Firstly, I made a complete overhaul to the blog site, tell me what you think. Also, I refuse to take down the mildly obnoxious and possibly fruity snow flakes. It helps add to the Naggaroth theme of my Disciple of Khaineness, so it stays for the next month! And that is that.
As we entrench ourselves in the new game play of 1.4, either by acquainting ourselves back with long shelved renown rank 80s, or by getting our next of kin that much closer, our aspects and long-term plans are probably changing. As so many are noticing, and or crying about (rightfully so) survivability is through the roof. To be a physical ranged DPS or classic melee DPS has become all so tough.
There is multiple reasons for this. One is a great deal of players were used to fighting other RR80s at select times. Their main opposition had been lower than 80s for quite some time. And for most, these DPS classes have been sporting defensive Sovereign sets. Now that everything around them is suddenly 80+ again, they are quick to notice that their ability to kill is lack luster. Before they were cutting through someone’s RR60 alt Archmage, today they banging on a RR82 Knight of the Blazing Sun. Two months ago, they had no problem ripping into a small grouping of miscellaneous sub RR60s, today they are being stopped dead in their tracks beating relentlessly on a Disciple to no avail in the mess of the crowding.
The addition of Hardy Concessions has led me to label patch 1.4 as the ‘Rise of the Healer‘. It took awhile, but Mythic remedied the renown ability to also reduce healing. Still however, with Sovereign, new RR81 Jewelry Pieces, you could make a DOK/WP an indestructible tank of healing magnitude, now maybe just more of a tanky healer. It was only a matter of time before the classes are nerfed in some way, which have been in talks for some time. My growing belief in the inevitable nerf to come to my heal class and the fact I am now battling to get in a good 6 man as everyone has more than enough DOK/WP to choose from now, has led me to trade in some Sovereign and respec to a Glass Cannon (full unadulterated DPS).
Not only was it the sole reason I re-rolled a DOK after having dedicated my first year and a half to my WPs, but the DPS DOK fills a role in the melee DPS chain that many other normal Melee DPS just don’t have. It’s also the clear separation in the DPS difference between the Wrath Spec Warrior Priest and the Torture Spec Disciple. That is the tactic under the Torture Tree called Curse of Khaine. A 50% Incoming Heal Debuff that procs when ever you critically strike for 5 seconds. When you are RR80 in full Sovereign, it is not hard to have a melee crit at 50%. So there is no wondering if this tactic will crit, it will, and all the time. It’s actual frequency of procing is what makes it even more difficult to deal with, as it basically is always on your target, no matter if a healer is looking to cleanse it or not. Add the fact that it is an incoming debuff, also helps you basically focus on whatever you want, without worry of whom to kill first in many cases.
It has found me a new place amongst my guild as I’m helping to serve a purpose in the DPS that we just don’t have. Our Sorcs can hit hard, our Marauders are now the respected beast that they should have, and our Squig Herders give more than enough problems, but to have a DPS that can chose a tank first among a premade and eat it under 5 seconds is devastating and unexpected. In many cases, you wait for DPS to engage the Slayer or WL in the front. Sure enough, their guarding tank will reveal themselves. The opposing healers will focus heals on the front DPS, but only provide the tank indirect group heals. In that moment, the DPS DoK moves on the tank, and basically can destroy it. As the tank will be taking damage from both its guard and now you with a heal debuff on them. They can’t detaunt you, they can only ask themselves, “WTF.” Once the tank falls, the DPS evaporates, and the confusion of battle overtakes the other side as quick rezzing takes place.
But that is but one tactic. The beauty in that move is that most tanks don’t expect to be punched in the face first. They are used to being the last touched, but they have fundamental flaws so long as you take advantage of it. There are many other great uses you can make of the DPS DoK. The addition of one in any melee train is a devastating proposal. As I look around our server, I seem to only be 1 of 3 high RR DoKs with this aspect. 1 I have known for a while in my old guild, and the other is a player that is just amazing. They make great use of the 3 DOK, Chosen system. With 2 Heal DoKs, a Melee DoK and a Chosen Guard, the team can take in just about whatever else they want in the other two slots with having more than enough survivability.
The drawback of being the DPS DoK is the arrangement of activities you can do. Simply going to highly contested zone to just join in the mass war, is generally not an option. You won’t survive, especially not without a guard. PuGing scenarios is also a general problem as you’ll never be able to coordinate the people around you to make the proper kills. In many cases just joining on quick scenario groups also then becomes difficult, as you really don’t have the proper mix of a defensively spec’d group around you. But, on the other side of the argument, there isn’t much out there that can take on a DPS DoK solo in the Lakes. Though boring, the renown payout for roaming in AAO areas solo can be very rewarding.
Going from 79 to 80 took approximately 10 hours of play time in a heal spec DoK. The journey from 80 to 81 took about 14 hours in DPS mode.. I would point at the reason being mostly around the healing aspect is able to just steal renown from everyone around them at all times. Out of group HoTs, along with Khaine’s Refreshment seems to give you a steady stream of purple at all times, not to mention a lot less deaths. The adverse effect is that, healing the masses is boring … boring. It’s awful, what you will do to keep getting the purple. When AAO was first implemented I remember being in Reikland for 6 hours straight just healing around the keep walls of Wilhelms, practically asleep with my face resting against the table top. It had made me realized that purple numbers are like cocaine, and there wasn’t much we could do to shake the habit. Overall, DPSing may take a little longer to level on, but it’s certainly showing to be a much better alternative for the stimulation in the game. I die quiet a bit but I also have a great lot of moments.
Just the other day I was wandering about Black Crag, looking for some cheap kills for the mass load of Order trying to take the zone. I spent a half hour unable to ever find a small group, just large hordes. I joined on my guild group and we were amassing in Praag, so I was now looking for a good way to die. On the BO, for some unknown reason (I see this a lot now), there was almost 2 WBs of Order guarding it. I thought to myself, “I bet I could get 2 or 3 BWs before they got me.” I slid down the cliff behind the unsuspected groups of idle Order, mostly mounted. I found the first BW, who died in 4 hits, and never moved. I then started to take out a slayer who quickly freaked out and ran into the center mass of the Order cluster. Unwilling to let the kill go, I followed crazed, slicing rampantly through the air, like a blender of torture gone astray. He fell, but he had accomplished putting me in the middle of 2 WBs all now focused on my presence. Lucky targeting (because we all know how crappy it is to Tab target in the mess) found me another BW, who was nice enough to be squishy and double potted, so that I could actually get a full Rend Soul to provide me full life. He fell, unable to bypass the friendly collision that holding him tight in my blade dance. Now my life was falling fast, 2 health pots and on and off Consume Essense spamming was only delaying the death that should have already come for maybe but 3 seconds ago. Why even waste the pots? But I did. I was frantically tab targeting through a mess of tanks, trying to find a squishier target to get melee heals on. Best I could was a Warrior Priest. Though unable to kill him, the WP did allow me to get yet another full Rend Soul off. This time, I found my next target by clicking. The fact that I was still alive was beyond believable to me, everyone must have been a RR30. And so it was, a WL that gave me my last kill with my Moral 3 cast. I almost thought I was going to go on forever, until an IB knocked that thought right out of me. Or at least for the 4 seconds I was on the ground bleeding out to death.