World of Warcraft Class Balance and Design Q&A Analysis

Posted Wed, Nov 09, 2011 by Xerin

The World of Warcraft Class Balance and Design Q&A is pretty hefty, including tons of answers to a lot of pressing questions that players have had. So many that it can be hard to find out what important details were shared. Well, that why we’re here to help you find out the best of the best from the Q&A. Below you’ll find the transcript for your reading pleasure followed by what we believe to be the most important info from the session.


Monks were almost the highlight of the Q&A (with Warlocks taking the lead). The most interesting question to me was the one on if Monks would be a traditional healing class or actually be a melee healer. Blizzard I think pretty much represented the fact that we’ll see them as traditional healers who have the option of doing some neat things in melee vs. a melee DPS that heals. The answer wasn’t very solid, so don’t quote me on it, but it’d make a lot of sense that we’re not going to see Monks on the top of the DPS charts and the healing charts.

Blizzard also tackled the burning question about the whys about healing Monks using mana instead of Chi and it seems that Blizzard finds healing without a resource limit to be a bit overpowered. I have to sign off on that decisions because it’d suck if the only healer in the game was a Monk because they could heal forever. 

Sadly it seems that Hunters will NOT be able to Parry with Bows and it seems like the stats lost with the Ranged slot going bye-bye is in the books. Since everyone is losing the stats it isn’t very much like a nerf per se. It is more like one less item you have to worry about.

The “Hybrid Debate” came up in the discussion a good bit and it seems like Blizzard is going to stick with the no hybrid tax rule and that the new talents, like the Druid talents that let say a Feral Druid heal for a short duration, are staying in the game. The neat thing is that at least Druids won’t be DPSing while healing, so there is a sacrifice, and it isn’t a full time Druids are the best healer / DPS class thing (and neither will be Monks). So it isn’t as pure classes are losing out, these hybrid classes are just gaining some neat utility.

Warlocks mostly won the night with their questions and, as mentioned earlier, rightfully so since they are getting the biggest changes coming up. I can’t comment too much on it since I am by no means a master Warlock, but if you play the Warlock class then read the entire Q&A at length to see how much is changing with your class and the new caveats coming up. I think the most interesting one myself is how the new resource mechanics will be changing.

Another big topic is specialization balancing. You know, if you can’t be a Hunter with the neat pets and do DPS at the same time. Specs for pure classes should boil down to playstyle more so than “one spec to rule them all” and it seems Blizzard understands that very well. Yet, will they actually balance all of the specs in MoP? Who knows, we’ll have to wait and see on this one.

Shamans asked multiple times about the removal of their buff totems. If you’re a Shaman go ahead and relax. Blizzard isn’t removing your buffs from the game but is more or less just removing the need to throw those totems down.

While on the subject of buffs, we’re going to be seeing eight primary buffs in MoP (which means a 10-man raid can include all 8 buffs plus room for two different classes). Will this mean that we can actually bring the player and not the class? I doubt it, I’m sure there will be preferred raid comps for each raid (or heck, every boss), but we’ll see as it gets closer to launch.

The rest of the questions were pretty interesting and mostly focused on changes in MoP and 4.3. Be sure to go through the chat if you’re concerned for your class (a neat tip is to use CTRL-F for find and type your class in to see all of the questions relating to your class). A lot of the things discussed are still up for grabs though and most of the incoming changes aren’t final. It doesn’t mean we know everything, even though Blizzard has shared its inside thoughts, but at least we’re up to speed on where they’re thinking about going with the game.

Do you enjoy the live chats? What was your favorite question? Let us know in the comments section below.

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