Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Light Bless you and Keep you, Megan


This would be the song as we reluctantly see you off...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Paladins: Perpetual Victims of the Mobocracy.

For those of you who do not frequent the cesspool that is the official forums should know that ever since 3.1 hit, there has been an increase in the amount of crying from the undergeared and underskilled idiots that are calling for nerfs to Paladins.

Sounds familiar?

I thought so.

The main cause of this stink was made when Exorcism was made available to be used on all targets, players and non-undead NPCs. This was meant to off-set the nerfed Judgment of Blood/Martyr and buffed Seal of Blood/Martyr and make up the difference from the damage lost.

However, when pvp came into the picture, the same cycle of nerf calling by the rabid animals that wish us ill reached a fever pitch. And when 3.1.1 hits, the developers cave in to forum QQ, again, and make it unable to be used on players.

I'm of two minds on this, well, three actually.

There was absolutely no documentation of this. So, either it can identified as a stealth nerf or an 'undocumented patch note'. Infuriating. As I was hoping to start an arena team this season and hopefully get some real pvp gear instead of the blue honor gear or WG gear, while nice, just doesn't do it for me.

It does not affect PvE. A very good thing for raiders.

Ghostcrawler's responses... first the sticky he's posted in the Damage Dealing forums: And in a self-fulfilling prophecy, I'm gonna dissect each and every statement in the magenta below.

We made a change in the 3.1.1 patch to prevent Exorcism from being used on players. We didn’t announce this change ahead of time because we were trying to get the tooltip changed at the same time to reduce confusion. We still plan on getting the tooltip updated ASAP. Exorcism’s use in PvE has not changed at this time.

Well, Greg, if you didn't want us to use it in PvP, perhaps you should have made that clear in the first place? Maybe? Instead, you've given Pvp rets a juicy steak to compensate for the damage nerf they got, only to take it away after they got a bite. Real smooth there, buddy.

Going with a “not on players” solution is not ideal and we will be re-designing how the ability works in a future patch (the plan is sooner rather than later). We don’t like for PvE and PvP mechanics to work differently when we can avoid it. We also don’t like for a major damaging ability to be excluded from the PvP game. However, we thought this had become a balance issue serious enough to address at this time.

Warlocks and Curse of Doom say 'Hi', but I kid the heretics. If it's not ideal, then why did you run it through anyway? Wasn't the PTR the point of trying to prevent these kinds of Knee jerk reactions that paladins have been known to endure before? As for when it works, I'll take that as the classic 'Soon' that Blizzard is known for. Pardon my cynicism Greg, but I'm not going to get my hopes up.

We shifted around paladin damage for 3.1 trying to increase sustained damage while reducing burst damage. Unfortunately, the Exorcism change did the opposite. Instead of stealing a GCD from a paladin, it actually gave them an extra one. A Retribution paladin could use Exorcism to cause damage while closing to melee and then be ready to go with their melee damage attacks. (Exorcism of course is not limited to Ret paladins either.) We changed the way paladins do damage for Lich King, so while it is unfortunate (and we accept full blame), it also isn’t too surprising that it is taking some effort to get their damage in the right place.

I will admit, I did like the idea of a higher sustain damage in the form of a harder hitting Seal of the Martyr. However, when you, in the same motion, nerf Rightous Vengeance, the only DoT that we have, it's kinda hard to take what you're saying at face value anymore.

Also, the reason why Exorcism gave them an extra GCD was because it was meant to compensate for the nerf to the Judgement of the Martyr damage, also because no one in their right mind would use Command for PvP anymore.

And while it is nice that you're actually owning up to your mistakes, like when you said you kept Ret gimped on purpose (jerk), the paladin player base is not in any position to do anything to the developers. You can keep doing what you're doing, apologize, then continue to hurt the class under the auspicies of balance and we can do nothing about it.

In the same patch where we remove the “not on players” limitation for Exorcism, we are going to change the way paladins do damage so that their normal combat moves have more depth to them instead of just using abilities every time they finish their cooldown. This should make causing damage as a paladin more interesting and also less bursty. While we have some ideas on how to accomplish that, if you have suggestions or your own ideas about how this could work, this would be a good time to share them. (As examples of abilities you don’t just use whenever their cooldown has finished, you might look at Conflagrate, Brain Freeze, Rip, Overpower or Arcane Blast.) We do request that you don’t fill the forums with posts of limited content or insight about how you don’t like to be nerfed. Nobody does.

So, will this supposed change happen when we're going to try and save Malfurion Stormrage from the Emerald Dream in the next expansion and let us languish for the rest of the expansion while Warriors, with Juggernaught, run around unchecked like they did for most of BC?

I'm all for giving ret paladins more depth in their combat system, but what you say and what you do are two different things, Greg. You've refused to give paladins a method to close the distance, interrupt casters (And no, HoJ does not count), put pressure on healers, and now you've nerfed our burst. Your actions speak as though you listen to the mobocracy, who'd rather they put us back to Vanilla, where all was could do was Judge, re-seal for 30 seconds, and pray for SoC procs.

And 'Since you have some ideas'? That doesn't sound encouraging at all for those of us who want to pvp competitively this season.

And just so you know, the FCFS rotation was something you could have easily fixed, but have not. I hate FCFS. I loathe it with a passion. Yet, it's the only way I can barely scrape by a measley 3600 dps at best, when Arms warriors are pulling over 5k. You want advice? Give us a smoother rotation.

Finally, what? Nobody likes being nerfed or nobody likes seeing the forums full of anecdotes about being nerfed? Hate to break this to, ya, Greg, but you should have thought of that BEFORE you turned the 'off' switch on Exorcism working on other players.

It is always a judgment call about when a fix (a buff or a nerf) can’t wait. Some things we can’t change easily in hotfixes or small patches, and some things we consider too risky for technical reasons or for their potential effects on the game.

Oho, I see what you did there. And yet, whenever it comes to hotfix nerfs, Paladins have by and far come along as the most abused when it comes to this. It's happened in the betas, when our unwieldly Strike system got changed to an even worse Seal-Judge-Seal system. It happened in 2.0 when the kids cried about actually being killed by paladins after getting Crusader Strike back and you nerfed it in a hotfix. And you've done so in 3.0 and now here.

GC repsonds in a different thread:

When players get nerfed and they feel it is an unfair nerf (which honestly is a good deal of the time), they tend to blame QQ from the community. It's a practice as old as multiplayer gaming itself. The players are not always wrong when they sense a balance problem, and they aren't always right either (from our point-of-view anyway -- all of this is subjective to some extent). When we see an issue that gets raised, we talk about it and test it ourselves. This wasn't a problem that was hard to see in our minds. Yes we should have fixed it before 3.1 went out. I could say that about every change we have made since 3.1 went out, up to and including all of the Ulduar balance tweaks.

So, with this, you're basically admitting that forum QQ is what governs who gets nerfed? Excellent! Now I can get Mass Dispell nerfed, since it's clearly overpowered! Seriously, Greg, if you know that it was going to be a problem, then why even putting it forward in the first place? Or better yet, make a point to say that Exorcims could only be used in PvE so as to stave off the crying, unwashed masses?!

PvP is monumentally difficult to balance. WoW's PvP game has not been perfectly balanced before, and is not balanced now. But that does not mean we throw up our hands and give up on it. We have solved some nasty problems over the years and created some new ones. Such is the nature of MMO game design. We try and learn from our mistakes and move on.

And yet, whenever there are people crying about overpowered class or abilities, perceived or otherwise, it's usually paladins that get hurt the most. Especially Ret paladins. Remember when Holy paladins got nerfed in season 2? That hurt Ret paladins as well. It seems that a lot of our problems stems from Holy paladins. If you want to learn from your mistakes, then don't listen to recently dinged 80s in greens and blues going into PvP for the first time instead of the players that actually have a clue!

We do internal tests and we do invite players to participate (voluntarily mind you) on betas or the PTR. That in no way can substitute for what happens when 12 million players get their hands on the game and begin playing. Good companies try not to make mistakes. Great companies admit when they make mistakes and take steps to fix them. Even greater companies I suppose never make mistakes, but I don't know any of those.

Oh, come on. You seriously can't expect me to believe that when you had people on the PTR testing Exorcism that people wouldn't cry about this on live. Considering past experience with the paladin class as a whole, you have to realize that the unwashed masses LOVE singling out this class, since the beginning of WoW.

We were supposed to be the two-handed hammer wielding orc smashing champions of justice for the Alliance and instead was relegated to a priest in plate because Tigole and Furor had their Wheaties pissed on while they were in EQ. And finally, after Tigole leaves and Kalgan gone elsewhere, we had hopes that maybe the class could finally be on the way to being completely fixed out this crap happening again. It seems that my faith in your, GC, has been misplaced.

Part of why I posted that was because we knew a lot of players were discussing it. We were discussing it. I figured if I said outright "Hey, this may be a problem," maybe paladins wouldn't feel like it came out of nowhere when and if we made a change. That post was emphatically not an attempt to say "Don't worry, you can relax, we won't nerf it." Furthermore, we did find a way to nerf it in PvP without affecting PvE. It's not a particularly pretty way from our POV, but it solved the problem.

They weren't discussing it at all. They were crying and calling for nerfs. And no, it didn't solve the problem at all. All you did was give PvP ret paladins a nerf. You've nerfed Judgment of Martyr, effectively taking down 40% of the burst damage, which is all we got really. So, no, until you can bring the amount of damage back up to pre3.1.1 levels, this is not solved at all.

As I said, it is always going to be subjective to some degree. In our shoes, some of you may have made a different decision. I can appreciate that many paladins believe in their heart that it (and they) were not overpowered and that other classes were just out to get them. We have to do what we think is right for WoW, and you are probably not going to agree with every change, or perhaps even many of them.

Considering how much ridicule that paladins had to endure, the old ZG doll?, the lower Hearthstone Cooldown on Lawbringer?, how can you blame us? The game that you established gave people ideas that paladins shouldn't be doing damage and when you finally did something different, people cried that something they thought that shouldn't be killing them, established by you, Greg, they gripe and moan as though the world was being turned upside down.

That’s fair. To some extent you’re saying “Even more communication would be even better,” which I don’t deny. Making that work is challenging, but we can consider new options. Maybe we treat the PTR forum more like the Beta forums, in which we restricted posting, but because the pool was smaller, it was a lot easier for us to discuss every single issue that came up. I have no idea if that is technically feasible – I’m just brainstorming ways so that players feel like their issues are heard without me or other blues having to supply posts (and often more than one) to every single thread. We could hire a thousand more people and still not be able to discuss every issue with the detail and depth that the community would probably opt for, given the choice.

An ounce of preventing is worth a pound of cure. The prevention? Just let Exorcism be PvE only in the first place. Would it have been ideal? Of course not, since PvP rets would have wanted that extra damage. However, it would have been a much better alternative than seeing another patch with ANOTHER Stealth Nerf when people are crying that a class they've ridiculed with impunity.

What arbitrary silliness.

Bet you regret that stupid 'To the ground' statement now. If you don't, you should. It's about as funny as the stupid jokes your 7 year old niece or nephew say and you laugh out of consideration for their delicate feelings. We're adults here, Greg. So knock it off.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Waiting for the new patch....

is unbearable!!


Hit right click on the image and select "View Image" to see the whole thing.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What to do?

Seriously, I'm at a loss as to what to do with this blog.

I'd like to contribute something to the blogoshpere about the paladin class and everything, but I can't help but feel that whatever I have in mind has already been taken care of by someone... for example...

Josh, Ferraro, Tim and Peregrine have got Ret taken care of present it in much more satisfactoy manner with proper information.

Saha and Megan, when she does post about Holy pallies, are more than adequate and it's a double whammy against me because the last time I willingly specced Holy was back in May of 2006. And when/if I did spec it afterwards, it was for the now deceased shoackadin spec.

Honor's Code does a great job in taking care of Prot spec, and the fact that I'm not prot at the moment, but may be when 3.1 hits, is not as up on the list as I would like it to be. Also, there's another blog out there that has to do with Prot.

...the only problem?


As a side note, Rohan gets a special mention for being the first Paladin Blog, aside from the now defunct Paladin Sucks, that I've read. Not to mention that BoK pretty much covers all facets of the paladin class, even the parts with which I don't agree with, but hey, can't please 'em all.

And with that, I leave you with the smattering of Lewis Carrol's insanity.