Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Unintended Consequences Don't Always Suck.

Stephanie in comments mentioned the following:

from the new PTR:
Judgements: Some of these attacks were considered ranged and some melee. They are all now considered melee attacks that can't be dodged, parried or blocked.


Okay, at first glance this isn't much of a change. JoB already couldn't be dodged, parried or blocked and it would make sense that JoV would be the same too. However, I wasn't reading this change closely enough and conflated 'Ranged' with 'Spell' (i.e. miss rates and crit bonuses). There's one extra thing to consider though: procs. Specifically, Seal Procs.

Judgement of Command is currently something of an oddity as it has it's own chance to proc Seal of Command. In 3.x to date this has been something of a non-factor because of SoC's 1sec internal cooldown which tore down the Seals' viability. We all rolled with SoB, even in PvP, and this quirk was consigned to the big bin of meaningless 'bugs' (not the first time this has happened with SoC... see the original Judgement debuff). In hindsight the reason is obvious: JoC, like Crusader Strike and Divine Storm, is a melee strike and so procs melee seals.

So, why doesn't JoB proc SoB? Well, I'm not exactly sure but it's probably because 'Judgement of ...' actually casts 2 spells, one applying the debuff and one dealing damage. The former remains the same no matter the active Seal, the latter changes depending on the active Seal. For JoC the 'damage dealing' part is an unavoidable melee strike and hence it can proc SoC, in contrast by some quirk JoB's 'damage dealing' part was ranged attack, and it seems likely that ranged attacks cannot proc Seals. Unfortunately there is no way of testing this directly as Paladins are without skills recognisable as ranged attacks (rather than spells), but that conclusion seems borne out by the patch notes.

The result this brief patch note is that if this change makes it into Live 3.2 Judgement of Vengeance just got a huge buff. It will not only do damage ([14% Att Pow + 22% Spell Power]*[1+.1*stack size]) regen mana and apply a debuff, it will also Proc a Seal and add to the SoV debuff stack. JoV instantly goes to the top of the dps priority list, no ifs and no buts.

Intended? Well, I don't think so, it seems to me to be a side-effect of cleaning up the Seal/Judgement system so the game mechanics are more logical. Still, one man's correction is another man's 250 DPS.

Right now we're shaping up to do higher sustained DPS in PvE, which is fairly important given the reports of falling behind in Ulduar. Unfortunately the PTR is pretty FUBAR'd so getting any significant testing done is somewhat difficult, but the next build should hold some interesting revelations.

But SoC... poor poor SoC. It so badly needs a quality niche and it still doesn't have one, not even PvP where SoV is still likely to dominate. I really hope Blizz think of something.


2 comments:

Lance 01/07/2009 09:51  

I hadn't though this through, thnx for bring it up.

Firespirit 01/07/2009 15:16  

Zebra:

I saw this and I puzzled yesterday. I didnt know what the change actually meant (although I suspected that it would change us up somehow). Im going to put some link love up on my site to this post.

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