Racial melee specialization rebalancing.

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Pumpkinbot
Posts: 17

Racial melee specialization rebalancing.

Post by Pumpkinbot » Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:41 am

I always feel a bit bad when I don't go human or orc on my melee classes. That tasty +5 weapon skill is pretty impactful in PvE. Granted, it's not a MASSIVE bonus that means all other races are completely not viable, and I'm by no means a min-maxer, but I feel other races should at least get something.

Excuse my MSPaint bullshit.

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HUMANS get Melee Specialization: +3 to daggers, and both 1H and 2H swords, axes, and maces. The majority of melee weapons. It's not a +5, like everyone else's, but it's still really good. Humans have flexibility.

NIGHT ELVES get Polearm Specialization: +5 to polearms and staves. Both are long, hafted weapons, so training would be pretty similar. This is probably the weakest of the racials, but it's good for levelling, as there are some good melee staves before 20 or so. I don't think everything needs to be perfectly balanced, though. Hyperbalancing is what made modern WoW so homogenized, after all, right?

GNOMES get Shortblade Specialization: +5 to daggers and swords. Gnomes are now a much more viable option for PvE rogues, and they also finally have a useful racial for warriors! This is a similar racial gnomes got in Wrath, as well.

DWARVES get Mace Specialization: +5 to 1H and 2H maces. Naturally, dwarves work well with big, heavy hammers. Not much more to say here.

HIGH ELVES get Sword Specialization: +5 to 1H and 2H swords. Elegant blades fit high elves well, plain and simple. Hammers are much too heavy, and axes are so uncivilized.

ORCS get Axe Specialization: +5 to 1H and 2H axes. Of course orcs still get axe specialization, duh. What self-respecting orc wouldn't know how to swing an axe?

TAUREN get Blunt Weapon Specialization: +5 to 2H maces and 2H staves. Big, slow hammers and war totems are what come to mind with tauren. Staves is, again, a weak choice, but it'll help a levelling shaman, for sure.

TROLLS get Tribal Specialization: +5 to 1H axes and polearms. Primitive weapons that require little training. Pointy stick, and sharp rock. Trolls aren't known for their sophistication.

FORSAKEN get Headtaker Specialization: +5 to 2H swords and 2H axes. I went back and forth on this one for a while. Daggers? Swords? Spears, even? In the end, I went with big, bladed weapons that are good at removing heads from shoulders. The Forsaken do fight the Scourge often, after all, and a body needs to be relatively intact to be brought back! This does push them more towards a DPS role (and does nothing for rogues), but again, I'm fine with these not all being hyperbalanced.

GOBLINS keep their Aggressive Negotiations racial, though renamed Bruiser Specialization to keep with the naming theme: +5 to daggers and 1H maces. It's an odd mix of weapons that fits their odd personalities.

Also, this means that each weapon type (ignoring humans) has exactly two races that benefit from it...with the exception of fist weapons. Fist weapons are incredibly underused in vanilla, to the point that I frequently forget they exist. I could give them to the races that got a bit shafted with weapon pickings (night elves and tauren), but it doesn't make much sense for night elves. Clawed weapons could fit them well, and bare knuckle brawling would hurt if you're a tauren.

Anyway, it's late. What do you guys think?

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Tarluk
Posts: 24

Re: Racial melee specialization rebalancing.

Post by Tarluk » Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:47 pm

I think that overall, its probably an improvement over the current system, and it does give a decent bit more flair to the other races in some ways. I like the idea that when leveling up as a night elf warrior, you actually have a reason to take polearms and even certain staves into consideration as legitimate leveling weapons.

Though personally, the whole idea of weapon spec racials doesn't quite sit well with me, it feels like it pigeonholes characters into one weapon type even if their characters might want to use another weapon type. The night elf warriors mentioned earlier? The sentinels all use glaives, and the closest thing to that in-game are swords, but the racial would force then closer to staves and polearms instead. There's quite a few regal, elegant elven hammers in-game as well, but high elves would only be interested in using swords, rather than the maces they've also made and used. Trolls have all sorts of troll-themed warblades in-game, from big epic warblades to ancient hammers to gigantic decapitating axes to animalistic fists, so why restrict them to some tribal axes and spears? The orcish blademasters of WC3 are absolutely awesome, and I'm sure are the inspiration for many to make an orc warrior...but they're better at using axes than swords because they're orc? wary_turtle_head And on top of that, fist weapons aren't mentioned for any of those racials, so there's even less incentive to try them out.

What I'd do instead is replace the weapon skill racials with "fighting style" racials, basically being like the equivalent of 2/5 ranks of the warrior/rogue's Weapon Specialization talents, but for all weapons; humans could have +2 or +3 to all weapon skills as you mentioned, high elves could have a +2% chance to get an extra attack with any weapon, dwarves could have a 2% chance to stun the target and get some of their primary resource restored, orcs could have an extra +2% crit chance, trolls could have a mini-Deep Wounds, Forsaken could have a small chance to get a proc similar to Lifestealing, etc.

However, this idea also does kinda have that feeling of every race just having a slightly different flavor of "deal more damage", and it'd be quite a huge change to do all of that when racials arent really a high-priority thing and most people here are more than happy to ignore the very very small difference between the races to just enjoy that race they chose. And that's the thing; why bother giving every race a weapon skill racial when it can come off as being homogenous and pidgeonholing the other races into certain weapon types rather than maintaining their freedom in that regard anyway?
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Pumpkinbot
Posts: 17

Re: Racial melee specialization rebalancing.

Post by Pumpkinbot » Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:42 am

Tarluk wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:47 pm
I think that overall, its probably an improvement over the current system, and it does give a decent bit more flair to the other races in some ways. I like the idea that when leveling up as a night elf warrior, you actually have a reason to take polearms and even certain staves into consideration as legitimate leveling weapons.
Exactly! It's why I'm not too worried about night elves having staves and polearms. You -can- still use that nice, 2H greatsword you found, but if you find a stave or spear of equal level, you'll probably gravitate toward that. Not everything needs to be super balanced, but even then, Turtle-WoW is still under active development. Let's say we release a legendary polearm suddenly. Now night elves are drooling over it and loving that they rolled a nelf!
Though personally, the whole idea of weapon spec racials doesn't quite sit well with me, it feels like it pigeonholes characters into one weapon type even if their characters might want to use another weapon type.
I can see where you're coming from, but this is still a part of vanilla. I'd personally like to see slightly different BiS weapon lists depending on races, instead of "orcs are slightly better during this raid tier".
The night elf warriors mentioned earlier? The sentinels all use glaives, and the closest thing to that in-game are swords, but the racial would force then closer to staves and polearms instead. There's quite a few regal, elegant elven hammers in-game as well, but high elves would only be interested in using swords, rather than the maces they've also made and used. Trolls have all sorts of troll-themed warblades in-game, from big epic warblades to ancient hammers to gigantic decapitating axes to animalistic fists, so why restrict them to some tribal axes and spears? The orcish blademasters of WC3 are absolutely awesome, and I'm sure are the inspiration for many to make an orc warrior...but they're better at using axes than swords because they're orc? wary_turtle_head And on top of that, fist weapons aren't mentioned for any of those racials, so there's even less incentive to try them out.
Someone on the Discord tried to mention something similar, I think. These racials aren't stating that orcs would ONLY use axes, of course. I mean, Bladefist is known for...y'know, blades. And dwarves still have a strong affinity toward axes. Hell, the most famous greatsword, Ashbringer, was forged by dwarves. But if I were a fresh-faced orcish grunt, I guarantee I'd be taught how to swing an axe, first and foremost. Or if I were a troll, they'd teach me to use a spear or a handaxe, before I discovered that I preferred a heavy maul, or a light dirk.

As for glaives...yeah, that does kinda blow. I considered giving night elves 1H swords, too, but it fits gnomes so much more. Small, light blades, for a small, light race. Maybe night elf rep weapons could be 1H swords with a glaive appearance that give a +5 to swords, if the wielder is a night elf?
What I'd do instead is replace the weapon skill racials with "fighting style" racials, basically being like the equivalent of 2/5 ranks of the warrior/rogue's Weapon Specialization talents, but for all weapons; humans could have +2 or +3 to all weapon skills as you mentioned, high elves could have a +2% chance to get an extra attack with any weapon, dwarves could have a 2% chance to stun the target and get some of their primary resource restored, orcs could have an extra +2% crit chance, trolls could have a mini-Deep Wounds, Forsaken could have a small chance to get a proc similar to Lifestealing, etc.

However, this idea also does kinda have that feeling of every race just having a slightly different flavor of "deal more damage", and it'd be quite a huge change to do all of that when racials arent really a high-priority thing and most people here are more than happy to ignore the very very small difference between the races to just enjoy that race they chose. And that's the thing; why bother giving every race a weapon skill racial when it can come off as being homogenous and pidgeonholing the other races into certain weapon types rather than maintaining their freedom in that regard anyway?
I'm not so sure I like this idea. A chance to stun or lifesteal on every single melee strike sounds a bit too impactful. Even as weapon skills are now, you wouldn't turn away, say, a gnome fury warrior, because they lack an impactful racial. It's, what, a 5% difference, at most, right?

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Lahire
Posts: 61

Re: Racial melee specialization rebalancing.

Post by Lahire » Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:22 am

Tarluk wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:47 pm
it feels like it pigeonholes characters into one weapon type even if their characters might want to use another weapon type. The night elf warriors mentioned earlier? The sentinels all use glaives, and the closest thing to that in-game are swords, but the racial would force then closer to staves and polearms instead. There's quite a few regal, elegant elven hammers in-game as well, but high elves would only be interested in using swords, rather than the maces they've also made and used. Trolls have all sorts of troll-themed warblades in-game, from big epic warblades to ancient hammers to gigantic decapitating axes to animalistic fists, so why restrict them to some tribal axes and spears? The orcish blademasters of WC3 are absolutely awesome, and I'm sure are the inspiration for many to make an orc warrior...but they're better at using axes than swords because they're orc? wary_turtle_head And on top of that, fist weapons aren't mentioned for any of those racials, so there's even less incentive to try them out.
Yes, weapon mastery specializes too much the gameplay of each race. The problem is that it is too good of a bonus. The designers didn't think it would be so impactful that players were going to specialize in their racial weapon. But +5 is too good to be ignore. That's why it was changed in TBC.

On the contrary, because the equation scales bizarrely, +3 is almost the same as +0. So if humans had +3 everywhere, that would be a huge point for minimaxers to not play them and to see them as inferior.
I also think it is not a great idea to extend WM traits to all races, because 1/ it narrows the gameplay of each one 2/ it homogenizes the design. It's like if each race had a niche.
Tarluk wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:47 pm
What I'd do instead is replace the weapon skill racials with "fighting style" racials, basically being like the equivalent of 2/5 ranks of the warrior/rogue's Weapon Specialization talents, but for all weapons; humans could have +2 or +3 to all weapon skills as you mentioned, high elves could have a +2% chance to get an extra attack with any weapon, dwarves could have a 2% chance to stun the target and get some of their primary resource restored, orcs could have an extra +2% crit chance, trolls could have a mini-Deep Wounds, Forsaken could have a small chance to get a proc similar to Lifestealing, etc.
Some are far better than others. But my question is more : why ? I don't see the appeal of changing the racials, they are a strong part of vanilla's identity. One thing that made me feel awkward when I tried TBC and that made me quit is that they changed core identity numbers (%hit %crit, racials, etc). Vanilla is vanilla also because it has this racial balance, which contrary to what some exaggerated people say, is not too imbalanced.

Anyway, people focus on details and hype them until they conclude "you CANT play the game if you don't have this 1% bonus". That's silly. In a 40 man raid, 1% to damage is actually 1/30% damage. 0.03% damage. That's nothing.
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Yutilk
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Re: Racial melee specialization rebalancing.

Post by Yutilk » Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:16 am

Pumpkinbot wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:41 am
I always feel a bit bad when I don't go human or orc on my melee classes. That tasty +5 weapon skill is pretty impactful in PvE. Granted, it's not a MASSIVE bonus that means all other races are completely not viable, and I'm by no means a min-maxer, but I feel other races should at least get something.

Excuse my MSPaint bullshit.

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holy cow that is a cute ms paint pic :)

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Rytz
Posts: 26

Re: Racial melee specialization rebalancing.

Post by Rytz » Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:49 pm

I've always found locked racial abilities to be poor game design. Even before I learned about the importance of weapon skill.

Races should just be skins and people should be able to pick their racial abilities. This would encourage people to pick a race that enjoy for the look/RP value. I don't understand why an Orc can't be a proficient master at swords. What's the limiting factor from a logical and even RP perspective?

I would love to see racial abilities revamped in a way where a person can pick the racial they want. I doubt this is possible so giving more options for +weapon skill would be a nice alternative.

Another idea is to make "weapon masteries" a generic quest for each character that allows them to choose a weapon mastery. Races can still have a unique racial (like NE shadowmeld) and still have the ability to choose whatever weapon they want to master.
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Zhohan
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Re: Racial melee specialization rebalancing.

Post by Zhohan » Fri Oct 08, 2021 6:18 am

I'm all for da professor plums

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