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Balance Raiding in Cataclysm


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#21 Guest_aceofsween_*

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:30 PM

The best hope for a buff like that would be a charge based one that gains additional charges as the meter fills. It would need to provide enough charges to send you back to the other side of the Eclipse gauge though.

#22 Hamlet

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 12:27 AM

There's no reason to believe right now that damage will scale based on position on the meter. I know the initial preview description implied that, but it was clear at the time that they didn't have a final idea. The timed buff triggering at the end of the bar is the current way of implementing the basic Eclipse concept.

I've been assuming that the length of the bar is 200, but that SF and W give more than 8/4 base. Euphoria doubling energy gain would be far too strong, comparing it to Improved Eclipse and remembering that Euphoria gives a enormous mana benefit. Beyond that though, there isn't too much point speculating about exactly how the numbers work out. I'd expect a high Eclipse uptime though.

Starsurge will need to have a very strong base damage range to be at all useful. At the moment it doesn't benefit from any of the talents that scale all our other spells--and the 15 Energy it generates is going to be barely more than what a Wrath generates in the same amount of time anyway. It either has to be powerful enough to represent a serious damage spike (probably not what's intended), or else the energy gain from Lunar Guidance has to be increased, or else it's going to hard to make Starsurge even usable in a PvE rotation.

Random thing I totally forgot to specifically mention above is that Starfall lost its splash.

It's bit hard to see how Improved Moonfire and Blessing of the Grove are going to be at all compelling. Moonfire would have to do an enormous amount of direct damage for a 10% or 6% increase to be meaningful (or even the 24% increase from WoC). Now, WoC is good anyway, because of the 90% mana reduction (will it stack with Moonglow to reduce Moonfire to 1% cost?). So while free Moonfire DD spam will a nice thing to do while moving around, adding 16% to it will still be a piddling DPS increase.

#23 Balancemoon

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 07:32 AM

It is very unlikely that Eclipse provides both a scaling buff based on your position along the bar and a time-based buff that is triggered by reaching the endpoint. Though that does have some interesting implications, as deliberately delaying a proc wouldn't be a complete loss.


That's precisely what it does at the moment, and that's what makes the delaying tactic less of a sting. It also makes decisions to return to the more recently procced eclipse more interesting. It also makes your arcane/nature interplay far more interesting. On your way to wards a lunar eclipse you're casting wrath to add lunar power, the further along the slider you go the more damage your arcane spells do, you'd have great pleasure casting Moonfire, Starfall as they'll be doing increasingly more damage and those spells don't move the bar at all so no need to worry they'll gain you solar enery.

The big one though is starsurge, going further along the lunar slider, casting starsurge will do ARCANE damage because arcane damage gets higher the further along the lunar slider you go and conversely nature in the solar half which increases the as you approach the full eclipse... but unlike starfire or wrath, Starsurge will add eclipse power to whatever you have more. In the lunar half it is lunar power. Starsurge works the eclipse bar differently. You must realize that if the eclipse bar did not influence your nature/arcane damage, Starsurge wouldn't be able to tell whether to do arcane damage or nature damage. As I stated in my long post earlier, atm, Starsurge damage is not affected by the full eclipse, so it is very important on the way to an eclipse. However since its damage is so high and depends on the bar position, you may find it beneficial to still cast it during a full eclipse in addition to your wraths/starfire. Starsurge has the same cast time as wrath after the starlight wrath talent is taken.

They have not made up their minds whether they will impose the condition of you having to proc the opposite eclipse first before you can proc the same one again. However it is something they want to be possible. This is what I was referring too in my long post early on. The pros and cons of prohibiting you from sometimes going back for the same eclipse instead of the opposite.

They must have envisioned scenarios where you procced eclipse but interruptions in PvE or pvp, meant you lost so much casting time at the end of it you were quite far away from the solar end of the bar, therefore you'd re-trigger a lunar eclipse. This is why they want to avoid putting cooldowns on eclipse and why the bar has to move during an eclipse, because if it doesn't they'd have to slap a cooldown on eclipse. There are obviously issues with all these approaches.

Perhaps if they don't force us to proc the opposite eclipse we might keep fixing eclipse to favor the end we feel does more damage, but this depends on how far the bar will swing ultimately during both eclipses. If it doesn't swing far enough if you can get off a full set of casts, you might always go back for the same eclipse, especially if you view that one type is more dps than the other.

I'm confident that the best approach is the original vision, if you fail to cast a lot eclipse wise it's better to go back for the same eclipse, if you do manage to get off all you r casts during a full eclipse, then you're much better off at the other end of the slider proccing the next eclipse.

There's no reason to believe right now that damage will scale based on position on the meter. I know the initial preview description implied that, but it was clear at the time that they didn't have a final idea. The timed buff triggering at the end of the bar is the current way of implementing the basic Eclipse concept.

Without breaking any legal rules Hamlet, the bar does determine how much arcane or nature damage those spells do, and it scales with the position on the bar, this is how Starsurge determines what type of damage it does, and how much above base. This is also what makes Starsurge that much more useful and enhances the arcane/nature interplay as well as lending weight to strategic eclipse delays. It's not that hard anyway, you can think of it as a spell power buff to either the arcane based spell s or nature based spells the further along the slider you move.

Random thing I totally forgot to specifically mention above is that Starfall lost its splash.

It's bit hard to see how Improved Moonfire and Blessing of the Grove are going to be at all compelling. Moonfire would have to do an enormous amount of direct damage for a 10% or 6% increase to be meaningful (or even the 24% increase from WoC). Now, WoC is good anyway, because of the 90% mana reduction (will it stack with Moonglow to reduce Moonfire to 1% cost?). So while free Moonfire DD spam will a nice thing to do while moving around, adding 16% to it will still be a piddling DPS increase.

I'm hoping that Starfall splash is just one of those things that gets left out by mistake and added in later as they polish off. Also bear in mind, that the kick of values and possibly effects of these spells gain additional features as you level up.

Now in cataclysm we don't get new ranks of spells, they grow with level, but there are several abilities scattered around the classes that sometimes gain new features with new ranks. I'm hoping starfall like them will gain its splash with later ranks if indeed it is not either some sort of internal error or decision they're toying with whether to remove or not. Doesn't make any sense to remove the splash damage now. Which is why I'm willing to wager it's either a tooltip error or will arrive later.

My mind is not made up about the new Moonfire yet, numbers are still changing far too much from build to build, and well its effect in pvp too is a long way from being finalized. I know the mind is saying it's not enough, but I have a sneaky feeling it will play out a lot better than it reads. What I'm hoping does return is the improved insect swarm talent, that was more than just a simple increase x damage and y, it made the arcane nature interplay more interesting. As I mentioned in my first long post, demo/destro lock shadow/fire interplay is very sleek, and makes our nature /arcane play look a bit like childsplay even with the new eclipse. I would have hoped for a greater distinction between casting in the lunar half of the bar and casting in the solar half than just a spell school change.

Here's to hoping they increase the interaction between wrath, insect swarm, starfire and moonfire. No idea what the glyphs will be now, but I'd love wrath to do something interesting like knock insects to an additional target and extend time onto insect swarm and/or maybe increase the damage of each tick too, something to distinguish it further from being a 1 sec shorter cast Starfire. If wrath going 2.5s is the answer to Nature's Grace issue, then you need to adjust your eclipse energy gains, it's no longer twice as much for starfire/wrath, because the cast time is changing. And yes i think it will be boring if wrath doesn't do anything else. Maybe they could add the T10 4 set bonus to the wrath spell at higher ranks.

#24 dukes

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 08:34 AM

Starsurge will need to have a very strong base damage range to be at all useful. At the moment it doesn't benefit from any of the talents that scale all our other spells


What talents? There's no Moonfury any more, Wrath of Cenarius is a Moonfire talent, and all other damage buffs are to general spell damage (E&M, Master Shapeshifter). The only major talent I can see that doesn't affect Starsurge is Vengeance, and that may just be an oversight at this point. If you check the wowtal.com talent calculator (the MMOC one) it has a Blizzard icon at the bottom right stating that the first pass is 95% complete for Balance, so there may still be tweaks to be made (and this is only the first pass anyway).

edit: This is working under the assumption that further ranks of Wrath of Cenarius are just further buffs to the Moonfire movement system, and not what's shown on the talent calculators (which would be a first for a talent, providing a completely different effect from the 2nd and 3rd points).

#25 Balancemoon

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:05 AM

2 things you may or may not have been aware of Dukes is that Starsurge's initial damage on the talent calculator is the level 31 rank, no one knows what the level 85 value will be, no the spell co-efficient.

Secondly, Starsurge's damage will increase with the position you're at on the eclipse bar. The further along the lunar scale the bar, the greater boost all arcane damage does, casting starsurge will do arcane damage because it is higher there, and the value gets higher the closer you are to a full eclipse. The converse is true in the solar half, the moment the bar enters the solar half, your nature spells start doing more and more damage the further along the bar towards a solar eclipse you do, Starsurge will do nature damage now, that will continue to get higher.

I'm hoping that starsurge will still be worth casting during a full eclipse too, that depends on the final values however. At a full eclipse you'd be at the end of the bar, since i'ts once every 15secs, it's damage should be high enough to make it worth at least casting whenever it is up, whether during an eclipse or ont. At the moment during a full eclipse, starsurge is not boosted, only starifre or wrath, but then final values may show it doesn't need to be.

#26 Guest_Aixler_*

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:40 AM

This is based on all nature and arcane spells moving the energy slider:

From the Druid preview:
"Whenever they cast an Arcane spell, it will move the UI closer to the sun, and buff their Nature damage. Whenever they cast a Nature spell, it will move the UI closer to the moon, and buff their Arcane damage. The gameplay intention is to alternate Arcane and Nature spells (largely Starfire and Wrath) to maintain the balance."

and

"Wild Mushroom ...its damage component will remain very effective against single targets. ....No cooldown. 40-yard range. Instant cast. "

It seems to me that with the new Moonfire talents and Wild Mushroom, we can still move the energy bar in both directions while moving. (albeit at a slower pace?)
This could be their answer to low eclipse uptime due to moving.

And on that note, if all nature and arcane spells do more the eclipse bar, casting insect swarm and moonfire would not be a casting interruption (stopping energy generation because you're not casting wrath/starfire), but an interesting mechanic for us to play with:

While working your way up to proc Solar Eclipse, you should only cast moonfire and vice versa for Lunar Eclipse.
And with the removal of Improved Insect Swarm this is entirely possible, because we would only want to cast arcane spells to reach Solar Eclipse, and when we get there, we only want to cast Wrath because of the damage increase. No room for Insect Swarm in there, unless Solar Eclipse ends and we're aiming for Lunar Eclipse.

With our current playstyle of casting 1 dot for upcoming eclipse and leaving the other ready to be cast while moving (and vice versa for other eclipse), that won't be possible in Cataclysm because it would move the slider back. But they solved that problem by giving us Wild Mushroom, so that we can cast both arcane and nature spells (that do decent instant damage) while moving.

#27 Hamlet

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 01:53 PM

What talents? There's no Moonfury any more, Wrath of Cenarius is a Moonfire talent, and all other damage buffs are to general spell damage (E&M, Master Shapeshifter). The only major talent I can see that doesn't affect Starsurge is Vengeance, and that may just be an oversight at this point. If you check the wowtal.com talent calculator (the MMOC one) it has a Blizzard icon at the bottom right stating that the first pass is 95% complete for Balance, so there may still be tweaks to be made (and this is only the first pass anyway).


I was referring to Starlight Wrath and Vengeance. It means that SS would need to have quite a bit higher base damage/coefficient than Wrath in order to keep up. Obviously it might be changed, but just saying (my guess is that they'll add it to Vengeance but not SW). Either way, it would probably be more in line with their desired PvE use of the spell to increase the amount of energy it generates.

---

I for one am rather happy about the loss of IIS. That alone knocked about 1/3 or more off of the size of the spreadsheet :P . Now just waiting for NG to be officially replaced with something else . . .

I was currently assuming that DoT's don't move the meter. If they do, that's an interesting theorycraft problem--you might not want to leave them out anyway since they'll do so much damage in Cataclysm.

#28 rightclick

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 02:58 PM

I was currently assuming that DoT's don't move the meter. If they do, that's an interesting theorycraft problem--you might not want to leave them out anyway since they'll do so much damage in Cataclysm.


In this case, there might be a point where you'd want to cancel one DoT: you're trying to proc Solar by doing Arcane Damage with Starfire, and the Insect Swarm is dealing Nature damage which counters it (although not by a high coeficient).

If this is the case then it will be very interesting to find out how much time we have between the end of the Lunar Eclipse and the proccing of the Solar, to time IS so that it ends before it starts working against us.

#29 Guest_Aixler_*

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 03:11 PM

Considering the wording blizzard used, it's more likely that the act of casting say insect swarm on a target generates energy, instead of the individual dot ticks.

And on that topic, while dots will now benefit from crit and haste, there's no reason to assume that they will do so much damage, it's entirely possible they changed this just to let them scale better.

#30 Hamlet

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 03:23 PM

Considering the wording blizzard used, it's more likely that the act of casting say insect swarm on a target generates energy, instead of the individual dot ticks.

And on that topic, while dots will now benefit from crit and haste, there's no reason to assume that they will do so much damage, it's entirely possible they changed this just to let them scale better.


Well, I meant in contrast to the WLK situation where the DPET of DoT's started to fall below that of nukes. DoT's should remain strong enough that they're worth keeping up for DPS reasons at all times. Also, the number of Moonfire-related talents seems to imply that it will be quite a strong spell (or else there's no reason at all to take them).

#31 iamrelevart

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 04:03 PM

Well, I meant in contrast to the WLK situation where the DPET of DoT's started to fall below that of nukes. DoT's should remain strong enough that they're worth keeping up for DPS reasons at all times. Also, the number of Moonfire-related talents seems to imply that it will be quite a strong spell (or else there's no reason at all to take them).


If it's true that there is a modifier based on where the slider is, then its possible that Moonfire could hit like a truck (especially on the move). Also, given that the Moonfire related talents deal directly with the DD portion of the spell, we're not going to be glyphing it anymore (I just opened wrathcalcs and saw that still selected as a glyph, haven't checked calculations yet).

Again, assuming that the report that there is both a proc and a sliding damage modifier is true, it seems likely that we will want to cast the buffed DoT near the end of the Eclipse meter (due to their snapshot application) and then use Starsurge to push us into Eclipse for the proc and spell switch (since Starsurge will hit its hardest right at the end of the meter).

EDIT: I forgot to mention that even if the benefits to Moonfire damage are minor, we'll still pick those points up for lack of better options. I'm not really feeling the whole "optional talent" thing here. It looks pretty close to "fill your tree and then spill over"

#32 Hamlet

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 04:12 PM

The Moonfire talents don't imply that we'd drop Glyph of Moonfire; the bonuses are additive (unless they change the way those stacking rules work).

#33 iamrelevart

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 04:29 PM

It seems slightly counter-intuitive that we would decrease the only part of moonfire that our talents would be buffing. Especially when we should be able to select IS and Focus as the other two glyphs (hoping that IS will be a much stronger DoT now that it will scale with both haste and crit).

#34 Hamlet

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:32 PM

It seems slightly counter-intuitive that we would decrease the only part of moonfire that our talents would be buffing. Especially when we should be able to select IS and Focus as the other two glyphs (hoping that IS will be a much stronger DoT now that it will scale with both haste and crit).


Counterintuitive, but may be perfectly sensible if the bonuses are additive.

e: Probably shouldn't go too far off on Glyphs though--I don't think we know anything about them.

#35 Balancemoon

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:42 AM

I for one am rather happy about the loss of IIS. That alone knocked about 1/3 or more off of the size of the spreadsheet :P . Now just waiting for NG to be officially replaced with something else . . .

I was currently assuming that DoT's don't move the meter. If they do, that's an interesting theorycraft problem--you might not want to leave them out anyway since they'll do so much damage in Cataclysm.

I liked how IIS made you use the DoTs to ramp the nukes in different ways. True it may have been soley to boost their importance and now that they scale with haste and crit that is no longer necessary. However it made the interplay between the two schools more interesting, and that was good - I really don't want the nature half to be a mirror of the arcane bit, I am hoping they do something more.

Wrath is currently been changed to 2.5secs cast at base, before talents. IF this is the case, is there any point in changing nature's grace now I ask? Also I desperately hope wrath gains an additional feature with this increased cast time, if it stays, just to distinguish it from starfire in more than just 1 sec time cast in nature magic instead.


And DoT's, AoE, in fact all other damage spells do not move the meter currently, the reason they don't is that doing so will likely force you to stop casting certain spells when in one half of the bar. This is not the intention, you already have very few spells to begin with, eclipse was introduced to make juggling between wrath and starfire interesting, other spells apart from the 3 nukes moving the slider will work against this. Imagine spamming wraths to get your slider to a full lunar eclipse, but your moonfire ticks keep sending it the opposite direction. You may just decide not to cast moonfire at all. If it doesn't slow your swing predictably, you'd be annoyed, and even if it did, you wouldn't like the small dps you lose from it.

What they did was let the higher your lunar power is, the higher your arcane spell damages deal, so as you're spamming wrath to push closer to a full eclipse, casting moonfires, starfall will be doing more damage, and so will Starsurge which will do arcane damage along the lunar half because that does more damage, and will push your eclipse bar further up

Considering the wording blizzard used, it's more likely that the act of casting say insect swarm on a target generates energy, instead of the individual dot ticks.

A few things changed from the announcement, once the details were worked out, they didn't like other spells moving the slider, so it became only wrath/starfire/starsurge, however other spells are affected in damage by the position you are on the slider. More damage scaling for arcane further up the lunar side, and more damage for nature scaling as you gain more solar power.

#36 Guest_aceofsween_*

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:23 AM

You're stating these things as fact, but according to our last correspondence you said it was in your opinion how things should work. It seems to me that you see Eclipse as a buff whose effect is determined by slider position. Everyone else seems to be under the impression that you gain the Eclipse buff when you reach 100 Solar/Lunar Energy. So... which is it? Is this how you think Eclipse should work or how you know the ability to be working?

If you can't answer that question due to some contractual (or forum rule) related obligation, you don't have to, but from your speech it appears as though you know quite a bit about the internal changes of this ability.

#37 Balancemoon

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 09:45 AM

You're stating these things as fact, but according to our last correspondence you said it was in your opinion how things should work. It seems to me that you see Eclipse as a buff whose effect is determined by slider position. Everyone else seems to be under the impression that you gain the Eclipse buff when you reach 100 Solar/Lunar Energy. So... which is it? Is this how you think Eclipse should work or how you know the ability to be working?

If you can't answer that question due to some contractual (or forum rule) related obligation, you don't have to, but from your speech it appears as though you know quite a bit about the internal changes of this ability.

As far as I know, it is both, not an either/or. You gain a buff when you hit the end of the slider to your main nuke only. However the slider position affects the damage of all spells in the nature or arcane schools. The bar position scales the damage. This is how starsurge decides whether to cause nature or arcane damage.

For e.g. at 75 lunar power your arcane spells will do more damage than they did at 60 lunar power. That's all your arcane spells, starfire, moonfire, starfall. If you cast starsurge here it will do arcane damage, and will do more damage at 75 Lunar power than at 60 lunar power. Starfire moves slider with solar power. Moonfire/starfall won't move the slider though they'll do more damage. Only wrath will gain you more lunar power, and Starsurge too after picking up Lunar Guidance, which will do arcane damage unlike wrath therefore fully benefitting you from the bar position and instead will add lunar power. When you get 100 lunar power, you gain the eclipse buff, gaining additional damage to your Starfire nukes only at this point. Increasing your mastery from taking balance spells, equipping leather and getting set pieces with mastery bonuses will scale how much damage that will be under the eclipse buff.

Imo mastery should also scale the damage increase to your arcane spells as you move up slider, it may do though already, I am not able to test that currently. The main reason I hope it does is that it makes sense too and if it didn't then balance druid mastery only benefits you for the eclipse up time, rather than all the time like other mastery stats do.


The details haven't been finalized, but this is how it currently works, but things may change as it is fine tuned.

#38 Ereshmilor

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:41 PM

i think balancemoon is referring to the druid preview, but i don't think the position of the slider will scales the dmg anymore, as Arawethion pointed out, its pretty useless. unless you have something as a proc like eclipse.

but do we know anything about the eclipse? they said they want to reduce the rng, but with the old eclipse its just the same. perhaps eclipse becomes a buff ala "your next 10 wraths will do 30% more dmg, last 30 sec" and 5 SF on the other end. so moving doesn't make you lose much of the buff.

#39 Yijiao

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:25 PM

Ok, I was looking at the talents and I am greatly concerned about the spirit -> hit talent in a raid setting. For comparative sake, my base spirit with Improved Mark is 162. Mark gives another 52, toss in spirit and kings and thats probably another 100. Id be sitting at 310 spirit naked.

That would put us way over raid hit cap with literally no gear on. Has Blizzard addressed the fact that if spirit is going to so heavily convert into hit rating on gear that we will literally have to have crit/haste on every single piece of loot we obtain in cataclysm?

#40 Hamlet

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:28 PM

Ok, I was looking at the talents and I am greatly concerned about the spirit -> hit talent in a raid setting. For comparative sake, my base spirit with Improved Mark is 162. Mark gives another 52, toss in spirit and kings and thats probably another 100. Id be sitting at 310 spirit naked.

That would put us way over raid hit cap with literally no gear on. Has Blizzard addressed the fact that if spirit is going to so heavily convert into hit rating on gear that we will literally have to have crit/haste on every single piece of loot we obtain in cataclysm?


1) All constants are going to change anyway.
2) Mark of the Wild will no longer increase Spirit.
3) The Divine Spirit buff family no longer exists.
4) The Misery debuff family no longer exists.
5) The hit rating conversion will be lower at level 85.
6) We will be able to Reforge away 40% of the Spirit on any item.




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