The “Feel” – Unholy v. Frost

Before I begin, to be clear, this post isn’t about the numbers. Not at all. Analyzing them at this point in the beta is rather pointless, which is why I’ve avoided doing so (although in some rare cases, it’s worth noting, such as in the oddity that still is Howling Blast).

Instead, I figured I would share my perspective on the “feel” of both Unholy and Frost after having done instance runs as both specs, and spending substantial time on the dummies to get an idea of how the specs would play out on extended encounters (which aren’t present in simple five mans, naturally). This is simply my take on how the specs flow in actual game-play.

Utterly unscientific, heavily subjective and opinionated, but hopefully an entertaining (and, perhaps, informative) read!

Diseases

Unholy and Frost feel completely different in this regard, more so than many probably realize.

As Unholy, I pay next to no attention to my diseases. Epidemic and FeS keep them going for ages – approximately ~2minutes on average – and so they require no real thought or effort to maintain on my part. I apply them initially and then that’s it. 5 man fights, trash or boss, aren’t even long enough for you to have to worry about reapplying, and boss fights would only call for you to do so once or twice. It’s incredibly nice to be able to focus on your rotation, procs, cooldowns, and the like, instead of worrying about the hassle of diseases dropping at inopportune or inconvenient times (particularly important if you’re the sole source of the magic debuff in the raid). This is one of the best improvements to the Unholy playstyle, in my opinion. Just as Affliction Warlocks don’t have to worry about casting Corruption every 18 seconds and Shadow Priests don’t have to stop and refresh SW:Pain in the midst of their rotation, neither does Unholy have to spend a sizable chunk of its time (and focus) on its dots.

Frost, on the other hand, has you applying them as much as ever. It’s not fun. Outbreak doesn’t alleviate the problem – it makes it worse. Yes, Outbreak is free in the sense that it doesn’t have a resource cost and that it applies both diseases at once, but it’s incredibly expensive when you consider it’s costing you an entire GCD of absolutely no damage. Not just that, but it’s annoying to use; you obviously can’t use it for all of your disease application needs on a boss encounter – let alone 5 man trash packs, where you’re often switching targets (and Pest, which I’ll get to later, isn’t the best option in a world where CC actually matters).

I’m not saying anything needs to change for Frost (although lowering Outbreak’s CD or, at the least, offering a glyph which resets the cooldown whenever you make a kill granting exp/honor for solo purposes, would be most welcome). It’s simply a very noticeable contrast between the two specs; and it fits, flavor wise. Unholy is supposed to be about diseases – until now, all that’s actually meant is that they hit somewhat harder. Woo-hoo. Now that also means they’re much more convenient to maintain and less troublesome to worry about. It might not seem like a huge deal (after all, diseases aren’t truly difficult or anything like that), but it’s a very nice feature of the spec.

Cooldowns

Unholy’s are much more natural to use – Unholy Frenzy is resource free and off the GCD, and Gargoyle’s resource cost isn’t near as obnoxious as Pillar of Frost’s single rune one. On the downside, Unholy Frenzy has the health hit and Gargoyle still does melee (although there are some new ways I’ve found to avoid it).

In Frost’s favor, PoF is more immediate in effect than either of Unholy’s CD, not to mention the shorter cooldown makes it easier to line up with other buffs.

I’ld say both specs are pretty equal in this regard (in terms of ease of use and “feel”, remember, not numbers – where PoF would clearly win 1-on-1).  Each cooldown has it’s drawbacks and it’s upsides. Nice balance all around.

Runic Power

Both trees are just absolutely over-flowing with RP at the moment. Between the buff to Dirge/CotG and the unannounced buff (or bug?) with base runic power generation, each spec has more RP than it knows what to do with, and thus I can’t really compare them.

If I were to guess, either base RP generation was increased to phase out Dirge/CotG as talents or the base RP generation increase is simply a buff. I can’t imagine the two both being intended to exist and to coexist. If it does stay that way, then suffice is to say Frost 2H isn’t a possibility anymore – MotFW just isn’t necessary! – and Magic Suppression isn’t worth it for Unholy – you’ll be capped enough as is.

New Rune System

Honestly, due to the above runic power state of beta, I don’t even notice the difference in the rune system for either spec. Less rune abilities used, many more runic power abilities used. Just as many buttons pushed, but with the benefit that lag doesn’t hurt you (especially with instant ability queueing).

Death Runes

In normal play, death runes should affect both specs equally. More Obliterates for Frost, more Scourge Strikes for Unholy. Both predictable and reliable. Nothing special to note.

Currently, however, as I’m sure anyone following any DK beta tester already knows, death runes are severally bugged. They just don’t work; they appear in the natural purple, sure, but can’t actually be used for anything other than the normal rune beneath. Thus, in this bugged state it’s important to note that it gives Unholy an edge. You can just continue to use Festering Strike, which doesn’t actually have a negative effect on your rotation (it’s a positive one, if anything; less GCDs used and longer diseases). As Frost, the bug is a bit more crippling, as all you can do with the death runes is Blood Strike, which does screw you up (more GCDs used, combined with fewer Rime procs).

So, yeah, death runes you don’t really notice as Unholy. As Frost, it’s incredibly debilitating. It’s definitely a bug, however, so once it’s fixed, it should be a nonissue for both specs.

Runic Empowerment

Despite the fact that RE still lacks any sort of notice or what have you… I haven’t had any issue with it as of late. Why? I just ignore it and use Oblit/BS or Festering/SS when I can, and RE simply expedites the opportunities to do so.

Yes, from a raw dps perspective, on paper, it would seem to be better to use the procs immediately on PS/HB/BS or SS/IT/BS as appropriate… but that’s only the case when you’re not GCD capped. Both specs are, and much worse than my (now dated) predictions showed, and thus you can just treat RE like it doesn’t exist, and do a priority system which doesn’t even have PS/IT (aside from actually applying diseases) in it.

Assuming they fix the global capped issues of the spec, then trying to use RE as it procs is a nightmare. I’ve tried. You just can’t do it, as stands. With no way to know when it will proc, what it will proc, or even that it procced, it’s just terrible and may as well not exist. Whatever else, there needs to be some sort of notification that it procced (and what it procced) – although, ideally, the ability will get some sort of tweaking in actual design.

Procs

Sudden Doom verse Rime. Oh, my.

SD is incredibly bland. You’re going to hit Death Coil regardless; all the talent does is make it free occasionally. You don’t actually have to change how you play 90% of the time, that other 10% being when it procs between two rune based abilities and an auto-attack would occur (and proc it again) after using the first and before the GCD of the second was up. In general, you just don’t have to pay it any heed. This would still be the case even if runic power wasn’t so prevalent.

Rime, on the other hand, actually makes you do something you wouldn’t normally do. Howling Blast just isn’t a part of a normal rotation, for obvious reasons, so using it mixes stuff up.

In this area, Frost easily wins. But considering that’s the design intention, not a bad thing!

AoEing

How the mighty have fallen.

For lack of more elegant wording, Unholy plain sucks to AoE with! Even if DnD didn’t have it’s damage absolutely emasculated, even if Pestilence still spread diseases at full potency, even if Wandering Plague was no longer MIA, this would still be the case. Why? A couple reasons. First off, Pest and Festering do not synergize well. Short of counting to 30 in your head (or having an add-on, which you can’t), it becomes impossible to know when you need to spread diseases again! Secondly, our AoE rotation now matches our single target rotation save for two substitutions – BS for Pest/BB and SS for DnD. You could make a macro which DnD’d instead of SS’d when you held, say, shift, and you would then press the same buttons in the same order! Third, Jinx blows Pestilence + Ebon Plague out of the water! Don’t get me wrong; Warlocks (and Moonkin) needed a way to AoE their debuff or we needed to lose the ability to do so with ours. But Warlocks can do it so much more efficiently than us – first gcds of the fight instead of the second/third, 40 yard range from the mob instead of 15, doesn’t break CC, etctera.

Frost, on the other hand, doesn’t have any of these issues. You don’t have to keep track of diseases ticking at different times on different mobs. Your rotation actually changes by more than just substitutions but actual replacements. Your utility debuff can be spread equally as those of others.

Unholy, your supremacy in this regard will be missed!

Overall

With all of that in mind, it should come as no surprise when I say that Frost is much more enjoyable to play in five mans while Unholy has it beat when it comes to boss fights, dummy testing, and raw soloing. It would take very few, minor tweaks to level out those imbalances, and even if it wasn’t changed, such differences exist on live anyways.

I’m really leveling both specs, though. I’ve been a fan of 2H Frost since I first got into beta, and now Unholy is finally getting its groove back. Play wise, even with the bugs, both trees are (god forbid I say it) fun. Shocking, I know.

At this point, I would expect them to focus more on getting our trees up to snuff with the new talent philosophy, weeding out the bugs, making sure latecoming additions (such as mastery, which is currently out of the picture) don’t mess anything up, and then get to number balancing. I would be surprised if either Unholy or Frost were to get any heavy playstyle changes (aside from a simple nerf to runic generation, thus leading to a non-capped rotation, and hopefully a RE modification).

Things are really starting to shape up.

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49 Responses to The “Feel” – Unholy v. Frost

  1. Fahar says:

    Hi consider,

    Would you mind to make a graphic of the rotation for UH and Frost as it stands in the Beta. (like the ones you made to analyse the gcd situation a while back)

    I just can picture how we will keep our runes lined up with the new FS + RE procs + AoE (using pest/BB) for UH. And how frost will run it with having to keep up PoF + single rune HB + Obl (using 2 runes).

    It all just sounds fairly chaotic to me. Maybe I’m wrong.

    • Consider says:

      I have to be up early in the morning, bu I’ll try to throw something up in that vein late tomorrow evening, hopefully.

      It sounds chaotic, but it only is when you try to write it as an actual rotation. When you just look at it as priority in the abstract, it’s not that bad at all: Diseases > DC if capped/SD > SS > Festering > DC > BS/IT/PS for Unholy and Diseases > FS if capped > Rime > Obliterate > FS > BS > IT/PS or what have you for Frost.

  2. Anaroth says:

    I’d actually like to see them make howling blast baseline, and give frost a decent single target frost based strike, that you could tie in to rime.

    Blood and Unholy don’t really have any ae use for frost runes atm, the best bet is either to get a full strength icy touch on another target, or to convert them to death runes using Death/Festering Strike. With the long cooldown on DnD, unholy and frost also has issues finding a good use for unholy runes, although an easy solution would be to make the plague strike part of crimson scourge available to dps specs.

  3. Ordac says:

    Hey Consider, this is my first time posting on the site, though I’ve been following it for a couple of months now. Wanted to say thanks, for the amount of time you put into both this blog and the Unholy write-up over at EJ.

    From what you wrote in the overall section (Frost is better in 5-mans whereas Unholy pulls ahead in raid bosses), it sort of disappointed me to see that Unholy was definitively “better” than Frost. I’ve been Unholy ever since my DK hit 80, but I was thinking about going Frost for Cataclysm. I realize you haven’t done any math yet, but again, just going by your “feel”, would you say that Frost could be close enough to Unholy in DPS and utility to be considered a viable raiding spec? Or is it sort of trudging behind too much for me to make my switch?

    • Consider says:

      I’ve done math, it just isn’t worth posting/doesn’t really matter. In terms of actual damage, Frost is way above Unholy. Like, head over heals. Solo or group, single target or AoE, Frost easily wins out, even with it’s damage having been halved this past patch. Don’t worry about the numbers, though.

      And in terms of utility, I’ld argue Frost now wins (although it’s close). All Unholy has is EP (which doesn’t increase the disease damage of others, now, remember), which Jinx wipes the floor with. Frost has Imp Icy Talons, which is as nice as ever, and Brittle Bones, which is relatively rare (and I’m not sure if others can spread it AoE?).

      In terms of actual damage and utility, Frost is more than fine, but damage/utility aren’t the things to concern one’s self with. It’s a matter of playstyle and fluidity, and the two specs are pretty much equal (if vastly different) in that regard.

  4. kc102 says:

    Is the ghoul still a pretty DoT?

    • Consider says:

      Yes, but now since GF is worth using, he’s a pretty *red* DoT!

      • Jonneh says:

        heh ;p

        No way to track it except via addons I assume though?

        Being *red* is all well and good, but not on a bossfight when there are 50 other pets and 25 other players potentially standing on top of it!

      • kc102 says:

        I remember designing a spec which had a point over in Imp. IT, but with GF are you 3/3 Morbidity and nothing into Frost?

  5. 7alisman says:

    Ghoul is definitely still still an auto attack bot, but at least the new frenzy allows for ‘some’ interaction

  6. Raaj says:

    So what is the point of nerfing DK ae if they are going to buff the other classes to be where we were (or even above where we were). I thought Blizzard was trying to tone down all ae, not just change which classes are best at it.

    • Jonneh says:

      The problem comes from the double edged sword we seem to have had stuck in our backs;

      Passive AoE is bad. People who got ‘free’ DPS just from other targets being next to the one they were hitting. We were the main target of this nerf, along with paladins and warriors.

      dnd being nerfed “INTO THE GROUND”(tm)

      The second I really have no idea why. Basically blizzard has not liked the “lol stack and aoe” style of wotlk, so the people who did that the best are getting the stick. We’re not the only ones, but as you say.. as the best we have been hit the hardest.

      • Hinenuitepo says:

        True, without a doubt Blizzard has made a campaign of killing the ‘stack and aoe’ approach, although I’d take issue that ‘we’re the best.’ With 3-4 targets, we weren’t even close to warriors or pallys, and with sindragosa-type trash packs, both types of dps druids have gotten insane.
        Still, the main point of nerfing aoe has indeed been to reduce all types.
        I’d like to see the spreading of debuffs still be as good as locks have it on beta, if not the aoe dps itself.

  7. tjn says:

    So, if it’s possible to keep unholy’s diseases up permanently, could that then lead back to rolling the diseases akin to the old GoDisease?

    • Jonneh says:

      I’m not sure how this works under the new system, but its worth remembering that under the current plans (at least iirc) all dots will scale with haste etc.

      Currently anyone and everyone who has a “refresh” mechanic also resets the stat co-efficients for their dots whenever they reset. The question is, does NS reset as well, or does it “extend” and bypass the code which forces dots to re-gather thier stats.

      The second would be over-powered and contrary to stated objectives, so we should seek clarification. I doubt it’d end up being the case at live.

    • Consider says:

      Diseases refresh their AP/Crit value each tick now, so no more rolling. Besides, I would bet GoD gets removed when they look at glyphs.

  8. Jonneh says:

    Doesn’t surprise me that frost is so much better at the moment. I blame Scourge Strike. But I suppose they had to get NS in to test before they could decide on how to rework SS. If NS was/is a flop then I suspect they’ll go back to a 2 rune SS solution.

    I dont see why our active AoE has to be so hurt. I especially don’t see why the aoe magic debuff has to be better on the other classes all of a sudden.

    This comes from the fall from grace which pestilence has suffered, being the tool of the “free aoe dps” which is now considered heracy. So unless they come up with a solution to it, we’re going to spend an expansion suffering at the hands of old design leftovers which are no longer popular with designers.

  9. defiant says:

    So as of current beta mechanics, would you say that unholy will be unable to be played with a strict rotation (as it much is now) I for one am extremely comfortable with the standard rotations. And its hard to see unholy played with the kind of priority list found in frost on live.

    • Consider says:

      Yeah, pretty much. SD, although an unpredictable proc, just doesn’t require you to actually do anything differently, and RE is ignorable (in a sense) in a gcd-capped environment.

  10. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    Considering how much I enjoy Unholy’s AoE dominance right now (not on trash but actual boss fights), I know Cataclysm is initially going to make me want to cry. I do wish they’d let us have our cake and eat it too by reintroducing CC and letting AoE remain as fun.
    Still, with all the other perks in store, I’m sure I’ll get over it eventually. I would encourage players to try and squeeze out as much for their DKs right now as they can for the remainder of Wrath- we have some massive changes incoming!

    Consider, might I suggest a “nostalgia” post in which you cover the development of DK DPS (or just Unholy DPS if you want to narrow it down) over WoTLK?
    I think it’d be fun to reminisce over our insane OP-ness from Naxx days all the way to gnashing our teeth at Fury Warriors in ICC these days. Topics of discussion could include builds used, what made them so popular, where they excelled, how they got nerfed, etc. Anecdotes would be welcome!

    • Consider says:

      Such a post would be quite lengthy, considering all of the changes DKs have been through! I could certainly do it sometime later this week though, if it’s of interest. Unholy alone has been though at least six different “eras”, if you will, in terms of speccing/rotation.

      • Nineswords says:

        I speak for a lot of people, when I say this will be of great interest.

      • Ordac says:

        I’d like to see that too.

      • Jonneh says:

        I’m not so sure that’d be fun.

        Thinking about how much we’ve been jerked around and reworked really makes me a bit annoyed tbh, especially with how the latest rework ended with us stuck in dps obscurity and yet still *required* because of our unique/strong buffs, forcing many of us to be frustrated at the crappyness of unholy/hot fixed ss and unable to give frost a go because our raid needed the debuffs.

      • Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

        *Points to comment*

  11. raxxnamas says:

    Having lived all the changes, I can remember them all clearly. Whilst playing live the other night, I realised how much I enjoy the way UH plays on Live. I simply cannot find anything about the new UH that are a positive compared to how UH Dk’s are at the moment, and this saddens me greatly.

    2h Frost might be the saviour for me, as so far, it actually seems quite fun to play, having used it in a few instance runs, it was a challenge, but an enjoyable one, reminds me of playing Retadin with its FCFS style rotation.

    Consider, you are doing a great job with your testing, keep it up

  12. Mysiana says:

    Consider,

    I was just curious if you were going to try out a tank spec at all during the beta? I am very interested in seeing how the new changes will affect our tanking style (making us even MORE of a cooldown-king from what I understand).

    As far as the dps specs go, I am very happy to hear that they are both on par with each other. I have always liked the proc-based frost specs because they aren’t as boring (and I hate pets), but it seems that Unholy is coming around and I almost like the idea of not having to micro manage diseases.

    Keep up the good work! I am very excited about our Cataclysm changes, and everytime you bring us new information it’s like a shot of caffeine – oh how I wish I could test it out for myself!

    • Branith says:

      Might I suggest checking out Pwnwear.com for your tanking needs. Id appreciate if you stick to the DPS side of things Consider. : )

      • Anonymous says:

        Pwnwear loads INCREDIBLY slow for me, which is why I asked here.

      • Consider says:

        I’ve tried out tanking, certainly, but I don’t currently have any intentions to do a real write-up on the subject, as Pwnwear probably does a better job than I could, and most of the audience here is likely dps-oriented. Even if Pwnwear loads slow, I would imagine it has an RSS feed you can subscribe to, which would then let you still read Gravity’s posts, at the very least.

        That said, if you have any specific questions or whatever on tanking, you’re more than welcome to email or PM me, and assuming I’m able to, I’ld be happy to answer them.

  13. QXQ says:

    As was the case in WotLK Beta, I’ve found it enjoyable to see the design of the class evolve as problems are found and solved (sometimes creating new problems in the process). The new strike really seems to contribute to the Unholy identity.

    A recent GC post lists “mage, rogue, shaman and warrior” as the classes that are “farthest along” in design, which implies there are still a good amount of additional changes and tweaks in store for DK’s! I’m thinking that right now they’re at a similar point with DK’s as with hunters; they’re trying some different things with our resource mechanics to make sure the feel of them is how they want, and then they’ll give the trees another design pass with that established.

  14. Legatus says:

    I am interested in your opinion on which spec “Unholy” or “Frost”, based on the latest beta build would feel more like the current live “Blood” spec. I remember reading Blizzard wanted to adjust the Frost tree to feel a bit more like Blood but haven’t read any posts indicating this.

    I think many of us Blood dps’ers out there are wondering which tree were are going to switch to come Cataclysm and any insight you could give on which spec will be an easier transition would be greatly appreciated.

    • Baphomette says:

      I’d be very surprised to learn if Frost were the more live-Blood-like of the two, particularly in light of FeS and its generating Death Runes. The big thing Blood and Frost have in common is the lack of permapet, and the only hard part about transitioning from a Blood rotation to Unholy is retraining your muscle memory.

      • Consider says:

        Unholy is definitely much more Blood-esqe. No question. DC as a runic dump + single rune strike as the cornerstone + premium on hit/expertise caps, and so on.

  15. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    GC’s latest DK-centric comment didn’t sit well with me- he specifically stated that Frost is being developed along a priority system, while Unholy is being developed along a rotation.

    As a dedicated Unholy DK, I will say that I have never, ever been able to stick to a rotation. I’ve always used a priority system with Unholy, and for it much more enjoyable to do so. Of course this could be because I use Glyph of Disease (special situation, I’m aware it’s not “standard”), and hence don’t have 21 second disease timers limiting me. But in general, when considering movement, Revitalize procs and AMS soaking, I’d just feel too restricted by the idea of a rotation.
    However, I can also see why other DKs might consider Unholy in its current incarnation (especially GoD-less) to be rotation based- we simply don’t have that many interesting procs like Frost does.

    In Cataclysm, I was very happy to hear about the idea of Runic Empowerment and Sudden Doom forcing us to go to a pure priority system. I sincerely hope the way some Unholy DKs use a priority system right now, is not affected too badly by this design intent.

    • Jonneh says:

      > Revitalize procs and AMS soaking, I’d just feel too restricted by the idea of a rotation.

      Well you’re probaby out of luck, because they’re both going in cata!

      Speccing AMS atm is a pvp talent, because you’re GCD capped without the extra RP.

  16. Leodar says:

    I’m glad they’ve decided to keep the two specs different, but let’s make sure we clarify a few comments I’ve been reading.

    First of all, both DPS specs use a priority system. In frost, your priorities are based around procs, and in unholy, your priority based on disease uptime, DC usage, and SS/FeS. I’m not going to write it out, you can find it further up in comments. The difference is that unholy’s priorities can be established and maintained through a relatively simple rotation, lining up powerful, disease enhanced strikes.

    Tuning UH gameplay into something like Frost would be a big design mistake. Possible improvements to UH have been documented and discussed at length in this blog and other locations. I’m not making a post to say that everything is great, because we know that while things look good there is room for improvement. However, suggesting things that won’t or shouldn’t happen is counterproductive.

  17. Leodar says:

    I was curious about some of the info regarding the AE nerfing. We know that AE carpet bombing will be a thing of the past, which I think most people agree is a good change. So, in general, when I see people dismayed with AE weakness I’m having trouble distinguishing the “QQ” from the “actual problem”.

    Not sure how many beta testers are posting on this blog in addition to Consider, but I’d love to hear if these changes have caused problems when questing, when in the past you would encounter mobs that must be pulled as a group.

  18. Roth says:

    It would be nice if GC would respond to the fact that Unholy will almost certainly become a DW spec unless they make some changes and if they plan on doing anything about it.

    • Samuelel Jenkins says:

      Wait.. So if
      “Unholy will almost certainly become a DW spec”
      and
      “Frost 2H isn’t a possibility anymore – MotFW just isn’t necessary”
      Do I have to tank if i want to use a 2H?? (and be competitive)

    • kc102 says:

      I thought DW only won when we were not GCD capped.

      • Roth says:

        Im sure theyre going to fix our GCD issues soon enough. I doubt they want us to end up like Boomkins where Haste is worthless for us.

      • Anaroth says:

        DW can potential win even if we’re GCD capped depending on the relative damage of abilties.
        If DC hits hard enough then you could choose to use it over runes for strikes. Furthermore setting yourself up with a CG offhand could definitely boost your DC damage.

        The main thing that DW has going for it is the number of sudden doom procs, and that’s an easy thing to fix, just make it MH ppm like they did to killing machine.

        They’ve pretty much committed to having DW frost, and 2H specs for all trees as specs they’re going to balance around. They’ve also said that DW tanking would be viable, however you would lose some threat. (They’re changing the NPC parry model a bit, so parry gibbing doesn’t occur).
        Personally I’d like to see DW unholy as a viable spec if it doesn’t take too much to get it to that point. In my mind, as a DPS DK you should be able to switch between DPS specs without having to re-gear much and that should be true whether you DW or not. (Okay that’s slightly controversial)

    • Branith says:

      I still dont see how DW will win out, do I think it can be competitive? yes, but not overtake. remember we lose Icy Talons, and we will be unable to put full talent points in Nerves of Cold Steel and Blood Caked Blade.

      This isnt to mention we will be gaining alot of Strike damage with new Festering Strike converting those into Death runes, which will be reminicent of a WotLK Blood DPS style. I just dont see DW clearly pulling ahead.

  19. Nikolos says:

    I disagree that Runic Empowerment should be ignored. In fact, I think Unholy (especially DW Unholy) gets the most benefit from it.

    The key is that according to the tooltip, RE will only refresh a fully depleted rune. Given the current refresh mechanics, the easiest way to use this is to only let our U runes be depleted. Our rotation should be PS-IT-BS to set up the diseases, followed by SS, then a FeS every 10 seconds (when those two runes are fully recharged), or every 20 once death runes are fixed. This should force every RE proc to refresh an Unholy rune, and if you are DW Unholy, the synergy between Sudden Doom and RE should up the DPS dramatically.

    Of course, it’s hard to test on beta because the rune display is horrible and death runes are bugged, but the theory is sound.

  20. Anaroth says:

    I assume that they want us to DPS in unholy presence, and that we won’t be GCD capped using our normal “rotation” for unholy. That gives us about 5.8 moves per rune refresh (with no external melee haste/gear, and no latency effects)

    If we assume a double refresh cycle (to account for death runes), then we do 1 Fs and 4 SS with our runes, with a 2H we get 1 SD proc (far more reasonable than the inflated DW values), and we’ll say enough RP to do 3 more DCs, that proc about 2 more runes through RE which we’ll say are used on single rune attacks. As pointed out above me, you can force them to be unholy runes, although I suspect that isn’t necessarily optimal. That gives us 11 GCDs is your double cycle, so we’re very close to being GCD capped, which is where they perhaps want us to be anyway.

    Your double cycle takes about 17 seconds, and even with 1 point epidemic you can extend your diseases beyond a minute, meaning you can just use outbreak to put them up. Out + FS + SS, creates 1 more death rune and 6 second longer diseases than IT+PS + BS, so I suspect it’s a better way of keeping up diseases on a single target.

  21. Jonneh says:

    The strange RP abundance has to be a strange bug, surely.

    I just remembered, didn’t GC post a while back that they wanted to avoid Deathcoil becoming a mainstay goto spam button because its overpowered for one for a melee class to be able to dps at range like a machinegun, and for two they wanted to concentrate more on the strikes for each tree as the ‘signature’ ability for DKs.

    • Consider says:

      I’m not sure if it’s a bug, in the general sense. I’m of the mind that it’s likely something Blizzard was (is?) legimately trying out internally as a replacement to Dirge/Chill of the Grave. The new amounts without those talents would still be superior RP generation than the old amounts with those talents… particularly for tanks.

      Future builds will confirm one way or another, but it seems too coincidental to be a bug! Doesn’t have the same nature.

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