What the Meta Feels Like

Arenas
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Within certain parameters, the game is currently balanced. If you're playing a comp containing a Ret, DK (Frost), Rogue (Combat), Hunter (BM or MM), or Affliction Lock, you are capable of playing in the meta.

The most active comps these specs play are Smokebomb (Combat/Frost DK/X), PHP (Ret/Hunt/X), and RLX (Rogue/Lock/X).
This doesn't mean there are no other comps playing above 2200, but these are by far the most popular and active (queueing consistently).

Healer variation among these comps is fairly diverse, as the individual niches of each healer in the comp are near irrelevant, and the balance between healers is now fairly equal.

Why is the meta like this?

PHP (Disc/Ret/Hunt) was completely dominant on the ladder before Disc priest nerfs went live. Since then, most Ret/Hunt comps are preferring to run with Rshams due to the vulnerability of Disc to Combat rogue, which brings us to the defining feature of this new meta.

A Combat Rogue meta: 8 second Kidney Shot, unpeelable burst during Killing Spree, Deadly Throw 6-sec lockout + Shadowstep Kicks, Revealing Strikes. No other spec in the game is more capable of completely shutting down a healer or caster. The comps which don't have answers for Kidney Shot aren't relevant.

No wizards are in this new meta, aside from Affl Locks.

The exception is a few Mages, Spriests, and Boomies who play with Combat rogues.

Melee, namely Rogue/DK/Ret/War, are too effective at shutting down casters. Their damage throughput on casters forces defensive CDs prematurely from Healers and wizards alike, and their increased uptime allows them to use interrupt abilities off CD, something they've rarely ever been able to do.

You didn't mention Ferals anywhere?! They're so OP!

Maybe in 2s... you know what outplays a feral 10 out of 10 times? A combat rogue, or Ret/Hunt/X.

@Holinka: What needs to change now.


Kidney Shot cannot stun for 8 seconds.

Deadly Throw needs a CD - the logic here being that every interrupt should have a CD, even if it costs resources to use, especially when it's a 6sec lockout. An interrupt with no actual CD is impossible to juke.

Clemency needs to be changed (nerfed).

Melee uptime needs to be reduced -OR- casters need more mobility.

Melee uptime needs to be reduced -OR- interrupts need to be changed (nerfed).

Melee uptime needs to be reduced -OR- healing throughput needs to be increased on casters.

Consider re-introducing disarms on longer CDs.

Certain caster specs lack the necessary set-up mechanics to function in 3s (Destro/Ele).

Ferals and WWs lack the passive-defensives that other melee have to be viable.


These are just some of the major changes that we need to see to have a more healthy meta. I am not trying to say this is the end-all be-all for balance.

In the past 150 games played between 2300-2500 MMR, I have queued into two Mages, two Spriests, one Ele, zero Destro/Demo locks, zero Boomies, two Ferals, one WW (Balance playing DK/WW), two Enhance, zero Warriors. I know this has little argumentative power, but you can see similar trends in the ladder if you search specs above 2300.
12/15/2014 08:49 AMPosted by Metaclass
I play one of the OP imba af specs (tbh I think aff is only beaten out by combat/ret) and I think the meta should shift to allow other classes to play on the playground


I don't even think Affliction is really imbalanced, it just has the best synergy with Combat.
12/15/2014 08:37 AMPosted by Jao
Within certain parameters, the game is currently balanced. If you're playing a comp containing a Ret, DK (Frost), Rogue (Combat), Hunter (BM or MM), or Affliction Lock, you are capable of playing in the meta.

The most active comps these specs play are Smokebomb (Combat/Frost DK/X), PHP (Ret/Hunt/X), and RLX (Rogue/Lock/X).
This doesn't mean there are no other comps playing above 2200, but these are by far the most popular and active (queueing consistently).

Healer variation among these comps is fairly diverse, as the individual niches of each healer in the comp are near irrelevant, and the balance between healers is now fairly equal.

Why is the meta like this?

PHP (Disc/Ret/Hunt) was completely dominant on the ladder before Disc priest nerfs went live. Since then, most Ret/Hunt comps are preferring to run with Rshams due to the vulnerability of Disc to Combat rogue, which brings us to the defining feature of this new meta.

A Combat Rogue meta: 8 second Kidney Shot, unpeelable burst during Killing Spree, Deadly Throw 6-sec lockout + Shadowstep Kicks, Revealing Strikes. No other spec in the game is more capable of completely shutting down a healer or caster. The comps which don't have answers for Kidney Shot aren't relevant.

No wizards are in this new meta, aside from Affl Locks.

The exception is a few Mages, Spriests, and Boomies who play with Combat rogues.

Melee, namely Rogue/DK/Ret/War, are too effective at shutting down casters. Their damage throughput on casters forces defensive CDs prematurely from Healers and wizards alike, and their increased uptime allows them to use interrupt abilities off CD, something they've rarely ever been able to do.

You didn't mention Ferals anywhere?! They're so OP!

Maybe in 2s... you know what outplays a feral 10 out of 10 times? A combat rogue, or Ret/Hunt/X.

@Holinka: What needs to change now.


Kidney Shot cannot stun for 8 seconds.

Deadly Throw needs a CD.

Clemency needs to be changed (nerfed).

Melee uptime needs to be reduced -OR- casters need more mobility.

Melee uptime needs to be reduced -OR- interrupts need to be changed (nerfed).

Melee uptime needs to be reduced -OR- healing throughput needs to be increased on casters.

Certain caster specs lack the necessary set-up mechanics to function in 3s (Destro/Ele).

Ferals and WWs lack the passive-defensives that other melee have to be viable.


These are just some of the major changes that we need to see to have a more healthy meta. I am not trying to say this is the end-all be-all for balance.

In the past 150 games played between 2300-2500 MMR, I have queued into two Mages, two Spriests, one Ele, zero Destro/Demo locks, zero Boomies, two Ferals, one WW (Balance playing DK/WW), two Enhance, zero Warriors. I know this has little argumentative power, but you can see similar trends in the ladder if you search specs above 2300.


Remember...balance shouldn't be a stable line it should be huge swings of ups and downs.

On a serious note, please eliminate spell push back or add disarms on 15 second cd's.
12/15/2014 08:50 AMPosted by Jao
I don't even think Affliction is really imbalanced, it just has the best synergy with Combat.


Also I think that being designed as a caster meant to "tank" damage (since warlocks tend to have less mobility than others) helps with that. In a meta where every caster has to eat damage from melee no matter what, the tankiest caster in the game will most likely have an easier time.

12/15/2014 08:59 AMPosted by Metaclass
Its a wizard, that has only 1 draw back of wizard. It has to cast.


I disagree with this somewhat. The lower mobility is definitely a drawback. If someone wants to LoS you, they will do so with minimal effort, because unlike mages, spriests, boomkins and shamans, you don't have an on-demand 70% speed sprint or blink to instantly catch up. You can set up a portal, but that has a longer cd than all of the above classes.
12/15/2014 08:50 AMPosted by Jao
12/15/2014 08:49 AMPosted by Metaclass
I play one of the OP imba af specs (tbh I think aff is only beaten out by combat/ret) and I think the meta should shift to allow other classes to play on the playground


I don't even think Affliction is really imbalanced, it just has the best synergy with Combat.


Maybe im not understanding this, but how does affliction out of all specs have synergy with combat rogues currently?
12/15/2014 08:59 AMPosted by Metaclass
It has to cast.
It's more tanky than every melee besides DK, (arguably, its more tanky), it does more damage than anything else, in full gear it will do even more damage than everything else, it still has amazing peels. It has the ability to cs three times every minute for a 6s lockout, or once every 24s.


I don't know, it's just a matter of killing your pet twice and you take full-damage like any other caster. Your mobility is non-existent when stunned or silenced, which is when you usually die.

I'm fine with your CS abilities, but not okay with Deadly Throw spam.
12/15/2014 09:04 AMPosted by Aromis
Maybe im not understanding this, but how does affliction out of all specs have synergy with combat rogues currently?


I should rephrase what I said. It's not that they have synergy with Rogues (CDs don't really line up or anything of that sort). But the way a Lock can peel for his healer/rogue, assist rogue with pressure not as subject to casting as other specs, and rot the enemy team while the healer sits an 8sec kidney.
I don't get the beef with combat, it's 2 seconds extra on kidney.. deadly throw requires 5 pts to interrupt so in a way it has a CD, spree can be countered by block, deter, vanish, bop, spectral guise and shadowmeld even (toon will follow the target but stop dmg). Not to mention deep insight has high ramp up time and can drop off by good cc/kiting. I think it just pairs well with bursty classes right now, but don't the top players still play sub?? Pika, pshero, nahj ?

I think the biggest issue is how the game has changed towards more hard casting but interrupts haven't beenaddressed... Esp stuff like gouge/grip.. secondary ints need to be addressed or normal int cds increasedimo
Fair point, but do you really think that 2 extra sec of kidney is that game breaking considering everything else - keeping in mind it means the rogue loses out on dance ? I feel like dance offers way more control and burst potential over the 2 extra sec of combat kidney. I think combat is just a lot easier to play, which is why they are showing up more now than sub. I still feel sub will be the dominant spec at the top (but I am really new to rogue so I could be wrong). I'm on mobile, so sorry for any typos.

I just feel like there are much bigger issues at hand than combat rogues. I do play a rogue so I may be biased, but I play three toons overall and have to face combat rogues just the same... And a good sub rogue worries me a lot more . Just my 2c
Nothing like juking both kicks, getting 8sec kidneyed, then gouged, then having to juke both kicks once again ^-^
12/15/2014 09:33 AMPosted by Absterge
Nothing like juking both kicks, getting 8sec kidneyed, then gouged, then having to juke both kicks once again ^-^


Yes I think that is a bigger issue. As much as I love having gouge to fall back on, on my rogue, it's stupid.. if I get juked or my partner and I overlap ints, that should be on us..
I think you may be biased, Stoik

Fact of of the matter is, an 8 second kidney shot (the only 8 second CC that doesn't break on damage) is far too long to be on a 20s cooldown.

Tak it from a mistweaver perspective:

I que into combat rogue/x/x. they decide to train me. I get 8s kidney-ed. I have to use either nimble/cocoon/trinket to not die right? Nbd thats how it should be. only problem is...

I just traded a 2 min CD for your 20s cd.

Now monks undeniably have the most counters to stuns of any healer because I have 2 trinkets and cocoon on 55s CD. but even so, by the 4th or 5th kidney I'm out of CDs even if I rotated perfectly. Other healers are SoL probably after the second one.

The only way to survive against combat rogue as a healer is to have a ret on your team.

Sub has dance every minute but is seriously lacking in dmg and burst to effectively land a kill in a 4 second cheap shot -> garrote.

And lets not forget about shadow reflection to bump that 8s to 12s eh lol
Let me ask a question directed at the core argument:

What do you feel is an appropriate uptime for melee classes on casters?

In my opinion, it should be 100% uptime once in melee range outside of a cooldown or CC effect.

Outside of melee range, casters have an overwhelming advantage. That dynamic should shift dramatically once a melee class steps into melee range, and the caster should be concerned with only two things:

1. Survive.
2. Get out of melee range.

Casters have cooldowns to help them in this regard, melee have cooldowns to counter, and thus counterplay is introduced.

Reducing melee uptime means that melee need to have a greater impact when in melee range or need to be more powerful from range.

Yet,there are some casters who are performing very well: Hunters, Warlocks, Boomkin, and pretty much every healer. If the problem lies with melee, and not specific classes that are underperforming, how do you explain this fact?
I think the main issue is melee mobility, melee have no problem maintaining almost 90% uptime on any target if they have a decent healer.

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