Thursday, July 19, 2007

DoTs, Resilience, and Cleanse

One of the upcoming changes in the new patch is that Damage-Over-Time spells will now have their damage reduced by resilience. Some DoT classes see this as unfair, because resilience is a stat targeting critical hits, and DoTs cannot crit.

I think the reason DoTs need to be reined in a bit is that their normal counters are much less effective these days. Traditionally, the downside to DoTs is that they can be Cleansed or Dispelled. But Cleanse is no longer as powerful as it once was, due to three new factors in TBC.

First, Unstable Affliction punishes you for Cleansing. It does a significant amount of damage, and the Silence effect is a killer. It is a superb guard for the other DoTs.

Second, there are several new talents which increase the chance of resisting the Cleanse.

Finally, many classes are able to apply 2 magic debuffs per global cooldown(GCD). While Cleanse only removes 1 magic debuff per GCD. Shadow priests in particular are insanely annoying for this, as all their spells add an extra Shadow Weaving debuff. This means the Cleanser is always falling behind. Affliction Warlocks use Shadow Embrace to accomplish the same thing.

As well, Cleanse is an entirely defensive action, and that means that the attacker has tempo, or is controlling the fight while the defender is Cleansing. While you Cleanse you can't use special attacks or heal. In general, because of tempo, defense needs to be more powerful than offense to be a viable tactic.

These three factors have conspired to significantly reduce the power of Cleanse. Thus DoTs need to be reigned in using another method, which is Resilience in this case.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly. Especially on the cleanse issue...there doesn't seem to be any sort of logic behind which debuff cleanse is removing. I originally thought it was a left-to-right thing based on the debuff bar in the target frame, but I've gotten UA-silenced when it was somewhere in the middle.

    (Speaking of, *is* there any logic to cleanse order for debuffs?)

    Another reason for this change, let's not forget, was mentioned either in the patch notes themselves or an accompanying forum post by a CM - they scale very well with gear upgrades, but outside of your character's resistances their damaging effects cannot be lessened in any way by upgraded gear. This was presumably a way to allow pvp gear to give you some edge against DoT-heavy classes.

    Mind you, without a lot of resilience, it's still not all that noticeable (I myself will be taking 1.2% less damage from them at my current rating.)

    From my experience, when I see a warlock/shad priest on the opposing arena team, I might cleanse the first couple debuffs, but it quickly becomes an upward (and falling downhill) kind of battle. Shadow Resistance Aura is of great help however.

  2. I think this is more of an issue for Paladins since their defensive nature will ensure they survive longer than most and this is when the effectiveness of DoT starts to out class direct damage. In a short sharp fight a DoT is an ineffective offensive measure, however the longer the DoT is applied the more effective it becomes.

    I’d like to see a PvP based Libram that allows cleanse to remove two magic, poison and disease effects rather than Blizzard play with the spell like they have with Freedom, Sacrifice and Protection correcting PvP imbalances but breaking there PvE usefulness

  3. Unfortunately, not everyone has Unstable Affliction and talents that reduce the chance for DOTs to be cleansed.
    And paladins (or priests) shouldn't really be complaining about cleanse - other classes can't do anything about magic type DOTs.
    But warlocks > paladins anyday so it's reasonable to be frustrated and think they are strong, from your (read: paladins) perspective. Trying to beat a rogue with a warlock is not much fun either.

    Anyway, in my opinion, the change to resilience affecting DOTs isn't just a warlock nerf, it's basically introduced because Blizzard wants to nerf Warlock + Shadowpriest combo in 2v2 arenas.

  4. A 10% reduction in DoT effectiveness is not much, and to accomplish that you would need a lot of resilliance gear. The only situation it would make a real difference is when you're caught by 2-3 heavy dotters and that extra 10% can help you pull off a heal.

  5. I highly doubt that the change was made to improve paladin performance against warlocks/shadow priests. They pile on the debuffs so fast that ultimately I am healing instead of cleansing all the time. I think it is to allow classes with no heals to fare better against said combo.

    The only debuff that really needs cleansing imo is Wound Poison, but trying to cleanse that is an exercise in futility.

  6. I'm currently on a UA Lock, Spriest, Spriest team and we started and it 1 week we're 1783. Now obviously this combo is a huge success against any type of team because we have the ability to freely burn down a dps without worries from the healer being able to go through it. The key to the team isn't obviously the power of the DoTs but the stacking of it so that it all ticks at once and fast and its all essentially protected DoTs... Remember that Mind-Flay doesn't classify as a DoT so that will not lose its burning power... SW:Px2 UAx1 VTx2 VEx2 Corruption, etc. will still have its tick strong and undispellable. Plus the quick mindblasts SW:Deaths that are thrown up my team won't lose much of its power... 3 v 3 revolves around who can defeat the first player first and the fastest usually. The only drastic difference is that destruction locks are gonna be seen alot more.