PvP scaling and why secondaries don't matter

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The real title should be PvP scaling and why secondaries don't matter as much as you think (since they matter more than they did in legion).

After extensive testing the PvP scaling at 120 seems to work as follows:
  • The attacker sees his "regular" damage done, the same damage he would do to PvE targets or target dummies. Let's call this damage dealt.
  • The target of the attack sees a different damage that is scaled (up or down) based on the HP difference between him and the attacker. The scaling factor seems to be linear and simply (targetbaseHP/attackerbaseHP). This scaled damage is the actual relevant damage, let's call this damage received.

In regard to secondaries: it is true that your distribution of secondaries now matters (in contrast to the fixed distribution with legion templates). This is most certainly a good change, since players now have control over the distribution and can therefore focus on specific secondaries (e.g., haste for casters).

However, almost everyone seems to think that the new scaling only applies to primary stats, i.e., a higher ilvl player still has an advantage because he simply has more secondaries than a lower ilvl one. This is wrong. The influence of secondaries on your damage/dps, whether it's a "direct" damage increase like mastery or an "indirect" one like the GCD reduction from haste, is already "baked into" the damage you deal, and is therefore also scaled by the scaling system. In other words: the damage scaling scales all of your damage, not just the fraction of your damage that is caused by your primary stat.

By the way, this system also means that damage meters will show incorrect data, since they will record the damage dealt (i.e., unscaled) for you, and the damage received (i.e., scaled) for everyone else.

Now, is this scaling system "fair"? Well, the system assumes that the relative damage increase from growing ilvl is equal to the increase in base HP. So if a player goes from 70k HP to 105k HP (= 50% increase) because of gear/ilvl upgrades , the system assumes that his damage goes up by 50% as well. If this is true, then the system works perfect and is indeed "fair". To which degree this is the case will vary from spec to spec, but it is at least a really good approximation.

TLDR: ilvl doesn't matter, concentrate on good azerite traits and a good distribution of secondaries.
is this really true?
That means you wont have to get gear, just some 300 ilvl !@#$ with best in slot stats and just go with that the whole expansion. Feels like it takes away alot from the game really.

Could just level alts and gear with bis 310 gear and never do anything more the whole expansion to get new gear...
And still compete at the highest level of pvp.

Feels like a mistake that was not intended
25/08/2018 12:33Posted by Juicÿ
Could just level alts and gear with bis 310 gear and never do anything more the whole expansion to get new gear...
And still compete at the highest level of pvp.

Feels like a mistake that was not intended

Well it's similar to how it was in Legion: as soon as you had all the artifact traits unlocked (now: the right azerite traits), you could compete in arena with quest greens because of the template system. The new system is in principle not that different, we do however have control over the distribution of our secondaries again (which is awesome).
I knew this "scaling" were just templates in disguise.

garbage system.

at least when you queue high rated RBG/Arena where everyone has pretty similar iLvL, stats matter.
25/08/2018 12:02Posted by Nubfilter
After extensive testing the PvP scaling at 120 seems to work as follows:
And this was all done in arenas?
Now, let's ignore the fact that this was an almost unannounced change and definitely didn't mention arenas specifically or more people would've reacted - what about passives on gear? In Legion they came with rings etc. that granted 5% increased autoattack dmg for example.

25/08/2018 12:02Posted by Nubfilter
The influence of secondaries on your damage/dps, whether it's a "direct" damage increase like mastery or an "indirect" one like the GCD reduction from haste, is already "baked into" the damage you deal, and is therefore also scaled by the scaling system. In other words: the damage scaling scales all of your damage, not just the fraction of your damage that is caused by your primary stat.
Haste breakpoints increases dps exponentially, whether it's by reducing the gcd to a certain point or by adding extra dot ticks. So you're saying the dmg scaling keeps up with this exponential increase so if it would be, for the sake of the example, a 30% increased dps from having more haste on 350 ilvl, compared to an opponent on 280 ilvl, the system then readjusts the damage taken so there's no noticeable difference in "real" dps the entire time of the fight? And is the scaling different between, let's say an affli lock stacking haste and mastery, compared to an affli lock stacking crit and versatility, and what about the reduced dmg taken from versatility, when they're both on the same ilvl, all when facing an opponent on lower or higher lvl?

Because according to what you said, the more you go for better stats according to your spec's stats weights, the more scaled down it will be vs. lower ilvl and the less scaled up it will be vs. higher ilvl. You said the influence is "baked into the scaling". Or, maybe you didn't mean it's scaled dynamically? But that doesn't fit with the exponential increase these "influences" have on damage, such as gcd reductions or the breakpoints for extra dot ticks for example.
With an extra dot tick, do you presume the overall damage of the dot is reduced to accomodate for the extra dot tick, or that the extra dot ticks deals no dmg because there's no extra tick when it's scaled down? Since what you see on your screen isn't what's actually being done, according to this.

What about healing done? Is that scaled according to ilvl too? Because if it isn't scaled then it'd be better to bring a healer with really high ilvl and pimped out gear to heal dpsers on really low ilvl, since the healing done by the healer would be much higher than the dmg taken of the dpsers.

To clarify, what I mean by a static scaling not fitting with the exponential increases, is that X% haste on an affli lock increases dmg by, let's say 15% from just that. But 1,5 times X% would increase it by 30%, just from that alone. That's the effects stats weights have, 1 in mastery doesn't equal the same increase in dmg done as 1 in haste for example, and this varies between each spec as well. And a breakpoint is when a stat percentage reaches the point of highest efficiency 'til the next breakpoint, and the increases inbetween the breakpoints aren't as effective on output.

But once again, what I'm most curious about: Was this tested in arenas? Because they introduced differences between world pvp (including duels) and instanced pvp in Legion already.
25/08/2018 16:01Posted by Irai
You said the influence is "baked into the scaling". Or, maybe you didn't mean it's scaled dynamically? But that doesn't fit with the exponential increase these "influences" have on damage, such as gcd reductions or the breakpoints for extra dot ticks for example.

You seem to misunderstand me. The only scaling taking place is a flat damage modifier (targetbaseHP/attackerbaseHP) on the target side (i.e., damage received), that's all. There is no seperate "dynamic" scaling of secondaries apart from that.

Like i said, this scaling works well if the increase of damage with ilvl is roughly the same as the increase in stamina (aka base HP). This assumption should generally work pretty well, but it's not perfect. By concentrating on the best secondary for your spec (e.g., haste) you could probably outperform this assumption by a bit, but not by much, since secondaries generally have linar scaling in BFA. The power difference between a fresh 120 and a raid-equipped 120 (with optimized secondaries) will probably exist, but will be quite small.
25/08/2018 17:29Posted by Nubfilter
You seem to misunderstand me. The only scaling taking place is a flat damage modifier (targetbaseHP/attackerbaseHP) on the target side (i.e., damage received), that's all. There is no seperate "dynamic" scaling of secondaries apart from that.

Like i said, this scaling works well if the increase of damage with ilvl is roughly the same as the increase in stamina (aka base HP). This assumption should generally work pretty well, but it's not perfect. By concentrating on the best secondary for your spec (e.g., haste) you could probably outperform this assumption by a bit, but not by much, since secondaries generally have linar scaling in BFA. The power difference between a fresh 120 and a raid-equipped 120 (with optimized secondaries) will probably exist, but will be quite small.
Btw just fyi, stamina scales exponentially with ilvl as well. Look up the meaning of the word exponentially if you don't get what I mean by that. Also, just for the record, base HP refers to the hp of the character before any stamina increases.

25/08/2018 16:01Posted by Irai
To clarify, what I mean by a static scaling not fitting with the exponential increases, is that X% haste on an affli lock increases dmg by, let's say 15% from just that. But 1,5 times X% would increase it by 30%, just from that alone. That's the effects stats weights have, 1 in mastery doesn't equal the same increase in dmg done as 1 in haste for example, and this varies between each spec as well. And a breakpoint is when a stat percentage reaches the point of highest efficiency 'til the next breakpoint, and the increases inbetween the breakpoints aren't as effective on output.
Or in other words, static scaling will never work well and it'll still be better to be fully decked out in the highest ilvl possible with the best secondary stats for your spec. Because you'd still get the advantages of those extra breakpoints and such, from that higher ilvl secondary stats. It also means stats such as mastery will be better for those who have that as their bis stat too, because the scaling is static and only affects the damage taken by the target. So if 100% means, let's say 100 dmg, which is then scaled down in a static manner by 10% for each 10 ilvl difference, then bringing a 100% value higher than 100 dmg will result in a higher hit post-scaling.
The crit chance won't get scaled down at all apparently, with a system like this, either.
25/08/2018 16:01Posted by Irai
With an extra dot tick, do you presume the overall damage of the dot is reduced to accomodate for the extra dot tick, or that the extra dot ticks deals no dmg because there's no extra tick when it's scaled down? Since what you see on your screen isn't what's actually being done, according to this


25/08/2018 16:01Posted by Irai
But once again, what I'm most curious about: Was this tested in arenas? Because they introduced differences between world pvp (including duels) and instanced pvp in Legion already.
Answer this question, please.
This was tested in duels, not arena. However, the disparitry between damage meters and real damage (scoreboard) also exists in arenas and BGs, so it is reasonable to assume that scaling works the same in every PvP environment. On an anecdotal note: both my 120s are <290 ilvl and feel on par with high ilvl/hp chars in skirmish and BGs, so from personal experience the scaling works really well.

Or in other words, static scaling will never work well and it'll still be better to be fully decked out in the highest ilvl possible with the best secondary stats for your spec.

Yes and no. The scaling is really good at acounting for the power difference between ilvls when assuming unoptimized (or random) secondaries. The advantage you would have with high ilvl optimized gear is the benefit of prioritizing your best secondary over random secondaries, so the potential advantage depends on the secondary stat weights of your spec and are quite small (since afaik there are no huge gaps anymore between the stat weights of secondaries)
25/08/2018 20:52Posted by Nubfilter
Yes and no. The scaling is really good at acounting for the power difference between ilvls when assuming unoptimized (or random) secondaries.
This makes no sense to me whatsoever. Either it scales dynamically or it scales statically. Now you're claiming it somehow does.. both?
25/08/2018 12:02Posted by Nubfilter
The target of the attack sees a different damage that is scaled (up or down) based on the HP difference between him and the attacker. The scaling factor seems to be linear and simply (targetbaseHP/attackerbaseHP). This scaled damage is the actual relevant damage, let's call this damage received.


Because if it's so "good" at it, then it takes into account the direct effects of stats weights. But at the same time you claim that it doesn't, that it's just based on hp differences. So... dafuq?

25/08/2018 20:52Posted by Nubfilter
(since afaik there are no huge gaps anymore between the stat weights of secondaries)
Based on... What? Critting more often or hitting/casting faster have always shown clear differences, slightly moreso in pvp than in pve. And that's just one example.

Discrepancies between dmg meters and scoreboards isn't new btw. It may be seen more now than before, that I wouldn't know since I don't play WoW anymore. Just waiting for the next expansion or vanilla.

25/08/2018 20:52Posted by Nubfilter
This was tested in duels, not arena.
25/08/2018 16:01Posted by Irai
Because they introduced differences between world pvp (including duels) and instanced pvp in Legion already.
It's not unreasonable to think that there are differences in BfA too. The root of the problem is Blizzard not being clear about it.

I'll end it with this, since you seem to have missed this point:

25/08/2018 16:01Posted by Irai
But that doesn't fit with the exponential increase these "influences" have on damage, such as gcd reductions or the breakpoints for extra dot ticks for example.
With an extra dot tick, do you presume the overall damage of the dot is reduced to accomodate for the extra dot tick, or that the extra dot ticks deals no dmg because there's no extra tick when it's scaled down? Since what you see on your screen isn't what's actually being done, according to this.
So if 100% means, let's say 100 dmg, which is then scaled down in a static manner by 10% for each 10 ilvl difference, then bringing a 100% value higher than 100 dmg will result in a higher hit post-scaling.
The crit chance won't get scaled down at all apparently, with a system like this, either.
OK, last answer since you either don't want to understand or you're trolling: the damage received get's scaled by a flat multiplier that is simply targetHP/attackerHP (without modifiers from buffs etc.) - that's all. The secondaries do not get scaled separately in any way, however the way the damage scaling works it indirectly considers the damage from secondaries anyway. Like i said in the original post: "the damage scaling scales all of your damage, not just the fraction of your damage that is caused by your primary stat". That's not so difficult to understand.

Whether gear with optimized secondaries outscales the PvP scaling system (and by how much) roughly depends on how much better the best secondary stat is compared to the rest of the secondaries per spec. It won't be much though, probably in the realm of what we were used to with templates scaling with ilvl in Legion.
25/08/2018 22:28Posted by Nubfilter
Whether gear with optimized secondaries outscales the PvP scaling system (and by how much) roughly depends on how much better the best secondary stat is compared to the rest of the secondaries per spec. It won't be much though, probably in the realm of what we were used to with templates scaling with ilvl in Legion.
Eeexcept not. Prime example of that being energy regeneration. At the start of an expansion, secondary stats increases a lot more per ilvl up to a certain point. In a latest change within the last couple of weeks, that point is apparently 310 according to wowhead. So past 310 the increase of secondary stats per ilvl is around 4-5% per ilvl. In the templates it was 0.1% per ilvl for both primary and secondary. Primary stats increase by more than secondary does per ilvl in BfA btw.

As for the energy regen being affected by haste, it will lead to a lot more uptime and according to you this doesn't get scaled. It'll become exponentially stronger later on in the expansion when you see haste breakpoints come into effect that allows for one more ability in the same time period, and so on and so forth.
Since haste doesn't get scaled, it'll also reach a point where there'll be 1 more hard cast in the same time period, etc.

But instead you claim that increasing such things gets "baked into" the scaling like you said in your first post, and in this quote:
25/08/2018 22:28Posted by Nubfilter
the damage received get's scaled by a flat multiplier that is simply targetHP/attackerHP (without modifiers from buffs etc.) - that's all. The secondaries do not get scaled separately in any way, however the way the damage scaling works it indirectly considers the damage from secondaries anyway.
As for the energy regen being affected by haste, it will lead to a lot more uptime and according to you this doesn't get scaled. It'll become exponentially stronger later on in the expansion when you see haste breakpoints come into effect that allows for one more ability in the same time period, and so on and so forth.
Since haste doesn't get scaled, it'll also reach a point where there'll be 1 more hard cast in the same time period, etc.

But instead you claim that increasing such things gets "baked into" the scaling like you said in your first post

How the secondary increases your dps doesn't matter, just that it does. If you stack haste instead of mastery you will hit faster (i.e., more often) instead of harder, but the scaling will still account for the same HP ratio between you and the target. Get it?
25/08/2018 14:42Posted by Nubfilter
25/08/2018 12:33Posted by Juicÿ
Could just level alts and gear with bis 310 gear and never do anything more the whole expansion to get new gear...
And still compete at the highest level of pvp.

Feels like a mistake that was not intended

Well it's similar to how it was in Legion: as soon as you had all the artifact traits unlocked (now: the right azerite traits), you could compete in arena with quest greens because of the template system. The new system is in principle not that different, we do however have control over the distribution of our secondaries again (which is awesome).


No, In legion it was very noticable, ilvl mattered. It wasn't just a template, it was a template and then x% extra on top! You weren't lost with bad gear, but having 880 or 940 ilvl was a massive difference in the end, and could very well decide the fight.

If what OP writes is true then gear now doesn't matter at all, in fact having much worse gear may be an advantage if the trait or secondary is better. I really hope that's not the case! Why even play this game anymore then? I don't think the current PvP without all MMORPG aspects is worth anything close to 13€/month.

Edit: Not to mention the moment the dmg/healing output of your spec doesn't scale lineary with HP the system is just broken. Also what's with tauren passive? Is it a passive nerf because it makes my HP greater than it is?

This whole scaling bull!@#$ in BfA is so opaque it's just super bad game design.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned CC, even if damage is scaled accordingly , if haste values are higher the bigger the ilvl then the faster the CC is cast ( cast time based CCs mostly).

A person sitting at 10% haste with lower ilvl and a person with significantly more ilvl sitting around 25% haste might not feel a damage difference but higher haste values will be able to get crucial CCs much faster and thus securing wins.

For the record though, I'm not particularly fond of the BFA scaling system in pvp as it discourages character progression almost entirely, at least in legion we could gain a small % stats difference between ilvl increases which at least provide some form of incentive to acquire better gear.

I honestly hope blizzard's lack of openness with this topic only means that they are unsure whether they will stick with it or not ( hoping for the latter).
OP is right, I tested it in arenas and secondary and primary stats dont matter. An ilvl 300 and an ilvl 350 have the same chances of winning. And they pretend that this game is an RPG,when ilvl doesnt matter in the world (monsters scale with ilvl),doesnt matter in pvp AND pve is an infinite carrot chase with mythic+. Seriously,I want to get proved wrong but at this point of the game, why would I want to farm gear if Im a PvPer? Did you guys find any incentive?
26/08/2018 15:51Posted by Mercron
OP is right, I tested it in arenas and secondary and primary stats dont matter. An ilvl 300 and an ilvl 350 have the same chances of winning. And they pretend that this game is an RPG,when ilvl doesnt matter in the world (monsters scale with ilvl),doesnt matter in pvp AND pve is an infinite carrot chase with mythic+. Seriously,I want to get proved wrong but at this point of the game, why would I want to farm gear if Im a PvPer? Did you guys find any incentive?

Thanks for confirming and testing it in arena. Contrary to you i think this system is really good, since it provides a level playing field in PvP where ilvl doesn't matter. PvP should always be about skill, not about gear, so it seems to me that people who don't like the scaling simply want to win by gear and not by skill.
There is still huuuuuuge difference between having high haste or no haste.
26/08/2018 16:52Posted by Nubfilter
26/08/2018 15:51Posted by Mercron
OP is right, I tested it in arenas and secondary and primary stats dont matter. An ilvl 300 and an ilvl 350 have the same chances of winning. And they pretend that this game is an RPG,when ilvl doesnt matter in the world (monsters scale with ilvl),doesnt matter in pvp AND pve is an infinite carrot chase with mythic+. Seriously,I want to get proved wrong but at this point of the game, why would I want to farm gear if Im a PvPer? Did you guys find any incentive?

Thanks for confirming and testing it in arena. Contrary to you i think this system is really good, since it provides a level playing field in PvP where ilvl doesn't matter. PvP should always be about skill, not about gear, so it seems to me that people who don't like the scaling simply want to win by gear and not by skill.


I agree that rated ARENAS and rated BATTLEGROUNDS should be about skill and not gear,but currently this system is working on ALL instances and in EVERY SINGLE outdoors zone,which kills the point of having PvP gear at all and kills all character progression.
I would like to know if this scaling only work with bfa ilvl gear or someone lvl 120 with a ilvl of 50 would still be even with someone 340 ilvl.

My question sound maybe stupid but i would like to know.

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