The general feel of endgame dungeons and raids is pretty important to World of Warcraft developers. Everything should feel relatively balanced, especially for the healers. Because nothing is more stressful when opponents are constantly handing out such trowels that the tanks oscillate between fully healed and zero life points without a break, and the healers are regularly on the verge of heart spasms at such spike festivals – not to mention the tank players themselves. It is, however it’s all too predictable that the healers don’t have to pay much attention to healing and quasi-AFK press their three heal buttons while Netflix is playing on the second screen, then it’s not much fun either.
So balance is important. And in the eyes of the developers of WoW (buy now): Dragonflight currently in the beta at level 70 this balance is not really there. That’s why, almost four weeks before the release of WoW: Dragonflight, they make a decision that has a lot of influence on the level 70 gameplay: Because the ten additional talent points up to level 70 healer are apparently too powerful, player health and damage are reduced of creatures at level 70 is increased by a whopping 40 percent.
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Blizzard explains the change
We’ve been scouring Community Manager Kaivax’s post through DeepL and the following explanation comes up: “During raid testing in the Dragonflight beta, we noticed that the heal in level 70 content was overpowered. This was mostly the result of the effects that 10 additional talent points can have on level 70 players’ damage and healing throughput.
In general, we increase player health at the same rate as throughput. This ensures that the pace of the game feels relatively consistent across all levels. A recent example is the Deepening Bond Covenant reward, which increases player stamina by 10 percent to offset the power gains of Covenant abilities, soulbinds, and mediums. After further analysis and playtesting, we’ve decided that in an upcoming build we’ll be incorporating the 10% Stamina increase from Deepening Bond into the base stats of level 60 characters to offset the power gains from the new talent system. Deepening Band is then converted into a movement speed increase in the Shadowlands.
When mitigation and healing abilities are too powerful relative to player health, the only way to threaten players is to make enemy damage very high and spiky. When healers can quickly heal their teammates to full and mana is not a limiting factor, enemies need to be tuned to be able to deal burst damage that kills players before healers can react. This is not a very satisfying gameplay. Increasing player health gives players more time to react to incoming damage, and makes player cooldown and mana management choices more meaningful.
To address this issue, we’re increasing player stamina and creature damage by 40 percent at level 70. This affects the power of healing in PvP, so in the following we will be reviewing and adjusting the PvP potion set bonus stats and arena dampening setting. We’re also looking at how this change affects the balance between healing percentage and other healing spells, and will make targeted adjustments where necessary.”
Initial reactions show confusion
The first players to react to Kaivax’ announcements in the WoW forums seem irritated by such a profound change that is being made so close to the launch of the new expansion. Some feel that a sudden jump in hero health at level 70 can feel odd, while others worry that there is barely enough Dragonflight beta time left to adequately test this adjustment. What’s your opinion?