Presumption – DKs Are Done
August 30, 2010 132 Comments
Edit: Since there was some confusion in comments, to be clear, this is just a “what if we really are done” sort of post, hence the added emphasis to assume. It’s not me actually thinking we are or losing confidence in Blizzard. I still believe we’ll be just fine in due time and that there’s no cause for worry but, if I turn out to be wrong and this is it, then this post is basically my sentiments on the matter.
Let’s just go ahead and assume that, yes, Death Knights are essentially finished in the eyes of the developers. Sure, they’re all but guaranteed to pass through our trees at least once more to eliminate or otherwise condense talents such as Improved Icy Touch and Virulence but, at this point, such talents aren’t even our largest, more demanding issues. And, yes, of course they’re certain to do a number tweak patch (consisting of more than a 5% nerf to Blood Strike) at some point between now and the end of beta. Then… nothing.
So, let us say that’s it – and what indications (few and far between they may be) we’ve received would say that, yeah, that is it!
That means we would go live with Runic Empowerment as is, with the Frost Presence/Unholy Presence discrepency as is, the AoE rotations (if one can call it that) as is, the contradictory nature of DRM and the Blood Mastery as is, and so on.
What would that mean for us?
It wouldn’t mean our dps/tps/survivability would be behind. That’s a number issue, and is thus independent of everything else. Yes, our dps might end up being too low (or too high) regardless, but it won’t be because of any thing else but the number pass itself. Think of it this way: you could have a rotation which consisted of nothing but spamming Blood Boil every single GCD, and although that would be horrible in a million different ways, the numbers could still be just fine, potentially.
It wouldn’t mean our class would be unplayable. Mechanically, we function. Some things aren’t very user intuitive (AoE rotation for Frost/Unholy? Runic Empowerment?) or convenient (Tank CDs costing runes?), but that doesn’t mean that, at the end of the day, we couldn’t do our job. Of course we could – it just hearkens back to the numbers.
It wouldn’t mean that the class would be ruined for life. Of all classes, we know how much can change patch-to-patch. Just look at all the different stages Unholy DPS has gone through during Wrath: 0/32/39, Blood Subspec, Obliterate, 10-second Epidemicless, Reapingless variants, Frost Subspec, and so on. A patch can change a ton, so even if Cataclysm were to go live with us being in a less-than-desirable shape, there’s nothing to say 4.1 couldn’t turn it all around in a complete one-eighty.
But, obviously, there are some very real implications to us being “finished” as is, otherwise we wouldn’t be making such a big deal out of it. The question is, what are those actual consequences?
First off, if they don’t touch many of these issues now, then that’s likely because they don’t see anything wrong – which means they’ll never fix them. It’s possible that they’ll wake up in a couple months and see that, due to Pestilence and Blood Boil’s single Blood rune cost tanks can’t manage streaming adds the same way other classes can and that Unholy’s AoE rotation involves using Icy Touch as often as, say, Scourge Strike itself, but if they don’t notice such things now (or don’t see the problem in them), then it’s likely to just stay as is indefinitely.
Secondly, if they do realize our problems later on, there’s the “roller coaster” threat. Like I said, even if we start off behind, a patch can turn everything around, but no one wants to level and start raiding playing a class which functions in a certain manner only for it to be completely different the next patch. We’ve done that, many times, and it’s not the best design from the players’ or developers’ perspective. If we start off without a dozen glaring issues, we’re that much less likely to be put through the wringer time and time again. Best to get things right the first time whenever possible.
Third, there’s the whole fact that if really are done as is, there’s apparently a huge disconnect between a sizable portion of the testing community and the developers. We were told you didn’t like this, wanted so and so to accomplish that, and that these things were good/bad for a class – and thus we based all of our feedback on it. But then it goes live as is anyways? Did you simply disagree with what we were/are saying, and don’t see all of these things as problems, or did you change your mind? Or what? It’s a mind-boggling situation. Not to mention it invalidates so much of the testing done.
Fourth is the fun factor. This is heavily a matter of perspective, so I won’t delve deeply into it except to say the tanks plain not being able to do what they need when they need unless they can see the future (or a fight has no rng) and dpsers essentially playing Guitar Hero with whatever runes randomly light up thanks to Runic Empowerment isn’t my idea of my fun. To each their own, perhaps.
Suffice is to say it would be a huge letdown for the community if we were to go live in our present state, not to mention it wouldn’t bode well for the future of the class in any probable scenario.
But, really, it’s not the end of the world, and certainly not of the class. We’re not broken. We won’t be baggage in raids (numbers pending). We’ll be much less than we could or should be, sure, and although that’s a shame, it’s always the case anyways as we’re never going to be perfect – largely because how there’s so many different perspective of the class (I’m sure there’s someone out there who likes the current form of Runic Empowerment and sees no flaw with it!). Life will go on.
Where am I going with this post? I don’t really know, to be honest. I lost myself a dozen times, so who even knows if this final product makes sense! The point is, that yeah, we might be done, and if so, we just have to accept that truth, and also realize the the fact that it’s not all that bad, potentially. Make lemonade out of lemons, as they say. Or, rather, lemonade out of rotten, round items which you’re told are supposed to be lemons. View it how you will!
Honestly though, I will say, as is, I would be awfully tempted to switch classes (although I likely never would, due to all the outside factors). Even if we’re far from broken, we’re certainly not improved from our present day state, while many other classes undoubtedly are. Some are shaping up so nicely!