Tree Overhaul – My Feedback

The new talent trees are up, and viewable over here. I’ve already posted my initial feedback on the beta boards, and although it might not be as elegant, formal, or as extensive as my typical blog post, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to write something totally different here. As such, the following is nothing more than a repost of what I said there – the purpose being that those of you who can’t respond to my post there can do so here, not to mention that many people would probably overlook it, if they even bother to check the beta boards.

I assume the focus was getting the trees down to a playable 31 points above all else, but still. Some first thoughts:

  • Improved Icy Touch is still in? Aside from being an incredibly weak talent, number wise, it’s also incredibly boring. IT hits slightly harder. That’s it. Aren’t these the sort of talents which were supposed to be done away with? Hopefully a placeholder!
  • Scarlet Fever (which was previously Hemorhaggic Fever) still has a 30s duration, which doesn’t play nice with Epidemic and Crimson Scourge. Easy to fix, of course – just add SF to Epidemic! Also, while on the topic, giving us an AoE damage reduction buff is excellent, but is tying it to a damaging AoE attack the best? CC is intended to be an important factor, and this won’t work well with that. Yes, you can pull mobs away from CC targets, but it’s not always so simple. Better to have the debuff available to us, flaws and all, then not, of course.
  • Endless Winter still lacks any sort of bonus incentive, and is rather under-budget for a simple free interrupt talent. Simple disarm protection would suffice, and further cement it as a PvP, although I’m sure there are other options. Like combing it with the following…
  • Icy Reach pales in comparison to other range increasing talents. In fact, it appears that other classes have lost said talents (made baseline, I presume?). Something being done here would be nice, although I suppose it isn’t all that big of a deal. The fact that you have to choose between this and Imp Icy Touch to get past tier 1 Frost is just a bit depressing!
  • Annihilation has the same flaws as Imp Icy Touch (save for the fact that it’s actually potent… which can be equally problematic, as it may lead to Obliterate being attractive for Unholy). Simple dmg increase to a single skill. Yawn!
  • Virulence, similar to Icy Reach, is far weaker than all other hit increasing talents available to any other class. It’s spell hit for a primarily melee class. It’s only 1% a point. It has no side benefit. So on.
  • Morbidity is a perfectly fine talent, it’s just a bit hard to reach for tanks, which is an issue when you consider how fundamental DnD is to our AoE tanking abilities. You need to invest 8 points into Unholy to get it, which means it’s impossible for Blood to also nab Runic Empowerment – which appears to be designed as a core talent for any of the three specs. But perhaps you want us to choose between the two?
  • Corrupting Strikes is another bland damage increase.
  • Hungering Cold is a pre-requisite to Howling Blast? The two abilities are utterly unrelated. Doesn’t quite seem to fit. Plus HC is still rather useless in PvE (boost the duration against NPCs!), and thus raiders essentially have to waste a point – although I guess you could argue it’s not a waste, as it’s a “utility” talent. A 10 second damage breaking CC isn’t all that special though, not in raids

On the positive side…

The passive bonuses to each tree are absolutely perfect. Including the death rune talents, despite (and because of) the fact that they aren’t quite as passive as what a lot of other classes get, was a particularly ingenious move. Very smart. They made for bad talents, but should make for perfect spec-defining masteries. HS/FS/SS were all expected, but good moves all the same.

The combination of several talents – Blood Swarm + Crimson Scourge, Ebonplaguebringer + Crypt Fever, Rune Tap + Improved Tap, etcetera – were all quite logical, and makes every such resultant talent very desirable.

In general, an excellent start. Looking forward to playing with it all once the servers are up!

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62 Responses to Tree Overhaul – My Feedback

  1. gravethought says:

    I notice Guile of Gorefiend seems to have vanished, not even a passive given to frost, which is saddening since it synergized well with frost strike/killing machine mechanic.

    I hope this does’t mean frost is losing its (relatively) big melee crits feel.

  2. Roth says:

    Dont forget Ravenous Dead. With the new 100% pet scaling, I dont see how Ravenous Dead could survive.

    • Consider says:

      Our ghoul already gets 100% of our strength, and still does in beta, thus the talent does the same thing – it adds 60% of our strength. Now that strength will be slightly stronger, since it’s benefiting from the newfound crit of our ghoul, but that’s about it.

      I’m not sure if you’re misunderstanding something, or I’m missing the point!

      • Word says:

        I was wondering about Improved icy talons, did they completely take that out?

      • Roth says:

        Because it seems like a bit of a week talent for 3 points. Especially in these new talent trees. And its as unimaginative as many other talents you listed (Corrupting Strikes, Annihilation, etc)…except instead of +damage its plus +stats. As you said, *yawn*.

      • Consider says:

        The personal strength keeps it perfectly fine, number wise. But, yeah, it’s certainly dull. I suppose I should have included it. Stat increases aren’t quite as boring as flat damage increases though, at least in my opinion. Not as boring doesn’t mean not boring though, certainly.

        Imp IT is still there. Same as ever.

  3. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    I did some playing around and found that I can come up with a “perfect” Two Handed Frost build; i.e. 31 points into the Frost tree. Of course, this is assuming I didn’t take HC, which seems to be a pre-requisite for Howling Blast. Even so, we have plenty of points left to take up a Blood subspec with BCB and even a leftover point to use as we see fit.

    Unholy, on the other hand, still feels slightly bloated. I’ve got 2/3 in Virulence (you can’t go any lower if you want access to the third tier of talents and are only taking Morbidity) and even so end up with 35 points being used up.
    You can then place the remaining 6 in Bladed Armor and Runic Empowerment, but can go no lower in either tree as far as subspecs go.

    I’m guessing this is because they don’t want Unholy DKs to take BCB?
    And speaking of boring talents: Die Necrosis. Die. Die. Don’t come back.

    • Consider says:

      Necrosis wouldn’t be so bad if it went back to its original version (which doubled dipped, among other things). Double-dipping itself wouldn’t be a huge problem at all with all of the passive damage talents gone, for the most part, along with us running in UP instead of BP.

      But, yeah, in it’s current incarnation, it’s little more than 10/20/30% additional auto-attack damage.

      • Roth says:

        Necrosis is another boring talent. But at least its 30% for 3 points now instead of 20% for 5. That 50% increase to Necrosis is a welcome buff.

        Speaking of bloat…Blood is EXTREMELY bloated right now. Im getting a 36/x/x build despite the fact Im skipping Crimson Scourge.

  4. Minaka says:

    The wowtal (MMO-Champion second-gen talent calculator) has the new talents, but still gives 76 talent points to play with, instead of 41. It’s actually pretty fun to play around with. You can pretend to be the faction leader of your choice, with all of the cross-spec abilities you like!

  5. Ledge says:

    I’m worried that the screen for picking Blood as your MS doesn’t communicate very well that it’s a tanking tree. New players or players new to the class might still think it’s a DPS tree.

  6. Olanai says:

    I was really hoping they’d merge Nerves of Cold Steel and Threat of Thassarian in the Frost tree. I don’t really see why Dual Wield has to spend a whole 6 talent points for specialization versus only 3 points for 2-hander specialization (Might of the Frozen Wastes).

    • Sag says:

      I can’t check the talent trees at work, at least not yet, but I did check them last night. I believe this has stayed the same so that unholy could DW as well, but they wouldn’t get strong strikes from it. it could be combined at some point, but then they would have to redesign some of low tier frost to make sure there were enough points over all. They probably wouldn’t since two handed frost seems to work fine without those points.

  7. Shisho says:

    These talents need way more work. The only talents that accomplish much of anything are few and far between. The rest of it is a boring little jigsaw. They should make talent trees wider and have actual preference choices to make so you can actually define your character.

    We’re still not heading in that direction though, even after all these years.

    • Ledge says:

      You’ve got to remember that they’re trying to keep playability and power at a balance here. There are only so many options you can give a person before you either overwhelm him or you have to keep nerfing/buffing choices every patch to keep him from being too powerful or weak with a given set of choices.

      This is also only the first pass, very very early on in the Beta.

    • Roth says:

      To be fair, they still have a lot of work to do. Nothing this post by GC: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25626290470&sid=1&pageNo=18#342

      “They have 38-42 or so points in them.”

      Atm, the Unholy tree has 44 points. Unless blizzard changed their mind and decided to up the total talent count from 38-42 to 38-45ish or something…I think its safe to assume a few more talents are going to be combined/removed/made passive.

    • Sag says:

      Granted I am not in beta, but I looked over several talent trees last night, not just DKs. As Ledge said they have to balance things. Currently as a demo warlock I can pick up molten core and decimation, MC boosts fire damage, and decimation makes soulfire cast like 40% faster less than 35% health. Ok, fine. In early destruction there are two talents that reduce casting time of soul fire. Bane reduces casting time of soul fire to 4 seconds (originally a 6 second cast), and the new emberstorm reduces soul Fire’s cassting time another two seconds. So I could have a baseline 2 second cast for soul fire, and at less than 35% health that gets reduced another 40%…. so we’re talking 1.2 seconds on the hardest hitting baseline warlock spell… Something doesn’t seem right.

  8. Zaronic says:

    What happened to the idea that builds were “use the template” with 5-6 floater points for fun? I guess that’s out the window. As a tank I don’t like how the blood tree is top heavy forcing you to basically choose between improved death strike and crimson scourge.

    Maybe they want us to pick between crimson scourge + Runic empowerment where you do lots of IT + PS and clip your diseases to get lots of BB attacks for AoE threat or choose epidemic + morbidity and rely on DnD to hold AoE threat. When I tank heroics now as blood I find 15 seconds is about right between pulls. I’d hate to have to only use DnD every other pull. I don’t see how we have good “snap” agro with these build choices either.

    Did we loose the Death Strike creating an absorb bubble ability?
    Did we loose heart strike hitting the additional target?
    What happened to on a pale horse? I liked this on my OS.

    Maybe some of this can be solved with the increased number/types of glyphs. Maybe glyph of HS will add the extra attack. Maybe there is an On the Pale Horse glyphy (I know I’m dreaming here). Etc.

    I’ve been leveling a paladin as a backup choice if tanking on DK’s becomes a cluster.

    I’m a bit nervious about our tanking atm.

    • Roth says:

      Its just a first pass. Im theyll clean it up. Though the loss of On a Pale Horse is very confusing. Maybe the mount speed is being added to Unholy Presence?

    • Roth says:

      Another possible issue: DW Unholy. I could be wrong, but Blizzard doesnt really seem too keen on the idea of DW Unholy builds. If thats true, then Nerves of Cold Steel will probably need to be moved down the Frost tree.

  9. Branith says:

    Im holding out judgement till the next pass. For the love of god Consider I really hope you are as vocal about our trees as Jayde was in WotLK Beta.

    For the most part from this first pass I see DK being incredibly weak DPS wise, losing out on 45% in frost and 30% of crit multipler sounds dreadful DPS wise, couple that with the lose of all our DPS talents.

    Maybe im the only one here, but I saw nothing wrong with the way the 51pt talents worked, all they needed was to cull some chaffe from the trees instead we lose alot of passive and gain stuff we wouldnt normally pick up in a PvE build plus the talents left in seem not very interesting!

  10. Branith says:

    yea what about the Death Strike bubble effect? i thought that would of been a no brainer for a blood passive mastery, but its not listed in your http://bit.ly/9VQKHB screenie.

    Also what about Scarlet Fever? is this a disease or a magic effect, if its a disease I see a real interesting 2h frost tree build shaping up.

  11. Branith says:

    Grr another thought, what about suggesting that Runic Empowerment turns that depleted rune into a death rune? would that be to powerful?

    Unholy Frenzy should add some sort of damage increase as well, 10% haste isnt very much.

    The loss of On a Pale Horse hurts pvp and leveling builds as well.

    Dirge and Chill of the grave are extremely boring.

    And the whole rune system seems off in my mind, I cant fathom how a Frost build will work around having a F U Strike and waiting upwards of 20 secs for runes to refresh, it jsut seems weird. And UH using a 1U SS attack what does one do with that other frost rune that sits idle? Do you Icy Touch? to mee it seems that the best use for UH would either make Necrotic Strike a 1F rune cost (which limit its effectiveness in PvP since we’ll be using F Runes for CoI) or better yet have Ebon Plaguebringer become a 1F strike: my version would look soemthing like this:

    * 1F Cost…A Vicious attack that deals 100% Weapon damage as shadow damage and inflicting the target with Ebon Plague causing the target to take 8% additional Magic Damage and 30% additional Disease Damage over 30 sec. This ability can only be used within 6 sec after a Scourge Strike*

    Last but not least: Am I the only person who sees the frost and Unholy presences being weird especially since the improved talent version plays on the others strengths! Imp UH Presence granting extra haste amd Imp Frost Granting extra damage, to me it seems that those should be backwards .

    • Roth says:

      There are quite a few problems with DKs atm.

      Blood:
      -Specializing into Blood gives Heart Strike…which seems odd since HS has kinda been demoted due to Death Strike’s Healing Shield and Increased damage.
      -Death Rune Mastery seems like a wasted passive. Wont Blood DKs use FU runes for Death Strike? The days of chaining Heart Strikes are probably over.
      -Scarlet Fever…why do we have to use 2 talent points for something Druids and Warriors get baseline? Just make Epidemic or Horn of Winter apply the Demo Shout affect.

      Frost:
      -Runic Empowerment: This really needs to have a 20-30% chance to refresh 1 Frost and 1 Unholy rune.
      -Nerves of Cold Steel: Needs to be made passive or moved down the tree. DW Unholy is very possibly with this talent being Tier 2.
      -Endless Winter: Combine it with Chill of the Grave
      -Lichborne: Needs to be made baseline.
      -2h Frost needs a 10 point talent thats actually worth taking

      Unholy:
      -1 rune SS + the current Sudden Doom + Runic Empowerment dont seem to be working. We still seem to be GCD capped. SS needs to go back to UF. Same with Necrotic Strike.
      -Unholy Frenzy only gives 10% haste (Pillar of Frost gives 20% Str) and takes away 45% of our health. Thats very expensive for a 3 minute cooldown. Unholy Frenzy should be 20% haste for 20 seconds every 2 minutes with no health loss.
      -Unholy either needs a BF strike (which would be really strange) or the Runic Empowerment change I mentioned above needs to go through.

      • Sag says:

        It wouldn’t surpise me if they reworked scarlet fever to apply only to the DK to compensate for a lack of a shield in AoE situations. Maybe letting scarlet fever and demo shout stack as well. Maybe that part would be OP.

        I see no problem with nerves of cold steel being where it is. Yes this lets DW unholy happen, but it also means that SS will be hitting from a one handed weapon. As someone who has DWed without any DW talents before, this does not make SS hurt anyone. Try it, your scaling will suck. It has to do with the weapon damage multiplier, which is getting buffed in Cat. Also, and I could be wrong here, but talents like BCB and Necrosis buffed DW unholy’s damage because they procced off of auto attacks (and DW has many of those). BCB is in blood now, and I don’t believe is possible to get if you pick up nerves of cold steel. Necrosis is there, but still not that great after it got nerfed.

        Lichborne does not need to be made baseline. Fear is weak enough as it is, there is no need to nerf it more. It’s not like we have it rough against caster classes. Disc priests are rough, but that has little to nothing to do with fear. What would this accomplish?

        There are two reasons necrotic strike needs to stay at 1 U rune. 1) it allows frost to hit something other than PS when BP is in a target and runic empowerment returns a U rune early. 2) it gives unholy a choice between applying a debuff, applying/reseting diseases or hitting the target much harder. I don’t recall anything in the unholy tree buffing necrotic strike’s damage.

        Last I checked Pillar of Frost was a self buff whereas Unholy Frenzy could be cast on anyone. Though since I am at work I am having difficulty finding out if Unholy Frenzy is just an attack speed buff, which would suck. I read the warlock talents. UF+destruction warlock+new soul leech = <3.

      • Roth says:

        Lichborne does need to be made baseline. Its basically a mandatory talent for pvping DKs in much the same way that every pvp DK needed to take Endless Winter so that Chains of Ice applied Frost Fever.

        And the simple change to unholy Frenzy is to make it self cast only then.

      • Olanai says:

        “-Specializing into Blood gives Heart Strike…which seems odd since HS has kinda been demoted due to Death Strike’s Healing Shield and Increased damage.
        -Death Rune Mastery seems like a wasted passive. Wont Blood DKs use FU runes for Death Strike? The days of chaining Heart Strikes are probably over.”

        With Heart Strike affecting 3 targets (possibly 4 with a glyph? pure speculation) it really becomes a nice spammable aoe threat tool for Blood tanks. Sure, for single target fights you would probably stick to Death Strikes over Heart Strikes, but Blood tanks have “traditionally” been weak on AoE, and the Heart Strike change (combined with the overall scaling back of mass aoe-fests) helps out in that area.

      • Sag says:

        Saying that lichborne needs to be made baseline is just like saying that every class needs a fear break baseline, and that is crap. There are several classes/specs that don’t have any sort of fear break at all and they do just fine.

        Lichborne is nice, but not completely necessary, esp since AMS will block fear, and you should be pvping with a pvp trinket. Being kited is much more of a concern than a fear break. Granted I have only had it happen once (ever), but a hunter kited me from 100-0, he played everything perfect, but I don’t think I ever got more than my two DGs on him, between distracting shot, disengage, pet pin, ice trap he was always at range.

        I would argue that disease protection is way more important than a fear break. Currently the only real protection any DK build has is UB. The resilient infection attached to virulence is not that great by itself, and is worse when you consider having to spend 3 very valuable talent points in virulence… not to mention either two in epidemic or vicious strikes.

        Blizz has already made remarks about getting rid of Every Man for Himself, and Will of the Forsaken has been nerfed several times. I don’t think anti CC measures like lichborne will get more powerful, or need to be made baseline.

        In short, would I pvp without lichborne, no probably not, but that has more to do with what else is in the frost tree than lichborne itself. If lichborne was moved to the bottom of the frost tree I wouldn’t care that much, I’d rather have UB moved to the front of UH if anything.

  12. Hoffy says:

    A blue already posted this:

    While this is a first pass on all of the talent trees, death knight, druid, paladin, warlock, Arcane mage, and Assassination rogue trees are not as far along as other specializations. (http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25969020177&pageNo=2#27)

    so let’s wait till the next pass

  13. Rune says:

    I know this isn’t the place for it but could you confirm for me whether Dark Simulacrum is a 2 minute cooldown? Annoying that this is the case, compared to warriors 10 second spell reflect. And their baseline demo shout. And lichborne.

    I was excited when I heard they were reworking the talents but after seeing them I’m less than impressed. Hungering cold, it feels like they forced us to take it due to it never being taken otherwise, not for any valid reason. Mark my words they will point at hungering cold and say “Look! Utility!”

    I’m not in the beta so I can’t test the actual gameplay but by all accounts it is clunky due to runic empowerment and difference between FU strikes or just U in the case of unholy leaving either a 20 second wait (or I guess could use HB) or unholy using IT.

    Disappointed.

  14. Raaj says:

    Question – with the new talents, are we now required to have 31 points in our first tree before the other trees open up to us? It was my understanding this is how the trees will work.

    If so, then I do not see a point in bone shield at the 11 point spot. It does not last long enough for a tank, and would be unavailable for a frost or unholy dpser. The tank tree would be far better served by removing Bone shield and replacing it with the current frost talent “Unbreakable armor”. Perhaps move bone shield over to unholy again and combine it with Resilient Infection, then that talent has both pvp and pve uses. GIve bone shield 2 charges per point in the new “Resilient Bone Shield” talent.

    I am already missing my “On a pale horse” as well. My favorite leveling/questing talent. Any way we could have “On a pale horse” combined with “Unholy command” to make it that 2 points useful for both pve and pvpers? Command the pale horse!

    • Sag says:

      Part of what made bone shield so awesome was the abundance of avoidance, as well as the internal CD of the bones themselves. This is currently at 2 seconds, but originally it was longer, I think at least 6 seconds. It also had up to 6 bones with the glyph, so it was like 24 seconds of it at base, and 36 seconds of it with the glyph. This was OP because at the beginning of wrath with the damage DKs could do (esp unholy), and the fact that they had 24-36 seconds of a 20% reduced damage that they could use with IBF (which at the time was always a 25% damage reduction), every minute. It might not happen, but blizz could buff the hell out of the ability, esp considered how nerfed it is now.

      • Raaj says:

        Right, but Blizz has already stated they want to make DK tanks take more damage then other tanks, in order to make up for all of our self heals. This means avoidance will be decreased, which makes Bone Shield even worse. Blizz would have to buff Bone Shield a ton to make it as useful as the current Unbreakable Armor would be if it was moved into that same spot.

  15. Silarn says:

    I know a lot of people feel like they’re forced to take ‘bad’ talents, such as 2H Frost for instance. In my opinion this is not a bad thing, we simply feel this way because we’re used to having so many available DPS talents that we could spend every single point in them with even more left untaken.

    I refer to the Combat tree in what I feel is an excellent design — for a first pass, at least. Essentially, to reach the 31-point talent, you ultimately have to spec into one of several 2-point utility talents. There is no way to reach the final talent without doing so. Most if not all of those talents have potential use in a raid, so you really do end up with an actual personal choice as to which utility you prefer to take.

    I see no problem with forcing a utility choice. That, to me, is interesting, because Blizzard can easily balance your damage around those DPS talents you are actually able to take such that getting utilities is NOT a DPS nerf. If all we had to choose from were DPS talents, it comes down to a 100% cookie-cutter build with no options at all, which is ultimately no different whether you have 41 points or 76. When you have nothing left to take but utilities, each of which can have its own use in a raid, then you are actually left with a personal choice.

    Unfortunately, right now 2H frost is the only DK tree that has anything like this, and the utility options are sparse at best. Your options are between Lichborne, which makes a poor PvE utility talent at a 2 min CD (vs say an arms warrior that can break a fear every 20s or so), Icy Reach – range increase for melee DPS, or Endless Winter. This is further exacerbated by the fact that, with Hungering Cold FORCED, you only have one free point to spend, meaning you can’t max out Endless Winter OR Icy Reach.

    If we had better/additional 2-pt utility options, like the Combat tree, and weren’t pigeonholed into HC, then the problem would be solved.

    • Sag says:

      I think the real problem with HC is that it is centered around the DK. It works great if you are the tank (which won’t happen in Cat) because you can run in HB the group, cast HC (if glyphed your FF will continue to tick away on those CCed mobs and they will run directly to you if HC breaks early) and pull out the mob you want DPSed down, or it provides a few seconds of relief for the healer in an aoe sitaution between DnD (if a healer can’t get you to max life in about 3 seconds either your gear sucks, or the healer does). Does anyone really want a DPS doing that? No…

      I like the idea of some AoE CC, and it is really fun in BGs to CC the entire ranged section at once, but I think it needs to be redesigned. Maybe make it like repetenance? CC 1 target for x seconds every minute?

  16. Epox says:

    Is it just me or is Ebon Plaguebringer changed? It says Icy Touch and Plague Strike. Not diseases. So Outbreak and Pestilence will no longer apply/spread EP and we have to actually strike the target now. I assume GoD wouldn’t refresh it now either. Of course since we have nothing better to do atm with the F rune, maybe not an issue. Could just be the wording, is that how it functions on Beta atm?

  17. Nessad says:

    Is is me or Ebon Plaguebringer, according to the tooltip, no longer triggers from diseases, but from IT/PS? This would imply that pestilence no longer applies it.

  18. Seamus says:

    Well I expect this is a first pass thing. I agree the passives are a very good start, however, I am a little disappointed that they don’t appear to have kept to the stated goal of restructuring the trees: To get rid of boring talents.

    Example: They kept Necrosis, (They’ve repeatedly said that this is the kind of talent they want to get rid of), but get rid of a very fun talent like Corpse Explosion instead of improving it in some way. I’m just using CE as an example, it’s a hell of a fun talent.

    On a less touchy-feely note does it not seem like the talents don’t mesh well? Someone mentioned HC being required for HB. I think the talents need: a) more synergy b) make more sense in the context of Cata (i.e. Is HB going to be all that useful in Cata?) c) need to be more fun.

    • Sag says:

      I realize that the talent itself is very weak DPS wise, but who doesn’t like blowing up the corpses? I think the best part is that they can still be skinned afterward… Seriously I just blew it up, what are you skinning?

  19. Roth says:

    Heres a bit of good news quote for us: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25969020177&pageNo=2&sid=1#27

    “While this is a first pass on all of the talent trees, death knight, druid, paladin, warlock, Arcane mage, and Assassination rogue trees are not as far along as other specializations.”

  20. Leodar says:

    Well, I tank on multiple toons (guess I’m a glutton for punishment) and reviewing the protection trees for all 4 tank specs reveals the same problem – severely bloated.

    Either this is by design (in other words, are you a tank? Yes? Then don’t expect to take many off-spec talents), or its a problem that they are aware of and are working on.

    Personally I tend to think that it is the former. I find the odds that ALL the tank trees experiencing the same problem to be a coincidence is extremely low.

    Example:
    Tankadin: 36 points EASY and happy
    Warrior: 35 no problem
    DK: 36 (agree with earlier poster I can’t remember)
    Bear: 38 (barely a single point outside of feral worth spending)

    • Olanai says:

      I don’t see that the higher concentration of talent points taken in the Tanking tree by tanks is a problem. The alternative is to put talents which are attractive to tanks into the first tiers of the DPS/Healing trees of those classes, which just makes crafting those trees harder – because the DPS/Healers won’t want to take tanking talents.

    • Leodar says:

      Actually I agree. I suppose that doesn’t come across clearly since I use the word problem.

      With the direction talent trees are going, any class that has a protection spec is not going to waste talents in other trees to make tanks branch out. This also certainly helps lower level tanks.

      In general, the only complaint I can see being made is that it doesn’t give much flavor of variation to the tanking specs, but having perused them, I can see there is far more choice in the tanking trees for warriors, paladins, and death knights than previously. You can have 3 people all spend 36 points in their protection tree, and have between 2 and 5 of the points spent differently. I think that is a good thing.

      • Sag says:

        What does upset me about the tanking trees for pallies and warriors is that thier armor increasing talent is right at the bottom, so that all warrior or pally specs can take it. DKs and Druids have it down the tree some more. I realize that different classes are different, and that druid specs other than their tanking specs get armor bonuses, but that’s something that will play to the advantage of those three classes and weaken frost and unholy in pvp some.

        What actually does bug me about the trees is that I am not reading a lot of defensive abilities in these trees. Esp pally. I mean if you look at the tree the only active abilities pallies got were for threat, everything else is a passive reduction. Hell ardent defender got reduced to 1 point. Ok wait divine sacrifice is there… do pally tanks actually take that talent?

        On that note I do love trees like the warrior tanking tree. While I don’t like armor bonuses down so low the top half of the tree is very active and the abilities become very defining of warrior tanking. Oh I hate those stuns in pvp, but I understand how nice they are to have in dungeons.

  21. Anaroth says:

    Wow I didn’t catch that ebon plague bringer change. Makes a lot of sense.
    AFAICS ebon plague has a 30 second duration, but they could easily add it in to epidemic.
    I did a rough calculation and with current numbers (in UP) the static multiplier for a 3 disease SS is about 1.40%, which is actually rather weak considering PS has a higher static base damage.

    Doesn’t really change much other than bring us back to the pack with putting up the magic damage debuff.
    They should probably add out break to the list, however.

    Unholy also only has one raid buff / debuff, while the other trees have two, although arguably scarlet fever can be taken by the dps specs.

    ae as unholy is going to be rather frustrating, and even worse wil be the target switching required on a boss with adds, assuming you want to put max diseases up on the adds but do single target dps to the boss.

    A lot of people bag on THC, but it actually might be a useful dps boost if it puts up full strength diseases.
    (OTOH I used it while tanking on LDW last night).

    Looking at the trees, I like the look of the frost tree far more than the unholy one. Unholy feels more staticy.

    • Roth says:

      It would be nice if Scourge Strike actually had some flavor added to it. Putting it back to full Shadow damage would be nice (or perhaps give it a way to interact with diseases). The current Scourge Strike just….doesnt really fit the flavor of our tree.

      Abominations Might being in the tanking tree makes no sense. They need to put that in the Unholy tree.

      Overall the Unholy tree is just very unfocused and has a lot of very poor talents.

  22. Silarn says:

    To flesh out my previous point a bit,

    Most complaints, and rightfully so, is that these changes have simply pared-down the trees rather than making them more open. There is no more real choice now than there was before, just fewer poor ones (meaning poor DPS talents that shouldn’t actually be taken).

    I think what needs to be done is even more consolidation. The ratio of utility talents needs to be higher, and the utilities themselves need to be improved. The thing is, many utilities might not be bad, but from a pure PvE DPS standpoint they seem that way when compared to a talent that clearly increases DPS. Make some utility options that are actually quite functional in PvE but perhaps aren’t quite as attractive in PvP.

    Off the Wall Ideas:

    As an unholy utility, Disease Cloud; Outbreak has a 50/100% chance to apply Blood Plague and Frost Fever to all enemies within 15 yards. These diseases are not affected by Resilient Infection.

    Frost, Piercing Reverberation; Extends the range of Horn of Winter by 10/20 yards. In addition, Horn of Winter increases the death knight’s movement speed by 10/20% for 5 seconds.

  23. Anaroth says:

    The unholy play style is pretty much screwed up atm.
    Frost might have issues with best how to use Death Runes and it’s procs but those are things that people can theorycraft about.

    Unholy OTOH has major functional issues, frost runes are majorly weak in unholy as presently constructed, and of course there’s the GCD issue.

    If we assume that they want us to do an action about every 1.75 seconds. Then in imp UP unholy has basically 5 actions per rune refresh cycle with no haste. (Note: there is no melee haste raid buff atm). Frost even with the 5% haste they get has about 5.5 actions in FP. Frost is likely to get marginally more RP dumps and procs, but as that kind of cancels out by the fact they’re using an FU strike.

    One thing that I think is a bit of an issue for DKs is latency, and also how to adequately deal with resource overflow (both runes and RP) especially during periods of extra haste. I wonder if making DC more like the variable rage consuming heroic strike would help, ie DC costs 30 RP and will consume up to 30 additional RP if that leaves you over 30 RP. That way when you’re gcd constrained you can do less Rune dumps. (it also give DC a place in frost builds :)).

    The other thing that’s a concern is AE this is a concern for unholy in general but also for the other trees. With the current design most of your U and F runes are largely useless for AE as is RP.

    • Sag says:

      I would like something to get done with DC, but not just for frost. I realize things are going to change, but as unholy I really don’t want to clip UB’s dot, esp in pvp, but the only bust I really have is if diseases and UB are on the target to refresh UB, then SS, SS, SS, UB, UB. Hopefully that gets me close to a kill, or the healer panics. I’d like either another runic power dump for UH, or a redesign of how UB and it’s dot works. At first I thought of how rolling ignites worked for fire mages, but if it was OP for them, it’d be the same for us. Anyone else have any ideas?

  24. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    I really can’t say I like the Ebon Plague change. Why not just give Moonkins and Warlocks the ability to mass-spread as well? As it is, we’re never going to use something like GoD on single target encounters again due to diseases being nerfed 50% by Pestilence.

    Obviously this is because they want to nerf the AoE aspect, but isn’t this going too far? I get that in Cataclysm, CC is back and AoE is going down. With this being said, it currently feels like they’re going a bit too far with nerfing AoE.
    Wandering Plague is gone.
    Spread diseases are at 50% potency.
    Death and Decay has been nerfed (yes, I know it costs less).

    Now this too?

    • Insolence says:

      Glyphs will get re-designed, GoD might get removed/have a different effect entirely, but yeah as is I don’t think anyone would use it. I think the idea is to replace it with Outbreak for DPS since I heard of a Glyph reducing it to 45 Seconds but that might have only worked out with the old Rune System and not the new one.

  25. Insolence says:

    Even assuming these Talents will be changed, doesn’t this seem the exact opposite of Blizzard’s goal at BlizzCon ’09? These Talents look way too uniform, you HAVE to choose a Main Build, you HAVE to get 31 points into it before going anywhere and all the fun stuff is gone because there’s no room for it, On a Pale Horse for example.

    At BlizzCon ’09 they said they wanted Cookie-Cutter Builds to have 5-10 free points for fun talents, although I assumed that wouldn’t really be possible at least for DPS I shrugged and looked forward to it, now it looks like they’re trying to recycle Vanilla onto us.

    Fine I’m not in Beta I haven’t tested this bla bla bla but I’m very sure this is NOT what we were promised almost a year ago. I also played during Vanilla great period (although looking back at it a lot could have been done for better player experience) and I liked the Trees, but I liked to see them extend every Expansion even more.

    What happens next Expansion? Extended again? And then again and we end up with 41 or 51 points in the end again? I think cutting them back just means they’re going to re-extend them in the future.

    So am I wrong, should I just shut up and wait for a hopeful Opt-In win/Live Cata before I start QQing?

    • Sag says:

      I think believing that you will have 5-10 free talent points to play with when there are only 41 is a bit much, esp when each tree will require 31. Reading these comments makes me think most people have the same idea(s) about what creates a good tree. Active, not passive talents, and utilities that are required to move down the tree, but optional in which one(s) you pick up.

      • Insolence says:

        One year ago (almost) at BlizzCon ’09 when they were still thinking of doing 51 point Trees they said they wanted us to have 5-10 free points in Cookie-Cutter Builds, thats why I said the Trees they’re giving us now seem way too uniform, there are barely any fun talents left and you can barely pick them up.

      • Sag says:

        I don’t mean to dismiss your remark here, but do you think that could be because we lost 20 talent points? I mean there just isn’t much to pick up at all anymore. I think that the DK trees have some issues, and you have to keep in mind that they are going to recycle talents, so frost with PoF, HB, HC and getting FS by picking frost is good to me. Having a DW and 2-handed talents are good as well. Right now frost is the better of the two DPS trees.

        As for the blood tree, Scarlet fever will make you want BB even on a single target, at least once. Bone Shield is another active ability, and while it might not stay up long, against magic damage, or for a few shots it will reduce damage by 20%. Vampiric Blood and Rune Tap sort of define how blood tanking will work with self heals and increased healing. Lastly, should it be taken, Crimson scourge will change your rotation and so that DKs will try to ensure they hit PS before BP falls off to get a free BB, which would apply Scarlet fever.

        Other talents in the tree amplify what you are already going to hit anyway, like blade barrier, or blood parasite. Well, unless you plan on tanking without using your two blood runes (Maybe that is possible) or you aren’t going to attack anything, ever (I heard someone got to like lvl 20 that way). That isn’t a bad thing, and all trees are going to have those. It will going to adjust priority in a rotation, like say an arms warrior. They can heroic strike, but since slam is buffed in their tree passively it takes a greater priority. Which is why most arms warriors don’t even use heroic stike, they just slam at every opportunity.

      • Insolence says:

        What I mean is that this isn’t what Blizzard originally promised us for Cataclysm, these trees are uniform, we barely have room to go for any Talents outside of our Main Builds and this is even more off the mark than the Beta 51 Point Trees we had before, what I mean –

        GC said that they were going to tune down the trees to 31 Points because they got feedback the 51 Point Trees weren’t what they had in mind back in BlizzCon ’09 and they weren’t what was presented to the public. Those Trees were more flexible and were way closer on the BC ’09 Mark than the 31 Trees they implemented now, these are almost non-flexible, very uniform and nothing of what Blizzard told us we’d be getting for Cataclysm, this is a whole new design for it which I think sucks.

      • Sag says:

        My wife thinks that the entire reason behind 31 point talent trees is to prevent DWing resto and elemental shaman, while providing DWing to enhancement shaman DW early in their tree. What I happen to think is that eventually the 21-31-41-51 point talents become so good that blizz can’t design talents much better than those ones, and they know that they can’t move them down the tree because that nerfs the early level experience and people don’t learn their classes until later. Also it potentially creates a situation where all low level talents are passive, which kind of sucks.

        DWing shaman is actually an excellent example. Give that weapons are going to have SP on them to make them “as important for casters and healers as they are for melee” having a caster class that can equip two weapons becomes OP. What does Blizz do? They have several choices:
        1) Make enhance a tanking tree again
        2) Make it a 2 hander tree again
        3) Put DWing later in the tree and enhance just sucks for leveling prior to getting that talent, also you end up relearning a good portion of your class at that point. Also prevents shaman from getting talents to buff DW early, well doesn’t prevent, but why talent for something you don’t have? Unless you plan on respecing. Kind of a sad tree when you are forced to respec half way through leveling isn’t it?
        4) Make all of their shields so OP that shaman will want to have the shields, but shields effect pallies too.
        5) put in talents that buff the hell out of shields for shaman, and design all mail gear around the idea that these talents are taken, but then what about before a shaman can get to those talents. So put them low in the tree, but then both specs can grab them. You can see how this logic goes.

        There is much more they could try, but how would those “fixes” mesh with other classes. What’s wrong with DWing resto shaman? I’d say that depends on scaling, but given what is on weapons I’d imagine that they would have gotten pretty insane numbers pretty quickly.

        I’m not saying it’s the way I would have gone with things if I were blizzard, but it is what they did. It should also prevent talent exploitation by certain classes for pvp reasons. While I do pvp, I also recognize that pvp has really devastated the PvE side of the game, esp for DKs. This means hopefully that there will be fewer nerfs of really cool abilities. I’m not very confident in that statement though.

  26. Jonneh says:

    GC posted to say that we’re “not as far along” as some of the other specs/classes.

    Hopefully that’ll mean some big changes still to come.

    Virulence is still a big problem imo. Assuming everything else is the same and with the removal of misery ImpFF.. we’re going to find ourselves well short of the spell hit cap unless we spec for it. Personally, I find missing an Icy Touch to be one of the most irritating things possible. Missing multiple in a row, which is just going to happen with a larger miss chance is just going to feel clunky and totally pointless.

    This is a much bigger problem for DK tanks as well, and I think it is something which needs to be looked at for all DKs. Perhaps all rune attacks should be based off melee hit?

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