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Roywyn

WotLK - Complete Mage Compendium (3.3.3 live)

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Solutions? Id suggest the three frost tier 1 talents are changed from (Improved Frostbolt + Frost Warding + Ice Floes) into:

- Ice Shards (5 points)

- Ice Floes (3 points)

- Elemental Precision (3 points)

That would turn the 0/51/20 frostfire specc into 11/51/8 (+1). You lose a 6% multiplier and icy veins for a raid wide 150+ damage, if that's acceptable is up for debate. Personally I'd prefer it if they made raid wide utilities only reachable for deep speccs, preventing these insane hybrid speccs with the only purpose to provide utility.

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The first two tiers of frost talents need another placement-review pass, as does points 13-15 of the Fire talent tree. Why did they switch elemental precision into tier 2 anyway? Its painful to spec points into 'wasted filler talents' for someone of any spec.

I think this is intentional. A decreased need for Hit Rating is supposed to be a Frost perq, so a Fire or Arcane Mage needs to waste a few points if he wants to get it. Mana refunds on crits is supposed to be a Fire perq, so an Arcane or Frost Mage needs to waste a few points if he wants to get it. In short, I don't think it's intended, or even desirable, for a deep spec to have a painless route to the attractive talents even on the shallow tiers of a secondary tree. This helps to make sure that it's a more difficult decision whether to pick up those talents at the expense of some of the less-powerful talents in your primary tree.

In short, giving up 3 points in your primary tree to take Elemental Precision is a no-brainer, while giving up 8 points to take it may require some thought and more difficult choices. And that's good, as it encourages greater spec diversity.

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I heard no one here has figured out how the spell _currently_ works as of build 8788:

- If the mob with living bomb hits no target, only the dot ticks

- Whenever the mob with living bomb hits a target (currently only tested with mobs, not with hunters, etc), the explosion occurs kicking the mob up in the air and doing its damage. The dot is not consumed by it, the explosion can occur multiple times everytime the mob hits a target and has living bomb on it.

I just killed a 10k hp mob only with living bomb letting it hit on me.

If it stays that way, its really comparable with seed of corruption or even stronger because you can cast other spells meanwhile. But I doubt it ;)

The explosion originates from the player, not the target. i.e. I can cast living bomb on a target and run away, all targets that are within 10yards of my mage are getting hit for explosion damage every 2 seconds while the tick damage is ONLY happening to the target far away regardless if mobs are around it. Only when the target I cast living bomb on is within 10yards of the mage, will other targets take tick damage, along with explosion damage. It's all very buggy and should be fixed eventually.

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The explosion originates from the player, not the target. i.e. I can cast living bomb on a target and run away, all targets that are within 10yards of my mage are getting hit for explosion damage every 2 seconds while the tick damage is ONLY happening to the target far away regardless if mobs are around it. Only when the target I cast living bomb on is within 10yards of the mage, will other targets take tick damage, along with explosion damage. It's all very buggy and should be fixed eventually.

This sounds like it's a bug between the prior and current versions. It seems to be retaining some of its self-cast properties.

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I think this is intentional. A decreased need for Hit Rating is supposed to be a Frost perq, so a Fire or Arcane Mage needs to waste a few points if he wants to get it. Mana refunds on crits is supposed to be a Fire perq, so an Arcane or Frost Mage needs to waste a few points if he wants to get it. In short, I don't think it's intended, or even desirable, for a deep spec to have a painless route to the attractive talents even on the shallow tiers of a secondary tree. This helps to make sure that it's a more difficult decision whether to pick up those talents at the expense of some of the less-powerful talents in your primary tree.

In short, giving up 3 points in your primary tree to take Elemental Precision is a no-brainer, while giving up 8 points to take it may require some thought and more difficult choices. And that's good, as it encourages greater spec diversity.

On the contrary it seems that Blizzard have gone out of their way to to allow a few points spent in an offspec tree to have some value. I see no reason why fire should be forced to go 8 (realistically 11 due to IV) points into frost to pick up a +hit talent that every single other caster spec across classes has easy access to. (With warlocks needing to cap soulshatter being the outlier case- and that needs to be fixed.)

Given that Frost Channeling applies to all spells now I would call it pretty much a wash with MoE. Currently the only real attractive reason for minoring in the fire tree is improved scorch, which you are unlikely to get with MoE maxed out as it would mean sacrificing ABar or DF. Frost is already attractive with Channeling, IV and EP so I don't really see the need for them to push you spending more points in that tree.

Unless they drastically reorder the early talents of every class I just can't agree that they dislike a few random points in a tertiary/secondary tree, look at melee based classes for some obvious must haves no matter the rest of the spec.

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On the contrary it seems that Blizzard have gone out of their way to to allow a few points spent in an offspec tree to have some value.

...

Unless they drastically reorder the early talents of every class I just can't agree that they dislike a few random points in a tertiary/secondary tree, look at melee based classes for some obvious must haves no matter the rest of the spec.

I didn't say they disliked it. I said they're trying not to make it the obvious choice -- they're trying to make it a balanced choice. They're trying to make it so that a spec that doesn't take those points is competitive with one that does.

The changes suggested upthread would make taking points in a secondary tree better than taking more points in the primary tree, and that's bad. As it stands, taking points in the off-tree is still a perfectly valid and effective option, but it's not a clearly superior option.

In short, making those points too easy to take is just as bad as making them too hard to take; they're trying to hit the middle ground, and make sure that the cost, in terms of what you give up in your primary tree, is commensurate with the benefit -- not too expensive, not too cheap.

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I didn't say they disliked it. I said they're trying not to make it the obvious choice -- they're trying to make it a balanced choice. They're trying to make it so that a spec that doesn't take those points is competitive with one that does.

The changes suggested upthread would make taking points in a secondary tree better than taking more points in the primary tree, and that's bad. As it stands, taking points in the off-tree is still a perfectly valid and effective option, but it's not a clearly superior option.

In short, making those points too easy to take is just as bad as making them too hard to take; they're trying to hit the middle ground, and make sure that the cost, in terms of what you give up in your primary tree, is commensurate with the benefit -- not too expensive, not too cheap.

I somewhat agree with what you're saying on a general level, though again unless they massively redesign the melee trees I see no evidence that this would really be the case.

My reply however was not concerning any of the suggested talent placements or the general principle, it was solely about the placement of EP.

Every single caster class has +3% hit on their primary nuke (well Druids get 4%) the only spec that cannot get it in the appropriate tree is Fire, that is, Fire is currently paying a 5 talent point tax on it's +hit talent (and 5 useless talent points at that unless even more talent points are spent in Frost.)

Maybe I'm drawing a blank but I see no possible ways in with moving EP from Tier 1-> Tier 2 would encourage spec diversity, infact personally it would cement frost as being the only suitable minor tree.

Short version, why should the Fire +hit talent be a Frost tree perk? It should be as easy as possibly to reach considering ever other caster will be assumed to have 3%+ hit from talents.

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Short version, why should the Fire +hit talent be a Frost tree perk? It should be as easy as possibly to reach considering ever other caster will be assumed to have 3%+ hit from talents.

Why shouldn't it? Different trees are different. Fire has more crit modifiers than any other tree. Arcane is the only tree with a passive haste talent. Affliction is the only tree that needs to take two different +hit% talents to benefit all its spells. It's just one of those different flavor things. Every tree has advantages and disadvantages; a lack of localized +hit% is one of the disadvantages they've decided to give Fire.

A much bigger concern is the placement of Improved Scorch, which allows Frost to be theoretically self-sufficient while Fire can't be.

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I'd like to add some testing requests here if I may. I know its premature to ask this since TtW ins't implimented yet, but since the combat log and FCT are showing 'snares now it'd be cool to see if the following ability 'snare' Dr. boom (if FCT/combat log say he's snared, of course);

Slow

Frostfire Bolt

Infected Wounds (feral druid tallent)

Frost Fever (with the chillblains tallent)

You'll notice the above list contains spells/abilities that have a snare effect tied on to additional effects; the result is that a 'snare' debuff from any of these will go on a boss, even if the boss can't be snared. The reason for testing, of course, is to try and judge the value of TtW (3 of the above abilities could potentially sit on a targt quite passively, removing the worry of having to keep slow up to make TtW any use).

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Would someone mind linking some of the actual talent builds that are being discussed? I'm specifically wondering what the best talent build would be for a Frostfire/Living Bomb build.

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Why shouldn't it? Different trees are different. Fire has more crit modifiers than any other tree. Arcane is the only tree with a passive haste talent. Affliction is the only tree that needs to take two different +hit% talents to benefit all its spells. It's just one of those different flavor things. Every tree has advantages and disadvantages; a lack of localized +hit% is one of the disadvantages they've decided to give Fire.

A much bigger concern is the placement of Improved Scorch, which allows Frost to be theoretically self-sufficient while Fire can't be.

I can't help but feel we've gone slightly offtopic here or at least into a personal tit for tat.

Here's the way I see it, across all casters they homogenized hit from talents, this is in an effort to make general caster gear and buffs more universally acceptable to all classes.

Implications of fire not having easy access to hit talents

1) Raidwide hit buffs are being rebalanced, ie Totem of Wrath lost its hit component. I believe having a consistent amount of expected hit across all casters will make raid balancing of buffs easier.

2) Gear. Reduction from 16 ->9 percent hit required and an expected Moonkin (in their current form) in every 25 man raid means that hit on gear can be deemphasized. It's easier to make attractive gear at every raid level if you know exactly what the players need. Different specs requiring different hit leads in part to some of the awful itemization witnessed in tbc, in the extreme case where warlocks were craving hit and SPs were almost ignoring it.

3) Somewhat related to 2) is spec scaling at different gear levels, the most well known are SPs and destro locks. While 3% hit is obviously not as extreme a difference we are still likely to see differences as gear ilevel increases and stat spread becomes more common.

4) A personal one here, it's now approaching the 2nd expansion, I believe we're past the point of having to take wasted talent points for a spec that will have a popular and clear purpose i.e. Raiding, PvP

I would consider any talent that adds a zero or trivial advantage in the intended area of play to wasted.

Now I'm not saying that 3% hit for fire costing 8 points in another tree instead of 3 is going to make a major difference, rather that for ease for spec ,raid and item balance it makes sense to me for it to be as easily accessible as possible.

As for the list of examples of trees that have different characteristics, not relevant to the discussion at hand (nor indeed were they even all accurate) in the slightest, now if you'd listed examples of being different by omission then perhaps they may have had some value- I'm sure some exist, but Blizzard has been active in this area to make stats on gear as equally attractive to everyone as possible (crit bonus for SPs, spirit bonus and a hit talent for locks.)

This post went on longer than originally intended, I hope my perspective is more clear now.

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Seems to me Blizzard is being more careful about what buffs they put in what tier level. It is really hard to put 51 pts into a tree exactly without sacrificing some Tier 9 talents, for example.

I personally like making it harder to decide between 51/20 and 71/0. If you put some low hanging fruit that is crazy good in Tier1 of the other trees, I'd be dumb not to take it. Example: My plan is to go 0/0/71 frost. But if there was some ZOMG raiding talent in Tier 1 fire or arcane, it would be a no brainer to take it. But the good raiding talents are deep enough in fire/arcane that I am going to say no thanks. Others will make different decisions. That is a good thing .

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Say for example frostbolt, it has a 5% coefficient penalty because of the added snare effect, before it could not be partially resisted, now it can. That's how I interpret it.

As for the synergy list, you forgot (druid)moonkin aura and (hunter)hunting party.

Oh and on druid summary it should be 6% arcane damage unless I'm visually impaired.

Does it means that now that it can be partially resisted we get the 5% coefficient penalty back?

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In short, making those points too easy to take is just as bad as making them too hard to take; they're trying to hit the middle ground, and make sure that the cost, in terms of what you give up in your primary tree, is commensurate with the benefit -- not too expensive, not too cheap.

While I understand this chain of thought, it still does not mean its necessary (or acceptable) to make the offtree force people to choose between utterly useless talents for their spec and justify it because it 'shouldnt be painless'. Theres other ways to make it 'not the superior option' as you say, without resorting to feeding us useless talents we dont want.

I was under the impression this type of design (shallow points in trees useful for anyone) is exactly what Blizzard has been aiming to achieve. The first few tiers of each tree now seem almost custom designed to have generic any-spec-useful talents by design, to allow people to invest in "+20" builds without being penalised in this regard - right down to talents like impact now affecting all spells. Thus, current 2-wasted-point examples im pointing out, seem like genuine oversights rather than intentional design I think. I really dont think Blizzard designed the trees and thought "Well fire/acane mages wanting to put points in frost will have to pickup improved frostbolt/frost warding to get to tier 2 - but thats OK - the 2 wasted points is punishment for not putting points in their mainspec tree instead"

The main examples (as prior mentioned)

- A arcane/fire mage's first 5 points in a frost tree, 2 are wasted. Ice Floes is acceptable, but only 3 points - the other 2 points (Improved frostbolt, frost warding) are not.

- A arcane/frost mages first 15 points in the fire tree, 2 are wasted. (Actually only 1 if your arcane, because its acceptable to pickup Pyro when you have POM)

- A frost/fires first 5 points in the arcane tree. This is debatable whether 0 or up to all 5 are wasted, but given that IAE is very important regardless of spec, the subtlety talent can be considered worth it for any spec. Arcane focus doesnt sit well with me, however. (Its nice when fire mages tank Spellsteal bosses, but what else?)

Wasted talent points should never be acceptable, even if its only 2. Talent trees must cater for "+20" specs in a manner that keeps this statement true. Dont think that to make a talent 'useful', it needs to be fabulously strong either. Improved Fireblast might not be the best use of talent points for a frost mage (picking up some of the fire tree) in raids, yet its still useful to some degree and not truly wasted like in the Frost Warding/Improved frostbolt case. If blizzard really does like the frost warding talent, why not alter it into a Armor Warding talent and provide a small benefit to mage armor too. Wham, suddenly the (small) extra passive regen has found a use for your friendly fire/arcane mages and the points have a genuine use again. Theres so many possible ways to move/alter talents to fix the wasted points issue, it just seems stupid to keep them as is.

But if there was some ZOMG raiding talent in Tier 1 fire or arcane. If you put some low hanging fruit that is crazy good in Tier1 of the other trees

Nobody is really saying there should be a talent of this nature, but rather that IF you decide to go into a +20 spec (lets say, to pickup imp scorch to help your raid utility) - you wont be penalised so harsh for it, with regards to wasted talents. Its not about making the offtree so good its the obviously better choice than a +71 spec, its about making the offtree not punish people who decide to go the +51,+20 route for whatever reason. A good example is improved fireblast. Its not really the best use of talent points to a full frost mage, but a frost mage whos putting 18 points in fire can still happily take them and feel they have a genuine use. Its certainly not crazy good or overpowered, but its fine.

Which spec is 'better' should still be a matter of personal choice and playstyle. It just however seems that some people have a different stance on this topic, which is fine too.

4) A personal one here, it's now approaching the 2nd expansion, I believe we're past the point of having to take wasted talent points for a spec that will have a popular and clear purpose i.e. Raiding, PvP

I would consider any talent that adds a zero or trivial advantage in the intended area of play to wasted.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Pretty much nails my sentiment on the topic.

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- A arcane/fire mage's first 5 points in a frost tree, 2 are wasted. Ice Floes is acceptable, but only 3 points - the other 2 points (Improved frostbolt, frost warding) are not.

Are you sure you have read the tooltip of frost warding properly? It's no longer just frost ward.

It affects both fire and frost ward for a chance of returning 30% mana and totally absorbing the spell. I'd rate that as kinda usefull regarding of spec. I'm sure there will be some random dmg in encounters (at least frost, being Northrend), not to mention frost/fire dmg in pvp.

So it's exactly like your example of imp fireblast for a frost mage. It's not crazy good, but it IS usefull in some circumstances.

Off course, the extra effect on frost/ice armor isnt exactly great, but that doesnt really matter.

edit: think about the possibilities in combination with the fire equivalent, so you'll either reflect or absorb the spell + gain mana, and at least one of them will happen quite often. Very cool imo:)

Personally I think alot of the new abilities etc are cool, and I'm starting to think of posibilites, combos or just plain fun uses.

Some people are too pessimistic imo. It's like when mirror image was mentioned. My first thought was "wow cool, I've allways wanted that, could be fun", but some immediately started "it'll probably suck!!" without knowing anything about the spell.

What's up with that?

And yes, I've read through all ~200 pages now:)

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I'd rate that as kinda usefull

We'd have to agree to disagree there currently, knowing how much the Wards has been used from SSC->Sunwell. I agree that if there is more random damage in future the value this could change, but we'll need details on raid encounters before we can review that. You still walk the line of "Situationally ok for X boss with 30% procrate, useless for Y boss" which im not comfortable with, especially if theres only a few boss X's. (However, some people might feel this is OK for a tier 1 talent - just a difference of opinion)

My main irk with the Ward spells is the GCD - if we're going to be encouraged to use them more often, every CD (via a talent like this and more incoming raid damage from bosses). Would vastly prefer them having no GCD, but im not sure whether theres a specific balance reason that would make that unreasonable or not.

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Leialyn care to make a short demo video of how it was working? and if possible test it in a duel?
There you go (Vimeo doesn't like me, so I just uploaded it on my webspace)

http://www.radonspace.de/uploads/livingbomb.avi (rightclick, save as...)

As you can see, only when the left mob hits me, the explosion goes off. When it's stunned nothing happens.

The 6 stacked Combustion is not consumed by the explosion but it uses the increased crit rate ;)

The explosion originates from the player, not the target. i.e. I can cast living bomb on a target and run away, all targets that are within 10yards of my mage are getting hit for explosion damage every 2 seconds while the tick damage is ONLY happening to the target far away regardless if mobs are around it. Only when the target I cast living bomb on is within 10yards of the mage, will other targets take tick damage, along with explosion damage. It's all very buggy and should be fixed eventually.
Yep confirmed. Guess there is a lot to fix with that spell.

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2) Gear. Reduction from 16 ->9 percent hit required and an expected Moonkin (in their current form) in every 25 man raid means that hit on gear can be deemphasized. It's easier to make attractive gear at every raid level if you know exactly what the players need. Different specs requiring different hit leads in part to some of the awful itemization witnessed in tbc, in the extreme case where warlocks were craving hit and SPs were almost ignoring it.

I wouldn't say that's a bad thing at all. If all of the cloth casters value the same stats, they will all end up using the same gear. Cloth gear will have the same value to everyone regardless of its stats and THAT makes for uninteresting itemization.

There's too extremes. On one end, they could make all casters value stats the same, and then they all end up wanting the same items. If two dps cloth chests drop in a raid, either one is strictly better than the other or they are basically the same with just a different look.

On the other hand, they could restrict items to certain classes. This one is a mage robe, this one is a warlock robe. They can't use each other's stuff. This is like tier pieces. It works fine for tier pieces as this highlights the differences in the classes, but surely you can see what a nightmare it would be if every piece of equipment was class-specific.

So the middle ground is have a large number of items which are AVAILABLE to multiple classes, but may be better for certain classes than others. Two robes could drop in the same raid, but a mage might say "Robe A is way better, I'm going for that one." while a shadow priest says "Robe B is better for me, I'm going for that one." They each want something different, but if a mage really wanted to use robe B he could (let's suppose robe A didn't drop and robe B dropped two weeks in a row).

Considering the spell power change is shifting itemization in the direction of having the same gear for dps and healers, it would not surprise me at all if they shifted itemization in other ways to make different specs and classes desire different items.

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Wasted talent points should never be acceptable, even if its only 2. Talent trees must cater for "+20" specs in a manner that keeps this statement true. Dont think that to make a talent 'useful', it needs to be fabulously strong either. Improved Fireblast might not be the best use of talent points for a frost mage (picking up some of the fire tree) in raids, yet its still useful to some degree and not truly wasted like in the Frost Warding/Improved frostbolt case. If blizzard really does like the frost warding talent, why not alter it into a Armor Warding talent and provide a small benefit to mage armor too. Wham, suddenly the (small) extra passive regen has found a use for your friendly fire/arcane mages and the points have a genuine use again. Theres so many possible ways to move/alter talents to fix the wasted points issue, it just seems stupid to keep them as is.

I don't see how Bliz is changing their mentality around lower tier talents with this xpac compared to the last one (or even the original game). If you get IV as a fire mage now you are essentially wasting talents on everything except EP in the frost tree - especially as a raiding mage where few of those lower talents off any real utility.

I understand where you are coming from regarding 'complete waste' versus 'small utility', but that is open to interpretation. You might argue having imp frostbolt for a fire mage is better than a shorter cd on fireblast for a frost mage - depending on your play style etc. One's things for sure though, you won't be including fireblast in a frost rotation nor frostbolt in a fire one - so you could still argue from a raiding perspective they are both useless and wasted talents.

The big issue is not so much if lower tier talents have utility, it's how low spec-defining talents are in a tree.

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I can't help but feel we've gone slightly offtopic here or at least into a personal tit for tat.

Here's the way I see it, across all casters they homogenized hit from talents, this is in an effort to make general caster gear and buffs more universally acceptable to all classes.

...

Now I'm not saying that 3% hit for fire costing 8 points in another tree instead of 3 is going to make a major difference, rather that for ease for spec ,raid and item balance it makes sense to me for it to be as easily accessible as possible.

I think "not going to make a major difference" is what makes it acceptable. After all, it is not homogenized across classes.

- Death Knights require 8 in Frost for physical attacks, 3 in Unholy for spells for 3% hit on all their attacks.

- Druids require 27 in Balance for 4% to hit with their spells, and can provide another 3% for themselves as well as everyone else at 38 points.

- Unless I'm missing it, Paladins have no +hit chance talent for either spells or melee attacks.

- Priests can only increase the hit on their Shadow spells, 8 points into Shadow.

- Shaman require 28 in Elemental for +3% hit.

- Warlocks need to spend 11 points -- 3 in Affliction, 8 in Destruction -- to get +3% hit on all their spells, which is problematic for people who want to make a two-tree build using Demonology as one of the trees.

4) A personal one here, it's now approaching the 2nd expansion, I believe we're past the point of having to take wasted talent points for a spec that will have a popular and clear purpose i.e. Raiding, PvP

I would consider any talent that adds a zero or trivial advantage in the intended area of play to wasted.

I think Blizzard would generally disagree with you on this. Blizzard does not view WoW as the strictly segregated game that many players view it as; they design the game as if people are not going to limit themselves to just raiding, or just PvP. This is the same reason that while some people here may view Winter's Grasp as a 7-point talent (because you need Shatter to get full benefit from it), Blizzard doesn't, because Blizzard feels that Shatter has value to everyone who takes it even though it's not useful in a raid environment.

In short, Blizzard doesn't feel that those two points in Frost Warding would be wasted, because they can be useful when you head into a PvP or soloing environment.

Does it means that now that it can be partially resisted we get the 5% coefficient penalty back?

The 5% coefficient penalty wasn't there to offset the lack of partial resists, it's there to offset the extra utility of the spell (the snare). So I would be very surprised to see the coefficient change.

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The 5% coefficient penalty wasn't there to offset the lack of partial resists, it's there to offset the extra utility of the spell (the snare). So I would be very surprised to see the coefficient change.

Has Frostfire Bolt the same penalty?

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Btw one more thing, then back on topic.

You don't NEED 3% more hit. There's no magical road to extreme dps by being hitcapped. It's simply ~3% more dps for 3 talent points, it's not a great deal. You don't HAVE to take 8 points in frost to get it, just get something else instead. For example full fire, and putting the rest in arcane for focus magic instead is a build I've been playing around with. It even allows some cool pvp/solo talents as well.

If you have 2 talent choices, one gives 3% more dmg and one give 3% more hit, I'd actually take the 3% dmg talent instead since it's usefull everywhere, trash, solo, pvp, and gives about the same end result.

Don't obsess about hit. It's more an issue on gear since +hit is a "cheap" stat to increase, it's not the same for talents with 1 point for 1%.

I'm not saying hit is bad, it's great, but it's just a dps stat like everything else, except it's cheap in ilvl cost and caps out.

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The 5% coefficient penalty wasn't there to offset the lack of partial resists, it's there to offset the extra utility of the spell (the snare). So I would be very surprised to see the coefficient change.
Ya, it just sucks that in raiding environments theres not much of the utility of the spell left. For soloing/trash its absolutely understandable but against raidbosses it hurts a bit (I don't wanna start another QQ).

Has Frostfire Bolt the same penalty?
actually yes.

Maybe they are trying to offset this with the 5% spelldamage on the dot.

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Don't obsess about hit. It's more an issue on gear since +hit is a "cheap" stat to increase, it's not the same for talents with 1 point for 1%.

I'm not saying hit is bad, it's great, but it's just a dps stat like everything else, except it's cheap in ilvl cost and caps out.

Aye, this is absolutely true. In fact, it could very well be argued that a talent that provides 0.6% Crit per talent point is worth more than a talent that provides 1.0% Hit per talent point, since it's worth more Rating points.

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