Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blue Post & Beta Patch Bonanza

Attack of the GAMES!
So as I said, I've been quite behind in writing and I do apologize. All my downtime has been either in the beta, sleeping, or just in general turning my brain completely off to facilitate brain dumping work drama and frustration. We have had a beta patch since I started in it last Monday and we have another one on the way. The first patch brought about a few changes so let's check those out first.
The first patch for the Beta, Build 15544 brought just a few changes to the monks. Cost changes and cooldown changes for the most part. Here's a look from MMO-Champion:

Designer Notes
  • Known Bugs (In Progress)
    • Flying Serpent Kick AOE effect not syncing with visual dest
    • Fortifying Brew not making you immune to healing
    • Tooltip scaling values and/or lack of scaling
    • Chi Wave not bouncing if target dies
    • Fists of Fury arms are not textured, NYI for most races
    • Healing Sphere healing multiple targets if triggered on multiple targets
  • FYI
    • Lot of art/icons/sound not final
    • Windwalker "rotation" WIP
  • Blackout Kick now costs 1 Chi, down from 2 Chi. No longer refunds Chi if the target is killed. Can now be used regardless of the target's health, but the target suffers an additional 1328 damage over 8 sec if it's below 50% health.
    • Note: What it doesn't list is the creation of a new Chi Sphere when using this on an opponent. It seems over-triggered right now on the beta as you can end up with more Chi Spheres than you had before you used any Blackout Kicks
  • Touch of Death now costs 3 Chi, down from 4 Chi.
    • Note: Does make it a bit easier to just outright kill things while running around questing.
  • Breath of Fire now has a 15 sec cooldown.
  • Brewmaster Training now makes your Tiger Palm no longer costs Chi, and when you deal damage with Tiger Palm the amount of your next Guard is increased by 5%. Lasts 30 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
    • Note: This is changed again in the upcoming beta patch.
  • Dizzying Haze now costs 10 Energy, down from 40.
  • Keg Smash *New* You swing a keg of brew, dealing 1666 damage to the target and two nearby enemies and causing their next attack to Missfire within 8 sec, dealing 821 damage to themselves instead of you. 5 yd range, 1 Chi, 8 sec cooldown, Instant
  • Chi Wave now has a 6 sec cooldown, down from 15 secs.
  • Jasmine Force Tea now costs 3% of base mana and is instant instead of channeled.
  • Renewing Mists now costs 3% of base mana, up from 2%. Base Healing increased by 70% and now heals every 2 seconds instead of every 3 seconds.
  • Soothing Mists healing reduced by 43%. Now has a 15% chance to regenerate 1 Chi, down from 25%.
  • Afterlife - Enemies who die from Blackout Kick have a 50% chance to summon a Chi Sphere.
    • Chi Sphere - A sphere of energy forms from the wake of the fallen enemy. Walking through your Chi Sphere will restore 1 Chi. Lasts for 2 min.
  • Exploding Jade Blossom is now Fire Blossom. Now has a 50 yards range, up from 30 yards. Damage increased by 15%.
Uncategorized/Test Skill?
  • Death Cocoon Encases the target in a harmful cocoon of Chi energy, dealing 5 damage every 1 sec and causing any healing recieved to be damage instead.While in the Cocoon, the target moves at -50% reduced speed and is unable to attack or cast spells. 40 yd range, 2 Chi, 2 min cooldown, Instant
    • Note: I think this is the other portion of Chi Cocoon. Chi Cocoon as originally described is supposed to work on allies and enemies alike though so far on the beta it's only useable on allies. This would be the enemy version of it.
The upcoming beta patch posted over at MMO-C, Build 15589 (which I believe is going in right now) , has a LOT more changes to monks than the first iteration:
  • Blackout Kick - Additional damage now over 6 sec, down from 8 sec.
  • Expel Harm - Now costs 6% of base mana, up from 2%. Now has a 10 yd range, up from melee range.
  • Fortifying Brew - After Fortifying Brew ends, you will be healed for the amount abosrbed.
  • Jab - Now costs 6% of base mana, up from .5%.
  • Stance of the Fierce Tiger - Text removed: Allows use of abilities under jurisdiction of the White Tiger, such as offensive damage abilities.
Monk - Talents
  • Charging Ox Wave - Now knocks back everyone in a 40 yard range, up from 5.
  • Dampen Harm New: You dampen the damage from the most harmful attacks done to you. The next 3 attacks that deal damage equal to 10% or more of your total health are reduced in half. 1 Chi, Instant cast, 30 sec cooldown.
  • Healing Elixers New: Anytime you drink from a Brew or Tea, you gain 10% of your total health. This effect cannot occur once every 15 sec.
  • Momentum - Every time you Roll or Chi Torpedo, your movement speed is increased by 25% (was 30%) for 10 sec. Stacks up to 2 times.
Monk - Brewmaster
Monk - Mistweaver
  • Cherry Mana Tea - Now each charge restores 2% of your maximum mana, down from 5%.
  • Chi Wave - Now has a 8 sec cooldown, up from 6 sec.
  • Demateralize New: When you are stunned, you phase out of existence temporary causing all melee attacks and spells to miss you for until cancelled. This effect has a 10 sec cooldown. Requires Serpent Stance
  • Jasmine Force Tea - Now costs 9% of base mana, up from 3%.
  • Soothing Mists - Now costs 2% of base mana.
  • Stance of the Wise Serpent -
  • Surging Mist - Now generates 1 Chi.
    • Note: This makes is so that Jab is no longer the only source of Chi for a Mistweaver, this will certainly change the available play styles.
  • Teachings of the Monastery - Surging Mist now lasts 30 sec, up from 12 sec.
  • Thunder Focus Tea - Now has a 8 sec cooldown.
Monk - Windwalker
  • Fire Blossom - Renamed to Spinning Fire Blossom.
  • Muscle Memory - Reworked: Your Jab now generates an additional Chi.
  • Summon White Tiger Statue - No longer has Tiger's Lust (On-Click Effect) - Increases the damage done by the ally and the Monk by 15% for 6 sec. Limit 2 charges per statue.
As you can see a lot just happened that I'm thrilled to get started trying out. Right now I have a premade Windwalker and I'm leveling a Mistweaver (just got Chi Wave, yay!). Hopefully in one of these builds soon there will be monk trainers to switch specs. That and the ability to get out of Pandaria without taking a mage portal to Tol Barad and then the portal to Stormwind. I also want to cover several blue posts of importance to us.

Monk Animations for all Races
All monks will have special animations. The animators started with the pandaren, since they had so many pandaren animations to create in the first place, but we are slowly getting them added to the existing races. More animations should show up each beta build. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Brewmaster feedback
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Monks are a new class, and we will be iterating on them quite a bit and often we change mechanics a lot faster than we make beta builds. With that in mind, we wanted to clarify our design intent on some of the abilities:

Dizzying Haze -- We increased the threat and lowered the energy. We're not crazy about making it do damage because then it risks competing with other Brewmaster abilities. We really don't want Dizzying Haze used rotationaly on single-targets. We also run into whether or not the ability should break CC if it does damage.

AE tanking -- We agree that monks need a little more ability to cleave.

Missing Jabs -- It isn't intended to lose all Energy on a miss. We will fix that.

  • Our intent for Brewmasters is to use Guard, Purifying Brew and Shuffle as reactive and proactive abilities that you want to use to react or prevent damage spikes. We're not there yet with the cooldowns, durations and costs, which are the kinds of numbers we tune constantly after tests and playtests. Mechanically we think the pieces of the puzzle are there, but they don't fit together quite right yet.
  • We agree that Chi generation is too slow for Brewmasters. Expel Harm is one possible Chi generator. Also keep in mind that there is currently a miss penalty on Energy and Chi that we plan on removing.
  • We also agree that the Brewmaster procs still need a bit more spice.
  • Free Tiger Palm is probably too strong.
  • In our current builds, Brewmasters have a big health bonus, currently higher than any other tank. We're actively iterating on tanking numbers for all specs, but we need to consider a lot of different situations (single boss, groups, healers spamming, damage over long periods, different gear levels, etc.)(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Mistweaver Feedback
  • Mana regeneration and healing throughput is something that is still being tuned, so that will feel a bit off for a while longer.
  • We had to tone down Mistweaver DPS. In our raid tests, they were contributing too much damage while still being effective healers.
  • Chi Wave is something we're still tuning. The cooldown is now around 8 seconds, which may be too short. At the moment it accounts for half of the healing in raid situations.
  • Jab and other DPS abilities scale with your weapon, and also with AP. The damage is normalized in such a way that any weapon choice is equal to the other, so weapons are an aesthetic choice. We'll probably have the DPS abilities scale with SP, as long as they're balanced.
  • We've changed Mistweavers to also have a 1 second GCD as with the other two specializations.
  • Can you explain more about the problem with a longer Soothing Mists? The mana per second is the same whether it's a short or long channel. Do you feel compelled to complete the channel? Clipping it should not incur a mana penalty.
  • Cherry Mana Tea is intended to be "sipped" during break periods. Good Mistweavers will end a fight with as low mana as possible and as low Cherry Mana Tea stacks as possible. There are periods where you can't afford any breaks, but those vary by encounter. It should no longer break on taking damage. Stacks is something we are still iterating upon.
  • We've changed Jasmine Tea to an upfront mana cost that will generate Chi over time (think "Chi Tap"). We're still iterating a lot on this design though. The intent is that the Mistweaver has an edge on precision healing, while the Windwalker has less control but can gain Chi quickly.
  • Expel Harm only does damage if you "effectively" healed. If it's all overheal, no damage will happen. We intend for all monks to use the ability. Windwalkers can heal themselves.
Scaling Issues
All Monk attacks scale with weapon damage and AP, but tooltips won't list the weapon damage % or AP coefficient. Tooltips will just list the expected damage value. Behind the scenes, we account for your weapon DPS to determine the damage that your attacks will do, making it so that you can choose whatever weapon type you want (Dual Wield or 2-Hand, for example).
That said, a number of attacks right now don't have proper scaling or damage values as the design of the abilities are still in flux.  

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