Part 1…in which we analyze what Ghostcrawler writes about the buffs.In the first part of his lengthy Post, GC describes some general design goals concerning the buffs in MoP. Lets see what they are:
Make you feel more powerful when grouped with other players.
This makes good sense, as a starting point. Everyone likes feeling powerful. I’m not exactly sure though, what the ultimate point here is. In most 5-mans I run people don’t want to feel powerful at all. They want to get it over with. Is the buff overhaul going to change that? Not so sure…
Give you lots of freedom to invite whom you want. This gets to be a problem when there are too many mandatory buffs spread out among too many specs / But not offer too many incentives to class stack. (…)
That’s pure gold. I am writing from a cutting-edge, heroic progression 10-man raiding perspective. If we remember Spine of Deathwing Heroic prenerf, this point is energized with otherworldly goodness! In this content we had to class-stack to have a certain type of Damage (burst, AoE, sustainable, movement-allowing, whatever) and then find out that we didn’t have the luxury to be able to have the raid buffs we needed. This is, in a word, frustrating. And it goes on: When you have to build your roster around raid buffs and have to potentially have backups who provide a certain buff, you get to have raiders who don’t raid, or those who are needed for every single fight at the bleeding edge of progression despite the fact that their class might not be in fact as optimal for a certain encounter. Basically, we are getting rid of one aspect of class-stacking, the aspect of having to have all the raid buffs, which is hard in 10-man. Whether the other sort of class-stacking will be adressed? I don’t think so, and I am OK with it. As GC describes sowell, we actually enjoy min-maxing. Those buff changes are definitely a step in the right direction. We’ll be able to pick classes based on their individual strenghts and the players’ strengths as well, instead of having to look at the formal concept of “do they bring the buff”.
We tend to be more generous to DPS specs, since groups -- especially raids -- already have ample reasons to bring tanks and healers.
But, Mr. Ghostcrawler, the amount of buffs and raid utility the Blood DK brought wasn’t exactly breathtaking compared to –say- Paladins. It’s great that you are generous to DPS specs so that they can choose their spec for the fight and still provide the buffs (see below: ANY rogue etc.) but I don’t really like the argument implied, that tanks and healers already bring many great buffs and us bringing them solves a lot of problems in the buff department. More about this below.
We generally don’t want a DPS spec to have to switch to a different spec in the same role just to bring a different buff. An example would be a Combat rogue who has to go Assassination just for a buff. In our experience, players are less likely to switch from a ranged to a melee DPS spec just for a buff, so DPS shaman and DPS druids might bring different buffs.
Agreed. We are happy that our rogue doesn’t have to switch spec anymore. As for the other part, since the buffs are being consolidated so nicely, the chances of not being able to get the buffs together actually diminish, giving more flexibility in the spec you want to choose.
Part 2…in which we adress the additional considerations Ghostcrawler gives.Note that totems no longer bring passive buffs as a rule.
That’s part of the Shaman overhaul. I’m not sure how to feel about it. I suppose it’s a good thing, but I have been playing with Shamans for a long time, and I’m grateful that the Totems used to provide passive buffs. But since it seems that the overhaul makes it easier to have buffs with any composition, the change makes sense.
Bleeds no longer made sense, since everyone who cared about bleeds already buffed themselves. Magical resistance we just removed from the game, though there are some abilities that provide magical damage reduction.
I’m anxious about the removal of the magical resistance. It makes for a more streamlined feel, that’s for sure but it’s been with us for so long and in various incarnations, from bosses immune to a certain type of damage, to gear with resistance being stacked, to racial abilities (/moo), to trinkets (know what I’m talking about? I’m sure you do) which allowed non-DKs to kill bosses like Ragnaros without making their healers despair with every fiery explosion. Don’t take me wrong, the changes to magical damage reduction are good. I’m just being wistful…
We are still likely to use the design that hunters, especially Beastmaster hunters, can fill in for missing buffs or debuffs by using certain pets.
Part 3…in which we look at the buffs one by oneSo lets see what we have left of the Buffs and who provides what.
- 5% STR, AGI, INT: This has, apparently seen some change, as it no longer provides 5% Stamina. It will be provided by all Druids, all Monks and all Paladins.
- 10% Stamina: This is no longer a number (585 in the case of PWF) but a percentage. PWF today gives my DK, who has about 205k HP about 10.5k HP more. 10% Stamina would give me about 225k HP, which is, well- more. We’ll get into the debate of who benefits more from this in due time, of course. The Buff will be provided by Priests, Warlocks and Warriors (again, all specs)
- 10% Attack Power: This means 10% melee and ranged attack power, which will come to be the same stat. Buff provided by all Death Knights (Abomination’s Might for the masses!), also all Hunters and all Warriors
- 10% Spell Power: The 6% Spell Power gets ditched (thank God, it was like having two pairs of shoes, one of them in great shape but unfortunately too small for your feet). All mages, all Shamans and all Warlocks provide this.
- 10% Haste: This is going to be melee and ranged haste, provided as usual by DPS Death Knights, but then again by all Rogues and Enhancement Shamans. Hunters seem to loose this, which is a bit surprising to me, since I am pretty sure that they benefit from 10% ranged Haste. Who knows what this is about.
- 5% Spell Haste: This remains identical with Boomkins, Shadow Priests and Elemental Shamans providing it.
- 5% Critical Strike: This will be the domain of Guardians and Ferals, all hunters and all mages, which is quite a significant overhaul. Shamans nowhere to be seen, Rogues vanished (hehe), Fury gone.
- Mastery: This is the most fantastic buff I have ever heard of. 5 additional Mastery (not rating, we are talking about actual Mastery here!) is a huge benefit for us Death Knights, making us able to focus much more on other stats, be they offensive or defensive. Lets hope that there will be no Mastery squish to design around the new buff. A must-have for me! Provided by DPS Monks, Paladins and Shamans.
- 12% Armour reduction: Provided by Druids, all Rogues and all Warriors. I am actually quite pleased with this, despite that I would like to have it as a DK, since I have it on my Druid and I love it. But I won’t complain, the classes providing it are still enough.
- 4% physical damage taken is now provided essentially by most melee classes, save the Feral Druid and the Windwalker Monk as well as the Rogues, who coincidentally provide 12% Armour, though. The Windwalker interestingly enough provides no debuffs at all, but the give +5 Mastery (!)
- 8% magical damage taken: Provided by all rogues and all warlocks
- 10% physical damage done is provided by all the tanks. Interestingly, it’s no longer applied via Demoralizing Shout or Roar, which I like a lot, since applying the debuff was boring and didn’t make my tanking more engaged at all
- 30% casting speed decrease: Provided by any Death Knight (!), any Rogue and any Warlock. We didn’t have this one till now, and it gets worked into Necrotic Strike. This is interesting, since Necrotic Strike now applies the Slowed Casting effect regardless of the healing absorbed, so we might work this into our rotation in Maloriak-Type encounters. Mind you, it is an Unholy rune we loose for this, but who knows where it’ll come in handy.
- 25% less healing received. This will be provided by all Rogues, all Hunters and DPS Warriors and taken away from Priests and Warlocks.
- 3% increased Damage (e.g. Arcane Tactics)
- 5% Spell Crit taken
- 30% Bleed damage taken
- 20% Attack Speed (This came as a shock to me, if anyone can find it, please tell me!)
- No word yet about burst buffs such as Bloodlust
Part 4…in which we look at which classes become desirable under this regime.Spell Haste is the rarest Buff of them all, with only 3 classes and 3 specs providing it. Of these specs, the Elemental Shaman is the most desirable, since neither Boomkins nor Shadow Priests provide any other buff.
8% magical damage taken is provided by 2 classes (Rogue, Warlock)
4% Physical Damage Taken is provided only by Plate DPS (i.e. 5 specs and 3 classes)
10% Haste is provided by 3 classes (DPS DK, Rogues, Warlocks) (6 specs)
Mastery is provided by 3 classes and 7 specs
Crit is provided by 3 classes and 8 specs
25% healing decrease is provided by 3 classes and 8 specs
All other buffs are provided at least by 9 specs.
This makes the Elemental Shaman the most desirable class to have, providing both the rarest Buff which is Haste and the coveted Mastery buff. Then comes the rogue, providing 3 of the other “rare buffs”, namely Haste, 8% magical damage taken and 25% healing decrease. Plate DPS cover 4% physical damage taken leaving only the Crit buff from the “rare buffs” uncovered. This would be provided by a Druid tank or another class.
It seems like the easy way to get all the “rare buffs” is taking an Elemental, a Rogue and a Plate DPS as well as a Druid tank. Not a perfect match by far, to be honest, but this is of course more of an academic argument and might still change.
Part 5…in which I summarize and wrap up.All in all the buff changes seem beneficial, what with the multitude of specs and roles providing the different buffs. The slight changes to both the Stamina buff and the 5% stats buff seem to be aimed in the same direction, since the Stamina increase from 10% Stamina is bigger and scales with total Stamina to give a higher benefit for tanks, and the removal of 5% Stamina from Kings and the like seems to counterbalance it.
The big surprises for me are (1) the Mastery Buff- hoping there won’t be a stat squish around it and (2) the removal of the attack speed debuff, but who knows what might change there.
What I am still unsure about is the distribution of the “rare” buffs for the more progress-oriented Guilds. If the point of the buff revamp was to minimize class-stacking, should it not be easier for Guilds in need of all the buffs to be able to procure them while not being forced to have say both a rogue and a plate DPS?
This might be a point still needing some attention. In a way, we might go from a model in which we pick a class or spec for a specific buff or debuff to a model in which we can easily get all the relevant buffs, and have to choose between the “rare” buffs to min-max a given encounter. For me the difference is not really significant, but at least it is more interesting than having to go through the arduous process of class stacking because you “need all the buffs”.
About the more Death Knight specific things: All in all the Blood raid utility remains the same from a buff perspective. We still provide Abomination’s Might, we provide the Casting Speed debuff albeit essentially replacing the attack speed debuff with it. Our bonus Strength/Agility buff remains, and I’ll of course cover it with the other DK changes in a separate post.
I’ll probably make a spreadsheet with the buffs and debuffs for a better optical presentation, so check back for that.