Runic Power – Why It’s Broken

Not sure what I’m getting at with the title? Think about it:

What would it be like for Rogues if all they had was Eviscerate to spend combo points on? A direct damage move and nothing else? No buff (SnD) to keep up on yourself, no dot (Rupture) for greater sustained damage (in theory, anyways!), no utility (Expose) for the needs of your raid, no heal (Recuperate) for PvP or soloing? No options; one ability, and that’s it, and that one ability would have to suit your needs for PvP, PvE, solo, group, raid, whatever….

What would people say of the difficulty of feral dps if the only finisher Cats had was Ferocious Bite? No buff (Savage Roar) for PvE goodness, no dot (Rip) for greater sustained damage (in reality, too!), no incapitate (Gouge) for PvP pleasure? How high of a skill cap would the spec possibly have…

What would people think of the new Holy Power system if all Paladins had to spend it on was Templar’s Verdict, a single target strike, and not a thing else? No heal (Word of Glory) for Holy or Ret/Prot survivability purposes, no buff (Inquisiton/Holy Power) to keep up to allow individual abilities to be less potent on their own, no new AoE move (Divine Storm) becoming available? People probably wouldn’t be too ecstatic…

How fun would those specs be to play in such scenarios? How difficult would it be to balance combo point / holy power generation if all it could lead to was Eviscerate / Ferocious Bite / Templar’s Verdict spam? What type of posts do you think would pop up on the forums!

Now, obviously Blizzard would never have designed either the combo point or holy power system in such a manner. Yet, unbelievable as it may seem, the above scenarios are very reminiscent of the current state of the runic power system… and there’s hardly a whimper of recognition, let alone of protest, in regards to the problem!

All Frost has to spend its runic power on is Frost Strike and all Unholy has to pour its own into is Death Coil (and Gargoyle, but as a lengthy cooldown, it doesn’t change much of anything). That’s it. There’s no options to choose from, no thinking to apply, no multiple levers to turn for the sake of balance.

There’s nothing but FS and DC.

And that’s a problem – a huge one.

It’s been this way for a while now, and it’s a large part of the reason why Frost Strike had to be nerfed so heavily back in the tier 8 times, and why the potential for Shadowfrost has been a constant struggle for Unholy.

Yet now, in Cataclysm, the problem is more apparent than ever before.

I’ve been talking regularly on the current state of our rotations in beta, and the fact that – despite Blizzard’s intentions – we’re still GCD capped, and worse than on live at that. One of the key instigators of this issue is the massive amounts of runic power we now generate – 15 (up from 10 for single rune abilities, 25 (up from 15) for double rune abilities, 10 (up from 5) for Dirge/CotG, 10% for Frost Presence, 20% for Frost’s proposed mastery, and 10 RP/proc (which is every ~5 seconds or so) for 2H Frost via MotFW.

Even if you ignore the global capping situation, it’s still a problem that FS and DC are the most used abilities in our rotations, and by a large margin too. If you’ll recall my post from yesterday, you’ll see that both specs used their respective RP dump a total of 14 times out of the 35 GCDs pictured: that’s 40% of your active abilities being FS/DC! 50%+ for 2H Frost and DW Unholy! And, remember, that’s not even counting the effects of the modifier from Frost’s potential mastery.

Now, yes, nerfing runic power generation would fix that. It would lead to less FS/DC and open up our rotations. But the thing is, the fact that 40% of our abilities being runic based isn’t really that bad, honestly, with the other 60% being rune based. It’s a relatively logically proportioned split, and it doesn’t need to be nerfed, per se. The issue is that where the latter category is split into PS, IT, SS, BS, Obliterate, FeS, and so on, the first category is FS/DC. Nothing else. Lowering runic power generation, alhough it might solve us being GCD capped, wouldn’t fix that central truth that our RP only goes to one ability, and not a thing else, and all of the implications of that fact.

My point with all of this?

Give us something else to spend runic power on!

By doing so, not only would that fix the GCD issues developing (as long as some of the new abilities costed more than 40 RP), it would also make the class that much more interactive and enjoyable to play – it would mean our rotations would actually change; despite all of the new talents, abilities, and rune system, our priority system between live and beta is identical, actually, which is rather boring when you think about it. Tanking and dps, PvE and PvP… such additions would be a benefit for all aspects of the class in all aspects of the game.

The possibilities are endless, and just to throw out a few:

  • A high damage-per-cast-time but low damage-per-runic nuke/strike.
    • Think of a Super Frost Strike or a Super Death Coil. An ability which costs, say, twice as much runic power, but only deals 1.5 times as much damage. You wouldn’t want to use such an ability in PvE, unless you’re GCD capped – but, if you were, it would allow you to manage your RP between FS/DC and these new abilities in order to use just enough on the latter to make sure you’re not wasting RP, but not too much to hurt your damage by being inefficient. In PvP, it would allow you greater burst on demand at the cost of damage of time – worth it in some cases, not in others.
  • A nuke/strike which does additional damage based off excess runic power.
    • Think Heroic Strike or Maul. An ability which costs X runic power to deal Y damage, but will consume additional runic to deal additional damage at a specific ratio. It would have the same positive effects as the above proposal, where you would have to essentially regulate your RP and balance it such that you make the most damage out of it while keeping within your GCD constraints. Same purpose as the above in PvP.
  • A self buff which requires some effort to maintain.
    • Really, anything. You could have a buff which cost 60 RP and increased disease damage done by X% for Y seconds. Stacks up to 3 times, and the buff reduces the cast of the next [InsertAbilityNameHere] by 50%. Easy enough to keep up, but if you let it drop, it would come with a rather heavy cost – 95 RP and 3 GCDs. Or you could just do something which increased the damage of rune-based abilities by X% for Y seconds, but drained 5 RP every 10 seconds (and expired if you ran out of RP). Or you could combine it with the previous proposition, resulting in an ability which increased damage done by X% for Y seconds, and for an additional Z seconds for each point of runic power over the initial cost. So on and so forth. Could do this all night!
  • An AoE of some sort.
    • The old Unholy Blight, please! Alright, perhaps not balanced, but an AoE which cost runic power instead of runes would be welcome. You could even bring back Corpse Explosion, be it in some modified form so it actually had use.
  • A true CC.
    • Every other class will have one by Cataclysm… except us. Hungering Cold, with its 10 second duration but 60 second cooldown, just doesn’t cut it.

You could add almost anything.

It would fix so much, and what downside is there? None I can think of, save the simple argument that we have enough on our action bars as is, but that’s due to a lot of spells having identical/similar purposes. You could easily combine IT/PS and/or Outbreak, for example. Same for Pestilence and Blood Boil (especially when you compare Pestilence to the passive talent in the similar vein that Prot Warriors will be getting).

In general though, I don’t see that being a huge reason against it, but even if it is, it’s easily tackled, and no excuse to leave the runic power system in such a wretched state.

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36 Responses to Runic Power – Why It’s Broken

  1. Mcmaverick says:

    I’m seeing the same thing on the tanking tree as well. With Blood, we have Rune Strike (in it’s awesome new glory) and Death Coil and Icebound Fortitude (on a moderate cool-down). And when we need to use a talented defensive ability — Rune Tap, Vampiric Blood, and Bone Shield — we’re waiting for Runes to refresh with an abundance of Runic Power. I’ll reserve final judgement until the Death Rune bugs are sorted out, but I’m beginning to imagine a world where more offensive and defensive abilities make the move to Runic Power…

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mention that Dancing Rune Weapon consumes 60 Runic Power.

    • Consider says:

      Blood’s a bit better off, for all of the abilities you named, yeah, although, personally, I would like to see Rune Tap moved to RP. Vampiric Blood and Bone Shield really should just be resource free, at this point!

      Frost/Unholy has it so much worse though, in this regard. No coincidence which spec isn’t GCD capped and which ones are, considering this!

  2. Mcmaverick says:

    So what are you suggesting, moving HB, PoF, and possibly Lichborne over to Runic Power land for Frosties?

    • Anaroth says:

      I’d actually thought of this before, If you made frost more RP orientated, and unholy more rune attack based then you would have differentiation between the two trees.
      It also could help with the GCD issues. Frost would get RP ability GCD reduction, while Unholy would get Rune Ability GCD reduction.

      Generally it doesn’t really matter whether cooldowns cost RP or runes or are free, so you could easily tweak those.

      I think howling blast is a pretty shitty 31 point talent, maybe shift a RP based pillar of frost into that position. If howling blast was made into a RP based ability then rime could proc a free Frost Strike or HB.

      If you wanted to get DC into the mix, move UB early on in the frost tree, and make it so FS does more damage against targets with the UB debuff on them.

  3. Abd says:

    Consider.. do you give that feedback to blizzard the runic power generation. Hope you do that, as I really dont want the 2H frost spec to stay behind anymore.. Would love to stay unholy but that ghoul is so annoying.

  4. Derah says:

    thecnically there are other stuff to spend the runic power :P like IBF or AMS, Hungering cold and DRW, Gargoyle, and let’s not forget about mind-freeze.

    so we have

    A: An interrupt
    B: a pet-based DPS cooldown.
    C: a damage-reduction and stun-imunity CD.
    D: a magic reduction CD.
    E: an AOE CC with a long CD.

    and the “Signature DPS RPdump move” of each tree (rune-strike, frost strike, death coil)

    but I see your point.

    all the above mentioned, DRW and Gargoyle have a lengthy cooldown and aren’t really factorable, same for Hungering Cold (even if the glyph reduces the cost to zero, with IMO aint worth it) and AMS.

    but Mind-freeze is a really usefull spell, both in PVP and PVE, then again, having just 1 extra utility stuff aint so flashy. Now I’m not an expert at all, but I’m guessing that having a sorta passive AOE dot usable from the RP would be awesome (yes I know the old unholy blight was insanely OP, but come on………. bring it back even if its damage is cut in half)

    I’m a tank 99% of the time, and having the old blight back would be god-sent, even if it’s damage was cut by 60% I’d still use it on cooldown. It’s a passive way to keep aggro on stuff that gets near me, even if the damage is laughable at best it would still be quite usefull.

    • Leviatharan says:

      But you wouldn’t be able to use Unholy Blight as a tank, since it’s only available to Unholy…
      Unless they made it universally available to all specs and gave a new spell to Unholy in it’s place, which would be fine depending on the attack (even if the new move is terrible, its another freed point in Magic Suppression for us at least).
      But I’m pretty sure Blood tanks don’t need it for aggro anyway, with the ‘redesigned’ Blood spec’s outlook on Blood Boil. Although they really should change it so you don’t just get it when you’re restarting your rotation. Maybe a change to Bone Shield that makes Blood Boil cost nothing when a Bone Shield charge is lost, stacking up to 4 times for increased damage/threat or more free Blood Boils? We shouldn’t really need any ‘passive’ damage going out if we have *some* open GCDs.
      Right, off topic, sorry.
      All of the abilities you mentioned from B.-E. (and the unmentioned Dark Simulacrum at level 85 if it keeps its 20RP cost; this is in the same mindset that remembers AMS has no RP cost anymore, so it shouldn’t be on the list anyway) can be eliminated due to their significant cooldowns. Mind Freeze is an acceptable exception due to it’s relatively short CD, but it’s nothing special when you remember that most DPS specs in Cata have some form of interrupt (and that in PvP/some 2H frost builds, people will usually spec to remove the cost ).
      Which ends up leaving RS/FS/DC as our only reliable outlets for RP depending on our spec. Hence the opening Consider’s ideas.

  5. CanYouReadMcMav? says:

    Erm, what is he suggesting? seriously? did you miss the SEVERAL paragraphs of ideas?

  6. Vulgor says:

    Unholy at wrath release was a perfect example of how RP should be used.

    You had your deathcoil for 40 RP, your unholy blight aoe ticking dot for 60 RP and gargoyle for 40 that also drained your RP constantly so it was a danger to use anything else during it.

    I remember it used to be the case you’d get unholy blight up first and focus on keeping that dot up, and then squeeze in deathcoils if ya had enough spare RP. The constant RP drain from gargoyle meant that if you weren’t careful using one RP ability during the garg might cut it’s life short.

    Would be nice to see something like this sort of interaction between RP ability’s again.

    • kc102 says:

      That feels a little excess. I don’t want to have to focus on managing my RP dots and such, while maintaining my Rune Rotation and staying raid-aware. While addons will help, I’d rather manage something like that in Frost, in an environment where my runic strikes are second to my RP.

      • Vulgor says:

        It wasn’t too excessive i mean Blight lasted quite a while and was centered on you so it could be carried between trash packs in Naxx assuming ya pulling fast enough. It was sort of a priority system on its own in that ya made sure the UB was up and only if ya had extra RP spare you Deathcoiled.

        Also bear in mind this was in the time were it was often that you’d DnD pre-pull to get enough RP for HoW(cost 10 back then) so you’d have enough RP for UB within about two strikes.

  7. Jonneh says:

    I like the idea of an AoE that costs RP again, old UB was one of the things I miss alot tbh.

    I also like the idea of a self buff we have to spend RP on. You could even combine the two, make UB an active self-buff again with an RP cost, have it infect any targets you hit in melee with the current or similar UB effect, and make it provide some kind of self dps increase. Anything will do. 5% damage was cut cause desolation was boring, but UB in that role would spice up our lives so to speak. It’d improve our damage without being “just another deathcoil”.

    I’m no good with numbers at this time of the morning, but I’m sure it’d be easy to make such a buff superior to a single death coil, maybe even two? At an 80 rp cost we’d surely have to be aware of when the buff was going to run out and reapply it.

  8. Leviatharan says:

    It has always upset that after Unholy Blight was… reincarnated into it’s current state, DKs have a sufficient lack of runic power based AoEs (aside from Hungering Cold, which is laughable for PvE DPS and useless even in PvP). Until Cata, we didn’t even have a true Cleave, the only one out of all tanking classes!
    I had an idea a while back for an AoE spell named Deathstorm (if you’ve played through the Army of the Damned quest in Icecrown you should be familiar with this spell). Basically it would cost you 40-60 runic power to cast a Shadow-damage Chain Lightning, but combining with the Heroic Strike/Maul/old gargoyle philosophy, would consume extra runic power to arc to extra targets. It would have to be weaker than DC/FS in single- or even dual-target fights, but would be more useful in AoE-centric encounters I’d think.
    On the other hand, however, a CC for DKs would also be just as important, considering we only have Chains of Ice on hand (which just slows movement and wounds our rotation), Hungering Cold (which breaks on damage and is extremely short) if we’re frost, and a 3-sec stun from Ghouls (which really ends up being more of a glorified interrupt in the grand scheme of things).
    Perhaps an Ice Tomb/Banish mechanic, freezing a single target in a block of ice and making them immune to damage (unlike Hungering Cold) but unable to move or attack until cancelled (think ICC, LK fight, Tirion Fordring for the first 3 phases)? Cause otherwise, I can’t think anything but an Uber-Desecration holding them down; we’re DKs, our choices revolve around ice or undead, and past that they don’t look like anything our class should be using. :-P

    And to be fair, I do believe Dark Simulacrum costs 20 Runic Power now. It’s not quite a Runic Dump because of the (1-min)CD though, and the fact that only level 85s can use it remotely as a Dump doesn’t help either.

    • Hinenuitepo says:

      I kinda like this frost tomb idea, Levi!
      LK uses it, Sindra uses it, why not DKs?
      You could make it immune to damage and give another class besides druids that type of cc (aka cyclone, but with a DK flavor), or broken by damage like most CC.
      In any case, a decent, real CC would be welcome among the possible rune dumps fo sho.

      Of course, like most other posters here I’d be ecstatic to see a return of the old UB even if it was nerfed severely compared to the horrid current incarnation.

  9. Roth says:

    Unholy Blight:
    I personally miss the UB that was a 4th disease way back in beta. That actually added a Savage Roar type effect for Unholy and would add a lot to the class. Id love to see THAT UB come back (while adjusting Unholy to compensate). Adding a disease that must be maintained via RP adds something very unique to Unholy.

    Blood Boil:
    It needs to go away. One of the major problems Ive noticed DKs have (especially as tanks) is that we have a long ramp up time when it comes to AOEing. PS + IT + Pest + DnD. Thats 4 GCDs to get our maximum aoe rotation going. Thats 4x more GCDs than Paladins, Warriors and Druids need.

    I remember back in the day when Pestilence did damage of its own and we spammed that instead of Blood Boil. That needs to come back. Just give Blood tanks a talent that allows their Horn of Winter to apply the Demo Shout effect. Voila, problem solved!

    DnD and Ghoul Frenzy:
    Runic power based pls.

    • Roth says:

      If a 4th disease at all times for Unholy is too powerful…then what they could do is make UB the Unholy version of Merciless Combat.

      “Your Unholy Blight acts as a 4th disease when the target is below X% health.”

  10. Nessad says:

    While I would love more RP spells, I still think the cap should increase a little. A full UH spec rune dump gives a full RP bar, it’s not very flexible . I know we shouldn’t have 6 runes during our rotation, but we will have at some point in PVE. And it’s still 50RP every 10s. AND we also have EMP, BT, RE and HoW that increase it even more.

    On the other hand, Right now I do compare RP more to energy than CP or Holy Power (what is the short for that btw?). Runes and CP are both discrete sources (as in there isn’t a 0.5 rune), that can be used with 3 different abilities or more to give the most DPS possible.

    Rogues with energy, to my knowledge, is like us with RP, use whatever the spec improves to the most. Ferals that have 3 abilities to use, one now that puts a 1min debuff.

    Now to the abilities,
    Ghoul frenzy could cost 40-60RP (gives and extra SS, so compensate for that)
    New AoE would do wonders.
    We could proc rune strikes through sudden doom instead of DCs. Not free, of course.

  11. psyquest says:

    I dont know if if it is me or the damn rune display bug but: I am playing two hand frost (subspec blood) on beta, and the fact is that I am not GCD capped. In fact on the contrary I dinf myself in situations where my desases are running, my runes are all on CD and I have no runic power whatsoever.

    This is very strange. May be two hand frost is buggy, but I sure hope it will be possible to play and be a valid high end pve spec.

    Consider suggestion of having something else to do with runic power instead of just dump it with FS or DC would be great. I hope for two abilities:

    A) one very high damage ability that uses all your runic power and deliver a lava burst style hit that has 100% crit chance if both your desease are on the target.

    B) an Ice Tomb like the one Arthas uses on Fordring: cost runic power, put the target in an ice tomb and removes all dots/debuffs from the target, lasts as long as a sheep.

    • Thargos says:

      An Ice Tomb would be a nice CC, but requiring runic power would make it the only CC you can’t use directly at a pull if you don’t save your resources from the trash before.
      Casting a CC 5 seconds after a pull because you have to acquire the necessary resources is worthless in 90% of the pulls because it will get broken by AOE damage

      • Leviatharan says:

        That first 5 seconds is what Chains of Ice+Strangulate are for, I should think. Gives you time to build up some runic power while still rendering them incapable of harming anyone out of melee range.
        Or, failing that, theres a number of classes with stuns that can hold them down while we can build up RP to cast an Ice Tomb.
        And if they gave us another Ice Tomb that broke on damage, it would basically be a single-target Hungering Cold that cost us more RP with the advantage of being spammable (though if its anything like, say, Polymorph then spam won’t be any help), which is probably not Blizz’s intention.

  12. raxxnamas says:

    I made a suggestion on a change to RE on the DK class discussion, the effect of which would give a choice between spamming DC’s when you have the runic power, or saving them, this I believe would free up GCD’s.

    RE needs to be changed to be a kind of combo point generator like the other classes.

    Once you have 3 combo points your SS or another type of attack will hit harder as a result for the next 3 strikes within say 10 seconds.

    This will add some degree of choice within the rotation…

    Hey I have adds spawning soon, do I use my combo points on this boss, or do i save them to smash the face off the adds quickly?

    For myself, I love the way the holy power interacts with Templars Verdict on retadins and would love a similar ability for DK’s

    So by example…

    Your DC/RS/FS have a 50% chance to give you a point of Necromantic power

    Necromantic power increases the damage of your next 3 SS/HB/HS by 10% per point for the next 10 seconds (triggered use once you use your first SS/HS/HB with points available) at the end of 10 seconds or after 3 attacks the points will be consumed.

    • Hinenuitepo says:

      Nah, I don’t want combo points…. I like RP being different from other classes and having switch from rogue to DK at WOTLK release, I don’t want to go back.

      Creative naming tho! ;)

  13. raxxnamas says:

    PS. Changed HB to OB on the discussion forums (so you understand where I am coming from with this, the idea is that if you waste RP generation you won’t see a dps loss, you MIGHT see a DPS increase) The choice not to use RP to DC (or whatever) will result in increased damage from other attacks sufficient to negate the loss of not using.

  14. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    This post reminded me of a discussion I had with someone about Blood DPS in its current incarnation. We were wishing the current style allowed for more RP dumps, since right now it’s almost completely GCD locked.

    I got to thinking about Sudden Doom the way it is in Blood: Your Heart Strikes have a 15% chance to launch a free Death Coil at a target. What if we could get a “smart” talent like this which automatically did the RP dumping for us?

    For example: When are are at or above 90 Runic Power, your Death Coils do x% more damage but cost y more RP.

    Or: When you are at or above 90 Runic Power, your Heart Strikes, Scourge Strikes and Obliterates deal x% more damage, but generate less RP (or even use RP if that doesn’t stop us from being capped).

    I also approve of the Necrotic Power suggestion, only I hope it doesn’t resemble Holy Power on Paladins- I’m definitely not interested in managing a third resource.

    A “smart” dump that automatically channels the RP into a more potent ability would be welcome. It could also be engineered to not interfere with Gargoyle or DRW if they should be off cooldown.

  15. raxxnamas says:

    It could be to be like:-

    When you have 33/66/99 runic power your HS/OB/SS do 20/40/60% more damage?

    (suggested via a discussion with another DK in my guild as a tweak to my idea)

  16. Clevinger says:

    Surely, the point here is that we want playing a DK to reward good play with high damage. This makes it fun in my view. When we are GCD locked you can’t really play well because you don’t have interesting choices to make. GCD locked frost is just OB, OB, OB, OB, OB, BS, Pest with FS’s interspersed when killing machine proc’s. That’s just not interesting to play.

    I don’t see how runic power buffing main strike damage solves would reward good play. It will increase our damage if we are GCD locked. It won’t present us with any interesting choices. There might be an optimum amount of runic power to sit at to optimise main strike damage. However, if we are GCD locked we won’t be able to target that optimum.

    I would make one addition to Consider’s list. I think it would be useful to have a runic power driven heal. Removing the undead requirement on death coil would do the trick. However, this probably wouldn’t fit with the death knight ethos so just allowing death coil to always target the death knight would do. I wonder if Arthas could target himself with death coils in WC3?

  17. Roristus says:

    I really like the idea of adding additional damaging RP abilities with increased costs, especially for frost where the theme seems to be runic power. In addition to making our “rotation” more interesting, it would help with a potential resource scaling problem. Ignoring frost’s mastery (as this issue will effect unholy as well), our runic power generation is already designed to scale with stats in cataclysm. Haste will reduce the refresh rate on runes, thus increasing the runes we can use in a given time frame and reducing the amount of GCDs we can use between rune abilities. More runes used per time means more runic power gained per time, but we’re losing GCDs to use that runic power.

    Is it possible that we’ll eventually have enough haste that, even without mastery, we’ll be unable to use all of our runic power? Granting us RP abilities that cost more RP but deal more damage gives us another level of scaling where haste increases our ability to use our higher damage RP dump more often.

    Also, I agree with people saying runic empowerment needs to be change to not effect our resources. There are a lot of ideas going around, but i personally would like to see it changed to something like “empowers a random regenerating rune, which will increase the damage of your runic power abilities by x% for 4 seconds.” Really though, it needs to remain a play-style changer while not effecting our resource generation.

    • Mcmaverick says:

      Well articulated. I had not considered a world where, through haste, all 6 Runes refresh fast enough to not have a free GCD to use a Runic Power ability. A real possibility given haste scaling and the new Unholy presence too.

  18. raxxnamas says:

    Because we are GCD locked by having no choice but to use or Runic Power, if we have a choice to use that runic power, say while running towards a new target to build combo points, or just to do damage, or sit on it to increase main strike damage, we won’t be using so many GCD’s and will be able to fit in the fun stuff.

    Having choices gives flexibility in how we play, and unlike warriors we cannot charge a new target or sprint to it like rogues, so having that reserve of RP we havent used and can use while running becomes attractive.

    We are GCD capped by having more resource than we can spend, and to max dps we have to spend as much as possible, it only takes this change to turn that around without giving us a new resource to mage.

  19. Salvation says:

    I really like the idea of getting a self buff for RP.

    Each spec could have an Unbreakable Armor type style 1 min CD that is a hefty RP dump.

    For Blood, you could have a X% Armor buff called Unbreakable Armor.

    For Frost, you could have a X% Strength buff called Frigid Armor for Y seconds.

    For Unholy, you could have a X% of AP Shadow Damage Aura buff called Blighted Armor for Y seconds.

    • Jonneh says:

      Blood and Frost dont need anything really. Blood has its tanking cooldowns and threat to manage, Frost already has enough stuff to watch out for.

    • Mcmaverick says:

      IMO, tanking “oh-shit” defensive abilities, like UA, should use less RP to activate… but the duration of UA could possibly increase with additional RP.

  20. Jonneh says:

    I’m not really trying to be a blizzard hater or a blizzard basher here. In a way I’m trying to use this post to discuss the update you posted about always being sucked into criticizing Blizzard. Please take my comments here with that in mind. I’m a big fan of Blizzard, I have said for years that they are one of the best and brightest when it comes to game design. DKs and especially Unholy have had so many mistakes, issues and redesigns that I feel the community as a whole needs to be heard more.

    The problems I feel at the moment are twofold, and forgive me for the dourness of my first point;

    a) I’m from the UK. I have absolutely no confidence that anything I post on the Blizzard EU forums ever reaches the US based devs. I mean, they say “we read everything”. I could even believe that the EU community managers email over links to the devs, but the fact that we never receive the feedback, exposure or the ‘presence’ that GC provides on the US forums. This has long since stopped me from making the effort to post there.

    b) Stuff like the pure gold which gets posted here, in your posts Consider and the comments from the great DK players around the world just doesn’t get listened to. I can’t believe that after so many remakes and so many crushing mistakes we are still being developed in a manner which seems to ignore our most fundamental issues. Band aid development is all the DK class has been about since the great wotlk live disaster.

    I actually think we’re still suffering fallout from the way the wotlk beta and consequent disaster overpoweredness of DK-live. Firstly they admitted that they “listened to players too much” in the wrath beta, and as a result DKs were “highly” overpowered. I felt at the time those comments were made by Blues that it was hurtful to the community, and the DK class. Now we’re in a situation where we’ve been posting and discussing and theorising about DKs so much and seem to be getting nowhere.

    For so long now we’ve been asking for things to be resolved, and getting nowhere. Each and every time Unholy has been reworked we’ve ended up in some dire situation. Nobody is saying our nerfs have been unjustified, and nobody is saying that Blizzard ‘hate us’ or are ‘doesn’t understand the class’. Those kinds of sentiment are for people trying to make a point without logic or intelligent thought.

    I feel like it is happening again. We’re getting no real information about how the class is shaping up in Cata, just random new things changing in patch notes and without any real insight into the goal for the class/specs.

    RP generation is worrying, because of the problems with GCD capping and the potential for PVP burst. RP is inherently overpowered because of the fact that we have two resources. I said before in other posts here.. so long as we have the potential to churn out 9 GCDs worth of pure DPS – more than any other class I am aware of (ignoring casters, they have to ‘cast’ which is where the balance for them comes in), we will always have to be balanced around that fact. That I think is one of the real core issues which always sees us getting pulled back into line for PVP reasons, and always ends up will fallout into PVE.

    Our aoe and buff niche being destroyed is worrying, because it was the only thing that kept us afloat through wrath. We always knew that there were fights where Unholy was awesome because of the aoe we could provide. We brought a fully resource unlimited, steady and dependable aoe. I actually think that it is one of the things which attracted me to Unholy when I first started to learn about my class. At the very least every fight usually needed at least one Unholy to be optimal, because of EP.

    Both of these things have been destroyed now, changes in design philosophy at Blizzard. I agree with the fact that other classes should be able to bring our buffs in a similar and equally effective way, but Pestilence can’t live up to this CoE change. It will always be inferior now, under its current implementation. Coupled with the fact that we can’t pesti in a world where CC is important, it kills that as a viable option for Unholy DKs as a whole.

    With our strengths already taken away, we look for our new strengths.. hoping that we will at least be brought up to par with other classes in other areas where we have been lacking. Single target DPS, CC and other nit picking irritants which plague us (Some PVPers may say ‘are you mad??’ when I say we lack CC, but I mean PVE CC). When we look we see that the DPS specs just don’t feel right. Even without the numbers you look at the changes we’ve had and you can feel it in your gut that somewhere along the line the bottom is going to fall out and we’ll be forced into some new strange behaviour to compete. Haste being the first example, GCD capping/RP generation. Potential for pvp burst being a limiting factor.

    I just wish we knew if these issues were even being discussed at the level they need to be. Blizzard says that good posts/discussions get talked about at HQ. I can’t help but think though if that were true would they not have discussed and evaluated the many other things that we’ve discussed in the past about our worries, which have ended up coming true and resulting in band-aiding, hot fixing and generally a degradation of our play experience?

    This is a monster post, and a bit of a rant I suppose. I just felt the need to get my feelings out there in hopes that some of you who can post on the US forums (and at least have the assured and visible possibility that developers will read it) can get out there and let it be known that we are a community full of great players with ideas and potential solutions. At the very least we might be heard about the issues that Consider and so many others of us post here and elsewhere, in hopes that this time when we get changed completely again.. it’s for the better!

    To touch on Blood for a second on a completely different subject, I was worried by the recent confirmation of what we’ve always suspected. I don’t think it will ever be possible to be on par with other tanking specs so long as the design is; “you take a bit more damage to balance out how much you self heal”. The fundamental purpose of tanking is to hold agro while taking as little damage as possible. If we are constantly taking more damage to compensate for the fact that an ability we use heals us, it is counterproductive to the intent of the role we’re trying to fill. In a world where taking as little damage as possible will always be the name of the game, someone who takes more damage than someone else because they heal themselves in little bursts will always be inferior. I think there could be better ways to handle our self healing which could work out better and more balanced. Making death strike a HoT, or a hot with an absorb component.

    Please post your thoughts about any and all of the above! I really would like to know if others, and especially you Consider, feel the need for a change in stance regarding our class!

  21. Gosox says:

    Curious why would you really want to have around 10 different options for burning RP?

    Beta lauch we had the following:
    Dancing Rune weapon, Garg, Horn of Winter, Unholy Blight, Corpse Explosion, Frost Strike,Death Coil, and Icebound Fortitude.

    It was weeded down to the more reasonable setup that it is currently residing at the moment.

    Death Knights have been top 5 dps (every tier), overpowered tanks (in early tiers), and competative in pvp since our introduction so I would hardly call our resource system broken.

    Rogues and Druids function heavily on white damage where as we do not; in my opinion all for the better. Rogues Sinister Strikes do quite abit of damage but they do very few of them throughout the course of an encounter due to their high energy cost so their only goal is to build combo points to keep up SnD or throwing in the rare Evis if you really know what you’re doing. So their damage spread ends up being something like 40% white damage 40% poison procs. I personally find that to be a terrible…terrible system.

    If we are generating too much RP in the expansion it just needs to be tweeked down to a more reasonable number. The addition of anything like a buff would be horrible and begin shifting us from being a class where our attacks matter to a class centered around white damage.

    Unlike Rogues, Druids, Paladins our RP attacks do not use our entire RP bar so it is different than combo points. It is more akin to rage without generation from auto attacks (though that stands to change for 2hand frost). An execute type attack, or heroic strike type attack to burn excess runic power could be warrented but I don’t see the value of adding too many more RP based abilities.

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