Upcoming Cataclysm Dispel Mechanics

#0 - April 6, 2010, 8:31 p.m.
Blizzard Post
We wanted to introduce some of the changes to dispel mechanics coming in Cataclysm. Our goals were to make dispelling a little less trivial to do in PvP, and to make sure there is more equity in dispel capabilities among healers in both PvP and PvE.

Within the system, there are currently five types of dispellable (or curable) buffs and debuffs: curse, disease, poison, defensive magic, and offensive magic. An example of defensive magic dispelling would be using a dispel to free a polymorphed ally, while offensive magic dispelling would be utilizing a dispel ability to strip away an enemy’s buff or heal-over-time (HoT) spell. The main distinction between these two types is in whether or not you can target an enemy with your dispel.

In Cataclysm each healing class will be getting three out of the five types of dispels, with one of these always being a defensive dispel magic. This design makes sure that finding a healer with the ability to remove magic isn’t restrictive in building teams for Arenas or rated Battlegrounds. It also allows the encounter designers to assume, when designing dungeon or raid fights, that every group can dispel magic.
In addition, we're making the opportunity cost (what the player could have accomplished with different actions) for dispelling a bit steeper. We think the cost is too low for three reasons: 1) The actual mana cost is low. 2) You never waste a dispel. If you try to dispel a debuff that isn’t there then the dispel just won’t go off. 3) We have spells that remove debuffs with minimal input on the part of the player. In Cataclysm we are raising the mana costs, making it possible to waste mana by casting a dispel when there is nothing to dispel, and removing Cleansing Totem, Abolish Disease, and Abolish Poison from the game. With these changes in mind, we are working to plan dungeon and raid encounters where dispels aren’t in constant demand or spammed in order to be successful, though some need for dispels will still be a part of the design.

As previously mentioned, we are providing three dispel capabilities to all healing classes as follows:
  • Druids will be able to dispel defensive magic, curses, and poison.
  • Paladins will be able to dispel defensive magic, diseases, and poison.
  • Priests will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and disease.
  • Shaman will be able to dispel defensive magic, offensive magic, and curses.

There is some trade-off that is being made in making these changes and we wanted to expand on this further.
  • Protection and Retribution paladins will lose their current ability to dispel magic.
  • All shaman will lose dispel disease and dispel poison in exchange for Restoration gaining dispel magic.
  • Restoration shaman, Restoration druids, and Holy paladins will need to talent into their defensive magic dispels.
  • Shadow priests won’t be able to remove disease in Shadowform.
  • Mage, hunter, and warlock will retain their current dispel mechanics.
  • Body and Soul remains the same, and basically any dispel mechanic not mentioned above is currently planned to remain as it is.
  • When possible, we’d like to combine dispels into a single action. For example, the druid ability to dispel curses and poisons might be a single spell with a Restoration talent that also allows it to dispel magic. This part of the design isn’t finalized, however.

As with all of our Cataclysm previews, keep in mind that any of these decisions could change when we’re in beta.
#3 - April 6, 2010, 9:22 a.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
So when you limit dispels to those specs that do not wear +hit gear, will you make dispels have an innate 100% hit chance?
Dispel resists on bosses (stuff like Fusion Punch, Necrotic Plague that can quickly result in dead people) suck, and the tactic of letting DPS handle the dispelling because they wear +hit gear will not be possible anymore.
We love feedback - it's fiercely valuable stuff. But do note that holding these previews up to current end-game content isn't something that will provide the best insight. There will be more clarifications to come in the future. What you have said is entirely valuable, but just err on the side of caution when comparing these mechanics to current game situations. :)
#4 - April 6, 2010, 9:24 a.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
I would really like to see what you are giving to protection paladins to make up for what we are losing. dispells, top class aoe, strong hit points.
We're making a slew of changes to Paladins, and you can see here (http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947281618&sid=1) that Paladins are undergoing some dramatic reviews. It may pay off to wait and see what is in-store for Paladins in Cataclysm before predicting doom. :)
#12 - April 6, 2010, 10:18 a.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
So now druids can remove my ice barrier as well ?

Why not just delete the true classes from game and make every one play these OP hybrids.
Why not wait and see what we have to say regarding the future of all classes before painting everything in black? :) Just sayin'. It might pay off to hold on and see what's coming.
#39 - April 7, 2010, 8:52 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
Q u o t e:
We're making a slew of changes to Paladins, and you can see here (http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=12947281618&sid=1) that Paladins are undergoing some dramatic reviews. It may pay off to wait and see what is in-store for Paladins in Cataclysm before predicting doom. :)
Yeah and i just bet you're going to give them an instant gap closer and probably an interrupt too :S
More homogenization no doubt
"It may pay off to wait and see what is in-store for Paladins in Cataclysm before predicting doom."
#40 - April 7, 2010, 8:55 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Based on a lot of feedback and concerns being raised in this thread and mirrored threads in other regions, we'd like to make a few clarifications in no particular order.
  • Shaman will get Cleanse Spirit as a base spell that removes curses. Restoration will have a talent to add magic dispelling (on friends or enemies) to Cleanse Spirit.

  • We recognize this change risks making shaman too vulnerable to rogue and hunter poisons in PvP (and especially mind-numbing), and we might very well offer a talent or mechanic to compensate for that.

  • We also recognize the challenge for magic-based controllers in PvP, say mages, to handle teams with druid healers and we might have to reconsider the druid ability to avoid Polymorph. We think it’s important for PvE reasons for all healers to be able to dispel magic however.

  • For the most part, talents that reduce a chance to be dispelled are going away. We want dispels to be more expensive, but we also want them to be effective when you do choose to use them, so we want to downplay the random aspect. Mechanics such as Unholy Blight granting dispel immunity, or rogues reapplying poisons so quickly will be handled on an individual basis. We’ve had a little bit of an arms race going on because some of those debuffs could be removed so trivially; but on the other hand, death knights and rogues need those debuffs to function. Balancing that will be an ongoing process.

  • We also want to downplay the role of “junk buffs” that protect dispels. Our usual course of action here is to make those buffs undispellable such that you dispel the thing you actually want to dispel.

  • If we didn’t mention a specific dispel mechanic (like Shield Slam), then you can assume it probably isn’t changing, at least for now. A lot may change in beta.

  • We want to stress yet again that one of our goals behind these changes was to help us design 5-player dungeons and 10-player raids. Currently having the ability to remove, say, a poison or disease can make an encounter go from challenging to easy, yet not every group has those abilities. With this new matrix, the encounter designers can make anything that must be dispelled a magical effect, while curses, poisons or diseases would be in the category of helping you win, but not an instant wipe if you lose. In 25-player raids, we have more flexibility to ask you to dispel more types of effects.

  • We understand that in some cases we are making changes that have been core to some classes for a long time (shaman losing poison and disease dispel for instance). While we don’t want to make any beloved classes, or even spells unrecognizable to players who have stuck with that class for years, Cataclysm is also an opportunity for us to fix some of the class systems and mechanic issues we've had for a long time. We have to be careful about having too many sacred cows that keep us from being able to iterate on the design. The dispel matrix we had was somewhat arbitrary and could change a PvE encounter or PvP battle dramatically, almost in a binary manner, depending on what dispels were available to the group involved. When dispelling is trivial, either because it’s too easy or because someone is capable of dispelling too many things, then neither PvE or PvP feel as strategic or tactical as we think they ideally could be.

  • Defensive dispels (say, a shaman removing a debuff from an ally) should always hit. We don’t want healers to have to stack +hit for PvE. When you are dispelling buffs on an enemy, you will still have a chance to miss.
#42 - April 7, 2010, 9:46 a.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
No more Purge :((?
This is something we’re still looking at. We will still have abilities that remove 2 effects. One design is that all shaman have Cleanse Spirit (curse) and Purge (magic on enemies), and then Restoration can talent to allow Cleanse Spirit to also remove magic. Another is that shaman have one button that does all the dispelling to free up key-binds. The point we were trying to make is that the ability to remove curses is a base shaman ability.
#44 - April 7, 2010, 9:52 a.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
ehm hope you do something about druid being Immune to Poly.

Cuz if you dont, They are both immune and they can dispel poly from their partners.
We are considering a Feral talent to give that feature. Our main concern is against having a Polymorph-immune healer who can also dispel Polymorph on all their buddies.