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Blue Posts Round-up: Jan 27

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New blue posts have emerged covering topics such as the current state of healers, Frost Mage DPS loss, new Death Knight's Death GripDeath Grip animation and changes to Beast Mastery T19 2P Set Bonus to incorporate Dire FrenzyDire Frenzy.

Healer Balance

Not much about Healer balance has been recently covered. Are there any changes planned or is the team happy with their balance?

Blizzard LogoSigma (Source)

Healers got fewer changes than most specs in 7.1.5, both because we agree that healer balance has been quite solid in Legion, and because they'd already been subject to some tweaks in 7.1. As 7.1.5 develops, especially with all the new sets, trinkets, and legendaries coming into play, we will continue to monitor whether any further balance tweaks are needed, including to healers. Healer diversity in early Nighthold days has been pretty healthy.

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Something yet to be seen is whether this forum (and its counterpart on the NA forums) can be place for slightly more prospective discussion than usual. For example, about potential but not fully decided directions for changes, or as yet unresolved problems or dilemmas, without jumping into a heated argument about (usually) immediate-term class balance. 

One thing we'd like to look at at some point is how Discipline interacts with mana, and relatedly how they spread AtonementAtonements. Among other issues, since Discipline's healing is a product of AtonementAtonements out and damage done, the best way to optimize total healing over an encounter is concentrate the most possible damage and AtonementAtonements into a short window, with periods of low healing or near-inactivity in between. This is both a pretty inflexible healing profile, but also makes Discipline extremely sensitive to added mana in raids. This all also plays into the skill-floor issue that OP alluded to.

Possible avenues to look at would be making a higher portion of AtonementAtonement applications limited by cooldowns or charges, with the high-cost unlimited mana dump option being less prominent. The goal would be to have AtonementAtonements spread a little more evenly across time and make the spec more about managing them in an ongoing way, rather then occasionally concentrating large bursts of mana expenditure into huge bursts of AtonementAtonement healing. Other goals on Discipline would likely include improving the ability to work in tank healing more naturally while using AtonementAtonement.

Frost Mages Losing DPS With Normal Rotation

Another blue post deals with Frost Mages and a waste of Brain FreezeBrain Freeze due to constant FrostboltFrostbolt queuing leading to a DPS loss.

Blizzard LogoSigma (Source)

This is an issue currently, which is made more prominent this patch because the proc rate of Brain FreezeBrain Freeze has gotten rather high (probably higher than is ideal). We're hesitant to go straight to "Brain FreezeBrain Freeze stacks 2 times." For one, we're just repeating Fingers of FrostFingers of Frost at that point (which has gone from a proc to a sort of a pooled psuedo-resource). But also, this is how rampant power/complexity/pacing creep happens--always fixing a problem by adding a new mechanic that makes something a lot more powerful.

Worth pointing out that "losing DPS" is a bit of a misnomer. Wasting a certain percentage of Brain FreezeBrain Freeze procs (especially a very predictable percentage, as was pointed out) doesn't prohibit tuning the spec around that. That said, we get that it's a bad feeling to feel like you wasted one.

I can see exploring a solution like imperceptibly delaying the Brain FreezeBrain Freeze proc. So that if you cast two FrostboltFrostbolts and then an instant FlurryFlurry, the second FrostboltFrostbolt's Brain FreezeBrain Freeze proc will apply just after the FlurryFlurry. This is similar to the sort of invisible timing adjustment that happens around Hot StreakHot Streak to make sure it works intuitively, which generally works well.

The counter then is when you follow a FrostboltFrostbolt with an EbonboltEbonbolt. Right now the Brain FreezeBrain Freeze proc happens quick enough to abort the cast. If it's delayed I'd be much further along and it would be a bigger dps loss to cancel.

Stating again that this is not a fully-formed plan yet, but to make sure I was clear: my expectation in that case is that you would cast FrostboltFrostbolt->EbonboltEbonbolt->FlurryFlurry->Ice LanceIce Lance->FlurryFlurry->Ice LanceIce Lance (where EbonboltEbonbolt's Brain FreezeBrain Freeze appears a split-second after the first FlurryFlurry). We would not want it to be optimal to abort the EbonboltEbonbolt cast, in any case.

Death Knight Death GripDeath Grip Animation

Some players aren't happy with the updated animation and Blizzard is exploring the opportunity to add a glyph that would bring the old animation back. Note that Patch 7.2's Build 23445 added two glyphs related to Death GripDeath Grip.

Blizzard LogoLore (Source)

Many DK's agree that the new animation for Death GripDeath Grip looks bad. Why can't you guys just introduce this as a glyph? The Death and DecayDeath and Decay is OKAY, but why can't you just give us options for things like this. The animations have been around for years. Blizzard, if you want to update our animations that's great. But you should work on making the current one look better, almost a HD version of what we currently have would be perfect.

We're still iterating on the Death GripDeath Grip effect and will have some additional changes in an upcoming build.

We're also discussing the possibility of allowing a glyph to bring back the old effect.

Beast Mastery Hunters

Tier 19's 2-piece set bonus (Item - Hunter T19 Beast Mastery 2P BonusItem - Hunter T19 Beast Mastery 2P Bonus) will be updated with an effect that benefits Dire FrenzyDire Frenzy.

Blizzard LogoLore (Source)

One item we need Blizz to change is to change the 2pc Set piece bonus of Eagletalon Battlegear to include a buff for BM Hunters who use Dire FrenzyDire Frenzy talent instead of StompStomp.

Agreed. We'll be doing this. I don't have specifics yet, but we'll be adding some sort of effect to the Tier 19 2-piece bonus that benefits Dire FrenzyDire Frenzy.

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So we finally can hope dat blizz fix bug's with "Dire Frenzy" and trate "Titan's Thunder"... really? 6 month and bug will be fixed...

And also fix Tier 19 2-piece bonus wich allow bug on "Stomp",- don't receive damage bonus frome "Bestial wrath" with any talent's if Tier19 2-piece equiped...

Edited by Djambax

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