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Has the design of death knights been a failure in WOTLK?


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#41 Covlol

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 04:40 AM

thats deep
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#42 GLopez

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 04:44 AM

A lot of good discussion here, but let's spin this argument a bit:

Let's say that tomorrow, Blizzard nerfed Mana Burn, warrior damage, and hunter damage. These are things I think most people will say need to be adjusted, though maybe with some buffs to those classes in other areas.

Would death knights still be fine? Would any of the viable death knight comps still be tier 1?

I think the answer is pretty obviously no, and I'm pretty sure that's indicative of something failing with the class.

Don't get me wrong. I love the class, and I would actually say that the class is where most classes should be. But in the high-burst environment of WOTLK, relative to other classes, death knight design is lacking.

DK is a support role similar to feral druids, ret paladins, and enhancement shamans.

Except Feral druids and Retribution paladins have a ton more utility and damage. And Enhancement shamans, while lacking in damage, have way, way more utility than death knights as well.

Not to mention you're comparing specs to an entire class.
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#43 Jerein

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 04:50 AM

DK changes that need to go in to bring us up to par with other classes currently:

reduce gnaw CD

change SS so it's not stupidly complicated and underpowered on plate

make gargoyle not be fucking idiotic and attack whatever it wants half the time

possibly reduce strang CD (and maybe duration)

fix mindfreeze
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#44 Voxvicious

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 05:00 AM

don't understand how you can cry when you're playing a dk
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#45 Nadagast

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 05:17 AM

The problem with DKs is a more general problem that has to do with non-MS non-caster specs. Think about all the other non-MS non-caster specs: Rets, Enhance, Prot Warriors, Prot Pallys, and Ferals. These specs, with rare exceptions, must be partnered with a MS class to make good comps. Comps without MS require one of three things:
1. Lots of synergy between the two DPS (like DKLD). Lots of synergy is fine, but it's rare. It would be extremely difficult to make a non-MS non-caster class that synergizes well with lots of different caster specs.

2. Lots of burst damage (like Ele/Destro comps). I feel like this is the direction they went with some of the early WotLK changes. It was terrible. Does everyone remember Ferocious Bites for easily over 10k when everyone had about 20k HP? This is not a good direction to go. High burst needs to have a cast time and be harder to get off (and even if it had a cast time or was harder to get off it was still too high). This got toned down as the expansion evolved. This encourages cleave comps more than '???' comps (see below) I think.

3. Lots of CC (like MLD). This will not work for non-MS non-caster specs. CC needs to either have a cast time or a cooldown. If the class is a non-caster it doesn't really make that much sense to have cast times on abilities, and you can't give too much instant CC to them without them being hideously overpowered. Instant CC is extremely strong.

You can break specs down into 4 general categories:
Caster DPS (Warlock, Mage, Ele, SPriest, Boomkin)
Healer (DPriest, HPal, RDruid, RSham)
MS DPS (Hunter, Rogue, Arms Warrior)
non-MS non-caster DPS (Feral Enhance Ret Prot Prot and all 3 DK specs)

Then there are 4 main types of comps:
Double Healer (Healer + Healer + MS DPS)
Wizards (Caster DPS + Caster DPS + Healer)
Classic/Balanced (MS + Caster + Healer)
Cleave (MS DPS + non-MS non-caster DPS + Healer)
and then there's:
??? (non-MS non-caster DPS + Caster + Healer) (like DKLD, FMP, very rare)

Caster DPS have 2 types of comps they can play in.
Healers can play in 4 types of comps.
MS DPS can play in 2 types of comps.
non-MS non-caster DPS can essentially play in 1 type of comp. They're missing an entire category of comps to play in.


There are a ton of things that I think could be done to solve this. You could: (this is all thought up in 5 minutes so forgive me if it kinda sucks)

Give non-MS non-caster DPS specs MS.

Give non-MS non-caster DPS specs half-MS that stacks with caster MS for full MS.

Give non-MS non-caster DPS specs burst that is somehow (use your imagination, damage scales with number of DoTs, damage relies on a non-dispellable debuff that needs to stack and has a short duration, ability that adds damage to their caster's spells, tons of possibilities I think) hard to execute. The magnitude of this burst would have to depend on how many other buffs non-MS non-caster specs get. What if all non-MS non-caster DPS specs had an ability that they could cast on their Healer that let their Healer use their Heals as nukes for 5-10 seconds? Think stuff like that...

Make the ??? type of comp much more viable. Create a new category of MS Healers, (or give situational MS to existing Healers) Healers that synergize well with non-MS non-caster classes and have MS. Maybe give non-MS non-physical classes all a new debuff category that will have high uptime and reduces their target's HP by 10%. Require this debuff to be on the target for the Healer's MS to work.

Give non-MS non-caster DPS specs tons of small situational CC, preferably stuff that breaks on damage and doesn't last longer than 3 seconds, with a short cooldown. If every non-MS non-caster DPS had a 2 second disorient on a 20 second cooldown that was usable from 30 yard range, and another 20 second cooldown ability that knocked a target straight upwards into the air for 2 seconds, it seems to me that that would help a lot. Numbers would obviously have to change based on balance... and I worry that this would only encourage cleaving.


I think I'm starting to like the idea that non-MS non-caster DPS can chain/synergize their abilities off some sort of shared debuff that most casters and healers could get on a target. (Or the other way around)


The problem is not only with DKs, it's with this entire category of specs, but it's especially bad with DKs because all 3 of their specs are non-MS non-caster. Shamans, Druids, Paladins, and Warriors can all just go respec if they want to play something other than cleave. DKs are stuck with permanently playing as a non-MS non-caster spec. They have been a problem for a long time, and Blizzard doesn't seem to be doing anything to fix it. Necrotic Strike if its numbers are high enough will help DKs, but it will not solve the problem of this entire category of specs being extremely limited in what comps they can run.

Wow this was way longer than I expected it would be... and I haven't even read the thread yet :) I'll read it tomorrow!
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#46 GLopez

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 05:26 AM

Great post, Nadagast. :)

The big problem, I think, is that this is the first time the victim of this category is an entire class, not just a spec. Hopefully that gives Blizzard some urgency and makes them realize Necrotic Strike has to be either really strong or an outright healing debuff like Mortal Strike.
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#47 Nadagast

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 05:39 AM

The big problem, I think, is that this is the first time the victim of this category is an entire class, not just a spec.


Yep exactly.


It doesn't help that many of the non-MS non-caster DPS specs don't (or didn't) have a Kick equivalent. The combination of no Kick and no MS makes their ability to control the positioning and flow of the game extremely low I think. This is somewhat alleviated with DKs by Chains, but the map presence a Warrior has with MS gives you so much more pushing power than Chains. Also, I think there's a big, qualitative difference between merely slowing their push with Chains and actually being able to push them back with MS.
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#48 GLopez

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 05:48 AM

Yeah, especially in an expansion that revolves around offensive pressure for gaining momentum. Like the saying goes, the best CC is DPS.
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#49 Nadagast

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 05:50 AM

Yeah it's very true but I think it was also true often in TBC too. Although that was a long time ago, maybe I'm misremembering. I think damage was at the very least more important as a CC in TBC than popular board opinion believes.
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#50 GLopez

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 05:56 AM

Yeah, I actually heard that saying tossed around in TBC. It's just arenas in-general, but I do think WOTLK only made it more true.
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#51 Ghazuk

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 08:18 AM

DK is a support role similar to feral druids, ret paladins, and enhancement shamans.


this may be true, but comparing a class that has only 1 viable pvp tree to classes that all have superior specs is just stupid :(

€: i maybe should have read the whole thread :rolleyes:. nadagast already said it ^^

The problem is not only with DKs, it's with this entire category of specs, but it's especially bad with DKs because all 3 of their specs are non-MS non-caster. Shamans, Druids, Paladins, and Warriors can all just go respec if they want to play something other than cleave. DKs are stuck with permanently playing as a non-MS non-caster spec. They have been a problem for a long time, and Blizzard doesn't seem to be doing anything to fix it. Necrotic Strike if its numbers are high enough will help DKs, but it will not solve the problem of this entire category of specs being extremely limited in what comps they can run.


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#52 SeedSargeras

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 10:07 AM

Nadagast, very good post. You've summed it up amazingly good. Thank you. <3
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#53 Demetrious

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 10:21 AM

Yeah it's very true but I think it was also true often in TBC too. Although that was a long time ago, maybe I'm misremembering. I think damage was at the very least more important as a CC in TBC than popular board opinion believes.


This is a good point.

I think Nadagast hit the nail on the head. In Cata, it would be nice to see 20% mortal strike opening up the field for non-MS non-caster specs. However, I'm split on whether it will open up the field for DKs, ferals, etc., or whether it will simply make caster-cleaves stronger (since they'll have the best-available MS, best available CC, and healing is going to be toned down in Cata.)
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#54 Lawdyx

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 11:16 AM

i didn't read the whole thread but what people might forget here is how terrible dks actually scale with gear (also for the fact that they dont benefit from the 3 great overpowered stats in wotlk: haste, arp and agi (although agi to a lesser extent but it still scales ridiculously well)).
i can't imagine that the developers have much clue about the dk class mechanics really if the class is designed that terribly. (a fucking ulduar sigil makes the class even viable??? what the fuck really. it's been like that since the start of wotlk, from awareness increasing the damage of scourge strike by roughly 1/3rd to SotVH doubling the damage of froststrike for those that played frost to SotVH again for everyone that plays unholy now because it increases the damage of death coil by 1/3rd

every (dps) class (spec) in the game that doesn't scale with either of these 3 stats is pretty terrible at the moment (dk, ret, enh). enh only being good when paired with a zoo because the enh design is almost as bad as the dks one. they only live by their 2 wolf pets and wind shear having such a short cd.
prot palas are a little bit of an exception to this just because their damage is ridiculous (that was also the only reason why dks (not sure about rets here) were strong as fuck in the first season(s), their damage was just stupidly high to compensate for lack of cc and an ms effect)
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#55 Skillionaire

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 11:59 AM

a pure melee class with 1 viable tree for arena, without any sort of ms.

only works in TSG, PHD & to an extent Shadowcleave and ofc... double healer DK, which is a huge joke.

Out of those 4, shadowcleave is the only one that actually IMO, isn't a retarded comp and it takes some skill to get anywhere with and with solid communication and gameplay it's fairly strong.
TSG isn't as strong as it used to be and it has some pretty hard counters, but it's still dumb. PHD includes a hunter, so that's also dumb by default. And double healer DK needs no comment.

yes, I would say it's pretty poorly designed.
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#56 Fentality

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:02 PM

a fucking ulduar sigil makes the class even viable??? what the fuck really. it's been like that since the start of wotlk, from awareness increasing the damage of scourge strike by roughly 1/3rd to SotVH doubling the damage of froststrike for those that played frost to SotVH again for everyone that plays unholy now because it increases the damage of death coil by 1/3rd


QFT
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#57 Ziqo

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:13 PM

are you a retard? you're comparing a cc in a tree which noone specs to baseline cc's that all specs of sham and pals get..


Yeah, comparing how useful them booth are; one being a CC that you can move in with a shit range and one being a shit cc that no one uses (hungering cold), however he said DKs have no CC, I just stated one :) besides a decent DK can lock out a player for quite some time
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#58 Ziqo

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:18 PM

That makes no sense at all, hex/hoj are basic abilities, while hungering cold is in the later tiers of a not viable tree.


Where did I say they were horrible once? I said comparing specs to classes is dumb. I said comparing a mage to a DK is a horrible comparison. And I said DK's are the only melee with no MS or CC.



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#59 Lawdyx

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:34 PM

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don't worry, be happy
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#60 Atraille

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:37 PM

A lot of good discussion here, but let's spin this argument a bit:

Let's say that tomorrow, Blizzard nerfed Mana Burn, warrior damage, and hunter damage. These are things I think most people will say need to be adjusted, though maybe with some buffs to those classes in other areas.

Would death knights still be fine? Would any of the viable death knight comps still be tier 1?

I think the answer is pretty obviously no, and I'm pretty sure that's indicative of something failing with the class.

Don't get me wrong. I love the class, and I would actually say that the class is where most classes should be. But in the high-burst environment of WOTLK, relative to other classes, death knight design is lacking.

Except Feral druids and Retribution paladins have a ton more utility and damage. And Enhancement shamans, while lacking in damage, have way, way more utility than death knights as well.

Not to mention you're comparing specs to an entire class.


That's kind of silly to say.

You can't say you're going to nerf the classes that support you (or vice versa) and ask if your class will be strong...

The spec v class thing is silly as well when referring to Hybrid classes. I mean... I understand why you may feel that if there is one viable spec, then the class is fine... but in reality, each spec is so different, that it is like a separate class. ie; you don't roll a Paladin, you roll either a prot paladin, holy paladin, or ret paladin.
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