Rage Normalization in Cataclysm

#0 - April 6, 2010, 8:32 p.m.
Blizzard Post
We are going to take the opportunity in Cataclysm to try and fix some of the problems with the Rage mechanic for both warriors and druids. Some of these problems include:
  • Warriors/druids in the lowest levels of gear can be Rage-starved.
  • Warriors/druids in the highest levels of gear no longer have to manage their Rage when it becomes infinite.
  • Warrior/druid tanks lose Rage income as they improve their gear and take less damage.
  • The gameplay of warrior and druid tanks loses a lot of depth when massive boss hits means never having to manage Rage.
  • Heroic Strike and Maul are effective, but tedious abilities for using up extra Rage.
  • In general, warriors and druids don’t have enough control over their Rage.

To resolve these issues, Rage will be normalized in Cataclysm. This will make the Rage gained by characters more consistent and avoid drastic differences between low-end and high-end gear.

The concept of normalized Rage may leave a negative impression on some veteran players, as we tried it once before in The Burning Crusade and it wasn't successful, resulting in them feeling weakened. However, we think that the concept is still sound -- it was just that the previous implementation didn't balance the values correctly, leading to players being Rage-starved. That is not the goal. As part of the change, we want to give warriors and druids a lot of ways to control their rage, so even in the worst-case scenarios they won’t feel like they lack the resource to do their job.

Here are some of the ways the Rage mechanic will change in Cataclysm:
    1) Rage is no longer generated based on damage done by auto-attacks. Instead, each auto-attack provides a set amount of Rage, and off-hand weapons will generate 50% of the Rage main hands do. This amount is based on a constant formula which factors in the base swing speed of the weapon. This means the Rage gained should be averaged out between fast and slow weapons. The constant formula also gives us the ability to easily increase the rage gained if it feels too low (or reduce it if is too high). We are also implementing the following mechanics, which will still allow rage to improve to some extent as you improve gear:

    • If the attack is a critical strike, it will generate 200% Rage.
    • Haste will accelerate swing times to generate Rage faster.
    2) Rage from damage taken will no longer be based on a standard creature of the character’s level, but instead will based on the health of the warrior or druid. Again, there is a constant that is multiplied by the rage generated in order to allow for fine-tuning. This calculation ignores all damage reduction from armor, absorption, avoidance, block, or similar mechanics, so improving your gear will not reduce Rage gained.
    3) We will provide warriors and druids with more instant sources of rage. For example, the warrior shouts are changing to work more like the death knight ability Horn of Winter. Instead of Battle Shout consuming Rage, it will generate Rage but have a short cooldown. Both classes will have additional methods to generate Rage in an emergency or bleed off Rage when they have too much.
    4) All “on next swing” attacks in Cataclysm are being removed. Heroic Strike and Maul will be instant swings that cost a variable amount of Rage. For example, imagine Heroic Strike costs between 10 and 30 Rage. You must have at least 10 Rage to use the attack, but it will consume all available Rage up to a maximum of 30. Any Rage consumed above the minimum will cause the ability to hit harder, and in some cases much harder. We will tune the ability so that it’s generally not a good idea to hit it when you have low Rage (unless everything else is somehow on cooldown) but becomes a more attractive button the higher your Rage.

We understand this change may be scary for many players, but keep in mind that the constants in the formulas for gaining Rage will give us the ability to make quick adjustments if we feel Rage generation is too low. Our goal is for each character's Rage to not be always high or always low, but rather a resource that needs to be managed properly by the player.
#9 - April 7, 2010, 10:02 a.m.
Blizzard Post
This thread has been quite quiet here on the European forums, so I will pass on some questions and answers posted on the more active US thread:
Q u o t e:
1) Prot warriors that are not being attacked are still going to be rage starved. How do I know this?
Either the prot warrior is entirely self sufficient (that is, the rage generated from using a weapon is enough for a rotation), or they are going to be reliant on rage from damage taken. I can only imagine that rage from tank weapons would be insufficient (or else DPS warriors will have excess rage). Thus, they are still going to need to take damage to run a rotation.

So (for the prot warrior not taking damage) how is this any sort of improvement over the current situation?

Granted, it sounds like you did solve the problem of tanks "over-gearing" content (I think?)
As you increase your health, you will be generating less rage per damage done. However, as you go into tougher content you are going to get hit harder, so the rage per unit time should stay about the same. Now it’s true that if you return to content that you over-gear, you may have less relative rage. However, consider how much better that situation is going to be than it is today because: A) you won’t be penalized for avoiding or mitigating damage, B) you will be generating more rage per hit you do since you aren’t being penalized for your lower DPS (compared to a DPS warrior), and C) you will have ways, such as shouting, to generate rage when you’re having a bad streak.
Q u o t e:
What about cleave? Will it become an instant attack as well?
The idea is for Cleave to work more like Heroic Strike, neither of which will have cooldowns.[quoteThis doesn't feel quite right. I assume the theory is that getting hit by Patchwerk should generate about as much rage as getting hit by Festergut, but wouldn't it be better to make that a function of Patchwerk vs. Festergut than a function of the tank?

As it is, people tanking heroics in raid gear could still see rage starvation from having double the health of a heroic-level tank, unless they keep a special "heroic set" which is gemmed for avoidance instead of stamina.[/quote]Bosses work very differently though. Some bosses hit quickly and some hit slowly. Some do a lot of their damage from damage auras and some do it from adds. It’s tough to come up with a mechanic that keeps rage generation more or less the same in all of these fights when incoming damage is packaged so differently. You’ll still get rage from taking damage, but it should be more consistent and less spiky. The tank is a better constant because the health increase is very predictable.
Q u o t e:
How will this affect Arms warriors, since they're tuned to hit really hard with a single slow, big weapon?

If rage generation is per-hit rather than per-damage, how will they compensate?
There are a lot of ways to do that. For instance, Arms warriors could have a talent that says “Your critical strikes now generate 250% rage.”

--- Further Updates ---

We're seeing some confusion regarding under what circumstances one would generate rage. Hopefully this will clarify things a bit.

If you miss an attack, or if it is parried or dodged, you get no rage from doing damage. If you are blocked or get a glancing blow, you will get rage because those are still hits. This all applies to damage being done.

As far as getting rage from damage, the intent to hit you is enough to give you rage.

Consider warrior A fighting warrior B. If A swings and misses, then B gets rage and A gets none. If A swings and B parries, same result. If A swings and B blocks, then both get rage.
Q u o t e:
So basically from an overall outlook based on the information avaiable to us at the current time it seems that overall warriors are going to be doing less damage, have less rage at higher tiers of gear and less relative health and armor which translates into lower relative survivability and damage as stated

You're looking at the relationship between rage and damage through a LK lens. Numbers can be changed in Cataclysm. One of the complaints Arms warriors make is that Mortal Strike doesn't feel like it hits hard enough. We can't let it hit harder because warriors can hit every strike on every cooldown once they have enough gear. In a world where they can't do that, strikes can hit harder.

The only nerf here is in preventing warriors from "outgrowing" the rage mechanic. It doesn't really have a direct relation to damage done.
Q u o t e:
So do you see warrior getting to the point where we are gemming full hit so our off hand isnt missing or are you going to add talents for our off hand?
We want hit and haste to be more attractive stats for sure. Warriors can get in a place where they rely so much on Heroic Strike that they feel like they can ignore hit. I don't though that I would go so far as to say you should gem hit everywhere. We (and you) will have to run the numbers once they are less fluid. (Likewise we'll have to make adjustments for Heroic Strike glancing blows.)