What do you think will be the defining factors of arena teams and play over the next 6 months time?
This coming patch we get stacking resilience bonuses from the pvp sets along with a downgrade in weapon dps,how do you think this will affect team balance and tactics?
will we see more warlocks/whatever at the top end?
how will the paladin nerfs change things?
Are peoples strategies going to change to more defensive plans, outlasting their opponents (and if so does this make some classes more valuable than others), or more dps related to counteract potential resilience stacking?
and the big one.. will any of the changes affect the "standard" warrior+paladin core of most successful arena teams?
35 more resilence is helpful, but you have to use 2 piece blue set to get it (gloves + chest are the best, at least for Locks) losing about 30 stat points over epics.
Based on reports I have heard, this also applied to classes that have multiple arena sets. For example, I'm picking up the 2 piece elemental and 2 piece resto sets to get the bonus to stack.
Regarding balancing, I make no predictions but I will be interested to see what they do. Right now, the warrior+paladin core is definitely over represented, and unlike other tournament games, people are much more 'locked' in to their class choice. Unlike say Starcraft/WC3 I can't just switch races to deal with imbalances.
I think until MS, Divine Shield, BoF, and BoP get some big changes (very unlikely) warrior+pally will still be the cornerstone of most arena teams. The synergy between these two classes is unmatched.
The downgrade to pvp weapons is a marginal change at best. The nerfs to the pally is mostly focused on PvE, and will have little effect in PvP.
As to seeing underrepresented classes (like warlocks, druids, etc) at the top, that would have to depend on what blizz has in store for us 6 months down the road. As of 2.1, the value of a warlock in 5v5 is further diminshed with the CoT nerf >.< only time will tell I guess
From what some developers have implied, the future of arenas right now lies in getting warriors and paladins to not be the backbone of virtually every top team. That's both very important and very difficult to do.
Part of it comes from pure synergy. The warrior's weakness has always been ease of kiting and crowd control. Sure you can't fear a warrior, but rooting, sheeping, snaring, and stunning all work. With a paladin spamming BoF and Cleanse, the only thing that sticks for any length of time are non-magical (i.e. rogue) stuns. Because it costs the paladin so little to take care of most of this (imp BoF is an entire GCD for 20/30s of unsnareability, leaving a 1:1 GCD trade with a mage for polymorph, oh wait, that has a cast time) you're left with a warrior that can have a ton of uptime on their target.
Then you have the ways PVP warriors are built. Give a warrior with rage a few seconds of uptime on a target (say, oh I don't know, the 3s stun from an intercept) and he can blow his GCD on MS and WW at the very least, with a HS on queue. That is an insane amount of burst damage in that small window, matched by very few classes.
Here's the rub, though. Let's say you decide to make kiting easier. Maybe change BoF or give the kiting classes like mages and hunters easier/better ways to kite. That will keep the war/pld synergy to a minimum, right? Except by doing so you've inadvertantly made other classes weaker, like all other melee, which you may not have intended. Or you may have made other classes to strong -- Mages already hold a solid third place in most top teams.
It's not an easy fix but it's one that really needs to be considered and looked at.
Let's say you decide to make kiting easier. Maybe change BoF or give the kiting classes like mages and hunters easier/better ways to kite. That will keep the war/pld synergy to a minimum, right? Except by doing so you've inadvertantly made other classes weaker, like all other melee, which you may not have intended. Or you may have made other classes to strong -- Mages already hold a solid third place in most top teams.
Personally i feel BoF is the main reason that the two classes work so well together, its got a short "inactive" period and negates the largest weakness a warrior has (being kited/snared) and as an ability it doesnt have a massive effect on pve , it's main use is in pvp.
looking at the base stats of BoF what could be changed to not completely nurf it into unusability and make it "fair" when combined with other classes?
Blessing of Freedom
mana cost - 8% of base mana
duration - 10 seconds
cooldown - 20 seconds
range - 30 yards
type - magic
some possible changes could be -
Reducing the duration and cooldown by half to 5 seconds and 10 second cooldown - Would keep the 50% "uptime" of the ability. Could be seen as a buff as it would allow 2 targets to be Freedomed within the current and makes it stronger vs dispelling.However would also affect the gcd's more.
Extend the cooldown by 10 seconds - Would reduce total "uptime" from 50% to 33% , makes the skill alot less powerful and more subseptable to dispell.
Debuff the target - similar to iceblocks new changes, make it so you cannot freedom the same target for 30 seconds/1 minute after application, would possibly require a slight reduction in cooldown to compenstate for this change.
Are any of these too weak/powerful?, or would they not make any real difference to the current metagame in arenas'?
Last edited by Kharlis : 04/20/07 at 11:56 AM.
Reason: removed an errant "and"
The problem with blaming BoF for the problems of warrior<->paladin synergy is that of the two classes that were classicly affected by it (mages and hunters), in TBC only one of those classes maintains a disadvantage due to it. Mages spellstealing BoF can be far more disastrous than my warrior remaining snared, so against mage teams, often what I do is clutch BoF on my warrior, but immediately follow it up with BoM so that he's unsnared, but the mage cant make himself immune to hamstring.
Likewise, if you reduced the duration of BoF to favor hunters... so what? My warrior would still have BoF on him long enough to get into melee range of the hunter (without using intercept), and at that point saving a long period of walking away using wing clips 10% additional snare, the hunter is pretty much down for the count.
I think that while BoF is a powerful ability, its not what makes warrior+paladin such a powerful team. I played a priest before this character and grouped with the very same warrior, and we did win alot; just not as much. The difference here is that when I played on my priest, people would go after me. When I play on my paladin, someone ff'ing me is more often than not the worst decision that they can make. I personally have so many escape abilities and so much survivability that with a little assistance from my warrior, I'll run you and your healer out of mana before you even put a dent in my own pool.
So thats the difference imo. Paladins are invulnerable healers; practically immune to the assist train in most matches, and since there are only two players in 2v2, you're pretty much forced to ff and really piss off the warrior, which is definitely a hairy situation in itself.
Don't most classes have a 4 piece bonus that would be superior to another 35 resilience? I know for druids I'm all about getting the movement speed bonus, and warriors like shorter cooldowns on intercept.
Druids are getting a few slight improvements to help in arenas (lower mana shapeshifting, stacking lifeblooms, 1 minute barkskin that works against magic). Paladins are losing some mana efficiency, while warriors changes are pretty minor. We'll see how the changes play out.
Don't most classes have a 4 piece bonus that would be superior to another 35 resilience?
Class dependant I guess. Elemental shamans get +2% crit on their shocks, Resto shamans get -24s on their NS cooldown. In my opinion, +35 resilience is better than both of those, especially since shamans are the team punching bags.
And hips point about the paladin+warrior synergy is spot on. Paladins are the hardest healer to kill (meaning you don't want to attack them) and warriors are the most dangerous class when attacked (Rage). So its really a no win situation.
I'm of the mind that big nerfs/buffs would have a lot of unintended consequences and possibly skew balance more than it already is (skewed). A better approach is to slightly nerf warriors and paladins (mana efficiency, enrage+deathwish stacking) and slightly buff rogues/druids/locks/hunters until the point where they are roughly equally represented on top teams. Giving rogues 10 more energy, making it easier for druids to shapeshift and resist damage, etc. might enough for you to say, "wow, this rogue's dps is good enough to bring to the team" or "man my druid's healing ability and survivability is almost as good as a paladin's now, and I have cyclone on top of that" and bring one of those two classes on board.
10 more energy, even as a rogue that has Vigor (inherent +10), isn't going to do anything at all. Having 120 energy was key back when you could two shot a drinking mage by doing ambush > backstab and have them both crit with only a single GCD between strikes. In arenas? Forget it.
10 more energy is huge, and is certainly better than -1s to gouge cooldown. 110 energy is the key number, not 120. It changes the dynamics on stun lock sequence considerably, regardless of whether you can 2 shot a mage with 120.
I don't see warriors and paladins being a backbone because of their synergy (which is admittedly top notch), I see it as being a backbone because each class brings such important abilities to the table independent of each other. Blessing of freedom is insane, but I think other classes(namely rogues and healers kiting melee dps around) besides warriors get more benefit out of BOF than a warrior does in arena. My big gripes are frost nova, frostbite, and entangling roots, all of which are dispellable. Snares are annoying, but in general with piercing howl and 15 second intercept, it's not too difficult for a warrior to stay on their target even while snared. Most games I don't even get BOF once, I don't need it.
As far as other stuff, as far as rogues go, I think rogues are in a pretty crummy situation right now. The first big problem is racials, namely WOTF. The extra fear break gives an UD rogue so much more capability to stay on their target than anyone else does, making them automatically more effective right off the bat just for picking UD. Secondly, they need so much gear to just be even useable. Obviously, you need good weapons so you can actually do damage, and if you're mutilate, then you're looking at 2 of the expensive, slow daggers. On top of that since a rogue always has to be in the thick of things to actually do anything, they're vulnerable to being assist trained at any time, meaning they also need high hp and resilence, so now you need a bunch of gladiator or at least blue pvp armor as well. Now after jumping through all those hoops the player actually has to play at a pretty high level if he wants to be more of an asset than a liability. Case in point is watching other players besides the main target for kicking/blinding, among other things. Barring any massive changes, I don't think the typical rogue is ever going to be more of an asset than a liability on any arena team, but I also don't know what to really do about it because at the top end I think they are quite viable.
Druids are in a similar boat as rogues, but with less gear dependency and more multitasking dependency. Watching top druids go to work in arenas right now is amazing, they have to juggle kiting melee people on them with perfectly targetted cyclones while also worrying about healing their own team. It's quite a feat with not much room for error and not many can do it. Again, I'm not really sure what to do about druids right now,although I do think the shapeshifting mana reduction is a step in the right direction.
Warlocks have tons and tons of potential and even in their current form I don't really count them out or disadvantaged in an arena. Especially as HP and resilence continues to increase, locks benefit from that hugely. The potential of an affliction lock is enormous, they just have to find a way to stay alive, which is why I hesitate to say warlocks need any help since that may become possible with gear progression anyway. Tons of damage that completely skirts resilence is nothing to scoff at, and GCDs spent on dispelling are very precious. Not to mention can anyone honestly say "buff warlocks" and keep a serious face, even if it IS merited? I sure can't.
Also, all class balance issues aside, I'm not sure how useful it is to pull down armory data from the top X teams and look at the class populations and cite that as reasoning for balance changes. Server population and human resource problems are both very real issues that affect a lot of teams. A lot of times it can be quite difficult to get the lineup you want, with the best candidates either already being on other, less serious teams, or putting priority on PvE which limits arena time, or simply infighting amongst actual team members that would prevent it from working out. There is a lot more to putting together a top team than simply class makeup, which skews these armory data polls.
Mages spellstealing BoF can be far more disastrous than my warrior remaining snared
The problem is the mage might not get BoF with the first steal if other buffs are still up.
The biggest deal right now in 5v5 to me is the importance of dispel. You really need either a priest or a pally on your team, otherwise you are hosed. That leaves relatively little room for other team makeups. So breaking the warrior/pally synergy is just the first step in making sure all healing classes are equally desirable.