View Full Version : DK vs other tanks theory activity

11-04-2009, 02:12 AM
One day, a day I look forward to somewhat, there will be a healthier ratio of tanking posts here between DK:Warrior:Bear:Pally.

Looking over the page of threads here, many are about DKs.
That's of course because the class has 3 tanking trees, so there are 3x as many viable tank specs, compounded by it being in a state of change to a greater degree than the older tank classes; the latest iteration being 3.3 DW DK viability.

I love my DK tank. I loved my maintankadin too, other than having mana, so I'm not upset to have so much theory discussion about DKs.

But somehow it also bothers me.

11-04-2009, 03:16 AM
DKs are new and not yet completely theorycrafted empty yet.

For me as a Warrior, the main 2 things that have changed since beta are the UA builds (Patchwerk fun :P) and the changes to Glyph of Devastate

That's about it that was 'new' to me, and half of that I discovered myself. So there is simply nothing left I can think of to discuss. DKs are simply 4y behind on the rest and are just catching up on theory crafting now :)

11-04-2009, 05:34 AM
Nothing is actually "completely" theorycrafted yet.

That said, Death Knights are still the new kid on the block being around only 20% of the time the other classes have been. There is a LOT more ignorance about how the DK works, and a lot more people trying to make it work for its popularity (last statistic harvesting I checked DK's made up about 15% of the level 80 population).

It also helps that I've been flooding the forum with my personal brain dumps, frequently enough about DK's. =)

11-04-2009, 05:55 AM
haha Satorri perhaps it's your fault! lol :)

Agreed though, like I said too; we're just so new. I think on reflection what gets to me are silly questions (which don't make it into this forum here), but like "what's the frost rotation" when nothing's really changed about say frost 2H tanking for ages.

11-04-2009, 06:23 AM
Talking DK will still dominate quite a bit of the forums for a while to come im afraid :)

What I will comment is my personal experience with the DK tank class; I have a warrior tank (like it tbh), tankadin (my fav tank) feral tank (my main) and, yes, 2 tank DKs lol (2 different realms ofc)

I only rolled a DK later after both my druid and pally reached lvl 80. The one thing I saw what blizz intended to do in a way is add bits and pieces of each tank class to the DK, plus still trying to make it different from the others in terms of gameplay. I has been a few months now and Im still doing respecs, trying to get the best out of him. In the end even though he is the newest addition overall I find him the most fun to tank. Its control abilities are really great. I do things on a DK I sometimes could struggle to do on a druid. I tank always studying the environment and pulling the best way possible. I have to say with the DK tank I have more options for that.

Still, there is much to discuss about them.

So ye we will still be knocking our heads on this and I think by the next expansion we will finally have our more stabled DK. Until then keep asking questions about them it has been most helpful to my study...

11-04-2009, 08:35 AM
haha Satorri perhaps it's your fault! lol :)

Agreed though, like I said too; we're just so new. I think on reflection what gets to me are silly questions (which don't make it into this forum here), but like "what's the frost rotation" when nothing's really changed about say frost 2H tanking for ages.

Well, what about us new guys who don't know what the old rotation was, and can't find sufficient data? Or, see an old rotation, but have no idea whether it is still considered optimal? Further, there has been a lot of back and forth on single disease vs dual disease rotations, etc. (I'm responding here because I just started a thread asking about frost rotations, and I don't consider it a silly question, as I couldn't really find good data on it anywhere)

11-04-2009, 08:50 AM
I've seen 50 or so posts on Frost rotations in the last 6 months.

There are a couple active right now, for what they're worth.

11-04-2009, 09:02 AM
Yeah I expect, once the class settles down, we can then say "that rotation is established wisdom, hasn't changed since 3.3" or something like that. But there's not been a long enough time of stability really eh.

Like Unholy's rotation in 3.22 is different to in 3.3, and in 3.1 it was Unholy Obliterate, etc. Lots of change within 6 months.

11-04-2009, 10:08 AM
generally speaking, theorycraft and modeling are a result of there being a "question" or "problem" in the community that needs to be solved one way or the other, and running the numbers allows people to see what the solutions look like on paper. I think the class mechanics from other classes are pretty well established in that regard. the math on deep wounds is well established for warriors. druids already know the pros/cons of stacking defense despite being crit-immune from talents. the conversations have already been had, more or less.

DK's have a unique level of sophistication: They aren't crit-immune from talents, they don't use a shield, and they have 3 tanking specs to choose from, one of which has 2 weapon styles to choose from. so not only are we trying to answer questions between specs, we also answer questions comparing styles. no other class really has that problem, and it is a new one for the community to discuss.

11-04-2009, 06:56 PM
Not to mention that having/not having epidemic can have a huge difference on the runesets usage, so it's just layer of layer of complexities here.

I think what we need is what Satorri said, a "completed" theorycraft that takes the player out of the equation.

For example, does talent A give more TPS than talent B?

If you look at Protadin, they have a settled rule, for example (I can't remember the exact sequence), for DUH mobs, Crusade > SotP > Reckoning, whereas for non DUH mobs, SotP > Crusade > Reckoning. That relationship is true regardless of the player - we need to assume that the player is good enough to execute any style.

Without taking the player out of the equation, there will always be questions - because people do not believe each other and dismiss it as anecdotal evidence. Well as long as Satorri is here and answering questions, I guess I don't see any problem...

11-05-2009, 03:30 AM
Another curious thing is the size of the maintankadin community compared to others. Why is it they (used to be 'us' when I was one) such a particularly large, strong, cohesive and active community (at maintankadin)?

11-05-2009, 03:59 AM
I think it all comes down to choices.

DKs have so many choices to make, it gives you so much to talk about. Not only do you have the constant "which tree" debate, but also "which dps talents within each tree". For other classes, there's just not the scope for discussion. Couple that with the fact that Blizzard have been frequently rebalancing the DKs for different reasons (tanking, arena, dps) and you've got lots a recipe for lots of forum discussion. And don't forget that forum mechanics play a part too. If something is clearly and obviously demonstrated and proven, people stop talking about it and it drops out of sight. It's where uncertainty reigns that threads keep getting bumped back to the top.

I would say one other thing: I scan through theorycraft of various different classes. I've noted that DK theory threads suffer a lot more from the anecdotal evidence and personal experience than other classes. This is likely a result of the former situation, and I think it's getting better.

11-05-2009, 06:12 AM
Strong communities grow stronger because they have something to offer. Tankspot is strong in ways the WoW forums are not because while there they've created a legacy of blue-begging and complain-a-thons, here we've had a growing track record of smart people, level-headed discussions, and great features available to the community. It's not say complainers don't come here too, but a good site begets growth.

I think the DK theory has been big here because, while there was a big boom when WotLK launched, a lot of the small DK info sources have gone quiet and this one is still quite active.

11-05-2009, 07:22 AM
a lot of the small DK info sources have gone quiet and this one is still quite active.

I noticed that markedly too, when compiling an updated list (http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f56/55827-death-knight-blogs-where-good-ones.html) of DK bloggers, I found so many inactives.

11-05-2009, 09:11 AM
The flash in the pan is done, it's shrinking back to the people who aren't just there because it's the new shiny toy. =)

11-05-2009, 11:07 AM
Warriors have been theorycrafted extensively for many years now. When a change comes out, its pretty easy to dissect that change and get results in a few days.

When Bears and Pallies started tanking extensively in BC, the amount of people looking for information on them far outweighed the amount looking for Warrior info (even though we had gone through a major overhaul too). That settled down too towards the end of BC.

DKs are still very much in the test tube phase. While they have been studied pretty hard, there isn't a lot of time tested data to go on, not to mention that Blizzard has been trying to "balance" them pretty proactively and there is a major change virtually every patch.

Once Blizzard kind of gets set on what a DK should be baseline and people are able to build on previous theorycrafting as opposed to having to overhaul everything each patch, you'll see less and less of the DK "omg whats my rotation" kind of stuff and more of "hey, I just thought of putting these 2 points differently in my spec, what would be the TPS change?" post.

11-05-2009, 11:31 AM
Frankly, I think tanks (despite their class) just love to theorycraft and min/max even though it's not necessarily needed most of the time. Nothing wrong with that, but it can be a little frustrating in the current ever changing mechanics of the DK.

11-05-2009, 12:08 PM
No one *needs* to theorycraft.

Tanks have the most depth to theorycraft because of the aspects of our role are actually two-fold in a fun balance (threat and survival) and within survival there are multiple dynamics to play.

For healing you're balancing healing capacity vs efficiency.

DPS you're just trying to maximize a single element, your damage dealing ability.

Tanking has more room for this sort of exploration than the others.

As for Death Knights, they are pretty well settled at this point, we've come down to fine adjustments like every other classes. Death Knights have a fun element in that they can get dps or tanking designs out of all three trees, and each has its own tools and emphases. That means that there is a fair amount of room for wiggling around the same purpose even in each major style.

New kid on the block, plus high potential for variation, plus a fun class to play, and there will be plenty of fun to be had for the years to come.

11-05-2009, 12:46 PM
I hope it is years to come, too, I love my DK.

11-05-2009, 03:20 PM
DKs also have a lot of interesting tweaks to it that can take advantage of itemization. I've already got a set and frost spec in the works for 3.3 that allows full use of a Tier 10 DPS set (head, shoulders, chest, gloves, pants) but still allows uncrittability via dual wielding defense laden 1 handers with the Nerubian enchant on them, and an assortment of the other gear with defense on it. I can't wait to test it out for an on the fly uncrittable add tank mid battle switch to dw frost DPS. I know the Ferals can do this with cat and bear routine, but it was a tough road for the warrior with an altered Arms spec being the only possible route.

But with DKs having each tree do viable DPS and Tank, it opens up the door for this kind of play. It's exciting and refreshing!

11-05-2009, 04:50 PM
Dks are an interesting blend between DPS and Tanking such as that I can pull decent dps in my Tanking Spec (DPS Gear) a nice blend of Threat vs Survivability and the Rune/nic System is something that's completely new and very interesting.

11-06-2009, 06:23 AM
I enjoy that as well, the DK trees have some analogy to the Feral Combat tree for Druids. These days you do have to spec one way or the other to be a really strong tank or dps, but you can have a spec for one, switch to the other role (even mid-fight) and still do half-way decently, particularly at later gear levels.