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itswicky

Season 2 Balance Specific Changes

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Hi heroes! Hope you all are enjoying Season 2 so far. We've got a lot of exciting new additions to the game including Call boards, Wildcard Mode, and World Events, so be sure to go check them out if you haven't already! But I'm not here today to talk about all the new systems on Season 2, but instead about the balance changes we currently have live only there and not on our other dedicated realms as well as to give you a brief explanation of why we're making these changes.

I'm going to be doing things a bit different this time. I'll be posting a full list of the changes, change log style, and then giving a brief explanation on the changes as a whole and then a brief description of our balance philosophies moving forward in order to give you a better insight as to why we made some of these changes and to give an idea of what to expect in the future.

 

Flask of the Titans now grants 600 health, from 1200.
Flask of Supreme Power now grants 70 spell power, from 150.
The Untamed Blade now grants 150 Strength on proc, from 200.
Bonereaver’’s Edge now grants 55 armor pen per stack, from 67.

 

Fiery Payback now only procs from auto attacks.
In for the Kill now has a PPM of 4, down from 5.
Improved Earth Shield now increases the healing done by your Earth Shield by 4%, from 5%.
Improved Whirlwind now increases the damage of your Whirlwind by 4/5%, from 5/6%.
Vile Poisons no longer reduces the chance for your Poisons to be dispelled.
Arcane Shielding now reduces the mana lost per point of your Mana Shields by 6/8%, from 8/10%.
Improved Power Word: Shield Rank 3 now increases the effect of your Power Word: Shield by 5%, from 7%.
Divine Providence now increases the amount healed by Circle of Healing, Binding Heal, Holy Nova, Prayer of Healing, and Prayer of Mending by 3/4/5%, from 4/5/6%.
Unleashed Fury now has 3 ranks and grants 3/4/5% increased tamed pet damage.
Ferocity now has 3 ranks and increases the critical chance of your tamed pets by 3/4/5%.
Purification can no longer be rolled.
Spiritual Healing can no longer be rolled.
Subtlety can no longer be rolled.
Prismatic Cloak can no longer be rolled.
Arcane Focus can no longer be rolled
Kilrogg’’s Expertise can no longer be rolled.
Arcane Stability can no longer be rolled.
Spiritual Focus can no longer be rolled.
Frozen Core can no longer be rolled.
Poison Hardening can no longer be rolled.

 

Fiery Payback now only procs from auto attacks.
Second Wind now heals you for 4/8% of your maximum health, from 5/10%.
Spell Mastery now grants 25% spell haste, up from 20%.
Curse of the Elements (Rank 3) no longer increases Physical damage the target takes as well.
Seal of Light now scales with 6.5% of attack power, from 8%.
Armored to the Teeth now increases your melee attack power by 1/2/3 for every 150 armor, from 108.
Cleanse now costs 12% mana, from 6%.
Sheath of Light now increases your spell healing by 2/4/6/8/10% of your attack power, from 4/8/12/16/20%.
Mental Quickness now increases your spell damage by 3/6/9/12/15% of your attack power, from 4/8/12/16/20%.
Blink now has an 18 sec cooldown, from 15.
Maelstrom Weapon no longer affects Chain Heal.
Touch by the Light now increases the critical healing of your Holy spells by 5/10/15%, from 10/20/30%.
Light’’s Grace no longer increases the duration of your Divine Shield.
Guarded by the Light now increases the duration of your Divine Shield by 3/6 sec and now reduces spell damage taken by 2/4%, from 3/6%.
Focused Will now increase all healing received by 1/2/3% per stack, no longer reduces the damage you receive, and all stacks are removed at once when dispelled.
Natural Perfection now has all stacks removed at once when dispelled.
Nether Protection now reduces spell damage taken by 20%, from 30%, and now has a 4 sec internal cooldown.
Demonic Knowledge now grants you 3/6/9% of your summoned demon’’s Stamina and Intellect as spell power, from 4/8/12%.
Inner Fire has had it’’s armor bonus reduced by 20% at all ranks.
Bladestorm now deals 110% of your weapon damage and no longer deals reduced damage when you have Titan’’s Grip.
Wrecking Crew now also increases the damage of Bladestorm.
Improved Whirlwind no longer increases the damage of Bladestorm and now increases the damage of Whirlwind by 5/10%, from 10/20%, and now reduces its cooldown by 1/2  sec.
Purification now properly only affects Nature healing.
Gift of Nature now properly only affects Nature healing.
Spiritual Healing now properly only affects Holy healing.
Siphon Life now heals you for 25% of the damage dealt by Corruption, down from 30%.
Vampiric Embrace now heals you for 12% of Shadow damage done, from 15%.
Earth Shield now has 5% less base healing and scales 15% less will spell power.

First, again another apology for not going over these changes in a case by case basis. Onto the changes: we wanted to accomplish a few large goals with these changes on seasonal. We wanted to bring down the high burst damage potential, but also greatly reduce the amount of burst healing potential as well along with the strong passive sustain. We hope that these changes allow for smoother PvP game play with a better ebb and flow of combat. As opposed to very burst oriented combat where health bars swing wildly back and forth, or combat in which players soak damage while passively regenerating that damage back. The other large goal was to help clarify the random enchant system and trim it up some. We wanted to remove some of the 'worthless' enchants which seemed to only add clutter, and further reduce clutter in other areas by removing some ranks. We also wanted to clarify the RE system in a way that made it more clear as to what REs had value and make a better sense of progression with the system, while also making some things more accessible.

Hopefully we've accomplished all these things, but we'll be closely monitoring the progression of Season 2 to make sure we have, and we'll be stepping in to quickly make changes or adjustments as necessary. Which brings me to my next, and final, point of discussion for this topic. I want to share with you all a bit of our balance philosophy moving forward. I've written a bit about this in our previous dev post, so I'll reiterate some of it again here. We will be making more frequent changes in the future, but at a smaller scale so that we can better collect data and feedback on specific changes and hopefully make better informed decisions with better informed results. We will also likely see a larger number of damage and healing reduction changes in order to bring PvP to a better place, but will make sure to communicate these changes with the AI team in order to ensure PvE still remains balanced and fun since it is a very large and important part of Ascension.

 

I have had a bit less time recently to reply to forum posts as I have had in the past, and some of you may have noticed this, due to the release of Season 2 and the fact that the team is all hands on deck in making sure we have a smooth and successful season, while also dealing with any potential issues this may have presented unintentionally to our live servers. I hope you can understand, but I will continue to do my best to both read and reply to as many replies as possible! ❤️

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By Season 2 specific are these going to stay on seasonal or will they be making their way to live at the end?

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"Bladestorm now deals 110% of your weapon damage and no longer deals reduced damage when you have Titan’’s Grip."

Wrecking Crew now also increases the damage of Bladestorm.

 

Wait. Are you really BUFFING bladestorm?

Some changes are so random that I scratched my head about why were they needed. Like increased blink cd. 

Edited by mindw0rk

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1 minute ago, mindw0rk said:

"Bladestorm now deals 110% of your weapon damage and no longer deals reduced damage when you have Titan’’s Grip."

Wrecking Crew now also increases the damage of Bladestorm.

 

Wait. Are you really BUFFING bladestorm?

Some changes are so random that I scratched my head about why were they needed. Like increased blink cd. Why? Or such a huge nerf to flasks.

I think you missed the part where they made bladestorm unaffected by improved whirlwind talent... And I assume RE too. So it'll be better baseline but weaker than before if you are a whirlwind stacking TG player. 

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Just now, Mikkiller93 said:

I think you missed the part where they made bladestorm unaffected by improved whirlwind talent... And I assume RE too. So it'll be better baseline but weaker than before if you are a whirlwind stacking TG player. 

no one decent in AQ40 would stack whirlwind REs since poleaxe spec and dark edge of insanity exist.

This is a massive buff to the best performing PvE TG spec.

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Do most TG currently stack WW REs?

I think a lot of TGs aren't even using the REs so it'll be a buff for them, along with reducing 1/5th of the CD on Whirlwind.

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Completely RIP sustain. This seriously is the biggest slap in the face for anyone who plays this archetype. You gutted sheath of light by 50%.

I was okay with agility healing nerfs. But this is just doesn't make any sense. I've been putting so much effort into making sustain work again and again and again, and now you completely murder the archetype. Just sad man. :(

If you wanna nerf healers, can you please do so in a way that doesn't kill a beloved archetype completely? This is not just a single spec you're killing, it's something many many people love to play and have made a plethora of different variations of over the course of the games history.

Edited by Beastly
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10 minutes ago, mecar said:

no one decent in AQ40 would stack whirlwind REs since poleaxe spec and dark edge of insanity exist.

This is a massive buff to the best performing PvE TG spec.

How much damage is bladestorm in pve boss encounters tho? Bladestorm still has a big cool down. Is it really that massive that bladestorm deals more damage for those builds? 

It still loses 20% from improved whirlwind talent not affecting it anymore. And don't tell me TG isn't using whirlwind talent XD

 

Edited by Mikkiller93

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It's nice you want to reduce burst in PVP, But this isn't solving the underlining problem, which is stat inflation.
If you want to fix the pvp burst then you have to limit the stat stacking better. Here's what I suggest.
1. Remove the stat allocation system(just unnecessary bloated stats)
2. Make Talented stat increases exclusive, in other words talents that are %str, %agi, %ap, %int, %spirit, %stam. These types of talents shouldn't stack with each other.
3. Remove the RE's that support the stat increase listed previously.

With these changes some other will have to be brought in,
1. Reduction of health and damage from Raid mobs/bosses

2. Removal of the baseline resilience, this can be added back to pvp gear (if its even needed since we're going to have our damage nerfed by around 40%).


Other changes I would like to see
1. Talents like enveloping shadows shouldn't effect PvE environment, this will allow the devs to not have to worry about these types of talents when developing and tuning raid mechanics.
2. Pets being a bit smarter(either allow them to run behind the target when to send them in or give them an actual move to target location button)
3. Pick-able Racials.
 

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43 minutes ago, itswicky said:

Bladestorm now deals 110% of your weapon damage and no longer deals reduced damage when you have Titan’’s Grip.

Does this mean it will only hit with 1 weapon instead of 2?

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I'm confused as to why you guys would buff hybrid builds to make them more viable, then turn right around and slap them with a nerf again. A 5% nerf to Mental Quickness alongside the Demonic Knowledge nerf is going to hit SP pretty harshly, and hybrid *needs* SP. If these changes were PvP only that would be one thing, but they'll hit PvE as well again with no compensation given. I get that you guys wanna balance PvP, and by all means please do so, by why do PvE builds keep getting slapped with global nerfs to both PvP and  PvE when they could be targetted?

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9 minutes ago, lewtorz said:

It's nice you want to reduce burst in PVP, But this isn't solving the underlining problem, which is stat inflation.
If you want to fix the pvp burst then you have to limit the stat stacking better. Here's what I suggest.
1. Remove the stat allocation system(just unnecessary bloated stats)
2. Make Talented stat increases exclusive, in other words talents that are %str, %agi, %ap, %int, %spirit, %stam. These types of talents shouldn't stack with each other.
3. Remove the RE's that support the stat increase listed previously.

1. Not remove but maybe introduce cap of how much you can boost one stat. So that players didnt just put everything into one thing.

2. I dont see the need of this. If someone wants to boost different stats through talents, why not.

3. Now this would probably be for the better. Removing all stat increases from RE table including flat AP increase RE. Focusing on REs that add fun gameplay instead of ramping power.

Edited by mindw0rk

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3 minutes ago, Fyrewynd said:

I'm confused as to why you guys would buff hybrid builds to make them more viable, then turn right around and slap them with a nerf again. A 5% nerf to Mental Quickness alongside the Demonic Knowledge nerf is going to hit SP pretty harshly, and hybrid *needs* SP. If these changes were PvP only that would be one thing, but they'll hit PvE as well again with no compensation given. I get that you guys wanna balance PvP, and by all means please do so, by why do PvE builds keep getting slapped with global nerfs to both PvP and  PvE when they could be targetted?

Hybrids were buffed last patch u said right? Maybe it was in preparation for this change? Hybrids already received their compensation upfront. Also it's seasonal only. Give it a try there first. It's not live yet. You can still gather data and give feedback. 

Edited by Mikkiller93

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1 minute ago, Mikkiller93 said:

Hybrids were buffed last patch u said right? Maybe it was in preparation for this change? Hybrids already received their compensation upfront. 

That would be fair if they were in a good place, but they got buffed because they were underperforming a lotta builds. That last buff put them in a good spot; not too good, not too bad, but now they're getting slapped again alongside every single caster build to boot. It's a global nerf to everybody who uses SP, regardless of how the build performs, simply because they want to limit PvP burst. Again, these changes could be targetted, but they're not, which means the global nerf was intentional. I guarantee you there's more than a few builds out there that really do not need this nerf, but are still getting it anyway.

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48 minutes ago, itswicky said:

Onto the changes: we wanted to accomplish a few large goals with these changes on seasonal. We wanted to bring down the high burst damage potential, but also greatly reduce the amount of burst healing potential as well along with the strong passive sustain.

Okay. You alienated everyone who played melee sustain (or who enjoyed being on a server with spec variety). If you think that's a good thing for balance, that's your call.

But what on earth are you doing to bring down the burst damage potential? You nerfed nether protection, which is the main defense vs a lot of the burstiest specs). You nerfed Inner Fire, which a lot of people use to survive bursty ambush rogues. Then you buffed Smite, increased spell haste from spell mastery, and left the vast majority of the burstiest specs untouched.

Remember back in the day when some guy made a video that everyone who played PvP on ascension went full stamina? If you're going for a balance between that grindier PvP gameplay and today's burst-dominated one, maybe you should encourage people to make builds that focus on survivability. Nerfing Second Wind doesn't seem to accomplish that.

These changes seem to me unrelated to the actual issues in the current meta. I'm honestly grateful that the values you've buffed/nerfed things with are so marginal that these changes won't have much effect, because a lot of them are going in completely the wrong direction. I'm losing faith in the balance team's understanding of the realities of the PvP meta with every update. 

Looking forward to what you'll come up with next time.

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3 minutes ago, Mikkiller93 said:

Hybrids were buffed last patch u said right? Maybe it was in preparation for this change? Hybrids already received their compensation upfront. Also it's seasonal only. Give it a try there first. It's not live yet. You can still gather data and give feedback. 

Not only was the patch aimed at only at two specific hybrid specs (enhancement specs, and 2H ret paladin. And yes there are more hybrid specs than that) which weren't the most performing anyway, but saying "hey come test this changes on seasonal" when the problem is that agility specs are completely outscaling hybrid with AQ40 gear.

 

20 minutes ago, Mikkiller93 said:

How much damage is bladestorm in pve boss encounters tho? Bladestorm still has a big cool down. Is it really that massive that bladestorm deals more damage for those builds? 

It still loses 20% from improved whirlwind talent not affecting it anymore. And don't tell me TG isn't using whirlwind talent XD

 

The fact that you seriously thing the most PERFORMING TG spec in AQ40 is using whirlwind REs shows how clueless you are. Whirlwind RE is one of the biggest noobtrap talents for PvE TG. Sword Spec (before the nerf/bugfix to it's ICD) was better, Poleaxe Spec with Dark Edge is way better.

 

Also 110% weapon damage vs 100 * [1 - 0.15 (the TG reduction penalty) + 0.2 (from the talent, which was already taken since it's very good unlike the RE)] is 110% vs 105%

In case you are also clueless about this, damage increases to abilities are additive, which is why I calculated it like this.

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8 minutes ago, Mikkiller93 said:

Hybrids were buffed last patch u said right? Maybe it was in preparation for this change? Hybrids already received their compensation upfront. Also it's seasonal only. Give it a try there first. It's not live yet. You can still gather data and give feedback. 

They weren't buffed nearly enough to compensate for the incoming nerfs. They'll return to being a mediocre or underperforming spec. 👍

4 minutes ago, Fyrewynd said:

That would be fair if they were in a good place, but they got buffed because they were underperforming a lotta builds. That last buff put them in a good spot; not too good, not too bad, but now they're getting slapped again alongside every single caster build to boot. It's a global nerf to everybody who uses SP, regardless of how the build performs, simply because they want to limit PvP burst. Again, these changes could be targetted, but they're not, which means the global nerf was intentional. I guarantee you there's more than a few builds out there that really do not need this nerf, but are still getting it anyway.

^ Basically this, spot on.

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1 minute ago, mecar said:

Not only was the patch aimed at only at two specific hybrid specs (enhancement specs, and 2H ret paladin. And yes there are more hybrid specs than that) which weren't the most performing anyway, but saying "hey come test this changes on seasonal" when the problem is that agility specs are completely outscaling hybrid with AQ40 gear.

 

The fact that you seriously thing the most PERFORMING TG spec in AQ40 is using whirlwind REs shows how clueless you are. Whirlwind RE is one of the biggest noobtrap talents for PvE TG. Sword Spec (before the nerf/bugfix to it's ICD) was better, Poleaxe Spec with Dark Edge is way better.

 

Also 110% weapon damage vs 100 * [1 - 0.15 (the TG reduction penalty) + 0.2 (from the talent, which was already taken since it's very good unlike the RE)] is 110% vs 105%

In case you are also clueless about this, damage increases to abilities are additive, which is why I calculated it like this.

I was talking about whirlwind talent mate... Not the RE

Talking about clueless lol

Edited by Mikkiller93

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1 minute ago, mecar said:

but saying "hey come test this changes on seasonal"

This is actually a problem for a lot of the changes, lots of this stuff is gear dependant, saying "test it on seasonal" requires top PvE players to then play seasonal, gear up to BiS again and test. Not many people have the opportunity to no-life the game in such a manner. If you want changes tested properly, put them on the PTR. Saying "test on seasonal" is completely unreasonable @Mikkiller93

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40 minutes ago, Skray said:

By Season 2 specific are these going to stay on seasonal or will they be making their way to live at the end?

We will be evaluating what works, and what does, and make our decisions of what should come to live based on that.

36 minutes ago, mindw0rk said:

Wait. Are you really BUFFING bladestorm?

The baseline damage without investment will increase, but the total damage with heavy investment will decrease fairly drastically.

3 minutes ago, omendog said:

you buffed Smite, increased spell haste from spell mastery, and left the vast majority of the burstiest specs untouched.

We also reduced the effectiveness of Searing Light RE, which should mean less holy damage overall, particularly PvP burst. 

4 minutes ago, omendog said:

You nerfed nether protection

We also increased baseline resilience and nerfed spell power.

4 minutes ago, omendog said:

Nerfing Second Wind doesn't seem to accomplish that.

Second Wind is completely passive sustain that scales with health, which isn't something we like to see in PvP.

 

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Just now, itswicky said:

We will be evaluating what works, and what does, and make our decisions of what should come to live based on that.

39 minutes ago, mindw0rk said:

The problem with this @itswicky is the same as the post I made above:
 

 

Just now, Sky said:

This is actually a problem for a lot of the changes, lots of this stuff is gear dependant, saying "test it on seasonal" requires top PvE players to then play seasonal, gear up to BiS again and test. Not many people have the opportunity to no-life the game in such a manner. If you want changes tested properly, put them on the PTR. Saying "test on seasonal" is completely unreasonable @Mikkiller93

 

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Also, I understand many people will be upset with some of the changes since we are attempting to decrease the overall power level of players, which can certainly be unfun, but we hope this results in better game play experience in PvP overall. 

I also want to say that even though you may be upset, please try to refrain from name calling, derogatory remarks, or any off-topic rants. Derailing the conversation and resorting to any of the aforementioned tactics will not help to get your messaged received or voice heard. If you want the staff to hear what you have to say, keep it constructive, try to be succinct, and provide as much relevant information as you can. Thank you.

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6 minutes ago, Sky said:

This is actually a problem for a lot of the changes, lots of this stuff is gear dependant, saying "test it on seasonal" requires top PvE players to then play seasonal, gear up to BiS again and test. Not many people have the opportunity to no-life the game in such a manner. If you want changes tested properly, put them on the PTR. Saying "test on seasonal" is completely unreasonable @Mikkiller93

We don't expect to have all the proper feedback collected in the first week as players are still gearing up. We do have some additional systems in place for Season 2 that should help people gear up more quickly than normally, so we don't expect it to take too long before people have mostly optimal set ups either.

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5 minutes ago, itswicky said:

We don't expect to have all the proper feedback collected in the first week as players are still gearing up. We do have some additional systems in place for Season 2 that should help people gear up more quickly than normally, so we don't expect it to take too long before people have mostly optimal set ups either.

I really would urge you to just push these to the PTR before live.

These changes are huge for TG and hybrid, and Season 2 will not give the feedback needed for these.  It's just not feasible for someone to have to re-level and re-acquire their gear, AND the REs to properly test these.  I know that seasonal has accelerated progression for leveling and gear but it's just not a proper testing environment to reflect on live's current progression.

The PTR doesn't even need the vendors for orbs/runes/resets/etc.  just have it open and allow players to copy their existing characters over and you'll end up with much more valuable feedback.

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