Breakfast Topic: Beta vs. Live
One of the problems of beta testing vs. live experience is that the variables are often different.
When I tested Frost DK’s on the beta, I was doing so in an average of 680 gear. That’s solid, about the gear level you’d get after a bit of farming in Tanaan or running LFR, but it doesn’t capture the heights of gear currently available — you could be decked out in all 740 gear if you were a Mythic raider — or the lows. A fresh level 100 stepping into Tanaan is usually at or around 600 ilvl. Because of this, it doesn’t show you how the specs perform at those gear levels.
I suppose I could have leveled a DK from 1 to 100 just to see what the specs were like at lower gear levels, but it honestly didn’t occur to me. It wasn’t until I was actually playing a brand new level 100 DK on live that I realized that Frost plays much differently at ilvl 680 than it does at ilvl 600, and that Blood was by far the stronger of the two specs at that gear level. I was doing much better in my Blood spec, staying alive through multiple mob trash packs and continuous streaming adds that would come in just as I finished off the last group. Frost simply couldn’t keep up with the incoming damage, while it also couldn’t put out enough to matter at that gear level.
Meanwhile, Blood was simply unstoppable. It didn’t matter how many time I’d nearly killed the last mob when more would come running in — I’d simply keep going with my rotation, using Blood Boil and Death and Decay to get them softened up, hitting Marrowrend to keep Bone Shield up and using Death Strike and Heart Strike to finish them off. Set another one up, I’d knock another one down. Before I even knew it, I was floating around ilvl 640 and while Frost got better, but still couldn’t compete with Blood. I now wish I’d been able to test that out when I was writing about the spec.
Have you noticed a gap in what you experienced in the beta, or felt that something went live vastly different than you’d expected?
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