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Warlords of Draenor: Low level PvP balance to be reviewed


PvPers rejoice! Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok has made a post today that is music to our ears. As ever, the whole lengthy ramble is after the break, but let's cherry-pick here for a second. What Bashiok is replying to is a perfectly reasonable post about PvP balance. He starts off with the same thing we're used to hearing, that WoW is a big game, and the devs have to focus their efforts on where the majority of players hang out, which, for PvP, is max level.

But then it gets interesting. He confirms that "some" low-level PvP balance will be addressed in Warlords. Some? What does he mean? Well, he continues on to explain that as a part of the ability removal that's going on, the devs are going to be looking at the ability acquisition pacing -- when you get stuff as you level up. At the same time as doing this, and the stat squish, they are going to be doing a pass on low-level balance, looking to ensure that ability damage is more even than it is now.

He does add that the lower brackets are inherently somewhat imbalanced, but that the devs' goal is to improve that as they work through the abilities. He also notes that they will be fixing "obvious tuning problems", and doing as much fine-tuning as possible. This is fantastic news for low-level PvPers everywhere! Hit the break for Bashiok's full post.

I had originally written here how World of Warcraft is a really big game, and while we know there are a lot of different types of activities outside of max-level content that people enjoy, we're not always going to be able to focus on each of them all of time. But it wasn't written particularly well and I feel like my points were probably fairly obvious to everyone. :)

Anyway, in short: we will be address some low-level PvP balance in Warlords.

First off it's worth noting the item squish. While individual brackets might not see a huge change, certainly the power curve between levels will be a smoother one. It'll have a bigger impact on world PvP as it'll be more like it was in vanilla, and relative power between characters won't see these dramatic swings. Back in the day even if you were 10, 20 or even 30 levels lower than someone else, you still had some shot at getting away, if not actually killing them. Of course as people start gearing up again that disparity will grow in the outdoor world, but it should be fun to get back to a smoother character power curve, and it'll at least always hold true for sub level-100 gank attempts.

We recognize that low-level PvP balance just hasn't gotten the attention it needs, and that's largely due to us having to focus our attention on content that the majority of players focus their attention (e.g. max level). In Warlords we're going to be doing a bit of ability shuffling (read: deleting) which is going to result in the need to smooth out the ability-acquisition pacing (when you get a new ability and at what level), and we'll also be taking a pass on low-level balance at the same time. It's difficult because of the spread of people across all levels and ensuring every ability of every spec at any one particular level vs. another character/level/spec of another level have parity. Low level brackets just inherently bring a measure of un-balance with them due to the possible level difference, which is necessary to ensure they can fill up with enough players. Our goal is primarily to smooth out the outlying abilities - and this is hand-in-hand with the item squish - to ensure the base damage of all the abilities before scaling is appropriate. There are just some obvious tuning problems right now that we'll take care of, and then as much finer tuning as we can manage. We'll be looking for feedback during beta.

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