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  1. Hola Heroes! Hope you've all been enjoying ZG so far! We've got some pretty sizable changes today with our newest balance pack and I'm here again to break them down for you. Reduced the armor of mobs in PvE. Deep Wounds now provides 11/22/33 damage, down from 16/32/48. Windfury Totem now grants 10% melee haste, up from 6%. I'd like to touch on the melee changes first off. Melee have been having a rough time in PvE on Ascension and we recognize that. We wanted to bring in some changes that would help them out in dungeons and raids, but not bring them over the top in PvP. The first change I'll mention is the armor reduction. We lowered the armor of all mobs in the world by a static %. This will be a huge step forward to bringing melee where we want them to be in PvE. This change also counteracts what we had done months and months ago when we increased the armor values above blizzlike. This change, combined with the other melee changes in this pack, should result in an overall dps increase to all melee specs. For the other 2 changes: We though Deep Wounds was providing far too much power for such a little investment, getting as high and 30%+ for some specs, and we wanted to reduce its power when we could address the issue of them being a bit too weak in PvE. The windfury totem buff was simply meant to compliment the armor change mentioned above. We'll be watching melee closely after this patch to determine if they are now at a more competitive spot. Agility now provides only 1 ranged attack power per point. Steady Shot ap scaling reduced to 20%. The other big change we made with this patch. We've notice that after one of our September updates hunter specs were performing exceptionally well. Part of this has to do with some excellent REs which are available to them, but another part is in their superb scaling. We'll be keeping an eye on the state of hunters after this patch to make sure this change was enough to keep them under control. Shadow Form now provides 10% damage increase, down from 15%. Another spec which was over performing in PvE were shadow DoTs. Shadow specs were getting a very considerable amount of value from this single talent and we wanted to lower that value a little. This change should help reel them in line with other competitive dps specs. Improved Shadow Bolt now increases the damage done by your Shadow Bolt spell by 3% per point, up from 2%. The Molten Core effect now also increases the critical strike chance of Shadow Bolt and Soul Fire by 10% per point and reduces the cast time of Shadow Bolt by 10% per point. Also has a 12% proc rate at each rank. With this, we wanted to make sure we weren't destroying any specs that were relying on the large shadow damage bonus from shadow form, but also not fully utilizing the rest of its power. We also wanted to help push an under performing spec in the right direction, which is something we'll be doing more of in the future. Titan's Grip now reduces the damage of your Bladestorm ability by 10%. No, there is not someone on the team who hates Titan's Grip user with a passion (I promise). Titan's Grip users were simply getting too much free Bladestorm damage simply by equipping a second two-hander. This change will help bring its damage closer to that of its singe two-hander-wielding cousins. Crippling Poison slow reduced to 6 seconds. Frost Brand Weapon slow reduced to 5 seconds. There has been some complaints about melee's sticking power to players in PvP. Now there are many ways in which we can work to solve this, and we wanted to start here. Before this change, even if you were able to create some distance between you and your melee foe you would still have a tough time escaping with such long timers on slow effects. This should allow some more space to be created and give more opportunities to counterplay versus melee builds. Moonfury now increases the damage done by Starfire, Moonfire, and Wrath by 2% per point, down from 3%, and increases the damage done by Starfall by 7/14/20%, down from 10/20/30%. Yet another caster spec which we felt was a little over the line in regards to damage in PvE. This small adjustment should help bring them in line with other competitive specs. Seal of Command no longer has an internal cooldown. This change was mostly geared for hybrid and ret paladin specs which would potentially be proccing seal of command more than once a second. More improvements for these specs on the horizon. Shredding Blows now grants 3% armor penetration per point, up from 1%. We wanted to add additional options for melee in PvP and PvE and procs are always a good starting point for us to look at. We hope this change will make this talent attractive enough to start using and to open up options for melee builds. Brain Freeze proc now also increases the damage dealt by Fireball by 10%. The Taste for Blood effect now also increases the damage of Overpower by 10%. Mortal Strike can now proc Bloodsurge and the Bloodsurge effect now also makes your next Slam ability cost no rage and increase its damage by 10%. Just to speak briefly here on our philosophy with these changes. We feel like proactive game play is the way to look forward for changes to ascension. A big part of that is procs. The aforementioned procs were unfortunately not quite up to par on our classless system, but these changes should now make them much more appealing and open up more options to explore in your build. The Sword and Board effect now increases the threat generated by your next Shield Slam by 20%. We've heard a lot of feedback regarding tanks and threat so far on ascension, and while we aren't too upset with the nature of things, we still believe that tanks could use a little love in trying to keep up with their super duper dps. To piggyback off of the last blerb i wrote, we prefer to implement changes in ways that promote proactive gameplay and not just passive power. We plan on having more updates for tanks in the future as well, so sit tight! One-Handed Weapon Specialization (Protection Warrior) now also grants 1% parry per point. One-Handed Weapon Specialization (Protection Paladin) now also grants an additional 2% threat generated with physical and holy damage. Deflection (Combat) now also grants 2 expertise per point. We wanted to add in additional offensive and hybrid options for tanks. We'll be monitoring these to see how popular and effective they are. If we hit the spot with these, then expect more changes like these to come. Twin Disciplines now also increases your critical strike chance with holy spell by 1% per point, and increases your holy healing by 1% per point. We wanted to add not just some extra damage options for dps, but additional utility for some hybrid builds. We encourage you guys to test out holy builds and give us some feedback. =) That should about wrap things up here! I hope you guys will enjoy playing with these new changes and we hope we have lessened the gap on some popular, and unpopular, builds. We'll be continuing to do our best to make that gap even smaller with future updates. We look forward to bringing some less played builds into the spotlight once again. #makecatsandenhanceshamansgreatagain.
  2. Hey there Heroes! Hope you guys have been having a good time in Azeroth! Just want to chime in once more on the recent balance changes. Here we go! The Longevity Random Enchant now provides 1/2/3% cooldown reduction on your Bestial Wrath, Intimidation, and pet special abilities. (Tooltip awaiting change). We had recent issues with this RE in particular and needed to address this one sooner rather than later. Endurance (Combat) no longer reduces the cooldown of sprint. Improved Sprint now grants 30/60 second CD reduction and causes your sprint to make you slow immune for 2/4 seconds. We would like to start adding some more variety to builds and improving on weaker ability and talent choices. Sprint looked like it could need some love, so we gave it some! Blazing Speed now has a 4 second internal cooldown. We're wanting to look more at the high amount of mobility players have access to in pvp and this is one of the places we're starting. Master Conjuror now grants 50/100% bonus combat rating from your warlock stones, up from 25/50%. When we removed dual-wielding possibilities for casters we significantly reduced the viability of warlock stones and this talent. This change looks to bring stones up to par with shaman imbues once again. Crusader Strike now deals 85% of your weapon damage, up from 75%. This is another ability/talent that needed some TLC. We are wanting to nudge this slowly in the right direction. Two-Handed Weapon Specialization (Arms) now grants 1/2/3% damage dealt with two-handed weapons and 2/4/6 expertise, changed from 2/4/6% damage. Two-Handed Weapon Specialization (Retribution) now grants 1/2/3% damage dealt and melee crit with two-handed weapons, changed from 2/4/6% damage. We recently added a lot of power to these talents, a bit too much perhaps, and we wanted to bring them closer to par with other talents while giving them their own unique identity. Incineration now grants 3/6/9% crit chance, up from 2/4/6%. Spell Impact now grants 3/6/9% bonus damage, up from 2/4/6%. Another beginning for some small changes in bringing under performing talents up to snuff. Precision (Fury) now also grants 1% crit per point. Dual Wield Specialization (Fury) now also grants 1% melee hit per point. Cruelty now also grants 1% strength per point. Malice now also grants 2% energy regeneration per point. We've been wanting to spice up some of the more bland 1% talents for some time now and decided what better time than now! Let us know what you think of these. Blood Frenzy now grants 2/4% melee haste, up from 1/2%. Done to keep consistent with the previous changes made to melee haste talents. Eradication has had its proc chance doubled from 6% to 12%. We'll be keeping an eye on this one to see how it's performing, but it should now be up to par with other haste talents. Improved Chain Heal now grants 5/10% bonus healing to Chain Heal, down from 10/20%. We would really like to start making more changes geared towards healers and tanks (no they won't all be nerfs , and this seemed a very obvious place for us to start. Redoubt now grants 7/14/21% block chance, down from 10/20/30. I promise we don't hate tanks! This is to address potential scaling problems with tanks coming with more gear being available. We do have some love on the way for tanks! The Spirit Weapons talent no longer affects Windfury Weapon and instead affects Flametongue Weapon. Windfury was starting to get out of hand in pvp situations and with REs. This changes addresses that issue, which was brought up with our recent buff to Windfury Weapon.
  3. Howdy ho Heros! Wicky here again to fill you in on some of the changes that recently went live with our new 10 mans!! Lets begin. All PvP gear is now considered Unique-Equipped. Just to clarify a bit here, you can have multiples of all pieces of PvP gear if you desire for the purpose of using different sets of REs, but you may only ever have 1 of that piece of gear equipped at a time. Counterattack scaling adjusted. Mongoose Bite scaling adjusted. The damage on these were not properly implemented and we fixed it. Ambush now deals 245% weapon damage, down from 275%. This is to keep with the ideal that one-shots in pvp are not fun. We don't want to destroy the spec entirely and we will continue to monitor its performance. Vampiric Touch dispel damage now scales with 96% of your spell power, down from 120%. Unstable Affliction dispel damage now scales with 144% of your spell power, down from 180%. We felt the large amount of damage being done to players choosing to dispel these DoTs from them was too severe and limited counter-play options. We will continue to monitor these abilities after the change. Fixed a bug that caused several random enchants to be rolled with abnormal frequency. For clarification, some of our REs which were recently implemented were rolling a little more frequently than intended. This is no longer the case. Arcane Barrage random enchant now provides additional chance to proc your Arcane Barrage talent and is working properly.The Wild Quiver random enchant now provides additional chance to proc your Wild Quiver talent and is working properly. The way these REs work now is changed in that you are REQUIRED to have the appropriate talent to see any effect. Players should no longer be locked out of their multi-spec.
  4. Hey there Ascension Community! Just wanted to talk briefly to you guys about the new changelog that just went out and hopefully give you some insights on why we did what we did. So I'll just go through these 1 by 1. Dire Bear form armor contribution increased to 340%, up from 250%. We felt that the recent bear changes were a bit too severe considering we also hit stam and swipe at the same time, so this is to help alleviate some of those changes. We will, however, be monitoring the state of bears with this change, as we always monitor all things, and be making additional changes in the future as needed. Master Tactician proc chance increased to 15% at all ranks, up from 10%. I know we recently made some nice changes to help out hunter builds, but this was just something we wanted to throw in along with those changes to offer some more appealing choices. Death Wish cooldown reverted back to 180 second cooldown, from 120 seconds. We realize the previous change to this ability added too much on demand burst in pvp and too much static power in pve, so this change is to address that. Survival Instincts cooldown increased to 120 seconds, up from 90 seconds. Much in line with our Death Wish revert, we realized this change added a bit too much on demand defensive power to feral druids, especially compared to Last Stand. Nightfall now grants 3/6% chance to proc, up from 2/4%. We do have some upcoming changes in mind to address the power of shadow casters in pvp, and we thought that this change would not affect their current state while also adding more options for players building around shadow DoTs. Shield Mastery now grants 10/20% block value, down from 15/30%. We have many concerns of the power of block value both defensively and offensively with Shield Slam and this is a small step in the direction of addressing those concerns. We are essentially testing the waters with this change and will possibly be making further changes as we see necessary. Flurry now grants 3% melee haste per point, up from 2%. Lightning Reflex now grants 2% melee haste per point, up from 1%. Many moons ago we severely nerfed melee haste talents in beta. We would like to once again bring them into the fold. These are some small changes in that direction and will be making more in the future as we see fit. Static Shock now grants 3% chance to proc per point, up from 2%. We are aware of the state of hybrid builds at the moment, and we aren't particularly happy with it. This talent seemed to us a good way to start pushing them in the right direction. We hope to have some additional changes that benefit hybrid builds in the future. All Abilities and Talents which grant % bonus armor should now behave properly. This was an obvious issues which needed immediate addressing.
  5. Guest

    Balance blog #4:

    Hello Ascension community, I'm here with a small blog about a few changes the balance team have made for the patch this weekend. Enjoy! Big impact changes and reasoning: Tame Beast - the Hunter Pet Package The skill Tame Beast will now give multiple abilities. It’ll cost 5 AE and when you pick it you’ll learn Tame Beast, Call Pet, Revive Pet, and Dismiss Pet. This change was done for several reasons, mainly for balance and build diversity. We don’t want pets to be mandatory but a choice and an investment. People were unlearning Tame beast as soon as they got hold of the pet they wanted. We also have reports of players not feeding their pets properly. On a serious balance note, pets were bringing too much damage and utility at a low cost. Now the initial investment will be more expensive at 5 AE, because again, we don’t want a pet to be something that everyone picks up. The quality of life and utility spells come as a bonus to make pet life feel better. We also changed it so that when you unlearn Tame Beast you will lose your pet. With that said, we are working on stable masters to get them functional! Hunter Scaling Changes We decided to lower the scaling on Explosive Shot and the Chimera - Serpent part damage, these two 51p-talents scaled a bit too well with RAP and as a result other hunter abilities felt weak and redundant. We’re pushing some of this lost power into Steady shot, to mitigate the damage lost in PvE and make hunters feel less like an instant-cast-mage with a bow. Explosive Shot and Chimera Shot will still be the strongest damage abilities for your dps rotations but hopefully they won’t completely overshadow all the other things the hunter playstyle has to offer! General Tab Changes We’re removing Parry from the general tab and giving it to everyone again for free. It was put into the general tab to reduce overall avoidance but parry dependant abilities and gear with parry rating made us reconsider and instead reduce base parry to 1%. The General Tab is a work in progress and we’re still feeling out what should be there and what shouldn’t. Feedback highly appreciated! Sargeras - PvP Loot Chest Changes The chests that can drop when you kill a player are now lootable in combat. This is mainly to prevent other people coming up to steal a chest when you’ve just killed someone but are stuck in combat for some seconds. RE Tweaks We reduced the effectiveness of some random enchants that enabled too high damage stacking and some others that reduces ability cooldowns by a bit too much. Skills and Abilities: Rest, off the stance bar It’s now usable while shapeshifted and we removed from the stance bar (which is only a visual change). Shadowfury, Cooldown Increase A targeted long-range stun with added damage, it’s been a great pick even for physical based builds. It was time to make it a slight bit weaker. Incanter’s Absorption, temporary placeholder (hopefully) Plagued by bugs and exploits, it was disabled months back. Until we feel one hundred percent confident those are fixed we’re implementing a placeholder: Incanter’s absorption, now increases the damage absorbed by Mage Wards, Mana shield, and Ice Barrier by 10/20/30%. Fiery Payback, finally fixed! The lowered Pyroblast cast time when under 35% health now correctly applies an increase in cooldown and has therefore been reimplemented. Dispel Magic, Mana cost A strong spell with a lot of offensive and defensive utility. We decided to hit it with a mana cost increase and buff the talents that decreases said mana cost.
  6. Hello again Ascension players! We're here again with another balance-blog! We initially intended to release a smaller PvP-event blog earlier but as we kept adding more and more changes the blog got pushed back, in the end we decided to release some of the content as separate blogs. You can find them here: Full and partial cooldown sharing Immunity counters With the next instant-60-weekend going live in a few hours I hope you'll be able to appreciate the amount of work our team put into this project. The 16th June event was a huge success, with unparalleled numbers we were able to stress test our performance in a single zone. We have received invaluable feedback from our testers and great suggestions posted on the forums! We implore you to keep using the Suggestion and Playstyle Discussion sub-forums to provide feedback and ideas. As we're getting closer to release the time window to make large-impact changes is closing. Before we start with the analysis I would like to repost a few lines from an earlier newsletter, stating the core principles of the balance team to any new players that are reading this blog! The Power of Choice: A Look at Balance On a classless server such as Ascension the possible permutations of builds are staggering. What we aim for is diversity, making sure that players can fulfill their class fantasies and feel viable. This is the core ideology of the five-man balance team, diversity and choice. Supported by player feedback, forum suggestions and spell/talent pick statistics we even out disparities in strength between varying builds and specializations. Sometimes this means helping low-performance playstyles, and sometimes it means bringing down oppressive spells or builds. The hardest choices we face is when and where to adjust, especially concerning PvP balance. To trust our players to find solutions and counters to emerging meta builds and only step in when deemed absolutely necessary. The point I wish to make here is, that above all else, we’re aiming for build-diversity. We believe this to be our most compelling feature. To empower players with the choice to truly make their own unique character and playstyle. With that said, onward to analysis! Overall impression, Playstyle changes and reasoning: Let’s start with the elephant in the room, Hunters, they usually do well in battlegrounds and it was no surprise they came out on top. With their long range, access to every escape and mobility spell they made for a slippery foe. Together with a few players borderline compulsive (and very successful) RAP-stacking they put Hunter playstyles on our radar early on. We decided to tone down the AGI to Ranged Attack Power conversion from 2rap/agi to 1.5rap/agi. We’re only getting started with this expansion, and ranged abilities scale a bit too well. A small tweak to Chimera shot will hopefully reduce the amount one-shotting.. We offset some of the dps loss in PvE with a slight buff to Sniper Training and some added utility to Black arrow. Along with Lock and load, traps and pet buffs we are confident hunters will walk out of this more evenly balanced! Agility now provides 1.5RAP per point, down from 2. Chimera Shot now deals 90% weapon damage, down from 100%, total Serpent Sting damage changed back to 40% up from 20%. Sniper Training damage increase is now 3/6/9% up from 2/4/6%. Black Arrow will no longer share cooldown with traps. Lock and load will now proc properly. We are also making a small tweak to Beastmaster pets, along with a string of bug-fixes increasing pet damage and scaling we decided to tone down the Beast Mastery talent. We may end up having to lower it further and put more power into other pet-oriented talents. Beast Mastery(51-talent) pet damage changed to 10% increase, down from 15%. We found physical melee damage to be in a balance-wise good place, all the common playstyles saw ample play: 2H, Dual Wield, TG, Daggers and Ferals. By Darwinian principles players quickly realized the advantages of survival stats and abilities to deal with Ambush/Eviscerate combos and Bladestorm builds. The main concern we had were tied to multiple imbue procs and related bugs. We’ll be working hard on improving seals and imbues during the coming week. We'll likely make a separate blog complete with changes and reasoning. (We are going to address tanks and their impact in PvP as well as their current state for PvE later as a separate blog or post.) Spellswords and Hybrids were benefiting from a bug giving them a bit more spell-power and healing than was intended, this has been fixed along with a slight buff to the AP->Spell-power and Healing conversions to offset the loss of power. We are also toning down Seals of the Pure to reduce Judgement burst, the 200% critical modifier and holy damage proved a bit too potent when coupled with the stat-stacking possibilities on Ascension! We still want to increase overall damage output on Spellswords and thus we’re buffing Seal of Righteousness to scale with spell power. Mental Quickness now gives 4/8/12/16/20% of your total AP as spell power. Sheath of Light now gives 4/8/12/16/20% of your total AP as healing power. Seals of the Pure, now increases Judgement and Seal damage by 6/12/18/24/30% down from 10/20/30/40/50%. Seal of Righteousness changed back to its original mechanics. No longer has an internal cooldown and now deals damage equal to your mainhand weapon speed * (8% spell power + 1% attack power). We are looking into helping Casters actually finish casting their non-instant spells, with the amount of available gap-closers and spell interrupts, small scale PvP have a tendency to be one-sided if either party was reliant on longer casts. While spells with cast times still has the potential to hit really hard we're looking into making them more consistent, but possibly at the cost of some burst potential. Other than that we are happy with caster performance, healing and spell based damage both. Faces melting all over Warsong gulch and Arathi basin were the common outcome when casters were left alone for more than a few seconds. We’re toning down some burst by separating spell-power from frost and fire-based spells but then putting some more power into Firepower and Piercing Ice. That said.. a few borderline oppressive damage-over-time builds started emerging during the end of the weekend and as such we’re making a slight adjustment to Vampiric Touch, lowering it’s spell-power-scaling from 200% total to 150%. Vampiric Touch now scales with 150% of spell-power, down from 200%. Burning determination now has a 30s duration, up from 20s. Fire Power now gives 2/4/6/8/10% Fire damage, up from 1/2/3/4/5%. Piercing Ice now gives 2/4/6% Frost damage, up from 1/2/3%. Spell Power(Arcane mage talent) now only affects Mage Arcane spells. These are by no means all the changes we've made, as always the full list should be posted on the website changelog! Last few words, The build-meta never once stagnated and continued to evolve throughout the whole weekend, new builds and counters were introduced every hour. Things that looked absolutely overpowered were shut down hours later by clever counters, new ideas or synergy! In the time since the event ended we could definitely have added more changes, more buffs, nerfs or general tweaks to bring certain specs or abilities in line. But this is the ever returning enigma of balance, the risk of changing too much, too quickly.. With the classless system almost everything can be countered or better optimized when people put their minds to it! As our LIVE RELEASE is quickly approaching(announcement inc.), we’ll be mostly focusing on polishing mechanics and hunting down the last few bugs. Thank you for all your help, we look forward to seeing what you got in store for us on Project Ascension!
  7. Hello Ascension players! A few months back we decided to put a shared duration on some big cooldowns, mostly to tone down melee burst and pressure, not unlike Blizzard themselves once did with Arcane power and Presence of Mind. After much deliberation and player feedback we’re revisiting this decision, mainly to allow a greater variety of choice in creating playstyles and builds. Most abilities or spells will no longer share cooldown and stack unless their benefits are too similiar. Here is a complete list of changes made: No longer shares any partial nor full cooldown: Sweeping Strikes Adrenaline Rush Blade Flurry Cold Blood Inner Focus Divine Illumination Berserk Does not stack during duration: Icy Veins Power Infusion Elemental Mastery Does not stack during duration: Arcane Power Death Wish The Beast Within Metamorphosis Shares full cooldown: Presence of Mind Nature's Swiftness Elemental Mastery Natural Alacrity We believe this will feel more consistent to new players and to be an overall improvement balance wise. Please let us know what you think!
  8. Guest

    Immunity counters.

    Hello Ascension players! We're addressing this separately from the balance blogs because the solution we decided upon may seem a bit controversial. As a rule of thumb we aren't going to introduce lower ranks for spells not available until later expansions. But during the PvP-Weekend we saw players chain casting immunity-based defensives like Divine Shield and Ice Block, as we are still balancing around level 60 the available counters are few. This makes for slow and redundant gameplay. We didn’t want to introduce any more alien concepts like another Scrolls of Mass dispel, nor change core gameplay like allowing purge/dispel magic to remove immunity based defensives or group cooldowns together. But we still felt that counterplay should exist. In the end we decided to introduce lower ranks of Mass Dispel and Shattering Throw. Added a lower rank of Mass Dispel to Discipline Priest, available at level 60. (This rank has a 2 minute cooldown). Added a lower rank of Shattering Throw to Arms Warrior, available at level 60. Their impact on PvE is something we're aware of and will take into account. Both the dungeon/raid team and balance work in tandem. Let us know what you think about this. We'll be monitoring the forums, as always.
  9. Hello Ascension players! First off we would like to thank everyone turning up for the BG-weekend. I myself had a blast, I hope you did too! We managed to track down and fix a bunch of performance issues related to high-population. And along with the data and feedback we gathered this event proved to be invaluable. We'll be hard at work analyzing and tweaking abilities and talents the coming days. Now is a great time to make use of the suggestion forums. Your thoughts and ideas are very important, necessary even! As we're getting closer and closer to release we'll have less chances to make big-impact changes. Expect a sizable Balance blog soonish~
  10. Guest

    Class Fantasy

    The feedback provided from the Pet- and Feral-playstyle threads was invaluable, we thank you! As the project marches on we feel increasingly confident about the blizzlike-playstyles, but that is not enough on Ascension. The choices and available builds are near endless and ultimately we'll need your help to figure out how to proceed from here. I've decided to re-purpose this forum to a more open forum where you can post and suggest builds and playstyles. We're making no promises for great change here, we are trying to encourage open discussion and feedback regarding class-fantasy-builds and how to make them work. I will keep monitoring this forum closely, looking for subtle ways to make your dreams come true~
  11. Guest

    Hunter beasts feedback thread

    Hello Ascension players!! I'm making another feedback thread as the one about feral feedback gave us a great deal of insight into how you prefer to play! We're willing to keep these threads coming as long as you're willing to indulge us with your thoughts and opinions! (I will continue monitoring the past thread so don't feel you're too late to the party if you're only now joining us!) ----- In this thread we'll be talking about hunter pets and we would love some feedback on pet gameplay and what you feel and think about our beast sidekicks! This topic may feel a bit broad as the investment of AE and TE into your pet will vary greatly from player to player. We do not want nor will we accept that players feel forced into picking up a pet, it should be a meaningful decision with a comparable cost to strength equation. Our general pet design that we are currently working towards focuses on putting more of your pets basic values(hp/mana and damage) into talents while leaving the utility cheap. We think this will allow for skillful play and counterplay in both PvE and PvP. Notice your enemy went cheap on his pets hp? Pound that pussy! (I'm so fired.) Anyways, here are some guidelines to what we want to discuss with you! (if you feel your topic is missing it's even more important you share!!) How does it currently feel having a hunter pet? Is the AI okay? Do you feel picking up a pet is worthwhile compared to the investment? How do you feel about the current state of pet-oriented abilities like: Tame pet, Revive pet, Mend pet etc? We have talked about a pet-package(with multiple abilities at a discount) not unlike the portal mastery. Is there anything you would like to see implemented(or maybe removed)? What makes a good pet class? How do you want to as play or against pet users? Anything you feel worthwhile adding, please do. We are not making any promises and we have our own design in mind. That said.. this is your chance to shape Ascension to encompass your preferred playstyle! Remember that we are mostly asking for feedback regarding playstyle and gameplay rather than actual strength. We can and will tweak numbers as we go along! Any questions or opinions regarding topics other than beast pet playstyle will be ignored. (maybe we'll accept some input regarding demons if it's related)
  12. Below is a compilation of ideas for improving the play-style and balance for shaman themed builds. I believe that Shaman's have been one of the worst effected classes due the the classless nature of ascension (especially Enhancement) - mainly because their unique mechanics have been given to other classes but they have not gained much in the way of strength themselves. Elemental Without Lava Burst, elemental is a pretty dull spec to play. My idea is to encourage more shock and totem weaving into the spell rotation. Elemental was quite weak in the 3.3.5a patch, even with Lava Burst. Due to shocks having a much lower spell coefficient than the main elemental shaman spells - I have weaved in some shock damage bonuses that proc as part of the shaman rotation. Elemental Warding (3): This used to be a 6% damage reduction, but now that it has been nerfed by 50% it is of little use in pvp or pve. I think it should be redesigned to act more like it's TBC incarnation. Suggestion: Make each rank reduce the damage taken from elemental dmg sources (fire, frost, nature) by 3% per rank, totalling 9% and therefore giving it a stronger situational usefulness and giving it a better chance to compare with the many other 2% magical dmg reduction talents. Elemental Focus (1): I had an idea for this talent that it could instead only apply to shocks but reduce their mana cost and damage further, encouraging the use of shocks in pve for elemental specs. Suggestion: Now only applies to the shock family tree and only has one charge (down from 2). Reduces the mana cost by 50% (was 20%) and increases the damage done by 20% of your next shock. Elemental Devastation (3): This was always a talent that looked really cool but was always ignored in pvp and pve due to better alternatives. Suggestion: Increase the critical strike chance with melee attacks to 4% per rank (for a total of 12%). Eye of the Storm (3): A weak talent given the classless nature of ascension and the changes to spell push-back mechanics. Suggestion: Reduce it to two ranks (from 3). Make each rank give 35% pushback protection on the elemental damage spells, for 70% total. Improved Fire Nova (2): Not often picked due to the high AE investment needed for viable totems and mobility penalties. Suggestion: Make each rank give 15% Fire Nova damage, up from 10% for 30% total. Lava Flows (2): Due to lava burst being unavailable, this is a pretty weak talent. Suggestion: Make this talent's critical strike damage bonus also apply to Flameshock (both the dot and initial damage). Enhancement The problem with enhancement is all it's unique tools (Windfury, totems) are available to other classes. In addition, the nerfs to hybrids (via AP>SP and AP>Healing) have reduced the viability of using spells as part of a a damage rotation in pve. With around only 60% of the available spell power that a retail Enhancement hybrid would have (but a 8 TE investment vs 3 on retail), spell damage from Earth Shock and Maelstrom weapon will fall behind physical dps, especially as gear improves - this is already becoming very apparent in MC as people get better gear. Flurry (5): This used to be a 30% attack speed increase at rank 5 - it is now 10%. Clearly this talent has been overly nerfed. Suggestion: Make each rank increase the damage and healing of your shaman spells by 1% (for 5% total). Mental Dexterity (3): Attack power from this talent is not converted into spell power via Mental Quickness. Considering this talent sits bang in the middle of a hybrid class/spec tree, it really should. Suggestion: Make this talent work with the AP>SP talents (Mental Quickness). Dual Wield (1): Totally redundant. Suggestion: Rename to something interesting (Maelstrom forging). Make this cost 1 AE and 1 TE. Make this increase the spell coefficient of Frostbrand and Flametongue attack by 50% and increase the damage done by your windfury weapon attack by 15% of your spell damage. Static Shock (5): An interesting spell and mechanic but too much of a TE investment. Increased to 5 ranks on ascension (from 3) Suggestion: Drop this back to 3 ranks, giving a 3% proc chance and +3 Lightning Shield charges per rank (for 9%/+9 total). Lava Lash (1): Another interesting spell that is just a little weak in it's current form to make an important part of a damage rotation. This spell was always a low priority filler in 3.3.5a Suggestion: Increase the damage by 35% (up from 25%) when your off-hand is enchanted with Flametongue. Mental Quickness (5): On retail this gave 30% attack power to spell power conversion for a 3 talent point investment. It now gives 15% for a 5 talent point investment. It also no-longer provides healing power. As I mentioned in my opening abstract, the large nerf of this talent has punished enhancement/shaman hybrids more than any other spec. At least most retribution based spells scale with both attack power and spell power. Enhancement shamans rely entirely on this talent to ensure their 5 main spells (Lightning Bolt, Earth Shock, Lightning Shield, Flame Shock and totems) do decent damage. Because all these spells only scale with Spell Power and see 0 scaling with attack power, the enhancement shaman rotation has seen a huge ~50% scaling nerf on Ascension, making it non-viable as players gear up. Say we have a player with 1600 attack power (without armoured to the teeth or any % modifiers) and 20% crit who is planning on making an enhancement hybrid. They can invest 5 points into mental quickness and gain 240 spell damage - providing a boost to their 5 main spell damage attacks by between 7% and 25%. But the bulk on their damage (about 60%+ i.e melee, windfury, stormstrike, energy and rage dumps) will see no benefit. Instead they could put 5 points into Deadliness, increasing their total attack power by 160, affecting directly the bulk of their overall damage. Taking into account over considerations like mana management, and that baseline spells only gain 50% critical damage bonus, you can see that there is dubious benefit for them going down the spell damage route - especially considering there is no healing/survivability benefit anymore of doing so. The only advantage the spell damage route really provides in pve is a benefit on movement heavy fights. This problem is even more compounded with ret based hybrids. Consecration, Judgement and Exorcism all see a mostly 50:50 parity in sp/ap scaling, meaning that the bonus on these specific spells for 240 spell power is marginal compared to 160 attack power. Suggestion: Impove this talent to provide 4% ap to spell damage conversion per rank, totalling 20%. The remaining 10% deficit can be made up by improving specific talents. Maelstrom Weapon (5): This is a really cool talent that due to the reasons listed above does not perform well on Ascension. It has/can have a lot of interesting potential like allowing melee striking healer hybrids and other interesting builds in pve. Suggestion: Allow the Maelstrom aura proc spell to also increase the damage or healing done by the next shaman nature spell by 3% (stacking up to 5 times for a total of 15%). Restoration Restoration is by no means terrible in pve, rather it is just outclassed by other healing builds that can tend to be borderline broken at times. Healing Focus (3): A weak talent given the classless nature of ascension and the changes to spell push-back mechanics. Suggestion: Reduce it to two ranks (from 3). Make each rank give 35% pushback protection on the shaman healing spells, for 70% total. Improved Water Shield (3): A bit weak compared to life tap/improved life tap. Suggestion: Also increase the mana regeneration provided by Water Shield by 5% per rank (for a total of 15%). Tidal Mastery (5): Weak compared to over overall crit chance modifiers. Suggestion: Also increase the healing done by Shaman healing spells by an amount equal to 1% of your spell power (for 5% total).
  13. Below is a compilation of ideals to make purist warrior builds play a little better. Arms Taste for Blood (3): Actual 2h arms builds need a bit of love compared to dual wield bloodthirst and titans grip builds. Suggestion: Make the taste for blood proc spell (http://www.wowis.net/wishead/?spell=60503) also increase the damage done by overpower by 5%. Sword Specialization (5): Underutilized and under-powered talent in 3.3.5a. Axe specialization was always vastly superior. Suggestion: Reduce the internal cooldown to 3s (from 6) Two-Handed Weapon Specialization (3): Non dual-wield Two-handed builds are a bit underpowered on Ascension - mainly due to the fact that you will have one less RE slot that dual wield builds. In 3.3.5a this was originally a 2% damage boost per rank. Suggestion: Make each rank also increase all damage done by your warrior abilities (class masked) by 1% (for a total of +3% dmg). Mace Specialization (5): This talent is really bad for warrior based builds - mainly because the original TBC mace stun was based on a PPM formula, meaning slow hitting weapons had a higher chance to proc stuns on special attacks, while here it is a static proc chance. Suggestion: Reduce the mace stun duration to 2s. Change it to a ppm formula like in TBC, with the following progression with each rank (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5) (all values are ppm). Also allow Mace Stun to do a small amount of additional physical damage, scaling slightly with attack power. Sudden Death (3): Execute was nerfed hard in early/mid wrath, making this talent a bit mediocre in terms of damage. Suggestion: Allow each rank to also increase the damage of your execute by 3% (for a total of 9%). Wrecking Crew (5): Originally in 3.3.5a this was 2% damage per rank (physical). In the current state there are a lot of other talents that are just flat out superior for the talent investment. Suggestion: Make each rank also increase melee attack speed by 1% (for a total of 5% with rank 5). Fury Cruelty (5): Flat out worse than a lot of other +crit chance talents (only applies to melee and with certain weapons). Suggestion: Each rank should also increase the damage done by Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst and Shield Slam by 1%. (For a total of +5% damage). Unbridled Wrath (5): One of the most useless talents in the game. Suggestion: Make the Unbridled Wrath (proc spell - http://www.wowis.net/wishead/?spell=12964) energise for 2 rage instead of 1. Enrage (5): A very weak reactive spell that requires being hit in combat. A few changes could make this rather interesting, maybe even for tanking. Originally in 3.3.5a this was a 2% physical damage bonus per rank. Suggestion: Return this spell to a 2% physical damage bonus per rank. Shredding Blows (5): I understand the devs don't want every player stacking armor penetration but this spell is just a bad joke in it's current state. What was once an amazing 5% attack speed increase per rank is now 1% armor penetration.... Suggestion: Make each rank also increase expertise by 1 per rank. (For a total of 5). Bloodsurge (3): Slam is a little underutilized on ascension in my opinion. 7% proc chance per rank is pretty low aswell. Suggestion: Make the proc spell (http://www.wowis.net/wishead/?spell=46916) also increase the damage of your slam by 5%. Heroic Fury (1): Pretty weak overall compared to warbringer and juggernaut. Suggestion: Reduce the cooldown to 35 seconds. Protection One-Handed Weapon Specialization (5): This only effects physical damage, making it weaker than many alternatives. Suggestion: Also increase the damage done by your Devastate, Shockwave and Shield Slam abilities by 1% per rank (for a max of 5%). Improved Defensive Stance (2): Suggestion: Make the proc spells (http://www.wowis.net/wishead/?spell=57514 or http://www.wowis.net/wishead/?spell=57516) also increase the damage done by devastate, shield slam and shockwave by 5%/10%. Devastate (1): Now only usable in defensive stance. Means a warrior with this spell can never switch to dps in a dungeon or raid without pulling agro. Suggestion: Reduce the total damage done by 10%. Allow it to be usable in all three of the warrior stances. Shield Slam (1): Now only usable in defensive stance. Means a warrior with this spell can never switch to dps in a dungeon or raid without pulling agro. Suggestion: Reduce the total damage done by 10%. Allow it to be usable in all three of the warrior stances.
  14. Hey guys, I was running around picking new Abilities and noticed that I won't be picking an Ability from every single Specc. I also noticed that some Abilities and Spells are so good that most people will take them, regardless of their Playstyle. If this keeps up, when the Server goes life ater a while we will only see 4 to 5 different viable speccs. So why not mix Things up and take a few Speccs away, depending on what Race you play. Of course only Abilities and Spells, I would not change their access to Talents. For Example ; Tauren can hardly sneak around with their hooves and huge bodies, so why not remove Rogue Speccs like Assassination and Subtelty? They could still use Abilities from the Combat Specc and if you want to sneak around then just play cat. Or Undead; remove the Holy and Disciplin Priest Specc and all 3 Paladins Speccs for that Race, makes a lot of Sense Lore wise. Humans can't use Nature Magic, so remove the Druid and Shaman Spells for them, maybe even Beast Master Hunter Specc. Nightelves refuse to use Arcane Magic so remove the three Mage Speccs. Of course for all Races so one Race isn't much worse then the others. With only 30 Spells and Abilities per Character people won't be able to take a Spell from every Specc anyway. And when I see a player now, I can have atleast some Idea as to what to expect based on their Race. I would personaly go even further and say Undead would hardly use Nature Magic either, remove Shaman and Druid Spells completely from them. I think this Suggestion would make People think twice before they choose a Race but will in the end not restrict anyone too much, because as I mention before, you won't be using Spells and Abilities from every single Specc anyway. On another Note, I think some Spells should be put together, like the three Paladin Judgements or taming, calling and reviving a Hunter pet.
  15. Abstract In this thread I am going to go back through the changelog and identify a few balance changes that illustrate a lack of gameplay mechanical consideration by the developers who pushed them through. I will also look at the overall structure of the balance system on Ascension and point out what I feel are deficiencies in its operation. The main focus is pve, but I do touch upon pvp at the same time. On a personal note If this comes across as overly ‘whiny’ or condescending, then I offer sincere apologies, but I honestly have found a lot of the recent balance decisions discussed in this post pretty painful and frustrating to watch rolling out, compounded by the fact that I have only been able to discuss this of the absolute briefest terms with one developer and one admin. I would like to give my appreciation to the staff that have responded however, they did in a fair and concise manner (if a little light on detail). What is frustrating is I know for a fact that some players on ascension have a direct line with developers and seem to have a lot of influence too. I have seen a few players discussing changes days before patches drop. I was assured by a frustrated/defeated arena opponent that my spec would be specifically nerfed in an upcoming patch (and surprise surprise, it was). In addition, my personal interpretation is the developers on ascension are more knowledgeable with making pvp balance changes than pve. The TLDR is i won’t be holding back opinions or assertions I make in this thread. When possible, I will support with facts but due to the nature of the server and lack of a true development realm there will be a level of subjectivity. Introduction and Overview On a first note, I think that most of the balance changes made here on Ascension were the right calls and were made for the right reasons. Despite this, a few changes have clearly been highly reactionary and often break class mechanics for many builds that were often already under-represented on ascension. Many of these show a fundamental overlooking of the deeper pve mechanics that matter so much in 3.3.5a. On a second note, Project Ascension is advertised as a classless progressive server. However I believe several changes in the past few patches are undermining this very core fundamental promise of the server. The pve (and pvp) meta is rapidly solidifying on Ascension, and yet many of these changes do nothing but pigeonhole players into picking the easy 5 button dps builds that currently dominate on Ascension. In many ways build variety of Ascension is becoming worse than the class variety that existed in the 3.3.5a retail. On a third note, I am becoming concerned with the communication coming from the dev team on justifications and reasoning for many of these changes. The last balance blog was released on the 15th of March and was sparse on detail, something that needs to changed. If developers are going to make sweeping changes to talents and spells, a short written justification should really be provided. A 15min podcast on changes and why they were made would be a really nice idea. Part 1: Historical balance blunders The changelog is so broken here, I had to pull many of these changes from the website news feed. Overall what I have seen so far is the overall strategy of quick and heavy nerfs and a general lack of revision. Deadly and Instant Poison Both now have a 1s ICD Instant poison base and ap coefficient reduced by 50%. Deadly poison ap coefficient reduced by 25% (I think it is more than this from testing) These changes essentially make poison builds useless in pve. If a developer knew in detail how rogues worked in 3.3.5a, they would know that rogues used a fast offhand weapon, and would try to stack haste as much as possible. This is because once deadly poison reached a full stack, each reapplication would proc instant poison on the main hand. This mechanic could easily be 20%+ of a Rogue’s damage in pve – but the addition of a 1s ICD breaks scaling with haste and to a lesser extent energy regen. We also have to take into account that Envenom is not available at lvl 60, already resulting in a large dps and talent synergy loss for poison builds on ascension. Poisons are massively under-tuned on ascension – they see 0 use in pve, except perhaps for the 4% physical damage debuff from Savage Combat. Poisons see occasional use in pvp – purely because of Deadly brew for the pvp utility, not for the damage. The gap between poisons and windfury on ascension is just enormous. Windfury easily deals 2x the dps of all poison effects combined, and scales much better. The consequence of these haphazard balance changes is that dual daggers is absent from pve entirely, and not used much in pvp either. I talk more about the bad state of weapon enhancement balancing here: Overall the changes to poisons indicate a lack of understanding of rogue pve class mechanics in 3.3.5a. Deadly brew builds being overpowered in pvp at one point long ago could have been dealt with by alternative changes that would not destroy viability in pve. I also recognise that @Jacob has commented on both posts and am greatfull for him doing so. I still think these are such significant issues (and yet reasonably simple to re-balance) that they deserve a mention in this thread. Sheath of Light and Mental Quickness These two talents possibly now hold the title of the most heavily nerfed talents on ascension. Legacy changes combined with a today’s crushing patch change effectively locks players out from playing melee spell casting hybrids with high end viability. (Yet healers and spell caster healing is unaffected) Sheath of light first had its base attack power to spell power scaling nerfed by 70%! In addition the HOT bonus was nerfed by 50%. Then in the most recent patch, the developers decided it needed to be nerfed more and just removed the healing bonus altogether. Mental Quickness also had it’s ap→sp conversion reduced to the same degree and its healing torn away. In addition, these talents do not gain any bonus for certain attack power modifiers like Savage Combat or Armored to the Teeth (I support that change but it is an important note to make). I don’t even really know where to start with these changes, so I will talk a little bit about the philosophy of spellsword builds. The Spellsword Spellswords function a lot like Retribution/Enhancement builds in 3.3.5a. They invest heavily (6+ TE) into Sheath of Light/Mental Quickness/Touched by the Light to gain the ability to integrate spell damage into their rotation. Generally, they will also invest 3-6 talents into mana return mechanics (or just lifetap) for sustainability. (Yes lifetap is a huge problem that I will make another post on). Perhaps the developers do not spend as much time as they should reading recount logs, but these builds actually fall behind in pve on ascension, due to the fact that their spell damage would not scale as-well as a pure melee builds weapon damage did. Spellswords definitely do decent damage in dungeon content and (low geared) pvp, but fall behind quite severely in the raiding environment. So if the advantage of these specs was not raw damage, what was it? Utility. These builds would generally heal about 30% more than pure melee builds, enabling them to offheal in certain situations, maybe put an Earthshield on the offtank or selfheal on certain high raid damage encounters. Remember most pvp specs run with a healing debuff, so the additional healing spellswords could take was already partially nullified). Ret(Holy based builds) for example could toss out art of war flash of lights using macros in combat, just as they did in Wotlk retail pve. Not anymore. Art of war is now severely depleted in effectiveness for any melee hybrid dps build. Is anyone really going to spec 2 points to get a decently hard hitting 15s crit proc spell attack (exorcism) and a (now) pathetic instant flash of light that might heal for 450 if you are lucky? This talent might as well just be removed from the game and replaced with something else in the current state (maelstrom weapon is now pretty bad too) – not to mention the flash of lights were already under-tuned due to the absence of sacred shield at lvl 60 that would give a 50% critical strike chance on FOL every 6s. Oh yeah and Seal of light is now rubbish for any spellsword build. But wait it still scales with attack power so it will actually be better with the meta ap/armor stacking build than a traditional hybrid build. Its curious that these talents have been nerfed over 70%, but bread and butter talents like armoured to the teeth (picked up by 80% of melee builds) have not seen any changes. I really would love to see developers actually justify these changes on an individual basis. I have a suspicion that they nerfed these talents not because of spellsword builds but healers were picking these spells (they could have just baked in a core-side spirit or mp5 penalty). There are so many other ways this could have been addressed, but the developers went for the quick and dirty solution. The gutting of the Retribution tree The retribution tree now exists on Ascension as a nice pathway for inner fire stacking armoured to the teeth windfury builds to boost their damage a few percent with the bonus crit talents and seal of command, and maybe a decent mana return for tanks (JotW). The recent patch has all but destroyed what limited utility a retribution build had left, now being totally unable to heal any more than a pure melee dps build and now totally inferior to a dot or single nuke based caster. Let's look at the long list of bad changes: As a prerequisite note, I support the baseline nerfing of SOR/SOC and judgement, players should have to invest to make these spells hit hard, the problem is with the other stuff Vengeance on retail added 9% physical and Holy damage. On ascension the physical component was removed altogether. Overly nerfed, the physical component should have been removed and the holy component buffed to at least 15%. Seals: No longer proc on special attacks. A good change in theory as these should not have been proccing of hemo and windfury, but wait what about Crusader strike, Judgement and Divine storm, surely paladin specific attacks should still proc seals as Blizzard intended. Nope, nerfed. You can read more about the consequences of this ner heref: project-ascension.com/forum/index.php?/topic/176-weapon-enhancement-balance-issues/ The TLDR is that it makes these ret based instant strikes redundant. Who will pick a 75% weapon damage Crusader Strike over Bloodthirst and it’s 50% ap scaling or the spammable energy dump hemo. No one will, and no one does. It's a joke that a ret build has to invest 10 TE into improved seal damage talents, and then they still only consist of ~6% total dps. If these seals procced off paladin special attacks (Judge/CS/DS) this would rise to ~13% dps, a much more respectable number. Art of War: I already talked about this one. 50%+ of this talents utility was gutted with the recent nerfs to Sheath of Light and Mental Quickness. 450 heal flash of lights just do not cut it. Seal of Righteousness is actually one of the most painful nerfs. So spell power scaling has already been damaged across the Ret paladin tree. Surely the original paladin dps seal should still scale nicely with a spellsword build? Nope. This spell now does a static 15% autoattack holy damage. The consequence of this is that a current-meta armored to the teeth stacking melee/ap build will see far more of a bonus from this spell than a dedicated spellsword. Literally, the developers just made this spell better for non-spellswords. And make no mistake, every standard melee build will still pick a seal for the passive 3-4% damage boost that it provides. Shield slam and Devastate: I will not hide behind the justification that just because this is a classless realm these abilities should have been as strong as they were. They clearly did too much damage and scaled too well. The developers decided, that rather than fix the scaling they would only enable the use of these spells in defensive stance. Seems good then, a 10% damage and bigger AE investment nerf should do the trick? Nope. Let's say a boss fight is about to start where only two tanks are needed. Say a third prot-warrior tank who is not needed on a boss fight can dps without the threat of screwing up the tanks agro. Well, by gating these spells behind defensive stance, any tank turned dps on a boss gets to sit back and autoattack. They can’t put on dps gear and do damage, because they are locked behind the defensive stance threat modifier on devastate/shield slam and will likely pull aggro and die, probably wiping the raid in the process. These attacks should be usable in battle stance at the very least. If the damage needs re-tuned then do it but don’t unfairly lock out the use of abilities like this please... Part 2: Things that could be improved Working, searchable changelog with detailed descriptions of the changes and a brief note on the reasoning Smaller more frequent balance changing patches (small enough to not require client change) should be phased in A balance blog/podcast should be released everytime game changing balance decisions are made More dev attention should be payed to recount and damage meters - perhaps GMs should join MC raids and make data dumps from recount logs to see what specs/spells are performing well and which are not More avenues of communication (this seems to gradually be improving so a good start here at least) More general attention to pve balance (pvp feedback seems more heavily weighted) A long hard look needs to be made at many of the old historical 'balance' changes made to the game Again if this overall post comes across as overly aggressive, then I offer my apologies for that was not the intent. It's still something I needed to get of my chest and I think it should be heard. Also this post was primarily focused on melee and hybrids. I might make a separate one for the issues with caster balancing at a later date.
  16. (Crappy topic title, I know) Two suggestions here: The first one I guess it's kinda simple, just change the display of the talents and spells of the custom interface in a way we can see both the Lv. req. and the costs (TE and AE). This image explains by itself: https://ibb.co/dGEbov The second one is about the current state of the spells which have a cast time, being (more or less) unfeasible. In addition to the casting speed increase alredy stated, maybe could be of some use to increase the normal range of all non-instant spells. Maybe 10 yds for the faster casting ones and a increasing range for the slower ones.
  17. As the game currently is, melees have access to enough gap closers & cc breaks to stay on top of somebody until either they die or their target dies. Most of them are picking up Improved Counterspell, as it is a 4 second silence available every 24 seconds. This is un-trinketable, which means that every 24 seconds, a caster is unable to cast spells, defend themselves, or even move granted the availability of slows/stuns to everyone, NO MATTER WHAT, for 4 seconds.* Melees do not experience this - the closest thing that would be comparable is a disarm, but melees are also tending to grab -50% disarm reduction for 2 points. Do casters receive a talent where 2 points can cut silence times in half? No, but moving on. The best choice for a disarm as a caster would be Psychic Horror except this spell is on a 3 minute cooldown and honestly not worth it, granted how easy it is for melees to reduce the disarm time by 50%. I think, to balance the game a little more at the top-end of the skill spectrum, blanket silence effects should be removed by trinket effects that remove loss of control. Being unable to cast spells or defend myself isn't what I would call being in control of my character. * - summon felhunter may be taken and if youre lucky you can self-purge a CS sometimes, but should every caster be pigeon-holed into taking summon felhunter to be competitive at the high end?
  18. The going weapon buff to use as a caster seems to be flametongue weapon, which slightly outpaces its weapon oil counter parts. Both suffer from the same issue that they give a flat buff regardless of weapon type. It also is a big enough buff to straight up make Off-Hand frills and Staves useless since the buff can only be applied once in those cases. Add to that, that a lot of the caster weapons in game are main hand only, this presents somewhat of a problem since it is still more viable to use an actual weapon (designed for a different role) as a stat stick for the sole reason of it being buffable with flametongue/wizard oil. There's a few solutions I personal can come up with, one would be to remove the mainhand restriction on caster weapons, though this really doesn't make off-hands or staves more viable in any way, but is probably the easiest and quickest solution. The other would be to grand a larger spell power buff when casting flame tongue on staves and make offhand items buffable, the last bit may be more tricky to do.

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