Thoughts about Death Knights [Updated 08/12]

by Wryxian | 02/12/2008 19:02:41

Wryxian

Here's a message on Death Knights from WoW designer Ghostcrawler. The original thread from the US can be found here:
http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=13129078969&sid=1

We’ve had a lot of questions about death knights recently. This is a new class, and while we’re thrilled overall with how it's been received, we always expected to have to make more changes to death knights than the classes that have had their talents under the microscope for many years.

We’re not prepared to announce specific changes to DKs yet, but here are some general areas we are tinkering with. Most of these changes apply predominantly to tanking death knights, so I avoided cross-posting this thread, but there are probably items of interest to dps specs as well.

1) Death knights seem to tank well when they have cooldowns available and take too much damage otherwise. The change here seems obvious – boost Frost presence’s mitigation while reducing the mitigation of some other abilities, especially Icebound Fortitude and Bone Shield.

2) One idea we have for Icebound Fortitude is to scale the mitigation based on defense skill. This lets the ability be less of a paladin bubble in PvP for dps knights, while still letting it act more like Shield Wall for tanks. It also has the side effect of making defense slightly more attractive to death knights. (Let me add before it’s asked that yes we understand Ferals have this problem too and we are working on it.)

3) Unholy is a very popular tanking spec, largely on the strength of Bone Shield. Expect to see some buffs to tanking talents in the Blood tree especially.

4) Rune Strike was intended to be a reactive tanking tool, not a rogue killer. We will probably chill its weapon damage and increase its threat.

5) We don’t like the behavior where DKs feel like they are supposed to drop Death and Decay to generate runic power before a pull. It just looks goofy. We will probably lower the runic power costs of Unholy Blight and Horn of Winter, which seem to be the primary reasons to generate RP. Horn of Winter will probably be something like no cost, 30 sec cooldown, generates 10 rp.

I am refering to using DnD outside of combat just for the runic power (kind of like Bloodrage for warriors). It's totally legit and intended to use it to start a fight to gain threat and hurt the bad guys.

6) There are some odd situations caused by Shadow of Death that we would like to fix. The talent isn’t designed to let you escape durability damage or rez by zoning into an instance.

7) There are some annoying parts of the non-pet ghoul. We want to lower the aggro range (for less accidental pulls) and spawn the ghoul in quicker when dismounting. The ghoul, at least Unholy’s version, could also use some AE avoidance like other pets.

8) We are probably going to add a new spell to let you raise fallen allies so that you don't have to make the decision between bringing back another player (which was just supposed to be a fun bonus) and bringing back your ghoul, which can be pretty crticial for some specs.

This isn't everything we're talking about of course, just a little preview.

[update 08/12]
WoW designer Ghostcrawler has created more posts on the topic of Death Knights since last week, some of which contain the following updates:


We are aware that DKs may be struggling more to get defense. They lack tanking weapons, shields and guns, all of which can provide defense to warriors. It's something we're working on.

We're also working on Blood AE.

We would change the Horn of Winter glyph (to something like duration).

I would not expect full itemization for two-handed tanking weapons. We wanted DKs to tank with dps two-handers (and have their mitigation benefit somewhat from the dps stats). We might add a craftable weapon or something down the road, but only if that felt like an option for the DK, not a mandatory piece of gear. You can also dual-wield tanking weapons if you want, but again, it isn't the intent that is the only way to play. (Please don't turn the rest of this thread into a discussion of whether or not DKs should be able to dual-wield.)

Rune Strike is a tanking ability. It was designed to let DKs make up for the fact that their threat suffers so much from hits that fail to land. It does suffer from a confusing tooltip (which we have since fixed) but it is the DK who must avoid the attack to get Rune Strike to light up.

We still like DKs as the "active abilities" tank. We just think it might be a little too extreme right now. Icebound Fortitude was intended to be something you use when a big, predictable damage spike is coming, but DK tanks seem to want to keep them up 100% of the time for fear that they will die without them.

[ Post edited by Vaneras ]


"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."
~ Buddha

by Vaneras | 08/12/2008 10:10:41

Vaneras

The original post of this thread has been updated:
Thoughts about Death Knights [Updated 08/12]
Behold! The glorious Epic Mug of Vaneras... More commonly known as The Alebringer:
http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z57/Vaneras_bucket/EpicMug.jpg

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