Update 9 Combat Changes: Part III
To wrap this series of posts up I thought it might be wise to spend a few moments looking at the overall picture of these combat changes. The forums contain some lively debate on the subject, as you might expect, and various issues and questions have been raised concerning the changes. Here I will give my take on some of those issues.
It’s a simple enough question: why are these changes being made? Different explanations have been given on the forums, but one theme has surfaced again and again. It’s PvMP driven. This has predictably caused something of a backlash amongst those who think that PvMP is the work of the devil and that PvMPers should be seen and not heard. I would offer a different view.
For one thing I don’t think you can take all these changes as a single entity with a single reason behind them for their implementation. For example, the changes being made to how interrupts work could very well be the result of a desire on the part of the devs to make interrupt mechanics work better in the PVE game rather than players negating such mechanics through simply spamming short cooldown interrupt skills. So too the critical damage changes may come from a desire to make the mechanic as a whole less based on chance and more reliable in terms of allowing players to setup their characters around a consistent mechanic.
The point I am making here is that I think it’s too simplistic to point at one source and say ‘That’s why!”.
Are They Needed?
Yes and no. On the one hand induction based classes have suffered for a long time in PvMP, notably Hunters and Lore-masters. There did need to be something to make inductions a bit more reliable, however, I think the changes we see coming to inductions and interrupts take it too far. They also have the knock on effect of making self-healing even more powerful than it already is and in seeing unrelated areas, such as warg’s crowd control abilities, being nerfed.
The critical damage changes are very interesting for me because this is one area where a number of people have criticised PvMP. Long term players will no doubt remember the days of Rune-keepers ‘one shotting’ creeps and will probably be glad of these changes. On the other hand classes that rely on high spike damage may not be so keen. As I have said before this is a set of changes that will need time to settle down before we get a better view of how they will play out.
The changes to miss chance are at least something most people will welcome. It’s not fun to have skills fail, through whatever mechanic, and making skill usage more consistent and reliable is a good thing for all players.
How Will These Changes Affect Balance?
That is a very big question and one I can’t possibly hope to answer here. Nevertheless we can speculate a little with regards to broad trends.
The big winners from these changes are induction based classes. In terms of both attacking and healing inductions gain a significant boost with these changes. Self-healing, which is already very potent, will probably become even more so due to a diminished ability across the board to interrupt or knock-back such abilities. So too induction based attacks should be more reliable now, and maybe Hunters might even see a small boost with more consistent attacks, more critical hits and fewer interruptions.
It is of course impossible to accurately predict how these changes will play out so we will simply have to wait and see and hope for the best.