World of Warcraft patch 5.2 focuses on class balance

Altering the mechanics of a game never comes easy. There is the 'do changes need to be made' step, followed by research, followed by programming adjustments, followed by play testing, etc. At the end, all that hard work never pleases 100% of your audience. It’s a thankless task, but with World of Warcraft’s 5.2 patch there will be attempted equilibrium.

Blizzard team member Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri posted about how the focus of the 5.2 patch will revolve around “balance tuning and talent adjustment.” New gear and set bonuses call for tweaking to keep WoW fair and just. Overall, they are happy with the talent changes they’ve made thus far in Mists of Pandaria and want to continue that same level of balance.

Below are the broad class changes being made in the 5.3 patch. The rest of the patch notes can be found HERE.


  • As with all the classes, we wanted to make the less popular talents more attractive.
  • Despite a few nerfs, we felt that Arms was still too dominant in PvP and needed additional changes.
  • Because we changed Taste for Blood for Arms, this meant we also had to tweak that spec’s PvE rotation a little. We took the opportunity to improve the values of Haste and Mastery for Arms.
  • We wanted to remove Deadly Calm, because it was just adding to action bar bloat without adding much to gameplay.


  • As with all the classes, we made adjustments to make under-used talents more compelling.
  • Correct PvP under-tuning, particularly with Windwalkers.
  • Bring Windwalkers up to par in both PvE and PvP.
  • Offer Mistweavers a unique healer play style.

Death Knight

  • Make some less attractive talents more compelling.
  • Improve quality of life for Unholy Death Knights.
  • Give a small PvP buff.


  • Make some unattractive talents more compelling.
  • Slightly reduce Feral’s effectiveness in PvP.
  • Improve Restoration slightly in PvP and PvE.
  • Give a bump to non-Restoration Druid healing in PvP.


  • Make unattractive talents more compelling. (Notice a theme?)
  • Improve Marksmanship’s viability.


  • Despite various adjustments along the way, Frost Mages are still too powerful in PvP and not quite competitive in PvE.
  • Our changes to Arcane in patch 5.1 overshot the mark and also needed some changes.
  • While we wanted to make some less attractive talents more attractive, we also weren’t satisfied with the Mage talent tree.


  • We wanted to make less attractive talents more attractive.
  • Holy was too dominant in PvP.
  • Retribution wasn’t performing as well in PvP.


  • We wanted to make less attractive talents more attractive.
  • Discipline performed too well in PvE, but under-performed in PvP.
  • Shadow was too good in PvP, but solid in PvE, so we didn’t want the nerfs to spill over much.


  • Rogues, historically a PvP mainstay, felt underpowered and weren’t well-represented in high-end PvP. We wanted to change that.
  • In PvE, we wanted to tone down the cleave capabilities of Combat so it didn’t feel like a mandatory spec for some fights.
  • We wanted to give Rogues a little more PvE utility instead of feeling quite so selfish.


  • As with the other classes, we wanted to make unattractive talents more appealing. Shaman had a similar problem to Druids, where certain choices were perceived as good for e.g. Elemental but not Restoration.
  • We wanted to buff Elemental dispel vulnerability and overall survivability in PvP.
  • We wanted to give Enhancement a very slight boost for PvP.
  • We also wanted to improve Elemental’s target switching and multi-target damage in PvE.
  • We adjusted some Glyphs, some because they were too good, others because they felt mandatory.


  • As with all classes, we wanted to tweak talents to make underused talents more appealing.
  • Fix Blood Fear.
  • Put the pet back in Warlock.
  • Roll mandatory-feeling Glyphs into the relevant specs.