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Praying to the Gods of Random Number Generation

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Something I've noticed in the last few weeks with the resumption of raiding is that random events have a massive impact on how well you are “playing”, where it’s measured by things like damage meters at any rate. Elemental in particular is affected by this.

Our random events are: Critical strikes (for both extra damage and Clearcasting), Overload, Lava Surge, the Elemental Blast proc (depending on timing of things like Ascendance), Rolling Thunder and talents like Echo of the Elements.

The problem is that a lucky streak of overload or echo procs (or the inverse, a bad streak) can make a huge difference on how your performance is going. I’ve varied from just under 100k to pushing 130k dps during Ascendance purely because of procs. Personally, I’d rather look at a low output and go “I did poorly that attempt, and that’s why my DPS was lower” rather than “Whelp, RNG screwed me again”.

Removing a lot of this RNG would be counter productive, as every class/spec has to deal with some, but the removal of some may be an improvement. How to do it without screwing up the flavour that is the class though? One possibility is to borrow from a concept that’s been used multiple times for trinkets.

Overload would be changed so that for each cast of Chain Lightning or Lightning Bolt you’d generate one “Nature Charge”, Lava Burst would get a “Fire Charge” and those using Elemental Blast would get an “Elemental Charge”. When you reach 4 charges, an extra copy of that spell is generated, which deals 3% of the damage of a “normal” spell per mastery “point”. This way Overload is more visible, more predictable, and prevents massive bust damage from proc chains.

Likewise, Rolling Thunder can be increased to a 100% chance to restore 1-1.2% of your total mana. Lightning Shield would stack up to 11 and Fulmination would only deal 60-70% of the damage from all shield charges consumed.

You’ll still have all the procs/mechanics of the current versions, as well as all the others, but some of them would be a bit more predictable in their use. It would also make the Earth/Flame shock overlap require more thought for advanced players, as sometimes it doesn’t matter how you manage it if Rolling Thunder doesn’t proc too often.

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Comments

  1. Unregistered's Avatar
    Interesting ideas, but I'm a little tired of Blizzard converting every class into a secondary resource class and I think that's essentially what you propose with your overload stacking/tracking.
  2. Wunhunglo's Avatar
    I thought it was just me but RNG seems to be playing a bigger role in Elemental DPS than I previously remember. During my 150+ wipes on H Spirit Kings 25 (many of those being resets due to boss order RNG) I noticed huge swings in my opening burst DPS. It got so bad that I had to double check logs to see what I was doing wrong but I always found that my game play was identical.

    Our rotation (with Elemental Blast) is feeling a bit cumbersome and the RNG sometimes makes it painful to play. I would be happy to see some minor modifications made to the amount of RNG we are dealing with right now.
  3. Intrepid's Avatar
    I've noticed the same on fights. It can be frustrating at times to figure out what you are doing wrong when your actually not doing anything different.
  4. Caltiom's Avatar
    If you want to actually measure the dps variance of certain classes, I can recommend running a full raid simulation with average_range=0 ( doesn't average the base min/max damage of a spell ), run it with a very high number of iterations and then look at the number under range ( difference from 95th to 5th percentile, which is a somewhat more stable measurment then truely min/max dps ).
    Of course that's a bit of work, but might give some more empirical numbers to the question where shamans stand compared to other classes which have usually a high variance ( fire mages, warriors for example ).
  5. Binkenstein's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Caltiom
    If you want to actually measure the dps variance of certain classes, I can recommend running a full raid simulation with average_range=0 ( doesn't average the base min/max damage of a spell ), run it with a very high number of iterations and then look at the number under range ( difference from 95th to 5th percentile, which is a somewhat more stable measurment then truely min/max dps ).
    Of course that's a bit of work, but might give some more empirical numbers to the question where shamans stand compared to other classes which have usually a high variance ( fire mages, warriors for example ).
    The min/max range of spells isn't what I was talking about. I was focusing on random proc events.
  6. Caltiom's Avatar
    And I was talking about the distribution ( and its variance ) of the DPS of a player, not of his spells.

    I was just trying to point out a possibility to compare dps variance over specs, because of your remark that elemental shamans are particularly affected by high variance.
    I agree that it would be desirable for Blizzard to give every class/spec a similar amount of variance. That is currently not the case for all of them, especially low-gear situations like now after a new addon, tend to increase the differences even further.

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