[Implemented] Group cleansing.

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Azarael
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[Implemented] Group cleansing.

Post#1 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:06 pm

I think it's about time to start discussing, if not addressing, one of the most overcentralizing and efficient tactics in the game. I will go over the issues with the group cleanse tactics and what I believe should be done to resolve the problems that it presents.

The Issues

Issue 1: Poor sacrifice/reward balance

Group cleansing is one of the most efficient tactics in the game, able to remove up to 6 effects at a time, yet the cost remains the same as a standard cleansing ability - a pitiful 25 mechanic points, with a mechanic that is very easy to supply. Group cleanse does not punish its use in situations where it would be inefficient (such as cleansing one debuff). The only costs of the tactic are the opportunity cost of not running a different tactic and (for WP) being unable to cleanse players out of group, which is offset by being able to cleanse without a target and hence without line of sight.

Someone will undoubtedly mention that Cleansing Power and Efficient Patching are 11 point tactics, even though this is a very foolish line of attack. The mastery cost does not matter because any WP/DoK that is healing will use exactly one spec - full Salvation/Dark Rites with AoE detaunt. What this actually serves to do is lock group cleanse away from the spec that most deserves an effect of such power and ease - the lesser seen Grace/Salv WP / Sacrifice/Dark Rites DoK.

Issue 2: Ease of use

WP and DoK, along with Knight and Chosen, are some of the worst advertisements for this game in terms of skill requirement, and it's for the same reason in both cases - their original mechanics were violated without addressing the structure of the class, leaving the remaining elements, which were designed for the original mechanics, too lacking in complexity. Many WP and DoK effects are AoE, thus requiring no targeting, and the group cleanse is no exception. It requires no additional input aside from a standard cleanse and in some cases can even save you from having to target.

Issue 3: Lack of discrimination

This for me is a huge problem. Group cleansing effects are often justified by bringing up the likes of Engineer/Magus, Slayer or other classes with AoE effects that can apply pressure if not dealt with, and stating that group cleansing is necessary to deal with these effects. That may be true, but the current implementation has the following serious side effects:

- Group cleanse being used as a counter to AoE effects is a huge game design flaw if only one healer is permitted access to it.

If AoE effects are balanced around group cleanse (and I can't imagine anyone will try to state that the likes of Shatter Limbs are not) then compositions without group cleansing are going to be absolutely trashed by those effects.

We have run into the above problem in a recent discussion regarding the Blackguard ability Wave of Scorn. I did not want to see more AoE snaring in the game, so we checked the cleanse type, and it was Hex, within the WP's cleanse type. It was immediately suggested that we might need to buff Wave of Scorn simply because the group cleanse would negate it - and no one had any regard for the possibility that a composition NOT using a group cleanse would be facing Wave of Scorn.

- Group cleanse does not discriminate between ST debuffing and AoE debuffing.

A major issue. I have no issue with the likes of a Rain Lord or Pandemonium being efficiently cleansed. This is all well and good - an action for an action. The real pain comes in that in the absolute worst case (and by no means do I indicate that this is an average case), 6 debuffs which required a single target application, and thus a GCD and action points can be cleansed off with one usage of the ability. A more general use case for this might be 3 or 4 effects. This issue is very similar to the one with Destroy Confidence, and if Destroy Confidence were a similar lynchpin of the game rather than a niche tactic designed to destroy Shamans and a certain proc build, I believe that it would receive similar levels of defense that the current group cleanse does.

The previously mentioned missing punish just adds to the pain. Equal effectiveness compared to the basic cleanse when one target is being debuffed combined with dramatically increased effectiveness in multiple target debuff situations is unacceptable. There must be counterplay and a proper sacrifice.

It's often said as a response to the above that group cleansing is fine because the debuffs it cleanses are fluff or covers or something like that. Be that as it may, whatever those debuffs are are still applying their effects and still have to be cleansed off to access any effects underneath, which other healers can do far less efficiently than WP/DoK can.

Solving Group Cleanse

I think there are four solution paths that can be taken here. I will list them in order of preference, and I will write any tooltip references from the perspective of the Warrior Priest cleanse.

Please note that all of these solutions imply nerfing, shortly afterward or immediately, any AoE effects which would overperform in a climate where the following changes are present.

Solution 1: Changing targeting mechanics for group cleanse

This would take one of two forms:

1a. Purify will cleanse your groupmates instead of yourself (i.e. a WP or DoK loses the ability to cleanse himself when slotting group cleanse)
1b. If Purify is used on one of your group members, it will also cleanse all groupmates within 100ft of you, but this will not affect you (i.e. the WP or DoK must choose to cleanse himself or cleanse his group)

This would necessitate that Purify require a target, of course, so we'll override Cleansing Power's client effect for this.

Also, I'm obliged to state that I did not come up with the initial idea, though I wish I had. Torquemadra did.

The aim of this is to give the cleanser a weakness that can be targeted if the group cleanse is active, and I believe the first proposal accomplishes this more than the second one. If a WP or DoK is not able to cleanse himself, an exploitable weakness is created based upon the cleanse type of the second cleanse:

WP/RP: Hex
WP/AM: Curse
DoK/Zeal: Ailment
DoK/Shaman: Hex

This means that classes that are particularly vulnerable to the WP/DoK group cleanse can attack a group cleansing party by targeting the WP or DoK with ST effects which the party will have no answer to unless it chooses to drop the group cleanse, blow a CW/KW or run a third cleanse (hah.) In the case of the first solution, this is completely reliable, and the likes of Signal Flare and Withered Soul could be used to devastating effect. In the case of the second, it's soft but still a benefit, as the WP or DoK must blow a cleanse on himself instead of his party (or vice versa) depending on his assessment of the situation and the effect type.

This also allows meta compositions to be attacked on the basis of group cleanse. If a group is known to run a given second healer with WP / DoK and uses the group cleanse, then targeted attacks using the missing cleanse type against the WP/DoK will be more effective. This has positive implications for lesser used healers and for classes that are especially targeted by group cleansing at the moment.

Solution 2: "Lesser" typing, or targeting AoE effects directly

The wording of the tactic changes to "Purify will now additionally remove a Lesser Hex or Curse from other groupmates. This will not affect the target of Purify."

AoE debuffs would gain the "Lesser" subtype, so "Lesser Hex", "Lesser Ailment", etc. The aim here is to ensure that group cleanse is like-for-like - an AoE cleansing effect for AoE debuffs. This would come hand in hand with any changes that might be necessary to balance AoE debuffs against compositions not having group cleansing ability, and would also allow for the other healers to have AoE cleansing effects of their own should such be required, without impacting the balancing of ST debuffs.

This is more of a fallback solution than anything else.

Solution 3: Move the cleanse within the mastery tree

The mastery paths of WP/DoK more so than any other class are static. Moving group cleanse to the middle tree might have risks for melee DoK (I'm no expert or even intermediate on melee DoK) but is definitely safe on melee WP, and presents a choice between the AoE detaunt and AoE cleanse - survivability or additional power.

Solution 4: Modify the cooldown.

This would apply the requisite punisher for having group cleanse slotted in a climate where it is not particularly effective, but I believe option 1b) emulates a higher cooldown (because of separate self and group cleansing) while offering more tactical depth.
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Penril
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Re: Group cleansing.

Post#2 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:23 pm

Moving to Discussions for 2 weeks.
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Daknallbomb
Posts: 1781

Re: Group cleansing.

Post#3 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:42 pm

Hmmmm i dont think trat solution 1 van change some Thing cause doubel dok or wp in one grp and still all are cleansed. Solution 4 looks rly nice. U have to think before Just klick it. More tactical and some Effekts and dots can Do some Thing before cleansed.
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Azarael
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Re: Group cleansing.

Post#4 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:48 pm

Double WP can't cleanse Ailment. Double DoK uses M2 to cleanse Curse. Solution 1 still affects both, because either the WPs and DoKs need the other WP or DoK to cleanse them, or they have to use cleanses on themselves instead of the party.
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sabat80
Posts: 67

Re: Group cleansing.

Post#5 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:50 pm

I play Sorc as my main and I would not touch cleanse at all. DPS is already really strong and yes it is an easy option to avoid it, but it also makes DPS to cover important DoTs with some other one.

If you want to touch it I think that option 4 is the best, but I would also make cleanse immune to cool-downs reductions / increases in the same manner as Khaine's invigoration. In that way we cannot use Chop Fasta and just carry on cleansing the group.

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Azarael
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Re: Group cleansing.

Post#6 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:53 pm

If nothing is done with WP/DoK group cleanse, an AoE cleansing effect or other cleanse improvement will be added to AM/Shaman. Advance warning.

I will not allow a state to continue in which one class has an effect considered a crutch of the game's balance.
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sabat80
Posts: 67

Re: Group cleansing.

Post#7 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:57 pm

So in the case of giving AoE cleanse to all healers (I like it) I would go with option 4 to increase cooldown whilst AoE cleanse tactic is applied and if possible make it immune to cooldown modifying effects.

In that way healer needs to make a decision to have a short cooldown single target clean or a longer cooldown AoE clean and it cannot be spammed with abilities like Chop Fasta.

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peterthepan3
Posts: 3626

Re: Group cleansing.

Post#8 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:03 pm

Agree with the above.
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Daknallbomb
Posts: 1781

Re: Group cleansing.

Post#9 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:03 pm

Azarael wrote:Double WP can't cleanse Ailment. Double DoK uses M2 to cleanse Curse. Solution 1 still affects both, because either the WPs and DoKs need the other WP or DoK to cleanse them, or they have to use cleanses on themselves instead of the party.

Aaah i undertand. What u think about to change sacrefice / rewarding? About Just example higher cost or so.
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Nekkma
Posts: 206

Re: Group cleansing.

Post#10 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:10 pm

A much needed topic in the balance section!

First, I completely agree with description of the issues in 1 and 2. However, I do not agree with issues 3 and, consequently, not with solution 2.

Regarding solution 1b and 4, I think both of these suggestions (either on their own or a combination of both) would help with the issues described. A longer cooldown would make for a more tactical decision, e.g. "do I use cleanse now or wait for shatter limbs", as well as reduce the power of those classes. One could also consider increasing the cost instead of the cooldown.

I think solution 1a is to harsh. For instance, a group with Dok and zealot would not be able to remove shatter limbs from the dok outside of KW and CW. Similar, a group with a wp and am would not be able to clear a sorc rotation of the wp. Given how the WP's detaunt works, detaunting the sorc might not help if you are also pressured by melee. I am sure there are several other situations like this. I think this solution run the risk of creating alot of collateral balance issues and because of this I would not reccomend it.

When it comes to solution 3 I cannot make up my mind and need to think about this solution a bit more.
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