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Regional FlagRet 15961: Heavy-handedSource
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Mcgoo
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#1 - 2012/08/10 10:47:00 PM
One of the more recent balancing passes had Ret in its sights, and the results paint a different picture of 5.0 Ret then what we saw last week.

For those who are unaware:

Censure damage reduced by 15%.
Hammer of Wrath damage reduced by 20%.
Judgment damage and AP scaling reduced by 20%
Exorcism damage reduced by 15%.
Sword of Light now jncreases the damage you deal with two-handed melee weapons by 10%, down from 20%.

That is a pretty steep list of nerfs for what is called a phase of balancing. Nearly every form of output Ret has got reduced, with the exception of the finishers, which actually got buffed:

Templar's Verdict now does 280% was (260%) weapon damage plus 1,918 (was 1,633).
Divine Storm weapon damage increased by 12.5%.

Now the said reason for all these changes is due to Ret doing too much damage. I'm inclined to agree. Ret was doing too much damage, but only when certain conditions were met. All cooldowns, strength potion and lust would jump Rets output to around 120k if played correctly. That is just simply too high. Every pull would have Ret shooting to top of the meters while the rest of the raid played catch-up. That is by no means compelling or balanced gameplay and I can see why Blizzard made the changes they did. But as the name of the thread implies, they overdid it a little.

Quite frankly, its the Ret burst that is the problem, not the sustained dps. I have a few ideas that could really even out the Ret damage scaled over a fixed amount of time without crippling the spec.

Remove Hammer of Wrath from Avenging Wrath.
Reduce Exorcisms upfront damage by 50%, add in a dot component.
Reduce auto attack damage. People dont realize now much damage it does, especially with wings.
Reduce the damage that Guardian of Ancient Kings does.
Add in some synergy between Censure and Judgement. Allow Judgement to only do full damage when at 5 stacks of Censure. Reduce the damage done by Judgement by x% per stack of Censure.

I think the goal should be to keep Ret's sustained damage in a respectable place while toning down the infamous Ret burst. The recent change to Holy Avenger seemingly goes against that, and if things don't change Ret will be known only for its insane burst damage nothing more. The utility toolkit and flexibility will be forgotten until the next time wings is up.

P.S. For the sake of discussion, lets try to keep this PvE oriented. While I'm well aware that changes aimed at one side of the game have sweeping repercussions for the other, I want to keep this more directed at casual to high end PvE performance.

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Game Designer
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#2 - 2012/08/10 10:52:00 PM
The easiest way to handle this is to tell us:

What was your damage before?
What is your damage now?
What do you think your damage should be?
Is someone beating you that you think should not be?

Numbers are going to go up and numbers are going to go down until launch, and possibly after. It's going to be an exhausting few weeks if every number change we do launches threads that I'd characterize as "Don't nerf me bro." :(

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Game Designer
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#17 - 2012/08/11 01:40:00 AM
also about all those damage reductions do you guys do that incrementally while testing or reduce damage now and test later??? Seems to me it's more of a nerf everything now and do testing exclusively later then if it doesn't work bring it back! Correct me if I'm wrong on this!


No, we do a lot of testing and agree on which specs need to come up or down and then figure out the best strategy to adjust that damage. We are doing more across-the-board buffs or nerfs these days (or hitting passives) since we aren't in most cases trying to change priorities or rotations, just hitting overall DPS.

A really typical situation for us to be in at this stage in development is that DPS gradually crept up because inflated damage numbers were covering up for a lot of bugs. Now that those bugs are all getting fixed, and now that things like underpowered talents, glyphs, set bonuses and the like have been adjusted, then DPS has inched up for almost everyone. At this point we have nerfed almost every class except rogues and Feral druids, who just happened to be pretty close to our target numbers already. (I'm guessing Arms will be okay or need buffs, but we're not there yet.)

No, not really. That's why you need numbers. Which you still didn't give. What does middle-of-the-pack dps mean in the context of beta? What if the top half are all the untuned specs?


Yeah. And if middle of the pack is offensive, then who exactly should be middle of the pack? Healers? Then who is at the bottom?

The danger of displaying DPS in a stack rank (which is what World of Logs and most sites do, as wonderful as they are overall) is that it's a stack rank. If you're middle of the pack but the guy on top is 200 DPS ahead of you, that's not really a difference, though it can be arresting when displayed visually.

I'm not trying to sound patronizing, but a strategy we use is to divide things into buckets. Look at the bars that are close together and put those into buckets. If the Shadow priest, Ret paladin and Enhance shaman bars are all close together, then put them into a bucket and call that "high dps" even if the Ret is above the shaman. If the next series of bars looks noticeably smaller, cluster those together and call them "medium dps." There might be one bucket or there might be 5-6, but even in a 25-player raid you don't often see 25 buckets.

That's YOUR job and YOUR job only to ensure all classes are on an even plane. It's our job to report our findings with the class we play. This isn't a "Don't nerf me bro." thread idiot.


Are we calling each other names now? That could be fun. Tragically, I have moderators on my side, so I'll probably win.

We're totally comfortable doing our jobs. We have targets for DPS and we strive to hit them. We also appreciate feedback from the community and we give you an opportunity to point out potential problems. However, if you want to convince us that we need to change our numbers, the burden of proof is on you. We're not going to seek permission from the community to balance the game the way it needs to be balanced.

You said "Damage before was higher than damage now." Yes, we know. We nerfed the damage. Is it too low now? Why? By how much? What's your argument? If anyone could just post on the forums "My damage is too low now," and we had to buff based on that, we'd be in an interesting (but perhaps very entertaining) situation.

HoW being usable throughout AW is a key Paladin attribute.


We think using Hammer of Wrath during Avenging Wrath was a fun change for paladins that made wings more than just a percent increase to all damage. I'm not sure we would immediately buff Hammer of Wrath if we left it only as an execute. I understand that Execute and Shadow Word: Death are fun, but we don't really want Hammer of Wrath to be a mirror of those abilities. We have enough mirrored abilities already.

I can appreciate that it's a change you would make if you were in my shoes. I fully acknowledge that this is a very subjective business.

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Game Designer
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#63 - 2012/08/11 08:00:00 PM
Specifically, why take paladins of all classes and turn them into bursty glass cannons? We're heavily armored champions of the light, capable of healing ourselves and crafting nigh-impenetrable barriers out of our raw will, and yet our mechanical strengths and weaknesses mostly encourage us to sort of hide behind a rock two-thirds of the time waiting for our cooldowns to tick away in the hopes that once they do we can murder the crap out of someone before they have a chance to fight back.


I think glass cannon is debatable for a class with as many cooldowns as paladins. Warriors and rogues can be bursty as well. Anyone can be bursty who lines up a lot of cooldowns and has a full bar of resources, and warriors with Heroic Strike off the GCD and rogues with a 1 sec GCD are just two classes good at delivering on that.

If your question was more about why paladins aren't designed to be high defense, low offense, we just found that it wasn't a very fun model for our game (and tanks rather than specific classes sort of fill it already).

That's why we don't understand why our DPS CDs keep getting buffed while consistent damage goes down when the developers have to know at this point how utterly Ret Paladins can be countered by CC.


Is there a specific CD buff you're referring to? We tried to take damage down across the board, which will include attacks both during CDs like AW and without. If you're referring to buffing Holy Avenger, we just needed to that so that mathematically it was a competitive choice.

There are also a lot of requests in here to increase the damage of Hammer of Wrath, which would still just increase bursts during short windows, even if you only consider execute range and not wings.

HoW does so little damage its not even worth using in the rotation when wings are up.


I would be surprised if that was the case. How about this though: if we find that we need to increase Ret's damage, we'll definitely look at HoW as an avenue for that.

I've enjoyed playing Ret in the beta, not because it's been "OP" but because it feels more fluid. This is a sharp contrast to prot which feels much clunkier with our main attacks going to haste scaling rather than a fixed 3-second cooldown.


Can you explain why Sanctity of Battle works for Ret but not Prot?

I feel all of this retribution "Balancing" has been leaking into Protection Dps specifically threat generation but they're being relatively neglected because there are fewer Protection Paladins than Ret and even fewer of us that have a voice.


I recently mentioned that was a possibility since we had been focusing on Ret, but there were plenty of knobs to bring Prot DPS back up. Since then we tested it and found that Prot's DPS was pretty much exactly where it should be. There were situations, such as AE, where warrior DPS was much too high, but they should all be closer next patch.

I'm also noticing that Glyph of Inquisition is increasing my Crit by 10%, which isn't stated in the Glyph itself but is in the character screen and buff duration.


Inquisition itself increases crit now. Is the glyph doing it as well?

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Game Designer
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#174 - 2012/08/14 08:51:00 PM
Yeah, too bad they stripped another 15%wpn off Crusader Strike in this build. Do the developers even play this game?

Never mind Ret at this point, we'll be sitting. I wonder if Prot will even be able to hold aggro by the time they're done.


If you want us to take anything from this thread, tell us how much damage you were doing before, how much damage you're doing now, and how much damage you think you should be doing. Making a "I don't like it when my number goes down" post isn't super helpful to anyone.

We will continue to lock or delete threads that just come across as whining. There are plenty of other places on the internet to do that. :)