Brewmasters in 7.2.5

Legion Class Development
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03/31/2017 07:18 PMPosted by Serenerivers
What exactly do you mean by a cap on how much damage can be staggered? Is there a maximum amount of damage that is allowed to be in the stagger dot? Or does each attack have a maximum amount that can be absorbed from it and added to the stagger dot? This is hugely important to know.


There will be a maximum amount of total damage that you can have banked in your Stagger DoT. Any overflow beyond that will continue through to your health.

03/31/2017 07:20 PMPosted by Fluddinatah
I personally love the way Blackout Strike fits into the rotation, especially with Blackout Combo.


And you're not alone; we recognize that there are many Brewmasters who love Blackout Combo, and have Haste in the right thresholds to make it flow reasonably well. One of the things of utmost importance to us with this rotation change is that it doesn't feel worse to those like you. We have several experienced Brewmasters internally who voiced this apprehension when first hearing about these changes, and after playtesting it they all agreed that it felt the same to them. In our books, that's a win, since it's an improvement for the rest of the Brewmasters who aren't in that sweet spot. We hope that sentiment is common externally as well, so please test it out when the PTR goes up, and let us know how it feels. Your feedback on this really matters.

03/31/2017 07:30 PMPosted by Daggerdsan
The ability to be GCD capped, or very close to it, is something that I have always loved about brewmasters and on a personal level of feedback it is really important to me that that type of gameplay is still available and viable. Brewmaster has always been a very high APM spec (even if not all of the GCDs directly translate to defensive benefits) so please be careful to maintain that as you tinker with the rotation.


We absolutely hear you, and are targeting Spitfire, Rushing Jade Wind, and Haste at players like you. It'll probably take us some iteration on the energy and proc rate numbers to get the feel just right, so we'll need your help with PTR testing feedback.

03/31/2017 07:39 PMPosted by Sassyfist
Please Increase the IsB duration cap, at least 30-40s. 16s is too short.
And when will you address that bears have been OP for too long and EASIER to play without any significant nerf?

We're starting with a cap of "double the base duration," but that may feel too restrictive, and we'll iterate. This is still early in the process (PTR hasn't even started yet), and none of this is set in stone.

Cheers to everyone that has provided valuable feedback here so far. We'll keep reading and iterating.

03/31/2017 07:41 PMPosted by Tortoise
"First, Blackout Strike and Breath of Fire will have a direct defensive value: they'll grant a stack of Elusive Brawler (per target hit, in Breath of Fire's case)." -- I am sure you are well aware this will push Mastery's value through the roof.

That's certainly possible, and we'll adjust stat tuning if needed. Again, this is intended to be performance-neutral, so we're not trying to buff OR nerf overall performance here.
03/31/2017 06:45 PMPosted by Celestalon

Offensive Abilities
Rotationally, Brewmasters are using a mixture of offensive and defensive buttons. Some parts of this worked well, such as Keg Smash and Tiger Palm granting partial charges of your Brews. One part that hasn't worked out well is in Blackout Strike and Breath of Fire. Having no direct defensive value, or interaction with other abilities in your rotation, they end up feeling disconnected, and leave you wondering why you're hitting them.


I wholeheartedly disagree in regards to Breath of Fire, it's no more burdensome than mashing Blood Boil or Thunderclap.

As for Blackout Strike, it only feels comfortable in the rotation if you're running Blackout Combo. If you're not, it's awkward with or without Haste.

An interesting notion would be to remove BS from the baseline skillset and place it where BC currently sits in the final talent row, while attaching all of the effects from BC to BS inherently. This allows builds that use Blackout Combo to play as usual without any real need for adjusting the base rotation (whose tendency to steer clear of Haste isn't likely to be affected by the planned changes mentioned, anyways).

If you couple this with a damage increase for Tiger's Palm and a damage decrease for Blackout Strike, this would actually make the two abilities function as they're seemingly intended.

03/31/2017 06:45 PMPosted by Celestalon
First, Blackout Strike and Breath of Fire will have a direct defensive value: they'll grant a stack of Elusive Brawler (per target hit, in Breath of Fire's case).


This is great. It doesn't address the inherent clunkiness of Blackout Strike, though.

03/31/2017 06:45 PMPosted by Celestalon
Second, Blackout Strike will more smoothly fit into the rotation. We're going to try it having a cooldown, but Tiger Palm significantly reducing that cooldown, such that you can Blackout Strike every few GCDs, and not have any forced partial-second pauses. We want to make sure that Energy (and thus Haste) controls the speed of your rotation, so that that's in your control. If you want a more full, button-spammy rotation, you can favor Haste. If you prefer being more tactical with your GCDs, optimizing the timing of each one, you can favor other stats.


The problem with this approach to "fixing" BS is that it hurts those using BC by disincentivizing the use of anything but Tiger Palm following a BS. I briefly touched on it above, but I expect it would be wiser to merge BS and BC into a single ability granted via talents. This way it wouldn't have virtually any impact on the gameplay of those currently opting into Blackout Combo and would at the same time be a complete nonissue in regards to the baseline rotation where it currently sees the most clunkiness.

03/31/2017 06:45 PMPosted by Celestalon
And finally, to let you customize the rotation with both higher GCD utilization and some variance, we're planning to add a talent that gives Tiger Palm a high chance to reset the cooldown of Breath of Fire. (Where exactly to put that talent is unclear; replacing Chi Burst is the current idea, but we're not super thrilled with that.)


No thoughts on this until we see it in practice. As someone with the Orange Chest, I can't imagine I'd need this and a completely controllable reset of BoF is still likely to be preferable to even one as likely to occur as 70-80%. Will have to see how PTR goes for this.

03/31/2017 06:45 PMPosted by Celestalon
Relatedly, one mechanic that causes imbalance with tanks is that in a tank-swap situation in a raid, tanks can store up a large amount of active mitigation while not actively tanking, both in terms of ability charges, and buff durations. In general, this is fine, but it can be taken to extremes, and Brewmasters are a good example of that, frequently being able to go into their tanking with a 30+sec duration Ironskin Brew rolling. Some amount of this is fine, but to keep it within a reasonable range, we're going to put a cap on how long you can extend tank active mitigation buffs, to a maximum of twice their base duration.


This is another one we're going to have to wait and see about, but I urge you to pass along the cautionary wisdom that others have presented already: Ironskin Brew is NOT actually mitigating anything. Even if it were up 100% of the time from the start of the fight to the finish, the only thing that actually prevents you from taking damage is Purifying Brew.

Edit: Meaning, it isn't actually important how many times ISB is cast or if it can maintained 100% of the time. What is important is, after all of that, how much of the damage can be effectively removed from the entire equation via PB.
"Class Balance" coming from the same people who brought you protection warriors and guardian druids.
Not a brewmaster or anything but I just wanted to say I really appreciate the devs going into more detail on these things here and having a real discussion, I hope we can see more of this for all classes for 7.2.5.
@Celestalon Why are you changing a class that is functioning and balanced, while you ignore classes that are borderline unplayable (prot/blood/vengeance) and classes that are laughably overpowered (guardians)?
03/31/2017 06:45 PMPosted by Celestalon
Thanks for reading! We look forward to your feedback.


Here's mine:

I agree with the rotation changes you outline - Just remember that Blackout Strike played a big role in ST damage. You didn't mention any compensation for that.

However, you are assuming all those with the chest will just not spec into the BOF reset. I can assure you that won't be the case, especially with BOF applying our mastery dodge. You'll have replaced an awkward Blackout Strike rotation with a proc fishing Tiger Palm/Breath rotation that will be just as awkward if not more.

On the damage side of things - I just couldn't disagree with you more. If you nerf stagger amounts then you nerf how often we need to purify. Your changes wont have the desired effect, they'll just make us more squishy.

The changes to the active mitigation uptime will just kill haste as a stat - period. Even with stagger mitigating as much as it is, we're not purifying. Instead of sitting on 3/3 or 4/4 we're dumping into ISB duration. If you nerf how much we stagger, we'll just need to purify even less which will mean we don't need as many charges of either brew and haste will be a dead stat.

If you want us to have less ISB uptime then nerf how much Purifying Brew clears - and nothing more.

As far as Fort Brew, yea that's pretty broken. Again though, no need for an overly technical solution to a problem with a simple fix. Just bump the damage reduction of Fort Brew and remove the stagger increase entirely. We have ISB for that now, we don't need two CDs that do it and it is causing problems.

Please, stop considering an increase in armor as a solution. Paladins with shields have over 40% dmg reduction from armor and they still get hit for 50% of their health pool without their active mitigation up by standard melee hits and they deal with this by having reactionary self healing and multiple short length cooldowns - brewmasters have neither of these things . There is no amount of armor you could compensate us with that will make up for the damage smoothing that ISB grants and that is the niche of the brewmaster and the reason I play it.

Do not make my class a demon hunter without self heals. I will not enjoy that.
04/01/2017 12:42 AMPosted by Sephurik
Not a brewmaster or anything but I just wanted to say I really appreciate the devs going into more detail on these things here and having a real discussion, I hope we can see more of this for all classes for 7.2.5.


They have a proven track record of asking for feedback and then doing whatever their casual internal team feels like doing.
I'll have to echo the concern I've seen echoed fairly often and wasn't addressed -

Reducing Stagger % to more armor = even more vulnerable to magic damage as armor does jack $^#@ pretty much pigeon holing us into Mystic Vitality.

Edit - Not Availablity you numbskull Kel
04/01/2017 12:33 AMPosted by Celestalon

That's certainly possible, and we'll adjust stat tuning if needed. Again, this is intended to be performance-neutral, so we're not trying to buff OR nerf overall performance here.

When you do that stat tuning on mastery, a reduction of it in this case, you will introduce more spikyness to our HP too, and our damage is probably going to be tuned by it too.

Does every ability need to have a defensive value to it? Maybe make Eye of the Tiger be baseline and reintroduce Chi Orb? This can work out quite well since us monks don't have enough self healing anyway. Then Blackout Strike has the chance to reset Breath of Fire. Breath of Fire already has damage reduction tied to it, so that's that. Please don't make so many changes at once at this point of the game.

And you're not alone; we recognize that there are many Brewmasters who love Blackout Combo, and have Haste in the right thresholds to make it flow reasonably well.


I have to ask, where are these Brewmasters? I've followed the various BrM communities for awhile now, and I've NEVER seen someone talk about getting haste levels to a point where Blackout Combo flows reasonably well. Or at all in reference to Blackout Strike/Combo. The ONLY times haste is mentioned is in regards to Brew generation and possibly getting Keg Smash to a specific CD.

You mention the haste thresholds there and in the original post with regards to Blackout Strike/Combo. I've never seen this from anyone I've talked to or any discussions I've seen about Brewmaster.

I'm skeptical of the overall changes presented here, but willing to be optimistic. However, the point I made about makes me feel pessimistic because it feels like you guys aren't actually reading what Brewmasters are talking about, or have your finger on the pulse of what Brewmasters are doing.
I honestly don't think you really understand how big these changes are for just a single balance patch. You're literally planning to rework the entire spec in the span of a PTR testing cycle.

PLEASE, if you really want to make your players happy here and be a true hero, do NOT go through with the defensive proposed changes. They're unnecessary and they'll shift the entire Brewmaster meta mid-expac. If you feel you need to fix our rotation up with the proposed offensive changes, that's understandable and bearable. But these defensive changes will destroy our spec. PLEASE listen to the feedback people are already giving.
So I guess I won't be able to chain pause stagger a bunch in a row now. It sounds like you're trying to break that kind of play style specifically.
Please keep brewmaster the way it is. I hope this is an april fools joke.
Limiting how much we can stack ISB is understandable. There's points when we're clearing trash in NH where I do nothing but spam it so when we reach the boss I have 2+ minutes on it for the encounter. However, 16 seconds is just too low of a cap.

I mean, I'll try it on the PTR for sure, but I think it'll just lead to a negative experience for the player. Too much to track. I like being able to store my ISB to 1min then use the given time to watch my Stagger bar for a bit. With a 16 second cap we're going to be looking at that timer far more often, then glancing at the Stagger bar, all while trying to take care of boss mechanics.

Just my concerns. But for sure I'll try it out on the PTR.
On the AM max duration discussion, there's been a ton of great feedback on that so far. I'd like to go into why we're considering this change a little more. Forgive me for the verbosity (hah):

This effects Brewmasters more than other tanks, but not exclusively. The main reason that this affects Brewmasters more is that they are meant to split their resource between two brews: Ironskin and Purifying.

Consider a simple situation of two bosses, each beating on a tank. The Brewmaster is using a mixture of their Brews, maintaining ISB while using excess on PB (or maybe even letting ISB fall off when the boss stops to cast something, or is otherwise unthreatening for a moment). She gets more Brew charges than she needs to keep ISB up, but she's using those excess charges on PB, so ISB duration is remaining low.

The co-tank, let's say a Warrior for example, is built a little differently, having two separate defensive resources (Shield Block charges and Rage for Ignore Pain). Both are being generated and consumed at a similar rate, also not gaining increasing Shield Block duration.

Things are good here, and let's suppose for the sake of argument the two tanks are 'balanced' in this context.

---

OK, now let's change the design of the fight, to one where there's one huge boss, and the two tanks take turns tanking for 30sec at a time. Arguments of this being a less-engaging fight aside, let's look at how that affects the tank balance.

While the Warrior is OTing, he's building up Shield Block charges, but once he hits max charges, they're being wasted. He can use one at a time as they're generated, but they don't last longer than it takes to generate, so his Shield Block buff duration doesn't grow over time. Similar deal with Rage and Ignore Pain. He builds up Rage, and when that caps out, he builds up an Ignore Pain stack, but that caps out pretty quickly too. Excess Rage is wasted (at least defensively anyway; they can put it into damage). When the Warrior taunts, he goes into it with some buffer of his max Shield Block charges, maybe a single partial Shield Block buff, and max Rage and Ignore Pain. Overall, he could carry over some value from that time not tanking, but not all of it.

Meanwhile, when the Brewmaster is not tanking, they're building up charges of their single defensive resource, Brew charges. Once at max Brew charges, she starts using Ironskin Brews, as they're generated. Since there's nothing to Purify, she never does so, and all of her charges go into Ironskin Brew, creating a surplus of Ironskin duration that just grows over time. When she taunts, she goes into it with max Brew charges, and a 1min long Ironskin buff. She never has to Ironskin the whole time she's tanking, and can send all of her Brew charges into Purifying, over tripling (if not more) how often she can Purify, providing a sizable gain over her Warrior counterpart. All that time she spent not tanking goes into storing up defensive value for when she is tanking, with no limit.

If the two tanks were 'balanced' in the first fight, then the Brewmaster is overpowered in the second. Alternatively, if you argue that they're balanced in the second fight, that means they're underpowered in the first. The goal of this change is to place a reasonable limit on how much value you can carry over from time spent not tanking, so that we can tune the tanks to be balanced in both of these situations, not just one of them.

I totally get that right now you can always get benefit out of hitting Ironskin Brew, never being fully wasted, and so the prospect of going to a system where there may be a time where you're just sitting on full charges, wasting them sounds like a negative. Please understand that for most other tanks, that's just normal; a Warrior that's not tanking is just wasting the defensive value of their Shield Block charges once at max charges, and that's just an accepted norm. By bringing Brewmasters into parity in this regard, we can then tune them to be more consistently balanced with other tanks, which is the core goal of the change.

One of the most common responses so far has been "I understand wanting a cap, but 2x*duration is too short". Totally reasonable argument, and we'll need your help finding what the right cap is. We chose that to start with because that's consistent with things like Ignore Pain, Mark of Ursol, Blood Shield, Soul Fragments, etc. Given the more liberal use of Brew charges, it may be more appropriate to be higher for Brewmasters.

I'd love to keep hearing your thoughts on this, and I hope that this massively-over-verbose post helped better explain our thought process here. Thanks to those of you that stuck with it, reading it all the way through. :)
Cheers to everyone that has provided valuable feedback here so far. We'll keep reading and iterating.


coming from the dev that told us we were playing brewmaster wrong in the beginning, i'm inclined to have very little faith in the changes proposed. there's such easier ways to fix the problems than changing the spec entirely mid expac.

BoS and BoF are not problem abilities, they feel great to use and have options and very widespread uses for both. but apparently 8% Damage reduction with hotblooded is considered nothing. BoS with BoC is super useful and adaptive making it really fun to use. I don't know why you need to change these at all.

Making the rotation less clunky because of the micro gaps due to cd's with haste affecting them is welcomed as long as we don't lose the overall "speed" of our rotation. I LOVE the speed of our rotation and being gcd capped is really the only way I don't get bored of the spec. If I wanted a brain dead spec I'd roll a bear.

making BoS and BoF give stacks of elusive brawler is okay i guess but It will easily over stack on dodge making it worthless to line up that perfect BoF. And still it only affects one white hit, making it seem very weak and overall not very satisfying.

The stagger nerf with armor compensation is just not good whatsoever, it takes away our niche ability and is a direct nerf when magic dmg is the primary source of an encounter.

making BoS have a longer cd just seems like it'll slow down the spec's rotation too much. Can't there be a better way to make it smoother without slowing it down? Not to mention I shouldnt have to be pigeon hole'd into haste if i want to play faster. Haste is sometimes a Terrible stat, like now for instance in terms of dps, haste is below every other stat. So just making the rotation feel based around haste levels isnt going to work if haste itself isnt good for dps/survival when compared to other stats (who knows what the best stats will be with this new monstrosity of a spec they're creating with these proposed changes).

getting Tiger palm a great chance to reset BoF CD... really? yeah just screw over everyone that has legendary chest. Better rework the legendary chest if thats the case.

cheesing with stagger? make those abilities that should one shot a tank, pierce stagger. boom problem solved on that one. Capping on stagger is just getting rid of entirely what we are meant to do.. smooth dmg. and don't even get me started on the 16s cap on isb.. it makes brew generation basically useless. we'll have to spam purify just to get rid of them even at mediocre levels of dmg intake. its a huge QoL nerf that just isnt necessary.

To be quite honest a lot of this just isnt warranted. Brew isnt even THE top tank, middle of the road dps, no raid utility, but we fill a niche. But with these proposed changes our individuality is getting removed in favor of homogenization with other tank specs. The entire Brewmaster discord is confused and very concerned with these proposed changes. it was quite chaotic in there earlier and rightly so.

this piece is poorly written I know, but I'm at work and needed to put my thoughts out there asap.
04/01/2017 01:26 AMPosted by Celestalon


I'd love to keep hearing your thoughts on this, and I hope that this massively-over-verbose post helped better explain our thought process here. Thanks to those of you that stuck with it, reading it all the way through. :)


If you're up for the idea on the PTR, maybe let us try a version of Brewmasters where ISB and Purify have their own separate charges. I know this was some feedback given a while ago, but it might help in this case given the changes being discussed.
12s ibs is a joke. As many have said. It need to be at least 40+sec if you decide to add a cap at all.
i really hope this is a April first joke
04/01/2017 01:26 AMPosted by Celestalon
Meanwhile, when the Brewmaster is not tanking, they're building up charges of their single defensive resource, Brew charges. Once at max Brew charges, she starts using Ironskin Brews, as they're generated. Since there's nothing to Purify, she never does so, and all of her charges go into Ironskin Brew, creating a surplus of Ironskin duration that just grows over time. When she taunts, she goes into it with max Brew charges, and a 1min long Ironskin buff.


Yeah we need this buffer becuase ISB doesnt actually mitigate ANY dmg by itself. we need to up our purify rate during the 30 sec tanking window in order to actually mitigate dmg effectively. with the cap we would sit on charges until tanking because of said cap, like most other tank AM works, and use most of them on ISB because without it we're paper. 100% isb uptime while tanking is almost required on the level of dmg some of the encounters are at. We have very few defensive cds to work with and for the most part we have to use our base kit, brews, to make do with every situation.
04/01/2017 01:26 AMPosted by Celestalon
a Warrior that's not tanking is just wasting the defensive value of their Shield Block charges once at max charges, and that's just an accepted norm.


Yes, but they also gain an offensive value for using Shield Block when they aren't tanking the boss in the form of 30% (or 60% with Heavy Rep) Shield Slam damage. Whereas Brewmasters don't have this at all. Not proposing necessarily that you add something like this, but just pointing a slight flaw in your logic here.

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