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Regional FlagProposed DK ChangesSource
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#1 - 2011/02/11 08:11:00 PM
Credentials: 5x Gladiator on Rogue and DK, 2750 in 2s 2730 in 3s (highest rating) 9th US guild during Ulduar. I've been in the top ten of BG brackets many times and I've raided hardcore until I wanted to claw out my eyes.

That said, I have a few ideas on how to fix the current DK situation. It's clear the blizzard wants to alleviate some of our mobility issues. Our powerful utility coupled with constant pressure makes us a danger in any pvp or arena situation. However, until recently our mobility has been so abysmal (one gap closer on a 25 second CD) that the best strategy for many teams was to ride the DK, forcing him to play defensively and effectively keeping him where he is. This is the main reason that many DKs have been stacking resilience, as it scales extremely well and we're targeted enough to make it worth it.

The recent implementation of Death's Advance was blizzard's attempt at remedying our mobility problems. Despite multiple weeks of PTR, they seem to have grossly undervalued what having a near-100% uptime ghostwolf style ability would do to a class and to balance as a whole. It was now extremely difficult to peel a DK off of anyone, and the first damage nerfs (5% str, 20% pet damage, 15% DC damage) weren't enough to cull the strength of DKs.

So they quickly hotfixed in some more nerfs. Another 15% damage taken from DC and another 20% taken off our pets. In my opinion, this is one place where the nerfing could have stopped. I played about 30 games last night, when death's advance was still 100%, and while my damage was high, my pressure was very very low. It felt similar to s8 DKs, who were glorified slow-bots, tagging along with a hunter or warrior and letting them do all the damage. The difference is there were a lot more skill-based abilities, like Dark Simulacrum and the new pet abilities, which allowed me to make some pretty awesome plays that affected the outcome of the match. I couldn't really kill anything by myself, but I could influence the arena enough that I felt I was worth bringing.

Then came today's newest fix, nerfing death's advance down to 75%. The big difference between 75% and 100%, other than the obvious, is that anyone who can suppress or disable slowing abilities (hand of freedom, master's call, priest shield, ghost wolf) can now get away from us, if not as easily as before, equally as effectively. We will be following someone at 75% and they will be running at 100%, getting around corners or just generally kiting us so that our damage and utility becomes negligible.

I like the idea of a 75% death's advance, because it helps our mobility without making us too overpowered. The problem comes from the fact that they've nerfed us multiple times, trying to compensate for a crazy-powerful 100% death's advance, and then finally seemed to say "alright, lets just do it" and brought it down to 75%. In light of this most recent nerf, I feel we need to have some changes reverted or otherwise compensated in damage.

Continued...





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#4 - 2011/02/11 08:18:01 PM
I think this is a good opportunity to clarify our intentions regarding some of the recent death knight changes.

Going from 4.0.3 to 4.0.6, our goal was to lower Unholy death knight damage and raise mobility. Our 4.0.6 changes didn’t quite hit the mark (we undershot on damage and overshot on mobility), so we had to make additional adjustments. The nerfs to Death Coil and pet damage in 4.0.6 were never intended to compensate for the addition of Death's Advance, but were completely separate and PvE motivated. We felt that Unholy damage was too high in most PvE encounters, and it was necessary to reduce their dps output as a result. The mastery buff compensated for the intended adjustments a bit too much, so it was necessary to tune down those abilities again. An additional bug fix was also applied to Death and Decay that should not affect damage and was not a part of these balance adjustments.

Death's Advance was included to help address Unholy death knight mobility issues in PvP, but it turned out to be too effective, and so it was toned down. It should still help increase up-time on PvP targets though.

While these changes were up on PTR, we tend to get limited testing - particularly when there isn't new raid content to test - and the PTR is often of limited value for PvP testing. While we appreciate the efforts of the players who participated and sent us feedback, it’s still a relatively small sample size compared to the millions of players who experience the changes when they actually go live. Deploying quick fixes, especially nerfs, isn’t always popular among players, but when they're possible, we think it’s a better course of action in the long run than letting balance problems persist. We’ll continue to monitor these and other class issues and periodically step in as necessary.

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#67 - 2011/02/11 09:02:11 PM
I know. Frankly I'm shocked that a community rep was careless enough to flat-out admit that Blizz ignores feedback and makes sweeping changes without being sure of what their effects will be. Usually even if the devs don't know what they're doing the CRs are at least good at sugar-coating it.


I didn't say we ignored feedback, just that (while appreciated) PvP feedback from the PTR is such a limited sample that the information we glean from it isn't always as useful as what we see when a change goes live. There just aren’t as many people playing on PTR as there are on the live realms.

Regardless, the feedback isn't ignored - it's more likely that we're waiting for more information to come in before acting.

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#266 - 2011/02/12 04:04:00 AM
Thank you for the response (though I am somewhat peeved that my post was ignored, but that's life). But you still haven't addressed the issues to Frost at all.

Also the disorganized state the trees are in.


The root from the Chilblains talent being exempt from diminishing returns was a bug, which was resolved. In situations where shared diminishing returns are an issue, there are other tools available to Frost specced death knights to apply snares or otherwise close the gap. We think that death knight PvP mobility is in a good place now, but we're paying close attention.

We're also keeping a close eye on Frost single target dps at the moment. On a related note, it looks like Frost area of effect output is competitive, despite the changes to Howling Blast. We're also pretty happy with the layout of the Frost tree in general.