02/16/2013 09:02 AMTaking a step back to look at it I'm still not sure what they want this to accomplish.
Posted by Khendra
Isn't it obvious? It should be.
Its because Mastery for most specs is basically just a version of Critical strike that affects only a small segment of your abilities.
Chance for your dots to tick twice (Shadow). Chance for an additional attack (Arms). Chance for a free Lightning Bolt (Elemental). On and on. There's not much imagination or originality going into it, across most specs.
With Disc specifically, because the Mastery is a bonus on a critical strike
, it essentially means the value of Critical strike increases at a superlinear rate. The more you have, the better it gets. 100% critical strike doesn't make you 2x as powerful, it means you're at least 2.5x as powerful, and probably closer to 2.8x or so once you factor in any Mastery rating above the baseline and full buffs.
Essentially, for most specs in the game, you can think of Critical strike as a form of Mastery that affects all your damaging or healing abilities. Broadly speaking, 25% critical strike means you are 100% more powerful, 25% of the time on average. This is the reason Critical strike rating has been the most expensive rating ever since Mastery was introduced: because Crit is the best for power. Its more expensive so Mastery rating can look better by comparison.
On the other hand, Masteries generally work like this: They can work sometimes (essentially mirroring Crit), or they can work all the time. Either way, they work on only on a small fraction of your abilities, or the power gain is far less. It appears that the rate at which Critical strike scales with gear for Discipline mirrors the way Rage used to scale with gear for Warriors and as history shows, they hated trying to balance Rage so much they finally just made it a less flexible and more tedious form of Energy.
So basically what they want to do is create the narrowest, least interesting path they can and have everyone walk on it, because good scaling on a RNG power gain is, they'd likely say, Very Bad. Apparently RNG is only good when it can consistently screw you (hey-o loot system!). Then after they've made it so you can't travel to the beach, only the end of your driveway, they'll try to spin it all nice like, "but heeey! You can still go somewhere, right! Right?"
It doesn't matter to them that stacking Crit is already a risk and not all healers would be able to make it work. Apparently greater risk does not involve greater reward, it involves redesigning the spec. You have to have your hands held, and they are going to design the Right Choice to be obvious by nerfing and changing the way critical strike heals work for just this one spec. Yeah, Disc is special alright.
The problem with these changes is Discipline only sees its theoretical maximum gains at 100% Critical strike which for most practical purposes never happens. Even at 25% Critical, assuming gratuitous scaling of 3x normal output on a crit, that's .25 * 3 = .75 or .75 power gain to be added to to the base level, so 1.75 power vs. let's say whatever might be a "normal" class that only gets 2x power from a crit, .25 * 2 = .5 or 1.5 power, that isn't a huge difference when factoring in this is the scaling of a healing spec we're talking about, and that RNG bonus can be wasted/unnecessary output, or fail them at a crucial time, if a person chooses to go the Critical route. AND it is necessary to remember that other healing specs have additional power to close the gap from their Mastery bonus too. Even by expansion's end its basically impossible anyone could reach Critical levels that would make this scaling difference a big enough problem to worry about.
So why are they?
Personally, I wish they'd spend far less energy on preventing specs from being able to scale or progress, and more on coming up with more imaginative Masteries, replacing all the dull Critical strike wanna-be's most specs have. I guess its too late though, seems like Disc is going to get crushed by the Dull Design hammer.