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A paean to complexity

April 9, 2010

I had a long post waiting about why I loved the death knight class. It basically revolved around the fact that there were six possible specs and even within these there were ways to change the spec slightly to get more survivability/single target threat/aoe threat.

It was long and passionate. Then they announced the changes and it all seemed moot.

I’d have published anyway as an ironic comment but then wordpress wiped it for some reason (inaccuracy of fact? Considering some bits of the Internet this seems unlikely) and so I can’t.

So, without the long and complex examples and history, I shall explain why I find it sad. Understandable, perhaps, I even accept that they will make blood tanking better than it was. But sad, nonetheless.

“I am a death knight tank. I currently run a fairly standard aoe and survivability focussed blood build.”

I needed to use two sentences to fit in a lot of information. My guess is that any good Death Knight tank would be able to look at that and predict a lot about my spec and glyphs. I am not sure theywouls get it completely right but then there is no absolutely correct build. There are just many discussions.

“I also have a heroic/10 man specced paladin tank.”

I did not go to elitist jerks to get that build. I simply filled in what looked like the most sensible glyphs and talents. My paladin expert in residence then looked at it and said I had the exact one she would recommend. As far as I can tell this is because there are only two specs (I am no doubt exaggerating and pally tank theorycrafting is not my forte); one for heroics and one for 25 mans. 10 man tanks can argue for either.

A warrior tank in my guild ran with two tank specs for a while. He told me there were something like three talent points and two glyphs different between them.

I can’t run with two tank specs due to the need to be able to provide dps on certain fights. I tried and it was not sufficiently useful. But it was great! I ran with two specs with completely different tools and abilities which were useful in different areas. The weaknesses in one spec were matched my the strengths of the other. Currently, my WoW life would be pretty much perfect if Zavier were allowed to have three tank specs and two dps specs to choose between. I know exactly what each would be.

– blood single target tank for progression;
– unholy, magic mitigation for bosses and trash aoe tank;
– frost heroics tank, possibly also for use on purely physical bosses;
– unholy aoe dps; and
– unholy single target dps.

Each is noticeably different, different styles of play, different buttons to press. It is almost like have six characters with two gear sets.

This is the complexity of the death knight class that I loved and is going away. I know what my two specs will be in Cataclysm and I will probably have little wish to change them.

– blood tank; and
– unholy dps.

I suppose I might want an aoe focussed spec or a heroics focussed spec but, like the warrior or paladin, the differences will be a matter of a couple of talent points and a glyph or two.

I appreciate the benefits they will give us. But I think what they are taking away was more important. In the end, we are just a different flavour of warrior now.

Our revels now are ended. For the first time in my playing of WoW, I had known what my main was and would remain. Now I am not so sure.

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