#1 - March 11, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
First off, I want to thank you for taking part in this Alpha. Your participation and feedback has proven invaluable over the past week and we already feel things are moving in the right direction.
We want to share some of our thoughts about PvP and the Alpha process as well as some of the changes we've been making in response to your feedback.
The Honor System
The new Honor System is Legion's major PvP feature and so it is important to test the full experience during Alpha. We wanted to gauge what it felt like to earn honor through Battlegrounds and Arenas then unlock PvP talents over time. For the most part, we think it feels pretty good, but have definitely heard the feedback that people would like their first 6 talents faster.
Battlegrounds and Skirmishes
When we initially launched Alpha, Skirmish queues were disabled so that we could focus people in Battlegrounds. We knew that concurrency would eventually drop off a bit and Skirmishes would become a better option for people to PvP. Skirmish queues tend to pop very quickly because there are less people required to start them and they are not affected by faction population balance. Looking forward, it's likely that we'll temporarily disable Skirmishes when we expand the number of people in Alpha to once again focus feedback on Battlegrounds. But for now, Skirmishes may be the best way for you to play the game.
This is a tricky time for PvP class balance in the Alpha. At this time, the Class Designers are primarily focused on implementation and haven't had the opportunity to do a balance pass on many abilities, talents and artifact traits. We've been playing the Alpha right along side you and realize there are a number of classes that feel overtuned. The good news is that this gives us a great opportunity to try many of the new PvP specific tuning knobs we have at our disposal. Going through this process has been super valuable, calling out situations where these systems were falling short. We really appreciate you being patient as we sort them out.
Damage in the Alpha certainly feels high. We like fast paced gameplay, but some specializations feel especially bursty. In some cases, this extreme damage is caused by a bug, like we recently encountered with Assassination Rogues and their artifact trait, Surge of Toxins. But it could just be that a spec hasn't been tuned down appropriately yet. In cases like this, we may reduce a spec's overall damage by decreasing the amount of Agility, Intellect or Strength in their PvP stat templates. But It may also be the case that just one or two spells are a problem. If you encounter a spell doing an extreme amount of damage, please let us know and we'll correct it for PvP.
We've also started adjusting some of the healing spells on non-healer specs. We know this is a big point of concern for the community. We'd like to see the rate of damage slow down a bit but self-healing needs to be reigned in as well in order for that to feel good. We'll be adjusting individual self-healing spells where necessary.
Tanks are certainly overtuned on Alpha right now when it comes to survivability and damage in PvP. We've reduced their damage and their health pools but we've also started to reduce the effectiveness of their mitigation. We'll continue to monitor tank performance and adjust them accordingly. We think making tanks a fun option in PvP has potential, but it means killing a tank in a reasonable amount of time must be possible.
Healers do not feel strong enough on Alpha to be fun. In the next build, we'll be increasing the healing capability of many of the healing specs to ensure their throughput can keep up with damage.
Again, we want to thank you for your patience and commitment when it comes to testing the game. Your feedback has been tremendous and we really appreciate all you've done to help make Legion an amazing expansion.