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Ghostcrawler discusses PTR class and set bonus issues

Ghostcrawler discusses PTR class and set bonus issues
Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted today on the US forums, pre-empting questions about class balance and tier 15 set bonuses. Ghostcrawler describes the purpose of the thread as follows:

Ghostcrawler
Whenever a PTR build goes up, we get a flurry of simple questions that we want to address, but that don't feel patch note worthy. We are going to be posting the answers to some of these in this thread.
  • We're going to leave the thread unlocked. Feel free to leave feedback here, but be aware that this is just a running list of explanations and don't expect a lot of back and forth discussion.
  • Likewise, you don't need to ask your question here. We'll try and cover anything we see in our forums, other forums, Twitter, etc.
  • The focus of this thread is on class mechanics and set bonuses. We aren't going to cover e.g. achievements, raid encounters, pet battles, account issues, or GC's favorite cover bands. Likewise, these are simple answers, not "What is your vision for my class?"

Ghostcrawler then goes into some of the finer points about Tier 15 set bonuses.

Post highlights are as follows:
  • The Mage 2T15 bonus does favor taking Invocation, as people quickly pointed out, and we're considering revising it.
  • We're still iterating on this design for Wild Mushrooms. Currently, they each absorb 25% overheal, up to a max of 33% of the Druid's max health (total of 75% / 100% with 3 Mushrooms out). This max size isn't working in build 16446, but we hope to hotfix that soon. WoW Insider's team is sad that the giant mushrooms aren't here to stay!
  • We are still iterating on Blade Flurry. We feel like the implementation of Blade Flurry on live forces rogues to go Combat on any cleave fights, while leaving Combat too far behind on any single target fights. It's fine if the rogue specs have niches, but the niches shouldn't be so rigid that you don't feel like you have any choice in spec.
  • Shadow Priests have raised concerns about both of their T15 bonuses being tied to Shadowy Apparitions. Know that we have improved Shadowy Apparitions. Previously, there was a cap of 4 out at once. In build 16446, that's raised to 5 if you have 2T15. However in the next build, we just raised the cap to 10, which you should basically never hit. And more importantly, we significantly improved their AI. Please try them out. If they give you problems, please be as specific as possible about those situations.
See the full post below! It seems like these simple notes may allay a lot of PTR testing players' concerns, and it's really useful to see the inside information on what Blizzard's development team are working on, and to have requests for specific feedback on class-by-blass abilities and set bonuses.


Ghostcrawler
Druid
• We're still iterating on this design for Wild Mushrooms. Currently, they each absorb 25% overheal, up to a max of 33% of the Druid's max health (total of 75% / 100% with 3 Mushrooms out). This max size isn't working in build 16446, but we hope to hotfix that soon. Upon blooming, their accumulated healing is split over the targets they heal. Several parts of this aren't yet working in build 16446, leading them to be massively overpowered (which we also hope to hotfix soon). Feedback, especially in future builds, is appreciated.

Mage
• The Mage 2T15 bonus does favor taking Invocation, as people quickly pointed out, and we're considering revising it.
• The Arcane Mage 4T15 bonus is a multiplier on all of the effects of Arcane Charges. Damage, mana cost, and number of additional targets hit.
• The Fire Mage 4T15 bonus is before Critical Mass. Net increase to your Pyroblast's crit rate will be +6.5%.
• This build included a new version of Blazing Speed. We changed it from the previous build because we thought that it was too strong. This is definitely something we're still iterating on for 5.2. The new version replaces Blink, but goes farther than Blink (and distance is variable instead of fixed), does not cost a GCD, and provides brief stun and root immunity, and is on a different spell school. Feedback from playing with it is very helpful. We realize that there is somewhat of a conflict here with the PvP Glove bonus, and will resolve that if needed.
• Another talent we're iterating on is Invocation; it's quite possible that the current version is overpowered, but we'd like people to try it out, and give us feedback about how you use it, especially as Arcane.

Hunter
• The Hunter 2T15 bonus is a chance to summon a Thunderhawk. That Thunderhawk will assist you, and will always cast 5x Lightning Bolts for 16k to 24k Nature damage. Its damage will scale with BM mastery, and will not scale with Survival mastery. However, the proc chances (which are Real PPM) vary by spec: 0.7/min for BM, 1/min for MM, 1.2/min for Surv.
• The Hunter 4T15 bonus is affected by Survival's mastery, cannot trigger Wild Quiver, and procs at a rate of 3 RealPPM.

Monk
• Storm, Earth, and Fire is a new ability for Windwalkers. It's intended to be fill the role of attacking 2 or 3 targets. It's a rather complex ability, technically, and you're seeing a very early version of it that still has some significant bugs (which we're hoping to hotfix soon). To give you an idea of the design intent here, the spirits should mirror your damaging attacks against targets other than the one they're on (so that it's not a single target DPS gain). The spirits auto attack on their own. It should reduce your and your spirits damage while they're out, but the exact tuning for that is still being iterated on. They're currently -40% for 1 (total of 120% of normal against 2 targets), and -55% for 2 (total of 135% against 3 targets). Non-damaging attacks (such as Spear Hand Strike) should not be mirrored, but damaging attacks (such as Fists of Fury) should. Feedback very appreciated.

Rogue
• We are still iterating on Blade Flurry. We feel like the implementation of Blade Flurry on live forces rogues to go Combat on any cleave fights, while leaving Combat too far behind on any single target fights. It's fine if the rogue specs have niches, but the niches shouldn't be so rigid that you don't feel like you have any choice in spec. Blade Flurry will be how Combat does 2-5 target AoE damage. In the next PTR build, it deals 40% of normal damage to up to 4 additional targets, for a 20% energy regen reduction.
• The Rogue 2T15 bonus does apply to all finishers with a duration, including Slice and Dice, Kidney Shot, Recuperate, Envenom, and Rupture. In build 16446, the Kidney Shot increase was broken, but is fixed for the next build.

Priest
• Shadow Priests have raised concerns about both of their T15 bonuses being tied to Shadowy Apparitions. Know that we have improved Shadowy Apparitions. Previously, there was a cap of 4 out at once. In build 16446, that's raised to 5 if you have 2T15. However in the next build, we just raised the cap to 10, which you should basically never hit. And more importantly, we significantly improved their AI. Please try them out. If they give you problems, please be as specific as possible about those situations.

Shaman
• The Elemental Shaman 2T15 bonus triggers from Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning hits (including Overloads). A Chain Lightning that hits 5 targets has 5 separate chances to trigger the Lightning Strike. If it Overloads, then 10 chances. There is no ICD, so it can proc multiple times from a single Chain Lightning. However, in the next build (or perhaps a hotfix), the damage from the Lightning Strike will be split between affected targets. There is a very high potential impact from this set bonus, so we're keeping our eye on this, and may have to nerf it. But we're trying it this way, since it is the most fun version.

Warlock
• Fel Armor has a significant typo in its tooltip; we added the 10% damage reduction and took away the armor. The health and healing received are still increases, not decreases.
• The new Glyph of Unstable Affliction reduces the cast time, but does not affect the GCD. Thus, it is not a DPS gain in a purely Patchwerk situation, but makes it harder to be interrupted, and allows you to start moving again slightly faster.
• The Affliction Warlock 4T15 bonus increases the damage of Malefic Grasp itself, and the extra ticks triggered by it. Same with Drain Soul.

Warrior
• The DPS Warrior 2T15 bonus has a RealPPM rate of 1.6 for Arms and 0.6 for Fury. It triggers all of the effects of enraging, including generating a Raging Blow charge, and 10 rage.

Death Knight
• The DPS Death Knight 2T15 bonus has a RealPPM rate of 1.0. The Zandalari spirit it summons has damage and attacks similar to the normal DK Ghoul, benefits from Unholy's mastery, does not replace your current ghoul, and you can have multiple of them up at once.
• While the DPS Death Knight 4T15 bonus (increased Army duration) is on target, performance-wise, in most fights, it's always challenging to have a set bonus improve a 10min cooldown. We're considering some additional changes to this, such as also lowering the channel time and / or rune cost. We understand this is a challenging set bonus to design, so we're going to have to iterate on it a bit.


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