Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DKs overpowered?

Ghostcrawler: "We didn't make DKs intentionally OP. While we want people to purchase Wrath of the Lich King, there are lot of logical flaws with making one class purposely overpowered (such as angering all the players who play the other nine classes).We made a few mistakes though, which I don't mind being up front about."

Hinenuitepo: News flash: DKs aren't overpowered any more.
I know, I know, the official forums are still a morass and if you believe half of what you see there, you'd think DKs still rule the world. Of course, the other half are whining about the nerf bat (whack whack). The fact is, DKs aren't overpowered any more - they're (like me) finding their niche in Wow and settling in nicely.

History review: during the WoTLK beta, I got my key just in time to see the first rough incarnations of Scourge Strike. At level 62, I was critting for 6-8k!

That's SIX TO EIGHT THOUSAND damage per hit, and a decent rotation allows ~4 SSs per 20 sec, if not more! Shoot, SS in really good level 80 gear barely hits for that unbuffed these days. It wasn't long before the nerf came, even on beta. And deservedly so. When LK dropped, DKs did very well in raiding. Halfway through Naxx/T7 content, it became widely accepted that DKs made the best tanks and that fights like Sartharion almost required them. DPS DKs did very well also, faring in the top 3-4 classes on high-end WMO parses. But even then, DK were not the unequivocal favorite for pve dps. Sure, they dominated BGs and 2v2 arenas - to a point. By the end of the first arena season, they were the third most popular option in arenas, and by the end of the second, looking at the top 20 US and EU 3v3 arena teams put them in the middle of the pack, behind Pallies, Warriors, Rogues, Priests, and even Warlocks in representation.

Flash forward to today.
-DKs are, at best 5th or 6th on WMO parses among top dps. Rogues most often top the charts, with Mages, Warriors, Paladins, and even Hunters having more dpsers above 7k dps on the top 20 WMO parses, even on DK-friendly fights like heroic Lord Jaraxxus. DKs do very well on heroic Anub'Arak because they spec Unholy or Frost and are unparalleled at aoeing the adds, but on most fights they are mediocre now.
-DK tanks are considered the weakest right now. In 3.2, DKs have been struggling to get raid invites in top guilds and are avoided for fights like heroic Beasts (Gormok). As we speak, 3.2.2 is dropping and hopefully the changes bring them back to viability (FAR cry from being overpowered; they actually needed a buff from Blizz this time around).

So why the post from GC? He could have made this post 4 months ago and it might have made more sense. Particularly in midlevel pvp, DKs could be demonstrably shown to be op. But not now. I love my DK and the way the playstyle allows use of all the trees in dps and tanking. I love having utility and various specials like death grip. But I have to work very hard to get my DK into the top 5 overall damage these days and my actual dps numbers are often below those I outdamage (showing I'm outworking them, but not outdpsing them in reality). Still, I have no intention of switching back to my rogue - the class currently undisputedly in first place on the dps charts. I don't really care what official forums drivel sparked GC's comments, so I won't even pursue why GC posted this now.
I just know that in today's WoW, DK's don't need more nerfs. They are doing reasonably well, but aren't op by any means. Some classes need some help, undoubtedly. Personally, I don't think any classes (including rogues) need any major nerfs (yes, the fan of knives nerf is deserved), so I hope Blizz focuses on helping the classes that are struggling right now.

Ah well, back to your regular programming.

I've almost finished my first two Finding My Niche articles for DW frost and DW unholy, and of course, 3.2.2 is dropping today! Expect those articles this week, as we all try to figure out what fits us best in the current raiding environment.

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