Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Class Feedback

Blizzard has sent out a mass request for class feedback on the class forums. I think this is great, and will supply my comments here, and post them on the forums, and I hope each of you will also provide constructive feedback to Blizzard to enable them to improve us to be Bloody Tanks. When you do, please take to heart their guidelines, as this is not a place to whine about our class.

I've perused the DK forum and gathered some of the oft-recurring requests for the Blood spec here, to get an idea of what other people are looking for:

  • Death Strike missing (Though this is slated to be "fixed" in patch 4.3)
  • Spiky damage (Limited avoidance through Parry and Dodge only, no Block, relying on Death Strike heal/bubble reactively instead).
  • Bone Shield improvement (20% reduction in the first 8 seconds is nice, but it's no Shield Block)
  • Raise Ally costing 50 Runic Power, and only returning with 20% health and mana.
  • Great AOE damage.
  • Being parried/dodged (This often happens to me on Plague Strike)
  • Runic Empowerment is too random, and we do not want it refreshing Blood Runes.
  • Enjoy active mitigation, and being able to self heal and survive longer than other tanks.
  • Using Raise Dead just so you can Death Pact is very anti-climactic.
  • Remove Death Runes for Blood Presence or Spec
  • Parry/Dodge counter the value of Mastery (avoiding an attack means no damage received for Blood Shield)
  • Death and Decay cooldown too long.
There were many many more points, but those were the main ones that seemed to be repeated more than once, or caught my eye. Below is what I posted to the thread as my comments.

  • What type of content do you focus on?
I focus solely on PvE using Blood spec.
  • If PvE, what type of PvE?
Heroic 5-mans (ZA/ZG mostly)
  • If PvP, what type of PvP?
No PvP at all.
  • What are your biggest quality-of-life issues? For instance, no longer requiring ammo could be considered a quality-of-life improvement for hunters.
A great quality-of-life improvement was changing Raise Ally into a battle rez.
Death Runes are a horrible quality-of-life issue. Keeping up Blade Barrier while maximizing Death Strikes is a challenge.
  • What makes playing your class more fun?
I love the way Blood DK plays. It's unique compared to the other tanking classes. 
- We hit with a big two hander.
- We heal ourselves.
- We have a nice bunch of damage reduction and self healing cooldowns (Icebound Fortitude, Lichborne, Death Pact, Rune Tap).
- We have a battle rez that we can use while tanking (unlike bear tanks for example).
- If needed, we can solo quite a bit if we know the healer is unable to heal for some reason.
  • What makes playing your class less fun?
- I have to worry about not wasting a Death Rune on Blood Boil or Heart Strike. (Unless I specifically want to do some AoE). But the rune baby-sitting is not something I enjoy about tanking. That's not what being a tank should be about.
- I have to either hold on to my FUD (Frost, Unholy, Death) runes until I get hit a lot so I can get a big heal and shield at the offset of not doing as much DPS, or play them as they become available and risk taking a beating and aggravating my healer or wiping the group because I can't Death Strike to recover.
- I have to be very careful with when I use Raise Ally. I don't want to rez someone right in front of the boss, or in an AoE, as their 20% health isn't much to go on. Especially if it's the healer they will have a task of healing themselves and me back up with limited time and mana.
- Mind Freeze is a conundrum. On the one hand, 5-man dungeons rely on interrupts, which is why all tanks got one, and I actively use it. On the other, I cannot take the chance that I have no Runic Power for a Mind Freeze on a fight like Corla for example. So I am forced to spec into Endless Winter. While that goes alright with a Lichborne built, it does limit the ability to spec into Epidemic, and rules out Morbidity. A mandatory tanking talent should not be on the second tier of the Frost tree.
  • How do you feel about your “rotation”? (Rotation is the accepted order in which abilities are used to maximum efficiency.)
As above, the only three "real" abilities are Rune Strike, Death Strike and Heart Strike (and occasionally Blood Boil for some snap aggro). Which in a way is fine, as we have Mind Freeze to worry about for interrupts, Dark Command for taunts, and maybe Outbreak/Icy Touch & Plague Strike for diseases on bosses. Add to that positioning, keeping an eye on the group, checking for adds, etc, we've got enough on our plate. Which is why the rune tetris as it's been called is such a hurdle. We actively need to check if we have a Blood rune, so we can get rid of that ASAP (for Blade Barrier), while making sure we don't waste Death Runes by accident on Heart Strike/Blood Boil. If Rune Strike were removed from Runic Empowerment, I believe it would make a lot of Bloody Tanks very happy. (Though I do use Death Coil on occasion, like the Amani Kidnapper during the Akil'zon encounter in Zul'Aman)
In short, our rotation is fine, if it weren't for those pesky Death Runes.
Some people mentioned the cooldown on Death and Decay, but I feel with a 15 seconds (glyphed) uptime and 30 second cooldown it is plenty for 5-man dungeons.
  • What’s on your wish list for your class?
- Many of the things mentioned by Ghostcrawler in his Watercooler post.
- Allowing Death Strike to always heal & shield, regardless of hit/miss.
- Improving our Mastery to take into account the damage we dodged/parried.
- Making Bone Shield more of a "big hit" reduction, only reducing a hit that would do more than 50% of your total HP of damage. (Or however that would be implemented). Granted, the 20% reduction at the start of the fight is nice for positioning and ramping up, but would be more useful when a big damage spike comes in.
- Blade Barrier could work ok (though as a Bloody Tank, uptime should be 100%, so why even link it to the Blood Runes being down), but with Runic Empowerment's chance at refreshing a Blood Rune, and Heart Strike's chance of using a Death Rune, it really reduces our Quality of Life to that of glueing our eyes to our rune bar. At the cost of being environmentally aware.
  • What spells do you use the least?
- Dancing Rune Weapon. I know it's our 31st point talent, but at the high cost, and with a GCD, it is never available when I need it, or I'm too busy hitting other buttons. What is it really used for? Extra threat at the beginning of a fight (Glyphed)? We won't have the Runic Power. It just doesn't seem to fit in well, as much as I would like it to. If it were to cost no Runic Power, it would be used more (the 1.5 min cooldown could be increased to 3 minutes offset this if needed)
- Anti-Magic-Shell. This is probably a personal shortcoming as I should be using this. The occasions are just so rare.
- Dark Simulacrum. I have no idea what to do with this. I know it's my level 85 skill, but it's use is so vague that I am not sure if it's really a PvP only talent, or if it was meant to be used in 5-man instances as well.

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