Author Topic: Shadowlands  (Read 750 times)

Snique

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2019, 05:53:04 AM »
I liked sets because of their unique abilities. Everything else is just a stat stick and you want more of X stat and less of Y stat... YAWN.

The downside is that, like Legion artifacts, they are hard to balance. Some are going to be good and some are going to be bad. (or better/worse) I definitely remember past sets that had awful N-piece abilities

Piralyn

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2019, 07:51:43 AM »
Yeah, I mean, set bonuses weren't all rainbows and unicorns. I remember abandoning my Feral druid before Nighthold because the feral set bonus was going to mandate maintaining a 27th DoT. I'd still take that bad for the good, though. It's not like there haven't been plenty of turd azerite traits, like Mitch mentioned. You have "flexibility" in that you can wear gear that has other traits, but I'm still not convinced that it's any less "locked in" than tier sets were given that there's usually one or two traits you want ALL of.

Marco

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2020, 12:30:32 PM »
Alpha has begun: https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/23377994/shadowlands-developer-update

This is about when Warlords alpha launched, suggesting a November release.  Although with COVID-19, it won't be surprising if the release is delayed beyond 2020.

Marco

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2020, 09:25:09 AM »
Covenant abilities: https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/23374470

Class unpruning details: https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/23310980

Covenant abilities already look different than I remember from the Blizzcon preview; I only see a movement ability for the Venthyr covenant, whereas previously it looked like all covenants were getting an ability that might be used for trash skips in dungeons.  (And it's not clear that Venthyr's Door of Shadows could be used for skips; it depends on the range.)  It looks like covenant abilities may be rather situational, such as AOE vs. single-target focused.  This is a concern if it's burdensome to switch covenants (as was the plan as of Blizzcon).

I didn't look over all of the class changes, but I found it interesting that shamans are having the maelstrom resource removed, and both DPS specs returned to cooldown management rather than resource management.  Probably too many specs were made builder-spender in one of the big revamps (Cataclysm?) so that seems like a good move.  Wowhead notes that 2H frost will be coming back for death knights.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 09:35:44 AM by Marco »

ghoselle

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2020, 09:50:57 AM »
I'm a little nervous that the covenant abilities, at least for tank, will make it so there is one "correct" chance for a primary tank character.  And so it'll be less of a "choice" and more of "did you pick the one good talent" type situation.

jsoh

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2020, 09:53:50 AM »
I'm a little nervous that the covenant abilities, at least for tank, will make it so there is one "correct" chance for a primary tank character.  And so it'll be less of a "choice" and more of "did you pick the one good talent" type situation.

This is the #1 complaint about this, irrespective of class/spec. The counter-argument (and your mileage may vary on this) is that outside of hardcore mythic guilds, the choice shouldn't have a measurable effect on gameplay, relative to another covenant choice.

I think its pretty clear what I think about Blizz's ability to balance things.

ghoselle

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2020, 02:41:59 PM »
This line has me curious in the Druid changes:
"In addition, Heart of the Wild has returned as a Talent, providing an option for Druids who want to use off-role abilities during combat."

They'd sort of taken what had been "Heart of the Wild" and changed it in to the "Affinity" talent tier.  So I'm curious what they do with this.  In the current tier, it was the case that even with the feral affinity, you still did more dps in bear form than you did in cat.   I'm hoping this implies they are giving druids something that lets you offspec do a role at partial effectiveness, as I miss my days as a bearcat.

Weirdly, I feel like the feral change is likely to make the rotation more static, and less friendly to complex fight mechanics.  And I'm guessing it'll either get changed or feral dps will get even more variable on play skill.  Its already a high skill dps role.

The bear change is good (bringing back berserk).  I sort of feel like the activatable necklace talent has replaced some of what berserk provided.  So when the necklace goes away, having something to occupy that spot on my bars feels good.

Kharvek

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2020, 07:30:51 PM »
Rogues
I'm cautiously optimistic.  Shiv basically becomes the new toxic blade and it becomes a part of our kit and we get an opener from stealth again.  I hope blindside isn't a talent and is basic kit since the procs of it helped shake up what is kind of not the most fun rotation.  I need to see what they have in store for AoE though since right now my AoE is completely dependent on azerite traits.  It's also not clear how assassination poison is more powerful/potent than other specs.  Though I don't see deadly poison on deck for anyone else.  Pickpocketing to get stronger crimson vials seems...weird, but it could be cool?

Subtlety looks potentially interesting but they still need to solve for how crippling it is if you fuck up the rotation and making them scale with secondaries.  Sub always starts the strongest but ends up the weakest spec for two expansions in a row because of that.

Outlaws still exist.

Shaman
I'm pumped about the enhancement changes.  Getting rid of maelstrom as a resource and returning maelstrom procs to giving free instant casts of spells.  I always preferred the cooldown juggling version of them over the version that exists now. 

jsoh

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2020, 05:30:18 AM »
I'm trying to remember how I felt about holy paladins having 2 resources to manage, because we're getting that back. Its probably not the worst idea, since current gameplay is very... simplistic[1].

I am extremely shocked that they're choosing to keep glimmer as a talent, but I suppose we'll have to see how all the other changes fall out. The problem with glimmer is that it was sooooooo far and away the best option, which made any other talent/azerite combo hopeless, even for non-mythic raiders. I kinda expect that it'll be nerfed even harder than it was in 8.3.

[1] Tho, a simple/reactive gameplay for a healing class is not the worst idea in the world.

Piralyn

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2020, 08:57:31 AM »

Weirdly, I feel like the feral change is likely to make the rotation more static, and less friendly to complex fight mechanics.  And I'm guessing it'll either get changed or feral dps will get even more variable on play skill.  Its already a high skill dps role.

That seems to be their idea of "class fantasy" for Feral Druid: perform continual advanced calculus while being in melee and not standing in shit or being away from the boss at any point. It was bad at the start of Legion, and then they made it worse with Nighthold's set adding the Thrash bleed into your single target rotation (I think). I do not understand the obsession with making Rip basically the sole damage source again. I know Rupture was/is important for some Rogue specs, and it's not like other classes and specs don't have an ability which does a significant chunk of their damage, but Feral has seemed to be primarily about gaming Rip to the exclusion of everything else. It was one of the few, if not only, specs that still had significant snapshotting for their main DoT. Maintaining like 5 DoTs/Buffs/Debuffs while trying to line up cooldowns for the one main ability while also pooling resources correctly while also not overwriting any of those DoTs without the same/better procs/cooldowns up is absurd for middle-of-the-pack DPS at best on pure single target in ideal conditions and pretty bad DPS for AoE.

I can understand wanting to make them separate and distinct from Rogues and that it can be difficult since they were originally basically copy rogues, but I don't think I've ever come across anyone who is super hyped about having to juggle 84 DoTs/buffs/CDs to do medium DPS.

ghoselle

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2020, 09:31:43 AM »
I agree.  There was a point in time where this sort of rotation was rewarded with higher dps.  I can remember raiding as feral, on a fight with two bosses, and being top dps in a relatively high mobility fight because I'd played very well and juggled the dots on both bosses; and it was super rewarding. 

Like if they make that change and it becomes high skill cap, my hope is it'd come with ability to be top tier dps.  My faith in that hope being true is not high.

Marco

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2020, 02:56:56 PM »
Ion did an interview with Slootbag: https://www.wowhead.com/news=311952/liveblog-of-the-shadowlands-sloot-interview-with-ion-hazzikostas

It was a fairly meaty interview, though without big announcements.  The major notes from my point of view:

* Random bonuses on loot are a reaction to loot dropping in larger quantities as the game has evolved.  They are going to try to let loot be just loot (except for tertiaries), but have less of it given out.  (They're still deciding what that means for jewelcrafting.)

* A centerpiece of the above design philosophy is the unified weekly chest.  Doing more stuff during the week will cause the chest to have more options and therefore have a better chance of yielding a good upgrade, but it's still only one piece per week.  This also has an impact on PvE/PvP crossover; doing both PvE and PvP stuff during the week won't yield two different chests.

* Sometimes when a glaring problem isn't addressed quickly it's due to priorities, which may not be immediately obvious if the higher priority is future content.  For example, some live balancing issues were deprioritized in favor of developing essences, to dig themselves out of the hole that was Azerite armor.  At other times they want to avoid nerfing something unintentionally good (like Glimmer for holy paladins) because players may have made hard-to-reverse changes based on it.

* Covenants are trying to provide a meaningful player choice with strengths and weaknesses.  They're a bigger package than just signature abilities.  These choices aren't always popular because players don't like to feel weak in any particular moment, but the alternative is that the game isn't really an RPG.  If they totally fail the fallback is that they become easily switchable.

* They are trying to draw a distinction between cleave and AOE, where cleave abilities are target-capped and AOE abilities aren't.

* Tier sets may return partway through the expansion.  Notably, Ion said that the art department wants to do them; in the past he has instead said that it's hard to do the umpteenth iteration on class fantasies.  They do want to avoid locking many equipment slots as tier slots as in Legion.

Piralyn

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2020, 06:35:10 AM »
One of the more interesting pieces to me in the summary of the interview seems to be the sort of existential crisis they're having about whether or not it's even still an RPG. I think I've kicked around that question before here--possibly in regards to the announcement of corruptions vs titanforging. I'm glad they're at least aware of that tension.

Letting "loot be loot" and having meaningful choices is certainly a part of making the game more of an RPG again, but I'm not sure if that's enough to really return to "RPG" or if it's even going to work at all with how the game has evolved. There also has to be a feeling of meaningful advancement. That's historically been a huge problem with the leveling experience in a new expansion, with you feeling weaker and weaker every time you level because your old stuff scales down with each level, everything gets stronger by advancing to your level, and you have nothing "new" from the level up, but there's also the problem of post-level cap power advancement. I certainly feel more powerful now than I did a year ago, but mostly in context of "older content." With M+ numbers getting nudged up every patch, we're still mostly in the same key levels we've been in for the last two tiers.

The game is kind of built on running the same content over and over and over for incremental upgrades, and I'm not sure how they're going to handle that tension with a reduction in loot and letting loot be loot. I don't know that getting a few more choices to pick from in a weekly chest is going to be a great motivator to run +17 Satan's Butthole six times a week. With this presumably leading to the return of static BiS lists, I also imagine there's going to be some difficulty in getting people to run certain dungeons after a certain point in a tier.

I like the idea of the game feeling more "RPG" than hero-based dungeon-looter, but I feel like the systems upon systems upon systems that have gotten built up and layered together over the past several years are going to make that a very hard tightrope to walk. Given their record on iterating/tuning/resolving things in the current expansion, I'm not super optimistic for how well they'll handle that tension. It's great to hear some comments on failure to respond to feedback or tuning or whatever--and the theoretical reasons for that--but they've also whiffed badly on some easy to catch things in the past year or two.

Marco

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2020, 09:45:15 AM »
I like the idea of the game feeling more "RPG" than hero-based dungeon-looter, but I feel like the systems upon systems upon systems that have gotten built up and layered together over the past several years are going to make that a very hard tightrope to walk. Given their record on iterating/tuning/resolving things in the current expansion, I'm not super optimistic for how well they'll handle that tension. It's great to hear some comments on failure to respond to feedback or tuning or whatever--and the theoretical reasons for that--but they've also whiffed badly on some easy to catch things in the past year or two.
This is certainly a point of frustration for me.  The community makes these really fancy theorycrafting tools (way more sophisticated than the fan bases of most other games) which often report that the tuning for X is far out of whack before release, where X is Azerite traits or corruptions or whatever.  X gets some tuning before release, but goes live with significant outliers.  A series of somewhat traumatic hotfixes happens, while other outliers may be left alone because they don't want to invalidate player choices.  Blizzard of course has access to all of the community tools as well as their own, and periodically hires one of the star community theorycrafters as a designer, but still can't seem to get tuning right before release.  (The "right" tuning might not mean everything outspoken players think is right, but big hotfixes or admissions of unfixed outliers are a strong indicator of not-right.)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 04:11:48 PM by Marco »

Piralyn

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Re: Shadowlands
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2020, 01:11:24 PM »
Indeed.

I know we've joked about what their actual QA/Balance/Tuning methodology looks like, but when we've got massive misses at a very basic level of "checking your work"--like the timewalking vendors and drops still giving Legion level gear out in the first timewalking weekend of BfA or the infamous "Khor, Hammer of the Guardian was just a transmog item, so in the middle of whatever you're doing, you now have a fishing pole for a weapon" hotfix--the idea of "Hey, we know we need to listen to feedback" misses a big chunk of the actual problem. I get that WoW is a massive game with a lot of moving parts and departments, but I feel like after having multiple weeks of major issues on the weekly reset, hey, maybe you should have an intern look at the timewalking stuff before that reset.

It will be great if they start utilizing the community's feedback and theorycrafting/calculation results, but if they can't even avoid basic unforced errors that an intern should be able to handle, I'm not optimistic that their reactions to those inputs are going to be any better than the current problems.