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Upcoming Affliction Simplification


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#21 Auze

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 05:27 PM

It is important to note that if DoT durations were increased, we'd have more time to shadowbolt, which would result in a DPS increase. This also has negative PVP implications, as they'd most likely have to nerf either the dots or the shadowbolts damagewise, a detriment to more than one PVP situation to be sure.


Yeah, it's not really something I would expect they could implement. But this is part of the mechanics they've gotten themselves into by making combat so fast. There really aren't many options for them to simplify this in the sense that they don't want people to use dot timers. You either make them last longer so you have plenty of time to get to the buttons, or you get rid of buttons to begin with (By combining dots).

One other option that came to mind is spell queues, I suppose. Being able to set spell priorities and allow players to queue each spell upwards of 5-10 times and let them autocast until the queue runs down. That would make it so people wouldn't need to watch a timer. They would need to remove cast times for dots entirely for this to work, though.

The main picture of any of these changes has to be that they want people to not use a dot timer.

Talking about removing haunts travel time, or making it instant, wont fix this fact.

#22 Smurrf

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 05:29 PM

It is important to note that if DoT durations were increased, we'd have more time to shadowbolt, which would result in a DPS increase. This also has negative PVP implications, as they'd most likely have to nerf either the dots or the shadowbolts damagewise, a detriment to more than one PVP situation to be sure.



It also would directly go against the whole point of the shakeup Destruction went through in this expansion - removing mind-numbing SB spam as a method of doing the most damage. And since Affliction's primary draw has always been mobility & dotting, rather than stand and nuke, expanding dot times by more than just a few seconds would actually make things worse off. To be honest, I'd personally rather see Affliction have enough dots that their entire rotation consists of nothing but dot casting, with a nice mix of 1.5-2 sec cast times & instants, with little to no Shadow Bolt / Drain Life / Drain Soul casting...but I don't see that happening. So, we have to work with what we have, which is finding some way to balance short duration dots with cast time / channeled fillers.

Edit:

One other option that came to mind is spell queues, I suppose. Being able to set spell priorities and allow players to queue each spell upwards of 5-10 times and let them autocast until the queue runs down. That would make it so people wouldn't need to watch a timer. They would need to remove cast times for dots entirely for this to work, though.


Absolutely not. Too easy to bot, and Blizz isn't going to open that door. (edited in) Hell, even the playstyle that suggests is semi-botting all on its own.

#23 Aryja

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 07:13 AM

why not remove haunt from the rotation? make haunt a passive talent which works through unstable affliction. something like this: "while your unstable affliction is active on the target, your damage over time effects do 20% more damage. when UA ends, you will be healed für x% of its damage done." x could be about 50%, maybe less.
everlasting affliction would need to work with shadow bolt instead of haunt.
why remove haunt? because the affliction lock was fine to play in bc. the scaling was off, true, but the playstyle, the rotation, was fine.

#24 DiamondTear

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 10:56 AM

I'm happy with the current condition of affliction. I don't feel the need to link spells like UA and immolate even on encounters that require me to be aware of my surroundings (Sarth+3). I'd be very happy if they found a way to fix this "problem" by just improving the UI.

#25 Ele'

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 11:32 AM

In my humble opinion, something that would simplify affliction playstyle a lot would be to remove dots clipping. I believe the technology is already in, as it's what Haunt does when it refreshes corruption. If you could refresh your dots in advance without the fear of losing a tick, I think the spec would be much more easy to play.
Refreshing the dot at the last moment would still be rewarding (you gain a bit more time to cast your filler), but the difference would not be as visible as now.

That, and providing an option to show only your debuffs on the target (or any improvement of the basic UI, really).
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#26 Kilroggmama

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 11:59 AM

I love this spec, I love the complication and the challenge. Hell, you know what I think? I think they should make it even harder, and buff up the damage. Give us the potential to break 6 or 7K DPS and the potential to have a nervous breakdown, all in the same pretty package!


I agree! Please don't simplify affliction. It's not hard to play, it just takes a little longer to master than SB spam. And if you can't master affliction, you're simply not skilled enough. Skill should be rewarded. Please don't remove the possibility for skilled players to shine!

#27 Smurrf

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:33 PM

In my humble opinion, something that would simplify affliction playstyle a lot would be to remove dots clipping. I believe the technology is already in, as it's what Haunt does when it refreshes corruption. If you could refresh your dots in advance without the fear of losing a tick, I think the spec would be much more easy to play.
Refreshing the dot at the last moment would still be rewarding (you gain a bit more time to cast your filler), but the difference would not be as visible as now.

That, and providing an option to show only your debuffs on the target (or any improvement of the basic UI, really).



So what's to keep someone from tossing up the first round of dots, getting heroism'd, spam a set of five-six stacks of each dot while the gcd's are lowered, then stand and nuke the whole rest of the fight? And again, being able to extend time length of dots = more chances for people to bot. Even if you're only able to stack a single additional dot onto the target, it's still going to come too close to automation to be allowed.


That said, showing own debuffs is something I am indeed disappointed in that it has not happened yet. They already have in place where you can see only debuffs you can dispel, and only buffs you can cast...why not extend that from friendly targets to the reverse for enemy targets?

#28 Ele'

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 12:42 PM

So what's to keep someone from tossing up the first round of dots, getting heroism'd, spam a set of five-six stacks of each dot while the gcd's are lowered, then stand and nuke the whole rest of the fight? And again, being able to extend time length of dots = more chances for people to bot. Even if you're only able to stack a single additional dot onto the target, it's still going to come too close to automation to be allowed.

I wasn't thinking about "stacking" the dots (or "adding something" to the remaining time), just reseting their timer without reseting the "time to tick". Imagine if you could spam Haunt, it would be the same effect: each application of haunt would reset the corruption to 18 seconds, not extend it by 18 more seconds.
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#29 Piasecznik

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:20 PM

I think Ele have similar idea to mine.
I dont mind having difficult rotation to master. What bothers me is factors which I personally have no influence with.
Since dots can be clipped and main skill is to dont clip them and make space between dot applications as small as possible, other factors comes to play than player skill.
Main factor is lag. You cant mash buttons to reapply dots as soon as they expire yet lag does not allow you to time it right.
Second factor is surround aware figths like thaddius. You have to stare as much as possible at dot timers yet be very aware of your surroundings with lag taken into consideration.
In result, more I'm trying to pump up my damage, I'm being more prone to polarity shift failure.
I think nullification of clipped dot tick is to much. GCD should be only penalty for refreshing dot to early.
Overall if you refresh to often, you end up with more GCD time per fight.
This could be done in two way:
- clipping dot just reset its durration
or
- first tick appears just when you apply dot

Second way appeals to me more, since it can be a way to increase burst damage of affliction warlock in cost of mana (ie. refreshing corruption every GCD).

#30 zootlewurdle

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 01:34 PM

Through classic raiding, and up until we started Black Temple (more or less) I was always Affliction. One of the things I really liked about it was the mobility it offered. Haunt and Shadow Embrace have pretty much made Affliction the complete opposite now. I don't have a problem with the rotation and the different duration of DoTs relative to each other. It's the loss of mobility I'd like to see changed.

Haunt needs to change. It need to be instant cast. Also you're restricted to having it on only one target at a time (per 3.0.8 patch notes)? That's simply stupid in multi-target fights, of which there are a fair few. If making it multi target would make it overpowered due to the healing effect, then I'd happily sacrifice that to some degree. (Then again, the single target thing sounds so weird to me I'm sure I must be misunderstanding it).

#31 Smurrf

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 02:02 PM

I wasn't thinking about "stacking" the dots (or "adding something" to the remaining time), just reseting their timer without reseting the "time to tick". Imagine if you could spam Haunt, it would be the same effect: each application of haunt would reset the corruption to 18 seconds, not extend it by 18 more seconds.



That makes far more sense than the way I read your original post. You're still going to see a DPS loss, situationally, but it's an interesting idea.

#32 Moror

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 02:07 PM

I wasn't thinking about "stacking" the dots (or "adding something" to the remaining time), just reseting their timer without reseting the "time to tick". Imagine if you could spam Haunt, it would be the same effect: each application of haunt would reset the corruption to 18 seconds, not extend it by 18 more seconds.


Thats a pretty great idea, it would make keeping dots going more simple (not that its hard but its what Blizz seems to be after) whilst still provide some skill input in that reapplying them with perfect timing as they fall off would still provide more SB casting time.

As some other people have also mentioned I think something needs to be changed with Haunt, having a cast time PLUS the travel time really does make when its going to land into quite a guesstimation(especially with haste flying around (Eradication/Bloodlust mainly)), either removing the cast time or removing/vastly shortening the travel time would make reapplying it at more oportune moments a lot easier.

Once again as other people have said being able to track only your own debuffs on a target would remove the need for a dot timer if done properly (although it would have to be pretty well done, I love the way Quartz tracks target debuffs with both the bar and actual timer).

#33 Burberri

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:19 PM

why not remove haunt from the rotation? make haunt a passive talent which works through unstable affliction. something like this: "while your unstable affliction is active on the target, your damage over time effects do 20% more damage. when UA ends, you will be healed für x% of its damage done." x could be about 50%, maybe less.
everlasting affliction would need to work with shadow bolt instead of haunt.
why remove haunt? because the affliction lock was fine to play in bc. the scaling was off, true, but the playstyle, the rotation, was fine.


Keep in mind that the purpose of haunt is to provide a PVP limiter to dot damage as you can't keep it up on 2 targets at once. If it were tied to UA that would break pvp.

The only thing I would like is, haunt to have no travel time and SE to be 5 seconds longer. It still doesn't solve the problem of getting by with the base UI, but I don't see a good fix that either doesn't alter the base UI or the class.

#34 Mindaika

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:30 PM

I agree! Please don't simplify affliction. It's not hard to play, it just takes a little longer to master than SB spam. And if you can't master affliction, you're simply not skilled enough. Skill should be rewarded. Please don't remove the possibility for skilled players to shine!


I agree with this, except that as it stands, there isn't much opportunity for skilled players to shine. I was running 56/0/15 for quite a while, and topping or nearly topping the meters. I have/had great DoT uptimes, and I'm good at playing affliction. Then, I tried switching to to 0/41/30. This added a significant amount of DPS, and cut the number of timers I need to watch by 2/3rds. The culprit?

Most of my gear has haste and/or crit on it, which is of minimal benefit to affliction locks.

I say: leave affliction like it is. It's not that hard to play. However, it's also not worth playing (for me at least), since i'm putting more effort into less DPS.
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#35 Auze

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 04:33 PM

Keep in mind that the purpose of haunt is to provide a PVP limiter to dot damage as you can't keep it up on 2 targets at once. If it were tied to UA that would break pvp.


I'm not sure what you mean by this. Even if we could keep Haunt up on a dozen people, Warlocks would still die in half a second in PvP as it is. There is nothing to "break" in PvP at this point.

#36 CaelLock

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 05:24 PM

I wasn't thinking about "stacking" the dots (or "adding something" to the remaining time), just reseting their timer without resetting the "time to tick". Imagine if you could spam Haunt, it would be the same effect: each application of haunt would reset the corruption to 18 seconds, not extend it by 18 more seconds.


I would take this a little further. I would rework all DoTs in the game so that if the DoT had less than a few seconds left (i.e. 3s), recasting the dot would add the full duration to the effect. For example, recasting Immolate with 2s left on the DoT would immediately do the DD portion of the spell and the Immolate DoT would now have 17s.

Affliction isn't "hard" because we have all of these DoTs to put on a mob, it's "hard" because it requires perfect timing for every one of our spells to maximize DPS. The DoT needs to be reapplied immediately after the last one ends. To early, lost DPS. To late, lost DPS. That's also why we basically require a DoT timer to play the spec. This also makes Affliction very sensitive to lag.

Every class/spec has a rotation. But many of them do not require perfect timing. Not to say timing isn't important, but there's a bit of wiggle room. For example, Ret Pallys are pretty much Cooldown constrained. They have a few abilities to DPS that are all on cooldowns. It's not possible to clip a cooldown. FFB mages don't have to perfectly time all of their attacks. They have to refresh Scorch before it drops, and they want to do it as late as possible, but they've got some flex time there. If Hot Streak procs, they just have to use the proc before the buff expires. Living Bomb does have the same DoT timing, but it's one ability. These play styles are "easier" because their core mechanics have timing forgiveness built in.

Building wiggle room into DoTs by extending DoTs about to expire would make every class with a DoT a little easier to play. It would really help Affliction locks, but wouldn't change our spell list or rotation.

#37 Burberri

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 05:26 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Even if we could keep Haunt up on a dozen people, Warlocks would still die in half a second in PvP as it is. There is nothing to "break" in PvP at this point.


Well assuming they fix our pvp survivability problem, the damage problem would be apparent. They are too seperate problems. But if you want a PvE example, You could skew your OS+drakes damage up by keeping your dots up on multiple drakes. You obviously wouldn't do this as you need to burn through the drakes down ASAP so you minimize your time with them up, but on a Romeo and Juliet style fight, our dps would be absurd without the restriction haunt provides.

#38 Arthillen

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 05:54 PM

I switched from FG/ES to affliction because I was bored of the simplicity of that spec. It took me a bit of time to get used to it, but I enjoy the complexity and challenge of affliction, and I think it would be a disservice to simplify it.

From what blizzard has said their main concern is that affliction requires addons. That's true, but I don't think it is a problem. It is hardly the only spec or play style in the game that requires addons. In fact you'll probably have a hard time finding a raider that doesn't have certain required addons. This is especially true for healers. I have a (currently neglected) resto shaman and when I played him in bc I would never think of raid healing without some form of click-style casting (clique + grid, clique + xperl, healbot, etc).

Personally I think that if blizzard wants to deal with these problems they should hire some of the good addon developers to revamp the blizzard default UI. IMHO the default UI is very poor for every class in the game and I would never use it. It is the UI, not the play style that mandates the use of addons.

#39 Fatsummoner

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 05:59 PM

What about making it so that you can only replace a dot after it's duration has finished. We already time all the casted dots so that they start as soon as the dot's are finished. I'm not sure how well that would work though. It would solve the issue of clipping dots, and would increase the time you have to use your filler.

The instant haunt idea is good, but would be a pretty big increase. (not that i wouldn't mind it) It would definitely give more time to refresh dots, and to use the filler. The only issue i have with haunt at the moment is that it refreshes Corruption and i feel it isn't getting it's full effect. Though it's almost as if you have a constant corruption.

The idea of having the duration restarted without the dot being replaced is good. As if you're just refreshing the dot, so that the tick timing continues as it was and doesn't reset. That would allow less of a focus in timing refreshes so hardcore, and would diminish the need for the 3rd party add-ons.

The idea of combining Haunt into Unstable Affliction doesn't really sound too good. It's effect being put into a dot would overpower it. And having the corruption refresh affect implemented into Shadow Bolt kind of negates the awesome. I personally spam SB as a filler, and if it refreshed corruption every cast, i would get little to no ticks from corruption. Maybe if it was refreshed every refresh of Unstable affliction, that would allow removing a casted dot from the rotation, and wouldn't be refreshed too often as if it were on SB.

- Just my 2 Cents to the ideas posted. -

#40 fallenman

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 06:01 PM

I agree! Please don't simplify affliction. It's not hard to play, it just takes a little longer to master than SB spam. And if you can't master affliction, you're simply not skilled enough. Skill should be rewarded. Please don't remove the possibility for skilled players to shine!


I'm happy with the current condition of affliction. I don't feel the need to link spells like UA and immolate even on encounters that require me to be aware of my surroundings (Sarth+3). I'd be very happy if they found a way to fix this "problem" by just improving the UI.


It's fine now because the content is no more difficult than hogger. Once we actually start to get challenging content, affliction's lack of simplicitiy will become far more of a hinderance. Regardless, there isn't much point in debating if, since it's already been decided that it's going to be simplified.




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