Monday, April 14, 2008

Talent Tune-up: Suppression

So I figure I'd write something about talents that just don't seem "right". Not in interest of trying to get buffed(Hell not many people read this Blog anyway for me to have much effect), but rather from a design/mechanical perspective things that just don't make a whole lot of sense... The backseat game developer is sneaking through!

Today I'll talk about Suppression. Yes our friendly tier 1 talent. I guess my gripe here is that it doesn't seem all that focused. For raiding even deep Affliction Locks need to cap their Spellhit for Shadowbolt, Immolate & Soulshatter. Its usefulness there fails. For leveling you generally won't be fighting mobs over +2 levels(8%) so Suppression exceeds this cap. The only real purpose it serves is to pad your hit cap while gearing up for that 16% hit for bosses, though this is a very brief period.

Ultimately I'd change this talent in one of two ways: A direct change to Suppression itself or making all that hit useful in some other way. Both tie into existing phenomenon which I will go into detail about...

Changing Suppression: Change Suppression from 2/4/6/8/10 Affliction Spellhit, to 1/2/3/4/5 Shadow Spellhit. This would cover everything but Immolate(no biggie) effectively lowering the real hit cap to 11%. Not nearly as nice as Shadowpriests and their 6%, but a much nicer change from Suppression's current incarnation. Secondly, it would be a very nice tier 1 talent for both Demonology and Destruction to pick up.

"What about DS/Destro? They won't ever have room in their build to get Suppression." To that I say: Demonic Sacrifice is flawed, especially given the placement in the tree. Blizzard will be extremely hard pressed to create a 51 point Destro talent that rivals DS for two reasons. A) DS is a very strong talent. +15% damage or 3%mp4 are both very appealing buffs. B) What use do Destruction Warlocks even have for their pets in raids anyway? There is no real opportunity cost with DS because giving up your pet means is but an afterthought for Destruction, making the talent all the more desirable. IMO Demonic Sacrifice should be nerfed and made into a trainable ability as it will only cause problems whenever Destruction spec choices/balance are involved.

Making All That Spellhit Useful: What if Affliction had its own "spam" attack that took advantage of Suppression? I'll admit I've never been the biggest fan of the concept that even as Affliction the spell I cast the most is Shadowbolt, a Destruction spell. But even still, what if Drain Soul actually was *actually* good for doing damage? With the 15 second duration and 50% "Drain coefficient" it's far from useful as DPS. Simply remove the 50% coefficient cut, and then make a talent in Affliction increasing the tick speed, and reducing the overall channeling time from 15 seconds down to 10, thus artificially raising the coefficient much like Bane does and making it tick every 2 seconds instead of 3. It would be competitive damage then, and Suppression would actually see use past a couple points.

Either one would work. I'll admit I'm partial to #2, but #1 is far more simple and elegant. Either way, this is a flawed talent and I'd love to see it somehow changed.

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