Regional FlagThe problem with hit scaling in raid tiersSource
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Solwolf
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#0 - 2010/09/20 09:00:52 PM
I wonder if the scaling of +hit - the fact that as we progress in raid tiers, we'll need more +hit to be capped - isn't a solution that's worse than the problem.

According to GC, Blizz saw an itemization and stat scaling problem in WotLK, primarily revolving around +hit. To guarantee spells hit a raid boss, one must have +17% chance to hit. +Hit is the #1 primary stat for any raiding caster - you simply cannot randomly miss spells because doing so can absolutely wreck your rotation and DPS. The unique issue with +hit, as it relates to casters (and less so for melee) is that +hit is so binary - either you have too little and therefore you have to get more to raid effectively, or you have enough and any more is 100% wasted.

This binary nature, by itself, really isn't much of a problem. It makes tier increases challenging, since higher tier gear has more +hit on individual pieces, so you often need fewer pieces of gear with +hit to meet the cap. But if +hit scales with raid tiers, the consequences for raiding casters are un-fun.

Consider the following made up numbers.

Tier 11 - 1000 +hit rating to be capped.

Tier 12 - 1200 +hit rating to be capped.

So a caster must reach 1000 +hit really just to start raiding at Tier 11, and anything extra is completely wasted and probably reforged. As the raider clears the content, lower level gear is replaced by higher level gear, but the caster still has absolutely no reason to go over 1000 +hit. After farming the raid instance for weeks or months, Tier 12 is released.

Now the caster has some choices, none of which are fun because all of them decrease the caster's power just to start raiding in the next tier. The caster can:

-regem some slots to go from 1000 +hit to 1200, thereby losing +crit, haste, mastery, or spellpower
-regear into items that grant 1200 +hit, thereby losing +crit, haste, mastery, spellpower, or even set bonuses.
-drop DPS trinkets in favor of +hit trinkets, thereby losing DPS to get back to required baseline of being hit capped

This results in something of a double whammy - the raid bosses get harder as you increase in tiers and the casters get weaker until they can re-farm +hit gear. We get a sawtooth type progression instead of a smooth increase over time.

I don't see any way to avoid a power-loss as one advances tiers under this system. Doesn't losing power as you go from one tier to the next seem unfun to you? I understand that +hit is a special snowflake, but I think the problem in WotLK with +hit is made worse by the Cata solution. Frankly, I think reforging effectively solves the +hit problem of WotLK - as the amount of hit on gear increases, one can simply reforge the excess into whatever other stat is most needed.

Tthoughts?

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Blue Poster
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#61 - 2010/09/21 08:10:33 PM
You're too focused on hit alone.

This piece of gear wouldn't exist, but to save me from having to make three versions, consider this series of boots:

Level 83 quest blues with 10 attack power, 10 Stamina, 10 crit, 10 hit, 10 parry.
Level 85 quest blues with 12 attack power, 12 Stamina, 12 crit, 12 hit, 12 parry.
Level 85 tier 1 raid with 14 attack power, 14 Stamina, 14 crit, 14 hit, 14 parry.
Level 85 tier 2 raid with 16 attack power, 16 Stamina, 16 crit, 16 hit, 16 parry.

When yo go from level 83 to level 85 you stay at the same amount of power relative to creatures. Why? Because the creatures are gaining levels. Their health goes up, so you need that extra AP. Their damage goes up, so you need that extra health. Your chance to crit and hit and parry them goes down, so you need those stats as well.

So far, so good.

When you start raiding, the bosses are level 88. This makes them a little harder to hit and everything, so you need that extra budget on your gear to keep up. Still not a problem.

Now let's look at the final piece of gear. You're going from a tier 1 raid to a tier 2 raid. The boss hits harder so you need that health. The boss has more health, so you need that attack power. But the boss is still level 88 like he was in tier 1. This means you crit him more than the previous boss, because your crit went up. You do more damage to the harder boss than to the easier boss. You also hit him more (unless you're hit capped, which you probably are) and you parry him more.

We solved, in an awkward way, the parry problem in Icecrown by putting a debuff on you. That basically allowed the creatures to scale with your gear. We couldn't solve the crit or hit problems, so players just became more and more powerful and eventually capped those stats (or got close to it in the case of crit). Just as players are often very worried (and sometimes rightfully so) about not scaling with gear, the bosses were not scaling with your gear. All of those problems that can happen to players when their damage (or healing or tanking) don't scale were happening to the bosses. You were scaling too well with crit, hit and parry.

A different way to go would be that the tier 2 raid boss is actually level 89 or 90 instead of level 88. Then you'd naturally need more crit and hit and parry to face him. That makes intuitive sense, but it does some weird things to our game because creature levels were never intended to be used that way. For example, the boss would get crushing blows and resists. Even worse, it does weird things to the next tier of content. If Deathwing at the end of Cataclysm (spoiler!) is a level 93 boss, then what is the first boss at the end of the next expansion? Level 93? Level 90? Level 96?

Instead, we are just faking the bosses gaining levels. We haven't worked out the exact mechanic yet, but imagine they are level 88++ or level 88.3 or level 88 SKULL SKULL BAD SKULL. As you get more powerful and get better gear, they get more powerful... exactly like all those bosses you handled while leveling up. Rather than critting and hitting the more dangerous opponents more often, your relative power stays about the same. You scale.

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Blue Poster
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#62 - 2010/09/21 08:13:24 PM
Q u o t e:
That goes straight to customer satisfaction and longevity of the game. The more you play, the more powerful you should become. Not the weaker.


You do get more powerful. You get more powerful in an absolute sense, but not in a relative sense, because the challenges you can face become more powerful too. It is a fundamental pillar of RPG design othat as you get more powerful, you are able to handle more powerful opponents. Games lose their steam pretty quickly if you become more powerful and just use that power to steamroll the same weak opponents. Where is the glory in that?

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Blue Poster
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#66 - 2010/09/21 08:16:26 PM
Q u o t e:
Hit will never be an interesting stat as long as there's a hard cap on it.


I know this is an old argument, but this is *why* we think hit is an interesting stat. If you could just stack hit forever, you probably would, because it's a very good stat. Some of the biggest decisions to be made about gearing come when you have to engineer enough but not too much of this one stat so that you can focus on the others. We want you to look at stats other than just ilevel. Otherwise, we might as well just give all the armor and weapons a power stat, and you just pick whichever has the most power. Hit keeps you from just stacking your best stat. Maybe it doesn't add a ton of depth to say "stack hit, then stack your best stat" but it does add some.

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Blue Poster
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#79 - 2010/09/21 08:36:36 PM
Q u o t e:
The glory is in the big number GC. Common with all the meter QQ'ing and bragging you should know that... LOL


The numbers do get bigger though. Even though your chance to hit may stay the same, the damage numbers when you hit will go up. Attack power isn't a rating.