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  1. #1

    Grimoire Talents: Situational Vs Choice.

    I've seen a lot of posts discussing the balance issues of our Grimoire talents. It's clearly a pretty emotive subject, since everyone has their preference; and that preference should be "best", in order to justify their "correct" choice of talent. While those justifications are vary between pets making life easier, or pets making life harder, or 'more complexity', and alternatives should be merely considered 'situational'. Whatever the reasons though: Why should any be considered 'default' and the others merely 'situational'?

    I mean, "situational" is quite nebulous, and could be applied to any of the three Grimoires to justify perceived or genuine weakness:
    - Supremacy could be for high movement/high RNG fights with high player downtime on bosses or where cooldown management is awkward.
    - Service could be for the "Spine", high burst requirement encounters
    - Sacrifice could be for the the Alysrazor or Valithria type encounters where pets are problematic (despawning) or need to move too much to be effective.

    The problem with "situational" is also that those situations occur rarely, once or maybe twice per tier; and even there the 'situation' is seldom extreme enough that players will sway significantly from the 'default' and the talent system ends up no better for that tier, than it has been since Classic. That is why the Grimoires need to be a real choice, and not a case of 'Default Vs Situational'.

  2. #2
    Brewmaster Agile Emily's Avatar
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    I just really like Sacrifice because it allows me to feasibly play a warlock without a pet.

    Because god damn, they can be irritating sometimes.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Brewmaster Agile Emily's Avatar
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    No, I'm talking personal preference. My first ever character was a warlock, but I lost interest due to not really liking pet classes. To this day, I've never gotten a hunter above level 14.

    With Sacrifice, I can play a warlock to my heart's content, not having to bother with minions.

  5. #5
    I actually think Service was mostly intended to be utility-based, rather than burst. Aside from Demonology's Felguard the Service pets really don't offer much damage, at least not any more than the other two Grimoires do.

    Unfortunately that means it ends up only really being used in PVP, but even then most people seem to prefer the passive damage from Supremacy & Sacrifice, which to be honest is far superior.

  6. #6
    I don't mind any of the grimoires to be honest. For raiding I like Sacrifice, it saves some hassle, but I wouldn't be overly upset if Sacrifice were a situational thing. I've played a lock with pet for all this time, and still do while doing non raid content, so I can handle having a pet around no problem. Hell I've played Demo for weeks, and demo is still very much a pet spec. If anything I'd like for pets to be even better balanced so I could run with succy. That would please both my aestethic and lore feel while still using a pet.

    On the topic of situational vs Choice. I think choice should weigh heavier, even if ultimately it will be simmed and theorycrafted into niches anyway. Maybe I feel that way *because* things will be put into niches anyway. We've seen it with reforging and gemming this tier, where different reforges make up something like less than 1% between them, yet we still agonize over it endlessly. I like the basic design of the grimoires. 1 is for single target, hassle free. 1 is for Multi target, micro management. 1 is for short lasting burst (and very rare utility). If Blizz stick to that design and balance them ideally then the rest is down to player choice. As it should be.

    (I have a sneaking suspicion from reading the forums extensively since beta that players actually balk a little if there is no choice between certain things and they have to choose themselves. The community has brain washed itsself into thinking there's always a best choice and you should keep asking till someone better then you tells you what it is)
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  7. #7
    Brewmaster Ferg's Avatar
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    I use Sacrifice, always, because I play Destro (and ONLY Destro) and it's very liberating to not have to deal with a pet. Couple that with Kil'jaeden's Cunning and hory shet locks are actually fun again!
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  8. #8
    Fluffy Kitten Zinnin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xskarma View Post
    (I have a sneaking suspicion from reading the forums extensively since beta that players actually balk a little if there is no choice between certain things and they have to choose themselves. The community has brain washed itsself into thinking there's always a best choice and you should keep asking till someone better then you tells you what it is)
    I agree with this. I get a lot of questions on if you should use GoServ of GoSup as demo, and both are completely viable, but if you tell people that they just go silent for a few seconds and then ask which one you use.

  9. #9
    Stood in the Fire Queen Ultima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xskarma View Post
    (I have a sneaking suspicion from reading the forums extensively since beta that players actually balk a little if there is no choice between certain things and they have to choose themselves. The community has brain washed itsself into thinking there's always a best choice and you should keep asking till someone better then you tells you what it is)
    I'll agree with you, for a certain type of player. We've had a game where we were told what spells to use, what spec to use, what talents to pick, even what classes are not acceptable in raiding (in the older days), and those who choose on-"optimal" gameplays are marginalized (my ex-boyfriend, for example, played WoW since Molten Core, but got shouted at so much for being the "wrong" class, enhance Shaman, that he stuck with Roleplaying.) Going from that, maybe the mindset has stuck that players "need" to know how to play their class and can't allow any variables because that could lead to "lost DPS".

    I don't think you could truly balance three grimoires to provide the same DPS in all situations, however I think it should be possible to have it as a personal preference for a majority of players, with a change being made only if one needs to pump out just THAT much extra DPS on certain bosses. Of course, I doubt Sacrifice can be made useful for Demo.

  10. #10
    Seriously ? First "corruption issue" threat now "grimoire issue" ?

    Sometimes when im reading this forum i really thinks that only lock problems are cosmetics and designers should only focus on things like new fire colour or new touch of chaos look.

  11. #11
    Stood in the Fire Queen Ultima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinnin View Post
    I agree with this. I get a lot of questions on if you should use GoServ of GoSup as demo, and both are completely viable, but if you tell people that they just go silent for a few seconds and then ask which one you use.
    Wait, people expect you to use GoSac on Demo? Those peoples are fools, you should eat them.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Agile Emily View Post
    No, I'm talking personal preference. My first ever character was a warlock, but I lost interest due to not really liking pet classes. To this day, I've never gotten a hunter above level 14.

    With Sacrifice, I can play a warlock to my heart's content, not having to bother with minions.
    Preference is fine. It's when people start looking for reasons beyond preference why their particular preference should be the "correct" choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Netherspark View Post
    I actually think Service was mostly intended to be utility-based, rather than burst. Aside from Demonology's Felguard the Service pets really don't offer much damage, at least not any more than the other two Grimoires do.

    Unfortunately that means it ends up only really being used in PVP, but even then most people seem to prefer the passive damage from Supremacy & Sacrifice, which to be honest is far superior.
    Exactly like this...
    Quote Originally Posted by xskarma View Post
    I don't mind any of the grimoires to be honest. For raiding I like Sacrifice, it saves some hassle, but I wouldn't be overly upset if Sacrifice were a situational thing. I've played a lock with pet for all this time, and still do while doing non raid content, so I can handle having a pet around no problem. Hell I've played Demo for weeks, and demo is still very much a pet spec. If anything I'd like for pets to be even better balanced so I could run with succy. That would please both my aestethic and lore feel while still using a pet.

    On the topic of situational vs Choice. I think choice should weigh heavier, even if ultimately it will be simmed and theorycrafted into niches anyway. Maybe I feel that way *because* things will be put into niches anyway. We've seen it with reforging and gemming this tier, where different reforges make up something like less than 1% between them, yet we still agonize over it endlessly. I like the basic design of the grimoires. 1 is for single target, hassle free. 1 is for Multi target, micro management. 1 is for short lasting burst (and very rare utility). If Blizz stick to that design and balance them ideally then the rest is down to player choice. As it should be.

    (I have a sneaking suspicion from reading the forums extensively since beta that players actually balk a little if there is no choice between certain things and they have to choose themselves. The community has brain washed itsself into thinking there's always a best choice and you should keep asking till someone better then you tells you what it is)
    I especially agree with this last part. Because there's always been a 'best' or 'default', they seem to loose track of the idea of preferential choice and as soon as it's put in front of them they come up with all kinds of reasons why that choice shouldn't be there and that their preference should be best for whatever reason.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by kandalanu View Post
    Seriously ? First "corruption issue" threat now "grimoire issue" ?

    Sometimes when im reading this forum i really thinks that only lock problems are cosmetics and designers should only focus on things like new fire colour or new touch of chaos look.
    I think this thread is very much about the technical fighting part of warlocks as much as the cosmetic/Lore side of the spectrum, or at least intended to be. And it would in fact have been even more about that if you'd actually made a post with that concern in mind, instead of posting an off topic message lamenting the lack of serious technical discussion. I suggest that if you post in a thread you post on topic next time.
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  14. #14
    I was always under the impression that Blizzard's intention for the new talent system was to change the talent based on the fight.

    Now a class I play where this worked out pretty well for was Mages, where you would use all 3 bombs throughout the tier.

    Now there will always be a Grimoire which gives the highest DPS on single target, and I like that. But the gap between the other Grimoire's needs to be closer.

    Theoretically:

    As it currently stands Sacrifice is probably the most suitable talent for highest DPS on single target. (Zorlok, Blade Lord, Garalon, ~Empress, Stone Guard, Feng, Gara'jal, Spirit Kings, Elegon, Protectors, Tsulong, Sha)

    And Supremacy stands best on a multi-target fight where MG / DS etc. uptime is not that high. I don't think it can fit on heavy movement due to BR / KJC and the Imp. (~Un'sok ~Empress, Will)

    And Service stands best on encounters where dps in a short window or you get a duration of time to do increased damage. (Wind Lord, ~Un'sok, Lei Shi)

    --

    If the balance is done correctly in the future, then it is just down to Blizzard to create more interesting encounters in the future.

    As a video game is essentially a game of numbers, it will be impossible to completely balance all 3 talents so there is 0.0 DPS gain on every encounter. Personally I think it is fun to maximise DPS per encounter. DS had this the best in recent memory, where for until more Mastery Gear Warlocks started parsing all 3 specs were the highest parsed spec on atleast 1 fight.
    Last edited by Reolac; 2013-01-18 at 07:34 PM.

  15. #15
    Demo locks do have choises with tier14 4x bonus, but with new tier its going back to service.
    Warlock / IA Operative / Wizard / Engineer

  16. #16
    Epic! Skayth's Avatar
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    With sacrifice getting rammed hard (destro lock) I am being forced into hast>crit>mastery +service. I hate observer (being a terrible model, and a total rip on the beholder) and service kinda blows at the moment for any spec other than demo.

    I would rather have them all be very close in dps. no matter what. for all specs as well. why? because some like playing with two minions, some like using a big brute demon, and some like not using a demon.

    For me, I want to be a destro lock with two succubus dead even with an affliction lock using sac. why cant we have the same damn dps?

  17. #17
    I like sac so you don't have to rely on pet A.I that's been unreliable since 2004.

  18. #18
    I agree that 'default vs situational' is poor design and I expect Blizzard would agree too. But I don't think the idea of situational talents as such is flawed.

    To my mind, there are 2 basic ways of making a talent tier interesting (which is of course the declared design goal): a choice based on 'pure preference' and a choice based on 'non-obvious performance'. These concepts correspond to the two basic questions: "what do you like better?" and "what do you think works better?"

    'Pure preference' is about the mode of execution without having a significant impact on output: e.g. different rotational abilities that all contribute the same overall dps (harder said than done, I know) or proactive style (cooldown stacking) vs reactive style (reacting to procs and appropriate use/pooling of resources).

    In contrast, a choice based on 'non-obvious perfomance' is one where the aim is simple to state (minimising expected time to kill boss) but the 'correct' answer is hard to figure out. This is essentially the 'situational' tier, but imo this can be an interesting choice provided that the best talent depends on player skill, raid comp and allocation of tasks within the raid as well as the encounter. (Otherwise you can just look up the correct answer, removing the fun of working it out for yourself.)

    The key point is not to mix these two ideas: e.g. if one talent in a 'preference' tier is just plain better, players will complain that they can't pick the talent that makes gameplay more fun for them. Likewise, if one talent in a 'performance' tier has a profound impact on gameplay (different rotation, pet/no pet ...) players may want to pick it because of that and then get annoyed that they lose out in situations when other talents would (for them) be better.

    IMO that explains the problems with the Grimoires. Sacrifice has a fundamental impact on gameplay: is affects how the class feels and plays and triggers emotive responses ("I dig this" vs "locks without demons are just emo mages"). This makes it a 'preference' talent and should be picked because a players likes playing petless and not because it does more dps. However, it's paired with a talent that is more situational and has much less of an impact on how the class plays/feels (people love or hate pets, but I can't imagine anyone saying that the ability to have a second demon every once in a while totally changed the way they see locks, wow and life in general). Players who love the pet-less style will get annoyed if they have to pick Service for a Spine-type fight where burst-dps is of paramount importance.

    Supremacy is just a plain bad talent imo: "do you want cooler demons?" is not an interesting question. The baseline demons should be as cool as Blizzard can make them. Supremacy is indirectly interesting because of Sacrifice, but that's not enough to make it an overall good tier.

  19. #19
    How I'd like to see it (still)...

    For Destro/Aff:
    Sup = Slightly higher static single target, Sac = higher multi target. Destro Sac/Sup already functions this way thanks to Havok. Just change AffSac to boost DoT dmg in some way and remove the MG part. Tweak #s as needed to balance so we see a slight dps gain on multi fights with Sac and a slight dps gain on static heavy fights with Sup. Done and done. Also helps fix Aff pvp as a side bonus. Serv can be a niche talent that gets some pvp, 5man, niche raid use.

    For Demo:
    I think we already have a decent balance between Sup and Serv. Sac can be niche for demo.


    Gives each spec 2 strategically interesting Grimoire choices for raiding without a clear overall winner for every fight. Done and done.

  20. #20
    Stood in the Fire SaltLakeAtrocity's Avatar
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    The removal of competitive warlocks from being pet classes was arguably the best decision ever made for the class. wow pets are wretched atrocities at best, using outdated ai and pet-control systems that were outdated even when the game first launched. If the decision to ever make pets mandatory (ie: the most competitive dps choice) again would be a step back to the stone age for us.

    As for making that tier of talents 'choices', I'm all for it (to those masochistic enough to enjoy pets) as long as they can balance it so perflectly that Sac never loses dps over the other choices. But I have to admit I'm skeptical.
    Last edited by SaltLakeAtrocity; 2013-01-18 at 09:39 PM.
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