Fix class balance!

General Discussion
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09/19/2018 10:47 AMPosted by Nyhlia
Considering the rotation is a feedback loop to maintain critical imp mass, dead time now results in low points in the future that you can't make up.
Thats part of the point in Pausing it. A lot of your ramp-up damage comes from Sacrificed Souls, according to world of wargraphs 98% of demo locks use that talent, frankly because its obviously better.
While Pausing your imps would have 0 affect on your average imp damage over time, it would increase your Shadow Bolt and Demon Bolt damage because you would be able to keep your Imp count higher during the periods while you were actually using them for your Shadowbolt/Demonbolt damage.

I forgot to mention there are also a bunch of really annoying fights right now in M+ where the boss phases or disappears. Pausing your imps would be just as helpful during those.

So yeah, pretty sure that the ability to pause your imps expiration would be a really concise solution to Demo's problem.
It's true that all classes will not be completely balanced. To say that this justifies ALL 3 shaman specs being garbage while classes like hunter and rouge have multiple fotm specs right now is ludicrous.
09/19/2018 11:37 AMPosted by Aelyssa
09/19/2018 11:03 AMPosted by Amyiss
...

Feral is struggling even on the bosses that are supposed to be our one talent at the expense of all others (low-movement 1-2 target sustained damage).

It. is. not. a. ramping. issue.


Sorry to poke a whole in that argument, but DoT classes are by nature what you would refer to as Ramp-Up classes, and Aff Warlock seems to be doing just fine...


I agree with the premise of the argument that certain mechanics and class abilities will affect performance dependent on the situation.

The underlying assumption being made by our MVP friend is that we're just complaining about situational problems and not structural issues where specs/classes are failing at the damn things they are meant to do.

Calling it 'balance' might be what's causing the misunderstanding, but it is unfortunate to see Blizzard say 'hey we are working on fixing elementals large deficits' posted in the evening and seeing an MVP imply the next morning that players just don't understand how their class works.
Maybe Blizz just needed to add boss 9 that cripples melee uptime so ranges gets their average enough up.
09/19/2018 11:45 AMPosted by Amyiss
Calling it 'balance' might be what's causing the misunderstanding, but it is unfortunate to see Blizzard say 'hey we are working on fixing elementals large deficits' posted in the evening and seeing an MVP imply the next morning that players just don't understand how their class works.
Well, no one ever claimed that acronym stands for Most Veritable Player. And honestly the MVP in this case is Metro, isnt he supposed to be the king of shills or something?
09/19/2018 11:50 AMPosted by Miscast
09/19/2018 11:45 AMPosted by Amyiss
Calling it 'balance' might be what's causing the misunderstanding, but it is unfortunate to see Blizzard say 'hey we are working on fixing elementals large deficits' posted in the evening and seeing an MVP imply the next morning that players just don't understand how their class works.
Well, no one ever claimed that acronym stands for Most Veritable Player. And honestly the MVP in this case is Metro, isnt he supposed to be the king of shills or something?


I have not been very active on the forums in recent months and I don't recognize the name at all so I have no opinion on the person.

I'm just super tired of people who willfully misunderstand the situation. If you've been a 'theorycrafter for 8+ years' as they are claiming, surely at some point during that time you would have noticed shaman suffering mechanically from a lack of class direction over several years, feral pendulum swinging between the bottom and tops of charts, hero classes basking in favoritism during their introductory xpack...

and come to a conclusion other than 'gosh these people just don't know how to play right'
09/19/2018 11:35 AMPosted by Argorwal

What % is acceptable to you and how much does it change based on things beyond the class design such as encounter design, encounter length, and multiple aspects of each fight that favor different types of damage (like Ghuun really needing strong execute)?


I don't suspect you're actually asking the question to know, but rather to challenge the analysis of the statistics in the first place. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Either way, I'll stab at it.

Overall, the classes should ideally be within 5-7% of each other on DPS. Where certain fights greatly favor others, there's nothing wrong with that pushing out to even 15%, but not overall throughout an entire raid tier.

This isn't as hard as Blizzard makes it out to be. There are all sorts of "knobs" that they can turn to incrementally buff or nerf classes on a regular basis. They don't need months of feedback to see that certain specs are over the top, and that others are trash. It's in many cases self-evident.

If there's a problem with scaling, then iteratively make changes. If a spec is hot garbage until they scale to a certain point, give them a bandaid and take it off when they get back to a healthy place. Don't wait until an entire raid tier is on farm before you give folks the tools they need to be a healthy part of progression.
09/19/2018 11:41 AMPosted by Miscast
Thats part of the point in Pausing it. A lot of your ramp-up damage comes from Sacrificed Souls, according to world of wargraphs 98% of demo locks use that talent, frankly because its obviously better.
While Pausing your imps would have 0 affect on your average imp damage over time, it would increase your Shadow Bolt and Demon Bolt damage because you would be able to keep your Imp count higher during the periods while you were actually using them for your Shadowbolt/Demonbolt damage.

I forgot to mention there are also a bunch of really annoying fights right now in M+ where the boss phases or disappears. Pausing your imps would be just as helpful during those.

So yeah, pretty sure that the ability to pause your imps expiration would be a really concise solution to Demo's problem.


Oi, just .... oi. Look at your damage. Figure out the base damage of shadowbolt and demonbolt. Then subtract that out of your damage done by those abilities. Just ballpark it. Go conservative on those base values. And then see how much damage you're doing from the talent. It's significant only in that it's passive and doesn't add what was a buggy soul shard spender to your rotation that wants you to Soul Strike, HoG, Shadow Bolt, HoG, Shadow Bolt, HoG, etc. It's just the best option on that row. It's not a huge contribution to Demo damage, not by a long long shot. And then add in you're wanting to spend globals to literally reduce the damage you do to almost nothing for extended periods of time to micromanage how many imps you have up when you shadowbolt. This suggestion is horrible. Just horrible.
09/19/2018 12:00 PMPosted by Amyiss
If you've been a 'theorycrafter for 8+ years' as they are claiming, surely at some point during that time you would have noticed shaman suffering mechanically from a lack of class direction over several years, feral pendulum swinging between the bottom and tops of charts, hero classes basking in favoritism during their introductory xpack...

As it so happens, when you change the fundamental gameplay, you also change the their damage-dealing mechanics. Feral snapshotting was largely removed. Shaman DPS gained Maelstrom as a resource.

It's not an excuse for poor tuning, but gameplay mechanics heavily influence parses. Most players don't care and they just want things balanced. (Which is fine, but you'll have to live with the fact that the systems are very complex and outside your understanding.)
09/19/2018 09:56 AMPosted by Cyouskin
09/19/2018 09:33 AMPosted by Amoc
Sorry, that's just wrong. Balance is always big picture. It's a question of what classes and specs does your raid/mythic+/pvp group want to bring.

Most of the game's content favors melee, as well as having mob health be at a point where melee's opener usually kills the enemy. Burst will always be king in that situation.

Is balance perfect right now? No, but it's not that bad either.

When you expand it to things like Mythic+, if enemies are dying still quickly, then burst will remain king. Balance Druid is a perfect example -- terrible at low keys because everything melts. At higher keys, enemies live longer enough for their damage to ramp up. And that's how many casters work.

When you start factoring things like AOE CC, you run into a different part of game balance.

I've been in the theorycrafting scene for 8+ years. Part of the issue is players don't want passive damage to define their spec. (Auto-attacks in particular for melee.) No one wants downtime, or they'd prefer to minimize it as much as possible. (There's always a button to press.) Then players want spenders to generate more DPS than fillers. (This means you're looking to create burst windows when you have high resources.)

And this is the product you get: Casters are ramping up. Melee are dumping resources. Casters reach their peak when the pull ends. Melee just start with full resources on the next pull.

This creates mechanical imbalances because these designs.

The melee specs who need to ramp up are suffering too, especially Feral.
The casters who don't need to ramp-up do just fine. (Destro Warlock, despite its low ST sustain because Incinerate is a wet noodle.)

Many issues can be resolved by simply giving casters full resources out of combat. For melee specs with ramp-up, they'd need a button to effectively skip that ramp-up. But this creates the issue that no one is special anymore. Homogenization makes balancing easy, but it ruins what makes specs unique.


Ramp up is certainly one of the issues that causes disparities, but there's ALOT more than just that.

Feral's already been buffed once ... because they were an absolute joke .. so you'd thin that they'd be in a better spot. hut the joke was the buff, which in combination with other changes was so trivial it practically had no impact.

There's no perfect way to quantify how bad feral dps is, but we can ballpark its level of suck with raid logs. Pick your %ile or fight or difficulty level and the story remains largely the same. Feral is in the bottom 5 specs for half the fights and never breaks into the top 1/2 of specs on ANY fight. Feral never gets to within 10% of the the average of the top 3 ranking specs dps (its of course worse if you just compare to the top overall spec) and is as much as 25% behinds on some fights ... this means 3 rogues would do more dps than 4 ferals on some fights for example. Overall if feral got an instant TWENTY % buff, they would only become a good dps and not he best.

Since feral's main weakness is sustained aoe, these numbers indicate even bigger problems in M+ where with only 2 dps, composition make or breaks success. Don't take ferals to M+.

Been playing since Vanilla and this has to be one of the worst periods Blizzard has ever had. Azerite traits, lol.
09/19/2018 07:10 AMPosted by Metrohaha
I'm always surprised when I see strong reactions to things like "class balance" because I remember the days when it truly was in a bad place.

The days when WoD's ring helped make Arcane Mage effectively deal twice the damage of the median weren't that long ago but I suppose its easy to forget if you weren't interested in the things you are interested in now back then.

The problem I find here though is, there is nothing specific being discussed.
Its mentioned that the "15 percent" difference you cited is not good enough, but did you realize you linked "all bosses?"

Do you think its realistic that over 8 bosses EVERY SINGLE SPEC is within 5 percent of each other?

I think this is a much better example
https://www.warcraftlogs.com/zone/statistics/19#difficulty=4&aggregate=amount&boss=2134

There you will see 11.4k being the top and 9k being the bottom. That seems pretty good.
What doesn't seem great though is the difference in the Max range. I'm more worried about how yet again, the raid and most content will favor burst dps than sustain, and especially without multi target fights like we had all over ABT, some specs will struggle.

This really isn't a balance issue though, and actually explains why this "problem" can never really be fixed.

Every spec has a strength and weakness, as confirmed on Friday's AMA.
Some specs will do better on some encounters and others will do worse.
If the raid is made up of many of the encounters that a few specs do worse on, then it proliferates a trend that things aren't balanced properly.

But there is many other types of combat and content to consider as well.
What happens is a spec is very strong in raid, but very poor in M+?
Or now that things are how they are for PVP, what happens if their niche develops extremely well in PVP, but that niche doesn't apply well to pve?

I hope this will put things in perspective a bit more, and help you guys understand first that "class balance" is not something that will ever be perfect. Its impossible to expect this, because there are just way too many variables and many types of combat.

Either way, I think some historical perspective can help too.
https://www.warcraftlogs.com/zone/statistics/8#boss=1785
Check the max on that one, and it should help. That wasn't that long ago!

Considering all the new systems, types of content, and sources of power, I would say that balance in PVE has never been better.

That's just my opinion though.
Do you feel differently?

If so, cite some specific examples of when and where with evidence to support your statement.
And suggest ways the classes in question can be improved!

8.1 is right around the corner, so the perfect time for this discussion!


There are 68 DKs over 1800.

There are 673 Warriors over 1800.

Really balanced bro

Dont be a moron and pull you head out of blizzards rear.

We have provided mountainous amounts of specific feedback. These types of sycophantic posts are a slap in the face to all the people who have put in the time to provide feedback.

Its not our job to parse out the enormous amount of feed back on the forums. Posts like OPs are made as a reaction to our feedback being largely ignored.
lmao how is that hard to figure out.

Class balance and game play is garbage atm. Don't deflect with "be specific" crap.

smh.
09/19/2018 12:41 PMPosted by Amoc
Overall, the classes should ideally be within 5-7% of each other on DPS. Where certain fights greatly favor others, there's nothing wrong with that pushing out to even 15%, but not overall throughout an entire raid tier.
This make complete sense to me, I wonder what Blizzard's goal is?

09/19/2018 12:41 PMPosted by Amoc
If there's a problem with scaling, then iteratively make changes. If a spec is hot garbage until they scale to a certain point, give them a bandaid and take it off when they get back to a healthy place. Don't wait until an entire raid tier is on farm before you give folks the tools they need to be a healthy part of progression.
Sounds messy, but then I'm not a fan of scaling.
Mechanics heavily influence parses. Most players don't care and they just want things balanced. (Which is fine, but you'll have to live with the fact that the systems are very complex and outside your understanding.)


Except they aren't. We saw how simple the tuning can be when Blizzard added the damage auras to certain specs in Legion. That's about as simple as it gets.

Those are the sort of short-term fixes that bring things back in line, at least until more permanent fixes can be applied.

Where Blizzard has always failed at balance (since Vanilla) has been in how scared they are of shorter-term incremental changes. The way the content cycles through, they simply CANNOT wait for 5 weeks of feedback and data to make meaningful changes. By the time they actually apply fixes, the current content is on farm and the gutter-specs have missed out on progression (the most rewarding part of raiding).

A new can of worms opens up every raid tier, so by the time Blizzard has compiled 4 weeks of data and actually applied fixes, they're doing it way too late and after the fact. You don't need 10,000 parses to see underlying problems with certain specs. You just don't.
09/19/2018 12:47 PMPosted by Cyouskin
09/19/2018 12:00 PMPosted by Amyiss
If you've been a 'theorycrafter for 8+ years' as they are claiming, surely at some point during that time you would have noticed shaman suffering mechanically from a lack of class direction over several years, feral pendulum swinging between the bottom and tops of charts, hero classes basking in favoritism during their introductory xpack...

As it so happens, when you change the fundamental gameplay, you also change the their damage-dealing mechanics. Feral snapshotting was largely removed. Shaman DPS gained Maelstrom as a resource.

It's not an excuse for poor tuning, but gameplay mechanics heavily influence parses. Most players don't care and they just want things balanced. (Which is fine, but you'll have to live with the fact that the systems are very complex and outside your understanding.)
I do believe that "systems are very complex". Is it your opinion that given that "systems are very complex", that the current shapshot of class balance is as good as it gets?
09/19/2018 12:47 PMPosted by Cyouskin
09/19/2018 12:00 PMPosted by Amyiss
If you've been a 'theorycrafter for 8+ years' as they are claiming, surely at some point during that time you would have noticed shaman suffering mechanically from a lack of class direction over several years, feral pendulum swinging between the bottom and tops of charts, hero classes basking in favoritism during their introductory xpack...

As it so happens, when you change the fundamental gameplay, you also change the their damage-dealing mechanics. Feral snapshotting was largely removed. Shaman DPS gained Maelstrom as a resource.

It's not an excuse for poor tuning, but gameplay mechanics heavily influence parses. Most players don't care and they just want things balanced. (Which is fine, but you'll have to live with the fact that the systems are very complex and outside your understanding.)


I mean you strategically avoided the part where I explicitly said I agree in principle with the idea that specs are subject to situational advantages and disadvantages so you could argue some more about it.

So I'm just gonna assume this isn't a good faith conversation and put you on ignore *thumbs up*
09/19/2018 12:58 PMPosted by Nayaga
Sounds messy, but then I'm not a fan of scaling.


As someone who deals with numbers and statistics, someone who lives in Excel and Toad, it's really not a big deal at all. From our side if we point at scaling, it's us pointing out where scaling isn't working properly. From their side, if they point at scaling and shrug their shoulders, that's them failing. They make the scale, literally. They can have, as an example, haste be more valuable from 0-800, less valuable from 801-1200 and then more valuable than initially from 1201-1500 and then drop back down in value if they want. It's easy. It's not very intuitive from a player side, but we never see it unless we crunch the numbers to a degree that's silly. It's simply not meaningful to us. Secondary stats already suffer diminishing returns so the value changes over ranges already.

The point I'm trying to make it just that it's easily doable, they could artificially keep every single spec performing within a given range at each ilvl with the proper stat configuration. They just aren't doing the legwork necessary.
09/19/2018 12:50 PMPosted by Kettilbjorn
Feral's already been buffed once ... because they were an absolute joke .. so you'd thin that they'd be in a better spot. hut the joke was the buff, which in combination with other changes was so trivial it practically had no impact.

Because they are mechanically weak for the majority of content.

I really can't make it more simple than that. (We aren't in disagreement, btw.)

09/19/2018 01:01 PMPosted by Amoc
Except they aren't. We saw how simple the tuning can be when Blizzard added the damage auras to certain specs in Legion. That's about as simple as it gets.

We're talking about two different things at this point. You're about tuning, I'm about mechanics influencing output. Sorta the same topic, but not quite.

Tuning can still be off, but tuning rarely fixes poor mechanics.
09/19/2018 01:01 PMPosted by Amoc
A new can of worms opens up every raid tier, so by the time Blizzard has compiled 4 weeks of data and actually applied fixes, they're doing it way too late and after the fact. You don't need 10,000 parses to see underlying problems with certain specs. You just don't.


No, you don't. We saw the writing on the wall long before this tier started. And they left the dumpster tier specs in the dumpster.
09/19/2018 01:09 PMPosted by Nyhlia
09/19/2018 01:01 PMPosted by Amoc
A new can of worms opens up every raid tier, so by the time Blizzard has compiled 4 weeks of data and actually applied fixes, they're doing it way too late and after the fact. You don't need 10,000 parses to see underlying problems with certain specs. You just don't.


No, you don't. We saw the writing on the wall long before this tier started. And they left the dumpster tier specs in the dumpster.


lol if we need 10,000 parses to see the problems with the specs it'll be another month at least before feral has enough parses to qualify.

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