Why is PvE Class Balancing so painfully slow?

90 Orc Shaman
13750
11/17/2012 04:35 PMPosted by Missdotzalot
I think what people have a problem with is the promises the devs made long ago about mastery. I could've predicted this, because the same thing happened with resilience.


Ok, but then they decided not to go that route and made specialization bonuses instead to fulfill what Mastery was originally going to do. With Resilience, yeah, that didn't accomplish what it was supposed to. Mastery, by the time it was implemented, was never supposed to do what those "people" ascribe to it.

Seems to be more a case of people being deliberately misinformed than anything else.
Edited by Hyjinx on 11/17/2012 9:03 PM PST
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90 Human Warrior
12950


I'm not going to disagree with that. I am merely arguing that 1) It is a lot more involved than some people would lead you to believe. and 2) Mastery is not a balancing mechanism. Mastery as it currently exists was never intended to be a balancing mechanism. By the time Mastery hit live in 4.0, the balancing mechanisms had already been shifted to specializations.

Basically, I do think things should get fixed faster than they are. But the big problem is that just shifting numbers up and down (which they can do) has a lot of unintended side effects. Making other changes, such as modifying abilities/rotations/stat priorities can appeal to the larger audience rather than just balancing at one point, but takes more time to implement. Right now I think they could put out the changes faster. They seem like they are playing it extremely cautiously so as to avoid giving the playerbase whiplash, but I'd like to see more modifications happening on the PTR at the very least.


Sorry chief, but you are dead wrong. Balancing was advertised specifically as a means to make balancing easier.


What? Balancing was advertised as a means to make balancing easier? That doesn't even make sense. Assuming you're talking about Mastery, I've already gone over that twice, when Mastery was introduced as a knob to make balancing easier, Mastery was made up of three components, two passive benefits, and a third benefit that increased with mastery rating on gear. Later on they modified this to mastery just being that third thing, and the first two things becoming part of specialization. Those things are what were being advertised as available for balance tweaking.

Just because Blizz may have abandoned that doesn't make it less true.


Blizzard hasn't abandoned it entirely. Those knobs are available. But it doesn't change the fact that while tuning damage with those is easy, it doesn't help if doing so has other consequences. It lets them easily bring a spec up or down to a specific target number at a specific point, but if the problems are with scaling (as it is with Arms for example), it can't help. Similarly, if using those knobs to increase damage would cause already strong PVP specs to become stronger, there's going to be hesitation before putting that change out. Imagine how much PVPer QQ would ensue if Arms got a buff from 25% to 35% damage with no other changes, to bring its PVE performance up.

As the above poster said, if it no longer serves a purpose in terms of balancing, why have it? They got rid of arp/spn in order to lessen the number of stats we need to juggle, then they add a new one in....


They got rid of those stats because they were problematic. In the case of ArP it was a huge force multiplier that got better with each point right up until you capped it. In the case of Spn it was an attribute many people didn't understand to begin with, and had no practical reason to stay. It was just another annoying cap to hit.

What Mastery does is different from either of those stats (or Defense, which was basically hit cap for tanks. A "you must be this tall to play" mechanism) because it is an extra stat that does not have a reachable cap. It is a stat that can be used for all specs, making it easier for overlap between healer/dps or tank/dps gear. It is a stat that is interesting because what exactly it does for you will change based on your spec.

If they got rid of Mastery altogether like you're suggesting, what would happen is you'd have no variety in gear. All gear would be itemized identically. You have crit and haste. Those are the only two stats you care about once you hit your mandatory caps. That's boring. It leads to everything looking and feeling the same. Mastery currently accomplishes all it was supposed to do, and the developers aren't going to go changing that because a couple of retards on their forums can't understand a change in design that happened before Mastery ever hit live servers.
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90 Human Warlock
13830
Blizzard has used Mastery to tune specs before, but they typically change the BASE mastery rather than the rating value, although they have changed the rating itself for certain classes too.
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[quote][quote]

What Mastery does is different from either of those stats (or Defense, which was basically hit cap for tanks. A "you must be this tall to play" mechanism) because it is an extra stat that does not have a reachable cap. It is a stat that can be used for all specs, making it easier for overlap between healer/dps or tank/dps gear. It is a stat that is interesting because what exactly it does for you will change based on your spec.


Or you can just stack your primary stat.

There's nothing interesting about mastery. It's either better than your primary stat or not. Most of the time, not. Why does this need to be in the game?

I tolerated it for one reason only: because it was supposed to be a knob. Instead, I got an appendix.
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90 Orc Warrior
10290
I'll take "slow and deliberate" over knee jerk nerfs that wreck specs for entire expansions.
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90 Orc Hunter
9465
11/18/2012 05:38 AMPosted by Lochnar
I'll take "slow and deliberate" over knee jerk nerfs that wreck specs for entire expansions.


Im already wrecked, slow and steady isnt gonna help me.
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90 Orc Shaman
13750
[quote][quote]

What Mastery does is different from either of those stats (or Defense, which was basically hit cap for tanks. A "you must be this tall to play" mechanism) because it is an extra stat that does not have a reachable cap. It is a stat that can be used for all specs, making it easier for overlap between healer/dps or tank/dps gear. It is a stat that is interesting because what exactly it does for you will change based on your spec.


Or you can just stack your primary stat.

There's nothing interesting about mastery. It's either better than your primary stat or not. Most of the time, not. Why does this need to be in the game?

I tolerated it for one reason only: because it was supposed to be a knob. Instead, I got an appendix.


Since we're talking about secondary stats, no, you can't stack your primary stat. Last time I checked, I couldn't reforge Agility.
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Or you can just stack your primary stat.

There's nothing interesting about mastery. It's either better than your primary stat or not. Most of the time, not. Why does this need to be in the game?

I tolerated it for one reason only: because it was supposed to be a knob. Instead, I got an appendix.


Since we're talking about secondary stats, no, you can't stack your primary stat. Last time I checked, I couldn't reforge Agility.


Fair enough, but bottom line, I don't care about mastery, even in relation to other secondary stats. It's just eating up ilevels. All I really want is hit, crit or haste. Basically, I don't see what was so wrong about the old system. I'm not terribly bothered by gear being homogenized. Mastery is just another extremely mathy stat that has complicated matters and is another number to plug into a program to tell me how to maximize my gear. Those programs are telling me that I don't want it, which makes it even more irritating. I've seen no improvement in PVE balancing. Really, this isn't improving my gaming experience in any tangible manner.

Over time, it seems to me, WoW as a game is accumulating barnacles and complications and could stand a good scrubbing. Let's hope we don't get more stats in the future to juggle.

The spec based functions need not be tied to a stat, either.
Edited by Deerde on 11/18/2012 8:52 AM PST
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90 Orc Shaman
13750
11/18/2012 08:28 AMPosted by Deerde
Fair enough, but bottom line, I don't care about mastery, even in relation to other secondary stats. It's just eating up ilevels. All I really want is hit, crit or haste. Basically, I don't see what was so wrong about the old system. I'm not terribly bothered by gear being homogenized. Mastery is just another extremely mathy stat that has complicated matters and is another number to plug into a program to tell me how to maximize my gear. Those programs are telling me that I don't want it, which makes it even more irritating. I've seen no improvement in PVE balancing. Really, this isn't improving my gaming experience in any tangible manner.


What stops the "eating up ilevels" argument from being applied to any of the other stats? Merely that they were in the game to start and Mastery wasn't? Why doesn't that apply to Expertise?

You wanting Crit or Haste has more to do with you being a Mage. Over the course of Cataclysm I loathed Haste and only really wanted Mastery, so you can basically take what you wrote there and replace "Mastery" with "Haste" for me for the 2 previous years.
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What stops the "eating up ilevels" argument from being applied to any of the other stats? Merely that they were in the game to start and Mastery wasn't? Why doesn't that apply to Expertise?

You wanting Crit or Haste has more to do with you being a Mage. Over the course of Cataclysm I loathed Haste and only really wanted Mastery, so you can basically take what you wrote there and replace "Mastery" with "Haste" for me for the 2 previous years.


Well, why not just make haste more attractive for shammies somehow? Maybe the real problem is a class design issue. Why add a whole new stat category to fix that?

Let's leave mastery aside for a moment. Are you comfortable with this stat mission creep? How would you feel if they added another stat category in the future? Or does it end here? I hope to God it does.
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1 Blood Elf Rogue
0
11/18/2012 09:16 AMPosted by Deerde
Are you comfortable with this stat mission creep?


Is it really stat total creep when it was only added to replace other stats they removed?

Well, why not just make haste more attractive for shammies somehow?
They should be trying to do that to at least some extent regardless of whether or not Mastery exist. Mastery's just there to keep itemization choices slightly less straightforward.
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90 Orc Shaman
13750

What stops the "eating up ilevels" argument from being applied to any of the other stats? Merely that they were in the game to start and Mastery wasn't? Why doesn't that apply to Expertise?

You wanting Crit or Haste has more to do with you being a Mage. Over the course of Cataclysm I loathed Haste and only really wanted Mastery, so you can basically take what you wrote there and replace "Mastery" with "Haste" for me for the 2 previous years.


Well, why not just make haste more attractive for shammies somehow? Maybe the real problem is a class design issue. Why add a whole new stat category to fix that?

Let's leave mastery aside for a moment. Are you comfortable with this stat mission creep? How would you feel if they added another stat category in the future? Or does it end here? I hope to God it does.


Why bother making Haste more attractive? Shouldn't they just remove it?

Ok, now, seriously, why not just make Mastery more attractive to Mages? And for the record, they did make Haste more attractive. I was talking about Cataclysm, where it sucked.

I've already said I'm in favor of more variety and wouldn't mind an additional stat.

Heh. I want you to go look up an item from a raid in Everquest from the past 5 years or so. Be careful to take some Bayer aspirin first, because you might have a heart attack. Not saying that WoW needs to become that complex with items, but I am pointing out that WoW is pretty simple as far as stats go.
Edited by Hyjinx on 11/18/2012 10:26 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Hunter
11930
11/18/2012 05:38 AMPosted by Lochnar
I'll take "slow and deliberate" over knee jerk nerfs that wreck specs for entire expansions.


This is more about buffing the specs that obviously need help than about nerfing overpowered specs. This isn't PvP, it's a much more egregious error to leave a spec useless than it is to leave a spec OP. Look at Arcane, MM, Unholy, and to a lesser extent BM, Survival, and Arms. Those specs are very obviously in need of buffs, and yet the only ones so far that are getting them are tiny buffs to MM/Arcane that still leave them leagues behind their Fire/BM/Survival counterparts.

I don't have a problem with them not using Mastery as an extra knob to turn. It would be terribly difficult to balance just using a gear stat. Either that stat is amazing and a spec would stack it beyond reason, or it's crap and the spec completely ignores it. I'm more upset that they don't simply adjust scaling and base damage values for non-burst abilities, like Cobra Shot/Steady Shot for example. Things that would have very little if any ramifications in PvP, but would be the salvation of a terrible PvE spec.

I won't get into how angry it makes me hearing the "we don't make changes because of the balance roller coaster" BS. If adjusting scaling values causes balance whiplash on certain people, then they should probably go back to 2nd grade math class.
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90 Human Mage
IQ
8250
11/18/2012 11:50 AMPosted by Marxman
This is more about buffing the specs that obviously need help than about nerfing overpowered specs. This isn't PvP, it's a much more egregious error to leave a spec useless than it is to leave a spec OP. Look at Arcane, MM, Unholy, and to a lesser extent BM, Survival, and Arms. Those specs are very obviously in need of buffs, and yet the only ones so far that are getting them are tiny buffs to MM/Arcane that still leave them leagues behind their Fire/BM/Survival counterparts.


The most useful post on this thread so far.
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Why bother making Haste more attractive? Shouldn't they just remove it?

Ok, now, seriously, why not just make Mastery more attractive to Mages? And for the record, they did make Haste more attractive. I was talking about Cataclysm, where it sucked.

I've already said I'm in favor of more variety and wouldn't mind an additional stat.

Heh. I want you to go look up an item from a raid in Everquest from the past 5 years or so. Be careful to take some Bayer aspirin first, because you might have a heart attack. Not saying that WoW needs to become that complex with items, but I am pointing out that WoW is pretty simple as far as stats go.


Doesn't fix the problem at all.

If mastery becomes more attractive, something else has to give. Just means that either haste or crit looks bad. I don't see a situation where you can get all 3 on the same page at the same time. And the problem gets worse if you continue adding yet more secondary stats. And the more mathy and unuintuitive gearing becomes. It's already kind of stupid that I have to go download some third party program to make sense of my gearing choices as is.

I want fewer but more effective secondary stats rather than more and necessarily weaker ones. More is not better here. Stop the madness. If we can't blow up mastery, then at the very least don't make things worse and add yet more secondary stats.

KISS.
Edited by Deerde on 11/18/2012 2:06 PM PST
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90 Orc Shaman
13750
11/18/2012 02:01 PMPosted by Deerde
Doesn't fix the problem at all.


There is no problem, though.

11/18/2012 02:01 PMPosted by Deerde
If mastery becomes more attractive, something else has to give. Just means that either haste or crit looks bad. I don't see a situation where you can get all 3 on the same page at the same time. And the problem gets worse if you continue adding yet more secondary stats. And the more mathy and unuintuitive gearing becomes. It's already kind of stupid that I have to go download some third party program to make sense of my gearing choices as is.


Not necessarily. Some specs value them relatively closely.

You really don't need to download a third party program unless you want to min/max. Min/max players ALWAYS have to do more, so I don't really see why this is an issue.

Why have secondary stats at all, by your view? I mean, why should we go back to Hit/Haste/Crit? Shouldn't we just ditch them all and just have Int/Strength/Agility?
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Honestly? I'd be delighted to get rid of hit. Near as I can tell it's there as a sort of sinkhole to prevent stat inflation from getting out of hand. It buys Blizz a patch cycle or two before people start piling things on.

Possibly they like mastery for the same reason.
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90 Human Warlock
13830
Different specs need different stats, meaning different players want different gear. It's for variety's sake, and the sake of having choices available. Cutting everything but Haste and Crit wouldn't turn it into Classic, TBC or Wrath. Why?
Because in Classic and TBC, stats on items were not normalized with ilvl. Spellpower was a Green stat and no two items were exactly alike.
In Wrath, Blizz attempted to make Spirit useful to DPS casters and depending on spec, it might've been.

You can still totally avoid Mastery on your gear, by the way. Nobody is forcing you to spend DKP or roll on that dress with the undesirable stat. If every item was desirable for every class then everybody would want the same gear.
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90 Pandaren Monk
6255
The mastery tuning knob is not the mastery that's in the game now. Class spec bonuses are, as has been said.

Often times though, it's not the straight up output of a spec that makes them imbalanced, it's the way the encounter plays out.

A combat rogue and a shadow priest might do much less than a WW monk on a tank and spank single target fight, but give them two targets for the whole fight and they will destroy them with multidots and bladeflurry where the monk has no cleave.

Until all specs have similar single target, cleave, aoe, and burst capabilities then you can't just turn a knob and have them be even for an entire raid. This would largely kill flavor from classes though.

How pvp affects it is an entirely seperate beast. About time to split the two...
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