Well, if you’re in the US of A that is. Today the Uldir raid becomes available to our overseas friends, with their new PvP season kicking off as well. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s disappointed about this (because there’s someone disappointed about every single thing WoW-related somewhere these days), but us EU folk will have to wait one more day and global launches be damned.
I’ve been playing the class for a good two weeks now and a few things have (anecdotally) become apparent.
– Retribution paladins are fairly survivable and do ok damage. They pay for this in mobility however. At first I was like “What would I ever need Cavalier for?” Then I realized it was to run away from mages with. Just kidding, you can’t run away from mages.
– I like the priority system at the basis of our rotation, it gives you (the appearance of) choices to make. AoE feels rather weak unless there’s quite a few enemies about however, but I understand this was an intentional change. The cooldowns.. kind of suck. I know that this was a change as well and maybe I just need more practice, but I tend to go through periods of unavailable abilities when fights go long which I dislike.
– Nobodyknows how the PvP scaling works. Part of me suspects Blizzard just does this kind of thing because they’re Blizzard. Regardless, either only item level matters or item level and secondary stats matter. Fortunately, our secondary stats are all pretty close in value. Having experimented with them, my favor leans towards Haste for reasons of sustainability (see aforementioned cooldowns), although Noxxic feels differently on the topic. And a lot of other guides feel differently about that. The Light may be Truth, but us paladins, we like to muck about.
– What we do know is that, even if unclear about the weight their stats give, trinket and trait procs do matter. Of these, apparently only those which directly increase your stats or damage stack, secondaries don’t. I’m not sure which traits I like best, but then I haven’t received the best of gear yet. This is something I’ll need to work on but, with the value of PvP rewards being contested, it looks like I’m probably going to need to start raiding for that as well.
As expected with the expansion just out, this week’s Gamescom didn’t bring much news about World of Warcraft. We did however get the final Warbringers video telling the tale of Queen Azshara and her naga.
Azshara is set to be the boss of BfA’s second raid and, from the looks of it, we may be revisiting the Old Gods next.
Aside from this reveal there was an online Developer Q&A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas, which talked about the scaling issue (since then he’s also posted about it in greater depth here) and some of the other concerns people’ve been having.
Overall it was pretty tame fare, but luckily USgamer has a great retrospective on near 20 years of WoW development. It’s on the lengthy side, but should hold you over until new things start happening in a week or so.
The Legion expansion introduced level scaling to World of Warcraft, with mobs in its zones scaling in power based on player gear. This allowed players more freedom in where to quest but it also affected how powerful they felt, as their ability to quickly take down lower level enemies was greatly diminished as well.
The system was eventually implemented across all content in update 7.3.5 and, with some tweaks, continues to be in use for Battle for Azeroth. With artifacts gone and people actively leveling again, said power issues were quickly brought up again as well however, with some enterprising Redditors even finding that unequipping high level gear will decrease the time it takes you to kill enemies.
Player versus player, our area of interest, is no different. The way the system currently works is that you are shown the expected damage numbers when hitting someone of a different item level, but the amount that’s actually applied is modified based on the difference between the two of you. In instanced PvP it works similarly but everyone starts at the same base item level and gets a percental tweak in stats based on every level equipped above that, which is why people tell you not to focus on stats but on item level for your PvP set.
It’s all a little opaque and, while it’s nice that lowbies can’t just get one-shot by someone in all Mythic gear, it does raise questions of balance. To accommodate complaints to that effect, Blizzard has now released a hot fix to at least widen the power gap a bit between players in the level 110 to 120 range. Considering that these issues have, to some extent, been lingering since last expansion this hardly seems like it’ll be the last word on the matter, but time will tell.