Savage defense lag issues?

The savage defense bug is not a bug, it’s the new “lag” issue…

Here’s a recent GC post about the savage defense mechanic. I’m going to focus just on the second paragraph here:

It’s not a bug in the sense that we can’t fix it. It’s Internet latency. If we think it is going to become a real liability for bears, then the kind of thing we can do is design around it. For example, Savage Defense could have 3 stacks that affected the next 3 hits. Dropping from 2 stacks to 1 stack because of latency mismatches would be superior to dropping from the shield being on to the shield being off. We need to get a better feel for how common the problem is and how SD is working in general before we started iterating on the design though.

savage-bear-failsIf you aren’t going to be able to fix the SD mechanic, then the mechanic will need to change. We gave up both armor and HP for the SD shield. If it’s going to be random and unreliable, then it’s likely to be more of a liability than a bonus.

Think Tank has a good write up and analysis of savage defense, and how it wasn’t working as intended. A lot of the procs are coming late so that they aren’t actually absorbing damage…

Based on what I’ve read, the problem is wide-spread and happens often for druids. It is going to eventually require a design change, if there isn’t any other way to fix it.

When it is thought of as a temporary annoyance, it’s not worth getting worked up over. I like the fact that druids post more constructively than other classes, however it may help if we let GC know how many people are having the problem.

I think that being able to stack 2 or 3 charges would help out the ability in a lot of ways (better consistency for AOE tanking, better able to handle the lag issues). If it makes druids’ overall mitigation too high to actually have SD working properly, then the amount healed for each proc could be reduced a bit to keep things balanced. Just please don’t leave it like this for a year or two before deciding it’s an important problem to deal with. I’ve been pretty quiet on the issue until now because I figured it would eventually get fixed.

Sure, latency causes problems for other classes, but this ability can be the difference between life and death for the Main Tank of a raid in Ulduar…. We could deal with the “lag” cat form range bug, and it’s annoying if your DPS ability doesn’t work right, but it’s really going to cause long-term problems if the ability doesn’t change to deal with the latency issue. When it’s a bug, it’s something we know can get fixed. If the answer is just “sorry lag,” then something about the ability needs to change soon. It is going to be a real liability because we’re always going to be balanced around how it should work, rather than how it is working.

We need savage defense to work right. Please.

4 Comments

  1. Edricson
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I love your pictures Liss!

    Much /huggles!!!

  2. Felkan
    Posted April 23, 2009 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    “If you aren’t going to be able to fix the SD mechanic, then the mechanic will need to change”…

    I think this is wrong. From reading the Blue post, it sounds like they know it happens and have known it was going to happen and are fine with it. In fact, this “bug” was pointed out on the PTR months ago, so they have been well aware of it for a long time. And from what I’ve read elsewhere, the same thing happens with Warrior shields and has been happening for years. In short, deal with it the issue is “by design”.

    The only folks that really get worked up about this are the theorycrafters since you can put a bunch of math on a random inconsistent event such as latency and server lag.

  3. Posted April 23, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    @Edricson – I just find random clipart off google image searches, unless they are my in-game screenshots…

    @Felkan – It ends up being my very unofficial role for the druid community to collect data on things that people think are a problem and then report back saying “people have found this to be problematic, maybe it needs to be changed.” Sometimes I do my own math, but a lot of the time, my data collection comes from reading what others have written to confirm my testing or thoughts on a problem. If simply changing the ability to have “charges” would save the community months/years of in-game tanking problems, frustration, and possible rejection from raid groups – then why not make the change just to help the community feel like the ability works? On a different note, the warrior shield block problems are slightly different, as described by Fellhoof (post #112 in the thread I referred to earlier).

  4. Felkan
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    “…save the community months/years of in-game tanking problems, frustration, and possible rejection from raid groups….”

    Those are all social concerns that only affect some weird meta-game not the real in-game experience. Bears can tank fine with the current version of SD. We QQ that “it doesn’t work the way it is suppose to”. My point (and maybe GCs) is that it is working the way it is suppose to. That just isn’t the way we’d like it to work. Guess that could change to tooltip to include a comment about “may be affected by lag and server latency”. But, then, so are quite a few other abilities in the game.