Regional FlagPlease Settle the Rune Empowerment DebateSource
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#0 - 2010/09/23 04:34:45 PM
I think everyone knows there isn't alot of time left in Beta, and many people think the Death Knight class is lacking in some areas and it seems we can't get to those issues because the GCD capped issue and the Rune Empowerment issue continues to derail most topcis relating to the class.

I think the main issue is there is a disagreement on what being GCD capped actually means. So that is pretty much what this topic is here try to find out.

Since the only two melee classes I have experience with in pve are Death Knights and Ret Paladins I am going to make the comparison between these two classes.

GCD Capped What Does That Mean??

I think some people have a different idea of what this actually means. Here is where the Ret vs. DK comparison comes in.

Retribution is a spec that isn't considered to be GCD capped since everything they do is on a cooldown so it's more of a priority system. You never see threads of "omg i am GCD capped as ret and it sucks". On my ret paladin with 4pc t10 in ICC depending on 4pc10 divine storm procs (we are going to use that proc as a direct comparison to Rune Empowerment) there are many times where I have no time to spend all my resources (There are times do to t10procs that i will go long periods of time without being able to fit in Crusader Strike for example). If you get a lucky string of procs and it happens often especially during herosim phase I will go 2-3 rotation intervals where I just couldn't get to everything before something else came off cooldown.

Is this a bad model? This is exactly how DKs function in Beta and I do not consider that to be GCD capped, because it's very different then the way DKs are GCD capped on live. On live I feel as though I have to follow a strict rotation or I lose massive amounts of DPS. This never happens to me as Ret, this also doesn't happen to me in beta as a DK.

I also find that in beta I am able to for the most part keep my runes on cooldown far easier then on live. On live GCD limited me from doing this alot of times but I find that it's much easier to do in beta. So does the GCD issue you talked about in the DK preview relate to runes only? If so that makes alot of sense. Do you care that we have extra RP that is difficult to spend depending on rune priority which puts us in the situation of Ret on live. I always envisioned RP to be a secondary resource system and always second to the main rune resource.

Rune Empowerment

This question won't be nearly as detailed because it's pretty straight forward. RE IMO is fun because it makes it so I have to make decisions on the fly. The major question is did you guys intend Rune Empowerment to be something we could "Sit on" or not use until optimal such as waiting to pair runes ect... Or was this designed to be like rime or sudden doom where we use it immediately. There seems to be some DKs that think RE is a failure because if we don't use it right away we lost damage (something I am not seeing from all the test i have run in beta), or the argument of why have it if we can just ignore the proc for awhile sometimes.

If you can shed some light on this subject I think it could help the community alot. Right now Frost is in really bad shape and we need to get some good feedback on that spec but we can't until some issues with RE and the GCD issue are cleared up.


Blue Poster
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#29 - 2010/09/23 08:58:21 PM
Q u o t e:
GCD capped means you use every GCD. Whether it's for a damaging ability, defensive ability, anything.

This is a bad model for several reasons:

1. It greatly increases or decreases the value of expertise based on latency (There's an actual spreadsheet on EJ that has this)

2. It leaves no room for thought or planning of rune usage.

3. You're grossly penalized in dps if you manage to not get a few abilities off (say on a target switch, or hitting some lag) vs say a mutilate rogue who's dps isn't going to change whether they mutilate now or 2 seconds from now as long as their energy isn't sitting near max.

This is a good start, but there are other reasons we don't like being GCD locked. It means you can never take even a moment to look around and notice the battlefield, notice who is in trouble, maybe shout something out on Vent. If you have a situational utility ability, or even are asked to do something unusual on a boss fight, you're reluctant because you need those GCDs for more dps!!!!

(Usually when I say that, the response is "I can multitask!" But the reality doesn't always match that boast. What we see instead if players complaining about e.g. movement fights because that means they can't always get to step 6 of a 6 step damage rotation.)

Even more importantly, we also want design space for ourselves. When your spec is GCD locked, you have to start ignoring things like procs or free resources, because you can't spend them without screwing up your rotation.

That said, we know that being GCD locked is a really subjective issue. Some players like hitting a button every 1.5 (or 1.0) seconds and feel like they are waiting around when that doesn't happen. Fury warriors and the dps paladins who can't necessarily hit a button every 1.5 sec now have found their Cataclysm versions of the classes to feel almost foreign... though we still think it will feel better in the long run. I worry a little about the overall health of our game if going 1.5 seconds without hitting a button bores you to tears. :( Overall, I think everyone would have more fun if they focused more on beating the boss as a team and less on their individual contribution to that effort.

We also know that some players are just really intolerant of randomness. They make the logical leap from understanding that dealing with randomness is a challenge they need to overcome to campaigning for us to remove the randomness altogether. This is particularly true in PvP, which some players want to be more like a button masher fighting game and less like an RPG. Suffice to say that we think randomness is healthy and necessary as long as it doesn't get out of control. Even though you may claim it's the easiest thing in the world to hit that Pyroblast button when Hot Streak procs, we also know that dps can vary enormously even between relatively skilled and fantastically skilled players, and a great deal of that is using the right abilities at the right time.

Now with regard to DKs specifically, we think what is happening is that players are transfering characters in at 80 and ending up with 40% haste or whatever because of the way gear was converted on their character (no mastery, no armor pen). Once you get closer to 85, you won't have that much haste. You may be GCD locked for short periods of time when the stars align and you get a bunch of procs at once, but you'll also go streaks without those procs. This is still a world of difference from the DK on live, whose rotation collapses if they fail to get off a Plague Strike, or who can't even take advantage of free runes or procs, or who just have to reroll if they experience the unfortunate but also inevitable lag that comes with playing an online game.

Now, if you're one of those players who just hates gaps, then go ahead and stack a bunch of haste. You'll have to go out of your way to do that though, and sacrifice some other stats to get there. For the DK that balances gear out, you shouldn't be GCD locked for long periods of time.

Blue Poster
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#128 - 2010/09/24 02:44:23 AM
Q u o t e:
This still needs to be addressed. Way too many people are wasting RE on HB or PS when they don't need too.

Most of the time (but not all) you should sit on the rune and wait for the pair. Here's why:

-RE will ONLY proc on dead runes. Not runes on cooldown; the runes waiting for them to finish.

-Therefore, a rune enabled by RE (say, FR1) will ALWAYS have a corresponding matching rune on cooldown (FR2). Not dead, not available; cooldown. You will never have a rune enabled by RE and now have two of the same rune immediately available!

-Therefore, with the new rune system, you have from now until the time FR2 is active to use the RE enabled FR1 without resource penalty. It will always come back 10 after FR2 is done recharging, so you are allowed to wait. There is a great chance that UH1, UH2, or a death rune will be available in this window. Sometimes you may want to PoF or refresh diseases instead, but you have that choice. It's a Priority System, baby!

Otherwise, wait for the Oblit! Consume the KM! Benefit from the rime! Get more RP from the HB to feed the next FS to proc RE again and GO GO GO!

This is accurate and something a lot of players seem to miss. Runic Empowerment will ONLY work on fully depleted runes - the ones that are sitting idle. It does not just feed you random runes that you have to work in, Tetris-like, to your rotation. That's a perhaps subtle but meaningful distinction.

I would not get an Unholy Rune from Runic Empowerment and think "I must hit Plague Strike NOW or I am losing potential dps." That would make more sense through today's lens of an unspent rune is always a wasted rune. In Cataclysm, you shouldn't let Runic Empowerment change up what ability you were planning on hitting next, at least for the most part. Sometimes you can just hit that ability sooner. But if you want to hit Obliterate, wait for Obliterate. Don't spend that Unholy Rune just becuse it's burning a hole in your pocket.

Blue Poster
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#132 - 2010/09/24 02:51:37 AM
On the topic of DKs being GCD capped, we're trying to follow some of the math presented to see why you disagree with us so strongly.

It is apparent, despite my caution earlier, that some of you are saying "If I get procs, all my GCDs are filled." That's fine. That's going to happen sometimes. It's not going to happen every time. On Live, DKs often can't even react to their procs because they don't have space in their rotation to hit another button.

Here is a grossly simplified rotation on Live:


Here is a rotation in Cataclysm:


Sometimes you'll get a proc, such as C, so you'll get:


Sometimes you may get a lot of Cs:


You still won't get them every time.