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  1. #1

    DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    You can skip my explanation if you don't really care. This is a long post, I know.

    DoT classes traditionally have two strengths: their ability to continue a higher level of DPS while moving/incapacitated/turned away and the ability to DPS multiple targets simultaneously. In turn their weaknesses have been scaling issues and long setup time/low burst; hopefully the former will be resolved by the 3.3 changes. Since theoretically DPS should be roughly equal among classes (as always a topic of vehement debate, I won't be going into it here), what you come down to are the comparative strengths and weaknesses of DPS styles.

    Many fights emphasize rapid target switching as a major source of DPS challenge. Due to DoT classes having a longer ramp-up time, this leaves them at a disadvantage if the target reliably dies in under ~30 seconds. Well, this isn't necessarily a terrible thing if DoTs are able to shine under other circumstances; after all, if all classes were equally effective on all fights then there wouldn't be much of a difference between them.

    My concern however is that the strengths of DoT classes don't tend to be very impressive; that is not to say that I don't enjoy the playstyle, but is there any specific benefit to this approach (this is a more pressing question for Warlocks who have both DoT and burst specs)? Being able to DPS when other classes are unable to is convenient, but doesn't seem to shine for most fights (Yogg being an exception). Multi-DoTing as a source of DPS increase is a topic of much debate; it's not that it isn't a good DPS boost to the Priest, but whether it's useful to the raid is foggier. That is, which is a better situation: to have two mobs at half health, or to have one alive and one dead? Under the majority of circumstances it's better to kill one target quickly than to DPS several equally, and so unless you are struggling with a berserk timer and this truly ups raid success multi-DoTing can be a questionable strategy.

    And with this in mind, I'd like to suggest an ability that props up the functionality of multi-DoTing as well as assist with target-switching. There are two separate versions I have in mind with different functionalities. In both versions they function as the present Beacon of Light does with regards to the affected target: that is, the DoTs on the Beaconed target aren't included, just DoTs on nearby targets. Also, I'm just throwing numbers out so don't waste your time critiquing whether the numbers are balanced; it's the discussion of the idea I'm after.

    Beacon of Darkness v1 - Instant
    You place a Beacon of Darkness on the target for five minutes, causing it to take 25% of the damage dealt by your Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Touch, and Devouring Plague abilities to up to two targets within 40 yards. If any targets within 40 yards are afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain or Vampiric Touch then the Beaconed target will be treated similarly.


    This is the version that most closely mirrors the ability's namesake. It would be a near-permanent debuff on the target that would essentially justify DoTing multiple targets, as it would be a DPS boost to your primary target (probably the boss) to DoT up secondary ones (probably adds). It also offers a mechanic similar to that of Pestilence: after having set up your DoTs (diseases) on a target somewhere, you can import that benefit to a secondary target. I don't want to remove the initial ramp up of DoT classes, but I do want to soften subsequent switches.

    My biggest concern is that this would create balancing issues for S.priests if it were too strong. That is, either S.priests would have to be sub-par DPS on single-target fights and count on multi-DoTing to be worthwhile, or they'd be grossly over effective where Beacon of Darkness were applicable. I've tried to keep the numbers down so that it more counteracts the single-target DPS loss of multi-DoTing than greatly increase overall DPS.

    Beacon of Darkness v2 - 1.5 Second Cast
    You place a Beacon of Darkness on the target for 30 seconds, causing it to take 200% of the damage dealt by your Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Touch, and Devouring Plague abilities to all targets within 40 yards. If any targets within 40 yards are afflicted with Shadow Word: Pain or Vampiric Touch then the Beaconed target will be treated similarly. 2 minute cooldown.


    This is a different version in that rather than being a constant DPS boost it's a burst cooldown. It isn't like Haunt where it buffs your DoTs on the main target, but instead a cooldown that rewards setup as well as giving you the ability to assist with adds more effectively.

    -----------------------------------

    In summary, I think that at present the basic benefits of DoTs (uninterrupted DPS and multi-DoTing) are not entirely outweighed on most fights by the lack of burst damage and target switching potential. I don't want to give S.priests massive burst so that they're just see-through Destruction Warlocks, but I do want to help accentuate their strengths and shore up the weaknesses slightly.

  2. #2

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    while both intresting ideas I think both are high improbable.

    What I would like to see is:

    Option 1:
    Shadow Explosion (1.5sec cast, 15 sec cool down, 1200 mana.): Send a surge of shadow energy into your target, causing all Shadow damage over times from the priest that are currently on the target to be also applied to all non crowd controlled enemies in a 35 yard radius. All DoTs will be applied for full duration and deal 50% dmg of normal Dots

    Option 2:
    Shadow Explosion (1.5sec cast, 15 sec cool down, 1200 mana.): Send a surge of shadow energy into your target, causing all Shadow damage over times from the priest that are currently on the target to be also applied to all non crowd controlled enemies in a 35 yard radius. All Dots will be applied with the same duration of the Dots they were exploded from and will deal 100% Damage of the normal DoTs.






    Either option will allow to multidotting while continuing Single target dmg, it will also alot for a play style of Aoe to Multi dot through this spell + mindsear.

    I do like the OP's idea but it sounds a bit impractical and complicated.

  3. #3

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Give Pestilence to Shadow Priests and be done with it, that's all these do. If Shadow is brought up to par with other DPS single target than these ideas would make multi-dotting overpowered. Shadow doesn't need a way to multi-dot better, they need a way to be able to help on adds that are up for shorter than a DoT duration. This wouldn't really help with that... just make Shadow overpowered on Anub. :P

  4. #4

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    @Thragh
    I'm not sure what's complicated or impractical about them. In practicality for #1 you'd either: a) Leave it on the boss the whole time while DPSing adds, b) Switch it to a priority add while maintaining the DoT rotation on the boss as well. I think it'd be rather smooth to handle (or as smooth as trying to juggle several DoT rotations can be).

    @harky
    I'm precisely trying to avoid giving Pestilence to S.priests because that'd be: a) boring, b) overpowered. To maintain a multi-DoT rotation is one of the more interesting aspects of the class; a Pestilence copy would make it so that you maintained a single-target rotation and then occasionally spread it, greatly simplifying the whole process. I was trying to work precisely on what you're saying - giving a way for S.priests to respond to quickly dying targets without just handing them a genetic burst damage approach. Sure it doesn't make them all stars at things like Thorim's arena, but my goal isn't to make them the best everywhere.

    Edit: just to clarify, when I say the target is treated "similarly" if something else has SW: Pain or VT in the area I'm not saying that the Beacon does damage as though they were applied (just a % copied from other targets). I'm saying that for the purposes of things like Twisted Faith or the Glyph of SW: Pain (soon to be Mind Flay) you don't have to apply the DoTs to get the secondary effects (i.e. lowering ramp up time, increasing switch/burst potential).

  5. #5
    Fluffy Kitten bahumut5's Avatar
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    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Now, first off: I do not play a Priest, but I do play a Warlock, so I will still be able to talk about the DoT thing.

    Now, I once had a Shadow Priest as Guildmaster, awesome guy, always managed to get 4.7k dps (In early Ulduar time, when all we had was Naxx 25 and Naxx 10 gear), and who got 6k dps with better gear, even topping 7.8k dps.

    Now, this was mostly single target (even though some AE fights are included), and to me, this seems like some nice dps for a non-pure DPS class.
    So tbh, this "Beacon of Darkness" looks really OP in its current state.
    200% damage to the target from all DoT's in 40 yards is way to powerfull... make it 100% and it just means you can skip 1 target to DoT up.
    But by making this attack, most priests will skip their direct damage attacks and would just continue to use DoT's.

    Blizzard would not like this, seeing they want people to use the attacks they created, instead of people skipping them.

    Its very interesting what you proposed, and you really put some thoughts into it, but it would never happen. Blizzard would never want 1 class to only use DoT's.
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  6. #6

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Quote Originally Posted by bahumut5
    Now, first off: I do not play a Priest, but I do play a Warlock, so I will still be able to talk about the DoT thing.

    Now, I once had a Shadow Priest as Guildmaster, awesome guy, always managed to get 4.7k dps (In early Ulduar time, when all we had was Naxx 25 and Naxx 10 gear), and who got 6k dps with better gear, even topping 7.8k dps.

    Now, this was mostly single target (even though some AE fights are included), and to me, this seems like some nice dps for a non-pure DPS class.
    So tbh, this "Beacon of Darkness" looks really OP in its current state.
    200% damage to the target from all DoT's in 40 yards is way to powerfull... make it 100% and it just means you can skip 1 target to DoT up.
    But by making this attack, most priests will skip their direct damage attacks and would just continue to use DoT's.

    Blizzard would not like this, seeing they want people to use the attacks they created, instead of people skipping them.

    Its very interesting what you proposed, and you really put some thoughts into it, but it would never happen. Blizzard would never want 1 class to only use DoT's.
    Your GM did not do that, maybe on Hodir with heroism and Hysteria(a joke). If you do not play a spriest you do not understand.

    @harky My idea was pestilence without naming it pestilence, it also had ways to reduce the OPness that would occur, reduced DoT dmg when spread, and alternatively, having a short dot duration.

    Also as an amendment I could make my idea exactly like pestilence but dots that were spread have no chance to crit. Which would keep AoE DPs using this spell in the ball park.

  7. #7
    Herald of the Titans Baabinator's Avatar
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    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Have Shadow Word: Pain jump around targets.

    Similiar to Prayer of Mending, but more evil in it's intent.

    I'll elaborate:

    Main Target (Target1) get's SW:P debuff - 18 sec remaining

    SW:P deals damage to Target 1- 15 sec remaining, also causes a nearby enemy target (Target2) to be afflicted by SW:P with 15 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage Target 1 and 2 - 12 sec remaining, also causes another nearby enemy target (Target3) to be afflicted by SW:P with 12 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage Target 1, 2 and 3 - 9 sec remaining, also causes another nearby enemy target (Target4) to be afflicted by SW:P with 9 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage Target 1, 2, 3 and 4 - 6 sec remaining, also causes yet another nearby enemy target (Target5) to be afflicted by SW:P with 6 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage Target 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5- 3 sec remaining, also causes another nearby enemy target (Target6) to be afflicted by SW:P with 3 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage to target 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6! - Debuff fades.

    Of course haste would speed up the progress and allow it to spread faster and tick faster as well.

    Another idea is to let Mind Flay spread SW:P to one target at the time, each tick. To a maximum of something like 5 targets






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  8. #8

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Quote Originally Posted by Baabinator
    Have Shadow Word: Pain jump around targets.

    Similiar to Prayer of Mending, but more evil in it's intent.

    I'll elaborate:

    Main Target (Target1) get's SW:P debuff - 18 sec remaining

    SW:P deals damage to Target 1- 15 sec remaining, also causes a nearby enemy target (Target2) to be afflicted by SW:P with 15 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage Target 1 and 2 - 12 sec remaining, also causes another nearby enemy target (Target3) to be afflicted by SW:P with 12 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage Target 1, 2 and 3 - 9 sec remaining, also causes another nearby enemy target (Target4) to be afflicted by SW:P with 9 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage Target 1, 2, 3 and 4 - 6 sec remaining, also causes yet another nearby enemy target (Target5) to be afflicted by SW:P with 6 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage Target 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5- 3 sec remaining, also causes another nearby enemy target (Target6) to be afflicted by SW:P with 3 sec remaining.

    SW:P deals damage to target 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6! - Debuff fades.

    Of course haste would speed up the progress and allow it to spread faster and tick faster as well.

    Another idea is to let Mind Flay spread SW:P to one target at the time, each tick. To a maximum of something like 5 targets







    I would 5v5 in a fucking heart beat with chain of slow.

  9. #9
    Herald of the Titans Baabinator's Avatar
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    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Quote Originally Posted by Thragh

    I would 5v5 in a fucking heart beat with chain of slow.
    Meh, i like it though.

    Adds a little flavours without becoming a rip-off of some other class' spells.

    It should have a maximum range though ^^ Something along the lines of 8 yards. (same as Consecration)
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  10. #10

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Quote Originally Posted by Baabinator
    Meh, i like it though.

    Adds a little flavours without becoming a rip-off of some other class' spells.

    It should have a maximum range though ^^ Something along the lines of 8 yards. (same as Consecration)
    I love the idea, it's just too powerful or a spell

  11. #11

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    I think there should be a talent that makes it so that anytime a target dies with VT still ticking we get a buff that causes our next SWP within 60 seconds to also apply a fresh VT at no mana cost. This does not provide a sustained damage increase but allows us to have a little more burst and better mana efficiency on trash and fast dieing adds. We no longer have to choose between paying for 3 full dots and only getting 6-7 ticks between the three of them and just casting DP, MB, MF, MF for a massive 2k burst dps on small trash/adds.
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  12. #12

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    I think the propsed changes are veering way off of what DoT classes need. In case of Shadowpriests and "beacon of Darkness" you are only making mindsear useless. Or your making it OP in combination with Beacon of Darkness. We are getting a haste buff that will probly give 10-15% boost in dmg and dps but will it fix our problems on burst fights with adds that need to die fast (snobolds) probly not as much as we would like.
    Here is my take on this: What we need is an "option" or a spell that creates a choice. Look at arcane mages, they have a choice when it comes to dps vs dpm. Stack Arcane Blast x4 and unleash it or keep casting Arcane blast at a much greater mana cost.

    ***Shadowflare**
    1-2k shadow dmg
    1sec Cast time
    7% base mana
    No cd
    30yd range
    consumes any Dots on the target.
    For every Shadow Dot on the target it will cause 15% more dmg but using the same mechanic of SW and Manaburn it will backlash your mana pool. This can be a nuke but also a combo burst provided you have the mana. I know its alot of mechanics in one spell but this is just an ideaof throwing a bunch of Dots around then nuking them down, same can be done on the boss.

  13. #13

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Quote Originally Posted by Atremini
    I think the propsed changes are veering way off of what DoT classes need. In case of Shadowpriests and "beacon of Darkness" you are only making mindsear useless. Or your making it OP in combination with Beacon of Darkness. We are getting a haste buff that will probly give 10-15% boost in dmg and dps but will it fix our problems on burst fights with adds that need to die fast (snobolds) probly not as much as we would like.
    Here is my take on this: What we need is an "option" or a spell that creates a choice. Look at arcane mages, they have a choice when it comes to dps vs dpm. Stack Arcane Blast x4 and unleash it or keep casting Arcane blast at a much greater mana cost.

    ***Shadowflare**
    1-2k shadow dmg
    1sec Cast time
    7% base mana
    No cd
    30yd range
    consumes any Dots on the target.
    For every Shadow Dot on the target it will cause 15% more dmg but using the same mechanic of SW and Manaburn it will backlash your mana pool. This can be a nuke but also a combo burst provided you have the mana. I know its alot of mechanics in one spell but this is just an ideaof throwing a bunch of Dots around then nuking them down, same can be done on the boss.
    This would be powerful in pvp but on adds/trash you'd run out of mana.

    I think it gets complicated if you give us a huge dps increase at the cost of mana. Also, we dont want to lose more mana on trash we want to lose less. The problem now is that we dot up a mob, mb, mf, and the mob dies before we even get past the 2.5k dps point and we've spend 6k mana doing it. imo we need something that won't change dps (style or #s) on a boss at all but gives us back some mana everytime an add dies with our dots on it so that we get refunded for spending so much mana for just a couple of ticks.
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  14. #14
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    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Some interesting ideas here but how about this one:

    Shadow Quickening
    74% Base Mana
    Channeled

    Shadow Energy is channeled at your target hastening the duration of all DoTs on the target by 10% every second. 5 second cast. (Completely consumes all DoTs on the target if completed causing them to do 75% of their remaining damage over that duration). Each tick of the channel causes the next 10% of all the DoTs durations to complete and hit the target for 75% of their original damage.

    Devouring Shadows
    15% of base mana
    1.5 sec cast

    You completely devour all of your damage over time effects from the target and gain the effect Shadow Concentration. Mana cost is multiplied by each DoT effect consumed.

    Shadow Concentration
    Makes your next Mind Blast release a potent store of Shadow Energy that increases damage done to the target by 15% of the stored energy and transfers Shadow Affliction on your target. Shadow Affliction is a DoT that lasts for 15 seconds and deals damage equal to the remaining 85% of stored shadow energy over that period.

    These three abilities give shadow the following benefits:
    • Quick transfer of Dot Damage from one target to another (single target to single target) allowing for quick switch from boss to an add or vice-versa.
    • Ability to provide burst damage (hastening) that is easily interruptible in PvP (channel ffs) but can be a nice boost for Single targets that die fast.
    • Only 2 new abilities that don't necessarily need to fit and complicate the 'normal' rotation/priority. Only useful for certain cases without being too overpowered.
    • Inherent high mana cost of switching targets to discourage priests from doing it frivolously.

    Cheers.

  15. #15

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Quote Originally Posted by Atremini
    In case of Shadowpriests and "beacon of Darkness" you are only making mindsear useless. Or your making it OP in combination with Beacon of Darkness.
    I don't think you quite read or understood the functionality I was going for.

    @Trifande
    I can see what you're going for, not sure if I'd want to have that complicated of a functionality. In my mind understanding things like time-to-death and damage-per-cast time interactions are an excellent source of enrichment for the DoT-based playstyle. Also it seems as though you're moving away from multi-DoTing (another aspect I think is really interesting) to simply being able to move DoTs from one single target to another, another approach I'm not sure is really desirable. However I do think that the idea of being able to do something with your DoTs on a dying target could be interesting (a theme that's come up a few times in the thread).

  16. #16

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    I think blizzard went way too far trying to make all the classes equal. I miss the days of balancing buff classes against pure dps classes. SP's should go back to being mana batteries, screw their damage output.

  17. #17
    Mechagnome Hexus's Avatar
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    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    The analogy I see a lot of is pestilence. The difference is that DoTs represent a very low portion of a DK's damage whereas the shadow priest's DoTs represent a very large portion of their damage, also, you're transferring 3 DoTs including one with a cast time (Plague, Touch, SW:P) vs 2 Dots (frost fever/blood plague). If they want to boost shadow AoE damage they're more likely to do so through Mind sear rather than facilitating multi dotting.
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  18. #18

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Quote Originally Posted by S
    [N ]
    Anyone else notice that it seems when sps think up ideas to fix our dps, it ends up always being a comprimise (sp?).

    We need damage buffs, surv. buffs, with no strings attached. We should have a haunt type spell, our spell coeff. shud be fixed big time and less mana cost for each one.
    The classes in this game are remarkably close to being balanced. The difficulty in design is that there are hidden thresholds in power. Some classes need only the slightest of adjustments, others require a few more changes, but there is no need for a "massive overhaul" that is so often preached. So far in WotLK Blizzard has been creeping toward the Shadow Priest threshold: changing Psychic Horror, adding a refund on DoT dispel, etc. This latest patch brings a bit more DPS and self-healing; exactly how much of a boost is a subject for debate, and won't be resolved until live servers prove one side right.

    I suspect that the problem with S.priest PvP in WotLK has less to do with their design and more to do with the accidental problems that have resulted from damage scaling. S.priests and their Affliction Warlock kin are wear-down specs in fundamental structure, with some burst to help finish a wounded foe. The ability to DPS multiple targets, and to apply much of this damage on the move (more true of Warlocks than S.priests), is an inherent strength. Both in turn are more "tanky" casters and have "vampiric" mechanics to help self-heal long enough for your foe to succumb. This is fine in theory, but WotLK saw an inflation of damage beyond the defensive means of many classes. Wearing down is just not a successful strategy when your health pool is within the reach of short-term burst. As such I can see why Blizzard is cautious: buff defenses just a little too much, add a bit too much self-healing, and the class can suddenly survive the initial burst and becomes unkillable thereafter.

    So just heaping buffs wantonly on a class is not really the way to "fix" it. As I said at first, things are probably not that far off kilter and it'd takes surprisingly little to right them.

    @agir215
    It was neat to be a buff class; I was a Survival Hunter for much of BC, and it was rewarding in its own way to know that your depressed personal damage was benefiting the raid as a whole. But it's been detailed elsewhere that the design also had serious drawbacks: being support was fun, but luckily nobody else wanted the job because there was room for only one. That class design ultimately emphasizes bringing the absolute minimum buff specs and stacking "real" DPS classes otherwise. Since it's unlikely that Blizzard would revert to the old "buffs by party" design, that means that one buff-bot S.priest is desirable for an entire raid; hope you're the guild leader's favorite. ;-)

    @Hexus
    I agree with you that drawing a line directly to Pestilence is inappropriate and overpowered, but furthermore I think it would rob the class of depth rather than add to it. But I don't think people are trying to buff AoE damage, but it's lesser kin that is usable on 2-3 targets before AoE is fully functional.

  19. #19

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    Not to stray too far off topic: I was a balance druid in TBC. I had enough dps to solo and to pull my weight in a raid, but my main benefit to the group was my 5% crit buff to either the holy pallies or mages, battle rez (that the resto druids also brought) and an easily cast innervate that I didn't need to save for myself.

    Yes, by Sunwell buff classes did have a hard time getting into raids, but that was an overall problem of even in the best available gear most guilds couldn't make the dps cut off for brutallus. That was a different type of balance issue.

    By making the classes so equal and less niche based blizzard was forced to homogenize far too much. SP's and affliction locks are extremely similar. They always were a bit alike, but now there's almost no difference except that one has an almost passive permanent pet and the other doesn't. I don't see the solution to this being to give SP's another warlock style ability and if you think it is, why not just re-roll warlock? You clearly enjoy the playstyle.

  20. #20

    Re: DoTs and Beacon of Darkness

    I don't think Brutallus was the only DPS check in Sunwell (I wouldn't know personally; I quit raiding mid-T6 content); I don't recall people saying they sat all their hybrids for Brutallus and then put them back in for Felmyst. Most of the fights nowadays are made or broken by competent DPS, as either there is a stringent Berserk timer or the fight mechanics threaten to overwhelm the tanks/healers given time.

    The other problem is that by making buff specs inferior DPS-wise you set them up to directly compete with each other, and in turn you have to come up with new ways to make them *special*. For instance, Enhance Shamans and Shadow Priests were highly desirable buff specs in Sunwell. I recall Boomkins doing alright for themselves. Elemental Shamans and Retribution Paladins were not in favor. So what do you do? You can't really perfectly equalize their benefits without the dreaded homogenization ( ), so you end up having popular and unpopular buff classes (and even the popular ones won't get more than a single spot due to raid-wide buffs). And if through some miracle they all are balanced the situation is even worse: now hard modes are tuned around having every single one of the buff classes, so those guilds that can't manage to collect the whole set are at a significant disadvantage to those that can.

    Quote Originally Posted by agir215
    By making the classes so equal and less niche based blizzard was forced to homogenize far too much. SP's and affliction locks are extremely similar. They always were a bit alike, but now there's almost no difference except that one has an almost passive permanent pet and the other doesn't. I don't see the solution to this being to give SP's another warlock style ability and if you think it is, why not just re-roll warlock? You clearly enjoy the playstyle.
    (Forgive me, I can't tell if the last sentence is directed at me, S][N, or is a plural "you").

    Have you played both? I'll admit my Warlock isn't 80 (she's 74, not going anywhere until she's a Worgen), but she's high enough to have all the significant tools of the playstyle and she feels nothing like my Priest. Yes, at their core both of them have three DoTs (Cor/CoA/UA vs. SWP/DP/VT), one with a cast time, and otherwise use a filler spell. They also both have ramp-up mechanics (Shadow Weaving vs. Shadow Embrace) and talents that refresh their primary DoT. They can both fear. But this is about as far as the comparison goes.

    -Affliction warlocks have Life Tap mechanics, a pet, Haunt as a secondary maintained debuff, a Haste proc, an instant Shadowbolt proc, and a rotational shift against wounded targets. They have two different types of AoE. Warlocks have a permanent 50% aggro drop but weak passive threat reduction. As secondary quirks they also have a teleport, Spell Lock, and Devour Magic. And finally in Cataclysm are getting a short-cooldown mechanic in the Soul Shard makeover.

    -S.priests prioritize a cooldown nuke, have a channeled filler that can be clipped, a self-damaging nuke with situational application, and a superior ability to multi-DoT (higher % of damage from DoTs + no Haunt). Mind Sear is a target-following AoE that also has the potential to be used in the presence of CC (not very applicable in WotLK unfortunately). S.Priests have no permanent aggro drop but a short-cooldown aggro "ignore" but have significant passive threat reduction. Secondarily S.priests have Dispersion, 15% less physical damage taken, vampiric healing, as well as a potential Silence and Horror/Disarm.

    So I agree there's no need to make the two more similar, but claiming that Affliction and Shadow have been so homogenized as to be indistinguishable is just untrue.

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