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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.

In which Ghostcrawler grants a wish.

Table of contents



They have no problem with you not liking the general design goal for healing. What they don't want is, "Blizzard hates healers! Blizzard is ignoring the playerbase because I and some other people don't like something, but they haven't reversed it yet!"

If you like analogies, think about a workplace. You, or you and quite a few people, can suggest to the CEO that the company go in an entirely different direction. A good CEO will accept your input, but in all likelihood, the company is not going to do a 180. Still, they may be able to accommodate some of your wishes. Is the CEO ignoring you and being condescending just because your feedback didn't effect major changes to the direction of the company?

If the new direction was actually unanimously or near unanimously despised, they wouldn't go through with it. You get the "condescending and aloof" responses because of threads like these, that focus on the developers and their decision making process and not the game.

This was very well said.


They decided we are going north because of feedback from multiple sources and because of things they saw happening in the game. The game isn't designed by a democracy of players.

People complaing about spamming spells, about pulsing damage auras, and tanks being global-ed. This is the direction the devs went to fix it.

As was this.

We didn't wake up one day and decide to beat up healers. We reacted to feedback that we heard consistently through the end of Lich King. Now that we've decided to change it, it's not too surprising that the other side is now speaking out, but that doesn't make the original concerns that a lot of players had invalid.

We see the sentiment expressed often that making healing more challenging might drive players away. That is a risk, but the flip side is that making healing more engaging might attract some players who find it boring today.

While it has always been a goal to make World of Warcraft approachable to a lot of different kinds of players, including those who found traditional MMOs too hardcore, we'd rather retain players because the gameplay is fun than because the gameplay is easy.

Taking your argument to a probably illogical conclusion, if we made healing even easier, we might get even more players to heal. Is that really good for the game as a whole though?



The argument worked for tanking in WotLK, why not healing in Cataclysm?

"I'm just going to AE tank everything" doesn't work in Cataclysm. So yeah, we are trying to make tanking more engaging too.



Yes, making healing more challenging is a laudable goal. The problem is that you can't sacrifice making it interesting to do so!

Do I want us to just spam rejuv? No--no challenge. But there are ways to add challenge without completely destroying our HoT-centric style:
Lifebloom is now only usable on a single target, and is refreshed by nourish, anyway.
Rejuv is now our lowest HPM spell, in addition to its HPS loss.
Regrowth's HoT has been reduced from a 27 second duration to 6.
WG's cooldown has been increased to 10 seconds.

Look at what you're saying though. In a nutshell:

Do I want to just spam Rejuv? No. But why are you changing all these other spells so that I have to consider the right situation to use each of them? :)



It's a tough question. What's more game-breaking for the game as a whole though? More healers for the role, or not being able to find healers for the role?

Players played WoW for six years without Dungeon Finder though. Dungeon Finder is awesome, don't get me wrong, and I spent a lot of time personally working on it. But the intent is not to be able farm dungeons as fast as you possibly can.

Healing (and tanking as well) isn't for everyone. It takes the right kind of mindset. I know there are players who want to make healing and tanking super easy in an attempt to adjust the ratios of dps to tanking and healing. There are also some who just want to get rid of the healing role completely.

None of those are our goals though. We want to make healing fun for healers, not make healing so easy that anyone can jump in without any fear of failure.

I remember looking for Scholomance or Shadow Labs pugs for literally 2-3 hours. There is almost no chance of that ever happening again now that we have Dungeon Finder, even if tanking and healing require a little more finesse.

So to answer your question, I think having more healers available at any cost is bad for the game. We want healing to be fun for people who like healing. If that means the mages and rouges have to wait 15 minutes for Dungeon Finder instead of 5 minutes, I think we can live with that. If nothing else, fast Dungeon Finder queues (or ease in finding a raid slot, etc.) remain attractive benefits of tanking and healing.



i took it more as, we agree rejuv spam isn't fun. but neither is being a gimp holy paladin. all of our hots have been neutered.

If that was the case, druids would literally be casting one spell, Healing Touch, and they aren't doing that. They are using a variety of heals, and that will only improve as we get things adjusted so that say Regrowth spam or efficient over-use of Nourish doesn't dominate.



Right now on the Beta videos a lot of the healers seem to be spamming the weak "Heal" for 90% of the time. So spamming is ok and we are expected to spam for most of the fight as long as what we're spamming is a weak spell? is this truly what is intended for Cata healers?

No, that's not the intent. We made those heals very cheap so that healers wouldn't be in constant terror of running out of mana. We also are making the normal modes easier than the heroic modes. You'll have to pair the right heal for the right situation to a greater degree in heroic modes. I think part of what you're seeing is that healers are using the base heal because they can get away with it. It's also possible that in our effort to distinguish them from the more expensive heals that we made the base heals too cheap or efficient.



Heal: 53..4 percent of healing done
Greater heal: 14.8 percent
Prayer of healing: 7.7 percent
Penance 7.0 percent
Divine Hymn: 4.0 percent
Binding Heal 3.3 percent
Prayer of Healing: 2.6 percent
Holy Nova: 1.9 percent
Glyph of Power Word Shield: 1.8 percent
Flash heal: 1.6 percent
Renew: 0.8 percent
Glyph of Prayer of Healing: 0.4 percent

Let's assume for the moment that you were 100% effective with this breakdown. (I'm not going to take the time to do dig through the log.) The Heal percentage is a lot higher than we would want it to be, and Flash Heal and Penance in particular are too low. Penance is your unique spell, so the intent is that you get some mileage out of it. If you were playing perfectly, then this suggests that Heal is too cheap for what it does.

Ghostcrawler -- Holy paladins

Hopefully they just make the 70% baseline for everyone with no pushback with earth shield or concentration aura type spells. Spell pushback is one of those things that can really drive you crazy in both PvP and PvE. :(

We did. We just changed the base pushback resistance so that we didn't have to duplicate the same passive bonus in every tree.


Simple, the Devs think Ret first, as in it has to be balanced for Ret. The impact of those decisions on Holy are never given consideration as they either believe holy didn't need that level of power or that they can come tweak something else to compensate for any percieved loss to Holy power/functionality.

This is the kind of QQ likely to get you banned.


So instead of decent changes to eternal glory or moving it out of reach of holy you decided to give a massive nerf to our class defining level 10 special ability!

Perhaps you missed all of the Holy paladins posting about how overpowered the Eternal Glory talent was for Holy.


The ret change that hurt you (Exorcism), in the long run should be to your benefit, as it means that Blizzard can now tune the SP co-efficient solely with Holy's damage output in mind, so your Exorcism damage will no longer be dependant on how much damage it should do for Ret. Now, whether it will be tuned to be useful for holy, that is a whole other question.

Exactly. We can tune the spellpower and attack power coefficients independently. Exorcism should be a good button if you have Denounce. You're not going to do high damage if you're interested in skipping the talents that buff that damage.


It's the same line of garbage we hear from people about how Paladins "only" use Holy Light on live. Yeah, it's the main heal, and yeah, we use it a lot, but saying that's all we use is just exaggeration that hurts attempts to balance rather than helps.

Yeah, I used Holy Shock on beta a lot.

Yeah, I used WoG on beta a lot.

Is it all I used? No way.

This is a very common line of argument we see from players, especially healers. It runs something like "I use all my heals. I seem to be a pretty good healer. Therefore only using a few heals makes you a bad healer." It should make you a bad healer (if our numbers are appropriate) but often it does not. Often those 1-2 spells can take you 90% of the way there and the additional heals used my more savvy players only adds 10% or so optimization on top of that. You might have been a better paladin for using all of your toolbox, but the fact is that even very mediocre paladins could heal just fine using only those two buttons. That's not what we are going for. If you're used to using a variety of spells, then this change won't affect you much.

Also, you might try not dismissing points with which you disagree (or perhaps don't understand) as "garbage."


This video illustrates how bad holy paladins are right now. (Well, and warrior/paladin tanks... and I suppose this is a jab at all healers at 85, too).

He had to use Dark Simulacron to use Seal of Light and Frost Armor, but I'm fairly confident healers could be replaced by a few shadow priests and a healing tide totem with current balance, if you use a druid or dk tank. (People watching my stream are probably familiar with my Vampiric Embrace rants).

Eloderung, I used to appreciate the posts you made, but crossing over to ranting mode is more likely to get your points dismissed as just another angry player with an axe to grind.

If you read a lot of posts, you'd see that we are nerfing non-healer healing quite a bit in order to make what the healer is doing count for more. There are also videos of DKs running around who have used to Dark Simulacrum to get Shadowform and a Felguard. That shouldn't be used as a basis for comparison to how weak or not weak healers are.

One of the reasons we start the beta population so small is to try and keep control over the strange perceptions players can sometimes get of seeing the game in a state where a lot of things are in a broken or half-implemented state. The most valuable posters are those who can see past this "noise" instead of dwelling on it. If any of you want a better chance at having your feedback considered by the developers, you should try to do just that. After reading through this particular thread today, I don't have high hopes that it is going to improve much from the new "woe is me" trajectory that it's on.


yeah, dismiss it as noise, not garbage. silly.

I'm not sure if you're just trying to be silly or playing gotcha, but you're talking apples and oranges here.

I used the "noise" to talk about numbers not being finalized yet. The player that advocates doing nothing but spamming Flash of Light, because that seems to work for them, is discounting our stated goal of that not being the way we want healing to work. (Now if we fail on that goal and you find something that works better than what we intended, go for it, but it's too early to make that determination yet.)

The poster was using "same old garbage" or something like that because he was annoyed at being nerfed. Presumably he'd rather us buff all the numbers up to the level of the highest one, no matter how ridiculous that made the final numbers. We describe this as "Oh no, I changed from one arbitrary number to another arbitrary number!" It's a nerf if you feel your character on live heal for less after a patch than you did before the patch. If we accidentally put an extra zero in a healing number and players decry that as a massive nerf, it's hard for us to take that seriously.


I think Elodrung & I are both at a point where we're frustrated because of how much we're struggling with the current beta content and how hard things have been on us in that environment. I've personally had to stop blog posting about resto druids because I'm so terrified that my posting will just cause hundreds of resto druids to reroll before Cata even hits the Live servers.

Then you've probably reached the limits of being able to offer us useful feedback on the beta environment. If it's frustrating for you, then stop playing. Using the forums for the digital equivalent of kicking the dog when you had a rough day at the office isn't benefiting us or other players.

Now if you have concrete feedback, by all means offer it. If you've offered all the feedback you've got and you still haven't seen any change because of it, then chances are we disagree with you or, just as likely, we haven't gotten around to making any changes yet.

If Resto druids reroll because the only thing they enjoyed about playing a druid was being overpowered, then so be it. If they reroll because they like healing when it's easy but not when they have to think, well, then they're collateral damage to some extent, but they'll *still* be able to heal normal dungeons just fine. If they reroll because they're convinced we're going to let Resto druids remain weak while the other 4 healers are powerful, then they're just being silly. We had all 5 healers participate in every LK dungeon and raid and the new combat mechanics and talent trees are only going to make it easier to balance for Cataclysm.

Ghostcrawler is a fscking genie in a bottle, granting your wish. Can I have a yacht?

But the lack of communication about the state of our tree is absolutely unacceptable. We are also paying customers at the end of the day - albeit (possibly) the least played spec in the game. 10 hours of sleep later, I'm really gonna say this straight up. Forum ban me if you like.



Zarhym -- Mount drop rates

Just wondering if I could possibly get a confirmation on how 4.0 might impact the drop rates on these mounts or other similar currently-guaranteed drops or achievement rewards? I know GC touched on the idea of making them 1% drop rates in Cataclysm in a post awhile back, but I wasn't sure if that change was for certain, and/or if it would happen with 4.0 if so. Just trying to plan accordingly for my guild and an answer to this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any official responses!

Ghostcrawler's stated idea to make such things really low drop rates is still a real possibility. Whether or not this change will take effect with patch 4.0.1 is to be determined.

Zarhym -- 30% boss nerf?

will there be a 30% health nerf to boss health due to all changes in talent trees etc, like they did for 3.0? I know they have the player 30% buff, but still.

Most likely not. We'll be evaluating the way players are performing in content on the 4.0.1 test realms, but keep in mind the class changes are balanced around level 85 gameplay. It's almost more likely we'd end up taking away the Icecrown Citadel buff (I'm only saying this is a possibility), as in many cases healing, tanking, and damage dealing may stand to benefit a lot from these changes at level 80.

Things will be a little bit interesting since these changes are being applied while players are still actively working through the current Wrath of the Lich King content. Bear with us and provide as much feedback as you can about your experiences with these changes under the current content, but keep in perspective that the new class design is meant to be balanced around the upcoming Cataclysm content. We're more interested in ironing out bugs and polishing the systems than attempting to balance them intricately for level 80 gameplay.


I don't think taking out the current buff would be necessary because as of right now most guilds still progressing are banking on killing Lich King (Heroic) before Cataclysm is released, and this is one thing that keeps these guilds together (similar to my guild). I have played on beta a little bit, and I just don't see the buffs currently on beta equate to the 30% buff in ICC currently, and to take away the buff would certainly put a halt on any progressing guilds.

Allowing a few guilds to get that final Lich King kill a week (or however many before Cataclysm is released after this patch goes live) would at least give players the incentive to stick it out a few more weeks before quitting a month or two before Cataclysm and ruining any chance for the rest of the guild members working on progression.

I know what you mean. It's really just something we're going to have to evaluate as we see players testing Wrath of the Lich King content with the 4.0.1 changes. We don't want to make it harder to kill the Lich King after 4.0.1 is released, so I don't mean to imply that. But, if we find that the Cataclysm systems changes coupled with the 30% buff greatly trivializes some of the boss fights, we'll consider adjusting the buff accordingly.


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