Frost – Its GCD Situation
July 16, 2010 12 Comments
Consider this a follow-up to my entry regarding the new Unholy rotation. Even though that post was made over a month ago, the conclusions therein are as accurate as ever (even more so, when you consider the slight RE buff).
This time, I’m taking a look at Frost, instead of Unholy. Suffice is to say, it’s much harder (or, at least, more annoying) to try and show than Unholy, partially due to the fact that death rune conversion talents don’t blend well with double-rune strikes (After every second Blood Strike, you have to wait a whole 20 seconds to Obliterate), partially due to the difference in playstyle between DW and 2H, and partially due to Rime (which, to keep it simple, I just assumed every other Oblit procced it – which isn’t quite the case, but close enough for these purposes).
Without further ado:
Before I start explaining what this all means, some assumptions made:
- Epidemic isn’t taken, and as the trees currently stand, it won’t be for Frost. It just isn’t worth it. The specific build for DW is almost certainly this, as matters currently stand, and 2H isn’t terribly different (just has an extra filler point or two).
- Outbreak isn’t used. It doesn’t actually change anything, GCD wise: Outbreak + Oblit = PS + IT. You will want to use the former in practice, yes, but I’ll be honest, I just forgot about it, and since it doesn’t affect the GCD situation, didn’t want to start from scratch.
At a whopping 4-6 free globals every 30 second block, surely Frost isn’t GCD capped… right?
First off, there’s mastery. You’ll notice I just assumed Frost Presence (meaning a 1.1 multiplier) for runic power gains. If our mastery hasn’t changed (it’s currently not there in beta, and Blizzard did say some would be redone), then you can bump that up to 1.1 * 1.2 = 1.32. With the additional runic power gain, you’ll get an extra FS per 30 seconds. That’s one of those ~5 globals gone – four to go.
Secondly, there’s Runic Empowerment. At a 45% chance to proc off FS, you’re going to get an average of 2.7, if you assume mastery being what it was, procs per 30 second interval, and thus the exact same number of globals taken up – 2.7. You’re left with 1.3 empty globals.
Then there’s the runic power gains from Runic Empowerment. PS and BS both would give 13.2 RP, while HB gives 19.8 RP. That means RE gives an average of (13.2 + 13.2 + 19.8)/3 = 15.40 RP a proc. At 2.7 procs per 30 seconds, that’s an additional 2.7 * 15.4 = 41.58 RP, or 1.3 FS per 30. 1.3 – 1.3 = 0.
Bam, GCD locked.
For 2H Frost, it’s even worse. With an average attack speed of 3.6 * 0.8 (IT) * 0.8 (IIT) * 0.95 (IIT) = 2.2, you’ll get a proc every 4.89 seconds, and at 10 * 1.1 * 1.2 = 13.2 RP per proc, that means an additional FS (and thus another global) every 11.85 seconds. Just shy of another 3 per 30 second interval, with no way to possibly use them – except to forgo the use of another, weaker ability (which you would do – ditch HoW, and then ignore non-Frost RE procs).
The big question, in my mind, is how to prevent this issue without radically altering Frost’s otherwise enjoyable rotation?
Change the mastery. 20% additional RP generation, not even including the affect of mastery rating, is just too much. Don’t just tweak the mastery, but flat out redesign it to ensure it doesn’t consume GCDs. One of the most obvious candidates would be revamping Killing Machine into the Frost mastery. You would have to alter the proc rate and perhaps add Obliterate to the proc’s effect, but otherwise, it’s as interesting (and as potent) as what any other spec gets, not to mention incredibly iconic. Throw some new talent in its place, and you’re good to go.
Other potential options would be nerfing Rime’s proc rate, nerfing Runic Empowerment’s proc rate, reworking Frost Presence, removing/revamping Glyph of Frost Strike, and other such possibilities. But none (save revamping GoFS) would have near the same magnitude of affect as simply redoing the mastery, not to mention some of those possibilities (touching RE) affect other specs in a potentially undesirable manner.
Anyways, I had a request or two for a post of this nature, so there you have it.
I’m off to enjoy a delightful meal with some friends, and hopefully make it back in time for the Twitter chat. I encourage any and all of you reading to try and tweet in DK questions between 5 and 6 PST. If you have trouble thinking of some to ask, ones I’m going to try for include:
- What is the intent and thoughts on changing the rune cost of Scourge Strike?
- What are the thoughts on Frost and Unholy shaping up to be as GCD capped as ever?
- Are the developers pleased with how the new rune system is playing out?
- Are you okay with Runic Empowerment encouraging IT/PS use when diseases are already up?
- Are you concerned about tanks being too rigid in their rotation to properly pick up adds and the like?
- Do you recognize how weak of a talent Blood Swarm is, and do you have any thoughts of revamping it?
- Do you plan to give the Unholy tree a more centralized focus, instead of having them split between SS, diseases, ghoul, auto-attack, AMS, and whatever else which leads to no synergy (compare to Fire for Mages)?
- Are you okay with Howling Blast being so strong for single targets, and yet still doing AoE damage?
I could go on all evening with these questions, but I’ve got to run! Let’s hope for some thought-provoking DK feedback tonight.