Death Knight Normalization Does not Balance Make – Part 6

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

I’m a Warrior… No, Really, I am.
It just LOOKS like I’m a Death Knight. But see, I got a shield!

As of patch 3.1.0, I wonder why Death Knights will volunteer to tank at all.

Druids get more health; Warriors now have our #1 tanking cooldown as a direct copy of Icebound Fortitude; Paladins deal more damage…

So what do we do? Take less damage from magic? Have DoTs? What makes a DK tank unique from every other class?

One word: Cooldown.

Death Knights are, from their inception, edgy mofo’s. They’ve already been killed once, raised in service to Arthas, and then sent to die AGAIN.   Then, after coming close to death two more times, they traded their life for killing countless thousands of their own kin and countrymen in the name of the Lich King.  Death Knights are fearless.

Unlike those sissy warriors, we live on the edge. A Death Knight with the two best DK tanking trinkets in the game (Repelling Charge and Valor Medal of the Third War) has access to: Icebound Fortitude, a talent-based damage reduction mechanic, Bone Armor or Will of the Necropolis or Lichborne / Unbreakable Armor, ghetto Last Stand, and Super Dodge. That is anywhere from 3 to 5 cooldowns that can, and should be, cycled at all times.

Why then are warriors getting a 1 minute CD shield wall? They don’t live on the edge OR tank with a 2H sword — or, god forbid, Duel-Wield tank. Warriors tank with a shield, they have talents specifically designed around a shield.  Warriors are the masters of shields.

In fact, IBF exists primarily to mitigate the effects of getting parry-gibed on bosses when you are DW tanking, not as an “Oh SHIT” button. Suck on that Trebeck.

The misuse of a skill given to Death Knights has led to warriors finding it desirable.

Blizzard has chosen to, in essence, give warriors a death knight ability. See Part 5.

Up next in Part 7: A Last Glance Behind: Star Wars Galaxies in Retrospect


16 Responses to Death Knight Normalization Does not Balance Make – Part 6

  1. Yakra says:

    Interesting stuff – reading about the cooldown change situation from the other side.

    Just wish I didn’t have to dig so hard to find the people that read/link to my blog!

  2. […] SoE removed the individuality of the classes by balancing them to roles centered around ONE class. R… […]

  3. […] Part 6 – The Death Knight cooldown problem […]

  4. Hatch says:

    Warriors are getting IBF so they have some way to deal with the big burst damage that hinges the hardest encounters currently in the game. Right now, DKs and Druids outright dominate warriors/pallys as tanks in this type of fight.

    Ghostcrawler recently described these as the “new crushing blows” only we know when they are coming and can pop a cooldown accordingly. However, they are magic breaths, so warriors have almost no cooldowns they can use to deal with that kind of threat. So the devs gave them ONE. That requires a glyph.

    DKs still have 3-4, depending on spec, to compensate for the lack of shield. So I don’t think turning SW into IBF is that big a deal (though it’s not my main, I play a DK tank extensively enough for him to be in full epics and sub in when needed for Sarth+drakes).

  5. Justin says:

    The point stands Hatch.

    Instead of designing encounter mechanics to completely remove crushing blows from the game they have opted to make an artificial “crushing blow” by having a cast timer and saying “you can use a cooldown for this.”

    Why not just have the ability to entirely dodge the magic breath by doing what tanks need to be the masters of: MOVEMENT.

    I don’t understand why what we’re tanking has to follow us and then breathe all over the raid (to which we have just run to as we’re supposed to). This is a prime example of how the game has been reduced to simplistic mechanics to cater to a lower time-investment player base.

    I could design a better encounter in my sleep.

    On that note, I could design a better MMO while I’m awake.

  6. […] Death Knight Normalization Does not Balance Make – Part 6 « I’m Tanking What?! Says: March 4, 2009 at 8:23 am […]

  7. […] Part 6 – The Death Knight cooldown problem […]

  8. […] Death Knight Normalization Does not Balance Make – Part 6 « I’m … […]

  9. Epicthread says:

    Death knights have more HP and armor than a warrior. They have comparable avoidance, and they really aren’t missing a lot by being unable to block.

    You could stop right there and I can tell you DK’s would edge out warriors. Mitigation is king in the tanking game. Players have known this since the days of BWL.

    Then, on top of it your ‘nerf’ still gives you more cooldowns than we have, on shorter cooldowns. We have to glyph our last stand just to get it down to the 2-minute mark. We spend 2 talent points AND a glyph to get shield wall to be comparable to IBF.

    Nevermind the fact that warriors’ health and mitigation make tanking breaths with even 1 disciple on Sartharion a dicey prospect.

    I could go on, but needless to say warriors’ woes do not stop there. I’ll be watching for your post on DK threat before I air warrior grievances on that front.

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