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Starym

8.2 PTR: Breath of Sindragosa, Glimmer of Light Changes

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We have some changes and declarations of not doing changes for Death Knights and Paladins on the PTR today, as two powerful abilities of both classes are being discussed.

Frost Death Knights have been through some changes on the 8.2 PTR, focusing on Breath of Sindragosa Breath of Sindragosa and Blizzard have been struggling to get it just right. The main issue with the powerful ability is that it takes away a huge amount of resources from the rotation, creating a big gap where you can't do much. While detailing some previous solutions as well, in the end the devs opted for Breath to give the DK runes at the beginning and end of its cast.

Blizzard LogoBreath of Sindragosa (source)

Taking a moment to give some background and thinking on the various changes to Breath of Sindragosa Breath of Sindragosa so far this PTR:

We agreed with common feedback that Frost DK, overall, had too high a portion of open GCDs in a steady-state rotation. When this happens, it’s generally a problem with a spec’s resource economy, and the baseline buffs to Runic Empowerment Runic Empowerment and Frost Fever Frost Fever resource generation were meant to address it.

But Breath of Sindragosa Breath of Sindragosa poses a further problem. A Breath that spends (for example) 300 Runic Power is, in a single button press, removing 12 Frost Strike Frost Strike s from the future. In other words, every 2 minutes, it creates 11 open GCDs that otherwise wouldn’t have been there, which is a huge amount. Across all classes, we try to keep an eye on variations in rotation pacing caused by talents—including cases where a talent causes a large deviation in resource economy or GCD utilization—and Breath is a big outlier. And, in all this, we’d prefer to preserve Breath’s signature resource-drain mechanic.

The first solution, giving increased Runic Empowerment Runic Empowerment proc chance during Breath, did return resources to the rotation, and did so during Breath. While this correctly targeted the talent (Breath was draining resources, so Breath should put some back in order to mitigate the pacing problems), it was the wrong time to give back resources. Even though Breath itself sucks resources away, players shift all possible resources into Breath, because this is the clear way to optimize the use of the talent. Resources can be shifted into the Breath window using ERW, Horn, and simple pooling, with the result that adding more during Breath itself actually overfills it.

So the goal of the current change—Breath returns Runes at the start and end—is to make the Breath talent add resources, but to do so outside the Breath window. Even the Runes at the start are effectively “outside” the Breath window, because they counteract 2 Runes’ worth of pooling that otherwise had to be done to play Breath optimally.

As always, changes are subject to further revision, but this might give some insight into the process for making surgical changes to address specific problems.

Meanwhile, Paladins' Glimmer of Light is staying as it is (or at least won't be "heavily" changed), with an in-depth explanation on why:

Blizzard LogoGlimmer of Light (source)

One topic that hasn’t appeared in our posts about the PTR, but is worth briefly discussing: so far, we’re not planning to heavily change Glimmer of Light Glimmer of Light in 8.2.

Outline of some relevant facts as we see them:

  • The Glimmer build is a significant “flip” from the otherwise standard build. It changes talents (Holy Avenger Holy Avenger , Crusader's Might Crusader's Might , and no Avenging Crusader Avenging Crusader ), as well as stat priorities.
  • It is a fun and unique build to play, with a lot of player agency in manipulating Glimmer spread and timing.
  • It is a bit rotationally “broken” but not completely. The biggest concern is that Crusader Strike Crusader Strike has a very high priority, which makes mana much less important.
  • Holy Paladin moved up in meters in high-skill contexts (Mythic) since the build became popular, but not drastically.
  • There is a lot of pressure to obtain specific Azerite pieces because of widespread recommendations to play the build.
  • A few minor concerns worth mentioning: It’s unideal that Infusion-buffed Flash of Light Flash of Light is sometimes skipped, the high amount of Glimmer in the breakdown devalues Int, and the playstyle is more similar to other healers than it is to traditionalHoly Paladin.

Philosophically, when we add customizable systems and bonuses to the game, some player-discovered experience is exactly the sort of thing we’re hoping will happen. Even when we didn’t anticipate all the details of an optimized build—arguably especially when we didn’t anticipate all the details—it produces a chance for players to explore something cool and rewarding. Almost by definition, those situations are at least slightly imbalanced or slightly broken, which is acceptable as long as they’re not too imbalanced or too broken.

There’s a balance where cutting off the exploration too early ruins the fun of discovering it, but letting it go on too long gets to a point where players are less excited by the novelty of the new build and more bothered by imbalances or rotational problems. We want to keep an eye on that, but the preliminary look for 8.2 is that this is still a lively setup that people are excited to play. Any change would likely be a small tweak that’s not intended to change its status as a popular or recommended playstyle.

In the longer term, if we wanted to preserve this mechanic in the class in some way, we would have to solve some of the above issues in the process, especially the very low mana demands. But that’s something we can revisit later.

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i get changing Breath to make it more user friendly.  

...but mathematically its really the only viable FDK build right now for maximizing DPS, the other two arent close by a long shot.  

Id like it if they continued their stated trend of bringing outlying and vastly underperforming talents into more usefulness, rather than making the already mathematically best talent even EASIER to use.

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51 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

i get changing Breath to make it more user friendly.  

...but mathematically its really the only viable FDK build right now for maximizing DPS, the other two arent close by a long shot.  

Id like it if they continued their stated trend of bringing outlying and vastly underperforming talents into more usefulness, rather than making the already mathematically best talent even EASIER to use.

unfortunately it seems to be a common case, i mean how long has blood talons been optimal for feral?

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1 hour ago, PatrickHenry said:

i get changing Breath to make it more user friendly.  

...but mathematically its really the only viable FDK build right now for maximizing DPS, the other two arent close by a long shot.  

Id like it if they continued their stated trend of bringing outlying and vastly underperforming talents into more usefulness, rather than making the already mathematically best talent even EASIER to use.

There is a rising talent build in ptr that uses obliteration finally that makes use of inexorable assault, frozen pulse and ticks of remorseless winter to quickly build stacks of the unbound force minor azerite talent paired with the major blood of the enemy talent allowing for 35% more damaging crits for 15 seconds and guaranteed crits for 6 seconds on top of obliteration's guaranteed obliterate crits . This allows the dumping of all crit and stacking mastery and haste and getting crit completely free now.

It also makes use of the icy citadel and frozen tempest azerite traits to give more damage during burst windows as well as round out and increase damage after when pillar of frost ends. The build is mainly single target but works extremely well in cleave and groups as frozen pulse and remorseless winter stack unbound force very quickly with multiple targets.

This builds viability would be even higher if two handed weapons could be involved but I'm not holding my breath there... Overall during testing 60k dps during main burst, 45k during the icy citadel after effect, and then normalizes into about 25-30k during downtime regular rotation.

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