Open Libram XCII: Warriors of Faith

90 Blood Elf Paladin
11915
That would be kind of embarrassing, having to admit you don't know how to play your own specs.
93 Dwarf Paladin
14825
08/30/2013 04:44 PMPosted by Cayse
Yeah but.. what if that's not what Blizzard's internal sims actually base ret on?


That would certainly explain all these blind-sided buffs we've been getting. If Blizz is still simming us as a mastery spec, it's possible they see us as lagging behind - though I don't think even going full mastery would put us so far behind everyone else that the horrendous change to Inq would be necessary.
100 Blood Elf Paladin
20945
Well we already know they don't know how to balance trinkets, (seriously, Blizzard had no idea how haste-based specs would be affected by RPPM trinkets, or how much non-haste specs would be pushed to haste because of them? Arms and enhance go from haste = bad even after being buffed to hasteALLthethings as soon as you get a rppm trinket or the meta) and that is one of the things that is absolutely radically skewing dps rankings.

It's not that big a leap to go from not being able to do proper/functional itemization to did they actually properly test to see if their "vision" of a spec was actually right.

Especially with the often hilarious talk on the mmo-champ ret threads and the people there who are doing testing on live using high mastery gear and getting comparable results.

Or even frost DKs.. sim one. You'll have it give you stat priorities that are not what is said to be best on EJ. And in their thread their theorycrafters even say "we know how it sims, but don't do that."

Which actually fills the list of all four 90's that I have.. each one with at least one spec that often sims results different than the accepted "correct" way to gear. So what if one side or the other is just that far off? It'd be nice if Blizzard would just come out and say what they intend specs to be based around. Instead they let people flail around, and when they quite obviously find something better than was intended.. just ignore it?
Edited by Cayse on 8/30/2013 5:04 PM PDT
90 Tauren Monk
14625
/laughs at all the youngins going back to school next week


/laughs while I play WoW at school and make all the other students jelly.

And long past time to pick half your talents. :p


Neva!!!
100 Human Paladin
13120
@Cayse - The trouble is that a game designer can never be more clever than the game's playerbase in aggregate. You have literally thousands of people using higher maths and complex simulators to attempt to break this game, and it's no wonder that people figure out ways to play that end up being outside what was intended, totally unanticipated, and often superior to 'normal' play. It is good, I think, that Blizzard acknowledges this and works to curtail certain things that they find aberrant, but otherwise observe how people end up playing.

If they didn't, you'd either end up with the embarrassment scenario (which is always possible if you expose the inner workings of your design) or you end up completely destroying the efforts of the people playing the game to actually work to understand it and play it at optimal levels. The fact that people can discover ways to gear, spec, and play that are better than what is intended is actually extremely good for the life of the game, because it keeps the playerbase engaged in the possibility that they can, through cleverness and effort, 'beat' the game designers. Without that, you'll have literally every person playing the exact same way, and gearing and playing will be a matter of robotic execution of reforging all stats at certain gear level thresholds and such.

At least in the case of the monk, people are playtesting and getting worse results than blizzard's internal sims - most of the time it's the other way around. It would be a terrible idea for them to just tell people how to play, because it removes the possibility of players discovering it. That discovery and the testing necessary to reach it drives the theory-crafting community, and killing that would be miserable for the game's health.

edit - I don't think they ignore it so much as let it develop. If you notice that people have found a way to get more out of a spec than you have, you have two choices as a designer - you let it continue and see where it leads, bringing it back in line when it becomes truly necessary, or you nerf it immediately, which essentially tells the theorycrafting community 'haha no we don't want you playing that way, back to the drawing board guys! that's what you get for looking into how our classes are designed!', which is terrible and would kill off a lot of people's interest in the game.

basically, people do what they are rewarded for, and in this game if you theorycraft and test stuff enough to find something, you are rewarded with higher performance. Remove that reward, and people stop theorycrafting and testing because they know it won't amount to anything to try. It would certainly kill off people sharing what they do with others, and you'd have outliers who basically figured things out and are afraid to share with the community because it'll get nerfed immediately. That's not a healthy playing environment, and not a good relationship between the devs and the players.
Edited by Martana on 8/30/2013 5:12 PM PDT
100 Blood Elf Paladin
20945
That's true, but that also happens well before PTRs are over, simcraft is already updated for 5.4, so anything that goes live gearing/playing a different way than Blizzard intended, and wasn't fixed... Blizzard is just fine with being wrong about their own game? Or fine with a big segment of their customers playing wrong and possibly getting extremely poor results because of it?

08/30/2013 05:07 PMPosted by Martana
Without that, you'll have literally every person playing the exact same way, and gearing and playing will be a matter of robotic execution of reforging all stats at certain gear level thresholds and such.


That's what it is for basically everyone who is interested in playing optimally, or just gets told to go look how to play their spec on a website. We all gear the same, we all do the same priorities, whether that gearing or priority is right or wrong, because it was mathed, tested, simmed, and declared to be the best.

There's already almost an antagonistic relationship between the devs and players quite often. They're excessively secretive and closed-doors, put out radical spec and class changes with almost never explaining why.

It's just as negative toward the playerbase to let something that was (far) stronger than you intended go on for long periods. Just take prot paladins for example. Blizzard intended them to use SoI right from the very start of MoP beta, if you believe them. But all through testing, paladins were using SoT, all the theory community was based around it, and Blizzard knew it for months and didn't say anything until after release that they're supposed to use SoI.

So they make big nerfs to make people do it, angering all the prot paladins. So then prot paladins start using battle healer to go with it. Which makes them vastly stronger than other tanks for.. three full patches? Causing people who play other tanks to get demoralized and possibly benched from their raids, angering everyone who isn't a prot paladin. And now that's getting changed again. Angering the prot paladins, plus all the ret and holy paladins who are also going to be adversely hit by the changes being made because a year and a half ago, Blizzard decided to just let people play wrong.

That's the kind of non-communication and poor testing of specs that I'm talking about, and how negative that can be. Imagine if right at the start of MoP beta Blizzard had simply said "we intend for you prot paladins to tank with SoI" and then actually listened and responded to people using battle healer and telling them that this is too strong (as happened during the next PTR, but that as usual Blizzard didn't respond to). But that didn't happen because Blizzard was fine having people play wrong and negatively one of the game's communities... basically every patch because of one single problem.

And that's all just the result of the assumption about one incredibly minor thing; what seal should a prot paladin use.
Edited by Cayse on 8/30/2013 5:25 PM PDT
100 Human Paladin
13120
@Cayse Well, I mean, who's going to figure out there's a better way to play if the devs actively work to stomp out such behavior? I think Blizz has a good idea of how the classes and specs in their game work, but they are constantly surprised by players coming up with new innovations. It's actually an ideal place to be in as a designer of a game - people are so interested in this game that they are working very hard to play it in ways you've never thought to, even as the designer of the game. That's ultimately good.

Also, yes, I think Blizz is okay with people being bad at the game. Most people are, in fact, bad at this game. The people who care investigate and try to be good at the game, eventually getting to the point where they are doing the research and using the findings of people whose idea of a good time is spending hours compiling parses and examining stat weights and otherwise exploring the skeletal, muscular and vascular systems of this game's inner workings. Some of them even build on what's found. For these people, the rewards are higher performance than others - because otherwise no one would bother. The people for whom this really matters are the Heroic Raiding crowd - and they need all the help they can get, because Blizz knows this and designs encounters to be savage at that level.

Remember, people who play optimally and care about that are a small fraction of this game, and I think Blizz lets the community have leeway when it comes to finding new, better ways to play. It keeps people involved, it keeps people interested, and it keeps the community thriving.

Also, there must be some consideration given to how 'the best' in sims were arrived at, and what assumptions they make about the fight. I think the way Blizz designs encounters tends to foil simulated outputs, which is also good for the game. It takes some really enterprising people to step back and look at things and realize that perhaps stat weights should be changed or at least examined given the realities of a given tier's fights. It could be that some class forum communities do this more than others, which would account for discrepancies in terms of sim performance vs. live performance.
100 Blood Elf Paladin
20945
It's not stomping out theory and testing if Blizzard says this is how we expect and designed this spec to play, and then responding to people saying what their results are, or using the actual Blizzard tool.

How nice is it for theory crafters if they're wrong about something and Blizzard could easily tell them, but instead basically sits back and snickers?

Blizzard simply shouldn't be fine with the majority (and it is the vast majority) of players being bad at the game, or playing wrong, or being completely misinformed. But they are.

As someone who used to be fairly involved with theory for a couple of specs, that is why I stopped, why I stopped giving a !@#$ about putting effort into it. Because Blizzard doesn't give a %^-* either.
100 Human Paladin
13120
It's just as negative toward the playerbase to let something that was (far) stronger than you intended go on for long periods. Just take prot paladins for example. Blizzard intended them to use SoI right from the very start of MoP beta, if you believe them. But all through testing, paladins were using SoT, all the theory community was based around it, and Blizzard knew it for months and didn't say anything until after release that they're supposed to use SoI.

So they make big nerfs to make people do it, angering all the prot paladins. So then prot paladins start using battle healer to go with it. Which makes them vastly stronger than other tanks for.. three full patches? Causing people who play other tanks to get demoralized and possibly benched from their raids, angering everyone who isn't a prot paladin.

That's the kind of non-communication and poor testing of specs that I'm talking about, and how negative that can be. Imagine if right at the start of MoP beta Blizzard had simply said "we intend for you prot paladins to tank with SoI" and then actually listened and responded to people using battle healer and telling them that this is too strong (as happened during the next PTR, but that as usual Blizzard didn't respond to). But that didn't happen because Blizzard was fine having people play wrong and negatively one of the game's communities... basically every patch because of one single problem.


At a certain point, you have to stop certain play styles, because the gulf between people who are doing things a certain way and people who are not becomes too large. If you wait too long, it's a disservice and people feel like they've had the rug pulled underneath them because they thought they were 'supposed' to play that way. If you do it immediately when you see it happening, it's a disservice because people become afraid of even trying to figure out the way they're 'supposed' to play because if they get it wrong it results in spec redesigns.

I would say a lot of this could be solved with some communication like what you've mentioned - that wouldn't be intrusive and would give people a starting point. It is rather displeasing to be asked to just try things out and then be told after you get really used to a certain thing that what you're doing is not intended, as you had no guidance in the first place to know what was and wasn't to begin with.

However, let's also keep in mind that there's a strong possibility that when someone in a game like this finds something that's super OP, they in fact don't tell people because they want to make use of this thing and push content ahead of other people. Remember, people do what they are rewarded for - in this case, not spreading the word about a busted mechanic except within the community. This is the negative of how things can go, and I suspect it happens enough that Blizz doesn't get the memo until after it's a problem.

They have to get a lot of feedback before they can justify a major change - certainly, say, mid-content patch, where people on the lower end of gear are making use of things like the prot paladin thing to just squeak by encounters. For most players who aren't at such high levels of competence and gear, who are reading things and acting in accordance with the findings of their piers, going from squeaking by an encounter to flat out failure because of a patch change they'd been depending on is absolutely awful. I honestly think situations like this causes Blizz to stay their hand until it's absolutely breaking encounters at all ends of the spectrum.
100 Human Paladin
13120
It's not stomping out theory and testing if Blizzard says this is how we expect and designed this spec to play, and then responding to people saying what their results are, or using the actual Blizzard tool.

How nice is it for theory crafters if they're wrong about something and Blizzard could easily tell them, but instead basically sits back and snickers?

Blizzard simply shouldn't be fine with the majority (and it is the vast majority) of players being bad at the game, or playing wrong, or being completely misinformed. But they are.

As someone who used to be fairly involved with theory for a couple of specs, that is why I stopped, why I stopped giving a !@#$ about putting effort into it. Because Blizzard doesn't give a %^-* either.


The trouble here is that if you let people see how you design the game, you've basically invited them to be designers and design the game with you. That's not what you do as a game designer, because it means you are now designing by a committee of thousands.

You have to release your game into the wild and let people do what they will with it as a designer, up to a point - especially in a game like this. You can tell people how you expect them to play, but they will do otherwise given the opportunity and often find ways to play better, unless your design is so tight you've thought of every potentiality, or you've designed the game to require micromanagement from the dev team to balance it. DotA games and RTS games are treated in the latter manner because their internal balance requires it to even be playable. An MMO game cannot be designed or balanced the same way, because it would break the game and the players would be intolerant of such rapid changes to their characters.

You have to be fine with people being bad at an MMO if you want people who aren't super hardcore to play it. Blizz has such a huge number of people playing it, at all levels of the skill spectrum, that you have to be able to be absolutely terrible at the game and still get something out of it. I would say Blizz should be more active in encouraging people to become more skilled and able in this game - I think Proving Grounds are an excellent step in this regard - but if you set the threshold of required skill too high, it'll just chase off all your players. People don't want to play a game that kills them all the time or makes them feel like their time is totally wasted. You'll just go find something else to play. Not every game can punish you like Dark Souls and have you come crawling back for more abuse. :p

As for the last bit, I've honestly never given a !@#$ about how i'm suuposed to play, because the effort I'd put in would be completely disproportionate to any advantage I'd derive at the level I play (Wood League). I'd imagine it's pretty frustrating hearing nothing from Blizz about your efforts, but you've got to admit that if you knew exactly how the game worked, you'd lose interest in any theorycrafting at all - your job would, in essence, disappear. And honestly, were I a designer, I'd not want people to be able to point to the inner workings of my game and tell me my design is bad and that I should feel bad and that they could do a better job from their armchair.

You give too much power to the players to determine how your game is designed when you invite them to the designing table as partners - Blizz learned this the hard way with DKs, and are unlikely to give players that level of access or sway in design again. It didn't have to be this way, but were I in their shoes, I'd have made the same decision following that debacle.
100 Human Paladin
13120
In other news, this is easily the most I've typed in like six months. It's good to exercise my brain this way, thank you!
90 Blood Elf Paladin
11915
So, I watched Equestria Girls. It was... not terrible. Better than most of season 3, I think, but to be fair season 3 wasn't nearly as good as the first two.
100 Human Paladin
13120
I guess that's pretty good, then!
100 Human Paladin
13120
Goodness, did I kill the thread? :o
100 Blood Elf Paladin
20945
Everyone is sleeping!

So after about five hours on the D3 AH, falling asleep a few times due to boredom while doing it, I've managed to turn my barb into something that's actually decently playable.

It's sad that hundreds of hours playing a toon isn't what gets decent gear.. it's flipping a dozen stones of jordan.
90 Tauren Monk
14625
Lol try gearing a barb with only 800k.
100 Human Paladin
13120
My trouble with D3 is that the most effective builds for every class boils down to infinite AoE whilst moving at high speeds gaining life at an absurd rate whilst being completely unbound by your resource system - because the game is all about efficient grinding and the best way to do that is to do the above. To whit - my barbarian has become a whirlwind barb, because nothing else is nearly as potent. I spin, I leave dust clouds, I gain all the life, and I have infinite fury, and if I don't stop to pick anything up I am also infinitely large and red. Nothing can really kill me, but the entire game becomes a chore of holding down a few buttons and putting my brain on screensaver.

I suppose that's what diablo games are for, but it's not really appealing to me at present. ;p
Edited by Martana on 8/31/2013 1:04 PM PDT
100 Blood Elf Paladin
20945
Lol try gearing a barb with only 800k.


The gear I had before was at most 500k. Wednesday when I was bored enough to log in, I had about 150k and just started staring at the AH, and last night I logged in to a little over 4 million waiting and I've probably cycled through about 20 in the last three days.

Flipping. Stupid. Rings.

I can't deal with being one of the infinte WotB builds. It's.. well, I actually pick things up. But even trying to do it on an elite pack, it just doesn't stay up. I get 30-35 seconds at most. And you either set the MP so low that it's a pointless build for killing whites, but can kill bosses.. or you set it high enough that whites are worth killing but you run from every boss. That's just thrilling.
Edited by Cayse on 8/31/2013 1:26 PM PDT
100 Human Paladin
13120
With a whirlwind build at least, the idea is that you basically kite back and forth, letting the elite packs get beat up by your dust clouds from Run Like The Wind and kind of sawing back and forth through them with whirlwind. Even if WotB doesn't last the whole fight, you'll only need it if they are a heavy CC pack, because you're not in one place long enough to get hit too much by them, and your life gain should be astronomical.

I think if my gear was a bit better I could probably just sit on pretty much anything until it died, ignoring their mechanics, but I'm not there yet.

And then, oh what fun I'll have, waltzing through the game and pretending that being a living blender is fun after the fifth hour. ;p
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