This is exactly why the dirk was my first big artifact. People said they sucked, but the ability to push affliction rate well past what people could hope to cure was amazing. It still is. Some small efforts have been made to temper it - when illusions were still a thing and changed to allow two sets of illusions per dstab, they weren't tweaked to let fast statpack plus a level 3 dirk get in two illusions, so that slowed me down a tiny bit.
But as long as the dirk exists, the renegade and saboteur professions will be in an awkward situation where they're either balanced so the dirk isn't disgusting, and suck without it, or they're ok without it but the dirk renders them unstoppable.