Ask The Devs #10 - Damage Dealing (Questions)

General Discussion
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On totems: Buffing totems have become increasingly useless since the advent of homogenization with patch 3.0 and continued into 4.0. Because of this, a lot of raiding Shaman feel they have nothing to offer a group any longer. Buffing totems are also all inferior in duration and range to similar buffs, and inferior in survivability to similar buffs in PvP.

Will anything be done to bring totems up to par with similar buffs, or will the Shaman class ever be changed so that we bring less buffs per spec, meaning that "bringing a lot of (redundant) buffs" isn't our forte?
As a tank I've seen lots of dps in dungeons and raids, currently the best dps outputs I've seen were done almost in every case by hybrid classes such as druids (feral) and shamans. Will pure classes get an improvment to their dps output considering they can't fill any other roll and that they should have the biggest dps output?
Why do some dps classes have de-aggro abilities allowing them to continue to nuke away while other dps classes have no choice but to tone down their dps to make sure they dont get aggro? Is there some sort of rhyme or reason to it or is it just something you throw out to some classes and not others randomly?
Enhancement finds itself in the rather awkward position of being a melee DPS spec that doesn't scale particularly well with weapon damage (mainhand weapon damage, especially). Although many would rightly say "different classes are different," in enhancement's case this shortcoming contributes at least partially toward our ongoing conflict with caster DPS weapon viability in the mainhand slot. Do the developers have any plans to further cement melee, agility-based weapons in the mainhand slot for enhancement shamans, either by increasing the benefit we receive from mainhand weapon damage, reducing our reliance on spell power scaling (particularly in AOE environments), or perhaps by some other method the enhancement shaman community has not yet thought of?
Will rogues ever be able to stack combo points on themselves instead of their target? Both for mobility, utility, and the chance of getting a more interesting "Cataclysm" ability since ours were pretty lackluster?
Are you content with the state of Warlock damage dealing? We've seen a marked shift from moderately high damage output to heavy reliance on 10+ button rotations, 5+ single target ramp-up effects, and a grab bag of cooldowns.

I can't help but feel that the design philosophy for Warlocks has changed and simpler revisions to Warlock damage have been foregone. Some describe our damage capabilities as complex and rewarding. Others see tedium and dilution over time.

Would you please clarify what the intent is for our class? Personally, I shudder to think what another expansion would "add" to Warlocks.
Will you address the issues with Herioc Leap messages such as "You can't use that here" and "Target not in line of sight" when there are no apparent issues beyond perhaps standing on a brick?
Enhance shamans currently are the second lowest melee dps spec in the game, Feral is getting buffed but not enhance, and the fixes enhance needs are fixes that have been an issue for a while now, but now it's just getting a bit worse, so will enhance get a 2 min CD buff? or allow
Haste and Crit to actually modify some of our abilites since we share gear with 3 other agi that need haste and crit?
Earthquake... any plans to change the spell?? At this time most ele shamans are not picking this up for PvE
All classes and specs have their respective trademarks that make them unique. The comments about why do we need totems from shammys is fairly disappointing. Its your trademark. Warlocks, dots, and demons huntards and their neverending oh crap my pet pulled antics in groups. Mages with thier sheeps DK's rattling bones and ghoul chasin em around. Priests with thier bubbles and fort, druids shapeshifting(really miss the perma-tree). These are the trademarks of the classes. My question really pertains to that.
Why all the nerfs of the trademarks?
Locks are in a sorry state all around. Not enough room in this post to cover even a bit of it. Shamans have been fairly balanced since I started playing (yes it was vanialla). Paladins with 3 lives was a bit out of hand but its what made it a paladin. Warriors always start off in great shape for every expansion then in late tiers the scaling is completely hosed and get beat upside the head. DK's as far as self healing in pve and pvp seem a bit retarded but I cant really say that when I do a AV and see a warrior with healing done in the 100's of BILLIONs. Just frustrating to see these amazing trademarks slipping slowly into the fold of just generalized DPS/Tank/Healing.
Taken from Lycanar, Kinetic guild, Alexstrasza Alliance. NA.

Question: Is Arcane Power meant only to affect the base mana cost of spells, namely Arcane Blast?

I tested the way Arcane Power works on a target dummy on 4.1 Live. I can't test it on 4.2 PTR because I do not have a T12 4-set bonus. However, I am drawing the inference that it works the same way Arcane Power works on live servers except in reverse.

Currently, 4.1 Live Arcane Power increases the mana cost of AB (4 stacked) by 87 mana.

This number is derived from the base mana cost of Arcane Blast which is 870 mana.

(870 x 10% = 87 more mana)

When Arcane Blast is 4 stacked, it costs A LOT more to cast than 870 mana, in fact it costs:

6090 mana to cast ABx4 WITHOUT Arcane Power
6177 mana to cast ABx4 WITH Arcane Power

Therefore, I can only assume in 4.2 the 4-set bonus for Arcane Mage will reduce the cost of this spell by 87 mana while active.

Please note, this spell has a 90 second cooldown and is only active for 15 seconds when cast.

This means if Arcane Blastx4 has a 1.3 second cast time with raid buffs, we can probably cast it 11 times while Arcane Power is active for 15 seconds, provided we cast only 4 stacked AB's while AP is up.

During the course of a 10 minute raid encounter, we might manage to cast Arcane Power 6 times.

6 AP uses x 11 AB's x 87 mana x 2 (since we are no longer penalized 10%) =

11,484 mana saved


FYI, Blizzard....

Casting 1 Arcane blast (4 stacked) costs 6090 mana. That means over a 10 minute encounter, this 4-set bonus gives us less than 2 free arcane blasts.

Is this honestly how the 4-set bonus works for arcane? Please.. for the love of everything that is holy, tell me my calculations are wrong. What kind of 4 set bonus is this?
If you could revamp from more or less the ground up or modify a central aspect of a dps spec of your choice for PvE and/or PvP, what would it be and Why?
any plans to help players learn their class as they level? maybe develop class quests that act as a tutorial? mabe even something arround the lines of Ancient Petrified Leaf for hunters?
In tier 11 the minimum range requirement for hunters was relaxed on certain encounters where I presume it was deemed to be too much of a handicap. What is preventing the "backstab" positional requirement for rogues and druids from receiving a similar treatment?
With the PTR Change: Soul Fire is now available at level 20, down from level 54.

This sounds like you want beginner warlocks to learn a clunky talent mechanic early on in order to be competitive in a Destro spec when they reach max level. Was this your intention?
My biggest question is this, and I'm not sure if anyone else has asked it, but as an off-spec SMF Fury warrior, the fact that so much of my damage is from bursts that I can't help but pull agro off of almost any tank whenever I use my cooldowns. So, my question is if you plan to implement any threat-reduction based abilities or innate talents for Fury warriors, or classes with large amounts of burst damage? I know it would take alot of pressure off of my guild's other tank, and prevent alot of deaths on my end.
are there any plans on fixing pets so they dont follow and attack rogues after they vanish? yes it is still happening.
As a PvP Enhance shaman I have been finding my overall damage low, and its hard to even put pressure out when my wolves are by my side. Are there any ideas about making Enhancement shaman wolves permanent like a frost mage's water elemental?

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