Feral Druid Blog post discussion

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Polihayse
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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Polihayse » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:39 pm

Why doesn't Blizzard interact more with the community of theorycrafters when developing specs? If we were given the numbers and ideas that they are working with, then we could be an additional resource to them. From what I understand, theorycrafters do what they do because they enjoy it. They also have a vested interest in the outcome of the design so you can expect quality feedback. They can create sims of what is to be expected and point out implications and interactions within the spec design. We would basically be doing their job for them for free and the result would be a higher quality game. Instead, we have specs with design issues that are either overlooked or not addressed at all and the only thing that matters to the designers is how well it fits the predetermined model they came up with despite the fact that this model can be flawed.

I'm probably just ignorant of the negative implications of this idea. Someone enlighten me please.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Treeba » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:52 pm

Didn't they actually create a private forum on their website at one point for this? I remember it being visible to the public very briefly before being hidden again.

They do communicate more than many of us realize. They also have back channel communications with many of the top guilds and bigger theorycrafters. Let's also not forget that many of the people they've hired were once big theorycrafters (Hamlet, celestalon, skullflower, etc.) Good design isn't all about theorycrafting though. Often times the weaknesses in classes are intentional and raid design plays a bigger role in determining the fotm classes than actual balancing anyways. No matter how well balanced the classes are the fights are going to make some more desirable than others. I don't particularly want to get to a point where all the classes have the same exact tools, so that disparity is always going to exist.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Polihayse » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:49 pm

I have a big problem with the scaling issue. I'm probably going to switch to demon hunter in legion if nothing is done to fix it. There were periods this expansion where feral was complete trash and it took forever to get fixed. In a competitve guild, this is not acceptable. It is also not worth the risk. Also, I'm not convinced by the promise of PvP talents to completely separate PvP from PvE.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Tinderhoof » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:55 pm

Polihayse wrote:Why doesn't Blizzard interact more with the community of theorycrafters when developing specs?
What makes you think they don't?

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Tinderhoof » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:03 pm

Polihayse wrote:I have a big problem with the scaling issue.
It does suck. I think the biggest issue is here is that the way we are currently designed from start to finish doesn't scale well. The problem is that just tweaking numbers wouldn't solve the issue. Our design has changed so little over the years that we have kinda been painted into a corner. To fix the issues we face would really need a frame off restoration. I was hopeful that was coming this time around, but it didn't. So I don't think we will be fixed for scaling issues this time around. Best we can do is give feedback as constructed and helpful as possible and hope for the best. I know this isn't comforting to hear, but for now it's the best I got.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by AsgardFM » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:07 pm

Polihayse wrote:Why doesn't Blizzard interact more with the community of theorycrafters when developing specs?
The problem is that the community has very wide ranging views on exactly what the problem is, and even more views on how to solve them. We're a small population of Ferals on these forums, and theorycrafters an even smaller percentage, yet we have fairly large divides in how we view our AoE abilities how we view or our ST rotation (SR, BT, etc). Multiply that by different websites and every spec, plus Blizzard's own preference, and you can't ever cater to them all. Best we can do is throw things around and hope an idea fits with something they're already considering.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Kojiyama » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:48 pm

Blizzard definitely listens to theorycrafters, but I'm sure they have their own opinions and sometimes it can be hard to reconcile those internal views with external ones. This isn't particularly strange--I've been in their position before and it is not enviable. Sometimes the community is just wrong and other times they are right. Often it is somewhere in the middle.

Even back in Wrath development I was part of a group of high-profile tanks (I was a major Prot Warrior theorycrafter at the time and maintained the ProtWarr module of Rawr) at TankSpot that got together in private over some longer periods of discussion and compiled feedback for Blizzard during alpha and beta. They were pretty responsive to this even if they didn't change everything. Blizzard has generally been pretty good with interacting with the community overall.

All we can really do is continue to give constructive feedback. Some of it will stick, some of it won't... but it's certainly worth doing.
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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by teddabear » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:36 am

On the other hand Yawning used to provide some of the most insightful and detailed Feral feedback and it appeared he was completely ignored. I do think they would be helping themselves if they provided more public feedback. I guess they are more worried about the occasional time it comes back to bite them over all the times it would help. There is also the issue of how do you decide which issues are worthy of a reply?

It looks like Bloody Slash will resolve or at least greatly help with the AoE issue. There are 2 caveats. The first is if it doesn't get nerfed. That is the one that worries me. The second is if you don't take Bloody Slash, for whatever reason, you will still have no AoE. It would certainly be nice if Swipe was a little more viable. I know some Ferals were flatout removing it from their bar. Still it's a huge step towards fixing one of Feral's 2 biggest problems.

I think it is time for Blizzard to put in some kind of scaling fix, even if it is isn't permanent. It is not obvious they will ever get around to overhauling Feral. If I was betting money I would bet against it and give odds. No matter how clunky or ham handed the fix, there needs to be some kind of scaling fix this time around. I am planning to play Feral and DH and decide from there but more bad scaling for another expansion would be a deal breaker for me. It could be something really basic like Haste is doubled. That's not really any sillier than doubling white hits.

I was always under the impression Blizzard was very hush hush about design with everybody. It would be interesting to know what Fragnance heard from Blizzard that made him switch to Warrior before WoD.
Last edited by teddabear on Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Polihayse » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:08 am

AsgardFM wrote:
Polihayse wrote:Why doesn't Blizzard interact more with the community of theorycrafters when developing specs?
The problem is that the community has very wide ranging views on exactly what the problem is, and even more views on how to solve them. We're a small population of Ferals on these forums, and theorycrafters an even smaller percentage, yet we have fairly large divides in how we view our AoE abilities how we view or our ST rotation (SR, BT, etc). Multiply that by different websites and every spec, plus Blizzard's own preference, and you can't ever cater to them all. Best we can do is throw things around and hope an idea fits with something they're already considering.
A good number of the issues with spec design are not subjective. It is silly to use this as a reason for not interacting with the community more. Things like bad scaling are clearly issues. People may have different solutions on how to fix these issues, and I do not care. If people can back up what they say with solid reasoning and evidence, then that should be sufficient to warrant some kind of a response from. For example, the topic of feral aoe. I don't particularly care whether or not the problem is fixed by giving us an aoe finisher or accommodating it somewhere else just as long as it is addressed with a critical eye. Also, it appears to me that some problems exist not because they made the wrong decision, but because they made no decision at all. How is this even possible with such a large pool of ideas and potential solutions to choose from?

I'm curious how the design process at Blizzard works. For example, how did an ability like Aspect of the Fox get through the filter? How did it stay in the game for as long as it did when it never should have been implemented at the start? Why is Bear Form Berserk still in the game when it no longer has a purpose and why does it work with our class trinket? Why does casting Incarnation in Bear Form change your model to a cat and not give you Cat Form abilities? Why is feral an incomplete spec without set bonuses? Feral is like a broken plastic toy and Blizzard is like a child that wishfully uses tape to hold pieces in place and pretend that it is good as new.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by aggixx » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:25 am

AsgardFM wrote:
Polihayse wrote:Why doesn't Blizzard interact more with the community of theorycrafters when developing specs?
The problem is that the community has very wide ranging views on exactly what the problem is, and even more views on how to solve them. We're a small population of Ferals on these forums, and theorycrafters an even smaller percentage, yet we have fairly large divides in how we view our AoE abilities how we view or our ST rotation (SR, BT, etc). Multiply that by different websites and every spec, plus Blizzard's own preference, and you can't ever cater to them all. Best we can do is throw things around and hope an idea fits with something they're already considering.
Also many people, including theorycrafters, aren't very good at class design. Foreseeing pros, cons, and implications of an idea as well as being able to make a relatively objective analysis of those is difficult and requires more understanding than solely on a specialization level. Ultimately they can weigh some pitched ideas, but most of them are not good and the few that are likely to not be well aligned with their development cycle, "vision", or technical limitations in some way.
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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by aggixx » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:27 am

Polihayse wrote:Things like bad scaling are clearly issues.
They are issues, but ones that do not have an obvious solution, else they would already be doing something different. It is entirely your opinion that their approach is the wrong approach. That's not an unreasonable standpoint, but for most of the player base the "fix it when it gets bad" approach is reasonably sufficient and far easier to implement.
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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Zstriker » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:20 am

Tinderhoof wrote: Our design has changed so little over the years that we have kinda been painted into a corner. To fix the issues we face would really need a frame off restoration.
It's NOT an issue that need fixing!
Ferals design is solid! and fun to play, problem is tunning
We are not hunters/rogues who had almost identical abilities to all 3 specs, druids are clearly example of how classes and their specialization should be in terms of differens.
Adding small variety how rotation is going and encourage player to not get bored is acceptable, but changing core abilities, a clear example would be to remove SR, is not

and ye blizzard's shouldn't be asking only theorycrafters or some chosen, whole class community should be heard to find a `gold middle`

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Tinderhoof » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:31 pm

Zstriker wrote:It's NOT an issue that need fixing!
Ferals design is solid! and fun to play, problem is tunning
Really? So what would you tune to make our damage against a high pri add better? How do you prevent that tune from becoming to powerful in PVP? Or PVE for that matter?
Once you deal with that add how will tuning help us get our rotation going on the primary target again?

The foundation of the design of the Feral rotation is VERY solid. All abilities except Thrash flow together and make sense from start to finish. The Feral rotation is very much like Cassette Tapes (for you youngin's go HERE). At the time they were created it was a revolution. Portable music became a thing for the first time. However as the environment evolved the Cassette was no longer able to meet the demands of the market. CD's took over for their better sound quality longer play time and faster search. When our rotation was solidified back at the end of BC PVE fights were much different. Most involved DPS checks movement/placement mechanical execution and CC. With only a few exceptions if adds were involved in the fight they were normally handled by 1 or 2 people in the raid. As the PVE meta has changed to include more adds, and burst mechanics the Feral rotational design is beginning to show it's age. The design is self contained, and inflexible. Great for consistent damage over time with a long cooldown burst. Adding abilities like Thrash which don't add to the rotation at all, but are super expensive so they are discouraged from being used rotationally (even though they end up that way through gear inflation) are not good solutions, nor do they make good gameplay. Just to be clear doing more damage isn't good gameplay.

If we want to continue to have a flow of a rotation like we do now, we need tools to match the current meta which don't disrupt our rotation to greatly. The downside is that moves like that are at risk of being to powerful. That's when we see abilities nerfed into non use. The rotation needs some help to be able to swap rolls from single target to burst and back. We don't have that capability now.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Polihayse » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:24 pm

aggixx wrote:
Polihayse wrote:Things like bad scaling are clearly issues.
They are issues, but ones that do not have an obvious solution, else they would already be doing something different. It is entirely your opinion that their approach is the wrong approach. That's not an unreasonable standpoint, but for most of the player base the "fix it when it gets bad" approach is reasonably sufficient and far easier to implement.
I thought that increasing the influence of secondary stats has a direct influence on the spec's scaling. There should be a ton of solutions to this problem and any of them should move the class in the right direction. Making haste affect bleeds would increase the value of haste and also the value of mastery because bleeds are ticking more frequently. Maybe have Savage Roar also grant an additional 20% haste from all sources or whatever number is necessary so that the spec actually feels somewhat functional without set bonuses. Maybe add a mechanic to the class similar to fury warrior class trinket where we gradually gain more haste if we stay on the same target. Any of these ideas should be better than what we have currently.

Also, hasn't feral scaling been terrible for the last few expansion? I'm not sure if this is the case because I was not really a hardcore raider back then. I know their aoe was miles ahead of what it currently is. Rune of Re-Origination is also an exception just like Doom Nova is for arcane mages. They are just broken trinkets for the end of an expansion. If scaling has been pretty bad, then I guess it has not been bad enough to warrant making some kind of change. I would think that having to make major buffs to the spec at the start of every raid tier is sufficient to say that feral scaling is bad enough such that it needs to be fixed. A line has to be drawn somewhere. Even if it isn't, is it just going to stay that way forever because it does not reach the "fix it when it gets bad" point?

We can't conclude if they are doing something to address the scaling issue. We also don't know if they are doing anything because they will not communicate that to us. Also, I just don't understand why they can't attempt to make it right the first time. Sometimes I feel like some of the ideas they come up with are almost gimmicky things that they add because they want people to get interested in it, and trying to patch it up later because it has failed. Things like CoS and Lunar Inspiration. They weren't solutions to anything. They were gimmicky additions to the spec to make it look more interesting and attract more people to it. It's like they are selecting ideas that they think will be popular and trying to shape them to also fix the problems that the spec currently has instead of looking at the problems and thinking of a good solution. The methodology is backwards. Of course this is mostly just my speculation.

When I look at the design of unholy dk it just looks absolutely genius to me. Someone thought: "Unholy dks are going to have way too many resources to spend when starting a fight with Heroism and they cannot spend it all. What is a good solution to this? I know! A runic power dump! Breath of Sindragosa." It's like they looked at the problem and came up with a solution for it instead of coming up with a "solution" and attempting to shape it to fit a problem.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Polihayse » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:36 pm

Tinderhoof wrote:
Polihayse wrote:Why doesn't Blizzard interact more with the community of theorycrafters when developing specs?
What makes you think they don't?
If they do interact with us then why is there no discussion about the quality of their ideas and their reasoning behind it? I'm mostly interested in what they hope to achieve with their ideas. Instead, we are left alone to speculate what we think each talent or ability might be used for.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Polihayse » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:41 pm

aggixx wrote:
Polihayse wrote:Things like bad scaling are clearly issues.
They are issues, but ones that do not have an obvious solution, else they would already be doing something different. It is entirely your opinion that their approach is the wrong approach. That's not an unreasonable standpoint, but for most of the player base the "fix it when it gets bad" approach is reasonably sufficient and far easier to implement.
Their approach to bad scaling is patching it at the start of a raid tier. I can't think of a worse approach than this when it comes to the quality of gameplay other than not addressing the issue at all.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Tinderhoof » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:05 pm

Polihayse wrote:Their approach to bad scaling is patching it at the start of a raid tier. I can't think of a worse approach than this when it comes to the quality of gameplay other than not addressing the issue at all.
Nerfing it after a few weeks.

Getting buffs feels good. Nerfing feels shitty. That is literally the reason. It sucks we have had a worse time of it lately than we have had in the past. It's something we want to see addressed, but it may not be possible.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Tinderhoof » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:13 pm

Polihayse wrote:If they do interact with us then why is there no discussion about the quality of their ideas and their reasoning behind it? I'm mostly interested in what they hope to achieve with their ideas. Instead, we are left alone to speculate what we think each talent or ability might be used for.
Well to be honest right now there really hasn't been any information to discuss. Feral isn't even implemented in the Alpha right now. The only info we have is from the blog, and some super old datamined build. Once there is something official to talk about there will be more discussions with in the community.

Just remember that just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it isn't happening.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Polihayse » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:02 pm

Where is this discussion you are talking about?

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Cantor (Shredable) » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:28 pm

As Tinder said, there isn't much point in discussing anything at the moment, as all we have are some pre-alpha talent trees and a blog post that didn't give much information away. There's a chance that there is a discussion happening between theorycrafters and devs somewhere not accessible to the general public, which is fine. Until Feral is playable and we have some more up-to-date talent and artifact info available, we won't be able to say what the 'vision' of the spec is one way or the other.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Istaro » Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:21 am

Tinderhoof wrote:Really? So what would you tune to make our damage against a high pri add better? How do you prevent that tune from becoming to powerful in PVP? Or PVE for that matter?
A straightforward way of doing that might be to make FB do a lot more damage on targets that don't have any of your bleeds on them. Not enough to make it a good idea to not bleed the boss or an enemy player, of course.

In general, the "bleed then DD" approach embodied by the bleed conditions on FB, Swipe, and Shred is ok for long-lived targets but obviously nonsensical for short-lived adds. Make it actually the other way around (more damage on non-bleeding targets), at least for FB, would give us a tool for adds without increasing our boss damage.

I'd also probably get rid of the bleed condition on Shred, and maybe Swipe (which would mean getting rid of Thrash), but that's drifting away from Tinderhoof's question.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by teddabear » Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:26 am

Tinderhoof wrote:
Polihayse wrote:Their approach to bad scaling is patching it at the start of a raid tier. I can't think of a worse approach than this when it comes to the quality of gameplay other than not addressing the issue at all.
Nerfing it after a few weeks.

Getting buffs feels good. Nerfing feels shitty. That is literally the reason. It sucks we have had a worse time of it lately than we have had in the past. It's something we want to see addressed, but it may not be possible.
I disagree, I would rather scale so well that I would have to be nerfed than have to constantly rely on buffs. Especially since Blizzard is far slower to take action, if they take any action at all, than they used to be a few years ago.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Tinderhoof » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:07 am

Istaro wrote:A straightforward way of doing that might be to make FB do a lot more damage on targets that don't have any of your bleeds on them. Not enough to make it a good idea to not bleed the boss or an enemy player, of course.
While this may seem like a good idea how much would you buff FB? I ask because if you want to cast it on a short lived add you only get one shot at it. Do you think FB can be powerful enough with one shot out making it be better than Rip?

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Tinderhoof » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:08 am

teddabear wrote:I disagree, I would rather scale so well that I would have to be nerfed than have to constantly rely on buffs. Especially since Blizzard is far slower to take action, if they take any action at all, than they used to be a few years ago.
Since the history of being nerfed when scaling to well is an over nerf, I will take the buffs thanks. Classes that have been nerfed hard are rarely looked at again right away.

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Re: Feral Druid Blog post discussion

Post by Cantor (Shredable) » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:49 am

teddabear wrote:
Tinderhoof wrote:
Polihayse wrote:Their approach to bad scaling is patching it at the start of a raid tier. I can't think of a worse approach than this when it comes to the quality of gameplay other than not addressing the issue at all.
Nerfing it after a few weeks.

Getting buffs feels good. Nerfing feels shitty. That is literally the reason. It sucks we have had a worse time of it lately than we have had in the past. It's something we want to see addressed, but it may not be possible.
I disagree, I would rather scale so well that I would have to be nerfed than have to constantly rely on buffs. Especially since Blizzard is far slower to take action, if they take any action at all, than they used to be a few years ago.
I've lived through this and it's not pretty - you end up on a rollercoaster, and the nerfs tend to send you very low, which feels crap. The Feral (bear) nerfs at the start of TBC were one such set, and there have been a few others - I seem to remember Cata having a pretty brutal Feral patch. I'd rather be tuned low and buffed than tuned high and over-nerfed.

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