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Warning this is a fair read, I decided to write this as I'm currently losing interest in playing my DK, my main since late Wrath, and potentially main changing.
A large deal of it is subjective, so feel free to post your thoughts as well.
I apologize in advance for terrible formatting as I originally wrote this up on my iPhone, and I'll fix it later.
This is going to be from a pure DPS perspective to start with.
NOTE: This thread isn't going to be lobbying for changes now, it's more of a discussion thread about the overall issues with the class and what we can look to fix/give feedback on for the next expansion/major patch after 5.4
All three DK specs are currently simming at the bottom of the meters, with DW frost even being behind Prot Paladins with no vengeance.
I know sims are to be taken with a grain of salt but is this because of bad scaling/tuning, or is it because the playstyles are quite simplistic and leave little room for tuning at the high end?
There doesn't seem to be a "combustion" about DK's. What I mean is, a mechanic that requires some skill and experience on the part of the DK to really push the class to its limits.
I would like to see something like this, as currently the class feels quite dull to play, and our damage is really bad outside of abusing Feather/Diseases as Unholy to pad meters, and you might as well bring any other melee on any fight where Gorefiends isn't mandatory.
Also I have the feeling our DPS without Feather is going to go down even further than it already is unless some big changes are made to the damage of our spells.
Currently our Mastery seems very dull in comparison to other Masteries (Except for Blood), flat frost/shadow damage has always been boring and not a valuable stat unless you're playing DW frost. I would love to see something done where Crit, Haste and Mastery stacking is all viable for all specs, as they'v done with Warlocks.
Reworking mastery to interact with certain spells in an interesting way, and making crit increase damage of our main strikes are such ideas (although overused)
(Note: this point is very subjective)
In my opinion the DK class is lacking a great deal of flavor.
We basically use the exact same animations for every single main ability except Howling Blast and Death Coil, both of which use the general Spell Cast animation.
A big point is out fancy Mists of Pandaria ability, Soul Reaper. This ability was actually a big letdown personally when I got it, compared to when I first heard about it.
I expected the animation for it to be your character thrusting their weapon through the chest of the enemy the way the Lich King attacks in ICC, or something like the Templar's Verdict animation at the least!
But nope, we got the same old attack animation with a reused spell effect and nothing when it actually procs.
So much for the incredibly exciting level 87 spell.
Even warriors have their Slam/Revenge animations, which are more interesting than swinging your weapon the exact same way 300 times a fight casting Scourge/Frost strike/Obit/Festering. Not to mention the Dual Wield animations are superior.
Blood boil still uses the old Hammer of the Righteousness animation, that spell has such potential to look cool but just doesn't.
Pillar of Frost could actually be a pillar or a frozen suit of armor etc instead of just a light blue cloud. That said, over the years it has grown on me.
Glyphs are okay now with the new ones being added in 5.4, but could be better in terms of flavor.
I was a strong advocate of this idea I saw in MoP beta:
Glyph of Unholy Auras: Outside of combat you gain an unholy aura that lingers about your character relating to your currently active Presence.
Think of the green aura hanging about the piles of bones in Acherus in the Unholy trainer quarter, something like that.
Runeforging is another hot topic. I don't believe this system needs a rework but it could have delivered a lot better on being ACTUAL runeforging and the animations of the enchants.
When I first rolled a DK and heard about runeforging, I immediately got the idea of actually seeing the runes forged into your weapons as a visual effect, perhaps with some customization interface where you choose a combination of runes that spell out an enchant, and then they're visible on your blade. An example of this is the Greatsword of the Ebon Blade's visuals.
Otherwise I feel some of the older enchants could use a buff/rework to make them actually useful, especially with Death Gate now returning you to where you left from, I wouldn't mind having to change my runeforge to suit a different fight as it changes my playstyle somewhat.
Honestly I like the DK talents for the most part, there are a few exceptions though.
Plague Leech is just a horrible clunky way to play, this talent does not need buffs, it needs to be removed and replaced with something better. How it even made it through beta with the dozens of threads complaining about how terrible it was I honestly have no idea.
The level 75 tier should be shifted to level 55, having no rune regen talents on a fresh DK until level 75 is literally the worst experience of any low level class, and I've played them all.
I think the 75 tier talents should be also somewhat changed to avoid the ridiculous bad luck streaks you can get with them, eg. runic corruption always gives at least 1s of 100% regen per coil/FS. The amount of times I've had emptied full runic power bars into Empowerment/Corruption and not had a single proc is just the most depressing thing.
Death's Advance should be baseline, or if not, sprint increased to 50% and breaks Roots/Slow effects, but doesn't make you slowable less than 100%. The passive 70% should still be there.
DK's are currently the least mobile melee outside of Death's Advance and the argument that they have ranged attacks is quite outdated.
Desecrated Ground should be reworked or replaced, it's stupid in PvP and useless in PvE outside of very very situational circumstances, usually soloing mobs that do some ridiculous CC chain on you.
Remorseless Winter is too easy to avoid in PvP as an alternative, nearly everything has a dozen ways out of it. It's basically the Cataclysm spell warlocks almost got, except even easier to stop by simply dispelling the stacks. Meanwhile leg sweep..
I believe Remorseless should have been a baseline dps cooldown for frost, Defile as the equivalent for Unholy, and have Gorefiends as baseline and all 3 level 90 talents redone, probably as interesting passives to avoid button bloat.
Also, Death and Decay slow glyph should be reworked to just be Desecration back on Necrotic/Scourge Strikes/Obliterate. I miss Desecration.
Cheers for reading if you made it this far!