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Summon Gargoyle Changes on the Wrath Classic PTR

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Blizzard is currently testing out some changes on the Wrath Classic PTR related to how the Summon Gargoyle spell inherits Haste from the Death Knight.

The Gargoyle inherits Haste and Attack Power from the Death Knight controlling it the instant it's cast. Players who know how to maximize their Haste and AP with various modifiers will use this to their advantage and create scenarios, where the Gargoyle benefits from massive Haste and AP gains. 

The change in testing causes the cast time reduction on Gargoyle Strike to be reevaluated every time it is cast during the Summon Gargoyle duration based on the Death Knight's current Haste, not the HAste value at the time of the initial spell cast.

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We’ve just pushed a hotfix to the Wrath Classic PTR that will adjust 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.

Currently, a Gargoyle inherits the Haste and Attack Power stats from the Death Knight controlling it. One of the things that makes the Gargoyle particularly strong is that, for its entire duration, the Summon Gargoyle spell uses whatever Haste and Attack Power values the Death Knight has at the instant it’s cast. 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 where the Gargoyle benefits from massive gains to Haste and Attack Power for the entire duration of the spell. Some of these effects may only last a few seconds on the Death Knight, but it’s 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 0.35 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 at the time of the initial spell cast. This change will not affect Attack Power.

We don’t make changes like this lightly, and indeed, we hoped not to make any changes like this one in Wrath Classic. However, the current data we have demonstrates that if left untouched, Death Knights stand to scale up significantly more than any other DPS class in the game for the remainder of Wrath of the Lich King Classic. Players have picked up on this of course, and the class is already 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 more that groups will likely push to stack the class further.

Even after this change, we expect that Death Knights will still be producing the highest overall DPS in the game, but we hope that this will help curtail 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.

We want to make it clear that we are not planning any further adjustments to any other classes 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. An adjustment like this one is for the sole purpose of preventing a specific class from becoming dramatically over or under-represented. We stated before that we will use the patch 3.3.5 class balance, with as few adjustments as possible, and we intend to stick to that.

Thank you all and we hope to see you over the weekend in Ulduar with us! Happy new year!

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