Unholy Wishlisting – Were I Bliz
June 5, 2010 27 Comments
Consider this post a response to Baadshah’s comment regarding the current bloat of the Alpha trees. Although I’m not even close to vain enough to agree with him when he bets that an actual developer is likely watching this site (and, in fact, I find it rather unlikely one is even aware that this place exists), I do know that he is undoubtedly right when he says that Blizzard is quite anxious for some feedback regarding the proposed changes. They are. Blizzard really does care about its game and the happiness of its community, and although you may argue their reasons for caring simply come down to money or what have you, does that even make a difference? Think about it; it generally doesn’t.
Anyways, the below are some of my thoughts on what talents really need to be looked at (or simply deleted), and why I believe such is the case. If it gets read by someone with influence, and they find some value in it – excellent. If not, hopefully it still made for an enjoyable and thought-provoking read! Either which way, although I don’t usually like publicly “wishlisting” in such a manner, I do thoroughly enjoy doing so in my own head, so why not share on occasion?
If people like, I can always do a Frost and/or Blood version of this post as well.
The most obvious first! Desolation is a flat-out horrible talent, no matter how you look at it. Its faults are almost too long to list – it’s expensive, it’s just barely good enough to take (but not quite bad enough to ignore), its boring, it screws up our AoE rotation, it doesn’t affect our pet, and so on. If any talent was a candidate for being simply removed, Desolation would be the one. That, or it should be rolled into another “problem” talent – such as Reaping.
In PvE, Virulence is just laughably weak, and will never be taken. In PvP, Virulence is take, but only because the alternatives for moving down the tree (Anticipation on live, Epidemic on Alpha) are even worse, and because spell hit capping is relatively vital (even if Virulence is an expensive manner in which to do so). My answer? Don’t remove it; either make it grant 1% hit (melee *and* spell) per point, thus giving it some value in PvE and giving it a boost in PvP or buff it up to 3% spell hit per point, thus making it so that if you max the talent out, you’ll be spell hit capped so long as your melee hit capped. The latter might not be enough to make it taken in PvE, but that’s not a huge deal as we actually like Epidemic – it will, however, make it a huge boon for PvPers. We already have to concern ourselves with spell penetration against players, unlike a pure melee, so why not give us a break when it comes to spell hit, which only affects a couple of our spells (albeit ones which could cost you the game if resisted)?
Any which way, there’s no arguing that a talent which gives 1% spell hit/point for a class which has 80% of its abilities working off melee hit is underbudget. If you think otherwise, then Elemental Precision and Precision are both overpowered, seeing as how they affect almost all of their respective spec’s abilities… right?
My issue with Necrosis is how misleading the talent is. It doesn’t benefit from Black Ice, Ebon Plague, any of that. For all intents and purposes, it may as well read +4/8/12/16/20% auto-attack damage… except it’s not even that simple, because of partial resists!
As someone who gets numerous tells/PMs/emails a day on DK-related matters, let me tell you – Necrosis is currently the most misunderstood talent by newer Death Knights (ignoring Scourge Strike, that is).
I would either change the wording, somehow, or I would make it function how it used to (and how most people expect it to) and then simply nerf it slightly if its then too strong. Ideally the latter
Slimming down the talent wouldn’t hurt either, but that’s not a huge deal. We’re going to have 5 point talents – that’s inevitable. Necrosis being five is perfectly fine, considering it’s position in the tree and other options of its tier.
The increased damage to Death Coil is fine and all; the cooldown reduction of Death and Decay is not. DnD is an essential tanking move, and tanks being locked out of getting it is incredibly inconvenient and illogical. I would simply give DnD a 15s base cooldown, and then have Morbidity increase it’s damage by the same percent at which it increases Death Coil. The talent keeps its flavour while tanks don’t have to worry about getting it. If you have to nerf its base damage by the same amount to compensate, then no big deal – as a former tank, I know I would gladly take a weaker DnD with a shorter cooldown then a stronger one with a longer one, any day of the week.
Oh, Reaping, the problem child of Unholy. When it was young, it behaved exactly as expected, and Blizzard were quite proud parents of their little progeny. Over time, however, it grew up and became nothing but trouble!
There are two issues I have with Reaping, the first being that it’s a relatively weak talent for its cost, hence why we don’t even take it presently, and the second being that it’s all-or-nothing – 1/3 and 2/3 are useless, you either take 3/3 or you take nothing. Fixing the first can be done through a variety of means; roll Desolation into it (as previously stated, and as I’ve been pushing for since patch 3.2.0), add Icy Touch to the talent (assuming SS remains at a one rune cost, as it currently is on Alpha), cause abilities used via death runes to be slightly more potent, giving it a plain old % damage boost (a la Blood of the North), and so on. As to the second issue… it’s already fixed, if SS continues to use one rune.
Unique raid debuffs are bad. That is all. Either make Crypt Fever only affect our diseases, or give other specs/classes a means of bringing the debuff (or roll it into another debuff, like bleed damage). Aside from that, it’s a fine talent – 10% disease damage/point is incredibly potent, not to mention the value of the first point (bringing a third disease).
Unholy’s claim to fame… because it’s so overpowered. Either make it so that Pestilence doesn’t spread EP (and have it spread CF instead, so we still get three diseases on each target) or make it so Curse/Bane of Elements and Earth and Moon can be done AoE. As it is now, an Unholy DK is mandatory for any fight which requires AoE prominently (i.e, Anub heroic and Yogg + 0) or which requires the raid to dps down multiple targets quickly (Valkyrs on LK heroic. It might not require actual AoE, but having a lock/moonkin do their debuffs on each target takes so much more time).
Alright, I’ll be honest – UB is actually a perfectly fine talent. Damage wise, it’s strong (without being too strong). It’s “cheap” and easy to take. It has a lovely PvP benefit. So on. But, let’s be honest, as anyone who has been playing a DK since the beginning can tell you, one can’t help but miss the old version.
Now, obviously, that won’t be brought back for any number of reasons (not the least of which is that it was simply overpowered!). That said, they could still capture the idea of the old, and combine it with the reality of the present. Why not make Unholy Blight function like a reverse Glyph of Holy Light, where Death Coils casted on a target afflicted would reflect some of their damage to X enemies within Y yards of the target (in addition to just dotting the primary target)? Giving it a cap would keep it from being too strong. Or why not just make the dot on the target hit enemies nearby every time it ticked? Oh, the possibilities.
As always, comments most welcome.