Class balance changes for DKs in 4.2? Balderash!

GhostCrawler has posted some thoughts on class balance, as implemented in 4.2. It’s great that he is sharing, fantastic to see some of the thought processes, and disappointing that the processes he is sharing indicates that the game is continuing to focus away from where my focus is.

This is somewhat self serving post to give feedback into the community-ether, based upon the 4.2 changes as affecting Death Knights. Specifically to ask the question: Why in hell are PvP balancing items changing the PvE game?

Quoted from the Blue Post…

Death Knights

  • We added the cast time to Hungering Cold for PvP reasons. It is one of the most powerful forms of crowd control in the game, especially in Battlegrounds, and yet was impossible to prevent.
  • The nerfs to Obliterate and Howling Blast were made because Frost damage was too high in both PvP and PvE. Note that these values were hotfixed — you shouldn’t see damage drop further when 4.2 goes live.
  • The Glyph of Dark Succor change was to keep Death Strike from providing so much healing in PvP.
  • The Might of the Frozen Wastes change was a small tweak to help keep one-handed Frost relatively competitive with two-handed style.
  • The Unholy Might buff was to help catch Unholy up to Frost in PvE. Interestingly, we didn’t nerf Unholy damage at all in 4.1, but you can still see a small drop in their DPS because so many talented DKs went Frost. I’d love to have the discussion some time about how close two similar specs need to be before players will play the one that is most fun for them and not the one that does theoretical higher damage. Is it 5%? 1%? 0%?

So you see its stated plainly from the man with the nurfbat himself; DKs are being changed in their flexibility in PvE due to a PvP imbalance.

Take aside the straight damage tweaks and consider the introduction of a cast time for Hungering Cold: this is a key ability I use in almost every raid for controlling the mobs. For example the Nefarian fight requires add control, and a DK is a key choice for this. With a 1.5 second cast time (or 2 sec, I’m not sure) I’ll be standing still getting smashed in the face while I try to kite the adds. Totally counter-productive to PvE content.

Now in 4.2 I won’t be fighting Nef any more, I’ll be in Firelands, but the utility that Hungering Cold brings to the raid can be applied in a wide variety of ways, and to take this away removes a utility from the class. I love having utility, it means I assist the raid while doing my dps role. A dps loss is trivial when you are on add-control duty, but 1.5 seconds of damage while you get hit and potentially also suffer casting time push back…is poor. By counter example – are mages having their Frost freeze ability changed to a cast time?

I can live with the other changes, as I think they are part of the see-saw of balance that will always continue. So don’t take this as a blinding rave, its not. My point is that we continue to see changes in one area of the game which impact the other. An MMO Champion poster made a comment along the same path:

That Hungering Cold nerf, just because of PVP. Yet another example of why blizz should add a PVP only talent spec so the PVE players don’t get screwed.

Why is it so hard to have different affects in PvP to PvE? We already have different cool-downs, and some abilities not active in PvP, wouldn’t it make sense to continue this separation?

I’ll go a step further and ask what the value of Hungering Cold is when it has a 1.5 second cast time? After that duration a PvP player will move away from the DK and the affect is totally wasted. In PvP the enemy is constantly moving away from the DK anyway, and HC was a way to keep them close. So by adding this the use of the ability will become less in PvP, and therefore less overall in the game. So the nurf applies a change which makes pvp control harder, and pve harder.

Lets not even start to chat about the affect of being interrupted while casting now, or what happens when you’re locked out of the spell school…

Enough of this malarky, I’m off to the pub. Happy Killing.

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2 thoughts on “Class balance changes for DKs in 4.2? Balderash!

  1. Welcome to the sad world of that endangered species known as the Feral Kitty. Totally agree with you on the need to segregate pvp from pve. I miss my Berserk removing fear effects in a raid situation 😦

  2. I’m not new to the degree of change at all. My old Paladin was changed significantly every major patch and game version, ye’ old Warlock used to get ping-pong nurfed/buffed, and the DKs have been spannered over time in many ways for the sake of “balance”. It is such a frustrating pattern. I can’t imagine that the highest proportion of players are pvp’ers only, and also can’t see why a dual purpose spell is not reasonable.

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