In the new World of Warcraft Dev Insights video published today, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas spends several minutes speaking to one of the largest community concerns since Warlords of Draenor: Class pruning. While there have been good changes in terms of removing redundant abilities, there has been an overall dissatisfaction with how far those cuts went. "After a lot of reflection & ongoing discussion, ultimately I would like to say that we agree with that."
Hazzikostas admits that in Legion, the team was "perhaps to concerned with overall button count" rather than taking a more nuanced approach to altering class abilities. "That led to us pulling back a little bit further than we should have."
As the team begins focusing on future expansions, the feedback from the community is helping to shape where class design will go next, Hazzikostas says. "If we look at some abilities that reduced overall button count but actually did more harm than good in the act of taking them away." Some abilities being removed also removed opportunities for "masterful gameplay" -- and masterful deaths, he concludes.
There are no quick fixes or solves and changes won't be made overnight, but the discussion is happening and it is possible that players will see big changes in the next WoW expansion.
He ends this portion of the video by saying that class identity may have actually been hurt in the effort to create spec identity instead. As abilities got moved from being class-wide to spec-specific, some of the core choices players make on character creation have been removed. A spec should be taking a class and taking a particular aspect of it and becoming a master. In some cases, specs feel 100% different from one another.
"This is a top priority for us. Your criticism has been appropriate and it is a powerful guide for us." Hazzikostas wraps up.
If you're interested, you can jump to 22:08 in the video.
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