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News Roundup: Survival Hunters, DK & Warlock AE, Priest Changes
13/1/2011 em 16:06
Blizzard continues addressing class-balancing issues and concerns with the latest batch of PTR changes!
In this edition, Blizzard talks about Survival Hunter DPS (again), addresses concerns regarding Frost Death Knight and Demonology Warlock AE DPS, and clarifies the justification behind changes to Holy and Discipline Priests! We've also got a quick note regarding a potential change to the Diminishing Returns effect of
Check out the full Blizzard posts after the break!
...on Haste and Survival Hunter DPS
It looks like the haste change either didn't make it into the PTR build or is bugged. Steady Shot, Cobra Shot and Slam don't appear to be affected by the haste change. Some hunters might be noticing more focus, but that's more than likely from the Hunting Party bug fix. We're still investigating.
To clarify on haste affecting SS and CS - - haste did lower their cast time before but it was a rather old implementation and (although I don't know the technical reasons behind it) there was a desire to update it. The designers wanted to change how Slam works with haste, and getting that code change from the programmers in turn allowed them to handle the hunter shots in a more elegant way as well. Ideally. In retrospect the changes probably shouldn't have even made the patch notes because it was a behind the scenes code change (which happens all the time) and not a meaningful redesign. On the other hand, it's likely some slight differences would be noticed in the shot behavior which might have had some impact on people's DPS and gearing. But, as I said, it's not working correctly and I'm not sure what the next steps are going to be. Whether the fix goes in or doesn't, the effect on SS and CS will be minimal-to-non-existent.
Also, I realize this may not be high priority, but it'd be really good if you guys would consider adding a display of our current focus regen (other resource based classes might also appreciate this) in our character sheet.
Makes sense to me. I'll pass it along.
Why even propose such an excessive nerf that surely will break the Hunter SV spec, making it unviable?
Why, Blizzard, Why?
Heheh. Dramatizations makes me giggle.
Bottom line is that Survival does too much damage right now on live. The damage needs to come down. We'll be working to make sure the final numbers take into account all the other various changes that are going in to the patch to ensure it remains a viable spec, ensure the other two specs are competitively viable as well, and in-range of what we expect the damage output of the class to be relative to others.
We don't want to see logs a few months from now with Unholy DKs winning every fight either. We're adjusting talents for DK's too, but like hunters, we'll make sure the adjustments get them in a good place.
We're evaluating hunter DPS even now, and if it turns out the changes go too far we'll make adjustments.
On PvP, we don't think high damage is the key to hunter success. The Deterrence and Master's Call changes are intended to help to that end and make some defensive mechanics a little less tricky to use. Again, we'll continue evaluating the changes. The patch isn't going live tomorrow.
...on Frost DK and Demo Lock AE DPS
Frost DKs and Demo Locks were definitely doing too much AE damage on fights. We knew once we got those under control that Serpent Spread might be next. AE abilities of every class were nerfed coming into Cataclysm, yet when some players compare their AE damage to that of DKs, locks, and hunters, they were left scratching their heads. We don’t think Serpent Spread is as big a problem as those other abilities, and if we over-nerfed it, then we’ll back those changes out. If you've actually tested the changes and have feedback we definitely welcome it, or even proper theorycrafting by those with an abacus and slide rule, but just seeing a patch note and commenting on it isn't very helpful for us to get good feedback passed along.
I've given feedback to the devs before along the lines of "People don't like this" and then they have the audacity to ask "Why?" and me shrugging my shoulders somehow doesn't quite light a fire under them to act on it.
...on Healer "Nerfs"
There was a blue post that said it was a correction and not a nerf, but it was not clear whether the blue was posting as to the present Lightwell or as to the apparent nerf on the ptr.
This was, indeed, a correction to the tooltip and not a change to Lightwell. It has not been nerfed in the next patch and while there have been some changes done, they should predominantly result in better healing overall (in relation to priests). To check out the hotfixes that were implemented prior to the PTR, you can see them here.
You'll notice Lightwell's health was boosted up by 50%.
The change we are making are a little bit like balancing scales. We trim a little on one side and add to the other. If you look through the PTR notes (
) closely, you'll see this within them.
Currently, Holy has a lot of mana on live, but to counter the change we're making to Prayer of Healing, we're buffing Circle of Healing. We’re making Chakra easier to use. We’re also giving you the option to make Prayer of Mending a little better. Holy on live is pretty strong overall.
As we said in the Wow, Dungeons are Hard blog, (
) any Holy priest with 1700 to 1800 Spirit shouldn’t have mana problems. If they do, something else is going on such as dps being too low or players taking too much avoidable damage. You can reach those numbers without ever stepping into a raid. Finish Twilight Highlands. Get the Cord of the Raven Queen epic belt from being Exalted with the Guardians of Hyjal – you’ll be Revered just by completing the Hyjal quests. Max out your Tailoring and make yourself some better gear or just buy some from another player. Get the Mandala of Stirring Patterns trinket from Tol Barad (the quest area – it doesn’t require setting foot in the PvP area). Look for Sprit enchants. Reforging is your friend. Reforge everything to Spirit until you feel that you won’t run out of mana.
Keep in mind, you're not alone in the dungeon and the dps and tanks also need to take responsibility for what they are doing and how much of your mana they are requiring you to use. You also don't need to keep everyone topped off. You just need to anticipate the damage and adjust accordingly.
We want people to pick and choose the spells and abilities they need to use in correlation to the events going on in the game. If someone still has Prayer of Mending on them and they haven't taken damage yet, do you need to recast it? Does someone need a shield or renew vs. a full heal? Can you use something else in your bag of tricks that you normally would just bypass as "useless" that would instead by useful in a certain situation? Can you use binding heal? You may just need to cast a high expense spell to get the job done, but if you have the mana to do so, why not? Those spells are meant to have use.
I've also looked into Discipline in light of the change to Prayer of Healing. In general, there shouldn't be a time that there is so much AoE damage that everyone is going to need it immediately. Raids may be a little different, but you should have plenty of support from other healers as well at that point.
The cost of shield may have gone up, but so has the damage mitigation for it, though in light of Cataclysm, damage mitigation isn't all a Discipline priest needs to do anymore. They need to be in there, mixing it up and healing versus just using a few spells. Don't forget you also have Power Word:Barrier if you can convince people not to run away from the glow y dome of goodness.
Divine Aegis was also buffed a bit and with Inner Fire should help with Prayer of Healing.
Keep in mind, this is just a short list of changes, and the rest can be found on the PTR notes and more are being added practically daily at this point. Changes are still ongoing as well. Continuing to provide constructive feedback on these changes and how you've been experiencing them (for those that go on the PTR) is always very helpful.
...on Sin and Punishment Diminishing Returns
This leads to my main point about Sin and Punishment: The only way for Sin and Punishment's dispel protection to be on equal footing with UA as a dispel deterrent is to make the "horror" effect not share Diminishing Returns with anything, whether it be itself, Psychic Scream, or Psychic Horror/Death Coil. Anything less is inferior dispel protection, and will be ignored by dispellers who will spam dispel it with no fear of repercussions. According to Zarhym, Blizzard knows that spamming dispels is currently a very easy and effective way to counter warlocks and priests, and I hope that they can incorporate the appropriate changes necessary to make this ability do what it was intended to do very soon.
Thanks for pointing this out, Ecnad. We're aware of the issue and will be hotfixing this bug with diminishing returns and Sin and Punishment in the near future. :)
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