19
Sep
08

Some you gain, some you loose

As the screenshot suggests I finally took the time to try the PTR today – between my utter lack of bandwith and the servers themselves being bogged down by eager people (with a staggeringly high ammount of them asking how to reach Northrend..) and first impressions were.. well..

The new Setup is grand. The result the change had was huge and – provided things pan out (I’ll mention the whole implied ‘but’ here shortly) – between that and Honor Among Thieves I should have no lack for combo points when going tanky – the big question then will be how well Eviscerate might work as a Combo point to threat conversion, or rather, Combo Point Dump

This got me on a very positive mood and I was really feeling great about the possibilities in Wrath.

..for awhile.

Then I was linked to this particular thread about Blizzard introducing diminishing returns to avoidance.

Then my hopes more or less shattered.

Now we can pretty much come to the obvious conclusion that their formula is.. well.. broken – a regular Warrior tank tested equipping a trinket that’s basically the Wrath of the Lich King version of my Moroes’ Lucky Pocket Watch – a trinket that gives a passive 84 dodge rating which would normally provide 2.13% avoidance according to the RatingBuster mod.

She went from 18.45% dodge to 18.47% dodge. 0.02% avoidance gained.

Then she tried the use function, 335 dodge rating (normally adding 8.58% dodge) for 20 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown.

..she hit 18.50% dodge. 0.03% gained.

Essentially, Blizzard have totally annihilated their own mechanics, so it’s painfully certain that this change isn’t staying. Especially not with how much tank armour, tank weapons, tank jewelry and tank trinkets are itemized for avoidance.

That said, it also suggests very much where exactly Blizzard wants to take avoidance.. .. and what it might mean for rogues in general who rely quite a bit on dodge. And me, who rely on it far more still.

Even if Blizzard balances these figures, it might very well be the death blow to my favourite class / role combo, not to mention something that pretty effectively ruin my (or that of many other rogues, for that matter) ability to solo big, nasty elites, or even hordes of regular foes.

Even the standard rogue tends to have atleast 25% to 35% chance to dodge. The class kindof needs that, with oddball specs and focuses like my own needing quite a bit more of it. Blizzard removing that is a pretty significant hurt thrown our way – we’d essentially turn melee range class cannons.

I worry. While it’s fairly obvious that the first attempt will be tweaked significantly, it’s balanced around tanking classes with three forms of avoidance fairly even. Rogues aren’t like that, and rogues do make a pretty significant use out of dodge, especially seeing talents we have based around it. Now don’t get me wrong – I can understand why Blizzard wants diminishing returns on avoidance, and I don’t mind if they prevent full melee immunity from being possible – I’ve never really been able of that, and most of the time I tank in my threat gear.

That said, if I can’t reach atleast 45-50% some dodge% in Wrath somehow, or make up for the loss through parry and defense, I might very well have to pick another class for the expansion after all. It’s impossible to say where Blizzard will take it, and there’s still a minor chance they’ll axe the idea entirely if they conclude that it isn’t working or is affecting other things way too much.

But I worry, and I have to admit I’m rather upset about the whole thing right now seeing how it’s my entire set of possible dreams for the expansion going down the drain – not only about the tanking bit, but the opportunity to take on all manner of large and powerful foes single-handedly.

The idea that I might get regulated into a puny, fragile glass cannon with no lasting power beyond damage is a very unsettling thought, and something I really don’t want to see happening.

On a slightly more possitive note, I was linked two particular interesting Bind on Equip level 80 weapons earlier, namely Namlak’s Supernumerary Sticker and Avool’s Sword of Jin – both looking like rather nice rogue tanking weapons – or would, depending on how the whole diminishing return malarky turns out.

In closing – for now – the thread I linked to hasn’t remained idle during the writing of this. There’s been a fair bit more voices about this change being downright ludicrous – even from a normal tank perspective. Atleast raising the chances that the idea might be scrapped entirely, though I’m guessing that hope is very faint indeed.

Someone also reported that he’d seen no effect on dodge% provided by agility – however the question is wether this’d be because dodge provided by agility is unaffected or because at the low ammount of agility he had (135, going up to 148 with Blessing of Kings, gaining 0.48% dodge from 13 agility) not being enough to trigger diminishing returns on that particular stat conversion, or because agility simply isn’t affected.

Some part of me is currently hoping in vain that diminishing returns will be counted on a per-stat ratio and that agility won’t be suffering from diminishing returns – which would make the whole ordeal pretty much a non-problem for rogues after all, in which case I could breathe easily and – with luck – keep my job. I’ve grown accustomed to expecting the worst however and so far, to me this is potentially the worst change Wrath has suggested yet.

I’ll keep an eye on the thread, of course. See what other numbers and observations fall in from those actually getting to do the testing. Right now however, I’m having a rather sinking feeling of doom and gloom over feeling utterly weak and useless in the next expansion.

 

Update:Seems we have a Blizzard response on it so far:

We’re currently investigating this. Dodge and Parry rating seem to not be working properly right now.

On the upside, we hotfixed the additional 3% critical strike that creatures gained recently. A side effect of the hotfix we applied is that paladins and warriors also have 3% less melee crit for now. This will be properly fixed next beta patch.

To avoid saying something highly sarcastic.. atleast it’s comforting to have confirmation that this is broken. I still dread what it might do to rogues – and roguetanks especially – however.

 

Update 2: Friend of mine with beta gave me a try from a rogue vantagepoint – went from 39.96% dodge on current live servers to 35.14% dodge on the beta (this with 691 agility). Comparably at that ammount, where 23 agility gave her 1.3% chance to dodge on current servers, it offered only 0.95% on the beta – with 1.29% gained without gear and only 187 agility.

Apparently adding 5/5 Lightning Reflexes took this gain down to 1.15%, so it seems the talent affects this somehow. I need a beta account. Apparently the actual fact is 1.29% with Sinister Calling and 1.15% without, compared to 1.3% which we think was with Sinister Calling. Poor nub hunter I asked to feed me these snippets of information has been dazed and confused ever since she was labelled a caster class by a Blizzard rep. We’ll be incredibly pessimistic and assume the 0.95% gained in full gear is also with Sinister Calling to not get our hopes up.

It’s not a horrible loss.. yet. Not at that ammount of agility. Diminishing returns are by default exponential however, so I worry what it might do to rogues with my level of agility and dodge%. It’s impossible to judge without being there myself, and I’m not.

I guess right now I can feel reassured that I’ll probably be able to hit atleast 40% dodge or so, which is not quite the 50% to 58% I have now and means some significant loss of ability to tank bigger stuff. But.. atleast it should be enough for soloing weaker elites and holding the odd trash mob. I hope.

Still. I can’t say I’m happy about this. Not in the least.

Update 3: Updated update 2 (awesome!) with clarifying some miscommunication between me and my source so we gain some accuracy. It hardly helps that both of us are dead tired.

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