They were but it had almost nothing to do with weapons. If you have a blue 463 two hander and 150k attack power you're getting 77% of your weapon damage from attack power. So you're only getting 23% of your weapon damage from your weapon. And tanks could get a hell of a lot more than 150k ap back when vengeance was broken.
Right now I'm getting close to 60% of my weapon damage from my weapons, and it's even higher for specs that don't gem primary stats.
I suppose that makes sense but it really just seems like a baddie thing to do. It's like a Resto druid rolling on http://www.wowhead.com/item=94974 because it has more Int/Spell power when it's clearly a DPS Caster staff :S
If it's an upgrade for ME, and a character whose class/spec it fits to a tee is not present/not interested, I'm taking it.
Although your comparison is not entirely apt; it's more like a mage needing on a spirit staff, which is clearly a healing item. If it's an upgrade for the mage, however, and the healer is a paladin, then the mage should obviously use it.
(I'm using the spirit staff in the comparison since healers will generally pass up on non-spirit weapons anyway, preferring inferior gear that DOES have spirit on it).
You need to remember that during the MSV heroic race, i.e. lower gear levels, Blood DKs (and to a lesser extent tanks in general) were almost always the highest dps in many raids. There was quite the uproar about it until Blizzard started making blue posts confirming that once people got fairly geared, dps would be back on top. Also, you must remember that the only people who would have wanted that as a dps weapon would be feral druids, as it was already established that monks preferred 1handers (for dps), even to the point of 463s being considered about equal with a 489 2h. So assuming no feral druid, the only other choice would be a Brewmaster monk, or Guardian druid, and assuming none of those as well, then letting your blood dk, which was probably already doing the most dps in the raid, have a huge dps increase for heroic progression, seems like a smart idea.
There is also the fact that these top guilds tend to funnel gear into their main groups by running multiple raids per week with say, 20 alts and 5 mains, so if there simply happened to be no class that could use it more effectively among the mains in that DKs run during the first week, it would seem stupid for him not to take the obvious dps and survivability increase.
If you would like to have a discussion about last tier i'd be more than happy to however I was under the impression that we were talking about this weapon in the hands of a death knight at the present. I totally agree that tank dps is important but I do not agree that the weapon is more important in the hands of a tank than a dps.
A dps would gain way more and while tanks were able to do great dps during t14, it was mostly the product of vengence scaling.
We not done all this before? IMO the days of searching through loot lists and looking for BiS are gone, if X is an upgrade in ilvl you take it. If it's got Mastery on it then it's at the very least "viable" for a Blood DK, especially considering how meh Dodge+Parry appear to be these days.
At the end of the day if you see someone with an actual raid epic equipped that isn't quite optimal just keep your beak out of it, chances are they took it because it was an upgrade with the consent of the rest of the raid.
Reminds me of 8 years ago when we gave one of our huners Zin'rokh. He could use all the stats, everyone else who could of used it passed it or didn't need it, regardless people outside the guild couldn't resist running round pointing out how it would of been better served going to someone else.
Agreed with above poster. If you're still doing MSV N (Alt or w/e) and the Tiger polearm is better than your 463; it's better than your 463. There is no reason that the DK shouldn't take it if it is a legitimate upgrade, and there are no other Agi Polearm users in the raid.
all things being equal, mastery is greater than strength for blood DKs. However, as mentioned by many other posters already, you are sometimes sacrificing a very large amount of strength for a very small amount of mastery - occasionally also at a loss of weapon DPS. This makes the Str weapon better overall.
ilevel 450 or 463 blue str weapons versus epic agi weapons can mean that the agi weapon wins out, since the higher ilevel gives you not only more mastery, but also more stamina, more weapon DPS, and more of a secondary stat to be reforged to avoidance.
You should never, ever take an agi weapon over someone who has an agi mainspec. You using an agi weapon is a stop gap until you can loot a real weapon. Them using an agi weapon is main spec.