[TBCC] What am I gonna do with allll these chickens?

I believe everyone in TBCC community by now is familiar with the whole “drums” change (at least anyone that cared about it). Drums were strong and desirable to the point that you wanted 4 people in your group to be able to use them. This led to Blizz giving the drums a 2 min CD so that players didn’t feel like they had to use a team of drummers.

This is happening again with battle chickens. Thats right, the wimpy mechanical chickens spawned from engineering… They have a powerful 5% haste buff that lasts 5 minutes that stacks. Throughout Classic and early TBCC we didn’t know there was a way to guarantee a proc, so it was just kinda a “chance” tool to see if you could proc it before a boss fight, or you spawn it during the boss fight and hope it gives the “squawk” buff.

Somewhat recently though, it was discovered how to guarantee a squawk. Since this discovery the parse meta has completely shifted towards “chickens chickens chickens!” and there’s not much the player base or Warcraft logs can do about it. My understanding of it is that it’s a long enough buff that sometimes it can go completely undetected, or it has difficulty being shown in the combat log. So as a parsing community there’s no way to “ban” it or flag it as “this parse had this many squawks” similar to how we have lusts and other singular buffs.

I think most would agree that the squawks from chickens shouldn’t stack at all. It doesn’t seem all that authentic, even if it was possible in TBCC, because it’s such a powerful buff especially when stacked together. 25% if additive or 27.6% haste if multiplicative (can’t remember which). For comparison, drums is about 5% haste. From a design standpoint, adjusting a buff that was only 5% haste there should definitely be removal of the stacking nature of these buffs which is 5x the amount.

Whether it’s providing players and the parsing community with methods to handle it ourselves via better combat log detection (similar to lust or long duration buffs) or the much preferred method of making it not stack, it really feels like this should be looked at to keep the feel of the parsing community authentic.

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Hi Sixxfury,

So this is something we actually talked about quite a bit internally and we’ve actually already made some adjustments to. Notably, we put out a hotfix a few weeks ago that prevents the Battle Squawk buff from persisting when logged out, with the intent of preventing the case where players would stack dozens of this buff on themselves outside of a raid, and then zone in and get summoned to a boss to do Mega Damage ™.

When developing that fix, our first thought was to simply prevent this buff from stacking entirely as you suggested. After some additional discussion the team decided to hold off on going quite that far to start with and went with the more conservative fix for the real abuse case. Currently we are in a bit of a “wait and see” pattern following that fix.

That isn’t to say the team won’t make further adjustments, but we were somewhat leery of being too heavy handed here as in order to get the full benefit from this buff, you have to take a somewhat convoluted set of actions to trigger it reliably, which becomes even more cumbersome if you are trying to get the full 5 stacks going just before a boss pull, and even more cumbersome still if its being done on a boss that is not already on farm. I’m quite sure that the guilds that care to do so can pull this off quite readily, but it’s still not exactly an apples to apples comparsion with drums, which are simply a button press every 2 minutes. As goofy as this is, it is an authentic interaction, and one that some guilds did take advantage of in some way in the original Burning Crusade. As with any change, the team simply wants to be very careful and not be too hasty (pun intended? maybe?).

As for log detection, that might be something we can look into and try to make better if it’s inconsistent, and it might be ideal if this was something that we could let the parsing community self-police, or not. I’ll follow up on that with the team when we get back from our holiday break and see if there are improvements we can make there.

Thanks for bringing it up in any case. We’ll likely keep talking about it, and let everyone know if we decide to make any more changes here.

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I think the hotfix to have the buff still tick down while offline helps the issue because it makes it “harder”, but ultimately the stacking meta didn’t completely take over until it was discovered how to guarantee a proc. It’s rather easy for anyone to guarantee a 5 stack if they look into how to guarantee a proc (something about taking dmg in combat and then summoning it). Prior to that being common knowledge, anyone that stacked it would sit on trash waiting for a chicken to proc the haste buff before moving on and thus was highly discouraged because of the potentially great lengths to get it. (see: something something memes about Ahlaundoh forcing people to wait for his chicken stacks for gruul in phase 1 :stuck_out_tongue: )

I believe removing that guaranteed check would significantly reduce the usage of chicken stacking, but ultimately it wouldn’t prevent it. If I recall correctly this was also reduced to no longer stack in WotLK. Maybe looking at how it’s procced would be a good compromise to make it difficult but still possible rather than the extremely easy method right now. Either way I appreciate that it’s on your radar and hopefully the current iteration is not the ideal final iteration.

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It does feel rather unfair to have drums nerfed and not chicken, though I understand why drums were nerfed. While popping squawk takes more than simply pressing a button like drums, with the recent revelations on how to make squawk a guaranteed proc, it’s extremely easy to do.

The cluck stacking pressures players to choose engi- a specific spec of engi, on top of that- in the very same way that you didn’t want players to be pressured into choosing leatherworking.

There’s different routes you could take; if you make it only able to apply one buff per party at a time, that would be good, though I see a potential future where all 5 party members are obliged to have chicken and just keep the 5% buff rotating through the group instead of all at once.

You could have it go back to a “random” chance, but that feels a bit too much like gambling and dooming when nobody gets squawk procs, always chasing the sacred 5-stack. It would make parsing worse; only those who had 5 engis AND 5 lucky procs would be able to compete because the buff is so strong.

You could have each player’s squawk only apply to themselves and not the party and have the proc be guaranteed; this would be ideal in my opinion at least, that way the onus is entirely on you and if you want to pop it. Even a 5% haste buff is very good, so the incentive to go engi+chicken isn’t lost. It would still be worth it to pop chickens, but not strong enough that everyone is obligated to do so. It would take a lot, if not all, of the negative interpersonal rabble out of the equation.

I do appreciate that you’re keeping an eye on this- I am worried about the amount of haste gear in SWP/ZA combined with 5x chickens (and glaives?) being entirely too much. Quirky interactions like this are indeed what makes the spirit of Classic different, and I definitely don’t want chickens to be entirely nixed, but a 25% haste buff that is only for melee only feels good for the melee that successfully get their full use out of it.

I hope this is looked at again before BT/MH release, especially under the context of many folks feeling like t6 will be an absolute cake walk.

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I kind of like the social interaction of min-max guilds planning the professions that will be placed in each group. There’s a social-puzzle aspect of it that I think is worth preserving if possible.

Here’s a half-baked idea: What if the chicken squawk gave you Tinnitus (and was prevented by it), same as drums? I don’t want to just homogenize everything, but the effect is superficially pretty similar (a loud noise that gives you a haste buff). It would reduce the pressure on the social puzzle of planning party professions without removing it entirely.

As Aggrend said, we’ll decide in the new year, I just wanted to throw out another idea to keep the conversation going. :slight_smile: Please poke holes in it; I haven’t thought about it deeply.

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I feel like Tinnitus would be too much of a change (especially if it prevented drums too) because then you’re reducing benefits/homogenizing like you mentioned. I think maybe if the squawk was more frequent like drums are and a short term buff there could be some merit to it, but with it being a 5 minute buff that just seems kind of odd imo.

I realize from what I’ve heard others discussing this that my opinion may be in the minority. I honestly don’t know whether it’s worth changing or not. The whole purpose of this thread was to start the discussion and maybe there’s a solution that could be reached. Also for the community reading I wanted to clarify that my opinion is only being utilized for suggestions on changes. I could care less if this gets changed because I’m not going out of my way to “make sure I have 5 squawks”. This discussion is for those that ARE doing this week in and week out, and are sick of doing it, not to mention the relative power creep of being able to have a relatively easy source of 25% haste.

Like I mentioned before and as you may or may not have noticed, this issue wasn’t an issue until it became popular, and it only became popular after having discovered the proc method where you can almost reliably always get a bonus 25% haste on whichever boss you want. This leads to more and more people going out of their way or wanting to/forcing a raid to delay so that they can parse. Ultimately things like this seem detrimental to the health overall of the game, but that’s just my opinion. People don’t have to agree with it.

While it may be authentic, it wasn’t being abused like it is in today’s parse hungry world. That “abuse” is what people have requested that it be adjusted to prevent. Those doing it don’t want to feel like it’s a necessity to full stack a chicken just to be tops.

Is changing it the right move? Will it make the game better? Or leave it alone and keep it authentic? Is it harmful to the community to leave it alone? I don’t know what the best option is and I’m not here to tell you guys what to do, just giving input and feedback on what I’ve read from around the community.

Lastly I wanted to give a shout out to all the warriors that think I want this changed because I’m a hunter… psst my pet benefits pretty decent from the haste too I presented the suggestions/ideas/topic because those that are abusing this consistently, want it changed. Those that don’t care about it or aren’t abusing it all the time generally seem to have opinions on both sides.

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My only concern with this is if it turns into “killing the fun”

I think if there are strats and items and procs that make the game more fun to play, they shouldn’t be removed. Personally, I think that log detection is the way to go with this instead of removing the mechanic entirely, either by giving a debuff or preventing the buff from stacking.

Would another option be to give them diminishing returns when more than one are used?

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This may be the best way of going about it too honestly. I wasn’t suggesting a complete removal of procs or the “special” feel of them, moreso making the squawk an actual random event (like it was presumed to be) rather than an easily replicable event. There were chicken stacks before but it was so far and few between that it didn’t feel like it had much of an impact (maybe 5-10 groups trying it every week just a guess), though with it still being possible it still opens opportunity for people to do it regardless of how difficult (if there’s a way there’s typically a will to do so).

Improved log detection is a simpler possible solution, how effective it is or what it does for the community I’m not sure, but at least being able to easily flag certain parses with x # of squawks would be better than nothing. It can also help show the power creep of said squawks too, and maybe the community would police it (or not). I just know that log detection is sometimes difficult because it’s not reported like player buffs are on encounter start, and sometimes the # of buffs you have aren’t reliably tracked. There may be more to it than that too.

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What do you think about the diminishing returns idea?

it would probably really depend on the implementation… Is 5 chickens 10% haste, 15%? 20%? However it’s implemented it likely wouldn’t affect the desire to stack (unless stacking was negatively impactful?) unless it was like 6-7% for all 5, vs 5% for just 1…

Not sure though honestly.

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In my mind the simplest diminishing return would be the first one gives 5%, and each following chicken gives 1% less. So the 2nd would be 4%, and the 5th would be 1% - the total under this method would be 15% - only 10% lower than the current max, and the 5th one may not be worth at all for a 1% buff.

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Oh you’re totally right. I wasn’t considering the fact that the durations were wildly different. Well, community council is supposed to be for more unfiltered discussion, so you get to see me wearing my noob hat while I’m on vacation. :wink:

The diminishing returns idea is interesting, but I think it would be more straightforward to just remove stacking. Both solutions would be susceptible to the “rotation” temptation, but if you’re really min-maxing, the fight often doesn’t last more than the 4-minute Squawk duration, so a single squawk would last the whole fight, and you wouldn’t need a rotation; you’d prefer to have everybody else use a different trinket.

Again, no decision here, just checking in to see what you’re all saying and add some thoughts. :slight_smile:

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Well you did say it was half-baked… may have scared the community a little bit :sweat_smile:

Just throwing these out there as well to give the other side of it:

  • taking out the randomness of the squawk and make it guaranteed, so that everyone can easily access it without having to do anything special (while the proc is almost guaranteed if the condition is met, sometimes it can be difficult to successfully do it). Would still reinforce engineering as really strong profession, but it’s already really strong anyways with sappers/grenades and all the cool gadgets it has. Chicken or not Eng. would always be desired.
  • taking out the randomness but still making it no longer stack, effectively giving a per-boss rotation of chickens and easily accessible. Keeps the effect but limits the power

or some even suggested removing squawk entirely :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve also seen it pointed out that most buffs transitioning from classic to TBC were converted to rating, such as Warchief’s blessing world buff now 150 (15% in classic) haste, Manual Crowd Pummeler now 500 haste (50% in classic), and a couple of others obviously… though changing it to rating would reduce it’s power (following the same guidelines of those changes, 50 haste per chicken buff), but ultimately as long as it still stacked it would be desired to stack it. As long as the buff has any benefit it’s desirable to use, and don’t get me wrong I think it’s unique and cool that even an old mechanical chicken can squawk and make people stronger. It’s not great game design that a lvl 35 trinket is so powerful, or things like badge of the swarmguard or wolfshead helm being so powerful still, but I think those items kinda add to the charm of the early versions of WoW. Though it doesn’t really make that much sense for it to have too much power.

It can’t really be understated how insane a 5 stack squawk is. Lust is 30% and a very powerful buff, but only 40 seconds. Squawk fully stacked is about 27% multiplicative with other haste, for 5 minutes :grimacing: basically a lust the entire fight for melee which I’m sure they love! Who needs double lust when you get a 5 minute one? :stuck_out_tongue:

I think it’s telling though how polarizing this has been so far in the community. I’ve gotten a lot of flak for it so far, but also received a lot of support/agreement.

Thank you for taking the time to respond for this and I hope this leads to a solution one way or another, and this council continues to open the possibility for more discussions like this.

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Yeah, the fact that it wasn’t a rating stood out too. :stuck_out_tongue:

I also agree with you that part of the charm is these low-level items that actually retain value, especially if their value is situational.

I’m sorry you’re getting flak for it. Any proposed nerf is always gonna have people arguing against it, of course. No matter how reasonable the change is, there’s always people who have dumped resources into chasing it that are sad if its taken away. But if it helps you defend yourself from the flak: this isn’t the first place I heard about it (I think somebody @'d me on Twitter first… and as Aggrend said, it was already being discussed) but this is a more appropriate place to discuss it than Twitter. :slight_smile: Thanks for the thoughtful discussion so far!

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