News Roundup: Rated Battleground Format Change, PVP Balance, Epic Gem Slots and more!

Quite a few new Blue posts today on a bit of a wide variety of topics. Most important to note is the change of the rated battlegrounds format from 15vs15 to 10vs10. Be sure to read the detailed Blizzard post below for more information! Also, a reminder from Blizzard that threatening people over the Internet is absolutely absurd and you shouldn’t do it unless you want the FBI banging down your door. And you’d deserve it.

Today’s topics include:

  • Real-Life Threats
  • Rated Battleground Weeks Changing from 15vs15 to 10vs10
  • Bandaging in Raids
  • Gem Slots Being Added to Epic Craftables
  • Why Tundra Mammoth Doesn’t Sell 85 Food/Water
  • PvP Balance (or Lack Thereof)

Check out the full Blizzard posts after the break!

Blizzard Posts

…on Real-Life Threats

Bashiok said: This is a reminder that we take threats made against other players, against our employees, and of self-harm extremely seriously.

We realize that there can be stressful and trying moments in the game or when interacting with others, but there is no acceptable time to go beyond the boundaries of the game and threaten others with real-life harm.

If someone is found to be making a real-life threat, we will report it to the authorities, which could result in real repercussions. If you see anyone making a real-life threat against you, themselves, or others, please report it immediately. To report threatening in-game chat, use the in-game petition system by clicking on the red question mark, or for forum posts, use the thumbs-down button and choose ‘Real-Life Threats.’

…on Rated Battleground Weeks Changing from 15vs15 to 10vs10

Blizzard said: We’re in the process of developing a hotfix to push before next Tuesday that will change all 15vs15 rated battleground weeks into 10vs10 weeks.
Looking at participation, the 10vs10 rated battleground weeks have been far and away more popular than the 15vs15 weeks. The difference in organizational requirements as well as battleground map popularity have been a couple big factors that have led to the 10vs10 weeks seeing a great deal more action. By making this change and supporting the popular option we hope to encourage even more players and teams to participate, as they won’t have to wait out every other week, or struggle to beef up to 15 players to match the requirement.
We also have plans to adapt additional battleground maps in the future to work in the 10 player bracket to increase the variety of maps available.

…on Bandaging in Raids

Slorkuz said: This is an interesting question… I’ll add my own personal 2cp.

Aside from the obvious bandage on Chimaeron as others point out, I also make it a point to bandage in the transition between phase 1 and 2 on Nefarian to help my healers out in getting topped off before the lava rises.

For other encounters, it depends a little bit how much above the dps minimum cap we are. For example, there are fights where I know we are far above the required minimum, and if healers are struggling, or something unexpected happens, I might bandage (perhaps even only half duration) to help out. Other situations could be where one of the raid healers got killed, and is in the process of being combat resurrected.

In the end it boils down to if I think bandaging up will be beneficial to the raid or not.

…on Gem Slots Being Added to Epic Craftables

Lylirra said:
So, if I’ve already purchased or made an epic and have it equipped will it just all of a sudden have a new gem slot?

Yup. Like magic. Patch magic.

I double-checked with our designers just to be sure, and they confirmed that existing crafted items that are eligible for an additional gem socket will simply be updated with the patch in to include one. No additional effort on your part will be required.

…on Why Tundra Mammoth Doesn’t Sell 85 Food/Water

Lylirra said: The multi-seater mammoths have a very Northrend-specific feel to them, so we don’t necessarily want to just straight update their vendors. We like the idea of having mounts with usable vendors in general, though, and are looking into the possibility of adding new ones in the future (ones that would provide higher level food and drinks). There are already a few ideas incubatin’, but nothing that we can reveal just yet.
Translation: You wasted your gold on an item that is usable for that expansion only. We have no plans to update the vendors for that mount, we would instead prefer that you waste more gold for the newest mount coming this expansion (maybe).

Your gold wasn’t spent needlessly. The multi-seater mammoth mounts still have a fast run speed, can hold up to three passengers, and allow nearby players to sell and repair their items. That functionality is available to everyone, regardless of when the mount is or was purchased.

I can understand if my response wasn’t what you wanted to hear, though. That’s completely understandable. We’re open to your feedback and want to hear if you feel differently. In the meantime, warped interpretations of our text aren’t really necessary and don’t tell us much about why you disagree.

Three passengers? Mine might be missing a seat. Unless that’s counting the driver.

Yeah, I was counting the driver. Which isn’t really a passenger, because the driver is a driver. Not a passenger. Sometimes.

…on PvP Balance (or Lack Thereof)

Nethaera said: I’m going to address this, even though this is something we’ve addressed many times before.

PvP is not balanced around 1vs1. We want people to group, rely on each other, fight together. That philosophy hasn’t changed. We don’t balance around one particular class. We don’t balance based on who is playing what class this week. We balance around an overall picture of point and counterpoint in relation to groups. (Meaning 2 or more at the least.)

We say this often, but we play a variety of classes as a company as do the developers themselves. We play the game the same as anyone else. There are no rabbits up our sleeves. We do not have nor use GM powers in the game. We work for our gear, make our mistakes, succeed, fail, try again, the same as any other player.

We understand that there are those that feel that there are ongoing imbalances. We’re aware of these concerns and as always, would like to remind everyone that balance is always ongoing for the game. That means, we are always taking in your constructive feedback providing it is constructive.

Asking for one class or another to be nerfed, is not constructive. Relaying your personal experiences in a clear, well-thought-out, and concise manner is always helpful. We will never move as quickly as some may want us to. There is just too much involved to do that. We will, however, do as much as we can as quickly as we can provided that it’s in the best interest of the game as a whole.

You all should know me well enough by now to know that I don’t say these things lightly. I understand that many have other perceptions, but I would continue to ask that should you choose to continue this conversation, that you do so in a respectful manner. I will return the courtesy to you every minute of every day of every hour without fail, but I will not be very tolerant of those who continue to post harassing or defamatory language, nor will I support the latest trend of overstating or hyper-sensationalizing concerns. If you have a concern, state it as it is. No need to sugarcoat it, but no need to compound it either into something grander just so we take notice. We’re here. We’re not going anywhere, and if and when we have answers for you, we’ll share them even if they aren’t the answers you are going to like.

We will never move as quickly as some may want us to.

Except in the case of feral druids, where every expansion you make sure we are not allowed to compete longer than a few weeks.

I respect what you have to say, but experience and history shows otherwise.

I am sorry people keep quoting what you said in the feral thread, but you have to understand in the current context of things, and the missing piece(read:Frost Mage Nerfs) your comments are very hard to swallow, especially now with this saying that you don’t balance on 1v1… well… what is a hard counter then? I am genuinely confused.

When something is so obviously out of place as Frost Mages are, and nothing is done, what conclusion do you expect us to draw? Honestly?

Except these changes have been up on the PTR for awhile and available for everyone to test prior to them going live. Believe it or not, as quick as it may seem for those to go into the PTR, it’s because it’s a part of the process. This wasn’t spur of the moment, it only seemed spur of the moment because you aren’t there in the discussions the developers have. Even hotfixes as quick as they seem, aren’t as quick as you’d think. These things take time to discuss and plan for.

I don’t want this to become about each individual class, but I think people have gotten hung up on the term “hard counter” far too much. In that same statement, I also noted that we wanted them to have someone else with them to help dispel. That’s in line with our idea that it’s not a 1v1 game. Yes, there are classes that are stronger in a 1v1 sense. That’s hard to get around without making everyone exactly the same. We’re trying to avoid the idea that we’re “homogenizing” the game and classes as much as we can, but there have to be some concessions made. We also believe that there is more that we can look into in regard to PvP balance, but we have to always be careful that what we do doesn’t tip things too much on the PvE end and vice versa. It’s like setting up one great big giant maze of dominoes. One wrong placement and things just don’t work as they should.

We aren’t going to do all of our balancing in one go either. How people choose to play the game can sometimes be unexpected too. An ability we expect to be used situationally, may end up becoming the bread and butter of a class thus making us reevaluate it. So, each step we take, we hope is the next better step. That said though, we look to the community to tip us off to things that need to be better. To bring up viewpoints we may not have thought of. We look to you all for your insights and experiences. From there though, it’s looking at the long view of the game and how implementing changes will effect the big picture. We don’t take anything we do lightly despite claims to the opposite. We are extremely passionate about what we do. We don’t nerf or buff classes to harm anyone or do it because it’s personal (I was killed by a druid!) We do it because we have high hopes and big plans for the ongoing health and fun of the game overall.

I don’t want this to become about each individual class, but I think people have gotten hung up on the term “hard counter” far too much.

I wouldn’t suppose Blizzard could share its definition of a hard counter?

My personal definition is not necessarily about damage, I expect to get beat in some encounters unless I know I have better skill or better gear.

My personal definition deals more with feelings of helplessness and despair.

First off, to Vorazbek- Thank you for the constructive post. It’s appreciated and more of the type of thing we like to see.

On the other, I’m going to see what we can bring to the table to better explain our thoughts on these things.

We don’t want people feeling “helpless” in a fight obviously. But that feeling of helplessness isn’t there when you’re with someone else, unless you’re possibly outnumbered or up against classes that are more apt to take out your own. Like I said, it’s not easy to balance a variety of classes with differing abilities to be equal in every situation. If someone has the upper-hand, then they have the upper-hand. They might have better gear, or better reaction times. They may be more experienced in PvP. They may have terrain their using to their advantage. They may have a partner that isn’t as astute at supporting them etc etc. There are a lot of variables to take into account unlike PvE encounters. NPCs have set abilities that even when “random” are at least expected within a certain sequence. In PvP, you are dealing with different classes in different specs with differing abilities and gear.

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