Aug 272012
 

Apparently, there were a TON of cool blue posts for druids over the weekend, so here’s a roundup.

GC on Savage Roar:

A single post on a feral thread that said “we’re aware of your frustrations, but we really believe this is the best course for the class” would go a long way towards keeping a happy community while literally asking for 15 seconds of time. If you can give us a reason that’s even better, but if you can’t, just let us know you see our problem but believe the dev team is right on this one.

I actually disagree with this, but we’ll see what happens. Usually when we say we disagree with a change for which players are arguing passionately, our comments don’t usually resolve anything. They throw fuel on the fire and players can get more worked up because now they see a glimmer of hope that if we’re communicating on the topic, that they now have a glimmer of hope to get us to change our minds.

We regretted what Savage Roar became in Cataclysm. We know that the depth of the Feral rotation was something that attracted a lot of players to that spec, and we feel like we removed too much of that by de-emphasizing Savage Roar to such an extent. Yes, Savage Roar takes some attention and skill to manage. The effectiveness for which you do so is one of the things that separates great cats from merely good ones. Furthermore, if you screw up Savage Roar completely, the penalty just isn’t that dire.

Now I chose that word “depth” on purpose. We don’t believe in needless complexity for its own sake. We greatly respect Cynwise, but when you read what he or she is talking about, a lot of it comes from warlocks having these extra buttons that weren’t really intended for their rotation but that players understandably try to jam in there because it will theoretically improve their DPS. Part of the Mists overhaul of what specs and talents mean is not to give specs buttons that they really don’t need and aren’t intended for them. In 5.0, Destruction warlocks don’t have Corruption to mess with.

That’s not the case with Ferals. It would be if you were trying to use say Faerie Fire or even Maul rotationaly. The Feral rotation we designed is pretty much what Feral players are actually using. Yes, the rotation would be easier if you could spend every combo point on Rip without having to worry about also maintaining Savage Roar. The rotation would also be easier if we removed Rake and just let you always Mangle instead of Shred. We think that’s too much simplification though.

In our minds, the Lich King Feral rotation was too complex. We think we made it too simple in Cataclysm. The change is intended to strike a balance between the two.

Sadly, I agree on the glimmer of hope thing. Either devs comment on something and attract hundreds of unrelated posts to that thread since “hey, here’s where the devs are!” or they don’t comment and we start seeing “devs obv don’t play X class” posts.

Moving on from that, though (and go back and read the original post in full, not just the quote, as it doesn’t make sense otherwise), GC appears to have two points, which I’ll address in turn.

  • Feral rotation was too complicated in WOTLK, too simple in Cataclysm, hopefully right for Mists. I’ll give that assessment a tentative thumbs-up, but that’s not really an answerable question without point #2.
  • He reiterates how he doesn’t want you jamming in non-rotational abilities to increase DPS; unfortunately, he fails to address the concerns about Dream of Cenarius/Healing Touch or Heart of the Wild/Wrathspam (more on this below), which is doing just that. From this, all I can conclude is “working as intended,” which tells me it’s not parsing especially high, so they’re not overly concerned about it. Either our sims are off, their data is off, or the sims just don’t translate well to a raid environment.

Crithto in the Class Analysis Part II:

We’re getting progressively closer to balance with each build. Despite some of the proclamations we’ve read lately, no class is intended to be on the bottom of the meters. The difference between the highest and the lowest DPS in the latest build is not 30%, 20%, or even 10%. Though certain fights may favor specific specs, we’re actually seeing most specs within 5% of each other. There are a few exceptions, however, which we intend to bring in line soon: Subtlety, Frost DKs, and Frost mages. Most are actually within 2% but the few in the 2-5% range (Arms, Fury, Marksmanship, Survival) will also be brought in line soon as well. Of course, we’ll be vigilant with keeping an eye on balance and making necessary tuning tweaks as time permits.

Now, this post was from a few days ago, but all indications are that they’re essentially done with balancing druid DPS. We shall see who’s right when we get actual log data, as Simulationcraft still has a theoretical 20% dropoff from first (fire, 13ok) to worst (marks, 102k).

There have been reports of absolutely ridiculous amounts of DPS being done with HotW. As a Guardian, Wrath is hitting for ~140k with a SP weapon when active. Similar values are being reported for Healing TouchI know I’ve been saying that HotW needed a buff, but even I think that’s a little on the overboard side of things.

The intention was that HotW allows you to DPS as strong as an equally-geared druid of each other spec on average. In other words, if a Guardian druid can Wrath for 140k with a 2sec cast, that’s 70k DPS before haste and crit. However, we’re not sure what gear exactly that was in, or with what cooldowns involved (it does seem on the high side). If you do any testing of how much DPS each spec can do while HotW’d into each other spec, we’d be very interested in seeing it. It’s quite possible that we over-buffed some of the combinations. Random aside: If anyone has logs that they’d like to share with us but keep private, we understand. Just post here about it and we’ll see if there’s anything we can do. No promises, though.

Well, glad we’ve got the design intent, we’ll see if it actually gets there. Based on the limited testing and observation I’ve seen, the cross-gear role switch is performing much better than intended (ferals doing 150% of their normal DPS just spamming Wrath, for example) so I imagine nobody wants to talk about it and just stack Druids to victory. SC is deliberately not modeling this behavior, believing that its a bug and it should not be a DPS increase to deliberately HoTW, but if it stays this way it’ll get added in eventually. We’ll see what happens.

The next posts presented mostly without comment:

Is it intended for there to be such a disparity between Starfire and Wrath?

Yes. Lunar side should be noticeably stronger single target damage than Solar side.

Force of Nature Treants should cast Healing Touch back-to-back so long as there are viable healing targets, so they do not lose potential casts under Heroism or even just from our own Haste. They are also maybe not inheriting our Crit? I got 3 crits out of 40 trials of 18 casts each, and my Crit rating is a lot higher than 0.4% ;)

We’ll see if we can get the trees to be more responsive. They should be inheriting your crit and haste, just not mastery.

Soul of the Forest is not affecting Tranquility at all, but Tranquility still consumes the Soul of the Forest buff.

The devs just tried this out today and when they looked at the data, everything seemed to be functioning properly. The haste from Soul of the Forest is reducing the channel time of Tranquility. It does not affect the HoT from that Tranquility, though, because it’s already been consumed by reducing the channel time.

Dream of Cenarius is not increasing the HoT portion of Swiftmend, even though that is now part of the spell itself and no longer an additional talent with a different spell name. DoC does work to empower both the direct heal and HoT components of Regrowth, which is IMO a similar enough spell to Swiftmend now that it should work both ways.

A fair point. It’s not built such that that would work, but we’ll consider making it work that way for the future.

Is the healing of Wild Mushrooms still being reworked? Transferring the mana cost to the Bloom spell instead of the Mushroom summon spell was a great change, but the Mushrooms themselves still do not heal for enough to warrant their usage. I could see very occasional use for them in fights where there is a long lull and the 3 seconds we spend setting up the mushrooms does not interfere with our healing, but honestly, using the GCD to blow them up is just not as compelling as using that GCD instead to cast a Wild Growth, or a Swiftmend, or even 1.5 Rejuvenations!

Wild Mushroom: Bloom (and Detonate) are instant and off the GCD. If you place them ahead of time, detonating them does not take any time away from casting anything else. They’re not intended to be used for sustained healing or damage, only for burst healing or damage.

Soul of the Forest does not give energy when used on Ferocious Bite, it correctly works with SR/Rip/Maim.

Yep, we found this bug and we’ll get it fixed as quickly as we can. It actually wasn’t always working with Rip, either.

Yay! SOTF should come up a bit now in actual parses (SC wasn’t modeling that bug, for obvious reasons). That’s it for the blue text; I’m still concerned about HoTW/DoC, but I think we’ll have to wait and get some solid WoL live data before that gets relooked.

 Posted by at 4:18 pm

  One Response to “Blue posts a’plenty”

  1. I haven’t played the beta but if GC’s comments are accurate I might come back to playing cat. I actually loved the complicated rotation in Wrath and I hate the simplified rotation in Cata. The only thing that I didn’t like about the Wrath model was that I thought we payed too high a price on movement heavy fights where there was significant time off-target. But I thought there were ways to fix that without going Cata style.

    Anyway, to me this is all the typical Blizzard whiplash. Run 180 degree in one direction. Run 180 degrees in the other. Then come back to the middle. Then conclude that the whole design was fundamentally flawed and start from scratch again. I’ve never figured out if this comes from staff turnover, developer boredom, or a back handed way to keep the game interesting. Whatever it is I honestly don’t like it. I wish they would spend less time toying with specs and rotations and more time doing other things to make the game interesting. My .02.

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