20 April 2010

Need more information

Edit: Bugger. A blue post completely invalidated the point of my post. I'm still going to make you read it. Flick through to the bottom for the answer.

Has anyone figured out how Blizzard is going to implement haste scaling for hots and dots in Cataclysm?

The fact that haste will no longer shorten the duration of ticking spells is awesome sauce. But the new design, where haste adds ticks while the duration remains the same, is hurting my brain.

Right now, haste scales smoothly — that is, every additional point you get of haste does something. It might not do a lot, but it all counts towards whatever effect haste provides to your character.

But I just can't wrap my head around how that's going to work when it adds ticks. Unless the ticks are really small. Or oddly spaced.

Take vampiric touch. It ticks once every three seconds for a duration of 15 seconds. Five ticks in total. If haste scales smoothly, the first item of gear you get with haste has to add at least one more tick. Just one tick, of equal power, is a 20 per cent boost to the spell. Clearly that can't happen, otherwise hots and dots will scale astronomically.

It could add a percentage of a tick to the end of the spell, shuffling all other ticks back a bit to squeeze it in. So lets say every point of haste adds 0.05 per cent of a tick. One point of haste would instantly push your three-second ticks to 2.14 seconds, and your seventh tick, at 15 seconds, would tickle like a girl for a couple of spell damage. But that's just weird.

I suppose they could calculate what would be the combined final total damage of the dots, and even it out, but that would be rather odd too — because then, at certain levels of haste, your dots individually would tick for much less even though they were still ticking for more in total. Would that make dispelling in pvp unfairly effective?

The worst possible solution would be if haste didn't scale smoothly at all, but incrementally. Imagine if all haste did was shorten the period between ticks. Let's say it took 20 haste to shorten the interval by 0.1 second. You would need 500 haste to add a tick to the spell's 15-second duration. 499 haste? Dead weight. 999? No better than 500. These numbers are arbitrary, but under this system they must necessarily be large to prevent a spell rapidly growing overpowered. So gearing your character to take advantage of haste would become nightmarish.

All these ideas are very unsatisfactory. Would like more information please. Can someone in the US please ask a forum post — where, you know, Blizzard actually reads them?

And here's the answer, apparently. Thanks mmo champion.
It's probably more accurate to say that haste will lower the duration until you earn a whole additional tick, at which point the duration will go back up again (but with more damage/healing because of that extra tick). Getting more haste will never be a bad thing, but there will be break points where haste is more valuable than others. You should also never want to cancel the spell early.

This is definitely one of those cases where we'll have to see how it feels, but it is more intuitive when you're actually casting spells in the game than it might sound on paper.
We'll just have to take their word for it :P


Ho Ho said...

For dots it's rather simple. They will all basically start working like SWP is now instead of having MF refresh them you simply recast the same dots. That means you'll always have constant time between ticks for as long as you don't allow for dots to drop.

Hots will be the same but I sense lots of healers will hate the changes. If they manage to keep 100% uptime on a hot they will be scaling perfectly with haste, just like dots but if they allow them to drop they are having those haste caps where your 15s dot only has ticks in the first, say, 13s.

Leigh said...

What they have said about haste so far is that the DOT's will not have a shorter duration, so VT will always be 15 seconds. They haven't explained the mechanics yet though which I am eager enough to find out.

I don't really get what Ho Ho explained :S Recasting the dots will just add time to the current DoT -- like MF refreshing SWP -- I get that much. But constant time between dots I don't get. Haste should allow more ticks be squeezed into the DoT's lifetime whether it drops off or not. That should mean it is dynamic enough with respect to haste procs and things like heroism. I don't think we can assume that in a 15s VT with 500 haste you now get say 7 ticks occurring exactly every 2.5s. As it is we overload ourselves with crit before casting SWP, locking in hasted DoTs for the full duration would be a little too OP. Pack your raid with DoT classes, hit hero at the start and hope for the best O_o
Obviously we can't safely say anything until it launches and this is speculation at its finest :P

Leigh said...

Damn blues ruining our speculation!!!

It's a fair enough design when you look at it, presumably the maths will be there to see how much haste = one extra tick to gain an optimum rotation. And it is good to see that it will not become a dead weight stat for us!

Ken said...

I could definitely see the given explanation jacking with people's rotations. "Hey, This is awesome, haste haste haste! I can cast three mind flays before my next dot refresh. Oh, wait, I got a new piece of gear last night that pushed me over the next tick ledge so now I have to clip a fourth mind fly to fit it in again."

Merlot said...

Yea, I didn't understand you either this time hoho :P Oh well, it's all a bit pointless now, don't I feel silly :( Should be fine though, as long as the power of haste rating is set at reasonable level. Lag is going to play havoc with it though.