Arcane Mage gutting his DPS by spamming blast and depleting his mana excessively, or a Fire Mage munching too many of his procs. I guess also shadow priests forgetting that they are at 3 orbs and using orb generators like MB and SWD? Probably some others (warrior sitting rage capped).
I think the better argument to be made for Warlocks being more 'complex' is that we stand to lose a lot more from improper planning and management of our resources (you kind of said this, but from a reactionary PoV, I'm talking more about being proactive). Demonology packs a lot of its damage into burst windows in Meta. If you mismanage your Fury and can't react to trinkets properly because your low on Fury, you stand to lose a ton of damage. Same with Destruction if you say burn all your embers on a KTT proc and immediately after get DS and PBI up. Similarly, our resources are often much slower to build up, if we compare the time it takes to get max fury/embers to max rage/arcane charges it's quite a difference.
It's that awareness and pre-planning which I think sets warlocks apart in terms of complexity. I'm not saying it's hard and takes a lot of skill, but I do think it adds more to the class/specs than some others have.
Havoc makes for almost constant judgement calls. Is sitting on the Havoc CD for 10 seconds for the opportunity to Shadowburn worth the loss in potential Havoc casts, instead of Chaos Bolting? Possibly, and there is a correct answer, however one has to plan and think ahead 10-60 seconds on whether it'll actually be worth it.
Whether to bleed Embers during a trinket proc is another constant decision which has a lot of factors. Will there be a skull banner up soon? Will there be a better trinket proc soon? Will there be a fight mechanic I should save this particular Ember for? Will there be AoE coming up soon to allow me to dump embers now as I can generate them then in the near future? Do I need to save this Ember for Havoc Shadowburns in a bit?
With regards to mana regeneration, there's quite a few questions as well: Should I Fel Flame here and dump my mana? Will dumping my mana cause me to lose damage by having to wait on mana regen to incinerate? Is that lost damage less than what I'd lose by not casting anything while moving? Can I afford to Rain of Fire here; Will it dump my mana too much? If I am waiting on mana to Incinerate, should I maybe Chaos Bolt sub-optimally so I'm not just waiting doing nothing?
The vast majority of people playing Destruction using your 3-4 bullet points will miss a ton of damage.
Also, most specs in the game can be summed up in 3-4 bullet points, and also have a higher skill cap than those bullet points allowing for good players to differentiate themselves. I'm not sure anyone is arguing that Destruction is not easy to play at a very simple and low level. I think people are more referring to the hidden complexities to the spec which allow good players to distinguish themselves.
I personally rate the warlocks specs as something like this:
Affliction: Somewhat easy to learn, somewhat hard to master.
Demonology: Hard to learn, hard to master.
Destruction: Easy to learn, hard to master.
If we're speaking in terms of 'skill cap' the skill ceiling of Destruction is far lower than either of the other two specs. It's easy to learn and relatively easy to master in a good player's hands. A mistake that costs you a GCD is no where near as punishing as it is for the other two specs in terms of DPS. There are few subtleties and a fair bit of the actual skillcap is something shared between all casters; anticipated movement and positioning (with respect to chaos bolt for warlocks).
With regards to your gross simplification of spending Embers whenever you have a proc, you're just wrong. There's many situations which can arise where you have a proc up but you'd be better off saving the Ember.
Deciding whether you should save them for an important phase of the fight is depth, and is also unique to those specs who have a large enough resource pool to be able to decide when to spend those resources effectively. There's many specs where that isn't a gameplay element at all, as the pool size for secondary resources is small enough to dictate that you just use them the second you get them.
For Destruction, a mistake which costs a GCD is quite important and is a large loss. You're actually better off in most cases making an incorrect decision about what spell to cast than you are canceling a cast to cast what would have been correct for that situation. I disagree that a GCD is less punishing for Destro than it is for the other specs.
It's not a simplification of embers. I'm surprised someone who appears so familiar with the spec would disagree on that particular point. You can easily generate an ember in less than ten seconds at this point so it is extremely rare that you will sit on a chaos bolt or shadowburn during a proc, even if you are anticipating CDs/Bindings etc. coming up shortly. Once again I'd say sitting on embers and whatnot would hold merit in an earlier tier, but single target ember gen is at a point where, in practicality, you're going to be casting at least one chaos bolt during any proc. That's not to mention that the vast majority of fights in Siege are not single target, and therefore are ember saturated. The only time I can see this being an issue that you will actually experience is when only have 10-20 emberbits and you know for sure you'll have multiple CDs stacked within the next 15s or so. Unless your RPPM trinket has godlike proc rate though this is likely a failing of the player to appropriately keep track of their own ICDs/CDs and allocate resources in advance.
I guess that's your opinion with regards to whether or not that's depth. Personally I don't believe holding your burst because you are either told to by the raid leader or because you have a basic understanding of raid mechanics is skill-based or spec depth, but I am willing to say this may not hold true for everyone out there.
As for the last point, that's not a point of opinion. The delta between an average Destro player and a top one is absolutely no where even remotely close to the difference between even great Affli/Demo players and top one. Errors obviously have consequences for every spec and every class but I don't think I could ever say with a straight face that casting the wrong spell or missing a proc (or basically anything) is as punishing for Destruction. It's why new players gravitate towards the spec, and why experienced players of other classes have little trouble picking it up as an alt and playing it at a reasonably high level. Much of the perceived 'skill cap' comes from fundamental failings of the player at the game itself, i.e. improper cooldown tracking, keybinds, etc.
On the whole, I don't think anything that's been said adds up to 'more depth' anyways. People learning the spec understand that most of what you've said can be done - and needs to be done - to play the spec at a high end level. People tend to be struggling with actually performing while surviving and a lot of people get flustered and make mistakes as a function of that. Once again I think that's just a beautiful part of the game as a whole.
I'm going along with Brusalk here.
I even have an example to kind of "prove it".
In my raid there are two warlocks. Me and the GM from our partner guild (hello mythic raiding... :/). In almost every single fight the last 2 months I'm doing about 15% more dps than he is doing, while we are at the same gear level (him being slightly above). I checked the logs about a hundred times, why he is doing inferior dps. And the only fact that I continously found, was that I'm shadowburning 100-300% more often than he does and use havoc almost on CD, while he rarely uses it.
Apart from that he's doing quite well. Not capping embers, casting CBs during proccs, shadowburning his target if it's low... and so on.
Imho this shows - at least in this example - a gap of about 15% dps just because of "mastering destruction" versus "playing destruction well". I'm always looking for the next possibility to havoc a SB, to drop an ember on a nonbuffed CB and instantly refilling that ember because of a SB (even without havoc). He doesn't do that. He simply plays down his "rotation".
And that's exaclty whats the question when you talk about "hard to master". As a destro wl, you have to know the fight and know the possiblities that the encounter will offer you in the next ~30sec, to perform realy good. There are many other speccs that don't have this high need to plan ahead - and many just have it for their rotation itself, not for the encounter as a whole.
Now you could say, that a destrolock that doesn't plan ahead hasn't even "learned" the class. But imho that's kind of bargaining for arguments. Of course he's not perfect. But if he plays his rotation well and doesn't make any huge mistakes than I think the player "learned" how to play his class. The rest is aceing it. And a difference of 15-20% between players who know what they do and players who try to cheese out the last bit is well designed imho.
There are speccs where the difference is bigger, yes. But often that's just because of broken game mechanics (affliction's soul swap e.g.) or extreme synergy in a rare situation. But as a whole, 15-20% is quite realistic, I think.
Last edited by Melian; 2014-08-19 at 07:24 AM.
And what you said is exactly what I meant with the start of my last paragraph. Saying that someone, that does not use havoc or shadowburn excessively is a bad player, is bargaining for your argumentation imho. As someone perfectly playing the single target "rotation" is NOT a bad player. He would even be above average. He just doesn't know how to squeeze out the last bit.
The same way someone playing affliction rota perfect and always applying his DOTs with proccs etc. but NOT abusing Soul Swap is no bad player either. But he would perform way worse! Examples like this exist for several speccs - but not for all.
Take fury warriors for example. If you know, that you pool your rage and spend it during colossus (which is exactly the same as spending embers wisely) what more hidden potential is there to increase your dps by 15-20%? Same goes for assa rogues (but not sub or combat!) or shadowpriests and many more.
Last but not least: yes, havoc/shadowburning off targets is "hidden depth" as it is not an completely obvious fact, that using a cleave ability grants you the possibility to greatly increase single target dps. Sure, everyone here knows that. But everyone activly discussing facts like that in topics like this is by no means a bad player.
Sign up for LFR or look for a Flex PUG - there you'll find bad players. Players that aren't even able to spend their embers before capping or use them while proccs are up.
EDIT: I forgot one thing: Not using shadowburn on off targets (as thats what i said) and not using havoc as a single target bosst (meaning havocing shadowburns from unimportant, dying adds) is by far not "not using about a third of the few buttons"! It is using the buttons - but not in every possible way.
Last edited by Melian; 2014-08-19 at 09:07 AM.
Yes, I am saying exactly that.
And no, that isn't really mentioned in this guide but it is mentioned that: "The best use of havoc is at first glance easy, but at second glance rather complicated and requires significant foresight." And that is exactly what Brusalk was saying in his last posts (as was I). "The best use requires significant foresight."
And that is true. That is the part that means "mastering destruction".
To know how long an add will live during a fight and to know if it is possible to havoc-CB it when it spawns and being able to havoc-SB the boss when it dies - or not to do the first and save the havoc CD for the latter. Or if saving the CD would mean a dmg-loss overall, because less uses of havoc over the whole fight. And so on.
By the way the part about havoc in this guide is under the topic "cleave" AND only explains the mechanics of havoc, but does not state in any word, how important the use of havoc is, to increase single target dps.
You may call that a neglect of Brusalk's guide, but then again, it hasn't been updated for ages and as both him and I already mentioned - this is something interesting for people mastering their class - and for a newcomer it would just fuck up his single target rotation to watch for possibilities to cheese havoc/sb.
And no, in the tooltip is no hint, that it will be a single target dmg increase, to use havoc on the boss and highly overkill (what you will do very often) an add. You may call it apparent. But it's only apparent that that will be a good thing if everything else is a no brainer, because you don't have to think about what you are doing.
Again: Someone reading a guide like this one AND being able to really comprehend everything AS WELL as playing that out, is by no means a bad player. On the contrary, that player will already be in the top 20% of his class.
Last edited by Melian; 2014-08-19 at 09:41 AM.
Exactly, easy spec.Someone reading a guide like this one AND being able to really comprehend everything AS WELL as playing that out, is by no means a bad player. On the contrary, that player will already be in the top 20% of his class.
No one ever said anything against that. But the same goes for almost every specc of almost every DD.
Playing the pure single target rotation well, is easy for most classes. And for some that's even all there is. Not so for destruction, as there is a considerable potential after mastering the single target rotation.
Other speccs normal rotation is harder to learn, but on the other hand the potential is way smaller (I already mentioned fury, another one would be enhancer shamans e.g.).
And of course there are speccs that are harder to learn AND have more potential after mastering the pure single target rotation - an example Brusalk used was Demonology which is imho one of the most complex speccs atm.
That's why destruction is "easy to learn but hard to master". Making it (again, imho) one of the - maybe the - best balanced speccs regarding to skill needed.
Also I am not confused by havoc, I just tried to explain what it would feel like for a new player... And the reason I focussed on havoc and SB is, because managing these spells wisely IS destructions potential for about 15-20% dps above a simple single target rotation.
Last but not least: You are playing in a very good raiding guild, but even though I don't disagree, that it's quite easy to learn destros basics, I highly doubt that every player in your guild would be able to do 85% of your DPS (I think you are a very good player, aren't you?) after 1 hour. Not even after a day. There may be some, but certainly not all.
I'm playing in a semi-hardcore guild now, but was playing in a EU Top 10 Guild in Cata and I am 100% sure, that not every player we had back then would have been able to adapt a new specc that fast - even if it's "easy destruction".
It's important to realize I'm not saying any of this because I have any special hate for the spec. I played it for Garrosh progression and a little while afterwards just for shits and giggles and I accrued my fair share of respectable ranks (in both 10 and 25, though I would never count 10 man parses since it's a joke). I'm saying the spec is easy because it bothers me when players who only play destruction try and justify their spec/class so they can have some strange sense of self-worth ("I'm playing a hard class too guyzz!"). The spec is not hard. It is the assassination rogue of casters, plain and simple. That shouldn't diminish the fun for people who enjoy it and it doesn't make players who compete for top rankings any less respectable. That's just how it is.
How many average locks time their procs correctly and maximize sniping for boss dmg rather than other reasons. There are many intricacies that can be said for any spec but from what I have personally found those that can lock well can do most classes well while those than can do other classes may not have the same be true. Again this is based off my personal experience and not saying any other class is gg faceroll.
A simple compulsory understanding of how to play destruction will get to 95% of max dps. It is not challenging in any way.
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