Unholy DK stat parity: Minions included!

85 Worgen Death Knight
13810
As many of you may know, our beloved Matron Heartless was at Blizzcon this year, and had the opportunity to ask about the state of Unholy DKs during the Q&A panel

Watch it, and their subsequent response here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_GZ7TJxpgM#t=1m10s

The relevant part of the question, to this thread, is where she points out that our minions don’t benefit from Crit (an obvious bug), nor do they benefit from our Mastery.

Blizzard’s rationale: The Crit bug will not be fixed till 5.0 because it might disrupt secondary stat weights for Unholy DKs right now. Disruption is bad, etc, etc.

While discussing this in the Acherus IRC, we were forced to acknowledge one point: If the Crit bug were indeed to be fixed, Crit would be valued ahead of Mastery. This wouldn’t be something Blizzard would want to introduce, would it?

I was curious: What if minions began benefitting from Mastery instead (by this, I mean doing additional damage as shadow damage)? Would it then eclipse Haste and upset stat weights?
As it turns out, nope. Letting our minions benefit from Mastery would be a decent DPS gain and wouldn’t affect the priority in the slightest.

At this point, we became a little more daring: What if minions began benefitting from Mastery and had the Crit bug fixed?

The answer is pretty hilarious, if not astonishing: The Unholy stat priority would not be affected in the slightest by these two changes. While they’d be closer in value to each other, we’d still value Haste > Mastery > Crit.
No disruption to speak of!

It’s been acknowledged that Unholy hasn’t been a popular or in demand spec since the advent of 4.1. We already know that the 5% Unholy Might buff won’t end up doing anything to affect this.

We’re also discussing how the 10% AP buff to Blessing of Might, etc, doesn’t even uniformly affect the spec because of our minions: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3424684660

Allowing our minions to benefit from these two stats doesn’t just buff our DPS, but brings the exact same secondary stat “parity” that you mentioned as desiring for the spec.

What say you?
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85 Orc Death Knight
10205
I'm all for it tbh. Easy enough to change to I'd imagine, change Claw to shadow damage and allow it to scale from mastery, voila!
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85 Orc Death Knight
9565
No need to change all it's damage to shadow just let the amount of mastery you have add extra on as shadow damage.

Though I would like to see the gargoyle's spell be complete shadow damage tbh would definitely help boost up it's usefulness as a 31 point talent cd.
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85 Orc Death Knight
10205
Good point!
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85 Troll Death Knight
10560
Doesn't make that much sense for the Garg to be doing nature damage in the first place. I always thought that was rather odd.
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85 Goblin Death Knight
6415
There a countless ways you could tweak unholy DKs and keep the stat weightings the same. Really, there are. Hell, bump up the 2.5 mastery. Or just bump up unholy might further.

I really don't see the point of your post at all.

Firstly, it doesn't matter at all that your ghoul doesn't benefit from your crit. Would it be nice? Sure. But it's a throw-away stat. The dps has been balanced with the absence of that modifier.

Secondly. Unholy aren't complaining about single target dps. In fact, many believe that is just fine, and will be even better (and more powerful than frost) in 4.3 due to the Unholy buffs. What you're proposing will do absolutley nothing to fix the utility issues that people generally think is the problem with unholy.

In fact it makes it worse. It bumps single target dps and does nothing at all for your utility.

Speaking for 5.0 onwards, would it make sense for unholy pets to benefit from unholy's important secondary stats? Yes, of course. Mastery and crit should very much influence pet dps. And those types of changes are "overhaul" changes, not end of expansion tweaks.

Single-target DPS is plenty buffed for 4.3. It doesn't need anymore. And if any tweaks were to be done before the major overhauls in 5.0, it apparently to address this alleged utility imbalance not single target dps. That's what almost everyone is crying about.

Nobody really cares about the ghoul.
Edited by Córt on 10/24/2011 6:38 AM PDT
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85 Human Death Knight
11210
There a countless ways you could tweak unholy DKs and keep the stat weightings the same. Really, there are. Hell, bump up the 2.5 mastery. Or just bump up unholy might further.

I really don't see the point of your post at all.

Firstly, it doesn't matter at all that your ghoul doesn't benefit from your crit. Would it be nice? Sure. But it's a throw-away stat. The dps has been balanced with the absence of that modifier.

Secondly. Unholy aren't complaining about single target dps. In fact, many believe that is just fine, and will be even better (and more powerful than frost) in 4.3 due to the Unholy buffs. What you're proposing will do absolutley nothing to fix the utility issues that people generally think is the problem with unholy.

In fact it makes it worse. It bumps single target dps and does nothing at all for your utility.

Speaking for 5.0 onwards, would it make sense for unholy pets to benefit from unholy's important secondary stats? Yes, of course. Mastery and crit should very much influence pet dps. And those types of changes are "overhaul" changes, not end of expansion tweaks.

Single-target DPS is plenty buffed for 4.3. It doesn't need anymore. And if any tweaks were to be done before the major overhauls in 5.0, it apparently to address this alleged utility imbalance not single target dps. That's what almost everyone is crying about.

Nobody really cares about the ghoul.


It could be true, It could be false. It has nothing to do with the topic.

During the 2011 blizzcon class Q&A one of the devs said:

"The Unholy Death Knight is probably one of the less successful specs in terms of our goal of making sure that all stats, all secondary stats are equally attractive. ummm. That's something that we dont have any short term plans to currently address"

"one of the problems with drastically changing statweights in the middle of an expansion is that it forces people to completely change around their current gear, their reforging, and their gemming, and that can be very disruptive."

"so while the current situation isn't ideal, a heavily disruptive change might be even worse."

If the pets got a benefit from both crit AND mastery, that would do literally nothing in terms of our gear, reforging, and gemming.

we get better stat scaling without any disruptive problems to players.

No math magic here.

Edit:
P.S.
I LOVE TIMMY!
Don't you dare imply that we don't care about him! lol
Edited by Tsukiyuri on 10/24/2011 8:05 AM PDT
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85 Goblin Death Knight
6415
Just because I don't share your opinion doesn't mean it isn't on topic.

You haven't addressed any of the concerns it seems an overwhelming majority have about unholy dk viability. Single target isn't the issue apparently, utility and aoe is.

Frankly, your changes are less useful in that regard than a blanket buff to Unholy Might -_-

Regardless, such a major class change just ain't gonna happen in 4.3. Look to 5.0
Edited by Córt on 10/24/2011 9:06 AM PDT
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85 Worgen Death Knight
13810

I really don't see the point of your post at all.


Then you haven't been paying much attention what's been going on, have you?

Is this a huge buff to the spec? Nope, not even close. Does it address the wide array of mechanics issues that affect it? Of course not.

Is it a buff that could be patched in with no disruption to our stat weights? Yes. Very much so. That doesn't make it an "overhaul change", it makes it a rather viable change for next patch.

To be perfectly honest, I'd actually be much happier if our damage was much more heavily reliant on diseases and strikes, and less so on minions.
You see to be forgetting that Blizzard's line has repeatedly been about not wanting to play around with spec mechanics if they can help it, this expansion.

As much as we may disagree with that reasoning, it's unlikely they're going to budge from it. Therefore, it makes sense to present them with ways to affect the spec without shifting from this framework.
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85 Worgen Death Knight
13810

Regardless, such a major class change just ain't gonna happen in 4.3. Look to 5.0


It's not a major class change. That's the entire point we've tried to make >.>

Regarding the rest of your post, see above.
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85 Goblin Death Knight
6415
10/24/2011 09:18 AMPosted by Magdalena
s it a buff that could be patched in with no disruption to our stat weights? Yes. Very much so. That doesn't make it an "overhaul change", it makes it a rather viable change for next patch.


The mistake you're making is associating overhaul only with relative "stat weights". You are asking for pets to get new abilities, or abilities to be significantly modified to use different stats. That is overhauling. That requires balance. And what a waste of work that would be, if everyone is getting significant changes in 5.0 anyway.

Single-target, apparently, is fine for unholy. Aoe and utility are not. Your suggested changes do absolutely nothing for that. In fact, they are worse for that than the much simpler unholy might buff.

It would therefore be a complete waste of time for 4.3. I'd rather the devs focus on getting 5.0 out.

of all the things to complain about the dk class, it's timmy not getting crit. -_-
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90 Draenei Shaman
4790
None of these proposed changes help anything. The unbalanced stat weights are a problem, and any changes that don't address them might as well be flat buffs much like, hey, I know, the 5% to unholy might, which was infinitely easier to actually implement.

Besides, lots of classes have messed-up stat weights. Warriors, ret, and enhance really hate haste, DKs hate crit, and enhance has a bizarrely high value on mastery. Most of the casters hate crit too, focusing on haste and mastery.

Unholy's unpopularity isn't caused to the weird stat weights. The stat weights are symptomatic of other problems, sure, but unholy is unpopular due to its wonky mechanics.
Edited by Slant on 10/24/2011 9:37 AM PDT
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85 Worgen Death Knight
13810
Lol.
Where have I asked for them to gain new abilities? Benefitting from Crit is an obvious bug. Benefitting from Mastery simply means doing an additional percentage of damage as shadow damage based upon our Mastery at the time.
That isn't overhauling, and it doesn't require balance as far as the spec itself goes.

You keep repeating yourself about Unholy's obvious AoE/utility problems- do you think we don't acknowledge or recognize this? The point is: None of it isn't going to change next patch. They've said as much.
We're working with what we've got here.


of all the things to complain about the dk class, it's timmy not getting crit. -_-


Remember those class feedback forums? That's where the majority of us did our "complaining" about the issues that affected the class and how we thought they could improve it.

I'm afraid I simply don't share your rather optimistic outlook that suggests there will be any changes that affect playstyle or priority this expansion.
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85 Human Death Knight
11210
Look, if you wanted non-overhaul changes that will boost things like Unholy AOE and target swapping etc.

we have many many options

why, we could get no cooldown on outbreak?
or how about a 15 second CD on death and decay?
boost the modifier on diseases?
bump up the damage on blood boil?
let unholy deal damage via pestilence? (its just reverting a nerf done back at the start of wrath)
what about buffing mastery and tweaking down the shadow portion of scourge strike and or death coil to compensate for the single target?

i get it. you want the entire spec to get one massive sweeping change to fix all of our inequities. The sad truth is blizzard pretty much said . . .

"no"

okay so then what about fixing a bug (yes, the pets not benefiting from crit is an actual bug, not a nerf)? The answer was "it would make people regem/reforge/etc . . . sooo NO"


well then, our intrepid Magdalena thought of an interesting idea. keep the order the same . . . and fix the bug!

so we ask them to fix the crit bug and then copy and pasting some code from demo warlocks buffing pets to make sure that the stat order doesn't change?
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90 Draenei Shaman
4790
The ghoul not scaling from crit is not in of itself a problem. The problem is the effect of that bug-- it makes unholy hate crit. The only reason to fix it (beyond the aesthetic "it's a bug so it should be fixed" -- but this live team doesn't work that way) would be to make unholy like crit. Which is exactly what the devs don't want to do.

If you're a dev looking to buff unholy without changing stat weights, making players learn a new playstyle, or causing more work for yourself, buffing the passive unholy might is the right way to do it. It changes nothing-- the spec just deals a bit more damage.

All the other changes you mentioned either change how the spec plays or its stat weights. And again, the devs don't want to do that. $NEXT_EXPANSION will fix it. For now, suck it up and deal.

Don't get me wrong, I disagree with that response. I hate that response. But the devs have been very clear.
Edited by Slant on 10/24/2011 10:11 AM PDT
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85 Worgen Death Knight
13810
The ghoul not scaling from crit is not in of itself a problem. The problem is the effect of that bug-- it makes unholy hate crit. The only reason to fix it (beyond the aesthetic "it's a bug so it should be fixed" -- but this live team doesn't work that way) would be to make unholy like crit. Which is exactly what the devs don't want to do.


Read my initial post again.

Would my proposed change raise the value of Crit? Yes, absolutely.

Would it cause either Mastery of Crit to change their current spots in our stat priority? No, it would not.

(Unless you could bumping Expertise a little further down a major change)

Our gearing, gemming, reforging and priorities wouldn't change. At almost every availability, assuming equal iLevels, we would still favor Haste/Mastery combos and work towards them with reforging if our Hit Cap were in place.

It's a very doable buff that's still in line with their "not going to change stat priority" line.
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90 Human Rogue
7085
sounds reasonable.

we'll see what happens though
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90 Draenei Shaman
4790
10/24/2011 10:41 AMPosted by Magdalena
Read my initial post again.

I fully understand it, I'm just saying that if those changes don't change how the spec plays or values stats, why go to all that trouble when you might as well just buff unholy might?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for fixing bugs and addressing root causes because doing so is aesthetically pleasing and will avoid issues later on. Thing is, the current dev team emphatically does not work that way in the middle of an expansion. They change numbers even when it's not a numbers problem, because it's easier, doesn't confuse casual players, and is less likely to cause additional work in the near future.

They made several blog and forum posts about this philosophy, and reiterated it in blizzcon. I don't agree, and you obviously don't agree either, but we're not typing in blue so that doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot.
Edited by Slant on 10/24/2011 10:52 AM PDT
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85 Human Death Knight
6635
Single-target, apparently, is fine for unholy. Aoe and utility are not. Your suggested changes do absolutely nothing for that. In fact, they are worse for that than the much simpler unholy might buff.

While not entirely on topic, what exactly makes you say that single-target damage is not a problem for UH? Here: http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/. Pick a chart (any chart will do) and see for yourself.
Take Baleroc, for example. A purely single target fight, with RP soaking galore. UH is significantly behind Frost on every chart, more so on 10 than on 25. Is that the "fine" you speak of?
Of course, frost has significant benefits in utility and mechanics too. But the reason most high-level DKs switched to Frost is in the numbers. The numbers, incidentally, which have a lot to do with Frost scaling better with new weapons. Increasing the difference in scaling is just pushing off the return to status quo for a tier at best.
Edited by Nekrus on 10/24/2011 11:54 AM PDT
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90 Draenei Shaman
4790
http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Baleroc/25H/all/14/60/default/#c00

This is the proper chart. Frost is much higher in 10mans due to bringing superior raidbuffs.

Unholy is 5% behind frost on Baleroc25H. Incidentally, unholy is getting a 5% buff in 4.3. Those numbers are deceptive, though.

http://raidbots.com/dpsbot/Baleroc/25H/all/14/60/samples/#c00

When you look at the number of samples, you see that we have over 8 times as many frost players-- most of those good players chose to play as frost. It's reasonable to assume that DW frost and unholy are actually closer than 5% on single-targets for this reason. This is supported by simcraft, which actually shows unholy as slightly (0.5%) stronger than frost. Right now, not in 4.3.

http://www.simulationcraft.org/422/Raid_T12H.html

Unholy's sustained single-target damage has been fine for a long time now. Nobody plays unholy due to its mechanical problems, ramp-up, inferior raidbuffs (primarily in 10mans), and weak AE.
Edited by Slant on 10/24/2011 12:09 PM PDT
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