Thanks everyone for the additional reports and commentary about this over the past few days. I don’t want to go too into the weeds about this, but in an effort to be transparent and accurate, I did want to call out an error that we made in our previous post about this:
This statement is, simply put, incorrect. This ended up being a bit of a red herring during our investigation that at the time we believed explained some inconsistencies in our test results. After further review however, we discovered this was not correct and felt it was important to let all of you know that we had this wrong.
The “good” news is, the actual results from the comparison between original WoW and Classic was the same, and that the actual answer for why these items are bound by the GCD was far more mundane; some proc effects simply have a data flag set to obey GCDs, and the items listed in the original thread about this all have that data flag set in the 1.12 data. We still don’t consider this to be a bug as the fact that this was set in the original data even more strongly suggests that these effects were intended to behave this way from the start.
Again, sincere apologies for the bad info. While we feel its important that some sense of mystery remains in the game for players to discover and decipher, we at least want to present whatever information we do share to be correct and not contribute further to the misinformation that is common in discussions around game mechanics. We are still human and are not immune from making mistakes of our own, unfortunately.
Thanks for calling this (and us) out though, we really appreciate the dedication you all continue to show!
I’m resurrecting this thread because we felt it was important to swing back around to this issue after revisiting it internally. Coming with patch 1.13.6, we will be removing the data flag that prevents many items such as Nightfall, Hammer of the Northern Wind, and Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros from proccing while the bearer is on the Global Cooldown.
While we are still reasonably sure that this data flag was set on at least some of these items for a reason, we spent a lot of time discussing this as a team and also even speaking with a few developers who were around during the development of original WoW, and never really were able to pin down what exactly that reason was. Ultimately we landed on the idea that forcing a few specific items to obey the GCD (while many, many others in the game don’t) doesn’t seem to add much other than making these items feel bad to use, which seemed hard to justify considering that removing this flag isn’t likely to really make any of these items suddenly become so much stronger as to cause a dramatic impact on overall performance in max-level content.
So, not being able to say with 100% certainty why these items behaved the way they did, we made a call, and decided to err on the side of fun. We felt it was important that we let you know where we landed on this one and why in a post, rather than just having this show up as a single line in the patch notes with sparse explanation. Everyone on the dev team are players ourselves, and we spend a lot of time discussing how to handle things like this. At the end of the day we know that perfect authenticity is ultimately impossible, and at least we can do our best to keep Classic fun, in the “spirit” of the original game.
Thank you for all of the commentary on this and many other issues and thank you for being passionate about what makes WoW Classic cool and fun.