New Abilities – Why Not Steal

This week has been quite uneventful, to say the least! No new beta build. No Death Knight related blue posts (although ones for every other class!). Nothing promising from the multiple interviews coming out of Gamescon (“No further major class changes are planned for the beta. From here out it will be primarily tuning,” for example, can’t be good for us, although what is tuning and what’s a major change is a matter of opinion/semantics, I suppose). And then, on a personal level, I’m still dealing with my new computer, not to mention I’ve been totally caught up in another project, which has made my posting quite sparse.

But, hey, such is life. Simply have to think positive!

A new beta build is almost guaranteed to hit this coming week (and it should contain Archaeology, of all things). DK-related blue posts will happen at some point in the future, certainly. Even if nothing “major” is planned for any class, it’s rather unarguable that we’re in destined for many “tweaks” and general “tuning”. On the personal level, my new computer should be finished which means I’ll be able to stream/fraps regularly (current comp just can’t handle it, not with fluent play at any decent level of quality).

Things shall turn around, but in the meantime, there’s not much for us to talk about which hasn’t already been discussed to death over the past two months or so that we’ve gone without any serious solutions to our issues – I mean, the beta DK thread is currently debating runeforges, of all things!

So why not have some fun?

Let’s be honest – we didn’t get the most exciting new abilities for Cataclysm. Outbreak doesn’t do anything we can’t already do with existing spells; and it’s not even strong enough to replace that which we already have. Necrotic Strike is a bit on the different side, but it’s only of any real use in one aspect of the game, and even there, it’s going to wreck havoc on our playstyle with it’s single Unholy rune cost, not to mention healing absorbption won’t terribly differ from the equivalent damage in most cases. Dark Simulacrum is actually unique and pretty cool, so no complaints there. One for three, however, isn’t the greatest track record. And this is on top of the fact that we didn’t get any new talented abilities either (Pillar of Frost being little more than a renamed Unbreakable Armor).

Although it’s looking less and less realistic by the day, what if Blizzard decided we really could use something unique and, just maybe, useful, too?

Now, obviously the sky’s the limit when trying to come up with new abilities. For every possible problem, there’s a hundred ways to address it, and for each way to address it, there’s then a hundred different variations as far as the specifics go. Thus, sometimes, it’s best not to come up with something new for to the game, but rather new to the player. In other words, steal NPC abilities and adapt them to fill a current hole in our arsenal.

It’s been done many times before, with Mage’s Flame Orb being one of the most recent and most recognizable instances of such a deed, so why not us?


A rarely noticed weakness of Unholy Death Knights is the lack of any sort of Execute-phase dps increase. By this, I mean either something passive (such as Frost’s Merciless Combat)  or active (such as the original Execute itself, of course).  We do the same abilities for the same numbers regardless of whether the boss is at 100% or at 1%. This isn’t a huge deal, really, but it does make us an exception to the majority these days.

Infest could be the perfect solution.

Scrap the AoE aspect of it and give it a maximum duration. The tooltip might read something along the lines of “Deals X damage to the target, and an additional Y damage every second for Z seconds. Damage is increased by Q percent for every P percent of health the target is missing. This effect is removed is the target reaches more than 90% health”. Sure, you could always use it on the target if they’re at max/high health, but it likely wouldn’t be worthwhile. In PvP it would have some very interesting interplay, potentially.

Alleviates a fault of the spec. Inspired by (but not copied from) a popular, well-known NPC ability. New and different to players. Plenty of knobs to turn as far as specific number balance goes. Useful for both PvE and PvP.

[Pain and Suffering]

In an ironic turn around from our state in Wrath, Unholy is not only the weakest AoE spec we have in Cataclysm (which isn’t terribly important), it’s also the least functional!  With the current rune costs of Pestilence, Blood Boil, and Death and Decay, Unholy’s AoE “rotation”, if you can call it that,  is going to be a wreck. Icy Touch spam would have been awkward enough on a single target, but having to resort to it for AoE?! Plain bizarre.

Even if they were to modify/eliminate the resource cost of our exisiting AoEs, as they likely should do regardless, Unholy would still lack anything to set it apart from Blood or Frost in the AoE department, with those two trees having Heart Strike and Howling Blast, respectively, to differentiate them.

Pain and Suffering would be a nice, simple means of fixing the issue. It’s nothing fancy – a conal AoE which deals direct shadow damage and puts a short duration stackable DoT on the targets – but it would work. You wouldn’t even have to change the functionality at all, simply the numbers (the actual damage and how high the stack can go). Give it a resource cost (UF if Blood Boil/Pestilence stay at one Blood, BF if they go to runic power), and you’re good to go.

Could always add a glyph which makes it apply Blood Plague, Desecration, or something else interesting for PvP use easily enough

[Soul Reaper]

A fault of the class has often been burst. We’ve either had too much or too little. Considering we lack a heal reduction debuff and any real CC/stuns, combined with the somewhat rigid nature of the rune system, it’s difficult to simply tweak the numbers and fix. Our abilities can’t simply hit hard, because we can always use ERW to chain half a dozen of whatever it is in a row. Necrotic Strike is supposed to be an interesting approach to this problem, but I’m somewhat skeptical of how well it will play out based on the current state of the skill.

Soul Reaper could be the answer. It’s delayed burst, essentially. We wouldn’t be able to spam it, due to the nature of the ability, and thus it could hit pretty hard. At the same time, it wouldn’t be uncounterable due to the span of time before the real damage actually hits.

Although aimed at PvP, all it would take to be used in PvE is decent scaling.

[Rune of Blood]

This is aimed at a fault in other classes, not in us. More specifically, Vampiric Embrace and Judgment of Light are unique forms of raid utility which stand out in a game of increasing buff/debuff overlap and in a raid environment where overhealing is going to be severely curtailed.

On top of this, with the loss of Vendetta/Exsanguinate and Blood Presence, we have little in the way of self-healing while dpsing (without flat out murdering that dps!).

Rune of Blood is the answer. It could easily be made into a self-buff along the lines of VE or a target debuff along the lines of JoL.

If you take the first route, to keep it distinct from VE, you could always eliminate the group aspect and give it some additional personal benefit (like % healing taken, perhaps). If you take the latter rotue, to keep it distinct from JoL you could always have it heal the target’s target (i.e, the tanks) whenever *you* strike the target, for an interesting twist. Who knows.

[Ice Prison]

Druids – Entangling Roots/Cyclone, Hunters – Ice Trap, Mage – Polymorph, Paladin – Repentance, Priest – Mind Control/Shackle, Rogue – Sap, Shaman – Hex, Warlock – Banish/Fear, Warrior – Intimidating Shout, and Death Knight… ?

We lack a real CC (or even a fake one!), something the dps spec of every other class will now bring in Cataclysm.

Ice Prison is straightforward enough, and really doesn’t need any explanation.

And they say stealing is bad!

I could, of course, go on with this all night, and there are some itneresting spells (Defile and Death’s Respite, for instance), which I certainly want to touch on another evening, but I believe I get my point across. Something new for us doesn’t necessarily have to be something new to the game, and it can be just as effective, no doubt. It’s not all that unrealistic, even, to see something like one of the above implemented.

Whatever else, it makes for fun speculation.

48 Responses to New Abilities – Why Not Steal

  1. Rebellion says:

    Nice one @ Ice Prison.
    A few days again when I thought about a way to make Hungering Cold actually usefull I just had to think about an ability like this. Plain and simple, no fancy stuff required. Also to mind came the “darth vader choke”, even if it were limited to humanoids because of the animation.

    Anyway, I agree that the current skills we will get are not that great. Outbreak and Necrotic Strike will just be more dead weight in my action bars and Dark Simulacrum has some much potential to be either great or utterly useless. Just thinking about what my previous class (warlock) gets makes me almost wanna jump back to it.

  2. Lakastra says:

    Quote from GC regarding the DK issues:
    “This is QQ, though. If you have specific concerns, bring them up. I can’t turn around and tell the other class designers “DKs don’t feel that their class is done.” They will look at me with blank stares until I give them more to go on. ”

    Ye, we didn’t bring up all the concerns, sure… Quite interesting to see this post beeing answered without answering all the other, constructive threads who bring up all the issues.

    Though it’s not the first time that the ignore the important threads and give answers to those crappy QQ-threads.

    • Zibi says:

      Too many people seem to assume no reply means there’s nothing going on. Perhaps they aren’t replying because it is true that a blue replying to a post very often can disrupt the constructive conversation, and the current DK class forum posts on beta forums are very decent discussions. Don’t always assume because “They give answers to the crappy QQ-threads and don’t ever talk to us” that they aren’t listening or working on anything.

  3. Roth says:

    @ Runeforges

    There isnt much else to talk about! Plus, we do have a ton of worthless Runeforges that either need to be removed or improved.

    I really like the idea of Soul Reaper, although Id personally rather see the Soul Reaper thing added to Scourge Strike (minus the haste buff). The delay on the damage could allow us to have a kind of delayed burst (which is somewhat unique) and increase the potency of the shadow portion of the strike. Something like: 100% weapon damage plus X + 12% per disease. Deals an additional 50% of the physical damage as shadow damage after 3 seconds.” Then allow the shadow portion to stack similar to Deep Wounds/Unholy Blight and be modified by anything that increases shadow damage.

    The Rune of Blood idea kinda sounds like a melee version of Beacon of Light. That could actually be kind of interesting. Or perhaps Blizzard could create a reverse Blood Mirror? “X% of the healing created by and done to you is shared by your Blood Mirror target”?

  4. psyquest says:

    Game over people. I was hoping that DK changes will be coming to us. But it seems things are done in the mind of blizzard:

    No further major class changes are planned for the beta. From here out it will be primarily tuning.

    Basically, we can only expect tuning. Either we launch an onslaught onto the beta forum since 90 pages feedback is not enough to change things, or we are going to hit cataclysm as is…

  5. Disargeria says:

    “No further major class changes are planned for the beta. From here out it will be primarily tuning,”

    Hopefully this means that the current two internal builds were dedicated to DKs?

    • Roth says:

      I dont think that is as dire news as we think it is. I think “major” consists of things like Focus for Hunters, Soul Shards for Warlocks, Rune Recharge time for DKs, Rage Normalization for Warriors and Holy Power for Paladins.

      I dont think that means we wont be seeing any new abilities. Warriors have only recently gotten Colossus Smash while a number of other classes got their own “Pestilence.” I would put money down that we are still going to see new abilities/spells.

      • Aku says:

        Yeah I agree – we won’t get a completely new resource system (or a complete make-over) like Palas or Hunters, but that’s why we don’t really need one.

        A lot of classes got new spells/abilities besides their 3 new spells from 80-85:

        – Colossus Smash for Warriors
        – Word of Glory, Templars Verdict for Palas
        – Revealing Strike for (Combat) Rogues
        – Bind Elemental for Shamys (CC spell)

        We already got Festering Strike, so I’d guess If Blizz thinks we need more tools, we will get ’em…

  6. Insolence says:

    Consider: Not wanting to be offtopic but how does BlizzardPowerAuras look for tracking RE Procs?

    Good blogging as usual otherwise, and as Disargeria above said, lets hope DKs get the long end of the stick soon!

  7. Frostfright says:

    Sorry Consider, but I suspect your most recent blog post will be inundated with angry Death Knights who really only want to talk about why we’re only receiving “tuning” and not the necessary overhaul many expected was coming just around the corner. That Ghostcrawler decided to respond to a thread asking for an update on the class with basically “QQ some more” was disappointing, considering the sheer amount of genuinely constructive feedback that exists in the beta thread for DKs.

    That being said, I do really like your post. The Lich King specifically has some incredibly cool abilities which all suit the class thematically, and I’m sort of surprised they didn’t give us a copy of at least one. Ice Prison particularly would’ve been a no-brainer, as, like you said, all DPS specs will have some form of reliable CC to use, and we’ve already seen it in action against Tirion. Soul Reaper would’ve added a degree of complexity to the class, especially in PvP, where it could be used to time burst on a target with teammates. Pain and Suffering is a cone ability that doesn’t really overlap with Cone of Cold or Light of Dawn, because it adds the stacking DoT.

    But of course, Defile is the one I would be most interested to see. I just think it would be neat being able to use these same abilities that players already recognize. They’re iconic and interesting, and they save having to come up with new ideas. Festering Strike could have been Soul Reaper, for instance. Cooler function, and plays to the damage over time aspect of Unholy; a much more creative and fun solution.

    To conclude, I’ll say that I think the next two builds will be very, very important. If we don’t see some necessary changes within that timeframe, I wouldn’t expect them to ever come, given the quote could have been referring to a further along internal build we haven’t seen yet.

  8. Andeus says:

    Well then why not make a new thread with a well-written, well-formatted post that explains every problem we have seen up to now. Kinda like Consider’s post on why we are not done yet. Hell, post in there the rotation breakdowns too for each spec. Each issue in a new paragraph so that GC can answer them easier. 😛

    On topic, I’d love to see some sort of merge between Ice Prison and Hungering cold. Maybe that’s all that is missing to make the latter work.

    I don’t really like the idea of Cone effects for DKs, seems a little unfitting in my mind. But on the other hand the thought of having an attack that could spread it’s own unique dot / disease and then allow you to Blood Boil it could give us a situational but very useful burst damage potential. A Glyph comes to mind that increases the damage Blood Boil does on the target if he has Pain and Suffering Dot by X% but your Blood Boil will also consume the disease. So its like a 1-time combo.

    Hm actually that looks kinda like Shadowfrost stuff…i bet they wouldn’t like it 😛

    • Rebellion says:

      Dire news imho so far and thus I can hardly mask my “sky is falling” feeling. But just to comment on shadow frost. If they indeed won’t change alot (and unholy need substential changes, not number tweaking), we might very well face another shadowfrost cenario in the near future. But this time even w/o a hybrid spec.

      The sad thing is, at the moment neither frost nor unholy prove to be interesting when it comes to the use of a twohanded weapon. The extra bit of runic power is even with low levels of no interest to frost, therefore making a 2h spec not at all viable yet, given the insane scaling of 2 matchstickes in each hand, That leaves unholy that is, as Consider already pointed out several times, just another deathcoil spam build and therefore promotes the use of dual wield even further, not to mention that the heacy emphasis on pets, dots and magic already made it quite possible on life. So far most of the changes played well into the hands of dual wield for unholy.

      Anyway as sad as it is, I go with what Frostfright said at the end of his comment: Lets hope the next two internal builds bring something for us, else I’m inclined to join one of the doomsday sects in orgrimmar …

  9. Cryptwidget says:

    Dare I say it, but GC’s qq post about us really is a slap in the face. Between here, pwnwear, and both live and beta forums, there’s been plenty of creative/concerned posts about DKs, and every one has been given the deft ear. I may just have to shelf my DK and work on that new Worgen alt until we get the kitchen sink patch of 4.1 that might actually address our issues once the dust settles post-Cata.

    Whereas he’s done entire disrotations about Pallys and Shamans, we get a “DKs are qq” reply, a lock, and no other feedback? Bogus, man…

  10. Hinenuitepo says:

    Your post has made me rather emo today for the first time Consider.
    I’ve been rather patient, thinking that eventually we’ll get ours.
    Now, we get some ‘news’ that no really significant changes are on the horizon.

    Not happy. 😦
    Like many, there may come a time to consider a new main. I’ve got plenty of classes at 80 now to choose from, and some of the changes for them are pretty exciting. I’ve been a DK loyalist since early LK beta, so it’s pretty disappointing.

    Still, I’ll give it at least until much deeper into the beta cycle – at least until a firm release date, before making any solid decisions.

  11. Aram says:

    Not DK related, Ghost also blamed the players for having to redesign the level 10 Holy Priest ability.

    Seems like yesterday was not a good day for him.

  12. Noin says:

    I don’t particularly understand the doom and gloom. Blizzard hasn’t worked on DKs much, but that’s probably more because they’ve been working hard on Paladins and other classes that need a substantial overhaul in terms of resources. They can’t work on every class, and they just rewrote Paladin mechanics in the middle of testing.

    I don’t see how “No more major class changes, only tuning” can be legitimately interpreted as “the sky is falling” and “DKs are done.” That’s just wishful despair on the part of many, especially when Chilton mentions in the same interview that they’re still expecting several more months of Beta development.

    The current DK problems do not require a massive class overhaul in order to fix them. Sequential Runes make sense in theory, and while RE is a headache, it wouldn’t take much tweaking to put the class back on the right track and smooth out our playstyles and rotations. DKs just haven’t gotten much attention; they’ve bigger fish to fry at the moment.

    I’m rather disappointed that people have so little faith in or understanding of Blizzard that they honestly think they’d let the class go live without addressing these issues, especially in PVE, where they excel. What exactly has Blizzard done to earn such pessimism?

    By the way, the post GC responded to was a whiny (if earnest and well-meaning) attempt at Blue-fishing. Blue-fishing is heavily frowned upon, and is more than likely to get no worthwhile response whatsoever. It didn’t offer anything really substantive to go on. Meanwhile, there’s a pretty massive DK topic in the Class Discussion forums, and I see no reason to believe it’s being ignored.

    GC, the Blues, and the Developers cannot respond to everything, and they have jobs with day-to-day tasks that none of us have any clue about. I understand the frustration at silence, but that does not give us leeway to abandon everything we know about how Blizzard works, namely that it’s a company like any other and its people have jobs, lives, and other things to distract them from responding to all our grievances.

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair, Noin, Ghostcrawler has been basically silent for several months regarding the issues with the class. Something like five beta builds have come and gone with no real changes to the class (save the hilarious Dirge change), and no posts have been made at all. Is it so unreasonable to ask that we get a small, quick update on the class every now and again?

      Two minutes is all it takes to type up a post that says “We know there are issues with Runic Empowerment, we’re considering making it proc a Death Rune, or maybe even additional RP,” and not much else. There are over fifty pages of solid feedback, ideas, and constructive comments in the beta DK thread, and GC chooses to respond to a blue fishing thread? Are you serious? That’s insulting, to all the players who legitimately add to the discussion in the beta thread, and a handful of other threads on both forums.

      Even the “forums of yore” had more interaction between the CMs and the players in that regard than what we’ve seen recently, which makes the comment about returning to that state even more giggle-inducing than it already was. “Don’t you guys complain, when I was a noob, I had to walk fifteen miles both ways in the snow, UPHILL to communicate with the devs. DON’T MAKE ME GO BACK TO THAT!” Joking aside, I’m not trying to be antagonistic, and I’m not being unrealistic or whiny. I think I speak for most of the people posting in those threads when I say that we’d be satisfied with two paragraphs of “work in progress” or “this is what we’re discussing.” But instead we get silence, and then a “QQ some more” post.

      Kind of just… disappointing. 😦

      • Noin says:

        Anonymous, I must have overlooked your post. Apologies.

        It is a dangerous thing to “expect” things from developers in the way you seem to be saying. We have very little understanding of their day-to-day affairs, what pressures they are under, and what goals they themselves have. Ghostcrawler posting on the forums is not a right, nor is it an expectation we should blindly quote when our class isn’t particularly paid attention to.

        This game was developed for 3-4 years and became the master of its market and genre without such a reliable liaison, and if players abuse that liaison, it may be withdrawn. That is what GC was speaking on, and I saw absolutely nothing to be afraid about in his little quip. He was not threatening to leave; he was reminding players that what they see as a “right” is nothing of the kind, and that being able to talk to developers is a privilege, one that ought not be abused. When people start to get frustrated and blue-fish, others typically try to jump on the bandwagon. It is no more insulting for GC to nip that weed in the bud and redirect the community to more productive activities than it is for a parent to remind his child that his cellphone can be confiscated for bad behavior.

        I do understand it is frustrating to deal with such silence, for I am also frustrated. It is hard to see forward without some voice giving us little glimpses of what the developers are pondering. However, we must consider the efficacy of our worth and actions, no matter how “justified” they may seem to ourselves. Complaining about and demanding a response, despite seeming like a totally natural “right” from the perspective of the consumer, is simply not worth our time. Such a tactic rarely, if ever, works, and it usually summons no more than understandably annoyed glances and oft-repeated declarations.

        Furthermore, as I have more or less stated before, you presume when you say “All it takes is two minutes.” No, it does not, except in ideal scenarios conceived in our biased minds. Ghostcrawler is the Lead Systems Designer, not the Borg Queen, i.e., he does not command a vast collective consciousness at will. The game is developed by consensus and discussion, and it is foolish to think that such consensus is always present. Ghostcrawler cannot speak on something without first consulting with his team. It may be that the simply don’t have an answer, or they’re working on it, or they haven’t thought about it yet because they’ve been busy with other tasks. All of those are very, very likely scenarios that people conspicuously ignore in favor of “GC hates us!” or “The sky is falling!”

        As none of us understand the exact contingencies and workloads these people undergo on a daily basis, it only self-serving to say “It would only take 2 minutes to address our concerns,” not to mention conveniently succinct. I have spent at least twenty minutes writing up this post, and any well-written mind takes a while to type up something they find satisfactory when only consulting with themselves. Think about what happens when you have to check with Tom, Harry, or the others you saw in the meeting today, only to find out that they’re off with their families or friends and unable to be reached. Developers have jobs. Any posts you see from them on the forums, GC or otherwise, was created in their spare time.

        Remember: Ghostcrawler has stated countless times that they read every topic, or they have people employed to read every topic and deliver the concerns to the developers. To muse on another point, let us think about what you’re asking for. What good is stating “we understand there are problems with Runic Empowerment?” when we are already aware of such things? Is there some blessed value of hearing what we already know from the mouths of our beloved Overlords, if I may use the term endearingly? Will that somehow fix the problem? Will it put your mind at ease?

        By the way, that Beta forum topic is not filled with great feedback; a mixed bag. Some of the posters simply have no clue what they’re talking about, and others are complaining, while still others are doing what they’re supposed to do: throwing out ideas, good, bad, and mediocre.

        Is it an understandable desire to know the developers are working on these issues? Certainly. Is it wise or worthwhile to complain and whine about it and demand action? Absolutely not. The only “right” course is patience and more discussion, feedback, and polite, intelligent listing of concerns, without pretense of demands or what is owed to us.

        Yes, it is wearying work, and most of it will be met with silence no matter what you do, but that is our purpose and our role in development. If we attempt to rebel and go outside of it, however natural it may feel, we will simply be beaten down and our overlords will turn to someone else. While Consider and some other DKs are minds worth listening to, they are not the only ones. We are all fungible.

    • Rebellion says:

      Well given the fact that alot of zones are nowhere near finished, some even hardly implemented at all, alot of dungeons missing and no raid content existing at all either, several months of beta is just a nice way to say: “we have work to do” with out them giving out an ETA.

      Not to forget the number tweaking which takes ages with all the changes and they still even found a soft spot for where they wish mob dmg and health to be. And we still miss the last two levels as well.

      Blind faith is a nice thing, but Blizzard does indeed have a trackrecord of things they didn’t figure out which were voiced early on by the community but only fixed serveral content patches later. Thats not to say we are always on the right track either, but it happened. And this forms to be such a thing that really makes one curious about their design goal.

      • Rebellion says:

        Because I forgot to mention it:
        Its funny how so many people consider holy power to be some major change to a class that desperatly needs to be balanced or has an extreme high priority. The mechanic behind it and the few spells that work based on it are nothing really …

  13. Branith says:

    GC made a blue post: This is QQ, though. If you have specific concerns, bring them up. I can’t turn around and tell the other class designers “DKs don’t feel that their class is done.” They will look at me with blank stares until I give them more to go on.

    SERIOUSLY, DO THEY NOT FREAKING READ THEIR OWN BETA POSTS! Or are you all in beta really this bad at advocating for your classes thru the feedback submissions? That blue post is it, its over I am done with this class, and likely this game. Looks like ill go back to my Warrior (if I go back at all) for Cata.

    • frozenblows says:

      I don’t think the sky is falling attitude is the right move regarding classes in this game. Play whatever you think is fun and povide as much feedback as possible to make positive changes. Blue posts often lack tact and respond to the wrong people as a stalling tactic.

  14. Royksopp says:

    There’s no reason to be doom-and-gloom just yet. We’ll have to see when the next few beta pushes come out to really see what’s happening with our beloved class. Ghostcrawler’s post wasn’t telling us to “QQ more”, but it was replying to an individual who was crying. (I know this was stated above, but still…)

    Branith: The best part about beta is that you can’t leave any sort of feedback or comments on quests in game. The tool is broken! Joys of beta!

  15. Pact says:

    It seems the usefulness of dk’s are in its decline. With every passing “update” i suspect the class as a whole is becoming a less viable spec for dps (tanking aside) our buffs are easily provided by other classes (if not outmatched) and with the current warrior changes it seems we will be taking a back seat when it comes to melee dps. Perhaps it IS time to pick up those alts coming into cata.

    • frostfright says:

      Now now, the sky isn’t falling. No need to resort to acting like Shamans, here (they’re notorious for that “all our buffs are brought by other classes and BETTER” line).

      Runic Empowerment could be great with just a slight tweak, and the numbers for our abilities have yet to see any balance changes yet, either. They haven’t even really started fine tuning the numbers.

  16. Noin says:


    Class developers do not work on that stuff. Raid and world designers do. The content of zones and such have very little to do with class development and do not preclude it from taking place. Such work happens simultaneously, not sequentially, otherwise nothing would ever get done. It is the same with number tweaking. All of that world designing has almost nothing to do with how classes themselves are designed.

    I like how confidence in Blizzard is referred to as “blind faith,” as if their repeated successes and good design decisions have never happened because they’ve messed up on a few occasions. It is not blind faith; it is an informed expectation based on Blizzard’s track record, which is, on the whole, very, very good.

    Your skepticism is more blind than my optimism. DKs having received little attention implies nothing except they’ve been working on other classes and/or they haven’t found satisfactory solutions to the problems they believe the class has. It does not mean that the class is going live tomorrow, nor does it mean they are satisfied. You are presuming that because Blizzard has messed up before, it will screw up your particular class. That is a very self-serving heuristic, and based in nothing but, as I said, “wishful despair.”

    Moreover, Holy Power by itself is a simple system, but implementing it satisfactorily mid-Beta with compelling mechanics among all of the class’ other mechanics and spells is quite difficult and takes quite a bit of time and effort.

    • Rebellion says:

      I’m well aware that class design and world design do not interfere with one another. That does not mean that “several months of beta” implies several months of class interation and changes. They will need alot of time, but not for balancing a few digits, they will because the redesign of the old world brought alot of work upon them and as we saw in their darkshore sneakpeak, which they themself said they were not expecting.

      I’m not saying they won’t get things right eventually, but as everyone who plays this game for some time now knows that does by no means say it will be right from the start. I even would dare say we will be quite viable in the first few raid tiers, but that does not mean that we will have a nice gameplay, even though our dmg output might be quite fine compared to other classes.

      And when it comes to holy power. The System is nothing more than a cooldown on the new abilities but by involing chance. It is runic empowerment limited to a few spells.

      • Anonymous says:

        ” even would dare say we will be quite viable in the first few raid tiers, but that does not mean that we will have a nice gameplay, even though our dmg output might be quite fine compared to other classes.”.

        And you are basing this opinion off of what exactly??

      • Rebellion says:

        I think the whole class won’t have the sub rogue/frost mage treatment of wotlk , but that does not mean I like unholy turning to a blood rip off sooner than later while forced to dual wield.

  17. Madarame says:

    dude, you should somehow link this threat to a blue who is responsable for DKs

    very good article

    on a side note, i dont like the whole “keep diseases up for max dmg strikes”. even with diseases up, in pvp i hit like a wet towel -.-

  18. Dude1 says:

    Very unhappy with the state of dks and the lack of changes being made to fix the class specially after being one of the three classes that were recieving a major overhaul going into this xpac. Death knights, paladins, hunters. So it boggles the mind of why over the past six weeks it seems like nothing has been done to improve and fix the way death knights are yet hunters and paladins are recieving major changes every push. It’s obvious that they aren’t doing anything more for death knights and we’ll be broken till 4.1, sorry but im not going to be buying cataclysm at all till death knights are fixed.

    They shouldn’t of started something they obviously can’t fix before xpac’s release in changing the rune system in breaking it, then saying the major changes are done. K well revert our class back to the old formula so we aren’t broken. When you can get your act together and have a working rune system change that isn’t broke then put it on the table. Not half ass it then say we will get to the classes that aren’t be looked at later on cause oh boy are all classes recieving many changes but death knights aren’t recieving anything.

  19. Noin says:


    This may sound curt, but you plainly do not have any understanding of what Holy Power is or does. It is a reliable resource generated by certain abilities and consumed by others. There is no RNG to the resource whatsoever, and comparing it to Runic Empowerment is absurd. Please educate yourself on things before you comment on them.

    And yes, “several more months of beta” means “several more months of class iteration and changes.” That is precisely it means. That’s what happened all of WoW’s past betas. The only point at which class iteration will stop is when the developers feel they have the game in a releasable state, at which point they’ll launch the game and see what happens. Then they’ll iterate some more based on how players react and utilize the new changes. The job never ends.

    There is no reason to presume that DK development is finished, and certainly not based on how unfinished zones are. You cannot say “I understand that world development and class development don’t interface,” then follow up with “but world development will consume most of their time and resources.” System developers (i.e., class/UI developers) do not spend anytime on world building, save in a general capacity. The vast majority of their focus is spent in their own department. Blizzard has separate teams working on separate things. That is how nearly all companies run.

    Finally, it is even more presumptuous to state that our gameplay will suck in the first few tiers of Cataclysm. Such a claim is absolutely baseless. You are taking a very rough, unfinished product that exists now and extrapolating it in the future, ignoring all the iteration and development that will take place in between. You are simply mistaken in your views on how this game is worked on.

    • Rebellion says:

      Great it is fueld w/o involving rng. That makes it a crippled combopoint system that builds up on you instead of the enemy. Seriously, its just funny how people make it sound like the reinvention of the wheel when it is at best a cooldown the length of 3 global cooldowns.

    • Mitranim says:

      If you want to be really precise about Holy Power, check out the latest changes. According to MMO-Champ, every damaging attack usable by Retribution (sans Crusader Strike) has a 40% change to generate a combo… err, I meant Holy Power (this includes finishers).

  20. Anaroth says:

    While the sky isn’t falling, that’s a pretty fucking insulting reply to all the DKs on beta who have posted decent criticism.

    I realise that they can’t address all the classes at once, and that DKs probably aren’t fundementally broken, but when the only real blue response you get in weeks is complaining about a lack of specifics and then locking the thread what are we to think?

    I don’t have a problem with being last (especially as I’m not in beta), but if blizzard seriously think that DKs are fine right now then they really aren’t the game designers I thought they were.

    As for the task at hand, I kind of like making old forgotten abilities work better. I think there’s some scope for making rune strike work for all three trees in a manner like Consider originally said (although I wouldn’t replace RE with it). Another ability that could be made for all three trees is Death Strike. One idea I had was you have a base DS ability that costs one death rune and does better base weapon damage than all the other 1 rune strikes. The three specs then add something to it to make it tree specific. Blood adds the self healing that is currently base. Frost could add an effect that works like the current glyph, with you doing extra damage based on how much RP you have. Unholy would probably have an effect based around diseases, like some of the other ideas we’ve had.

    I had another idea of how to solve some of the GCD issues. Give our rune dumps the heroic strike treatment. Assuming you do it in such a way that it can’t be macroable, you still have your DKs hitting as many buttons you just won’t run into the gcd cap very often at all. I’m not sure if I really like that though.

    • Noin says:

      Last post before dinner.


      Perhaps I should make my own blog. <_<

      Anaroth, I do not see how GC's comments were insulting in anyway. The poster he was responding to let loose a series of vague, useless complaints. GC struck him down. Perfectly justified.

      Also, no developer has stated they think DKs are fine. Not one. It has not been said in any of the Gamescon interviews or elsewhere. If you're going to complain, complaint about something that actually happened.

      Although I've seen it for many years, back when I was a Shadow Priest, I have grown very weary of the community's rabid tendency to over-interpret the most innocent and basic comments into Dooms of Mandos and Portents of Death. It serves no purpose, except to make us all look like idiots.

  21. frostfright says:

    Noin, I think a lot of people are just looking for some kind of interaction because we want to know what context our actual feedback will have.

    Bruticus in the beta thread sums it up very well in this post:

    “We have DKs that think we’re waiting on our class balance pass and others thinking we’ve already had it and just need fine tuning. The class imo isn’t fun right now, whether that’s due to it just needing fine tuning or needing more sweeping changes is up for debate. The problem is it’s extremely hard to have meaningful debate if it’s only from the player’s perspective. At some point we need to hear from the devs their views so we understand the direction they are taking the class and then can help them with that direction.

    People have been spending tons of time testing in game and writing great posts in this thread highlighting the issues currently facing beta DKs that limit the enjoyment experienced while playing the class. Can we get a response as to whether the devs agree or disagree with us on these issues and more importantly where they currently see the class?”

    Knowing whether or not the devs see things like the clunkiness of Runic Empowerment, or the difficulties present in having a tank with so many open GCDs as problems allow us to continue to provide feedback on what the problems are, how to fix them, and after iteration, whether or not they have been fixed. If the devs don’t communicate with us, how will we know if they even see the issues we players see as problems at all? Maybe they think it’s fine, and are looking for feedback on other things. Maybe not. But we won’t know until they give us the heads up.

  22. Aram says:

    This is getting better and better!


    * Blood Strike now deals an additional 10% damage for each of your diseases on the target. Down from 12.5%.


    * Raise Dead no longer requires Corpse Dust.

  23. Jonneh says:


    Nothing for us.


    • frostfright says:

      That’s not true! Blood Strike got nerfed. ^_^

      Also Raise Dead no longer costs corpse dust or a corpse. \o/

    • Insolence says:

      Im raging if next Build has nothing for us, this is just pathetic.

    • Anaroth says:


      I have no problem with GC or any blue smacking anyone down for a lack of detail. The problem I have have is when that’s that’s the only response DK get in weeks, and it’s completely void of actually content. While the OP might’ve been lacking in detail, it ask a very real question which you’d have thought GC could at least address with a couple of lines.

      As frostfright says we’ve had literally no communication from blizzard. The actually patches have been much better either, all we get is a set of seemingly random changes which if anything actually undermines any confidence that they know what they’re doing.

      While I don’t think we’re going to get many mechanical changes (and we probably don’t need them), a lot still needs to be done before the actual implementation matches the vision we assumed they had for the class.

  24. Leviatharan says:

    Back on topic: I just had a moment of fridge logic. Because it involves stealing a mob ability, I think it falls under the category of this post.
    Unholy needs a new outlet for single Frost runes. Frost needs a new outlet for single Unholy runes. Unholy needs a new spell for AoE…
    And there happens to be a spell used by ICC trash that can probably solve all our problems: Deathchill Bolt. Considering it’s a spell that deals Shadowfrost Damage and it’s used by Necromancers, it’s actually highly appropriate I should think (unless Blizz decides the next hero class is Necromancer, which is just repetitive of DKs/Warlocks/Priests).

    Heres the proposal: Deathchill Bolt has a cost of 1 Unholy OR 1 Frost OR both, depending on what’s available when cast.
    If Deathchill Bolt consumes an Unholy rune (for when a Frost DK uses it), it reduces the target’s Frost resistance slightly.
    If Deathchill Bolt consumes a Frost rune (for when an Unholy DK uses it), it reduces the target’s Shadow resistance slightly.
    If Deathchill Bolt consumes one of each rune, it turns into Deathchill Blast, splitting additional Shadowfrost damage between enemies within X yards of the target, with possible short debuff. (Amazing thing about abilities that ‘split’ damage: Nobody can complain that you get incidental DPS from it.)

    Give it a short cooldown of, say, 5 seconds, and you can guarantee we won’t be just spamming it for anything other than AoE. The cost allows us to apply and spread diseases, DnD, fire a DCBolt to increase the target’s Shadow damage (increase effectiveness of DnD, BB, and DCBlast), BB, DCBlast to damage enemies when runes come off CD, BB, reset.
    Maybe give a glyph to it that increases the threat it causes or something, since Frost or Shadow damage is useless to them and Blood DKs need some lovin’ too.

    …I know, wishful thinking. But it’s better than nothing for now.

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