Beta Observations

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Sancus
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Beta Observations

Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:10 pm

The Darkened Sea is not a particularly groundbreaking expansion, but thought I'd share my observations/notes about the Mage class changes from what I saw on beta:

Spells
For the most part, spells in the Darkened Sea received 15% upgrades from the RoF versions. Some spells had "Spell Focus AAs" created for them, and therefore only received 10% upgrades, with an additional 6% from AAs. I'll cover those below. The most notable change is Rain of Cutlasses (Upgrade of Rain of Scythes) now has a Type 3 aug that actually exists in game. Assuming this launches this way, it will be higher DPS than our Coronal Rain (Upgrade of Rain of Blistersteel). Aristo removed spells from many classes; for mages we didn't get upgrades to Gather Magnitude, Maloseniac Eminence, Iron Bolt, and Surge of Shadows (and possibly some others).

Spell Focus AAs
Spell Focus AAs were added to slow down caster progress in TDS. They use SPA 413, which is the same SPA Amp Aura uses. It is affected by pretty much everything (it's focused, crits, etc). The relevant Spell Focus AAs we received were for Spear of Molten Shieldstone (Upgrade of Spear of Blistersteel) and Bolt of Molten Shieldstone (Upgrade of Bolt of Molten Magma). The others were for Renewal of Calix (upgrade of Renewal of Hererra), Fickle, and the two Sands lines IIRC. Unfortunately, SPA 413 seems to have absolutely no affect on Line of Sight nukes. For Spear/Bolt, it was changed to SPA 286, which does not crit, nor is it focused. Since a lot of us only use Spear during burns, having over a third of this expansion's damage increase not critting is really unfortunate.

AAs
Aegis of Kildrukaun
Arcane Whisper
Companion's Agility - 3 ranks
Companion's Gift - 3 ranks
Elemental Alacrity - 3 ranks
Elemental Form: Air
Elemental Fury - 5 ranks
Elemental Union - 3 ranks
Empowered Focus of Arcanum
Extended Malosinete - 2 ranks
Extended Silent Casting - 2 ranks
Extended Swarm - 3 ranks
Fire Core
Force of Elements - 3 ranks
Frenzied Burnout
Hastened Cloak of Shadows - 3 ranks
Hastened Drape of Shadows
Hastened Elemental Union - 2 ranks
Hastened Improved Twincast - 2 ranks
Hastened Virulent Talon - 3 ranks
Hastened Wind of Malosinete - 3 ranks
Host in the Shell
Ice Core
Malosinete
Mana Reserve
Quickened Aegis of Kildrukaun - 3 ranks
Quickened Call Hither - 2 ranks
Replenish Companion - 3 ranks
Shared Health - 3 ranks
Steel Vengeance - 3 ranks
Stone Core
Sturdy Companion - 3 ranks
Turn Summoned - 3 ranks
Vapor Core
Virulent Talon

Archetype AA

Armor of Wisdom - 3 ranks
Companion's Durability - 3 ranks
Companion's Fury - 3 ranks
Expansive Mind - 3 ranks
Gift of Mana
Mastery of the Past - 5 ranks
Mental Clarity - 3 ranks
Mental Stamina - 3 ranks
Negation of Subtlety
Persistent Casting - 3 ranks
Shield Block - 3 ranks

The Upgrades are pretty standard; not much is new. The most notable upgrade was to Virulent Talon, which received a large upgrade (more than the 15% norm for this xpac). Each proc increased from 37500 to 46000, a 23% increase, and the number of procs was increased from 30 to 40. Overall it's a 64% increase in total damage. Also, Aegis of Kildrukuan had its number of hits upgraded to 12 from 8, and had its max threshold upgrades to 37K from 18K

Pets
Tanking wise, pets are in about the same position they were in in CotF. The Earth pet got about a 19% HP increase, and a very small increase in AC (saw about a 3% decrease in incoming DPS). The good news is mob damage didn't increase much, so we still do alright. RS pets were also performing well. I didn't get a chance to parse them, but they seemed to live longer on trash mobs in TDS than the ones on live in CotF.

DPS wise, the increase was more than 15%. With an EM 20 Focus, I was seeing 10K DPS from the water pet with just Burnout Rk 2, and with that and FBO it was around 25K. On live I see around 7.2K and 19K, respectively. RS pets saw a similar bump. It's notable that mob HP increased significantly, meaning RS is more viable in the group game now.

ADPS
Group Black Wolf increased to a 10% crit chance addition from 9%, while maintaining the 200% crit damage mod. Illusions of Grandeur was not upgraded, and Auspice received a 3% bump in crit chance. The notable change is Enchanter Gift of Hazy Thoughts. This AA gives Enchanters a passive chance to proc Chromatic Haze off of their nukes (I'm unsure the exact proc chance). They also changed Chromatic Haze so that it is a 370% Crit Focus (or 340% for the Gift of Hazy Thoughts version), in addition to a 100% crit chance mod and a 100% crit damage mod. This means the nuke's base is multiplied by the crit focus, and then by the crit damage mod. As an example, if Gift of Hazy Thoughts procs while IoG is running, you end up with (base*3.40)*2.55. The result is nukes critting for 900K-1mil damage. Unfortunately, it has some problems with out nukes. On our Rains, the focus will only apply to one hit of the three (or one of the six during twincast), though it still is a pretty notable benefit. On Salvo it'll only apply to the first line (which is the weakest). RS will eat a counter without receiving any real benefit. Spear is the only spell that we cast that will see the full benefit. Still, it's a big bump for both us and for enchanters.
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Danille
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Re: Beta Observations

Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:24 pm

Wow nice review. Thanks so much. :)
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Sancus
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Re: Beta Observations

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:49 pm

Got an update on the spell focus AAs from Elidroth:
Waiting on a code change for these. Once the change happens, they'll be working normally.
Hoping this code change will come sooner rather than later, but at least they do plan to fix it.

To give a brief illustration of the current problem, here's Bolt of Molten Shieldstone w/o focus w/ 1 rank of the spell focus AAs:
Non-Crit: 17140 Difference: 17140-16795=345
Crit: 61646 Difference: 61646-61301=345

The difference between no AA and Rk 1 is 345 for both a crit and non-crit, meaning the damage isn't critting (it also isn't being focused).
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Danille
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Re: Beta Observations

Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:23 am

agree 100% with your overview!

The main thing about poor pet performance (nerf) revolves around pet survivability when dealing with adds.
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