Death Knight Normalization Does not Balance Make – Part 8

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

Recap: Normalization Doesn’t Create Balance
Because it was TL and you DR’d

I know that was a LOT of posts to read, and to anyone who actually plowed through that behemoth of a saga, I congratulate and thank you.

Allow me to list, in order, the summarizations of each section and what they mean when tied together:

  1. For a game to be successful, the players of that game must be happy or they will not pay for the game. Ergo, game companies must keep their players happy to keep making money.
  2. Listening to the community of players who play your game is essential to maintaining a working game. Players are the ones paying for your game.
  3. The more players you have, the more restrictive your rules must be. Players are greedy and you can’t keep everyone happy.

The main focus of these three points is simply that a game must make its players happy and make them want to keep playing if the game will generate revenue for the company that runs it. Games that do not accept community input are ignoring the will of the community and are more prone to failing than their counterparts. It also touches on the idea that players are greedy and you can’t keep everyone happy all the time.

  1. The D&D warrior is NOT the D&D fighter because of HOW they put points in their class to determine what they do.
  2. Warriors are NOT Death Knights and should NEVER work like them, as it is against the initial design concept of the Warrior.
  3. Balancing classes according to their role is BAD GAME DESIGN
  4. Blizzard has balanced the Warrior class tanking role by changing shield wall — a defining protection warrior skill/talent — into a Death Knight skill.
  5. 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.
  6. SoE removed the individuality of the classes by balancing them to roles centered around ONE class. As a result, they lost 85% of their players. The remaining 15% would slowly leave over the next 10 weeks.

This saga has focused more on what Blizzard is doing with the warrior class as a result of uneducated trolling on the WoW forums, as compared to a game that did EXACTLY the same thing. Mind, SoE w/ SWG was a game-wide change and blizzard is — so far — only adjusting DKs and Warriors.

Expect more mind-numbing changes and individuality sapping alterations in the next couple of patches.

Click here for the Normalization Does not Balance Make saga in its entirety.


15 Responses to Death Knight Normalization Does not Balance Make – Part 8

  1. […] 8 – How normalization of roles doesn’t create balance Submit a guide, post, podcast or resource for inclusion in TDQ, by using our tip line and we’ll […]

  2. Riptidez says:

    Very interesting series…but please oh please go back and edit your earlier articles to have actual links to the next article in the series!!!!

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  5. Hatch says:

    So I read the whole thing, and I could use some clarification.

    What are you using to back up your claims? Are you saying that giving Warriors just one cooldown that they can use to mitigate magic damage that matches one of the DK’s many cooldowns is similar to SoE balancing all other classes around Jedi? Can you give an example of how this is the same? Were all SWG classes given one Jedi ability each? I don’t see how the two situations are at all comparable.

    I don’t see you back up the claim that “Balancing classes according to their role is BAD GAME DESIGN”. Why is it bad? All I can glean from your posts is that you think it’s bad because it leads to classes getting some similar abilities. You could make the argument that you think the classes are getting too homogenized, but I don’t see how that’s enough to condemn the entire idea as BAD GAME DESIGN, even if you think the design philosophy is poorly implemented.

    To summarize: I agree that tanking classes are getting a bit too homogenized. But I think that balancing around role is also one of the best things to happen to this game with Wrath. It’s allowed all 4 tanking classes to be considered viable for all activities, meaning more people get to play with their friends and feel powerful(meaning more happy customers!). If only one tanking class is actually good, then the players of the other 3 classes are going to be unhappy and quit. This seems to go directly against your premise that designers have to keep players happy.

  6. Ancro says:

    Okay, I read through the whole post. All of them, starting from the beginning. I agree with most of your points – especially the thing about the Jedi in SWG, somehow I managed to slog through that whole game all the way from patch 4 to the NGE without wanting to kill myself – but I am left at the end of this post with a gigantic question mark. Okay, yes, SOE was made of a collection of idiots who reacted poorly to when the game was confronted with the serious balancing challenge of the Jedi – what does that have to do with the change to Warrior’s ability to tank, why is this change SO SWEEPING that it can be compared to the NGE? I submit to you that it is not only a needed change, it is a necessary one, and that while homogenizing classes is not necessarily the best option, it is currently the easiest and most effective way to work out the imbalance in tanking. Further, you do not supply a method by which Warriors (or Paladins for that matter) could be compensated in such a way that would balance them for the role in which they have assumed.

    Consider for a moment the “most difficult” raid content currently available – Sartharion with all three of his drake assistants alive at the pull. Currently, even though the encounter has been tanked successfully by all four tanking classes, the preferred tank for Sartharion himself is either a Druid (with their gigantic health pools) or a Death Knight (with their collection of cooldowns that blot out the sun). The reason for this is obvious, when the two Acolytes are alive, the damage from Sartharion’s breath goes beyond the excessive – something like 80k damage. This necessitates either two things: a health pool that can take that amount of damage, or an ability to directly mitigate that damage (again, your choices are Druids or Death Knights). The only way to complete that encounter with the other tanks are extremely limited: stack your raid with Holy Priests that have the Guardian Spirit talent, stack Holy Paladins that have the Divine Guardian talent, or bring a Druid/Death Knight.

    Of course, this is an imperfect example. There is only one fight that arguably REQUIRES (unless you stack your raid in a certain way) one tank over the other; all the other tanks can deal with all other situations equally with varying degrees of skill. It is in this one encounter that only one class can truly exceed and excel with minimal changes to their playstyle overall. THIS is an imbalance in the game, and it is unfair to all other classes. The best way to correct this situation is not just to nerf the specific encounter so that the other tanks can handle it with a measure of success, but to also limit the degree by which the class that could do it without trying as hard as the others is able to do so. Death Knights are clearly that class. No other class was able to become UNHITTABLE (not just uncrittable) for 15s, no other class was able to mitigate 75% of incoming spell damage on a one minute cooldown, while at the same time reducing the amount of damage coming from ALL sources by at least 20% (up to 40% with defense scaling), all on one minute cooldowns. The changes are needed – they are not popular, but for the game to be able to maintain it’s rules, this is how it must be. For a warrior to do the same, not only must they spec for it, but they must also give up a precious glyph to do so.

    To summarize:
    This is a balance to a single role within the game to correct for the imperfect imbalance in tanking roles previously created. While you correctly point out that this change is only to a single role, you fail to realize it’s significance within that role and the necessity of the change itself to overall class balance and raid design. You are not wrong – a sweeping change to the overall game in “the middle of the creek” as it were would be bad, but this is neither a sweeping change nor a total revamp.

  7. […] Up next in Part 8: Recap: Normalization Doesn’t Create Balance Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Lightsaber Training Classes?Ghostcrawler on the […]

  8. […] Part 8 – How normalization of roles doesn’t create balance […]

  9. […] Part 8 – How normalization of roles doesn’t create balance […]

  10. […] Part 8 – How normalization of roles doesn’t create balance […]

  11. […] Part 8 – How normalization of roles doesn’t create balance […]

  12. […] 8 – How normalization of roles doesn’t create balance Submit a guide, post, podcast or resource for inclusion in TDQ, by using our tip line and […]

  13. […] Part 8 – How normalization of roles doesn’t create balance […]

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