Arcane Mastery Problems

Mastery effects vary from spec to spec, and I’ve already highlighted the issues around change based masteries like Overload, but there’s another I want to look at: Savant for Arcane Mages. This increases maximum mana and regeneration, as well as increasing the damage bonus from Arcane Charges, but there are some interesting interactions in how the spec is designed. Read more of this post


A Maelstrom of a Problem

As you may have seen, there’s a blog post on upcoming Legion changes for Shaman. The big problem I see with this is that Maelstrom generation will be too high, and rotation priorities will end up causing conflicts between strong spells.

Read more of this post

Feedback Part 1: Molten Earth

This is going to be the first of a series of “big feedback posts” for this expansion, looking at what works, what doesn’t, and what this means for the next expansion.

Part 1: Molten Earth

While thematic and looking cool, Molten Earth has the problem of being a passive effect (mostly) with no direct relationship to player actions. It’s a binary “did the player do something recently” activation, which means that it’s not possible to try to improve its damage output by improving rotation skills & spell use, as would be possible with Lava Burst, Earth Shock, etc.

Another problem with Molten Earth is that its coefficient is controlled by Mastery. This means Mastery is worth a lot less than other stats. Compared to Haste, for example, an extra 1% to Molten Earth should be equal to an extra 1% Haste for Molten Earth, but Haste affects everything while Mastery only affects Molten Earth. This is why the value of 1 “unit” of Mastery is a 4.5% increase to Molten Earths damage, but even with that it is still the weakest stat.

This is further compounded by the fact that Molten Earth contributes a large portion of mobile damage (~35%), which means having some Mastery is necessary to deal with the frequent movement that occurs in current raids. Side note: in order for Mastery to be equal to Haste, the second most valuable secondary stat, the fight would require moving 56% of the time.

The other effect of Molten Earth is that it increases the damage of Earthquake by 2% per “unit” of Mastery. This was added in so Mastery would have an effect on AoE, but unfortunately doesn’t do much to increase the overall value of the stat. At most, with 20 targets, Mastery is worth ~75% of Haste

The Developers did get a couple of things right with Molten Earth though. The effect looks fairly cool, and it has no 100% maximum, which was a problem with Overload from Cataclysm & Mists of Pandaria.

Moving Forward

Molten Earth, or a replacement Mastery effect, needs to do four things:

  1. Either enhance or directly proc off player generated spells
  2. Affect single target, movement and multi target rotations
  3. Not affect any of the rotation segments disproportionately
  4. Not have a cap

During the Beta for Warlords there was temporarily a different Mastery effect called Elemental Discharge. Each case had a mastery affected % chance to generate a lightning or fire “charge”, and gaining 3 would result in a proc attacking the target for a fixed damage amount. This would be a good replacement, but the charge generation would instead need to be 100% with the proc damage being affected by Mastery. The damage procs would also need to deal AoE damage, possibly in a “damage split over targets within 8 yards” type effect to make the same mechanic apply in both single target & multi-target situations. Making both of these changes would mean this Mastery bonus would tick off all four points outlined above, rather than just two of them. This is just an example, using something that the Devs previously tried out as a basis.

More Posts?

Over the next few weeks, in addition to getting more Foundry boss notes into the guide, is to make a few more posts covering some of the issues/areas with Elemental, like themes, talents & rotations.

Also, in case you missed it I started a Patreon campaign yesterday, more details on that here