Hi, this is Brian Holinka and our good folks on the community team asked if I could help address some of your concerns. I understand that it's frustrating when you feel your question didn't get addressed. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to address every question that was sent our way. But, we did answer over 25 questions that were submitted on the forum and over twitter. I know people feel like we were repeating information at times, but keep in mind, all of these questions were submitted to us. Someone out there did not know the answer and asked. While many community members are in tune with everything going on in the Legion Beta, a lot of other people are not.
I'll do my best to answer the questions below that you felt were very important but we didn't get to.
I think it's fair to say we haven't been as active on the PvP beta forums as many people there would have liked. We certainly visited the forums quite a bit, reading the forums as a part of our feedback process. We frequently used information there in our internal discussions and adjusted a number of honor talents as direct result. But it's true that we didn't post there that often. We'll discuss with community how we can better manage that experience for you. We just got really focused on making the game.
There are a few reasons it feels like PvP tuning has been slow. The primary reason is bad communication on our part. We've made PvP specific adjustments to over 80 spells and adjusted the PvP templates on every spec. But we haven't kept everyone up to date on what's been changing. We should have done a better job. The second reason is that our PvP systems are new in Legion. As an example, our PvP stat template system wasn't properly granting the extra stats casters get from their weapon. Unfortunately, this is part of the game development process. Things aren't always working as expected in Beta. Regardless, communication was our primary failing here and we will do better.
With respect to melee mobility specifically, we did discuss that at 1:10 in the interview.
There is a tradeoff to using fixed ratings for rewards and one of them is that each season ratings are different. We have always seen this across regions. For example, Korea and Taiwan are far smaller than North America and Europe. Achieving high ratings in some brackets there is extremely difficult. For titles like Gladiator, we always use percentages to ensure the prestige of the reward remains the same. But the primary purpose of the rating gated rewards like the Elite gear set is to give players immediate rewards for hitting specific rating milestones. The upside of this system is you can get the rewards immediately, which feels great. The downside is that sometimes those rewards are harder to get. We think it's an acceptable tradeoff.
Looking at the current season data and comparing it with the past two seasons, I don't see the drop off in rating you're talking about. Perhaps some brackets have fallen 50-100 points, but by no means has anything fallen 500 points. That's just not accurate.
Before the Diminishing Return (DR) system was introduced into WoW, "stunlocking" was a common phenomenon. DR prevented "stunlocking" but it feels crappy to use ability only to see "immune." DR categories were added so a class can use their different crowd control spells to full effect at least once but repeated application would not result in "stunlock."
Over time the number of categories increased to 12 which we consider an unacceptable number. In Warlords, it was reduced to 5 categories: Root, Silence, Stun, Disorient and Incapacitate. Roots, Stuns and Silences are fairly easy to recognize as their behavior is generally the same across all spells. There are a number of spells in the game that remove player control but break on some degree of damage. We did not want all of these spells on a single DR category. For example, Fear, Cyclone and Dragon's Breath are on the Disorient category while Polymorph, Sap and Freezing Trap are on the Incapacitate category. It is not necessary that all of the spells on each DR category are thematically or functionally the same. We primarily placed these spells in their respective categories for gameplay reasons. In some cases it is meant to allow a class to use all of their spells without overlapping DR categories. In other cases, it is meant to disrupt synergies between classes that can chain to much crowd control together. In the case of Dragon's Breath, Mages have Polymorph which is an Incapacitate. Dragon's Breath is a Disorient so that you can cast those two spells one after the other and get their full effect.
We're satisfied with the current assignment of crowd control spells to their respective DR categories, but please let us know if you have any feedback about them.
If you'd like to see my answer to this question, it was addressed at 42:50 in the twitch interview. The short answer is that some stat combinations are problematic for PvP gameplay and we'd like to be able to reign them in. We also feel like Honor Talents can fill the customization gap that has been lost. But we're also open to introducing Honor talents in the future that offer some stat customization. Let us know how you feel about that idea.
I apologize if there was some confusion, but I did not make any such promise. I just rewatched the interview where I first discussed the PvP templates with Bajheera during the third NA qualifier cup last year. During that interview, I laid out the system as it is today in Legion including that higher ilevel gear would offer more power and that higher rated players would receive higher ilevel gear. I'm sorry if that message got lost along the way, but I certainly have never misrepresented how the system would work.
Here is that interview for reference:
I discussed our reasoning behind why PvP templates do not activate in the world at 40:55. In short, the two reasons were that they would provide a significant power increase for ungeared players and we'd like there to be a place in World of Warcraft where balance is far less structured.
I hope this helps fill in some gaps left by the interview. We tried to answer some questions that weren't really favorable to us like "why aren't you making new battlegrounds?" and "why is all the gear coming from strongboxes?" Many consider the directions where heading on those issues controversial so we wanted to explain our reasoning.
Thanks again for your passion for World of Warcraft and PvP.
Yeah, that meeting probably could have been rescheduled. For what it was worth, it was about how we're handling cheaters, so it was a worthwhile meeting.
This is a fair critique but there is a fundamental difference. With PvP item level on gear, you must acquire the gear to have its ilevel increased. With PvP stat templates, you do not need to acquire any gear. A player in quest greens would have a PvP stat template activated.
Excellent question. Yes PvP spell multipliers work in WPvP.