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Class Design in Battle For Azeroth Detailed - Unique Class Identity Takes Center Stage

Posted by Suzie Ford on Jan 24, 2018  | Comments

Class Design in Battle For Azeroth Detailed - Unique Class Identity Takes Center Stage - MMORPG.com

The World of Warcraft site has been updated with a post to reveal some of the upcoming class design changes coming in the Battle for Azeroth expansion. Most notably, the goals for BfA are to "promote what makes each class unique, focus on making group gameplay the best that it can be and continue our efforts to improve combat visuals and effects". Some specs need "substantial iteration" while others do not as devs work to achieve the stated goals.

To accomplish these design goals, the team has broken Class Design into several categories:

  • Class Uniqueness & Utility
    • more emphasis on what makes a class unique
    • greater distinction among its capabilities, "especially when it comes to utility". Developers want to provide more differentiation in this area and want to create situations where classes can do something that others cannot. This creates team dependence on one another.
    • adding new abilities or re-adding previously removed abilities will help provide "a more unique signature". Others that are widely shared may be removed or reduced. An example given was AoE stuns
    • devs are looking at different specs' strengths & weaknesses with regard to each one's main role and ensuring that "everyone has something to get excited about and an opportunity to shine".
    • teams will collaborate to ensure that all content types "create opportunities for different types of class strengths to shine"
  • Talent System Refinements
    • the system will remain largely unchanged, though refinements will be made. "Choices within a row should be meaningfully varied, but also should not feel like they are simply a test of which is best in a particular setting". 
    • talents should be "generally consistent" with your role.
  • Artifacts Here & Gone
    • since Artifacts will be gone in BfA, the process of "parting with ARtifacts produces a complex set of decisions about how to adjust the base classes to play well in their absence". 
    • the team feels that the pacing of a spec's rotation was too dependent on Artifacts so their removal could have an adverse effect on players' rotations
    • resource regeneration or reduction of cooldowns may help mitigate the removal of Artifacts
    • some traits may be turned into "permanent parts of a class"

These are the broad philosophies that are guiding our design in Battle for Azeroth, and we were deliberately light on sharing specific examples of change, which are still in a state of flux at this stage. We welcome a community discussion on the principles we’ve outlined, and look forward to delving into detailed and specific changes as we move forward with our beta testing in the near future.

You can read the full post on the World of Warcraft community site.

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom
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