Tobold's Blog
Friday, November 23, 2007
 
Holy priest stealth fren

Okay, okay, so I made the word "fren" up by spelling "nerf" backwards. But what is the official opposite of a nerf? Anyway, somewhere hidden in long patch notes for World of Warcraft patch 2.3 is the fact that items that had a bonus to healing kept that bonus plus gained about 1/3 of that number in in spell damage bonus. So if you were a holy priest with +1,000 healing bonus, you suddenly gained +333 spell damage bonus. That makes a visible change to holy priest solo dps. But of course if you were a shadow priest with lots of spell damage bonus and little or no healing bonus items, it doesn't change a thing. So basically the patch increased the damage output of holy priests, while keeping shadow priests at the same level.

And I think this is the right direction to go, and should also be applied to other healing and tanking classes. Last week my tank was grouped with a priest and two shamans, and we had to look for a "healer", because all three of them were spec'd for dps. Fact is that as long as you solo, dps is far, far more useful than healing or the damage mitigation abilities of a tank. Not to mention that all the taunt abilities of a protection warrior become totally useless in solo combat. So many of the players who have a choice between a talent build for dps and a talent build for healing/tanking choose the former, so as not to gimp themselves for soloing. But of course that hurts their usefulness in groups, and makes it hard to find enough healers and tanks for grouping in general.

Classes who deal damage as their main job have it easier. They don't have to choose between a solo talent build and a group talent build, they usually get talents that are useful for both situations. Of course there is always some mini-maxing about what exactly is the best PvP, PvE solo, or group build. But if you went for a PvP or group PvE build, you'd still be very good in solo PvE.

By increasing the dps of people spec'd for healing or tanking to just a little bit below the dps they'd get if they would specialize in damage builds, it would make the group-friendly builds more viable and popular, and ultimately lead to more grouping. And that doesn't mean that the other talent builds would become obsolete, because they could have other interesting abilities, for example the vampiric health and mana drains of the shadow priest. It just would be better if we got away from a situation where everybody tells you that you *have to* spec shadow to solo as a priest.

Right now my holy priest is better in soloing than my tank. I can complete the Skettis escort quest easily with the priest, while the warrior sometimes gets into trouble and dies when things go wrong. How about turning my defensive and block bonuses into a damage bonus as well, Blizzard?
Comments:
How come I missed that piece of information...? Ah, yea, I haven't read the patch information...

I have my warrior on protection already, as I decided to learn to play that toon from the beginning. Now I will switch my priest to Holy from Shadow because I want to be the healer in the group. So far the Holy levelling has been a drag (I tried that for a while...), but this change makes the situation more interesting!

However, like I posted earlier that the current experience boost makes the grouping even harder than earlier, because the solo-questing is so effective to level up. I only wish that my plan to level the priest only instancing works. It didn't work for the warrior, you see, most probably because in the low level instances you don't really need a tank.

Anyhow, gee, I have to start reading the info more carefully...

Copra
 
"And I think this is the right direction to go, and should also be applied to other healing and tanking classes."

It is, at least for all healing classes.

"How about turning my defensive and block bonuses into a damage bonus as well, Blizzard?"

According to Tigole, they are actually looking into it, def warriors should have a good surprise anytime soon (c:

Boterham
 
Tobold wrote:
How about turning my defensive and block bonuses into a damage bonus as well, Blizzard?


This maybe be a nice idea but would cause screems of IMBA Overp0w3rd - NERF Blizzard Nerf!!! and would fill pages in the official forums. The Problem ist the Scaling of Def-Protection Gear. In the beginning (read pre Epic Items) you will do an Ok job in the Instances in mitigating damage but if you could pile some Epics you will see that your survivalbility in solo play will get an enormous boost. If your Tank is specced full Def and has full Kara/Gruul/Maggi gear enchanted and socketed with 12 stamina gems (because you are already crit immun from the items alone).
A friend of mine soloed the "Shut down Manaforge Ara" quest (3 Man) without any buffs and was only losing 5k health from his unbuffed 16k health. He has recorded it so I can get the video to prove it. Even in the regular Battlegrounds you can do amazing things if your gear has become this good (note that he hasn't been in SSC/TK/MH or BT yet). Espacily Rogues have a hard time killing you he blocks to much attacks of them and the remaining hit for really small damage even if they possess epic gear the will hit you for less than 100 dmg most of teh times. If you convert some of the Stats to cause additional dmg you would see many playes would get steamrolled by T5+ Deftanks. If Bliizard converts some of the def releated numerics (dodge, block, defence) and make the impact of the new change as big that you will have a significant boost in soloing capability with your blue lvl 70 instance gear the change would even be much bigger with the epic equipped raiding guys.
 
Opposite of nerf = buff?
 
While the "buff" for healing specced classes was awesome and I enjoy it immensely, it was also rather easy to implement - at least now that it is there it sure looks easy and "the obvious thing to do".

It has indeed been said that they are looking to also make tanks meaning Prot-Warriors and Prot-Palidans - more viable for solo-play. Feral druids already are.

The feral druid is an intersting example I think. To switch from group to solo play all one has to do is switch gear and press a button to change form and you are set to shred, maim and mangle some mobs or players to pieces.

This is obviously not the same for their plate wearing warrior and paladin friends. So how could Blizzard give those two specs more solo-ability without compromising group-play in PvE and PvP.

It cannot be as easy as just converting some of the tanking stats to damage. Feral druids loose all the tanking stats the moment they switch gear and form. And they loose most of their damage potential when switching back to bear in cat-gear (that was fixed a long time ago shortly after BC came out *g* anyone remember when bears were doing damage ...?)

It is about damage, isn't it? Because as Resto I could always solo a lot of stuff, but now I can do it a bit faster and that is what matters. But the faster killing costs the same mana that I need to heal myself. So I give some of what makes my spec strong to kill faster with the new bonusses.

And that is what would be needed for tanking gear as well, that the moment a tank would use the new damage boosting stats (AP, crit or whatever else they may add), they loose as much of their survivability. I could imagine this being built into the warrior stances, even though I know way too little about warriors to make this anything but pure speculation. And I have even less of an idea how paladins tank ... but they are mana users after all ...

Now if for example +def on tanking plate could somehow also add damage without being abused in PvP or tanking situations? How could one make this possible? ...

I must admit I really do not see an easy way to modify some stats to give the tanks what the healers just received - a boost for solo play.
 
Yashima wrote:
"that the moment a tank would use the new damage boosting stats, they loose as much of their survivability. I could imagine this being built into the warrior stances, even though I know way too little about warriors to make this anything but pure speculation."


This wouldn't do the whole trick. As Deftank 98% of the time you are in defstance but there are this 2% that will make some trouble. Even as Defwarrior you have to stance dance in some situations. The Nightbane fight in Karazhan comes to my mind where you have to stance dance into Berserker-Stance to use one of your Skills onyl useable in this tree to become immune to fear and switsch back to def-stance after this - bescause if the tank gets feared nightbane will ignore the feared tank for that duration and will go after the next player in his threatlist that resisted the fear. As you can imagine in defstance a tank gets an additional 10% damage reduction and in berserker stance he recives 10% additional damage. If you tyr to solve this problem onyl via the stances he will lose suvivability here (as you suggested) and maybe the spike dmg caused in this moment in conjunction with maybe feared healers may be to much and your tank dies.
At the moment i can think only of two methods how to gef prot-warriors more speed when soloing.

1) Talents + Equip. This method is similar to Druid where they get 10% dmg boost with theri physical attacks in all forms and also get 0.5sec reduced casting time to their biggest direct heal spell. A warriro can have such dual talents to which give him the usual prot-ability and an additional effect in berserker-stance or battle-stance when he ist not wearing a shield. So Dualwielding and 2h-weapons should be covered. This Talents have to be deep in the protection tree 30, 35 and 40er Tiers for instance to prevent Furor & Arms builds to utilize this features.

2) The second Method would be one which was suggested at least a hundred times. Give each class (or at least the hybrid classes that can fill more than one purpose) the ability to have to speccs. They can change speccs if the are out of combat with a 40sec channeled medititation this should be enough to prohibit explouts of any kind i can think of. Still those classes need equipment for their "off-specc" but this will be accumulate over time anyway.
 
I don't see blizzard making warriors def add to their damage. With the current buff no classes were changed, they just changed the items.

Also from my experience, protection warrior can still lay down some decent damage. Atleast with decent gear. My holy pally...before 2.3. Useless. I did maybe 100dps.

No big deal in a raid, but in PvP I need to be able to atleast do some damage.
 
The comment section is a little bit TL;DR for me, some things I wanted to add may already be in here (didn't see at a glance).

1. Protection spec does not necessarily mean prot/tank gear. I've seen prot specced warriors put on DPS gear (some of which wasn't even plate) and crank out plenty of high numbers. Even if they're still in more-or-less "tanking" gear, the warrior's block rating DOES have an offensive use if you look closely. Take a peek at that gnomeregan auto-blocker reward from the heroic vendor.

2. Holy priest (not to be confused with discipline) DPS was for quite some time, and may still be, capable of higher DPS than the shadow tree. About .02% of the population actually recognized the ability and made use of it.

The really important point is the protection warriors. So many tanks, actual prot-spec tanks, I've heard say "I can't farm, I'm prot."

And yet, there's our guild's MT: wearing his plate/mail/leather armor and a pair of S2 weapons, churning out 900 DPS and totally able to solo just fine.
 
And yet, there's our guild's MT: wearing his plate/mail/leather armor and a pair of S2 weapons, churning out 900 DPS and totally able to solo just fine.

You have got a really good point there which shows me that I did not get my point across correctly. So I have to rephrase myself.

Of course I can solo and have always been as a resto druid. And my example of the feral druid was quite bad. What I really meant - but did not say - was how much I enjoyed the change because it enables me to solo in my instance gear. I will try to explain a bit better. For most of may /played time on this character I have been a feral druid collecting damage and tank equipment because that's what you do as feral. Of course on the side I snatched what I could for healing gear.

I went to resto spec several times and while I just love healing instances and battlegrounds, I often play solo, for questing or farming. So I would spend most of my time playing in gear that my spec was not optimized for and switched back rather fast.

This time around i'ts different (though I respecced to resto before I knew about those changes). This time I have the ability to solo with my healing gear, I do not have to switch gear when I leave the instance, I can instantly enjoy the new loot I got. I can now concentrate on optimizing one set of equipment ...

Again the druid is not the best example, because I think shamans, paladins and druids know when they create the character that they are going to have a wardrobe problem (unless they so strongly favor one spec over another ...).

But priests and warriors are supposed to be specialized. And some people still play them that way, why should those people not be able to collect a single highly specialized set for their main task and not be able to solo a single mob with that great uber-epic raid gear? (I am playing neither a priest, nor a warrior nor do I raid *g*).

I just think that they managed to find a really nice solution for the healers out there, one that helps (me) a lot and hopefully did not unbalance anything.

Now I am hoping for the tanks that they are going to find a similar solution. But as it seems from this discussion and my further thinking on the matter, it is more complex than just adding attack power to def equipment.
 
Pardon my query on this:

"2. Holy priest (not to be confused with discipline) DPS was for quite some time, and may still be, capable of higher DPS than the shadow tree. About .02% of the population actually recognized the ability and made use of it."

How? I went over the talents a couple of time last weekend and I seem to have missed this completely. Mind you, I was looking for pure Holy, not any mixed builds.

Copra
 
I don't think it's very unbalancing because 33% is still lower than you could get if you went for "+healing and damage" or +spellpower as they started calling it. So people who want to specialize for maximum efficiency can still do so, and people who are sick of their bags being full of specialty gear can not be so gimped when soloing and actually have room for drops :)
 
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