Thursday, September 6, 2012

Patch 5.0.4 Beta Class Balance Analysis

Originally Posted by Blizzard
Tank Time
I mentioned previously (though it very well could have been in another thread) that we have been looking a lot at tank balance. We think tanks surviving short windows of spike damage has been fairly balanced in beta for some time, and indeed we are seeing all tank classes used effectively in beta Challenge Modes and Heroic raid testing.

We have made a few changes to longer-term tank healing required, which will show up both on beta and live very soon. I mentioned that we were initially going to nerf monk and DK, but we now think they and paladins are fine. Instead, the rage tanks required too much healing, so we are causing them to take less damage and have more rage for active mitigation.

  • Auto attack rage generation increased by 75%.
  • Thick Hide now provides 12% physical damage reduction.

  • Rage generation from Revenge increased from 10 to 15.
  • Rage generation from Shield Slam increased from 15 to 20. (Sword and Board continues to give 5 extra, so 25 now).
  • Reduced internal cooldown on Critical Block from Enrage from 5 sec to 3 sec.
  • Increased damage reduction from Defensive Stance from 15% to 25%.
  • Increased armor from Unwavering Sentinel from 10% to 25%.

I'm confused. Auto attacks currently generate 6.2 Rage. Does this mean they will now generate 10.85 Rage (~75% increase)?
Yeah, sorry, those are internal tuning numbers for us that won't have any context for you. It is a 75% increase on auto attack rage.

Can you clarify how Healing Stream Totem scales with haste, because it's starting to do my head in.
Sure. The short version is that it’s not a HoT, and it functions differently. The totem casts a heal instantly, and once every two seconds (reduced by haste), and despawns after 15 sec (unaffected by haste). So haste on a HoT typically works to add ticks at certain breakpoints, which will half the time increase the total duration beyond the base, but that doesn’t happen with Healing Stream Totem.

Could we get some news if the devs are doing anything to fix the range issue with Inferno Blast's mechanic?
There are some times where we do some tricky things under the hood to make things feel better, and this is one of them. The intended gameplay is that you should be able to get a Heating Up proc while already casting another spell, and follow that one with an Inferno Blast to force a Hot Streak proc. You should never need to cancel your current cast to get that benefit.

So, tricky under-the-hood things follow. Again, you do not need to know or understand this to use Inferno Blast effectively, or play Fire; it should “just work." But, for those interested in the gory details, here they are:
  • Fireball, Pyroblast, and Frostfire Bolt (which was bugged until recently) have a cap on their effective travel time.
  • Their effects will take place after a maximum of 0.75 sec.
  • The fireball visual will still travel at the same speed, but you’ll see the damage number pop up and get the Heating Up proc after 0.75 sec, even though the fireball visual is still traveling through the air.
  • We normally prefer the game to feel more visceral, by tightly syncing visuals to effects, but this change felt worth the gameplay benefit to us. In a future patch, we may be able to hasten the visual to match.
  • If you have Heating Up, and get a non-crit, then Heating Up gets removed, as expected.
  • However, if the non-crit came from a spell with a travel time, or from Scorch (which is supposed to be able to replace Fireball rotationally while moving), then we delay the removal of Heating Up by 0.25 sec.

Death Knight
Death Knights and Upcoming Nerfs
I posted recently in the large class balance theorycrafting thread that we have buffed the mitigation and rage generation of Guardian druids and Protection warriors. After some more analysis, we don't think DKs and monks needed additional nerfs to be on par with paladins, who were our target.