It’s actually not just Frost it’s all DK specializations have lacked any real focus during alpha through to live release of expansion since Cataclysm prior to that expansion there was work that was done but it was more about a complete dissection of the class and a rebuild changing huge components of the class that was initial design obviously one of the biggest changes was the move from Blood to Tank spec and Frost to DPS spec instead of the initial design where Frost was the Tanking Spec and Blood was a leeching DPS spec.
This was probably the pinnacle of the parabola and ever since then the class has really been one of the lowest priority in terms of relative fixes to core design problems that were actually introduced around the exact same time the make the tank spec switch. Too often classes which have been performing exceptionally well and require very little changes or minor adjustments have been the focus of redesign - Mage, Druid, Rogue. To point out a few that have been worked on significantly and generally in at least one or in some cases two of the last expansions have continuously had alternations and even significant class design elements updated to allow these classes to consistently be close to to the best or the best with at least one of the specializations and in many cases it more often that it’s two of them.
I am not naming those classes to say they couldn’t have utilized some changes or fixes. However, when you have classes that have consistently been challenged with scaling issues and core functional issues you would think that the development group would decide to actually spend considerable time during the development cycle of new expansion to examine the consistent problems and work on a logical solution through several iterations in each phase of the pre-release cycle.
The idea of forcing Frost down the Breath path to be competitive clearly highlights the limits of the current design and the consistent flaws.
- If a class is being forced to head in a certain direction then the certain direction should become baseline and then make adjustments to the talents to modify the playstyle around that talent…for example
Make Breath Baseline then have 3 talents one which makes it so the DK is a spinning Ice Storm similar to Bladestorm but it’s frost damage and say on critical strikes it has a chance to freeze the target for X seconds
Second option could focus it to change it from a cone effect to a direct single target attack that once activates passively channels until the DK runs out of Runepower. However it applies a stacking debuff called Frost Bite which increases the Deathknights Damage on that target by 10% per application stacking upto 10 times and lasts a third of the cooldown length so if the Breath Single target has a cooldown of 2 min then the debuff lasts for 40 seconds this could also be modified for PvP differently to maybe only last 15 seconds or something
Third option Frontal Cone similar to now except that as long as the DK remains stationary they receive a stacking damage buff for Obliterate and Frost Strike and then for each 8 yards they move the stacks are reduced by 1 so 16 yards would remove 2 stacks 32 - 4 stacks etc. The maximum number of stacks would be maybe 5 - 10 for example
I am not saying this would be a solution I am merely saying that the class needs a major overhaul and core issues resolved across the board with base elements then changes to talents and the design of the trees to provide some symmetry and game play style choices which are sadly lacking right now for the class. In addition should really have some quality development time which has been sadly lacking for so many years by comparison to other classes.
DK’s need to have some quality development time and several massive iterations as its been sadly left with very little core design resolution, talent symmetry and overall scaling design compared to all other classes from the expansion Mists of Pandaria right through to BfA now. And that is just bluntly appalling and negligent on so many levels