There was a lot of talk (some could say fallout) after this weekends MLG 3v3 PVP tournament in Orlando. For anyone that didn't watch it online a very nasty combo with shamans, hunters, and pets came up and caused all sorts of mayhem. Several fights were over in 10 seconds. Here are a few of the responses that Ghost Crawler posted from Blizzard.
I don't think this is a clothie issue at all. In fact, appropriate use of Ice Block and Demonic Circle defensively made a big difference.
I also don't want to discount the skill of those players at all. Make no mistake - these are very good players. While some of the matches were over very quickly, I think you're dramatically underestimating things if you think anyone would have performed the same with same setup.
That said, coordinated damage (from the BM + the shaman's wolves for example) is just really high, and in some sense it has to be or everyone will just be healed again. We need to see more matches where everyone in the game is playing in a wounded state. You need to be able to wear someone down (without just wearing the mana of the healers down). Health just needs to be higher for everyone across the board, even in PvE, and healing power has to be lower. The buckets need time to fill and drain instead of being full or empty 90% of the time.
I also think it's cool to see warlocks, hunters, shaman, paladins, druids and whatever classes I forgot that saw a lot of use at MLG Orlando, besides just RMP. Ideally those other comps would use a bit more CC (even if it's not quite at the RMP level) and there would be some matches that would last longer. The announcers did a good job of the play by play, but sometimes there just weren't enough plays to really have a sense of the kind of back and forth that make competitive sports interesting. Ghostcrawler
Lead Systems Designer
This thread quickly deteriorated from talking about the MLG matches to the same old tired arguments:
1) RMP is skill. Anything that isn't RMP is faceroll.
2) CC is boring. Let's kill something.
It doesn't have to be one extreme or the other. There is room in competitive Arena for a lot of different comps. I for one am glad to see really talented players gravitating to something besides RMP vs. RMP for every match. It was nice to see other classes in there. I do wish the hunter + shaman combos fell back on other strategies more often than instantly blowing wolves + Bloodlust. In an ideal world it would be very effective (you are gambling a lot of cooldowns on that opening move after all), just less so than it is now.
I don't fault the players at all -- they do it because it's effective. They focus because they have to focus -- because getting someone to 50% and switching targets would be ineffective. But if other teams could survive that initial burst a little more often, then it would be more risky, and in turn it wouldn't be so popular as the the first thing to do when the gates went up. I really don't think we're that far away from that, by which I mean we don't have to redesign every class to have Frost Nova + Ice Block to make Arena matches last a little longer.
But as I said above (and most smart players realize) just buffing health / lowering damage alone won't do anything but put even *more* emphasis on burst, because getting someone to 2% will be as irrelevant as getting them to 99% (because the healers will just reset the match). Lower damage *and* lower healing and the matches will almost certainly last longer, hopefully without richocheting to the other extreme of layered CC or mana drains being the only way to play.
Lead Systems Designer
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