Update on Alpha tuning

Pet Battles
Thought I'd link the blue post from the Alpha forums for those who don't visit there. The biggest change is the elimination of Howl Bomb;

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/20742124400#8
Thanks for the link. Looks like I better make a stronger effort at the Tanaan dailies =x
everything sounds pretty good. i admit, i howl bomb cheese a lot of daily trainers. i don't mind using different combinations, but i hate remembering what to use on x trainers.

i would love to have a way to save pet combinations per trainer encounter.
nice to see the nerf to shell armor
I wonder why still no mention of Screeching Gears along with Frog Kiss and Sleeping Gas.

04/20/2016 05:56 PMPosted by Rhonstifor
nice to see the nerf to shell armor


Very nice change!

From blue post:
"We are wary of opening up additional new Graves combos with this change, and we’ll be testing this closely and reading all of your feedback."

Will the undead racial nerf and Grave Destruction nerf be enough to make Consume Corpse Graves teams non-OP? It'll be interesting to see how this works out.
Screeching Gears also has a 1 round cooldown.

Thanks for the continued feedback!
Can't say I am happy about the changes, so some things were slightly OP but who really cares. Pet battles were only intended to be a fun side thing. I take it seriously yes, but what I hate more than imbalance (and who really cares as the water spirit and chrom were easy pets to obtain for everyone and really only used in PVE anyway) is changes. Constant changes. Nerf this, take that take take take. I hate that feeling of "what fun are they going to wreck this time".

I feel like I am always hopeful of positive changes (like making old CE pets cageable for those of us who could no longer obtain them otherwise) but always let down reading things like this.
That water spirit change is without a doubt the most wonderful thing I've heard about legion so far (not just relating to pet battles; the most exciting of *all* legion news).
If that's how they're leaving howl, it's going to be completely useless unless you have some kind of swap strategy in the first place. Using howl would be the same as just attacking twice, and in pvp people would just swap their pet out to avoid the next hit, which you can already do, but now it effectively does nothing even if you don't try to avoid it. Balances water spirit and chrominius in pve, but now howl in all other cases is just a waste of a skill.
04/20/2016 09:19 PMPosted by Muffinus
Screeching Gears also has a 1 round cooldown.

Thanks for the continued feedback!


Great news! Thanks.
04/20/2016 09:19 PMPosted by Muffinus
Screeching Gears also has a 1 round cooldown.

Thanks for the continued feedback!


I think this may not be the right approach. Screeching Gears is a pretty low power ability. Have you adjusted its power to be only available every other move? I think it would be better if any stun/cc ability also procced resilience on the next round.
04/21/2016 01:01 AMPosted by Coggles
If that's how they're leaving howl, it's going to be completely useless unless you have some kind of swap strategy in the first place. Using howl would be the same as just attacking twice, and in pvp people would just swap their pet out to avoid the next hit, which you can already do, but now it effectively does nothing even if you don't try to avoid it. Balances water spirit and chrominius in pve, but now howl in all other cases is just a waste of a skill.


It still doubles the effect of high cooldown power moves, so it's not completely useless.

Chrominius still gets a nice effect from howl + surge of power, for example.

But it's definitely a significant nerf. Thinking they should make it last 3 rounds or something, maybe?
- I'm happy with the Cleave damage change. I think it's a much better option than the cooldown.

- I'm also not sad to see Shell Armor duration reduced. It's ridiculously powerful compared to other damage reduction abilities (making you completely immune to a lot of abilities' damage) and this change is certainly a welcome one.

I do wonder if there are any plans to change Trihorn Shield as well? It's a very powerful damage reduction ability (though admittedly not as powerful as Shell Armor). Any chance of slightly reducing the amount of damage it blocks to compensate for the longer duration? Or are you happy with the current iteration of the ability?

- I was wondering when the Spirit change was going to happen. lol. Are you planning on just switching abilities around so that Whirpool/Geyser end up on the same row or are you giving the Spirit a new ability in place of whatever is taken out?

- The Howl change is one that I do not like at all. A 3 round cooldown on an ability that does no damage and only increases the next attack's damage by 100%? I can get much better than that using something like Inner Vision which increases all of my damage for 1 round by 100% and it only has a 1 round cooldown.

If it stays at a 3 round cooldown for only 1 attack, then I think the amount of damage the pet takes needs to be increased to 125%, like Supercharge. Either that or something needs to be added to the ability to make it more attractive to use. Like a small speed reduction or a reduce to hit chance while they have the debuff. As it stands, there's not a whole lot of incentive to using Howl if the nerf goes through.

Also, what about other abilities that use the Shattered Defenses debuff? Like Stampede or Flock? Will those abilities still make the enemy take 100% extra damage for 2 rounds or will that debuff be reduced to bring it in line with Howl?

- I don't mind the cooldown on Screeching Gears since it does decent damage already. The stun is just a nice little bonus when it occurs. Frog Kiss and Sleeping Gas I still have a problem with. They're damage requires you to ramp it up instead of being a flat damage amount. If they stay with a 1 round cooldown, then something needs to change about them. Either their damage needs to ramp up twice as fast or they need to have a flat damage amount like Screeching Gears. I mean, I don't use those abilities now because of the low damage. If it's going to take almost twice as long to get to maximum damage on those abilities, I'm really not going to use them.
I'm honestly not happy about the howl change.

Like I understand the theory/reasons behind it, but without Howl Bomb (which is the real reason behind these nerfs) most of the pet battle stuff would agonizing IE the Tanaan Jungle pet dailies, for example. Like pet battles are supposed to be fun not agonizingly annoying. So if you're going to nerf those two pets, maybe make those wild pets less annoying? Because Howl Bomb wouldn't be needed if it weren't for that Fel Corruption buff which is ridiculous.

I feel like this is going to make Chrominius and Pandaren Water Spirit used much less as Howl (3 turn cooldown for only ONE turn of damage boost) is going to be useless and I only used PWS for that.

I don't know why Blizzard likes to completely gut things. Things don't need to be completely broken OR nerfed into the ground.

Here's my proposed change:

Howl - Increases target's damage taken by 125%-150% for next attack taken.3 Turn Cooldown. That way you aren't loosing too much damage and Chrominus will still see use and fun swap strategies can happen.

PWS - keep Geyser and Waterpool separate BUT cause them to give your team a debuff (say...waterlogged) where your damage taken is increased by 25% per effect (stacking) so you can deal good damage by stacking both of them, but you're also putting your own team at risk.

Just my 0.02.

Edit: this also doesn't just hurt pet battles, either. This change hurts leveling as leveling pets (without the use of stones) is annoying, as well.
  • The damage bonus from Howl now only affects one attack.
  • Pandaren Water Spirit's Whirlpool and Geyser now share the same ability slot.
  • Dev note: This is our first iteration at disarming the Howl Bomb strategy in PvE, which has proven to be very powerful in too many situations. The goal is to make PvE battles more interesting and encourage the use of a wide variety of pets.


    I understand howlbomb is a cheese strategy that works too often, but this is not the way to fix it. This really needs to not happen.

    You aren't just breaking howlbomb, you are breaking the water spirit and breaking howl as an ability.

    This is thematically wrong in that the water spirit is the pet version of the trainer that specifically teaches you to stack your attacks. Putting geyser and whirlpool in the same slot removes this pet's self-synergy, which is all about stacking those two attacks (and incidentally also breaks the dive/heal self-synergy too, completely breaking this pet). Since self-synergy is not in itself a bad thing, this is an over-reaction.

    Howl will also be broken by this change unless it is used to double the damage of a cooldown, which makes its usefulness very narrow and greatly reduces its value as an ability. As howl is on live, it's worth it to howl and then use two normal attacks as opposed to just attacking three times. With the change, that will not be true. And depending on how much time we have to make use of the howl buff, its use may become extremely narrow and therefore border on completely useless. Like only useful on Chrominius to howl/surge.

    Further, you are forgetting that howlbomb requires two specific things. Stacking geyser and whirlpool, and then also stacking howl and surge. You don't have to break all those things to break the howlbomb strategy. You don't have to break every pet involved as well as every pet that has howl.

    You only have to put howl and surge in the same slot on Chrominius to break howlbomb.

    That way, the water spirit doesn't get broken. Howl doesn't get broken. Chrominius will suffer, but will still retain functionality to support multiple strategies as a pet (howl -> ravage, howl -> aoe, howl -> two attacks, racial -> surge, etc.). And howlbomb will be broken.

    If a Chrominius nerf is too harsh for the community to accept (since many 2v3 trainer fights currently depend on howl -> surge), then nerf howl to only buff the next TWO attacks that hit, and leave the water spirit and chrominius alone.

    Howl -> geyser/whirlpool -> regular surge would still be strong burst, but not strong enough to end fights.

    Try a surgical fix first please.
    Change to howl/bomb is more likely to make the raptor black claw/hunting party combo more prevalent in PvE, instead of using Pandaren Water Spirit and Chrominius we'll just use Zandalari Anklerender x2.

    edit: Can also use Unholy Ascension pre-raptor for even more damage. Just tested on Eleanor in the garrison, usually use Val'kyr, PWS, and Chrominius; did it in 6 turns with Val'kyr and a P/S Anklerender
    1. Curse of Doom
    2. Unholy Ascension
    3. Black Claw
    4. Hunting Party
    5. Hunting Party continues (Curse of Doom explodes killing Eleanor)
    6. Primal Cry during Eleanor's undead round

    Compared to the 7/8 turns it takes with the Val'kyr, PWS, and Chrominius.
    1. Curse of Doom
    2. Unholy Ascension
    3. Geyser
    4. Whirlpool
    5. Swap to Chrominius
    6. Howl (sometimes Eleanor is knocked out if any of the previous abilities crit)
    7. Surge of Power
    8. Undead round / Surge of Power cooldown round

    New strategy is actually faster.
    Fran - I highly recommend the use of the Rematch addon. Lets you save pet teams, the specific abilities to use, as well as notes on how and when to use the abilities, per opponent/trainer. And, you can even set it up to auto-load the team when you mouse over an opponent.
    04/21/2016 07:11 AMPosted by Wyler
    04/21/2016 01:01 AMPosted by Coggles
    If that's how they're leaving howl, it's going to be completely useless unless you have some kind of swap strategy in the first place. Using howl would be the same as just attacking twice, and in pvp people would just swap their pet out to avoid the next hit, which you can already do, but now it effectively does nothing even if you don't try to avoid it. Balances water spirit and chrominius in pve, but now howl in all other cases is just a waste of a skill.


    It still doubles the effect of high cooldown power moves, so it's not completely useless.

    Chrominius still gets a nice effect from howl + surge of power, for example.

    But it's definitely a significant nerf. Thinking they should make it last 3 rounds or something, maybe?


    But, think of the pets other than chrominius that use howl, such as dogs/foxes with flurry.

    Attack -> Attack -> Attack = 3 attacks
    Howl -> Attack x2 -> Attack x2 = 4 attacks

    That's the whole point. The skill does something even if you don't have a nuke or a swapping strategy. You get an extra hit. This is what it will be now:

    Attack -> Attack
    Howl -> Attack x2

    There is no difference. Howl doesn't do anything unless you have a nuke. Prowl or supercharge give you more than 100% extra damage and they can't be avoided by swapping pets in pvp.
    Man, I'm going to miss the howl bomb. That strategy is the only reason I do the Tanaan Daily battles. I can use the exact same team for every battle and the exact same strategy on all but one battle (The last one requires a minor change).

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