Delusions – New Rune System

If there’s one good thing which has come from our complete lack of official feedback it is that it has caused people to examine and re-examine our issues over and over again, and although there haven’t been any startling revelations or sudden epiphanies regarding how to resolve our present beta issues (and I wouldn’t expect any to come at this point), more discussion – even if it doesn’t always help – certainly can’t hurt. Just over the past weekend there’s been half a dozen threads (which, for the most part, are all relatively productive) discussing and debating our current state and various means by which our problems could be alleviated.

There is, unfortunately, one line I’ve seen stated in every single one of these discussions; some variation of “the new rune system is broken”. Sometimes it’s simply assumed as truth as the poster then “demands” a revert to the old system or some complete and utterly unnecessary reworking of the new one, while other times it’s just blatantly declared broken without any explanation or logical argument.

I’m sorry to ruin the party but, no, our new rune system is not in any way inherently flawed.  Any of the numerous faults people like to mistakenly credit to the system all come from some other change to the class:

Attributed Problem: Frost and Unholy being GCD capped.
Actual Cause(s): Runic Empowerment, for the most part. Rime’s increased proc rate, the introduction of Sudden Doom, the increase in base runic power generation, the buff to Chill of the Grave, the runic power generation modifer of Frost Presence,  the rune regen modifer of Unholy Presence, and the new haste functionality are all contributing factors as well.
Why The Misconception: Honestly, I have no clue why people get this confused! It’s pretty obvious that the new rune system compared to the old – ignoring everything else – has more empty globals, not less. The fact that we’re capped isn’t any sort of failure with the system itself.

Attributed Problem: Blood lacking GCD fillers.
Actual Cause(s): The lack of a Rime/Sudden Doom talent, the lack of a Chill of the Grave/Dirge talent, the nerf to avoidance, and the conflicting nature of Death Rune Mastery and the increased emphasis on Death Strike.
Why The Misconception: Don’t get me wrong – yes, the new system definitely adds to Blood’s issues, but those issues would be there regardless, just covered up by the quick rune regeneration. The fact is, Blood doesn’t have any proc’s like Rime or Sudden Doom – Crimson Scourge is as close as you get, and I don’t think I need to explain how terrible and incomparable it is. The fact is, Blood doesn’t have any runic power increasing talent like Chill of the Grave and Dirge, and although Scent of Blood might seem close in overall result, it doesn’t have the same effect when offtanking or maintanking a caster. The fact is, our avoidance rates will be way down by the time we hit level 85 – as Blizzard freely admits – and yet Rune Strike, our spec and role specific runic dump is still tied to parrying/dodging (if they removed that requirement, 90% of Blood’s rotational issues would be gone, at least in terms of empty space). The fact is, Death Rune Mastery should eat up extra globals, but we have little incentive to take advantage of it with the current emphasis on Death Strike. The fact is, the new rune system might not help Blood, but it’s not hurting it nearly as much as other changes are.

Attributed Problem: The rotation seeming “whack-a-mole”.
Actual Cause(s): Runic Empowerment.
Why The Misconception: Once again, I’m not sure how people get this one confused. The new rune system is as predictable as the old, and functions in the exact same manner aside from the fact that it’s slowed down. RE is the pretty obvious culprit to the feeling that runes come up in random and unpredictable orders, and we’re left at the whim of RNG as to what we can hit.

Attributed Problem: Cooldown resource costs being limiting.
Actual Cause(s): Cooldowns having resource costs.
Why The Misconception: Vampiric Blood, Bone Shield, Pillar of Frost (/Unbreakable Armor)… their costs are just as obnoxious on live as they are on beta, just as illogical in the old system as they are in the new. Yeah, we can use Blood Tap to cover for it, now and in the future, but there’s little point to the spell if it has to be lined up with a cooldown in order to effectively use them. All the new rune system does is make this dated mechanic more apparent. It doesn’t make the mechanic dated itself.

Attributed Problem: The class being “broken” in beta.
Actual Cause: None, because it isn’t true.
Why The Misconception: I understand our lack of feedback and lack of changes are frustrating. I understand people dislike change, especially when what little change we have received has been flawed in various manners. I understand people are just angry in general. But the class isn’t broken. We’re perfectly functional – flawed, but functional. If the numbers were right (which they inevitably will be), we’ll be able to tank and dps just fine, even if not a single thing changes from our current beta state. Yeah, we might do so in odd manners – dual-wielding as Unholy in Frost presence while treating Runic Empowerment procs as passive rune regen and not actual procs, for instance – but we wouldn’t actually be broken in the sense that something just plain isn’t working. There’s a large different between “not working” and “not working as intended or as is logical or most player-friendly”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ld love to see our problems fixed, and I’m sure it will happen in due time, but to say we’re broken (as a whole or in regards to the new rune system specifically) is a gross exaggeration.

Does the new rune system have actual issues? Sure: non-damage abilities didn’t have their effect or cost adjusted to reflect for the relatively more valuable nature of individual runes, abilities weren’t switched from the rune system to the runic power system, rune abilities likely aren’t strong enough in power (while runic power abilities are too strong in comparison), and so on. The thing is, all of these problems were the sort of stuff Blizzard very specifically said in the preview and elsewhere that they were aware would likely come about and would tackle once they did. They just… haven’t. Not yet, anyways.

When stating a problem, make sure you’re actually aware of what’s causing it. It keeps your feedback accurate and constructive, and specific to the matter at hand. Hyperbole or misdirection never helps!

When stating proposed solutions (which I’ve seen a lot of lately, which may or may not be coincidental!), remember to keep in mind what actually needs solving and what doesn’t. It keeps your suggestions more realistic and understandable to your average forum-goer, not to mention more likely to actually come to pass. Yeah, it might seem cool to completely change the focus of a tree or to completely overhaul (which the new rune system doesn’t do) a resource system, but neither needs to happen to solve our problems, and doing so is just needless and will likely turn off more people (especially devs) then it will attract.

Anyways, not a real full-fledged topic, but it’s a subject that’s been bugging me. I’ll likely make another “real post” later today, although it will likely be after I work.

62 Responses to Delusions – New Rune System

  1. Skaarrj says:

    So how does Runic Empowerment with frost supposed to do? What if it pops blood runes and frost runes instead of blood and unholy? Do we use Festering Strike then?

    I hate Runic Empowerment. It makes everything confusing. And frost not having a 1 rune single target damage pve attack is confusing. I think we all know howling blast will get nerfed for single target. We just haven’t seen it yet.

    Honestly I don’t care about unholy. It’s frost I care about, and it seems to be getting the shaft. Festering Strike does interesting things, but Obliterate seemingly does not.

    • Roth says:

      I love the idea behind Runic Empowerment…but at times it feels like Blizzard simply forgets how DKs work. Attaching random abilities together (PS and BB via Crimson Scourge) or proccing random Runes (RE) just flat out doesnt work. There are only a few ways RE can work:

      1.) Change RE so that it procs rune sets, depending upon spec. For example.
      Blood: RE can proc 1B or 1F/1U.
      Frost: RE can proc 1B or 1F/1U (then add something to BS for Frost to make Blood Runes more interesting)
      Unholy: RE can prof 1B/1F or 1U.

      2.) Change RE to work like Omen of Clarity.

      3.) Change RE to proc a specific ability for each spec. For example: Blood = DS. Frost = FS. Unholy = SS.

      • Consider says:

        There’s actually numerous other ways to make it work! Dozens of them, really, but almost all of them come down to letting us use abilities we actually care about – which isn’t PS or IT when diseases don’t need to be refreshed.

      • Roth says:

        Agreed. The assumption I was making is that their intention for RE is to allow us to use our spec defining spells more often. So in order to accomplish that, there are only a few ways RE can go. Although maybe Im wrong there too! Now if they just want RE to be interesting (and are open to suggestions like your “arcane missiles” idea) then yea, theres absolutely a ton of ways to change RE.

        Id much prefer the arcane missiles thing, tbh. Spamming FS/SS makes for big numbers but is ultimately somewhat bland.

      • Zombona says:

        an interesting approach for runic empowerment and the whole GCD capped thing would be to add an extra strike to runic empowerment. when you frost strike you have % chance to instanly cause another frost strike at half the runic power cost. so for frost a runic empowerment proc would make you get a double frost strike for 32+16=48 runic power. and for unholy you could have the same thing for death coil so a double death coil for 60 runic power. i am sure using this idea someone will figure something out for blood

      • kc102 says:

        Unholy: Eliminates the chance for rune-based abilities to proc Runic Empowerment, instead, your Blood Plague ticks have a X% chance to reduce the remaining cooldown on your Summon Gargoyle by Y seconds
        Frost: When ever Runic Empowerment would proc, it instead gives a free Death Coil that does Shadowfrost damage.

        Then change RE to only proc blood runes and you’re set for Blood.

  2. Rebellion says:

    Well, to be honest: I think alot of people just blame the new rune system for these things because

    a.) they expected a diffrent implementation, along the lines of a rune pool that you start draining also by using rune 1 first and then the 2nd rune. Not the current implementation that makes you wait for you to use one rune and just then the other is only capable of recharging (I apologize for the lack of fancy words, can’t remember them off the top of my head). Even though it is is not an actual problem, just flavor.

    b.many get the feeling that the new rune system was just not needed. Things like runic empowerment, and other strange things just happened because blizzard tried to bring in something new (alot of people didn’t like in the first place) and then even failed so far to achieve their primal goal. As far as I’m concerned they could as well have increased the cooldown of runes by 5-10 seconds. Thats enough room for additional skills (which aren’t there) and even more room for actual haste scaling, even though I think the haste scaling will always prove problematic. With high gear levels there will always be a point where haste is no longer wanted or we have so many emptgy gcds that we are bored.

    Of course you are right it isn’t the direct fault of the new rune system, but in the end it is its indirect fault. The problems of many just originated from the new system in one way or another, even if they could be fixed elsewhere.

  3. Leodar says:

    This has been bugging me for a while too. I’m constantly seeing posts on “how to fix” which are basically complete overhauls to the current class (many of which ignore Blood, as it seems people have no idea how to create a tank – interesting). This post speaks to 2 other things for me as well.

    First, that Blizzard is sort of right in that DKs don’t NEED a major change, what we need is some adjustments to the current state. I believe I read here or elsewhere that Blizz stated there would be no more major class overhauls. Good. Fix our known issues and we don’t need a class overhaul.

    Second, I wonder about the DK beta testers. There is no question that beta testers like you are out there, posting with specific and accurate information that the devs can use. Unfortunately, the majority of the DK community I have met over the last expansion are …… clueless (not really sure what word fits here)? Now, many of them can and have read the threads at EJ, and are chanted, gemmed, and run their priorities right – but they don’t really understand how the mechanics of the class – they just know which buttons to push. Is it possible the DK beta community has fewer intelligent voices than the other classes that have been around longer? I support an open beta, but when I run a random with a 2/41/20 DK with spell power plate and grey quality cloth gloves (no lie, my guilds website will have screenshots soon) I worry.

    • Sag says:

      I think I ran with that guy before. I know everyone here is thinking that I just had to say it. Also I looked quickly through your guild website. Picture?

  4. frostfright says:

    People see the new rune system as the culprit behind our many problems because these problems all showed up/became apparent around the same time the rune system changed. It’s pretty much that simple.

    Blizzard made a pretty big blunder when they unveiled a relatively controversial change to our resource mechanics, and then only worked on it a small bit before moving on to other classes. They really needed to do it all together, because the result of leaving us in a very incomplete state causes people to throw the blame on the new rune system, and that causes unproductive feedback and “Change it back!!!” posts.

    Honestly, I’m not sure why they changed the rune system and put in a non-intuitive runic empowerment mechanic instead of just leaving it like live until they were ready to actually iterate on those new systems. The DK community has basically said every possible thing that can be said in terms of our problems, how they can be fixed, and what we would like to see happen. The main thread has petered out and is just repeating things at this point. All we can really do is wait for some actual class changes. Looking forward to this Thursday/Friday! =D

  5. Jonneh says:

    unfortunately while everything you say is true it still doesn’t change the fact that we know what the problems are, and always have..

    I assume the issues have been posted and talked about on the US forums?

    Might I suggest a new thread, exactly like this. List the issues, causes and possible solutions. no whine, no QQ, but ask for some help from blizzard/GC. Its not like we can really be of any more value talking about stuff anymore. Either blizzard are aware of the issues and are fixing them, but they’ve not told us – in which case all it needs is a “Yes we know, we’re working on it”. Or our worst fear, the fear which this silence creates, is actually true and they don’t think these are issues of note and are just doing nothing about it.

    Either way, I think the only way forward is to seek to engage developers in a constructive way. Either they’ll reply or they wont.

    If I could post somewhere that meant anything I’d do it myself, but sadly that responsibility falls to you guys on that side of the pond.

    • frostfright says:

      Yeah there’s atleast one thread like that already. It’s basically a comprehensive list of all known issues and many ideas to fix it.

  6. Nahela says:

    I think the biggest misconception about the new rune system is people fail to see that the old rune system prevents any significant changes to the class occurring. To significantly change the class, the rune system needed a hefty reworking which it’s getting now.

    • Rebellion says:

      So does the new one. If you think about it: Nothing changed at all. You still want to spend your runes on your strongest attacks and special abilities (like bone shield) that use runes still throw your rotation off (even with the rare ocasion of a lucky RE proc), You are still limited by the combination of runes and their availability.

      To make room for new abilities the new rune system was not needed at all, they could have just increased the recharge time of each rune by a few seconds. The problem about losing dps when you don’t spend your runes fast enough could have been fixed with ability quing (sic?) like they did in beta last time I heared.

      If anything truly limits this class it is the concept of runes as a 1/0 resource. A binary descion only allows so much choices, even if you have it 6 times.

      • Aram says:

        This is why I believe the rune system is fated for a total redesign from the ground up. The current system (or even the system on Beta) is not different than the way Paladins were played pre-Holy Power. We just use every rune like clock work when it comes off cooldown without thought. We are not doing anything interesting and we are not managing anything like what other classes do. This is simply bad design. I assume they want to attempt to make this rune system workable because its hard to kill an idea outright, especially in a game this large. So for at least the next expansion (2 years), this rune system is staying as is in one form or another.

        In regards to Considers main point, I agree that they aren’t “major” or “game-breaking” like some have stated but the solutions are. Unlike other classes, we have a lot of rotational overlap such that changing one ability can change it for another spec. The question is how to address these issues without creating too many unintended consequences for other specs.

      • Aku says:

        This is simply not true. The live Rune system has a very small (about 2 sec) Rune grace period. The main problem right now is: If you don’t use your Runes in that timeframe (right when they refresh or max 2 sec later) you are wasting resources.

        The new system halves our Runes but basically increases the grace period to ~10 sec (and pimps our strikes so we strike less often but for more dmg).

        Blizz couldn’t just increase the recharge time (as you suggested), because that is not the problem! They could give us a longer grace period (without halving our Runes), but then we would get incredibly bursty. Think about it: with the right timing you could basically unleash 12 Runes together (6 Runes + 6 Runes instantly refreshing).

        As consider already wrote – the new system itself works. The biggest drawback right now seems for me Runic Empowerment and the old (and not well suited) UI-Rune-display. I really hope Blizz updates the Rune-frame.

      • Rebellion says:

        The “problems” of the old rune system were as far as I’am aware:

        1.) Constant button mashing. Some complained that their fingers hurt after pressing a button every 1,5 seconds. I think even my grandfather does atleast 3 keystrokes a second when he writes a letter these days.
        2.) DPS-loss if you don’t hit your buttons fast enough (you said yourself you have two seconds for that).
        3.) No room for “improvment”, which means no room for “fun” & “new” abilities
        4.) Too many smal attacks that forbid you to get the big numbers, because that would be op.

        now if you look at the new system:

        1.) we still smash our buttons, but instead of using the ones for runes we use the rp dumps more often or smash random single rune abilities. However they want to fix it, there is hardly a soft spot that will allow the new system to feel less spammy but not boring. As soon as haste comes into play they will have to adjust the system over and over again, because then we are even more gcd capped. It would have probably worked fine if they stayed with the first iteration and let players wait till they ding 85 and get raid gear but RE and the the increased amount of RP neglected the change so far almost completly. I see why they thought RE was needed, but ultimatly it will provide another scaling issue. Well maybe one day haste will reduce our gcd, who knows :).

        2.) The grace period helped to soften rune desynchronisation, so that if you use a 2 rune ability, the next time both of the runes would not recharge at the same time but come back a with a 1 gcd diffrence, therefore allowing you to use the one ability earlier than the other w/o costing you a gcd.. Delaying the rune use more than 2secs is uneccesary, if lag is an issue the queing will help alot. As someone on the beta forums mentioned, as long as you are capped in a way you want to use your abilities as fast as possible.

        3.) The vague room for improvment is still not there and if it is and then it was there already.
        If an ability had to be used because it made sense, was worth it or mandatory, it was used. Everyone loses dps when they cc, interrupt (which we mostly didn’t thanks to EW) or want to use a special ability that grants them an adavantage in any other way. Despite the fact that we haven’t gotten much yet (which does mean it will stay that way) as long as they cost us resources they will only be used when they are neccesary, which was already true on the live realms. If there is a benefit by using it, we will do so. If the ability does cost nothing but is still worth using, the 2sec grace period was by far enough time to do so. If they are w/o a cost and do not benefit us enough, we won’t bother using them. The new system did not change that. at all and never will. There will always be a “this is better”.
        And before I forget it again: If people think the old system was too static I would dare you look at the frost tree, they work with a priority system and do fine, unholy on the other hand works with a strict rotation and does fine as well.

        4.) The first implementation fixed that exactly. All strikes did double dmg and we had more idle thumb time therefore everything was allright. But then RE and the inreased RP came and then the “fix” vanished. Because we are still GCD capped, our dmg still comes from dots, pets, auto attacks and over half a dozen diffrent skills that point still holds true. No fix here since they implmented RE , though I know that measurement is quite diffrent when it comes to actual dps, because of the no addon policy so far. Still with so many buttons to push there will never be the “whoa big numbers” feeling (maybe they should play another class then), that only works if you have long cast times or long phases of idle thumb play.

        But, and I tell you this so you don’t misunderstand me: I was kind of interested in the new system when they announced it. I still think it is not bad. If I will truly enjoy it, only time will tell, the old one at least satisfied me for 2+ years and would probably have for another two. If you ask me if I like the new system atm, then I will probably say “it is ok, if they make it a bit less whack-a-mole”. .But when you ask me if the new system was needed, then I will replay always with a no, because it wasn’t. As one guy on the offical forums said: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Even if the old one was brocken (worked quite well for that), I do not see the new one as the fix to it. The new one is maybe a little improvment, but mostly a sidestep, not an actual upgrade.

  7. kc102 says:

    I still maintain that instead of 6 runes, we should switch to three that fill to 200%. It’ll be very similar to our current rune set but superior when managing and visualizing them.

  8. Anaroth says:

    I agree with what consider says, the rune system isn’t to blame, and I’d argue that it’s pretty much the only bit of the current class setup that is actually working according to their modified vision. Our runes are regenerating more slowly, and that means we do have more gcds available for “non-rotational” abilities. That said if cataclysm came out today, we’d all look to change classes, because very few of the other changes they’d made really “work”.

    Now a lot of the problems are pretty easy to correct by changing a few numbers, or what things work off.

    However, there’s a pair of rather big issues related to runic empowerment and melee haste.
    Even within the context of single fights melee haste isn’t constant, this means our number of free gcds isn’t constant which means we needs ways of dealing with extra resources (runes, rp), so we need either alternative rune dumps, or alternative ways to use runes (more multi runed strikes etc).

    Runic Empowerment on the surface is a nice idea to add in a bit of randomness to the rotations. However it leads to the same issues, but really pushes at the boundaries of our limited range of strikes, and can also screw up death runes usage.

    One easy solution to the RE issues (and also general death rune issues) might be just to go with a single rune cost for all abilities. Say with Obliterate/Festering Strike at a single Frost, death strike/scourge strike at a single U. It would mean we have even less free gcds, but that can be addressed separately, say by extending out the regen time to 12 seconds or so.

    • Seamus McGowan says:


      Having all abilities cost one rune is not a good idea. It would mean the damage/functionality of the ability would need to be lessened. Basically making the rotation/class less interesting because decision making is simplified.

      They want it to be a significant decision to use a multi rune ability.

      I think the idea Naha has posted is the best wrt RE. Make it so we can use any ability we choose without a rune cost and generate no rp. Still adds randomness to the rotation and adds some excitement to taking advantage of it. Personally I’ll be surprised if they don’t go this route.

      • Sag says:

        I like the idea of RE allowing you to cast any ability you want, but wouldn’t that be kind of odd in frost with Rime procs? Kind of wondering what others think of that.

  9. Skaarrj says:

    If Runic Empowerment made the “new” runes it procced turn into Death Runes, I think it would be much better. This way I could plan on what ability to use next if runic empowerment occured. Right now its like playing one of those Gun games where you hit the red targets as quickly as you can, but avoid the green ones at all costs….or was that reverse….

  10. Vuvuzela says:

    I was pondering to ask people that play actively on beta about how is the current ratio between % haste to faster rune recharges and how it more or less “feels” when a haste trinket/pot/etc is up.If it is a case of “yeah haste feels really nice to have now and then” or “my abilities recharge so fast i get global cooldowned”

  11. Raxxnamus says:

    I think you have some confusion over cause and effect.

    Runic Empowerment is a band aid for the new rune system’s lack of resources, it gives back a random element where previously there was none. Without the new rune system, there would be no need for RE to exist.

    Sure the new rune system gives room for haste as it essentially starves us of resources so we physically need that haste to get back to where we are on live. Of course we will be balanced and dps output should be equivalent to what it is on live. UH DW can be attended to with a PPM cap or similar on SD.

    How could this not have been achieved by slowing rune regen speed? It would have been more predictable and there would be no need for RE to exist at all.

    Now the intention is that we gain some GCD’s and in those GCD’s we have a new fun ability to use, that has not been delivered at all, therefore in terms of our stated design concept for cata we are “unfinished”.

    GC in his post about Paladins said he didn’t want them using every GCD wtf not? A wasted GCD is a waste of DPS output, the theory crafters of every class I can think of always said, use the next available ability, dont wait for a GCD to use a diff ability it is a dps loss, there are addons for all the other whack-a-mole rotations such as Retadins and Enh shammies to tell them what their next ability is.

    The converse style is Rogue, where they usually cannot use every GCD due to energy limits, but they use the right ones at the right time to maximise energy useage to DPS output, and they have had years of tweaking to get that just right, although at the start of wrath they got it seriously wrong and rogues were languishing down the dps tables for a while.

    GC mentions Casters having cast times to think, but we all know that is a myth, any good caster will be pre-casting his next spell as soon as the GCD will allow him to queue it, they are also GCD capped essentially, however, if a Frost Mage gets a Brain Freeze Proc, he sure as hell is gonna cast Brain Freeze rather than Frostbolt on the next spell.

    At the end of the day, DPS will always do the ability that gives us most DPS, in some cases that may be a death coil, in some cases it may be refreshing HOW before it drops off. It doesn’t matter if we are GCD capped as long as we can always do something. What removes the fun is not being GCD capped, it is a gap, waiting for a resource to be able to do something, that is just plain dull.

    If we need a to have space in a rotation for a fun ability, give us one maybe? Give us a reasonable CD ability, that when it procs is compulsory to use, heck it could even be brain freeze style so its a CC for PVP and a DPS increase/threat increase for PVE, that is when not following your normal rotation becomes fun and essentially was all we were missing on Live, make it compulsive so we HAVE to drop what we do to make use of it, say has to be used in 4-5 seconds, maybe its damage will scale with RP or lack of it if you want to ensure we are spending it?

    I do agree the class is not broken, I do agree a few tweaks and changes will fix most of the issues and make the class a little better. RE proccing a death rune, sudden doom actually working as intended, or better, just firing off but unable to proc RE maybe? All of these will help, but what about UH presence, or as I like to call it, the presence of half arsed haste?

    Our choice is 15% faster attacks (with 2 points) or 10% more damage from Frost presence, so everything that is affected by UH presence will make 5% more DPS everything that isnt will make 10% less. UH mastery is built around disease damage, so diseases will be a major part of our damage in endgame.

    L:ets assume 40% damage from DoTs/Diseases fair?

    40% x 0.1 = 4% increase in DPS in Frost presence

    Everything else is 60% of our damage

    60% x 0.05 = 3% increase in DPS in UH presence

    All of this gets worse as mastery further increases disease damage, the only way this presence will work is if it is a true 15% haste affecting everything from rune regen times, to faster dot ticks. That is the only way it can compete with a flat damage increase talent.

    Anyway, I am one of the ones that likes the old rune system, and dislikes the new one, I have given it a chance, and I just plain don’t like it, it is no fun to feel resource starved, especially when grinding in deepholme and you dont have enough runes for a DS.

    • Vulgor says:

      “the only way this presence will work is if it is a true 15% haste affecting everything from rune regen times, to faster dot ticks.”

      There was something somewhere saying that all dots would now be able to crit and be hasted(for extra ticks in the same duration, unlike the current faster length hasting). I’m not in a beta but that should trickle down to us at some point we hope.

      • Rebellion says:

        I think it already does, the thing is that UP just grants a generic 10% attack speed and not actual haste that works on everything like Bloodlust/Heroism or the haste stat itself, because it reads:

        “Infuses the death knight with unholy fury, increasing attack speed and rune regeneration by 10%, movement speed by 15%. Only one Presence may be active at a time.”

        The Talent to improve it though, reads:

        “Grants you an additional [2%/5%] haste while in Unholy Presence. In addition, while in Blood Presence or Frost Presence, you retain [8%/15%] increased movement speed from Unholy Presence.”

      • frozenblows says:

        I still don’t understand why frost didn’t get the haste buff. Even a raw attack speed buff considering the tree already gives you 45% haste and the DW has the highest white damage and the 2hand damage is based upon getting more autoattacks to fill RP.

        I’m sure its difficult to make whim choices like swapping the focus of a tree but it just feels wrong really that Frost is the damage and unholy is haste at this point.

      • Anaroth says:

        What it appears to grant is 10% melee haste. That speeds up autoattacks and rune regen, I doesn’t affect GCDs, or spells. At the moment our dots are considered spells and so don’t get the benefit from the melee haste.

        It’s one big reason why frost presence is better.

    • Seamus McGowan says:

      Disclaimer: I am not on the beta but I have done a lot of reading and viewed a ton of videos.

      Consider, thanks for the updates. Also, your work on ej has helped me a ton over the past year and half.

      Whether or not the DK is broken in beta is kinda moot. From what I’ve read and seen the class is not going to be fun for me or a lot of other folks that have invested a lot into the class. RE makes the class too random and unwieldy and it seems to me that while they wanted to slow down the pace of combat they only achieved in making a class unbearably un-fun to manage and play.

      Sure if you missed a rune or literally missed a strike you suffered a significant penalty and I wanted to see some of that strictness alleviated but ATM they’ve failed at keeping the class fun.

      I gotta believe they’re going to revamp this ‘mess’. As it stands now I’m maxing my previous mains: rogue and shaman. (Enhance is so much fun!). I’ll probably hedge with a warrior and/or paladin. I may wait to take advantage of the expansion’s revamp of the old world though. I’ll be in no hurry to raid.

    • Seamus McGowan says:

      GC in his post about Paladins said he didn’t want them using every GCD wtf not? A wasted GCD is a waste of DPS output, the theory crafters of every class I can think of always said, use the next available ability, dont wait for a GCD to use a diff ability it is a dps loss, there are addons for all the other whack-a-mole rotations such as Retadins and Enh shammies to tell them what their next ability is.

      Raxx wasn’t this in regards to maxing out holy power? In this situation not using a GCD may be the optimal call. i.e. smarter play vs mashing gcd’s just because they’re up.

      • Raxxnamus says:

        I hope so Seamus, this was where my argument with lichloaf on the Cata forums came from, I was arguing that if a mechanic made it better to not use a GCD then we could make space, ie if sitting on some runic power meant other attacks did more damage, the temptation would be there to sit on some runic power rather than mash thru GCD’s spamming DC’s.

        Anyway, it was my attempt at making space in rotations rather than using a new rune system and dumbass RP generation and random rune procs.

    • Vuvuzela says:

      I see thank you for enlightening me about the current state of haste i think i understand it a bit better now.i guess nothing much to do,so we wait for these next 2-3 days to pass till next patch which judging from blue reports it schould officially introduce archaelogy.Gotta say though if we see another 1+ page of changes for other classes and nothing notable for dk’s it would be a major bummer

    • Noin says:

      Slowing Rune Regeneration is precisely what this new system does, by the way.

      However, think about what you’re asking: how long would you have to extend the current rune regeneration time in order to free up some GCDs in the DK rotation? 3 seconds? Too short. 6 seconds? Doubtful. It still wouldn’t allow for much room in the rotation. 9 seconds? You’ve basically just doubled rune regeneration time, exactly what this new system does anyway, and it’d probably be just as weird and clunky as everything else.

      Blizzard no doubt probably thought long and hard about how they were going to change the rune system. In the end, this particular course was no doubt chosen because it was simple, yet significant. It’s not a grand conceptual departure from our current set-up; runes simply fill up sequentially, not simultaneously. It frees up a lot of GCDs without resulting in some artificial and awkward new rune regeneration time to balance everything around.

      For my part, I’d rather see them go a bit further, normalize rune-to-RP costs, tweak/modify ability costs, and get rid of talents like Dirge and CotG altogether. But I don’t have any math or deeper theory-crafting behind such a suggestion.

      Theorycrafting saying we must use every GCD is not an argument against having an occasional GCD free without massive DPS repercussions. You are arguing from a position you’re used to without considering the virtues or flaws of it. I think what Blizzard is aiming for is a position wherein rotations are not so tight as they are today, so as to allow some flexibility for other abilities or simply moving. There are a lot of DPS specs that are severely punished by even small amounts of downtime, DKs being a prime example. Why do you think so many specs are getting easy ways to refresh their DoTs on the fly? Why do you think the duration of our diseases is being tripled?

      I do not see how it is fun to have to reset my entire rotation just because I lost a few seconds on the boss. Being GCD-capped *is* bad for the game in that sense. Just because it is comfortable in one sense or functional in another does not mean it is perfect. I’ll take 48-second diseases I can easily extend into infinity and re-apply quickly if I’m disrupted, rather than diseases I have to manically refresh every 20 seconds or suffer a tremendous DPS loss, thank you very much.

      Caster play-styles vary by spec, but most do have periods of time where they are casting spells longer than the GCD. By mathematical nature, this gives them “loose” GCDs, even though they aren’t technically “free” to just sit around doing nothing. Yes, they are casting constantly as much as they can, but their rotations are not so tight as to not be able to deal with contingencies or disruptions. Affliction locks and Shadow Priests are probably the most “capped” of these, but that’s getting addressed as well.

      Think about an Arcane Mage, for instance. If he has to move for a few seconds, he is less punished than an Affliction lock or a DK, because all he has to do to resume his rotation is start casting normally again. There is no accursed dance of having to reapply all your DoTs, *then* DPS normally because you missed a window and they fell off in that small period. In that sense, he is freer than we are. That is not to say all specs should never use DoTs or things like diseases to build up DPS; it’s to say that your rotation should be somewhat forgiving about expected problems during a fight or encounter. You shouldn’t have to lose all your DPS if you have to cast a CC spell or whatever. It should be easier than that.

      DPS operates under the assumption that it must always be doing something. All things being stable, like on a Patchwerk fight, sure. I can see that. But there are very few Patchwerk fights left, and even those require some amount of movement or reaction. In that time, shouldn’t DPS be given some wiggle room to move and adjust without their numbers collapsing in a disastrous heap?

      Blizzard wants to balance DPS around using *most* GCDs, not all of them.

      The current rune system is polished; the Beta rune system is not. You’d better hold off judgment until they actually get around to paying some attention to DKs. 😉

      • Gosox says:

        The only real way they could prevent you from using a GCD for dps is to strangle your resources. For example a Marksmen hunter using an arcane shot instead of a steady shot if the arcane shot does more damage then steady shot due to low arp or a bad weapon. Using arcane shot will tax your mana supply forcing you to use aspect of the viper earlier or for a longer period of the time yeilding a dps loss. So you have to make the choice to not use the immidate dps gain to prevent a dps loss in the long run if you run dry.

        Dks don’t have a finite resource so if you have RP, diseases are up, runes are down you spam your RP dump regardless. If you have enough Rp to fill every GCD before runes return you keep doing it or fill the gap with a HoW. If you are entirely out of resources you wont do anything at all thats pretty much the only time you’ll see someone sit on a GCD as a melee class.

        Using the hunter for example again most your instant attacks have cooldowns which force you to use steady shot when your large hitters are down and steady shot is longer then the duration of a gcd. Losing 1 steady shot to move or whatever isn’t huge since you are basically killing time to get your chimera and aimed shot back up anyway.

        My point being I don’t see a situation where we won’t use an ability when we have the resources to do so, if blizzard’s goal is to make us not use 1-2 gcds in the event we need to do something fancy they need to strangle our resources and make “fun” abilities not use any resources.

      • poiso says:

        Gosox, you’re comparing apples to oranges. Hunters are now same as rogues, a single slowly growing resource class, that has all of its skills use that same resource. This is the reason why you feel that it’s not fun to be “strangled” for resource.

        Death knights have four different resources, of which three are slowly growing like hunter focus but separately and one increases upon spending first three (+potential fifth that can act as any of the three slowly growing ones). Add to that the fact that we actually can ” double supercharge” our resources for burst if we want to and the fact that our skills use very different combinations of resources and you get a very, very different class.

        As a result, strangling us for resources has very different consequences in terms of HOW we are played as a class. Where hunter simply “has” or “doesn’t have” x focus to use his best/second best skill that isn’t on CD, death knights are forced to adapt a real “rotation” that would allow for not only timely spending of resources, but also timely and orderly regeneration of resources – something no other class has to worry about.

  12. Aram says:

    I found this thread. Its a philosophical post by Ghostcrawler on what our Cataclysm rotation will eventually be like. But the thread is over 3 months old. So who knows where they stand at this point!

    • Rebellion says:

      “in fact you are often such a slave to those actions that you have tunnel vision for your UI (even if modded) and can’t react to the dynamic nature of most encounters these days”

      Oh the irony 😀

    • Anaroth says:

      Posts like those are the biggest indication that we’re unfinished, because that’s simply not possible with the current implementation.

      I particularly like this bit:

      The point is that we have no room to add anything to the DK rotation. If we wanted to add “clearcasting” style procs or cooldowns finishing sooner or runes regenerating sooner, we can’t really do that because the DK doesn’t have room in a very tight rotation to use those abilities. If you try and use your GCD on anything else, then the whole rotation collapses because then your runes aren’t coming back at the right time or your diseases are expiring or whatever.

      because oddly enough it’s actually all those procs they added that are making us gcd capped. Also runic empowerment is probably the largest offender in making it so our runes aren’t coming back at the right time!

  13. Disargeria says:


    That was the end of July, and the 31pt talent trees were… 2 weeks before that.

  14. Raxxnamus says:

    That Post of GC’s just makes me angry every time I read it, because effectively, what it says is, we nerfed your rune regeneration so we could give you free runes back from a proc.

    We removed your slavery to a rotation and watching a UI to make you have to pay more attention to your UI and less to the encounter to be effective.

    They couldn’t have achieved less about what they set out to achive if they had tried.

    So I pose the question, what use is a GCD if we have nothing to fill it? If these gaps in a rotation are important so we can pay attention to an encounter, how are you going to ensure those gaps are at the right time in the encounter?

    No more BS about “if we wanted to give you an ability you couldn’t use it” just give us an ability so compelling we will have to slot it in when available, it really isn’t rocket science.

    I cannot ever see any DK saying “damn I shouldn’t have used that hard hitting fun ability, as I wasted some of my runes” unless you fail to design that ability correctly.

    Here look GC, I’ll even design it all for you, old rune system, extend rune recharge time by 3 seconds to allow for haste, New Ability:Lich Slap: your Death Coil/Rune Strike/FS has a 25% chance to enable Lich Slap. Lich Slap Costs 1f 1b 1u rune and hits for 250% weapon damage and makes massive threat(both hands if DW) and refreshes the duration on your diseases. (if you really want to persist with the new rune system, then make it cost no runes and do away with that awful runic empowerment) If this doesn’t fit the bill I am sure your highly paid design team can improve on it 😀

    I am sure you get the picture, I am sure that will burn runes and create GCD’s, I am sure that will give you room to grow the class, add some clearcasting procs later.

    If it is not interesting enough I am sure some tree specific goodness can be added, shield/healing for blood as an example.

    This is pretty much what you have with Palas, they will not use every GCD as templars verdict must have 3 stacks of Holy Power to make it worthwhile, so they dont mind losing those GCDs to hit like a truck.

    GC’s last DK post, 5 days ago, sadly on the Live Realms, where apparently he didn’t have enough to go on.

    • Anaroth says:

      Reading that post makes me angry from time to time too, but it’s best to just ignore it rather than read too much into it.

      They’re basically changing ret paladins to work more like rogues in that they build up holy power (combo points) and then use a finisher to release that power. Unlike rogues their main holy power builder has a cooldown rather than being limited by a resource cost directly (however it should be noted that they have a talent to make melee haste reduce that cooldown, so effectively one of their main resources scales with haste). The also have a number of filler moves that can fill up empty GCDs, which have varying cooldowns and generate holy power less frequently.

      Ultimately if a melee class is well implemented they should have core priority abilities, a number of free gcds (which is haste dependent), and a variety of filler moves to fill those holes which ideally should be of decreasing benefit (so at the end of the list there isn’t much difference between leaving a gcd free and using it for a marginal dps boost). It probably helps if there is some way to adjust to the cases when you suddenly have excess resources.

    • Aram says:

      There is nothing wrong with creating design space in our rotations for really cool procs or abilities or effects. It would give them flexibility to expand the class not just now but in the future. Its simple better design.

      But they created the space then filled said space with garbage.

      Rune Empowerment is bad because of our limited 1 rune abilities.

      Sudden Doom was bad before when it wasn’t auto-cast and its bad now. There was a reason they made it auto-cast for Blood in 3.1.

      They also jacked up our Runic power gains so were swimming in it and have more than we know what to do with. Obliterate generates 38 Runic power with talents. I mean… really? 38? That is enough for 1 Frost Strike.

      Rime is the only really good filler. It fits the tree and Howling Blast would be too situational for a 31 point talent without it.

      But ya, they need to work on DK rotations. Hopefully we start seeing some stuff patched into beta this Thursday or Friday. Although I think it could be another couple more weeks before DKs.

    • Raxxnamus says:

      hehe don’t worry Anaroth, I am not emo raging over it 😉 Maybe GC will surprise us all and bring something out of the hat or maybe he is just staying quiet because he believes us to be finished bar some balancing.

      I like the way palas now play, maybe I will switch mains come cata, who knows (I have 8 80’s to choose from) but I may just end up going blood tank (my offspec) instead.

  15. woohaa says:

    instead of making Runic Empowerment a reactive proc it should have been more like the shaman overload ability. just make DC/FS/RS have a 40% chance to proc a similar spell on the target, at not cost. This would reduce all the GCDS and it’d be interesting. it’d also make 2hand frost viable again.

    there’s 100 ways to balance it…make the 2nd attack not able to proc the talent…2nd attack can’t crit…blah blah blah.

    I’m not that upset about Runic Empowerment’s current state. However, if their pretty set on using it’s current form they need to make sure it’s not clunky.

  16. Frostfright says:

    Until they finalize and unveil account-wide achievements, I’m sticking with my Death Knight regardless. But if I had to choose a new main it would probably be my Warlock. The Destruction playstyle is just so perfectly done… A single DoT that you only have to apply occasionally, an instant nuke that speeds up the casts of your next few Incinerates, a harder-hitting nuke with a short cast time and a cooldown (Chaos Bolt), and some fun pet interaction with Empowered Imp (Grants you a 100% critical strike chance for your next destruction spell if your Imp crits). It’s the closest thing to the way a Frost DK plays, but at range.

    A lot of the stuff Destro gets would be well-applied to the Death Knight class. We need pet interaction, something to make Blood Strike fun, something we want to use when it’s up and has a cooldown (Howling Blast was originally intended to be this, but Obliterate scaled way too well and they just left it as-was).

    Ah well. They may yet surprise us! Today or tomorrow, hoping for a new build with some shiny new DK changes. 😀

  17. Aram says:

    Looks like no beta patch this week! =(

  18. Roth says:

    No patch today. =/

    Grumble grumble grumble…

    • Andeus says:

      Well Zarhym popped in and said that the next patch is a big one and it will probably also increase the level cap to 85, so I guess we are gonna have to wait a few more days.

      Incoming Dark Simulacrum! I bet it’s Ui that shows you that you have absorbed a spell is broken too though 😛

      • Roth says:

        True. Unfortunately, in the contest of futility between DKs and Feral Druids (who will get worked on first), it looks like Feral wins:

        Although who knows. Maybe one of our threads will get a reply sometime this week.

      • Rebellion says:

        Yay..! We will finally know if at least one of 3 new spell will be usefull 😀

      • poiso says:

        @Roth: there is nothing like comparing a CLASS to a SPEC to show just how clueless you are.

        Sadface. DKs should start equally epic whinetrain about blood and frost PvP as well, at least we get 2/3 fail and one bad but borderline functional while you get 2 excellent and one bad but borderline functional

        Talk about comparing total shit to a cow. Sure, when you look at cow’s ass, it looks pretty shitty. But when you look at the shit itself…

        Cue tauren milk jokes.

        P.S. Seriously. I wish they’d finally sort out at least one spec for us to PvP in properly. Seems like most classes even now have 2, with some having 3 excellent PvP specs, while we’re condemned to one spec that is pretty much “meh” in 2 comps that it works in, and total shit everywhere else. At least before tweaking classes that are already on 2/3 excellence and 1/3 of “bad” like where our best PvP spec, unholy, is at.

      • Roth says:

        Really poiso? Really? Its a running joke between myself and Consider. Might want to keep an eye on the tone of your posts.

      • poiso says:

        Disparaging remarks about posting style and hints at being in good books with the original blogger, yet zero attempt to debunk the facts presented?

        I vote you the blue of the day 😉

  19. frostfright says:

    Welp! New Multi-shot confirmed by Ghostcrawler as infinite target “a little bit like Fan of Knives.”

    I’m loving that he confirmed that for the Hunters, and I’m loving that Hunters get Pestilence and a nice new AOE spell while the DK version got nerfed.

    It’s unfortunate that Ghostcrawler cant be in all places at once… I would love some developer interaction for the class I play. 😦

  20. Andeus says:

    DK Blue post.

    Ok, not strictly DK but it’s their way of saying “just wait”. Even that is good enough for me for now, but I’m pretty sure GC has no idea how “relaxing” that is. Yes, even a post like that.

    • Aram says:

      Sometimes he confuses me when he posts something but this is a post that I wish i could respond too. (My account is inactive atm).

    • Aram says:

      It is worth pointing out that they are a little slow to the party sometimes. I mean he did talk about Dirge as a meaningful talent when its been gutted.

      I mean 0/32/39 or some variant (which was one of the most OP PvE builds in the history of this game) went on months before they even acknowledged it.

  21. Rebellion says:

    Hmm, well at least I know now that I should start catching up on warlock theory craft, which i neglected during the whole of wotlk – just in case. Though even if we were to go live like that, I will probably stick with my DK, the current state might thin out the hordes of fotm rerollers just enough to get rid of the “Dk = Noob” stigma we are carrying for quite some time now.

    Still if he really thinks we don’t need changes, because our design was so flawless to begin with, I’m kind of dissabpointed, because that is defineatly not the case. We might be the newest class, but all other classes were constantly reshaped to fulfill their new design goals over the time. And last time I checked, the DK class was shaped to match these other classes, which means we were hardly designed in a superior way, except for the 3 trees, 9 roles model, which they already scrapped. Besides that we had the same boring trees with tonns of filler talents, useless dps increases, too few unique skills per tree and what not.

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