Class Identity as a Constraint on Class Balance

Eidotrope at OutDPS: We know that developers attempt to balance around all sorts of mathematical factors like itemization, target hit points, burst vs. sustained dps, etc.  However, they evaluate non-mathematical factors as well.  This post discusses how developers balance around hunter class identity.

We know from a blue post on Freezing Traps that developers employ their beliefs about who hunters should be as constraints upon what hunters are allowed to be.  Ignore the bit about how the blue poster does not know the actual name of our trap.

We want Freeze Trap to be a trap. We actually tried a frost shot in the beta for Wrath of the Lich King, but it just diminished the trap vibe. It wasn’t a hunter trap anymore, it was simply a freeze. We understand that traps have some inherent limitations but ultimately we want to make them cool, rather than just cutting the concept and letting hunters do everything with shots.

Here a Blizzard representative is saying that a fix that caused a hunter ability to be be more functional was scrapped because it made the ability less `huntery.’  We should not claim to have identified a complete developer strategy from this single blue bost but we can make reasonable, cautious inferences from it.  The blue post suggests that developers want to satisfy their sense of a class before they implement a change to it.  In other words, we can cautiously suppose that a balance change has to fit with the devs’ sense of a class’s identity before it can be patched in. …Read Full Article.

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