that relies on an extremely fragile pet to survive in PvP. But clearly you'll never change your opinion, so I'll just leave it there.

Warlocks have one viable talent tree: Demonology. Give us two, thanks.

Mani said...

I'm sorry Rayvik, but if you think pets should not receive some sort of suvivability scaling then you are either not playing high end arena with a lock or you are just too biased. Imagine if they told you that your char would receive armor and resiliance buffs as you gear up more, unless they attack you from the side in which case the armor and resiliance buffs don't apply. This is the same thing for pets; locks scale with their gear including defensive stats such as armor and resiliance while pets don't (think of a pet as an extension to the character).

I have said it before and I will say it again; don't you find it ironic that some classes can throw in some pve items such as weapons and some armor pieces and still get away with it in arena even at the highest end arena matches while warlocks are forced to go max pvp items (and sometimes get items that are not even for their class such as armor rings/cloak) to be able to compete?

We got farmed in 5v5 and now dropped below 2k rating just because of the influx of melee zerg teams. And guess who they zerg everytime with no change in tactic?, yup; the warlock.


Gary said...

Rayvik, yeah I beat the warrior teams easy enough, but rogues are another story if it's a good rogue + healer or rogue + rogue combo. Doesn't even need expose armor to destroy my 2v2, but rogues do counter DoT classes to a very large extent, so this isn't exactly a surprise. Rogues don't need expose armor to kill cloth. It just makes it 20% easier. My experience is limited to mainly 2v2, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Anonymous said...

Rayvik: What about specs that are neither competitive in arena or high end raiding? Boomkin, Affliction, Assassination, etc. Seems like they would be the prime candidates for buffage. Even Shadowpriests have become pretty mediocre in the arena what with Rogues/Warriors how they are and their damage falls way behind in endgame where DoTs don't scale like they should(utility considered, they're either extremely OP in Kara, extremely weak in BT, or somewhere in between.) An adjustment needs to be made.

Rayvik/Abeyance said...

Baek, Blizzard has stated that they seek to have two arena-viable SPECS for each class for arena, not necessarily two arena-viable TREES. Warlocks have SL/SL and Felguard. I don't see an issue with both specs featuring a common talent. Some classes derive their specs from different trees and some don't. So long as there's still a choice to make (Sipon Life or Felguard), I don't see an issue.

Look at Mages. They have the same choice; 17/0/44 or 0/6/55. Both specs feature Water Elemental. Having played a Mage to over 2k 5v5 in S2 and as a main since release up until recently, I don't see an issue with it. I always knew that if I wanted to PvP I needed to be Frost, and if I wanted to raid optimally I needed to be something else. It's the same with many classes.

Again, I think it's unreasonable to expect all mainstream specs of each class to be arena-viable. As long as there are choices and trade-offs to be made, even if the choices are derived from a common talent tree, enough variety exists to keep the game interesting.

Rayvik/Abeyance said...

To add, I did miss the reversion of the Drain Mana buff. My mistake.

Vague, I'll restate my position that what pets bring to the table should carry with it a significant risk. As it stands, in 2v2 and to a lesser extent in 3v3, a pet set on the opposing team's healer means that healer will not drink unless the opposing team specifically takes time (a very important commodity in arena play) to somehow deal with it.

What this means is that the team with the pet class is at an advantage in both terms of time and mana as soon as the gates open just by running a pet class in their comp. That's significant. So much so that, in my opinion, it should require both a skilled healer and a skilled controller of the pet in order to maintain the advantage. Pets should not be a fire-and-forget solution to the issue of keeping a healer in combat so he can't drink, not to mention the added dps (admittedly small) and abilities.

The bottom line is that pet classes have succeeded in the past and will continue to succeed going forward without the requested survivability scaling changes. Big deal if they're relatively easy to kill. If your pet does die, I venture that it was your own fault for letting their healer drag it out of line of sight and make it vulnerable to being killed. Had you mircro'd properly and called it back when you saw what its target was trying to do, more than likely it could have been saved. This is how it should be because of what a pet means to a given arena match. Playing a pet class, you know that at some point the opposing team is more than likely going to try to kill your pet. It's on you and your healer to keep that from happening.

Rayvik/Abeyance said...

Also to Vague:

Does wearing PvE items in arena not carry with it a risk of being easier to kill? When I was doing 5v5 extensively in S2, we won many a match by forcing the Paladin to bubble then switching to him after the bubble if we saw he was wearing PvE gear.

As for getting farmed in 5v5 by a melee zerg team, who was forcing you to continue queueing while knowing full well there was a team running a countercomp queueing at the same time? You have the choice to queue or not. I know it sucks to have to wait a few minutes when you've got you and your teammates ready to go. But clearly you have the power to not continue to beat your collective heads into an obvious brick wall.

Gary, the Rogue would need Expose Armor were your Priest not Shadow. Again, you've made a tradeoff between being able to blow up Warriors or being able to survive an aggressive Rogue. This would hold true in 3v3 as well, although Locks tend to partner better with Druids in that bracket.

To the anonymous directly above my first post in this trio:

34/0/27 is arguably better for the Drd in Rog/Drd 2v2 than any heavy Resto variant. Affliction is the support tree for Warlocks, just as Arcane is for Mages. Assassination is for Mutilate, and as I stated before, Mutilate still finds success in the hands of those who prefer the style. As for Shadow being mediocre, I'm sure Noxn, a Shadow Priest who briefly held the top spot on SK's Top 100 Overall (he was 2500+ in all three brackets) would strongly disagree.

Mani said...


I hope you are not serious with your LoS and macro argument. If you are, please check my ratings last season (and although not so great this season, but not too bad either). If you think I've reached 2.3k+ in different brackets withouy being very aware of LoS and using macros/addons effectivly then I do not know what to tell you.

When you talk about it being my fault that the healer deagged it, I will ask you in return; did you actually play against a double melee zerg and see how they will rape you and turn to your pet and 2-shot it while your healer is helpless and your snares are ineffective?
My pet was not dragged away, my pet was in LoS of me and my healer and it was *still* 2-shotted when it reached 60% hp.


Anonymous said...

Rayvik, you don't seem to understand the pet problem.

Warlocks rely on pets being alive. It doesn't matter where the pet is. The pet could be on passive the entire fight for all it matters.

The point is that, it is trivial to kill with a melee zerg. If it dies, the Warlock dies shortly after and there is nothing that the Warlock's team can do about it.

Anonymous said...

Imagine S10, without WotLK being out and lvl80 available. One blow of a S10 weapon would kill a pet three times.
Why should the survivability of a pet from a fresh lvl70 hunter in greens be nearly the same as the one from a fully S10 decked hunter?

Hunters and warlocks share the problem of having a pet counted towards their damage/utility for balanceing issues. Although a warlock can sacrifice his pet for a buff. The hunter has no way of not using his pet without gimping himself. And yet the life time of pets in the arena gets shorter every season.

If Blizzard can not buff the hunter in the arena without making him OP in other areas, they should define the trees better. Making one absolutely crap for raids would offer the posibilty to redefine the hunters arena role and shaping talents more towards the arena.

baek said...

I don't believe I have ever said that Fire is any less deserving of a buff than Destruction is. Fire is in a very similar situation that Destruction is; it's a tree filled with PvP talents but has little PvP viability. It certainly needed more of a buff than Mutilate did (and again, I repeat: my Rogue has been Mutilate up until only very recently, for 5's).

I don't expect every spec of every class to have a place in PvP. I'm pretty damn sure that Prot, Fury, and other such specs will never see PvP viability. But if you're really going to go with the Warrior route in terms of balance (one tree for each role), then at least make that true of talent trees like Destruction and Fire, which were given changes clearly made for PvP, but have not yet been touched for an entire year.

If they truly want PvP to be a major focus of the game, they need to be on top of making changes for it. I cannot see how it can take over a year for them to think of a change to Destruction that won't trivialize PvE. They've had enough time to implement several raid dungeons and encounters and other changes, how long does it take to think of a PvP buff to a weak talent tree? The ideas are EVERYWHERE on the forums; most of them bad, some of them good.

You must not have played very much 3v3 with a Warlock during season 3 or even the better half of season 2 if you think Warlock pets take very much time to kill. I've run double melee. Felhunters die in 3-5 seconds. I've run RMP. Felhunters die in 4-6 seconds if I'm Mutilate, 6-7 seconds if I'm Hemo. I've run Warlock/Mage in 2's; Felhunter drops in a few seconds even to our completely magical DPS. And trust me, it's worth it.

So pet classes have an advantage in terms of keeping someone in combat. So what? Every class brings something to the table, but most of them don't involve having half their important options completely reliant on the survival of a pet that doesn't scale.

That's not to mention the fact that such classes (or at least Warlocks) also have a disadvantage in having terrible healer efficiency due to low mitigation of both the master and the pet. Warlocks have the worst combined mitigation/avoidance in the game, and their pets also have terrible mitigation thanks to having 0 resilience.

Warlocks have succeeded in the past, not so much Hunters. Every season of new gear introduces more DPS, but unless the gear gives Warlocks/Hunters incredible amounts of stamina and armor, pet survivability will never, ever scale. Therefore we have pets dying in 3 seconds a la double melee.

rayvik/abeyance said...

Ok, I get it now. I've been mainly referencing a 2v2 viewpoint in my arguments. I didn't realize pets were dropping so fast at the high end of 3v3, as I'll admit I've not played that bracket at that level.

Having said that, are we sure that giving pets resilience, possibly more armor, and possibly more stamina is the best solution?

Anonymous said...

That would work, yes. Do you have another suggestion that would increase pet survivability other than that?

Zek said...

Implement resilience on them and heal share. (when hunter/lock is healed, so is his pet by some %, beastmastery and demo specs having talent improvement deep in tree due pet importance to them)

Resilience being PvP change and Heal share being PvP/PvE.

And in PvE pets could be immune to some more... unfriendly boss abilities because they... well run in and out in straight line of the master/target. (Archimonde Doomfire being perfect fubar example for pets.)

Rayvik/Abeyance said...

I could see adding a small heal share to Soul Link (10%?) and the 31pt. Beastmastery talent (forget the name), but I can't see giving it as an inherent ability. I think there are better solutions.

How about adding a trainable ability for Hunter pets similar to the flayer mobs in Hellfire Peninsula where they turn their skin to stone, have reduced movement speed, clear all debuffs, and take something like 60% less damage for 10 seconds?

For Lock pets, give them all an ability to banish themselves, making them immune to all damage and healing, clear all debuffs, KEEP SOUL LINK ACTIVE, and increase health regen to something around half of what being Polymorphed grants for 8 seconds.

Put both abilities on a lowish cooldown of 25-30 seconds. This way, greater pet survivability is granted via player skill in choosing when to use an activated ability rather than passively.

On top of that, I could see a slight improvement to the formula for Stamina scaling relative to the pet's master, a respectable buff of the trainable abilities for Hunter pets that increase Stamina and Armor, having Master Demonologist talent also increase the pet's armor by 5% per point, and granting pets 20% of their master's Resilience.

Sound good?

Anonymous said...

Micromanagement is already huge on a petclass. I can't speak for warlocks, but definately for a hunter.

While I love the amount of micro involved, it's still unfair, compared to other classes. I don't mind having to chose from a wider variety of skills everytime, always trying to come up with the best possible decision at any time. But increasing hunter's micro in the arena is not the way, blizz should go.

It's mainly the amount of micro and needed foresight, that creates this huge gap between most hunters and the exceptional ones.

While your idea sounds nice in an ideal world, where everyclasses micro is big, and classes are mostly balanced, it'd be only fair to increase micro for the second toon we control.

But as it stands right now, I'd say pet survivability should be only increased via micromanagement, if the hunter's personal micro would be lowered somehow.

Suggestions were already made, give aspects their own CD and take them out of the hunters GCD, maybe even lower the GCD. Make something about autoshotclipping, etc.

With less headache on general play, our minds would be free to think even more of our pets in combat.

But some passive improvement would still be needed, besides this active effect. Right now it takes just a few secs, to get rid of a pet. Without passive improvement, the pet handler would still be forced to activate the ability, as soon as a warrior lands two blows on it. All the opposing team has to do is count on 10 and zerg the pet later.

Pets should scale the way, that at any point of gear and level, the ratio between the difficulties involved in killing the pet or the handler would be the same.

I can't be right, if a handler in greens is so much easier to kill than his pet, than a handler in epics versus his pet. Without trying to keep this proportion right, we will reach a level of armour, where killing the pet will be a nobrainer. While having our pets being still calculated into our utility and damage, making us reliant on our pets.

Anonymous said...

"For Lock pets, give them all an ability to banish themselves, making them immune to all damage and healing, clear all debuffs, KEEP SOUL LINK ACTIVE, and increase health regen to something around half of what being Polymorphed grants for 8 seconds.

Put both abilities on a lowish cooldown of 25-30 seconds. This way, greater pet survivability is granted via player skill in choosing when to use an activated ability rather than passively."

I like this idea far more than adding more passive abilities to the warlock class. It's bad enough that warlock's survivability is based on a giant passive talent that requires nothing from the warlock. Soul Link is the equivalent of saying to the warlock "here have some plate." When Soul Link was enough mitigation back in S1/S2 any scrubling was able to do well with it.

What the warlock class needs is abilities that can allow good players to succeed well. Passive abilities (Soul Link, Master Demonologist, etc.) don't add anything to the skill cap of warlocks. With Soul Link there's nothing I can do personally to mitigate more. If pets just get stacked resilience there's nothing I can really do to save my pet more. The class is stale enough as is, I'd hate to see it get any staler. If Soul Link worked more like your idea for pet survivability, or like a warrior's shield reflect or rogue's CloS etc., then good warlocks would be able to use skill and timing to make more out of the talent than we can out of a passive 20% damage reduction.

Anonymous said...

I guess to further add to my previous comment:
-Spellhaste. I love it, but it really needs to affect the GCD for warlock's instants more. Going through 3 GCDs just to refresh dots on a single target is a PITA considering how much I have to refresh them, especially in 3v3 and 5v5. I'm assuming there's PvE concerns involved, so why not just lower or remove GCD's for warlock dots across the board absent spellhaste? (Curses, Corruption, Siphon Life)
-Sunder Armor/Expose Armor. Change to % removal or cap the amount. It's weird that a talent that looked more like it was meant to increase damage against high armor targets is instead used to gib clothies.
-+ Armor for clothies. If you expect us to sit there and tank while the melee classes get to stack PvE gear out the ass (lol evasion, CloS, cheat death), then give us the tools to do so. Add Seals of Danzalar, +armor cloaks, etc. Passive +1k armor to pvp trinkets for warlocks would be a start.
-Demon Armor. It's useless. The health regen is pitiful, and less than you'd get for using Fel Armor instead. The shadow resistance is pitiful. The +armor is nice, but you get more survivability out of using Fel Armor for the health Regen. Change to: "Demon Armor Rank 6
820 Mana
Instant cast
Protects the caster, increasing armor by 660, and increasing the amount of health generated through spells and effects by 20%. Only one type of Armor spell can be active on the Warlock at any time. Lasts 30 min." There, I just took a non-used spell and made it useful, added more depth to the lock class by giving them a choice between two armors (offensive fel armor v. defensive demon armor), and solved their melee problems.

Anonymous said...

quoted by Leiah:

"Hunters are bullshit. I got bored yesterday and logged into jade on tich since I haven't been able to kill anything on my druid. I did a single solo pug wsg game. Averaging over 15,000 damage per minute in a 20 minute game is a little ridiculous. Hunters are quite possibly the most solid BG dps class in the game. Could they use a little arena love? I suppose, but not much. Maybe an ability that would shoot a trap to a remote location every now and then, such as at a teammates' feet. Regardless, I still say hunters are quite solid atm."

quoted by Leiah:

"Pretty much what I've been saying for quite a while, even before I started playing one."

Hunters are BALANCED in BG's. The thoughts and ideas of hunters being "Arguably one of the stronger battleground classes in the game" is a falacy. Every class is solid in BG's. I see hunters at top in damage, I see druid at top in damage, I see rogues warriors, shamen priests, mages, warlocks and hell I saw a HOLY PALLI IN BLUES TROMP the damage meters in one game. I have seen locks be first place in DPS by a LONG SHOT and 3rd in healing.

Through your hunter travels you mention how the class is balanced, how they are fine blah blah. You write these posts with a one sided perception (warlocks perspective, rogues perspective?) saying that hunters are fine and attack anyone that says otherwise.

Now you are saying hunters need help. We are gimped in arena, which we already all know. This information was available to any open minded person that did arena since season 1.

You claim these ties to devs, to blizzard. I don't doubt them but I do question your true inner intentions into class balance, same as I question Tom Chiltons. We all know he favors melee classes, he has a proven history of that and I think we all know what I am talking about.

I guess I need to get to the point. You seem to follow the flavor of the month and blow with the wind. I suggest in the future that you please refrain from using your authority and prowess in the wow game community to sway readers feelings or believes on class balance in directions that only suit your personal desires. You state "When designing end game pve or pvp content, who do you want to get feedback from? Random scrubs that can't even keyboard turn their way to victory? Or those who know their class (and others) inside and out? But now I'm just stating the obvious."

You are suggesting that blizzard listens to you, then why did you make the initial statement of "Hunters are quite solid ATM" when in fact when you made that statement they were not and have only gotten worse. Your references were not about BG's only, you made a blanket statement that appears to cover arena, PvE and BG's. You did not know hunters 'inside and out' when you made your "hunters are BS" post, because if you did you would have known then how jacked the hunter class has been since the beginning of TBC and there are numbers to prove this and your current feelings reflect the same.

Also, you point out that hunter DPS is 'beastly'. Why? Because we can create a macro timing our shots together with minimal loss mixed with some haste. Seriously, this has nothing to do with the classes damage per hit. If mages, locks, warriors, whatever could time their attacks to a perfect rotation through the use of a macro, their damage would DESTROY hunters damage.

I just get tired of people saying hunter dps is fine in pve. IT IS NOT FINE, hunters made it work when blizzard destroyed our dps pre TBC.

I understand the end result is that speccing right into BM and using a macro will yield amazing end game results, this does nothing for pvp and I still argue that BM is a good pvp spec. Why would TBW give immunity for 18 seconds...to get away from pve mobs? Bah...

I have no intention of bagging on you, but some of your posts contradict other posts you make. You have done this since day one in regards to the hunter class. IF enough of this happens then your words will hold less and less weight. IT is not comforting to know someone with your Blizzard insight is making suggestions for class balance when you have already proven yourself to not fully understand the class.

Maybe it IS time to give some of the long time 'scrubs' the chance to address our REAL issues. It is scary to think that just because you raid in a top end guild and rub elbows with Blizzard employees that you have any true and long standing ideas of a class that you never played pre TBC.

I also like the false idea that hunters are fine in arena because they can achieve a 2200 rating with a druid, the most OBVIOUS overpowered class in the game, rogues being second. But with you playing a rogue and a lock does that mean that rogues will never get nerfed. Everyone knows they need it. I mean this talk of buffing dagger spec, like they REALLY need it right now. I dont recall reading any posts about this by you..at this point I am just ranting.

Again, I am not trying to belittle you but I just wonder where you truly stand.

Are hunters FINALLY after 13 months going to get an arena buff to help us because you want to play your hunter now?