Brewmasters in 7.2.5

Legion Class Development
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Alright, second round is on me as well, Brewmasters. Now that the weekend is over, we've had a chance to discuss all the great feedback you all have provided so far. Here's what we're thinking:

(Note that the below changes likely won't make it into the first PTR build.)

Stagger Cap
As I said, the goal of this was cheese-prevention, not intended to impact normal gameplay. A Stagger cap of 100%*HP has a lot of value to us due to it functioning intuitively within the UI. We had hoped that the amount we need to buff HP/Armor would be reasonable in order to make that work, but looking at the numbers and your feedback, we don't think there's enough room there. Therefore, we're now leaning toward a 200%*HP cap, and that just won't be visible in the UI (but then, neither is the cap of Guardian Spirit and the like).

Active Mitigation Duration Cap
There has been a ton of useful feedback about this topic. Being able to carry over a ton of banked Active Mitigation (and Ironskin Brew absolutely is AM in context) from tank swaps and low damage phases is extremely powerful, and contributes to imbalance between tanks. But we're also sympathetic to how it adds an additional complication that you need to keep in your mental space. We think that just loosening the restriction up a bit so that the window you can safely press Ironskin Brew in is much wider will satisfy that, so we're going to try a cap of 3x Duration instead of 2x. And to clarify, calling this "base duration" was inaccurate; I meant the duration of a single cast of Ironskin Brew, including traits (so 3x Duration would be 24sec with 4/4 of that trait).

Magic DR
We've talked about having armor and potentially HP as tuning knobs to use. We also have the % of Stagger that applies to Magic to use. All of the changes we're discussing in this thread are for mechanical and playstyle reasons, and then tuning is a separate (but big and important) issue. Just to set expectations, Brewmasters with Mystic Vitality are currently seen as extremely strong against Magic damage, sometimes overpowered. Guardian Druids are also overpowered against Magic damage, and that will be adjusted as well.

Thanks, and keep the feedback coming!
To clarify our concern about magic damage DR: it was an ask to preserve the relative ratio of magic damage stagger if you are reducing our overall stagger.
04/03/2017 12:23 PMPosted by Celestalon
I meant the duration of a single cast of Ironskin Brew, including traits (so 3x Duration would be 24sec with 4/4 of that trait).


Honestly 24 seconds with 4/4 traits seems like a very reasonable number to work around. Most tank swaps in raids are anywhere between 30-45 seconds. So having 24 seconds going into it is managable. This does affect such things as M+ though but whenever I do tank in those, I am using both ISB and PB quite a bit throughout since there is not other way to build up like you can in raids.
04/03/2017 12:23 PMPosted by Celestalon
Stagger Cap
As I said, the goal of this was cheese-prevention, not intended to impact normal gameplay. A Stagger cap of 100%*HP has a lot of value to us due to it functioning intuitively within the UI. We had hoped that the amount we need to buff HP/Armor would be reasonable in order to make that work, but looking at the numbers and your feedback, we don't think there's enough room there. Therefore, we're now leaning toward a 200%*HP cap, and that just won't be visible in the UI (but then, neither is the cap of Guardian Spirit and the like).


I don't understand why you think this is a good idea. 200% stagger is nothing, it's a few auto attacks. We are supposed to take large hits and shrug them off without cooldowns, with the tradeoff being we take more damage overall and are reliant on our healers. This will also make pausing stagger with BoC completely uselss as it will only cause you to cap stagger and take everything straight to face. Will Ardent Defender be getting a damage cap? Divine Shield? If we get a cap, so should those. And before anyone says "Those are cooldowns", well, that's what ISB is supposed to let us do, take hits without cooldowns that require other tanks to use cooldowns.

04/03/2017 12:23 PMPosted by Celestalon
Active Mitigation Duration Cap
There has been a ton of useful feedback about this topic. Being able to carry over a ton of banked Active Mitigation (and Ironskin Brew absolutely is AM in context) from tank swaps and low damage phases is extremely powerful, and contributes to imbalance between tanks. But we're also sympathetic to how it adds an additional complication that you need to keep in your mental space. We think that just loosening the restriction up a bit so that the window you can safely press Ironskin Brew in is much wider will satisfy that, so we're going to try a cap of 3x Duration instead of 2x. And to clarify, calling this "base duration" was inaccurate; I meant the duration of a single cast of Ironskin Brew, including traits (so 3x Duration would be 24sec with 4/4 of that trait).


Still too little. This would force us in to purifying just to prevent brew capping rather than because we actually need/want to. Purifying a 60% stagger is boring and unimpactful. So on pull we dump 3 ISB, work to a fourth, dump that, hit BoB and then... twiddle our thumbs? Also, will you be putting a cap on Shield of the Righteous? Or are you just going to let haste scaling and Bastion of Light go crazy there?

04/03/2017 12:23 PMPosted by Celestalon
Magic DR
We've talked about having armor and potentially HP as tuning knobs to use. We also have the % of Stagger that applies to Magic to use. All of the changes we're discussing in this thread are for mechanical and playstyle reasons, and then tuning is a separate (but big and important) issue. Just to set expectations, Brewmasters with Mystic Vitality are currently seen as extremely strong against Magic damage, sometimes overpowered. Guardian Druids are also overpowered against Magic damage, and that will be adjusted as well.


Strong? There are 3 tanks stronger than us in magic damage, Guardian, paladin, and Death Knight. The only difference is we don't take bursts of it, which is what we are supposed to do, because we require MUCH more healing than any other tank.
I want to say just leave us as we are on stagger and implement the ironskin brew cap at 30 secs, if a change just has to be made. Really and truly we are in a good spot and other tanks need to be tuned.
04/03/2017 12:23 PMPosted by Celestalon
Alright, second round is on me as well, Brewmasters. Now that the weekend is over, we've had a chance to discuss all the great feedback you all have provided so far. Here's what we're thinking:

(Note that the below changes likely won't make it into the first PTR build.)

Stagger Cap
As I said, the goal of this was cheese-prevention, not intended to impact normal gameplay. A Stagger cap of 100%*HP has a lot of value to us due to it functioning intuitively within the UI. We had hoped that the amount we need to buff HP/Armor would be reasonable in order to make that work, but looking at the numbers and your feedback, we don't think there's enough room there. Therefore, we're now leaning toward a 200%*HP cap, and that just won't be visible in the UI (but then, neither is the cap of Guardian Spirit and the like).

Active Mitigation Duration Cap
There has been a ton of useful feedback about this topic. Being able to carry over a ton of banked Active Mitigation (and Ironskin Brew absolutely is AM in context) from tank swaps and low damage phases is extremely powerful, and contributes to imbalance between tanks. But we're also sympathetic to how it adds an additional complication that you need to keep in your mental space. We think that just loosening the restriction up a bit so that the window you can safely press Ironskin Brew in is much wider will satisfy that, so we're going to try a cap of 3x Duration instead of 2x. And to clarify, calling this "base duration" was inaccurate; I meant the duration of a single cast of Ironskin Brew, including traits (so 3x Duration would be 24sec with 4/4 of that trait).

Magic DR
We've talked about having armor and potentially HP as tuning knobs to use. We also have the % of Stagger that applies to Magic to use. All of the changes we're discussing in this thread are for mechanical and playstyle reasons, and then tuning is a separate (but big and important) issue. Just to set expectations, Brewmasters with Mystic Vitality are currently seen as extremely strong against Magic damage, sometimes overpowered. Guardian Druids are also overpowered against Magic damage, and that will be adjusted as well.

Thanks, and keep the feedback coming!


How about we start with small incremental change based on the current stance of monk?

Stagger cap:

200% is better than 100%, but that's still not enough to soak mythic mechanic in a non-cheesy way ( M spellblade annihilate per example) especially if you want blackout combo into stagger pause to remain something viable. How about we start at 400% and if monk are still cheesing stuff that aren't meant to be cheesed, we reduce it? Staggering damage isn't the issue, cheesing mechanic is the issue... remember; monk stagger ability to smooth out damage is compensated by only having a single reliable cooldown to use ( Fort brew). Zen meditation is awfully situational without using a specific legendary and dampen harm have to ba talented in (sacrificing mystic vitality in the process).

ISB

first of: keep in mind the current T19 allow us to generate many more brews. just swapping to T20 is a substantial nerf to brew generation and ISB uptime.

Same thing: A big portion of monk is willingly not purifying during easier phase ( aka we aren't mitigating ANYTHING during that period) in order to purify more during harder phase ( remember, we only have one single reliable cooldown on a 4 min ish timer) Being able to prepare ISB is the monk way of dealing with high damage however, in the end, monk still take more damage than every other tank; we just smooth it out by class design.

I will admit that a potentially infinite duration of ISB is too much, but 24 second is still way too low. High-damage phase ( Botanist P3, tanking tichondrius + add...) The basic monk opener involve 3X ISB, black of brew, 2X ISB resulting in 40+ second... sooo, How about we start at let's say 120 second and if we can 'cheese' entire phase like botanist P3, we slowly reduce it?

Armor bonus and Dodge bonus

I understand that you want to compensate the above nerf by buffing armor and dodge. However, I want to emphasize than Armor and Dodge is totally useless against magic damage.... browsing the current dungeon journal for ToS, I see magic damage everywhere. Basically every tank-oriented ability is also undodgeable (M spellblade annihilate, arcane slash,fel scythe...).

That proposed bonus armor/dodge means next to nothing; only buffing base magic mitigation / mystic vitality would compensate, but staggering magic damage is only good if we can constantly purify it, but our ability to constantly purify an ability is directly linked to our ability to stack ISBs to a really high duration, an ability that's getting nerfed....
I still don't understand the ISB duration need - all it does is needlessly affect QoL for everything outside of raids for limited encounters with high damage tank swaps. Why not just adjust the amount of brew reduction we get off smash and tiger palm and shift it to brew reductions off dodges or taking damage?
This seems obvious and simple.
Forcing us to PB is bad.
Second - if cheese is a concern stagger should have a limit per hit, not a limit per max stagger.
It would be easier to implement and would have no effect on any normal gameplay.

Protip - you should have announced guardian nerfs first.
We all pale in comparison to those OP bears and most of the anger comes at that class dominating this entire expansion with 2 button simplicity.
The 24s cap still doesnt address brew waste. Cant prevent resource waste and turn it into DPS.
Also the massive weekend change confirms our initial thoughts - no one internally plays BrM at a high level or the initial changes would have never been suggested...
Thank you very much for listening to the feedback!

I think a 200% cap is perfectly reasonable. Changing the ratio of native stagger to ISB bonus (as well as armor/HP) might be something to evaluate as well. Unless there is a change in our initial damage taken, the driving priority will still be keeping ISB up while tanking. But now we may have less charges to go towards purify without a "buffer" built up. This will also be VERY fight dependent. The fight I where I actually see the highest stagger is M Bot Phase 1 - with all the adds up and where both tanks are constantly tanking.

The 24sec cap still feels very low. Perhaps one consideration could be to increase the ISB buff to 8 seconds base (10? Trying not to be greedy.) and the recharge time accordingly (26 sec recharge?). We would have slightly more ISB time/PB charges to play with going into a swap without greatly affecting the overall brew generation.

Thank you again! And I look forward to testing on PTR!
To add to the ISB cap:

stacking ISB is only an issue on few specific fight.... on M krosus I am constantly purifying even when offtanking (especially when offtanking); i cannot buildt up ISB to long duration.

on tichondrius we actually have downtime (pillar phase, night phase) and constant tank swap; i cannot build up ISB to a long duration.

basically, the only fights in M NH where I can build up ISB to several minute is the first 3 (too easy at this point purifying is hardly needed) and botanist, where I willingly take more damage for an extended period of time in order to purify more of it during the last one.

I suppose I could also stack ISB on gul'dan/augur if my druid co-tank solo soak everything while I twiddle thumbs... but the issue here isn't really ISB, is it?

There is a very real and substantial cost to stacking ISB: we take more damage than every other tank if we don't purify any of it, and to stack ISB, we have to cut off the purifies.
On the original topic of the rotation, it's been noted that both BoS and BoF have defensive functions. BoF for myself is a large part of my style with 3x HB relics as well as the chest. The idea of BoS/BoF giving Brawler charges feels.... meh? It doesn't have much impact. Granted, it could be great against a single hard hitting boss, but that's a very narrow situation. Perhaps they don't need much of a change at all? Several other tanks have "fillers": Swipe is only damage, Devestate has a chance to reset Shield Slam, and the same with Crusader Strike and AS.

What I could see working out nicely is to actually eliminate the CD on BoS (and reduce the damage some - maybe 70-80% of current?) and give BoS a chance to reset the duration on BoF. Without a CD we really can weave it in and out of our rotation to take up gaps, while keeping KS on CD and preventing energy from capping. Blackout Combo would also be smoother and wouldn't need to be completely retooled. (As a request, can we get a damage boost on TP? This would also require a tweak to BoC, but would bring BoC back in line with the rest of the row.) This would also allow BoF to be a core defensive part of the rotation. Keep it at a 8s dot, but maybe a 12s cooldown, then give it damage reduction baseline (6-10% DR baseline, plus 2% per trait?). This might fall off w/o a proc, but it will likely be up most of the time.

To summarize:
    Blackout Strike: Strike an enemy for 300% physical damage. Has a chance to reset the cooldown on Breath of Fire. No cooldown.

    Breath of Fire: Targets affected by BoF's burning effect deal 6-10% less damage to you (8 sec duration). Hot Blooded trait increases this by 2% per rank.12 second ability cooldown.


I don't think any other rotational changes would really be needed. And I think the "spitfire" playstyle sounds like a lot of fun. So why not bake it into BoS baseline? (No need to worry about balancing talents. The lego chest wouldn't be AS BiS, but still viable, especially in AoE fights. BoF EVERYTHING. This would actually help with add pickup.)
It also can't be overstated how much t19 increases brew gen. Really need to think about this in base terms and not around the set bonuses. Personally I'd like less brew gen across the board but make it much more impactfull. Timing a ISB during a important mechanic, or when healers are stressed followed by a purify would be more interesting gameplay then just keeping 100 isb uptime. There is no thought there.
04/03/2017 12:23 PMPosted by Celestalon
Alright, second round is on me as well, Brewmasters. Now that the weekend is over, we've had a chance to discuss all the great feedback you all have provided so far. Here's what we're thinking:

(Note that the below changes likely won't make it into the first PTR build.)

Stagger Cap
As I said, the goal of this was cheese-prevention, not intended to impact normal gameplay. A Stagger cap of 100%*HP has a lot of value to us due to it functioning intuitively within the UI. We had hoped that the amount we need to buff HP/Armor would be reasonable in order to make that work, but looking at the numbers and your feedback, we don't think there's enough room there. Therefore, we're now leaning toward a 200%*HP cap, and that just won't be visible in the UI (but then, neither is the cap of Guardian Spirit and the like).

Active Mitigation Duration Cap
There has been a ton of useful feedback about this topic. Being able to carry over a ton of banked Active Mitigation (and Ironskin Brew absolutely is AM in context) from tank swaps and low damage phases is extremely powerful, and contributes to imbalance between tanks. But we're also sympathetic to how it adds an additional complication that you need to keep in your mental space. We think that just loosening the restriction up a bit so that the window you can safely press Ironskin Brew in is much wider will satisfy that, so we're going to try a cap of 3x Duration instead of 2x. And to clarify, calling this "base duration" was inaccurate; I meant the duration of a single cast of Ironskin Brew, including traits (so 3x Duration would be 24sec with 4/4 of that trait).

Magic DR
We've talked about having armor and potentially HP as tuning knobs to use. We also have the % of Stagger that applies to Magic to use. All of the changes we're discussing in this thread are for mechanical and playstyle reasons, and then tuning is a separate (but big and important) issue. Just to set expectations, Brewmasters with Mystic Vitality are currently seen as extremely strong against Magic damage, sometimes overpowered. Guardian Druids are also overpowered against Magic damage, and that will be adjusted as well.

Thanks, and keep the feedback coming!

Once again - all of the above "improvements" are concessions in fact, you can doublecheck my previous post in this thread. 200% is still just a number which will be too low for some mythic encounters. If you want to prevent cheesing - apply this "cap" to maximum single hit that can be staggered, not to total damage staggered.
ISB duration cap is just a terrible gameplay-wise. Considering ISB itself gives 0 damage reduction i dont see why you're so eager to make this QoL downgrade.
Magic DR part is not that much of an issue, since (i hope) in case of bad tuning you will reevaluate the numbers.

P.S. Prot paladins still can cheese everything and seems like you dont really care about it for some reason.
04/03/2017 12:23 PMPosted by Celestalon
Alright, second round is on me as well, Brewmasters. Now that the weekend is over, we've had a chance to discuss all the great feedback you all have provided so far. Here's what we're thinking:

(Note that the below changes likely won't make it into the first PTR build.)

Stagger Cap
As I said, the goal of this was cheese-prevention, not intended to impact normal gameplay. A Stagger cap of 100%*HP has a lot of value to us due to it functioning intuitively within the UI. We had hoped that the amount we need to buff HP/Armor would be reasonable in order to make that work, but looking at the numbers and your feedback, we don't think there's enough room there. Therefore, we're now leaning toward a 200%*HP cap, and that just won't be visible in the UI (but then, neither is the cap of Guardian Spirit and the like).


I want to address this point specifically as the other points other people have put good thought into what is good and bad with them.

I am curious as to the thought process you guys are going through on having a stagger pool cap instead of something else (stagger per hit cap or some new way of capping how we accrue stagger). Depending on how much we get changed with hp and armor value, natively lowering our innate/ISB stagger, this 200% is likely not going to be hit often (there will always be exceptions).

The problem I see with this is still the fact of if we hit some invisible threshold, our functionality as a tank just stops working. We no longer are 'tanking' and just a weak damage sponge because we hit this magic number. I don't disagree that we can be strong in delaying damage, but the main crux of this is that we take more damage and our stagger is both our positive and negative. If you don't manage stagger properly and you are taking a 600-700k dot every second, then that is going to kill you. But, if your healers can keep you healed through this then that should be something that your raid decides.

I can't see a situation where a stagger pool cap will be more effective than a stagger per hit cap at preventing us from cheesing a mechanic. Is there any insight as to why you guys chose one over the other?
04/03/2017 01:28 PMPosted by Vareesa
Depending on how much we get changed with hp and armor value, natively lowering our innate/ISB stagger, this 200% is likely not going to be hit often (there will always be exceptions).

The problem I see with this is still the fact of if we hit some invisible threshold, our functionality as a tank just stops working.


This is my biggest concern as well - the potential that we could scale inversely with difficulty. On M Spellblade my stagger can easily go above 200% while at the same time she chunking my healthpool. This is with cooldowns running. If the 200% cap were to go live without any other changes, I would simply die to a mechanic other tanks live through without issue.

Any tuning that happens must happen with the intention that under any normal situations we would never hit the 200% threshold. I'm fine with this change to prevent soloing fel scythe's/"spear" mechanics, but it needs to be made absolutely certain that we won't hit that cap short of "cheesing" a mechanic.
It's a step towards the right thing but as others have said 200% is still relatively low. It's entirely possible to hit those numbers with our given tools (like pausing stagger) and all this cap does is discourage smart play with those types of talents. A longer duration with AM is nice but also consider how one of our talents encourages constant uses (special delivery). Our lower up-time and charge speed without our current tier is also going to feel pretty rough. Just having our tanking 'stop' is also just sounds sounds like a shoddy design for tanking.

Another huge issue is comparisons. But they are important.

This is huge because we have no way to know what you mean when you say "other tanks will be looked at too". Right now we have druids stomping everything, and if these sorts of changes go in for us....we just fall to the bottom of the pack and have to wait for everyone else to get 'nerfed'.

Which has no guarantee of happening at a reasonable point. So another thing to consider is how screwed we end up compared to everyone else. Because these are just nerfs. It's not terrible to want to bring tanks in general down to a level....but that sucks if you don't hit them all at once.
Quick thoughts. Most of the rest seems to be tuning, but we'll see.

- 200% is a more reasonable cap if we're still assuming a sizable HP and Armor buff. That should still avoid most cheesy mechanics that are intended to be outright fatal. In situations where other tanks are fully capable of soloing a mechanic with CDs (e.g., fel cleave), that should suffice. However, keep personal CDs available to BrM on the radar. That may still be a concern if 200% stagger cap and some degree of pre-planning (e.g., purify before and after) is not sufficient to substitute for a "small CD" (barkskin, etc).

- Brewmasters with Mystic Vitality are (and should remain) good against single large bursts of magic damage. However, they are in general weak against sustained magic damage (see: Krosus, Star Augur), since so much of mitigation is based around avoiding large portions of autoattacks to avoid overfilling stagger. This is where the concern lies. For clarity, that this was a concern before these changes - the shift from stagger to more baseline mitigation simply put it more in the spotlight.

- 3x duration is... well, better than 2x. I'm willing to test it, but I can not imagine a world where I won't say "that's still too short". 5-6x (~45sec) seems the minimum where we won't be wasting charges while actively tanking.
04/03/2017 12:23 PMPosted by Celestalon

Magic DR
We've talked about having armor and potentially HP as tuning knobs to use. We also have the % of Stagger that applies to Magic to use. All of the changes we're discussing in this thread are for mechanical and playstyle reasons, and then tuning is a separate (but big and important) issue. Just to set expectations, Brewmasters with Mystic Vitality are currently seen as extremely strong against Magic damage, sometimes overpowered. Guardian Druids are also overpowered against Magic damage, and that will be adjusted as well.

[/quote]

Brewmaster is OP on Magic Damage? At most we can stagger 63% (HT+Mystic Vitality) magic damage from magic attacks. Bear Druids can reduce, completely reduce, all damage by 80%. Stagger and ISB don't negate damage. Why fix what isn't broken? Are we getting Diffuse magic back to compensate for not having the ability to cope with magic damage? It's not like Brewmaster has self healing. No I don't count Gift of the Ox as self healing. When running M+ or even world content I have to rely on Healing Elixirs for self healing.

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