Brewmasters in 7.2.5

Legion Class Development
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04/04/2017 01:25 PMPosted by Vlerg
let's take a step back.

The only 'issue' with monk tank Celestalon has outlined is our ability to soak too may mechanic intended to kill player ... in particular, gul'dan fel scythe or solo soaking annihilate. Monk mitigation isn't leap and bound better than other tank (we actually take more damage than any other). we dont have an armada of CD to handle everything, we dont have crazy DPS or crazy self healing...

However, has been discussed... this isn't a monk-only issue ; every tank (minus DH) is able to do that! Hence, the issue is more with the boss ability, and not the tank ability.

That being said, why implement such broad change to monk, if the issue lie within the encounter, and not the class?


Not really. Total damage taken is a minor concern compared to how the damage is taken. Spike damage is the enemy here; it's what kills tanks. Healers HATE spiky tanks and LOVE smooth tanks for good reason - and that's the very thing that makes bears and Brewmasters the best right now. All other tanks are far spikier.

If all tanks had similar spikiness then we'd be talking about total damage taken, as it might matter at that point because basic survivability differences would be moot.

Put more simply, even poorly played Guardians and Brewmasters are extremely unlikely to die to (especially magical) spike damage. No semi-competent raid with those two tanks will ever wipe due to tank death unless someone fails a cheese attempt. The other four tank classes can all be gibbed. The difference in margin for error for tank death is huge - regardless of encounter design.

If the four weaker tanks were brought up to bear/brew levels of relatively effortless damage smoothing, tanking would be trivial for all of us. Not fun, and (I'm guessing) not the design intent.
04/04/2017 01:26 PMPosted by Celestalon
Usually, we don't discuss changes so early in the design process, but decided to try it out here. That's why I've focused so much on our thoughts and intent, not the exact changes we're planning, because planned changes are so ephemeral.

Our design process is extremely iterative. We start with something and tweak it until it's as good as we can get. That means it starts out pretty rough, and solidifies over time into something better, and this discussion is a perfect example of what it looks like to peak into that process.

Continuing this iteration process, listening to your feedback, and lots of internal discussion and testing, we're now leaning toward removing the Stagger cap. (To be perfectly accurate, changing it to an obscenely large value so that it still functions as exploit prevention. If you can get to 1000% Stagger... sorry, that's probably enough.)

Appreciate it. I hope you will remove ISB duration cap too, since it's just not something that fixes anything at all. When monk is offtanking, he may at least stack ISB, compared to other tanks, who just can wait for their DR cooldowns to become available again.
If you're still concerned about what to "fix" - look at brew generation, that's the most adequate variant. (T19 mostly, i'm pretty sure you dont need to fix anything else on baseline mechanic). Anyway, looking for 7.2.5 PTR to provide more precise feedback.
Olay I can deal with 1000% stagger cap, and I do enjoy feeling like our voices are heard and actually listened to. The ironskin brew cap could sit at around 1 minute and I'd be happy with that too.
04/04/2017 01:26 PMPosted by Celestalon
Continuing this iteration process, listening to your feedback, and lots of internal discussion and testing, we're now leaning toward removing the Stagger cap. (To be perfectly accurate, changing it to an obscenely large value so that it still functions as exploit prevention. If you can get to 1000% Stagger... sorry, that's probably enough.)


Seems perfectly reasonable.

The purifying-brew-to-damage interaction certainly sounds interesting and I want to mess with it before commenting on it too much, but it sounds like it'd go a long way towards making brew cycling not feel super awkward with the ISB cap.

It does seem like there might be some awkward collisions with BoC->TP damage once you have a decent amount of Face Palm relics where you're using purifies to get rid of brews and you want to BoF, but that getting BoC/TP is worth more damage because of Face Palm odds. If the idea is to make BoF firmly our number 1/2 damage source though assuming all BoFs are preempted by a PB, then maybe that won't be an issue.

I actually spent my past few nights playing as though I have a roughly 20 second ISB cap and it really doesn't feel excessively different. I'm certainly thinking about if I'm going to cap much more often and necessarily hitting purify more. I'm not sure that the game play is much more engaging or interesting, it's mostly just different. It certainly changes how/when I'm taking damage as well, but I will say that it doesn't feel as satisfying when I purify because I feel like I have a lot less agency over the decision -- "I'm purifying because I need to use a brew and I can't ISB." rather than "I'm purifying because I just took a lot of damage and man did that just feel like a good play."

ISB does probably feel like it should be capped -- I do find myself saying "It's more than a little silly I have x minutes of ISB up" when I'm in a M+ dungeon/raid/whatever, but there's definitely a space where it's so restrictive that you lose the ability to make interesting decisions (and there's the reverse where you have so much ISB up time that the only thing you can do is make "good" decisions).

I think a lot of it comes down to that fundamentally, we'll still have 100% ISB uptime and it's changing where we weave PBs in, which I don't really know where the happy place is in that regard without really diving in and playing. In general, I think there should be room for people to feel like they made an especially good Purify or really think about how they're going to manage their damage because that feels very core to brewmaster mitigation right now -- it feels like it is *the* tank that you're rewarded most for thinking about the fight, thinking ahead about what's coming and planning and I find that very enjoying.
I'm very glad to see you guys have acknowledged that a stagger cap would be counterintuitive to the entire spec. I still have some reservations over the Blackout Strike cooldown, but I'm willing to live with rotation changes so long as I'm able to still function properly as a tank.

04/04/2017 01:39 PMPosted by Oiysademon
I'm not comparing Stagger to other tanks' AM, I'm comparing ISB.


So you're comparing apples to oranges?
Thanks god stagger cap is being raised to unreacheable amount (through regular play).
Kinda crazy how much time is being devoted to a single spec while others are getting zero communication. I hope every spec that needs work gets this level of attention and engagement from the dev team. I mean, I know they won't, but I can hope right?
So there is basically two ways to "nerf" our ISB uptime.

The first is the one you mentioned, where you cap the maximum duration of the buff and the second would be to increase the recharge rate or reduce the stack size of the ISB/Purify charges.

The latter would slow down our game play and make the spec less fun overall, so I'm glad you went with the reduction of buff duration instead.

However, with this change, it's going to leave us with tons of extra charges that might be wasted, especially with talents like BoB or Light Brewing that further reduces their CD. This change would significantly decrease those talent's value outside of heavy damage fights that require lots of Purifying (since ISB will already be capped at 3X, any access charges will be thrown into Purify, even when not needed).

How do you plan to tackle those talents? I foresee GotMs being the go-to talent of that tree unless the other 2 are addressed as well.
Continuing this iteration process, listening to your feedback, and lots of internal discussion and testing, we're now leaning toward removing the Stagger cap. (To be perfectly accurate, changing it to an obscenely large value so that it still functions as exploit prevention. If you can get to 1000% Stagger... sorry, that's probably enough.)


I can definitely get on board with this. This is a genuinely good compromise, If the cap can't be achieved without cheesing mechanics than I'd be okay with the cap.
04/04/2017 02:48 PMPosted by Sifu
So there is basically two ways to "nerf" our ISB uptime.


Nerfing Ironskin Brew uptime is explicitly not a goal of these changes. We have no current intention to do that. 100% uptime of ISB is totally fine right now.
04/04/2017 02:46 PMPosted by Faifel
Kinda crazy how much time is being devoted to a single spec while others are getting zero communication. I hope every spec that needs work gets this level of attention and engagement from the dev team. I mean, I know they won't, but I can hope right?


Well, the initial change moreorso killed brewmaster.
The first revision merely handicapped brewmaster unless a whole lot of buff were added in to patch the weakness caused... essentially turning us into druids.
The second revision is moreorso not implementing one of the 2 major change proposed...

Hopefully, the third revision will be ''meh, we aren't touching brewmaster finally'' and I'm sure the community will be perfectly fine with that even if it means we get to keep our useless artifact trait (aka staggering more than 100% of the damage recieved)
04/04/2017 02:37 PMPosted by Bearfu
04/04/2017 01:39 PMPosted by Oiysademon
I'm not comparing Stagger to other tanks' AM, I'm comparing ISB.


So you're comparing apples to oranges?


Don't be dumb. Stagger doesn't compare to ANY other tank's AM. At all. No other tank has a passive mitigation characteristic remotely as effective. Stagger > all for damage smoothing.

Also, from http://wow.gamepedia.com/Active_Mitigation:

The term "Active Mitigation" now refers to a single, specific ability that a Tank must use as a counter to specific Boss abilities. These Boss abilities are designated as Mitigation Checks. If a tank fails to use Active Mitigation against a Boss’s Mitigation Check, they will receive an additional negative side effect. Some examples of Mitigation Checks in Legion Dungeons are:

The second Boss in Black Rook Hold has "Vengeful Shear"; if she lands it on you and you don’t actively mitigate it, you get a stacking debuff that makes you take extra damage.
The last Boss in Neltharion’s Lair has "Molten Crash"; if you fail to actively mitigate it, you fly far, far away when he hits you.
God King Skovald in the Halls of Valor has "Savage Blade"; If you fail to actively mitigate it, you take a bleed over time.
The first Boss in Vault of the Wardens has "Dark Strikes"; if you fail to actively mitigate it, the boss gets a damage absorb shield.
Every Tank in Legion has only one ability that counts as "Active Mitigation" against Mitigation Checks.

Vengeance Demon Hunter — Demon Spikes
Guardian Druid — Ironfur
Brewmaster Monk — Ironskin Brew
Protection Paladin — Shield of the Righteous
Protection Warrior — Shield Block
Blood Death Knight — Blood Shield / Death Strike / Marrowrend ("recently used Death Strike" buff gained after using Death Strike or Marrowrend)
There are other "active abilities" that "mitigate" but they are not considered "Active Mitigation" as they do not counter Mitigation Checks. For instance:

A Warrior's Active Mitigation is "Shield Block," while "Ignore Pain" is not Active Mitigation and does NOT count for Mitigation Checks.
A Demon Hunter's Active Mitigation is "Demon Spikes," while "Fiery Brand" is not Active Mitigation and does NOT count for Mitigation Checks.
We have several experienced Brewmasters internally who voiced this apprehension when first hearing about these changes


Is that why there's no feedback for warriors at All and the changes are typically made without reading Any of our feedback? Because presumably nobody in Any development team or community management plays a warrior?
On the idea of the BoS change, I really hope we don't get such a huge CD on it.

I think part of the appeal of brm at the moment is the speed and sort of flow of it. Having it be able to modify certain moves (via a talent mind you) is very fun. I would hate to see that sort of control removed.

It adds a sort of street fighter-esque feel to the whole thing. Which...going by monks errr 'inspirations' in fighting techs, is an important idea. It makes me feel like my monk is actually a martial artist. It also makes the rotation feel very active which suits the whole feel of it.

I think just setting the cd might make it more enjoyable and easier to 'control' what we can do with it. I don't think it should be so high that it needs another move to reduce that cd though. That messes with a few talents that actually give us some options.

This is more of a feel based thing. I just know i've never sat and thought "Man I wish I had less of a rotation and fewer options"
Celestalon, I want to say, as a long time player of all Blizzard games, thank you, thank you, thank you for coming to this thread and having a discussion with us. I must admit, when I read your first round of proposals for my favorite wow spec ever, I was terrified. But you have seemed to really give the community a chance to converse with you.

I am very glad you are now settling on making the stagger cap extremely high. There definitely needs to be a cap, because NO tank should be able to cheese insta-death mechanics, but that cap can't be anywhere near a value that BrM's can reach in non-cheese scenarios. A very large cap to prevent edge cheesing is fine, but 200% is simply too low of a limit. I see you have come to that conclusion now as well. Thank you for listening to us.

The ISB duration limit really needs to be discussed more in depth. I think it might help the community if you could explain to us WHY you feel it is a problem that we have large ISB stack durations. From our perspective, there is no problem with it, because the entire class is designed around having 100% uptime anyway. Forcing an artificial limit on the stacking leads to a very clunky and unfun playstyle. I challenge you to try it for yourselves, I truly believe you will find an artificial duration limit very awkward.

Please remember, ISB is NOT mitigation, and the healers have to deal with all of that damage one way or another. Without ISB up, we basically can't tank any challenging content at all. Personally, I find the current playstyle of stacking 30-40 seconds of ISB, then saving a charge for Purifying and focusing on DPS extremely fun. In fact, it is the most fun playstyle I have ever had in my 12 years of playing WoW. I implore you to consider that aspect. If you feel stacking it to unlimited amounts is overpowered, then that is at least a fair point of view, but perhaps there is another way to tackle the problem without destroying the fun playstyle. EDIT: For example, a very simple and effective, if inelegant, solution would be to make the cap 45-60 seconds.

I have far less problem with the ISB percentage nerfs than many others on this board. Those are simply just number tuning changes. Please be careful that you keep in mind that we mitigate physical and magical damage at different percentages though as you balance.

I am extremely, extremely happy to hear the BoF cd reset from Tiger Palm. That is a really excellent idea. Currently the legendary chest is so incredibly overpowered compared to our other legendaries that everything else just feels useless.

Finally, I beg you to rethink making haste an all important stat for us. Currently Brewmasters enjoy not having to worry about stacking any particular stat. Every stat is useful, but no stat is overpowered. It allows us to make sure we have a minimum level of every stat, and then just take ilvl upgrades without worrying. I urge you to be very cautious, but this thread gives me faith that you are willing to deal with this in an even handed and intelligent way.

Outside of edge cases of cheesing intended kill-mechanics which can be fixed elegantly, this class is not overpowered, and does not push other tanks out of viability. At least that is our opinion. If you disagree, we truly would like to hear from you. I know the vast majority of the BrM community respects your competency and intelligence.

To close, I would like to thank you again for listening to us. Often the internet robs us all of our individuality, and it is easy to forget that we are all human beings sitting behind computer screens. It means a great deal to me personally, that you, as a person, are taking the time to listen to our concerns. We care very deeply about this game, and I personally care very deeply about this character. Rolling it and playing it have been such incredibly fun experiences. They have reminded me of the wonder of playing WoW for the first time. Much of that is because of the work you personally have done on this game. That is something to be lauded. I implore to apply the same care and competence now that you have shown up until this point. Thank you for your time.
Blizzard have found a problem with Brewmasters: That people are finally playing brewmasters. Blizzard are working to fix this problem ASAP
04/04/2017 02:55 PMPosted by Vlerg
I'm sure the community will be perfectly fine with that even if it means we get to keep our useless artifact trait (aka staggering more than 100% of the damage recieved)


We don't stagger 100% of the damage received, though. We can't stagger more than 99% of an attack, and that cap is currently only reachable during Fortifying Brew.

04/04/2017 02:57 PMPosted by Oiysademon
Don't be dumb.


You're the one saying ISB mitigates damage. Smoothing and mitigation are apples and oranges. Yes, ISB is considered AM for mitigation checks because we have no other way to meet said checks, but it does not mitigate damage like Razor Spikes, Shield Block, or Shield of the Righteous. Without Purifying Brew, we still take the same damage every other tank takes. We just take it 10 seconds slower.
With this change to a stagger limit most of my reservations are gone. I was never stacking ISB much higher than 25-30 seconds before I had T19 4piece anyways.

I do however have one reservation, in regards to Purifying Brew increasing the damage of Breath of Fire.

Was this choice designed to allow us to dump those extra brews into increased damage output when we already have near the max duration stored of Ironskin Brew? I ask this because with the High Tolerance talent purifying can mean a 10% reduction in haste, which I'm not sure the 50% bonus damage on BoF will really balance out.

Have you considered allowing IronSkin Brews that would go over the duration give this buff to BoF instead of purifying? Or perhaps a third Brew that shares charges that could be used for DPS? I'm just worried that Purifying Brew -> BoF will be a DPS loss (with HT) when it's advertised as a DPS gain. If that's the case you might see HT become a non-competitive talent.

With the changes to BS and now the addition of this PB->BoF mechanic the final tier of talents is going to be in extreme flux, and I just really want to make sure everyone who enjoys Brew Master won't be put off by these changes.
04/04/2017 03:31 PMPosted by Bearfu
We just take it 10 seconds slower.


People commenting here are wildly, massively undervaluing this.

04/04/2017 03:31 PMPosted by Bearfu
You're the one saying ISB mitigates damage.


Whether or not ISB/Stagger is technically mitigation or not, the amount of damage you can take before you start to stress your healers is far higher than the four non-bear tanks due to the manner in which you take it. In addition, the manner in which you take damage makes non-threatening damage utterly mindless for healers to deal with.

IF I survive a 100% Scythe my healers have to heal all that damage in a global or I'm dead. Your healers have 10 seconds to heal the same thing and they don't even get an adrenaline bump. This is not balanced.

If every tank was like that current content would be trivial because the threat of tanks death would be zero.

It's mindlessly easy to keep both Stagger and ISB up 100% of the time, and healers have it easy while healing you. Bears are similar. Every other tank is both less forgiving to play and to heal. This is not balanced.

Unless Brewmasters (and Guardians) are made as susceptible to spike damage and death as the other four tank classes, they will continue to be OP the way Guardians have been since day one of Legion. The only way this can be done is by limiting the amount of damage you can smooth or mitigate, which means shortening the uptime of your AM to match that of other non-bear tanks, reducing the percentage of damage that can be Staggered, or capping the amount of damage that can be Staggered at any given time. Pick one.

So far most of the posts are complaining that if they do any of those things the sky will fall and the spec will be unplayable. It's hilarious watching people defend being OP.
04/04/2017 04:48 PMPosted by Oiysademon

IF I survive a 100% Scythe my healers have to heal all that damage in a global or I'm dead. Your healers have 10 seconds to heal the same thing and they don't even get an adrenaline bump. This is not balanced.

If every tank was like that current content would be trivial because the threat of tanks death would be zero.

It's mindlessly easy to keep both Stagger and ISB up 100% of the time, and healers have it easy while healing you. Bears are similar. Every other tank is both less forgiving to play and to heal. This is not balanced.

Unless Brewmasters (and Guardians) are made as susceptible to spike damage and death as the other four tank classes, they will continue to be OP the way Guardians have been since day one of Legion.


Leaving aside the fact that eating 100% energy fel scythes probably shouldn't be a thing, I'm surprised the argument you're making is that BrM/Guardians should be susceptible to spike damage, and not the other way around. As a long time healer and recent tank reroll, I feel like we should *all* be arguing that the spike damage taken by other tanks as soon as their AM falls off is too severe. Again, as a healer, I know I'd support you in making such a statement for all the other tank specs.

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