I’m Babbi and I fucking love this game. Well, at least I used to.
The main question is: WHAT HAS CHANGED? What events have turned WoW into the game as we know it today?
In order to solve a problem, one must first analyze it. I will do so in small steps, and ultimately draw a conclusion.
S8 will be used as indirect paragon as I have always felt like that’s where the game had a philosophy shift, and as a consequence started becoming uni-dimensionally dull.
Without any further ado, let’s head into it.
1. Offensive cooldowns and on use trinkets.
The gameplay has shifted from requiring clever positioning and control towards either having or not having the right CDs at the right moment. It’s like everybody is a goddamn BM hunter nowadays. The difference in damage between having CDs up or not is absurd.
2. Defensive Cooldowns
With the introduction of offensive cooldowns there was the obvious need for defensives to survive the damage spikes.
This turned fragile and elegant classes which revolved around positioning and control like mage and rogue into fucking tanks.
For example, look at mages in WoD. Mages can just stand in the middle of the arena carelessly, the problem is not poly having no cd as many people suggest, the problem is that they are not punishable for standing in the middle of the fucking arena spamming cc. If you ever get close to killing him, blink + blazing speed or Ice Block guarantee safety.
Same if you are a druid with displacer up. It doesn't matter if you stay in the middle of the arena, you know you are safe and your bad positioning can’t easily be punished.
Heavy CC reliant classes and healers should think twice before going in the open, mistakes and bad positioning SHOULD ALWAYS be punished, and more importantly, punishable.
They tried to balance the game by making every class the same, they gave every melee an interrupt, they gave every healer dispel, they gave stuns to everybody (asphyx, fist of justice and stormbolt are pretty much the same ability with a different name).
They took the uniqueness out of every class, shamans no longer had BL, warriors no longer had to stance dance, mages are not elegant glass cannons anymore but fucking steel bazookas.
This might make the game more balanced, but it also makes it incredibly boring.
Not quite sure why blizz decided to put fear and cyclone on the same DR and leave poly as it is, either do both or don't do it at all.
I feel like there should be different solutions and this was just a failed experiment.
One way to address the DR issue would be to remove cross DRs altogether (so CCs only DR with the exact same type of CC. e.g. Fear still DRs with Intimidating Shout), but reduce the duration of every CC to 5 or 6 seconds. This way, coordination of CCs is rewarded by allowing CC chains to be much more effective, and most class combos remain viable.
5. Endless mana pools
What do you guys think about this? Should everybody have infinite resources or mana management adds depth to the game?
It’s only going to get worse as the expansion continues, as healers get more and more Spirit, while mana costs stay the same.
Wod meta needs it, but should the game need it?
Maybe rather than reducing healing it should improve mana cost of healing spells? Not quite sure how I feel about it, looking for some constructive answers here.
I feel like those were the most important failed experiments. Now, what were the steps taken in the right direction?
1. 50% healing reduce gone to 25%
Still unsure if I like or dislike the change. It was probably for the best; 50% felt overwhelming and 25/30% is where it should be.
2. Legendaries/PvE tems in PvP
It took them around 8 years of tears to take some steps towards the right direction, it is definitely better today than it was in the past, but the problem is still not completely solved.
3. Removal of titles from 5v5
I have always seen it as an irrelevant bracket, people either cheated or played to get their friends titles. Not going to miss it, thanks blizz.
4. Removal of Bloodlust from arena
To be discussed, was it healthy? Definitely removed depth from the game but it's probably gone for the best.
5. Cosmetic rewards
This is more important for pvp representation than most people think.
If you were to be a reasonably new player at around 2/2.2k what incentives did you get, for example in Cata? You knew you were not getting glad so why bother trying to climb?
Different rewards and goals such as 2400 pvp enchant and 2600 tabard are VERY important, as they give many players a reason to enjoy the game and push their limits.
I will overlook the fact that the post-s8 tabards look like shit and take it as a serious step in the right direction.
Now, complaining about all this is fine and dandy, but that doesn’t get us anywhere, does it?
So, what CAN we do? In order to make the game more enjoyable, A LOT of rebalancing would have to happen. However, it boils down down to two simple steps in reality:
Hire top PvP players to balance the PvP section of the game. I’m sure there are plenty of players out there who would do it for free, but even if they were to get paid it would be worth it for the game’s health.
We know some players consult Blizzard when it comes to PvP, but the problem is just that - they merely consult. The idea is that a group of top level players should be in charge of the PvP section, even if it’s just for Arena. If Blizzard wants to go their own way still, and implement more Ashran-like abominations, by all means let them, as long as top players get to dictate or at the very least cooperate with Arena balance.
Separate PvE and PvP abilities. Blizzard has tried for 10 years to ignore this, but they have slowly started to realize it can’t be ignored. Once this point is accepted, we can finally start talking balance in a serious matter. Execute is too good? Only make it usable on 10% hp players. Rogues deal too much damage? Make red buff only 30% against players. (Note how these might or might not be necessary right now, they are just examples.)
I hear some of you ask: why do you still play the game, and why don’t you play on AT if you think S8 was so much better?
Despite its flaws, S8 PvP was as close as WoW PvP has ever gotten to perfect. No, it most certainly wasn’t perfectly balanced, but it’s hard to deny S8 gameplay was FUN. High pace gameplay alongside easy-to-learn-hard-to-master classes made it the most enjoyable season we have seen so far.
However, it is healthy for WoW to move on. The ever-changing gameplay is one of WoW’s most important aspects. I believe that, with effort from both the community’s side and from Blizzard, we can turn this game’s PvP into a healthy and enjoyable state again.
A little bit about me:
I played on and off almost every season and got my Glad title in S10. Even though I like to think my opinion is worth something, I am fully aware some of you have achieved much more in this game. I look forward to hearing your constructive criticism, should you have any.
I am always eager to discuss. Feel free to private message me or hit me up in game. Hell, you can even watch me suck and complain at http://www.twitch.tv/babbidibubbi on an extremely casual schedule.
Thank you for reading.