Give Enchanters Critical Affliction 11-27 (or: The Fix to Enchanters That Reduces Balance Headaches)

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by gotwar, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. gotwar Augur

    The Problem:

    Round after round of recent nerfs has made playing an Enchanter feel pretty bad. Our “passable” tanking was nerfed first by recast timer on unity, then by rune amount, then again (why?) with another hit to the recast timer on unity. The mana return on our Mind Shatter line was nerfed once in TBM (?) then again in a recent patch. Numerous other bug fixes, AA consolidations, and balance changes chipped away at both the opportunity for skill expression and capabilities of the dedicated Enchanter main.

    The most recent round of nerfs, which were 100% needed, have nearly gutted the Enchanter's ability to feel like they are contributing on raids and leaves little room for optimization in play. It's not hyperbole to say that Enchanters currently have the lowest potential DPS output of any class in the game both group and raid in the overwhelming majority of situations. This does not include Clerics (sorry, Clerics).

    The Design:

    From a balance perspective Enchanters largely operate within the same Utility/DPS space as Rangers and Beastlords. Looking at class capabilities, each provides:

    - Archetype respective group/raid critical ADPS. Rangers have Auspice (which can be MGBd), Group Guardian of the Forest, and Scarlet Cheetah Fang. Beastlords have Dicho, RF, and Group Bestial Alignment.
    - Both classes provide passive melee ADPS synergy abilities,
    - Have extra raid/group utility beyond these skills (Beastlord Paragon, Ranger CC via root), and
    - Both classes are able to tank passably well in the group game, either through face tanking or their pets.

    This falls almost directly in line with the Utility/DPS design space that Enchanters also exist in:

    - Archetype respective group critical ADPS. Illusions of Grandeur, Third Spire, Chromatic Haze, Dicho.
    - Passive archetype ADPS abilities through auras and casting offensive spells
    - Extra raid/group utility from crowd control abilities
    - … can't really tank all that well in the group game anymore, but it used to be our design niche, so its going here anyway

    These three classes all provide a similar level of utility while having a secondary focus on being able to output DPS. It makes sense that they would all sit within range of each other at any given time. Enchanters are currently no where near either class in potential damage output.

    The (partial) Solution:

    Give Enchanters rank 12-27 of Critical Affliction, raising our base critical DoT rate from 33% to 55%.

    This brings Enchanter DoT crit rate in line with Druids and Shamans.

    Before diving into the math of how, a brief explanation of why.

    Balancing Enchanter DoTs has already proved to be a pain, and the severe impact of the recent DoT nerfs highlighted this. This is largely due to the disparity in base crit rate between the classes. Raising the Enchanter critical DoT rate from 33% to 55% makes future introduction and balancing of DoTs much easier from a design perspective.

    This fix also requires less overall work (I'd assume) than going through and changing every spell in the Mind Shatter line (again) to have higher base damages.

    The (bad) Math:

    Math isn't my strong suit, but I want to give a comparison of average DoT damage per tick both pre/post proposed change to highlight the difference caused by these critical hit rates.

    The new Mind Tempest Rk. III has a base damage of 20111 . To get average damage per tick before foci is applied we take (base)(critrate)(critmod+1). 20111*.33(3.75+1) = 31523.

    For comparison, this is the “new” Sunflame Rk. III cast by a Druid. Sunflame has a base damage of only 12788: 12788*.55*(3.75+1)=33408.

    Despite having an 8,000 base damage gap, Druid Sunflame is going to beat Mind Tempest in average damage per tick because of the disparity in critical hit rate.

    Why this makes sense (more math!):

    With access to rank 27 of Critical Affliction, our shiny new Mind Tempest now looks like this:

    20111*.55*4.75 = 52,539

    Compare this to old Mind Tempest and old Mind Storm:
    Tempest: 47478*.33*4.75 =74,421
    Storm: 28709*.33*.475=45,001

    That second number is important. Old Mind Storm was never broken; Enchanters weren't shattering parses in EOK. But its base damage was adjusted downwards to accommodate the necessary nerf to Mind Tempest. Almost every damage-oriented spell in RoS got a 20% increase to base damage, except DoTs, which got at, near, or above 50%, which is why some classes ended up with broken DoTs.

    The difference between “old” mind storm and “new” mind tempest, after these critical hit rate changes, will be an (almost) 20% increase, giving this one Enchanter DoT the boost it should have received, instead of the (way too powerful) one that they got.

    Wrap It Up:

    The tl;dr is that giving Enchanters Critical Affliction 11-27 makes future DoT balance easier to manage, while still granting Enchanters a small increase over their damage in EOK. It's also much easier (again, I'm assuming) than going through 3 dozen spell entries to adjust base damages on the Mind Shatter line again.

    Aligning the base critical rate of the three "big" DoT users (not including Necros) makes future DoT design and balance much more straightforward.

    One more thing. Please remove the recast timer on Mind Tempest. It is unnecessary and made an already massive (over 50%) base damage decrease into an even bigger reduction.

    Thanks for reading. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Is my math bad? It usually is. Regardless of your opinion, throw us a post to show your Enchanter friends some love or hate. All visibility is good visibility.

    Credit to that Great Necro Hero and Stellar Ladies Man Menown for quietly suggesting this in another thread.
    Cailen, Jhenna_BB, xcitng and 9 others like this.
  2. Cicelee Augur

    I do not play an enchanter, so forgive my ignorance.

    You state that enchanter DOT changes were 100% necessary. Now you propose a 20% increase in DOT critical affliction via AA. Wouldn't that make it the same as before the patch damage wise, therefore nullifying the necessary changes you said needed to be made?

    To an uninformed outsider that seems contradictory.

    Do not get me wrong I am not anti enchanter st all. I feel raids need more stuff in them for enchanters to do "enchanter" stuff outside of hitting IOG when needed. I also think the group game desperately needs to look at pulling and crowd control and make that matter instead of what we have now, but that is a completely different thread. I just do not see in the agreement that change needed to be made, but making a proposition that could nullify said change...
  3. gotwar Augur

    No, look at the average damage per tick found in the "The (bad) Math" section.

    Pre-nerf Mind Tempest average damage per tick is 74,421.
    Post-nerf, but with crit change, average damage per tick is 52,539.

    Basically, we end up with an (almost) 20% damage increase on just that one DoT over its level 105 TDS version. This falls in line with what other classes got for base damage increases in RoS.

    Edit: I included a bunch of info and crappy maths to help folks understand why the change makes sense, but its kind of a long post so it's easy to miss. Will try to highlight the relevant section for readability.
    Cicelee likes this.
  4. Sancus Augur

    I'm going to indulge myself slightly; if you don't want to read my theorycrafting rambles you're welcome to skip this post.

    I think a big point of ambiguity is how the devs want Enchanters to achieve DPS. For quite a few years before the DoT revamps, Enc DoTs were far too terrible to be worth using for pure DPS purposes. After the DoT revamps AFAIK it became a combination of the two, and Strangulate ended up replacing most of their nukes after SPA 79 was changed so it could crit. There might be some inaccuracy in that chain of events, but my overall point is the relative power of nukes and DoTs has changed significantly back and forth over a relatively short period of time.

    If the devs want most of the Enchanters active casts to be nukes rather than DoTs, their nuke lineup really needs to be revisited. This is far more work than what gotcharms is proposing, but I think it's a possibility given Aristo will need to dream up some new spells for each class next expansion.

    The issue with Enchanter nukes is not just their relatively low base damage, it's moreso how mechanically simple they are. The Chaotic mez is kind of cool, but that's not really doable in a lot of raids. Outside of it it's basically three flat damage nukes, something like Mindslash -> Mindsunder -> Mindcleave. The nuke on Strangulate is still a higher base damage than Mindsunder/Mindcleave, although there may be some additional complexity there with SPA 79. The only thing these nukes do is have a small chance to proc Chromatic Haze or, in the case of Mindslash, proc Beguiler's Synergy. These nukes can't even benefit from Beguiler's Synergy though (Gravity Twist can, but I'm going to leave that out because its use is a bit complicated).

    Compare that to a sample lineup for Magicians (You can do a similar comparison to Wizard lineups, but I cut that out for the sake of brevity):

    1. Relentless Servant - This is a swarm pet spell that also procs Conjurer's Synergy. It doesn't scale (much) with ADPS, it needs to live ~40s to do all of its damage, and it is affected by various mechanics casters often aren't subjected to. All of this makes it somewhat situational and fundamentally different than any other spell in this lineup.

    2. Volley of Many - This is a nuke, but it scales in damage with swarm pets. That gives it a direct synergy with the previous spell (RS), as well as our various other swarm pet lines. On top of that, it is our highest base damage spell and, as such, benefits significantly from Conjurer's Synergy. Finally, it procs Theft of Essence, which increases our swarm pet DPS significantly (see how there's cool synergy between the first two spells?). Its reliance on pets makes it situational as well, which makes you think a bit.

    3. Chaotic Inferno - This is a low base damage nuke with a bunch of cool procs. One is Flames of Power, which is kinda meh but does increase the damage of the next two Fire nukes (it does have stacking issues with a lot of other abilities). It also has a chance to return mana which is nice. The cooler two procs, though, are Twincast and Syllable of Refreshment. The former procs 18s of Twincast, and we can change our casting around a bit to fish for more Twincast procs during Twincast. The latter refreshes all our spell gems except Twincast, which lets us get out additional Alliance casts and refreshes those first two spells. Wizards get more out of Syllable procs than Mages with their longer recast, high damage spells, but the general idea is still there - there's a chance for cool things to happen.

    4. Spear of Molten Arcronite - This is just a flat damage nuke. It's boring, but it's fine in our rotation because it does decent damage. It does have a little bit of Synergy with Chaotic, since it will get most of the Flames of Power procs. All 3 Enchanter nukes are basically slightly weaker versions of this spell.

    The point above is not whether any individual spell is overpowered or underpowered or w/e, the point is that they all work well together. The class feels good because we have interesting mechanics that encourage some decision making and allow for a higher skill cap DPS-wise.

    So again, if the majority of Enchanter casts are going to be nukes, not only does their nuke DPS need to go up, they need a more mechanically diverse lineup. They do have some spells with procs, but they're weak utility procs that aren't worth using. I don't have a genius solution for what to add in, and I think adding an Enchanter Claw/Chaotic would feel pretty copy-pasta. That said, the current lineup is just really lackluster. Enchanter mains might have better ideas; one thing that could be cool is building off the Chaotic mez line a bit into something usable more generally in raids (rip mezzing eyes). I think one of the most successful aspects of Claw/Chaotic is that Twincast lasts long enough that you can meaningfully change your casting around it. Beguiler's Synergy/Chromatic Haze are strong procs, but it's pretty difficult to change your casting mid raid for a random, 1-counter proc. Twincast is cool, but they could also get crazy with a Quick Time-esque proc or something. Just something that an intelligent Enchanter can react to.

    It's entirely possible (and probably likely) that the devs aren't going to do any of those things, though. In that case the recast on Mind Tempest really needs to go. I think in either event, creating additional parity in terms of crit chance makes balance a lot easier. On top of that, high enough crit chance creates a sort of ceiling on how much crit chance can increase burst. DoTs scale extremely well with crit chance/damage because foci crit. One of the reasons that Necros having such a high passive crit chance is a good thing mechanically IMO is because it prevents them from scaling too much with crit chance on a burn (bringing burst and sustained DPS closer together). As such, I think it's a little difficult for balance purposes if Enchanters are going from 34% crit chance (with DoN) to like 92%? ish on a burn. Raising crit chance reduces that overall scaling, and as such makes balance easier to accomplish in the future.

    That was long and somewhat tangential but... food for thought.
  5. Jetslam Augur

    Shaman < Enchanter in terms of DPS in nearly all situations at this point.

    But other than that, great post.
  6. Cleaver Augur

    Curious what dps classes should enchanters be ahead of ?
  7. gotwar Augur

    I very, very much doubt that. Given similar ADPS and kill level I am 98% confident a Shaman would trounce an Enchanter except in very short burst situations. While that may not be the norm, it doesn't change the accuracy of the statement.

    As my thoughts on where Enchanter DPS should be is clearly outlined at the beginning of the post, and that you definitely read aforementioned post before commenting in this thread, and definitely did not post without reading just to be antagonistic, thank you for the bump.

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. Part of the frustration of adding a recast timer to Mind Tempest is that it was one of the few active decisions we would have to make while playing. Deciding which target(s) to throw Mind Tempest on to squeeze out the most damage gave us something to do.

    I think most Enchanters would agree that the biggest issue right now is the lack of interactivity and room for skill expression. Our nuke lineup, lack of personal AA's, and generally passive ADPS nature are definitely contributing factors. It feels pretty bad to not have much agency in your performance after a certain point.

    I'm not really sure what the answer is, to be honest. Being able to summon and twincast off of clockwork automations was a fun mechanic. Rapid, careful selection of Mind Tempest targets wasn't great, but had some interactivity. Unfortunately, it's limited by raid events with lots of big, beefy hitpoint adds, which we were fortunate to have in RoS, but may not have in the next expansion.

    Adjusting base crit rate and removing the recast timer on Mind Tempest will at least serve as a bridge until whatever comes next happens. As it stands right now, Enchanters lack interaction at high levels of play and I think we're all hoping for something to fix that.
  8. Sheex Augur

    Where does CC and its general stagnation over the last few expansions (especially raids) apply in this discussion, also? It’s almost completely omitted from the OP, and to me seems like the elephant in the room.
  9. Frogbert New Member

    If you want a bigger elephant, charm is not mentioned at all.
  10. gotwar Augur

    I was going to mention CC in my reply to Sancus, but my thoughts got kind of muddled a few sentences in. It's also why I didn't mention it in the OP.

    The tl;dr is that while CC is fun, interactive, and a key component of the class, I don't think barring group or raid content behind the forced need for a specific class mechanic (or classes. Hi Bards!) is good design. It's a good mechanic to sparingly throw in; but it's not realistic for it to be needed everywhere, which reduces its influence as a way to make the class more interactive or fun.

    That being said, making it a more relevant option for groups or raids to take advantage of is fine. But that still doesn't solve the interactivity issue for groups or raids that frequently just steam roll DPS through mechanics even if CC is available.

    That's just my opinion, and I know its vastly different from other top enchanters. "More events with CC" was one of the few things the class readily agreed to wanting prior, during, and after RoS launch.
  11. valiantSeven Elder

    Can we please not turn this tread upside down by being the guys that come in and go “Well, yeah, but you guys can do <this one thing that is completely irrelevant in modern EverQuest and isn’t really all that useful on raids> so therefore you don’t need any adjustments your class is fine.”

    I can’t even tell you the last time CC or charming was at all necessary in a group or raid for my enchanter. Sure, there’s MAYBE two events in the last two expansions where it makes the events easier if you do CC, but if you didn’t it’s not a win vs lose situation. Even in groups... HAs and missions just beg you to pull a couple mobs here spaced out by a large enough distance that you have no CC needs at all. Yeah, they can do it, but it’s a pretty poor argument to warrant giving only partial or zero boosts at all because of it.
  12. Dythan Augur

    When my monk has a 16 hour illusion that zones, we can talk about chanter dps......
  13. Frogbert New Member

    Charm may not be necessary, but it sure allows an enchanter to solo through tons of mobs much faster than most classes. So, it sure seems relevant to me in a "dps" discussion. I have no interest in raids whatsoever, so I could care less how those are tuned.
  14. kizant Augur

    Besides if you're busy CCing for an entire event then you're losing DPS. That problem sort of handles itself. Right now, when there's little more to do but DPS they've fallen way too far behind.
  15. kizant Augur

    I doubt anyone on the forums questions whether monks could use more help. Just post ideas in a monk thread or on the issue tracker and we can vote for them.
    Playful likes this.
  16. Genusii Journeyman

    Deal! You can have all the illusions for infinite time, through zone, though death, and we swap current monk dps with current enchanter dps.
  17. phattoni Augur

    enchanters are not a dps class, stop trying to make them compete with other classes that should be doing more dps.

    druid/shaman always outperformed enchanters when not charming back in the 2004/2005, there is no reason they should be on par with them today.

    enchanter is a support caster, that is it, the dps they should bring should be minimal at best when not charming.

    i mained an enchanter when my guild was doing god back in 2004/2005 and never came close to parsing in top 10 except when charming. i was perfectly fine with it.

    if anything enchanters nowadays get too much dps, way more than i had back when i was maining one.

    if anything they need to be brought more inline with what they actually are, a support class.

    the dot revamp was stupid all around, was poorly planned, poorly thought out, and poorly executed. then a few months later was "fixed". only class that should ever have hard hitting dots is necromancer.
  18. Sheex Augur

    That’s kinda what I was getting at. Your post almost makes it sounds like you’re resigned to the dps/adps role from the get go.

    But the root cause of why enchanters “feel they’re not contributing to raids” is that content requires little to no CC in the first place. A dps bump isn’t going to address that much. The tools you have in the CC department do work...there’s just very few places to actually use them in the modern game, and that sucks.
    Horyuken likes this.
  19. Horyuken Augur

    Rathe Council V2.0 PLS!
  20. kizant Augur

    For a game that changes significantly from year to year it's idiotic to pick on 2004/2005 as some golden era. There's really no reason to talk about anything prior to HoT/VoA at this point and even that's a stretch.

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