Testing a Death Knight Gargoyle Adjustment on PTR
Jan 6, 2023
We’ve just pushed a hotfix to the Wrath of the Lich King Classic patch 3.4.1 PTR that will make an adjustment to how the Summon Gargoyle spell inherits haste from the Death Knight.
To help explain this adjustment and why we feel it’s needed, let’s take a quick look at how the Gargoyle currently functions. At present on live realms, a DK’s Gargoyle will inherit the haste and attack power stats from the Death Knight who controls them. One of the things that makes the Gargoyle particularly strong though is that the Summon Gargoyle spell uses whatever haste, attack power values that the Death Knight has at the moment they are summoned for its entire duration. This is referred to as “snapshotting”, and savvy Death Knights who know to maximize their Haste and Attack power statistics via buffs, consumables, spell procs, and items can create a scenario that the Gargoyle can benefit from massive gains to Haste and Attack Power for the entire duration of the spell, while some of these effects may only last a few seconds on the Death Knight themselves. At present, it is quite possible for players to snapshot over 370% haste (and well over 400% for DKs who are also Trolls using Berserking) which reduces the cast time of Gargoyle Strike from 2 seconds all the way down to around .35 seconds for every cast while the Gargoyle is summoned.
The change we are testing will cause the cast time reduction on Gargoyle strike to be re-evaluated every time it is cast during the Summon Gargoyle duration based on the Death Knight’s current haste, not the haste value that was present at the time of the initial spell cast. This change will not affect Attack Power and that will continue to work as it has until now.
We don’t make changes like this lightly, and indeed, we hoped not to make any changes to classes at all in Wrath Classic. However, the current data we have demonstrates that if left untouched, Death Knights stood to scale significantly more aggressively than any other DPS class in the game for the remainder of Wrath of the Lich King Classic. Players have of course picked up on this, and this is already leading to the class starting to become over-represented in many raid groups across a variety of skill levels. As time goes by and more power is acquired, the further ahead that Death Knights will pull, and groups will be even more likely to double-down on stacking the class in raids.
Even after this change, we expect that Death Knights will still be putting out the highest overall DPS in the game, but we hope that this will help curtail some future scaling issues. We will be watching DK performance closely in the coming days and will make additional adjustments if we feel that this change ends up going too far.
Lastly, we want to make it clear that we are not planning any further adjustments to any other classes or specs for patch 3.4.1. We feel the class representation in raids is in a fairly good place right now across all classes, and we have no plans or desire for any further tuning adjustments. Any tuning adjustment we make is for the sole purpose of preventing a specific class itself from becoming dramatically over or under-represented. We stated before we will be using the patch 3.3.5 class balance with as few adjustments as possible, and we still intend to stick to that.
Thank you all and we hope to see you over the weekend in Ulduar with us! Happy new year!