GC provides some answers on DK in beta

I wonder how Ghostcrawler chooses which threads to respond to. Random I guess.

We’ve had a nicely-formatted post in the beta forums with all the consolidated feedback, including tanking, which Naha put together, and kept it updated, and yet he replies to Consider’s post in the public USA forums which was more about DPS, of course. I’m happy to have a reply there, but why didn’t he answer any of the other threads we’ve had for a few months?

At least he’s given us some information, and from that we can hope for fixes to outstanding tanking issues.

Here’s what the lead systems designer had to say:

There are a lot of questions in this thread, and I can’t answer them all, but I can hit a few.

Is 2H Frost viability still intended? — yes.
Is DW Unholy viability intended? — no.

Pestilence has been nerfed too much — Pestilence was always intended as a convenient way to spread diseases in anticipation for things like Blood Boil. It was not ever supposed to be the way DKs AE, and in fact that is the job of abilities like Blood Boil. If there was a way to make Pestilence cause no damage, we’d probably do it.

Sorry. Typed too quickly.

Pestilence was designed back in the day when DKs had to use Blood Boil as their AE taunt (a truly brilliant design direction in retrospect). DKs needed a way to get diseases on many targets quickly without tab targeting Plague Strike on everyone. So Pestilence was invented to spread diseases, but based on that initial PS/IT so that it would not replace them.

However, because disease damage ended up being pretty beefy, especially for Unholy DKs, Pestilence became a quite powerful AE attack. Even worse, if was very hard for us to shackle it. It wasn’t affected by the “half damage from AE” auras we put on some trash that we wanted to be more powerful, since Pestilence wasn’t a real AE.

In short, we don’t want Pestilence to be an AE at all. We want Blood Boil and Howling Blast and similar spells to be your primary source of AE damage. I’m not saying we’ll change Pestilence at this stage because it would be pretty tricky to implement a design that let it spread diseases that did no damage (or something equally goofy). I’m just saying that our intent is not for Pestilence to be a huge chunk of your damage. It’s ultimately a utility ability.

There are too many passive damage talents — yes, we’d agree with that. It’s still something we’re working on. There will still be a few, especially high in the trees, but DKs are also slightly exempt (if such a thing exists) from our making sure that early talents are easy to understand for level 10 players.

DKs being GCD locked — this is not something we see for DKs above level 80. We do see it for DKs who are converted at level 80 in Icecrown gear to the Cataclysm rules, for one simple reason — a lot of your stats got converted to haste and you have no mastery. The equivalent would be a level 85 DK who decides to eschew all mastery on gear and stack haste to a ridiculous degree. Sure it might GCD lock you, but it’s such a dps loss, why would you ever do that? This is actually a problem with many specs and skews feedback quite a bit. Be very careful in your feedback to distinguish between whether the character you are testing is wearing Lich King gear or Cataclysm gear. If we had to do it all again, maybe we would have converted some existing gear to mastery, just to avoid the situation we’re in now where players are missing one of the big secondary stats.

It’s okay — intended even — for Frost to use ranged attack. The original “Shadowfrost” was an abomination that cherry picked select talents to boost Icy Touch to a ridiculous degree. If a Frost DK can be competitive without ever being in melee, then that crosses the line. If they are attacking at range before they close, or nuking a fleeing target, or at a second target while engaged with a first target, that’s fine.

Also, in reply to a clarification from Anaroth here at pwnwear about DKs being GCD capped, GC said:

The DK GCD lock you are describing does not happen to level 83-85 characters as far as we can tell. It does happen to players who copy over their level 80 characters and find themselves with very large amounts of haste as a result of the stat conversion. Think about it. Your character (through no actual decision you made) has only haste and crit instead of haste, crit and mastery as you will when you’re higher level. Similar mechanics affect other specs. Feral druids at level 80 have insane crit levels because all of that armor pen became crit.

If you’re in greens in Deepholm at 83 and can’t spend your GCDs fast enough (for any class), please let us know.

I’m pretty sure we beta testers can help here. I think I’m GCD locked when I test with mostly Cataclysm blues/greens, and certainly the maths on paper say I’d be close to it. One tester gave some results already, showing how dangerously close to locked she was in Cataclysm gear at L83.

A sample of the issues DK tanks have at the moment, which his post doesn’t address, and are outlined in Naha’s consolidated thread:

  • blood boil causing the scarlet fever, and the talent investment in that mechanism
  • the competition for blood rune and unholy runes between tanking cooldowns, death strike and other attacks
  • secondary benefit of improved blood presence.


In this forum thread, sorry, don’t want two conversations on this one.

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