Blizzard explains some upcoming changes in 3.3
Blizzard is teasing us once again with reasonings behind balance changes, tank shortages, and general upcoming updates in 3.3 and Cataclysm.
Kirin’ Tor Rings in 3.3
Item level 251 versions are currently planned for patch 3.3. I’m not sure what the cost to upgrade is but it will probably be similar to previous upgrades. We are only upgrading the existing ring types, not providing a new one, so that means no tank version. (Source)
The “shortage” is caused by a lot of people not wanting to tank or not spending the time to gear up and tank – and if they don’t want to gear up at all then they probably don’t want to tank anyway or maybe don’t want to spend the time learning it.
I still think the new Dungeon System will help with this through the faster turnover rate and random heroic feature, but overall we can’t force people to play something they don’t want to play so there will likely always be a shortage of tanks or healers to some degree. You should try playing one those, it is pretty amusing when finding dps is your biggest issue. (Source)
Cataclysm gear stats
Unless I’m mistaken, the Cata gear stats will break down like this:
- Melee: Hit, Crit, Haste, Expertise, Mastery
- Ranged: Hit, Crit, Haste, Mastery
- Caster: Hit, Crit, Haste, Mastery
- Healer: Spirit, Crit, Haste, Mastery
You are not mistaken. Everyone also gets stamina, armor, and their primary stat (Str, Int or Agi). Resilience and Spell Pen will continue to be PvP stats. This is not set in stone either. Cataclysm isn’t finished.
Tanks will also have block (but not block value), dodge, parry and perhaps armor. It isn’t super important how many stats everyone has. Melee for example need hit and expertise, but casters need more hit. It only gets to be a problem if for example you can’t piece together a set that has all the stats you need in the amounts you want. Many tanks for example will happily sacrifice hit and expertise for more armor and stamina.
So, I’m guessing the current plan is to get rid of the Spirit > Other Stat talents completely?
It’s too early to tell. It would be nice to get rid of them for say mages and warlocks given that their gear generally won’t have Spirit. We can’t get rid of conversion talents completely. For example, Enhancement and Retribution will need some way to derive spell power from attack power and need a way to get mana back without Int or Spirit. (Source)
Refunding talents generally isn’t something we do as a courtesy. Meaning, if we had our way, we would never refund talents. We only do it when the data would get seriously jacked up by not doing so. For example, you may still have points in a talent that no longer exists or something similar.
As to why we don’t like to refund talents, part of it is avoiding the expectation that regular talent refunds are something that happens often. Another part is that while it may be exciting for very active players to get a talent refund, it can actually be a major bummer for the alt you play seldomly or even the player who only logs on every few weeks. Now you feel like you have to do a lot of research and action bar management before you can even jump in and start playing again.
It’s quite likely everyone will get a talent refund when the Cataclysm data changes go in (which if history holds, will actually occur before the Cataclysm box is available at retail). I wouldn’t expect any before then. (Source)
World of Warcraft vs. Starcraft 2
Couple of things….
SC2 is being developed from day one as a multiplayer and single-player game. WoW added Battlegrounds and later Arenas after it had already shipped. That’s a little bit about what Rob is talking about — the difficulty we have had retrofitting WoW’s PvP. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but I don’t think he is saying Arenas were a mistake. It’s the way we introduced Arenas that has continued to cause ourselves a lot of work and occasionally caused frustration for players. We like the Arena gameplay though or we would have cut it or overhauled it long ago. We do think we have shifted the PvP attention a little too much towards Arenas and away from BGs, and yes we understand that loot rewards are a big part of the reason why. We aim to fix this with Cataclysm.
Starcraft is also just a fundamentally different game. You aren’t taking your campaign character into competitive multiplayer. In fact, there is no multiplayer character per se in the sense that you can grant your character more power over time. You start every map with the same base and units as everyone else. Starcraft also isn’t going to change over time except for whatever balance or design changes the team makes. There is no equivalent to the new gear or whatever that suddenly shifts the balance of power.
We make PvP-specific rules when we think it’s appropriate. Resilience and diminishing returns are two obvious examples. SC2 does the same thing. Not everything works completely differently between the two halves of the game though. (Source)
On Sartharion +3, cutting-edge guilds who normally tank with a warrior would (perhaps somewhat begrudgingly) use a DK to tank instead because the benefit was so massive. The same thing happened on Vezax where good guilds replaced their warrior tanks with DKs. Death knights were overpowered at the time.
We are not seeing the kind of massive swapping one class of tank for another in ToC or the preliminary Icecrown testing. It’s just not happening. If paladins or druids are too good or warriors or death knights aren’t good enough, we’re just not seeing them getting used for those fights to anywhere near the extent that DKs replaced other tanks on the encounters mentioned above.
As just one example (and I wouldn’t put too much weight behind this), the number of paladin tanks used to test Icecrown on the PTR has been almost imperceptibly low. It’s possible there were actually none this weekend, or else the numbers were so small that we missed them. Sure these are not the hard mode encounters generally being tested, and you can come up with your own explanations for differences between how players might approach PTR and “real” raiding. But these are the kind of lopsided datasets we have to deal with when we’re looking at who is using what tank and how that relates to success.
I’m not talking about balancing around representation, as players often mistakenly claim. I am asking the question that I have asked before: if one or two of the tank classes have such a superior and unequivocal advantage in making a fight easier, why aren’t more guilds using them, especially given the evidence that they have swapped tanks on previous encounters? I understand individuals of you may state it has happened to your guild. That’s fine, but understand you are in a small minority. Overall, it’s just not happening.
One conclusion you can draw (though certainly not the only one) is that whatever differences in survivability there appear to be “on paper,” just don’t make a significant difference in the actual fights, or at least not enough of a difference that guilds feel compelled to switch or are held back by not switching.
As an aside: there are some specific fights where the specific mechanics lead guilds to tend to use one tank over another, say a druid to tank Thorim hard or a shield-using tank on adds for Anub hard. Most players aren’t as concerned about these one-off encounters because it feels like such an encounter-specific problem and doesn’t feel like anyone’s job as guild main tank is in jeopardy. (Individuals of you may feel differently of course.)
I know there are lot of threads on this topic right now. I avoided many of the ones that are doing a good job discussing numbers because I didn’t want to derail them. (Source)Tor Rings in 3.3