Class Design in Shadowlands

I just want DK to be well-designed and fun, since I main one.

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Sure. And if there was common agreement amongst everyone what well-designed and fun entailed, then it would be easy. But there isn’t, so it’s not.

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With that excuse, even junk might be acceptable, since someone might like it.

Well, I enjoy healing in PvP. So before you get everything you wish for on your Death Knight, there is this little matter of balance to take into concern. And I dare suspect that a lot of the things you constitute as well-designed and fun are things that ultimately make you more powerful. And that’s cool. But you becoming more powerful can be rather detrimental to my enjoyment in Battlegrounds, because you can ultimately end up being overpowered. So well-designed and fun has to be squared with balanced and fair.

Not really. It is more that having more options and more interesting interactions between abilities and richer gameplay is more fun to me.

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Unpruning abilities isn’t going to change the fundamental play style of certain classes, I should have been clearer. Take for example Enhancement Shaman, giving us Frost Shock and Totems but keeping the BFA play style isn’t going to make it better, it’s more of a band aid rather than a fix. Placing totems isn’t going to change the almost one button rotation we have.

Unpruning is still a step forward in the right direction, but it isn’t going to overhaul a class/spec.

And what does that entail specifically? More cooldowns, crowd control, and damage-dealing abilities?

Like I said, well-designed and fun has to be squared with balanced and fair. Otherwise you just end up being overpowered, which is definitely fun, but hardly well-designed, balanced or fair.

I’m sure the mandatory health check that various specs go through in the Beta test will also apply to Shadowlands.
I mean, alongside Shadow Priests, then Elemental Shamans were late for their design changes going into BfA. Who knows, Elemental Shaman might be a spec that’s going to see more changes than certain other specs in Shadowlands, just like some specs saw more changes going into BfA than other specs.

What Blizzard are saying in regards to uprunning is that it’s a general design goal across the board. This is something all classes and specs should expect.
On top of that, as always, some specs are likely to receive intensive surgery because they just haven’t played out as well as other specs in BfA.

Fingers crossed, I’m still optimistic, but nervous at the same time. Alpha/Beta should give everyone a better scope on how things are going to play out; I just feel how it was worded could have been a lot better.

This might sound crazy, but bear with me here…

What if they can do it for other classes as well and not just DKs and balance it properly?

An mmorpg with different classes, especially the amount that WoW has, will never be balanced.

I meant more as in balance them so that none of them is broken OP.

Ok, but… isn’t that the case already?

Yeah, but then we end up back where we started, with the reason for unpruning in the first place.

You see, like I said, then I enjoy healing in battlegrounds. That means that I primarily want to spend my time casting healing spells.

If everyone gets everything on their wish-list, then my time is primarily going to be spent using defensive cooldowns, escape abilities, crowd control, and movement-enhancing effects because everyone is throwing a huge arsenal of those exact kind of abilities around.

The gameplay then becomes about preparing and setting up cooldowns, unloading everything at once, and hoping your opponent dies because he failed to respond appropriately with his plethora of cooldowns. And if he doesn’t die, then you sit back and wait 2-3 minutes until your cooldowns are ready again and you have another try, because there’s no point in if you don’t have your hundreds of cooldowns ready.

That was the gameplay we ended up with when everyone had a plethora of stuff to throw around. And it wasn’t well-designed, fun, balanced, or fair. That’s why we went away from it.

The power and impact of all your cooldowns and crowd control has to be balanced relative to your power and impact when those abilities aren’t ready to use.
It shouldn’t feel like you’re useless and can’t do anything when all your Super Saiyan abilities are on cooldown. Your basic bread-and-butter rotational abilities are supposed to matter, so you can’t overshadow them too much with crazy new cooldowns and crowd control.

We’ve been there before, and the forums weren’t exactly a happy place then either.

Yes, but DK feels shallow to me now.

So make classes shallow and bland due to…PvP? Maybe they can disable abilities in PvP then.

Then maybe try a class that you DO enjoy? Maybe it’s not the class. Maybe it’s you.

I have mained DK for years. I am not going to change mains after everything I did with him.

But BfA PvP is the same? You CC, blow CDs and if you fail, you play defensively until your CDs are up. What exactly changed?

No it applies to PvE as well, although the problematic is different. It goes something like this:

“Okay, since all the classes have hundreds of offensive cooldowns and are now able to spike their dps to unfathomable levels, alongside having a ton of defensive cooldowns and life-saving utility, then the only way we can make challenging encounters is by having insane dps checks and binary wipe mechanics.”

And then we end up with Heroic Spine of Deathwing where you don’t get to kill the boss if you don’t have 10 Mages with Dragonwrath who all line up their cooldowns perfectly, and Heroic Ultraxion where everyone dies if they don’t press the button at the right time.

That wasn’t exactly popular either.

I’m sorry, but you are wrong. Unprunning is exactly the way to go to improve class design. The question at hand is if they will unprune enough to return to a state similar to Mists or at the very least Warlords, or if they will do a half job nobody will end up being happy with.