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Cat Druid Scaling.

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Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby ShmooDude » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:26 am

I posted this on the official forums as well, but thought you guys might like to see it too.
Link in case you want to reply there and or bump, dunno if such a long post will get read there in the midst of all the QQ: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2592644312


Most people know (well most druids anyhow) that Ferals start out strong and then get weaker as we gear up relative to everyone else (I'm sure there's other classes with this problem, some of this may even relate to them, I don't know, but I'm just dealing with cats for now because that's my area of expertise).

I believe the culprit lies in the static numbers on our abilities (the damage that doesn't change). Most notably Shred and Mangle. Since Shred is a much bigger part of our damage I'm just going to deal with that but Mangle is setup just the same.

Lets compare Shred to its cousin Backstab (yes I know, for the most part Backstab sucks, but that's for a whole nother set of reasons I'm not going to go into). I'll throw in a few other abilites as well, but the analysis will be only vs backstab.

Shred = 450% + 1490 (or 4.5*(weapon damage + 330))
Backstab = 200% + 690 (or 2 * (weapon damage + 345))
Mortal Strike = 150% + 423 (or 1.5 * (weapon damage + 282))
Obliterate = 160% + 650 (or 1.6 * (weapon damage + 406))
Arcane Shot = 100% + 289 (or 1 * (weapon damage + 289))
Crusader Strike = 135%
Stormstrike = 125%

If you note, Blizzard is adding about the same static damage per 100% weapon damage on the two abilities (I found the same in Mangle, and slightly less on SS (only 200 for that one)). The problem with doing it this way is that the weapon speed of our weapons is not equal, so the cats have much more of the damage of the ability caught up in that static damage.

For example: A rogue in my guild (we're both almost BiS 372) MH hits for ~2800 damage. That means that on a backstab his static damage makes up about 11% of the damage of that hit. My paw hits for ~1900 which means on a shred the static damage makes up about 15% of the damage of that hit.

Another druid in my guild has about a 1300 weapon damage meaning his shred's static damage makes up about 20% of the damage per hit.

Rake seems fine getting only 1944 from static damage which is about 6%. Rip seems fine as well receiving only 861 static damage which is about 4%. Both of those numbers in my gear.




What I think needs to be done is exactly the opposite of what they are doing to Bears currently. They need to lessen significantly the amount of static damage on Shred and Mangle while bringing up the weapon damage % portion of the ability. As far as the "break even" point of this change, I know where *I* think it should be, but I'll leave that up to the developers since they probably wouldn't listen to me anyhow. :)

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Konungr » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:34 am

They are already doing that. Another problem lies in the fact that our Bleeds have very little room for scaling. They scale off of Mastery, and thats pretty much the only thing you can actively change to make them stronger, so depending on the upgrades/downgrades you get, your bleeds may never get stronger as you gear up, and Bleeds are ~50% of our damage. They need to make Bleeds scale off of Weapon DPS so that there is one common denominator throughout all of our abilities and then find a way to set up bleeds so that they are not over the top in PVP.

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Floofles » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:55 am

Konungr, agility and crit benefit everything.

As for scaling issues, I don't see it. Looks very much like paranoia and fishing for buffs based off "these people in my guild do more damage than me so their class must scale better!".

This is probably the 3rd thread on this in two weeks and i've yet to see a reason for why people keep claiming that they aren't scaling. Even the thing you posted as definitive proof of poor scaling doesn't make any sense. You say that a druid in shithouse gear has less of his attacks made up from the static damage compared to you. Well, that's proof that it scales quite well, surely..?

The bleeds already gain an absolute shitload from gear, compare a 359 geared druid to a 370/371 geared druid. The bleeds hit around 20-30% harder.

Honestly i'm struggling to find a proper argument as to why ferals do scale but tbh it'll just come down to "they just do". There are no issues with scaling, really.

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Konungr » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:49 am

Floofles wrote:Konungr, agility and crit benefit everything.

As for scaling issues, I don't see it. Looks very much like paranoia and fishing for buffs based off "these people in my guild do more damage than me so their class must scale better!".

This is probably the 3rd thread on this in two weeks and i've yet to see a reason for why people keep claiming that they aren't scaling. Even the thing you posted as definitive proof of poor scaling doesn't make any sense. You say that a druid in shithouse gear has less of his attacks made up from the static damage compared to you. Well, that's proof that it scales quite well, surely..?

The bleeds already gain an absolute shitload from gear, compare a 359 geared druid to a 370/371 geared druid. The bleeds hit around 20-30% harder.

Honestly i'm struggling to find a proper argument as to why ferals do scale but tbh it'll just come down to "they just do". There are no issues with scaling, really.


Crit rating does not increase the damage done by the abilities.

We say we scale worse based on the fact that any other spec/class gaining an upgrade gains more % dps from the upgrade than if a feral was making the same upgrade. We are strong in low levels of tier, and once we move up, we fall behind. Feral DPS is, according to top 40 per spec/class parses, the lowest dps class in the game besides Frost Mages, Sub Rogues, and BM Hunters, of which there are very few in PVE. Look at any site that offers Simualations or Parses and you will see that Feral DPS is very far behind the rest of the classes, roughly 20% in most cases.

http://www.simulationcraft.org/410/Raid_T11_372.html
http://www.stateofdps.com/

If you take any other class and a Feral in 359s that are doing the same damage, lets say 17k. Gear up both to where they are now in 372s. The other class will be pulling 24+k, the Feral will be at ~21k.

If you aren't in a top 200 guild, you are probably fine with Feral, but we scale with upgrades far worse than any other class out there, so top guilds are going to shy away from the class if they can get an equal geared/skilled player of any other class.

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Felidae » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:55 am

Hello, I am a Cat.

There are some serious flaws in your analysis, mostly the fact that you haven't actually investigated how damage of shred and backstab scale with better gear. What you've done is take two characters, calculate the shred and backstab damage caused by these characters, then see how much of that damage was caused by the static bit of the ability. Then you conclude that cats scale badly, this is a non-sequitur.

Assuming similar levels of AP (cats have more than rogues but lets ignore that), the rogue would have to use a 2.25 speed weapon for normal backstab hits to scale at the same pace as normal shred hits. This will never happen because there are no daggers that are that slow, and the extra damage from AP is actually normalized as if the rogue used a 1.7 speed weapon.

It's certainly possible in some conditions that backstab would do more damage than shred. But as you accumulate more gear shreds damage will increase at a much higher rate than backstabs.

So based on the napkin maths, I'd have to conclude that shred scales better than backstab.

I'm not saying that cats scale, I am however saying that you have not successfully demonstrated that they don't.

And as Floofles has pointed out above, comparing singular abilities like this is pointless and silly. You have a whole array of abilities available to you, you need to consider and compare classes in full and not just bits and pieces in a vacuum.

If you wish to prove that cats scale terribly, you need to use good simulators for both Cat and Rogue using different sets of gear and compare the results.

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Leafkiller » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:08 pm

Lets start moving this discussion out of the realm of opinion and into the realm of empiricism. While I do not have access to data that shows how dps scales in actual content based on ilvl, I do have access to data that shows what dps looks like on normal content vs. heroic content as reported in WoL. The data below only shows melee dps - and is based on all of the current fights including the unbalanced ones such as Halfus where some classes have a significant advantage over others.

Heroic content:
http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Overall_DPS/ ... ult/#3vs00
23,523.5 Arms Warrior
21,749.0
21,448.5
21,440.5
20,488.0
20,478.0
20,405.0 Feral Cat
20,249.5
19,979.0
5,599.0 (lol sub rogues)

Normal content:
17,744.0 Arms Warrior
17,121.0
16,993.5
16,967.0
16,857.0
16,756.0
16,490.0
16,442.0 Feral Cat
15,453.0
13,177.0 (lol sub is better on normal?)

You can easily toggle between different fights to see how ferals stack up to other classes. We may have a small scaling issue - but in looking at different fights, you will see that fight mechanics have a significant impact on ferals. Just eyeballing the data, (not surprisingly) we are most disadvantaged on fights with lots of fast target changes, and fights that have cleave damage in them, while we are doing very well on fights with AOE (little wonder they are nerfing swipe in 4.2)

Overall, we are towards the bottom of the melee dps pack in both normal and heroic - but we are not that far behind a lot of the other classes.

If any of you are enterprising and skilled in statistical analysis, perhaps we could derive some interesting conclusions from the data on Raidbots (a deeper dive on a fight by fight basis is in order). You will also need to consider the impact of the 4.2 changes on all of the classes (for example Arms Warriors look to be scaling too good right now but they are getting nerfed in 4.2, and we are getting a whole host of changes).

===================

On a separate note - since there were two new posts while I was writing this - the Simulationcraft numbers are highly suspect for comparing one class to another. For example, last time I looked at the profiles, they did not make sure that every class had the same buffs. I don't know if that is the case today, but I would look very closely at how things are setup there before drawing any conclusions or even referencing their results.

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Floofles » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:12 pm

Konungr and ShmooDude, you don't seem to know the difference between scaling and relative position of classes. Scaling does not mean "this class does more damage than another class so they must scale better". Scaling means that Geoff, who plays a Rogue, gets x damage from increasing his level of gear from one level to another, whilst Kevin the cat gains 0.75x doing the same. Now, i'm not seeing that, you've posted a couple of links which don't actually have anything at all to do with scaling.

To give some times to your links; Simcraft is a horrible simulator that doesn't correctly simulate for a lot of classes, so comparing using that is a little like comparing two cars by reading a book review website.

Then you linked stateofdps' main page, you mentioned using top 40 (which I agree with, the top 200 is too large an ability range), so here is the link to top 40 25 man hard mode;

http://stateofdps.com/index.php?data=pa ... 0&spec=dps

Let's be clear here, this has absolutely nothing at all to do with scaling, not a sausage. However, I don't see anything that is wrong with that. Rankings nowadays are full of people cheesing fights and are dominated by people who do that (or are multidotting ranged dps), the link is rather useless. Even so, cats aren't doing badly on this at all and are certainly within an acceptable margin of other melee (with the exception of warriors who DO have scaling problems, as in they do actually gain too much from gear). You're really not supporting your argument of "cats don't scale" with any evidence of that.

As for this comment;

Konungr wrote:If you take any other class and a Feral in 359s that are doing the same damage, lets say 17k. Gear up both to where they are now in 372s. The other class will be pulling 24+k, the Feral will be at ~21k.


I'm not entirely sure what the point you're trying to make here is. What is the other class? Are they both bad players? Are they both good players? Have they pursued the right stats? Are they doing some sort of bitch duty? Are they aoeing? Can the other class multidot? Does the other class receive some sort of buff? What is this supposed to prove regarding the point that was raised in the original post?

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Konungr » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:23 pm

@ Floo, Leafkiller seems to have summed it up perfectly. Normal Warrior is ~17, Feral is ~17. Heroics Warrior is ~23, Feral is ~20. Even if that is a rough estimate it still shows some major problems.

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Floofles » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:26 pm

Konungr wrote:@ Floo, Leafkiller seems to have summed it up perfectly. Normal Warrior is ~17, Feral is ~17. Heroics Warrior is ~23, Feral is ~20. Even if that is a rough estimate it still shows some major problems.



...with warriors. Not to mention that people still doing normal modes now will have a bunch of heroic gear from the fights they have done heroic and assuming equal skill is laughable as you're likely to find players who are less interested in optimising their character and playstyle (i.e. the bad players on normal modes drag the numbers down).

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Leafkiller » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:04 pm

Konungr wrote:@ Floo, Leafkiller seems to have summed it up perfectly. Normal Warrior is ~17, Feral is ~17. Heroics Warrior is ~23, Feral is ~20. Even if that is a rough estimate it still shows some major problems.

Don't forget I wrote this:
for example Arms Warriors look to be scaling too good right now but they are getting nerfed in 4.2


Which is an issue with Warriors not druids.

Something Floofles said:
Not to mention that people still doing normal modes now will have a bunch of heroic gear from the fights they have done heroic and assuming equal skill is laughable as you're likely to find players who are less interested in optimising their character and playstyle (i.e. the bad players on normal modes drag the numbers down).


I think all classes have good and bad players and when considering the efficacy of a class, you need to look at overall performance and not just that of the top players. The amount of variance in a given class between the players of different skill levels has to be considered when Blizz is balancing the game. That is why I linked Raidbots and set it to use all parses and not just the top 40 (or 200) that StateofDPS shows.

When trying to draw any broad scale conclusions about class balance, you have to take into account actual performances by a large number of players of different skill levels against a variety of fights. How well a given ability scales with gear is largely irrelevant if some other ability gives you a significant advantage on a fight (combat rogues on Halfus for example, or ferals swiping on Meloriak). I can easily give you an ability that scales better than anything else in history - and make it useless at the same time.

Let's focus on whatever tier we are working on and ask a simple question - compared to other classes on the current content is our dps low enough that we are not competitive with other melee classes? If we are not competitive, then we can ask the next question, why is that happening? Most of the time it will be fight mechanics rather than scaling. The simple fact that some melee classes have cleaves and others don't skews the numbers considerably on some fights. I think the best Blizz can hope for is to have different classes excel on different fights. The alternative is either a lot of boring fights, or the complete homogenization of all the classes - so we all have equivalent abilities.

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Darkrealm » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:19 pm

I remember we had a heated discussion about this a few months ago. In the end, a lot of it comes down to what you are currently doing. If you are in a 25 man progression guild trying to push through hard mode content, then yeh, maybe it sucks. Maybe, possibly you will be benched.

For everyone else its almost a non issue. For a start, I dont believe it s good idea to judge a class/spec by its raw dps numbers over whole fights. When I'm farming normal Chogall with my casual guild, I do about 5k more dps as cat than moonkin. Yet I'm always asked to go moonkin, because you can do all the dps in the world but It wont help you if you can't kill the slimes. On Atremedies I could do more damage as moonkin, but I always go cat because its more usefull to be able to outrun the fire beam thus minimizing gong usage.

Then when you add in hybrid bear/cat spec potential (dps self nerf), looking at dps alone provides and incomplete picture. To borrow the car analogy, it's like saying that a drag racer is better than touring car because it goes faster....unless there are corners.

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Re: Cat Druid Scaling.

Postby Ruan » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:36 pm

Shred = 450% + 1490 (or 4.5*(weapon damage + 330))
Backstab = 200% + 690 (or 2 * (weapon damage + 345))


This was actually a poor example to work with. The math works out like so:

Let X = attack power adjusted weapon DPS.

Shred: 4.50x+1490
Backstab: 3.4x+690

However, if you take into account that a 2H weapon usually has about 33% more DPS than a one-handed weapon of the same level (703 vs. 521 at ilvl 372).

Feral Druids tend to have more attack power than rogues as well, but I'm not at home to verify my cat form AP in comparison to a rogue, I will assume 33% until someone corrects me.

4.50*1.33_ ~ 5.98

Now on top of all this you have to factor in all the other modifiers available as well:

http://www.wowhead.com/spell=5221#modified-by

This is easy, competent druids get a 20% bonus for rend & tear and 30% for mangle. Scaling at ~933% now.

http://www.wowhead.com/spell=53#modified-by

I looked at the subtlety specs of some rogues and it seems they don't go down to aggression in combat, so just the 40% from sinister calling, then bonus crit multiplier and crit chance from the assassination tree which are somewhat harder to calculate, but overall 30% more crit is 30% more damage over time. Scaling at ~618% plus bonus crit damage.

I'm probably not stacking the multipliers right but that's only a problem of proportion, the conclusion remains the same.

TLDR: Shred scales better than backstab.

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