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#201 Roswend

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:49 PM


I spend a lot of time writing in my free time. Generally I'll write about what I'm thinking about that day and save it on my desktop. I reformatted yesterday when I got home and WoW happened to be on my mind at the time. Just wanted to share my opinion, since I thought it was relevant to this thread.

Writing is a great way to organize your thoughts about any topic. You can go back and correct errors as you go, so proofreading helps refine your opinion on anything.

It was really written for myself, it doesn't have an introduction. It's supposed to be about where Blizzard went wrong with each spec, how it used to work, and how the spec works now. The class is nothing like what it was.

Now that I'm done reformatting, I kinda wanta login, and I don't want to write about this topic anymore. In other words, I'm done writing about this topic, here's my thoughts.

I changed the font so you can read the textwall if you feel like it.

I think the main point of this post is that it's never worth ruining a whole class over balance changes. It's not that we enjoyed being overpowered - it's that we enjoyed having an interesting class. The class is clunky now and nothing like it used to be.

When PvE/PvP became more serious for other classes, they were given new abilities to compensate. We had abilities taken away. I think things should have been done differently.

Anyway, here it is, thanks. I can't guarantee that there's no typos, I punched it in wordpad because I hadn't installed any software yet.



Where Blizzard Messed Up

Blood

Blood used to be the self healing in your face melee spec that had nothing to do at all with diseases. Hysteria broke CC on yourself and partners, Dancing Rune Weapon could do like a million clutch things, and you could heal yourself for a lot using an interesting interacting system involving Vampiric Blood and Rune Tap and Death Rune Mastery. Bursted using a proc guaranteed crit deathcoil system like Nightfall.

Now, Blood scales off diseases in a really idiotic way which is impossible for PvP, even though it originally had nothing to do with diseases. Dancing Rune Weapon has been marginalized in literally every way, with an almost 50% damage and 75% duration reduction, and also doesn't work with non-damaging attacks. Hysteria doesn't break CC on yourself or partners. The nightfall proc was made automatic instead of on press and doesn't crit.

The main strike was changed to Death Strike from Obliterate for some reason as well. You can't keep diseases up with the required rotation; it's impossible. The changes to this spec were a total failure. Also, if Bladestorm had the treatment this ability did in PvP, it would last 1.5 seconds and do half a whirlwind of damage.


Frost

This spec originally was an interaction between Icy Touch, Hungering Cold, Howling Blast, and Frost Strike. It was pretty much like a melee frostmage. Now it's an obliterate based dual wield build that doesn't even use ranged attacks.

Howling Blast doesn't crit into Hungering Cold. The interaction between Icy Touch and Howling Blast, which was the whole build, was removed. Howling Blast was heavily nerfed and does horrible damage now, has a cooldown, and was moved to the 51 point talent slot. Icy Touch doesn't do any damage anymore. I don't even bind it as frost now because it wastes procs.

The spec was made to scale with diseases, and like the other two specs, has no disease protection. Because the build was made completely dependant on obliterate instead of ranged attacks, this spec is now useless in PVP. The chain crit mechanic was completely removed and is now on a PPM system. The frost-mage style snare was made worthless to the point where nobody specs into it anymore. Hungering Cold is now extremely easy to counter because it doesn't interact with our damaging mechanics anymore.

DW doesn't work with the build either, because it's too difficult to get reliable burst with two weapons. Two chances to dodge/parry you doesn't help either, and feeds people free damage/rage.

Works alright though if you keep FF up with Rime procs, still inferior to Unholy though. Better to play with a 2H because you can afford to spec into Icy Talons and other advantages like not having to buy three weapons.


Unholy

This spec went from what I might call a 'melee warlock' to something completely different. Honestly, I don't even know what to call it now.

Originally, this spec worked by doing high AOE pressure to the whole enemy team. It had some pretty good CC and lock down, so it could keep the pressure rolling. It was pretty difficult to attack and pressure a Death Knight, so mobility wasn't as big of a problem as it is now.

The spec worked by spreading diseases, which were better back then, and then igniting that damage with Blood Boil, which had three times the range it does now and scaled with diseases. It had another spell, Unholy Blight, the old 51 point talent, which caused spell knockback, destealthed people, and did really good AOE damage. Diseases do less damage than they used to because they don't scale very well with attack power, and AOE pressure is irrelevant now without Blood Boil, D&D, or Gnaw. HOTS, which are the main reason why 75% of our damage is completely worthless, arn't dispelled by Blood Plague any more.

When Blizzard changed 'diseaseless blood', they decided to implement the same change to the other trees for some reason. We were basically told to use Scourge Strike, which would then scale three times off diseases, making the damage totally insignificant if diseases were completely removed. Still, we did alright, even though we were pretty hard hit by mechanics that were introduced back in vanilla like Abolish Disease and Cleansing Totem. The main reason why we were still OK was that we still did enough damage to kill people if they cleansed too much. Still, we were marginalized in 3s and 5s by the disease change.

Eventually things got worse. Death Knights were too influential in 2s, so the raising people from the dead mechanic was removed. Unholy Blight was deleted.

Then they:

  • Lowered Scourge Strike's damage.
  • Made Blood Boil useless and told us to use Blood Strike for reaping instead.
  • Made it easier to cleanse diseases.
  • Took our 10% parry away from us.
  • Made Gargoyle fly on the ground.
  • Made Icy Touch do next-to no damage.
  • Lowered IBF's damage reduction from 50% to 20%.
  • Lowered Bone Shield's damage reduction from 40% to 20%.
  • Doubled the cooldown on IBF from one to two minutes, effectively removing our prediction-based stun immunity.
  • Put a cooldown on raise dead.
  • Took the fear effect away from and lowered D&D damage by 30%.
  • Lowered the damage from Scourge Strike by about 10%.
  • Put a cap on AMS and AMZ.
  • Lowered the damage done by Plague Strike.
  • Lowered the snare % on Chains of Ice and fixed the 'stop moving' mechanic and removed the dispel protection.
  • Lowered the spread range on Pestilence and removed the damage (spell knockback).
  • Lowered the damage added by Sigil of Awareness.
  • Lowered the healing from Death Strike by 20%.
  • Made Death Pact unable to crit.
  • Lowered the charges on Bone Shield.
  • Lowered the effectiveness of Frost Presence.
  • Lowered the duration of Gargoyle, even though it was a bug, and said it was a tooltip error.
  • Made it easier for rogues and warriors to disarm us and made us use way more physical moves(see: blade barrier and ibf and stance changes) making us even more vulnerable to it than before.
  • Nerfed WOTF. ;_;
  • Removed totemstomping


Still, some of us adapted. We casted Chains of Ice a lot and put some reasonable damage in with Scourge Strike. We played with the two best classes in the game, holding targets in place so they could do the most possible damage. We went with paladins to help with mobility and CC problems. We learned to manually stomp totems with mouseover macros and apply diseases through dispels depending on what was removed and call for abolish poison dispels.

Then, they changed Scourge Strike to physical damage and even lowered the damage of Unholy Blight by 50% (to compensate for the change).

Honestly though, I wouldn't mind the changes so much, it's just that I don't feel like a Death Knight anymore. Blood doesn't feel like Blood. Frost doesn't feel frosty. Unholy doesn't feel evil or like a disease pressure build.

I miss having a good pet as unholy. I think one reason why Gnaw had its cooldown tripled was that they made the spell available on autocast in environments such as BGs. If they removed that from the ability they could lower the cooldown, I think. Deathgrip and Gnaw had great synergy once, and now that's gone.

I miss having cool ranged abilities and an interesting damaging system as frost. I miss all the cool blood-themed healing abilities as Blood, and the Dancing Rune Blade, which used to be really cool. I miss spreading diseases, and AOEing with Blood Boil, D&D, and Unholy Blight. I miss breaking my paladin out of CC with Hysteria. I miss Strangulating a paladin and priest at the same time, and I miss bouncing players around with DRW Deathgrip.

One thing that I think is kinda strange and a prime example of terrible class design is the 'Chains of Ice' problem. The rune system is what keeps this ability under control. Sure, it's being spammed like crazy now, but that's because of our rune system. Our other abilities are worthless. If we were given an ability that did a reasonable amount of damage, I bet Chains of Ice spam would go down by 50%. I just hope they don't make the spell useless before implementing real changes.

I guess the obvious question is: Why did these changes happen? Why would such idiotic changes be introduced?

I think these are the reasons why:

  • Raiding, IE tanking and DPS
  • Over-responsiveness to uninformed QQ from low-rated players
  • Initial class power level too high, and the stigma that resulted

But mostly, this resulted from a terrible Blizzard dev team. According to Blizzard, it's led by Greg Street 'Ghostcrawler', who, to me, seems like an uninformed jerk that refuses to admit that he's wrong about anything. It baffles me that this man has anything to do with game balance for any class, much less our class, which he's failed to get right time and time again. He appears to spend a good portion of his 'dev' time trolling the forums.

Sometimes, you make mistakes. That's understandable. But an unwillingness to go back and say 'Hmm, we can revert this change' is unacceptable.

This has happened repeatedly, with abilities like Unholy Blight, Icebound Fortitude, Blood Boil, and Icy Touch. The initial change is made, it becomes obvious that it was a bad change after the initial stigma passes, and then nothing is done about it. Not enough players care at all about the class because the team totally failed to respond to real problems in season 5.

I think a good first step to 'balance' in Cataclysm would replacing Greg Street. He seems like a nice guy, but there's a lot of people that would probably tackle game balance more seriously. A lot of people play this game. Just my opinion, though.



Anyway, that's what I came up with in about 3 hours of spare time while computer's reformat went through. I hope that you'll respond to or +rep my post if you think it was relevant, or vice-versa. I don't spend a lot of my writing time on this subject, my last topic was actually a short story.

Thought I should share it. Might entertain somebody. Thanks for reading, or not reading.

Flame if you want, but keep in mind that this should be relevant, considering that we're talking about 'fixing DKs', but balance might not even be the problem. Players have shown all over that the class is still viable at high rated. Personally, despite balance, I don't think the class is even fun anymore. Changes need to be made to make the class 'fun', again, more than anything else.

I think a good start would be reverting back to more original mechanics and then balancing them. Design doesn't move forward by deleting spells and mechanics. We either need our old stuff back, or we need new stuff. That's all folks, thanks.

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#202 GLopez

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 09:04 PM

I hate your ideas. They would make Blood overpowered and Unholy really boring. AOE damage does not belong in small-scale PvP, at least to the extent you're talking about.

I do wish Frost was tweaked more to make it the "melee Frost Mage," but I don't think that will be really done until Cataclysm.
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#203 Elraen

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 09:07 PM

Pretty good analysis, Roswends. It's pretty much a compilation of a lot of things people have been saying for a long time now.

To really sum this all up, we got nerfed because of 2s. No one will ever deny DKs were waaay too good in 2s. Despite that, DKs were almost never OP/over-represented in 3s/5s. So they dismantle the class because of 2s, but for the 3rd season now, DKs have been a well-below average 3s class and it's only gotten worse.

What makes that worse is that 2s was removed from titles/mounts, and they "stopped balancing around 2s" but I believe that it was BECAUSE of 2s that we got nerfed so harshly and continually in the first place.
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-Aëon, the hunter formerly known as Elraen
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"And rmp is fine it isn't even that amazing"

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#204 Roswend

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 09:16 PM

I hate your ideas. They would make Blood overpowered and Unholy really boring. AOE damage does not belong in small-scale PvP, at least to the extent you're talking about.

I do wish Frost was tweaked more to make it the "melee Frost Mage," but I don't think that will be really done until Cataclysm.


I didn't make a single suggestion in my post. The topic was changes that have already been made.

I'd really appreciate it if you'd actually read what I said, or just not say anything about it at all. Seems like you just flashread my post, picked out a few words, and then trolled.

The main point was that I wish the class was like like what it used to be. Most of the changes just ruined fun mechanics. The class is balanced, it's just not fun.

I think the main reason why people are posting here saying that the class is too weak is that nobody likes playing a support role. We're the only class that really explicitly plays a support role, neither healer nor dps. Also, even though GC claims every class should have three viable specs, there seems to be a double standard when it comes to DKs.

Also, here's part of something I didn't post. I removed some of it so it wouldn't be too long.

The reason why the class is still viable is the rune system. Even when all of our abilities are worthless, when it's barely worth using anything, we can still get shit done. The dev team has effectively marginalized every spell but Deathcoil and Chains of Ice. Our whole playstyle revolves around those two abilities in one way or another.

That's why the class sucks. That's why the class is boring.



Oh, thanks Sïn for reading my post! <3
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#205 Tyr

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 10:17 PM

Tbh the change they need to make to fix SS is change it from :
Physical damage X + (Physical damage X Shadow ) = SS

into

Shadow damage X + Shadow damage X physical ) = SS

So that the shadowdamage doesnt get such a huge nerf due low crits from phsyical on high armor. Since the shadow damage relies on the physical damage to calculate shadow part. If it was the otherway around, you would have same results on plate and cloth and it would be way more balanced. well not same results, but more like 3000 shadow crit, 1000 physical on plate, and 5-6k on cloth. Instead of 1000 phsyical + 1000 shadow on plate. Which is already high for its current state.
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#206 GLopez

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:28 AM

Complaining about something not existing, like Unholy AOE or Blood being able to Strangulate two things, implies that you'd like it to return.

Anyways, I don't think Death Knights actually are a pure utility class. We still put out a decent amount of damage, especially after the next patch. We really don't just sit there and spam Chains of Ice and Death Coil.

Honestly, it seems like you picked the wrong class. I think you want to play a Warrior.

As for me, I still have lots of fun.
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#207 Gurren

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:35 AM

No I think he wants to play a Death knight.
Not a warriors or hunters pet.
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#208 GLopez

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:39 AM

Well, all we really need in that regard is Death Coil being built off melee crit and talents that give Scourge Strike crit.

Then they should nerf Warrior and Hunter damage.
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#209 Gurren

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:42 AM

Removing Armor penetration will pretty much solve warriors damage.
I'm not positive if hunters roll with armor penetration, but their damage just seems to be obscene right now in pve and pvp.
Although heavily gear dependent?
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#210 GLopez

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:43 AM

Yeah, Hunters rely on PvE gear a lot. Marksman scales like crazy. I don't know how they can address that except for outright nerfing Chimera Shot.

I'm actually not sure if removing ArP will be enough. They're going to have to remove Unrelenting Assault too, I think.
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#211 Roswend

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 02:34 AM

Complaining about something not existing, like Unholy AOE or Blood being able to Strangulate two things, implies that you'd like it to return.

Anyways, I don't think Death Knights actually are a pure utility class. We still put out a decent amount of damage, especially after the next patch. We really don't just sit there and spam Chains of Ice and Death Coil.

Honestly, it seems like you picked the wrong class. I think you want to play a Warrior.

As for me, I still have lots of fun.


I still enjoy the class, otherwise I would have moved on to something else.

But yah, the whole point of the whole post was that I'd like it to return. None of them were new ideas.

I think they should bring all the stuff they removed back, and then rebalance it in a new way. Just a shame to see stuff get removed or marginalized.

Would like to see all these abilities back or with a real use. It's not imbalanced for these abilities to be good. We use a rune system, we'd be using these instead sometimes for no net increase. Actually, all this would do is reverse redundant changes already in the game.


  • Howling Blast: Remove the cooldown again, increase scaling, and add +10% damage to Rime. Increase Rime proc chance a little bit. Let it crit when we cast it into Hungering Cold, godamnit. That was fun!

  • Death and Decay: Make it scale with Crypt Fever again (+30%), increase the radius a bit.

  • Icy Touch: Increase the damage again, that spec wouldn't work now.

  • Blood Boil: Add some disease scaling, and then add it to reaping again along with Blood Strike. If you can't add it to reaping, atleast increase the damage. I really miss having options when it comes to my rune use. All I use it for now is stealth and sometimes damaging people that are outa range.

  • Unholy Blight: Bring this ability back! It was so fun. It made our rotation interesting. Fun hitting something other than Death Coil, and it looked cool. I liked that I could keep it rolling and gain a little damage over someone that didn't, even if it was only a small amount. I liked having something else to think about.

    One of the coolest things was when you lost a kill attempt, or when you had extra runic power, or some left over. Unholy Blight was the perfect choice for that situation. It was really fun to activate and watch the unholy orbs orbit your character for a moment. It really had a fantastic animation.

  • Dancing Rune Weapon: This was a lot more fun when it did the same damage, I understand if it has to stay this way though. Would be really nice if it had double the cd/duration and 100% damage again.

  • Hysteria: Damages you for 5% breaking CC, then grant 20% damage increase. Would be more like oldschool hysteria, which broke everything for 10 seconds, but only once. Honestly, in PvP, that was its most important use!

  • Vampiric Blood: Increases healing done by the player by a significant % since it was lowered to compensate for healing coming from other players. The whole point initially was to heal yourself with it.

  • Sudden Death: Could we actually have this proc again? Why was this made automatic? So boring.

  • Rune Tap: Make this more useful, if it restored a blood rune and then granted free health it'd do wonders for this ability and for the spec.

  • Gnaw: Bring it back to 30 seconds, just remove it from autocast. Only reason I feel this was changed at all was Bgs. Removing it from autocast would fix that, heh.

  • Icebound Fortitude: Bring this back to one minute! Take the damage reduction away. Make that a completely different spell. We could use more buttons to press anyway. Personally, I really miss reacting to and predicting stuns. I miss being a frozen sonuvabitch that was stun immune. I miss enganging in melee with confidence.

  • Mind Freeze: It's obvious that the reason this spell is bugged is the talented runic power cost reduction. Look, next patch, when you make Chains of Ice disease baseline, make that baseline too. That should fix the lag.

    Also, while you're at it, change the way the PVP gloves work. It takes almost half a second for us to gain the +5 Runic Power. As far as I can tell, it has about the same delay as COI.


I think if these basic changes were introduced the class would be way more fun. It wouldn't be that much stronger, either. It'd just be fun.

If raid damage is a problem, there's an easy solution for that- just remove Wandering Plague. Change it to let diseases crit or do double damage occasionally. That'd be the exact same single target.

If I could have any class changes before Cata hits, it would be these. I don't even care about Scourge Strike. Honestly, if these changes were pretty much introduced verbatum, I would be so delighted. I'd even send GC fresh flowers.
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#212

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 06:07 AM

:eek:
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#213 Gurren

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 07:59 PM

A lot of the changes to blood and frost were made in a low resilience enviroment against people swinging betrayer of humanity and the frost strike sigil.
Near the end of season 5 as Blood I wasnt globaling healers, some priests and paladins we ran up against time and time again knew how to react to survive it. But instead we got knee jerk nerfs from GC.
DRW is annoying now, it has a low cooldown, does pitiful damage and still wanders off. I'm pretty sure a blood pvp build would benefit more from unholy blight at this point.
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#214 GLopez

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:32 PM

A lot of the changes to blood and frost were made in a low resilience enviroment against people swinging betrayer of humanity and the frost strike sigil.
Near the end of season 5 as Blood I wasnt globaling healers, some priests and paladins we ran up against time and time again knew how to react to survive it. But instead we got knee jerk nerfs from GC.
DRW is annoying now, it has a low cooldown, does pitiful damage and still wanders off. I'm pretty sure a blood pvp build would benefit more from unholy blight at this point.

I agree with all of this.
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#215 Gurren

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:35 PM

Also sudden doom was a FANTASTIC TALENT, god damn.
The only way to make a death coil useful for blood was to make it crit when you wanted to cast one, brilliant.
But no, people couldnt handle a talent not being good for pve deeps, even with two other trees to do it in.
So it became another sustained dps crap talent to add to the heap.
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