Dev Watercooler - Threat

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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby theckhd » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:59 am

yappo wrote:While it wouldn't have made it worse, the fundamental problem lies in us (threat) scaling reversly with several of our tanking stats. We do, however, PAY for those stats along a similar curve as more dps-oriented stats. This will inevitably lead to dps (and healers) getting an abolute benefit from increased ilevels.


That's an easy problem to fix though. An implementation where Vengeance is independent of damage taken eliminates the reverse-scaling problems entirely.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby theckhd » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:10 am

Also, regarding the point someone made earlier about DPS scaling differently than tanks: it's not really a problem. Sure, DPS classes scale nonlinearly because of the interactions between haste, crit, and regular old STR/AP. A simple linear STA->AP doesn't scale the same way because we don't get those haste/crit interactions. That doesn't mean it's an unsolvable problem, it means that a linear STA->AP conversion isn't the tool to solve it. There are a number of simple solutions:
  • Vengeance linearly converts STA to a combination of AP and crit
  • Vengeance scales nonlinearly; just fit the expected DPS progression curve with an Nth-order polynomial over any reasonable gear range that covers the entire expansion, maybe with a few extra tiers for good measure just in case.
  • Vengeance converts STA->AP and dodge/parry->crit, giving the player inherent nonlinear scaling with independent control
and so on.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby Klaudandus » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:16 am

The thing that bothers me is that this end up happening in the first place.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby yappo » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:37 am

theckhd wrote:
yappo wrote:While it wouldn't have made it worse, the fundamental problem lies in us (threat) scaling reversly with several of our tanking stats. We do, however, PAY for those stats along a similar curve as more dps-oriented stats. This will inevitably lead to dps (and healers) getting an abolute benefit from increased ilevels.


That's an easy problem to fix though. An implementation where Vengeance is independent of damage taken eliminates the reverse-scaling problems entirely.


Depends on how you view 'easy' :D

Scaling from 300 to 500 percent is a lot easier in terms of implementation. That's basically a matter of tweaking numbers in the current system. Ok, tweaking with the help of a sledgehammer, but still.

Implementing Vengeance 'correctly' means recoding how tank-dps (and this threat) is generated.

Observe that the term 'easy' in no way should be mistaken for 'good'.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby yappo » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:40 am

theckhd wrote:[*]Vengeance converts STA->AP and dodge/parry->crit, giving the player inherent nonlinear scaling with independent control[/list]
and so on.


Let mastery convert into haste and you have all basic dps-stats covered.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby Malthrax » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:16 am

Levantine wrote:Yeah well maximising my character happens to be where a lot of the fun happens to be for me when I'm playing. Do I raid at simply good enough? Absolutely! Will I still feel obliged to steam through old shit to get that one elusive trinket that happens to be best in slot? Also yes. Will I think that part of it is fun? Nope.

I'm sorry, but the attitude you're coming across with strikes me as unconfortably similar to the one that people have when they refuse to gem and enchant their gear properly.


Lets not play the hyperbole game, shall we? You know as well as I that there is a night-and-day difference between having one piece out of fourteen be sub-optimal and steadfastly refusing to gem & enchant properly.

Also, you've interpreted what I said completely backwards (I think..) I never said Tier X-1 should have BETTER gear than Tier X. Tier X gear just shouldn't completely and totally outclass Tier X-1 to the point that the very thought of running through Tier X-1 is laughable and/or repugnant to all.


I dunno. I think even within a single tier, I'd rather have more frequent smaller upgrades available (some of which are situational use), rather than just making up a list of 14 best-in-slot items I "need" every six months. But that apparently goes against Blizzard's simplification of gearing.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby Mukat » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:19 am

Or instead of having defensive stats convert into offensive stats, remove defensive stats from gear and have offensive stats convert into them. Also, finally remove int plate while we're at it.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby Malthrax » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:48 am

Mukat wrote:Also, finally remove int plate while were at it.


I kinda liked the idea of my character using his wit, and some magic siphoned from a big crystal thingy, to strike terror into bosses and become a nigh-invulnerable beacon of hope and pain. I'd have rather they left Paladins dependent on spellpower and intellect across the board, and left the +str plate for those smelly, sweaty warriors and death knights.

OF course, that would have left out Tauren paladins... 'cuz who'd believe in a smart cow?
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby Ocin » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:35 am

Klaudandus wrote:The thing that bothers me is that this end up happening in the first place.


I'm sure they won't make the same mistake with active-mitigation...what could wrong...

What kills me is that there seem to be easy fixes for Vengeance, but here were are, however many months later, and instead of properly tweaking it, they just get rid of the threat game entirely.

I think we can safely say the threat game isn't coming back, so what besides active mitigation will keep us excited about tanking and how do we convey that to the devs?
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby Mukat » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:43 am

When I say remove int plate, of course all those stats that holy paladins dont use, like str and expertise and hit, would be converted into other stats... proably int and spirit. Maybe even leave strength and scale int from it instead of converting so holy paladins can crusader strike stuff and not hit like a wet noodle. Of course this goes against everyone who cries when more homogenization happens.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby yappo » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:17 pm

Mukat wrote:When I say remove int plate, of course all those stats that holy paladins dont use, like str and expertise and hit, would be converted into other stats... proably int and spirit. Maybe even leave strength and scale int from it instead of converting so holy paladins can crusader strike stuff and not hit like a wet noodle. Of course this goes against everyone who cries when more homogenization happens.


There is one valid argument against removing int-plate. Leather and mail both have caster and physical armour, which currently leaves cloth as the only armour type assigned to caster classes only. Cloth users only have to contend for healer versus dps types of drops, and arguably 'healer cloth' is in many cases upgrades for dps, and 'dps cloth' in some cases for healers.

I don't know if there are any clear distinctions between healer and spell-dps items when it comes to leather and mail.

Nonetheless, creating only one type of plate armour would benefit plate classes in an unfair way. Ie, there would be a dratically lower risk of useless drops compared to cloth, leather and mail. I'm primarily assuming a five-man and ten-man environment.

Sure, the problem could be solved by only having four absolute types of armour, cloth, leather, mail and plate, or even more drastically, only armour. From a balance point of view there is nothing bad with this, but you'd lose the 'Yes! My item just dropped.' part of the game.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby Koatanga » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:34 pm

Rather than screwing around with stat conversions, just have holy paladins use mail. Since it's a tree specialisation, the armor proficiency can be set there as well. Job done.

While they're at it, they can have hunters and enchancement shaman use leather, and trees and boomkin use cloth. Then you have distinct features of each armour type with no crossover. Cloth = int/spirit, leather = agility, mail = int/spirit, plate = strength. No exceptions.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby yappo » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:15 pm

While planning my blog-post, an underlying reason for the hysterical threat buff struck me. It would indeed be tied to five man heroics.

Assume that the three new ones drop 372 gear rather than 391 (matching the trolls against the three old raids). It makes sense if they want to avoid content to go thermonuclear on non-raiding puggers in 360-something gear.

Now assume a decently competent tank in, say, 365 gear. How is that tank supposed to tank raiders partially geared in Deathwing 397 gear with lacking slots being ilevel 378. Even worse, later during that content patch you'll have a 25 average ilevel difference between pugging tanks and non-hardmode raiding dps.

The old threat system (even had it been correctly implemented) wouldn't be able to handle that kind of discrepancy. Indeed, a lot of the arguments in this very thread are based on the opinion that a correctly implemented treat system SHOULDN'T be able to handle it.

However, the three new five-mans are likely to be the only source of VP for a pugger, and an important source for a slowly progressing (normal mode) raider. That means we're bound to see LFD grouping together players with, quite frankly, hysterical differences in average ilevel gear.
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby Steve » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:45 pm

yappo wrote:It would indeed be tied to five man heroics.


This is, of course, exactly the problem being addressed. The queue times/RDF experience is driving this change. This has nothing to do with raiding. If they have half a clue, come expansion groups will be in units of 6 (1 tank, 1 healer, 4 dps) instead of 5 to address the problem more directly. (And perhaps try and match better via gear ilvl. A tank certainly wouldn't have much incentive to game that in RDF, and it's no big deal if the DPS/Healer do.)

The long term implication of the active mitigation paradigm is more problematic.

On the one hand, it makes sense given it leverages skill into the primary function of the role. The more skilled at DPS you are, the more DPS you do compared to the less skilled. The more skilled at healing you are, the more healing (generally) you are able to do compared to the less skilled. More tanking skill, by comparison, has less impact on the amount of damage you mitigate.

On the other hand, do you really want skill being used to leverage gaps in damage taken per second as large as the gaps skill has been allowed to create in damage done per second? How many new difficulty settings will Tom Chilton then be lamenting not adding in Pandaclysm?
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Re: Dev Watercooler - Threat

Postby Koatanga » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:49 pm

The tricky thing about tanking is that it's unpopular. This is reflected in the long queue times for DPS and even healers.

They have tried to make tanking more rewarding (special gift bags, gold, etc.), but that has not worked in that queues are still quite long and tanks are relatively scarce.

Adding another DPS role in dungeons isn't the solution, unless raid groups are also going to be expanded to give those extra DPS raid spots.

The problem with tanking is that it tends to be a position of responsibility. The tank gets blamed for most things that can go wrong in an instance. I was on a run today where the warlock got all bent out of shape because the bear tank didn't taunt the group that the warlock pulled (he only picked them up after the warlock died). The 'lock went on a diatribe about how bad the tank was for not taunting, and how the lock wouldn't have pulled if the tank was moving faster, blah blah blah.

That's not fun.

When the run goes well, it tends to go well for everyone. When it goes poorly, it is usually the tank or healer that cops the blame.

So making tanking equally fun to DPS will not make more people tank than currently do, because tanking has the additional weight of responsibility. Tanking needs to be more fun to attract more people if queues are ever going to balance.

Is active mitigation more fun? That depends a lot on the implementation. If "more fun" means "more challenging" then people may find tanking like the DK model, which is overly complicated and difficult to manage while responding to events. Taking threat out of the picture simplifies that somewhat, but not entirely. There will still be adds than need picked up, casters to wrangle, etc.

Any change will cause some to hang up their shields. Those who liked 969 went spastic when the initial proposal for Cata was for us to have gaps in our rotation and to be much more priority-based. As a response, CS was moved to a 3-sec cooldown so we could have a rotation again. Moving to any sort of active mitigation model will cause similar spasms among the tanking community and will cause some to quit.

Making a priority-based active mitigation and resource management system will make tanking more complex, steepening the learning curve for getting into tanking and lessening the number of beginning tanks, while losing some of the veteran tanks. The result for random queues could be quite bad.

Additionally, those who continue to tank will be judged on their ability to juggle the system in addition to the speed with which they pull, their gear level, and their situational awareness.

Class balance will be even more critical. If Class A takes more damage than Class B, then the only yardstick for measuring mitigation/resource management (damage taken) will be skewed by class difference. This will force tank mechanics to be somethat similar in order for the result to be similar over varying kinds of encounters. It won't matter if a particular tank class is better against magic if the dungeon is like Shattered Halls where the vast majority of damage is physical. The healer will only know htat this guy took more damage than the last guy, and conclude he is less able to manage his mitigation and resources (i.e. he's a sucky tank).

All that adds up to tanking being less "fun" and therefore less popular than the DPS or healing roles. Queue times would be impacted.

Making threat not matter makes tanking more boring. DPS have a bar to watch. If their bar is higher than the next person's, then they win. So they have something to chase, which makes it fun for them. Tanks used to have Omen bars to chase, which could be somewhat exciting depending on how much the DPS would push them.

Take all that away and it really comes down to keeping our health bar from hitting zero. But that has problems, too. The role of the healer is to watch that health bar, so in many ways that metric is not entirely in our control. Whereas we could actively do things to try to keep our Omen bar larger than the next person, we can't always keep that health bar up, regardless of our skill, if the healer isn't also contributing.

So when they made threat not matter (you could argue this happened at the introduction of vengeance), they took away an exciting portion of the tanking "game".

Now they want to replace it with resource and cooldown juggling, which I don't think will be more fun than meter-chasing, be it Recount or Omen.

It remains to be seen exactly how this will all pan out, but threatless instances will be boring, and micromanaging our toons can quickly become a turn-off for tanks who want to test the waters. While many tanks level up as tanks, still more level as something that does real damage and only swap to tanking at endgame, where they would have the whole learning curve to pick up and antsy DPS wanting to go fast.

I am not in "sky is falling" mode, regardless of the overall negative tone of this post, but I am seriously concerned as to our future. I have a blood DK, and I simply don't like the way it plays.
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