Ask The Devs #10 - Damage Dealing (Questions)


85 Orc Rogue
Regarding Melee versus Ranged:

In the current tier (Tier 11) we have seen a massive shift toward fight mechanics which greatly favor Ranged DPS. Fights that allow for and encourage multi-dotting (Omnotron Defense System, Valiona and Theralion, Twilight Ascendant Council), fights that require an extensive amount of AoE damage from a range (Cho'Gall, Sinestra), fights that require important target swaps (Magmaw, Conclave of Wind, Al'Akir), and fights that simply keep a boss from being meleeable for an extended period of time (Atramedes).

This encounter design paradigm seems to have held true for the coming content in Tier 12 (Firelands). What we see are essentially the same variety of mechanics that make melee less desirable in Tier 11 recurring in the next tier: fights that allow for and encourage multi-dotting (Beth'tilac, Shannox, Rhyolith, Majordomo Staghelm), fights that require an extensive amount of AoE damage from a range (Beth'tilac, Rhyolith), fights that require important target swaps (Rhyolith, Ragnaros, Shannox), and fights that simply keep a boss from being meleeable for an extended period of time (Alysrazor).

My question comes down to this: Is the World of Warcraft encounter design team aware that their new design paradigm is very fatiguing for melee players? With the terrible politician-style response to a question similar to this in a previous Ask the Devs (which cites Ragnaros as a melee-friendly fight, something I feel is patently false), I'm not certain that this games developers actually understand just how rough it is to be playing melee in an environment that consistently provides mechanics that allows Ranged DPS to flourish while simultaneously punishing our entire role.

As a member of the "elite", a hardcore raider, I am someone who has sufficient experience with current (and near-future) content. I do not note the current model for ranged favoritism because I am someone outdamaged by a Hunter on one or two fights, but I am someone growing weary of an encounter design that is phasing out my chosen role in a raid. On every fight this tier, so long as you cover interrupts with tanks and Elemental Shamans, you could bring an entire group of 6/17 Ranged DPS and be none the worse for it. Is there anyone who would say the same about a group containing only Melee DPS?

Even if it means returning to that "ranged fight" and "melee fight" paradigm discussed in a previous Ask the Devs, I and almost every other Melee DPS would appreciate a few fights where we are actually allowed to shine.

In the mean time, I hope Paragon doesn't kill any more bosses using 16 Ranged and 1 Melee DPS.
Edited by Theownt on 6/8/2011 11:55 AM PDT
85 Human Death Knight
Have you considered adding more dps-cooldown moves that are not useable in battlegrounds/arenas to boost damage in pve for classes that need a boost, but yet are doing well in pvp?

For example with death knights - adding complete RP dumps as a lengthy cooldown move, or other moves similar to army of the dead that don't cause raid wipes.
Edited by Kerenyx on 6/8/2011 10:05 AM PDT
90 Draenei Shaman
With the 4.2 changes, an ele shaman is expected to take the new glyph that allows movement and shooting lightning at the same time. Although this would allow the shaman to cast on the move, it would be a dps drop while stationary when compared to 4.1 tests. Additionally, scaling for the ele shaman is below other classes. Do you have any plans to permanently fix the casting mobility issues and scaling of the elemental shaman without using a temporary solution?
100 Human Warlock
Are you happy with the way the alternative resources have turned out? (Soul shards, Moonkin etc)
90 Dwarf Shaman
Enhancement has some of the highest base damage in WoW - very early on in Cataclysm, Enhancement was very near the top of the charts. This is largely due to having no real resource system, as well as having very high base points due to Flametongue Weapon and Windfury. While casters were fighting their mana pools, Enhancement was tearing it up. This is no longer the case - having no real resource means managing a resource isn't an option for us, something that is very rewarding for many other specs (Warriors knowing when to Heroic Strike, or Rogues/Ferals knowing how and when to pool energy for example.) It also makes haste nearly worthless as we aren't able to do more like nearly every other spec in the game, and auto-attack damage is pitiful. Make no mistake, Maelstrom Weapon is not a resource - it's nothing but a Sudden Doom proc that has to happen 5 times. Crit is also very bad due to Enhancement having the highest base crit values (thank you Agility primary, Stormstrike, Elemental Devastation, Acuity) and only 150% crit damage with most of our damage. These aren't issues that can wait until the next expansion to fix, or you'll see the few Enhancers left simply disappear due to being near worthless to a raid group. What is going to be done to improve our scaling so we're desired in heroic Firelands and beyond?
Edited by Cochice on 6/8/2011 10:08 AM PDT
86 Tauren Druid
I don't mind kitty DPS being complex, but having to watch the upper left of the screen for energy, upper right for buffs, enemy portrait for debuff times and action bars for cooldowns is a bit much. Any chance on providing a UI aid to put all that in one place?
11 Gnome Mage
Both shaman DPS specs have trouble with our AoE having a very high "ramp up" time, making it far more powerful against very large, very high HP packs - and with the 4.2 changes, it effectively has no upper bound. This is almost a direct analogue to the reasons Living Bomb for mages was given a target limit. Any plans to take a similar route with Fire Nova?
Edited by Strawberry on 6/8/2011 11:25 AM PDT
100 Goblin Shaman
Most specs benefit greatly from one stat, well from another stat, and mediocre from the third stat (out of mastery, crit and haste). Currently, enhancement benefits greatly from mastery, but poorly from crit and haste is practically worthless; what solutions have you considered (aside from the previously mentioned possibility of 200% crits) to make these stats more attractive to enhancement shamans, especially since the spec has such a high requirement for hit rating and expertise rating, making it harder to reforge into more mastery?
85 Draenei Shaman
Considering the following facts:

  • All once unique shaman buffs are now covered by one or more classes in the form of either a pre-cast 30 minute buff or 90 yard aura, and not bound to a 40 yard totem that needs constant repositioning (if it's even possible to fully cover the raid at all with one totem)
  • Our AoE abilities have a long ramp-up time to be equal to other classes normal AoE damage and require either more targets or targets that live longer than any raid encounter is designed for to even catch up with other classes for total damage done
  • Single target damage for both specs is bottom half of all dps classes, and due to scaling issues especially with secondary stats this our position on the charts can only continue down
  • Due to the above scaling problems, we scale poorly with any raid mechanic or buff that only increases crit (elementals big nuke always crits anyway, enhance has high baked in crit for spells due to SS and only 150% spell crit damage) and haste (since our main AoE ability is CD based and unaffected by haste, and enhance is about 90% CD based, again unaffected by haste)

Why should any serious raid team in either 10 or 25 man formats consider bringing any DPS shaman over any other class, who all bring either better AoE damage, single target damage or superior forms of buffs, frequently 2 or 3 of those.

85 Orc Shaman
Do you have any plans to address shamans scaling in 4.2? My concern is the lack of scaling with our haste and crit. Haste does nothing for us but increase our weapon speed and attacks, while most classes, haste lowers the CD of certain abilities or something of that nature.

There have been countless of post of ways to make haste noticeable for enhance (such as lowering the CD of LL and on top of that increasing the speed Searing Totem cast to make up for the lower CD).
90 Blood Elf Hunter
Hunters do great in PvE yet have a terribly difficult time in PvP. It seems that this is a problem exclusive to hunters, as it hasn't been resolved in many years. There is nothing in the patch notes to address this problem. What is going to be done to boost Hunter's ability in PvP without making them OP in PvE?
85 Draenei Shaman
Is it your honest opinion that both shaman DPS specs are in a good enough place in both PvP and PvE to warrant the minimal changes you are giving these specs
90 Dwarf Shaman
Plainly put, Enhancement Shaman weapon itemization has been horrid. The only 372 option for the spec was a drop off Heroic Nefarian, one of the later bosses on a normal progression path. Even then, it was itemized with crit/haste (the two worst stats for Enhance). While other specs had weapons off of Nef, they also had other heroic options earlier on in progression.

Unless you had heroic Nef Axes, your best options as Enhance were on the AH or to get a STR Mace from Heroic Deadmines. Do you see this as successful itemization? I understand that there will be two weapons for Enhancement in Firelands, which is great news. However it's my understanding that neither will drop off Rag, meaning there will be an iLvL disparity between us and other classes. This is a big concern! But we're all wondering what's up with that Expertise/SP Axe. Was that a mistake? Or are you telling us we should be using SP weapons now (since we've used them in the past)?
100 Goblin Shaman
In Wrath, enhancement's number one priority ability was Feral Spirit because it was a powerful damage cooldown. What scaling issues do you feel have caused this damage cooldown to go from highest priority to lowest priority? Are there plans to address how poorly they scale with their owner's stats?
85 Night Elf Druid
If encounters are not being designed with positional requirements and or other abilities (Shred, Backstab, feral charge on Al'akir, Killing Spree in general) in mind, why do we still have those requirements? It seems unfair in a competitive PvE environment to allow those very limiting requirements to exist if the encounters are going to be heavily punitive towards classes that have them. And why have we not seen fixes after 6 months?
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