Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thoughts on the chains of ice changes:

Everyone is up in arms about this. What most people don't realize, however, is how much better chains is than it used to be, even with it being dispelable now.

It used to have a 20 second cooldown, and cost 2 frost runes. Now it has half the cost, with no cooldown. It's fine, but I want to bring up a few points.

First let me state, as I did in this thread here, that it's current iteration is really, really overpowered.

Here's why it will be fine:

  • The mere fact that we can apply snares (that are almost a root), instantly, that will often stick even if dispelable is more than enough to make it workable.
  • Where are all the people that were just saying we shouldn't be balanced around 1vs1?
  • Chains of ice, in it's current iteration, is hands down the single best snare in the game, BY FAR. Nothing else even comes remotely close to it's effectiveness.
  • It's like imp hamstring 100% of the time, and can be applied from 20-30 yards away.
  • If you're grouping with other people, they can help cover the fact that it's dispelable with debuffs of their own, or putting DPS pressure on the snared target.
  • Like I said earlier in another thread, you have to make a choice: Dispel, or heal. You can't always do both, especially if the DPS pressure is being poured on hard.

And, as I list here, it's actually going to be more balanced than you think.

Here's why:

Shiv: (with crip poison)
1) Dispelable with a 30% dispel resist rate via vile poisons
2) Quick and cheap to apply
3) Melee range
4) Builds a combo point to be used for burst or utility

Chains of ice:
1) Dispelable, with a 30% resist rate via virulence
2) Quick to apply, though slightly more costly, relatively speaking
3) can be applied from 20-30 yards away, and is a better initial snare than any other for the first part of the duration
4) builds runic power to be used for burst or utility

So the difference? One incurs slightly more of a DPS penalty (chains, due to rotations and FU burst), but can be applied from a much further range.

The damage loss, however, can be made up for in other areas. This is an extreme example, but imagine if death coil suddenly did 10x more damage. You'd really start caring about building up RP quickly, and wouldn't care which runes were expelled to do so, would you not? Chew on that for a while. There's more than one way to skin a rogue.

So as I said, there brings up the point: What about our damage? Do we have to rely on others to force GCD options between dispelling and healing? Right now, I would say absolutely. Should it be this way? Not if Blizzard wants us to be viable melee classes on our own without relying on burst or damage from others to put enough pressure on healers to ignore our debuffs (including chains). That's up to them, but I personally feel as if our burst is lacking.

If you want a more in depth example, please referrence this post.

I'll paste it here:

Q u o t e:

I never said chains of ice isn't powerful. But with ALL nefs combined, we will be laughable. It might be the strongest root in the game, fine, nerf it so it doesn't have the initial 0% movement speed. Just don't make it dispellable. Its not like we can spam it. It's twice every 10 seconds, unless you have deathrunes. Then you're nefring your dmg.

90% of the time I agree with you Jayde, this time I think we got hit too hard PvP wise. I've said this before, LAST thing I want is to be the ret pally of BC, which had to wait 1.5 years to get any sort of buff because Blizz finally figured out they suck in every single arena bracket.

To be honest, I don't think we put out enough damage to warrant a tough choice between healing through it and dispelling things off. That's the bigger problem.

Look at it from the other side of the coin. If you have a rogue beating on you as a druid, you have several choices, depending on how much damage you're taking and how quickly.

You can:

A) Try to CC the rogue off first.
B) put up abolish poison first
C) Bark skin first
D) Start spamming lifeblooms + rejuv first
E) NS + HT yourself up quickly.

Depending on how much damage you take, you might start with option a and b first, to mitigate future damage if the stream of damage you're taking isn't too bad. This lets you be more efficient with mana spent on healing.

The more damage you are taking, the quicker the later choices start becoming more attractive. The slower and more steady the damage comes, the more attractive the earlier choices become, letting you be more efficient.

How does this directly apply to DKS? Well, it's simple. We don't put out the same scary damage to warrant needing to choose between dispelling yourself and healing yourself through emergency DK Burst damage, simply because we have zero ability to put that kind of burst pressure on people.

Global cooldowns are the most precious resource in any competitive PvP encounter, and how you choose to use them is what separates a good player from a bad one.

If the class you are using, however, has no way of forcing the victim of choosing between survival methods, then it becomes very easy to counter and is hardly considered a threat.

Warriors get around this by not only being able to stick to their target very well with hamstring, but also put artificial pressure on the target through mortal strike, which forces the target to take defensive action sooner rather than later. A skilled player who sees an opportunity of escape vs a warrior, will wait out the pressure (if possible) that the warrior is putting on them, get them CC'd, let MS fall off, and then make more efficient use of mana for heals.

My point is: Death knight's dont have the option of putting enough pressure on enemies like the example above, purely because the damage comes slowly and steady enough that the DK's damage can be ignored for the most part, and any side effects such as chains of ice and diseases can be dealt with in a timely and non-emergency fashion.

We don't force GCD panick the way many other classes can. The problem lies not from chains being dispelable, but not being able to simultaneously being able to put other sorts of pressure (such as damage) on the target as well.

The only thing we're good at right now is making people waste magic and dps cooldowns on us only if they go for us, since our mitigation and survivability mechanics are so great.

Unfortunately, that sort of 'reverse pressure' doesn't work in arenas, or you'd see nothing but a bunch of healer + prot warrior type teams dominating.


Raffo said...

haha ok this may sound like a dorky ass comment, but i read your comments alot, and seeing you in the beta its like seeing a rockstar for the first time in the middle of the street.

Anonymous said...

Fan of your blog have enjoyed reading it.

Would like your thoughts on a suggestion i had for what i feel would be a more balanced Chains of Ice.

I can just see there being a huge gap between a team with a dispell vs a team without a dispell when playing against a Deathknight. Ultimately i think as a magic effect Chains will eventually need further changes because it will just be too good against combos without a magic dispell.

On the Crippling Poison vs Chains subject i think your overlooking a few things.

-- Crippling has a decent chance to apply on melee swing, and when talented the chance is very high. -- Crippling also uses other poisons as dispell buffers. Removing Chains is going to be much much easier then removing Crippling.
-- Also remember Dispell Magic removes 2 magic effects not 1.
-- Applying Crippling is MUCH cheaper then applying Chains in terms of damage lost.

Anonymous said...

Side note about the other nerf regarding survability.

I hope you know blizzard won't buff DK's damage, now they will just nerf their survability like you want them too. So DK will become the BC-retpala : laughtable damgage / decent(maybe) survability.

If you want to go back on your main like me when wotlk goes out, well done.

Anonymous said...

I hope you know blizzard won't buff DK's damage, now they will just nerf their survability like you want them too. So DK will become the BC-retpala : laughtable damgage / decent(maybe) survability.

If you want to go back on your main like me when wotlk goes out, well done.

K...?I dont think they just nerf something because one players says.many others had sad that the survability was over the top.And we will see wat next build brings

Michael said...

This is why you are known for being one of the most knowledgeable DKs.

I'm really tired of people whining over ever single nerf, bug, whatever that happens. The point of a beta is to test and give feedback. I tend to stay away from the forums just because I get angry most of the time I read them. (The hunter forums atleast, DKs are a little bit better)

I agree; These changes are NOT going to be that bad. In fact, I'm happy for them just because I don't have to here "Well you won just because you are OP". Well.. I'm still going to hear that sadly, but hopefully less often :)

Swoop said...

I would have to agree when you say death knight survivability is too high. Your damage is indeed a little lackluster, but your ghoul is still amazing.

I do, however, focus ghouls a lot in arena, as they are such good damage.

In regards to the crippling poison vs chains of ice:

Crippling poison is extremely effective, although our 30% talent is 2 tiers deeper than the death knight's. The power of chains of ice isn't the snare effect over the whole 10 seconds, it is the root / EXTREMELY slowing effect in the first few seconds of casting. The peel power of this combined with death grip is amazing.

I feel like either the range needs to be toned down, or the root effect gone.

Back on the note of damage - death knight damage is indeed low on its own. Blood has fair enough burst, but only is realy a crawl to kill a target. But, the damage is a tradeoff for your survivability, because having both is just extremely overpowered. I beleive the biggest increase in damage you could get would be to buff deathcoil, so you actually would dump your runic power if you are sitting at 100%, like most of us do sometimes. And, from this post, it seems just that is happening, so we'll see how it plays out. ;)

Also, I think that each tree having a survivabilty talent is a good way to go. Either mark of blood or rune tap needs to go lower in the tree, because getting rune tap and bone shield is amazing.

Also, if you were ever interested in reading up on rogues, I started a blog right here on blogspot, inspired by your death knight one.

Thanks :)
Subtle Tactics

Anonymous said...

My personal problem with the change is that the DK will be left with those 2 UH runes with nothing to do with them from range.

That and that he is now easier to kite but its still hard for him to get the enemy in range.
Kinda like a Warrior with intercept on a long CD.

Alrenous said...

I want them to change it back to the old mechanic.

Of course the primary reason is that I really like the shackle graphic, but hate playing a priest.

Plus shackle is worthless for grinding, so I'd rarely see it. (Are DK ghouls shackleable, incidentally?)

Chains was changed when the DK was a very different beast than it is now. While I'd have to get into the game and play to really know, isn't it true that none of the complaints about the original spell are still serious?

Archnal said...

I thought virulence was Diseases only. I guess that won't matter if Chains of Ice get moved to disease. But if its Magic...So far I've been more than happy with PvP as a Death Knight. This is a change that was bound to happen.

Also, what is the Rune Mod you use in most of your recent videos/screenshots. Love the blog!

LostHero said...

i agree with the CoI changes.

but as long as our (burst)damage doenst go up by a good chunk, i completly disagree with the AMS/Strang nerfs, because this is all we have (or better: had).

i know that all our anti caster stuff combined against a mage can really piss them off, but against a healing class its completly different.
how will you put som presure on them, when you silence now is on an even longer cooldown with still zero burst potential?

the only way to increase our burst is to drastically boost our 40 RP skills OR our Double Rune styles, but this would at the same time boost our PvE dps even more (better rotations, buffs, debuffs etc).

dont forget, that they recently nerfed our DPS potential very hard, just because it was (and still is) very strong!

if you (jayde) have ideas on how increasing our burst without boosting our pve dps as well, let us hear them, i dont think thats possible...

PS: still now Frost mage pvp changes -.-

Anonymous said...

i know its off topic, but could you upload your arena and duel movies somewhere else? filefront is so low for me, i can only download with around 10kb/s.

Anonymous said...

Make scourgestrike , heart strike and obliterate an 3 or 4 rune attack and give it back the dmg what it did at the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Terrific post.

Anonymous said...

Jayde i cant beleive you of all people cannot see how bad this change really is, ive played a war for a long time now and i know a thing or 2 about being kited. We will be the joke of arena if they dont revert it back.

i cant kill what i cant hit and a dk cant hit s##t