With that out of the way, this thread aims to make sense of the numbers and results we’re seeing with Unholy, and put it into context with the spec’s current situation and representation in PvE content.
The single biggest observation I’ve made after pouring through so many logs is this: Unholy’s problems as a spec are not number related. It is more than capable of matching Frost assuming relatively equal skill and gear.
Simcraft currently shows Unholy as being slightly behind Frost, which is one contributing factor as to why players might shy away from it. Fortunately, Roth was recently able to hunt down a pretty large bug that devalues the damage of Unholy’s diseases and likely explains why the spec seems somewhat underwhelming in the sim.
This alone, however, doesn’t explain the spec’s unpopularity.
Thus, the inevitable question: Why don’t more people play Unholy?
The best possible conclusion I’ve been able to come with is, quite simply, Mechanics. Unholy as a spec suffers from mechanical flaws that turn many players off and drive them towards Frost. While our sample logs do demonstrate that the spec can put out decent numbers if these flaws are overcome, there appear to be many DKs (myself included) who would rather just stick to Frost for more easily adjustable play with similar output. This isn’t even taking into account certain raid mechanics with almost universally favor Frost over Unholy.
Before I discuss some of Unholy’s flaws, I want to make one thing clear: These are all issues that were documented and discussed during the MoP Beta. It is quite unfortunate that Blizzard chose to ignore the majority of our feedback about the spec, when a few simple changes would have made a world of difference. I sincerely hope that this same feedback is not ignored again.