WoW Devs Talk PvP

Class Balance Issues, MMR, and more!

WoW Mists of Pandaria PvP Update

With World of Warcraft's latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria having been out for several weeks now, the devs opened up about PvP. They talked about class balance issues, MMR (Matchmaking Rating), and some possibilities for the future of PvP.

Class Balance

The Mists of Pandaria expansion changed many classes in a number of ways. Players mentioned having some class balance concerns related to PvP. Monks, Mages, Rogues, Warriors, and Beastmastery Hunters in particular were called into question. However Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) pointed out, "simply because something isn't mentioned here doesn't mean it's being ignored."

  • The usefulness of Monks' has come into question by some players. The devs feel that this is because players have yet to master it. However, they have said they'll continue to monitor it over the next couple of weeks to see if in fact the learning is too steep.
  • Mages' burst damage has once again been brought up. They've said that conrol and burst damage will both be toned down as a result. The cost of Spellsteal has gone up significantly as well. The devs are also considering making additional changes to Pyroblast, Deep Freeze and Frost Bomb.
  • Rogues may be getting some control and mobility improvements to better keep up in PvP.
  • Some players feel that Warrior burst damage and control is too difficult to counter. Thus, the developers are looking at reducing both. Warriors' Glyph of the Gag Order was called out in particular as being "too powerful" for PvP. A few more of their skills are being looked at as well.
  • Beastmastery Hunters are considered way too OP right now. The current trick is stacking cooldowns and blowing away the opposition. The devs are looking at reducing this burst damage. However hunters will be receiving a buff so that they will no longer have to swap between Aspect of the Hawk and Aspect of the Fox.
In addition to class balance issues, healing concerns were also brought up. It's currently believed that off-spec healers are too close in usefulness to regular healers. Thus there has been talk that if the class burst damage fixes do not level this out, the PvP healing debuff may rise to 30% instead of 15%.

Matchmaking Rating

This was actually intended to be a good way to match players of the same skill levels together for Arena Matches. MMR is not meant to be similar to a "gear score" for PvP, but rather as a way to keep fights fair. And while an MMR reset was originally promised, the developers have decided that this would not do anything except result in a few unbalanced matches while the scores were recalibrated.

Instead, they're looking at changing how Team Rating is measured. They want to make sure that they also take into account any potential improvements a team has throughout the course of a season. The logic is that their gear will improve during that time and that should definitely account for something. No specifics have yet been released but they're looking into it, with the added bonus of allowing players who continue playing to reach higher Team Ratings as opposed to those who just on theirs.

Additionally, the devs have said that the 5.1 feature that allows players to improve item levels of their gear will also be able to be done using Conquest, Honor, and Justice points, too!

The Future of PvP

Please note that the below information is still very much up in the air. Some of this may not happen soon and some may not happen at all. So look to the future, but don't get your hopes up.

  • While there's nothing really wrong with the current one, there have been talks of revamping the Scoreboard to make it more exciting.
  • They're finally talking about making improvements to the Battleground Matchmaking system. This would hopefully allow for balanced class distribution.
  • There is some discussion about converting some of the smaller Rated Battlegrounds to have 5v5 options to allow smaller groups better flexibility when they can't get a full 10 people involved.
  • Ever been in a Battleground where you were only seconds away from victory when it was taken out from underneath you? The devs are tossing around the idea of giving small rewards to players in this instance for such close matches.
  • To make it more apparent that your character has been stunned or disarmed, they may change the UI to better indicate this has happened.
  • For lower level Battlegrounds, the devs are working on a way to temporarily make those who enter it the same level for a more fair experience. For example, the level 15 - 19 bracket would make all characters that enter temporarily level 19. The other hope with this is to reduce queue times.
  • They may also add Arena and Battleground Maps in the Dungeon Journal to help newer players who may not know all of the objectives of a fight.
  • And last but not least, they are looking into making level 90 versions of Wintergrasp and Tol Barad.
There certainly are a lot of improvements they're tossing around for PvP in World of Warcraft. It's always something thatneeds to be constantly evaluated to keep players interested and to keep it fair for everyone. For more information, check out the official Blizzard article here.

-Jennifer "Yaviey" Bridges


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