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

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Uniqueness of Abilities & Mechanics

This started off as the first two sections of a much larger post, but I think the subject is better served with a stand alone article.

Let’s start off by talking about “uniqueness”. Usually in WoW Class design/discussions this is a rough indication of how unique a certain thing is across other specs & classes. The idea is that as an ability becomes more prevalent among a role type the less unique it is, and then class or spec identity suffers as a result. I can agree with the first half of this, but find that linking this to diminishing class/spec identity is ignoring a few key points. Read more of this post

WoW 8.0 Elemental – “Pay Off” Abilities

Following on from the post about Overload, and somewhat related to it, is the subject of “Pay Off Abilities”. This is something that has been mentioned in developer posts on the WoW forums, specifically around how Earth Shock, Lava Burst and Stormkeeper are all “big” moments in the rotation but having three of them diminishes the rotation somewhat. Stormkeeper itself will be relegated to a talent in Battle for Azeroth (at least, it was based on screenshots taken at Blizzcon) so this is mostly about the other two spells.

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WoW 8.0 Elemental – Overloads

After the announcement of Battle for Azeroth over the weekend at Blizzcon it’s probably time to take another look at the current Elemental Shaman design and point out what I think are the problems that need to be resolved.

Overload

Going back to one of my regular subjects for Elemental, and probably one where I feel the strongest but also realize that it’s fairly subjective: Overloads, how they scale with mastery, generate additional maelstrom, and introduce additional variation.

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Simulations, Logs & Dummies

Meters, Warcraft Logs & Statistics: Part 3

A continuation of the blog series I started recently (Part 1, Part 2).

Another common question raised by players is the “My sims say I should do X DPS but I only get Y DPS on dummies or from WCL parses” one. Unfortunately all three approaches can’t reliably be cross-compared with each other for specific details. Read more of this post

Rankings & Detrimental Behaviour

Meters, Warcraft Logs & Statistics: Part 2

Earlier in the week I covered how there’s a feedback loop (or “snowball effect”) on players moving away from specs based on statistics. Today I’ll be looking at rankings, how these can distort the aggregated data on Warcraft Logs, and why taking non-optimal actions to increase rankings are bad.

In other words, padlords gonna pad, and it’s bad. Sorry, no graphs this time. Read more of this post

Why “Best In Slot” lists are a thing of the past

“Best In Slot” lists, or “BiS” for short, are gear lists identifying the best possible combination of items for each spec. Sometimes there can be differing opinions, or different lists for different talent combinations, but the reason why they are popular is because they’re essentially a shopping list of items to get.

However, these lists are somewhat impractical outside of “thought experiments” or SimulationCraft default profile restrictions because of one thing: random item bonuses.

Thunder/War/Titan-forging

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