Posts Tagged ‘datamining’

This Warlords datamining update is cross-posted on Ravenholdt, the very bestest rogue class fansite in the history of ever.

A pair of new Warlords of Draenor beta builds — 18967 and 18973, for those of you keeping score at home — have brought a host of tuning adjustments for the rogue class (among others). Alongside these builds, a series of tweets from technical game designer Chadd “Cobra-thon” Nervig clarified, and explained some of the reasoning behind, several of the changes.

Let’s recap, shall we?

[NOTE: When this was posted on Ravenholdt, Celestalon replied via Twitter to state that some of the adjustments listed below are already due to be changed in an upcoming beta build. Tuning is fast, furious and fluid in these last couple of weeks before Patch 6.0.2 launches.]

Assassination’s damage appears to have been adjusted upward. Most of its key abilities have gotten roughly 5% stronger since last week, if the datamining is accurate:

  • Mutilate deals 210% weapon damage, up from 200%.
  • Dispatch deals 330% weapon damage, up from 315%.
  • The random-damage component of Venemous Wounds deals damage equivalent to 33.6% of our attack power stat, up from 32%.
  • Envenom damage has been boosted by 5%.

There is one downward shift that affects Assassination: Rupture’s damage has taken an 18% hit.

Combat’s damage appears to have been nudged downward, if the datamining is accurate:

  • Eviscerate’s damage has been reduced by about 18%.
  • Blade Flurry’s damage has been reduced by 25%; it copies 30% of our damage onto nearby targets, down from 40%.
  • Ambush’s damage has been reduced by roughly 18%; it deals 245% weapon damage, down from 300%.

These changes come one week after substantial buffs to Sinister Strike and Revealing Strike; taken together, we’re seeing a notable shift in the proportion of Combat’s overall damage that comes from combo point builders vs. finishers.

On Twitter, incidentally, Celestalon confirmed that the Eviscerate change is meant to bring Combat’s overall damage more in line with their goals, and noted that the Blade Flurry change was intended.

Subtlety’s damage also appears to have been reduced (again), if the datablah is bloo:

  • Last week’s buff to Backstab has been reverted, and then some: It’s now at 145% weapon damage, down from 175% — and also down from 156%, where it had been prior to *last* week’s changes.
  • As noted above, Ambush’s damage has been reduced by about 18%.
  • Also as noted above, Eviscerate damage has been reduced by 18% as well.
  • Also-also as noted (further) above, it looks like Rupture damage may have gotten an 18% cut. But I’m less confident about this one without direct beta testing or a Blizzfolk statement to confirm it, though obviously the number would be consistent with other cuts.

On Twitter, Celestalon affirmed that heavy slashes to Subtlety were intended; according to him, the spec was performing 15% better than the rest of the pack (except for feral druids, which he said had been similarly overpowered and were also toned downward in this week’s beta builds).

Finally, one all-spec change: Crimson Tempest has been… buffed? We think? Datamining seemed to indicate that the ability had taken an 18% damage reduction, but Celestalon stated that the ability was actually having its up-front and DoT damage *increased* by 50%. Maybe an erroneous tooltip change, given how many other rogue abilities had been chopped by 18% at the same time?

Regardless, if the datamined changes to all three specs are accurate, then the overall adjustments to DPS would be as follows, per Fierydemise:

Keep in mind that regardless of the impact of these particular beta builds, all of these adjustments are part of the designers’ ongoing effort to pull various levers in order to get the performance of all specs and classes within whatever their target range is. Although I often refer to these tweaks as “buffs” and “nerfs,” it’s probably better not to think of them precisely that way, given that balance has to be completely redone in the switch from Mists to Warlords. As with every expansion, the scales are being reset.

Quick closing note: Celestalon also tweeted quite a bit about Death From Above this evening, responding to Fierydemise’s blog post from earlier in the week. The easiest way to see the collection of these — and all of Celestalon’s rogue-related tweets — is to check out @Ravenholdt’s favorites list, which we update whenever we spot a new class-relevant tweet from a member of Blizzard’s WoW team.

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In the week and a half since my last update, we’ve seen a flurry of conversations with WoW game designers on Twitter (a Blade Flurry, some might say, ahahaha, ahaha, ha), but no major new developments to (or alterations in) our planned class changes, and only an incremental nudge in our understanding of the changes that are planned.

In thoroughly bullet-riddled form, here’s what we’ve learned since April 20:

  • Backstab’s positional requirement: Technical game designer Chadd “Cellphonealon” Nervig stood bravely against a storm of players that mercilessly flung tweet after tweet at his kneecaps regarding the design team’s decision to remove positional requirements for the feral druid abilities Ravage and Shred and the rogue ability Ambush — but to continue to forbid the use of Backstab from the front (though side attacks will be okie dokie). Quoth the dragon, they have chosen not to allow a facial Backstab due to “iconicness” and “how well the gameplay and ability fits the Subtlety kit.”In the same conversation, Nervig affirmed that Backstab is intended to be more powerful than Hemorrhage, and should be the preferred ability to use unless attacking from the front or “if backloading damage is more useful than frontloading” (a reference, I assume, to Hemo’s damage-over-time component)
  • Subtlety’s DPS reward: Nervig confirmed that because the Subtlety DPS rotation is so hard to execute perfectly, the spec is given a little extra bump when it’s balanced against other classes/specs. The implication here is that, if you’re able to maximize the spec’s potential, you will outshine everyone else in the damage meters. (Well, except for any other difficult specs that have been similarly compensated — Nervig implied that feral druids get the same treatment.)
  • Enhanced Premeditation — GONE: Because clearly not enough people have gotten the message yet, Nervig fielded two separate complaints about the Enhanced Premeditation perk — the one that they already announced weeks ago was being scrapped. Try passing along word of this reverted change via a fun game of telephone with friends! See if you can start with “They’re getting rid of the Enhanced Premeditation perk, so you can stop screaming about how horrible it is” and end up with “Celestalon is a big stupidface and porkchop diner muffin lady.”
  • Venom Zest won’t be so bad: Nervig pushed back against the notion that the Level 100 talent Venom Zest (increase maximum energy by 15, increase energy regen 5% for each of up to 3 enemies you poison) is crappier than the other options in the tier.
  • Shadow Dance cooldown unchanged: It’ll still be 1 minute in Warlords, Nervig said — though Readiness (one of our new secondary stats) will reduce it.
  • Energy regen rates unchanged: We’ll still regenerate 10 energy per second at baseline, with our haste levels increasing that rate. Nervig implied that the haste-conversion rate is unchanged as well, but did not explicitly state it.
  • Rogue autoattack damage is not a problem: Nervig said that none of the rogue specs have a “hugely” high chunk of their damage coming from autoattacks, suggesting that no major changes on this front are planned.
  • Make us pretty! Lead game designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas said that they could “definitely do more” to make rogues “feel more epic” when using our melee abilities. That’s pretty much the same thing we’ve been hearing from designers for more than a year now: They feel our aesthetic pain, but aren’t making any promises about a makeover.
  • Don’t expect mobility talent changes: PvP designer Brian “Holinka” Holinka, a.k.a. Holinka, pushed back against the notion that our Level 60 talent tier needs any serious adjustments — or that rogue mobility is currently suffering.
  • Slice and Dice is here to stay for Sub: It requires skill to juggle, Nervig notes.
  • Reading datamined tooltips? Bring many grains of salt: Nervig reminds everyone that any numerical or formula changes we see to abilities mean basically nothing at this point — and that we certainly can’t draw any conclusions about whether those changes are a “nerf” or a “buff.” Particularly not for an expansion like Warlords, in which so much is being dramatically altered about class and spec balance as a whole.

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Oddly, the *least* interesting news of the week for rogues was the release of the first update to the official Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes on April 18. There were no rogue-specific changes in the notes that we hadn’t already known about. This is kind of odd, since we’ve seen datamining *and* Blizzfolk tweets that suggest some pretty noteworthy tweaks have already been made.

Here are the new odds and ends we *have* learned over the past several days, along with a smidge of analysis from y’all’s truly. (I’ll create a single home for the up-to-datest info when I have the chance; right now I’m posting updates sequentially, so some of the stuff in my huge, initial alpha notes post is no longer true.)

Combat AoE: The Changes Are Changing

The initial alpha notes and datamined info included a few bits that all but screamed, “We want Fan of Knives and Crimson Tempest to be part of the Combat spec’s arsenal.” Er, no, sorry, I meant: That all but screamed, “WE WANT FAN OF KNIVES AND CRIMSON TEMPEST TO BE PART OF THE COMBAT SPEC’S ARSENAL!”

The initial batch of leveling perks — which we’ll earn randomly on our way from levels 91 to 99, with each spec getting a different set of perks — included benefits for Combat that made FoK cost less energy and turned CT into a powerful instant-damage finisher instead of a smack-and-bleed.

As was pointed out, though, the FoK energy reduction (from 35 to 25) felt unlikely to be enough on its own to make a difference. The designers apparently agreed — but rather than find a way to make FoK more desirable, they appear to have scrapped the whole idea and buffed Blade Flurry instead.

As of the latest Warlords alpha datamining from Wowhead and MMO-Champion on April 16:

  • Fan of Knives is no longer even in the spellbook for a Combat rogue — it’s labelled as Assassination and Subtlety only.
  • The Combat-only leveling perk that had reduced FoK’s energy cost now does something completely different: It removes the target cap from Blade Flurry entirely.
  • In addition, technical game designer Chadd “Celestalon” Nervig (whose last name I always feel the urge to spell “Nervigg”) tweeted that Blade Flurry would be able to spread both lethal and non-lethal poisons in Warlords.

Now, yes, this sounds exciting and powerful, it does appear to be an all-around buff to BF, and it’ll also make Combat burst damage look very pretty in some very specific situations. But in regards to the target cap specifically, keep in mind that Blade Flurry currently has a range of just 8 yards (just like FoK), and in the present game we don’t often see that many enemies bunched up together. Certainly not in PvP, and although it happens more often in PvE, it’s usually not in critically important situations (unless we’re trying to, say, solo an achievement).

Meanwhile, it leaves behind an unresolved issue with Crimson Tempest. As things currently stand, Crimson Tempest for Combat uses combo points to generate a large amount of instant physical damage (but doesn’t apply a bleed) to all nearby enemies. If that description sounds familiar to you, it’s because using Eviscerate with Blade Flurry on will do exactly the same thing: use combo points to generate a large amount of instant physical damage to all nearby enemies.

We know that BF will spread poisons, so regardless of whether CT does the same in Warlords, there’s an obvious question right now regarding how they plan to make choosing between these two AoE finishers more interesting than consulting a guide that tells you which one hits harder.

Other Developments

  • The much-maligned Subtlety-only “Enhanced Premeditation” perk has been scrapped (for now, at least), though it is still showing up in datamining. But the designers still plan to find a way to make Premed into a passive ability without actually making it worse. (As a reminder, the initial plan was to make Ambush and Garrote automatically generate two extra combo points when used from stealth — but *not* when Shadow Dance is active.)

As I mentioned earlier, the new version of the official alpha patch notes don’t include anything we didn’t already know about rogues. The following changes had been previously announced:

  • A note was added to mention that combo points would essentially stack on the rogue — the exact phrasing is “shared across all targets,” which suggests the underlying tech isn’t as simple as “CPs on the rogue,” but barring any bugs or quirks, the effect we experience should be the same.
  • Also now in the notes is the Smoke Bomb nerf: It’ll reduce incoming damage within the area of effect by 10%, down from 20%, to bring it in line with other DPS classes’ defensive raid cooldowns. Celestalon also engaged in some back-and-forth on Twitter to justify the nerf and state that rogues, as well as other DPSers, had many other ways to contribute to raid utility.

Designers Conversate

  • In Twitterland, Celestalon confirmed that a gnome Assassination rogue with Glyph of Energy active and Venom Zest talented would have 163 maximum energy instead of 100.
  • Will its heavy reliance on a newly buffed Deep Insight make Combat almost useless in PvP, especially considering it was already looking dicey thanks to the removal of its damage-over-time spells? Celestalon says they’ll keep an eye on it.
  • Why are efforts being made to reduce Windwalker monk spamminess, yet Combat rogues will still have a half-second global cooldown during Adrenaline Rush? Celestalon suggests uberspam is OK for “temporary effects.” (Personally, I wonder just how “temporary” AdRush will be in Warlords given how Restless Blades and the new cooldown-reduction stat greatly increase the frequency with which we can use it.)
  • The Redirect spell still appears on the Warlords alpha even though it’ll be unnecessary. Lead class designer Kris Zierhut confirmed in an interview with Wowhead at PAX East that it’s definitely going away. (As a person who apparently mains a Feral druid, he also bonded with Wowhead’s content chief Perculia — who mains a rogue — over the impending change to essentially have CPs stack on the player.)

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MMO-Champion and Wowhead spotted a new Patch 5.4 PTR build this weekend, and it includes three apparent rogue changes — two of which agree with official patch notes and one of which isn’t currently mentioned in official notes at all. [UPDATE 8/20: As of today, it is now in the official notes.]

  • The datamined tooltip for Vitality (Combat passive) now matches the Aug. 14 update to the official patch notes. (Both now say the attack power boost will go up to 40% from 30%; an earlier datamine on Aug. 13 said it would only go up to 35%.)
  • The datamined tooltip for Assassin’s Resolve (Assassination passive) also matches the official patch notes. The damage increase granted by the ability will go up to 30% from 25%. (This change had not been datamined at all until this weekend, so it may have been implemented on the PTR after the official patch notes added it.)
  • The Glyph of Redirect, which is being added for 5.4, is getting toned down a little. Originally it acted exactly the same as our level-90 talent Versatility (which was axed in Patch 5.2), eliminating the cooldown on our Redirect ability. The datamine says it won’t get rid of the cooldown completely; it’ll reduce it by 50 seconds, effectively making the cooldown 10 seconds. I’m assuming this is to temper the power of the glyph somewhat in competitive PvP, where we’re already slated to get a whole mess of mobility, damage and survivability buffs. [UPDATE 8/20: This change was added to Blizzard’s official Patch 5.4 PTR notes on Aug. 20, so it’s legit too.]

I’ve updated my rundown of Patch 5.4 changes to include the multitude of new bits added over the past week. My fingers are NOT HAPPY WITH ME.

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[UPDATE 8/14/13: The day after I posted this, Blizz updated its official patch notes; clicky to see how the notes matched up to the alluring datamines.]

The first (unofficial) pass at rogue damage numbers on the Patch 5.4 PTR appears to bring half a gajillion DPS buffs to go with the bevy of mobility, survivability and quality-of-life improvements that we already have on tap for the next patch.

Even Assassination appears slated for some buffs. Like, large ones. Hey, I’m as surprised as you are.

We’ll see an update to the official notes sometime on Wednesday, so that should add some clarity to these changes (i.e., let us know whether we should actually trust them) and give us an idea for what further adjustments may be on the way in the next couple of PTR builds.

But assuming they hold up and aren’t bad/misleading datamining (always a possibility — in fact, Blizz PvP maven Brian Holinka called today’s datamine out as a particularly inaccurate one, though he seemed to be referring to changes misinterpreted as affecting more than one spec in a class), here are the new rogue buffs on the table that have been datamined by MMO-Champion and Wowhead, along with a smidge of analysis:

All Specs

  • Fan of Knives appears to be getting a more than 20% damage buff (20% to its raw damage, 25% to its attack power scaling).

Assassination

  • Mutilate appears to be getting a 40% buff.
  • Ditto for Dispatch.
  • These changes would buff Assassination DPS by 7.4% compared to Patch 5.3 (not including set bonuses), according to calculations by rougely theorycrafter Fierydemise.
  • If you feel like these changes came out of nowhere… You ain’t the only one. Mut is an extremely strong spec in raids right now, and GC didn’t mention it at all in his class-by-class walkthrough of 5.4 changes on Monday. But a tweet from GC earlier today seemed to confirm that these changes are at least somewhat legit, so unless he’s trolling, this step is to offset what apparently is a weak-looking Mut spec on the PTR thus far.

Combat

  • Vitality’s attack power boost looks like it’s going from 30% up to 35%. (Its energy-regeneration portion remains unchanged.)
  • Revealing Strike appears to be getting a 28% buff.
  • Sinister Strike appears to be getting a roughly 26% buff (on top of its previous adjustments).
  • These changes, coupled with adjustments to SS and Eviscerate (and the addition of Ruthlessness) made earlier in the PTR, would buff Combat DPS by 2.1%, according to Fierydemise.
  • This seems low, especially in light of the Assassination changes above. I’d be surprised if this is the full story. (That is, unless our set bonuses are still so strong that they make the designers leery of making too many direct buffs.)

Subtlety

  • Backstab appears to be getting a 20%-ish buff on top of the buffs that had already been planned.
  • Sanguinary Vein’s damage-increasing effect on bleeding targets appears to be going from 20% up to 25%.
  • These changes, combined with earlier tweaks to Eviscerate and Hemorrhage, would buff Sub’s DPS by 6.3% (which actually feels pretty appropriate).

We’ll see how much of this is still the case when the next few PTR builds are complete — and when the official patch notes are updated sometime on Tuesday. Until then, as Blizz Community Manager Lore suggests:

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[Update 7/19: Official patch notes updated just a few hours after I originally posted this confirm that basically everything is actually happening the way it was datamined.]

There have been a pair of datamined Patch 5.4 PTR builds this week, but no official patch note update yet — although we should expect to see one later today or tomorrow. As such, take these new hints of incoming rogue changes with a certain amount of salt until officialness occurs.

Let’s dip right in.

Ability and Talent Adjustments

  • Evasion appears to be getting a substantial buff: It’ll increase our dodge chance by 100% instead of 50%. From a PvE standpoint, this is flat-out super for questing and soloing. From a PvP standpoint, there’s been some back and forth in forums over this, but it looks like the general view is that this is a fair change, but the 15-second duration (which is currently unchanged) may be a little too long.
  • Paralytic Poison appears to be getting a buff: The 4-second stun will kick in on the fourth stack of the poison, rather than the fifth.

Changes to Existing Glyphs

  • Glyph of Shiv appears to be getting a buff: It’ll reduce Shiv’s cooldown by 3 seconds instead of 2.
  • The Glyph of Blind fix that was included in last week’s official patch note update (see paragraph 5 of this bloggy post) appears to be in place on the PTR

The Circle of Glyph: New Glyphs Are Born, Old Glyphs Die

Earlier this month, many avid PTR stalkers were abuzz after datamining first caught glimpses of a whole mess of new glyphs for all classes, rogues included. We should very shortly see the official 5.4 notes catch up with all the datamining, which currently suggests two things:

  1. We may be slated to get up to six new glyphs, four major and two minor.
  2. Three of the four major glyphs appear to be replacing glyphs that currently exist in the game — glyphs that either felt required for some rogues or that most rogues never used.

Here are the six, along with their current tooltip text as of the latest datamine.

  • Major Glyphs
    • Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins: Your Saunguinary [sic] Veins ability now also increases damage done to targets affected by your Hemorrhage.
      • This appears to be replacing our Glyph of Sap, which basically nobody ever uses.
    • Glyph of Recovery: While Recuperate is active, you receive 20% increased healing from other sources.
      • This appears to be replacing our Glyph of Debiltation, which has been used by extremely few people (either in PvP or PvE).
    • Glyph of Redirect: Redirect no longer has a cooldown. (Note: A tweet this week from WoW PvP Brian Holinka may imply that this glyph isn’t truly happening, that he thinks it’s a huge rogue buff, or that he just likes callously and viciously toying with people’s emotions.)
      • This appears to be replacing our Glyph of Adrenaline Rush, which has been pretty much a requirement for every PvE Combat rogue at end-game. The AdRush glyph’s effects will become baseline for all Combat rogues. (Thanks for your comment with the heads-up on that tweet, Ben.)
    • Glyph of Sharpened Knives: Your Fan of Kinves [sic] also damages the armor of its victims, applying 1 application of the Weakened Armor effect to each target.
      • This doesn’t appear to be replacing anything, though I’ve seen players report that it’s meant to replace the Glyph of Crippling Poison, which basically nobody ever uses.

For reference, here are the info sources for the latest datamines:

I based my “nobody/everybody uses this glyph” claims on the latest data from WorldofWargraphs. (They’re not perfect — I believe the numbers are based on people’s armories when they log out, not when they’re actually playing — but they suffice for the purpose I used them for.)

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Last night, a new Patch 5.4 PTR build passed under the ever-watchful eyes of MMO-Champion‘s and Wowhead‘s data scrubbers. There were several rogue-related changes that, for the most part, matched up nicely with the official notes that Blizzard had updated a day earlier.

Here’s what matches up:

  • Backstab buff
  • Hemorrhage buff
  • Buffs to the entire level-60 mobility talent tier (Burst of Speed, Cloak and Dagger, Shadowstep)
  • Cheat Death buff

Here’s what doesn’t quite match up:

  • Eviscerate. The official notes say it’s getting a 10% nerf. The latest datamined tooltips suggest that its damage formula is being rejiggered so it relies more on our attack power and less on weapon damage. I’m inclined to trust the newly updated official notes more than the datamining, but suffice to say the jury’s still out on what exactly is happening with Eviscerate — and what compensation, if any, Combat would get if the nerf stays. Recent tweets from PvP commander Brian Holinka (one, two) drive home the point that this is still a pretty fluid situation.
  • Glyph of Cheap Shot. MMO-Champ has picked up a tooltip change stating that the glyph increases the duration of Cheap Shot by half a second instead of a full second. Wowhead isn’t reporting this at all. Keep in mind that Blizzard’s official notes for Patch 5.3 already include a nerf to the glyph from one second to half a second, so this is almost certainly just a tooltip correction, not a new nerf.
  • More possible new glyphs, maybe kinda. The last datamine spotted a gaggle of “not yet implemented” glyphs, including four interesting ones for rogues. A couple of those glyphs (but none of the rogue ones) have since found their way into the official patch notes, but most have not (and aren’t even available on the actual PTR), leading Wowhead’s content chief to wonder if they’re maybe not even part of this expansion. Regardless, yesterday’s datamining turned up another crop of  “new” glyphs, one of which is almost certainly for rogues and the other of which may or may not be.
    • Glyph of Improved Distraction: “Distract now summons a decoy at the target location.”
    • Glyph of the Headhunter: “Abilities that throw weapons will now throw axes regardless of your currently equipped weapon.”

All we can do is speculate about datamining that doesn’t match up with official patch notes. Personally, I prefer not to bother wasting time on this kind of speculation and would rather spend my time on other fun things until we see something official.

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