I am not a big Star Trek fan but there is one episode of The Next Generation that has always stuck out for me. It is the episode called Relics where the crew finds an old Federation ship wrecked and abandoned. When they examine the ship they find that the teleporters are still active and holding an aged Scotty from the original Star Trek in stasis.
To be honest, I had to look most of that up on Wikipedia to remember what happened, but there is one scene in the episode that has always made me laugh. As usual there is sort of problem that needs solving and Geordi La Forge has an idea of how to fix it, and tells the captain it will take 2 or 3 hours. When Geordi and Scotty get back to Engineering, Scotty asks Geordi, "How long will it really take you?" Geordi says, "2 or 3 hours."
Scotty's response is shock and he says "You told him how long it would actually take you? How do you expect to be considered a Miracle worker if you tell them how long it will really take."
The moral of this story is that, if you lower expectations, it's much easier to please your audience.
This may seem like a random story, but I wonder if Blizzard is trying to use this process to manage their player's reactions. Lets face it, the only way they could make a majority of the player base happy in one shot would be to make bonuses and buffs that are so clearly awesome that everyone loves them immediately. That may sound nice to players but it is a slippery slope. Players will always expect the new bonus to be better than the last one. If you give into that desire then you run into issues with stat inflation.
So, how do you keep the players happy, prevent inflation, and still provide interesting buffs that provide a decent buff? You lower expectations.
With a set bonus you give them something you know is worse than what you intend. That way when they complain you buff it to what you really intended. The players still may not be completely happy with it but it's better than what you originally showed them, and you give off the illusion of taking player concern into account.
I'm not saying Blizzard does this, but it makes me wonder when I see a set bonus so clearly bad like the original version of 4T10 and then a quick buff within 24 hours.
The New Set Bonuses:
2 Piece Tier 10: When you gain Clearcasting from your Omen of Clarity talent, you deal 15% additional Nature and Arcane damage for 6 seconds. (Changed from 10%)
There were a lot of different valuations thrown around yesterday regarding this set bonus. Most of them valued it as about a 2%-2.5% dps increase. I think those estimates are a little optimistic, but let's assume they are in the ball park. A 50% increase to the buff would make the estimated DPS increase 3%-3.75%.
I still think these estimations are a little high, but they are definitely in the ball park of what I think a set bonus should provide. I still don't like the fact that it is another random proc that we must rely on for DPS, but that doesn't look like it is going to change. In short, I am happy with this buff at the moment.
4 Piece Tier 10: Your critical strikes from Starfire and Wrath cause the target languish for an additional 5% of your spell's damage over 4 seconds.
This is much better than the original set bonus, but there are some questions about how it will impact our DPS.
How will the extra damage be applied and how often? We know that is applied over 4 seconds, but is it every second? Every 2 seconds? This is important because we cast spells faster than every 4 seconds. We can cast Wrath almost every second, and it is quite possible to have two crits in a row. Does the second crit over write the first? What if the first crit was a Starfire crit with more damage than the second crit which was from Wrath?
These are very important questions when trying to determine the value of this buff. Especially when it comes to Lunar Eclipse where some people will have close to 85% - 90% crit chance. Will this set bonus be useless in that situation?
I have done some napkin math to try and put a value on it. Assuming that the dots don't overwrite each other, a Chaotic Skyflare Diamond is equipped, and the caster has a very high crit chance around 45%-55%, this buff would increase the damage of Starfire and Wrath between 3% and 3.5%. Assuming that these two nukes make up about 80% of our DPS , this set bonus would increase Moonkin DPS by 2.5%-3%.
There are some other considerations that I've excluded to make the math easier, but I think this is a good estimate of the value, and probably a little optimistic. If my napkin valuation is correct then it is a little lower than I would like. I thing the set bonus should be worth between 3.5%-4%, but that is just my opinion. One thing, that can't be argued is that it is a whole lot better than the original 4T10, and that may have been Blizzard's goal all along.
(Edited by Flamedor)