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  1. #1

    Relative lack of concern over big Invocation nerf in 5.2

    I see a lot of discussion about the new tier bonuses, scorch-weaving demise, and the weird buff/nerf of frost with the frostbolt change.

    These are all important, but as someone that enjoys raiding as frost I'm just appalled at the TEN PERCENT nerf to the Invocation buff - a buff that is up >90% of the time. The direct changes to frost proposed for 5.2 may end canceling each other out, but this still remains a huge nerf for frost. I use it successfully in nearly every fight I can run the frost spec on. If the new, shorter cast Invocation were to go live today I would take a huge hit in damage.

    For a while now Blizzard has attempted to make Frost more viable for PVE. If you look at where frost is right now (near the bottom) I just can't see how they can figure this won't drop this spec even further. Why isn't this coming up more in the conversation?

  2. #2
    It's not a 10% nerf, because you need to spend less time casting it (and thus not casting other spells) as the cast time has decreased and duration increased.
    It's still a nerf but it's closer to the region of 2%.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Imnick View Post
    It's not a 10% nerf, because you need to spend less time casting it (and thus not casting other spells) as the cast time has decreased and duration increased.
    It's still a nerf but it's closer to the region of 2%.
    I see. Is that number just a guess or has it been calculated from a simulation?

    If it really is that small I'd be a bit relieved.

  4. #4
    if you actually read what the change was, and not just 25%--->15% and went ZOMG HUGE NERF NOT READING THE REST, you know that its a very very minimul nerf and this thread wouldnt exist

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Grogfoot View Post
    I see. Is that number just a guess or has it been calculated from a simulation?

    If it really is that small I'd be a bit relieved.
    There has been many calculations, I cant really remember from the top of my head right now. But the issue basicly comes with pre-casting evocation and haste scaling.. So longer the fight goes closer the new invocation comes. The exact difference though is kinda hard to calculate, cause for different specs its different numbers. Like for fire with pre-evocation and start hero with AT/PoM/Pyro macro the invocation nerf will hit a lot harder than for frost, and for arcane the new invoc seems to be a buff.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by holycrapfour View Post
    if you actually read what the change was, and not just 25%--->15% and went ZOMG HUGE NERF NOT READING THE REST, you know that its a very very minimul nerf and this thread wouldnt exist
    If you hadn't had the impulse to just add a dickish reply, would your post still exist?

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-11 at 03:03 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgreenthump View Post
    So longer the fight goes closer the new invocation comes. The exact difference though is kinda hard to calculate, cause for different specs its different numbers. Like for fire with pre-evocation and start hero with AT/PoM/Pyro macro the invocation nerf will hit a lot harder than for frost, and for arcane the new invoc seems to be a buff.
    This makes a lot of sense now; thanks a lot for the replies. (Feeling better)

  7. #7
    From simulation, it is about a 4% nerf for frost. That's fairly substantial.

  8. #8
    On a six minute fight;

    25% damage for 40 seconds, 6 second cast time
    First 40 seconds are free
    7 Evocations required for full fight duration (overruns by 2 seconds)
    318 seconds of 125% damage, 42 seconds of 0% damage
    88% uptime

    125 * 0.88 = 110% damage

    15% damage for 60 seconds, 3 second cast time
    First 60 seconds are free
    5 Evocations required for full fight duration (overruns by 15 seconds)
    345 seconds of 115% damage, 15 seconds of 0% damage
    95% uptime

    115 * 0.95 = 109% damage


    The gap is increased slightly by the fact that original evocate scales better with Haste, Frost's best stat, but it does not widen all that much.
    The longer the fight is, the more we favour a shorter evocation.
    Last edited by Imnick; 2013-01-12 at 01:16 AM.

  9. #9
    Most Mages with the knowledge of how this stuff works went Arcane. The change to Invocation gives Arcane a new tool, it'll actually be a viable option now. For Fire or Frost its not really a "minimal nerf". Its actually a pretty sizeable nerf.

    Let's look at the basics of the new invocation vs. the old invocation. The old invocation lasts 40s and has a 6s cast time. The average mage raid buffed should have around 15% haste, much more if they're frost. The new invocation lasts 60s and has a 3s cast time. Let's view the sustained DPS contributions of these two talents side by side:

    40s/45.1s (5.1s cast time with 15% haste) = 0.8869 (uptime) * 1.25 (25% damage bonus) = 1.1086 or 10.86% sustained damage bonus.

    60s/62.55s (2.55s cast time with 15% haste) = 0.9592 (uptime) * 1.15 (15% damage bonus) = 1.1031 or 10.31% sustained damage bonus.

    So as you can see, for a decently geared Fire mage its a 0.55% sustained damage loss. This increased to well over 1% for Frost mages, but Frost has other issues so we'll focus on Fire for now. At first glance this seems to validate the idea that the damage loss is a minimal nerf. But is this the whole picture? No. Mages depend on numerous burst windows to perform their optimal DPS. What effect does this change have on those windows?

    Let's look at haste mechanics like Bloodlust or Essence of Terror.

    Bloodlust: 1.15 * 1.30 = 1.495 or 49.5% haste.
    Essence of Terror: Since this depends on rating the calculation becomes a bit more complicated. 1.10 (base haste) + 0.17 (haste added by Essence of Terror) * 1.05 (Raid buff) = 1.3335 or 33.35% haste.
    Essence of Terror + Bloodlust = 1.3335 * 1.3 = 1.7336 or 73.36% haste.

    Now invocation with these 3 factors:
    Bloodlust only:
    40s/43.03s = 0.9296 * 1.25 = 1.1620 or 16.20% damage bonus for Invocation used during this window.
    60s/61.515s = 0.9754 * 1.15 = 1.1217 or 12.17% damage bonus

    Essence of Terror only:
    40s/44s = 0.909 * 1.25 = 1.1364 or 13.64% damage bonus
    60s/62s = 0.9677 * 1.15 = 1.1129 or 11.29% damage bonus

    Bloodlust + Essence of Terror:
    40s/41.6s = 0.9615 * 1.25 = 1.2019 or 20.19% damage bonus
    60/61s (hit the GCD cap) = 0.9836 * 1.15 = 1.1311 or 13.11% damage bonus.

    So what we can see from these windows is that an Invocation used during a bloodlust sees a 4.03% damage loss, during an Essence of Terror proc sees a 2.35% damage loss, and done during both sees a 7.08% damage loss. So just looking at the haste interactions from normal raid mechanics we can see that the damage loss moving to the new Invocation is significantly larger than the 0.55%. But now, is THIS the whole picture? Again, no.

    Haste interactions aren't the only burst windows a mage uses. Let's look at Combustion. Going over several H-Feng WoL parses it looks like 15% combustion damage is about typical for a post-nerf Fire mage. Every combustion is going to be 10% weaker now. 0.15 * 0.9 = 0.135. 0.15 - 0.135 = 0.015 or 1.5% damage loss. So factoring in just the combustion damage with the sustained loss, not taking the haste interactions into considerations a decently geared Fire mage is going to see a minimum 2% damage loss, significantly greater on any Fire where combustion could have been used to cleave to other targets. But is this the whole story? Again no. Combustion is just 1 of several burst windows. Potion of the Jade Serpent, Light of the Cosmos, Alter Time, Lightning Lash Totem, these are all burst windows that base their damage on DPET not DPS seeing their damage reduced individually by 10%. But these burst windows also interact with each other, so while they are individually reduced by 10%, any time they are used together they collectively reduce damage by greater than 10% because there are multiple damage reductions in play.

    What's the actual net damage loss? No one knows. The simcraft mage modules have been broken since the start of MoP. Its more than 2%, probably closer to 5% because the uptime of things like Jade Spirit, Essence of Terror, Light of the Cosmos have about 40%+ uptimes and are regularly up at the same time and are used during Combustion increasing the damage loss much larger on just the combustion windows by much larger than just 10%. This may not sound like a serious nerf, but Fire and Frost are already struggling to compete with other DPS specs. According to Raidbots Normal mode Fire and Frost are in the bottom 5 of all DPS specs based on Spec Score (which controls for gimmick fights), including hybrids. Even on heroic mode which lacks parses for ToES and 3 of the fights in HoF Fire is barely middle of the pack while Frost is the bottom of all parses according to spec score. These are two specs that weren't in need of a nerf, and they're getting one anyway.

  10. #10
    The first thing i said when hitting level 90 and having to play with invocation was that they should make it weaker but last longer. Now also the casttime is decresed which makes it a lot easier to use because 6sec evocations were really annoying on progressfights with lots of random movement... having to interrupt an evocation after 4 seconds hurt so bad.

    Even when its a very small nerf in theory i even think that its a buff in reality and the most important thing is that its a lot more enjoyable to use.

    In the end its definately a good change so why be angry about it?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Liebchen View Post
    The first thing i said when hitting level 90 and having to play with invocation was that they should make it weaker but last longer. Now also the casttime is decresed which makes it a lot easier to use because 6sec evocations were really annoying on progressfights with lots of random movement... having to interrupt an evocation after 4 seconds hurt so bad.

    Even when its a very small nerf in theory i even think that its a buff in reality and the most important thing is that its a lot more enjoyable to use.

    In the end its definately a good change so why be angry about it?
    Only boss that I can see this being a buff atm for me, is Sha of fear 10 man, On every other fight I can fit an evocation every 40 seconds quite reliably, So for me personally its a HUGE nerf.. Now haven't actually seen any but the council fight from 5.2 and even there you could fit the longer evocation unless the charge was coming to you.

  12. #12
    It's not a "HUGE" nerf for you because it's a huge nerf for nobody at all.
    It's a very small one.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Imnick View Post
    On a six minute fight;

    25% damage for 40 seconds, 6 second cast time
    First 40 seconds are free
    7 Evocations required for full fight duration (overruns by 2 seconds)
    318 seconds of 125% damage, 42 seconds of 0% damage
    0.88% uptime

    125 * 0.88 = 110% damage

    15% damage for 60 seconds, 3 second cast time
    First 60 seconds are free
    5 Evocations required for full fight duration (overruns by 15 seconds)
    345 seconds of 115% damage, 15 seconds of 0% damage
    0.95% uptime

    115 * 0.95 = 109% damage


    The gap is increased slightly by the fact that original evocate scales better with Haste, Frost's best stat, but it does not widen all that much.
    The longer the fight is, the more we favour a shorter evocation.
    Excellent, thanks for posting that!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Imnick View Post
    It's not a "HUGE" nerf for you because it's a huge nerf for nobody at all.
    It's a very small one.
    I guess its abt what 1 considers to be huge, 2% for me, is like 2.5k dps so yee gg, but as its most likely going to be more towards 3-4% on patchwerk for fire so its up to 5k dps loss compared to live..

  15. #15
    It's an even smaller nerf for Fire than it is for Frost because Fire doesn't drip with quite so much haste.

  16. #16
    This is just my perception, and not based on math, but I would think in a practical sense it may actually wash out when you think about the times when you have had to invocate when you would rather be dpsing, for whatever reason. I think the extra time given and shorter time needed is really going to help line up vulnerability, transitions, etc, for more effective use of the buff.

  17. #17
    They are doing anything possible to reduce the burst of this 'burst class' for pvp reasons. However, they are also attempting to balance this with frost being the weakest spec for pve. If you like frost for pve I wouldn't be too worried. If you like frost for pvp expect a bit of a downgrade.

  18. #18
    The Patient elpadrino293's Avatar
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    *corrected, i wasn't factoring in the downtime spent channeling. all of my intervals were 40 rather than just the first being 40 and then 46 thereafter.

    even considering the improvement in time spent DPSing vs. time spent evocating, we will be losing 8% of our damage over time effects (115/125=.92), given that before and after the change, there was 100% up time on Invoker's Energy and the DoTs to begin with, which quite frankly is the goal. Correct me if i am wrong, but we Fire Mages will not be casting any additional Living Bombs or Combustions given these changes will we? and although we will have a slightly higher Ignite DoT up time, the Ignite itself will be for 8% less damage which will lower our Combustion damage will it not? and there might possibly be a slight increase Pyroblast DoT up time, if any at all due to hard casting Pyroblast to keep the DoT ticking, but that too will also be for 8% less damage will it not?

    in response to the title of the thread, there is a lack of concern because it is not a BIG nerf. if the nerf is in the name of balance, and lets face it... 25% invocation clearly is the winner at the moment, just roll with it please, go purchase some Johnson's & Johnson's if you must. i see it as an 8% loss to damage done, in return for 7-8% more time spent DPSing rather than evocating
    Last edited by elpadrino293; 2013-01-12 at 12:15 PM.

  19. #19
    I did that calculation several times and eventually just ended up writing down in Notepad to make sure I got it right.
    Times displayed are for when the evocation has finished. Obviously you wouldn't start it at 46 seconds!

    0 PULL
    40

    46 EVOCATE 1
    86

    92 EVOCATE 2
    132

    138 EVOCATE 3
    178

    184 EVOCATE 4
    224

    230 EVOCATE 5
    270

    276 EVOCATE 6
    316

    322 EVOCATE 7
    362

    Seven Evocations
    The one pre-pull isn't counted because that is not time you could spend DPSing!
    Last edited by Imnick; 2013-01-12 at 11:23 AM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Imnick View Post
    On a six minute fight;

    25% damage for 40 seconds, 6 second cast time
    First 40 seconds are free
    7 Evocations required for full fight duration (overruns by 2 seconds)
    318 seconds of 125% damage, 42 seconds of 0% damage
    88% uptime

    125 * 0.88 = 110% damage

    15% damage for 60 seconds, 3 second cast time
    First 60 seconds are free
    5 Evocations required for full fight duration (overruns by 15 seconds)
    345 seconds of 115% damage, 15 seconds of 0% damage
    95% uptime

    115 * 0.95 = 109% damage


    The gap is increased slightly by the fact that original evocate scales better with Haste, Frost's best stat, but it does not widen all that much.
    The longer the fight is, the more we favour a shorter evocation.

    You cannot calculate it like that.. You are disregarding the fact that the first 40 seconds of a fight is a disproportionately larger component of your total dps than any other 40 second segment. Depending on how fast your guild down bosses it can be a very severe nerf for Fire..

    Also your last statement is false.. its not the longer the fight the more mages favour the faster evo... The evo nerf becomes less severe the longer the fight goes on, but it will never be a dps gain especially not in T15 gear when we gain more haste..

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