Blood Tanking Instructions?

#0 - Nov. 7, 2010, 6:17 p.m.
Blizzard Post
It was a pain trying to remember where I seen this article with the one design philosphy that stuck with me for some reason (I think because it was elegantly put), but here it is:

Q u o t e:
The original philosophy was more ‘we’ll just throw all this stuff at players and they’ll figure out through trial and error how things work.’ They’ll figure out, for example, that some rogue abilities work better with daggers and others are really designed to work with other melee weapons, but the game never tells you that, you’re kind of supposed to look at the numbers and analyse it and know.

That just doesn’t feel like a game from 2010, you know? It feels like a game from the ’80s or ‘90s. So we’re really taking the step to have the game speak to players and say, “this is the intent, this is what you’re supposed to be doing here.”

I have been putting off this question for a long time now, mainly because it has been debated/asked a lot in the forums already, but partly because I hate to bring out any GC quotes for fear of reprimand. So here it is: Should Blood be working diseases into their rotation, or are we the spec that doesn't prioritize diseases application unlike Frost/Unholy?

This is really annoying for me because relearning Blood has been a pain. I chose the path of diseaseless and it is working out fine, and judging from other peoples experiences with it, it seems to be the 'correct' choice, even though it seems to fly in the face of how diseases were supposed to be fundamental to our class - or did we stepping a bit away from that philosphy for blood now?

With one month before Cataclysm, it would be nice to have some clarification on the design intent of Blood. If things are going to change to make diseases more mandatory/attractive than they are now, it would be nice to use this month to cement in a disease rotation and practice it up. Or is our diseaseless 'rotation' fine?

It sucks getting used to one thing, then having to relearn how to do it all over again. While it could be viewed as "its no big deal, its just either getting used to pushing two more buttions, Plague Strike and Icy Touch, or not - how hard could working that in be?", its a bit more than that. Its reconditioning ones self to monitoring disease timers, timing that weird PS -> free blood boil thing (which feels like it should be the other way around) and reprogramming the instinctiveness and flow of our 'rotation'. To me, all this is important as its not until I am truely comfortable with my class mechanics that I can spend more of my attention dealing with combat situations and honing my tanking skills (rather than honing my class mechanic skills).

I'd like to use the remainder of WotLK to making a disease or diseasless system second nature to myself, whichever is supposed to be the design goal. If diseases are something we should value and some changes will eventually be made to reflect this goal, I would rather start getting used to using them now, even if it undesirable to do so with their current implementation.

I just want to know what I am supposed to be doing here.
#10 - Nov. 8, 2010, 5:48 a.m.
Blizzard Post
You are missing the point of that quote. It is not "players shouldn't have choices," as many of you are inferring. It's that "there should be more thought on the part of the designers for how various abilities are supposed to be used and those roles should be more apparent to players."

There has never really been a time in the game when you could just do whatever you wanted with your class and be equally effective. Then, as now, smart players doing a lot of homework would figure out the most optimized way to play. You can choose to follow their recommendations, try to find an even more optimized way to play, or just do your own thing because that's more enjoyable for you, knowing that you may pay the price of being less optimized.

In the case of "diseaseless Blood," we don't have a problem if tanks choose to sacrifice some of their threat generation for a simpler rotation or other benefits. It doesn't bother us unless ignoring diseases becomes the only reasonable way to play (and with Outbreak available in Cataclysm, applying diseases is even easier). When dps specs were ignoring diseases, we made changes, because the whole DK rotation was based on applying diseases. That's true to a much lesser extent for tanks, but we try to have pretty simple rotation for tanks anyway because they have a lot of other things to worry about and are often having to deal with very dynamic situations compared to what a PvE dps DK might be doing.
#59 - Nov. 8, 2010, 5:08 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
You ever consider whether or not people liked the old design philosophy? I know I did, and a lot of my friends did too. It made the world much more mysterious and you got to explore your options, rather than feeling pigeon holed into a spec or rotation or whatever. Though I do realize this is fairly trivial since players will figure out what the best stats and rotation are and tell you what they are anyway, but it just feels like blizzard is late jumping on the band wagon, one that I kinda wished they hadn't jumped on.

That was my point in my post above though. That sense of exploration and discovery you are missing wasn't lost as a result of anything we did. You could make an excellent or terrible talent tree before and you can still do so now. What changed is that the community became a lot more sophisticated, which isn't that surprising in a game that's 6-years old now. These days there are numerous fansites, simulators, videos, mods and other tools, all created by the community, to optimize your gameplay. There have always been some, but there are more today, they are more sophisticated, and more players know about them.
#64 - Nov. 8, 2010, 5:17 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
However, there has been plenty of times that you've looked at the theorycrafted "optimal" playstyle, and decided to kill it. I believe that one of the largest concerns with diseaseless tanking was that this would be one of those areas, particularly since diseases seem to be one of the "core mechanics" of the DK class.

The line between what you consider acceptable and what you'll nerf is often extremely blurry. For example, DK tanks used to macro rune strike into their abilities. You killed that playstyle when you decided to put Rune Stike on the GCD.

I don't disagree with that. We don't like to reflexively stomp out on creative use of game mechanics just because they were unexpected. (This is particularly true of encounters, where we will generally just accept if players come up with strategies we didn't anticipate, so long as they don't trivialize the intended challenge.)

It comes down to whether we think the playstyle violates what we are trying to do with the class.

Imagine there was a rogue build that centered around only using Deadly Throw and Fan of Knives to make an effective ranged dps class. Imagine this rotation was generally accepted to do 5% more dps than the traditional melee rogue. That's the kind of thing we would likely break. That's not because we're mean jerks. It's because we think the game might break down: rogue itemization would be in a weird place, encounters might not work with so many characters at range, most importantly those players who enjoy playing rogues because of the iconic lightly-armored melee fighter are now encouraged to play something completely different that they might not enjoy.

There are no hard and fast rules on this sort of thing. It's all judgement calls on the part of the designers.
#66 - Nov. 8, 2010, 5:21 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
The issue is if you make one class braindead easy and the rest a good bit more complicated - while achieving the same results. Then, what is the motivation to play the more complex class?

I agree with that too. We set out to make the Feral and Protection paladin rotations more complex in Cataclysm. I know that some of you feel that isn't the case, but we'll just have to agree to disagree about that. Both specs now have some opportunities to screw up, which in turn makes players who pull off the rotation with finesse better tanks and worthy of the accolades they receive, rather than just being lucky that they picked the right class.
#188 - Nov. 10, 2010, 1 a.m.
Blizzard Post
Q u o t e:
I may be completely off base, but here's what I imagine from a developer's standpoint:
The game needs to...
1.) Be balanced with respect to numbers BUT each class should feel unique and play differently from others.
2.) Be easily accessible to newer players BUT suitably rewarding to more dedicated ones.
3.) Be challenging enough to be fun BUT simple enough to pick up for casual players.
4.) Give players opportunities to use their unique abilities BUT not make content exclusive to certain classes.

You are not off base. :)
#190 - Nov. 10, 2010, 1:14 a.m.
Blizzard Post
A lot of the concerns about diseaseless Blood play make a few assumptions:

-- Someone else is providing the tanking debuffs (presumably without a major dps hit).
-- You can AE tank fine without diseases.
-- You won't use Outbreak.
-- Your threat generation will be fine without diseases (or at least the trade off will be worth it).

Those are all risks, but I don't think there is enough evidence yet how they will all play out at 85. We're still a long way from the diseaseless dps rotations of yore. If they do all turn out to be true, to the extent that skipping diseases becomes the typical way that tanking DKs play, then we're likely to do something. Something could include giving Heart Strike or Death Strike slightly more dependent on diseases.

Recall however that we changed things to their current state because too much ramp up time for a tank can be really painful. You don't want to have to get all your diseases up before you start generating decent threat, and when DKs are balanced around so much self-healing, you can't be expected to always have time to get diseases up when you really need that Death Strike heal. Perhaps there is room to come down a little. We'll see how things play out.
#237 - Nov. 11, 2010, 12:16 a.m.
Blizzard Post
I said:

Q u o t e:
Recall however that we changed things to their current state because too much ramp up time for a tank can be really painful. You don't want to have to get all your diseases up before you start generating decent threat

You said:
Q u o t e:
You could make it so that diseases do a significant amount of damage, rather than not.

So I say:

Q u o t e:
Recall however that we changed things to their current state because too much ramp up time for a tank can be really painful. You don't want to have to get all your diseases up before you start generating decent threat