Brutal Slash

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teddabear
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Brutal Slash

Post by teddabear » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:12 am

If anybody is interested I have compiled a list of feedback regarding Brutal Slash. Might be worth posting on the Beta class forum just so a developer can read it all in one place.


Really unimpressed with Brutal Slash overall... really didn't think it was all that great. Feels like far too narrow application, honestly. No synergy with Predator--which is the clear AoE talent in the first row--and the new, longer cooldown is too long to be convenient for trash pulls.
In a vacuum, it's seems like a nice upgrade to Swipe, but in many realistic situations it isn't. The fact that we lose Swipe makes it so we lose our AoE generator when the cooldown is not up... and on sustained trash pulls or even burst waves that don't go as quickly as expected, only having 3 AoE globals is really not all that much.

I don't think the cooldown on Brutal Slash is the problem, per se... but more that if it is going to be on a cooldown, it needs to do very significantly more damage than what it does now. The cooldown can't really be removed and still be strong because then it replaces Shred really easily. (Which is essentially the design flaw with Swipe as well...)
Personally, I'm just disappointed that they have been willing to add conditional cleaving or proc mega-AoEs to other classes so that the AoE mechanics fit in better with the existing rotation rather than Brutal Slash approach.
I gave the example above for Fury just because their entire AoE toolkit just works a lot better overall and their AoE talents are more impactful and fit their existing rotation much better. Wrecking Ball procs and makes their next Whirlwind free and hit like a truck, then Whirlwind's effect procs and makes their next Bloodthirst cleave 4 additional targets and generate extra rage, and they can also talent into Meat Grinder to make Whirlwind cause their next Rampage (which is paid for by the fact that Whirlwind is free and the extra Rage from Bloodthirst) cleave 4 additional targets as well. It just fits together in a pretty interesting way with good results.
We get Brutal Slash, which is too limited in scope, doesn't do enough damage, and does nothing to address the other DoT-related issues we have with short-lived targets. They could have done something significantly more interesting with some DoT spreading mechanic, a cleaving mechanic, extra CP generation, or whatever...but Brutal Slash is just Swipe+ and really doesn't address any of the core issues with our AoE toolkit.
There just isn't anything interesting or synergistic here. Giving up Bloodtalons is a massive loss and Brutal Slash just doesn't pencil out because it isn't impactful enough even in pure AoE scenarios.
We need AoE mechanics a lot more than we need AoE abilities. Swipe has been limited by rotational mechanics more than anything else and making it into a talent doesn't really change that.

Every DPS class needs to have a way of dealing with the "core" damage patterns that come up in all encounters. The way at which they do that can vary wildly, but it should not preclude their ability to do it.
This is what the current talent design philosophy is supposed to offer, in theory. The ability to change your class play-style at the expense of something else. The issue is that Brutal Slash doesn't actually accomplish this, because it is mechanically not sufficient to do so.

I agree that ferals fall off but not once this xpac has feral been good on AoE. Yea I think that Brutal Slash will get buffed but thats not the point, because of the spells design it will just never be that good unless it is reworked somehow. Also I do think that the devs will leave feral in a poor state thats just the sad thing about it this entire xpac blizzard has left feral without good AoE and target swapping abilities.

The issue with the design of Brutal Slash is that there is really only so high it can go before it starts being a problem for balance vs. Bloodtalons. It essentially can never contribute more than Bloodtalons or it becomes the go-to in all encounters. It's basically recreating the "Swipe can't be better than Shred" problem in another area--just Brutal Slash can't be better than Shred+Bloodtalons. On the other hand, you can see more varied mechanical solutions in other classes such as enabling AoE splash damage that adds a lot of AoE potential without being a single-target DPS gain.
My feeling is that Brutal Slash as a talent would be better served trying to add something that more directly addresses our lackluster AoE mechanics as a whole, rather than just being Swipe+.

I'm not a fan of the design of Brutal Slash.
The damage is fine but the talent feels restrictive in that it doesnt really improve our AoE, it just front loads it in a small window and outside of those windows our it actually makes the AoE problem a lot worse.
I think it would be in a good spot if it didn't replace Swipe.

Likewise, Bloodtalons is going to be pretty hard to ever break away from. It's extremely strong due to its synergy with core Feral gameplay (one could argue it should just be a baseline component of Predatory Swiftness) and stuff like Brutal Slash and MoC have a huge uphill battle to climb to be competitive.

Brutal Slash is still very "meh" both from a damage and rotational perspective. It's mechanically boring and may as well just increase the damage of Swipe. The cooldown is awkward and limits its value significantly on a number of fights that we've seen so far.

I would also prefer for Brutal Slash to not replace Swipe Entirely so we actually have something to hit for AoE when it is on CD. Talents like Bladestorm don't replace the Base AoE toolkit for warriors, why does Brutal Slash have to replace the base toolkit for Feral?

Brutal Slash
Still pretty mediocre for what we have to give up for it, and very niche. In Spellblade Aluriel testing using the ability felt pretty satisfying, and it was definitely doing some damage, but when I went to review logs when it was over I was underwhelmed. I was below middle of the pack on add damage still, and I was giving up Bloodtalons to get to that point. There are specs that do more AoE damage than us without any talents, and the ones that do use talents largely take them with a far smaller opportunity cost than the cost that is Slash vs Bloodtalons.
I also want to add that Aluriel was an almost textbook example for a good Bloody Slash fight with a bunch of adds only in 50-60s windows. There will be, and has already been, several raid encounters where Brutal Slash wasn't even worth trying just because of the timings and styles of adds on the encounters. If that's the case and I'm still not sold on it on a fight like Spellblade Aluriel something is wrong.

Our AoE is in a very, very bad place right now. Brutal Slash and the Swipe buffs have not helped. We need something more substantial here.

Brutal Slash is not going to keep us from being benched, IMO. It is only good in a very narrow set of circumstances and a "single talent" argument applies to Wrecking Ball as well, which is significantly more impactful than Brutal Slash. Taking Brutal Slash also ensures that our ST damage suffers very significantly, which is more of a loss than most specs have to incur for their AoE.
It is simply too problematic for Mythic progression and no longer fits the modern raid design paradigms used by Blizzard.

I'll go ahead and elaborate on Brutal Slash.
There are many talents across all classes that replace a baseline ability with another, more powerful ability. I don't think anyone disputes that Brutal Slash is "more powerful" than Swipe. The difference is that while Brutal Slash is adding some good Burst AoE to the spec, it is removing our only spammable cleave/aoe spell.
This is just contradictory to what talents generally do, which is offer a meaningful (sometimes) choice about how your spec will play and what they will be good at. The opportunity cost of taking Brutal Slash should be losing Bloodtalons or Moment of Clarity. Right now it is that PLUS the loss of an ability to hit instead of Shred when 3+ targets are around. This would be like Bladestorm replacing Whirlwind for warriors, warriors would be throwing a fit if that was the case, so why are we put in that position?
Doing 5mans, particularly Mythic+ Keystone dungeons, feels awful with the talent because of how important being effective on trash is supposed to be. And unlike a raid encounter, the majority of your time is spent with 3+ mobs around. So you use your charges, the warrior next to you uses bladestorm. And you both do some pretty good damage. But now the mobs are still at 50% and you have no AoE spell to keep hitting while the warrior can keep using whirlwind. And then it gets worse when you move on to the next pack and get maybe 1 charge of Brutal Slash to use while the warrior is just spamming whirlwind.
Just let us keep swipe, it's not like swipe can compete at all with the baseline AoE of most specs.

Brutal Slash: A talent that lets us compete with the Baseline AoE of most specs shouldn't prevent us from having access to Swipe. This is particularly aimed at Dungeons, specifically Mythic+ Keystone dungeons where 80% of your time is spent on Trash packs. The talent feels awful in that scenario. And I want to be viable for high level Mythic+ Keystone runs (not asking for #1 in the world here, just competitive with the likes of warriors and Demon Hunters)

If you take Brutal Slash for dungeons, you are out of your mind. It is terrible for dungeons.
It doesn't do nearly enough damage to warrant losing Swipe. Maybe you see the 1800% damage value and think "wow that's a crazy number"
But I suppose you fail to realize that feral having a 1.0 attack speed means it hits for significantly less than the co-efficient seems to indicate.
We're talking about all 3 charges hitting for less than half of a bladestorm, and bladestorm doesn't consume resources, and doesn't replace the baseline AoE of warriors.
Last edited by teddabear on Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Tinderhoof » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:06 pm

You have the makings of a good feedback post for the forums. I would make the following changes to keep your good feedback from being dismissed and ignored.
teddabear wrote:It seems like the only way the devs know how to fix feral is through set bonuses as shown throughout this entire xpac. And this a feedback forum so I'm giving my feedback that feral blows and changes need to be made.
Remove this line totally. Referring to any inability to fix something is a personal shot which will quickly get whoever is reading this feedback to stop reading and go on to the next post. It's just not helpful and will pre dispose any further posts you make to be ignored as well.
teddabear wrote:Swipe has been limited by rotational mechanics more than anything else and making it into a talent doesn't really change that, it just "steals" away some of the damage from Bloodtalons as a band-aid.
Rephrase this line to remove Band-Aid. While you don't need to phrase everything super happy, it's best to avoid negative verbiage.
teddabear wrote:If Feral ends up as a "single target focused spec" again, it is (unfortunately) unlikely I will play the spec in Legion.
Remove as well. Threats of swapping specs are also triggers to instantly ignore. It's hyperbole and not helpful. They already know you aren't happy. The line following is totally accurate and just needs to be rephrased a little.

I would also see if you could condense it a little as you retread a few times. Concise feedback will get the most attention. Make one paragraph for why it feels bad, one for why it doesn't work well in raids, and one for why it doesn't work in dungeons.

To be clear I think everything you have listed is good feedback and I totally agree with you. I just want to help make sure you are able to deliver this in the best possible way to be received. Good job.

teddabear
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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by teddabear » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:51 pm

I can't take credit for any of that, those are quotes from the Alpha forums but I will make those changes.

P.S. Changes made if somebody would like to post that to the beta forum.

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Tachyne » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:55 pm

did anybody post this on the beta forums? i couldn't find it .

teddabear
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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by teddabear » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:03 am

Last build, feel free to post it again.

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Minibubble » Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:03 pm

An easy fix would be a passive build in a skill that let us reduce the cooldown for a couple of seconds each time it hits, so we have a active rotation where we can prepare AoE. Not the best solution but a simple one.
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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Minibubble » Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:15 pm

Also isn't Predator + Ashamanes Frenzy + Scent of Blood with Swipe better for AoE Fights? With TF reset on kill and less Energy consumption you will deal more damage and have alot of CP for Rips. Brutal Slash looks like a talent for fights with little AoE or Battleground.
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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Batlecruiser » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:48 am

I dont think it is too bad in dungeons. Yes it has a bad playstyle, but what I am doing is brutal slash and spamming thrash (with shadow trash skilled) on dungeon trash and respec for boss. I know it sounds bad and stupid, but I can compete with others and if I get at least one shadow trash proc I am almost every single time #1 in trash.

I did not try swipe+predator yet, but I think that spamming trash with shadow trash is comparable or even better in dmg. Downside, you dont get a lot of combo points, but opening rake and brutal slash was always enough to keep SR up.

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Aryja » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:42 am

Minibubble wrote:An easy fix would be a passive build in a skill that let us reduce the cooldown for a couple of seconds each time it hits, so we have a active rotation where we can prepare AoE. Not the best solution but a simple one.
An even better fix would be Brutal Slash replacing Ferocious Bite.
Batlecruiser wrote:I dont think it is too bad in dungeons. Yes it has a bad playstyle, but what I am doing is brutal slash and spamming thrash (with shadow trash skilled) on dungeon trash and respec for boss. I know it sounds bad and stupid, but I can compete with others and if I get at least one shadow trash proc I am almost every single time #1 in trash.
Then why specc into Brutal Slash at all? Thrash combined with Bloodtalons would be even better.

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Batlecruiser » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:20 am

Aryja wrote:
Batlecruiser wrote:I dont think it is too bad in dungeons. Yes it has a bad playstyle, but what I am doing is brutal slash and spamming thrash (with shadow trash skilled) on dungeon trash and respec for boss. I know it sounds bad and stupid, but I can compete with others and if I get at least one shadow trash proc I am almost every single time #1 in trash.
Then why specc into Brutal Slash at all? Thrash combined with Bloodtalons would be even better.
Because swipe does even with BT only 1/3 of Brutal Slashe's dmg. Without BT 1/4.. Initial Trash Dmg is nearly comparable with Swipe's dmg (+ chance on shadow trash). And 1 Shadow Trash = 5 BT Swipes

My values without SR/BT
Swipe: 30k
BT Swipe: 40k
Brutal Slash: 115k
Trash: 20k
Shadow Trash: 200k

The only thing which could make spamming Swipe better than Trash is a Rip or FB, which I did not take into account.

And 1 Brutal Slash crit is like 4/4 crits with swipe...

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Istaro » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:55 pm

Batlecruiser wrote:My values without SR/BT
Swipe: 30k
BT Swipe: 40k
Brutal Slash: 115k
Trash: 20k
Shadow Trash: 200k
That's the initial hit of Thrash, and Shadow Thrash is that much?

With those numbers and a 25% proc rate, Thrash is then 20k+0.25*200k = 70,000 for 50 energy (1,400 DPE), and Swipe with Sharpened Claws, Scent of Blood, the 4-piece, and Thrash up is 1.2*1.15*1.08*30k = 44,712 for 45-2(enemies) energy, making Thrash spam better DPE than Swipe spam at ≤ 6 enemies, unless I'm missing something. Like maybe not all of those Swipe modifiers are multiplicative, or your Swipe number already takes into account or or more of those modifiers, in which case the enemy-count threshold could be higher.

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by ShmooDude » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:28 pm

Istaro wrote:
Batlecruiser wrote:My values without SR/BT
Swipe: 30k
BT Swipe: 40k
Brutal Slash: 115k
Trash: 20k
Shadow Trash: 200k
That's the initial hit of Thrash, and Shadow Thrash is that much?

With those numbers and a 25% proc rate, Thrash is then 20k+0.25*200k = 70,000 for 50 energy (1,400 DPE), and Swipe with Sharpened Claws, Scent of Blood, the 4-piece, and Thrash up is 1.2*1.15*1.08*30k = 44,712 for 45-2(enemies) energy, making Thrash spam better DPE than Swipe spam at ≤ 6 enemies, unless I'm missing something. Like maybe not all of those Swipe modifiers are multiplicative, or your Swipe number already takes into account or or more of those modifiers, in which case the enemy-count threshold could be higher.
Theorycrafting Thrash vs Swipe. TLDR is 3 targets for Swipe to be better than Thrash if I did the math right.
Spoiler: show
Since Swipe is WD based we need to first convert it to a rough estimate of its AP value:
PTR Premade Character with 3882 Agility:
1% AP = 38.82 Damage
1% WD = 15.87 Damage
1% AP = 2.45% WD
My Main xfered on PTR with 6776 Agility:
1% AP = 67.76 Damage
1% WD = 28.20 Damage
1% AP = 2.40% WD

We'll say Swipe ~= 206% AP as that's roughly midway between the two.
Thrash @ 61.56% AP * 1.4 (Mastery) + Shadow Thrash @ 600% AP * 0.25 (Proc Chance) = 236.184% AP / 50 (Energy) = 4.72368 AP/E
Swipe @ 206% AP * 1.2 (Bleeding Target) * 1.15 (Artifact Trait) * 2/3 (Armor Damage Reduction) = 189.52% AP / 4.72368 AP/E = 40.1 Energy Cost to be better than Thrash.

So that's at 3 targets Swipe becomes marginally better.
His numbers seem off.
Swipe @ 30k vs Brutal Slash @ 115k is ~3.8:1 when it should be 3:1 (1800% vs 500% * 1.2 because Swipe gets a damage bonus vs bleeding targets, Brutal Slash just had that baked into its damage a while ago instead).
Thrash @ 20k vs Shadow Thrash @ 200k is 10:1 and that would only be true if he has 0 mastery and you start with 16% even if you have no rating so it should be at least lower than 8.4:1.

As far as Thrash and Shadow Thrash, unless I'm just completely missing something in the calculations, 200k Shadow Thrash means he's got something like 30k+ attack power (30k at 10% versatility too, which seems high). 600% AP means it hits 6x your attack power (modified by Versatility and any other relevant damage buffs but he said that was without SR/BT).

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Kraineth » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:26 am

No, his Thrash vs. Shadow Thrash Numbers are accurate. I have 56% mastery and still see a 10:1 Ratio.

Also, as to why Shadow thrash seems high to you:


Spoiler if you don't want to figure it out yourself
Spoiler: show
Shadow Thrash scales with mastery
But maybe we keep that quiet in case it isn't supposed to :^)

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by ShmooDude » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:10 pm

Ok, yeah, I had been thinking that (almost put it in the post but I do so much editing over and over I ended up taking it out), and it explains the 10:1 ratio. Is it affected by BT?

Still, the swipe/slash numbers seem off. Any insights there? (I don't have beta access or I'd check myself). Either the Swipe number is low, the Slash number is high, or I'm missing a multiplier somewhere because Slash:Swipe is 3:1 against a bleeding target or 3.6:1 against a non-bleeding target. He has 3.83:1. Could be he just rounded too much and used a non-bleeding target to get his numbers.

Redoing my math from above using 50% mastery (just to use an easy number; not sure what typical is on legion so just going with a number closer to what Kraineth posted). If I could get real AP (or Agility) and weapon DPS of a character that has everything roughly the same ilvl I could double check that the ratio I calculated for WD to AP is still the same.
Spoiler: show
Since Swipe is WD based we need to first convert it to a rough estimate of its AP value:
PTR Premade Character with 3882 Agility:
1% AP = 38.82 Damage
1% WD = 15.87 Damage
1% AP = 2.45% WD
My Main xfered on PTR with 6776 Agility:
1% AP = 67.76 Damage
1% WD = 28.20 Damage
1% AP = 2.40% WD

We'll say Swipe ~= 206% AP as that's roughly midway between the two.
Thrash @ 61.56% AP * 1.5 (Mastery) + Shadow Thrash @ 600% AP * 0.25 (Proc Chance) * 1.5 = 311.184% AP / 50 (Energy) = 6.22368 AP/E
Swipe @ 206% AP * 1.2 (Bleeding Target) * 1.15 (Artifact Trait) * 2/3 (Armor Damage Reduction) = 189.52% AP / 6.22368 AP/E = 30.1 Energy Cost to be better than Thrash.
So that's at 8 targets Swipe does more damage than Thrash (but also generates a lot of combo points). Factoring in combo points it probably becomes equal at about 7 or 6. Trash tends to have less armor than raid bosses so the 6 he calculated could be correct for dungeon trash as swipe probably hits a little harder there.

Shred's AP/E, Thrash is about half as good as shred.
Spoiler: show
Note: Extra crit chance on shred is ~10% damage increase assuming 45% crit otherwise because its 1.6/1.45 ~= 1.1

Thrash = = 6.22368 AP/E (from above spoiler)
Shred @ 473% AP * 1.2 (Bleeding Target) * 1.15 (Artifact Trait) * 2/3 (Armor Damage Reduction) * 1.1 (Extra Crit chance) = 478.676% AP / 40 Energy = 11.9669 AP/E

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Batlecruiser » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:52 pm

My swipe dmg was without the extra 20% bleeding dmg, forgot that. :/

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Re: Brutal Slash

Post by Istaro » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:52 pm

Batlecruiser wrote:My swipe dmg was without the extra 20% bleeding dmg, forgot that. :/
That's ok, I assumed as much when I multiplied your number by 1.2 in the line "1.2*1.15*1.08*30k = 44,712" in my post.

So it is looking like, thanks to Shadow Thrash, Thrash spam will be better than Swipe spam except on more targets than we usually have. Huh. Tuning is supposedly yet to come, though.

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