Tobold's Blog
Friday, August 22, 2008
Warrior vs. Death Knight discussion suspended

I'll stop discussing Warriors and Death Knights in Wrath of the Lich King from now on until the expansion is actually released. The reason for that is that Blizzard is still in the process of making HUGE changes to both classes, and that everything I said previously is already not true any more. So why waste my breath before things are finalized?

Small example: I said that Titan's Grip, the new Warrior ability that allows you to wield two two-handed weapons, isn't great. When I said that the talent cost 5 talent points and then still had you swinging the weapons 20% slower than you'd swing two one-handed weapons. Recent changes moved Titan's Grip to a different position in the talent tree, and now it costs only 1 talent point, and has NO speed reduction. Which means that now it is a must-have talent allowing warriors to deal awesome damage, approaching the damage output of Death Knights. I also said Death Knights can't tank, but the Death Knight tanking talents have been moved around as well.

I have no idea whether Blizzard can manage to make both classes equally good in various situations, or whether we still end up with Warriors being better tanks in most situations, and Death Knights being better in PvP and solo PvE. But apparently they are working on it, and I'm willing to reserve my judgement for the day when they are finished.
It will be interesting to see if they match the devs comments, which were Death Knights can take any non heroic in the game. I would assume they are trying to balance it to the point you need a warrior to tank in the raids.

The is one problem of MMOGs, class description fails to match the game so a player chooses a certain class based on what the game says it will do, however it doesn't live up to the description which causes the uproar we've seen in WoW & even WAR beta.
If Protection warriors are still the best MT in a raid by a wide margin, I don't think adding Deathknights will have done much to address the "tank shortage." Unless they meant "tank shortage for 6 man PuGs." In PuGs I'd say healers are in much shorter supply than viable tanks, in my experience.
Yeah, I'm not entirely sure what to make of the changes (having leveled a DK to 74). They're clearly struggling to balance the classes while maintaining their separate identities. For instance, the DK's healing HAD to come down in power, but that's a large part of what made the class feel different from the warrior.
That's why I haven't paid any attention to the Wrath news since it's all BETA! No one seems to understand that and they post forums messages freaking out about how this class or that class will be over powered. It's truly annoying. A little reasearch is good, but not at the start of a FREAKING BETA!

Everything will change by the end of the beta, heck, things will still change after the beta is closed.

When I look at the Tank problem in WoW, I see two main issues: 1) not enough heroic 5-man tanks, and 2) too many tanks for 25-man raiding. The ideal solution would provide more 5-man tanks, but not more 25-man tanks.

One thing that is common among Warriors today is that they can’t find a place in 25-mans, so they turn to Arena and spec Mortal Strike. The problem is that they can’t tank the heroic 5-mans as an MS warrior. Heroics are still worthwhile to MS warriors, they just aren’t desirable unless they are specced Protection.

Enter the Deathknight. My theory (and that’s all it is) is that Blizzard wants Deathknights to be a very well represented in Arenas. If they also make DKs viable heroic tanks regardless of spec, then they might just have solved part of the 5-man tank problem without further contributing to the 25-man tank problem.

You see – if DKs don’t have much of a place in 25 man raids, but are still capable of Heroics, then they will naturally spend a lot of time doing Arenas and Heroics. It’s also a tidy little disincentive to keep most players from wanting to play DKs at the end-game. Perhaps they want people to experience leveling a DK to 80, use him as an alt for Arena, maybe tank some 5-mans – but not be real viable beyond that.

That is a great solution.

If you are a warrior.

It just happens if you want to do end game tanking as a DK.

The re problem is that 5 mans require that at least 20% of the group be tanks while 25 mans run with 12-16% tanks. Meaning that if you could actually convince enough people to spec prot to tank all 5 mans--you end up with 20-40% tank under employment in 25 man raiding.
That is a great solution. If you are a warrior.

It’s more conspiracy theory than solution. It helps alleviate both the tank problem and the potential problem created when 40% of players play a Death Knight. Everyone can’t be a DK at end-game, so they need a disincentive to make them unattractive. Making them desirable in Arena, but not in Raids is a solution to that problem (for Blizzard). It just sucks ass for anyone who wanted to play a DK.
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