Combat PvE and 5.4

#1 - July 9, 2013, 8:31 a.m.
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It's no illusion since the removal of Blade Flurry's potency that Combat Player participation has dropped. In T14, it was roughly equivocal, although slanted toward Assassination's ease of use and execute.

Throughout T15, it's blatantly reliant on the potency of our set bonus GCD reduction, as well as RPPM procs of Haste Stacking. While I tend to do well, I also play on a Medium Pop Realm with an average of 20-30ms.

For someone in a high rated guild on, say, Illidan or Stormrage, this is unteniable. You just don't see very many high end Raiding Combat Rogues. Even Killars, of formerly Vodka, doesn't play it, and it's his preferred spec. Why?

GCD reduction is a bandaid fix: This only helps players who play the game under optimal conditions. Additionally, too much damage is built into this set bonus. I personally like it, and can actually play at the conditions required for it to work, but most can't.

Move active ability damage forward: Holiknka just nerfed Eviscerate damage by 10%. For a Combat PvE player, this is a nerf (Albeit minor((.08%)) It's not as if we're topping the meters currently, and it would be more wise to reduce Sub's finisher damage.

Combat needs some love. Simple, yet anticlimactic fixes such as a % buff to Revealing Strike's finishers, or a flat % applied to Vitality/Ambidexterity just aren't doing it anymore.

I'd really appreciate some attention to this. Combat is our oldest and most historic raiding spec. While it hasn't always performed necessarily optimally, it's been the spec which 1: actually has a weapon choice!, and 2: actually has CD's which matter and are active. Back in ICC I felt was the sweet spot: Combat could do very well in single target. Yet, well played Mut would edge it out but only slightly.

I hope you give us a spec choice this upcoming tier. I have zero desire to play Assassination, and frankly, I won't.
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Community Manager
#16 - July 11, 2013, 9:58 p.m.
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Combat is supposed to feel faster-paced than the other specs, but we agree that it's gotten a bit TOO spammy, particularly where the Tier 15 set bonus is concerned. We don't have any solid info on any changes we might make yet, but we definitely see the concern and are discussing it.

The challenge we always face when balancing between different specs that perform the same role is that, even if the benefits are relatively small, some players will feel "required" to play whichever is "best". Even in cases where each spec has a clearly defined niche that they excel at, some players still feel like they should change specs from fight to fight to match each encounter's mechanics.

We're not sure it's even possible to ever balance things out completely perfectly so that all specs are equal in all areas, but we do our best to at least minimize the differences. It's far too early to guess at which specs will be "best" once 5.4 launches, but our goal is to allow you to play whichever you enjoy the most without feeling like you're making a huge sacrifice.
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#70 - July 12, 2013, 7:16 p.m.
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Here’s a couple changes we’re going to try, hopefully in the next PTR build:

  • Sinister Strike: Weapon damage percent increased from 145% to 190%. Energy cost increased from 40 energy to 50 energy.
  • Ruthlessness: This new passive has been added for Combat Rogues at level 32. When you do a finishing move, you have a 20% chance per combo point spent to immediately regain 1 combo point on your current target.

So the goal here is that, by buffing Sinister Strike and causing it to spend energy faster, that will reduce the button mashing just slightly. Again, we want Combat to be faster paced, it’s just too extreme at the moment. Sinister Strike hitting harder is a nice perk as well.

However, that by itself would slow down Combat’s combo point generation, which is where Ruthlessness comes in. It should allow you to Eviscerate at about the same rate you do today, despite getting fewer Sinister Strikes in in the same time period. Although it’s configured like a proc, our intent is that Rogues will usually use finishers when it has a 100% chance.
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#609 - Aug. 9, 2013, 11:07 p.m.
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So, like I mentioned earlier in the thread, we upped the energy cost and damage of Sinister Strike to try to cut back on the spam just slightly. Incidentally, it also helps with the issue of energy capping while both Adrenaline Rush and Shadow Blades are active with the Tier 15 4-piece bonus.

We feel that, with the higher Sinister Strike energy cost in place, we can leave the Tier 15 4-piece as it is. It'll still be a good set bonus, but not quite as good as before, to the point that we don't think it'll have an adverse effect on Tier 16 balance.

Now, I recognize that the general sentiment in this thread seems to disagree with that. Part of why I'm posting this is that I'd like to understand why that is. Keep in mind that this isn't part of balance tuning -- that'll be starting soon, but for the moment we're just trying to get Combat to "feel" right. We're confident that we can make the numbers line up properly with how things are currently functioning on the PTR, but if you disagree, we'd like to know why :)