21 July, 2006

This is no joke

A nice Mr. Bech just sent me an email about 8 minutes ago detailing this, um, how shall I say, interesting development of the expansion?
As we draw closer to the release of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, more of the secrets shrouding the Draenei and Blood Elves are being revealed....
Lore detailing this comes after that. But here's the juicy bit:
...The Burning Crusade will allow Alliance players to create shamans, and Horde players to play as paladins...The ability for players of both factions to use any class opens up exciting new gameplay opportunities, with fresh group-play dynamics...While Alliance shamans and Horde paladins mostly share the same talents as their counterparts across the battlefield, they will also enjoy some unique abilities to themselves, similar to the priest class’ racial specialties.
This is no joke.

Seems like, instead of trying to balance classes, Blizzard decided to cop out by altering lore. Or is that the right assumption? It's an awfully convinient solution to please Horde vs Alliance faction imbalance whiners. I'm not that mad at this though. I just think it removes a bit what's so special about Shamans and Paladins. They probably thought about that too, but decided to do this anyways.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:05 PM  
Blogger Thoma said...

Well it sure beats trying to actully balance the factions.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Thoma said...

For those of use stuck behind a firewall at work:

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Vaelin said...

I think we can say fairly well now that the Shaman class loses after all. Horde are going to want BE Paladins for all their raiding now. They're going to be a hot commodity.

I nearly had to change my underwear after reading all of this. A Paladin with Mana Tap and Arcane Torrent will be godlike. Goodbye Alliance, Hello Horde.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Suicidal Zebra said...

Holy Cop-out Batman.

In some ways good. In others, very very bad. Taking the easy way out FTL.

Also, poor, poor Shaman.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous kyosei said...

Well other than the racials, it sure doesn't give much that incentive to re-roll on an opposing faction much anymore. Now both sides are kinda the same now D:

I guess this is Blizzard's way of "fixing" horde pve and the cries of "paladin ez-mode".

10:02 PM  
Anonymous kyosei said...

Well, after thinking about it a blood elf pallies and draenei shammies aren't that big a stretch.

But after reading up on blood elves pallies...Man first they highjack space ships and now "steal" the Light. Seems like a favorite lore cop-out lately.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous snow said...

This is very very good news. Now they can actually design raids where we're relied on for more than buffs and cleanse.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Paladin with Mana Tap and Arcane Torrent will be godlike

Yes, You can silence mages then hit them with paladin DPS! I'm sure that will be G O D L I K E.

On a serious note, this is just a cop out by the designers, as Mastgrr mentioned. They can't balance the factions at all. Many of the CM's play horde, and I'm sure they've been whining about the lack of paladins in PvE, while the AF had to eat shit for months in PvP because an undergeared shaman is much better than an undergeared paladin in pvp.

Overall, I hope this means they will get around to making the seal/judgement system not as bland, and perhaps give paladins some offensive combbat options. I won't hold my breath though. This change came stricty from shaman whines.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Gerbodis said...

Just look at the bright side of this, with paladins on both sides now, and 10 new levels, 5 trainable levels and 10 new talent points, they can give paladins AMAZING and nearly over powered spells becuase they no longer have to worry about faction Imbalance. So who knows. There is a post on the general forums of eyonix saying something along the lines of paladins and shamans will be buffed

1:29 AM  
Anonymous Gerbodis said...

We do plan to stick with our current design model for both the Shaman and Paladin in terms of what they bring to the table, only now we will really be able to flesh out and make their differences truly special. The reaction to the Shaman review had nothing to do with this change, other than we made decisions for the review based upon the fact that we were moving forward with this change.

I can't emphasize a few key points enough. Lets not apply this change to current World of Warcraft. The day Horde has access to the Paladin and the Alliance has access to the Shaman, ten new levels of spells, abilities and talents will be available for all classes. The Shaman will have extremely unique and special abilities that they will bring to an encounter, as will the Paladin. You will want both classes present in both group PvE and group PvP. Players that are fearful that Shaman won't be needed simply aren't seeing the larger picture.

In addition to this, we've been designing the future content of the game to support this change, which means we can create specific encounters where one class really excels and in certain cases, is pretty much required.


1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Shaman will have extremely unique and special abilities that they will bring to an encounter, as will the Paladin."

...I don't know about you guys, but what this tells me is that (if history can be used as any indicator as to Blizzard's hate towards the alliance) the Alliance Shaman will probaly be defensive, while the Horde Paladin will probably be offensive...

What do you guys think?

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm finally done with this game.
Good luck guys. You'll need it.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..I don't know about you guys, but what this tells me is that (if history can be used as any indicator as to Blizzard's hate towards the alliance) the Alliance Shaman will probaly be defensive, while the Horde Paladin will probably be offensive..

That would be too much work. Look for the blood knight (BE paladins) to have one offensive racial ability, ala priests.

It's not faction balance that was holding us back from a decent combat system, In reality I think it's furor and tigoles attitudes twards paladins. Go google them and read their feelings about the paladin class pre-wow.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey someone should squat on the name shamansucks.com since blizz will probably mess up their Christmas too since they're on the alliance now.

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the only good thing I've read to come out of the CM posts about this is...

Since shaman vs. paladin isn't such a big sticking point for balancing out the factions anymore, it means that changes will inevitably be made to both classes to make them more distinct and (dare I say it) fun to play.

Which hopefully means a "real" talent review for the protection tree, some more interaction w/the current seal/jugdment system and the interesting prospect for what the new abilities we'll be getting in BC to reflect these changes.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Thordurin of Bloodhoof said...

I really want to know what they meant by:

Nevertheless, as even the most inexperienced mage will attest, when powerful forces are manipulated against their intended purpose...

The consequences can be perilous.

Does this mean that BE's will suffer some drawbacks for stealing their power.

I am suprised that for being ethereal, the Naaru are being so laid back about this. I figure beings of that much energy and power would lash out against those who have imprisoned and corrupted one of their own.

Mother Nature (or the Tauren name "Earth Mother") grants the power of the elements to the Draenei, and the Blood Elves steal and manipulate the power of the Light for their bidding.

Despite what Cairne and Thrall think... explain why the Horde aren't evil in accepting them? or are they just guilty by association? Thrall used to be about his honor and duty, but now it seems like the power an ally can offer puts his honor in the back seat.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous nemof said...

Dropped by to comment on this, as I haven't played WoW in a long time. I gave up because of imba stuff like this, and Blizz have gone and proven that they are sinking. This is the deathknell for WoW. I'm sure people will go on playing, and some will go on enjoying but to me this kills the game. It's the biggest cop out ever, and I am very sorry to hear it. I was fuming when I hear it, even though I've not logged on in half a year.

It's a disgusting destruction of the already whored WoW Lore, I am not a happy bunny.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous nemof said...

actually. to correct myself, this of course isn't an imbalance, but a homogenization and another dilution of the differences between the alliance and horde. I don't know what the horde is like these days, but i can imagine it's filling up fast with alliance night elves and losing it's identity pretty fast. it just makes me kinda sad.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Ghmou, 60 Pally, Darkspear said...

I'm with nemof.

I'm going on a 3 month trip out west where I won't be playing ANY WoW whatsoever - by the time I get back, Warhammer will be out.

I fear that this is the end of my WoW days. Blizzard has just lost the creativity that made it so great when it was young.

I'm paid up until August 20th, and I won't be playing till December 11th at the earliest - if ever again.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Toufas said...

i had a full epic tier1 pala, and rerolled a shaman. trust me in endgame the horde doesnt stand a chance
and yes i agree this move from blizz is "we suck in balancing" proof

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Leord said...

While the comments here are infinetly much more educated than others I have heard on the subject, it does seem like this change is planned some time back according to some CM posts, and not a "flingy" thought from Blizzard.

Blizzard has tried to let a pretty concistent stream of news of the expansion since its official announcement, and this is probably revealed now to really hype it up before release in a few months.

They altered Drenei being evil -> good, and the fact that Forsaken joined The Horde. Blood Elves are obviously very corrupt as well, and about Thralls honour, is the one thing that disturbs me. However, perhaps he accepted these two elements in order to live, and show strength and honor another day, when they can live without these elements.

Another thing can be that, being a good soul, he wants to try and better these groups.

Regarding the naru (Blizzard have written their race name without capital letters), it DOES seem a bit odd that they have so poor defenses, being such a powerful race of beings, that the rattled Blood Elves in Outland managed to sieze it and defeat the naru. One comment i heard on the swedish forums could be that the naru is in fact really sacrificing one of their own so that Blood Elves will at least USE The Light again, and perhaps in the long run will turn back to it for real. They only believe they steal it, but in fact it is given. Much like a messiah. He dies for their sins, to save them.

Do remember that ALL Blizzard lore has plot twists that are kliche and are extremely large changes. Look at Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo.

Retro-changes are in my opinion bad, like the Drenei/Sargeas, but twists in the concurrent storyline seems just welcome, to keep us on our toes. It is a very non-changing game, as it is all quest driven, so the storyline SHOULD twist and turn to keep it interesting.

Without considering that fact, a "bad" paladin is what plenty of people have asked for since before the game was released. The Drenei in Warcraft also was shamans, not of The Light. People complained when these Drenei apparently was aligned with Light, at their announcement. For these that ARE with the light, I dont find it strange that they try every desperate way to gain strength against the Burning Legion (besides demonic powers)

The actual lore does hold though in my opinion.

For the gamelay, I AM very concerned that Alliance paladins will get a defensive "classial", and the horde get an offensive ditto. Seems just like the ever-liking-horde Blizzard.

Besides that, if you consider it, it will be a lot easier to balance factions. Also a lot easier to make big and small class changes without having to consider the entire faction at every turn. Even if you do consider it bad balancing, it will be a lot easier, and probably a lot better game. It is a lot easier to make a cardhouse with cards of metal than of paper. Probably more stable as well.

The huge misconduct towards the Paladin community, and the final decision to withdraw promises of class balance in 1.12 might be due to the fact that they feel they will make the class so much more detailed anyway, that we might in the end be willing to wait the last few months as well.

Dont get me wrong, I am very disapointed. Still, I probably will roll *another* paladin, as well as another Shaman in the expanson. I am rather thrilled to see how they solve it quest-wise.

In short:

- Dont know Thralls reasoning
- Dont like retrochanges in lore
- OK with the plot twist
- OK with handing out new classes to Ally/Horde
- Afraid they will abuse the "classials"
- The game will probably be more diverse and better in the end.
- I dont see it as the easiest way out, but the best choice for all parties in the circumstances.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Hexapuma said...

I was disheartened to hear this as I always found that the two sides mostly had small cosmetic differences and no real gameplay besides the shaman / paladin difference.

I hope they do try to differentiate the two paladins. Would be a shame to see the bloodelves have similar paladins. If they were to be deathknights.. now that would be interesting ;)

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is the plot twist where someone who you didn't think would be the murderer is the murderer.

The change in lore or "twist" is not what people is complaining about.

It's that the plot twist is where the murderer turns out to be an intergalactic space alien named Bob and he likes football.

People complained about the draenei lore changed with eredar/sargaeras because it was retcon and it retconned a rather well written part of warcraft story.

People complain this time because it's flat out poor writing. Notice no one is complaining much at all about draenei being shaman.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats because weve already accepted (to a degree at least) that the Draenei are now ont he alliance side and no longer evil, that some of them would embrace nature is just easier to accept after that load.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous kyosei said...

I think the reasons why ppl aren't really complaining about shamans are:
A)Most believe they aren't going to make that much of a difference PvE-wise as most concur paladins are much better in that department.

B)Most are saying that shaman will phase out from the game altogether with this change and roll pallies.

Just from what I've mostly read on the forums anyways ;p

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya, well people are stupid. Of course Shamans will still be in raids. Imagine how much mana youre going to get from bow and totems, how much dps boost youre going to get from might and windfury totem. Granted there will only be a few of them in a raid, maybe on par with druids, but they will be there.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be plenty of Shaman around, they are damn good in pvp, one of the best classes, and people will roll them for that.

They are a true hybrid class in raids, and can do damage as well as heal.

8:59 PM  

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