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New Dev Watercooler: Player HealthFollow

#1 Mar 07 2014 at 12:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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Somehow this sounds alot like the plans they had for Cataclysm. Bigger health pools, no need to immediatly top players up, etc. Not sure how I feel about this since it did not work out that great almost two expansions ago.
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#2 Mar 07 2014 at 12:37 PM Rating: Good
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While their plan for Cata healing was well intentioned, it was an unmitigated disaster when put into action. Which is why you can see a fairly strong reaction on the forums both official and otherwise (mmo champ).

If healing can begin to feel like healing in a challenge mode, then I will love it. If it is poorly balanced and full of flaws like Cata healing was until Firelands launched then I am probably going move on to something else like I did for Cata.

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#3 Mar 07 2014 at 12:53 PM Rating: Good
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*Absorb effects need to be nerfed hard. Lots of complaining by Disc Priests about that right now, however disc priest play style is ridiculously easy and based entirely about smart use of SS prior to major raid wide damage spikes. Very simple play style, very big numbers. Also as a Holy Paladin having 40-45% of my healing done be my mastery is kind of lame. So it is good to see that it is taking a hit, as it has been clear that it has been a problem since Cata.

*Addressing mana regen and how it ramps from 5 man dungeons to heroic end game raiding is a positive sign, as it was something they got right.

*Removing instant casts and putting cast times on a lot of spells is definitely dangerous. It also hints at their push in Cataclysm to slow cast time to compliment their desire for triage. If you go back to my posts at the beginning of Cata you can find how strongly I felt about creating artificial choke points through increased cast time.

*Changing mana cost or total healing of aoes to steer players towards targeted thoughtful healing makes me happy as a paladin. Spamming Holy Radiance and overhealing players currently blows single targeted healing out of the water. This also needs to be tempered with the fact that my absorb will be nerfed as well as the fact that triage healing always favours hots.

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#4 Mar 07 2014 at 12:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm mildly dismayed they're still working on this after all these years. Smiley: glare

Not a fan of a cast time on WG, but whatever. Anything that makes it more something you have to think about and less twitchy reactions will have my support in the end.
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#5 Mar 07 2014 at 1:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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bodhisattva wrote:
*Absorb effects need to be nerfed hard. Lots of complaining by Disc Priests about that right now, however disc priest play style is ridiculously easy and based entirely about smart use of SS prior to major raid wide damage spikes. Very simple play style, very big numbers.


This is so true. Even I am halfway competent as a Disc although I don't have the slightest idea how to heal. Just do lots of damage, let it be converted into healing and drop Spirit Shell just before the boss does its big dangerous attack.


On another change to priests, I'd hate it if the level 90 talents would get a cast-time for Shadow as well. It's not like we're swimming in viable on-the-run abilities. The execute phase is all right but the first 80% of the bosses health just say '***** you' whenever I have to change position.
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#6 Mar 07 2014 at 1:22 PM Rating: Good
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What I got from this was "Hey, remember that big Cata healing revamp that went over extremely poorly? We're going to try that again, just with more PvP-imposed restrictions and maybe some better gear scaling.

It's completely different this time! Trust us."
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#7 Mar 07 2014 at 1:36 PM Rating: Good
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Also these new cast time spells seems to penalize hybrids unfairly. I can understand having the cast time in a PvP environment, but a large part of my utility as a high end Heroic raiding shadow priest comes from my ability to passively heal the raid via instant cast abilities. Divine Star, Prayer of Mending, etc. By throwing a cast time on those, you massively hurt my utility and make it much less likely that I would even bother to cast those to begin with.

As a primarily PvE player, I feel unfairly nerfed for PvP reasons.
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#8 Mar 07 2014 at 2:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Fear not! You still have Renew. And PW: Shield.


Smiley: frown
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#9 Mar 07 2014 at 3:36 PM Rating: Good
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Removing some (most?) of the instant cast heals is a mistake, in my opinion. It feels like a PvP change, and I am of the opinion that PvP has ruined enough **** in this game already. Do not want.

I'd be fine with triage if they managed to actually implement it. The uphill whack-a-mole style of early Cataclysm was painful, though.
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#10 Mar 07 2014 at 5:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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Some updates on this.

It seems they are very aware of the many possible ways in which this could be wrong.
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#11 Mar 07 2014 at 9:38 PM Rating: Good
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Shadow is keeping its L90 talents instant-cast.
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#12 Mar 08 2014 at 3:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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That's very nice.

I'm pretty curious how the player feedback about gameplay will be once Beta is live.
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#13 Mar 08 2014 at 5:33 AM Rating: Good
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Thing is, they didn't even actually implement this in Cata.

They sorta started to implement it, but then late in the beta they cranked incoming damage up from a 7 to an 11, and then they didn't even remotely balance healers at all for launch.

So they now had a game with incoming damage variables that were WAY higher than they designed the healing system around, and a set of healers with power levels all over the map. It's no surprise it took them so long to get healing somewhere manageable.

Hopefully they don't do something so freaking stupid this time around as crank up mob damage in the final leg of beta.
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#14 Mar 08 2014 at 9:05 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Thing is, they didn't even actually implement this in Cata.

They sorta started to implement it, but then late in the beta they cranked incoming damage up from a 7 to an 11, and then they didn't even remotely balance healers at all for launch.

So they now had a game with incoming damage variables that were WAY higher than they designed the healing system around, and a set of healers with power levels all over the map. It's no surprise it took them so long to get healing somewhere manageable.

Hopefully they don't do something so freaking stupid this time around as crank up mob damage in the final leg of beta.


See, thisis why I'm on the fence about this.

I have horrible memories of 4.0 Tol Barad and how I had to put Mending on my weapon, I had to use Seal of INSIGHT as a Ret Paladin and spam WoG (and later when it became a cooldown, spamming that AND Holy Light) every chance I could just to stay alive in 320-333 gear (Heroics were 346 at the time).

Mobs melee'd for about 9k or so, regular heals healed for about 15k and had 3 second cast time, OR you used the quick heal to heal about 30k but blew half of your mana doing so as a DPS spec.

It was entirely horrible and it sucked ***.

That's why I worry when they said "we're going to increase player health, enemy damage output, and healing... but not as much as the damage output"

Basically, we're all going to stack stamina and fight things that hit harder than usual....

Yeah, not sure if I'm real crazy about that. I'll probably have to see it in action first, but still hesitant/uneasy about it. I LIKED MoP solo. It felt good. I didn't feel like a glass cannon that keels over anytime I get 3 mobs on me, nor was I plunking my butt down on the ground to eat regularly.
#15 Mar 08 2014 at 10:53 AM Rating: Good
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Healers need to be engaged all the time, but they can't be engaged in emergency healing all the time. That's NOT fun. People don't like to feel like they're one step away from a wipe every single moment of a fight. It's just not fun.

But it's also not fun to just be spamming your most efficient heal until you HAVE to switch to a less efficient one.

And because healing is more dynamic than anything else (shields, HoTs, health caps, uptime, AoE vs. ST, etc.), that's really, really hard to balance. It HAS to be a cohesive approach in the core design for the actual, base systems of the expansion. It's just not going to work otherwise. When you have a 2 year expansion cycle, you can't be spending 16 months to get healing to a good place.

It means that every single encounter needs a solid combination of avoidable damage and unavoidable damage, that the passive levels need to be high enough that healers can't realistically cap people off, but low enough that one mistake won't cost someone their life from the avoidable stuff. The boss needs to have low enough damage that the healer isn't just focusing on the tank, but high enough damage that they can't leave the tank unattended, either.

And then we get the real kicker - WoW's crazy gear scaling. This is always going to be a severe balance issue, because they let stats have such a wild impact on performance. That is always going to make encounter balancing much, much harder.

The thing to remember is that the DR on tank stats is generally much higher, so the return on stats is lower for tanks. You DO see higher avoidance rates and such as the expansion goes on, but they don't change as wildly as the output of healers and DPS do.

So what ends up happening is that encounters need to be increasingly designed around healer throughput, without tank stats to balance them, with each encounter. So every raid gets closer and closer to the "HEAL SO YOU DON'T WIPE" design aesthetic.

If tank stats scaled closer to healer stats, they could more easily manage this.

But that's the catch.

Buffing avoidance doesn't work, because then you end up with the problem of inconsistent burst. You need to keep increasing boss damage around the idea that tanks are getting hit less, so strings of failed dodges really punishes them. And then different tanks have different dependencies on avoidance vs. mitigation, so just tuning one or the other doesn't work. You need a cohesive approach that considers each stat.

But you can't just buff mitigation, because the burst aspect of potentially failed avoidance checks is important to ensuring healers don't utilize rotations and rely on smart healing. Realistically, they need to stop inflating healer stats like they do DPS stats (and, frankly, I'm on board for ALL the ridiculous stat inflation to stop, but that's me).

I just don't think that implementing this sort of scenario is possible, at all, unless they do.
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#16 Mar 08 2014 at 11:51 AM Rating: Good
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If tank stats scaled closer to healer stats, they could more easily manage this.

But that's the catch.

Buffing avoidance doesn't work, because then you end up with the problem of inconsistent burst. You need to keep increasing boss damage around the idea that tanks are getting hit less, so strings of failed dodges really punishes them. And then different tanks have different dependencies on avoidance vs. mitigation, so just tuning one or the other doesn't work. You need a cohesive approach that considers each stat.

But you can't just buff mitigation, because the burst aspect of potentially failed avoidance checks is important to ensuring healers don't utilize rotations and rely on smart healing. Realistically, they need to stop inflating healer stats like they do DPS stats (and, frankly, I'm on board for ALL the ridiculous stat inflation to stop, but that's me).

I just don't think that implementing this sort of scenario is possible, at all, unless they do.


The reason they do the ridiculous stat inflation in each expansion is because people will whine and moan when armor isn't "good enough".

For example, LFR MSV is 476. That's 13 item level above Heroics. Let's assume for a second they instead chose to make it 472 instead, which is only 9 item level above Heroics. Then people would whine "my character doesn't feel any more powerful!"

Maybe instead of 64 item level between First-Tier and Last-Tier Raid, they should make it a 32 item level gap.

Yeah, sure "Progression" would feel slower and you wouldn't get the absolutely ridiculous power jumps, but yet stats wouldn't go so out of control so fast during the expansion's course. What if MoP had been thusly:

Heroics: 463
LFR: 469
Normal: 479
LFR ToT: 483
ToT Normal: 493
LFR SoO: 495
SoO Normal: 508

(basically I cut the gap between each tier in half)

And Heroic Raids would be balanced accordingly.

That way you don't get this _ridiculous_ power jumps, older raids' stuff is useful longer, etc.


Edited, Mar 8th 2014 12:52pm by Lyrailis
#17 Mar 11 2014 at 5:17 PM Rating: Good
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windlashed.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/reinventing-healer-gameplay/

Nethaera linked this in a blue post as a defense of the WoD changes.

I have a hard time not swearing at people who cannot make a distinction between content being poorly tuned & content being hard. Cata 5 mans and 1st tier were not hard. They were poorly tuned. This was clear 4 months before it went live and was not a resolved until Firelands came out.

It also does not address how changes in cast time in Cata, which were made to promote Triage healing, really hurt healing and killed clutch game play. Something that is important to the discussion of the removal of instant cast spells.
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#18 Mar 14 2014 at 9:29 AM Rating: Decent
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bodhisattva wrote:
windlashed.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/reinventing-healer-gameplay/

Nethaera linked this in a blue post as a defense of the WoD changes.

I have a hard time not swearing at people who cannot make a distinction between content being poorly tuned & content being hard. Cata 5 mans and 1st tier were not hard. They were poorly tuned. This was clear 4 months before it went live and was not a resolved until Firelands came out.

It also does not address how changes in cast time in Cata, which were made to promote Triage healing, really hurt healing and killed clutch game play. Something that is important to the discussion of the removal of instant cast spells.



Another reason 5mans sucked, is they wanted to get "MOAR CC!" but yet they forgot... "Whoops, only certain classes can CC certain mobtypes and most dungeons are done through the LFD which is entirely random which classes you get".

So you'd get groups that cannot CC the mobtypes in the dungeon.

Then people go "have someone off tank one!"

Yeah, like a Frost DK (one of the first go-to examples when people say that) is going to somehow "tank" a mob or two that is chewing the real tank up without blowing half of the healer's mana, lol.

He could go Blood, but then what if he has Unholy as his alt spec? What if he is DW and has no 2H weapons? etc etc.
#19 Mar 14 2014 at 10:29 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, you can't have a system that relies on party crafting when party crafting isn't part of the system.

That said, it's possible that tactics like off-tanking would have been more advantageous if the system had been tuned in the first place. Healers were in a crappy place with ideal party setups, so it's obvious they'd be in a really bad place with the worse ones.
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#20 Mar 14 2014 at 11:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And then we get the real kicker - WoW's crazy gear scaling. This is always going to be a severe balance issue, because they let stats have such a wild impact on performance. That is always going to make encounter balancing much, much harder.
I think you hit on the crux of the problem here. The amount of scaling that happens with gear in WoW makes it difficult to balance so many things over the course of an expansion. You'll get one tier where things are closest to ideal, and the rest of the time you're feeling to weak, or things are too twitchy.

I don't know, when I think of good triage healing these days (or at least in recent memory) I think of SWTOR. Resource pools and regen rates are normalized, which has to make it easier to design an encounter. There's stuff to do outside of healing, so when you can spare a couple of GCDs you can throw some damage around, or CC something (CC being both more necessary and more available), etc. WoW encounters just aren't built like that.

The whole game is very gear orientated already, and I don't see how they get away from that. It's so important to their progression at this point. All you'd need is for an elite guild to beat new content in the previous tier's gear and all kinds of griping would be let loose, which also is something else most other MMOs won't have to deal with. Most other MMOs don't try to balance as much as WoW does either, so you have that.

I don't know, part of me thinks if they haven't gotten it right by now, there's a reason for it. It's just not going to work well with the underlying game they have. Yay for pessimism?


Edited, Mar 14th 2014 10:11am by someproteinguy
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#21 Mar 14 2014 at 11:21 AM Rating: Good
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If the scaling was more normalized, it wouldn't be such an issue.

But I don't have any ideas how to normalize tank inflation to healers to dps.

Tank stats just function too differently.

A geared tank makes everyone's life easier. A geared healer makes everyone's life easy as hell. A geared DPS makes less-geared tanks and healers cry.
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#22 Mar 14 2014 at 11:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
If the scaling was more normalized, it wouldn't be such an issue.

But I don't have any ideas how to normalize tank inflation to healers to dps.

Tank stats just function too differently.

A geared tank makes everyone's life easier. A geared healer makes everyone's life easy as hell. A geared DPS makes less-geared tanks and healers cry.
Yeah, something like that. They just don't all scale the same way. Not just in equations, but in difficulty as well. It's hard to get output for so many different variables to be close to balanced for one tier, much less an entire expansion. To the point I think they're just not going to be able to do what they want to with the framework they have in place. Short of completely changing the way the game works we'll always be dealing with major balance issues with every new tier, and I'm not sure people would go for a major shift in the underlying gameplay at this point.
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#23 Mar 14 2014 at 11:43 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, they just don't work the same way.

For one, all tank stats are reactive. Your dps and healers gear in ways that make their actual performance better on an ability-by-ability basis. The heal heals more, they get to cast more heals, they heal faster.

But overwhelmingly, tanks spend most of their time doing things that are unrelated to their gearing - building threat. And the rest of the time is spent using abilities that don't scale with gear (almost all defensive abilities). Hell, plenty of defensive abilities actually scale inversely with gear, due to the hit table. Armor buffs, for instance, become less effective as your tank gets hit less and less in the window they are effective.

WoW doesn't give you much proactive tanking potential in terms of gear. Knowing when to pop your CDs is huge, regardless of gearing, and not knowing when to pop them is really, really bad, regardless of gearing.

If they were to make avoidance and mitigation more active endeavors of a tank, and move away from RNG-based defensive gearing, it might even out. That's a massive design change, though, and the chances we'll see it are next to nothing.
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#24 Mar 14 2014 at 11:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Yeah, they just don't work the same way.

For one, all tank stats are reactive. Your dps and healers gear in ways that make their actual performance better on an ability-by-ability basis. The heal heals more, they get to cast more heals, they heal faster.

But overwhelmingly, tanks spend most of their time doing things that are unrelated to their gearing - building threat. And the rest of the time is spent using abilities that don't scale with gear (almost all defensive abilities). Hell, plenty of defensive abilities actually scale inversely with gear, due to the hit table. Armor buffs, for instance, become less effective as your tank gets hit less and less in the window they are effective.

WoW doesn't give you much proactive tanking potential in terms of gear. Knowing when to pop your CDs is huge, regardless of gearing, and not knowing when to pop them is really, really bad, regardless of gearing.


This isn't really how tanks work any more.

These days, threat outside of the first few seconds is almost permanently on the tank. Tanks produce such an astronomical amount of threat that the only way they would actually have something pulled off of them (outside of the first, say, 3 seconds) is by another tank taunting.

Quote:
If they were to make avoidance and mitigation more active endeavors of a tank, and move away from RNG-based defensive gearing, it might even out. That's a massive design change, though, and the chances we'll see it are next to nothing.


You mean like the Active Mitigation model which has been implemented all expansion long?

Tanks aren't about "stack parry, block, dodge" any more. Now it's about stacking a lot of offensive stats too - Haste, Mastery, Crit - in order to use their defensive abilities more frequently. For example, a Protection Paladin stacks Haste and Mastery as her key defensive stats. This allows her to generate more Holy Power, which in turn lets her use Shield of the Righteous more. The end result is that more Haste = less damage taken, and more Mastery = less damage taken and more powerful self heals. As another example, a Brewmaster monk might stack Crit. This allows her to dodge more and in turn allows her to take less damage without stacking defensive stats.

Defensive stats still exist for now. They're going away in WoD, with the removal of Dodge, Parry, Expertise, and Hit. But even now, tanks take them where available but still value other, traditionally "offensive" stats more. Tanks just don't work like you claimed any more.
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#25 Mar 14 2014 at 12:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
You mean like the Active Mitigation model which has been implemented all expansion long?
Active mitigation and mana pool normalization were probably necessary steps in the right direction. Item level squish won't hurt either (they're still going ahead with that right?) for keeping things off the scary logarithmic end of the scale. It still feels like they're not really going far enough, but a gradual change over a couple of expansions is probably easier to swallow (and balance) than a quick jarring one.

Meh we'll see. I'm still a pessimist about it all. Smiley: lol
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#26 Mar 14 2014 at 12:40 PM Rating: Good
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You're reading into that something I didn't say. The vast majority of a tanks time is threatbuilding actions. They aren't concerned about building threat, but they're threatbuilding actions. They're actions that are offensive in nature and largely have little to do with their actual role outside of building threat (regardless of if that threat is valuable or not).

And it doesn't matter, at all, if a stat is dodge or if crit is also dodge. The problem isn't with the stats, the problem is with the hit table.

Getting to use SoR more often is nice. But it's also potentially useless, because you might not see any return from SoR in the period it is active. SoR also gets worse the more geared you get, because the chances of it doing nothing increases. And then it gets worse as your healers get more geared, because we DON'T have a triage healing system, and saving you 25% damage on a hit when the subsequent heal was GOING to be 50% overhealing anyway is useless.

That's the point.

Avoidance and mitigation in this game are based around a relationship between a hit table, mitigation, tank health, and healer throughput.

That isn't "active" mitigation in any meaningful way. It's offensive actions giving a defensive return. That's very different. I get why they want players to think of it as active mitigation, but it isn't.

If the game was structured, however, on a system where tanks were actively choosing between dodging, parrying, blocking, or eating a hit (according to some resource mechanism, and each of those had different influences on damage taken, way they take damage, etc.) then it would be active mitigation. It would be tanks choosing forms of damage, and it would allow for a high level of stat utilization like you see with dps.

But right now, all tank stats and abilities are fundamentally chance-based (in general, outside of big CDs, which you typically save for periods of guaranteed damage). And big CDs don't scale with stats, for PVP reasons.
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