Patch 8.2 PTR - Breath of Sindragosa and Glimmer of Light

Azshara Raid Testing, Patch 8.2 PTR - Build 30495

Patch 8.2 PTR - Breath of Sindragosa Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Taking a moment to give some background and thinking on the various changes to Breath of Sindragosa so far this PTR:

We agreed with common feedback that Frost DK, overall, had too high a portion of open GCDs in a steady-state rotation. When this happens, it’s generally a problem with a spec’s resource economy, and the baseline buffs to Runic Empowerment and Frost Fever resource generation were meant to address it.

But Breath of Sindragosa poses a further problem. A Breath that spends (for example) 300 Runic Power is, in a single button press, removing 12 Frost Strikes from the future. In other words, every 2 minutes, it creates 11 open GCDs that otherwise wouldn’t have been there, which is a huge amount. Across all classes, we try to keep an eye on variations in rotation pacing caused by talents—including cases where a talent causes a large deviation in resource economy or GCD utilization—and Breath is a big outlier. And, in all this, we’d prefer to preserve Breath’s signature resource-drain mechanic.

The first solution, giving increased Runic Empowerment proc chance during Breath, did return resources to the rotation, and did so during Breath. While this correctly targeted the talent (Breath was draining resources, so Breath should put some back in order to mitigate the pacing problems), it was the wrong time to give back resources. Even though Breath itself sucks resources away, players shift all possible resources into Breath, because this is the clear way to optimize the use of the talent. Resources can be shifted into the Breath window using ERW, Horn, and simple pooling, with the result that adding more during Breath itself actually overfills it.

So the goal of the current change—Breath returns Runes at the start and end—is to make the Breath talent add resources, but to do so outside the Breath window. Even the Runes at the start are effectively “outside” the Breath window, because they counteract 2 Runes’ worth of pooling that otherwise had to be done to play Breath optimally.

As always, changes are subject to further revision, but this might give some insight into the process for making surgical changes to address specific problems.

Patch 8.2 PTR - Glimmer of Light
Originally Posted by Blizzard(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
One topic that hasn’t appeared in our posts about the PTR, but is worth briefly discussing: so far, we’re not planning to heavily change Glimmer of Light in 8.2.

Outline of some relevant facts as we see them:

  • The Glimmer build is a significant “flip” from the otherwise standard build. It changes talents (Holy Avenger, Crusader’s Might, and no Avenging Crusader), as well as stat priorities.
  • It is a fun and unique build to play, with a lot of player agency in manipulating Glimmer spread and timing.
  • It is a bit rotationally “broken” but not completely. The biggest concern is that Crusader Strike has a very high priority, which makes mana much less important.
  • Holy Paladin moved up in meters in high-skill contexts (Mythic) since the build became popular, but not drastically.
  • There is a lot of pressure to obtain specific Azerite pieces because of widespread recommendations to play the build.
  • A few minor concerns worth mentioning: It’s unideal that Infusion-buffed Flash of Light is sometimes skipped, the high amount of Glimmer in the breakdown devalues Int, and the playstyle is more similar to other healers than it is to traditionalHoly Paladin.

Philosophically, when we add customizable systems and bonuses to the game, some player-discovered experience is exactly the sort of thing we’re hoping will happen. Even when we didn’t anticipate all the details of an optimized build—arguably especially when we didn’t anticipate all the details—it produces a chance for players to explore something cool and rewarding. Almost by definition, those situations are at least slightly imbalanced or slightly broken, which is acceptable as long as they’re not too imbalanced or too broken.

There’s a balance where cutting off the exploration too early ruins the fun of discovering it, but letting it go on too long gets to a point where players are less excited by the novelty of the new build and more bothered by imbalances or rotational problems. We want to keep an eye on that, but the preliminary look for 8.2 is that this is still a lively setup that people are excited to play. Any change would likely be a small tweak that’s not intended to change its status as a popular or recommended playstyle.

In the longer term, if we wanted to preserve this mechanic in the class in some way, we would have to solve some of the above issues in the process, especially the very low mana demands. But that’s something we can revisit later.
This article was originally published in forum thread:Patch 8.2 PTR - Breath of Sindragosa Changesstarted bychaudView original post