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Cochice

[Enhancement] Cataclysm Beta Changes (updated 11/4/10)

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40% for 5% really isn't that low considering our attack speed.

Well, this is going to change. Quite a lot.

First thing to consider is the unification of the haste ratings. The new haste hating will affect both melee attacks and spells with the same percentages. This is a net decay of around 22% less haste gained from rating. *Clarification* The haste rating for melee attacks will align to the one for spells, which is higher. ~25 rating for 1% for melee, ~32 rating for 1% for spells.

Next is the inflation of ratings. With 192 haste rating per 1% increase at level 85, we'd need around 6720 haste rating to hit the ~35% passive increase we have now on gear. GC stated already that they want to tone down things, so you're not GCD locked and you have time to react to things. Now, it is true that we haven't seen any epics for level 85. But somehow I think we won't be able to reach the attack speed we have now. My opinion, might be flawed, don't burn me at the stake for it :)

The mana issue is a serious concern because of the removal of Intellect from enhancement/hunter gear and the unmodified spell cost for Enhancement compared to Elemental/Restoration. Should be raised in the beta forums. However, I'd like to see some more opinions on this matter, maybe I'm seeing things wrong.

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Next is the inflation of ratings. With 192 haste rating per 1% increase at level 85, we'd need around 6720 haste rating to hit the ~35% passive increase we have now on gear. GC stated already that they want to tone down things, so you're not GCD locked and you have time to react to things. Now, it is true that we haven't seen any epics for level 85. But somehow I think we won't be able to reach the attack speed we have now. My opinion, might be flawed, don't burn me at the stake for it :)

The mana issue is a serious concern because of the removal of Intellect from enhancement/hunter gear and the unmodified spell cost for Enhancement compared to Elemental/Restoration. Should be raised in the beta forums. However, I'd like to see some more opinions on this matter, maybe I'm seeing things wrong.

Maybe in Deathwing gear, but you are right that you need a lot of rating to reach current level 80 levels of haste and crit, so that will not happen in the first Tier of level 85 gear. Also players will need lots more hit rating than before (hit scales with the boss's power).

If in PvE mana becomes a problem, they can fix that via adding spell reduction talents, lowering costs of spells or messing with Primal Wisdom, I am sure they are thinking/working on it. For example with Paladins, they are getting very close to having the right mana returns, they just need a few more tweaks.

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Mana doesn't feel too bad at the moment for leveling in the beta. I drop mana spring in my standard set if I don't have Blessing of Might but that's about the only thing I've changed.

Problem is that shamanistic focus is one of the "bugged" talents so I have it's effects even though it is no longer an available talent. I checked this morning and the same is not true with improved stormstrike so the mana returns aren't completely off but it is something to keep in mind.

Good thing is that adding shamanistic focus onto our specialties probably would be something they would consider if mana does become a concern.

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I finally got some time on beta and learned Unleash Elements last night, and I have to say that so far I'm not very impressed with it's Enhancement uses. The Windfury portion being a ranged attack that grants melee haste for 6(?) seconds is the most unintuitive shit ever. Using it to pull a mob while questing, I can barely get to the target before the buff effect is gone. I'd rather it just do something like proc Windfury from range without triggering the internal cooldown (assuming that doesn't get removed).

The Flametongue effect is a little nicer, but with only Flame Shock and Lava Burst being effected by it, it seems like it is going to cause some stupidity in our priority system. We should be only casting Flame Shock every 18~ seconds with the changes to DoT haste scaling, so a lot of the time that isn't going to be a good option. That leaves Lava Burst, and having to time out Unleash Elements with Lava Burst being off cooldown and having Mealstrom Weapon at a 5 stack seems pretty micro-management heavy. Adding Lava Lash to it might work out that kink, but that would make it a ranged attack buffing melee again. Something like 'Increases all Fire damage dealt by X% for Y seconds' might work better. If that allowed for a Flame Shock DoT already on the target to benefit, it would be a bit more 'hit this when you have a GCD and it's off cooldown' instead of 'wait for the stars to align.' That would give Lava Burst a little less burst than its current implementation (because they'd have tone down the damage buff to something like 3-5% for all spells instead of the 20% for one) but I'm not sure Lava Burst really needs more burst than it has on live.

This is all based on questing through Hyjal and Vash'jir. Maybe it feels better in group play when targets don't die in 5~ seconds. I'll also caveat that my Flametongue impressions are based on play on beta without any mods. It may turn out that having a way to actually monitor all the procs and cooldowns our combat design requires will iron out the 'when the stars align' design.

Overall, I'd rather it be an attack with unique flavor instead of another proc/cooldown system to monitor. I think we have enough of that already.

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Unleash flame only buffs the direct damage portion of flame shock, making it a less then ideal use of the buff. The buff lasts 7 seconds which should be enough time to get MW stacked up again or at least get it enough stacks (4) to be worth casting the lava burst since we won't have to worry about the 4T10 bonus for too much longer

Lava Burst is a 8 second cooldown that will pretty much always be waiting for UF since when you add a little mastery into the mix LB becomes a better option for your MW stacks then LvB except when the UF buff is active.

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Lava Burst is a 8 second cooldown that will pretty much always be waiting for UF since when you add a little mastery into the mix LB becomes a better option for your MW stacks then LvB except when the UF buff is active.

That's actually what I'm afraid of, to be honest. I think we've got enough 'If this and this and this then do that' in our priority system already on live. I'm not really sure our spec needs more of those sort of effects, overall. The current Maelstrom system works pretty well on live. If you need single target damage, Lightning Bolt; if you need multi-target damage, chain lightning; if you or someone else needs a heal and you don't think a healer is going to get to it in time, Healing Wave. Needing two different buttons for the single target damage portion seems excessive (and unintuitive), especially when the second button requires you to have a third button available or have pressed that third button in the last few seconds.

I like the complexity of priority system on live (if not the carpal tunnel aspect of it) but I don't think it needs to get any more complex than that. We're micro-management heavy enough, I think. It's a bit early to be super worried about this sort of thing, getting Shock and Awe (or similar) on beta will better tell how big of an issue this is actually going to be. I'm a bit apprehensive about the way Unleash Elements is potentially going to effect our play style in its current implementation, though.

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That's actually what I'm afraid of, to be honest. I think we've got enough 'If this and this and this then do that' in our priority system already on live. I'm not really sure our spec needs more of those sort of effects, overall. The current Maelstrom system works pretty well on live. If you need single target damage, Lightning Bolt; if you need multi-target damage, chain lightning; if you or someone else needs a heal and you don't think a healer is going to get to it in time, Healing Wave. Needing two different buttons for the single target damage portion seems excessive (and unintuitive), especially when the second button requires you to have a third button available or have pressed that third button in the last few seconds.

I like the complexity of priority system on live (if not the carpal tunnel aspect of it) but I don't think it needs to get any more complex than that. We're micro-management heavy enough, I think. It's a bit early to be super worried about this sort of thing, getting Shock and Awe (or similar) on beta will better tell how big of an issue this is actually going to be. I'm a bit apprehensive about the way Unleash Elements is potentially going to effect our play style in its current implementation, though.

I would argue the exact opposite. That lava burst is exactly what we need.

Our current priority list is abominable. It's psychotic whack-a-mole with no perceivable advantage to hitting any one button versus any other except for smacking LB or CL whenever whatever addon you are using says you've hit 5 stacks of MW. There are minimal rewards for doing it "right" versus just hitting whatever happens to be off cooldown.

Adding unleash flame and lava burst along with removing magma totem and fire nova from our single target fixes all that. Now there is a clear perceivable advantage to doing things right and there even could be times where it would be better to wait on hitting unleash flame until you have at least 4 stacks of MW so that you can use LvB right away. Also you have to make sure that flame shock is already on the target with enough time remaining on the DoT before hitting UF and following it with the LvB or it won't auto-crit and you will lose some potential dps. Knowing when to hit what button and, even more important, knowing when to delay hitting a button will actually play a role in our performance and that is a very good thing.

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While I would like to see the WF Unleash become something more unique (always liked the black bruise proc idea), i've never really had a problem with the effects themselves, it has always been a problem with the duration implementation. It seems completely counter productive to have such a low duration timer on a ranged spell. For PvP, we'll get 1 second out of the timer if at all when using it at ranged. I was a fan of the spell when the first skill preview was released and the spell's effects had charges. I thought it was perfect because then it would work great in PvE but also not be wasted in PvP because the charges would remain until I reached the target.

I don't know why they moved away from the charge model when the timer model they moved to was timed so low. It seems to me that it just put in more problems.

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While I would like to see the WF Unleash become something more unique (always liked the black bruise proc idea), i've never really had a problem with the effects themselves, it has always been a problem with the duration implementation. It seems completely counter productive to have such a low duration timer on a ranged spell. For PvP, we'll get 1 second out of the timer if at all when using it at ranged. I was a fan of the spell when the first skill preview was released and the spell's effects had charges. I thought it was perfect because then it would work great in PvE but also not be wasted in PvP because the charges would remain until I reached the target.

I don't know why they moved away from the charge model when the timer model they moved to was timed so low. It seems to me that it just put in more problems.

Now that I can agree with, unleash wind is pretty disappointing in it's current form. The direct damage is lackluster and the buff is boring and punishes using a ranged spell when outside of melee range.

I'd like to see it changed to either a black bruise effect where it would give an additional 20% of our physical damage as nature damage (wouldn't scale with the nature mastery) for a limited duration or maybe having it give a buff to increase the proc chance of a windfury proc by 20% for 7 seconds. The latter would only work if the cooldown remained in place and that sounds like it might be up in the air but the former should work either way.

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Yea looking at it again, it's not as bad as I was imagining. I was still assuming Magma Totem/Fire Nova and was overreacting. Major facedesk on my part.

The 'Black Bruise' idea would be pretty cool, especially if we can get some fancy new wind effect every swing. Still doesn't solve the 'ranged attack buffing melee' thing, which I can see being a biggish deal in PvP. Swapping it to a Charge system from a buff duration system might work.

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Yea looking at it again, it's not as bad as I was imagining. I was still assuming Magma Totem/Fire Nova and was overreacting. Major facedesk on my part.

The 'Black Bruise' idea would be pretty cool, especially if we can get some fancy new wind effect every swing. Still doesn't solve the 'ranged attack buffing melee' thing, which I can see being a biggish deal in PvP. Swapping it to a Charge system from a buff duration system might work.

Depends if the charges would be able to differentiate between mainhand and offhand attacks, which is why I think the swapped to the duration model in the first place.

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Yea, that's true. I'm not sure if that's an issue in this case though. Ultimately I expect the damage to be balanced to be the same, regardless of the system. I trust they can make 12 charges (hypothetical numbers here) the same damage as 6 seconds of the buff effect, the only difference being the window in which the player can use the effect. It's possible I'm not seeing something, though. If offhand attacks hitting for less than mainhand attacks does cause a problem, it could be set up to have the proc be based on a % of weapon damage (without the offhand penalty) rather than a % of the damage of the triggering attack instead?

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Moderator PSA:

Unleash weapon has some inconvenience issues for enhancement shaman, especially in pvp. The current conversation is approaching wishlisting though. So far the comments have been well reasoned and thoughtful, and there isn't really anything else going on right now.

Be careful you don't suggest "Unleash Wind now summons magical wind fairies to summon you to the Land of Wind and Shade" and make sure to stay constructive.

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New Build

Shamanistic Rage - mmo-c is a typo and it must be more like 96% since it takes stormstrike from 901 to 38 mana.

Unleash Wind - buffed - the buff now lasts for 6 seconds instead of just 5.

and <Happy Dance>

Mental Quickness - buffed - 50% of our AP as spellpower.

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Depends if the charges would be able to differentiate between mainhand and offhand attacks, which is why I think the swapped to the duration model in the first place.

Since the effect is currently haste, I dont see any real reason why MH/OH differentiation would be the reason behind a switch as they can easily decide on average how many white attacks to be effected and make the # of charges accordingly. An example being Flurry and a little bit of haste getting attacks down to 2.0. They decide based off that they want 3 extra attacks per weapon so 6 charges or 6 seconds. Charges is essentially a 2nd timer mechanism for a buff, in that you permanently have +X whatever the buff gives you, and then when theres 0 charges the buff dispels itself. Easily balancable for their intended design goals. Unless they intended us to go back to fast OH (and by buffing LL's direct dmg, i dont see that as being their plan) then there isnt really an issue with weapon speeds clipping each other.

What I think was the reason behind the change was that they probably couldnt get the charges to not proc off of SS/LL, and so just did the quick band-aid fix of moving it to a duration so they could prioritize the other classes that were getting more thorough retooling, either with the aim of revisiting it later or just leaving as is. Thats just conjecture though, not based off any quotable information.

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Mana doesn't feel too bad at the moment for leveling in the beta. I drop mana spring in my standard set if I don't have Blessing of Might but that's about the only thing I've changed.

Problem is that shamanistic focus is one of the "bugged" talents so I have it's effects even though it is no longer an available talent. I checked this morning and the same is not true with improved stormstrike so the mana returns aren't completely off but it is something to keep in mind.

Good thing is that adding shamanistic focus onto our specialties probably would be something they would consider if mana does become a concern.

Do you mean Shamanistic Focus or Shamanistic Rage? I can't see Shamanistic Focus in the new trees at all.

With the new build today they have changed SR to "Shamanistic Rage reduces the mana cost of your skills, totems, and offensive spells by 90 for 15 sec.".

Now this means the following. At best (with 1sec GCD) you can get off 15 abilities in 15 seconds. So you would save 15*90 mana = 1350 mana. If you used it religiously every 60 seconds you would get 1350mana/60seconds or 112.5 mp5. Now of course with not being haste soft capped, with movement, with not using SR exactly every 60 seconds the real number is going to be a lot less than that, probably nearer the 50-75 mp5 rate. Either way its a million miles away from the use it to fill up your mana bar talent we have today.

The talent changes the way we use SR completely, at present it is used for its T10 2pc damage boost, and to fill up our mana. In Cataclysm assuming this change sticks it is yet another mana REDUCTION talent it will NOT give mana back. So if you are already out of mana you are screwed.

What I haven't understood yet is what mechanism we are expected to use when we run out of mana? It seems to me that with this change we now have to rely on the new Primal Wisdom mechanism to get mana back so it becomes a mandatory talent. My concern with this is that PW does not scale. Its a 40% chance to get 5% BASE mana back. You could argue that with better gear you swing your weapons more often and thus get more "melee attacks" but its not scaling directly with gear really. I'd also have a concern that going from a 2.6 speed weapon to a 2.7 or 2.8 speed one would reduce your mana return rate and it would be a REAL pain if you had to work out will a slower weapon give me less mana and thus reduce my dps by being OOM earlier vs the dps increase from the new weapon.

I fully appreciate that this is early days and without knowing what gear we get at 85 its very difficult to understand how this will play out. However its looking like we may be heading to the days of mana based "enrage" timers (ie: fight durations limited by mana). They are doing that with healers apparently are they doing it with mana based dps too?

Interesting times. It does add annoyances for EnhSim (or its successor) though in that a mana cap does effectively change the mechanism by which you test. It may mean that we have to forcibly turn on mana usage considerations if that is going to be a major part of Enhancement dps play style in Cataclysm. I'll look forward to testing.

As an aside I got a beta key this morning and so will be able to participate in testing once Blizzard apply a fix to the Battle.net servers they upgraded yesterday so that it once again actually understands EU beta test keys.

Edit:

New Build

Shamanistic Rage - mmo-c is a typo and it must be more like 96% since it takes stormstrike from 901 to 38 mana.

AH now that changes things dramatically if it's not 90 mana saved but 90% mana saved.

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Yea, that's true. I'm not sure if that's an issue in this case though. Ultimately I expect the damage to be balanced to be the same, regardless of the system. I trust they can make 12 charges (hypothetical numbers here) the same damage as 6 seconds of the buff effect, the only difference being the window in which the player can use the effect. It's possible I'm not seeing something, though.

Whilst in melee range of a target, having the buff last for 6 seconds allows it to scale with gear, as ultimatley haste increases will lead to more hits within the buff duration. Hmm, this may lead to us using a swing timer to maximise the buff.

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Do you mean Shamanistic Focus or Shamanistic Rage? I can't see Shamanistic Focus in the new trees at all.

Shamanistic Focus is a bugged talent in that even though it is no longer in the tree it is still affecting my characters. When they redid the trees to 31 points some talents stayed active even though they were no longer available. Similar to how all our totems had the extra range from that old totem range talent in resto at the start of wrath.

I copied over a pre-made with no talents to compare.

Pre-made @ 80

Flame Shock = 702 mana

Rouncer @ 80 on PvE

Flame Shock = 366 mana

Rouncer @ 83 on PvP

Flame Shock = 1121 mana

Base mana = 13997

Flame Shock should cost 1562 based on the percentages from the premade which works out to 11% base mana. If it's really supposed to be 17% like it is on live at the moment then it should cost 2379 mana. Likely they dropped the shock costs a bit when they pulled shamanistic focus but since it is still active it is skewing any impressions of our current mana regen.

I can also tell it is active since shocks have no mana costs at all while the new shamanistic focus is active but LB and LvB both keep double digit mana costs.

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Shamanistic Rage - mmo-c is a typo and it must be more like 96% since it takes stormstrike from 901 to 38 mana.

That's 90% Shamanistic Rage and 6% Mental Quickness then. The level 80 Flame Shock seems to be 16% unless the base mana changed recently. With the given level 83 base mana, this 16% Flsame Shock only makes sense if shamanistic focus was 50% mana reduction. Maybe there are some remnants of having played with the Convection talent (not that it looks great anyway)? All this looks way too messy to even start making sense.

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Whilst in melee range of a target, having the buff last for 6 seconds allows it to scale with gear, as ultimatley haste increases will lead to more hits within the buff duration. Hmm, this may lead to us using a swing timer to maximise the buff.

Wouldn't the most simple solution involve implementation like old windfury/reckoning/tiny abom? The design could parallel original windfury, as tt went from a 20% chance to proc (1/5) to 20% haste (extra swing every 5). Even with 0 haste on gear we have 2.6/1+(1-.8(wf)*.7(flurry)) or 1.8 attack speed on a typical weapon. 20% additional haste spread across both hands adds up to essentially a full swing. If they switched back to a charge system they could put the Tiny Abom spin on it and have it read something like "Your next 2 melee attacks will generate an additional swing causing half damage". The obvious problem with that design is that with lower crit rates there's a good chance that your swings will be perpetually unsyncd causing either double mainhand or double offhand hits. The only real solution to that would be to add a single charge buff called empowered stormstrike or something like that and have your stormstrike strike twice with both hands but with half damage on the extra swings.

I know it's teetering on wishlisting and I'm sorry for that, but it seemed like a decent compromise between PVE and PVP and I am not in the beta to relay such suggestions.

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With Elemental Devestation now in the ENH tree (which makes a lot more sense than having it in ELE tbh since it's for ENH's benefit only) our Ele tree is looking very thin...

It's either 6/35 or 7/35 and sacrificing a point in primal wisdom or imp shields in order to get 2/2 Call of Flame... By going 2/2 in convection however, losing a point in Primal Wisdom might end up being a wash. Obviously if mana is a concern, going 2/2 into Primal Wisdom will be necessary, but it's the only talent point I can see (baring mana issues) that is worth giving up since it won't impact DPS.

WoW Talent Calculator - Sigrie

For PVP - I can see all talent points going into the ENH tree, everything but static shock basically.

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With the change in SR, Primal Wisdom becomes our only viable way to gain mana, so I highly doubt a build with 1/2 Primal Wisdom would work. Improved Shields seems to be the logical talent to lose a point from.

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I'm guessing there will also be a place for picking up Improved Fire Nova for certain fights, probably instead of Ancestral Swiftness or Imp. Shields, depending on how the encounter plays out.

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I'm guessing there will also be a place for picking up Improved Fire Nova for certain fights, probably instead of Ancestral Swiftness or Imp. Shields, depending on how the encounter plays out.

Considering the current design prevents us from using Fire Nova with Searing Totem, and ST is now a pretty important portion of our damage (via imp LL), it would have to be a very AoE focused fight to warrent a special spec and the lack of ST.

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