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The Daily Blues


Each day, takes you through all the blue posts and other Blizzard news from around the internet. From the latest posts from Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) to the lowdown on StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3, we'll keep you informed.


Table of contents


Ghostcrawler -- Blizzards neglect of PvP

Why do Blizzard give us an active 2 way communication on damage dealing, or healing, or tanking but not on PvP? Why do people feel they have to come here just to get some answers?

Why can't the 2 way communication extend to PvP forums as well?

I'm one guy, Jimmy, and I've got a full time job.

Ghostcrawler -- Holy paladins in Cataclysm

It worked, really. It's just the evolution of Holy Paladins stacking Int since 3.2 and only ever spamming Holy Light that doesn't fit in Cataclysm. The BC- and Pre-TotC-way worked perfectly and can also work in Cataclysm! It's a shame they're removing THAT aspect of Holy Paladins just because almost every Holy Paladin switched to a somewhat unintended way of healing thanks to uncontrolled stat growth.

We just don't agree that it worked. What generally happened was either the set bonuses, glyphs and librams all aligned to make either Flash of Light the best spell or Holy Light. In rare cases we got lucky and paladins could choose to gear either for a FoL or HL spam, but they were still choosing one spell over the other. They really weren't using a particular spell for a particular job, so the toolbox felt small and they were hitting the same buttons all the time.

I can almost promise you that a Holy paladin in Cataclysm will use Holy Shock, Word of Glory, Flash of Light, Holy Light, Divine Light, Holy Radiance and Light of Dawn on every challenging dungeon or raid run. That sounds a lot more fun than spamming Holy Light with the occasional Holy Shock on cooldown.

Ghostcrawler -- Paladin damage
Damage numbers aren't our focus right now. It's not an efficient use of developer time to tweak everything to get everything where we're perfectly happy with the tuning when we're still implementing basic rotations. If your damage feels severely undertuned, then chances are it is.

As far as where things are supposed to be, we don't want Exorcism to be the largest source of your damage. There were a couple of bugs with the spell implementation (double dipping on AP for instance) and we also recently decided to change Ret's mastery to no longer affect Holy damage, since it was just propping up Exorcism too much.

We think situationally you will want to use TV or Divine Storm with less than 3 stacks. However, if it's very efficient to do so, then players will never wait for 3 stacks because having 3 smaller hits is more valuable than having 1 large hit of the same total damage.


Exorcism needs a cooldown. At the moment, the most effecient way of questing is casting Exorcism x3 and a Judgement to replenish mana. A crusader strike will kill that which still draws breath. I'm back at 100% mana, mob dead before he reaches me, ???, PROFIT.

With the added cooldown to Consecration and the enormous amount of mana regen I have, my mana does not matter. I'm not saying I should constantly worry about it, but on a tough fight, one where you blow all your cooldowns, it should matter.

Mana needs to matter more. Ret (and Prot) generally need to be able to hit all of "their" buttons without being resource constrained, but then should only have enough mana to situationally use things like Holy Light, Exorcism or (untalented) Consecrate.

It's fine to cast one Exorcism at range to pull or something, but it's not something we generally want you doing outside of Art of War procs. We're pretty reluctant to put a cooldown back on the spell though.

Ghostcrawler -- Holy paladins
The main strength of Word of Glory is its cost. No matter how strained mana might get, you're always going to have ample usage of an instant, free heal.

It's difficult to offer talents that mod the other heals. If you have a talent that makes Flash of Light more cost effective or Divine Light faster, then those aren't really filling those niches anymore. We had a lot of problems like this in the past where a combination of talents, glyphs or set bonuses made Flash of Light or Holy Light the obvious heal for paladins, and the other one just died. We want to use all 3 of the cast-time healing spells in Cataclysm, but we're offering the most gameplay around Holy Shock and Word of Glory, because those are what make Holy paladins feel the most different from other healers.

As others have pointed out, Beacon just can't stay as "I heal at 200% effectiveness" in the Cataclysm healing model. It will still give you extra healing, particularly with the Tower of Radiance component.

We're not worried about the AE healing situation. In Lich King there were situations, especially in raids, where healers were called upon to instantly heal multiple targets at once or someone was going to die. With the larger health pools in Cataclysm, those situations are just going to be very rare. AE damage, and sometimes raid-wide AE auras, will still exist, but your tools are more than adequate to handle them. No, Light of Dawn may not take 5+ targets from 50% damage to 0% damage, but it also doesn't need to. You'll have time to top them off with single target heals, or just wait until the next AE heal is available. We just don't think spammable AE heals are that fun. If we wanted them to be a big part of the game, we'd need to make actual AE healing rotations that did more. The LK scenarios of hitting Wild Growth and Circle of Healing on cooldown are not something we want to go back to (plus, we've increased those cooldowns).


We just don't believe the healing situation and the AE healing situation in particular is as dire as many of you are suggesting. We balance the encounters around the class capabilities, so if many groups are struggling on certain ones, those will be adjusted accordingly. We generally don't give classes new abilities because they have trouble on certain fights. If you're finding that you are just constantly behind the curve on every encounter, even the trash, then you are probably doing something wrong (attempting these dungeons undergeared is something we are seeing a lot) or your class has some kind of systemic bug that is affecting all of the healing you do.

Overall, the dungeons probably will end up more challenging than they were in Lich King. Even if we eventually end up with 10 minute chain pulling 5-player dungeons in Deathwing gear, there is no need to start out that way.



We're being asked to deal with a total change in healing philosophy and approach, but the model is broken in a way that seriously disadvantages us at the same time. The devs say that they're not focusing on numbers - fine, but don't expect any useful feedback until you have focused on numbers

We get plenty of useful feedback in the current environment despite occasionally borked numbers. If you find it's not fun for you until all of the numbers are in place , then my advice would be to put aside the beta and wait until the game is live.


Vaneras -- Underwater battleground
I don't think it would be hard to make a proper underwater battleground that would be fun to do once or twice, but it would be more of a challenge to make such a battleground that would be fun to do on a regular basis, especially if people are restricted by things like slower swim speeds and limited breath. It is of course not my place to say if this is a good idea or not, but I am interested to hear what you have in mind when you think about an underwater battleground... are you thinking about something along the lines of the underwater battle seen in the James Bond film Thunderball?

Here is a question to everybody: What should an underwater battleground be like in order for it to be fun and something you would like to do multiple times?

Wryxian -- Cataclysm heirlooms
We're adding more heirlooms in Cataclysm. Though I've not yet seen much evidence of tank specific items, development of the new expansion pack isn't completed yet and some of the new heirlooms we add might end up being of particular note for tanks.

However so far we haven't really focused on making heirlooms fill all the gear slots nor have we tried to completely replace all the items you receive from quests and dungeons as you level up. So it might well be that we decide to continue staying away from filling some slots and addressing some itemisation niches with heirlooms deliberately to maintain the value of quest or dungeon rewards, thus also maintaining the value of completing quests and participating in dungeons while leveling up.


Oops, wrong heirloom reply in wrong heirloom thread ;-)

But anyhow, if the existing heirlooms are good for your class and spec then chances are they'll remain still pretty good in Cataclysm. I'm deliberately erring on the side of caution there though, since some stats are no longer quite so interesting to some classes in Cataclysm and so though the heirloom items might still provide you benefits, in some cases they might not quite be as juicy for your class and spec in Cataclysm as they are in Wrath. This is all tentative until Cataclysm is on the live realms though, as things could change before then... or even after then, too!

If you are buying 1-80 heirlooms now, with the hope of using them to 85, then you may be disappointed to find out that they'll not be working beyond level 80. But if you are buying in advance for alts leveled between 1 and 80 then there's a pretty strong chance the item will still be of some use in Cataclysm, even despite the changes on stat weighting for some classes and specs. At the very least, sometimes it can seem like the non-ideal stats can be ignored in favour of the experience boost that some heirloom gear provides.


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