Morbid Feedback: 6.0 Death Knight Style

#1 - Aug. 7, 2014, 3:27 a.m.
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Welcome to the 6.0 Death Knight thread!

I'm starting this in the hopes of having a consolidated place to offer constructive feedback for all existing testers, and for when the invite pool gets larger.
If successful, I hope that this thread is extended and monitored by any players/devs interested in observations and suggestions about the Death Knight class.

Quoted from Magdalena from our old thread! (Sorry for stealing it Mag, but I was already going to post data tonight anyways and I needed somewhere to do it!)

I will repost my info found on Runic Dump vs Runic Pool below, as well as include the newer data on the PvP premade once I finish it.

Seeing as a new build will be coming up as well, the data will be a little out of date, however is still important feedback necessary to convey the feel that the Frost changes have given us. New tests will be performed once the new build is stable enough to test for the ~45 minutes it takes me to get a small sample size.
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#293 - Aug. 19, 2014, 4:18 a.m.
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Hey DKs. I've responded to a lot of DK questions on Twitter, but finally am getting time to pop in here to the forums and respond on the forums. Frost in particular has has gotten some significant changes, and frustration from that is totally understandable.

08/18/2014 08:08 PMPosted by Magdalena
-Why is Critical Strike deprecated by (at last calculation) around 20% for Frost DKs? In an expansion with bonus loot and no more reforging, it would seem that we are much more at the mercy of RNG when it comes to loot pieces.
While I am aware that we have some flexibility in the form of enchants and some consumables, is this deprecation really necessary in the first place?

-Continuing on the theme of stat valuation, Mastery's valuation for 2h Frost has also proven to be pitifully low in our early simulations.

Loot changes actually have very little impact on this. However, we do want secondary stats to be close in value, and these are just a tuning issues that we want to improve upon. Please post your theorycrafting results over in the Class Design Theorycraft Results thread.

08/18/2014 08:08 PMPosted by Magdalena
-Necrotic Plague is currently simming at a DPS loss for multiple DPS specs. Other Level-100 talents also show a very minimal gain. We realise that there is probably room for significant improvement in how we're coding them, but these results also appear to be reflected in actual tests.
Could you please tell us if there is a margin of gain which we should expect (both ST and multi target) with these talents? I'd particularly appreciate if you could comment on Festerblight and Unholy Death Knights.

I'd hope it'd be obvious that in a row of throughput talents, one that reduces your throughput is not intended. Yes, we'll tune the whole row to be a significant but not huge damage gain. Something similar in power to most of our other throughput increasing talent rows.

08/18/2014 08:08 PMPosted by Magdalena
-Could you please comment on Unholy AoE and Frost Runes? As mentioned earlier in this thread, it is incredibly frustrating to transition in and out of AoE/Single-target priorities due to Frost Runes doing nothing for Unholy AoE. I realise that you intend for pre-planning to be reward, but the reality of the situation translates very differently in raid situations where we switch priorities frequently. It also pushes us quite strongly towards the Blood Tap talent.

We see it as a minor annoyance. We haven't found a solution that we're happy with that doesn't have negatives that outweigh the positives. Ideas are welcome, though the problem isn't impactful enough to warrant a mechanic change at this point for 6.0. It's something we'd be interested in addressing in a future patch.

08/18/2014 08:08 PMPosted by Magdalena
-Speaking of Blood Tap, there seems to be little to no reason for Unholy DKs to take Runic Empowerment thanks to the way in which it interacts with our Rune setup. Other specs are not much better, as they have to game it to get the most out of it. This talent has proven unpopular for a reason, not the least of which is that macroed Blood Tap can mimic its functionality, but provide even greater flexibility due to it generating Death Runes.

This is another case where what is there works, and we think we could do better, we just are still trying to find the right solution. I'd say that the goal we're looking for is to make the payoff of Runic Empowerment stronger (perhaps just a numbers tweak would work here), and to make Blood Tap not macroable (but just putting it on the GCD has some significant downsides).

08/18/2014 08:08 PMPosted by Magdalena
-Runic Power generation for Blood Death Knights feels quite spiky. With Necrotic Plague for instance, it becomes overwhelming in any sort of AoE tanking situation- making the talent feel quite mandatory. With high levels of Multistrike, we appear to go from 0 to 50 Runic Power in barely a global. Is there no way to standardise the generation so that it doesn't feel quite as "Feast and Famine"-esque?

Indeed it does. Currently, the issue is that we need to get X total RP out of Y multistrike, and so the tuning is as such. However, that makes it spiky. You could argue that that's OK, since you can spend it in big chunks, and the defensive value of it is heavily smoothed. Because of that, we're tentatively OK with it for now, but would be interested in iterating on it in the future.

In closing, similar to what I've said to a few other classes tonight, I'd like to discuss this further with you all, but please make that easy for me to do, by keeping the hyperbole and anger and useless sarcasm and generally destructive behavior out of this. Thanks.
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#300 - Aug. 19, 2014, 4:55 a.m.
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08/18/2014 09:23 PMPosted by Nangz
Any thoughts on how necrosis is playing for unholy? So far it hasn't had much impact on stat weights, though it is a close second and I will be posting results in the theorycraft thread.

Adjusting the AP scaling provides great progress and it raises multi above anything else by as little or as much as desired.

Precisely. It sounds like it's undertuned at the moment, but the point is that it's a tuning knob that we can use to bring up the value of Multistrike for Unholy. When we get into more closely balancing the secondary stats, I expect that it's a knob that we'll tweak.

08/18/2014 08:17 PMPosted by Rothulian
Overall, Unholy could really use some feedback on where its damage is supposed to be.

Necrotic Plague appears to do less damage than normal diseases, even for a Festerblight rotation.
Necrosis appears to be doing maybe 1% of Unholy's overall damage. Which feels very low.
Death Coil appears to be doing around 12-15% of overall damage, down from 20-25%.
The ghoul's damage seems about normal at 10%, if maybe a bit low.

Overall, it would just be nice to get some feedback on where Unholy damage is supposed to be. We all believed it was low and yet, it got nothing but nerfs today.

As mentioned above, Necrotic Plague used to be massively overpowered, and we just turned it way down to avoid tainting feedback from it. We'll tune it back up to the right spot.

Necrosis, I'd guess more like the 2-5% range.

Death Coil... Remember that it grows in % with gear (Mastery). It should probably be in the 15-20% range to start with, single-target, and raise to 20-25% over the course of the expansion. Those are just off-the-top-of-my-head numbers, from this current point in time; tuning goals can always change (thus why we rarely give out hard numbers in that realm).

08/18/2014 08:22 PMPosted by Geraith
Breath of Sindragosa makes out play our class the exact opposite we've been playing since day 1. It's weird, and even when pulled off correctly, doesn't give a decent payoff. Not good. I don't see anyone seriously using this talent for any spec.

Breath of Sindragosa has been a challenge. It's been sort of halfway between being a rotational AoE RP dump, and a pool->burst cooldown. We decided that we should push it one way or the other, more convincingly. So, in the next build, it's having its damage *and* cooldown considerably increased (2min CD, 2.5x the dmg, though dmg tuning is still quite rough). Considering going higher still (3min CD). The goal here is that it becomes purely a cooldown that you pool resources for. It should only be affecting your rotation for some pooling time before it comes off CD, and then has the "keep it going as long as you can" gameplay while it's running. But, that should only cover a fraction of your actual gameplay time (whereas currently, that whole pooling->burn process covers nearly half your time). And yes, it, just like the rest of the row, should be worth using on single targets.
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#303 - Aug. 19, 2014, 5:08 a.m.
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08/18/2014 08:17 PMPosted by Troxism
I've said this one a few times before, but I would like to see DnD be worth casting for Blood; right now it's less damage over the duration then Blood Boil, meaning it's almost never worth casting except in edge cases, since DnD competes directly with Blood Boil on Death Runes/Crimson Scourge. Would like to see a change to this in the next few builds.

Agreed. We buffed Blood Boil's damage significantly at some point, and caused it to eclipse Death and Decay. I believe the next build should fix that.

08/18/2014 08:17 PMPosted by Troxism
Lichborne is a sad, sad joke even with Resolve scaling. I legitimately tried to use this talent on a few bosses, and it heals for NOTHING and doesn't last long enough. Should really get buffed in the leech % or something. Right now this talent is only there to break/immune fears.

We'll get that tuned up, if it's as bad as you say.

08/18/2014 08:17 PMPosted by Troxism
Rune Tap plays very well, even outside of bosses with obvious 'Rune Tap here' burst mechanics. However it really should lose the Blood Rune cost; having it cost DPS is a little much, esp on AoE. It would still retain all of the current gameplay; it's main cost is the cooldown. The problem with picking between DPS and Mitigation is that either Blood will be OP on damage when picking DPS, which isn't fair to the other 4 tanks, or Blood will be too weak when it doesn't, which isn't fair to Blood. This also applies to BB vs DS, but that one isn't really easily fixable on aoe, only single target.

To elaborate more: RT works well because it is different from Death Strike AND does not share the same resource. Systems like Shield Block vs Barrier fail because you just pick the best one for the situation and spam it. RT + DS play well because they are both very different in functionality AND can be used in tandem, meaning you pick your moments to use each one independently. So generally speaking, good job on the new RT. Far better then the old RT which was basically DS on steroids, and actually adds something to the spec now.

Sounds like it's working out well, mitigation-wise. The cost is something we're considering, but are unlikely to change at this point. It adds a bit of depth, where you want to save a Blood Rune for emergencies. Using your resources on damage instead of mitigation is an option that most tanks have to some extent or another, but is indeed something that complicates balancing.

08/18/2014 08:17 PMPosted by Troxism
General comment on boss damage; feels tuned pretty well. Bosses hit hard enough to make DS timing matter about the same as on live (people way overstate how much you actually time DS on live on anything but the hardest hitting bosses). Would definitely rather see bosses that hit hard then bosses that hit so weak that nothing you do matters anyways. Also bosses hitting hard means that Shadow of Death extra HP actually matters, which is generally a good thing (if max HP doesn't matter because bosses don't hit hard enough, Multistrike loses much of it's defensive benefit outside of rune regen talent returns) But we will have to see post mythic testing; I am sure a lot of this stuff is getting retuned anyways.

Great. Here's some potentially interesting commentary on Shadow of Death to add: The stat attunements are not hard and fast rules, and this is one of the most evident places (and that's fine). Different secondary stats have different situational values to tanks, more so than DPS or healers. Multistrike for Blood is primarily an increase to max health (as far as defensive value goes). It is tempered by giving you a few more Death Strikes too through rune regen talents, but the majority of its value is in max health. And this is an expansion where how much healing you need really matters. That means that sometimes, that extra health is going to be less valuable than simply taking less damage. However, how spiky you are, especially as a DK, matters too. It's an interesting balancing act that Blood DKs will navigate. How much is right for you varies by your content, your gear, your skill, and especially your healers.
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#306 - Aug. 19, 2014, 5:12 a.m.
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- I still don't understand why you guys can't bake the rune regen tier into other options instead of taking up an entire talent row that is completely passive. How about making them glyphs, turning them into perks, baking them into frost strike & death coil. There are just so many other options that don't involve forcing us to choose three completely boring passive talents that could be replaced with more interesting and interactive ones.

When you compare a DK talent tree to another class' like a mage or priest there is just so much more interaction and satisfaction that comes with them. I mean for goodness sake Gorfiend's Grasp still doesn't even have a real animation.

Another oversight I've noticed is that DKs are the only class whos talents don't change based on spec; is there a reason for this? Gorfiend's Grasp could taunt while in blood spec, chillblains could gain a bonus effect while in frost, Purgatory could last 1 second longer in blood etc etc. There is just so much potential not being fulfilled with our class.

One of my previous posts here touches on where we'd like the rune regen talents to be. They shouldn't be boring and passive; they should matter, and be a gameplay choice.

We view classes as complete packages. Yes, some classes may have more interaction in their talents, but they may have less baseline, instead. Grass-is-greener syndrome is easy to suffer from with talent trees. Not sure what you mean about Gorefiend's visual.

DKs having no spec-specific talents is not an oversight. Spec-specific talents are just one tool in our toolbox. We don't have to use them everywhere. We also just make the same talent work somewhat differently for each spec instead, which happens sometimes for DKs.
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#325 - Aug. 19, 2014, 7:01 a.m.
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Posted by Celestalon
They shouldn't be boring and passive; they should matter, and be a gameplay choice.

I think that this is where there is a disconnect with some parts of the playerbase.

Gameplay choice, I think, is often interpreted by some to mean that there's big differences in numbers depending on the situation. As you've probably seen, DK theorycraft (at least for DPS) currently suggests that the talents sim within a very small margin of one another- leading some to claim that it doesn't matter which talent you choose.

Now personally, I could care less if there's a 0.5% difference between Runic Empowerment and Blood Tap for Unholy- taking one feels FAR better than the other. The same is true (probably to lesser degrees, but still true) of other specs/choices. Is this the ultimate goal with these talents- that they end up coming down to personal preference more than anything else?

Yeah, "gameplay choice" and "big dps difference" are not even remotely the same thing to us. It's a preference of how you want to play.

EDIT: The fact that they're tuned so close together right now is one of the contributing factors to why we're hesitant to toy with them too much right now. Tuning-wise, they're in a good place.

08/18/2014 10:24 PMPosted by Runë
The bold is a bit alarming for me as a DW frost DK. Simply because I will be wasting KM on Obliterate and with this most recent patch I have noticed Frost Strike being much more worth pooling resources for. The main problem I see of it is, if it doesn't consume the KM then we can't touch our FS even by accident. Then we end up wasting KM to a degree. I guess it will more so be a trade-off while it's running. The next issue is cost, with the way we are generating RP, we will be lucky to run it for ten seconds. While obviously that will change as we get less downtime over the expansion, I still feel as though the trade-off of making your rotation clunky while it's running for however long you can keep it up will make playing with it very awkward. I feel having a reliable(50-60RP) cost usable every 15-30 seconds could be a better trade off, we will still pool resources for it, however it will be a lot less awkward to use. Would love to hear feedback on this.

I'm glad you notice that it's worth pooling resources to spend KMs on FS. That's good. But yes, you'll want to use KMs on Oblit during Breath of Sindragosa, and it'll be tuned around that assumption. Ultimately, it's a talent, so if that gameplay isn't attractive to you, there are alternatives.