New Build – New Changes

More or less finished settling down in my new place, and thus back to regular posting. But before I could get to that, a new Alpha patch dropped, with the following:

  • Rune Strike – Damage reduced, reading as the following: Strike the target for 200% weapon damage plus [200.0 * AP * 10.0 / 10000.0]. Only usable after the Death Knight dodges or parries. Can’t be dodged, blocked, or parried. This attack causes a high amount of threat.
    • For reference: Was 300% weapon damage plus [300.0 * AP * 10.0 / 10000.0] in the previous Alpha build. Currently 150% plus [150.0 * AP * 10.0 / 10000.0] on live.
  • Brittle Bones – Now grants 2/4% increased strength, in addition to its previous effect.
  • Endless Winter – No longer grants increased strength, although it still reduces the cost of Mind Freeze.

The Rune Strike adjustment is a given. Although overall avoidance rates may be down in the expansion, one has to remember that parry is being reworked to affect the next two strikes (albeit by 50%, and thus even though we might only have 15% dodge and 15% parry, RS will be activated by far more than a mere 30% of the enemy’s attacks.

The Brittle Bones change is equally obvious. It had to have some personal incentive given to it, otherwise no one would take it. It’s as simple as that. If anyone didn’t see that coming, then they apparently did not read my Frost analysis!

Endless Winter is the most interesting of this trio. On the one hand, I’m an advocate of the top of Frost being nerfed (at least insofar as its value to Unholy is concerned), and Endless Winter is a key aspect to managing that. On the other hand, Endless Winter isn’t the primary culprit (on Alpha, that is) – Pillar of Frost (and, to a lesser extent, Icy Talons) is. PoF is 20% strength with a 33% uptime – 8.33% strength over time, in other words, for a single talent point! That’s very over-budget for a talent, especially for one which is so high up in the tree. It either needs to be nerfed (longer cooldown or less potent effect) or moved down in the tree, such that Unholy can’t get it (meaning down at least two tiers, which would require the sacrifice of the mastery and of Gargoyle). Still, it’s a step in the right direction. So long as it’s not the only one but, instead, a sign of things to come, consider me thrilled with Blizzard.

At any rate, Notes updated, and expect a ‘full’ post on whatever topic I decide to dwell on sometime late tonight/early tomorrow!

26 Responses to New Build – New Changes

  1. Rhaevos says:

    Frost is looking better and better all the time. Really looking forward to that spec again.

    Rune Strike is going to cause grief again. The whole reason it was nerfed was because of how much damage it did in pvp when it was 200% weapon damage. I’m suprised at this change. But on the other hand, it was only a big deal in arenas and Blizzard has stated that battlegrounds will be the new pvp focus in Cataclysm.

    I would like to see them make chillblains and acclimation more useful though. Currently, chillblains is the worst non CoI snare dk’s have. Chains overrides it and it’s dispelled when FF is dispelled. Desecration works with CoI and not against it and Heart Strike glyph is physical. I would really like to see Chillblains reworked in some manner.

    Same with acclimation, it’s way to underbudget for 3 talents points, especially since you need to be attacked by the same school 3 times just for a full stack. Even then, most pvp geared casters negate over 2/3rds of the talent anyhow with spell penetration. Talent needs to be reworked also IMO.

  2. Baphomette says:

    I really enjoy having the free interrupts of Endless Winter, but if that’s the talent’s sole effect it becomes a lot harder to justify taking (for PVE at least; obviously still invaluable for PVP). That said, there isn’t much else available to take instead. Vicious Strikes is the only thing that directly raises damage output:

    There’s always Runic Power Mastery, I suppose, or Butchery if RP capping is unlikely under the new rune system.

    Endless Winter ought to cost a single point now. :/

    • paavo says:

      how about NotD gives you opportunity to summon ghoul more which does still pretty good dmg if used within all strenght buffs and aotd for every try when training new encounter

  3. Kraav says:

    Well if they are going to change Endless Winter yet again, and by the looks of it now it will be a purely PVP talent. Disarm Reduction time should be included @ 25% per point.

  4. Leviatharan says:

    Going to miss having Endless Winter. Was amazing during fights like Jaraxxus, Deathwhisper, Vezax, Valk Twins, various 5-man bosses…
    …Huh. Can’t seem to remember any past that, outside PvP.

    • Leviatharan says:

      Although to be fair, it still may be worth getting if just for the Runic Power preservation, all based on how important runic power may end up being in Cata.
      …Though more likely, it’s a waste of talents. :-[

  5. Roth says:

    Yea, losing Endless Winter really does suck. The free Mind Freezes helped a lot.

  6. Roth says:

    And the Rune Strike “nerf” was totally expected. I would imagine the 300% was a misprint or something. There was absolutely 0 chance that was gonna remain at 300%.

  7. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    I have to wonder if moving Pillar of Ice higher up in the tree would be such a bad thing. I’m operating under the assumption that Desolation will be removed and hence we won’t have the near passive constant damage increase.
    Would it then be fair to let Pillar of Ice become a source of burst DPS (something Unholy DKs sorely lack in)? I see it as win-win because it also frees up points and lessens bloat.

    Brittle Bones adds a nice utility, probably to act as a counterpart to Unholy (which increases magic damage). Hence you’ll have DKs of both DPS specs viable for raid comps in terms of utility (not that Icy Talons isn’t already great).

    • Consider says:

      Gargoyle + Unholy Frenzy gives us a decent amount of ‘medium term’ burst. As far as short, short term goes, ERW will be a powerhouse, especially if we already have two death runes coming up (meaning, 4x SS in a row).

      Thus, I’m not really sure PoF is even needed for our burst. Even if it is, increasing it’s cooldown (or shortening its length) wouldn’t make it any weaker in that area – just weaker over time, where it’s currently incredible.

      Brittle Bones is perfect. Quite the nice touch to the tree, and very fitting.

      • Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

        I had totally forgotten about Unholy Frenzy . You’re right of course then, PoF is looking way too good (hard as it is for me to say!) and needs changing.
        I just hope their solution isn’t “Lets make it more costly by turning it into a 3 or 5 point talent!”

        As it is, I’m quite irked that we seem to have more 5 point talents tacked on.

  8. Sag says:

    I wondered why pillar of ice’s spot was not the same as what UA currently is. It seemed like that would be a good place for it, and the talent was virtually the same.

    With this new rune system I can’t imagine that runic power is going to be something that we come by as easily as we do now. I wonder if the runic power costs are going to be altered at some time. Especially in the case of tanking, not being able to use runestrike because you deathcoiled like 2 second earlier sucks. Hitting runestrike too often when tanking multiple mods and not spreading that runestrike love around more sucks as well.

    From a pvp prospective nerfing runestrike sucks kind of sucks, as OP as it would have been. I’ve played a warlock for a long time, and due to that I really could care less if the rogue class is completely broken. Only class I actually feel that way about. If it makes rogue cry = good thing. Rune strike at 300% would have made them cry rivers, and I would very much a boat ride on their river of tears. I didn’t know it and I miss it already 😦

    • Rhaevos says:

      Rune Strike at 300% is overkill. When Wrath was released, RS was at 200% and it destroyed rogues. It’s why it was nerfed to 150% in the first place. So it’s actually going to back to where it was before, but I have a feeling it might get nerfed again, they keep nerfing DK strikes that can’t be dodge/blocked/parried.

  9. Theldonn says:

    I hope they change Hungering Cold. Seems like a waste in the DPS tree.

    • Consider says:

      Blizzard stated in one of their blue posts that they want all classes to have a CC option available, and that Hungering Cold might be the ideal means to deliver that for DKs. It wouldn’t surprise me if they swapped HC and PoF, and then buffed HC to last 30 seconds (or whatever) on NPCS (while still having its same current duration on actual players).

      • Rhaevos says:

        Aren’t they making it so that Howling Blast does 3 times damage to targets frozen? That would be enough right there to have it for certian fights that might exist in Cata, at least for 5 mans and trash.

        Even better if bosses, while immune to the CC, still get the HC debuff on them making the next HB 3 times more powerful (I think arcane mages have something like this that works with the Blood Strike glyph). It would be interesting to line up that with a Killing Machine proc.

        Doubt it would happen, but it would certainly be cool.

  10. Matt says:

    said it before, and i’ll say it again, i really think 2 handed wep specilization should be available to frost and unholy, not burried beneath 5 wasted points in order for us to get it

    • Roth says:

      I would be surprised to see Two-Hand Weapon Spec. still in the Blood tree come beta. Im pretty sure itll get moved.

  11. Gravity says:

    How are you getting these leaks Consider? Whoever is breaking this is breaching their NDA of course.

    • Consider says:

      Of course. Which is why it would be quite ungrateful to, in turn, say who they are are and potentially cause them trouble, no? Suffice is to say, one has their sources ^^.

      Besides, there’s several sites – most notably the Cataclysm Wiki, although they appear to be down as of yesterday – with the information.

  12. Obs says:

    Then why are you asking? just be happy your getting the information 😛

  13. Roth says:

    I was thinking about our new ability Outbreak. When it was first announced it seemed like it was a purely pvp talent. But with ability costs changing to 1 rune…Outbreak may be a mini-ERW for us.

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