Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Divine Shield and Avenging Wrath

Blizzard's solution to the interaction between Divine Shield and Avenging Wrath is very clunky. I'm going to present a solution that I believe is far more elegant and simple.

First, as always, let's take a step back. Exactly what are the problems here. I think there are two problems here.

Problem 1: Chaining Immunities

Paladins have three immunity spells (going to list the upcoming versions):

1. Divine Protection - 50% less damage taken for 12 sec, 100% damage dealt
2. Divine Shield - 100% less damage taken for 12 sec, 50% damage dealt
3. Hand of Protection - 100% less physical damage taken, 0% physical damage dealt and melee attacks

Basically, casting these abilities back-to-back is overpowered, especially the case where multiple HoPs are tossed on a mage or warlock.

Forbearance is a good solution for this, and should be kept. Personally, I think a 1 min Forebearance is more than long enough, as the real concern is an immunity immediately coming after another immunity.

Problem 2: Burst Damage Dealt While Immune

Generally, a paladin should not be able to completely kill someone while immune. Blizzard has made a good start by making the immunities have a flat reduction. However, Avenging Wrath increases the paladin's burst damage, hence the effort to make Avenging Wrath mutually exclusive with the Immunities.

However, AW does not necessarily have to be absolutely exclusive. The combination just has to be weak enough such that the paladin cannot deal enough damage to burst someone down.

A better solution would be to increase the damage penalty of Divine Protection and Divine Shield slightly. (Hand of Protection is fine, as you can't make physical attacks.) Divine Protection should reduce the damage the paladin deals by 20% and Divine Shield by 60%. 80% of total damage is still enough for Prot to maintain a decent threat output, and is a small price to pay for the damage reduction. And really, for Divine Shield, the paladin doing 40% or 50% damage is not a big difference for a primarily defensive ability.

But if you add AW into the picture, a paladin with Divine Protection does 0.8 * 1.2 = 96% damage. With Divine Shield, she does 0.4 * 1.2 = 48% damage. Note that both of these numbers are less than the proposed official versions. If the proposed version is correctly balanced, the new version cannot be overpowered.

This solution is clean and simple. Avenging Wrath is completely separate from the Immunities. You can use it whenever you want, without having to worry about Forbearance. Each problem has it's own separate solution, and there are no clunky and complex cooldowns to worry about.

Edit: Oops, Divine Shield, not Divine Storm.

16 comments:

Captain The First said...

I sometimes wonder how big a deal it would be if they just removed avenging wrath alltogether and replace it with something different like a decent pulling tool.

Is avenging wrath that existential?

Captain The First said...

ok the pulling tool comment was a bit arbitrary since we're getting one it seems but still... if avenging wrath is causing so much pain there has to be 1.5 billion things that can be created instead.

RJ said...

I don't really see why this solution is "better" then the one that'll be in effect with the patch. In fact, it's -worse-.

You're basically proposing a system whereas a Paladin would -need- to use Avenging Wrath in order to still do less damage then they can currently, in order to have some "elegant" way to dissuade combo usage. In the end, there's not going to be an actual change in what the player will do; even if AW could combo with this setup, they're going to wait until the immunity effect is over anyway.

There's only one spec that would arguably benefit from allowing any of the immunities from comboing with Avenging Wrath, and I think Holy can do without it.

2ndNin said...

Or better yet, simply leave it.

50% *1.2 = 60% damage while bubbled.

AW and bubble are fine with this, the issues was that 100%*1.2 = 120%, since the 50% slow only affected their basic melee swing (its like the boss in CoT:Strat who slows my instant attacks... to instant).

There is no need for a lockout with this, HoP and DS should cause forbearance, DP shouldn't, that solves the chained immunity (you can still be suitably hard), or if you want all 3 on a 30s-1min forbearance.

Ret just needs more abilities and more mana such that it cannot rely on the removing the gaps in the attack field to exploit burst.

Suicidal Zebra said...

*Scratches Head*

Do you actually mean 'Divine Storm'?

Anyway, the main issue is really with a combination of DProtection and AW comboing, as Nin says 60% damage done whilst being bubbled and blowing another 3 min (2 talented) cooldown hardly seems overpowered. Unfortunately causing DP to reduce damage done by 20% is a nerf to Prot Aggro generation under is a primary Prot tanking buff.

There is also the thorny issue of DP and AW both being dispellable, even with all the tricks we pull out to increase our dispel resistance.

My suggestion would be to offer Ret Paladins a choice: let DP reduce damage taken by 50% if a shield is equipped, and 20% otherwise. Thus at most they get a +20%/-20% dispellable buff whilst wearing a 2-hander, and a +20%/-50% whilst wearing a shield (but with the acknowledgement that if you don't have a 2-hander equipped your damage done will drop significantly). If they are being focus'd hard and DS is on cooldown they get to pop DP and weapon-swap, if the focus is light (you are going one-on-one with a warrior for example) you get a more minor damage reduction.

Lets not forget that DK's at 80 will have a 1 minute cooldown undispellable DP with stun immunity that has no restrictions whatsoever, which will be just as dangerous as paladin DP + AW given the tools and damage output DK's have at their command. And up for often too.

Rohan said...

RJ, yes, they would need AW to do the same damage *while bubbled*. But the purpose of Immunity spells is not to do damage without repercussion. That is what everyone is (rightfully) complaining about.

The Immunity spells are to give you a chance to reset the fight, to heal up. Remember that the original version of Divine Protection didn't let you attack at all.

As for Prot, yes, it's a minor loss in threat for 12 sec. But it's a 50% damage reduction for those 12 sec. That massively outweighs the decreased threat generation.

Suicidal Zebra said...

I'd say that a 20% loss of threat for 12 seconds is far from minor to be honest, especially when you consider that the other equivalent baseline skills have no reduced threat component and other benefits greater than the 50% DR (Shield wall = 60%, Icebound Fortitude = 50% and stun immunity with a lower cooldown, both aren't magical buffs).

For PvE balance between the tanking classes reduced threat generation really isn't an option. Given that a lot of Prot Paladins are starting to have misgivings over their threat generation vs Warriors in lvl80 Raids the change you suggest probably isn't a sensible option.

Rohan said...

Yes, but in exchange you get to use Avenging Wrath extensively.

Let's say you do 1000 TPS for 1 minute. AW + DP consecutively nets you 20*1000*1.2 + 12*1000*0.8 + 28*1000 = 61600 threat, which is an increase over the baseline 60K threat.

Using AW + DP concurrently will net you 8*1000*1.2 + 12*1000*0.8*1.2 + 40*1000 = 61120 threat. Which is still an increase over not using AW.

Under GC's solution, using AW will lock out your panic button for 30s. Extra threat is no good if you are dead, so tanks won't use AW in order to ensure that DP available. Are you really going to lock out your Shield Wall while tanking?

Freeing up AW allows the tanks to use it liberally and early, and that will boost their threat much more than the reduction from DP hurts it.

Vaelin said...

There's a simple solution for prot, and it's really already there in Sacred Duty.

Basically make it so prot Paladins (through talents) are immune to the damage/speed/whatever reduction associated with Divine Protection. No threat problem, can balance any way you want for ret.

Dorgol said...

Has GC made any comments about moving Forebearance back to a 1 min debuff?

As for tanks using Avenging Wrath and locking themselves out of Shield Wall: I'll just use AW as I pull. Afterall, I'm not likely to hit an "oh shit" moment that early in most fights, and the additional threat gives a bigger buffer for the DPS to do their thing.

After that, Divine Protection will, obviously, take precedence. And if I love through the "oh shit" moment, I'll use AW 30-seconds later to get my overall threat back where it belongs.

Suicidal Zebra said...

The point is why should Tankadins have to make such a trade-off when comparable tanking classes do not?

If it is a Ret PvP problem (as it appears to be) then find a solution under the umbrella of Ret Mechanics and talents. Don't start nerfing Prot when you really don't need to with a little bit of creative thinking, for example making it only reduce damage done whilst a 2-hander is equipped.

If it's even necessary. I'm not convinced that it is given that both spells are purge-vulnerable and provide no CC immunity.

--

Vaelin, Prot Paladins still probably need whatever stamina boost the new Sacred Duty will provide in order to keep up with Warrior levels of stamina and mitigation. Further, why should they have to make do with a fundamentally inferior analogue to the other tanks oh-shit buttons, which even with talent investment would be worse?

RJ said...

The point is why should Tankadins have to make such a trade-off when comparable tanking classes do not?

First off, this is not true. Warriors, for example, share a cooldown between Shield Wall and their other DPS abilities which may help threat generation.

Which brings me to another point. Both you and Rohan seem to be of the opinion that Avenging Wrath is a tanking ability, but it's not. Sure, it boosts damage which just happens to boost threat, but that's not what it's designed for. At most, it's Protection benefit is to toss it on right as the fight begins to give yourself a little extra boost to threat, since other classes wait until later to pop their cooldowns. This then means that you can pop Divine Protection later on should it be needed. Because come on. You aren't really going to argue that you need to have your "Oh shit" button ready for the first 30 seconds of the fight, are you?


Also, Rohan, I'm not quite sure you got what I meant. I may have not been very clear, so I'll try to clarify my intent.

To begin with, this is what GC is implementing in the next patch:

- Divine Shield, Protection, and Avenging Wrath are all on a shared, 30 second cooldown.
- Divine Shield reduces all your damage by 50%.

So, you can either use Divine Shield, or Divine Protection, or Avenging Wrath, but not all 3, and if you use Shield you get a 50% damage penalty.

Your proposal, however, is:
- Divine Shield and Protection are on a shared cooldown.
- Divine Shield reduces all damage done by 60%, but you can still use Avenging Wrath.
- Divine Protection reduces all damage done by 20%, but you can still use Avenging Wrath.

So, what this results in is that by default, you do 10% less damage then with GC's for DS, and 20% less damage for DP, and if you pop Wrath you only manage to go up 8%/16%, leaving you 2%/4% shy of what you're already getting. And that requires you losing your wings cooldown!

Your proposal is demonstratively worse then GC's. Is it -really- such a big deal to allow players to pop wings while bubbled? I really don't see why, and even if the possibility was there I don't see any reason for people to bother. They're much better off waiting for the immunity to wear off, and recover ~70% damage.

Rohan said...

Is it -really- such a big deal to allow players to pop wings while bubbled?

I don't think it is. However, Blizzard clearly thinks it's a problem. My solution keeps the power level the same as Blizzard's, but is more flexible. AW becomes *independent* of the Immunities. You can pop it at anytime and it will always do the same thing.

I just think the lockout is overcomplicated and overly restrictive. It robs us of flexibility, and makes AW much less useful.

The option you want, -0%/-50% DP/DS damage + Avenging Wrath, is not on the table.

Gray Ghost said...

RJ, Rohan's proposal is not worse. The issue is being able to use AW while still having the option to bubble. Under GC's proposal (and current conditions, I believe), tanking/healing paladins and PVP paladins won't use AW except for between bubble cooldowns when it wouldn't matter anyway. Rohan addresses this issue while placating the "bubble+wings is OP" argument.

Suicidal Zebra said...

RJ

First off, this is not true. Warriors, for example, share a cooldown between Shield Wall and their other DPS abilities which may help threat generation.

Which abilities may those be? Shield Wall, Retaliation and Recklessness no longer share a cooldown as of 3.0.1. They are mutually exclusive so you can't have any two up at the same time, but that exclusivity only lasts for the duration of the buff (12 seconds untalented or I believe until the buff is clicked off). FWIW I'd be fine with this sort of mechanic to define exclusivity rather than the proposed 30-second enforced lockout. And I prefer both over Forbearance (which I believe remains in the game).

Which brings me to another point. Both you and Rohan seem to be of the opinion that Avenging Wrath is a tanking ability, but it's not. Sure, it boosts damage which just happens to boost threat, but that's not what it's designed for. At most, it's Protection benefit is to toss it on right as the fight begins to give yourself a little extra boost to threat, since other classes wait until later to pop their cooldowns. This then means that you can pop Divine Protection later on should it be needed. Because come on. You aren't really going to argue that you need to have your "Oh shit" button ready for the first 30 seconds of the fight, are you?

Avenging Wrath is not a DPS-tool, nor a Healing-tool, nor a Tanking-tool. It is just a tool. If it's useful, or necessary, for Tankadins then it will and arguably should be able to be used. If the spell was deep in a talent tree then I might argue for its use to be more restrictive, but it's a baseline skill. But in multi-phase encounters where aggro-resets and Enrage effects are frequent it seems sensible to not link these two cooldowns, even for 30seconds.

As encounters become more complex we need to be able to be more adaptable to scenarios and flexible to their requirements. A system of skill lock-outs prevent us from doing that, and ultimately mean that we can't use those abilities when they would be most useful.

RJ said...

Rohan, I still think that you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. I can't seem to even follow what you're getting at anymore. I'm not saying that I want bubble/wings, I'm asking why -you- are insistent that it should be possible.

In addition, your suggestion is not more flexible or at the same power level. In order to be at roughly the same power level, the player must pop wings, which actually means that they're forced to throw down 2 long cooldowns, for less then the same effect then they're going to get with the patch, which is only one long cooldown and one shared 30 second cooldown.