Patch 7.2.5: Die Pläne der Entwickler für den Schurken

Patch 7.2.5: Die Pläne der Entwickler für den Schurken
Patch 7.2.5: Die Pläne der Entwickler für den Schurken
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Der direkt an World of Warcraft mitarbeitende Game Designer Seph hat sich in der vergangenen Nacht in den Foren dieses Titels zu Wort gemeldet und dort dann überraschenderweise einen sehr interessanten Bluepost zu der aktuellen Situation des Schurken und den Plänen des Entwicklerteams für die Zukunft dieser Klasse veröffentlicht. In diesem sehr informativen Beitrag stellte dieser Mitarbeiter von Blizzard Entertainment dann mehrere möglicherweise mit Patch 7.2.5 für die verschiedenen Spezialisierungen des Schurken erscheinende Änderungen vor und erklärte den Lesern in recht vielen Worten, warum die Entwickler diese Anpassungen überhaupt in Betracht ziehen und was genau sie damit erreichen möchten.

Da der gesamte Bluepost allerdings relativ lang ist und an einigen Stellen ein wenig vom eigentlichen Thema abschweift, beinhaltet die folgende Übersicht lediglich eine übersetzte Zusammenfassung der in diesem Beitrag erwähnten Veränderungen für die drei auswählbaren Spielweisen des Schurken. Solltet ihr euch wirklich für die Bewegungsgründe der Entwickler und ihre genauen Absichten interessierten, dann kann ich euch nur empfehlen, den am Ende dieses Artikels eingebauten Bluepost von Game Designer Seph durchzulesen.

 

Die möglichen Änderungen aus Patch 7.2.5:

Meucheln:

  • Peinigendes Gift
    • Die Entwickler sind mit dieser Fähigkeit aktuell aus vielerlei Gründen nicht wirklich zufrieden, weshalb sie dieses Gift mit dem nächsten Patch vermutlich auch durch einen anderen Zauber ersetzen werden. Eine Idee für einen Ersatz ist aktuell ein AoE Giftangriff mit einer kurzen Abklingzeit, der als Ausgleich dafür dann allerdings viel Energie kostet.
  • Ausbluten
    • Auch wenn es sich bei Ausbluten bereits um eine grundsolide Fähigkeit handelt, so möchten die Entwickler diesen Zauber mit dem nächsten Patch trotzdem ein wenig verbessern. Auch wenn die genauen Änderungen auf den Anpassungen an Peinigendes Gift basieren, so denken die Entwickler aktuell aber auf jeden Fall bereits über eine Erhöhung des verursachten Schadens nach. Zusätzlich dazu wird dieser Angriff vermutlich kleine Energiekosten erhalten, um zu verhindern, dass Schurken ihre Ressourcen zu lange auf dem maximalen Wert halten.

 

Gesetztlosigkeit:

  • Schicksalswürfel
    • Die Entwickler möchten die durch diese Fähigkeit erzeugten Buffs erneut überarbeiten und sie alle auf ungefähr die gleiche Spielstärke bringen.
    • Die Entwickler wollen zusätzlich dazu auch noch dafür sorgen, dass die Schurken ihre Würfel nicht mehr ganz so häufig neu werfen und in den meisten Fällen mit einem einzigen Buff zufrieden sind. Aktuell lohnt sich das erneute Werfen der Würfel einfach zu sehr, wenn die Schurken nur einen einzigen Buff erhalten haben. Um diese Pläne in die Tat umzusetzen, werden aktuell mehrere mögliche Änderungen in Betracht gezogen. Eine dieser möglichen Anpassungen würde die Anzahl der geworfenen Würfel von 6 auf 5 verringern und den Spielern einen unfairen Nachteil überlassen.
    • Auf jeden Fall soll diese Spezialisierung in der Zukunft nicht mehr nur auf Schicksalswürfel basieren.
  • Anpassungen an der Energieregeneration: Aktuell läuft die Energieregenration der Gesetztlosigkeits-Schurken nicht unbedingt flüssig ab und beinhaltet einige unvorhersehbare Elemente. Der nächste Patch soll die Verwaltung dieser Ressource vereinfachen und einige problematische Effekte von Fähigkeiten anpassen.

 

Täuschung:

  • Schattentanz
    • Täuschungs-Schurken befinden sich laut den Entwicklern aktuell viel zu lange in ihrem Schattentanz. Daher werden sie vermutlich folgende Anpassungen durchführen.
    • Wachsende Schatten verringert die Abklingzeit von Schattentanz pro verbrauchten Combopunkt um 1 oder 1,5 Sekunden (Wert steht noch nicht fest).
    • Schattentanz kann nur noch 2 Aufladungen besitzen.
    • Neue und miteinander konkurrierende Talente sollen die Dauer von Wachsende Schatten wieder auf 3 Sekunden erhöhen und den von Schurken verursachten Schaden während des Schattentanzes erhöhen. Somit müssen Spieler sich aussuchen, ob Schattentanz öfter auftreten soll oder ob sie mehr Schaden verursachen möchten.
  • Nachtklinge
    • Auch wenn Nachtklinge bei einzelnen Zielen ganz gut funktioniert, so lässt sich dieser Zauber nicht wirklich sinnvoll in Kämpfen gegen mehrere Ziele einsetzen.
    • Aus diesem Grund möchten die Entwickler die Nachtklinge gerne komplett aus der AoE-Rotation des Schurken entfernen und diese Spezialisierung eher darauf ausrichten, im Kampf gegen mehrere Feinde erhöhten Schaden gegen einzelne Ziele zu verursachen. Aus diesem Grund planen die Entwickler derzeit eine neue passive Fähigkeit mit dem folgenden Effekt: Jeder von Shurikensturm getroffene Feind erhöht den Schaden des nächsten Einsatzes von Ausweiden um 25%.
  • Schattenschlag
    • Die Entwickler sind der Meinung, dass die 15 Meter weite Teleportation von Schattenschlag in vielen Situationen sehr unnötig ist und gelegentlich sogar Probleme mit der Rotation des Schurken und seines Standortes im Kampf gegen Bosse verursacht.
    • Aus diesem Grund möchten sie Schattenschlag auf eine Abklingzeit von 30 Sekunden setzen und die Reichweite dieser Fähigkeit auf 25 Meter erhöhen.
    • Um den Wegfall von Schattenschlag in der Rotation auszugleichen, werden die Entwickler vermutlich Hinterhalt zurückbringen.
    • Schattenschlag und Hinterhalt werden dann vermutlich die gleichen Kosten, Voraussetzungen und verursachen Schaden besitzen. Der einzige Vorteil von Schattenschlag soll die Teleportation sein.

 

 

Rogue Class Fantasy Insight

Legion came with a tremendous amount of class changes, and Rogues were a big part of this. We’ve been making adjustments/improvements to many specs since Legion has launched, and that will continue, especially for Rogues in the near future. Let’s talk Rogue fantasy and mechanics a bit.

Assassination

Assassination has always had the Poison theme, but we think Bleeds pair well with Poisons here, both fantasy-wise and mechanically. The idea that you can apply a slew of Poison and Bleed damage over times to the target, dooming your enemy to certain death is one of our core fantasies for Assassination. At this point Assassination is clearly less of a “get in, kill, and get out” spec – that distinction is now more on Subtlety.

Agree that the balance of Bleeds vs. Poisons might be a little heavy on the Bleeds side currently on the baseline spec. That wasn’t really super intentional. Assassination got Mutilate, Envenom, Rupture, and Garrote (probably the most obvious choices for a baseline rotation) after we divided up many of the Rogue skills between specs in 7.0. So the spec essentially already started a little Bleed-heavy. Add on top of that Blood of the Assassinated (which is fairly strong and everyone has) and Exsanguinate (which was overtuned at launch), both of which prop up bleeds more.

We like that the Assassination talent tree has two thematic paths – Poison (Master Poisoner + Agonizing Poison) and Bleed (Hemorrhage + Exsanguinate). But we lean on our talent trees to do so much more than just let you choose between 2 thematic paths for your spec fantasy – they have to offer simple passives vs. added complexity via new buttons, single target vs. AOE mechanics, playstyle/pacing customization, and more. And of course, all of this is extremely sensitive to the tuning and design of talents, set bonuses, legendaries, and artifact traits. Any one of these variables could be newly introduced or overtuned/undertuned and easily push Assassination down either the Poison or Bleeds talent path, essentially against your will if you like one theme over the other but want to maximize damage. For example, at Legion launch, Hemo + Exsan was the standard build, and now it’s switched over to Master Poisoner + Agonizing. Tier 19 pushes Poison damage a bit via Envenom, but Tier 20 might push Bleed damage a bit via Garrote (note: T20 designs are still in flux, many are likely to change). We want to make both paths viable, but should be realistic and recognize that many variables can and will affect this, and that the balance will fluctuate over time.

On a couple talents:

  • Agonizing Poison: We don’t really like Agonizing Poison for many reasons. It replaces Deadly Poison (which feels core to Assassination Rogue) with an extremely passive, mostly invisible, and currently very strong Poison debuff that makes target-swapping and AOE more difficult. It’s got a lot of things going wrong with it and is on the chopping block for the next patch. Ideas for replacements include a short cooldown AOE Poison damage button that costs high energy or something that deals Poison damage in a rotationally-interesting way.
  • Exsanguinate: This is a good talent. It has a clear theme with interesting mechanical and rotational implications. We’ll look at tuning based on what happens with Agonizing Poison, but plans are to buff its damage and add a small energy cost, not because of tuning but because on-GCD buttons that don’t cost Energy sometimes lead to Energy-capping, which doesn’t feel good.

 

Overall we think the single-target Assassination rotation is in a good place. There are nuances to applying and maintaining your bleeds with maximizing Envenom uptime being an underlying core part of the rotation, as it has been for a long time.

 

Outlaw

The pirate theme is clear, and clearly contentious. I think it would be accurate to say there are many players who like the fantasy of the spec and many who don’t. As a class with 3 specs of the same role, this is probably an okay place to be in.

We have a couple major mechanical goals for Outlaw in the next patch:

  • Rebalance Roll the Bones: This is a two-parter.
    • The first part is tuning each of the single-buffs against each other, narrowing the gap in power level between any two single-buffs. You should see this when the next patch hits PTR.
    • The second part is more complex – we’re considering removing the incentive to reroll almost entirely and re-acclimating everyone to getting 1 buff from RTB most of the time and not rerolling. The main problem involves ensuring the average expected value of casting Roll the Bones is close enough to 1.0 buffs that it’s not better to reroll. With either the current 6-dice or an alternate 5-dice natural system, the probabilities are such that it’s too lucrative to reroll when you get a single-buff right now.
    • The current proposal is to reduce the number of dice being rolled from 6 to 5 and to hand-set probabilities to something like 79% chance for 1-buff, 20% chance for 2-buffs, and 1% chance for 5-buffs (yahtzee), bringing the expected value of a roll down to 1.24 buffs (plus additional value for synergies between buffs). The downside to this is that if you take a deep look at the probability distribution, in order for this to work, you realize that the dice would have to be loaded against the player. This isn’t something we’d prefer to do (adjust randomness against the player’s favor), but it might be something we have to do with the current Roll the Bones dice system in order to remove the incentive to reroll. Overall we want to reduce how much the spec is defined by Roll the Bones. RTB can be most of the time a single buff that might change your pacing or rotation slightly with relatively rare bonuses of 2-buffs or 5-buffs, but that the spec should completely work both mechanically and damage-wise without RTB, if you want to take Slice and Dice as a replacement.
  • Smooth out Energy Generation: Outlaw suffers a bit rotationally from unpredictable Energy generation and Energy-flooding during Adrenaline Rush. The changes we’re doing here are pretty simple and direct but should help to alleviate this issue – Adrenaline Rush reduced Energy regen increase but increased duration and Combat Potency procs twice as often for half the Energy each proc.

 

Subtlety

Subtlety in the long-term it has some room for improvements. For the next patch the first things we’re looking at are:

  • Shadow Dance: Shadow Dances happen a lot more than they used to and in PvE, that’s been mostly a welcome change. The rotation is more dynamic than it used to be in previous expansions, with you going in and out of Shadow Dance more often. However, set bonuses, artifact traits, and legendaries frequently grant resources (to any spec) as their bonus (because it’s mechanically interesting), and in the case of Subtlety, increased Energy/Combo Points has pushed Shadow Dance uptime to be higher than we think is good for the spec. Additionally, from both PvE and PvP Subtlety Rogues, we’ve heard that the spec’s feeling of burstiness has been severely reduced, partially as a result of Shadow Dances happening more frequently. We’d like to address this in the next patch with a couple changes. First, Deepening Shadows will be reduced from 3 to 1-1.5 sec of cooldown reduction per Combo Ppoint baseline. Shadow Dance baseline charges reduced from 3 to 2. New talents on the same row that compete against each other will either 1) increase Deepening Shadows back up to the current 3 sec or 2) grant you increased damage during Shadow Dance. This lets you customize your Shadow Dance to happen more often, or be most bursty when it does happen. As usual, we’ll retune the damage of the spec alongside these changes, but the first focus should be on changes to pacing and mechanics.
  • Nightblade: On single-target, Nightblade works okay mechanically as a damage button that you press occasionally, but it doesn’t really play as we’d like in AOE situations. The AOE rotation of Shuriken Storm->Nightblade everything isn’t what we feel Subtlety should be about, on top of being basically identical to the Assassination AOE rotation. A direction we’d like to go is – Subtlety deals increased damage in AOE by dealing massively increased damage to a single target. In this vein, we’re considering a new baseline passive that does something like “Each enemy hit by Shuriken Storm increases the damage of your next Eviscerate by ~25%, up to a max of ~5 stacks”, which would push Nightblade completely out of the AOE rotation on 4+ targets. Separately but related, we don’t think Nightblade is a perfect fit for the Subtlety fantasy. On top of being a core rotational damage over time ability on a “get in and get out/bursty” Rogue spec, it’s also the passive snare on the spec, which we think could be delivered more simply by re-adding Crippling Poison back to the spec at some point in the future. Tying Subtlety Rogue’s snare to a shadow-themed DoT was clearly an attempt at further separating Subtlety vs. Assassination as Shadow vs. Poison, but in hindsight might have been overkill, and it probably wouldn’t hurt Subtlety’s fantasy that much to have utility poisons back, if we don’t find a better fantasy+mechanical alternative for the spec. Don’t have concrete long-term plans on this specific subtopic, but it’s on our minds. As an aside on the topic of adding back spells – after doing a lot of class fantasy-focusing and spell pruning in Legion 7.0 (which had many successes as well as failures), we’ve been adding back some spells to specs (though we do have some strict requirements here) which in hindsight didn’t need to be removed. Good examples for Rogue are Blind (which we removed from Assassination) and Shroud of Concealment (which we removed from all Rogue specs), both of which we have since added back. The removal of Blind from Assassination made the spec a little too one-dimensional on the crowd-control front and the removal of Shroud of Concealment cost the class a interesting button that provided rare moments of coolness, without any rotational complexity or huge downsides aside from being an additional button.
  • Shadowstrike: In the PvE rotation, Shadowstrike coming with a 15 yd teleport is mostly unnecessary, and also sometimes causes usability issues as an uncontrolled teleport on your core rotation. You might be in melee range, and suddenly the boss moves and rotates a bit, and suddenly you Shadowstrike teleport into a spot you don’t want to be in. What we want to do here is add Ambush back to the spec as the replacement in the core rotation for Shadowstrike, and move Shadowstrike to a 30 second cooldown and back up to 25 yd range. Shadowstrike would become the second gap closer for Subtlety, different from Shadowstep in that it’s essentially Shadowstep + Ambush in one button. On the table are alternatives like removing Shadowstrike entirely and giving Shadowstep reduced cooldown or 2 charges, but we currently feel Shadowstrike is cool enough of a button and high enough on the usability meter that it deserves a spot on the spec. We’d probably keep the damage, cost, and stealth requirement of Ambush and Shadowstrike identical in all cases to make Shadowstrike’s only benefit over Ambush being the teleport.

 

When it comes to class/spec fantasy – players (including us) have many differing ideas. Even in this thread there are completely different thoughts and interpretations on what Rogue fantasy should be for each of the 3 specs. It’s really hard to completely satisfy everyone. Our ongoing goal is to deliver distinct spec fantasies and playstyles that appeal to enough players and are fun enough to deserve a spot as one of the class’s specs.

 

 

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