Thursday, February 12, 2009

Unintended Consequences

I've been in bed rather than at the keyboard this week. Still not 100% better (and have a lot of RL catching-up to concentrate on), but noticed 2 things while catching up on the week's news that caught my eye. Warning, theorycraft incoming.

1. Death Knight strikes do a percent of weapon damage along with a flat bit of extra damage per disease on the target. Some wiseguys on EJ figured out that with good gear, you can actually gain dps by not using diseases. Just spec 51/0/20 Blood and spam Obliterate x2, Heart Strike x2 over and over. The scaling weapon damage on the extra Oblit per cycle outweighs the disease damage. Obviously, this isn't intended, as Ghostcrawler admits. It seems obvious that making the disease bonus scale by a percentage is a good solution, but they started out that way in beta and were changed because it made them too strong. I can't recall, but maybe it was just that the percentages were too high or something. If scaling the bonus isn't the answer, then I guess upping disease damage is?

2. Rogues got a sudden and unexpected nerf/buff in a mini-patch this week. The ability Mutilate had it's damage reduced by a few percentage points (reducing the poison bonus from 50% to 30% looks misleadingly big, but it's actually a much smaller percentage of Mut's overall damage). In return, Hunger for Blood and Slice n Dice got buffed, resulting in an overally damage buff to all raid specs, but a nerf to pvp burst. The interesting part to me is that Combat got a flat 10% haste buff with Slice n Dice (yay!), but the increased attack speed is having some unintended consequences. It's furthering the gap between fast and slow weapons. Now, the 1.4 speed Webbed Death has pulled into Best In Slot for both hands for Mutilate builds (Sinister Revenge, which is a tier higher in dps, used to be competitive for one of the slots, but isn't any longer), creating what I would consider a gearing crisis for Assassination builds that needs to be addressed in 3.1, either by normalizing poison damage to weapon speed or by making more daggers fast.

Even more hilarious, just this one tiny change of adding 10% to SnD upped the damage contribution of poisons so much that even Combat, which has traditionally favored the slowest mainhand possible, is looking to dual-wield fast weapons (one of them, of course, being Webbed Death). Theorycrafting is finding that the max achievable dps is to eschew the formerly Best In Slot 171 dps Calamity's Grasp and replace it with a 156 dps (a tier lower!) Webbed Death and keep Hailstorm in the offhand. Then respec to 18/51/2 to buff Instant Poison, put IP on the offhand (Wound Poison on the mainhand), and spam Shiv for combo points instead of Sinister Strike. That's why you want a sword in the offhand rather than a dagger: because swords have better AP scaling with Shiv. The extra poison damage from the faster weapons and the Shiv applying Instant Poison would actually outweigh the missing Sinister Strike damage!



1 comment:

Raitin said...

Noooooo! Begone Shiv-Spamming! BEGONE I SAY!!