Artifical complexity

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Enimonemo
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:37 am

Artifical complexity

Unread postby Enimonemo Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:15 pm

Hey!

As an arcane main, I couldn't help but notice how both, fire and frost, have a lot more abilities in their basic rotation, even though the very basics are the same: spam filler until stuff happens, then proceed with execution. For arcane, this consists for 3 abilties: Blast, Missiles and Barrage. Fire uses: Ball, Pyro, Blast, Phoenix, Scorch. For Frost: Bolt, Lance, Flurry. Talking about ST of course.

Arcane's complexity comes from the mana management and the so called burn/conserve phase. Else, the spec is fairly simple 3 buttons, where the proc can't be hardcasted.
Fire has 2 spells that can contribute to procing Hot Streak, Fire Blast and Phoenix's Flames. The question begs itself, if 2 abilities do the exact same thing, why is there a need for both of them? Also, we have the filler/execute ability Scorch. Quite an interesting ability that can be used while moving and has a nice execute theme to it with the lego belt. Technically though, it doesn't serve a different purpose than Fireball. It's basically a weaker fireball that can be cast while moving. I hope you are seeing my point, these abilities seem to artificially increase the complexity of a spec without actually adding anything to it. What's the benefit of having Scorch vs being able to cast Fireball while moving? Putting numbers aside, nothing much.
Frost is a special case, as it has not 1 but 2 procs instead. The artifical complexity again comes from the fact that Ice lance should always follow the Flurry Proc, essentially becoming a Fingers of Frost proc. Mathematically, if 2 occurrences always occur with one another, they can be calculated as 1. This again leads to the question, is there a need for a BF proc/Flurry? If one would change the text/numbers to one that would simply empower the next Ice Lance, the DPS output would be the same with less complexity.

This points lead me wondering, what is the motivation on Blizzard's side? Does complexity bring fun? Is there no better way of adding complexity than artificially creating abilities that fill the same purpose as a different one? Or perhaps Blizzard is just too reluctant to change relics of the past? Just to clear up confusion, I don't mean to offend anyone's spec or Blizzard's way of differentiating the specs, this is just a mere showerthought on the complexity of the specs.
Drozzy
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:18 pm

Re: Artifical complexity

Unread postby Drozzy Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:44 pm

Fire has 2 spells that can contribute to procing Hot Streak, Fire Blast and Phoenix's Flames. The question begs itself, if 2 abilities do the exact same thing, why is there a need for both of them?
Frost mage here. But you're clearly missing a major point about fire. Fire blast is castable while casting and purely single target, Phoenix Flames is a cleaving ability that costs a global. Fireblast is an ability that exists to smooth out the fire mage rotation. That's why it's castable while casting now. On pure single target Phoenix Flames plays a role similarly to what fire blast used to be, when it procced heating up but costed a global.
Also, we have the filler/execute ability Scorch. Quite an interesting ability that can be used while moving and has a nice execute theme to it with the lego belt. Technically though, it doesn't serve a different purpose than Fireball. It's basically a weaker fireball that can be cast while moving.
You're basically correct about this, but there are other factors at play here than scorch just being fireball while moving. Because for one, the fact that scorch is weaker than fireball is very important, because it means that movement causes as loss in dps, a common trait among most specs. One of the main criticisms of Arcane is that arcane doesn't have a spell to use as filler while moving. Slipstream's creation was Blizzards attempt to allow players to play around this weakness. Another interesting factor is that scorch has no travel time. Scorch's lack of travel time adds an extra layer of complexity that allows good players to make better use of their spec than bad players.
Drozzy
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:18 pm

Re: Artifical complexity

Unread postby Drozzy Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:51 pm

Frost is a special case, as it has not 1 but 2 procs instead. The artifical complexity again comes from the fact that Ice lance should always follow the Flurry Proc, essentially becoming a Fingers of Frost proc. Mathematically, if 2 occurrences always occur with one another, they can be calculated as 1. This again leads to the question, is there a need for a BF proc/Flurry? If one would change the text/numbers to one that would simply empower the next Ice Lance, the DPS output would be the same with less complexity.
Flurry's existence is largely because of the people who play Frost. In HFC in WoD, the frost mage legendary trinket off of archimonde changed the frost mage rotation, so that after every frostfire bolt (essentially flurry) should be followed by ice lance. This system was made baseline, and extended, in Legion, by encouraging Frost mages to cast frostbolt before flurry, as well as ice lance after, like in HFC. In fact, Ebonbolt now should be cast before flurry, entirely because of a Frost mage who recommended Blizzard make changes to ebonbolt to improve the Frost playstyle.

TL:DR Is it really artificial complexity if it's complexity that is added because it adds depth to a rotation, allowing more room for growth in a spec, becoming a stronger player with that spec with the more experience you have. Not to mention, is it really pointless, artificial complexity if the complexity is added because of the recommendations and feedback of the players playing the spec?
Enimonemo
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:37 am

Re: Artifical complexity

Unread postby Enimonemo Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:02 am

Fire has 2 spells that can contribute to procing Hot Streak, Fire Blast and Phoenix's Flames. The question begs itself, if 2 abilities do the exact same thing, why is there a need for both of them?
Frost mage here. But you're clearly missing a major point about fire. Fire blast is castable while casting and purely single target, Phoenix Flames is a cleaving ability that costs a global. Fireblast is an ability that exists to smooth out the fire mage rotation. That's why it's castable while casting now. On pure single target Phoenix Flames plays a role similarly to what fire blast used to be, when it procced heating up but costed a global.
Also, we have the filler/execute ability Scorch. Quite an interesting ability that can be used while moving and has a nice execute theme to it with the lego belt. Technically though, it doesn't serve a different purpose than Fireball. It's basically a weaker fireball that can be cast while moving.
You're basically correct about this, but there are other factors at play here than scorch just being fireball while moving. Because for one, the fact that scorch is weaker than fireball is very important, because it means that movement causes as loss in dps, a common trait among most specs. One of the main criticisms of Arcane is that arcane doesn't have a spell to use as filler while moving. Slipstream's creation was Blizzards attempt to allow players to play around this weakness. Another interesting factor is that scorch has no travel time. Scorch's lack of travel time adds an extra layer of complexity that allows good players to make better use of their spec than bad players.
I understand what you mean, and you are right. I brought up some edge cases, and obviously there is a reason for each ability to be there. I just feel like some abilities share a lot of common ground and it could be possible to mash them together into a new one. Blizzard would just have to think how much are they willing to give up for this simplicity or if it is even worth simplifying specs! For instance, imagine if they were to make Fireball and Scorch a single ability. It could read something like deal X damage, castable while moving. For every yard you made while casting reduce the damage of this ability. And then if we wanted we could further add text to it for MS bonus, execution, crit chance stacking etc.. same for Phoenix Flame and Fire Blast. How much of Phoenix Flame’s identity consists of it being cleave and on GCD, as for Fire Blast, ST and off of the GCD.

As for Arcane, the problem with the filler ability is that it’s a short ranged AoE ability, which doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the kit as a filler. On the other hand, it gives Arcane a unique AoE play style which separates them from the rest of the ranged specs. Whether this is good or bad is a different question. Arcane Explosion is a big reason why I prefer Arcane over the other two specs which use the traditional AoE. I cant stand using mouse-over macros... and the old fashioned way is just impractical.
Enimonemo
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:37 am

Re: Artifical complexity

Unread postby Enimonemo Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:05 am

Frost is a special case, as it has not 1 but 2 procs instead. The artifical complexity again comes from the fact that Ice lance should always follow the Flurry Proc, essentially becoming a Fingers of Frost proc. Mathematically, if 2 occurrences always occur with one another, they can be calculated as 1. This again leads to the question, is there a need for a BF proc/Flurry? If one would change the text/numbers to one that would simply empower the next Ice Lance, the DPS output would be the same with less complexity.
Flurry's existence is largely because of the people who play Frost. In HFC in WoD, the frost mage legendary trinket off of archimonde changed the frost mage rotation, so that after every frostfire bolt (essentially flurry) should be followed by ice lance. This system was made baseline, and extended, in Legion, by encouraging Frost mages to cast frostbolt before flurry, as well as ice lance after, like in HFC. In fact, Ebonbolt now should be cast before flurry, entirely because of a Frost mage who recommended Blizzard make changes to ebonbolt to improve the Frost playstyle.

TL:DR Is it really artificial complexity if it's complexity that is added because it adds depth to a rotation, allowing more room for growth in a spec, becoming a stronger player with that spec with the more experience you have. Not to mention, is it really pointless, artificial complexity if the complexity is added because of the recommendations and feedback of the players playing the spec?
To answer you in short, it’s good as long as it feels rewarding! I remember in EN when Frost was the crappiest of all DPS. It didn’t seem all that fun back then. So, I believe that being rewarded for playing well is very crucial, especially when it comes to such a hard to play (complex) spec.

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