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The Way of the Sword: Retribution in Cataclysm


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#21 Exemplar

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:57 PM

Okay, I might've seen it here: The Light and How to Swing It: New talent system changes for melee paladins

I know its not exactly an official source...


Quite apocryphal. The writer is obviously conflating things (s)he has read, possibly on these EJ forums. Blizzard has yet to state anything regarding Ret Paladins and Haste. Nothing.

They have mentioned Rogues and Druids explicitly regarding Haste->Energy conversion (as energy->damage). We have theorized here on EJ that for Warriors it would involve Rage (as Rage->damage) increases via Haste (possibly faster autoattack with normalized Rage would alone solve their "problem"). We have theorized that for Ret it would be one of two things - either mana will become a tight resource and Haste would mobilize Haste->Mana (and Mana->damage), or mana remains relatively easy with a JotW mechanic and the next logical option at the time was reducing cooldowns so Haste->More attack (and More attacks->damage, naturally).

With the addition of new abilities to Ret (namely HS and possibly 2 more damaging abilities) I would label reduced cooldowns unlikely. If you have up to 8 buttons to press, and not enough time to press them, you focus more and more on the best attacks. Reducing cooldowns means those "best" attacks are used far more frequently and the "bad" attacks are shouldered out. A side effect is "ZOMG, ability X sucks, we never use it, why do we have it" forum posts. Cue the rollercoaster as it is (unnecessarily) buffed and nerfed over multiple patches.

To explore, I just modeled in my spreadsheet a pretend scenario where haste reduced ability CD in Wrath for my character. I wouldn't use Exo at all and Consecration would be used ~every 40 seconds, simply because CS, DS, and Judge are spammed so frequently. CS is literally every 2nd attack (less than 3 seconds). It's not a great gameplay decision and doesn't add "fun."

Closest cooldown option I could see would be reduction in GCD (not just for spells). I won't even conjecture whether that could find a happy balance point.

Blizzard will unveil some useful mechanic for Ret haste when they have one that works.
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#22 smashbro

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 01:29 PM

Well, I'm putting my money on DS and Conc being taken out of our single target rotation. I haven't a doubt that with the two new single target dps abilities they're adding - the level 10 ability and the 31 point talent - they will attempt to create an actual rotation for retribution rather than having this FCFS system we have now.

I highly doubt they'll make mana an issue unless you have enough haste, as that does not reflect the goal for haste that blizzard has stated ("doing stuff faster"). That scenario would just add another stat we would have to cap like hit and expertise, so overall we'd be forced to have less mastery/crit.

Considering they did have reduced cooldowns as the mastery bonus for a time, I wouldn't write it off. Especially because we don't know the 2 new dps abilities we're getting.

#23 Zalinda

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 02:45 PM

Making haste attractive for ret is fairly easy.

Make haste affect Cons tick time (faster ticks in the same duration) and make it affect the SoV dot (faster ticks). I haven't kept entirely up to date on the caster changes, but I do believe that faster ticking dots is how they planned to make haste attractive for SP's and affli locks. This may actually be the reason they decided to bake in the T9 bonus ( make SoV dot crit). With faster ticking dots, this would make haste quite a bit more attractive.


I doubt reducing ability CD's is going to happen. This was initially going to be our mastery bonus (as per the 2009 blizzcon screenies), and has been changed to holy damage bonus as per more recent posts.
We're close to being 'full' on CD's as it is, it's that small amount of "nothing" that"s actually causing us to have an erratic rotation which seems to be what blizz likes, they don't like anyone having fixed repeatable rotations (for top damage).
We would need only a very small amount of CD reduction to fill up the remaining gaps and effectively take us to a fixed rotation.


Edit: We also cast spells, whereas rogues/cats don't. So haste also affects the GCD on HS, Exo, Cons. Also actively changing the rotation (more stuff blizz likes) and allowingus to do more in the same time.

#24 Exemplar

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 03:15 PM

Given that Blizzard has repeatedly stated they like procs which break rotations, I doubt they'd try to move a class known for FCFS on to a strict rotation. Death Knights have been well known for their strict rotations. Part of the reduced number of runes is an attempt to shake up the rotation a bit with rune procs and runic power dumps.

Rotations are easy, not that FCFS is hard. Look at Rogues or Feral for more balanced design - priority based, but off of buff/debuff timers, not their ability cooldowns. The Feral "John Madden" flowchart is an excellent example of the decision structure. Press the button not on CD isn't much of a decision.

We have 5 attacks (discounting Holy Wrath) right now. That could increase by 3 (HS and the two you stated). Now drop Consecration and Divine Storm from a single target rotation. This still leaves 1 more attack than present. If my rough model was even vaguely accurate, haste currently would cause us to drop 1.75 of 5 attacks (no Exo, Cons 1/4 as often). Again, a haste reducing CD setup would cause us to entirely drop attacks from priority. No extra time/GCDs + more attacks = more attacks to entirely drop.

If Blizzard is taking the time to create new attacks, why would they want to make them (or CS or HS) unused as gear gets more haste (later tiers)? And we haven't even gotten into reduction of AW or GoAK CDs and how that would impact DPS, or have book length tooltips explaining exclusions to haste's benefits.

Blizzard will unveil a good plan for haste. Reducing ability CD is likely not it. It's always possible, just not likely at this point.

Haste in Cata isn't "doing stuff faster", it's "doing more stuff." Turning those GCD where the Rogue has no energy into a fresh attack. Not arguing for the following, by the way, I think it's a bad idea, but if mana is a limiter we can only put out so much DPS (self-throttling is horrible, reference BC) as you run out of resource. More haste becomes more mana resource, which allows more DPS. Again, it's a really bad design (especially since below 5% base mana you could not judge to regain mana), but it vaguely functions.

Zalinda is probably correct. If haste will speed ticks on HV and Consecration, it will be enough better than present to be a desirable stat (as opposed to the Wrath "at least it's not ArmPen" haste). As desirable as Str or Mastery? Unlikely, but closer and with a potential for points where too much haste makes crit superior and vice versa.
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#25 Durinix

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 04:32 PM

We won't have a rotation until either a) the cooldowns line up in a very easy way to manage (which would be extremely boring) or B) we get a mana dump ability (which would be a big change to our current design). Blizzard could keep us the way we are, however the only way that this would become an interesting design is if the FCFS changes mid fight. Even so, it's still spam buttons when they come off CD which gets boring. Blizzard got away with it during this expansion because a) we were not particularly viable or fun in the past and B) they added some nice tier bonus that changed things up. That won't work for the next expansion. Basically, the only way I can see us becoming more interesting is if it's not always worth hitting an ability on cooldown.

Another aspect to this problem is our passive damage. From the rogue class preview:
In PvE, even accounting for active modifiers like Slice and Dice and Envenom, a very large portion of the rogue's damage is attributable to passive sources of damage. Yes, they are using abilities for the entire duration of a fight, but we want to reduce the percentage of rogue damage that comes from auto-attacks and poisons. More of their damage will be coming from active abilities and special attacks.

In my opinion we're in the same boat. SoV/C is basically the same as Deadly Poison, SoComm/SoR is the same as instant poison and JoV/C is basically envenom (with the assassination talent). We get nearly half our damage from passive sources, which isn't quite as much as rogues (they are closer to 2/3 of their damage). I wouldn't be surprised if blizzard were aiming for melee swings to stay at about the same level and other passive damage sources to be about 5-10% of damage done.

#26 Glutton

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 05:07 PM

Seal damage is only partially passive. Roughly half of our seal procs are from Divine Storm and Crusader Strike. Seals from active damage sources should be considered active damage. Another chunk of our seals are a result of Manifest Anger. Its damage and subsequent seal procs are a hybrid between passive and active sources (and probably close to 50/50 split again.)

#27 Durinix

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 06:58 PM

Trinket effects from current content shouldn't really be considered in a cataclysm context. If it ends up that the item is OP at 85, then blizzard will nerf the proc rate for characters over 80. That isn't to say that a similar item won't exist in cata at some point (they've reused trinkets in the past).

In my opinion, seal damage is entirely passive. We spend one GCD outside of combat to get 25% of our damage... how can that be anything but passive damage? We don't spend GCD's in combat to get that damage. We could choose to put up light or wisdom instead and passively regen health or mana. Although you can't judge without a seal, all other attacks can be made without a seal. Don't know why you would (go into a fight without a seal), but that doesn't change the fact that you can. :)

Seal damage going down would be a very good thing. We would get more control over our damage and it's a great opportunity to get a more interesting paladin design.

One of the basic tenets of Blizzard game design is that of “concentrated coolness.” We’d rather have a simpler design with a lot of depth, than a complicated but shallow design.

Seals are a simple and shallow design. If they put most of the seal damage (ie the 33% weapon damage once vengeance is stacked) into some sort of synergy between our abilities, then that would be great. Even better would be if we had control over the dot damage as well. We could stack at the beginning of a fight far more quickly than we currently do and gives us something to keep an eye on. Sure, keeping a dot up doesn't require huge amounts of skill but it does require more skill than keeping the vengeance dot up.

#28 Exemplar

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 07:14 PM

Sure, keeping a dot up doesn't require huge amounts of skill but it does require more skill than keeping the vengeance dot up.


And requiring a stacking DoT to "ramp" our damage is rather arbitrary. Yes, casters like Afflocks have to spend time building up to maximum damage (but does not need to move), however a Rogue or Warrior with reasonable resources (full Energy or high Rage) can immediately unload on a new target (after movement), then pause to recover resources. If we have everything off CD we can unload on a new target, then pause to recover resources (wait for CDs) - however we also need to stack the DoT or we're doing 66%-90% of our full damage. In short, we have the worst hybrid of both styles.

If our DoT were active (like bleed effects from other classes), that would be a different matter altogether.
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#29 Zurm

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 07:29 PM

In my opinion, seal damage is entirely passive. We spend one GCD outside of combat to get 25% of our damage... how can that be anything but passive damage? We don't spend GCD's in combat to get that damage.


Of course you spend GCDs in combat to get that damage. Are you saying you would do just as much seal damage auto attacking as you would also using CS and DS? The damage of these abilities are balanced entirely around the the use of seals.

Regarding Haste and our DoTs, I believe it was said that ALL DoT effects will be affected by haste and crit come cataclysm. If we compare what's already been hit with crit working, we can probably expect to see consecrate, SoV/C's DoT, and Righeous Vengeance all benefit from it.

however a Rogue or Warrior with reasonable resources (full Energy or high Rage) can immediately unload on a new target (after movement),


In the case of the rogue, this isn't entirely accurate. They need to apply a 5 stack of DP on the target before they get free MH poison procs, which is quite significant. While Mut rogues tend stack faster than combat rogues, it plays a bigger part of their damage, so it's fairly significant to both.

Also, power-wise, comparing ret to rogues is pointless. Even at extreme gear levels, rogues are still energy capped (at least, when AR isn't up). Warriors and rets, however, are GCD capped (although in cata it seems clear blizzard wants them to be rage capped). Apples and oranges, we can't expect to be like them unless we get their resource system (which is extremely unlikely at this point).
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#30 frmorrison

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:57 PM

And requiring a stacking DoT to "ramp" our damage is rather arbitrary. Yes, casters like Afflocks have to spend time building up to maximum damage (but does not need to move), however a Rogue or Warrior with reasonable resources (full Energy or high Rage) can immediately unload on a new target (after movement), then pause to recover resources.


UA cast a cast time, which is required for Afflocks. Rogues need to get up Slice N' Dice first before they can fully unload (takes a little bit to ramp up). You can save combo points and hit slice after the movement (this is advanced skill). Warriors need full sunder up to really put out the damage. Ret does suffer the most though, but every class has some ramp up.

DKs will have an ability that puts up their diseases instantly (which is their ramp up), it would be nice to have something to get up SoV stacks faster once in a while.

Regarding Haste and our DoTs, I believe it was said that ALL DoT effects will be affected by haste and crit come cataclysm. If we compare what's already been hit with crit working, we can probably expect to see consecrate, SoV/C's DoT, and Rightness Vengeance all benefit from it.


This is right, all DoTs (I believe HoTs as well) will benefit from haste and crit for "free". However, it will take much more haste/crit rating than before for every 1% increase.

#31 Kvaern

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 08:02 AM

Quite apocryphal. The writer is obviously conflating things (s)he has read, possibly on these EJ forums. Blizzard has yet to state anything regarding Ret Paladins and Haste. Nothing.


If I recall correctly the CD lowering effect for Ret was a random "what could happen" quote from a Blizzard employee when they first unveiled the mastery system at last Blizzcon but yea we haven't heard anything about it since.

#32 Durinix

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 11:01 AM

We consider being GCD locked a bad thing. It doesn't give you any room in your rotation to say click a potion or respond to a proc or do something out of the ordinary. It leads to tunnel vision. (World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> My Cataclysm Protection Warrior wishlist)

Yet another example of a design that they've said that they don't like which applies to us. At this point, I think we can throw almost all we know about the class out the window.

I can't wait to see what they do.

#33 flyingtoastr

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:40 PM

The issue still remains that it's going to be very difficult to keep a ret pally from being GCD locked. Since we're not resource limited there's nothing to stop us from using any of our buttons, whether they're single target or AoE. In fact, we're losing possible DPS if we don't hit something during a free GCD. I'm interested to see how they end up addressing that.

#34 Shugoshin

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:56 PM

UA cast a cast time, which is required for Afflocks. Rogues need to get up Slice N' Dice first before they can fully unload (takes a little bit to ramp up). You can save combo points and hit slice after the movement (this is advanced skill). Warriors need full sunder up to really put out the damage. Ret does suffer the most though, but every class has some ramp up.

DKs will have an ability that puts up their diseases instantly (which is their ramp up), it would be nice to have something to get up SoV stacks faster once in a while.


This is right, all DoTs (I believe HoTs as well) will benefit from haste and crit for "free". However, it will take much more haste/crit rating than before for every 1% increase.


Regarding SoV: I always thought that as a class/spec wielding a 2-hander, applying 5 stacks of something that only works on auto-attacks was a bit excessive. Perhaps making the full effect available at 3 stacks would be a nice change.

Now onto a point I want to make about potential use of haste. We have 3 DoTs. Especially if haste is going take more then now to get to a certain percentage, then I have a feeling haste is going to continue being very useless to us, especially early on in the expansion. Think about how trying to get expertise capped at the beginning of WotLK was debateably a frivolous effort with points better spent in Strength.

Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not in beta), our DoTs are working as follows:
RV: 8 sec, 1 tick every 2, 4 total.
Consec: 15 sec, 1 tick every 1, 15 total.
SoV: 15 sec, 1 tick every 3, 5 total.

So what percentage of haste would it require to add an extra tick to each? Assuming haste applies to DoTs as it was described, with the duration not changing but the amount of ticks during the duration increasing, this is how it would look:

RV: 1/4 = 25% haste
Consec: = 1/15 = 6.67% haste
SoV: 1/5 = 20% haste

So basically, to make haste more effective for us, they would need to make RV and SoV tick every second, so we don't have to meet a high "haste cap" for each of our abilities. I do realize I am discounting the other effects of haste and just focusing on the DoT component, and obviously nothing is finalized, but there is a lot of potential change, and consideration to be taken if there is no change.

#35 Exemplar

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 02:26 PM

The issue still remains that it's going to be very difficult to keep a ret pally from being GCD locked. Since we're not resource limited there's nothing to stop us from using any of our buttons, whether they're single target or AoE. In fact, we're losing possible DPS if we don't hit something during a free GCD. I'm interested to see how they end up addressing that.


Especially adding further abilities. We're GCD locked with what we have. Drop Cons+DS from single-target, add HS. Even if only one of the possibly 2 new abilities is single-target we're worse than before (HS's CD is 6, Cons and DS are both 10).

Don't get me wrong, I think there's an improvement. There will be enough attacks that we need to consider which to use and when, instead of blindly hammering them speedily in the right order. But it's 100% GCD locked. Hitting Divine Plea will be a short-term DPS loss (to avoid the long-term OOM severe DPS loss) since there should be absolutely no window to hit it.

The most common sense solutions are play with mana (bad idea, both GCD and mana-bound like BC is not good) or to actually increase the CD of many abilities. If everything has an 8 or 10 second CD it's suddenly closer to the DK rune design, although still with problems. DK is limited to 3 per 10sec before haste, lengthening CD would just give us the window to press the less damaging buttons in the free GCD. This would have to be paired with linked CDs, such as drop a Cons and single-target-ability-X also goes on cooldown.

There is no obvious magic bullet for Ret's GCD issue. I hope Blizzard has a less than obvious magic bullet to reveal.

DoTs
Math on Cons and RV look correct. SoV not quite, since it would continue without resetting. 1% haste would increase damage by 1% if you can keep SoV up. In a 5 min fight (300 seconds) you would get 1 extra tick. Each melee attack extends the duration, but doesn't reset the tick times (or autoattack clipping would be hell).
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#36 Aurrius

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 02:31 PM

@Shugoshin: Bear in mind that there will be no more armour penetration on gear anymore, just haste (and mastery/crit), so perhaps us melee will reach just as high levels as haste as casters do now (in %, not absolute numbers of course). If that's the case, we wouldn't have to have the time between ticks be reduced.

#37 Shugoshin

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 05:32 PM

DoTs
Math on Cons and RV look correct. SoV not quite, since it would continue without resetting. 1% haste would increase damage by 1% if you can keep SoV up. In a 5 min fight (300 seconds) you would get 1 extra tick. Each melee attack extends the duration, but doesn't reset the tick times (or autoattack clipping would be hell).


That is under ideal conditions you find in a spreadsheet/patchwerk type model. In reality though this game has had many encounters require switching targets/disengaging every now and then (I.E. Putricide, Sindragosa, Lich King). So basically you may or may not get an extra tick out of it, unless you have plenty of haste. RV is very similar in reality because you may or may not keep it up for a long period of time, depending on your crit chance and possibly not getting a single crit for 15 seconds (it happens). And of course there is the switching targets factor. With overall crit chance being lower in Cata, this is going to be more of an issue.

Let's just say that I wouldn't want to rely on extra haste ticks as being a reliable increase to my DPS, at least with how these spells are now.

#38 Exemplar

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 08:10 PM

Current RV will never benefit from small amounts of haste, your original math was correct. If you get a fresh crit it restarts the debuff with the "new" damage value (anyone unsure how this functions, search the Wrath Ret thread) and a duration of 8 seconds. You would need 25% haste to get that extra tick, as you originally stated.

Regarding SoV I was merely pointing out you need significantly less than you stated to see an impact as it is a constant rolling effect. 1% haste, in theory, increases SoV damage by 1%. Movement and target swapping can lose a 1% haste bonus from autoattack.

That doesn't mean that Haste is a bad stat. However, considering how good Mastery appears and the fact that DoTs will be able to Crit, both of those ratings will have high values. Unless/until Blizzard unveils a Haste benefit for Ret, it's likely to take ArmPen's position as least desirable stat. It's not bad, it does increase DPS, but everything else is markedly better.
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#39 Charybdis

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 10:18 PM

Blizzard mentioned they'd like Haste to also increase our mana regeneration. If that's the case they might make Divine Plea benefit from haste too or something to that effect. We can be pretty sure they'll try to balance things such that we won't be ignoring haste like we are armor penetration right now even if it's indirect like meaning more mana for later/continuous stream of it.

#40 frmorrison

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 12:44 AM

Blizzard mentioned they'd like Haste to also increase our mana regeneration.


The closest to Ret is Enhance, here is how haste affects their mana regeneration.
Primal Wisdom - Your melee attacks have a 20/40% chance to immediately restore 35% of your base mana.

Shaman have some spells that do decent damage but are mana inefficient such as the AoE moves Fire Nova and sometimes Chain Lightning is better than Lightning Bolt on a single target, so with more haste they should be able to use the higher damage/mana inefficient attacks, so that would be interesting to see if the two new Ret abilities follow that style.




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