|Poster: Gregthegreat at 7/21/2006 9:24:24 AM PDT|
Subject: Balance the Shaman/Paladins!
One of my draws to Blizzard games has always been that the factions are not mirrors of one another, that similar objectives can be accomplished by different means on each side.
This latest development of Draeni Shaman and Blood Elf Paladins removes this element from the mix. While of course a way to balance Horde raiding, it does not address other Shaman/Paladin imbalances. The solution to give each faction access to the to other's "unique" class is a severe letdown for me personally, as one of my reasons for rolling a Paladin originally was to be faction specific.
I believe that Blizzard should not implement this, and instead work to further balance the factions as was originally intended, rather than make a bad situation potentially worse with this type of change.
Apparently I'm "haughty."
|Poster: Eyonix at 7/21/2006 9:31:53 AM PDT|
Subject: Re: Balance the Shaman/Paladins!
Something we have always held to as a core design philosophy is developing classes which are distinct from each other. This means developing a class with it's own abilities that clearly separate it from other classes in terms of how the class plays and operates, both for the player and from a design stand-point.
Early on in the inception of this game, it was a hot debate as to whether factions should have a specific class, which they alone have access to. Some wanted all classes to be distinct from each other, but accessible by all. Others thought that more flavor could be generated by keeping a class unique to a faction. Obviously, if you have one side with a unique class, you should probably give the other faction a unique class as well. Thus, Shaman and Paladins became those unique classes.
However, by linking them in a relationship as unique counter-points, options are closed for our main design goal, which is to keep classes distinct. We want factions to be balanced, but don't want to cut and paste abilities from one to the other and homogenize the classes. If we went that road, there would be little difference or need for a distinct class. We want classes to be different in more than just name-only or superficial appearances.
So, in our desire to keep the classes distinct and open up new possibilities for development of each class, shaman and paladins shall now be a playable class for both factions. This decision comes at a time when we have an opportunity to blend this decision into future development. Namely, with the new races in the upcoming expansion. Prior to the new races, the Paladin and Shaman lent themselves easily to their own factions and not that well to the opposite faction (Tauren Paladin? Gnome Shaman?) With the advent of the two additional races, the choice was made more clear in game design and lore.
In terms of game design, one of the options it opens up is for specific classes in dungeon encounters. We already have several encounters that highlight the abilities of a single class or make use of a classes specific abilities. Shaman and Paladins in the previous design could not participate in such encounters. If killing a creature required a Shaman, the Alliance could never beat the encounter and vice versa. This change allows the two classes to bring their own abilities into a situation which may highlight their class as an integral part of the encounter.
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