In the recent past, we have rightly praised the Blizzard developers for how quickly class adjustments are now being made in WoW: Dragonflight. And of course, you can’t please all players and their favorite ways of playing. But if the DpS bars of the individual specs for the current raid form almost a straight line vertically, with two exceptions, not much is wrong with the general balancing of the damage dealers.
However, one thing that has to be emphasized when it comes to class balancing: the almost ridiculous adjustments for Patch 10.0.5. The update brings a lot of good changes, but where you need a little more tinkering with the damage numbers, the devs just nerf it, and simply make reworked abilities and talents unplayable before they run into trouble , to shake up the metagame in the slightest.
Sobering class changes in patch 10.0.5 – make them unplayable when in doubt
One example is the WoWHead class authors’ comments on the class changes that additionally appeared prior to WoW (buy now) Patch 10.0.5. Almost all talent revisions read something like this: “It’s better now, but still not good enough”. For example, Frost Ray’s damage is increased by 40%, but is not played due to better options. Same goes for Glacial Spike’s 10% buff.
So this revision could have been saved, since the talents are still not chosen. When in doubt, leave it at the status quo, but that doesn’t really make sense. One consolation for Frost Mages comes in the form of an uninspired 5% damage buff to all abilities.
Absurd example #1: Rule of tyranny
The Reign of Tyranny talent grants Demonology Warlocks a 7% per imp buff (up from 5%) to the Demonic Tyrant once summoned. The developers’ note on this change is that they see “that Demonology Warlocks currently need some single target damage support and are making this change”.
Reign of Tyranny shares a talent node with Grand Warlock’s Plan, reducing the cooldown of Demonic Tyrant by 0.6 seconds for each Soul Shard consumed. Typically, the Tyrant’s 3-minute cooldown becomes a 90-second cooldown. A simple DpS simulation shows: due to the generous buff with Patch 10.0.5, the Warlock with Grand Warlock’s Plan still causes a good 1,000 DpS more than with Reign of Tyranny. Still, that’s better than the 1,800 DpS you lost from Rule of Tyranny before. But that’s still no reason to choose the talent.
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Sorcerers choose the usual talent in patch 10.0.5 as usual. This is of course not the point and is particularly embarrassing when you can use a simple simulation to prove that this change is superfluous. What’s even more embarrassing is when you explain in your dev comment that the Demonologist is supposed to be supported by this nerf…
Absurd Example #2: Soul Preserver
The second example also revolves around the Warlock, who must choose Summon Soulkeeper or Inquisitor’s Gaze in the Warlock tree. With some adjustments to both talents, Blizzard developers want to make this choice a bit more interesting, rather than always relying on the Inquisitor’s gaze. Changed Inquisitor’s Gaze to only occasionally fire at the Sorcerer’s target.
To encourage Warlocks to use the Soul Keeper talent, Soul Keeper’s damage on the PTR has been increased enough to make placing the demon worthwhile against both multiple opponents and single opponents. With an 800% damage buff, however, they had overdone it too much. Instead of reducing the damage numbers a bit, the developers decided to subsequently reduce the ability by 90%. The absurd thing about it: Due to this nerf, the ability is now 10% weaker than before the buff.
The icing on the cake, however, was that the two talent nodes swapped sides in the same node for some reason. Warlocks first had to reset all talent templates for their non-buff. This change also lacks any logic. The developers want to give an incentive for a previously weak talent, but subsequently weaken the unpopular talent even more. These are just some of the examples that show that Blizzard’s developers avoid unpleasant changes by making the alternative unusable.
Example 3 – “Our rework was a bug lol”
In the third example, we also take the witcher because this attempt at a balance update is so incredible. The Soul Swap rework should allow Affliction Sorcerers to better distribute their DoTs when switching targets. At the same time, Baleful Affliction has been reworked so that when swapping with Soul Swap, the up to 15 percent damage buff for Unstable Affliction is carried over to the next target.
This interaction, which the Baneful Affliction took on to the next target – and thus improved it – was later taken back by the developers. The ability’s buff was a bug… So the change was reverted and the rework was rendered useless. Instead of fixing it, just call it a bug. Unfortunately, this fits into the overall picture of Dragonflight.
Also read these interesting stories
WoW: How good is Dragonflight? You voted!
A good 37% of the players want Personal Loot back, a quarter can’t do anything with professions & more – the survey analysis for WoW: Dragonflight.
WoW: DpS check in the vault – shockingly good balancing (with exceptions)
Patch 10.0.5 should improve class balancing in WoW. Our DpS check in the current raid shows: The developers are on the right track!
Similar to my previous column Dragonflight is good but has more bugs than any other expansion, I have to use a “Dragonflight is good but…” rhetoric. The class changes are partly good, especially in their frequency. But why you just leave pointless changes as they are seems very sloppy. My positive view of Dragonflight crumbles only slightly, but the view of WoW’s ambitious Roadmap 2023 in particular worries me if you have to ignore the class changes in my example – apparently due to lack of time. how do you see it? Write to us in the comments.
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