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Regional FlagFrost Mages are losing DPS w/ normal rotationSource
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Thingy
Target Source
#1 - 2017/01/25 04:28:00 AM
This is a x-post from the mage forums

Explanation
Like the title suggests, I believe frost mages are losing some DPS by just doing their normal rotation. Brain Freeze procs are being lost because mages are following "Always Be Casting (ABC)" and queueing up a frostbolt directly after another frostbolt. Since Brain Freeze procs happen directly after a frostbolt cast is finished and you are queueing another frostbolt at that same moment you can't react to a BF proc until after the 2nd frostbolt is cast - at which point you might have procced another one, consquently losing the 1st.

A Brain Freeze Flurry does a lot of damage - somewhere around a million damage with crits on higher geared players. That's an awful lot of damage to miss out on by playing the way the spec was intended. It also seems like it will get worse on average when you get your T19 2pc bonus since you're more likely to proc a BF and lose one.

I took a look at the top 10 frost mage parses on heroic Krosus to see how it was affecting some of the best frost mages in the world. Keep in mind that in order to lose a BF proc you have to have one and the follow-up frostbolt has to proc one as well. There is some RNG to the number of procs you lose, but losing procs because of it happens every fight. Here's the results:


Heroic Krosus
Top 10 Frost Mages
# Procs Cast Wasted 2pc?
1 37 25 12 Y
2 37 29 8 N
3 32 23 9 N
4 33 27 6 N
5 32 24 8 N
6 25 21 4 N
7 30 26 4 Y
8 22 20 2 Y
9 37 26 11 Y
10 31 30 1 N

Average Procs: 31.6
Average Casts: 25.1
Average Wasted: 6.5
Average % Wasted: 20.57%


Sorry for the mis-alignment.

You'll see that some of the top mages in the world on a mostly single target fight are losing on average TWENTY PERCENT of their BF procs! I realize this is a small sample size, but if you keep looking through the logs you'll see the trend continues. I picked out random ones between #10-700 and the results reflected very close to above. Also, I have no idea how #10 was able to only lose 1 proc - he must have been extremely lucky IMO.

Some quick easy number napkin math. If each Brain Freeze Flurry does 800k and you lose 20% of them over a 4 minute fight with 30 of them proccing that's a loss of 6 BF Flurries which equals 4.8M damage and 20k DPS over the course of the fight.

Suggestions
My only suggestion is to make Brain Freeze able to stack to 2. This gives players at least a GCD to react to a BF proc and use it without losing it. We've had it before and it was great - please bring it back. This will both help frost mage numbers AND how the spec feels to play.

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Game Designer
Target Source
#11 - 2017/01/27 01:56:00 AM
This is an issue currently, which is made more prominent this patch because the proc rate of Brain Freeze has gotten rather high (probably higher than is ideal). We're hesitant to go straight to "Brain Freeze stacks 2 times." For one, we're just repeating Fingers of Frost at that point (which has gone from a proc to a sort of a pooled psuedo-resource). But also, this is how rampant power/complexity/pacing creep happens--always fixing a problem by adding a new mechanic that makes something a lot more powerful.

Worth pointing out that "losing DPS" is a bit of a misnomer. Wasting a certain percentage of Brain Freeze procs (especially a very predictable percentage, as was pointed out) doesn't prohibit tuning the spec around that. That said, we get that it's a bad feeling to feel like you wasted one.

I can see exploring a solution like imperceptibly delaying the Brain Freeze proc. So that if you cast two Frostbolts and then an instant Flurry, the second Frostbolt's Brain Freeze proc will apply just after the Flurry. This is similar to the sort of invisible timing adjustment that happens around Hot Streak to make sure it works intuitively, which generally works well.

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Game Designer
Target Source
#15 - 2017/01/27 03:11:00 AM
01/26/2017 06:00 PMPosted by Venno
The counter then is when you follow a frostbolt with an Ebonbolt. Right now the brain freeze proc happens quick enough to abort the cast. If it's delayed I'd be much further along and it would be a bigger dps loss to cancel.

Edit: not trying to be difficult, just want to avoid getting a new problem.


Stating again that this is not a fully-formed plan yet, but to make sure I was clear: my expectation in that case is that you would cast Frostbolt->Ebonbolt->Flurry->Ice Lance->Flurry->Ice Lance (where Ebonbolt's Brain Freeze appears a split-second after the first Flurry). We would not want it to be optimal to abort the Ebonbolt cast, in any case.

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Community Manager
Target Source
#82 - 2017/01/31 08:33:00 PM
We made the following hotfixes live about an hour ago:

  • Brain Freeze procs gained while you already have a Brain Freeze active and unused will now be delayed slightly.
  • Developers’ notes: The delay on the second Brain Freeze will give the Mage time to use the first Brain Freeze proc. For example, the Mage might cast Frostbolt (proc Brain Freeze), then Frostbolt (proc Brain Freeze again), then instant Flurry, then Ice Lance, then Instant Flurry again, then Ice Lance.
  • Ebonbolt now travels slightly slower.
  • Developers’ notes: This allows the guaranteed Brain Freeze proc/instant Flurry cast immediately following it to land first, providing the Winter's Chill buff to that Ebonbolt. For example, the Mage might cast Frostbolt (proc Brain Freeze), then Ebonbolt, and fully use both Brain Freeze procs.
  • The first missile from a Flurry cast should now hit sooner.
  • Developers’ notes: This allows a Frostbolt or Ebonbolt cast immediately before a Brain Freeze Flurry to more consistently benefit from that Flurry's Winter's Chill effect, even if the mage isn’t standing at long range. The Frost Mage who has an active Brain Freeze can now cast Frostbolt/Ebonbolt, then an Instant Flurry, then Ice Lance while standing 15+ yards from the target. Previously, the Mage had to be about twice as far away.