Why all Fear CCs need a change, and proposed solutions

90 Pandaren Monk
9275
Written by a friend, he wanted me to post it for him. He also wanted everyone to know that Pathos is the best.

Why all Fear CCs need a change, and proposed solutions [constructive]

So as of late, there have been a lot of threads regarding the CC category labelled as [Fear effect]. I’ve decided to put some thoughts of my own down on paper, in a constructive manner, and see what I could come up with in order to meet both sides with a solution that will not impact the PvE environment, while helping the PvP-side of the problem.

I’ll break each paragraph down into multiple fractions. Namely:
1) The issues encountered by the -receiving end- of the Fear CCs.
2) The problems the -practising side- of the Fear CCs has with the changes proposed up until now.
3) My personal view on the matter.
4) A proposed solution.

Please keep this form in mind when reading the article. Everything written after a ‘1)’ means they are not -my- thoughts, they’re the receiving end’s. Accordingly, everything after a ‘2)’ means they are not -my- thoughts, but the practising end’s.
In addition, I ask of any readers that you please read the entire article. If you don’t want to read the entire thing, then I am not so sure if you actually want to provide constructive additions to the writing in the first place. That having been said, let’s get down to the article itself!

First, let’s define a Fear. We need to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing in this thread.
A Fear is a form of crowd control practised by Priests, Warlocks, Warriors, and DKs to some extent, where, once used, the targeted player will lose control of his or her character for the fixed duration of eight (8) seconds. Fears follow a Diminishing Returns pattern similar to other CCs: 1, ½, ¼ . Fears are prone to damaging spells, and the chance for a Fear to break increases rapidly once the feared player starts to take damage.

Going by this definition, we can be sure that everything will be covered in the article.

-The damage threshold-
1)While it may sound trivial, the main issue most complaints originate from is the feeling that the damage thresholds on all Fears are too high. Players feel as if the Fear never actually breaks, even when they’re taking damage from multiple sources.

2)Oddly enough, the other end of the spectrum is often claiming the exact opposite. They feel as if their Fears break too fast, and feel as if they are left with very little room for damage once they use their CCs.

3)While not necessarily true, it does feel as if Fears never break when I am on the receiving side of the CC. When on the practising side, however, Fears always seem to break extremely fast. This doesn’t mean one of the two sides is wrong, it merely means that there is a very widespread confusion as to when and how Fears break.

4) I feel this is one of the easiest parts to provide players with a ‘fix’ that will colour both sides pleased. We have already established the difference between experiences from both sides of the spectrum. All we need to do is define, and perhaps add slight changes, to the damage threshold on all Fears.

The easiest way to do this would be to have Fears break after a certain percentage of health has been dealt in damage, rather than the number being obscure and unknown to most. This, however, brings another problem with it: What is a fair health percentage to have a fear break on, without making it too strong?

I’ve thought this out for quite a bit, and the most fair damage threshold I could think of, for the current state of the game, would be around 50k health. If we calculate this into the current health pools of players, going by full malevolent gear, this would mean it would be slightly less than 15% of a player’s health. Seems like a fair percentage to base Fears on, no?

Now, this brings the issue of health-increasing buffs. Things like a Death Knight’s Blood Presence increase a player’s health pool drastically. This would mean a player would be CC’d for much longer than usual if they would play defensive. The solution is simple, however. Have the game calculate the damage threshold based on non-buffed health. This way, players will not be penalized more severely than needed for playing a defensive style.
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90 Pandaren Monk
9275
-The Fear CCs most players feel hopeless against when fighting it-
This one was not too hard to figure out. The main reason why people are feeling so desperate about Fears are the Priest’s talented ability Psyfiend, and the Warlock’s talented ability Blood Fear.

1)These abilities are extremely frustrating for the receiving end, because there is very little you can do to stop the CC from hitting you. Once a priest drops the Psyfiend down right next to you or your teammates, you know they are going to be feared for 6 seconds at the very least. That is, if you’re counting a dispel from your healer on one target. (First fear hits: 8 seconds, dispelled. Second fear hits: 4 seconds. Third fear hits: 2 seconds. 4 + 2 = 6 seconds of unavoidable CC).

For Blood Fear, the origin of the problem is the same: You cannot stop it. No matter what you do, sooner or later, you -will- be feared, instantly, without warning, with no way to avoid it. Sure, a player can stay Line of Sighted, but sooner or later, they will have to come out, be it to heal, or to deal damage. And when they do, they will instantly be feared out and, once it breaks after 8 seconds, they will be feared again after 2 seconds of leeway. This leeway, however, is basically non-existant, as the CC’d player is usually feared away from the fight, thus having to move back in to participate again, after which they will simply be feared out once more. This is 12 seconds of instant CC, unavoidable.

2)For the practising side, these CCs feel like a necessity. Warlocks feel like they need the instant Fear, because it becomes extremely tough to Fear a target when you have the enemy team saving their interrupts to stop it. For Priests, the Psyfiend is not so much a necessity for Shadow, as they don’t need to play defensive in order to stay alive at all times, but moreso for Discipline Priests. Discipline Priests, as it stands right now, are already weak compared to the other healers. They feel as if they need this form of CC in order to be able to play a bit more offensively. Being able to CC from far away, without risking your teammates or yourself, is a huge boon to a healer, and it’s one of the things keeping Discipline Priests somewhat viable right now.

3)Both sides bring compelling arguments, both sides have some truth in their words. But I feel like it’s not the complete truth. It is true that Psyfiend Fears are very hard to avoid. That doesn’t mean it is impossible. You can always stop the incoming fear from said fiend, be it with a cc of your own, or a simple interrupt on its first cast. Most players, however, will make sure the fiend is placed in such a way that it becomes much harder to do this, making the argument of ‘just stop it’ less strong.

Blood Fear, on the other hand, is on an entirely different level. There is no justification, whatsoever, for having an instant, unavoidable, low cooldown, low cost, 8 second CC. This may sound harsh, but it is the truth. For most classes, instant CCs have a much longer cooldown, take for example the Mage Presence-of-Mind Polymorph. It’s an instant CC, but on a 1.5 minute cooldown. When you compare that to Blood Fear, it is obvious that Blood Fear is on an entirely different strength level.

4)These CCs are one of the hardest things to fix or change. While I think Blizzard is taking a turn in the right direction for the Psyfiend (the cast time has been increased on the PTR), I feel like it’s not enough. There should be a limit on the amount of Fears it can cast on a single target, and this limit is very simple: 1. The fiend should be able to cast no more than 1 fear on each individual target. This vastly reduces the strength of the talent for Shadow Priests, while keeping almost the same impact for Discipline. This is because the fiend is used for different purposes in both specs. For Shadow, the main use of the fiend is to CC a player forever, effectively locking him out of the game, mostly a healer. For Discipline, it is mainly to get enemies to leave you alone, simply by dropping the fiend behind you to force a dps to switch to a different target in order to avoid being feared. Because of this, the fiend change will be a nerf to Shadow, but will change almost nothing for Discipline.

Blood Fear is harder to fix. I did, however, come up with a solution which I think could be great if implemented. Right now, Blood Fear removes the mana cost from your fear, and makes it an instant cast. As compensation, the cost is changed to a percentage of your health (10%), and it is given a cooldown of 10 seconds. This is too strong because of two things: The fear becomes unavoidable, and 10% health is almost nothing for a Warlock, because of their passive health regenerators.

My idea for Blood Fear is as follows:
The Blood Fear talent should be changed. Rather than making Fear instant, it should reduce the cast time of the spell. I have done some number crunching, and I feel like a reduction of the following would be a good solution (can be changed, obviously):


Blood Fear

Reduces the cast time of your Fear by ( 0.2 + 0.0014 * ( ( haste rating ) / 425.045[s]045[/s] ) ) seconds, but your Fear now costs 15% of your unbuffed health pool for every successful cast you land.


Now, I understand the number part might be a little bit confusing to some, so will describe what it means. The basic idea is to not let Fear be instant anymore, but instead reduce the cast time by an amount changed by your haste rating. For example, a Warlock has 3000 haste rating. Going by this formula, his Fear cast time would become somewhat close to 1.2 seconds.

This does numerous things. The prime change is, obviously, that it is no longer an instant cast, therefor making it avoidable. But it does much more than that. Because the Haste stat is inherent for Affliction Warlocks, this is an indirect buff to the spec, as Fear benefits twice as much from Haste, as well as getting a passive cast-time reduction bonus with this proposed change. This means the other specs are indirectly nerfed. If you want more CC, you’ll need to get more Haste. This means that Demonology Warlocks (and Destruction Warlocks) will need to get rid of their pure-mastery builds, reducing their damage output by quite a lot. Because of this, we will see less mega-crits from the Chaos Waves, or, if they decide to keep their mastery, they will lose the ability to CC with ease at all times.

Destruction Warlocks would need compensation for this damage nerf, as they are already somewhat weak as it stands. Sadly, I do not have much knowledge on the spec, so I am hoping someone can fill me in and perhaps we can sort something out together.

Please keep the discussion civil and constructive, and propose changes of your own if you have any.
Keep in mind we will only be discussing the Fear CC in this thread, going by the definition up top.

~Hallowed
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tl dr
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
12700
1.2s cast is still quite (if not a lot) hard to pull out when a melee with a brain is on you.. I wouldn't see blood fear being taken often with such a big nerf

If what they want is for locks to be able to counter melee effectively, why not make Blood Fear place a debuff that lasts for 1.8s (modified by haste) on the target that, once over, fears him ? It would still be counterable (dispel/AMS/war anti-fear are examples), but way easier to pull off
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85 Human Priest
10460
Dijana "too hard, can't read".


Fixed for you.

OP, I feel an in depth and constructive post is too much for the younger audience to participate in.
Edited by Alyia on 22/11/2012 21:59 GMT
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90 Undead Priest
11880
Spy fiend is already getting a nerf 1,5cast time so there wont be 3 fears from it (If you're stupid enough to run back every time you get out of fear also the health of it decreased 2/3 so just insta spam it and it's dead. Also no way to prevent getting feared is false accusation several classes got some kind of pets or extra figures to summon, spy fiend targets, targets randomly you never know which is going to hit let me introduce list of what else can it fear if popped next you Mirror image, Snake trap, Pala spell where the gold glowing man comes to aid you, warlock demons (extra imps count too.), hunter pet and pets in stampade, treants if boomkins still got those, Mages water element (frost.), Shadowfiend priest and dk Gargoyle and ghouls Probably forgot something there.

As they tried to nerf shadow priests on this one they also nerfed holy and disc too and they obviously need to get more nerfs (being sarcastic.) So fear is the only cc for priest which makes character loose full control and probably the only option to actually cast something against melee since almost everything priest do is a cast spell unlike mages and locks. Okey i lied we got insta dot that ticks as much as your normal hp generates back

I do agree Spy fiend was a bit op against some classes but there is so many things that can prevent fear from happening warriors almost immune to it, totems, fear ward, anti magic shell (dk) and racials.

This is the new priest advantage ranged fear since everything else has been taken away from us mind control, mana burn, dispel (we were the dispell class now everyone can dispell and shamans purge everything, mages stealspell etc even without the 8sec cd.) People keep whining next thing fear will be taken away from us.

There is a ton of ways to counter fear like i just proved.
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90 Pandaren Priest
9345
Nsh, fear is fine, especially after Psyfiend nerf. There are countless fear-breakers in this game. If you have problems with fear, get a rshaman. Problem solved.

Only thing that needs to be fixed is blood fear.
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This felt like I proof read a dissertation.
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90 Tauren Druid
0
I could not read that wall of text, but I find fear naif when compared to Shockwave, Deep Freeze and other stunts where u can receive infinite damage without it being canceled.

With the burst of these days, a 50k damage 4 sec aoe stunt on a 20 sec CD is what make me a sad Tauren.
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100 Human Warlock
19285
i would rather fix the amount of stuns silences interupts and slows monk have, see where im going?

from lock pov, there is allways bad choice, both when taking and not taking blood fear

with it, it gets cd and huge hp cost so its not really reliable in larger scale pvp (rbg, arenas) as we cant really rotate it and chain cc, and the bigger problem imo, we cant use it when on low hp, 50k hp to use cc is quite lot for class that uses hp for utility and defenses
and since we are pure class, hp we loose are lost, we have 1 heal high cd if specced and stone, and thats it

without the talent, well it takes quite long to cast and we are not mages, we dont have some kind of cc on every spell and enemies sit on us, fakecasting is not so good anymore either, as everyone has multiple interupts and imunities and the game is much faster now, 3 failed fears often means game over

priest fear is another story, fear, horror, pet that when well placed can and still will be able to spamfear whole team, this gets really annoying, but the pet is easy to kill which makes it balanced

every class has lots and lots of different cc´s etc, when u look at the big picture, u will notice that fear classes are still the weakest, hell even paladins druids and shamans have more cc than locks and priests
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90 Night Elf Druid
6125
Nsh, fear is fine, especially after Psyfiend nerf. There are countless fear-breakers in this game. If you have problems with fear, get a rshaman. Problem solved.

Only thing that needs to be fixed is blood fear.

Isn't that the problem though?
Why take a Disc Priest, when you can take a Resto Shaman?
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90 Pandaren Priest
9345
Nsh, fear is fine, especially after Psyfiend nerf. There are countless fear-breakers in this game. If you have problems with fear, get a rshaman. Problem solved.

Only thing that needs to be fixed is blood fear.

Isn't that the problem though?
Why take a Disc Priest, when you can take a Resto Shaman?
It is a lot of times unbalanced. For example: undead warrior/undead dk/rshaman. When Talbadar played shadowplay in the championship, the undead mage, war and rshaman team were basically unfearable, and fear would be on DR nearly every time they got one off. So yeah. Imo they should just remove fear breakers all together, and remove blood fear and psyfiend.
Edited by Adeyemi on 23/11/2012 05:46 GMT
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90 Undead Priest
11985
Nsh, fear is fine, especially after Psyfiend nerf. There are countless fear-breakers in this game. If you have problems with fear, get a rshaman. Problem solved.

Only thing that needs to be fixed is blood fear.

Isn't that the problem though?
Why take a Disc Priest, when you can take a Resto Shaman?


Because fear being fine isn't the issue with disc.

"Why bring a disc priest when you can bring any other healer that has 5 times their survival, far better mana management and has other utility than just a fear (disc damage is useless, and will be even more useless after pvp power nerf/fix)?"
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90 Undead Rogue
8510
22/11/2012 20:50Posted by Pathos
and 10% health is almost nothing for a Warlock, because of their passive health regenerators.
Warlock has no passive health regen in arenas except pet sacrifice which gives 2% hp every 5 seconds, so you get those 10% hp back in 25 seconds. FYI soul harvest does not work in arenas.

22/11/2012 20:50Posted by Pathos
This means the other specs are indirectly nerfed. If you want more CC, you’ll need to get more Haste. This means that Demonology Warlocks (and Destruction Warlocks) will need to get rid of their pure-mastery builds, reducing their damage output by quite a lot.

That would change almost nothing for demo locks. Difference between geming/reforging for full mastery and for full haste is not that big, its at best 6-7% damage difference. All demo locks damage, that is burst, comes from Dark Soul and on use PvP trinket. You just once again, like many other people, prove you have no idea how demo locks function.

Fixing mega crits from chaos waves is much more easy.
1.) Make it non critable, or
2.) Remove chaos wave from pet sacrifice talent

22/11/2012 20:50Posted by Pathos
Destruction Warlocks would need compensation for this damage nerf, as they are already somewhat weak as it stands.

Destro locks will most likely be non existent in 5.1 thanks to Chaos Bolt nerf. Masses won once again.

With all said keep in mind I agree blood fear is op, it should not be instant. If I could change it I would make blood fear talent that replaces fear and makes it horror the target in place (dispellable and brakeable on damage, any damage), but to compensate blood fear could not be broken with tremor, zerk rage, wotf, etc. Shares DR with fear tho...

There, everyone happy. No more complaining how people die during fear, no more complaining how its instant.
Edited by Apach on 23/11/2012 07:15 GMT
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90 Human Paladin
5080
1.2s cast is still quite (if not a lot) hard to pull out when a melee with a brain is on you.. I wouldn't see blood fear being taken often with such a big nerf

If what they want is for locks to be able to counter melee effectively, why not make Blood Fear place a debuff that lasts for 1.8s (modified by haste) on the target that, once over, fears him ? It would still be counterable (dispel/AMS/war anti-fear are examples), but way easier to pull off


1.2s is faster then my swing time so besides our 15s interrupt how are retris suppose to outsmart a fearcast?
Mind you that stun/aoe blind do the same vas a casted fear as an instant fear. And rep has a longer casstime so won't really help to interrupt.
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92 Undead Warlock
11635
I appreciate you taking into consideration both sides ... but I feel your conclusions are still biased and don`t take into effect the povs u illustrated before:

22/11/2012 20:50Posted by Pathos
Warlocks feel like they need the instant Fear, because it becomes extremely tough to Fear a target when you have the enemy team saving their interrupts to stop it


22/11/2012 20:50Posted by Pathos
There is no justification, whatsoever, for having an instant, unavoidable, low cooldown, low cost, 8 second CC


You have just posted the justification above:
1. You can`t cast your CC(fear) when a melle is on you or the teams saves intrerupts for it. A mage can cast his sheep helped by 3 nova's effect.
2. There are more ways to break fear then sheep - therefor is find it balanced.

22/11/2012 20:49Posted by Pathos
this would mean it would be slightly less than 15% of a player’s health. Seems like a fair percentage to base Fears on, no?


I feel this is a fair for the warrior/priest fear - as It`s first use should be defensive. Priest use it to get a quick breath of fresh-air from melles.

Warlocks on the other hand, considering the very limited gap-makers and they being a dps class - the threshold should be at least 40% of the target hp. Taking into consideration the fact that a target can be healed(since u feared the dps and can`t use it on healer too).
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90 Human Warlock
13830
Basicly root to all problem is instant stuff, instant CC, instant spells, instant everything and billion silences/interrupts. Id love to see Blood Fear removed or ranged adjusted to 10 yards but I also tried to not take that talent and guess what? I couldnt get cast off even with succesful juking.
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90 Pandaren Monk
9275
23/11/2012 03:03Posted by Daraath
i would rather fix the amount of stuns silences interupts and slows monk have, see where im going?


The very first sentence in my post says that it wasn't me who wrote this, but a friend. And no, I don't see where you're going, either. Monks at the bottom of the PvP food chain, locks are at the top - the "amount" of stuns silences interrupts and slows can't be that high (hint: it's significantly lower than many other classes anyway)

from lock pov, there is allways bad choice, both when taking and not taking blood fear

with it, it gets cd and huge hp cost so its not really reliable in larger scale pvp (rbg, arenas) as we cant really rotate it and chain cc, and the bigger problem imo, we cant use it when on low hp, 50k hp to use cc is quite lot for class that uses hp for utility and defenses
and since we are pure class, hp we loose are lost, we have 1 heal high cd if specced and stone, and thats it

without the talent, well it takes quite long to cast and we are not mages, we dont have some kind of cc on every spell and enemies sit on us, fakecasting is not so good anymore either, as everyone has multiple interupts and imunities and the game is much faster now, 3 failed fears often means game over


This is all irrelevant in an arena environment. One instant Fear on the non-shaman healer means you can win a game a lot of the time.

priest fear is another story, fear, horror, pet that when well placed can and still will be able to spamfear whole team, this gets really annoying, but the pet is easy to kill which makes it balanced


Yes, it's very balanced, basically any melee without a fear immunity (read: anything non-warrior) gets !@#$ed over if the priest doesn't derp and pop it in melee range. Please, think before you post.

every class has lots and lots of different cc´s etc, when u look at the big picture, u will notice that fear classes are still the weakest, hell even paladins druids and shamans have more cc than locks and priests


... What are you even talking about, for the love of god. SPs and warlocks are among the strongest classes in PvP right now, and how the %^-* do paladins or druids have more CC than warlocks?

Go back and read the main post, it explains in a lot of detail why what you just said is downright false. You get feared once, it lasts 8 seconds, you get sent to Africa and you have to run back for 5 years to get back into the fight. Paladin and druid CC have nothing on that. Also shamans lol wtf. They have Hex on a 45 sec CD and Capacitor Totem. Might want to get your facts straight.
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