WoW Class Balance and Design Q&A — Organized Transcript

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Posted on November 9, 2011, CJ Miozzi WoW Class Balance and Design Q&A — Organized Transcript

Earlier today, Blizzard hosted a live Q&A session for World of Warcraft concerning class design & balance. The entire thing filled a 40-page Word document, but we’ve organized and grouped the information by class so that you can easily look up the answers that are relevant to you. There are a few good questions in there about the Monk class, which you can learn more about in our Mists of Pandaria hands-on preview.




Death Knight









Hello, the warlock community has been excited/intrigued/concerned by the announcement of the three resources for warlocks in MoP. Could we have more details about them, especially on the Infernal Embers of Destruction?

While the new Warlock resources are still in-development, here’s the current iteration:

When you incinerate an immolated target, your character builds up Infernal Embers. Infernal Embers increase the power of your next single Conflagrate or Soul Fire by 10% each. That ability uses all of the embers you have.

There may also be additional abilities which generate or consume Infernal Embers, but we’re still experimenting.

Here’s a little bonus: as you generate more and more embers, your character slowly ignites, until you’re basically a walking torch. Infernal Embers currently have no cap, but we’ll likely add one before Mists ships.

I’m very excited about the upcoming revisions to Warlock specs in Mists of Pandaria. Looking at the new talent tree, I noticed that Demonology warlocks will be casting a spell called “Malefic Grasp.” Will this be Demo’s new filler spell in the rotation and how does it play differently from Shadow Bolt and Incinerate? Last, does the name of the spell imply that it will be a spell which is cast at melee range?

Demonology Warlocks…? I don’t recall any demonology warlocks running around with Malefic Grasp…

Okay, okay, since you asked – Malefic Grasp replaces Shadow Bolt for Affliction. It is a channelled nuke which increases the damage of your DoTs on the target by increasing their tick rate by 100%.

Are there any plans to do something about Demonology Warlocks and Pet Swapping for 4.3?

Yes, we plan to eliminate Pet Twisting for Demonology. Step 1 – replace Soul Shards. Step 2 – fix Demon Soul.

One popular idea has been to give each spec a different version of Demon Soul. However, we haven’t finalized that idea. We’d love to see some discussion about this on the Warlock forums.

Looking over the new talents for MoP, it still looks like there will be “required” talents, or talents that obviously designed for a certain spec. Demo warlocks would obviously pick the talent that gives them the upgraded pets, or bear druids would pick the talents that give damage reduction. Is there any plan to go back over these talents and make them truly optional?

You know that’s a great point and we’re still working on our talent trees. In the case of the Warlock Grimoire of Supremacy and Grimoire of Service – both of those talents benefit from your demon boosting mastery.

… However, Demonic Fury (currently) also increases the damage you do outside of Metamorphosis and this value increases with your mastery. Which means Sacrifice can be strong too…

Disclaimer: This can and will change as needed between now and Mists.

What are your thoughts on the state of Demonology’s pets? Our Felguard does sub-par single target damage and is only used for its Demon Soul and AoE, leading to a very clunky pet swapping mechanic. Is there any chance that our Felguard could stand out like it should, or are we going to have to wait until 5.0 to maybe use our spec’s signature ability.

While I can’t speak for everyone on the class team, I am really upset I haven’t seen my succubus in like two years – I promised her the heart of a gnome and fresh hunter tears.

We really want to make it viable for each spec to use a pet that isn’t tied to their spec. For that reason, the intent is to decouple the pet from the spec and instead increase your pet choice based on its utility.

However, I realize I haven’t hit your personal question – the Felguard. I love Jhootom as much as anyone else, but it became quickly clear that if we made the Felguard defacto better than every other pet for Demonology – you simply wouldn’t use an Imp, Succubus or Voidwalker.

So our intent is to make the single-target DPS close, but the Felguard remains the best AoE pet. Oh – and Grimoire of Supremacy allows you to upgrade your Felguard into a Wrathguard. (It was just missing from the tooltip in Blizzcon)

A while back you guys mentioned the ability for Warlocks to change the gender of their pets. Is this still being talked about? I didn’t hear anything about it at Blizzcon and I’m still very interested in customizing my pets.

We haven’t forgotten about this – however, when it comes down to getting a cool, new race for Mists or getting a Femguard model – we need to make the right choices for the whole game.

Will there be some changes to the Warlocks Affliction spec in 4.3? I’ve only seen changes for Demo and Destro

We feel internally that Affliction is one of the best feeling specs in the game. While not planning any major changes, internally, we’ve implemented a system that allows you to refresh Corruption, UA or Bane of Agony up to 6 seconds before the DoT falls off without clipping any ticks.

Is it possible to get some new Warlock demon designs? Like a random imp model when you first summon it and if you want a different look you pay like you do with the names. Is this possible? I mean it can’t be too hard, you have different color variations on most of the models…

You know, while that sounds easy, the underlying system that supports the Warlock pet system is slightly different than the Hunter pet system. I would love to have a bright green Felguard – however, if we were to add such a thing, I’d rather it be something you earned as a player, rather than just adjusting a slider on your character screen.

Speaking of Warlocks, I really miss the Imp Cannon build from back in the day. Will the little guy be given some more love in either Demo or Destro spec?

I’m going to be collecting feedback on Warlock pets from the forums this week. Let me know what you loved or hated about them on the class forums.

One of the first Warlock talents mentions Shadowbolt, Incinerate and Malefic Grasp. Are those going to be the 3 main nukes of the various Warlock specs? If so, what are sub-10 Warlocks going to use?

All Warlocks get Shadow Bolt at level 1. Then Shadow Bolt will transform around level 40 based on your spec.

I just saw that you guys will improve the range of resurrection spells across the board in 4.3, but no Soulstone love for now. Any plans to do it? If not, why? I think that SS has the lowest range of all res skills (saying by experince, cant find range on tooltip), which makes me run around a lil’ bit to res someone in midfight.

Soulstone will indeed get a 40yd range in 4.3

For the warlocks new minions, would their jobs be the same as their lower form jobs? Lke Felgaurd being for groups of bad guys, void walker for Tanking, Imps for magic blastic, and succubus for single targets and seduction? Also, I hope the Shivan’s are awsome. Can you give us some of their abilties?


Actually… we were talking about Shivan abilities yesterday. We don’t know what she’ll have yet. What would you like to see? Let us know on the forums.


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