The 2.4 Nerfing Heats Up

February 20, 2008 by at 3:39 pm • Filed Under Etc. 
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World of Warcraft’s dev-head Kalgan (Tom Chilton to his mom) is taking a beating today across the forums. He’s no stranger to hate, particularly on the priest forums, but the accusations are flying today in light of the updated Patch 2.4 notes. (Here’s the WoWWiki page — and more links! — with the history of the forum term “Kalganism”. Definition, briefly: to be nerfed in order to favor Kalgan’s latest PVP character, usually his warrior.)

Nevermind that I know about 234,509 warriors who would disagree that other classes have been nerfed to favor their PVP performance, what’s relevant to this discussion is today’s hate.

Some additional class changes for Patch 2.4 were announced today, principally nerfing to elemental shaman. And priests. (And rogues? Whew, the rogue beating doesn’t appear fatal. Again! HA HA HA!)

Now here’s the big accusation: Must Read If You Care About Anything .. Ever. And I fully expect that thread to die a mysterious death, but I’m prepared this time! (Thread died while I was typing. What a shock. Links to the screenshots are at the end.)

Anyways, posting alt Jayne of the Akama realm wrote:

This isn’t a troll, and is entirely true.

1) There is a non-blue player named “Leiah” who regularly posts on the warlock forms about upcoming patch changes, sometimes as much as months in advance.

2) Leiah was formerly an arena partner with Kalgan’s (the developer) warrior, as well as a member of the same guild. He has acknowledged this in the past, and it is generally well-known.

3) Leiah has claimed to have influenced design decisions as a result of his banter and feedback with the developer — most notably he suggested in mid-January that elemental shamans had too much burst damage, and that, as Leiah put it, “Kalgan sees it my way”, and that a mechanic change was upcomming.

4) Leiah is now bragging on the warlock forums about how the changes he demanded have been implemented on the PTR — and he is entirely correct. The suggestions he made were implemented almost exactly the way he said that he wanted them done over a month ago. This was long before leaked patch notes or any sort of official Blizzard communication.

This is not a blizzard developer making decisions based on hard knowledge or numbers. This is just a friend of a developer who has an inside ear, and is producing results based solely on his limited player experiences.

What is upsetting is that he is allowed to then disseminate this information on the forums as childish bragging and gloating. The shaman community learned about their major 2.4 nerfs from some random guy telling them to “QQ” on the warlock forums… only to have it proven totally true a month later.

So the next time you are wondering if Blizzard really hates your class, or just who in the hell is calling the shots, look no further than some chums of the developers who got bested by your class/spec a few times and complained about it.

Then fanbois and haters alike climb aboard for the flame train and we’re off!

Normally, I’d also dismiss this as fantasy, but I’m gonna guess what’s really going on here is some nobody (Leiah in our example) thinks he’s/she’s somebody when he/she posts about the casual conversations he/she has had with the Kalganator while doing arenas. Obviously, this is a big no-no to players and SHOULD BE to the gaming companies, and probably is to most, but there is a history around here of employees getting (too?) cozy with their guilds and their gaming mates.

However. It could be as simple as how my arenas and battlegrounds go.

Me: I really hate blood elf paladins.
Partner: Ya, me too. Blood elf anything.
Me: You’re not hearing me. I REALLY fucking hate blood elf paladins. I want them DEAD! I want their families DEAD! I want their houses burned to the ground!

And if I was a dev-head, and my partner was an IDIOT and posted that BELF paladins were about to take it in the rear, then tada! BELF paladins take it in the rear, that would look pretty bad. Y’see that’s the thing with non-disclosure type jobs: you have to keep your hands clean, and your hands have to look clean too.

That’s why I wonder … why has this boasting and nerf-threatening been going on for months? Allegedly.

And I wonder this too: why in God’s name would a higher-level dev name his game character the same as his forum persona? Please tell me they don’t because that’s stupid.

I don’t know Kalgan and his posts well enough to hate him like some of the WoW players, but I tell you this … if he’s in charge of bag space, he’s on my list. The same list as BELF paladins.

Selected screenshots of deleted forum threads: Must Read If You Care About Anything, page 1
Must Read If You Care About Anything, page 7
The Shaman forums are melting
Kalgan responds to the totem droppers:

Shamans in general will be getting buffs to go along with their nerfs. Bear in mind that there’s still quite a bit that hasn’t been implemented yet.

I’d share some of these with you, but some of them might not be technically do-able for this patch, which in turn changes some of our decisions about exactly what changes we make, so we’re hesitant to give specifics until the work has been done.

Philosophically though, we’re planning to make a number of improvements related to the totem dropping mechanic, improving specific under-used totems, and a few other non-totem related improvements.

To provide a little bacground, our general outlook on the class is that they’re actually in good shape for all 3 specs for raid PvE, on the weak side for heroic PvE, pretty solid in battlegrounds and 5v5, on the weak side in 3v3, and pretty well gimped in 2v2. We’re hoping to get at least 1 spec viable in 2v2 for this patch (we’re thinking Enhance), but hopefully all three specs will be viable for 3v3.

See Also: Leiah’s blog about Tom, warlocks, hunters, Tom, losing his forum access, his Wii, Tom, and shaman.



Comments

21 Responses to “The 2.4 Nerfing Heats Up”

  1. Nereus on February 20th, 2008 6:37 pm

    as someone who is leveling a 40 enhancement shaman atm, I approve of this message.

  2. Gemma on February 20th, 2008 7:14 pm

    Lmao, looks like someone got beat up by an elemental shammy/disc priest combo in 2v2 once too often XD

  3. [Shaman] Elemental PVP Thread - Page 3 - Elitist Jerks on February 21st, 2008 6:58 am

    [...] The 2.4 Nerfing Heats Up : AFK Gamer I do find it funny that elemental shaman that are barely viable in 2v2 and 3v3 have got nerfed. [...]

  4. Laura on February 21st, 2008 7:54 am

    Nothing brings out the drama like the latest patch notes, or a whiff of patch notes…

  5. heather (errantdreams) on February 21st, 2008 11:31 am

    My husband’s theory is that they’re never going to be able to truly balance the classes and they know it—so they just take turns buffing and nerfing them so everyone will be happy some of the time and everyone will be pissed off some of the time.

    I think he has a point.

  6. Tyler Nash on February 21st, 2008 3:12 pm

    I thout that I would like the game but I can’t play it for some reason.

  7. dan on February 22nd, 2008 2:22 pm

    there definitely is something going on here. the class favoritism is just way too out of proportion.

    it stands to reason that this developer is a warrior because i have found that warriors are one of the easiest classes for an elemental shaman to beat.

    this game is being tailored to designers who are not doing their job right. its pretty dishonest.

  8. the truth hurts on February 22nd, 2008 4:01 pm

    LEIAHGATE

  9. Jon on February 22nd, 2008 10:49 pm

    In other words…

    “Nerfing will continue until viability improves”
    -Kalgan, on Shaman

  10. larry on February 22nd, 2008 11:10 pm

    uh oh , sounds like someone won’t be getting their weekly butt massage from Kalgan….

    shouldn’t have spilled the beans Leiah, now your in trouble.

  11. dino on February 23rd, 2008 6:08 am

    i think the WOW customers deserve a lot better. Although it is only a game, this kind of behavior on the part of “professionals” is akin to the Enron scandal.

    I think some bad news is in store for you Blizzard.

  12. jeremy on February 23rd, 2008 6:10 am

    I think Blizzard should take some kind of action here to save their reputation. I think they should ask for Tom Chilton’s resignation.

  13. megataur on February 23rd, 2008 6:14 am

    Kalganism, Leiahgate, thank god my account expired

    and my shaman will rest in peace, forever………

  14. ken on February 23rd, 2008 5:48 pm

    i think Tom Chilton, aka Kalgan, should be flagged for an auto rename to Commodus. It seems to suit him much better.

    I believe these recent nerfs are part of the blizzard politics to keep the shaman class below other classes, and force them to be substandard, which means they will often have to acquire a whole new set of gear to be resto, and although it seems to do well, i see resto shaman as the least dynamic healer in the game.

    I also believe that these changes are being made to support mages to fill the elemental shaman spots in arena. If they weaken elemental shaman and with the buffs given to mages, such as 100% spell pushback resistance, 50% increased AOE damage, and increased casting speed that does not stack with bloodlust, they are effectively taking shaman out of the game. good luck with that blizzard.

  15. Mick on February 24th, 2008 4:45 pm

    Hi, I’m Rummando the Shaman from those message pictures. And they banned my shammy from the forums for participating in that thread. The message that was sent to me was that I had harassed a Blizzard employee and that my ban in permanent. Oh well, my Shaman is screwed anyway.

  16. nordee on February 25th, 2008 5:24 am

    Anyone who thinks that videogames aren’t balanced by one guy (or just a few guys) is wrong. There are plenty of computations and statistics you can look at, but ultimately you have to using only numbers leads to a static, boring, cookie cutter game. So you end up with a few people (or one person) balancing the game based on how it feels.

    If you are lucky, the person is good at his job. I suspect that Kalgan is just way more observable than most developers. And the stakes are much higher, because there are so many people playing.

  17. nordee on February 25th, 2008 5:27 am

    And, interestingly enough, a comment from Rob Pardo at a talk at GDC (from my friend’s blog):

    “Math is the foundation for all the game balancing you do. Rob talked about his design philosophy being that everything should feel overpowered – don’t use the math to balance the game into mediocrity.”

    There’s more than that in the article, but that’s more or less what I was getting at.

    http://tara.teich.net/archives/gdc-rules-of-engagement-part-2/

  18. ken on February 25th, 2008 5:58 am
  19. MrMe on March 27th, 2008 1:56 am

    Dude every class I like is now Nerfed all to shit, that mother fucker Chilton couldn’t stop at fucking up Ultima Online he had to bring his retarded shit to WOW as well.. don’t know how many of you kids know this is the same son of a bitch who ruined that game and now here the asshole is fucking this one up way to go asshole. Oh good job on the hunter mana nerf you fuckwad. You notice I say the word fuck alot.. when It comes to Tom chilton a howdy go Fuck yourself is Always in order.
    Peace.

  20. MrMe on April 13th, 2008 2:18 am

    QUOTE 2007 from Leiahs blog

    So this makes me wonder… if hawk + chugging mana pots

    every chance we can get, using a 1:1.5 marks shot rotation is our best way to do DPS, and never weave viper aspect into our method… what’s the point of it (viper)? Strictly PvP? I can’t use hawk in PvP really, cause mana issues are much, much more constrained and more important that typically trying to burst someone down.

    Also, unless I’m grouped with a shadowpriest, it’s still very difficult not to go oom using a 1:1.5 marks shot rotation while chugging mana pots using hawk 100% of the time.

    It just doesn’t feel right at all.

    I am so glad you decided my mana pool was JUST NOT RIGHT
    stupid asshole.

  21. Tom Chilton and his righteous game design on December 18th, 2008 8:05 am

    Tom Chilton and his righteous game design

    Is the flag Blizz is trying to Bury this Blog with.
    What a crock of shit.

    WOTLK is the most imbalance piece of horse shit
    ever conceived it may even be worse than AOS..
    which is bad.

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