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Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Tinderhoof » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:46 pm

There will still likely be a penalty if you refresh a TF'd Rip with a non TF'd Rip, but that won't be nearly as bad as before. However it's better if you have to get off a boss for a while to have the longest possible bleed ticking before you do.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Stenhaldi » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:03 pm

Not quite whenever you please, but as long as the DoT has 30% or less of its duration left, you won't lose duration by refreshing it.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Kraineth » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:34 pm

I like to think feral utility is looking like one of the best under the new system, probably even a little too strong. We're losing Tranq, but we're bringing decent offheals with catform rejuv,Instant HTs , and Nature's vigil. All of this on top of our raidwide sprint.

Offhealing as utility has sort of fallen to the wayside as of late unless it was major cd's like HTT/AG/Vamp. But with the new health pools and blizzard wanting players to not always be topped off during a fight, a class that brings a decent amount of heals is going to be quite nice.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Zstriker » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:00 am

teddabear wrote:Customer: But I don't like cheese pizza. :(


So do I settle for Blizzard's Cheese Pizza or am I better off finding someone who will at least try to make what I want, even if they don't get it exactly right.


there are others `pizzas` (classes&spec) for you ,this game have quite huge assortiment...

Pandemic
No Snapshotting
No DoC
Change to CPs

people was playing without DoC for all past expansion, and some even this expansion, and noone cry out for more complexity
pandemic - is buff, you don't want buffs?!
snapshotting halfly stays - also people neither care of it before RoR trinket
change to cp - is huge buff in target switching, all ferals been asking for with:
Image that look

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby hullaballoonatic » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:22 am

Feral in its current iteration in 5.4 is hardly lacking and therefore not in need of much buffing. What blizzard is doing in WoD has nothing to do with buffs or nerfs, but instead resetting the expectations for the spec. Pandemic makes the game easier, and so does the Combo Point change and lack of snapshotting, by lowering the skill ceiling more than the skill floor. DoC was the most complex of the snapshots provided by the class mechanics itself, and was merely an option to take. It is disappointing to see blizzard remove options that increase difficulty for reward instead of adding more, but as said before, it remains to be seen how interesting lunar inspiration ends up being.

Allow me to segue into a different topic: As stenhaldi pointed out, ranged multidotting for feral can be a pretty big deal, especially with the change to cp generation, as well as the fact that the dot scales with haste instead of mastery, but that brings up new concerns for me in terms of blizzards desire to normalize secondary effectiveness for each spec individually. Not only do you have haste and mastery behaving mutually exclusively for feral, but you also have lunar inspiration and bloody swipe doing the same thing. Each mutually exclusive of each other by way of a single talent tier, and also each solely buffed by haste or mastery, respectively. Does this not overcomplicate blizzard's intentions, or am I on the wrong foot here?

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Whitepaw » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:10 am

hullaballoonatic wrote:Feral in its current iteration in 5.4 is certainly in need of few buffs. What blizzard is doing in WoD has nothing to do with buffs or nerfs, but instead resetting the expectations for the spec. Pandemic makes the game easier, and so does the Combo Point change and lack of snapshotting, by lowering the skill ceiling more than the skill floor. DoC was the most complex of the snapshots provided by the class mechanics itself, and was merely an option to take. It is disappointing to see blizzard remove options that increase difficulty for reward instead of adding more, but as said before, it remains to be seen how interesting lunar inspiration ends up being.


It doesn't lower the skill ceiling - it just makes the dps rotation less counter-intuitive and over-engineered. My point here is that the encounters should demand that we use our new-found flexibility in healing a lot more than we have in MoP. Personally, I also hope that our PS procs will have a much longer duration, so we have a larger time window to use the instant HT.

What would make it perfect would be encounters where CC had to be used. That would be a lot of fun 8-)

With these changes, the encounters would be less "Tunnel to maximize dps at all costs!" and more "Play every encounter to the utmost of your ability!". As a Feral, we would need to both maximize our dps and help keeping the raid alive - be either healing or CC (maybe even both). That would be much more in-line with our hybrid class and spec.

It would also be more in-line with general encounter design. There are so few dps fights that the focus on maximizing dps is rather odd. Most encounters are about survival, especially at progression.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby teddabear » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:22 am

Stenhaldi wrote:As far as raid survival utility goes, here is a direct comparison using Warlords alpha values.

Nature's Vigil copies 35% of damage and 16% of healing as additional healing for 30 seconds (90 second cooldown). [Changed from 25% of damage and healing.]

Ancestral Guidance copies 60% of damage and healing as additional healing for 10 seconds (120 second cooldown). [Changed from 120% of damage and 180% of healing.]

At face value, NV is now better than AG! Actually AG has some compensation for its numerical inferiority: it works off multiple-target damage, it does its healing over a shorter period, and DPS shamans are better poised (through precast healing rain) to take advantage of the healing conversion as well. But still, the two are competitive with each other.

So there's one class that's not ahead of feral in raid survival utility. Another is windwalker, which is not gaining anything in that department. A third is retribution, which is losing devotion aura. (These classes have other utility assets, but those are another topic.)

It remains to be seen how rogues will fare with 10% smoke bomb, warriors with 15% rallying cry (and no demo banner), and DKs with 20% AMZ. This mostly depends on whether Blizzard succeeds in their stated intention of making player health bars "not binary" -- but if they do succeed, then I wouldn't worry about those either.

So that's the comparison with the other melee classes. On the general topic of whether damage dealers should have raid survival cooldowns, I'll say this. It's fun to have some capabilities in a raid besides pure damage. It's even better if those capabilities are fun to use in their own right. One-button cooldowns aren't terribly interesting: in a challenging fight, they'll be used as part of a cooldown rotation, and all that each player does is to press their button at the appropriate time. This is why I like the rejuvenation change: it's actually interesting to use in its own right. You have to pick targets and find time to cast. You do more than just press a button at a specified time.


Several interesting points here. I'd disagree with NV being better or even comparable to AG since raiding mechanics intensely favor burst healing. Definitely agree Windwalker is weak at individual CDs and Raid CDs. Regarding Raid CDs since Stampede will now be Feral's only raid CD is the glyph going to be made baseline? Seems very strange that your only Raid CD requires a glyph to be useful. While Feral got a nice buff with SI I would qualify that as a net loss with the removal of Symbiosis. Individual CDs still seem very unbalanced to me, Rogues in particular being virtually unkillable if they use their CDs. In general there is still a large discrepancy between classes. Regarding changing the binary nature of healing Blizzard has been saying this for a long time, I will be very surprised if this change is apparent in Mythic raiding.

While I said twice this is just Alpha I would also point out Blizzard's comment that they have been working on WoD since MoP was released. I am hopeful that the information that was released was only a partial list of the changes, but as far as major changes from Blizzard's current build I wouldn't count on too much without a major campaign from the players.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby AsgardFM » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:00 am

Kraineth wrote:I like to think feral utility is looking like one of the best under the new system, probably even a little too strong. We're losing Tranq, but we're bringing decent offheals with catform rejuv,Instant HTs , and Nature's vigil. All of this on top of our raidwide sprint


I think this point of view may be tedundant considering the Blizzard/Convert to Raid interview gave the following quote:

"DPS should be focused on DPS - the lines got very blurred between roles in Mists"

Seems to indicate that any side healing done (aside from NG based cooldowns) shouldn't be significant.
Last edited by AsgardFM on Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby ShmooDude » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:10 am

teddabear wrote:since raiding mechanics intensely favor burst healing.


Current ones do yes. Bliz's clearly stated plan for healing though is that it won't be near as bursty because of all the healing changes. They've stated repeatedly that the reason most mechanics 100->0 you is because healers can 10->100 you in a global or two.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Tinderhoof » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:58 am

teddabear wrote:While I said twice this is just Alpha I would also point out Blizzard's comment that they have been working on WoD since MoP was released. I am hopeful that the information that was released was only a partial list of the changes, but as far as major changes from Blizzard's current build I wouldn't count on too much without a major campaign from the players.

They said both in CTR and FinalBoss interviews that the next round of patch notes (5000+ words) is being worked on. This is in addition to a blog about garrisons. There are additional changes still to be made, and I should stress that they iterate a LOT during the beta time frame. What we see now will differ greatly from what hits live. It does every time.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby teddabear » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:58 pm

ShmooDude wrote:
teddabear wrote:since raiding mechanics intensely favor burst healing.


Current ones do yes. Bliz's clearly stated plan for healing though is that it won't be near as bursty because of all the healing changes. They've stated repeatedly that the reason most mechanics 100->0 you is because healers can 10->100 you in a global or two.


Yes I expect this change will be very apparent in LFR and the higher up you go in difficulty the less apparent it will be.

Tinderhoof wrote:They said both in CTR and FinalBoss interviews that the next round of patch notes (5000+ words) is being worked on. This is in addition to a blog about garrisons. There are additional changes still to be made, and I should stress that they iterate a LOT during the beta time frame. What we see now will differ greatly from what hits live. It does every time.


That was basically my point, imo there are some issues that can't fixed by iterating. So far all we have heard about is what was removed or fixed plus the combat system changes. What has been added? That's what I'm saying the next patch notes need to contain because so far it's just the same game except less.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Ayleena » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:44 pm

I never understood the mindset that feral has to be hard and if it isn't as hard as it is now it's going to suck. I personally welcome any changes that makes it more accessible and moreso makes sense. The 5.4 ultimate snapshotting extravaganza never really made sense to me. I would definitely prefer something that rewards more flexibility in our rotation.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Cantor (Shredable) » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:41 pm

teddabear wrote:Several interesting points here. I'd disagree with NV being better or even comparable to AG since raiding mechanics intensely favor burst healing. Definitely agree Windwalker is weak at individual CDs and Raid CDs. Regarding Raid CDs since Stampede will now be Feral's only raid CD is the glyph going to be made baseline? Seems very strange that your only Raid CD requires a glyph to be useful. While Feral got a nice buff with SI I would qualify that as a net loss with the removal of Symbiosis. Individual CDs still seem very unbalanced to me, Rogues in particular being virtually unkillable if they use their CDs. In general there is still a large discrepancy between classes. Regarding changing the binary nature of healing Blizzard has been saying this for a long time, I will be very surprised if this change is apparent in Mythic raiding.

While I said twice this is just Alpha I would also point out Blizzard's comment that they have been working on WoD since MoP was released. I am hopeful that the information that was released was only a partial list of the changes, but as far as major changes from Blizzard's current build I wouldn't count on too much without a major campaign from the players.


I'm not sure about your Symbiosis points - I'd actually call it a net gain overall; we lose the debuff removal of Divine Shield and/90% DR of Dispersion, but gain the ability to still DPS while SI is active. With the CP change we also don't give up our target swapping ability by being 'forced' to Sym a Rogue or Warlock, which is definitely a good thing.

I'm extremely excited about the CP change myself, and that's coming from someone that's mained a Druid since patch 1.0 - having played a Rogue alt, their target swapping is leaps and bounds ahead of ours, and that's largely thanks to Redirect.

Now, from a personal standpoint, I enjoyed DoC. However, I'm actually glad to see them moving throughput away from the utility tier, as it lets us, in theory, use the talent that best matches the encounter. As currently presented you'd just take NV, but the hope is that PS gets a duration extension (it was shortened from 16s to 8s due to instant CCs in Wrath which are no longer an option I believe? Based on Blizzard's insta-CC notes) and DoC is buffed - maybe it makes HT splash or similar. HotW would work with Rejuv blanketing IF it only costs us a GCD instead of having a cooldown or energy cost attached to it. I'm going to reserve comment on the level 100 talents and Glyph changes until I'm not typing on my phone.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Corv » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:12 pm

I worry about the loss of rotational complexity caused by snapshotting's removal, which looks like a choice made with casters in mind. However, I see room for hope.

The depth of snapshotting's gameplay stems from our inability to freely refresh our DoTs. We are constrained both by the Combo Point cost of Rip (and its attendant considerations: diverting CP to Savage Roar, not overcapping on CP, and gauging the rotational risks of casting Ferocious Bite), and by the energy cost of all of our skills. Except during Berserk, we cannot take advantage of every proc without carefully shepherding our resources. Capturing SR is trivial, and Tiger's Fury easy, though there's gameplay in deciding whether to hold TF to snapshot it with Rip or use it immediately. Catching Dream of Cenarius with Rip takes significantly more effort, and reliably combining procs with these requires an extraordinary amount of effort (to say nothing of measuring those procs against the class's innate three buffs, which I do concede is non-intuitive and needs culling).

To the best of my knowledge, casters with DoTs face none of these difficulties. They refresh their DoTs at the opportunity cost of the GCD, no more. The decision can be almost wholly automated by an addon, and the continual early refreshes detract from the core gameplay of those specs. For them, snapshotting is a degenerate mechanic. For many of us, it is a welcome escalation of the mental gymnastics we've been training at since Wrath of the Lich King. We've perfected our routine and want new tricks.

There might be room for a sort of inverted snapshotting mechanic. Given that Tiger's Fury will be active for eight seconds of every thirty (due to the Perk), there could be gameplay in assuring that as much happens during those 8s as possible. However, no competent Feral has any issue maintaining Rip and Rake (and auto-attack) at uptimes nearing 100%, and only modest gear is currently needed to bring Thrash into the picture. Shred's timing varies slightly, but ultimately has its frequency constrained by Rip and SR. That suggests that the ideal use of TF is to include in its duration any part of the rotation that does not demand a constant timing, which consists of FB and the initial hit from Rake. For example, starting with 5CP at low energy, TF-FB-Rake (alternately, 4CP-TF-Rake-FB, there's little difference). This general logic holds for any other buff as well.

Another approach to the above system would be to drastically increase the difficulty of maintaining the full DoT array. One extreme would be to introduce a cooldown on one or more DoTs, which forces a choice between perfect uptime and buffed uptime. However, if both this theoretical DoT CD, and that of TF, are static, the ideal timing can be precomputed. Thus, this is only interesting if the cooldown is somehow variable, whether by proc or by other extra-rotational (i.e. encounter) influences. This feels rather forced, and I suspect it would be deeply unsatisfying for a DoT class to be systemically prevented from maintaining full uptime (it would remove some of the gratification of gearing up, as well).

A more satisfactory implementation might be suggested by the current L100 tier. Set aside, for a moment, the ranged and AoE benefits as pleasant side-effects, which might weigh heavily in specific encounters. We then have Savagery, which removes a CP dump and leaves you three DoTs to maintain. Bloody Thrash, which leaves you with two CP dumps and two DoTs. Lunar Inspiration, which gives you both CP dumps and a fourth DoT. You have a talent tier which allows you to select your level of rotational complexity. With adequate tuning to some combination of DoT durations, our energy regeneration, and our combo point generation, this tier could provide the means for opting into the "inverted snapshotting" game. I believe this could be an acceptable replacement for today's mechanics.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Elamari » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:25 am

Tinderhoof wrote:I seriously hope that the Cat Form glyph is dead and baseline (more likely 9 lives replaced cat form). Having 2 glyphs like that together would be stupid and mandatory (again).

I was re-reading the notes on MMO Champion and noticed that Glyph of Cat Form is listed under the glyphs automatically learned at level 25. These two together is just too good to pass up. Especially given the healing changes proposed. I hope that one or both get changed as I would like some interesting choices that affect my play style / allow me to customise my character rather than required ones for survivability.
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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Whitepaw » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:57 am

I never understood the mindset that feral has to be hard and if it isn't as hard as it is now it's going to suck. I personally welcome any changes that makes it more accessible and moreso makes sense. The 5.4 ultimate snapshotting extravaganza never really made sense to me. I would definitely prefer something that rewards more flexibility in our rotation.


I never got that either. I started raiding as Feral after patch 1.8, and this "complexity" mindset was not apparent during Vanilla/TBC. Back then, we focused on viability.

Then came WotLK, and Feral became a dps juggernaut. Not because of the insanely skilled Feral players that suddenly popped up, but because we gained insane amounts of dps from the stat Armor Penetration (while retaining a lot of damage from our bleeds). Suddenly, Feral was very competitive, everybody started using dps meters and people felt like King of the Jungle (which was also a talent, iirc). Back then, the rotation was in fact rather complex, but also fairly well explained in tooltips and talents. The only non-intuitive part was gearing/gemming, which favored Armor Penetration above everything else. This information was only for the connected players (forum readers and people connected with knowledgable players in-game). Also, having the right trinkets helped (ohai, DBW!).

Now, we have a rotation, where the last percentile is not apparent from tooltips and talents. Where the player needs (or gains large benefits from) a modded UI, which can tell him/her when it's optimal to refresh Rip/Rake/Thrash. Where the gearing and gemming/reforging is heavily dependant on simulations to show the breakpoints between primary and secondary stats, with or without the RoR trinket etc. Personally, I don't have problems with this - but that's because I've played this game for almost 10 years and I follow the relevant forums.

Throwing all this over-engineered design away is a necessity - not only to gain gameplay advantages for all of us, but also to make the game more accessible for new players. If Blizzard continued to support the current counter- and non-intuitive gameplay, we would end up in a situation where the last few 'die-hard' players contemplate dead servers and simply can not fathom the obvious fact; that over-engineered and counter-intuitive gameplay seldom generates thriving and populated gaming communities (EVE being the exception :D ). Try explaining the Feral dps rotation to new players and you'll see what I mean.

I hope that the changes will allow Blizzard to continue making gameplay that's easy to pick-up, but challenging to master. This can be done by removing dot-snapshotting and reforging, re-introducing CC in PvE (in both 5-man instances and raids) and making the healing game less binary (so our new cat-rejuvenation will matter, instead of the present gameplay, where a small HoT doesn't really make a difference).

I also like the changes from a PvP perspective. The CP-now-on-the-player change will be huge in PvP - together with our extreme mobility. Target swaps will make an impact much earlier, because a 5-point Rip can be applied right after leaving a target, so the opponents will have two targets with full bleeds - at the same time. Having Savage Roar up constantly will further allow us to apply unrelenting pressure on several targets at once.

Instead of the over-engineered gameplay we have today, WoD alpha notes outline a future where the Feral will be able to focus on his targets and use his extreme mobility, survivability and bleeds to dominate several targets at once. I can't wait to find out how many targets a Feral will be able to keep fully dotted at once - my bet is around three, if they are fairly close and the Feral is not interrupted. This also implies that situational awareness and coordinated teamplay will be more important than the dot-snapshotting we have today.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby hullaballoonatic » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:30 pm

the complexity and depth of the spec is a notorious and defining trait of feral. i'm not asking for every feral to be forced to use this, but to be given the option via talents/glyphs to have a more demanding rotation.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Tinderhoof » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:22 pm

Whitepaw wrote:I never got that either. I started raiding as Feral after patch 1.8, and this "complexity" mindset was not apparent during Vanilla/TBC. Back then, we focused on viability.

The reason we focused on viability in BC was because unless we were offtanking we weren't viable. It was awesome that we could out damage any other tank in Bear form. Cat was a nice bonus because you could keep swinging and you wouldn't pull threat, but we didn't get brought to progression just as a Cat. Hell Rake was so bad that it was never on our bars. Mangle, Shred, Shred, Shred, Rip was boring at the very least, and had mediocre damage at best.

Whitepaw wrote:Then came WotLK, and Feral became a dps juggernaut. Not because of the insanely skilled Feral players that suddenly popped up, but because we gained insane amounts of dps from the stat Armor Penetration (while retaining a lot of damage from our bleeds). Suddenly, Feral was very competitive, everybody started using dps meters and people felt like King of the Jungle (which was also a talent, iirc). Back then, the rotation was in fact rather complex, but also fairly well explained in tooltips and talents. The only non-intuitive part was gearing/gemming, which favored Armor Penetration above everything else. This information was only for the connected players (forum readers and people connected with knowledgable players in-game). Also, having the right trinkets helped (ohai, DBW!).

This keeps coming up over and over and I can only attribute this to the Rose Colored Glasses effect. Ferals were not a juggernaut for most of the expansion. The opening iteration of SR was it would boost your AP while active...so Ferals gemmed Strength cause it still gave us 2 AP and Agi still only gave 1. They fixed SR to the 30% flat damage and swapped Strength and Agi for Ulduar but had to nerf us in the first 2 weeks cause we went nuts. ArP didn't really show up as a viable stat for us until near the end of TOGC because you had to get enough of it to make the difference. So ya ICC was long, but it was where ArP was king not all of LK. Now you still had to be good about managing all the very short timers, but having the Crit cap helped there too.

Whitepaw wrote:Now, we have a rotation, where the last percentile is not apparent from tooltips and talents.

Not sure what you mean here.

Whitepaw wrote:Where the player needs (or gains large benefits from) a modded UI, which can tell him/her when it's optimal to refresh Rip/Rake/Thrash. Where the gearing and gemming/reforging is heavily dependant on simulations to show the breakpoints between primary and secondary stats, with or without the RoR trinket etc. Personally, I don't have problems with this - but that's because I've played this game for almost 10 years and I follow the relevant forums.

I don't know about you, but in LK I couldn't do meaningful damage with out at least a few addon's to track all the firkin timers we had to deal with, and to track procs. I actually use the same addons I did in LK as I do now (Drood Focus/Raven/IceHUD) so I don't know about heavily modified UI's being required now, but not then.

Whitepaw wrote:Throwing all this over-engineered design away is a necessity - not only to gain gameplay advantages for all of us, but also to make the game more accessible for new players. If Blizzard continued to support the current counter- and non-intuitive gameplay, we would end up in a situation where the last few 'die-hard' players contemplate dead servers and simply can not fathom the obvious fact; that over-engineered and counter-intuitive gameplay seldom generates thriving and populated gaming communities (EVE being the exception :D ).

Aren't you over stating this a bit here? Having 1 maybe 2 specs out of 37 being very complicated is not going to bring down this going on 10 year old game. Hell if that was the case the game wouldn't have made it out of vanilla. You want counter/non-intuitive game play remember our gear from then? Agi/Strenth and Int on the same gear?

Whitepaw wrote:Try explaining the Feral dps rotation to new players and you'll see what I mean.

I did: http://wowhead.com/guide=2177. BAM! But in all seriousness I agree it's not something easy to relate. Writing that simplified doc took a while and in it I had to say, "I am leaving stuff out because you need to walk before you run". However one of the nice thing we have about Feral now is that you can take talents and make rotation choices that give you a way to step into the rotation and still be viable while having room to grow. Losing that is disappointing because "solving the puzzle" in a varity of situations is fun for me.

Whitepaw wrote:I hope that the changes will allow Blizzard to continue making gameplay that's easy to pick-up, but challenging to master. This can be done by removing dot-snapshotting and reforging, re-introducing CC in PvE (in both 5-man instances and raids) and making the healing game less binary (so our new cat-rejuvenation will matter, instead of the present gameplay, where a small HoT doesn't really make a difference).

Instead of the over-engineered gameplay we have today, WoD alpha notes outline a future where the Feral will be able to focus on his targets and use his extreme mobility, survivability and bleeds to dominate several targets at once. I can't wait to find out how many targets a Feral will be able to keep fully dotted at once - my bet is around three, if they are fairly close and the Feral is not interrupted. This also implies that situational awareness and coordinated teamplay will be more important than the dot-snapshotting we have today.

Here is where I really disagree. Making our off healing more viable is nice for a small percentage of people. Those are the people who were using snapshotting and liked the feel of it. The people who dislike SR, and DoC, and Snapshotting are not going to be the people who like to move outside their comfort zone and weave in heals to other people. They will just tunnel the boss and cheer they "Don't have to hit a heal to do optimal DPS". Does it mean they are playing their character to the max? No. But there is no incentive for them to do anything if it doesn't make the numbers go higher. Sure the logic is that "You will make your raid team more successful". Doesn't mean everyone will do so. Same logic goes for CC requirements. Just because you can CC now because you don't have to tunnel as hard doesn't mean you will be required to do so.

I agree with you that it would be nice for Feral to be a little more forgiving to newer players. However what made Feral exciting was it had a method to step up and take your damage to the next level. It was a choice and you didn't have to take it or be bad (even though some people still imply that). The new changes announced so far remove that step up entirely. Now there are plenty for changes coming that we aren't privy to yet, and I expect several things to change from what they already announced. Nothing is set in stone yet other then Snapshotting won't be back.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Corv » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:56 pm

Tinderhoof wrote:
Whitepaw wrote:I never got that either. I started raiding as Feral after patch 1.8, and this "complexity" mindset was not apparent during Vanilla/TBC. Back then, we focused on viability.

The reason we focused on viability in BC was because unless we were offtanking we weren't viable.


I, too, have been Feral since Classic, and I'll have to agree with Tinderhoof here. We were thoroughly subpar as DPS until mid-Wrath, but there were a handful of fights in Burning Crusade for which the combination of our massive armor and lack of defensive stats let Bears shine (off the top of my head, Azgalor, Bloodboil, and Brutallus, and Illidan, where we could swap into Fire Resistance gear at little cost). Those occasions, combined with the ever-present scarcity of tanks in general, and our ability to swap between forms at nearly full capacity in-combat, bought Feral a raid spot. For Cat Form alone, we would never have raided in any serious capacity. For the ability to transition between the two roles in combat, we will never again see that option, as evidenced by the splitting of the spec. True hybridism is a discarded philosophy, with our L90 tier the exception that proves the rule.

Whitepaw wrote:Now, we have a rotation, where the last percentile is not apparent from tooltips and talents.

I did and do continue to concede that the finest details of snapshot gameplay, weighing the spec's innate buffs (SR, TF, DoC) against procs is totally unintuitive, absolutely requiring an addon, and needs to be discarded. However, the innate buffs are all percentages, and SR can generally be assumed. The default UI does a non-existent job of tracking TF and DoC snapshots, but the underlying mechanics are good: they are not terribly complex to understand or measure, and they provided an additional layer of tight timing gameplay for the players who chose it.

Whitepaw wrote:Where the player needs (or gains large benefits from) a modded UI, which can tell him/her when it's optimal to refresh Rip/Rake/Thrash.

Conceded above.

However, do also consider that the Blizzard interface is designed not to consolidate combat information. For a spec such as ours which cares about non-proc self-buffs, as well as debuffs, it is a poor choice, and prior to the introduction of Blizzard's Auras, it was a poor choice for many other specs. In its default state, it requires awareness of too many widely separated elements on the screen: the target frame's debuffs and the player's energy in the upper-left, the player's buffs in the upper-right, the cooldowns on the bars at the bottom or right, the procs in the center of the screen, and the gameworld lying behind those procs. Gameplay that demands attention to all of these is hindered by design, and by the human brain's inability to truly multitask and to retain efficiency and state as it jumps from task to task (specs that need not worry about one of these, such as Fire or Frost mages ignoring mana, suffer the same problem to a reduced extent). Frankly, this is less an argument in favor of addons as it is a criticism of the suitability of Blizzard's interface for the game it supports. Regardless, until some aspect of this relationship changes, addons provide a large benefit to all non-trivial specs.

Whitepaw wrote:Throwing all this over-engineered design away is a necessity - not only to gain gameplay advantages for all of us, but also to make the game more accessible for new players. If Blizzard continued to support the current counter- and non-intuitive gameplay, we would end up in a situation where the last few 'die-hard' players contemplate dead servers and simply can not fathom the obvious fact; that over-engineered and counter-intuitive gameplay seldom generates thriving and populated gaming communities (EVE being the exception :D ).

You are absolutely correct here, despite my arguments for complexity. I suspect you might already be familiar with the writings of Cynwise on the problems Warlocks had last expansion, in which he eloquently outlined several problems with the class, one of the largest being massive complexity. The problem, though, was not that complexity existed; it was that complexity became the requirement. There are some experienced players who adore complexity, and offering them such is not a sin.

The Feral rotation can be summarized simply: "Alternate SR and Rip as finishers, build CP mostly with Mangle, using Rake enough to keep up the debuff. Macro TF and Berserk together and use it every ~30s, at low energy." Four bullet points explain the core of the spec! We can add a few more once the player understands these: 1) Glyph and start with SR up; 2) If you have a lot of excess CP, use FB; 3) if you have excess energy, use Thrash. This is no perfect rotation, but it suffices to explain the flow to a truly new player. Tinderhoof's guide, or the Icy Veins guide, offer a slightly more accurate rotation at a correspondingly higher up-front comprehension cost.

Whichever of the three you choose, none of this is extreme in complexity. None of them even mention snapshotting, because it is an advanced topic that offers marginal gain! A cursory set of runs through SimC indicate a loss of less than 10k DPS when the rules for snapshotting and the use of DoC are excluded from the rotation: Yes, even without NV/HotW to compensate, a DoC druid loses little by ignoring snapshotting entirely, even excluding the basic snapshotting of TF. Feral is a complex spec, but unless you have opted into the upper-most echelons of raiding, nothing about it has crossed over the line into dizzying incomprehensibility. With snapshotting removed, no part of the spec is near that point, and it is the removal of that option that we decry.

I suspect that Blizzard is aware of that concern, because they are in position to be fully aware of the depth of experience some players bring to the game. They can correlate experience with class and with spec, and with attachment to complex gameplay. If such a correlation does exist, and the number of players non-trivial, they would certainly continue to support those players if they could find a means that does not detract from other players. That is the reason I suggest we anticipate that the L100 tier will be a source of elective complexity.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby aggixx » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:47 pm

Corv wrote:Whichever of the three you choose, none of this is extreme in complexity. None of them even mention snapshotting, because it is an advanced topic that offers marginal gain! A cursory set of runs through SimC indicate a loss of less than 10k DPS when the rules for snapshotting and the use of DoC are excluded from the rotation: Yes, even without NV/HotW to compensate, a DoC druid loses little by ignoring snapshotting entirely, even excluding the basic snapshotting of TF. Feral is a complex spec, but unless you have opted into the upper-most echelons of raiding, nothing about it has crossed over the line into dizzying incomprehensibility. With snapshotting removed, no part of the spec is near that point, and it is the removal of that option that we decry.

While I understand your point, I think you'd have a hard time convincing most people that 10k DPS is "marginal". Also, SimulationCraft undervalues snapshotting quite a bit as it has (almost) no concept of predictive clipping, and since it follows a rigid priority list it does not make outside the box choices in situations that merit it.
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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Corv » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:40 pm

aggixx wrote:While I understand your point, I think you'd have a hard time convincing most people that 10k DPS is "marginal". Also, SimulationCraft undervalues snapshotting quite a bit as it has (almost) no concept of predictive clipping, and since it follows a rigid priority list it does not make outside the box choices in situations that merit it.


"Most people" bandwagon onto the complaints of a mathematically inclined and top-tier raiding minority. Objectively, 10k is marginal. Take for example Iron Juggernaut, because Patchwerk fights will amplify small overall DPS changes (in such fights, they're less likely to be outweighed by per-fight fluctuations, like a handful of crits killing adds faster, or proc timing lining up with vulnerable phases). Call a tank half a DPS and assume we're running maximal healers which contribute no damage. Again, to exaggerate the effect of individual DPS. Peg the DPS at 300k baseline in 10 and 350k in 25, numbers taken from skimming Warcraft Logs. Crunch some ballpark numbers for one person doing 10k above that baseline:

10-man Normal (2 tanks, 3 healers, 5 DPS)
10N: 450,000,000 / (300,000*4 + 150,000*2 + 300,000) = 250.0s
10N + 10k: 450,000,000 / (300,000*4 + 150,000*2 + 310,000) = 248.6s

25-man Heroic (2 tanks, 7 healers, 16 DPS)
25H: 1,800,000,000 / (350,000*15 + 150,000*2 + 360,000) = 305.8s
25H + 10k: 1,800,000,000 / (350,000*15 + 150,000*2 + 360,000) = 304.5s

One person's 10k DPS is completely negligible. Even if the entire DPS cohort did an extra 10k, we're looking at timing differences under the 10s mark, in either difficulty. You can conjure up 1% wipe scenarios and cry "if only so-and-so had re-gemmed!" and imagine all of these ways in which that extra second of fight time mattered, but that's generally false. Timing is critical when faced with berserk mechanics, which have been largely absent, excepting Norushen. If you wipe prior to a berserk, your DPS is very rarely the cause (see: add fights and AoE damage failure). In most cases, you have a failure of survivability, or of healing, or of situational awareness.

In some sense, those are then the aspects that players "should" focus on, as Whitepaw is arguing. I don't entirely disagree. I do think that the rotational DPS aspect of gameplay is valuable, and should be played simultaneously with those other concerns, and should be engaging in its own right, and I do not believe that today's Feral rotation can remain so for all of its players without snapshotting.

With that addressed, if you have a better tool than SimC to recommend, I'd be glad to throw numbers at it and fine-tune the number of seconds that we can shave from our Iron Juggernaut kills. The general point remains.

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby aggixx » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:38 pm

Of course a percentage of your personal DPS is irrelevant to the entire raid in most scenarios, but if everyone in the raid is making "marginal" 10k DPS sacrifices then you start to have an issue.

You could basically use the same logic to justify going AFK while autoattacking =P
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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby Alaron » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:57 pm

Corv wrote:A more satisfactory implementation might be suggested by the current L100 tier. Set aside, for a moment, the ranged and AoE benefits as pleasant side-effects, which might weigh heavily in specific encounters. We then have Savagery, which removes a CP dump and leaves you three DoTs to maintain. Bloody Thrash, which leaves you with two CP dumps and two DoTs. Lunar Inspiration, which gives you both CP dumps and a fourth DoT. You have a talent tier which allows you to select your level of rotational complexity. With adequate tuning to some combination of DoT durations, our energy regeneration, and our combo point generation, this tier could provide the means for opting into the "inverted snapshotting" game. I believe this could be an acceptable replacement for today's mechanics.


I think this hits the nail on the head for where Blizzard is going. There's a design decision in there as to how much of a space you want between a skill floor and skill ceiling - too little, and the expert players complain about not having anything to do; too much, and the new players give up too quickly. Speaking of the entire playerbase, Feral's main problem has been its complexity (or perceived complexity, which amounts to the same thing). As such, my expectation is for the initial class mechanics to be fairly bland, and for the complexity to be added in via encounter scenarios, trinkets, and set bonuses. Once we see those, then we'll have a better idea of where we might be ending up.

(As a sidenote - my observation is that Blizzard tends to oscillate between designing for the casual and for the experienced, and MoP was definitely more casual-focused, so I'm relatively hopeful this time around. Of course, the last time they designed for the experienced, we got Cataclysm, so maybe that's not such a good thing.)

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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby aggixx » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:38 am

In my opinion, Lunar Inspiration has the potential to promote choice in complexity, but the others do not. Taking a talent that adds no complexity vs one that adds some is fine, but a talent that removes complexity is just promoting poor play. As soon as those players who prefer to use said talent are coerced or otherwise to decide to use something different from the norm, there's a strong chance they will perform worse because of it.

I primarily say this because Bloody Thrash in it's current form is going to be just silly damage output in AoE and cleave situations, to the point where someone who consciously decides to run Savagery full-time for ease of use is going to be taking a pretty significant loss.
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Re: Warlords of Draenor™ Alpha Testing Begins

Postby ShmooDude » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:41 am

Its waaaaay more than 10k. Quick run through simcraft in my gear:

411k using the "advanced" rotation

Removing:
# Overwrite Rip if it's at least 15% stronger than the current.
# Use 4 or more CP to apply Rip if Rune of Reorigination is about to expire and it's at least close to the current rip in damage.
# Pool energy for and clip Thrash if Rune of Re-Origination is expiring.
# Rake if it hits harder than Mangle and we won't apply a weaker bleed to the target. (replaced with just rake to renew)

Pretty much any "snapshotting" specific sections from the rotation

360k using cut down "advanced" rotation.

That's a 51k or 13% or so loss.

Hell, a fight I'm usually number 1 on in my guild I ended up something like 8th just because I screwed up my opening rotation by hitting rake 1 second too late (right after Rune and Haromm's fell off), costing myself something like 2 million damage from that ONE mistake alone (granted I also had relatively low proc uptime on my trinkets too, but looking at WCL, my opening burst was only ~600k where as its normally ~750k). That's ~6700 DPS (or ~2%, usually do about 100 mil dmg) from one mistaken button press (we kill iron jugg in ~5 mins give or take). Does that really seem reasonable to anyone?

I'm not saying they can't add some complexity back for the people that like it (preferably through a talent) but snapshotting as it is really isn't a good mechanic.

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