Author Topic: Artifact minmaxing  (Read 1905 times)

Winston

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2016, 10:22:02 AM »
After watching that video, I'm now no longer anxious to level up a shaman (which I'll have to do for the Order Hall pet). I'm one of those people who can't walk the plank.

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do hunters, warlocks, and mages ever seriously switch specs, or is it just flavor/preference?

For warlocks: It says in Icy Veins that affliction warlocks offer the highest DPS in dungeon content, and the worst DPS in raid content. This must make it more annoying to be a warlock than some dual-spec classes, because the benefit of putting AP into the destruction spec (I assume) won't be visible until late in the game.

Overall, I'll "me too" the content of the video. Yungi, a monk, has it relatively easy, in that the last five or so Artifact Talents are not very useful and I plan to skip them. Even so, and even with Artifact Knowledge at 15, it's now a long slog to get each new point. I'd love for AK to be account wide, mostly because I've got four alts to level up solely to get pets, and I'd love anything to reduce the tedium.
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Kharvek

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2016, 07:36:56 PM »
Yeah, let me tell you starting 2-3 months after people has been a giant pain when it comes to this.  I get AK boosts about every 3 days I think, so I'm catching up...but it's still been incredibly slow goings.

...however when I take a step back?  You hit a point on your artifact where all that's left are the utility traits and you're kinda there, and the incremental buffs are nice but aren't crippling.  It's just the feeling that you're EIGHT POINTS back, when the reality is...a lot less dire.

On the flip side gearing up this expansion has been so much easier.  There are so many valid ways to gear up now that I really, really like.  I feel like last expansion you could craft it, or grind rep and that was it.  I feel like dungeons were hardcore marginalized and now they're relevant again.  Hell I've gotten a titanforged drop from a regular heroic five man that was a solid upgrade over some normal mode raid gear.  I feel like now I can do things I think are fun and get rewarded by it, rather than being funneled into "If you wanna gear up to raid, these are the only valid options"  AP catch up?  That I think has been less successful.

The instant AK 10 will be a much nicer catch up mechanic I think.  I'm not even at AK 10 yet, but likely will be there and beyond when the patch drops for real.  I'm gonna wait to level an alt until that hits however so they'll have an easier time.


Fernia

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2016, 06:04:23 AM »
AP is killing my alts and off-specs.  I would be hopeless as shadow in a raid right now, and I've even taken to playing holy for doing World Quests:  I'm that far behind.  The other thing that this expansion has done to kill DPS offspecs is legendaries:  I can't *ever* change my loot spec for fear of *that* box or body having a legendary. 

Some easy fixes for that, but I don't know if Blizzard considers it a priority.

Winston

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2016, 08:15:23 AM »
You may want to check the list of legendaries for your class and spec. A starting point is http://www.wowhead.com/legion-legendary-items-guide#which-legendaries-are-best-for-my-spec

I say this because, at least for Monks, there are few if any spec-specific legendaries. They all seem to adapt their primary stat depending on spec, or in the case of rings just give the usual Stamina bonus for both specs.
Bill Seligman
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Honorata

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2016, 08:17:23 AM »
Generally, I've found it's pretty painless to get off-specs to ~13 artifact points (which is about one gold trait). Not very good for raids, but it does the job for questing and dungeons, ime as someone who has no idea what I'm doing as a moonkin.

I know a lot of the top end mythic raiders are really cheesed about the addition of more regular traits/another gold trait in a future patch, since they feel it means they need to grind AP to get as deep into the hidden artifact trait as they can before that comes out so they're not at a disadvantage. (I mean, they were grinding anyway, but it's really bad now. A bunch of people got temp banned for an AP exploit last week iirc.) I also know that I, personally, am not in love with it because it means I'll never get to that hidden trait with how behind I am, and/or will feel bad about putting points beyond the first 14-16 into an off-spec artifact. Which sucks because I'm actually having a lot of fun on all three paladin specs right now. :(

I'm super excited about the fast AK10 (AK15?) catchup coming soon, though. It'll be a bit too late to get Cori caught up, but it will definitely fix that problem of logging onto an alt and being like "ugh, why are all the AP items so low? uggggh."

The "what if this box has a legendary?" thing is also making getting trinkets/relics for a spec you want to try out some but don't use much a huge pain, too. I can use most of my resto gear for moonkin so that's no big deal, but I've gotta pray for the right world quests to pop for feral trinkets.

Anyway, still not a huge fan of the way they've handled AP for off-specs (maybe in a world where 25m raids still took 6-7 healers so healers wouldn't keep losing their jobs to DPS checks. :D) but it is what it is.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 08:19:47 AM by Honorata »
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Edalia

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2016, 11:11:49 AM »
You may want to check the list of legendaries for your class and spec. A starting point is http://www.wowhead.com/legion-legendary-items-guide#which-legendaries-are-best-for-my-spec

I say this because, at least for Monks, there are few if any spec-specific legendaries. They all seem to adapt their primary stat depending on spec, or in the case of rings just give the usual Stamina bonus for both specs.

Legendaries are somewhat outside of the scope of this topic, but the issue with swapping loot specs is not the stats on Legendaries, but the bonuses. My Legendary is actually a DPS bonus (30% additional damage to targets at 90% or higher health) that happens to help with gaining threat on fresh mobs, but if I were a Mistweaver and I got Sal'salabim's Lost Tunic, which has a significant bonus to Breath of Fire, that would be a different story. That's what Fern's worried about.
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jsoh

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2016, 11:20:42 AM »
I say this because, at least for Monks, there are few if any spec-specific legendaries.

To build upon Frank's answer, this is absolutely not correct. All spec's have legendaries which are expressly targeted for their spec - the key is the added on-use effect, not the stats themselves which are - as you note - auto-switching based on current spec.

Off the top of my head, Mistweavers-specific legendaries are the wrists (revival cooldoown), ring (life cocoon), pants (TFT), boots (RSK) and shoulders (soothing mists). Future patch will add a chest piece.

Kharvek

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2016, 02:04:20 PM »
I think one of the core problems is Blizzard's goal with artifacts was to be this thing you grew for the duration of the expansion.  You're always able to grow it no matter how much time you've spent and getting to the 'peak' would be a very hard thing to do.  When you make that a goal, the problem becomes people who start late, or alts who start late and/or get less attention. 

They included catch-up mechanics, but they were very weak and don't let people really catch up all that quickly.  It will likely be months until I'm *actually* caught up with the people who started playing at launch.  I think they tried to mitigate that aspect by front loading a lot of the gains.  The amount of power you gain from your first traits and first gold traits are big gains.  The amount of power you gain by the final ones is a lot less.  Most specs I've seen have 1 REALLY good gold trait, a second that is pretty good and a third that's pretty okay.  The final points you put in mean a lot less to your performance than the first points.  So performance wise?  You catch up quickly.  Progress wise?  You will almost *always* be behind.  However this does create a problem that existed in vanilla/BC era in that...there is definitely a right pick for your first gold trait, and a wrong one.  In the old talent tree era?  There was one or two right choices per spec, and tons of wrong ones.  Since it takes FOREVER to level an artifact?  There is definitely a wrong way to do it and a right way, and respeccing gets more and more expensive the higher your AP gets.  If you made the right choices, I think it's fine to heroic raid with just one gold trait and you'll be fine.  However the perception?  It's always going to be you're behind.

This problem was 1000x worse in vanilla, except the gate there was simply your level.  It took me something like 5-6 months to go from 1-60.  I'm sure if I knew how to play and levelled more effectively that would have been shorter, but even then I think it still would have taken me 2-3 months.  I feel that range of time is similar to how long it would take me to truly catch up on my artifact, so the timelines are kinda similar.  The difference is if I'm level 48, nobody is inviting me to a raid.  If I'm 8 AP behind?  I'm still going on raids with folks, and I feel like I'm more than holding my own.  (Yes, mythic raiding is an exception, or any other super-mega high end style of play)

However it will always suck to feel like I can never, ever catch up to anyone even if performance wise, I already have.  I think since that long tail of the artifact is a lot less important than the meaty front part, it wouldn't have been awful for Blizzard to create more aggressive catch-up mechanics.  They could have mirrored things they did on some of their old raids.  Take this:

There's a global AK value.  If you're at that value?  It takes five days to go up an AK level.  If you're below that level?  It takes a day, until you get to that level.  At various points in the expansion they raise your start point.  (IE: How they're making it instant to get to 10 now if you got the resources)  So in this sense, within a couple weeks I could have caught up to most everyone in terms of the AK level, and I'd be right there.  It wouldn't be instant, but I'd catch up in a lot more reasonable length of time...and Blizzard could still maintain their goal of having the artifact be something you grow.  Even though the gap between where I am now and where I would be isn't all that great?  It will still *feel* a lot less like I'm behind.

Also to a point Marco made, I think AK should be a global value tied to your account, or at the very least all your characters on a particular side on a server.

I also think Blizzard should seriously have psychologists or sociologists on staff to evaluate how some of their design choices will effect a playerbase at large in a mental/perception sense.  I'm sure they looked at it like "Well performance wise, people will catch up just fine, and then can enjoy a long tail of their artifact!  They will be able to do what they need to for normal/heroic content within weeks!"  Without realizing that how big of a deal the perception of being behind is.  Everyone fucking hates the guy who says "OH MY GOD I AM SO FAR BEHIND WAAAAH" and then you look at the charts and they're beating everyone else.  (I've never, ever been this guy.  I swear)  However the situation Blizzard has created has made this perception far more common.

On the flip side what they did with this that I do like is that no matter what you enjoy doing in game?  You're gaining AP.  Literally every activity you can think of has solid rewards for it.  I see posts about "What is the absolute best way to farm AP" ....and there isn't super strong consensus or a head and shoulders way to say "This way is SO much better"  Basically you do what you think is fun?  You'll get a decent amount of AP. 

Honorata

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2016, 02:27:59 PM »
I think they tried to mitigate that aspect by front loading a lot of the gains.  The amount of power you gain from your first traits and first gold traits are big gains.  The amount of power you gain by the final ones is a lot less.  Most specs I've seen have 1 REALLY good gold trait, a second that is pretty good and a third that's pretty okay.  The final points you put in mean a lot less to your performance than the first points.  So performance wise?  You catch up quickly.  Progress wise?  You will almost *always* be behind.

I feel like this would be more true if the hidden trait didn't exist, but it does. Unfortunately.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 02:34:24 PM by Honorata »
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Snique

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2016, 06:36:49 AM »
Kharvek wrote:
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If you made the right choices, I think it's fine to heroic raid with just one gold trait and you'll be fine.  However the perception?  It's always going to be you're behind.

I talked about this with the leader of my heroic raid last night a bit. We're clearing heroic EN weekly. This is a very friendly guild, everyone welcome, we bring along lots of people from other guilds, etc. They tolerate my shitty DPS. But we are definitely being hampered by hitting these heroic bosses with one or maybe two extra healers. If we asked those healers to switch to DPS they would be at the bottom of the chart and here's the really bad part: it would stop being fun for them.

Nobody wants to be last on the DPS meter, so we let them heal even though we don't need that many healers. We also have one person who has stopped raiding because his tank spec is great, but DPS is behind and it stopped being fun for him. And that's sort of the point - the AP system is becoming anti-fun and it's putting people who want to raid with (all) their friends in an unpleasant spot.

Last expansion I did some off-tanking for this group. It's something I enjoy. But my tank weapon is still sitting at 13 traits and no way am I going to get a chance to tank this content. I wouldn't even ask.

To Kharvek's point, we'd all be fine with people being sub-optimal, but it wouldn't be fun for those people to consistently be last and feel like they're holding back their friends. It seems to run counter to Blizzard's stated goals.

Tweed

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2016, 10:22:07 AM »
To me the obvious solution is just to eliminate hybrid classes and alts. Everyone gets one toon, and every class just does one thing: heal, tank, or dps. If you want to swap toons between expansions, you get one swap, level-for-level, ilevel-for-ilevel, achievements and collectibles transfer, etc. That'd eliminate so many headaches, my god, it'd be amazing.

Thanamira

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2016, 10:36:43 AM »
To me the obvious solution is just to eliminate hybrid classes and alts. Everyone gets one toon, and every class just does one thing: heal, tank, or dps. If you want to swap toons between expansions, you get one swap, level-for-level, ilevel-for-ilevel, achievements and collectibles transfer, etc. That'd eliminate so many headaches, my god, it'd be amazing.

I certainly agree that getting rid of a lot of customers would definitely cut down on the number of reported problems.
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jsoh

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2016, 11:05:08 AM »
To me the obvious solution is just to eliminate hybrid classes and alts. Everyone gets one toon, and every class just does one thing: heal, tank, or dps. If you want to swap toons between expansions, you get one swap, level-for-level, ilevel-for-ilevel, achievements and collectibles transfer, etc. That'd eliminate so many headaches, my god, it'd be amazing.

Patch notes: To reward those doing a thankless task, only tank and heal classes are eligible to receive the Suramar fox mount.

Tweed

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2016, 11:07:01 AM »
Patch notes: To reward those doing a thankless task, only tank and heal classes are eligible to receive the Suramar fox mount.

Oh my god I'd accept that deal _ANY_ day of the week.

Kharvek

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Re: Artifact minmaxing
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2016, 12:06:26 PM »
The 'get rid of alts/off specs' idea while absolutely terrible, is kind of why healers weren't losing spots in early era WoW.  In the days of yore, you didn't have an offspec.  You could respec, but you had to go back to town and spend a bunch of money to do it, and that cost only got bigger each time you did it.  Gear didn't swap primary stat based on spec so you needed two completely different sets of gear, and of course with maybe a separate resistance set for your other spec, because resistance gear fights were a thing back then.  Only the people hard core pushing content had people who routinely would swap specs.  Swapping a spec back then was a big deal.  If you swapped?  You probably did for a longer term deal.  Groups like ours didn't see much in the way of spec swapping, just the Death'n'Taxes top end groups.

This meant that a raid of 2 tanks, 3 healers and 5 DPS usually stayed at those numbers, even as you began to outgear the content.  As Blizzard made having multiple specs easier?  Those numbers got way more flexible and suddenly a tactic that really only super, super hardcore people could do, became very easy for even casual players to do.  So now as content gets easier, you speed it up by flipping a healer to a DPS.  ...which sucks if you like to heal since your spots dry up as you gear up. 

I think this is actually the first expansion ever that has made a change that has made alts/off-specs more difficult than previous ones.  The trend has been slowly moving towards making it easier to have multiple specs and characters, and this one they finally took it a big step in the other direction.  Unfortunately how the game has been played has migrated to adjusting towards that flexibility and ease of off specs, so it's been a big shock.  A lot of raids are run under the assumption you have some people who like and don't mind spec swapping.  Honestly?  I think that's all made the game better.  It is so much easier to run a raid now between how easy it's been for people to maintain offspecs as well as the flex raid size thing.  Issues that would sideline a day of raiding are now just a speed bump.  Healer is sick?  Have a DPS swap over.  Someone can't make it?  Run with 11 instead of 12.  A friend really wants to play and is all geared and ready?  Sweet, c'mon in.  Run with 13 instead of 12.  The amount of drama in a raid group seems far, far less than it was.  (I mean, also...we were all a lot younger, stupider and more immature back then too)

The 'HEALERS ARE LOSING THEIR JERBS' problem is a tougher one.  The creep in power over a raid makes it easier.  Healers do more healing, tanks get tougher, and as DPS increases the fight shrinks and the raid needs less healing.  You hit a point where you flip a healer to a DPS and make it even shorter to clear more content in less time.  It's not just a mythic tactic as groups like ours have limited raiding time so going fast is important to make the most of our limited time.  Gearing up is also important since as we're not mega top end, we need the gear to clear various fight hurdles.  This really sucks if what you like to do in this game is heal.  Not only will your job get flipped, but your job also gets more boring as fights get easier.  DPS at least can try to beat their numbers, beat their times.  DPS can treat it like a time trial, it's easy, but you can see if you can do a lap a little bit faster than last time.  There's nothing healers can really do in that vein.  They do less and less as the numbers go up.

Removing gear and the power creep isn't an option since gear helps groups progress and keeps raiding accessible to a wider range of skill levels.  We're not good enough to clear a lot of fights out of the gate, but gear helps us overcome that.  A top end mythic group could clear heroic with a fraction of the ilevel a lot of us need.  ...but that ilevel creep is what lets us take on those challenges and get over various humps.  Gear makes up for mistakes and makes the game more accessible at a variety of skill levels.  Super good people can clear heroic nearly the first night it opens, and then there's a nice balance of people who clear it as they gear up based on ilvl and how much time they raid.  If you're not as good, you can put in more time to learn things, and more time to gear up and you'll clear those hurdles in your own way.  It's been satisfying and honestly it's a pretty good system.  ...unless you like healing.

One thing they could try is a challenge mode raid.  It's basically a challenge dungeon where when you enter, all your gear is normalized statwise so everyone is on the same level and there's no power creep.  Going through a challenge mode raid you likely won't see as many healers being dropped since at no point is the healing going to get easier.  (Maybe execution, people standing in shit less, but removing the safety net in this instance is a much bigger deal)  They could make two tiers of challenge mode and even flip it so the top end challenge mode is the 'hardest' in the game and focus the PvE world firsts on challenge mode so gear isn't even a factor, it's just pure tactics.  For some people this might even make raiding more accessible since there is far less prep work needed to get in on one.  Again, for other groups it's not the right answer so others will need the power creep to clear hurdles, and there is something satisfying about your spec/rotation getting better and different via gear.

Another thing is just giving healers something else to do that isn't healing, but also isn't DPS.  Find some other support style gameplay they can do that also increases over time and also helps a fight along so you want to keep healers in their healing spec.  ...unfortunately the only thing I can think of is scaling  buffs they throw at DPS that require some amount of finesse and/or timing to use right....which is basically a sideways way of "Healers do DPS when they don't heal"

I could maybe see fights being designed with mechanics that let you beat a fight quicker if you have monster healing numbers.  Like...boss does terrible whirlwind of death.  Ranged gotta run, melee gotta run out, but while in this mode boss takes 200% more damage.  When your healers get buff enough?  People can just stand through it and DPS...which shrinks the fight, but only if your healing is good enough.  Creating tactics like this will allow raids to take on riskier strategies to speed stuff up, but rely on higher healing output to do it. Then there's always the 'heal the boss' style fights which healers sorta act as DPS.  You can't do mechanics like this on EVERY fight, but I think boss design is a good way to incentivize bringing healers.  Create more situations where you want to pump out monster healing numbers, and get creative on how you do it.  Reward it.

Anyway, this had little to do with the artifact topic, but kinda followed on.  Back to work!