Monday, March 16, 2009

[Druid] the state of druid testing on the PTR, 03/16

First off - thanks to everyone who replied on the Pimp my UI post with suggestions. I've spent the last three days playing around with things, and I'm almost done tinkering, I think. And it's a huge improvement; things are far less cluttered, it's easier to find stuff and overall the UI is much improved and organized. I should be able to show people the results tomorrow or so. The last step is to get rid of Xperl...and that might be painful.

I figure that there's enough interest in how Savage Defense is doing each week that I'll make a post on my weekly testing of it and indicate what, if anything, has changed or not. If you do have requests for testing specific things, please post! I can't guarantee that I'll be able to test something - I don't have infinite resources or a raid group always handy. But I'll do my best.

This week's testing results:
  • Druids do appear to get full rage on a hit on them when Savage Defense absorbs an attack. This is hard to conclusively test, but in all the cases that I tested it, it worked. My methodology was to face away from a mob and swipe it until I got a proc, then stopped attacking. In each case the next attack that hit me (which was almost always all of them, since I couldn't dodge) gave me rage and was absorbed.
  • Savage Defense does proc off of crits on critters. Poor, poor spiders are going to be even more mauled now.
  • Savage Defense still procs off of the new untargeting swipe attacks. Just in case you were wondering.
  • Savage Defense does not appear to have anything to do with client-side latency. Both a person with high latency and low latency can trigger up to a .5 second delay from a crit and the SD proc. It appears to be entirely on the server side.
  • Swipe still triggers 'chance on hit' procs. Mongoose still going off all the time when doing AoE.
  • Savage Defense still can absorb multiple attacks with a single proc. Nope, still not fixed. And chances are, won't be.
  • Savage Defense still overwrites itself some times and does not produce a shield. This is still the most critical bug I can think of involving SD. And it's still not fixed.
  • Swipe has a serious range bug right now. Swipe's range used to be about 10 yards since it could 'chain', similar to the mechanics of avenger's shield. Now, it barely hits anyone in melee range. This is apparently a bug and will be fixed. (ETA: the blue response was this:
    The correct range for the new, 360 Swipe should be 8 yards. It appears to only be 5 in your version of the data.
  • Swipe is now insanely good for kiting mobs. Before, if you wanted to kite a bunch of mobs you'd have to run, turn around, swipe, spin back and run some more. Now? Just run at mobs, swipe them as you run past them, and keep swiping as you run. You hit most everyone and they stick to you like glue. Stratholme was never more fun.
I think that's it for the testing I've done. I'll make a similar post next Monday. As always, please post what you're interested in seeing for testing. Or really, make suggestions on posts in general. I can't guarantee that I'll post about what you're asking, but I'll definitely consider it.


felkan said...

Thanks for the update.

Not exactly druid related, but how is the dual-spec and related ui upgrades (wardrobe thingy, bar reconfigs, etc.) going on the PTR?

Just wondering, i haven't seen much on it. Figured someone would have at least mentioned it in passing.

Kalon said...

Well, the dual spec thing is kind of horribly broken right now, where zoning in can delete all your glyphs and reset your talents to zero if you have them. Other than that it works exactly as advertised; you get a secondary spec, are allowed to select talents before committing to them, your bars switch, bartender appears to be working, your keybinds's pretty slick.

The wardrobe change system works...ok. It's not stellar, but it's definitely better than nothing. It's easy to use. It isn't going to replace itemrack/outfitter because of a lack of events, I think.

Peter said...

Thanks for the update. I too had a blast rounding up mobs behind me while swiping. how can something so WRONG feel so RIGHT? Its gonna make us all into lazy pally-esque tanks.

I've also messed with dual specs. Glyphs disappearing is just a bug atm. its fun to hop back and forth: 5 second cast & your done (except my mana resets to zero lol, so no shapeshifting till u drink. Must be a bug too) But bars switching is pretty sweet, unless you use a bar addon that does it for you already.

Agree with Kal's comments on wardrobe: nice idea, but still prefer addons.

New glyphs: been camping the "glyph vendor" in dalaran - I have yet to see him appear. (This vendor is ptr only). So I have yet to test them.

Improved updates to LFG window: seems nice (tank, healer, dps categories)- couldnt get it to work though - maybe buggy?

Improved graphics: turned everything up to their new "ultra" setting. Didnt really notice anything different. I was maxed before, but couldnt notice their specific upgrades at all.

So what are ppl speccing when dual specs roll around (another blog post K?). Personally, I'm taking the lead from those leet prot warriors: I'm speccing tank/tank :P

Karthis said...

Thanks for the update, Kalon. I copied my toon over to the PTR, but my client blew up during the patching process. I've been told an uninstall/reinstall MIGHT fix it. Ugh. So much for getting to participate in testing.

I'll be going pure tank/pure DPS *I think*.... or maybe pure DPS, offtank. Still a bit torn on that.

Jheusse said...

Thanks for the update, I've been reading the spectrum of the EJ and feral blogs off and on all day for these nuggets.

I'll be pure cat/pure bear most likely, feral glyphs kind of demand it, even moreso than talents. That and the learning curve of picking up healing this late in the game. maybe I'll go to the PTR to learn healing some.

and cat swiping in Strat is so far still my biggest "giggle like a child" moment in the expansion.

Phil Jackson said...

Good stuff, I'll have to make sure people know not to kill my critters any more. It looks to me that Blizzard is hitting a wall in terms of their build in game data, I wonder what new things they can/will pull off in their new MMO with a updated system.

Anonymous said...

If Savage Defense absorbs multiple attacks on one proc, isn't that a good thing?
As long as it refreshes appropriately that's mitigation that we can keep up as long as we're critting, which when swiping is quite a bit.

Darksend said...

Thanks for all the hard work and keeping us updated, sent you a reply btw thanks

Icarus said...

Ive got a couple things Ive been curious about... Since swipe is now 360* and it has no cooldown and it is still buffed up threat wise.. how likely do you think its going to be that it gets nerfed in some way? Either in the form of less threat (could live with this) or cooldown (this I would hate).

I personally dont mind the positioning requirement it was always the target requirement that bothered me the most.. but having no cooldown and tonnes of threat seems likely op compared to other tanks.

and with the no target requirement Im assuming its similar in use to say consecrate in that you can hit it with no one targeted as long as you have rage?

The other quick question I have is about the gear swapping system. If you have 2 of the same peices but say they are gemmed and enchanted differently does it recognize the difference?

for example if you have a macro /equip mantle of malorne or whatever and you hit it twice it will keep swapping between them of course cuase there is no way to differentiate them. This bugged me a lot in TBC where I commonly had 2 of the same piece gemmed and enchanted differently.

Anonymous said...


I think a spammable non-targeting 360 swipe still has some disadvantages over some of the other aoe tanking tools other tanks have.

1. Swipe doesn't have any secondary effect on mobs unlike thunderclap. Also, prot warriors have shockwave.

2. Swipe isn't a fire and forget AOE tanking tool. DKs and Paladins can use their GCDs for other things while still picking up aggro on multiple mobs. While bears may not need to use swipe every GCD while aoe tanking, it certainly feels like it sometimes.

3. Swipe isn't targeted like death and decay or stay around in one place like consecrate. Bears can only have a point blank aoe tanking tool. Aside from growl and a minimal ranged threat tool(feral faerie fire), bears have to be within 10 yards of a mob to pick up loose mobs.

That's not to say blizzard won't nerf bear swipe, but it's not like we have a lot of other tools in our belt to use while aoe tanking.

Wintersdark said...


Just wondering. Why are you looking to get rid of xperl?

Felkan said...

I use to think (and still do for the most part) the position requirements of the current swipe were sort of "fun". But lately I noticed several times (it has happened in raids and 5-mans) in which I swipe a pack. They run to me, but on my screen they appear to be standing right on top of me. So, I take a step back to make sure they are "in front" of me. But, they move right back on top of me. I do this a few times before I realize there must be some sort of odd server latency issue going on. And just hope I hold the pack.

But I have to assume it must drive melee dps crazy when I move around so much causing the mobs to turn-around, etc.

With a targetless 360 swipe, this anomaly just won't mater as much. Though we still will want to keep mobs in front of us so the maul glyph can hit two targets....

Keltar said...

A question: is the 360° swipe only bear or do cats get to do it too?
thanks for all the work

Kalon said...

Peter - it's totally going to make us lazier than pally tanks. We can just run around AND we get shields from behind while swipefarting? Oh, we're very lazy bears in the making. And yeah, I'll be making some kind of post on what dual spec will mean. For me it's almost certainly going to be what I have now (or close to it) and then full cat.

Anon1 - it's an okay thing, but it's problematic because it's totally impossible to model and thus hard to test. It's tough to have to look through a parse of a thousand absorptions and filter out which of them were valid. And maybe it's the programmer in me, but I don't like balancing out abilities based on buggy behavior. If they want shields to block everything in a certain time frame, do it that way. Be explicit about it. Because otherwise, they'll fix this eventually and our mitigation will go down and no one will understand why.

Icarus - I don't think they'll be nerfing swipe any time soon, even if it makes druids the best overall AoE tank. (I don't think it will, but it might). The reason being that while it is great threat, the limitation on single target is still pretty high. And honestly, with Ulduar trash being harder I don't think they care that much about AoE ability. And yes, as long as you have rage, you hit everything in range. Or what Anon2 said.

On the equipment swap - yes, I've had that problem. And no, they haven't fixed it AFAICT.

Wintersdark - I like xperl okay, and it was a much nicer looking thing than grid was out of the box. But now I don't care that my raid frames are pretty, just useful, and xperl has all these stupid bugs here and there. I'd really like to get rid of the player frame, for instance - and I can't. We'll see.

Felkan, that sort of stuff drives me nuts too. And it's not 'skill' to walk backwards every few steps while driving melee DPS nuts. It's just frustrating. And yes, you'll still want your targets in front of you so you can maul them and more importantly, so you can dodge their attacks.

Jacob said...

I enjoy Pitbull for my Frames, but I still use grid for Raids. I have is set to show me GotW/MotW in one corner, and hp/mp, which is all I really care about as a bear. If I need a more detailed look at buffs, I pull up BigBrother.

I've been reading MMOChamp daily now, and one problem I've noticed is the apparant lack of tanking weaps.
A while back, I used your "ideal antitank gearlist" in Rawr to come up with some value that I use in LootRank. Using those numbers, I made a weaponlist on ptr.wowhead:
As you can see, this still shows Origin at the top, and only one 3.1 weapon beating even Pillar or Earthwarden.

Do you think this is because we haven't seen everything yet, or are our needs regarding crit/ap changing that much?

Also, do you think you could throw some rough math around, for Rawr/LR numbers? I would love to start saving some gear now that will help my SD, but if not, hopefully my AntiTank set is solid.

Marino said...

I disagree on the kiting part.
2 reasons for kiting:
The mobs hits too hard/does debuff or there is no tank available to tank it.

Reason 2 can be scrapped, you are a tank.
Reason 1 is that it hits too hard. So you want to be able to do threat on it and not be in range.
Consecration does that, Death and Decay does that. A hunter can do that, a warlock can do that. But a druid can in no way stay out of range from that mob.

I'll give you that we have the best movable aoe, because it has only 1.5 sec cooldown.

Iota said...

I was wondering if the new Primal Gore Lacerate tick crits were proccing the shield. Many people on the forums are grumbling about our reduced armor citing an inability to proc SD when stunned whereas armor works 'all the time'. My interpreting of the new talents would lead me to believe that this would be the case, I will assume nothing though :P