Friday, October 10, 2014

From 400K to 14K: Are You Ready For The Stat Squish? (and other changes)

Anyone who is reading here probably keeps up on the game because you would never make it to this little corner of the internet unless you were really lost or really into the game and looking for more stuff to read on it.  Basically what that means is that the stat squish coming up on Tuesday is not exactly going to take anyone reading this right now by surprise.

It would also be reasonable to believe that anyone reading here understands what is going on.  We all know that the difference between me doing 400K now and doing 14K on Tuesday really means nothing.  I should, if blizzard did their job well, still be able to do the same things in the same time frame I did before.  As Ghostcrawler said at the blizzcon last year, if it takes you 6 seconds to kill a timeless island gulp frog now it will still take you 6 seconds to kill a timeless island gulp frog.  So we all understand that these are just numbers, nothing more, right?

The power of the mind however is a wonderful and interesting thing.  No matter how much we tell ourselves that everything will still be the same.  No matter how much we tell ourselves that if doing 400K is good for my gear now than doing 14K will be good for my gear in a few days.  No matter how many times we killed a gulp frog and it took us 6 seconds and still will, no matter what, the end result is we still will see a smaller number, a much much smaller number, and even knowing it means nothing bad it will make us feel nerfed.

We know it will be all fine, we have been told it will be all fine, you might have had friends that tested it and told you it was all fine, we might have even been on the PTR or the beta and felt it and noticed it was all fine, but in the end it will still take a hell of a lot of adjusting to fully accept it and not feel as if there is something wrong, not feel weak in comparison to who you were just a day earlier once Tuesday comes.

The thing is, you me and anyone else that follows the coming changes to the game will, or might, have some issues adjusting to these number adjustments and we will accept it because we understand what is going on, but you me and anyone else following the goings on are the minority.  A very small minority.  Most players do not know this is coming.  Most players do not know we are being squished.  Most players are going to log in on Tuesday (or Wednesday for our friend across the pond) and be in for the shock of their wow gaming life.

The one thing we can hope for, for their sake, is that they do not have recount or any other damage meter.  Lets face it, if it were not for damage meters we would not know we are doing 14K instead of 400K.  It might still feel off for them seeing smaller numbers pop up on their screen but when the mobs go down in the same amount of time they are used to seeing them go down they will get used to that.  But if they see those numbers on the damage meter, that will really be a shock to them.  The fact the mob died in the same time they are used to it dying in will mean nothing.  They were nerfed.

It makes me wonder, what are people that do not monitor the forums, the changes, whats going on, will think when they log on and see that.  There will no doubt be a whole slew of players that had never once visited the forums feeling the incredible urge to go there and start complaining that they were nerfed so hard.

It is not only the stat squish.  What is going to happen when someone goes to the island of thunder to get their weekly key and no key will drop?  What is going to happen when they go to pick up the challenge dungeon daily and there is no daily?  What is going to happen when they go to buy that heirloom they had been saving up for and they no longer have justice points, and the heirlooms are no longer for sale?  What is going to happen when they go to try the proving grounds and they are gone?  What is going to happen when they go the brawlers guild only to find it empty?  What is going to happen when they want to join a flex 4 and realize there is no such thing any longer and you need to start from the beginning?  What is going to happen when they try to assemble for a 10 man heroic and they can't do it because it is now a 20 man mythic and your 10 players are not longer enough?  What is going to happen when they go to hit an ability that is gone?  What is going to happen when they go to cast something that used to be an instant and it is not?  What is going to happen when...

There are so many changes, huge changes, game changing changes, and there are so many people, the majority, that have no clue they are coming.  They will all log in like lambs to the slaughter.  Don't know why but that seems to be what pops into the mind when all these people log in on patch day next week. Like lambs to the slaughter.

The one that worries me the most however is the one that impacts us the least.  We can adjust to changes in abilities, we can deal with the annoying wholesale removal of content for no reason what so ever, we can even adjust with some anger maybe over removed abilities, but our numbers, those changing really have an impact on everyone even if nothing really changes.  It is something that happens at a subconscious level.  Something we do not even realize is happening.

There are so many changes coming with the patch but I think the stat squish is going to be the biggest one because people really hate when you mess with their numbers and there is no person in the world that can fall from 400K to 14K and not feel the impact of that, even if the mobs still die in the time frame we are used it.

What do you think will be the biggest problem change that the masses who do not follow the news will be upset with?


  1. "As Ghostcrawler said at the blizzcon last year, if it takes you 6 seconds to kill a timeless island gulp frog now it will still take you 6 seconds to kill a timeless island gulp frog."

    This is not going to be the case in more than one place. That's from experience with the beta. Warbringers, for example, got MUCH harder, nigh-unkillable by most specs (can anyone actually solo them now??).

    The 6 seconds before = 6 seconds after statement has an important caveat: at max level (which immediately makes it gibberish, because you have to compare killing frogs at level 90 with some equivalent of theirs at level 100, but yes, that's what they mean when they talk about things staying the same, if you dig deep enough). The reason for this is that all the balancing is there, at max level, intermediate levels are a byproduct which isn't very important in Blizzard's eyes.

    I am not looking forward to 6.0 and, frankly, I am not looking forward to WoD. I was on the beta and I dislike to bits both what they did to the classes (approaching strictly from the PVP angle), that they again made so many changes for no benefit, etc.

    I am basically staying waiting if maybe we will have some miracle happen. WoD is terrible.

    1. I was still able to kill a warbringer on beta at 90. It was NOT easy mind you, but that is because they did not squish them enough. But at 100 in basic quest gear only they are roughly what they are at 90 now. Some stuff, like you mentioned, did get harder, but for the most part it is not really too too bad.

      So with what I said, you are right on target. I kill a WB at 100 the same way I can kill one at 90 now. But I believe that is what the intended, not that I agree with it mind you.

      I am not looking forward to WoD either. Having played beta and become super bored near instantly, I wonder what it is going to be like when it is live and I am playing it more often. It really seems like more "raid or die" than mists was.

      How are you feeling about the PvP end of it? I have not really done any testing, just some incidental PvP while exploring.

      Note: Just because you can not accidentally flag any longer my attacking someone by accident does not mean you can not accidentally flag at all. I flagged myself so many times I lost track, and never was it on purpose.

    2. I started writing a lengthy reply, but then stopped, because I am just so frustrated. I will just say that WoD PVP is bad in ways way beyond MoP PVP was bad. The reduction of CC only looks good on paper, it was done very unevenly, and created huge other, worse, imbalances, which Blizzard don't acknowledge now but will have to acknowledge two months into the season (big nerfs or buffs inc, not sure which, they are in a deep hole). It's all in several FOTMs now, all the time. GG Blizzard.

    3. That bad huh?

      I was actually happy about the CC reduction, because as you said it looks good on paper. I hated being CCed for an entire arena match watching my team get dismantled and there was nothing I could do.

      I wonder what the FOTM will be, mages and warriors like always most likely.

  2. i find it hard to believe that anybody who does stuff like raiding past lfr, CMs, or even brawler's guild has no clue about what's going to happen. the patchnotes have been all over fan sites, official forums, and most importantly, on the battle net launcher. almost everybody should be able to interprete the news on there.

    maybe some of the less obvious changes will take people by surprise. but anybody who doesn't live in a cave with for some reason zero connection to wow news, or who is completely new to the game, knows that a pre-patch means lots of changes. lots, lots, and lots. it's one of the most exciting phases of the game imho.

    that said, the hardest part will probably be adjusting to the new raiding sizes, and getting used to the numbers. we knew 400k for a partly heroic ceared hunter was good, because we could relate. there are logs, sims, and skada to show the relative value of these numbers. now we have to build up references anew. for ~4 weeks, that is.

    what we'll be reading most about on the forum, i guess, is people not understanding the new raiding modes (flex, nhc, hc, m) and not understanding the stat squish.

    1. Good call on the raiding sizes. The combination of no more 10 man heroic mode as a way to get BiS end game items PLUS the confusing name changes for raid difficulties is going to generate a lot of complaint posts.

    2. @Anon

      You must live an extremely sheltered in game life if you really believe that most raiders will not know what is coming and I must admit I am very jealous because I wish I only played with such knowledgeable people but alas, I don't.

      The majority of people do not read fan sites, they to do not read the forums and they most definitely do not read the patch notes.

      I can tell you from my own guild, not even talking about pugs who where completely taken by surprise by the changes when I bought them up.

      I'd mention I was knocking out some CMs because they are being removed they would say "when, why?" Because they do not know. I would say to finish off the brawlers guild because it is being removed, they tell me I am making that up. These are not hard core playerssure, we are a casual guild, but they are regular raiders with heroic progression. I too would assume people like that know what is going on, but they don't.

      Do not even get me started on pugs. They make the people in my guild that did not know seem like the most informed people in the world.

      I pugged with a cross realm guild a couple of weeks ago. One where they were bragging about downing garrosh heroic for the first time the other night and when I asked what they would be doing when heroic became mythic and they needed 20 people they kicked me from the group for lying to them and making things up. I was told heroic is not changing and to stop trying to troll people.

      Trust me, most people do not know what is coming. Not even close. If even 20% of people know I would be surprised.


      Hell yes the changes have been annoying for months already. I swear I have to explain them every week to someone in the guild that asks because no one understands what is happening. It is not going to be fun for many guilds out there. My guild has been talking with 2 other heroic guilds so we could try to join up for the last month worth of raiding but everyone is under the assumption they can just do it 10 man or pick up another 10 to fill in easy enough. Maybe that is true (filling easy), but I've been trying to plan in advance and not having much luck. It is like being the only person that knows what is coming and no one is listening.

    3. Oh wow, that are lots whole new levels of ignorance right there. That's surprising. That said casual people doesn't mean uninformed people. Lots just like to take it slowly but are very able and interested. During my progress-less-pet-levelling-and-alting phase, so playing casually, I barely looked at news at all, I found it hard not to stumble over new bits of info ever so often. Bnet client, general chat, the occasional chit chat in TS3 or with pugs... It was impossible to not catch snippets of info here and there while playing semi-actively (and the be intrigued and want to find out more). And anyway, anyone who already has experienced a new addon should know that lots and lots of things change fundamentally, so it shouldn't be a surprise. Of course I've met some fairly un-informed people, who didn't know about certain changes, but in the end they all knew there would be a new addon coming and therefore lots of change. The hardest thing I had to explain was the new naming of raids and the new raid sizes. Which I am very excited about, btw, even as a 10m raid leader.

    4. I am not exactly sure if you read anything I wrote but I never said that casual means uninformed. I am casual and I am informed. I said that most people are not informed. Casual or not means nothing. The fact is most people are not informed.

      Just because you "caught" information doesn't mean everyone does. If I've learned anything from writing a blog and reading hundreds more it is to never assume everyone is you.

      So often I would do something like the maze on durumu even now in LFR and say to myself, this has been out so long, how is it possible no one knows how to do this, but I never say it in raid, because even if I know how to do it there are many people who either never got good at it, never saw it before, or never cared to try to learn. Just because I knew how to do it or learned on day one doesn't mean everyone does.

      And think for a second. If you can zone into a ToT LFR and 18 of the 25 people in your average group still die to the maze and at least 5 or 6 will openly admit they had never done it before, what makes you think they will know what is coming in the future? If they know nothing about what has been in the game for over a year and a half, they are not exactly what you would call "informed".

      So when you talk about whole new levels of ignorance, think before you speak next time. It is not ignorance to say most people won't know what is coming, it is called intelligence and recognizing fact and reality, not ignorance. Not everyone is you. Not everyone knows what is coming. Most people don't. Just like most people still do not know how to do the maze on durumu even if it has been out forever.

      Yes, the raid sizes and changes seem to be the biggest thing I get from my raiders. No matter how many times I explain it they keep asking again. So I go back to what I said before.

      If raiders that normally raid are having issues understanding this and raiders are a miniscule part of the player base, how exactly do you expect everyone else to understand what is going on?

      Do you really think that people that do not know the basics of the game, as what is currently in game, are going to know what is coming?

      Sorry, I am not capable of being that blind and sharing your rosy view that everyone is knowledgeable and will not be surprised.

      I challenge you to go to the forums, US or EU, and count how many different names you see posting there. I do not even care if it is the same person on 20 alts, just different names. I will make you a bet there are not even 10000 different names there.

      The majority of the player base is uninformed. The majority of the player base does not read forums. The majority of the player base does not go to outside sources for information. The majority of the player base does not read patch notes. The majority of the player base has no clue what is coming.

  3. I have a theory about the stat squish.

    Tin-foil hat time: The Bronze dragons that sent Garrosh back in time to organize the Iron Horde know that the Iron Horde will not be a threat to Azeroth's heroes as they currently are. We are too powerful and have beaten invasions like this before. So, the Bronzes went back in time of our version of Azeroth and did something to make all of us weaker and less tough in the distant past. They similarly did something to make all of the enemies we have previously fought up to this point weaker as well. Basically, they nerfed original timeline Azeroth across the board. They did not do this nerf to AU draenor. This is why when we go through the dark portal it will be challenging for our heroes to kill guys like Kargath Bladefist, while if our experienced heroes were to go and fight outland's version of Kargath Bladefist you could solo him easily.

    The bronzes changed our relative power, but we didnt realize it because everything on our azeroth was nerfed along with us. This is the "unofficial" lore reason for the stat squish.

    1. If they wanted to add the stat squish into the story line that would actually make perfect sense you know.

  4. I'm actually not sure what will be the biggest shock to those not "in the know." However, I can tell you what has been the biggest adjustment for me in the beta. It isn't the numbers floating above mobs indicating my damage. It is the stat numbers on gear. Intellectually, I know that reduced stats on gear are part of the squish, but when I see gear that wouldn't have been out of place six or even eight years ago, it continually makes me take a second look to make sure I'm actually seeing what I think I'm seeing.

    I've been fruitlessly killing Kael'thas for the Ashes every week for two years and lots of weeks I see the Band of the Ranger-General or the Thalassian Wildercloak and I always smile, thinking how very happy I was to have those drop in BC. And I think how very pitiful those stats seem now.

    This is the same problem that I'm having now with 6.0 gear. My brain will catch up... but it hasn't yet.

    1. Yeah, seeing those numbers, if even if you know they are fine, your mind has trouble accepting them. It is why you have to double or triple take.

      I have done the same thing myself a few times on beta. I would see a drop, think is this an upgrade, see the crap numbers on it and say, probably not, then when I compare it is a nice upgrade. I keep forgetting how low I really am numbers wise.

      The stat squish will be a huge issue for everyone to adjust to.

  5. I remember reading some initial impressions people had when they first started playing Alpha. The gist of it was they didn't even notice the stat squish when they were killing things/questing.

    Now granted that was them doing brand new content with no addons.. but still it apparently *felt* right. There will be a few silly complaints about squished DPS #s, sure. I mean.. there always are. The community will swat them down dismissively.

    The -biggest- complaints will be from people having their favorite spells cut. Or their mobility destroyed. Or their class re balanced to not be as strong or just overall playing too differently. Will probably be a lot of healer QQ, for example.

    But I don't think the stat squish... the actual numbers that represent the damage they do going down.. will be the cause of much outcry. As long as it feels the same people won't be motivated to complain.. much.

    1. @Percy you hit the nail on the head with favorite spells and class replay. I've been playing on the PTR for the last week, have read voraciously about all the changes, consider myself someone who welcomes change, and yet I find myself continually complaining on my head about those very things.

      Playing any hunter spec now feels boring and ineffective to me. I absolutely hate that Stampede became a talent, effectively removing it as a spell for me since it rarely seems like the best talent choice, and it makes me feel like I really have no true choice for burst ability. Also, I find to my surprise that I really miss Hunter's Mark -- to me that was iconic hunter play, and I am extremely annoyed that Blizz dumped it apparently to appease the pvp whiners. I often relied on HM while questing to know which of the 20 mobs I was currently killing, and it served as a quick and easy marker in raids. It was even part of my ready check routine in raids, throwing a HM on the boss as a signal to myself and the rest of the team that we were ready to go. Kinda like wearing your luck socks.

      I think many players, even those of us who think we know what to expect, will complain bitterly about their spec play feel and the cutting of what Blizz feels are unnecessary spells. We might get used to the spec feel eventually, but I think we will always miss those iconic spells.

    2. i agree with you on there. some spell changes hurt quite. i don't mind much about HM, since it didn't do much apart from putting an animation on the target and crippling our dps slightly during target switches. it felt lackluster and unnecessary.

      however, the stampede one is huge, and also scatter shot. i loved scatter shot, because it was more than just a stun (which is already very useful in itself, because it was easy and straight forward to apply, as opposed to our other options). due to it being off GCD and doing damage, it could also be used for a real quick MD for instance.

    3. @Percy

      I will vouch for that, while questing and doing things on beta I felt absolutely no difference. Going back and doing things in older raids to solo I felt even stronger than I have ever been. So if you do not look at the number, it does feel right for the most part.

      The change to abilities have taken a huge getting used to. When playing around with survival I kept thinking I did not put my sting up, but I did because it is baked in, I kept hitting the key for kill shot even if it was not there. And this was even after I leveled and play it for a long time. I am still missing the abilities I have had forever.

      As Anon said, the loss of stampede as base line and the lost of scatter is huge and I really felt it often when I wish I had them.

  6. /nod.

    Grumpy, you've been in the Beta far too much if you can for one moment forget how much more immediate and visceral and horrible the effects of the ability squish are compared to just a cosmetic numbers display.

    1. I have gotten used to it. If anything it proves most will. I don't let things go if they still bother me, want to talk about CRZ some. ;)

      At first it was a lot more than numbers, but now, after getting used to it, all it is really is a numbers issue. For me at least. I do miss some key abilities however, still not sure why they removed stuff that is key to the hunter tool box, but blizzard love to screw things up.

      I am calling this hear now. Scatter shot comes back as a "new" talent next expansion. Same of all classes, our removed stuff comes back and "new" talents next expansion.

    2. From your keyboard to Blizz's ears, Grumpy!

    3. I will then be known and the prophet grumpy instead if the grumpy elf. :P

  7. Sometimes I like to imagine what wow life would be like without a damage meter. I can't remember when I first got one, but I certainly remember leveling the first time without one.

    I'm really annoyed with the disregard to level 90. They should have only had a week or two of pre-patch if they were going to completely disregard balancing level 90.

    I guess I wasn't really planning on playing much between now and WoD anyway. Would have been nice to be able to, though.

    1. I did not get my first one until I put designs on joining a raid team. I wanted to see what I was doing so I could work on it and get better. I wanted to make sure I could not only contribute but do the best I was able to do.

      Recount is a bad thing sometimes, but it is a good thing when used for the right reasons. I would like to believe I try to use it for the right reasons. To see if I am getting the most I can out of my character base on its gear level and to see if others are doing the same.

      I am holding out a little hope that there is something the sims are not seeing. It has happened before. I will test SV out first, then MM. As they are my current 2 specs on my main hunter.