Ask The Devs #10 - Damage Dealing (Answers)

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Good post blizzard, a little short but good.


This was the longest Ask The Devs we've posted. I was a bit surprised when I had to split it into two posts.


lol of all the comments you picked that one out?

I'll admit though, you guys are very good at subtle hints and humor. You've made me smile a lot when reading responses.
And of course, as with every bloody Q&A, we have the WE WANT MOOOORE brigade.

Seriously people. Be glad you get any feedback of this nature period. I know of no other game developers who even entertain the thought of community dialogue that aren't niche/Indie Studios.

Spoiled rotten this community is.


06/24/2011 09:23 AMPosted by Collie
Also consider that all melee should want to get behind a target, and it hurts all of their DPS when they cannot. We have also made the alternatives to the positional requirements much less of a DPS loss than they used to be. If you go into your Mangle rotation instead of your Shred rotation, your DPS will drop, but not catastrophically.


Except those classes still get to use all of their abilities, while the specifically-mentioned classes cannot. The question wasn't about why we suffer for being in front of the boss, it's why we have to suffer more than other classes.

Thanks for the "just deal with it" answer.


This was really what I was getting at. I do love having basic game mechanics explained to me instead of actually answering my question.

After the AtD:Tanking garbage, I was hoping for a little more.
Well nothing on the State of Hunters, but I didn't expect there to be really. I feel the special Q&A should be reserved for general question and not class specific (even though they are mostly class specific).

As for Hunters, I guess we'll just wait to see what's in store.

Thanks for posting the answers and taking the questions.
And of course, as with every bloody Q&A, we have the WE WANT MOOOORE brigade.

Seriously people. Be glad you get any feedback of this nature period. I know of no other game developers who even entertain the thought of community dialogue that aren't niche/Indie Studios.

Spoiled rotten this community is.


realy no other game in this industry responds to questions or concerns right guse you not playin the right games buddy, secondly if they call it a ask the devs if there are questions even they cant answer atm or just just work around the question. that is not a Q&A! if they cant answer a question then just say we can not answer that and move on but don't count it as a question! or if your going to answer a question that has been answered be for then don't answer it just move the hell on!
I'd rather a member of the Dev team not answer questions solved by the current patch coming out, but rather answer questions for specs of classes who are getting no attention from the patch coming out. That would soothe a larger portion of people whom come to the forums to complain and read what the Dev's say, in my opinion.

What about Fire Mage PvP- Combustion CD PvE?
Demo/ Destro Locks?
Survival/ Beast Mastery?
Ret Paladins?

I see these specs hitting a large number under the "forum count", but I rarely see anything blue addressing them.

Just my opinion and observation.
y u nerfing boomkins
I know this will probably get lost here, but anyway.

About Target Switching:

While I understand that you ideally want to make Target Switching a choice the player has to make, the truth is that encounter design makes it so that we don't have an option whether to change targets or not most of the time.

There needs to be a lot less "Burn the add quickly or everybody dies!" mechanics for this to work. As long as encounters are still designed with no choice but to target switch - "Stop hitting the boss or you die and he becomes Hulk!" and "Move out of the fire and out of range ASAP!" are other examples -, having long ramp-up times just throttles the players experience and reduces their relative DPS.
This is one of those interesting phenomena you observe when you do game design. According to our testing, Frost does comparable DPS today


AHAHAHAHHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously though, Frost is one of the lowest dps specs currently ingame, doing about 18k dps avg in 372 heroic gear. Imo, thats not comparable to Arcane, or Marksman Hunters.

Ya, nice try on that one


This is exactly the problem they're trying to explain: parse aggregators don't show you what a spec is capable of.

Nobody's saying Frost would be beating Arcane if only top players realized its potential. What they're saying (and what many of us have been saying for a while) is that when you have an actual very small advantage (say, 2-3% in favor of Arcane), the very best players will choose to play Arcane - and this skews the parse logs, making the difference look much, much bigger than it actually is.

Say hypothetically that Arcane can do 30000 and Frost can do 29500.

Say hypothetically that a top player can push a spec to 95% of its potential, while an average player can push a spec to 75% of its potential.

So a top player would play Arcane at 28500 and Frost at 28025.
An average player would play Arcane at 22500 and Frost at 22125.

But all those top players choose Arcane, because small increases are very important to them. So on the parse sites, you don't see 28500 vs 28025. You see 28500 vs 22125. This leads people to think that Frost is behind by 6000 DPS, when in fact, given equal gear and skill, the difference is only a few hundred, which is competitive by any reasonable standard.

The problem isn't with the spec - it's with the data players are looking at.
As we mentioned recently, you can see Unholy DPS drop in 4.1 not because Unholy’s DPS was nerfed, but because so many good DKs switched from Unholy to Frost. While it’s ideal that all DPS specs are viable in all aspects of the game, and that remains our goal, it’s a lofty goal. Frost remains the mage spec of choice in PvP, which is a better situation than if it were just a dead spec.


Sorry but I call BS, Unholy damage was nerfed hard and Frost was only slightly buffed, and yet now Frost is getting screwed and Unholy is getting buffed. It's amusing how Blizzard developers can't make up their minds about class balance.
Deathknights will never be balanced because they are rated as a hero.
Hero classes are suppose to be op and not balanced with reguler classes.
How does poor target swapping tie into the Rogue class identity when all of the mechanics that make it so terrible were introduced this expansion?
With respect I have to say that, in the case of Frost mages, you should choose your final option. Frost is less DPS in the real world than the other two specs.

This is coming from a true Frost admirer. I've been playing my 85 mage as Frost since I started her. I have two other mages (one Fire and one Arcane).

I believe I am doing everything I am supposed to with her, stacking the correct stat combinations, doing the priorities like I am supposed to, situational awareness, the whole thing.

The fact of the matter is that if I push her to the limits I am doing less DPS and less total damage than if I switch specs to Arcane and to a repetitive rotation. Period.

I've tested this out by switching specs in dungeons. I've challenged guild mates who are equally as experienced in mages as I am. I've gone into the highest tier instances that her gear reasonably allows.

The end result is that she lags behind when she's in Frost. In the highest tier things where she struggles I have to switch to Arcane. When I do *poof* everything's better.

I believe the whole thing is tied to the necessity of keeping account of RNG generated Fingers of Frost stacks at the same time you have to consider RNG generated opportunities for Brain Freeze bonuses. I had exactly the same problem with my Retribution paladin back in 2004. I had to rely on a simultaneous occurance of two RNG factors that goverened my output (my proc enchants and my criticals). Too much was one step away from my direct control and/or too many conditions were tied to each other being positive for me to do much about increasing my output.

In Arcane and Fire I have more of a direct way to focus when and where I want to burst. I can predict what my next action is going to be. Frost is not that way. I don't mind the combinations that have been decided that I must use to focus DPS bursts. But the underlying notion that I do it when the opportunity arises is where your models don't fit in vivo gaming.

Please go back and rethink why my pet Freeze and Deep Freeze need to synergize when Deep Freeze is on such a long cooldown (respective to the other trees). Please rethink why Fingers of Frost is necessary for Brain Freeze to benefit. Think like a player in a dungeon when he/she is competing with at least two other players for DPS and has to make decisions about Brain Freeze when it comes up and Fingers of Frost stacks are way up in the buffs portion of the window, and the player doesn't know if a critical is going to land or not, and also has to think two steps further than that.

I can tell you that Frost DPS is busting fingers just trying to keep up with the other two trees. I grudgingly put her in Arcane simply because I don't have to go all out to keep up.
That's it?!
Nearly 25 pages of shaman questions and that's all they answered?


Once again Blizzard is showing no love or thought toward us, just answer a couple of questions with some cop out answers and then stop.


No offense, but your class actually got some answers. Hunters, locks, and Boomkin were completely avoided.
06/24/2011 09:01 AMPosted by Kaivax
If challenging is what’s fun for you, well, that’s what Heroic modes are for.


06/24/2011 09:01 AMPosted by Kaivax
We have a lot of “you’re the bomb!” spells where if you fail to run out of the group, you can kill not only yourself, but the entire raid. That makes it harder to bring along inexperienced players or new recruits to see a boss encounter. Maybe those type of mechanics should stick to the Heroic modes of the fights, where everyone is presumably signing up for a lot of individual responsibility.


I think it's a bad idea to use Heroic Modes as an excuse to make Normal easier. I feel a lot more excited when I defeat a boss on normal mode than when I do on heroic, even though heroic is harder. Why? Because when I defeat it on normal mode, it's the first time. I killed the Lich King! I've stopped the scourge! I'm a hero! Later I kill him on heroic (hypothetically), and it's the same boss, same story, just twice as hard. I love the challenge, but when he dies, it's not the same as when I first triumphed over the main villain of WoW's storyline (at the time). Thus, I think normal modes, at least end bosses on normal mode, should be hard enough to be challenging and satisfying to beat, because I think it's important that the greatest villains of WoW are not trivial on ANY mode. If they were, the epicness of finally defeating them isn't there.

so what your saying is its never the fault of dps at all? so its always the fault of the tank or the healer when a target that was killing your healer (adds) and you do nothing to cc the target(s) group wipes you blame the tank cuse they didn't pick up adds yea i could never see you raiding my friend! lets say heroic grimbotal first boss purple trog what you do just sit there and not cc the target you just let him go over to the boss wipe the group cuse the tank takes increased damage and boss dose increased damage and there are more purple trogs cuse of it very smart idea too bad it dont work! lol


If you read the question/answer about role responsibility you'll see that Blizzard is saying that responsibility isn't fun for dps, therefore they don't want to make it required. It's fun for healers/tanks, so it's fine to be required. Two of Three roles in what is supposed to be a group effort are required to put more effort then the third. To say it's fine because we like it is absurd and it's nowonder that dps is the most popular role. That's like deciding that welfare checks should come out of the salary of public workers. They're obviously philanthropists, they like helping people!

It just makes no sense, if it's important that dps not be required to contribute the same amount of effort in a group then don't put mechanics in that do require it. If on the other hand we do want dps to be required to put in effort in a group then don't direct the consequences of failure at another role. This mishmash of intent for the three roles is a lot of what makes PUGs awful.



I know this will probably get lost here, but anyway.

About Target Switching:

While I understand that you ideally want to make Target Switching a choice the player has to make, the truth is that encounter design makes it so that we don't have an option whether to change targets or not most of the time.

There needs to be a lot less "Burn the add quickly or everybody dies!" mechanics for this to work. As long as encounters are still designed with no choice but to target switch - "Stop hitting the boss or you die and he becomes Hulk!" and "Move out of the fire and out of range ASAP!" are other examples -, having long ramp-up times just throttles the players experience and reduces their relative DPS.


This, this, exactly this. I've never ever seen target switching be a "choice" in tier 11. Just "do it now, or die", which means that the choice of ramp-up classes is, basically, "or death."

I'll have the chicken.
Overlooking the answers:

I thought it was good you guys had some general answers for general questions.

however what ticked me off was the class specific questions.
there were 4 for shamans, 1 for rogues, and 1 for DK's.
seriously, 4?! 4 shaman questions? couldn't you have spread out the class specific questions a bit more so it's not so heavy on one class while most aren't even talked about.

It amazes me that there were 4 questions reguarding shamans, but only 1 for DKs, 1 for rogues, and none for everyone else.
Honestly incorporating a recount into the game would be like their putting Questhelper into the map and a threat meter and Item level (Gear Score). Also the new DUngeon Journal is basically AtlasLoot. I'd also want to see an In Game Vent that people actually use for raiding unlike the voice chat which nobody uses.

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