World of Warcraft, Blizzard's cash cow MMO of 14 years, caused a bit of an uproar last fall when they not only announced a brand new "back to basics" expansion, Battle for Azeroth, but announced that they were doing away with the traditional raid class sets that gave each class a distinct look for each raid encounter to grind for. In the latest developer watercooler blog, Blizzard revealed that they are also re-tooling classes to make them more unique, including refining the talent system and adding new abilities to each class.
The move is a cautiously welcome one for longtime players and newcomers alike, with the focus on emphasizing "what makes each class unique and providing greater distinction among their various capabilities--especially when it comes to utility--tools that fall outside of the core role functions like damage, healing, or mitigation."
Blizzard hopes to foster a more cooperative style of gameplay by making these class changes. They aim to make team members more dependent on each other to succeed and players will also be given the opportunity to switch group dynamics as needed. They aim to achieve this by adding in new abilities and even reintroduce some older abilities that were previously removed from the game.
"Our goal is that whatever powerful kind of utility a class brings, its something that the group will be happy to have added to their toolbox as they approach a challenge"
The Talent System, while remaining largely the same, will have a few tweaks so that choices "don't feel like a complex math problem". Artifacts are also getting a re-balance, which is another welcome change given that base classes have to play well in their absence. The core takeaway for us from this entire blog post was that the class overhaul system is designed to "make sure everyone has something to get excited about and an opportunity to shine" which is something that has been lacking from previous class change/class balance iterations. Hopefully this will also cut down on the "flavor of the month" cherry picking for almost every end game event.
Only time will tell, but we will keep you updated on the latest World of Warcraft expansion news as we get it.