Ask The Devs #10 - Damage Dealing (Questions)

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What does Blizzard envision as "The best dps ever"? I see people advertise different dps's when looking for groups, and want to know what Blizzard thinks is the highest dps anyone should ever do, either now or in the future.
Why does Shred have a positional requirement? We don't gain any benefit from standing behind a boss, but rather we suffer a fairly large penalty when we end up in front of it.

Fights with large stationary bosses like Al'akir, Sinestra, and from the looks of it Ragnaros, standing behind can be difficult and largely impractical. "Stack up" fight mechanics only make the situation worse and factoring in tight dps checks can ultimately lead to ferals being benched for a dps who can perform fully regardless of where they stand.
Back in the BC era and a little even in wrath there were encounters in which a DPS class would be given a different job such as:
Tanking: fights like High King, Leo, Illidari Council
Kiting: Fights like Lady Vashj, or Gluth
Scouting: Ossirian

So far the only Cata fight I see with this in mind is Atramedes with gong ringing

Are there any plans to give DPS classes the chance to be the key roles in encounters again? Something where you stop carring about the meters and getting your job done means life or death for the raid?
Are enhancement Shaman ever going to get a real dps cooldown? They have nothing that either increases damage done by X%, or reduces the cooldown of X ability during a specific situation, or even an "execute phase" type of ability to use when things are low on health. All they have is Feral Spirits which does a pretty laughable amount of damage considering how much the health pools of mobs and players have increased from Wrath to Cataclysm.

When Cataclysm first came I saw that alot of item set bonuses from Wrath were wrapped into talents for differnt classes. I was expecting to see the Tier10 2piece bonus for enhancement wrapped into Shamanistic Rage so it would be a dps cooldown rather than purely a defensive CD (enhance doesn't run out of mana, no one ever uses it cause they are oom).
On totems: Totems as a whole remain the only system that I would classify as a "trade-off," or perhaps "sacrificial" would be the better term. In order to provide utility, Shaman (and everyone else the Shaman might have been buffing) lose their buffs. This is especially noticeable in PvP with buffs like Strength of Earth. Other classes with similar effects, however, do not experience this trade-off.

Why do the developers like this system; and more specifically, why is it that the system of trading buffs for utility is not present for other classes?
In WotLK, you removed a lot of stats which you felt were redundant or too complex. For example, you removed Attack Power and Armor Penetration, because in the end their purpose was the same: "Dealing more damage".

However, Hit and Expertise have essentially the same purpose, "Hitting the target". As a melee dps, it can be frustrating having to gem and enchant (or in Retadin's case, glyph) to meet two separate caps rather than to gem or enchant for more useful or interesting stats like haste or mastery.

What are your thoughts on this? Why keep the two separate?
This post is kind of long expressing my view of having been a pure dps class for a few years and if you wish to skip to the bottom question by all means.

Having raiding on my mage for a few years be it in 25 or 10man groups I there have always been problems with the raids such as filling adequate rolls for healers and tanks and as DPS I never feel like I can do anything about it. I could reroll another hybrid class and be able to accomplish more rolls just as effectively but I never do because I have invested so much into my character.

Hence the times I feel like I am truly useful to my raids is if I do a ridiculous amount of dps on any given fight or there are encounter specific mechanics that a dps class needs to fulfill like

Gluth add kiting
Atramedes gong pushing
Yog sarron coordinated add dpsing
LK valkries

I would like for blizzard to continue adding interesting mechanics into encounters for dps roles to do, and although this may be hard to implement for many melee classes I wish to see far more of them. The current raid instances are not as complex as I would like as a seasoned dps and are for the most part I would say they are move attack move attack, ok add phase AOE. For fights like magmaw, and omnitron, maloriak, elemental monstrosity, chogal.

I understand that the pass/fail of most of the mechanics I listed above made many of those encounters hard but they made being a dps feel important.

Enrage timers use to be interesting but with the giant DPS normalization I don't even feel like my personal dps makes or breaks the raid as much as "that guy" in your 25th slot not dying to fire does.

I would like to know if the developers can implement more complicated DPS aimed mechanics into raids (I know it's a broad question) and how they plan to make playing a dps a more important role than just showing up? And if this kind of idea is even feasible for a melee dps?
Will there be an movement toward asking DPS to take some responsibility? Much of the disregard for the "Tank" role comes from (according to the forums) DPS being all over the map, not following a plan, then screaming at the Tank and Healer.

What plans, if any, are there coming down the pipe to have DPS pick up some more responsibility?
While Empowered Shadows has increased the usefulness of Shadow Priest Mastery, the RNG nature of getting an orb to proc is quite annoying at times. Are there any plans to make higher Mastery actually increase the chance to proc an orb? Similar to the way Main Gauche works for a Combat Rogue.
There's currently no real incentive to dual-wield as a Death Knight.
DW Frost is far too reliant on keeping a full stack of razorice on the target, and with most fights involving significant downtime or target switching, the comparative lack of ramp-up time that 2H Frost has makes it an easy decision.

Is there any change planned to the nature of DW Frost?
To say that Feral Spirits scale poorly would be an understatement. Not only that, but their scaling is inconsistent. They have a very low, base crit rate (something on the order of 1-2%), and they do not receive any benefit from the enhancement shamans own crit chance/rating or any raid buffs and debuffs. For haste, they also don't inherit anything from the shaman; however, they do gain benefit from time warp or bloodlust/heroism if they're active when the buff is cast. As shamans have geared up, a combination of feral spirits lagging behind and the buff to windfury weapon means that the feral spirits glyph is no longer one of our top 3 choices. As a result, they do about the same amount of raw DPS today as they did back at level 80, and the percent of our total damage that they make up is a lot smaller. Do the developers have any plans to make feral spirits act like other pets/guardians when it comes to: 1. benefiting from raid buffs/debuffs, and 2. benefiting from the casting shaman's stats (agility, haste, crit, etc.)?
Subtlety currently has access to very powerful damage dealing talents in both Assassination and Combat, talents which are simply too good to ignore. We can't make use of run speed, stealth speed, or many of our higher tree utility talents either, unless we lose DPS by dropping some of those.

Is there any chance of slightly reducing the number of damage talents in Subtlety in order to allow us access to more of our survival, utility, and just plain fun talents when talented for PVE DPS?

Edit: Combat is a perfect example. You can't even hit the bottom of the talent tree without putting points into a few utility talents that have no impact on DPS output. <3
Can anything be done for Enhancement shaman in PvP? We need more burst DPS, and something to help from being trained. We have quite a few tools at our disposal, but oh my goodness does it take a while to use them all. If you're getting trained it isn't possible to use 4 or 5 global cool-downs to save yourself.

Also, the scaling of Enhancement shaman is starting to fall behind (quickly now). Early on at 85 it's pretty easy to be at or near the top of the dps meters. But once you get into raiding, it quickly starts to fall behind and leaves the enh shaman in the bottom 3rd of dps. It's not necessary to be #1, but it would be nice that we could have a chance to be in the top few spots if the shaman does what they're supposed to do.

Honestly I think EVERY DPS should have this opportunity if they push the right buttons in the right situations. That should be what differentiates the top spots; skill. Not that the design of the class, or some stat being flawed for your spec, or class, and you have 0 chance of being competitive for the top spots.

And finally, please give us something to fix our AOE.

Thanks for listening, and for the opportunity to have your attention.
Do you plan to make a unarmed dps class or spec (like monk) ?

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