Regional FlagOf Brews And Blackouts (7.2.5)Source
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#1 - 2017/04/13 12:08:00 AM
Hi there! I'll keep this as concise as possible. I took a moment this morning to check out some of the adjustments to classes in the coming 7.2.5 patch, and I was a little upset at what's going on with Brewmaster. It's not all that big of a deal, but I'd urge the devs to take another look at what it means for the spec.

For context, here are the two changes in particular that I'm referring to:

Brewmaster
Blackout Strike: Cooldown increased to 14 seconds, up from 3 seconds.
Breath of Fire: Cooldown increased to 20 seconds, up from 15 seconds.

As it stands now, Blackout Combo is without equal for end-game content. The buffs it grants are indispensable and make the talent superior to the others of the same tier, according to most other Brewmasters I've had the privilege of finding. But without having Blackout Strike on a relatively normalized cooldown, there is a painful amount of empty space in the rotation.

I took it upon myself to run some tests on it, setting myself up to practice the rotation as it would be with the greater cooldown, and I've come to the conclusion that having it lengthened to such an extent seriously hinders the flow of the rotation. While it's not enough to be painful, it does hurt to have all that empty space in between, and it leaves the rotation far too prone to Tiger Palm spamming.

I'm also beginning to worry about the Breath of Fire cooldown increase, and though it is a smaller increment, it leaves a lot of defensive downtime thanks to the Hot Blooded trait. While I do not worry about this with Sal'Salabim's Lost Tunic, it poses a problem for those that have to wait on the massive cooldown.

Our rotation as it is now in 7.2 is stable, comfortable, and needs no adjustments to cooldowns that I can tell. So why now? Why does this need such a large change? This new adjustment feels haphazard and baseless - I'm trying to look on the bright side, to understand, but something's not quite right here.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to have some answers soon/pray this isn't the final iteration.

TL;DR
Brewmaster wonders why BOF and BOS are getting increased cooldowns, worries about flow of rotation suffering and direct survivability.

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#3 - 2017/04/13 12:57:00 AM
That datamining is extremely incomplete. It's a 500pc jigsaw puzzle with 300 of the pieces missing. Best to wait for the actual PTR. You won't have to wait 14sec between Blackout Strikes. :)

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#21 - 2017/04/14 12:55:00 AM
04/13/2017 05:22 PMPosted by Reptiles
This devalues the BoC talent as we see 33-25=8% fewer BoC's in our rotation. Considering on single target, with BoC, BoS and TP are my number 1 and 2 damaging abilities, are we going to see compensation in damage for this nerf?


We're worried about gameplay and feel right now, and will adjust damage (overall and per-talent) as needed afterward.

This is very useful feedback, thanks.

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#23 - 2017/04/14 01:01:00 AM
As you can imagine, the numbers for Blackout Strike's cooldown and the CDR from Tiger Palm are very important to get right on this; we'll tweak them and try a few things. We started out with the 4-beat cycle for PTR; we may also try the 3-beat cycle soon and see how that feels.

One extremely important thing to evaluating the feel of this is what talents you were using. For example, Rushing Jade Wind + Spitfire feel totally different from Eye of the Tiger + Special Delivery, especially when it comes to GCD utilization. Please let us know which talents you're using when giving rotation feel feedback!

Thanks!

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#31 - 2017/04/14 02:18:00 AM
04/13/2017 06:28 PMPosted by Bearfu
I'll be getting on PTR to test the rotation and such later, but I have one question about Spitfire Celestalon. Why was Chi Burst scrapped for it instead of Chi Wave? Nobody uses Chi Wave because of how weak (and random) it is, but Chi Burst currently sees a decent amount of use on live servers for AoE.

Chi Wave and Chi Burst usage are about the same (and both are extremely rare compared to Eye of the Tiger). We chose Chi Burst to replace to start with, because Spitfire is an AoE talent, same as Chi Burst, so would fulfill the same choice. There's still an argument to be made for Chi Wave being replaced, so we're considering that as well, so discussion one way or another (or alternatives) is quite welcome.

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#34 - 2017/04/14 02:46:00 AM
04/13/2017 07:31 PMPosted by Reptiles
The reason I would think most people use eott is that it is the highest dps AND it doesn't intrude on the already tight rotation for BoC, so there is no opportunity cost in using it.


Right; Eye of the Tiger is currently taken primarily because it doesn't take up any GCDs. We're trying to open that up a bit so that you have room to take abilities like Chi Wave and Spitfire (or theoretically Chi Burst), or Rushing Jade Wind, in your rotation.

The common Blackout Combo-driven rotation right now is, in a way, not GCD locked, because it spends a significant amount of its time off GCD, but in practice it feels more like GCD locked, because that time is in between every few GCDs with little empty half-GCDs, adding a stutter to your rotation that we're trying to clean up.

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#41 - 2017/04/14 12:28:00 PM
Awesome feedback so far, especially from those who are actively trying a variety of talent builds. That's the most valuable, especially when you consider swapping to the other side of the Blackout Combo / No Blackout Combo line that divides the community playstyles. :)

Next PTR build, we're going to try a 12sec base CD on Blackout Strike, to speed things up a bit baseline, and hopefully remove the ~1GCD of pause that has been mentioned by several people. (And in fact add a GCD of slush)

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#94 - 2017/04/15 05:06:00 AM
04/14/2017 11:15 AMPosted by Managan
The minor stutter has never really felt bad or prevented me from using something that interrupts the rotation a bit since i can always get back into it. Maybe instead of doing something to change our speed to open rotations, you could make it so some of these other underused moves have a modifier on another skill on their own? That could be a theme for brewmaster to have that martial arts feel which simultaneously offers complexity in but also lets us be fast? Honestly i'd rather break my own rotation that have space forcibly added in.

This slower paced feeling just makes me very unhappy and while my experience may not matter much, it seems to be something a lot of other players are feeling. I hate this new slow paced idea for monk and the new mechanic of reducing BoS CD doesn't feel fun or interesting. It just feels like a rock is being tied to legs.

I just don't understand wanting to make so many people unhappy to solve something i've never heard people actually complain about with stutter. It makes me miserable on my favorite class and spec.

I'm not sure this is exactly the valuable feedback that is desired. I'll give a less emotional/fun based approach later...but it's important to me and I hope that enjoyment is truly a factor here.


This is some of the most valuable feedback here, actually. Your experience matters a ton.

A question that you, and others, have asked here is basically, "Why change this, I didn't mind the hiccup/stutter/awkardness/whatever?". I empathize with that sentiment, and I'd like to try my best to answer that.

Brewmaster is not a particularly popular spec, and the awkwardness of their offensive abilities is one of the prime reasons why. That sort of thing is shrugged off by some people, really bugs some other people, and contributes to a general discomfort with a spec to most (and is usually hard for them to describe exactly why, falling back to works like 'doesn't flow' or 'clunky').

Most of the people here actively discussing this are people who have stuck with Brewmaster, and play it extensively, probably because you fall into that first bucket; the 'clunkiness' doesn't bother you, and you're used to it. So we're not surprised at all that many people here have this reaction of "it was fine, why change?".

The goal of these rotational changes is to find something that flows well to the non-dedicated Brewmasters, while still feeling 'fine' (or better) to all of you currently-dedicated Brewmasters. That second part is more important than the first, and we're going to keep iterating on this until we achieve it.

We hear you that we're not there yet; we're not surprised at all that our first build of it wasn't perfect. We'll keep working on it, and appreciate your constructive feedback and experimentation with different builds, to help us get there.

Thanks!

P.S. Just to further pull back the curtain on potential versions of this rotation that we're thinking about:
- Current PTR build: At least (2 TP + 1 AnythingElse) between Blackout Strikes
- Next PTR build: At least (2 TP) between Blackout Strikes
- Another potential option we're considering: At least (1 TP + 1 AnythingElse) between Blackout Strikes. This would probably mean a 8sec CD on BoS, and a 5sec CDR on TP. It's very hard to truly imagine how rotations will feel without playing them, but some may be interested in thinking about it.

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#213 - 2017/04/18 10:36:00 PM
Today's PTR build has Blackout Strike reduced to a 12sec cooldown, so that two Tiger Palms are enough to reset it, speeding things up noticeably. Please give that a try (in a variety of talent builds if you can), and let us know how that feels.

EDIT: Oh, and today's build also has Rushing Jade Wind's duration increased to 9sec/Haste for Brewmasters, making it more flexible on your GCDs, and less swingy on GCD utilization.

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And continuing the curtain backpulling (Is that a word? It is now.), here's where our thoughts are right now:

We hear the feedback that the Tiger Palm -> Blackout Strike CDR mechanic isn't adding interactivity so much as restrictiveness and complexity, even if we get the tuning of it right. I last mentioned that we were considering a design that required (1 Tiger Palm + 1 Anything) between Blackout Strikes. That's still an option, but we're actually planning to try (2 Anything), between Blackout Strikes for next build, i.e. back to just a plain 3sec CD but unaffected by Haste.

We're also considering letting Blackout Combo reduce the CD of Blackout Strike even further, along with buffing the other talents on that row to compensate. There's some hesitance with that, due to how much power that would put in that row, but it's not totally unreasonable.

EDIT: Oh, and we're also leaning towards Spitfire replacing Chi Wave instead of Chi Burst. If you love Chi Wave, please speak up now!

Again, none of this is set in stone at all, and your feedback is really helping; keep up the focused and constructive posts!

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#221 - 2017/04/19 12:38:00 AM
One point of confusion that I've seen about the new RJW change: The tooltip isn't showing its increased damage, but the total damage per cast has gone up. The damage per tick didn't change. We'll get the tooltip fixed for the next build.

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#334 - 2017/04/26 08:21:00 PM
Today's PTR build has a number of changes for Brewmasters. Continuing to iterate based on feedback, we've done the following things:

- Removed the Tiger Palm -> Blackout Strike interaction, and dropped Blackout Strike back to a 3sec cooldown (but still unaffected by Haste). This should provide a simple BoS - X - X rotation that is extremely flexible.
- Returned Breath of Fire to a 15sec cooldown. There's enough room in the rotation for it to be back at its previous usage rate.
- Moved Spitfire down to the level 90 talent row, preserving the level 15 talent row as is on live, replacing Niuzao instead. The level 90 row is a DPS row though, with no direct survivability value. To offset the increased usage of BoF that Spitfire allows, the Hot Blooded artifact trait now provides half as much benefit when you have Spitfire. Yes, this makes Spitfire directly incompatible with the legendary chest, and that's OK.

It also has one highly experimental change: Blackout Combo now also reduces Blackout Strike's cooldown to 2sec, and the other level 110 talents have been adjusted to preserve talent balance. I say highly experimental because this is something we were trying out internally, but didn't work out too well.

We found it to be too frantic, too much pressure to not miss any BoSs due to BoS having a survivability benefit now, and too restrictive on the rotation. It also meant that you had to avoid all of the talents that add anything to your rotation, because your GCDs are completely full, even with no talents that add GCDs, even with no Haste, etc.

There are enough ways to customize your GCD utilization now that you can fill up nearly all of your GCDs with the 3sec Blackout Strike if you want to (and it doesn't require a ton of Haste). As such, we're planning to return to a 3sec Blackout Strike (both with and without Blackout Combo), and let you fill up however much of that time that you want. I think you'll find that you can fill that time (or not) pretty easily. Regardless, the 2sec version made it into this build, so give it a try and let us know if your experience matches ours or not.

As always, feedback on any of this is welcome and appreciated.

P.S. One tweak to High Tolerance and Elusive Dance that we're likely going to keep is raising their benefits at Light Stagger, so that you still get most of their value even when not getting smashed.

EDIT: Typos...

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#342 - 2017/04/26 09:10:00 PM
04/26/2017 01:38 PMPosted by Layn
Thanks for keeping us updated, Celestalon. No feedback on the ISB duration, or is it set in stone now?


The ISB duration, we've listened to a lot of feedback about.

It's definitely a significant change for high skill players. It's definitely a nerf, on its own, for those players, in some situations. However, it's a good nerf. And I don't just mean in terms of a theoretical 'better game', I mean it's a nerf that is in your personal benefit.

In simple terms, Brewmasters are currently strong in situations where they can exploit this, and weak in situations where they can't. By reducing your ability to exploit this, we can then also tune you up across the board (and have, if you notice the rest of the changes), so that you're strong in both situations.

TL;DR: The ISB duration change is a nerf in some situations for some players, that is compensated for with buffs in all situations for all players, resulting in a net gain for you.

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#408 - 2017/04/27 05:35:00 PM
Lots of great feedback here on the latest build so far. Thanks.

Latest thoughts:
Spitfire - It's a fun playstyle option for people, but having both defensive (even without it being an increase to Hot Blooded, it's still more Elusive Brawler stacks) and offensive value (more Breath of Fires for damage), it's hard to fit it anywhere in the talent tree, and it complicates artifact trait values. We're going to just cut if for now (may return at some point in the future when it fits in better). Niuzao will return, and will simply deal more damage to make him competitive with the row.

Blackout Combo - Yeah, the 2sec rotation is problematic. Some people like the frantic gameplay, but we think other talent combinations deliver on that better anyway. The main problems with it are that it invalidates a ton of other talent choices, actually *reduces* rotational choice because you just combo everything instead of having to choose what you combo, causes energy capping issues, is a massive buff to the talent potentially upsetting talent balance, and is too fast-paced without any other contribution. We're going to return it to 3sec, where you can pair it with other GCD-filling talents to create the frantic playstyle if you prefer, without causing the above issues.

Hot Blooded and Dragonfire Brew - Baseline, Hot Blooded is very strong. 1% DR per bronze trait is already on the extremely strong side. The Legendary chest was created with Hot Blooded in mind as its defensive benefit. But that gets a little out of hand when we added 4th points to Bronzes, and you min/max relics, increasing it to the massively-OP level of 7% DR for a legendary. Then the 7.2.5 changes also add more Elusive Brawler stacks to that. We're going to adjust these two traits in order to better balance trait and legendary values: Dragonfire Brew will also increase the duration of Breath of Fire's DoT by 100%, giving it defensive value. Hot Blooded will now be active the whole time, instead of ~half the time without the Chest, and so is changing to 1% DR per point to compensate.

EDIT: Overall Tuning - As always, overall tuning happens late in the process. Don't worry about overall power level of Brewmasters when giving feedback on these changes.

Thanks all!

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#426 - 2017/04/27 07:16:00 PM
04/27/2017 10:47 AMPosted by Vlirg
I have a feeling theres a disconnect between how much the monk community value those elusive brawler stack and how the Developpers value them.

First off, as said many times, dodge doesn't do anything VS magic damage or VS any kind of boss threatening ability as they are undodgeable even if physical (ex: spellblade annihilate).

From a mythic raider point of view, those dodge stacks hardly do anything, as bosses auto-attack (the only thing that's dodgeable) are the least threatening form of damage we have to face.

From a M+ dungeon point of view, those stack comes and go so fast nobody will notice the buff... having 100% dodge chance for 1 auto-attack out of the 5+ weak mob training you hardly change anything...

It's also one of the reason people hardly, if ever, use blackout combo to empower purify.


We value it based upon its actual real world value, not a theoretical worst case that doesn't actually exist. You should too.

Yes, Elusive Brawler does nothing against Magic/undodgeable damage. However, apart from some extremely niche situations like Star Auger, it's not that piercing damage alone that kills you; it's the combination of those and other damage that is dodgeable. Nowhere is this more true than on Brewmasters, where there is no spike damage, only smoothed total damage (which is mostly auto attack damage). Mastery drastically reduces the total damage you take, which is the only thing scary to a Brewmaster anyway.

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#841 - 2017/05/02 09:26:00 PM
Quick heads up on the new PTR build - Blackout Combo's talent tooltip states that it only reduces the cooldown of Breath of Fire by 3 seconds, but it will still reduce it by 6. This will be fixed in the next build.

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#900 - 2017/05/03 09:10:00 PM
FYI, the datamined Brewmaster T20 bonuses are an old draft. New draft is this:

2T20: Drinking a Brew triggers Gift of the Ox.
4T20: Gift of the Ox orbs also purify 10% of your staggered damage.

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#920 - 2017/05/04 12:43:00 AM
For clarification, numbers in that set bonus idea are not final (thus calling it a draft). We're thinking now that 10% is likely too high, but that the concept sounds good.