Ask The Devs #10 - Damage Dealing (Answers)

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Good job avoiding the question about our AOE.

I reiterate: the changes to Call of Flame do not address our concerns.

06/24/2011 09:40 AMPosted by Gargzz
You say one thing then another.

We do want Enhancement shaman using melee-oriented Agility weapons, though
Q: Do you have any plans to improve Frost mages in PvE? Currently, Frost isn't considered a viable tree, as a fair number of players spec either Arcane or Fire, but they rarely consider Frost. – Tenecto (LA)

A: This is one of those interesting phenomena you observe when you do game design. According to our testing, Frost does comparable DPS today, and remains competitive in Heroic Firelands gear. Yet, Frost is much less popular than Fire or Arcane in the current raiding environment. Some of that could be tradition. Some of that could be that the DPS is close enough that players pick whichever mage rotation they enjoy the most. It’s also possible that some aspect of our testing doesn’t catch some factor that ends up suppressing Frost damage in the “real world” compared to our internal servers. That certainly happens sometimes.
It’s hard to just look at logs and get an accurate picture of the mage DPS situation. When the best mages in the world are playing Fire and Arcane, it’s natural to expect that there are a lot of huge DPS averages for Fire and Arcane mages. That might not mean that Frost damage is low, only that the best players aren’t playing Frost. We see this sort of thing over and over again. As we mentioned recently, you can see Unholy DPS drop in 4.1 not because Unholy’s DPS was nerfed, but because so many good DKs switched from Unholy to Frost. While it’s ideal that all DPS specs are viable in all aspects of the game, and that remains our goal, it’s a lofty goal. Frost remains the mage spec of choice in PvP, which is a better situation than if it were just a dead spec.
While some specs may do slightly higher damage than other specs within a given class, the differences aren’t so great that you’d really be holding your group back if you played your favorite talent tree instead of the one with the highest DPS logs. In almost all cases, individual skill, gear, encounter specifics and Internet lag will have a bigger effect on your DPS than your spec choice (and often your class). Seriously, try Frost mages. Try Subtlety rogues. Their DPS is honestly pretty competitive.

It stands to reason that the "Best Mages in the world" would usually play the highest DPS spec. I know some of them will play what they like, no matter what, and make it work. But when they all play Fire and Arcane, there is a balancing issue with the damage.

Top end DPS players don't follow perception. They create it.
06/24/2011 09:12 AMPosted by Stand
Love the answers but there are very few questions... considering this part was the most popular it's kind of disturbing to only see 12 questions answered. Would have love more questions answered although the answers are pretty big this time!

You have to think though, they actually touched down on some important topics, and they gave quite extensive answers, to most of them. They took us through some of the process and gave us some insight as well.
I thought their answer the the "responsibility of DPS in groups" question was kind of funny. I took the original question to mean within the context of 5-man groups where you usually see everyone pointing fingers at each other for mistakes/wipes that lead to frustration and votekicks.

Instead, their example of DPS responsibility included two raid bosses and an optional boss in H GB that most people skip. I figured it'd be self-explanatory in a raid environment that if the DPS don't do their job properly, whether it be moving in/out of an area or killing/interrupting mobs, that the group will probably wipe and it'd be obvious whose fault it was.

Anyway. I appreciate the attention to shaman in this Q&A, but I do play other toons as well and I was hoping to see some other classes get more attention too.
Interesting... so the answer to "why are frost mages not competitive in PvE" is, in fact, "they are, but no good players are playing them"? Really?

I raid as arcane but I've also raided as frost. I'm a decent player (in fact during Wrath I hit the leaderboards as a frost mage in Icecrown on Saurfang). I know how to play Frost well. And I can say with certainty that this isn't the case. I do about 2/3rds DPS on bosses as frost as I do on arcane/fire, simple as that. Part of it was the nerf to deep freeze; part of it is simply that frost mage tools aren't as viable. In efforts to balance PvP, PvE utility was shattered.

So I'm sorry, but this answer is simply not correct. It's sad because many of us would love to raid frost again.
Glad they took one of the Frost questions. Basically confirmed what I've suspected, and been arguing, for a while: the numbers really do seem to be very solid, including in simulation, but the way the players use and interpret parse aggregator data makes it look very weak. It won't improve on the aggregator sites until more people play it, but more people won't play it until the see good numbers for it on the aggregator sites.
THE TANKS GOT 16 ANSWER! Why did we get only 12??!?!!

All hunters want to know is if there is anything being done to make us better in competitive pvp.

Well you can knock off two of the questions we got answered immediately for being useless.

And given that the rest of our answers were about half the quality of yours, it's more like 7 for us and 12 for you.
Damn , they actually answered that frost mage and recount question. Thanks! Those were some of my top concerns when it comes to the state of DPS in the game. Keep up the good work.
Wow no definitive answer at all, just a lot of possible fixes for the future. I hope that it doesn't take them long to fix scaling issues. Well I guess I should have saw this coming they always give vague answers, its to be expected.
I want them to justify the 4.2 Boomkin nerf.
Thanks for all the warlock answers oh wait guess 60% of the Q&A to enh shamans was warranted

It's too bad that 100% of the AtD answers were total garbage and didn't answer anybody's concerns.
06/24/2011 09:41 AMPosted by Orrak
Really i would have been happier if they had just said piss off to all the other questions and just addressed the 9000 lb. elephant of melee vs. ranged in modern raids.

Because they've already addressed it several times in the past. They don't design raid encounters to be equally optimized for melee and ranged. Sometimes a tier is going to favor one or the other (how quickly people forget ICC the melee chew toy) and they're okay with that.

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