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Atrius, Warrior Balance, and Forum Backlash

By on Nov 21, 2012 at 9:00 am, in Buzz, RIFT  |  Comments: 6 comments

A large number of Warriors were quite surprised yesterday when they read the latest RIFT hotfix patch notes. Yep, more Warrior changes! This time we saw some fairly major changes to both the Paragon and Tempest souls. The Warrior class has seen quite a few changes within these past weeks due to balance issues. And sure, some of those changes may have been necessary (especially those due to bugs), but the fact that these changes keep happening is starting to become a little frustrating for many Warrior fans.

Needless to say, there was quite the stir on the Warrior forums yesterday as a result of the hotfix. Players who are level 60 and have been playing the new Paragon and Tempest specs were upset about the heavy-handed changes. Atruis, the Warrior developer, stepped in and gave his reasons for the changes, which raised more questions than answers. He also asked for Warrior players to submit their parses to him for further study.

Later in the thread, while Atrius was attempting to answer the many questions (and accusations) raised by the thread’s participants, he went into more detail about his balancing strategy:

Originally posted by Atrius (Source)

So problems you mention that I am currently aware of and looking into.

1) Paragon is lowest ST DPS. Unfortunately I am receiving parses showing Paragon at target and in fact received several parses last night of a raid where the top three were Warriors, by almost 10%. So unless I get parses of the Paragon below target I have to try out different builds myself to see what is causing it. This is made more difficult because people generally do not post underperforming builds, just the overperforming ones.
2) Riftblade is top ST DPS and competitive AOE DPS. I am well aware of this and the only reason I haven’t reduced their ST DPS is because I want the Paragon to be up where it needs to be before I do that.
3) Champion is low ST DPS but competitive AOE DPS. This is intended. I would like to get the Champ’s ST DPS up but I need to handle teh Paragon and Riftblade first.

Adding to this.
1) Beastmaster. Seems good for a support soul right now.
2) Warlord. I want to get the Paragon to a happy place before I look into several reported issues here. Any changes made to Paragon, Riftblade, and Champion will impact the DPS capabilities of this soul. Please keep in mind that this soul’s goal was never raiding, it was intended for PVP, levelling, and soloing. So if it is good at those and not as good at raiding as Paragon, Riftblade, Tempest, and Champion then I am ok with that.
3) Tempest. This is intended to be Ranged DPS, behind Paragon for ST DPS.

If you are finding any of these to not be true. Please send me parses of that fact. This is the most effective and efficient way to help make the Warrior calling more viable.

Some interesting stuff here. Unfortunately, there are a large number of reasons why a couple parses may differ from others, which makes any type of balancing act difficult. The type of content also matters while parsing, of course, which caused another stir after Atrius said he was personally doing his parsing in IAs.

Furthermore, balance at the beginning of an expansion is often the most difficult to achieve due to the gear differences between various players. The best solution? Yep, more parses. More testing. Is it possible Atrius jumped the gun here, and could have waited a bit before adding some of the changes to the hotfix? Many players think so.

Also, these may be my own personal thoughts, but despite how much I enjoy RIFT’s massively-versatile soul system, it’s honestly a little disappointing to know that Warlord wasn’t meant to be a raiding spec whatsoever. A hybrid tank/DPS playstyle can be extremely fun if the spec is done right, and that type of role can be quite useful in a raid group with open-minded individuals.

The issue of DPS Warrior survivability and healing also came up. Some specs definitely perform a little better solo than others. Atrius had this to say on that matter:

Originally posted by Atrius (Source)

I do plan on looking into Survivability and healing. Unfortunately other higher priority issues have taken my time. It is on my list though and is of concern to me.

This comment received a bit of backlash, which is almost understandable due to the fact that survivability and self-healing– two things very essential to leveling and world content– are being placed on the back burner at a time when leveling and world content are hugely important. It’s the beginning of an expansion. This is when players need the survivability the most. There are some decent survivability specs out there, but players may need to experiment a bit to find them (or try hybrid tank specs), which is unfortunate for players who enjoy particular specs and/or souls.

Atrius then responded to the backlash sharing some honest feelings regarding the level of hostility and sarcasm in the thread, which received more backlash.

The thread’s participants eventually calmed down as Atrius said he’d look into the recent hotfix ASAP. He also said that there had been a misunderstanding, and promptly upped the importance of survivability and self-healing on his totem pole of balance issues to address, which now looks like this:

Originally posted by Atrius (Source)

1) Fixing an issue where people are saying we destroyed their DPS, we are seeing reports of people 20% under where they should be on the forums. I have spent all day today asking for parses in between running parses of my own to identify this low DPS issue that people are upset about. This was not on my plate till this morning because it is in response to changes.

2) Survivability issues in DPS souls

3) Champion ST DPS

Also, there was an issue with Electricity Cascade that was recently resolved, which will be in the next hotfix.

  • Tohpir

    The first people to max level in my guild were rogues, clerics, warriors, in that order. I haven’t heard anyone complain about any of the classes yet, only because we know that its the beginning of the expansion and until we actually start raiding, none of this stuff even matters. As long as I can kill stuff and complete my quests or dungeons, I’m fine with it taking a bit longer than it may normally take. I would rather have dungeons and quest bugs fixed rather than worry about class balancing right now.

    • Kailadan

      Just before this hotfix warriors ranged dps were topping the parse (just below mages) and well ahead of rogues range dps. Now they are in line with rogues, but we are all below mages :D

      • Sobodad

        So what most people are saying is that they want to be a Warrior which ..
        Has the Highest HP
        Have the Highest AC
        Do the most Damage
        Get the best Self Healing
        and anything else that will make your game easier …

        How about going back to old school, where Warriors were there to take the damage away from the rest of the group. Clerics were for Healing. Mages were High DPS/Supprt. Rogues were Mid-High DPS/Utility.

        I’m sick and tired of all the crybabies, wanting to get everything and be able to do everything, without any risk ..

        • Laura Hardgrave

          RIFT is all about versatility, though. Every calling is capable of so many roles, and it’s Trion’s intention to keep the callings equal as far as the various roles are concerned (which they’ve said many times). If the old school “Warrior = tank, Cleric = healer” roles are what you’re looking for, RIFT might not be the game for you.

        • Grumblerot

          Thats just the thing — with the latest changes, warriors have the worst dps, and their self-healing is so minor it’s not worth specing into any more. They are also very onerous to level because they can’t survive multi-mob pulls in anything other than a tank spec, which means they can either kill things one at a time (and drink in-between), or very very slowly. Either way it’s a painful grind from 50 to 60. With my mage in a harbinger/chloro spec, i can pull a half-dozen mobs, kill them fast, and still have full hit points when I’m done. On the warrior, it’s like slogging through molasses. It feels like my mage is the tank, and the warrior is the squishy one, with lackluster dps as well. With things as they are now, there is no point to playing a dps warrior. I’m going to put mine on the back shelf until the developers get this worked out.

  • Mauzeer

    Warriors have always been biggest crybabies.