MMO Champ DK Comments

Some recent forum comments from the Devs, via MMO Champion – nice ideas, stupid responses, as you’d expect. Have a read DKs, its slightly informative, but essentially we will see everything stay very similar.

In particular though a section miff’ed me:

The Comment

While I admire the persistence of my fellow DKs, and agree fully with the above issues, I can’t help but look at the plethora of ignored threads that exist and throw my hands up in despair.

The Response

Not helpful. You guys have an enormous capacity to influence the quality of these forums. We’re not going to ban our way to a higher level of discussion, nor are the busy developers going to post every time someone feels neglected. Post your feedback. If you have done so, then consider your job done. Once you go from posting feedback on the game to posting about about how we have not yet responded to or acted upon your feedback, then you are doing damage to the forum discussion. Think like a good newspaper or magazine writer – make sure the most important part of your message gets across. Don’t distract from that message with a bunch of clutter or needless posts (including shameless bumps).

Consider this: it is not in your best interest to make it harder for community managers or developers to find actionable, detailed, constructive feedback.

I try not to make it a habit of posting in really whiny threads, so if you don’t get a response, that is certainly one potential reason why. It’s far more likely though that we are just really busy and reading takes much less time than responding.

The WTF

Responding that they don’t like whinging posts is almost as effective as the whinging post itself. Clearly the person posting is trying to express frustration, and (mostly) would not be doing so unless they felt it would assist, build awareness, or reenforce their distaste for something. However STFU, and the dev should continue to ignore it (but then I should too).

Yes, I agree with the idea of not over populating the forums with junk or whine posts, but expectation management is part of the role which forum mods must accept. As counterpoint a “thrown hands in the air” player is probably a lost cause. Have a break, read a book, whatever.

OR

Let the devs of the responders off the leash with no holes barred fighting, ranting, and swearing. Give everyone involved the opportunity to be total bastards to each other, in a special place. If you read/enter that area, you accept what you’re getting. Heck – call it the 4Tran Forum.

Its a bit ranty. But hey, DK rants are not new.

The Material was:

Death Knight (Forums)
Compendium of Issues
Death runes were designed to provide flexibility to an otherwise inflexible rune resource. By making abilities directly cost death runes, this flexibility is lost.

Only to an extent. (Abilities like Blood Tap were really the intended solutions for flexibility.) Death Runes were also included just to add variation to the rotation so that it didn’t become so predictable and metronome-like: Frost, Unholy, Blood, Blood, Frost+Unholy, Repeat.

Adding a Death Rune cost to some abilities is an elegant way to allow all 3 specs to fit an attack into their rotations. Otherwise, you’d see a lot of “Costs 2 Blood for Frost, and 1 Unholy and 1 Frost for Unholy” and so on. Some of these abilities are also talents — if you hate Death Rune costs, skip over them.

Unholy’s execute is much stronger than Frost’s. In a vacuum, that sounds OK. You just have unholy do less damage in pre-execute stages, right? Damage is damage, right? But no, actually it causes all kinds of problems.

We just don’t agree that these are really problems. Some classes and specs do more damage during Execute phases and some don’t. We don’t want every spec to perform equally in every possible situation (largely because the only reasonable way to deliver on that would be for everyone to work exactly the same). We just want reasonable players to feel like they can choose the spec they want to play. We don’t anticipate a great deal of “Okay everyone, switch to Frost for this fight,” or at least not because of Soul Reaper.

Why do 2H frost and DW frost have to play differently, when it has proven impossible to balance? Why can’t switching from DW to 2H be a purely cosmetic change?

Because it’s boring. Why not make switching from Frost to Unholy spec be purely cosmetic since that would be easier to balance too? We like that dual-wield (for any class) feels faster and that frequency of auto attacks influences your overall rotation. It adds interest for a DK who wants to try something else. It lets a player wonder if that shiny new axe that dropped is worth swapping to a different rotation or not.

Believe me, if we could go back to a world where equipping an axe felt different than equipping a sword, we’d do that too. It has just been historically challenging for us to provide enough weapons for everyone. Providing 1H Str weapons as well as 2H Str weapons hasn’t been a serious issue.

Lastly, DKs already have 4 separately refreshing resources to manage (blood, frost, unholy runes and runic power). No other class in the entire game has more than two. Monks originally had three, but this was reduced to two because it was “too confusing”. Asking DKs to manage death runes means we will now have five.

While we continue to tweak it, overall we like the DK resource model. It’s definitely not a class for players who don’t like resource management. The issue with the monk wasn’t the number of resources — there is nothing inherently magical about having 1 or 3 or 6 resources — it’s that the overall package wasn’t intuitive. Players weren’t sure if they were supposed to save up black and white chi or just use them as they came in. The monk abilities were also individually pretty complex, which is why we thought the resource model could be simpler. For DKs, several of the abilities are just various forms of damage and it’s the resource model that provides the depth. Yet most DKs seem to grasp the basic mechanic of cheap diseases being necessary in order to make the more expensive double rune “finishers” do decent damage.

Frost presence is too good. It forced you to degrade base runic power generation way too far. DW frost is 100% GCD-locked at all times..

We agree this is a problem. We think it would feel better if Frost Presence didn’t provide so much Runic Power. The problem is that it has to in order to be competitive with Unholy Presence. It would be goofy if, in order to compete with Frost Presence, Unholy Presence only lowered the cooldown of abilities by 0.1 sec.

One potential solution we might try is just to give Frost and Unholy Presence a 1 sec GCD (or all DKs for that matter), lower the Runic Power from Frost Presence and give Unholy Presence a different bonus. We generally have shifted classes that are resource constrained to having a 1 sec GCD, and most existing DKs are already pretty used to it.

(As an aside, it’s interesting from a game design nerd point of view to look at the history of stances / presences / auras / seals / aspects / armors in WoW and even other games. Usually when there is supposed to be a choice between two modes that convey different bonuses, there nearly always ends up not being a choice, or else the answer becomes to stance dance frequently. With the exception of needing to be in “healer mode” or “tank mode” the overall modal design has some non-trivial problems. But I digress.)

While I admire the persistence of my fellow DKs, and agree fully with the above issues, I can’t help but look at the plethora of ignored threads that exist and throw my hands up in despair.

Not helpful. You guys have an enormous capacity to influence the quality of these forums. We’re not going to ban our way to a higher level of discussion, nor are the busy developers going to post every time someone feels neglected. Post your feedback. If you have done so, then consider your job done. Once you go from posting feedback on the game to posting about about how we have not yet responded to or acted upon your feedback, then you are doing damage to the forum discussion. Think like a good newspaper or magazine writer – make sure the most important part of your message gets across. Don’t distract from that message with a bunch of clutter or needless posts (including shameless bumps).

Consider this: it is not in your best interest to make it harder for community managers or developers to find actionable, detailed, constructive feedback.

I try not to make it a habit of posting in really whiny threads, so if you don’t get a response, that is certainly one potential reason why. It’s far more likely though that we are just really busy and reading takes much less time than responding.

Unholy will have the best execute in the game by a fairly large margin. The spec was balanced around its extremely strong execute. That means that the spec does pretty terrible damage when not in execute range.

Last I looked, Soul Reaper is like 7% of Unholy damage and 4% for Frost. If you guys think the numbers work out differently, then let us know, but it’s helpful to provide documentation. (Please understand that the class team doesn’t have the bandwidth to debug everyone’s theorycrafting – it’s nothing personal.) Frost vs. Unholy DPS is pretty close in our internal tests. Once we see more players posting beta fight parses, we’ll make sure our internal tests match reality.

Besides, single-minded Fury warriors probably have “the best execute in the game by a fairly large margin.”

Could you please address our Level 90 talents as they relate to PvE content? Is it your intention that this is a PvP-only tier?

It’s a narrow-minded view, IMHO, to call anything that isn’t +damage a PvP ability. There are plenty of raid bosses where crowd control is vital. It’s really useful in challenge modes and scenarios as well. If you’re running relatively easy content and never crowd controlling anything, then no, crowd control abilities aren’t going to be as useful to you, but if every ability in WoW has to be +damage and every encounter has to be only about how quickly you DPS something down, then that narrows our design space quite a bit.

The problem with the DK 90 row when it did damage was then all of those abilities had to be factored into DPS rotations, which meant you were balanced around using them on cooldown, which also meant they likely weren’t available when you did need to Gorefiend’s Grasp someone. (This point isn’t just relevant to DKs either.)

Abilities costing death runes isn’t intuitive or even interesting. It’s complexity for the sake of complexity.

You’re entitled to your opinion of course, but we thought it was less confusing than having Necrotic Strike and Soul Reaper cost different resources for different specs, or worse, having three differently named abilities that essentially did the same thing. We could have tried a Runic Power implementation, but then the abilities would be used more frequently than we intended, so they’d also need longer cooldowns or something else and they’d compete with abilities like Frost Strike. It’s just a different design.

What happened with our windfury raid haste buff? Is it gone for good or coming back at some stage?

Yes, it’s just a bug that it’s missing. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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