Mages, Druids, and Paladins have dominated the player-vs-player environment (PvP) since the launch of Shadowlands. Blizzard Entertainment has finally catered to the complaints of PvP players and announced hotfixes for these overperforming classes.
Druids became obnoxious due to the Night Fae covenant ability Convoke the Spirits, which allowed Druids to one-shot multiple players in the span of a couple of seconds. With the help of Triune Ward legendary, Mages became unkillable tanks, while Paladins overall are overperforming with all three specs having good representation in both arenas and battlegrounds.
On top of nerfing the overperforming classes, Blizzard has also buffed up the pets of Death Knights, Hunters, and Warlocks who would die way too fast. But the biggest change which players have been asking for is the Dampening revert. A month ago, Blizzard removed the 20 percent dampening in tw-vs-two arenas, giving an edge to players running a composition with a tank or a healer. This revert should buff up double damage compositions and allow them to climb the ladder easier.
- Convoke the Spirits no longer casts Full Moon and Feral Frenzy when engaged in combat with enemy players.
- Triune Ward (legendary) now provides 50 percent effective barriers (was 65 percent) in PvP situations.
- Infernal Cascade (conduit) effectiveness reduced by 33 percent in PvP situations.
- Divine Favor (Honor Talent) cooldown increased to 30 seconds (was 25 seconds), and now increases cast speed by 30 percent (was 60 percent).
- Protection, Retribution
- Word of Glory’s healing has been reduced by 20 percent in PVP situations.
- Players now deal 20 percent less damage to Death Knight, Hunter, and Warlock pets.
- In two-vs-two Arenas, Dampening will begin at 20 percent when both teams have either a tank or healer.
While some of the nerfs could’ve been harsher, it’s a great start overall. In a recent interview by Stoopz with PvP developer Chris Kaleiki, Blizzard said it doesn’t want to be too quick with buffing or nerfing certain classes and wants players to explore counter compositions instead. With more players acquiring endgame gear, Blizzard is taking caution with overnerfing certain specializations that are going to fall off when other classes get their full gear.
While this approach might be good in a game where players have access to multiple characters easily, World of Warcraft is not one of them. Players need to farm up systems before being competitive in PvP, and with no catch-up systems for Soul Ash for example, it’s difficult to create a counter composition easily. Hopefully for players, Blizzard will reassess its approach or provide catch-up systems so that players can become competitive on alts easier going forward.