In an impressive display of team question-answering efficiency, a full set of Blizzard’s senior WoW developers addressed dozens of q’s across a wide range of issues in tonight’s Live Developer Q&A. Although a good number of questions and their answers might be pertinent for rogue players (particularly the numerous questions on PvP crowd control and instant heals), there were only a few in particular that I felt had particularly focused rogue relevance.
I doubt any of these responses will make many rogue players especially happy. Particularly not if you’re a PvE player; Ghostcrawler seemed to avoid answering (or moderators avoided giving him) just about any class-specific questions. Brian Holinka (whose WoW forum avatar is apparently named Desvin — did we know this before?), by contrast, answered a number of class-specific questions — but they were obviously all specifically about PvP issues.
The rogue-relevant responses Holinka gave are vague but arguably realistic; most of them basically amount to an admission that devs are aware of the issue that was raised, but that there isn’t really much they feel they can ultimately do at the moment to truly make that particular problem better that they haven’t already done — nor do they have a vision to share about how they might try to change it in the future.
I’ll copy the q’s and a’s below for posterity, though. Because posterity is superfun. (For the full chat transcript, take a look at the original source, at Wowhead’s topically sorted listing or MMO-Champion’s slightly differently topically sorted listing. As I noted, there were several questions about crowd control and cast times that I chose not to include here.)
Q (Skilledguy): Combat Rogue is clearly not a good spec for PvP atm at all, sustained dmg is barely noticable, there is no possible ‘no cd burst’ possibility by design, Killing Spree is jumping on pets/minions, hardly usable in 3v3. Are you gonna bother trying to fix this spec for PvP or just focus on Subtlety?
A (Brian Holinka): It’s challenging to make all 3 specs of a pure DPS equally viable in both PvP and PvE. In most cases, we want to ensure that at least one of those specs is competitive and improve the others when possible. It is a lot harder to change class than change spec, but we appreciate that players do enjoy some specs more than others.
Q (<Anonymous>): I understand that making all 34 specs viable for pvp would be a mess from the design and even from player PoV. But some cases were the specs differences are minimal (fury and combat/assa come to mind) seems like it’s just lack of interest on your part… Can we expect some philosophy change on that matter?
A (Brian Holinka): If we can do something to make a spec more competitive we do, but class balance is heavily intertwined. Buffs to one spec often act as nerfs to another spec and vice versa.
Q (Sean Maples): Why do you balance (or try to!) around Arena, yet reward more for RBGS? Melee cant get into RBGs! Its unfair that casters get a gear advantage in arena for being Overpowered in RBGs.
A (Brian Holinka): The synergy between spells like death grip, solar beam and ursol’s vortex has created an environment where melee are at a big disadvantage. We have been working on reducing the effectiveness of that combination without destroying those specs in other areas of the game.