Ask The Devs #10 - Damage Dealing (Answers)

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What a joke again...why do stupid people keep voting up stupid questions.

3 shaman questions that dribble on.

A recount question really?

Do you have any plans to improve Frost mages in PvE?......wow

And not one question about the horrible state of ret and its forever clunky rotation.
06/24/2011 02:54 PMPosted by Kanoi
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?

Bad target switching capability was always part of the Rogue identity. Problem is, other classes got better at it while Rogues didn't.

And they try to sell a bad quality as a positive point (it's what makes us unique!), to boot.


Not only that, but they made combat target switching WORSE with Bandit's Guile, as other classes got better at it.
Not that much of anything in here really.

If you wanted the questions and the answers to be more of a theoretical discussion then you should stick to blogs. Ask the Devs implies to all players that their question will be asked.

And some pretty big ones (theoretical even) have not been. Such as the on-going melee and ranged debate.
Thanks for the effort and answers, Kaivax et al.

I was waiting with bated breath for this ATD when I saw all the questions that pertain to my favored class, but was rather disappointed in a number of ways.

The most depressing part is that, in spite of the enhancement community combining into Azeroth's version of Captain Planet (I was totally heart...), the forces of vagueness have triumphed. Several questions that are specially tailored to enhancement shamans are answered here, but none of them are what the community was hoping for. It was just kind of "Yes, we know your class has some pretty severe issues, and we might look into it at some point. Maybe." As the chosen representative of the power of heart, may I say that I am (pun intended) crushed.

Further, not that we are affected in any way, but now everyone is mad at Enhancement Shamans for what is perceived as a thread jacking.

We just wanted to know that the multitudinous issues that plague our class are being addressed, but we didn't really get any of that at all.
06/24/2011 03:28 PMPosted by Tatsuko

Bad target switching capability was always part of the Rogue identity. Problem is, other classes got better at it while Rogues didn't.

And they try to sell a bad quality as a positive point (it's what makes us unique!), to boot.


Not only that, but they made combat target switching WORSE with Bandit's Guile, as other classes got better at it.


Wasn't just Bandit's Guile--Venomous Wounds, the stronger emphasis on Deadly Poison overall, and even Vendetta to some degree made target swapping much worse with this expansion. Especially when compared to, say, low-Rupture Combat builds of old.
06/24/2011 03:17 PMPosted by ßamf


Oh really.

Being in a heroic raiding guild, I can honestly say yes.

Just... no. Elemental and Enhance both need a whole lot of help in pve.

They need a couple minor fixes (totems unable to be placed on P3 Al'akir, junk like that), but they're fine now, and they'll be even better next patch.


Also in a heroic raiding guild, and until you've played a shaman at high level in heroic raid and 2200+ arena/RBG encounters, you really don't have much room to talk, when all you are basing your judgments on is the little blue bar with some numbers on it in your recount.
06/24/2011 03:20 PMPosted by Indriana
May as well have called it: Ask the Devs: Enhancement Edition.


More like...

Ask the Devs: Skirting around the real issues

It's kinda' funny how people are jealous over the 4 shaman related questions that barely shed any light on the primary concerns of the class. Long-winded semi-extravagant answers to questions we already had answers to already, for the most part. The only real news is that there is intention to investigate an attack power spell coefficient system, and maelstrom weapon is potentially slated for a change. Everything was 'eventually, maybe' or a rehash of already-present information such as the "Hey we buffed enhancement for 4.2, check it out" which was referenced in 2 of the 4 answers. Did we really need a wasted ATD slot for information already released?

I wasn't expecting them to say "This is what we want to do to fix enhancement" but considering this remark:

06/24/2011 09:01 AMPosted by Kaivax
As an aside, this is the kind of question we were really hoping to get more of with this series. It’s open-ended, potentially interesting to a lot of different players, and not just a thinly veiled demand for buffs.


...we can clearly tell that they just lumped every technical and mechanical inquiry about how the spec plays to be a cry for buffs. This wasn't the case at all, for the majority of the people who participated in the 'enhancement rally'. It's fair to say that people aren't even looking for substantial buffs - they just want their talents/abilities/spells to make sense and work properly. If that means a 'buff[ comes with it because things start to work properly, so be it.

I'm probably guilty of asking a couple questions I knew wouldn't be answered - but I think the most pressing issues weren't even touched. These 4 shaman-related questions were a terrible cop-out and I hope to hell the underlying message behind the flood of questions has sunken in at the Dev HQ, because they can't say 'eventually, maybe' forever.
What a joke again...why do stupid people keep voting up stupid questions.

3 shaman questions that dribble on.

A recount question really?

Do you have any plans to improve Frost mages in PvE?......wow

And not one question about the horrible state of ret and its forever clunky rotation.


Yeah pretty much. Well next xpac will be World of Magecraft so I'm hopping on the bandwagon and leveling this mage lol.
06/24/2011 03:17 PMPosted by ßamf


Oh really.

Being in a heroic raiding guild, I can honestly say yes.

Just... no. Elemental and Enhance both need a whole lot of help in pve.

They need a couple minor fixes (totems unable to be placed on P3 Al'akir, junk like that), but they're fine now, and they'll be even better next patch.


Being in a heroic Raiding guild and having previously played an enh shaman before switching to a more viable class and spec, I can honestly say that no they aren't. Unless by viable you mean a 6 second interrupt bot that has the worst scaling issues ever.
What about Hunter's Freeze Trap?
Why can't we be like all the other classes and just target and cast?
Makes it sometimes impossible to CC a target in motion.


We want Freeze Trap to be a trap. We actually tried a frost shot in the beta for Wrath of the Lich King, but it just diminished the trap vibe. It wasn't a hunter trap anymore, it was simply a freeze. We understand that traps have some inherent limitations but ultimately we want to make them cool, rather than just cutting the concept and letting hunters do everything with shots.
What about Hunter's Freeze Trap?
Why can't we be like all the other classes and just target and cast?
Makes it sometimes impossible to CC a target in motion.


We want Freeze Trap to be a trap. We actually tried a frost shot in the beta for Wrath of the Lich King, but it just diminished the trap vibe. It wasn't a hunter trap anymore, it was simply a freeze. We understand that traps have some inherent limitations but ultimately we want to make them cool, rather than just cutting the concept and letting hunters do everything with shots.

Id rather have a working car than a cool looking car that doesn't work tbh.

But I guess we can still scatter trap and KFC someone.
Overall, I think Hunters, for the most part, are fine. Yes, we have our bugs and disabilities (such as bad pet target tracking and needing to run around stairs/hills to get to targets that just jumped down), but we're doing fine in the DPS department.

As far as traps go, that's why we have several different abilities, such as Distracting Shot. Learn to use your abilities to your advantage. Place a trap, then use Distracting Shot and pull a mob over to you. Stop relying on someone else to make sure that you CC correctly.

Thank you devs for the answers to these questions. Hopefully we'll get to see some more soon.
What about Hunter's Freeze Trap?
Why can't we be like all the other classes and just target and cast?
Makes it sometimes impossible to CC a target in motion.



We want Freeze Trap to be a trap. We actually tried a frost shot in the beta for Wrath of the Lich King, but it just diminished the trap vibe. It wasn't a hunter trap anymore, it was simply a freeze. We understand that traps have some inherent limitations but ultimately we want to make them cool, rather than just cutting the concept and letting hunters do everything with shots.


Being cool and functional doesnt always happen in World of Warcraft.

Why cant you give us functionality over "coolness". Speaking as a long time hunter, there is nothing cool about trap launcher --> freezing trap.

Q: Will we ever see an in-game damage and healing meter to replace Recount? – Sinthìa (NA/ANZ), Hemodynamic (EU-EN)


Q: Are there any plans to implement further things into the standard UI that we currently rely on addons to provide? More specifically I mean things like Recount and Omen. - Bauertehpala (Europe [English]), Актинидия (Europe [Russian]), 柴德洛夫 (Taiwan), Terini (North America/ANZ)

A: We are experimenting with adding a threat meter to our new party and raid frames. Tracking DPS is a little trickier. We feel like it’s something we should offer but we’re still debating the right way to do it. It could be something that the combat log or the achievement statistics system (neither of which are anywhere as good as they could be) morphs into.


Seems we have some overlap.


Being in a heroic raiding guild, I can honestly say yes.



They need a couple minor fixes (totems unable to be placed on P3 Al'akir, junk like that), but they're fine now, and they'll be even better next patch.


Also in a heroic raiding guild, and until you've played a shaman at high level in heroic raid and 2200+ arena/RBG encounters, you really don't have much room to talk, when all you are basing your judgments on is the little blue bar with some numbers on it in your recount.

This isn't a PvP thread. If you had any PvP questions, they were in Q&A number 2. Why is that so hard to understand?

Being in a heroic Raiding guild and having previously played an enh shaman before switching to a more viable class and spec, I can honestly say that no they aren't. Unless by viable you mean a 6 second interrupt bot that has the worst scaling issues ever.

You start off complaining about not being viable, and then finish with a meter complaint.
Not every spec has to on top of the meters, bud. You shamans have more than enough utility, and you apparently severely underestimate the usefulness of your 5 second CD interrupt.
What about Hunter's Freeze Trap?
Why can't we be like all the other classes and just target and cast?
Makes it sometimes impossible to CC a target in motion.


We want Freeze Trap to be a trap. We actually tried a frost shot in the beta for Wrath of the Lich King, but it just diminished the trap vibe. It wasn't a hunter trap anymore, it was simply a freeze. We understand that traps have some inherent limitations but ultimately we want to make them cool, rather than just cutting the concept and letting hunters do everything with shots.


Isn't that the kind of "quality of life" thing that a minor glyph could do? Make a minor glyph that turns frost trap into frost shot.
Why do you even have these Ask The Dev segments if you're going to ignore key issues and dodge the ones you DO address with maybes, eventuallys, and we would likes...?
06/24/2011 03:49 PMPosted by Mâlygos
Isn't that the kind of "quality of life" thing that a minor glyph could do? Make a minor glyph that turns frost trap into frost shot.


If anything, that'd be a Major Glyph or Prime Glyph. That would be a huge bonus to us and it would make things extremely simple. No support for this.
Q: What do you consider when looking at whether a class is doing too much or too little damage? – Merovin (LA)

A: As you probably suspect, we have a simple counter that measures the number of forum posts on a given class and we buff or nerf accordingly.

Seriously though, we look at a lot of different measurements, which becomes the full-time job of several designers. Our three most powerful tools are doing predictive modeling for how classes will perform under various scenarios and with various levels of gear, actually testing these numbers using characters in the game world, and then measuring the numbers generated by actual players on PTR or live servers.

Remember that we have access to a number of tools not available to players. While theorycrafters have gotten very good at reverse engineering how our damage calculations work, there are still a few opportunities where they get it wrong while we can just peek under the hood to remind ourselves how a calculation is made. Secondly, it’s very easy for us to create a lot of characters with whatever gear we want and have them beat on whatever kinds of targets we want in a very controlled environment. We can also change any of the numbers to empirically test the outcome. Furthermore, we can automate character damage rotations to a much greater degree than macros can accomplish, which gives us an idea of the delta between theoretical maxima and more typical player performance (which includes things like human reaction speed, decision making and good old Internet lag).

The specific situation that the character is in matters enormously. Maximum sustained DPS is almost irrelevant in PvP when applying burst in controlled windows is king. Yet both numbers have a huge impact on the game and neither is more important than the other. In PvE, the specifics of an encounter can trump almost everything. We have very few Patchwerk-style fights these days, and sometimes we even buff or debuff characters directly as part of the encounter. Some specs are good on movement fights. Some do better when there is a lot of incoming damage. Some benefit from spreading dots. Some can shoot flying dragons. We tend to focus a lot of our balance effort on the current tier of raiding content, because that is what is most important to players, but even then we have to look at a wide variety of skill sets. We do look at scaling into future content, but we tend to obsess over it a lot less than players do, because we adjust classes quite often these days. We actually do read the forums a lot too, our own and all the others out there that you probably read, just to make sure there is nothing we’re missing. Our community team helps enormously in this endeavor, particularly in helping to funnel the feedback from players from Latin America, Europe and Asia. We’re in contact with expert gamers from around the world. We also all play the game a great deal and very often we personally catch a bug or something else that isn’t working quite right.

As an aside, this is the kind of question we were really hoping to get more of with this series. It’s open-ended, potentially interesting to a lot of different players, and not just a thinly veiled demand for buffs.


If you have access to tools normal players do not that allow you to see if one class's damage is too high then why are you always tuning damage buffs down POST patch?

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