Spiteful balance changes

Every patch I’m reminded of the meme “F*$k this fish in particular

In version 7 it was the innocuous creative crow build that got the random lightning bolt for unfathomable reasons. Crow’s are now so unexciting no one even tries to use them.

Now in version 8 it seems thorn totems get the treatment. It’s tempting to take it personally, since my completely underpowered, yet pleasant to play storm totem build that no one else cared about is almost the only written evidence of anyone even using this skill.

So for that one player who is using Healing Wind right now, consider yourself fairly warned! :smirk:

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Not intending to defend the game changes (too early for me to say if they are good or not) and I sincererly feel for everyone who has made a viable build only to have it nerfed. (in any game, not just LE). Happened to me many times over the years.

But… this is unfortunately the nature of “in development” games… There are plenty of balance issues that will be addressed between now and launch and yes, some of them are going to be annoying, but hey, thats what we signed up for isnt it?



My main point is that there doesn’t seem to be any balance issues actually being addressed, that’s why I find that meme chuckleworthy and appropriate. There were no issues raised about crows or thorn totems, no OP builds to hotfix. Rather, just a lightning bolt from the sky smiting an innocent fish while whales of builds like infinte mana, millions of DPS, tens of thousands of ward or pages of player suggestions are ignored.

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Does Thorn Totem’s Memories of Eterra node not grant mana per totem anymore? Maybe you could do something with that & “chance to summon thorn totem on hit” idols to generate lots of mana to enable you to spam Earthquake, or whatever.

I’m sure you’re right though.

It can grant grant mana per totem - this is a new change, and maybe other new things are good ways to use the totems. (Eg. they now look quite good at generating mana if you need it).

I’m only talking about using thorn totems as poison damage dealers.
Let’s put hyperbole aside and look at numbers (these all assume using the shaman mastery’s -5 totem mana cost and 10 free attunement. Heaven help you if you want to cast this skill with any other mastery!):

Previous patch I had 5 totems, duration of 12, cost was around 30 mana, I had all the poison and poison duration nodes, and had 3 points left over for 54% more damage and -15% cast speed.

This patch I have the skill at level 18, with 100% chance to poison, it costs 80 mana, and I get 4 totems at the moment. Once I get 5 totems and another mana node it will cost a lot more mana, ( but let’s say 90) and have a duration of 9 seconds.

So in patch 8.0 for gaining 15% poison duration, we lose 54% more damage and -15% cast speed, 3 seconds duration, and the mana cost of the skill looks like tripling.
Or another way to phrase it is we triple the mana cost and lose 4 skill points.
Yet another way to phrase it is we spend 30 passives getting enough attunement (mana) to cast one underwhelming spell every 9 seconds, and still run out of mana after 2 casts.
We can also compare it with the (buffed) storm totem, which I use for fun as a poisoner. It deals more damage more consistently, has better AOE, better single target, is specced using 15 of its skillpoints on defence and utility, has a 3 second coldown, faster placement speed and costs … 8 mana.
That seems to be a whopping nerfstick for the poor, already underperforming thorn totems whose archetype is meant to be designed for poisoning things.

Now it may be compensated by some increased stats on onehanders, and other things that are, as this thread implies, unfathomable. However my intuition is that the changes were primarily designed to address the lag created by the poison cloud on death node, and while addressing that, they decided to get rid of the cooldown part, so they unthinkingly tacked on some health and the combined result is they genuinely do not realise how much of a nerf they hit it with.

*As an aside, I actually support the idea of changes to the thorn totem tree. I tested the old tree a lot, and there was no incentive to build heatseeking (5 nodes for a dps decrease because the heatseeking AI causes them to fly in circles and not hit things), the reduced arc nodes didn’t work in practice and individually casting them was far inferior to casting the group all at once. So it was definitely a tree due for some buffs, changes or worst case some neutral rework. but not this savagery!

Do you want reasons?

Ok - the crow build was capable of spamming stupid amounts of minions, what was it 60?minions on screen at one time

The poison totem build would spawn awful poison pools that reduced FPS to 5

This isnt a ‘balance’ concern with damage its a concern with multiplayer balance and just general bad reputation of having ultra laggy skills in game because they are poorly optimised

If you REALLY want to complain focus on why EHG removed bleeds from proccing Fire Shield and Fireballs and why oh why did EHG change Holy Fire proc from 6>9 hits? - Holy Fire Paladin actually received a 50% nerf in that patch and has remained ever since. You can play the build but why would you want to?

But on the flipside they allow Exsang/Last Steps combo allowing 3-4k Ward without trying too hard

Most balance changes aren’t spiteful, the devs just have their view on what balance is & adjust things accordingly when the player base finds a way to work round it & do something the devs don’t “want”.

Because that’s the intended function of the item(s) & they aren’t performing outside of what the devs expect. If they were giving 10-20k stable ward then that would probably be fixed.

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