Analyzing this Development answer...

06/14/2011 01:46 PMPosted by Freph
the devs disagree with us when we say "we're not having fun" - of course you're having fun, why else would you be paying and playing?


http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/7/77308/1543735-fufufufu_super.jpg
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
3225
So essentially, they take spikier damage, are affirmed to have to play harder, are at a higher risk of dying, and don't really do better than any other tank?

Where in this does the DK "Style" seem balanced?


As I'm reading the devs, the real problem is that the same thing isn't in play for the other tanks. Presumably one reason why Holy Shield got taken off autopilot already as a stopgap measure. In short, it may not be balanced, but the balance issue does not come from death knights having it too hard, but the other tanks having it too easy.

Or, as they wrote in the part you quoted:

06/14/2011 07:06 AMPosted by Blindpew
We’d actually like to head more in that direction with the other tanks (making them tie more of their defensive performance to their ability usage), in the future.
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06/14/2011 08:00 PMPosted by Fleur
Or, as they wrote in the part you quoted:


See, this is an interesting point, which leads me to this question:

Will we see warriors dropping their shields for 8 seconds following a thuderclap?

Hitting shield Block, or Holy shield, or mangle, or Death Strike periodically is one thing to demand. The latter competes more directly with every other ability though, most notably the STDs.

Also
06/14/2011 08:00 PMPosted by Fleur
but the other tanks having it too easy.


Glad someone else said it. Not really the point though. Let's assume that Paladins WoG was tied to the CD on their Holy Shield. This is like Death Strike with diseases... do you think Paladins would appreciate that?

Or make shield Block a 2 hit 8 second cooldown again... but tie it to CD with thunderclap.

Take infected wounds off the druids normal threat generaters and make an additional low threat skill they have to apply for the debuff, with high rage cost.

Somehow I don't think this is really where they "want to take tanks in the future." I think they just wanted to make DKs feel better.
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85 Tauren Paladin
2060
06/14/2011 08:00 PMPosted by Fleur
As I'm reading the devs, the real problem is that the same thing isn't in play for the other tanks. Presumably one reason why Holy Shield got taken off autopilot already as a stopgap measure. In short, it may not be balanced, but the balance issue does not come from death knights having it too hard, but the other tanks having it too easy.


I think that having tanks' focus more on ability usage to effect defensive performance is actually a really good idea, as many times on this toon I just feel like a dps with smaller numbers. Though, as the OP said, DKs have to focus on everything all the other tanks do, plus their own survivability, and honestly, no one wants to have to do all that; no one wants to be a DK. Not to mention just the inherent problems of the DK system.

I think that if the devs were to make a change from passive to active defensive mechanisms, the increased amount attention on active mitigation should be compensated with making other things, such as threat generation, more passive. Vengeance can serve this purpose to some extent, but i don't believe it would fully compensate for it.
Edited by Niglty on 6/15/2011 6:21 AM PDT
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85 Human Death Knight
3610
I tank as a DK because it's more enjoyable/involving (to me) than the three other tanking classes.

Druid and pally are both painfully boring. I hoped Cata would make paladin tanking more fun, but it's just not.

My warrior made it to 81 before I set him to the side for good to take DK on full time.

My "compensation" for playing a dk tank is not being bored to tears.
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
10020
06/15/2011 06:21 AMPosted by Niglty
I think that having tanks' focus more on ability usage to effect defensive performance is actually a really good idea, as many times on this toon I just feel like a dps with smaller numbers. Though, as the OP said, DKs have to focus on everything all the other tanks do, plus their own survivability, and honestly, no one wants to have to do all that; no one wants to be a DK. Not to mention just the inherent problems of the DK system.


The active mitigation model necessitates certain core concepts in order to function properly. The problem with DK tanking has far less to do with the concept of the active mitigation model and far more to do with all the design flaws. Using DS to keep yourself up while doing other things really isn't that hard. The problems all stem from the poor design.

06/15/2011 06:21 AMPosted by Niglty
I think that if the devs were to make a change from passive to active defensive mechanisms, the increased amount attention on active mitigation should be compensated with making other things, such as threat generation, more passive. Vengeance can serve this purpose to some extent, but i don't believe it would fully compensate for it.

The trick is to create a tolerable active mitigation mechanic. That means adhering to certain restrictions. Really, managing your own survivability isn't hard unless it's built incorrectly. DKs weren't built right.
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06/15/2011 06:51 AMPosted by Dosvidaniya
The trick is to create a tolerable active mitigation mechanic. That means adhering to certain restrictions. Really, managing your own survivability isn't hard unless it's built incorrectly. DKs weren't built right.


This post seems to carry the weight of knowledge.. could you share some fo the restrictions you speak of?

I can start citing DK design flaws, which I mostly attribute to the new rune system, but if you have a general guideline for what you think an "Active" model needs to function, I think we can keep the discussion flowing positively.

Positively, as opposed to "FIX IT BLIZZ OMG HOW LONG MUST WE QQ FOR."



06/15/2011 06:49 AMPosted by Granon
My "compensation" for playing a dk tank is not being bored to tears.

I always shared this sentiment in Wrath, but Cata's "you actually need everyone to pay attention" dungeon models wore me down, and made the simple concerns, like debuff upkeep, weigh heavy on me.

Then you have encounters like the Gauntlet in ZA... something Death Knights just can't handle smoothly.

Overall, the spec is as inconsitent as random players in an LFD are. That being said, it's either balance, smooth burn 'em down dps, or utter torture. The problem is, I find that the spec itself contributes to the latter more than the former points.

So they're buffing DRW... huzzah.
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85 Goblin Death Knight
3800
I tank as a DK because it's more enjoyable/involving (to me) than the three other tanking classes.

Druid and pally are both painfully boring. I hoped Cata would make paladin tanking more fun, but it's just not.

My warrior made it to 81 before I set him to the side for good to take DK on full time.

My "compensation" for playing a dk tank is not being bored to tears.


Please don't take this the wrong way, because it isn't my intent to talk down to you, but you are doing 5 mans still. 5 mans was where I fell in love with my dk. I started getting a hang on how dks worked, I saw the potential for a tank with multiple cooldowns and self/group healing and loved it. And who doesn't love being op? Because blood dks ARE op in 5 mans.

...then I kept playing him. I got to where I'm pretty consistent with gaming my runes and started really caring about making them work for me. I spend boss fights staring at, and getting pissed at, my runes. Especially when I get cocky and think that I can actually pull off a heart strike. I'm still amazed at how much I can be punished for daring to try and use my tank tree's signature move. Lol

I'm still fine taniking what my guild does, probably better than fine. Chimaeron is hilarious for me. My healers are geared enough for heroic bosses, as is most of my team, but we've had bad luck with some core members dropping out. So right now my performance and ability is fine, but I can already see issues when moving on firelands compared to our prot paly who just keeps getting better and better.
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
10020
This post seems to carry the weight of knowledge.. could you share some fo the restrictions you speak of?

I can start citing DK design flaws, which I mostly attribute to the new rune system, but if you have a general guideline for what you think an "Active" model needs to function, I think we can keep the discussion flowing positively.

Positively, as opposed to "FIX IT BLIZZ OMG HOW LONG MUST WE QQ FOR."


The idea of active mitigation is a sound one. Requiring the tank to actually do something in order to boost survival does help the class feel like a tank. Every tank class in the game has some amount of active mitigation. CDs and debuffs are the most common. Old school paladin and warrior active mitigation skills worked out because they adhered to certain design restrictions.

Ultimately, when it comes to active mitigation, the tank will do whatever they can in order to get more out of it. This has to be restricted in order to stop the ability from completely destroying any semblance of rational play. That is the crux of the problem for DKs and where design went wrong. Active mitigation needs to fit within the rotation regardless of circumstance, have limited GCD use, and needs to have its use restricted.

CDs got their cost and GCD removed in order for them to fit in their rotation. A druid going through their normal rotation will keep up SD. The big problem there is if the druid stops doing their normal rotation. If the druid is running around trying to kite Maloriak abberations, the design flaw shows. The active mitigation needs to be usable while kiting, while the boss applies some stupid haste debuff, etc. Its activation needs to be completely independent of circumstances that force rotation changes. DKs come close to druids in this regards; its not terrible, but it isn't ideal.

The GCD dedication to a set ability needs to be restricted. For druids, multiple abilities proc SD. This alleviates the GCD for that class. Imagine if they had to use one ability to get it, that one ability would dominate their rotation. DKs have this right now. DS already occupies over 33% of our rotation time and we try to push it higher. That is poor design. While 33% is tolerable, it means that any other static ability in our rotation (Rune Strike) will cause almost no deviation in the tank rotation. You see that now. Regardless of AOE or whatever scenario, DKs will modify less than 33% of their rotation. That's an extremely simplistic rotation and is poor design.

Finally, the use has to be restricted. Imagine for a minute if demo shout was stackable. Warriors would use it as often as possible. Every bit of excess dps would go to demo shout. There are three, rather exclusive, manners to restrict the use; restrict the gain, restrict the ability (CD), or restrict the resource. If the gain is restricted (like demo shout), excess use gets you nothing. There is no need to push for more. If the ability is on a CD, you can't use it more often. If the resource is restricted (like runes or HP), you are dependent on the resource to use it. The resource restriction, however, means that the resource should be dedicated to that ability. Now, you may say "but, paladins have HP to restrict WoG and a CD." Remember all the paladins that complained about it? These should be exclusive. Imagine if paladins had to WoG every 20 seconds in order to keep blocking. They'd be rioting because the resource didn't sync with the CD. That is the reason they should be exclusive. Additional mitigation (rune tap, WoG, etc) can have that issue. Baseline mitigation can't or people are going to get upset when the multiple restrictions don't sync.

Those are the three things needed to make active mitigation models work. Sadly, DKs violate most of them. It's sad because the old school active mitigation abilities for paladins and warriors, while boring, actually didn't violate most of the guidelines. That's why they weren't constantly complaining about them.
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62 Troll Druid
580
I think the issue is that they only see it as a QoL change, because often that's how it's worded.

Until/unless it can somehow be very bluntly put that it's game-changing at MOST levels of play...i really don't think they see it as worth addressing.

EDIT: blunt but somehow nice.
Edited by Moorti on 6/15/2011 9:56 AM PDT
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Well put post Dos.

I think it supports my bashing on the new rune system.

Let's imagine two things happening:

1) RE is removed for Blood DKs and base rune recharge speed is reduced to 6 seconds, but keep the re-vamped recharge (where runes of the same type recharge one at a time). Balance Death Strike around being used every 6 seconds.

2) STDs are removed from F/U runes, using any of the hundred-some odd suggestions. Essentially, you have all your F/U tied up in DS, and Blood tied up in maintaing Blade barrier and STDs.

Would it make the playstyle more bearable? For me, Gaming and going diseaseless is just too much, even in a 5man.

Does anyone think Whack-a-Rune is better than Tetris? That's what i'm proposing. Freely use Heart Strikes on blood runes, and use Death Strike based on tooltip's shadow.

However, I have not addressed the "usable while not attacking" constraint. To do that we should just convert to a bone shield mastery.
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
3225
06/15/2011 05:55 AMPosted by Blindpew
Will we see warriors dropping their shields for 8 seconds following a thuderclap?


Not necessarily, but have you, say, tanked on a warrior in Burning Crusade? Keeping Thunder Clap and Demoralizing Shout up 24/7 with no hit rating on tank gear to speak of and bosses having a 17% resist rate? With Shield Block having to be used every five seconds to prevent crushing blows, and you having to partition the rage between that and the need to spam Heroic Strike to maintain threat? With Shield Block not actually preventing crushing blows vs. fast-hitting attackers while paladins with Holy Shield had no such problems?

How differently crushing blow mechanics affected warriors and paladins is not dissimilar from blood shield uptime concerns, yet that didn't stop warrior tanks from getting world first, second, third, etc. kills.

Just to be clear, I'm as glad as the next person that these mechanics are gone from the game, but struggling with poorly designed active mitigation mechanics with potential balance issues is not exactly a novel, DK-only thing.

I think DK mechanics are still a bit raw because we've seen a complete do-over of the mechanics side of things with some, umm, experimental features. I expect that the rough edges will be shaken out over time. I expect that paladins will have less stuff going on on autopilot in the future and will have to worry more about active mitigation. I think it's pretty likely that passive combat table capping for warriors and paladins will eventually be made impossible.
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85 Undead Death Knight
5765
I'm not going to bother getting into the specifics of what was answered or why or any fansite articles bashing the process; it's been covered many times before.

But, at the core, I think we agree it's not working. While we could (and do) lament over the reasons why a scheduled Q&A based on question popularity doesn't sit well with people, the bottom line is it can't go on as it is.

We don't expect people will ever be completely happy with any Q&A. Regardless of how they're conducted we'll never get to every question, so there are always going to be complaints that we didn't answer the right ones. But Ask the Devs is different. While there are certainly arguments that answers didn't say the right things, or didn't give a firm answer on how a problem would be resolved, the process just doesn't work because of the format.

We've spent a lot of time discussing why it doesn't work, and while that's interesting to us, the bottom line is that once we've finished the role Q&A's with healers, we will be ending the Ask the Dev series.

Our goal with Ask the Devs was always to increase interaction with the developers, to provide a direct conduit to their thoughts and process. We're in the planning stages for a new Q&A process that will replace Ask the Devs, and while we're absolutely certain people will continue to be upset we didn't answer every question, we think it will overall be a far more successful approach.


Well that's interesting. While I'm disappointed there's no news (or apologies?) on the actual tank Q&A, specifically towards tanks, I'm pleased to see that they at least realize we're not happy and it's not working. I wonder how the new Q&A will work out. I'm also reasonably curious from a more distant point of view for the Damage Dealer Q&A, I hope it's not as big a let-down as ours was.
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Community Manager
DKs have a lot of control over their survivability. While the other tank classes spend a lot of button clicks on generating threat, DKs can regularly hit Death Strike, which heals them. This puts a very powerful tool in the hands of the player. Played well, you can mitigate a lot of incoming damage and even choose when it is important to mitigate that damage. But you also have the possibility of playing poorly. It probably isn’t the kind of play style that is going to appeal to everyone.

You can look at the recent discussion about the paladin Holy Shield as a microcosm of this debate. Some players wanted more control over their survivability, and the new Holy Shield provides that. But it is more work to control an active button and there is a larger penalty for doing it badly. Death Strike is like Holy Shield on steroids in this regard. There are good and bad times to use Holy Shield. There are definitely good and bad times to use Death Strike. We see some DKs attempting to hit Death Strike as much as they possibly can, and then getting frustrated when they can’t squeeze more Death Strikes into the rotation. What they are perhaps missing is that the timing of when they Death Strike is very important. Used optimally, it’s a powerful reactive tool.

One thing we have discussed is giving players more control over whether they make this decision (trading higher risk for higher return) or not. In many driving games for example you have the choice of an automatic or manual transmission. Many players choose the automatic, suspecting that they are probably not going to be as fast as a player who is awesome at managing their clutch, but it means they never have to mess with the clutch and can still win plenty of races. On the other hand, imagine that the player who plays the manual perfectly is performing at 100% and the player who performs the manual poorly is performing at 25%. Choosing an automatic transmission for 75% performance may be perfectly acceptable. You give up a little theoretical performance in return for having less going on. Tanking can often have a lot going on. Maybe there is a talent choice that lets DKs have a more powerful Death Strike in return for weaker passive mitigation. Some players would take that talent, and some might only take it for some encounters.

Related, we understand that some DKs don’t like having to make the decision about whether to Death Strike or whether to apply tanking debuffs. That’s really the tension that’s supposed to be at the heart of any resource system -- I have a limited allotment of X, so at this moment do I want to use X on this one ability or on a separate ability? Again, a possible solution is to put the choice of which play style to use in the hands of the player. We could offer a talent or glyph (or something) that lowers the cooldown of Outbreak for instance, without turning Blood DKs into a spec that can play optimally by pushing nothing but Death Strike. It’s something we’ll consider.
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90 Gnome Death Knight
6880
Holy crap! A blue!
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85 Dwarf Paladin
1575
I don't look forward to managing holy shield, just saying.
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75 Troll Druid
670
06/15/2011 02:20 PMPosted by Zarhym
I have a limited allotment of X, so at this moment do I want to use X on this one ability or on a separate ability?


Except only DKs choose survivability or survivability.

06/15/2011 02:20 PMPosted by Zarhym
Choosing an automatic transmission for 75% performance may be perfectly acceptable.


(Assuming Blood is the manual transmission, and the other three classes are automatic)

Amazing DKs aren't 25% better than Amazing Paladins/Warriors/Druids, so what is the point of a system that is incredibly punishing and only slightly rewarding?
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85 Dwarf Paladin
1575
06/15/2011 02:29 PMPosted by Foiblesqt
Amazing DKs aren't 25% better than Amazing Paladins/Warriors/Druids, so what is the point of a system that is incredibly punishing and only slightly rewarding?


Way to take the point literally. I do believe they were stating they could create talents that remove passive survival and put it on your bar.
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
2690
A Blue paying attention to DK tanking issues....? Good heavens.

Any chance we'll see our Mastery brought up to Pally Mastery level?
Edited by Zecora on 6/15/2011 2:31 PM PDT
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