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Aldriana

5.2 Changes Discussion

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I really like these changes. I would really like to see BF beeing nerfed to the point where its not mandatory in any fights and that both sub and assa can do similar AoE/cleave dmg. I have been enjoying partially to have to change more between speccs now, without combat beeing the only reasonable allround specc. But I miss beeing able to play sub, and when we have to swap speccs like we do, then it comes a bit expensive to change gems, enchants etc to fully use the current specc.

Im so sick of having to play combat its not even funny. It seems that, and I really hope this will be true when live hits, I can now choose between all three speccs of my LIKING and not because I have to.

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At some fights some of dps classes have to respec, its not only us. Yes combat cleave is powerfull versus 2 even 3mob fights but the advantage that combat rogue have at some bosses is not breaking the melee class balance. it is just very good not overpowered and the logic on the nerf is just stupit. As Gc said 'Yes. Combat had just become "swap on cleave fights only." A cleave advantage is fine, but it was too far off.' Now combat has just become no fights at all. What next, Feint? We all know how powerfull ability feint is at emperor and i am pretty sure blizz may consider feint is too far off too.

Nerfing Bf is the easiest way, and generally Blizz prefers easy solutions. If you do not want combat as a swap on cleave fight spec why not consider make the BF as a rogue general ability instead of combat spec. It may be again 2min cd ability but for all specs. With the restless blades combat will be the best cleave spec however both subt. and assas will have something more. Even some kind of charge should be intresting like we can activate bf at any spec after x number combo point used. We can find 100 different ideas about this and i am pretty sure the %75 nerf will not be one of them.

Combat is boring? Maybe for some of us yes however assas. is too. Subt. means more fun for me but it is also broken not the damage output but spending a lot more work for same even lower damage than other specs. We first need some change about the class then the specs.

While rogue pvp will get one of the biggest buffs i ve ever seen i think vitality will be more effective, with new instances and higher level items combat will benefit much more than it seems. Cannot say anything about the sh.toss atm. Will those auto st drain energy dont think they will but what about cp generating from auto st? It was fun and also intersting using it instead of muti. in the early days of content while we ve low item level daggers. Even without cp i think it may be useful for assasination spec.

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I'm curious where people are getting the differences between spec damage. If you go by sites that use WoL then the most popular specs will do the most dps. Simulations generally yield different results, though the ones I've seen have decided sub is the best (something very few of us can attest to, I myself haven't played assassination so I can't judge). I did see GC say that sub dps is a bit low, however I'm genuinely curious how people are deciding what spec is the best.

Also, the 4% damage buff to SV doesn't translate to 4% damage increase for sub, but rather about a 3.5% damage buff:

say dps w/o SV is 100:

DPS w/ SV at 16% is 116

DPS w/ SV at 20% is 120

120/116 = 1.03448275862, so the dps increase is ~3.45%.

To answer the question about how sub switches targets, the main factor is how long we are on the target. If we are only on the new target for 5 seconds getting SV up via rupture may actually cost dps since there will be so few ticks. If we are on the target for 25 secs a full 5 CP rupture will be worth it for dps even without SV, and thus getting CP during downtime will make sub switch quite well in relation to other specs. It's also worth noting that at a certain point it *could* be optimal to use CT for switching targets since it does half of its damage up-front, thus applying SV and starting out with slightly higher damage than rupture.

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At some fights some of dps classes have to respec, its not only us. Yes combat cleave is powerfull versus 2 even 3mob fights but the advantage that combat rogue have at some bosses is not breaking the melee class balance. it is just very good not overpowered and the logic on the nerf is just stupit.

At what point would you say that the cleave advantage that Combat currently enjoys *is* "breaking the melee class balance"? I ask because, if we use Raidbots to take a look at how Combat's best players are currently doing against the best of other classes/specs on 10-H Stone Guard, we see a gap of about 30,000 DPS between Combat and the next-best specs -- which are, in fact, mages, not other melee cleave classes/specs. Combat is 15% better than mages on that fight, and from there the gap only grows as you compare to other classes.

Blizzard's goal is obviously not to make Combat unusable. It's to bring it down to roughly the same plane as the other specs, so fewer rogues feel obligated to switch to it.

If you do not want combat as a swap on cleave fight spec why not consider make the BF as a rogue general ability instead of combat spec. It may be again 2min cd ability but for all specs. With the restless blades combat will be the best cleave spec however both subt. and assas will have something more. Even some kind of charge should be intresting like we can activate bf at any spec after x number combo point used. We can find 100 different ideas about this and i am pretty sure the %75 nerf will not be one of them.

Or, on the flip side, you could do exactly what Blizz appears to be planning (or at least considering): Bring Combat's cleave in line with the rest of the game, boost its single-target damage to keep it competitive with the other rogue specs, and consider finding a way to kick its multi-target AoE up a notch so it's not a complete waste to bring it on fights where that's needed. The end result would theoretically be a situation in which highly competitive PvE groups and players would still flock to the best proven performer, but the vast majority of end-game PvE-ers would no longer feel as though they were raid-killing idiots because they didn't want to switch specs from fight to fight.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not thrilled to see one of the few remaining defining features of our individual rogue specs lose much of its definition. But please, enough with the "this change doesn't make sense" stuff already. It makes plenty of sense. They wouldn't be making such a major adjustment in the middle of an expansion if it didn't.

To me, the much more interesting question is over whether the changes they've identified for Vitality and Sang. Vein, if they were to go live as-is, would truly be sufficient to make spec choice a matter of personal preference on most fights in the next raid tier. (And if not, what it *would* take to reach something approaching true parity -- as much as something like that can ever be achieved given how variable raid mechanics are from one fight to the next.)

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Maybe they plan to put not a "big nerf" on combat, but something like "75% reduction on Blade Flurry PLUS hits two targets instead of one", or something like that

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Rfeann I think the general consensus is not that we shouldn't be getting a nerf, it's that it shouldn't be such a huge nerf. A lot of us are wondering what exactly the point of using BF is if, under ideal circumstances, the DPS increase is a measly 8%.

Especially since many of us who run as Sub or Assassination aren't gemmed / reforged / enchanted to min/max Combat. For us, this now means that trying to take advantage of an iconic Rogue skill for a few fights where it would seem advantageous will now give us close to 0 net gain in DPS. And depending on the nature of the fight (and if there are periods where BF isn't even being used) it could mean a DPS loss.

I, for one, actually enjoy switching up my spec a little bit because a fight is suitable to it. I like to main Assassination, but I don't hate swapping Combat for something different. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way though? I don't know.

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Wasn't the math such that a Mutilate reforge (high mastery) was ahead of the normal Combat reforge for a pure cleave fight?

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I'm with nonmagical. I've enjoyed swapping specs to suit the fights (to an extent), and this ever since I've started playing my rogue. But lately, with reforges, enchants and more importantly double secondary stats gems, this has been terribly boring: swapping from Assassination to Combat means I'll be energy starved. BF allowed us to pump higher DPS on cleave fights even though we have subpar reforges and gems. I, for one, applaud the change: I'm no longer 'forced' into a spec I don't have an optimal gear for. But the extent of the nerf might be a bit too much.

I feel like a good thing to do to improve on pures vs hybrids would be to make EP weights roughly similar between pures's specs. Sure, we could farm a second set like most hybrids do, but frankly I feel like my raid wouldn't like it one bit: too many leather-wearing hybrids are counting on me passing agi loots... But I fear such change would destroy most of our theorycrafting, which I have to admit I love doing and I expect all of you do as well.

On a side note, GC was discussing passive damage vs active on Twitter. He felt like it was time to maybe change things. It'd be great if we could voice in. I personally would like them to remove Slice and Dice (and balance Combat and Sub's energy regen around that), make Rupture always worth to use for damage = ( %crit * EvisAvgCrit + ( 1 - %crit ) * EvisAvgNonCrit ), and buff CP builders across the board.

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I enjoy all three of our specs in PvE and choose between them based on performance by encounter (I have moved from PvE Sub as a main spec/Combat off to Assass/Combat in Pandaria). Right now assass is our best choice for DPS in a large percentage of fights, combat is only good where cleave is possible and Sub is behind.

From a purely DPS based assessment in PvE these changes will increase Combat's single target viability (good) whilst diminishing cleave viability, bump Sub a bit and leave assass as it is. I strongly suspect that this will result in 3 viable single target specs with Assass having the AoE edge, Combat only mildly advantageous in 2 target fights and Sub at least a possibility again.

So it's not all bad and other target switching based changes sound interesting. Certainly changes keep the game fresh at any rate. My strong suspicion would be that IF there is a 75% drop in BF damage then they will remove the energy penalty.

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I also enjoyed to play 2 different specs depending on the fight needs. Some variations in the playstyle does not hurt (even if it's true that it's a pain to have so different stats weights across the specs.. ,i optimize for combat).

It will be sad to have equivalent specs, all mono target oriented

Their intention seems pretty clear (i think the given answer was not only for pvp reasons)

https://twitter.com/Ghostcrawler/status/281529461051125760

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Oddly, it looks like the PTR actually went up with the supposed-to-not-be-there ability Hit and Run in the level-60 talent tier, just as had been datamined (and despite Ghostcrawler essentially confirming in a tweet that the idea had been scrapped). Cloak and Dagger, which is in the official patch preview notes, is apparently nowhere to be seen on the PTR at the moment.

Wavefunctionp has a

on his Youtube mawhozie.

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Their intention seems pretty clear (i think the given answer was not only for pvp reasons)

https://twitter.com/Ghostcrawler/status/281529461051125760

Ghostcrawler should pay more attention to what he sais to be honest. Combat AoE is actually abysmal, it has an effective cleave in BF, but with alot of mobs I'm happily spamming FoK in Assa spec.

I don't think a nerf to BF is necessarily bad, because in some situations it's fairly ridicolous and OP, but I don't get why it has to be such a nerf nobody will even consider using it. 75% hopefully won't make it on live.

I personally don't PvP, but I like the prep change as it will open up a new possibility to me, I ussually run with the prep talent from a survivability point of view and only switch to shadowstep on fights it can really give me a significant edge. MfD seems more like a viable PvP talent, maybe you will spec into it occasionally, but I still find Anticipation far more usefull as it allows me to maximize envenom uptime and/or choosing my own moment to spam 2 finishers at any given time to my liking.

Most of the other stuff isn't too fancy, they give a slight buff to Sub, probably to get it on par with Assa, but I wonder the design philosophy behind all of this. They are trying to buff Combat single target damage to get in on par with Assa and Sub (?) while pretty much destroying the specifics of the class, combat having an effective cleave vs assasination having strong AoE.

I'm not too enthousiastic overall, let's see what news comes up during the PTR testing.

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The issue I'm having with that reply of his is the lack of a reference point. Apparently he/they believe BF to be too strong, but in what regard? Compared to the other rogue-specs? Compared to other melee-classes (Howling Blast - nuff said)? Other DPS in general?

Obviously they're trying to get all three specs in line on their singletarget damage, with SV and Vitality percentages being buffed slightly, but the major problem that both the playerbase aswell as blizzard acknowledged isn't the damage. It's that neither of the three specs is very fun to play, being rather punishing (rogue being the only class to date that has to deal with both their primary resources overcapping/expiring while also having extreme windows of "no button to hit for the next few seconds"), and now that BF is nerfed - and if the numbers stay that way basically not worth it at all - there is no ability whatsoever that distinguishes the specs from each other. After dropping the ball like that with MoP regarding our general gameplay, I didn't expect them to enhance our gaming exprience via a content patch, but declining the identities of the specs even further just seems... wrong.

The whole passive-damage situation still hasn't been touched either, even though it basically is just number crunching. Our single-target DPS still splits into 5 to 7 small (10-15% each) compartments while we only have direct control over 1 or 2 of them, our AoE still relies in spreading our poisons via Fan of Knives and our cleave, no matter how small or big its is, still is as simple as toggling an ability on or off. And this isn't fun at all. Why not give assassination a pestilence-like ability for our poisons with a second ability to blast the applied poisons for increased effect, like an AoE Stun with paralytic, AoE slow with crippling or simply having an AoE nature-damage damage burst? To me it's about the feeling of the class, and not just about the numbers, but maybe that's just me.

At least in PvP we're going to get some sweet new stuff that certainly will be interesting and fun to play with. One can only hope that they will use that as a foundation to increase on our core gameplay and maybe give each spec a distinguishable feel in the future.

edit: As far as combats AoE goes, it isn't completely abysmal. Building up to medium insight, keeping it for like 60 seconds by refreshing it with SS/RvS right before it expires and using only FoK/CT as other styles/finishers can produce somewhat decent numbers. Of course just hitting BF and using your singletarget rotation is almost equally or more efficient, depending on the amount of targets hit. At least the first variant involves a minimal amount of skill though.

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I think you raise some valid points, but we've gotta keep in mind that we're in the middle of an expansion now. It's pretty remarkable as it is that we're seeing rogue changes on the table that are as massive in scope as what we appear to be getting -- one talent removed from the game entirely, another talent made baseline, two new talents added in (even if they are somewhat repackaging existing abilities), Blade Flurry eviscerated, significant PvP balance adjustments. The design team is really testing its "we're not comfortable making major adjustments mid-expansion" limits here. Though, on the flip side, there's arguably not a whole lot for them to lose by doing so, given how sharp the rogue population decline has been this expansion.

But I think a revisiting of the passive-vs.-active equations -- as well as the extent to which rogue AoE should be made viable across all specs -- is the kind of thing that needs to be dealt with in 6.0. I'm no theorycrafting wizbang like some of you in here are, but I'm pretty sure that adjusting the passive/active proportions and still ensuring proper balance -- not only between rogue specs, but between rogues and other classes, including in PvP -- is a far more daunting task than many of us would like to instinctively assume. You can't just nerf white attacks or poisons and buff specials, because none of those things exist in a vacuum; there's a synergy between elements of our damage that can get pretty nuanced, and that can also get screwed up right quick by getting too anxious about making changes for the sake of triage.

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On the one hand, yes, a lot of our problems are more substantive than can easily be addressed mid-expansion; on the other hand, most of them have been around for an expansion or two already. its fine to say "they should fix this for 6.0", but for a lot of these issues, we said the same thing about 5.0 (and, in some cases, 4.0). So its absolutely fair to acknowledge that these are complicated problems that they're not going to fix with an afternoon of work; but its also fair to note that they've had years to work on most of these problems already and wonder when they're going to get around to fixing them.

I think in a lot of ways 5.2 is stuff they might have liked to get into 5.0, but for whatever reason didn't have time for. So as long as they're doing "5.0 cleanup work" I think its totally fair to discuss other things we might have liked to see make it into 5.0, just in case they have the time and inclination to work on them as well.

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For what it's worth, I checked Shuriken Toss on the PTR and the buff appears to simply make Autoattack have a 30 yard range.

  • Applies both lethal and nonlethal poisons
  • Is effected by slice and dice
  • Appears to do regular melee damage (Not 100% certain on this, but 95% sure)
  • Can proc enchants like Dancing Steel and Windsong

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Shuriken Toss sure sounds interesting for dailies and stuff like that. Loving the change.

As far as not wanting to change stuff mid-expansion, I totally agree. I'm guessing it's also one of the main reasons why blizzard is trying to ramp up our dps via talents/abilities that increase our damage in general like Vitality/Sanguinary Veins, instead of trying to find ways to increase the portion of "active" dps, if you want to call it that. What bugs me though is what Aldriana pointed out already - it's not like the problems were encountering nowadays have suddenly appeared out of thin air with the Mists of Pandaria release.

As I already stated though, I'm really hoping for blizzard to take the really interesting changes they've brought to us with 5.2 as a foundation for future changes.

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*EDITED*

Just went up on datamined PTR changes:

Talents

Increases movement speed by 70% for 4 sec and removes any movement-slowing effects. Does not break stealth. 30 Energy.

Cloak and Dagger (New) Your Ambush, Garrote, and Cheap Shot abilities can now be used from 30 yards away, and will cause you to appear behind your target.

Combat

Blade Flurry While active, your attacks strike an additional nearby opponent up to 4 additional nearby opponents for 25% of normal damage, but Energy regeneration is reduced by 20%.

Subtlety

Sanguinary Vein Increases the damage of your Rupture ability by 50% and causes you to deal 20% additional damage to targets afflicted by your Rupture, Garrote, or Crimson Tempest.

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Just to clarify: Those are not patch notes, they're the latest batch of PTR build datamining notes from MMO-Champion. They lose a little in the translation if you copy-paste them like that without any formatting. (For instance, the datamined tooltip for Blade Flurry has removed the "an additional nearby opponent" text, making the new bit about "up to 4" make a lot more sense.)

Gonna edit this to add that of the changes listed above, only the Blade Flurry adjustment (to make it hit up to 4 nearby targets instead of just 1) is *new* new; the Cloak and Dagger thing suggests it's finally in the level-60 talent tier instead of Hit and Run, the Burst of Speed changes actually bring the ability in line with what was already in the official patch preview notes, and the Sanguinary Vein changes also similarly are just an execution of what was already in the official notes.

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Also data mined by mmo-champ:

Item - Rogue T15 2P Bonus (New) Increases the duration of your finishing moves as if you had used an additional combo point, up to a maximum of 6 combo points.

Item - Rogue T15 4P Bonus (New) Shadow Blades also reduces the cost of all your abilities by 40%.

That 4 piece feels a bit awkward for Combat to use. As it is, using AR and SB at the same time leads to just barely being able to avoid energy capping. Compounding AR with 40% lower energy costs will make that set bonus nearly useless unless AR and SB usage is decoupled, and I'm not certain what the dps implications would be for using them back-to-back rather than together.

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and I'm not certain what the dps implications would be for using them back-to-back rather than together.

The imediate implications that I see are:

- The autoattack speed increase from AR increases the damages from SB (we can simplify SB as an autoattack with no glancing and mitigation from the armor). This 20% damage increase for SB is lost if you use AR and SB back to back.

- The GCD reduction to 0.8 second and double energy regen ensure a nearly optimal CP generation for the whole duration of SB. During the 12 seconds of SB we have 15 GCD with enough energy (that should be around 10-11 SS and 4-5 finishers). Around 10-11 CP are gained from SB. Without AR but with the 4P bonus from the T15 that is only 12 GCD at most so around 8-9 CP gained from SB (if we can assume that the 40% bonus allow us to make a full use of our damaging abilities during SB. If it is not the case the amount of CP gained will be even lower).

- If we have enough energy regen to be limited by our GCD for the duration of SB (with the bonus), the energy gain from the bonus will be around 180 energy per use. I hope this will offset the previous loss.

But in any case this bonus doesn't seems strong for the combat spec.

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The imediate implications that I see are:

- The autoattack speed increase from AR increases the damages from SB (we can simplify SB as an autoattack with no glancing and mitigation from the armor). This 20% damage increase for SB is lost if you use AR and SB back to back.

- The GCD reduction to 0.8 second and double energy regen ensure a nearly optimal CP generation for the whole duration of SB. During the 12 seconds of SB we have 15 GCD with enough energy (that should be around 10-11 SS and 4-5 finishers). Around 10-11 CP are gained from SB. Without AR but with the 4P bonus from the T15 that is only 12 GCD at most so around 8-9 CP gained from SB (if we can assume that the 40% bonus allow us to make a full use of our damaging abilities during SB. If it is not the case the amount of CP gained will be even lower).

- If we have enough energy regen to be limited by our GCD for the duration of SB (with the bonus), the energy gain from the bonus will be around 180 energy per use. I hope this will offset the previous loss.

But in any case this bonus doesn't seems strong for the combat spec.

Not to mention the waste of restless blades finishers during AR with sb not on cd :/

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A little confused on the new 2 set... does this mean that it effects JUST duration finishers e.g S&D, Rupture? If so... the benefit assassination will gain won't be much as it keeps s&d up automatically. As for the 4 set... it could lead to envenom clipping during SB, even with anticipation...

Perhaps it is their way of pushing people toward Sub in 5.2? I'd love to see some rough EP values between the specs based on those bonuses.

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does this mean that it effects JUST duration finishers e.g S&D, Rupture? If so... the benefit assassination will gain won't be much as it keeps s&d up automatically.

As far as we know (hint: very little), it affects all finishers that have some kind of duration: Slice and Dice, Rupture, Recuperate, Kidney Shot and... Envenom. It could thusly be great for Assassination but, like the 4P, the 2P will also lead to Envenom clipping.

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As far as we know (hint: very little), it affects all finishers that have some kind of duration: Slice and Dice, Rupture, Recuperate, Kidney Shot and... Envenom. It could thusly be great for Assassination but, like the 4P, the 2P will also lead to Envenom clipping.

If it does effect envenom's buff duration as well, that would be sweet, but cause even more trouble for clipping envenom uptime with the 4pc as you said.

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