last edit: Blizzard should ask themselves: What would make arena better? Answer: More comps, and toning down out-liner comps, one small hotfix at a time.
I actually think this is the exact wrong answer. Balance is not the main problem with arena. There are balance issues, sure, but the problem is that the changes over the years have led to gameplay which is far too scripted to be fun.
More viable comps, more balance, these are red herrings which we as a community have tried to chase for way too long. Arena was great even when only a handful of comps were viable, because the comps really played dramatically differently. Making everyone the exact same and then proclaiming that every comp is viable is a pyrrhic victory.
you realise they don't just randomly make up changes
every change they make is based on an interpretation of what people ask them for
its just that 99% of the time people are idiots and ask for completely the wrong things, because they misunderstand what the real issues with pvp / arenas are - then they get an interpretation of exactly what they asked for, and complain because its not what they expected
Abidalzim, on 23 March 2015 - 08:39 PM, said:
90 % of the changes made from wotlk to WoD were at some point proposed on AJ by multiglads.
Xinowl, on 23 March 2015 - 07:50 PM, said:
I lol'd so hard at this.. Thanks
i would have lol'd so hard, but realised he was talking about turbo struggling to kill people, so it suddenly wasn't funny
So after damage being nerfed by 10%, and then with it reverted, I feel like a lot of people are confused about why it makes such a huge difference in match duration and overall feel of arena... Maybe even Blizzard. Some people may expect that 10% less damage means it takes 10% longer to kill an opponent in arena, but this isn't the case.
TLDR: Blizzard doesn't always think enough about what they're doing and sometimes it shows. The 10% damage nerf can increase match duration by a lot, while still not fixing the burst issue of some classes.
Disclaimer: This is napkin math without any real data. It does nothing more than illustrate the kinds of problems umbrella changes in %damage can cause and doesn't prove that the hotfix did cause these sorts of issues (although anecdotal evidence would suggest that it did).
The following is a time to live (TTL) graph and it shows how long it takes a player to die given a specific amount of health, dps and healing. The basic formula is:
TTL = health/(damage per second - healing per second)
The following is a graph with Dps along the x axis and TTL on the y axis in seconds. I've chosen some arbitrary values for health (300k) and hps (10k).
It's clear from the graph that below 10kdps TTL is infinity, which should be obvious because if you do less damage than healing then you aren't killing anything. The major take away from this is when dps is very close to hps, then very small changes in the dps cause a very large change in TTL.
The following graph shows the same TTL curve with the 10% damage nerf (in green):
Lets compare some values from the two curves.
TTL(prenerf) = 60s
TTL(nerf) = 85.7s
% increase in TTL = 42.8%
That's a huge difference in the time it takes to kill someone in arena. Of course the values I've chosen are arbitrary and arena is more dynamic, so lets look at some more examples.
If we consider a simplified situation using the most popular ideal match duration (from a poll in another post) of 4min and calculate how the 10% damage nerf affected this ideal.
Here I'm calculating how much more dps than hps to get a 4minute match.
(dps - hps) = 300000/240
(dps - hps) = 1250
Since we don't arena in a vacuum where healers are afk and people die to auto attacks over 4min we need a value for hps before applying the nerf. I'm going to choose the same an arbitrary hps value as before of 10khps. The amount of healing does affect the result.
dps = 10k + 1250
dps = 11.25kdps
TTL(nerf) = 300k/(11.25k*0.9 - 10k)
TTL(nerf) = 2400s, or 40minutes(!)
% increase in TTL = 1000%
Again, this is a very simplified situation using values I've invented instead of real data, but I think it illustrates the point. When dps is close to the hps then very small increases, or decreases, in dps cause huge changes in the feel of the game. However dampening would also prevent this from happening, but dampening shouldn't be relied upon to make the game playable.
In real arena matches dps isn't constant; it fluctuates. The above shows how much the nerf affected a low constant dps (i.e. without cooldowns or procs). We know some comps are scoring kills in 6s or less (god comp, jungle, combat rogues, etc...) Lets see how much the nerf affected these situations.
In this specific invented situation the 10% damage nerf only gave a fraction of a second of extra time to try and survive, which is less than a global.
The takeaway from this is that the nerf greatly affected situations that were already fine (constant damage pressure), and barely affected the situations that were out of control (burst during cooldowns for specific classes).
The safest way to blanket nerf burst is to increase health. Lets look at a 15% health increase (tldr it's going to increase the time for both situations by 15%)
TTL(burst) = 6s
TTL(burst, with extra hp) = (300k * 1.15) / (50k)
TTL(burst, with extra hp) = 6.9s
% increase in TTL = 15%
TTL(constant dps) = 240s
TTL(constant, with extra hp) = (300k * 1.15) / (1250)
TTL(constant, with extra hp) = 276s
% increase in TTL = 15%
However this causes an issue where % based heals are improved.
So what's the solution? Now that the 10% nerf has been reverted the game isn't really better, but a different kind of bad.
I have some suggestions:
1) Reduce the amount of guaranteed healing (instant heals, dps self healing, and abhorrent talents like ysera's gift and spirit bond)
2) Remove or change % health healing (warlock heals, conversion, and aforementioend ysera's gift and spirit bond)
These changes lower the amount of guaranteed healing making adjustments to overall dps less chaotic; giving more room for error when making balance changes. In cases where a class needs self healing as a survival tool then it should be counterable (casts), dispellable, or have a major dps tradeoff.
3) Adjust the burst of problem classes individually by nerfing burst cooldowns instead of making umbrella changes that affect every class and spec. Increase damage elsewhere to make the adjusted classes stay viable in PvE (this actually assures that a class still puts out decent pressure in pvp)
4) Finally some consideration should be given to changing dampening to some other mechanic that prevents matches from lasting too long. Much in the way that %dmg nerfs affect classes and comps different, so do %healing reduction during dampening. Also long drawn out matches that go into deep dampening aren't exciting.
Ok then. I actually find thinking about this stuff fun...
- need to wait and see the situation @ full gear, this doesn't seem fun thus far
// full gear
- fuck this isn't fun at all, 10+ minute games, RMD, etc
- wow, this game feels fun again, who would've thought. Games end in 2-3 minutes, resto druids got nerfed, ferals and BMs hunters are retarded but nothing that few nerfs can't fix, healer diversity is becoming a thing, just nerf rogues and mages a bit and we're in for a very fun season
I couldn't decide between hunter/combat rogue/enhance/ and mage.
They're all special levels of cancer to play against.
Mage because of never leaving CC.
Combat rogue because iu see it in arena and already know your healer is dead.
Enhance because you can't even do anything against it, and they are actually healers with infinite purge.
Hunter because I'm tired of randomly dying through CD's to crows/BW/barrage
Arena is extremely frustrating for me after this hotfix. It feel almost impossible to get kills until like 10 minutes into the game where dampening is stacked high enough that damage starts to actually matter. I don't remember arena ever being this boring
Hey everyone. With MoP coming to a close soon I'd like to talk about how I feel the expansion has been for PvP as a whole. This means I'll be going over the negatives and positives of as many areas of the game as possible.
Positives Class Variety: Class variety was at an all time high this expansion in all areas of PvP. At any given part of the 3 seasons we can say within reason that about 20 out of the 29 viable PvP specs could do well in arena when played by the right players. This is not to say they could get carried, but that the class had the potential to compete. This was certainly not the case in BC and Wrath. During Cata it became more apparent that Blizzard wanted more classes to be viable and they definitely followed through into MoP with this in mind.
Catch-up system: Not much has to be said here. The fact that you can show up a few weeks late with a character and still compete or better yet go from 0 gear to full gear on an alt at the end of a season is a world of difference from previous expansions. This improved the game so much for me and for many players who have alts that don't usually get geared before the end of a season.
Full PvP gear best in slot: After years and years of dealing with players using trinkets from raids that could increase their damage by 30% or proc extra attacks that hit for 20% of your health bar we finally got what we wanted. Blizzard introduced a system that made full PvP gear best in slot for almost any situation. As an arena enthusiast this made me quite happy.
Class balance:It's hard to say this without a lot of negative feedback about certain ones, but class balance as a whole was really good by the end of the first season and onwards. As I mentioned earlier many classes were viable, but most of the time they were still very competitive anyway.
Let's take a look at some of the classes we saw at regionals and blizzcon this year. I am familiar with only the US teams for regionals, but we had a Ret, a Holy Priest, multiple Marksmanship Hunters, a Shadow Priest, a couple Elemental Shamans, a Boomkin, multiple Frost Mages, multiple Resto Shamans, multiple Affliction Warlocks, a Mistweaver Monk, a Subtlety Rogue, and a couple Resto Druids. At Blizzcon we saw a couple Windwalker Monks, a Fire Mage, and an Arms Warrior. That alone covers a lot of classes and specs.
On the live ladders we saw a lot of different specs doing well and I can only count 8 specs that did not reach a rating of 3000 by the end of the final season which are: Disc Priest, Fury Warrior, Frost DK, Arcane Mage, BM Hunter, Demo Warlock, Combat Rogue, and Assassination Rogue. For all I know some of those could have made it.
Successful arena maps:Blizzard finally added new arena maps that didn't need major revamping to become a solid part of the arena map pool. They also revamped Blade's Edge and Dalaran for the better though I sometimes do miss the old Dalaran against melee. They still need to work on some of the map balance, but really you can't hate on what they did during MoP with arena maps. I would like to see them add Ring of Valor back to the map pool. The current one is actually a great map it's just disabled due to bugs.
Merger of battlegroups: The removal of set arena teams in combination with having a single player ladder and being able to queue with anyone you want has been HUGE for the game. You no longer have to sit on arena teams until the end of a season worrying about your rating. This has also decreased queue times and allows players to compare everyone at once which people definitely care about seeing.
Resilience, PvP Power, and Dampening scaling :While not everyone can say that they enjoyed having these stats around you have to commend Blizzard for getting the numbers right with every season. They had to manually adjust them with each season to make sure people weren't dying too fast, weren't healing too much, and ensure that games were actually coming to an end in a reasonable amount of time. They definitely could have done better with 2v2, though.
Streaming Influence:You may not like some of the streamers and you may have some that you love, but streaming has definitely made a positive impact on the game. A lot more players are better informed and many feel like they are part of something by being able to communicate with top players and other members of their arena community.
Holinka BOYS:This man has done wonders for our community and you should be more than happy if you know what he's been doing while working for Blizzard. He's been in contact with a lot of the top players and constantly looks for feedback to relay to help out. He's also attended the LAN events to talk to players and meet them which I'm certain was not required of him. I've spoken with him quite a few times and the guy's got a good head on his shoulders so we should be happy we have him instead of the whatever the hell came before him. @holinka
Negatives Reliance on gear:A common theme for this expansion and Cataclysm was a heavy reliance on gear to be competitive. While everyone thinks PvP gear should be the best in PvP, the reliance on having the best gear available to even come close to competing is frustrating. There have been times where I am missing 3 or 4 items and it feels completely hopeless to try knowing other people just do so much more with those few pieces.
Too much CC / Too many defensives: This topic has been heavily covered by so many people so I'll be brief to not bore you. The arms race went way too far this expansion. Instead of Warrior Charges Mage-->Mage Frost Novas it's now: Charge-->Blink-->Heroic Leap-->Nova-->Intervene-->Pet Nova-->Reflect-->etc,etc. Everyone just had way too many things to deal with each other and way too many simple reactions when taking damage or wanting to deal damage.
Dampening in arena:As both a tournament spectator and competitor I strongly believe that Dampening is a horrible concept for arena. This allowed for many things to happen. First of all teams could design their composition fully around winning because of Dampening and play around it. I don't think this was as relevant to ladders as it was at the actual tournaments. Both my team (ele, lock, druid) and the team that won this year (boomkin, lock, shaman) could easily attribute their success to its existence. It made for really boring starts to happen in a game where most of the action should be happening seconds into the match.
This also allowed Blizzard to balance the classes around dampening and not having to worry about if players could actually get a kill early on. Instead of fixing the issue they just took a shortcut around it by forcing games to end. I think having some type of ultimatum for games ending is fine, but the game should be balanced around players scoring kills before something like that is even necessary. On top of that it should be fair for both sides which sadly dampening is not. "The Crowd Chose You" is obviously not a good option either.
Caster dominance at higher levels: This has happened at the end of a lot of expansions for WoW now and I think it would take a long discussion to figure out why this is the case, but as you all have seen the past 4 years have been more of a Wizzcon than anything else. Melee make things exciting and even against two casters it creates a much more dynamic matchup to both play and watch.
Reluctance to make small changes: I've heard Blizzard's thoughts on this time and time again, but I still feel as if we're getting robbed out of a better experience. They don't want to make a lot of small changes because they don't think it will make a big enough impact and will only deter players from participating if the classes keep getting changed. When I look at a game like LoL that makes constant slight balance changes weekly I can only frown knowing it would be great for WoW PvP to follow suit. Changes like this one below make the game drastically different and makes some classes stay dead for very long while others get to overpowered states for entire seasons without change.
Lack of tournaments:No regionals in 2013, a few tournaments hosted online (that were, as usual, attacked by DDoS), and just a few LANs? We didn't do much these past couple years. Tournaments create life in PvP. It gives events for people to look forward to and it gives drama for players to talk about. I heard something about MLG thinking about picking up WoW again for WoD, but rumors are rumors.
Healer Variety: Specifically in arena only 3 out of 6 specs (Mistweaver Monk, Resto Shaman, Resto Druid) were viable at the end of the expansion. I'd say we didn't do a good job of ensuring viability among them especially with Discipline being horrible for almost the entire expansion. One could argue that each spec was good at some point during the expansion, but that's simply not good enough especially after coming out of Shamanclysm.
Moving forward into WoD Ability Bloat:There are so many things I am looking forward to in WoD and one of them is the removal of a ton of abilities and cooldowns that were just making the game worse. A lot of people won't agree initially, but let me explain why it's a good thing. There are tons of abilities for you to use to outplay your opponents and you want to be able to use them all and it makes the skill cap really high... sure that's great, but there are plenty of great games out there that use very few abilities to do things well. As long as there are mini games to play then there is plenty of room for player interactions to make a difference and for players to have fun. Mini games are things like: positioning battles, the interrupt game, forcing/saving trinkets and cooldowns, and battling for objectives. There's so much more to PvP than just having a bunch of crap to press.
Interrupt and CC changes:The number one change coming into WoD is one that's been needed for so god damn long. The removal of Improved Counterspell (the strongest CC in the game besides Fear) and Improved Spell Lock. There are other Silences and small CCs being removed, but this really does add to the fun for both the Mage/Locks and other players. You feel like you get more out of a spell when you use it well and previously all we see is blanket Counterspells and there's not much interaction required. The more interactions between players the more room there is to outplay. Don't forget the nerfs to Fear duration, CC cooldown, and the removal of PoM Sheep, NS Cyclone, and other forms of instant full CC.
Focus on PvP:From what I gather there's been a focus on making PvP fun for this expansion and with Holinka on board I'm having positive thoughts on PvP as a whole. I would love to see 2v2 make a comeback as a fun bracket that you can queue with your friends where games actually end quickly instead of the current stalemates that happen. With less abilities cluttering the game the mini games should become more and more relevant instead of the previous cooldown war. You have to expect that the expansion will start out with some bumps. Maybe damage overall will be too low, healing will be too high, or Mages will one shot people with Ice Nova, but we will get there guys!
Hope you enjoyed. Feel free to post your thoughts on both the positives and negatives of MoP as well as what you're expecting moving forward.