The loss of Blood-spec DPS

So, the class changes for Death Knights were announced at some point recently (I don’t keep up to date on news, it’s just not that important to me most of the time), and while I am intrigued and a little worried by the overhaul of runes, and the new abilities, the thing that struck me hardest was this:

One of the biggest changes we’re making is converting Blood into a dedicated tanking tree.

I’ll admit, I saw that and something in my chest twisted a little, and my bottom lip trembled. I feel a bit stupid for being so attached to a talent tree in a game, but if idiots on the forums can get all butthurt and ragey over every little thing, and RLs can chew out their raiders for screwing up, I’m allowed to have some calm and civilised mourning time for my character and play style.

You see, Áislinn is a Blood-spec DPS Death Knight. My oldest Death Knight, Ráthnait (formerly Loreana before the faction change) who I’ve been playing for almost a year now, I believe, is a Blood-spec DPS Death Knight. Ever since I first started playing DKs, I’ve been Blood-spec oriented. I’ve taken a couple forays into Unholy, but I just couldn’t get into it. I use it for a couple of random alts, both of them Gnomes, mostly because it’s funny to see Gnomes running around with ghouls, but… Blood is my spec. Hano suggested Blood when I first started because of the self-healing aspect, but I quickly fell in love with the whole experience of playing Blood.

Now, I do realise Blood DPS is harder to do right (and well) than Unholy. Áislinn isn’t making any waves with her DPS just yet (though I don’t know what she generally does, numbers-wise, since I’m not a big fan of Recount) because she’s not fully in her T9 gear, she’s not perfectly gemmed, and she hasn’t got any enchants (I know, I know, BAD Apple). But I’ve been slowly working on getting her a top-notch set, learning how to maximise my damage output and perfect my rotation. I’m not much good with stats, but if someone can tell me what numbers I’m trying to reach, and what stats are important, I can manage, and the rest of it is all the little idiosyncrasies that I’ve become so fond of.

And Blizzard is taking that away from me. Taking away my favourite part of playing a DK.

Still, they go on to say this:

It started to feel unfair to the other tank classes that we had to spend so much effort tweaking three types of DK tanks, and it even started to feel unfair to the DK that we couldn’t focus their tanking experience. One bit of feedback that really struck home was the DK players who said, essentially, “I look at the Protection tree and I’m jealous of all of the cool tools they have to help their tanking.” […] Rather than have a strong focus, the trees felt a little watered down because they were trying to do so much. With [these changes], we think the focus of each tree is a lot clearer and cooler.

…Okay, see, I can’t argue with that. It makes sense. While I’m extremely fond of Death Knights and their trees as they are now, I can understand how not everyone would be, and I can understand how the tanking DKs would feel a bit shafted, and how other tanking classes would feel a bit as if the DKs are getting all the attention. And I have Frost off-spec anyway, because I have thoughts of learning to tank once I’ve gotten Áis geared for DPS, so it’s not as if I’ll have to go far for my new deeps tree once Cata hits – just swap out the tree that I have active most of the time, and learn to tank in blood when I get the chance.

But… I really really like DPSing in Blood. So I’m going to be sad about it.

This is major change, and we understand it will be met with some disappointment from […] those few of you who really liked Blood dps. Nevertheless, we are convinced that this is the right change for the game.

Time will tell, I suppose, whether it was the right change, but it probably needed to be done one way or another. And to be perfectly honest, Blood DOES seem like the best tree for it, what with its focus on physical damage output and self-healing.

…and of course, it’s strange for me to think that I’m one of “those few” who are enamoured by Blood DPS. It’s so fun to me, how can people not enjoy it? Ah well, if we knew the answer to that, we’d know how to beat the game, and divide by zero, and the question to “42”. It’s one of those things that just IS, for various reasons, some of them logical and rational, and many of them not.

So. I will mourn the imminent passing of my favourite spec for my favourite class, and I will run randoms more often to enjoy it while it lasts, and when Cataclysm rolls around, I’ll learn to do Frost deeps and I’ll probably like it a lot.

How do you guys feel about the changes your main class(es) will be undergoing when Cata comes?