Monday, April 20, 2009

80% nerf to Death Strike. Really?

As several players above demonstrated, Death Strike ignores the third disease if you are Unholy and have a third disease. It does more healing with two diseases up than with one disease or no diseases up. We lowered the healing done quite a bit. It appears to be working correctly.

If Frost and Unholy never Death Strike again, then we might consider a different implementation. Perhaps Death Strike heals similarly for all specs, and Blood just does more damage (but not more healing for that damage).

When there is a contention between quality of life issues and being overpowered, the latter always has to win out. We're not going to let an ability be overpowered for one spec just because nerfing it makes it weak for other specs (especially when the other specs have options to use other abilities or even respec).

Death knights have been at the top of the food chain for a long time. We're not trying to nerf them into oblivion, but if you're used to being an indestructible juggernaut, life might feel a little different for you in 3.1.
This is the kinda of quote, from Ghostcrawler, that really makes me wonder just what Blizzard was thinking in the first place; and what the heck they are doing now. The developers are the people who actually designed and coded the game. They know exactly how the mechanics of it work and as they have said at times on the official forums, have access to data and tools that we do not. In the year before the WotLK beta even started, while Blizzard developers were internally testing everything, did they not perhaps perform analysis of how skills and abilities would work at various levels of gear and talent specs?

In the 9-10 months of WotLK beta, where thousands of players got to pitch in with the testing, did they not perhaps perform analysis of how skills and abilities were working at various levels of gear and talent specs? And in the five months (today) since the release of WotLK, have they not pretty much nerfed and changed the class every patch that has come along?

So what gives Blizzard? How the hell do you justify a 80% nerf to a skill like Death Strike? you know, the one skill non-blood specced Death Knights have to perform more than an extremely minor self heal that is Blood Presence? The class is designed around self healing, but as of the hot fix last week, only one tree now provides any substantive self-healing capability.

The nerf, while outrageous in its enormity, is bad enough. But what I'm surprised about the most is the continuing ineptitude Blizzard is showing toward development of this class. I prefer my game developers to, at the very least, appear to know what they are doing. Vice those that appear to be doing nothing more than casting a fishing line out in a pond to see what they can drag up.

Figure out what the heck you want to do with the Death Knight class, and then do it. Stop the constant class redesigns every patch please.