Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hungry for some WotLK news...

So, MMO Champion just released an update on the state of affairs as far as skills/talents in the expansion goes. All classes have had their skills and talents updated with preliminary changes, with the exception of Hunters and Paladins. One of the Alpha Devs spoke to why this is the case, as our friend Suicidal Zebra posted earlier this week with screen caps of the alpha forum conversation (here and here). Joanadark also summarized the conversation here. I told myself yesterday that it's fine that Blizz hasn't put anything meaningful as far as Paladin changes into the alpha build - I thought that it meant they were saving the hard stuff for last and wanted to devote full attention to it.

Rohan made some good points today, though, that got me thinking, and they're not points that she hasn't addressed before. Up until now, every fix that Blizzard has made for Paladins have been band-aid fixes, meant to tide the player base over until the "real" changes came and the problems were solved once and for all. Or so we think. I don't remember any CM or dev coming out and saying that rolling spell damage itemization on Ret gear into strength was a temporary thing, or anyone insinuating that giving Prot Paladins an extra stamina booster talent (Sacred Duty) was just a quick fix. To me, these are final solutions that the Blizz dev team made to address the problems. They may seem hasty or inadequate, but they were targeted solutions to specific problems. Let's look at some of the changes that came across in the last nine months:

  • Protection Paladins complained that their HP pools were much lower than Feral Druids or Protection Warriors, as both scaled much faster. So what did Blizzard do? Gave Protection Paladins an extra 6% stamina boost in Sacred Duty.
  • Retribution Paladins complained that the spell damage on their tier gear was a waste, as it did not affect a majority of their damage. Blizz took the spell damage and threw it all into strength, greatly boosting Ret's attack power and making the itemization points valid again.
  • Retribution Paladins complained that a ten second cooldown for Crusader Strike left no room for error on CS misses to refresh Judgments. So? Blizzard drops the cooldown to six seconds.
It may seem like they're just slapping a band-aid on the problem and calling it a day, but another take on it might be that the dev team thinks they have a generally good product out there and the community is just expecting too much. So, they make minor tweaks to address specific concerns. That's how Blizzard works with every change they make. They're not in the business of broad, sweeping changes - they make incremental tweaks so as not to disturb what semblance of balance is all ready in the game.

I don't know that Ghostcrawler (the Alpha Dev in Zebra's screen caps) speaks for the entire Blizz team in saying "... there is a lot we wanted to change with them [paladins]." He might be sugar-coating it for the community, appeasing the calls for massive overhauls. What I do know, though, is that I am very disappointed that everything but Hunter and Paladin talents are open for the public's viewing pleasure. I'm feeling like the last kid picked in dodgeball right now. Are Paladins the fat kid with glasses in Blizzard's world? I guess that would make Death Knights the cool older kid that just moved into town that has the 50 inch TV in his house, since everyone is fawning over them.

Show the Paladin community a little love, Blizz! You say changes are coming - give us a taste, if only to give us something to chew on until you can bring us the main course that you just served up to everyone else at the table!

Perhaps that was a bad analogy to use, 'cuz now I'm hungry. Hmmm, what to have for lunch...

1 comment:

daniel said...

It'll come when it's completed, personally I'm kinda glad pally's were left out till towards the end, that way don't have to read the forums with the whining kids how this should be like and that should be like this etc etc.