The Class Revamp That SHOULD Be In Shadowlands – Blizzard SCARED Or Just Cautious?

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WoW Shadowlands made a very impressive entrance at BlizzCon 2019. Updates included a round of ability unpruning and a return to class instead of spec identity. But many fans were demanding and hoping for a full revamp of how class progression worked in the World of Warcraft.
Today I present an idea based on what we’ve learned in the Shadowlands announcement, where we turn class design on its head and rebuild it in a different vision.
Join me for some game design fanfiction!

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47 COMMENTS

  1. I’m around 8:20 and choosing between holy shock, avengers shield, and Templar’s verdict seem to be holy, protection and Retribution with a different name. When a player selects avengers shield they unwillingly select “the tanking spec.” For true “choices determine spec a discussion has to be made about the three actual specs of wow: healing, dps, and tanking. Why can’t a dps Paladin have the ability of Avenger’s shield and not be considered a tank? Why can’t a Duel wielding warrior be a tank? Just get rid of the spec names and call them what they are and then customize your class from there.

  2. I like and agree with a lot of what you have to say, but the biggest problem I see with your proposal is that removing the specializations entirely removes Blizzard’s way of making sure players have somewhat functional builds for each of the game’s roles.

    While there are certainly optimized and unoptimized choices in BFA, you can’t say that it would be possible for a new player to build a protection paladin who couldn’t tank. This happened in Classic; you could spend your talent points in ways where your character was utterly unplayable and it transformed the game’s choices into an illusion, because in actuality there was a limited combination of abilities that made you functional at what you wanted to do.

    Also, if Shield of the Righteous and Templar’s Verdict as they are now we’re a talent choice for a Prot Paladin, that’s effectively not a choice If you’re a tank. There are ways a new system could fix that, of course.

  3. its actually pathetic that they are bringing back old abilities and are using it as a selling point of the xpac. Sure its good they are coming back but none of them should have ever been removed in the 1st place

  4. The main thing I hope for is that blizzard changes how mana and health works… This whole thing of giving EVERYONE the EXACT same amount of mana and health is lazy and annoying. What's the difference between a 430 IL holy priest and holy paladin? Their equipable armor and weapons and nothing else because their mana and health are basically identical… A cloth user should have less health and more mana and vice versa with plate users. Having to see a class icon shouldn't be what I NEED to tell me who I'm working with/against, mana and health pools should be more than enough for that.

    And please, blizzard, for the love of God, remove Hunter pet taunts and dps/healer taunts or atleast completely disable them while in dungeons. Jesus Christ, leveling alts is becoming complete and utter aids because of people taunting. It's bad enough lick command (kill command) makes the worst sound in any video game I have ever heard, but the taunt spam is making hunters the worst class in-game to play alongside as a tank…

    Sorry, rant over.

  5. If they bring back the class instead of the spec I would love to see a 4th "role" open up. If anyone has played rift it would fall under the "support" role. This would open up hybrid specs to fit niche roles – looking at classes like Priest, Paladin, Shaman, and Druid. Maybe instead of being forced into the 1 tank 1 healer and 3 dps meta, you could fit in 1 tank, 2 supports and 2 dps. Have your enhance shammy pumping out damage while tossing out healing rain and chain healing. Have your boomkin doing the same tossing out rejuvs and tranq. Imagine how these type of comps could open up the meta of m+ as well. Could be potentially really interesting to the game.

  6. i would like to change the current palret gameplay with that horrible "holy power" ( it's just combo point basically ) to return to Bc palret where they have actually cool gameplay.

  7. I think unpruning abilities and having the core class mechanics/abilities is a great thing, I think there should be a re-introduction of the old talent trees and keep the one we got, but have that as an ability modifier milestone and the old system as the level by level progression.

    The ability one would be something say, at level 30, your eviscerate causes bleed to tick fast OR morph into envenom, dealing nature damage, increasing poison damage (good thing poisons are by class, not spec), but also to improve the current state, also causes envenom to poison the target too OR have it morph into shadowstrike, causes shadow damage that also bypasses enemy armor, increases both damage and armor bypass for each combo point….It's not perfect but it's just an idea, whereas the old system would improve your character over all while the other can improve or alter your abilities.

  8. Time and Time again you come up with these great generalized ideas and "rough drafts" of how they would work. I sure hope one day someone at blizz sees one of your ideas and starts to implement it

  9. This video got my sub and that bell rang. Very good idea and well thought out, I like it and it would be cool to see something like this. Also reminds me a bit of that project ascension server, which I dabbled with strictly bc of the class freedom. Well done video man.

  10. This sounds pretty complicated, maybe it would be easier to understand through working with it. But it also sounds pretty cool and I would be interested to see how it would work out.

  11. Now they've done what they done to modern hunters, i.e. SV being melee since legion, I'm both curious and super excited to see what they do with them in Shadowlands. Kinda hoping it's truly a mix like old school hunters. Using bows, and melee

  12. I think the biggest problem with the specs today is the name, they are called "Specializations", which for most WoW veterans it has a specific connotation and raises certain expectations. I played many other MMORPGS and they have a similar system, yet they call it a "subclass" or just another "class", the system works pretty well and i'm happy with it in WoW, but it has a branding problem. Now imagine if your paladin, once it reaches a certain level, maybe through a quest similar to how you got your artifact weapons, would transform into a Justicar or Templar or Inquisitor. I think it would be perceived differently.

  13. WotLK had a nice talent tree, and kind of reminds me of Ordinator Perk Overhaul for Skyrim, but I think talent trees were at its peak with Vanilla-TBC. I have liked every talent tree system, like Cataclysm, but I think there has been too much pruning of the overall system. The team is lazy, simply.

  14. Fuck those noobs who complained about action bars being full. How about get good? MoP was super fun to play and you needed to invest a lot of time to master one class. A good warrior could separate from a bad one by miles. You can't even tell nowadays if a dh is good or bad for example.

  15. I am still holding onto the class re-work they promised Spriests in BFA… but we'll see if un-pruning fixes it, something to make it less choppy would be ideal, so tired of loving my class fantasy but then thinking I should play my balance druid because I have more fun with it.

  16. I have to agree that bring the class not the spec. If you a mage, hunter, pally, etc. Make most of the abilities available to each spec of that class with only a few more each that separate it from the other. Also, who gives a s**t about balance. That's what makes it fun and challenging. It should be unbalanced, that way your not forced to go the same rout everytime, unless you want to that is.

  17. The Milestone idea is pretty cool, giving way more freedom to hybrid between specs, etc. I still don't know about using single choice talent rows. Granted having a growing number of things to choose from is a good idea. I still much prefer having groups of talents to choose from and having 2-3 selections to make, thus giving more variety and flexibility.

  18. I am going to have to be a bit harsh about this. I don't think the system you are proposing is very good at all. If you would rather leave it there and read other comments, I understand, but if you are interested in criticism, feel free to continue.

    I mean, the proposed system just ties specs to abilities, making things harder for new players and not really changing things for the rest of us. No experienced paladin, hell, no experienced player would pick two milestones that don't synergize with each other. Or, in case of pure DPS specs like Warlock, everybody would either pick the two best milestones, or they wouldn't raid/m+.

    At least in the spec system you get to choose the kind of Mage you most want to play, be it the worst one (Arcane) or the best one (Fire) and you still get to make some choices in the talent trees. Like, I play Arcane because I suck, but I also get to choose the talents semi-freely, because nobody is picking me over a Fire Mage anyway. I'm not going to be that much worse than the optimal Arcane Mages one way or another, but I do get to tear through world content like a bear through cardboard.

    Removing specs and talents in the favor of a system that is just as restrictive for the hardcore players and more punishing for casuals isn't solving any problems. The idea would shake things up, certainly, but from a problem-solution standpoint, it doesn't really do anything. If I missed something key, do point that out to me, but I ask that if anyone does reply here, please do it respectfully.

  19. Battle for subs was hyped as a great expansion which got many excited …..

    It Was absolute dire and an epic failure!!

    Shadowlands has been hyped as a great expansion and has gotten many excited!!

    I can see it only as another bad expansion hyped to hell, destined to fail.

    I quit six weeks into BFA and was the first time i ever skipped one, well will be two because I don't expect this to be good.

    Additionally the replacement for titan forged is such a bad bad terrible idea, corrupted gear is an idea made up by a five year old.

    It's lazy and pointless.

    Personally just remove titan forged

  20. All I can see happening here is switching abilities between raid encounters because this boss requires something that boss didn't but that bos requires something else.

    No, Forget that. The current system is fine.

  21. Reminds me a lot of the way I thought in FFXI, which is awesome. Mixing and matching jobs gave that wild west feel of trying things out (so did just making your own builds in Vanilla). Sure there were min/max sites telling people how to play but I largely ignored that.

    That said, I think the main issue with anything like this is how completely transformative it is to WoW's current or past designs, which means there'd be a lot of complaints regardless.

    The main thing I think I dislike about current systems (while still really enjoying the game), is the idea of things being "baked in". I'd much prefer that pretty much every single step, skip, or leap in power be attained by some sort of decision, click, or item acquisition. It feels kind of lifeless to level a character and have my spells just show up, receive new attributes, synergize in new ways with other mechanics, and not ever really know when or how that happened. Learning a class is a matter of reading through tooltips, not building and customizing them to that point where you understand how they work because you made them work that way. So that's the element I think I enjoy about your ideas the most – the amount of decisions you make for your character to exist as they are.

  22. this is why i think overall guild wars (both 1 and 2) have infinitely better combat mechanics than wow (wow has better raiding though) Guild Wars 1 had hundreds of spells you learned by beating key bosses etc, and it had a dual class mechanic which was really cool, you want to be a rogue/spriest go for it. A warrior/monk (basically a pally) would be completely different than a warrior/ele. GW2 scrapped the dual classes sadly, but they introduced several new combat mechanics. The removal of the holy trinity of combat was great. They introduced a new trinity kind of, of support, utility, and crowd control, but every class can kind of do everything, just differently. For example a thief (rogue) can "tank" kind of by spamming blinds. Just the ability to dodge roll is huge. Then gw2 also introduced combo fields, something wow has nothing like it and would be amazing. Combo fields are super cool and fun. For example a guardian (pally) can lay down a sacred aoe field on the ground healing everyone, and a ranger (hunter) can shoot arrows through it at the enemy, the arrows won't just hurt the enemy they will also combo with the holy light and cure conditions on allies it passes through. How epic is that?! Or say an elementalist (mage) can lay down fire spells and scorch the ground, then a warrior can aoe with his greatsword and all of his attacks also cause burning. The possibilities are endless. A class like a warrior can leap through an ally thief's smokescreen to stealth for a little bit. etc. In gw2 you can also weapon swap in combat which completely changes the way the classes play. A thief can go dual daggers and then switch to dual pistols when range is needed. Then they added elite specs in the expansions. Elite maybe misleading, what they really are is just new specs. Each expansion brings a new spec to try out for that class, a new way to play. That's awesome. Wish wow did that. Could be a fun way to bring back old specs no longer available like the frostfire bolt wotlk mage. GW2 also has better mounts, each with unique skills to traverse the world differently. Each has a purpose instead of just riding around.

    That being said i love the lore of wow, i love the raiding of wow, and the artstyle. But the combat needs a lot of work. Wow combat has grown very boring and stale. It wasn't until legion where I went alt crazy that combat was semi interesting and the demon hunter was definitely the most fun i've had in a long time. With a more fluid and action oriented combat system.

  23. I think your solution is very interesting. However, in a wow setting I feel like ppl will anyways follow the talents and milestone that some guide provide out of pure peer pressure! The fact that wow is a mmo game means that ppl will adapt to whatever guarantees them a spot in whatever content they want to do… And in practice that destroys the flexibility of your proposal, which is sad, but this how wow works and have been working.

  24. I have a similar system that allows for horizontal progression, but it is more focused on balance as a goal. It might be interesting to compare the two systems, and the strengths and weaknesses of both. Mine is a hybrid system of the two… it does include what you think of as less interesting talents, but that is simply to give something every level (which does feel rewarding) and allows player power to slowly notch up instead of having huge power spikes. Here is a mock up: https://ibb.co/BsvptP4

    The "old school" section is like the original talent trees except:
    1) Only for a certain spec (no worry of where talents are vertically and having to make options for multiple specs)
    2) "Must have" talents are moved into the new tree section
    3) It is divided into sections where X number of points can be spent (meaning you have to make far more choices)
    4) Prerequisite talents are gone, fine tuning in balance can be done by allowing certain options to cost more than one talent point

    Every so many levels you open up a row instead of gaining a talent point. The New tree system is like the trees we have now except:
    1) Always apples to apples (single target vs. single target, passive vs. passive, etc)
    2) Allows for an option between two things (Blizz said before making three talents in a row balanced was almost impossible and at best, usually only two options were viable)
    3) More of said choices to make
    4) A row can be dedicated to allocation of secondary stats, allowing for reforging to return and eliminating all the problems Blizzard had with it. It also makes it easier to change to an offspec if the priority of secondary stats is different.

    Combining the two allows for the strengths of both systems, without the downsides of either one. It allows the individual aspects of both to be simplified, making it easier to design and balance, while not sacrificing overall depth. It also has more overall choices to make than either system.

    The play style section is horizontal progression, and would likely take the place of class reworks, making class design feel like a "greatest hits" instead of feeling what you signed up for has changed and being screwed over for an entire expansion if you don't like the new iteration. The variations could be as simple as how your rotation works, to changes in resources, all the way to radically different ways to play your class that could be best described as a sub spec. Examples of the latter could be a tanking version of Enhancement, Fistweaving Monks, a dotless version of Shadow (with an actual rotation this time), tanking Warlock, etc. It would function like Gladiator Stance on steroids, allowing multiple abilities to be replaced by new ones. It allows for you to feel big differences in how you can play, while still allowing for classes to shine in the base versions. It allows for true hybrid builds, without needing to alter how the base versions of specs functions to balance it. The best part of all, some iterations will be better for leveling, dungeons, raiding, bgs, arenas, etc. and that is actually a strength. No matter what spec you want to play, there is likely a version that is competitive… they don't have to balance the same spec around performing equally in every area of the game. This makes the entire system easier to balance, and since it is additive, we won't see the usual struggle to balance every spec at the start of an expansion, finally get close on the last patch, only to go right back into chaos again.

    Mechanically, when you choose a different play style option, any of the talents in either tree can potentially change, from differences in numbers (meaning each iteration can be balanced independently of one another), all the way to entirely new options. Keeping everything within its own box means instead of a giant nerf hammer developers are given a surgical toolkit that can be tailored to the specific situation. Part of the layout would be similar to macros, where you can create new talent layouts, name them, and give each one an icon that can be dragged onto an action bar. You can also link a gear set to a saved layout, and by linking a transmog first to the gear set, you can do it all in a single click: change specs, change play style, change talents, change gear, and change transmog.

    It might sound complicated, but once set up, you can swap with the click of a button or selecting a saved preset from a drop down menu. It would allow for both unparalleled customization of characters, while simultaneously being easier to design and balance. Being an additive system, they won't feel like they have to redesign the wheel for every expansion.

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