[WoW] Interrupts, Ghostcrawler admits melee is borked, and some cool links

Yesterday, Ghostcrawler wrote another intriguing blog post about game balance, interrupts, PvP issues and how designers can get into the trap of power creep.

The basic line of thought is that interrupts are too good in PvP (too accessible, too short a cooldown), so casters had to be given better instant spells/ kiting ability. And then *handwave* for some reason Blizzard had to give out more interrupts —

— no wait, this was “bring the player, not the character” and the homogenisation of classes in Cataclysm, and they did it deliberately and now they’re finding that they’re in a power race and it hasn’t worked out so brilliantly well.

Anyway, I think there’s an interesting discussion to be had as to whether casters were intended to have lower mobility as the price for having range (and crowd control). Ghostcrawler implies this is the case:

One of the advantages melee used to have in PvE was on movement fights. If the boss has to be kited or stays in motion, the rogues and warriors can follow along and still deal damage. <…>In today’s PvE environment, that role has almost flipped. Many casters can shoot on the run and take only a very minimal DPS hit to do so.

This is interesting since it’s the first time I’ve seen that Blizzard have admitted that melee have issues in the current tier of raiding. This was obvious to most players from pretty early on in the expansion (I recall having written about it.)

And it’s due to their design changes with Cataclysm, and they don’t seem to have any plans to either change it or improve things. There are more issues than being out-dpsed by casters, because staying in melee with bosses has gotten more difficult – again this is by design which he doesn’t mention here.

And his solution — nerf interrupts – wouldn’t really make that much difference to the PvE side of things on its own. Having said that, they’ve been quite keen on having players interrupt bosses on this tier. I figure that once they decided to give interrupts to all comers, they decided that people might as well use them. Since I like interrupting bosses I’m down with that, but it gets old …

This argument is particularly wearing for rogues and warriors who had interrupts right from the start and weren’t told that they were overpowered until now (at least not because of that.)

Some more WoW links

A few links from bloggers that I have read recently on WoW.

Matticus asks if 25 man raids are slowly dwindling. This was a prediction many people made pre-Cataclysm – is it coming true?

Borsked argues eloquently that raiding is back where it was meant to be in the game, only for the dedicated. And that the WoW player base is balancing itself to having fewer raid guilds.

Boathammer explains why WoW is boring to him as a non-raider

6 thoughts on “[WoW] Interrupts, Ghostcrawler admits melee is borked, and some cool links

  1. The other thing about interrupts is that they used to be (at least in Vanilla) on the GCD. So they were much harder to use. You could usually sneak a 1.5s spell through when fighting a rogue. When interrupts came off the GCD, that’s really when only instants become safe enough, in my opinion.

    The thing about 25-man guilds is that I don’t really see where new 25-man guilds are supposed to come from. A new raiding guild would go into 10s with the first 10 raid ready members they have. I’m not really sure I see where the 25s come from. Maybe once they organically have two raid teams, they merge? But then you have issues where Team A is several bosses ahead of Team B, and all those problems. Not to mention that you need 30+ to raid 25s steadily.

    I just don’t see how new 25-man raiding guilds will form. And that will eventually lead to the death of 25s from attrition, in my opinion.

  2. Our 25-man raid group that had been going for yeaaaaaars shuddered to a halt and died in Cata 😦

    I personally blame Blizzard’s “flexible” (read: not flexible) raid lock. You were forced to choose between 10 and 25, unless you are someone who can keep two raid-ready chars, one for 10, one for 25. And you can’t blame people for not doing that.

    Of course people are more likely to form 10 man raids.

    After all these years, Blizzard still have some things about which they don’t have a ****ing clue how it will affect the player base.

  3. Ghostcrawler admitting the error is interesting, I’ll give you that. I just have zero faith it will translate into meaningful game changes.

    The path has been and seemingly will continue to be making “class” and abilities meaningless.

    When Kitty stealth is better than Rogue stealth and casters fly around the perimeter leading DPS whilst melee is anchored amidst the crap in the middle it just seems we have fallen through the rabbit hole.

  4. Indeed, seeing the mistake admitted is nice. But yeah; I just don’t see anything really changing in the long run.

    It’s a pretty large amount of issues that can go wrong.

    First off, their ”bring the player” mentality. Okay, this is, at a glance, nice. But then they’re having issues where ranged are at an advantage. This causes problems.

    However, THEN there’s an issue if they make some fights obviously more melee friendly, and some fights obviously more ranged friendly. This goes against it too; it basically will, at that point, have people stacking one or the other. This happens with anything, down to the class level-if a certain class has an advantage in a fight, people will stack it.

    For me, the degree of interrupting is getting a bit boring. Counting here in BWD, we have Tron Council, Maloriak and Nefarian. Over in BoT we have Halfus(always on Heroic, depending on the week on normal), Ascendants, and Cho’Gall. Now, okay, that’s only 6 of 12 bosses, but I kind of liked it better when it was a certain boss or two that required the tight interrupts, rather than half of them.

    I really sort of wonder what WoW will be looking like six months down the line. I’m already at the ”I log on to raid and collect herbs” (and RP me and my friend’s war buddies a couple times a week) stage, and it’s only been about 3.5 months since Cata’s drop.

  5. I’m glad to see that the homogenisation of classes has turned round and bitten them in the bum. I really didn’t like that as a design trend.

    It’s also good to see conclusive proof that pvp design affects pve raid design. People still continue to insist it doesn’t.

  6. It’s worth noting that raid encounters, more often than not, have been melee unfriendly. Vanilla endbosses in particular were remarkebly crappy about it.

    The main difference now is that you have a multitude of viable melee specs, some of them from the most popular classes in the game, instead of just rogues and that one fury warrior who all knew they were going to inevitably die. So it magnifies the issue when Cats and DK’s and Retadins and so on come along.

    That said, Cata has been particuarly shitty about being Melee to the point where it’s become actively painful to do it in some cases.

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