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Going Forward: Cataclysm Discussion


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#41 Guest_aceofsween_*

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:52 PM

Do bears even need Vengeance?

For the most part, Bears put on melee DPS stats to go tanking in. If tuned properly, they wouldn't really need such a mastery.

#42 Royalite

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:59 PM

For PvE purposes, even if you ignore the Vengeance aspect and assume it can be kept up on surplus tanks, isn't tank dps when the tank is not being pounded upon in general sufficiently much lower than it is when he is being pounded upon that it would be distinctly suboptimal to use tanks in a taunt rotation instead of traditional damagedealers?

I certainly know that, as a bear, if I am dual-tanking a boss together with somebody else (standard debuff-taunt scenario), I deal significantly less damage when I am not the one being hit than when I am being hit as I gain significantly less rage in the first case.

I just don't see how the vengeance mastery talent will affect that situation at all - especially when we have also been told by Blizzard that rage gain will be decoupled from the actual damage inflicted (i.e. bigger hits will not cause a bigger rage gain).

Well currently DK tanks don't have to worry about getting hit at all for a rage mechanic minus runestrikes from dodge/parries which might be phased out anyway.

While my examples may not hold a lot of water, the underlying principle I think is still solid... bring tanks to dps damage level will make tanks tip the balance in pve and pvp content. Maybe the issues in pve aren't so large and perhaps game mechanics could balance it out, but if Blizz continues to keep pve and pvp tied togetfer, warriors with tank survivability and high dps are just going to rock any hybird/pure dps. For example a feral druid would never shift into cat for burst dps but would just stay bear. Why shift when the bear and cat do the same dps?

Other classes/spec pay the price of lowered defensives for high offensives, yet tanks will get the best of both worlds?
I just don't see anything within the anouncement that supports the conclusion that tanks are the new dps spec; only that the gaps between tanks and dps will be smaller.

#43 moz

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:09 PM

Do bears even need Vengeance?

For the most part, Bears put on melee DPS stats to go tanking in. If tuned properly, they wouldn't really need such a mastery.


It's something that's planned... let's hope they get it right.

Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so their Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is for all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking.



#44 Videl

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:35 PM

The general assumption is that it works like current mechanics that refresh DoTs and debuffs to their full duration. That is, casting a DoT before it runs out resets the duration to its maximum without interrupting the DoT ticks.

In this situation you can refresh your DoTs anytime you want without extending the time between ticks, but the motivation is to wait as long as possible so that you waste less time refreshing.


I'm surprised the statements haven't been more widely interpreted this way. Until I see a clear explanation otherwise this is how I'm inclined to interpret them.

Saying that they won't be clipped isn't necessarily the same thing as saying that you won't lose any ticks, just like refreshing a 6-tic dot via talents right now doesn't mean the same thing as adding 6 more tics. It could just mean that you won't see a gap longer than the normal tic duration when refreshing early, like you would now. If you allowed the resulting dot to tick off it could still mean you lose a tic of the dot, and over the course of the fight you'd have wasted time casting your dot equal to the sum off all your clipping divided by the duration of your dot.

They'll have to work something out with hasted hots to make that effective. For a hot that only has 6 tics like rejuv there just aren't enough haste thresholds to ignore them. If we see haste % numbers similar to this expansion you'd expect to start out hitting that first threshold for an extra tic in a raid and by the end of the expansion you would only cross the threshhold to add a third in very top-end gear with haste stacking. It would be noticably less often than one extra tic per tier.

#45 Guest_aceofsween_*

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:10 PM

I don't really see how this change really makes that big of a difference. Whether reapplying DoTs clip or simply extend durations, it's still more effective to wait until just after the DoT falls off to reapply it, is it not? In both cases, you lose the remaining damage on the DoT which is the whole reason to avoid clipping anyway. Unless this is implemented in a way that allows for you to tack on the full duration to the current duration, I don't see how this change is really that helpful.

Let's take Insect Swarm. After 12 seconds, there's 1 tick remaining. With this change, you can reapply the DoT and it won't disrupt the time between the ticks, meaning the 7th tick will still come 14 seconds after you first applied Insect Swarm. However, when you extend the duration, you will only extend it up to 14 seconds, meaning you lose the damage from any remaining ticks (in this case, you'd lose 1 tick).

For this change to really make an impact, it would have to work slightly differently. For instance: say there is 2 seconds left on Insect Swarm (one tick left). When you refreshed IS, you get an additional 7 ticks (14 second duration) tacked on to the end of the current duration. However, as some people pointed out before, this would allow people to essentially stack DoTs up endlessly giving them a nearly infinite duration. They'd have to employ some sort of threshold so that you can never have more than the total number of ticks +1 at any given time. In Insect Swarm's case you'd have if you refreshed with 2 ticks remaining, you would still only have 8 total ticks left. This gives you a window of opportunity between the end of the duration and the 2nd to last tick where you can refresh your DoTs without wasting any damage. If you were to refresh before this window, you'd waste damage already guaranteed. If you refreshed after the window, you would be sacrificing DoT uptime.

#46 Lamente

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:09 PM

I don't really see how this change really makes that big of a difference. Whether reapplying DoTs clip or simply extend durations, it's still more effective to wait until just after the DoT falls off to reapply it, is it not? In both cases, you lose the remaining damage on the DoT which is the whole reason to avoid clipping anyway. Unless this is implemented in a way that allows for you to tack on the full duration to the current duration, I don't see how this change is really that helpful.


Actually I agree with you. In the end we'll probably end up with something better than we have right now, so I don't really care what they do. I just thought the outright claim that you can stack haste and the duration will never be affected was pretty audacious since I can't think of a way to do that which isn't at least somewhat sloppy.

I guess the suggestion that refreshed HoTs will continue to tick at the expected interval indefinitely makes sense, with maybe a partial tick at the end mark if the refresh doesn't happen. With no clipping, I guess reapplying the HoT just means the duration is refreshed and that there would be an optimal time to refresh (depending on your haste) to get the most ticks out of the refreshed HoT. Incidentally, without the partial tick, I don't see how they can claim the HoT is never shortened by haste, unless they leave the icon there even after the final tick happens, which would actually be a detriment.

#47 treebus

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:25 PM

I don't really see how this change really makes that big of a difference. Whether reapplying DoTs clip or simply extend durations, it's still more effective to wait until just after the DoT falls off to reapply it, is it not? In both cases, you lose the remaining damage on the DoT which is the whole reason to avoid clipping anyway. Unless this is implemented in a way that allows for you to tack on the full duration to the current duration, I don't see how this change is really that helpful.


This isn't correct. Let's work with a simple DoT. 10 second duration, 1 tick after 10 seconds.

With no haste, and the current system, you definitely don't want to clip this, as it completely negates the first cast.

In the new system, say you refresh it at 9 seconds. You get your tick at 10 seconds, so the first cast is still there, so seemingly you've wasted the second cast by clipping. But only kind of! Because now if I clip AGAIN, I don't lose that tick:

0 - Initial cast
9 - Refresh (2nd Cast)
10 - Tick 1
18 - Refresh (3rd Cast)
20 - Tick 2
28 - Expires

So even though I've clipped twice, I only lost one tick under the new system.

The same mechanic makes haste before breakpoints still valuable. Let's add enough haste to get 6 second ticks. Not enough to get 2 in per cast, and if we don't refresh (ie. we wait until the dot expires to recast) then we still only get 1 tick every 10 seconds (or however often we cast). But watch what happens when we refresh every 9 seconds again:

0 - Initial cast
6 - Tick 1
9 - Refresh (2nd Cast)
12 - Tick 2
18 - Tick 3
19 - Expires

I just got 3 ticks from 2 casts, even though you can only get 1 from a single cast, and that was with clipping!

#48 Makael

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:45 PM

treebus, that just blew my mind.

It actually makes a lot of sense (after having read through it a few times to make sure) and if that truly is the way things end up working, the previous poster is absolutely correct that it'll be our responsibility to make sure DoTs and HoTs are refreshed at the "optimal" time, giving the greatest amount of ticks for the fewest number of casts.

Especially with the idea of mana management being significantly more important in Cataclysm, this could end up being a huge deal.

Edit: Just a side note, I looked over this a few more times and found some details which deserve more explanation. I think it actually finds a fantastic solution to the idea that you can refresh without getting the "endless time" some are concerned about. If it simply adds the original duration on from the time of the refresh, you can never add more time than the original spell has.

Taking treebus' example, refreshing at 9s makes the overall duration 19s instead of 10. If you were to attempt a refresh at 7s instead, you'd only have a 17s overall duration. In the "zero haste" example, this really doesn't make a difference; either way you only get the one tick at 10s. With haste, however, it becomes the difference between two ticks from two casts or three ticks from two casts. Refreshing before the 8s mark of the first cast would effectively "clip" the bonus 3rd tick. If we extrapolate this over a 5-minute fight, I'd imagine refreshing at the optimal time ends up making a HUGE difference in healing efficiency.

Crazy stuff.

#49 treebus

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:05 PM

If that truly is the way things end up working, the previous poster is absolutely correct that it'll be our responsibility to make sure DoTs and HoTs are refreshed at the "optimal" time, giving the greatest amount of ticks for the fewest number of casts.


The optimal time will always be right before it wears off.

There will be some buffer (some amount between 0 and the tick time if you want to maximize ticks or between 0 and the duration if you want to minimize casts) where clipping by that much won't make a difference, but here I'm talking total amount clipped (between all refreshes, added up).

Every time your total clipped time exceeds the tick time/duration you lose a tick/cast.

2 examples:

Going with our 6 second tick, 10 second duration DoT.

If I'm going to cast it 7 times, then optimally I can get 11 ticks (70 seconds total duration, 11 ticks is 66 seconds). I have 4 seconds excess. So If I clip by 0.5 seconds each time (so 3 seconds total from 6 refreshes), the debuff is still up for 67 seconds and I still get 11 ticks. However if I clip by 1 second each time (now 6 seconds total) the debuff is only up for 64 seconds and I lose that 11th tick. I lose the 1st tick after 4 seconds of clip, the 2nd after 10, the 3rd after 16, and so on.

Alternatively, say I'm trying to minimize refreshes, say on a 100 second fight. So 10 casts will cover this, but I actually have a buffer since the last tick will occur at 96 seconds. Thus I can clip by 4 seconds and still get all the ticks off. However, if I'm clipping by .5 seconds each time now, that's 9x0.5 = 4.5 seconds lost, so I'll need to cast an 11th time to keep the DoT ticking the entire fight. With 11 casts I can clip by 14 seconds total, with 12 I can clip by 24, and so on.

The important thing though is that as long as you are refreshing, you'll get an average of (Refresh time)/(Tick time) ticks per cast. It will be slightly lower, but the more times you refresh the closer it gets to this ratio (similarly the more ticks there are). Thus you want to maximize (Refresh time).

#50 Makael

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:46 PM

Just for kicks, I wanted to get some concrete examples of how these numbers could play out. Here's what I found:

Using Rejuvenation, 15s duration, 3s base ticks. I'm leaving Nature's Splendor out of this, because for all we know they could be changing that particular talent along with the changes to HoTs/DoTs. I worked all of these out on spreadsheets, but I'm sure most folks aren't interested in walls of numbers here, especially considering we have no idea if any of this is true or not.

For all of the examples below, I'm assuming that our response time is 500ms, which seems reasonable given lag, being human, etc. This means that Rejuvenation is always being refreshed 0.5s before it ends, at 14.5s, 29s, and 43.5s. Being that haste will not affect the duration of the spell, this means the total duration in each case comes to 58.5s, with 4 total casts.

No Haste - 3.0s ticks
4 casts -> 19 ticks

Moderate haste - 2.5s ticks
4 casts -> 22 ticks

Lots of haste - 2.0s ticks
4 casts -> 28 ticks

Edit: Truth be told, since it's 4 casts in each case, mana usage would be the same regardless. Looking at it further, the "moderate haste" only gets 16 ticks from 3 casts (meaning 1 "bonus" tick) while the "lots of haste" gets 21 ticks from 3 casts. With haste as a factor, there's clearly a decision to be made: do you need x number of ticks, or do you need everything to last x number of seconds? Either way, you're using less mana to get x number of ticks or getting more healing in the x number of seconds for the same amount of mana.

#51 Carebare

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:11 AM

Druid preview is up and linked in the first post. Keep things unretarded, this is my Friday night you're going to screw up if not and I will have no problem throttling you for several days if you piss me off. You've been warned. Discuss intelligently, thanks.
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#52 Raised

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:17 AM

-The movement buffs (Now have seen them for Shamans, Priests and Druids) keep on coming. Blizz also referred to them as group utility rather than PvP buffs. Seems like there is a definite push towards a much greater degree of movement in fights moving forward.

-Magic Mushrooms seem to play right into this as well. Again, second ability (along with the new Warrior bleed) that is keyed in on movement to trigger the attack.

-Resto changes were pretty minimal, but I think everyone knew that coming in, as Druids have probably the most versatile toolbox to meet their role of HoT-based healing. Good change to move Tree to a cooldown and bake the healing bonuses in as passive (and new tree art, yay). Pure speculation, but it may meet the role of the Tank cooldown ala Pain Supression.

-I think the HoT haste mechanics are still the most interesting change to Cataclysm resto druids.

#53 Playered

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:24 AM

Tree of Life becoming a cooldown ability is something I hoped for but didn't expect them to do especially after mentioning designing an updated graphic for it. Hopefully they will work out something more interesting than just more healing while in the form but without more information we cannot really say much about that aspect.

Mastery being an equivalent of Deep Healing for HoTs seems acceptable although it'll put more emphasis on prehotting than I would like. Efflorescence seems cool in concept however I retain my dislike for casting a spell for a secondary talented effect so I'll have to wait and see on how they end up amending some of our toolkit before passing judgment there.


Their mention of Lifebloom in regards to tank healing has brought up some hopes they will think about it this time despite the huge disparity between the tick value and tank health these days and no doubt upcoming in Cataclysm - one aspect I have always thought of as a useful possibility is having it have a secondary effect that increases healing by direct spells on the target of your LB so that while the spell itself is not incredibly strong it works well with targets that need consistent and strong healing (tanks). Alas again until we see their intentions and base changes to spells it's hard to discuss much more on that.


Not many changes or much information but that was pretty much expected, at least nothing bad came about :) the lack of a mention about a targetted defensive cooldown is fine to me because that game is really a horrible concept and with tanks not in risk of dying in 2-3 hits the whole reliance on it should be fairly well reduced and it becomes a non-issue for healers without them.


I have some concerns with how they will handle hots that scale with both haste and crit combined with the mastery enhancing hots further and the stated "players will not be at full health as often". I don't think it will be as bad as how Lifebloom got treated to from Sunwell->Wrath but I don't expect to get away feeling unscathed either - a necessary but unpopular decision bound to cloud a lot of useful feedback during the beta will arise I'm sure.

#54 boomtilimoom

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:35 AM

As balance I'm quite excited by the concept of Wild Mushroom, will be interesting to get some more details on that as they come about. I'm curious to see wether there will be a limit on the amount of 'active mushrooms' you can have out at once; my first assumption would be just 1, but nothing was mentioned in the post, hopefully it'll come up in the FAQ. Regardless it'll be interesting to have another spell to cast during movement.

My initial reaction to the new eclipse mechanic was positive, but then after thinking about it I was surprised to see no changes to Nature's Grace mentioned. It's only a preview and alot is likely to change but I would be disappointed to think there would still be so many issues with haste as a balance stat at 85.
Eclipse has always been something unique to Balance druids though and I'm glad to see it staying that way, I was worried about it becoming a very boring talent and hugely simplifying the rotation.

#55 Lamente

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:48 AM

Initial thoughts based on the preview:

Thrash sounds like a logical extra button for bear aoe tanking. Unsure from the description if it would have a use for single targets.

Stampeding Roar has a pretty steep cooldown and will be a pvp spell that's only rarely used in pve. If it were used often in pve, it would be something necessary, and since it's entirely unique to feral druids (I don't really count the priest run-speed-with-shield thing) that won't be the case.


Wild Mushroom sounds like a horrible gimmicky mess that would only be useful for pvp. With no cooldown and no debuff/dot/whatever, it would be used as your entire AoE or not at all depending on its damage vs. Hurricane (or the small possibility of Typhoon mixed in, depending on if they want Typhoon to be more useful in pve). As a primary AoE, launch-detonate-launch-detonate would be incredibly annoying.

With shamans getting an aoe HoT and chain heal, druids not getting a new spell feels a little lame. I'm guessing rejuv/wg blanketing will continue.

ToL as a cooldown was hinted at already, and I pretty much expected it. Hopefully they come up with something good for it, like absorbs added to all healing done (tree? bark? toughness? I think it works).

Efflorescence should also apply to nourish, IMO.

The changes to eclipse sound like a new, unique, and fun way to implement the current eclipse concept without the RNG element. Bravo on this one.

Savage Defense as a mastery makes perfect sense. Bears innately lack mitigation, and this is a great way for them to stack it, even on their leather dps gear.

#56 kalbear

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:50 AM

As a feral these changes are nice but not particularly exciting. Thrash has been hinted at and asked for in various forms since WotLK beta, but it's not a particularly exciting change. Cats being able to do more damage when mangling is nice but again, nothing exciting. Having a kick/pummel analogue is another nice thing.

Essentially ferals appear to largely have gotten the same treatment that they did going from BC to WotLK, which is to fix up class issues that were a problem in the previous content but not give significant changes to the actual class such that it was new or interesting. I was truly hoping ferals would get something on the order of camo, smoke bomb or heroic leap; even if those aren't raid-useful, they're fun, new abilities that do something very different.

I'm also disappointed that savage defense is sticking around. Hopefully they'll have revamped it considerably from its current clunky, unintuitive system.

#57 Krag

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:51 AM

I have to say I'm very pleased with our preview, if nothing else just due to getting out of tree form and being able to better use roots and cyclones.

For the feral kind Thrash surprised me a bit, but if bleeds increase swipe damage by the way of talents that means at least one more button for tanking multiple mobs. An easy to use interrupt is something ferals have needed for a long time in my opinion and I'm happy to see it even if it does make classes more the same on that front (I expect Paladins to get that too). Stampeding Roar will be situational of course, but another unique take on group utility.

Moonkin-wise I'm not really experienced enough to judge how much an improvement the new Eclipse will be but hopefully the meter will move differently on crits versus nomal hits so it won't just be a mathed out strict rotation. Shroom throwing sounds fun and something resto druids can chug too before an add wave or the like.

I was surprised to not see Healing Touch mentioned with regards to tank healing, but of course it is just a preview and hopefully they reintroduce the spell to our arsenal.

#58 ttyl

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:59 AM

Hopefully they clarify Eclipse in another post. From that small description, it sounds like it will just be a 1 Wrath to 1 Starfire ratio? They specifically said "to maintain the balance", which seems like you want to keep the new UI's dial in the middle? And how will mastery rating from gear affect Eclipse? There has to be some RNG in there somewhere, but I guess this way is better than the current 15sec time frame.

#59 Lamente

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:01 AM

I was surprised to not see Healing Touch mentioned with regards to tank healing, but of course it is just a preview and hopefully they reintroduce the spell to our arsenal.


Good point, now that you mention it. They only offhandedly mentioned lifebloom for tank healing. I kind of expected more emphasis on HT as a large throughput nuke like Greater Heal, Greater Healing Wave etc. will be. Maybe we'll be moving a little back towards the BC days of being supportive tank healing and "cushioning the blow" for other healers. Or, maybe propping up nourish will continue to be the order of the day.

#60 Lamente

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:04 AM

Hopefully they clarify Eclipse in another post. From that small description, it sounds like it will just be a 1 Wrath to 1 Starfire ratio? They specifically said "to maintain the balance", which seems like you want to keep the new UI's dial in the middle?And how will mastery rating from gear affect Eclipse? There has to be some RNG in there somewhere, but I guess this way is different from a 15sec time frame.


From the description of Nature's Torrent "moving the eclipse meter more", I'm not reading it as a binary thing at all. We're probably looking at something like 3 casts of each (or two with NT). I'm picturing it working like the ideal rotation would be to move it all the way to one extreme, then swap spells and move it all the way to the extreme on the other end. You could mix that up if, say, a mob was near death and you wanted the stronger nuke even though it wasn't fully "powered up" yet.

Edit: or you could spend 2/3 of your time using one school, having the eclipse meter move from (for example) middle to left to middle to left again. It's going to be very interesting to see what happens.




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