Thursday, October 28, 2010

Percentage Changes

There was a patch to the beta today where they adjusted the strength of a variety of spells, mostly modifying only the base value, not the scaling. I'm not exactly going to complain about that. After all, they understand quite well that base values and scaling are two very different things and what it means to adjust them.

On the other hand, some the specific wording of their notes was a little weird:

Divine Light base healing has been increased by 30%. From 8538-9512 to 11100-12366

This is actually an improvement from how it used to be. They used to just list the percentage damage and not the damage numbers.

The thing is, that a percentage change in base healing or damage of an ability conveys basically no information. If a base amount increases 20%, that could mean anything from a 0% to an 20% increase in the actual output of the spell.

I'm not as much worried about the information I get, because I can go look things up if I don't know all the facts. What I'm more worried about is what this says about how they think about these things. When paladins aren't healing enough, do they think to themselves, "We'd better increase their base healing numbers by 30%"? Given they increased the base of the other direct heals by 30% that certainly appears to be exactly what they think. But I really don't understand how this train of thought works.

Each paladin healing spell gets a different proportion of its healing from the base amount compared to the spell coefficient, so they increased the power of some of these spells relative to one another. They also changed the relative value of critical strike, haste and mastery rating relative to intellect.

Obviously the concern was they wanted paladins to do more healing without increasing their scaling with spell power. This makes sense in a way, given that apparently paladins didn't heal for enough despite the fact that at a glance it looks like they have the highest scaling with intellect on direct heals. It just strikes me as very odd that they would choose a certain percentage and increase all the base amounts by that much. It looks a lot like a stab in the dark rather than the results of an actual analysis of how much more healing paladins should be doing.

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