Regional Flag[Death Knight] Compendium of IssuesSource
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#1 - 2012/06/05 06:54:00 PM
At a glance, it seems like a lot of the forums have issues with DKs either being ignored on beta, or having some serious issues with current abilities/costs/effectiveness/etc. Though this is not my attempt to ACTUALLY compile all of them, its sort of a way to convey what I think is sorta off, with anyone else who wants to chime in and add to the list.

Known Issues

Rune Costs- Ok, some new talents cost Death Runes (or an old PVP talent), and it messes with rotations and priorities. I honestly saw no reason to change Necrotic Strike to this, seeing is how several other classes get a static 25% healing debuff with most primary attacks in PVP, and since NS is weakened by resilience, which is getting an overhaul this expansion. If it was overpowered, my bad there, but I can think of worse unbalances in PVP at the moment. As others have mentioned, Soul Reaper uses one during execution, something other classes aren't really limited by either. I don't recall Ret Paladins crying at Hammer of Wrath costs, for example, but now DK priorities are up in in the air, and dependent on Death Runes, which kinda kills the uniqueness of choosing your rune regen talent, as you're open to RNG screwing you over unless you just pick Blood Tap. Death Siphon...well, I suppose I can't say. I know resil will kill it, though its nice it does Shadowfrost Damage now? Leads me to my next, and popular, issue

Soul Reaper only does Shadow Damage- I am of the opinion that it should do shadowfrost damage as well. No matter how you look at it, UH's Soul Reaper is going to be stronger, mastery or not, because of their 25% Strength Buff. But with mastery, well, its another say...30% or more stronger STILL in UH. I just say even it out some more where possible. I mean, does a second DPS spec of the same class really need a 25% boost in their best stat to do competitive damage with one of its other specs? I don't really see that in other pure DPS specs, I only see things that even out when combined with other perks (Hunters come to mind with Agi/AP boosts, combined with mastery or other talents).

Level 90 Talents are Situational/Useless in PVE- I still don't know why the damage component was removed from them, it wasn't even available to testers at 90 to begin with. At least before, though it was an obvious choice depending on spec (maybe not for Blood), the talents could be used as damage cooldowns in PVE. Remorseless winter did Frost damage on a 1 min cooldown, obvious choice for frost, but maybe not! Desecration did more (shadow) damage than it, but on a 2 min cooldown, and was also stationary. Now, both are reduced to being mere CC or CC prevention abilities, so unless every raid boss in MoP Mind Controls, Fears, and Polymorphs, I can't see Desecration being all that good. And honestly, if you have chilblains, I can't see Remorseless Winter being all that amazing, unless some adds are highly vulnerable to which you still need to wait 6 seconds for the stun to even HAPPEN, rather than instantly, like most other classes. Its AoE, which is nice, but I still don't see what's wrong with having a damage component to them as well, it would certainly make it more exciting. I know level 90 talents are a hot button issue for most classes and all, but even if its only ONE or an obvious choice, every other class and spec has a damage/healing output (or modification) ability or damage/healing increase ability, whereas DKs simply have fun looking CC tools.

Pets Die Quick - I'll assume this is just an Avoidance bug, but I'll mention it for posterity's sake.

Game Designer
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#10 - 2012/06/05 08:51:00 PM
Death Runes
Death runes were designed to provide flexibility to an otherwise inflexible rune resource. By making abilities directly cost death runes, this flexibility is lost.

Only to an extent. (Abilities like Blood Tap were really the intended solutions for flexibility.) Death Runes were also included just to add variation to the rotation so that it didn't become so predictable and metronome-like: Frost, Unholy, Blood, Blood, Frost+Unholy, Repeat.

Adding a Death Rune cost to some abilities is an elegant way to allow all 3 specs to fit an attack into their rotations. Otherwise, you'd see a lot of "Costs 2 Blood for Frost, and 1 Unholy and 1 Frost for Unholy" and so on. Some of these abilities are also talents -- if you hate Death Rune costs, skip over them.

Soul Reaper
Unholy's execute is much stronger than Frost's. In a vacuum, that sounds OK. You just have unholy do less damage in pre-execute stages, right? Damage is damage, right? But no, actually it causes all kinds of problems.

We just don't agree that these are really problems. Some classes and specs do more damage during Execute phases and some don't. We don't want every spec to perform equally in every possible situation (largely because the only reasonable way to deliver on that would be for everyone to work exactly the same). We just want reasonable players to feel like they can choose the spec they want to play. We don't anticipate a great deal of "Okay everyone, switch to Frost for this fight," or at least not because of Soul Reaper.

DW Frost's 50% Buffed Frost Strike
Why do 2H frost and DW frost have to play differently, when it has proven impossible to balance? Why can't switching from DW to 2H be a purely cosmetic change?

Because it's boring. :) Why not make switching from Frost to Unholy spec be purely cosmetic since that would be easier to balance too? We like that dual-wield (for any class) feels faster and that frequency of auto attacks influences your overall rotation. It adds interest for a DK who wants to try something else. It lets a player wonder if that shiny new axe that dropped is worth swapping to a different rotation or not.

Believe me, if we could go back to a world where equipping an axe felt different than equipping a sword, we'd do that too. It has just been historically challenging for us to provide enough weapons for everyone. Providing 1H Str weapons as well as 2H Str weapons hasn't been a serious issue.

Lastly, DKs already have 4 separately refreshing resources to manage (blood, frost, unholy runes and runic power). No other class in the entire game has more than two. Monks originally had three, but this was reduced to two because it was "too confusing". Asking DKs to manage death runes means we will now have five.

While we continue to tweak it, overall we like the DK resource model. It's definitely not a class for players who don't like resource management. The issue with the monk wasn't the number of resources -- there is nothing inherently magical about having 1 or 3 or 6 resources -- it's that the overall package wasn't intuitive. Players weren't sure if they were supposed to save up black and white chi or just use them as they came in. The monk abilities were also individually pretty complex, which is why we thought the resource model could be simpler. For DKs, several of the abilities are just various forms of damage and it's the resource model that provides the depth. Yet most DKs seem to grasp the basic mechanic of cheap diseases being necessary in order to make the more expensive double rune "finishers" do decent damage.

Frost presence is too good. It forced you to degrade base runic power generation way too far. DW frost is 100% GCD-locked at all times..

We agree this is a problem. We think it would feel better if Frost Presence didn't provide so much Runic Power. The problem is that it has to in order to be competitive with Unholy Presence. It would be goofy if, in order to compete with Frost Presence, Unholy Presence only lowered the cooldown of abilities by 0.1 sec.

One potential solution we might try is just to give Frost and Unholy Presence a 1 sec GCD (or all DKs for that matter), lower the Runic Power from Frost Presence and give Unholy Presence a different bonus. We generally have shifted classes that are resource constrained to having a 1 sec GCD, and most existing DKs are already pretty used to it.

(As an aside, it's interesting from a game design nerd point of view to look at the history of stances / presences / auras / seals / aspects / armors in WoW and even other games. Usually when there is supposed to be a choice between two modes that convey different bonuses, there nearly always ends up not being a choice, or else the answer becomes to stance dance frequently. With the exception of needing to be in "healer mode" or "tank mode" the overall modal design has some non-trivial problems. But I digress.)

Game Designer
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#11 - 2012/06/05 08:54:00 PM
While I admire the persistence of my fellow DKs, and agree fully with the above issues, I can't help but look at the plethora of ignored threads that exist and throw my hands up in despair.

Not helpful. You guys have an enormous capacity to influence the quality of these forums. We're not going to ban our way to a higher level of discussion, nor are the busy developers going to post every time someone feels neglected. Post your feedback. If you have done so, then consider your job done. Once you go from posting feedback on the game to posting about about how we have not yet responded to or acted upon your feedback, then you are doing damage to the forum discussion. Think like a good newspaper or magazine writer - make sure the most important part of your message gets across. Don't distract from that message with a bunch of clutter or needless posts (including shameless bumps).

Consider this: it is not in your best interest to make it harder for community managers or developers to find actionable, detailed, constructive feedback.

I try not to make it a habit of posting in really whiny threads, so if you don't get a response, that is certainly one potential reason why. It's far more likely though that we are just really busy and reading takes much less time than responding.

Game Designer
Target Source
#60 - 2012/06/06 12:01:00 AM
Unholy will have the best execute in the game by a fairly large margin. The spec was balanced around its extremely strong execute. That means that the spec does pretty terrible damage when not in execute range.

Last I looked, Soul Reaper is like 7% of Unholy damage and 4% for Frost. If you guys think the numbers work out differently, then let us know, but it's helpful to provide documentation. (Please understand that the class team doesn't have the bandwidth to debug everyone's theorycrafting - it's nothing personal.) Frost vs. Unholy DPS is pretty close in our internal tests. Once we see more players posting beta fight parses, we'll make sure our internal tests match reality.

Besides, single-minded Fury warriors probably have "the best execute in the game by a fairly large margin." :)

Could you please address our Level 90 talents as they relate to PvE content?

Is it your intention that this is a PvP-only tier?

It's a narrow-minded view, IMHO, to call anything that isn't +damage a PvP ability. There are plenty of raid bosses where crowd control is vital. It's really useful in challenge modes and scenarios as well. If you're running relatively easy content and never crowd controlling anything, then no, crowd control abilities aren't going to be as useful to you, but if every ability in WoW has to be +damage and every encounter has to be only about how quickly you DPS something down, then that narrows our design space quite a bit.

The problem with the DK 90 row when it did damage was then all of those abilities had to be factored into DPS rotations, which meant you were balanced around using them on cooldown, which also meant they likely weren't available when you did need to Gorefiend's Grasp someone. (This point isn't just relevant to DKs either.)

Abilities costing death runes isn't intuitive or even interesting. It's complexity for the sake of complexity.

You're entitled to your opinion of course, but we thought it was less confusing than having Necrotic Strike and Soul Reaper cost different resources for different specs, or worse, having three differently named abilities that essentially did the same thing. We could have tried a Runic Power implementation, but then the abilities would be used more frequently than we intended, so they'd also need longer cooldowns or something else and they'd compete with abilities like Frost Strike. It's just a different design.

What happened with our windfury raid haste buff? Is it gone for good or coming back at some stage?

Yes, it's just a bug that it's missing.