So, as Blizzard seems to be making a fair number of balancing tweaks at the moment, it seems reasonable to believe there will be further blue posts that we care about. And having been on these forums for a while, I know that when such posts appear, people just *love* to copy/paste them into various threads here. Usually 3 or 4 different people in 3 or 4 different threads. And this is, of course, clearly inefficient and stupid.
So: from now on, we're going to put them all in one thread. Specifically: this thread. From here on out, if you copy blue posts into any other thread in the rogue forum, you're going to get an infraction unless you're providing significant additional analysis that's pertinent to the thread's topic. If you're just cut and pasting the blue post, put it in this thread. Also, make sure to verify that no one else has posted it before - it's all in one thread, so there's really no excuse for posting something that has already been posted. So if you do it, you're going to get an infraction (and yes, I realize that simultaneous posting type things can happen, and I will show a certain degree of leniency with them. But if you're more than 5 minutes behind or so, it's your own damn fault for doing a copy/paste without refreshing first).
Feel free to additionally discuss said changes here, but please try to be constructive about it - whining about nerfs, or asking for specific gear advice in light of the changes, or basically any other behavior that we wouldn't tolerate under normal circumstances... we still are not going to tollerate. This isn't an invitation to post whatever the heck you want with respect to blue posts - all forum rules still apply. This is simply to make all the blue posts we may wish to discuss easily findable for those wishing to discuss them, so we don't wind up cross-posting them into half the threads on the forum.
As many of you have suspected, we think rogue damage is too high. We will be making hotfixes to lower the maximum damage output of Assassination and Combat rogues. The Combat nerf will be slight. Both specs should still do just fine on damage meters (assuming skill, gear etc.) but shouldn't be beating out other specs to such a large degree.
The base damage bonus from Hunger for Blood has been reduced from 10% to 5%.
The bonus damage rogues gain from attack power for poisons has been decreased. This applies to Instant Poison, Deadly Poison, and Wound Poison.
Additional note: further testing reveals that the coefficient reduction is 10% for all 3 poisons - WP is now .036, IP .09, and DP .108 (or .027 per tick per stack).
We have been trying to keep players up to date on the item changes especially with all the procs involved in the ICC items. I checked on this and we haven't made any changes at this point (at least nothing intentional) as we are still evaluating it.
Despite this, the proc behavior has pretty clearly changed, so it sounds like it may have gotten caught in some larger fix. Hopefully we'll get further feedback from Blizzard in the next couple of days as to whether said changes will be reverted or not.
Blue Post, 1/16/10 (yes a Saturday), regarding the change to procs/PPM. Looks like we need to re-test Berserking now too (and probably anything that relies on proc mechanics).
We changed the way PPM procs work to make sure many of the weapons and trinkets did their expected performance in Icecrown instead of proc'ing too much for some specs or classes or forcing players into unusual behavior to try and fish for the procs. This change also affected some older mechanics in the game too such as the Berserking enchant. For the most part the intent is that these systems all proc off of attacks and they are balanced with that assumption.
At this time we're happy with the damage that characters are now doing after these changes, though we'll continue to monitor and adjust damage overall and that includes the proc-based items.
Some of the weapons from the Lich King are not as good as we had hoped. To encourage you to want these new weapons, we have decided to change some of the old combat ratings over to better ones. We have obtained a preview of these changes, for your perusal, on behalf of the Beijing development team.
Heaven's Fall, Kryss of a Thousand Lies - Armor Penetration replaced with Haste Rating
Stormfury, Black Blade of the Betraye] - Armor Penetration replaced with Expertise
Fal'inrush, Defender of Quel'thalas - Haste Rating replaced with Armor Penetration
* Rupture: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes.
+ Filthy Tricks: Now Reduces the cooldown by 5/10 seconds and energy cost by 5/10 of Tricks of the Trade, Distract and Shadowstep abilities, and reduces the cooldown of Preparation by 1.5/3 minutes.
+ Ghostly Strike: If the rogue has a dagger equipped, this ability now deals 180% weapon damage instead of 125%.
+ Hemorrhage: If the rogue has a dagger equipped, this ability now deals 160% weapon damage instead of 110%.
+ Slaughter from the Shadows: Now adds 1/2/3/4/5% damage to all attacks in addition to its current effects.
+ Waylay: The debuff from this talent can now be caused by Backstab in addition to Ambush.
* Slaughter from the Shadows: Now adds 1/2/3/4/5% damage to all attacks and reduces the energy cost of Backstab and Ambush by 4/8/12/16/20, up from 3/6/9/12/15.
* Waylay: The debuff from this talent can now be caused by Backstab in addition to Ambush and can be triggered by all hits from these abilities rather than just critical strikes, but the snare component is now 50%, down from 70%.
As many of you know from panels at last year’s BlizzCon and posts here on the forums since then, Cataclysm will bring about major changes to familiar character stats such as Intellect, Armor Penetration, Defense, and others, ultimately designed to make the effects of stats more easily understandable and make gear choices more interesting. As these changes will have a significant impact on how stats work and relate to one another, today we wanted to offer you a closer look at exactly what’s in store and explain some of the rationale before Cataclysm arrives.
The most obvious question these changes raise is "Why are stats being changed, and why now?" As the game has matured, we've run into increasingly complex issues with the current stat system. Many stats are inherently confusing, and the way they interrelate can feel convoluted. Attack Power, for example, currently translates to damage, but so does Armor Penetration. Defense provides five different statistical benefits of varying utility. Mana regeneration involves understanding multiple stats and rules and often ends up being irrelevant anyway. In addition, the difference between a "good stat" for a class and a "bad stat" can be extreme. Some casters want Haste but not Crit; hunters want Armor Penetration but not Haste. There are other overarching issues, as well, such as Intellect not being very exciting for casters despite it being a core stat -- and these are just a few examples.
Our ultimate goal is make gear a more interesting (and less confusing) choice by making each stat valuable to more players. While the reasoning behind some of the following changes may be clear, we understand that you may have questions about some of the less obvious alterations, and we'll do our best to answer any questions you may have here on the forums.
What You’ll See on Gear
Stamina - Because of the way we will be assigning Strength, Agility, and Intellect, non-plate wearers will end up with more Stamina than before. Health pools will be much closer between plate-wearers and other classes.
Spirit - Come Cataclysm, this stat should only be found on healing gear. Non-healing casters will have other systems in place to regenerate mana, and we are designing special solutions for Elemental shaman and Balance druids who often share gear with healers (more on this below). Raid buffs that currently boost Spirit (such as Blessing of Kings) will only boost the primary stats of Stamina, Strength, Agility, and Intellect. We are also likely changing the five-second rule and other quirks of the current regen system.
Intellect - Intellect will now grant Spell Power (more on this below). Intellect will also provide less mana than it currently does.
Haste - Haste will become more attractive for melee classes by allowing them to recover resources such as energy and runes more quickly. Our intention is for Haste to let you "do stuff" more often.
Block Rating - Block is being redesigned to scale better. Blocked attacks will simply hit for 30% less damage. Block rating will improve your chance to block, though overall block chances will be lower than they are today.
Parry - Parry no longer provides 100% avoidance and no longer speeds up attacks. Instead, when you parry an attack, it and the next attack will each hit for 50% damage (assuming they hit at all). In other words, Dodge is a chance to avoid 100% of the damage from one attack, Parry is a chance to avoid 50% of the damage from two attacks, and Block is a chance to avoid 30% of the damage from one attack.
Mastery - This is a new stat that will allow players to become better at whatever makes their chosen talent tree cool or unique. It's directly tied to talents, so what you gain from improving this stat is entirely dependent upon your class and the talent specialization you choose. We’ll talk more about specific Mastery benefits in the future.
Armor - The way Armor mitigates damage is not changing, but the Armor stat has been rebalanced to mirror changes to the armor curve in Cataclysm. As a result, bonus Armor will go down slightly overall. We are also changing the mitigation difference among armor types so that plate doesn’t offer so much more protection than mail, leather, and cloth.
Resilience - This will only affect damage done by players and critical damage done by players. It will not impact crit chance, mana drains, or other such effects.
Strength, Agility, Hit Rating, Expertise, and Critical Strike Rating - These will all still appear on gear as well. Aside from situations mentioned elsewhere in this list, in general these will function similarly to how they do now, though the details -- such as how much Hit Rating you might need to effectively combat high-level creatures (more on this below) -- are likely to change.
Being Removed from Items
Attack Power - This stat will no longer be present on most items as a flat value, though it will still show up on some process. Strength and Agility, which will be present on items, will grant the appropriate amount of Attack Power (generally 2 Attack Power per point of Strength or Agility) depending upon which stat a particular class favors. Agility may provide less Crit than it currently does.
Spell Power - Spell Power is another stat that you'll no longer see present on most items. Instead, as mentioned above, Intellect will grant Spell Power. One exception is that caster weapons will still have Spell Power. This allows us to make weapons proportionately more powerful for casters in the same way they are for melee classes.
Armor Penetration - This stat will no longer be present on items. Armor Penetration will still exist in talents and abilities.
Shield Block Value - This stat will no longer be present on items, since the amount blocked is always proportional to the amount of damage done. Talents and other effects might still modify the damage-reduction percentage from 30%, however.
Going Away Completely
MP5 - This stat will be removed from the game completely. Holy paladins and Restoration shaman will be redesigned to benefit from Spirit.
Defense - Defense is being removed from the game entirely. Tanking classes should expect to become uncrittable versus creatures just by shifting into Defensive Stance, Frost Presence, Bear Form, or by using Righteous Fury.
Spell Ranks - Spell ranks will cease to exist. All spells will have one rank and will scale appropriately with level. The levels at which you can learn certain spells are being changed in order to fill in some of the gaps, and we will be introducing some new spells to learn along the way as well.
Weapon Skill - This stat will be removed from the game completely. Classes will start with all the weapon skills they need to know and will not need to improve them.
What Else You Should Know
Combat ratings - All ratings will be much harder to "cap out" at maximum gear levels. Ratings will be steeper in Cataclysm, and creatures in later tiers of content will be harder to hit or crit, similar to how level-83 mobs are harder to hit or crit than level-80 mobs.
Reforging - While these changes will go a long way to making a wider variety of stats more attractive, we understand that sometimes you simply don’t want more Hit Rating on your gear or you’d rather have more Haste than more Crit. In Cataclysm, we are going to give players a way to replace stats on gear as part of the existing profession system. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll be able to convert one stat to 50% of another stat. While some conversions (like converting Stamina to Strength) won’t be permitted, the goal is to let you customize your gear more.
Gems - We are changing the gem colors of a few stats as a result of these adjustments. For example, Hit is likely to be blue instead of yellow. We'll have more details on this in the future.
Changes to Existing Gear
As with previous expansions, we plan to roll out these changes and modify all existing gear shortly before Cataclysm launches, though it’s still too early to say exactly when. For the most part, the gear you have will still be good for you, though there will be exceptions, such as warriors using leather and mail armor.
If you are a tank (druids excepted), expect to see:
* No more Defense on gear. Existing Defense becomes Dodge, Parry, or Block Rating.
* No more Block Value on gear. Existing Block Value becomes Block Rating.
* You’ll have as much Stamina as you’re used to, though you may notice your tanking plate has a bit less Stamina than a comparable piece of DPS plate, since we tend to take the gem budget out of your most attractive stat.
* Bonus Armor on gear will go down slightly.
If you are a melee DPS class, druid tank, or hunter, expect to see:
* A lot more Stamina. Bear-form Stamina scaling will be lowered as a result.
* Strength if you wear plate. Agility if you wear mail or leather.
* Existing Attack Power becomes Agility and Stamina.Armor Penetration becomes Haste or Crit.
* No Intellect on melee gear. Hunters won’t need Intellect since they will no longer use mana. Shaman and Retribution paladins will get mana and spell damage in other ways.
If you are a DPS caster, expect to see:
* A lot more Stamina.
* All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
* No Spirit. You won’t miss Spirit, though, because you won’t need it for DPS or mana regen.
If you are a healer, expect to see:
* A lot more Stamina.
* All of your Spell Power converted to Intellect and Stamina.
* Spirit instead of MP5. You’ll probably be happy with Spirit, though, because mana regen is going to matter more than it does currently. Healing paladins and shaman will benefit more from Spirit than they do currently.
If you are a Balance druid or Elemental shaman:
* You will still share gear with Restoration druids and shaman.
* Your gear will have Spirit on it. It won’t have Hit on it.
* You will have a talent that converts Spirit to Hit. We will adjust talents accordingly so that you want about as much Spirit as, say, a warlock wants Hit.
* Hit on rings and other such gear will still benefit you.
* Raid buffs will no longer boost Spirit, so you shouldn’t find yourself unexpectedly over the Hit cap because of buffs.
Many lower-level items with nonsensical combinations of stats, such as Agility and Spirit, will be changed. We're also updating quest rewards, trade skills, and loot drops to support better itemization for class builds that weren't widely available or used prior to The Burning Crusade (such as Balance druids).
We're aware this is a lot of information to take in, but this is still only a piece of the larger picture, and many of these changes rely on integration with other systems we haven't yet discussed in detail. In the weeks and months ahead, we'll continue to tell you more about these changes, along with all of the new and exciting features we have planned for Cataclysm.
Overall, we think rogues do too much passive damage -- autoattacks + poison. We want to shift more of that towards their specials, which will let both the finishers and the generators hit harder while keeping sustained damage about the same. It might mean less-skilled rogues do less damage by comparison, but that's not really a bad thing.
* Tricks of the Trade: Now works properly on targets below level 65. Also fixed a bug where the threat transfer would not happen sometimes.
* Feint: This ability can no longer proc poisons.
* Master Poisoner; Now correctly reduces the duration of a sting refreshed by Chimera Shot.
Rogue damage distribution and burst
That's the risk, but from a broader perspective you're identifying the problem: more damage on specials is more fun and generally requires more skill than lots of damage from auto attacking, but can lead to more burst. That doesn't mean that tons of damage from auto attacking is a desired goal though. Neither extreme is fun.
In Cataclysm, when health pools are much higher, then burst as a PvP strategy just isn't going to have the same strength it does now. In LK you can get someone close to death in a few globals, and in fact you need to, because if you don't the healer is going to have them back to full again. In Cataclysm, sustained damage even in PvP will be more meaningful, because you're trying to shift someone's health towards an endpoint instead of flipping them from 100% to 0%. It should feel more like a tug of war over health. In that environment, burst can still be good for when you need to actually get that killing blow, but it won't be the only strategy.
Rogue burst is also scary today because they can deliver it while a target is chain stunned. We've also said that's not a particularly fun place to be (for attacker or defender) and we need to shift rogue defenses away from short-duration immunities (which includes the stuns) and more towards being able to stand toe to toe with other classes a little better. (Source)
Q. With the emphasis moving to Battlegrounds, have you looked into rogue cooldown dependency issues?
A. We definitely want to give rogues a considerable boost in the passive damage reduction department, and then tone down some of their active cooldowns in the process. We still want the rogue to feel twitchy and exciting to play, but not to the extent that you can’t deal with another class toe-to-toe without any cooldowns up. Oh, and Cloak of Shadows now provides 100% resistance.
While this post is mostly pvp-centric, it's nice to know that CloS will provide full resistance. This should increase our pve survivability as well, and make it more predictable.