Conflict and Strife — Hot Trub
Please tune Hot Trub properly so we can keep it!
I recognize that Hot Trub may not be the final intended trait for Brewmaster’s Conflict and Strife essence. However, I echo paoanii in saying that this is the most excited I’ve been about playing BrM recently, and this is the most excited I’ve seen the community in a long time. It’s been really great to see and to be a part of. Please let us keep this!
For context, I’d like to acknowledge its flaws. The trait is completely broken in AOE right now, and we know that it’s desperately in need of tuning. It’s reasonable albeit strong in single target, but has the potential to scale out of control in AOE. This will be amplified by how comparatively easy it will be to get high-value purifies on a larger pull, which will result in even higher AOE damage — you get the point. Additionally, as other commenters have mentioned, Hot Trub definitely has room for some niche degenerate gameplay, where players will seek out unnecessary damage in order to cap out the per-cast damage. It‘s a trait that will need some tuning and other attention, that’s for sure.
However, despite its issues, there is one important reason I’d like to see it stay: it provides some much-needed player feedback.
Stagger is unintuitive, and the brewmaster community has historically spent a lot of time and effort teaching new players how to properly manage brews and the stagger pool — we have an entire guide series dedicated to stagger. Part of the reason the community has struggled with this so much as a whole is because there isn’t any direct, immediate feedback to a Purifying Brew cast. Due to the way stagger helps to “muffle” incoming damage, it can be difficult to tell exactly why your health is dropping; it could be high incoming new damage, or it could be a large stagger pool, or healers could simply be stressed and letting the tank drop in favor of raid healing. Currently, the impact of a really good purify is easier to see in logs than in-game. Healers may even be more aware of high stagger than the brewmaster player.
As a community, we’ve developed a number of tools to help analyze stagger both in combat with weakauras and addons, and post-combat via logs. But one of the major reasons we’ve had to do this is to compensate for the lack of innate, in-game feedback. When you press Ironfur or SotR, you see you take less damage. When you press Death Strike, you heal. These are immediate and visible. When you press Purifying Brew, you… bleed to death more slowly.
In Legion, we had Gai Plin’s Soothing Sash to act as feedback; if you got a really high value purify off, you’d see a really big incoming heal. Unfortunately, Gai Plin was never a default pick for most players (although it was used situationally), so it never saw the widespread usage necessary for a good teaching tool. If Hot Trub goes live, it’s likely that it will be the default pick, which makes it perfectly suited for this job.
Rather than bleeding to death a bit more slowly, which may be disguised by changes in healer throughout or incoming damage patterns, players will be able to see the value of their purifies reflected as damage dealt. Since the highest Hot Trub damage is also the maximum damage removed, players will get immediate feedback on the quality of their brew management. I think that’s really cool, and I think it’ll go a long way towards making BrM more friendly for novices.
Plus, Hot Trub is just plain fun!