Mechanic or Resource?

As, one might have noticed by now, I am a big enthusiast of discussing things. I adore to deeply reflect about what someone just said, think of the argument’s strengths and explain perceived flaws. I love to receive counter-arguments and further explanation on something I wasn’t quite able to grasp. Maybe it is because my scientist formation brainwashed me to dig this kinda thing, maybe I am just weird. 😉

Something that got my gaze lately was the two different ways people address to Eclipse, that little blue and yellow bar that moonkins stare like perverts. I believe any reader is already quite familiar with it, but just to emphasize, this bar allow us to proc Lunar and Solar Eclipses. During said procs, our damage is increased, a lot.

The most common term I see being used to describe Eclipse is “RESOURCE”. So far,
I disagree with this common usage. While Eclipse uses “energy” to move the pointer and attune you to the powers of An’she or Elune, I don’t think that this energy is in no way close to it’s Rogue homonymous.

Why? Well, because I believe a resource is something you SPEND. Rogues spend energy to use their skills. We do not spend Eclipse Energy on anything at all.

So, Fakegamedesigner, how do you see Eclipse?

To me, it is a MECHANIC. Pretty much like our Rogue friend’s Combo Points. Combo points are no cost to perform finishing moves, but they empower finishing moves.

But the line between Resources and Mechanics is not always that clear. OMG, Death Knights of course. Do they have 2 resources, since both runes and runic power act as costs to their skills? Or are runes simply a way to unlock their moves, hence being a mechanic?

What about Pallies with both Mana and Holy Power? In this particular case, I believe that it is indeed a dual Resource system.

Well… Mad Scientist white lab coat on, lets go back to Eclipse a bit.

People right now complain about how MoP moonkin rotation seems dull. You pretty much cast a DoT, one of your nukes, proc Eclipse, cast another (kinda, it is the same with different color and kind of damage) DoT and cast your other nuke till next Eclipse. Maybe add Starfall in both ends.

Dull.

As a mean give us more control over Eclipse and to make it a little more exciting, GC announced Astral Communion, a brand new spell that allows you to channel and gain up to 100 Eclipse Energy.

Arguably, it gives us more to think about during combat, and most importantly, might serve as a tool to control Dps burst. There is no cooldown currently, so we can start fights in Eclipse, and during fights if we botch at timing Eclipse right, we just stop nuking and channel Astral Communion for 5 sec tops until we reach Eclipse.

Seems cool. Might lead to weird minmaxing, but let the theorycrafters think about that.

What I see is a shinny, yummy, almost indecent Eclipse Energy power plant. So, what to do with this Eclipse Energy battery besides fixing a screwed timing?

TURN ECLIPSE ENERGY INTO A RESOURCE AS WELL.

Mwa-hahahahhaha!!!

Ok, back to normality *ahem*.

We still have other issues besides control over Eclipse procs. As an incredibly obvious example, the closest thing to a movement dps tool we ever got was Lunar Shower.

What I have growing inside my greenhouse outside the Lab are:

Yup, it is from Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. If you remember this cartoon, dude, you are old.

You know what? If you remember the name of the bad guy growing on the vase you get a cookie.

Time is up. SAW BOSS!!!

Now back to my beloved evil creations.

 

Dps while moving:

 

Celestial Arch

Cost: 20 Eclipse Energy
You can cast Wrath and Starfire while moving for 5 sec.

——————————-

 

Survivability problems?

 

Cosmic Warden
Cost: 35 Eclipse Energy
Increase Moonkin Form damage reduction by 15% and prevents spell interruption.

—————————-

 

It would address two major problems, it would involve an interesting decision (Can I afford loosing that much Eclipse Energy?) and would give us more to do and to manage in our dull rotation.

If anything gets wrong, there is always our new Astral Communion to recharge us up!

Just a mechanic? Or both Mechanic and Resource?

Thoughts?

What would you do?

-Fakegamedesigner

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Mad Science: Druids Proven to Be the Least Hybrid Class!

Welcome readers to another experiment on Druid class design. On this blog, I’ll be more contemplative. I had this hunch about Druids while checking WoWhead MoP talent calculator. It took me a bit, and only had time to analyze a small part of the database (sorry about the sensationalist title, btw). But the results are already interesting.

I was thinking about hybridism and the whole discussion around Heart of the Wild talent. In short, it is meant to put us in conditions to perform off-roles during 45 sec.

The thing is the old talent description has as long as the Bible, because it had to introduce so many band-aids to make the off-role viable.

I had a suspicion that this off-role viability was greatly influenced by active and passive skills out of reach, due to Blizzard’s new division of Class Skills and Spec Skills. Just as a quick example, all Druids have access to Rejuvenation, Healing Touch and Tranquility – they are Class healing Skills (Spells, rather). But a Balance Druid will never have access to Lifebloom, since it is a Restoration Spec Skill. (Note: I am quite aware of the role that Nurturing and Killer Instincs play in off-role performance. They will be widely discussed on my next blog entry.)

I would like to stress this first assumption I had:

“Performing an off-role is limited by the lack passive and active skills out of reach.”

This would imply my second assumption:

“If a Class has more role specific skills available as Class Skills than skills locked out of reach as Spec Skills, this class is more versatile (i.e. more Hybrid).”

Maybe an example is necessary.

Flash of Light is an important Healing spell, which Holy Paladins actually put to use. It is a vital integrant of their main role rotation – depending on how things are going (triage healing ftw). However, it is a Class Skill, meaning it is available to Retribution and Protection Paladins as well. The same could be said about Divine Shield. Signature spell for a Protection Paladin, but a Class Skill nevertheless, available to Holy and Retribution Paladins as well.


So, my methodology was:

1)      Identify Skills that are vital for a given combat specialization. As an example, Arcane Missile is signature for an Arcane Mage, while Teleport: Dalaran is not;

2)      Mark those Skills as Class Skills or Spec Skills;

3)      Count each type and the Total of vital Skills (adding both Class and Spec Skills);

4)      Calculating the % of vital Skills that are available to all combat specializations (i.e. # of vital Class Skills/Total)

5)      The resulting % was considered, based on the 2 assumptions early mentioned, an indicator of Hybrid potential.

Well, what have I found? Druids look bad. Really bad. Here are my results:

Druid

Balance

 

Feral

 

Guardian

 

Restoration

Class Skills

3

Class Skills

6

Class Skills

6

Class Skills

3

Spec Skills

15

Spec Skills

9

Spec Skills

10

Spec Skills

18

Total

18

Total

15

Total

16

Total

21

%

17

%

40

%

38

%

14

Average %

27

Mage

Arcane

 

Fire

 

Frost

Class Skills

5

Class Skills

4

Class Skills

5

Spec Skills

6

Spec Skills

7

Spec Skills

7

Total

11

Total

11

Total

12

%

45

%

36

%

42

Average %

41

Paladin

Holy

 

Protection

 

Retribution

Class Skills

10

Class Skills

12

Class Skills

9

Spec Skills

16

Spec Skills

13

Spec Skills

12

Total

26

Total

25

Total

21

%

38

%

48

%

43

Average %

43

Notice that, just for kicks, I analyzed Mages, that don’t fit either the classic Hybrid description “being able to perform multiple roles whithout changing combat specialization” nor the most derived one “being able to perform multiple roles if changing the combat specialization”. But it can be seen as filling two purposes here: it still indicates versatility (i.e. a mob is immune to Fire, you can cast an Arcane spell and kill it), and function as a control group. How much versatility between specs does a pure class have?

On this tiny tiny sample size, the pure class showed a Hybrid / Versatility potential comparable to the other classical hybrid class studied – Mages have an average of 41% of their vital spells available to all specs, and Paladins have 43%.

Druids, in average, have 27% of their vital spells available to all combat specializations.

Druids, who are being designed to “be hybrids again”, in Blizzard’s words.

I think it might indicate a new approach to the whole hybrid class design thing. A better approach than consuming an entire talent tier to bake in hybridization. Especially if we are talking about our last talent tier.

Of course, I have a suggestion already designed, and I’ll post in a couple of days. I don’t want to overwhelm you guys with too much info. Plus, I would LOVE feedback based on the present blog entry. It will, of course, help me to polish my suggested design.

Do you see any mistakes? What do you think about it?

– Fakegamedesigner