Capped – Yeah We Are

For those who aren’t already aware and thus I must safely assume live under rocks, yesterday Ghostcrawler answered a slew of Death Knight related questions and issues. Although it certainly wasn’t everything we possibly wanted to know  – which would have been quite unrealistic for him to type up – it was a series of excellent posts, just the sort that we’ve been waiting for these past couple months. If you haven’t already read these writings, I would highly recommend going ahead and doing so now.

Essentially, he hits six main points:

  • 2H Frost is indeed still intended to be viable.
    • Which wasn’t really in doubt, but is still good to know!
  • DW Unholy is not intended to be taking over the tree.
    • Once again, no real comment necessary, except thanks. It will be interesting to see how they tackle this issue – simply nerfing/changing/removing Sudden Doom isn’t sufficient at this point.
  • Pestilence wasn’t intended to be an AoE so much as a means of preventing us from having to tab PS/IT constantly. Unfortunately, the damage makes it difficult to balance, and although they aren’t thrilled with the 50% mechanic, they aren’t really thrilled with any of their options.
    • Understandable. Tab PS/ITing isn’t the same as tab dotting; it’s much harder to do the first due to the melee limitations, not to mention the actually meaningful resource cost. There’s a few different ways Blizzard could take the skill while avoiding this issue (and also avoiding the current one of Pestilence being a single button wonder which deals 30k damage to all the mobs around you!), and I’ll delve into it tonight/tomorrow.
  • There are still too many passive talents.
    • Confirmation is godsend!
  • There’s nothing wrong with Icy Touch and Howling Blast hitting decently hard, as long as meleeing is more important for optimal damage.
    • Doesn’t quite address the Howling Blast single target/AoE conundrum, but it is nice to know they don’t mind it hitting decently hard in any which case.

All in all, excellent stuff.

You’ll notice, however, that I left out one big issue GC touched upon: us being GCD capped. He attributes it to the large remenants of haste we’re still likely to have on gear from Icecrown and the ArP conversion. Although that logic is sound enough, even at 0% haste, we’re still capped as bad as ever!

Picture time, naturally:

Frost

Unholy

These don’t need a ton of explanation, but still:

I assumed each spec was running in its respective presence, and that Outbreak is intended to apply Ebon Plague. I ignored Dark Simulacrum usage, Empowered Rune Weapon, Glyphs, Raise Dead (for Frost), Blood Tap (for Unholy), Anti-Magic Shell (for Unholy), the additional Runic Empowerment procs from the Death Coils casted off the runic power from Runic Empowerment Procs… and so on.

In short, I gave both trees as much benefit of the doubt as I could while still remaining as accurate as possible.

And the end result? GCD capped, for both specs, even without utilizing all of your abilities to the max, and even without considering how much worse the numbers are for 2H Frost and DW Unholy (although, admittedly, the latter isn’t intended, and thus doesn’t particularly matter).

I’ll probably make some videos of extended dummy testing with 0 haste rating to toss into the thread and further show our GCD issues are very real, and are experiencable with no haste and on paper, and primarily because of Runic Empowerment (the topic I, personally, am most curious about at this point in time!). But, hey, Ghostcrawler is only human. Can’t expect him to get everything perfect, and all of that beautiful blue feedback easily outweighs this easily proven mis-conclusion – now it’s simply up to us to show him otherwise. Fortunately, it’s an easy job ^^.

Anyways, I just wanted to get a post with a more positive tone (since so many misunderstood where I was going with the last one) on the front page, not to mention blue posts of substance are the stuff we’ve been dreaming of for months now.

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79 Responses to Capped – Yeah We Are

  1. Xcelsion says:

    Excellent post as usual Consider.

    However I am sad to see the lack of DK changes in the new upcoming beta build. I am pretty sure well have our patch tough. Until then we can’t do much other then wait.

    • Consider says:

      I really wouldn’t worry about the patch mmo-champ posted. It’s not that new, actually, and it’s certainly not the big build Zarhym said was going live this week (including 85 and the two remaining zones).

      • Xcelsion says:

        Ok thx for the heads up.

      • Fish says:

        Hmm sorry I don’t have access to wow or beta now as I’m on the road, but the patch released earlier today (Tue) did increase the level cap to 85? Unless I am missing something.

  2. Jonneh says:

    At least we got a reply, thats a start. Thanks for posting like I asked Consider, and all of you who had meaningful discussion in there. Wish I could have joined in!

    So yeah, anything to show them that we actually are still in the same boat now I guess. Lots of stuff still unanswered especially for poor Blood. Someone who cares about it more than the average should probably champion the blood issues and try to get them a higher profile, its hard to do everything together.

    There is no real solution RE: Pestilence. I mean cmon, it was obvious the amount of damage it was going to generate. That still doesn’t really answer the question which that raises though.. what do you expect/envision our aoe to be like?

    Personally, I don’t like blood boil. I just don’t think its a very interesting ability, and probably a bit too bursty and on a longer cooldown than most aoe abilities (being tied to a rune). At least with diseases and DND you get damage over time, which is how I like my DK. Its not fire and forget either, you need to maximise, make sure you get all the mobs, place dnd where its going to have maximum effect.

    I think AoEing is alot more complex for us now, but not in a good way. Pesti is an obvious choice at the moment. Even if there is one mob, it will out dps the blood strike if the diseases tick even once. Great. Simple. Now you have so much else to consider. You’re loosing a FS now, and have a spare F rune to deal with. The diseases do less damage so the mob(s) need to live longer to justify the cost. Ofc on muti mobs its gonna be just as simple, but single add fights its going to depend on how long they live, not to mention that if you’re supposed to be bursting the add down quickly you’re going to have to apply full diseases and dps it. So pesti is useless for that now! Outbreak is meant to fill that gap and still doesn’t work properly.

    Its all just a bit of a mess really isnt it.

    There aren’t many times when you get a blue post and really say “oh my god that is wrong” like the GCD paragraph. Any of us who have even thought about the numbers can see that. I wonder why he thinks its ok. Surely it can’t be internal changes? I mean we’ve had so many builds now. Where are these changes if thats so?

    I dunno. Like I said, we have peace of mind now, and we can start working towards feedback on the issues that are still of important substance.

    Thanks again for posting, all of you who posted. Though I couldn’t post myself, I feel like I helped the development of my class for the first time ever. ❤

  3. Sag says:

    Man that is a whole lot of SS in that unholy rotation. I am curious how festering strike actually works though. If 6 seconds have ticked off of our disease, does FsS reset it to full duration? If I put up diseases and immediately FsS do the diseases get a 42 second duration? Are there any limits on the number of times I can FsS and get a longer disease duration. I thought it was 3, am I right?

    • WaffleDK says:

      It always adds 6 seconds regardless of the number of times it has been used or the time left on diseases.

  4. Aram says:

    I’m not sure you even need the charts but they are helpful to make the point!

    If you break our rotations down into 10 second intervals, which is what our rune resets are with 0 haste. Then we have 6 GCDs to spend our Rune Abilities, Runic Power, Procs, or Other. Barring encounter oddities or other out of the box situations you’ll spend 2-3 GCDs on Runes. That leaves 3-4 GCDs for RP, Procs or Other. It is almost (again barring encounter oddities) mathematically impossible for you not to have enough RP for 1 ability and 1 Proc. That leaves 1-2 Globals for Other and there will always be a HoW, AMS, a DPS cooldown, etc to use.

    It is impossible for us not to be GCD locked or very close to GCD lock in the current rune mechanics.

    I don’t think many people will like it but its time to increase rune resets.

  5. Kahorie says:

    Good post. I really prefer that tone. At least now we are sure they are aware of community feedback even if they don’t agree.
    I didn’t see it the recent discution but We also not have to forget that they didn’t release the glyph modification which might adress all our major issue. Think of charged DC, RE proc only on your presence color, resource free tanking cd. All can be adressed via glyph.

    • Frostfright says:

      Yeah, but should we really have to use glyphs to function in a pleasing way? Glyphs are meant to augment and enhance, not provide fundamental balance. Our mechanics need to work in an intuitive way pre-glyph, otherwise we’re just like Warrior tanks are now (Required to use two glyphs just to play at the same level base as the other tanks).

      Really looking forward to the build later this week. If it’s as big as Zarhym alluded to, we might be seeing some changes!

      Though that’s kind of my reaction to every patch. But the recent communication with Ghostcrawler has set the testers on the right track again, and now that we know their intent, we can show them that the in-game status is either functioning properly or improperly. Right now, it’s not working like they think it is, and charts like those that Consider has provided will let GC know that, so some actual progress can be made.

      Even the smallest bit of communication can allow class design to progress in a significant way.

      • Kahorie says:

        There will be 3 kind of glyph:
        minor glyphs cosmetic / convenience
        prime glyphs (unambiguous dps increases)
        major glyphs (utility, survival or very hard to math out dps increases)

        And it will be easy to switch them from a fight to another so I don’t see why Blizzard could not make them more than just ability percent damage augmentation.

  6. Noin says:

    The latest weird beta-but-not-really build seemed to kick mana regeneration in the gut for most healers. Divine Plea was nerfed hardl, but who knows if that’ll stay the same in the upcoming builds. /random observation

    Do be careful when simming things like this, though. It may be things have changed in their builds and they’re working off a different template than we are. That possibility isn’t exactly helpful or particularly relevant to the conversation, since we don’t have access to it, but it’s still something to keep in the back of one’s mind.

    Also, AMS, Lichborne, and several other abilities we have are off the GCD. Can’t say anything about DkS until we can test the spell, but it’s possible. Be careful which “free” abilities you’re counting as extra GCDs.

    • Scuzoid says:

      Speaking of the new beta build, but not really, Ret paladins….. I mean, I guess I’m glad I have my prot paladin at 80 now so, IF down the line I decide to swap roles with him it’ll be something fun, but…. I mean…. I want that tree for dk’s….

    • Wake says:

      Would make sense if Dark Simulacrum was off the GCD too, I’d say.

  7. Futhark says:

    I just don’t see Runic Empowerment working for DPS. Sorry guys. Make it a tank talent that procs Blood runes and call it a day.

    • Sag says:

      It’d probably be better to proc frost/unholy runes for DS. Anything that actually allows DS more, assuming they fix the little bug where the DS shield stops you from getting more vengence… Anyone know more about that little issue?

  8. Nahela says:

    I was very disappointed that he skipped over the biggest issue, Runic Empowerment. If anything actually warrants commenting on right now, it’s that. Also I hope they have something amazing planned for Pestilence, because as it stands now numerous other classes are getting what is essentially a better and more damaging version of our live Pestilence. Something’s not quite right there.

    • I agree. Just as Pestilence has been smacked down and they’re lamenting its existence, they start giving other classes abilities that match it. Eh.

      I also think they need to give Unholy something to bring its AOE back up to par. Right now, D&D improvement is the only thing they have and every spec has access to that. At the very least, they could bring the BB improvement talent up into the top two tiers of Blood. Frost has Howling Blast in addition to everything Blood and Unholy have.

  9. Aram says:

    Also, we won’t know till BoT or BWD opens on beta but movement might be as penalizing as it is now because we might lose the opportunities to gain Procs as well as use them to maximum effect. Also this will make us feel more GCD restrained since the more movement a fight has, the more we’ll focusing on spending Runes and Runic Power.

    But this mostly speculation that hinges on encounter design.

  10. Raxx says:

    Pestilence : Spreads your diseases to all adjacent targets, these diseases will remain dormant until you attack the target. Cost 1 blood rune.

  11. Andeus says:

    Question for Consider and anyone else who knows his stuff:

    Given the new mechanics (RE I’m looking at you) wouldn’t it be right to remove HoW from our rotations and assume that we are gonna use those 3 GCD per minute on recharged runes? Like use it only once every 3 minutes to renew it, since it’s RP generation is smaller than an ability + ability’s damage.

    Maybe even remove it’s RP generating part to enforce such a use and save these 3 GCD / minute. Right now if you don’t have anything to press ’cause all your runes are on cooldown and have like 30 RP, you hit HoW–> DC and that’s a DPS gain. In a world where we are GCD locked or (if things go well) close to GCD locked doesn’t HoW’s value diminish?

    • Ashe says:

      Of course. Obviously the dps value of HoW (assuming the buff is already up) is incredibly low (1/4 DC) and won’t be used unless there is a free GCD (which there isn’t). If you’re asking about it because he’s put it into his modeling, that’s just because its something predictable and he can’t write in Rime/RE/SD procs. Obviously HoW is the first thing you drop from the rotation when you start running out of things to do.
      I don’t see any reason for Blizzard to remove the 10 RP generation from the ability.

    • Aram says:

      Because of priority RE will be higher than Horn because of all the reasons you listed as well others (e.g. you can’t get procs if you don’t have fully depleted runes etc).

      But its very difficult to model RNG mechanics because they can exhibit strange behavior (e.g. going a while without a proc, or many procs in a row).

      Also in a table like the one Consider used, its hard to add in the RE procs (or Rime or Sudden Doom) and have it a be a dependable model that is predictive of actual behavior.

      Most models will assume two things for RE and DK procs in general.

      1) You proc whatever the % is. So you’ll proc Rime and RE 45% of the time for example.
      2) You use the procs at the right time as appropriate.

      Knowing this, what can be predicted is modeled (like using Horn on cooldown) and the procs and other effects can’t be predicted are assumed.

      • Andeus says:

        Yes, I asked because of the way he modeled it and maybe its one of those “WotLK thinking into Cata situation” stuff

        For example, look at the Unholy rotation and correct me if I’m reading it wrong but he has:

        2.6 + 5.2 procs + 2.825 SD = 10.625 GCD worth of abilities

        But since we only have 8 free GCD we get GCD locked at 8 and 2 of these get wasted.

        Wouldn’t it be optimal for the chart to have 1 HoW and the rest 2 replaced with “Empty..or is it?” so that we still end up borderly GCD locked but without wasting any procs?

        I know this is all hypothetical, just saying if its something that would make it more accurate.

      • Consider says:

        Once you’re capped, yes, then you’re going to mix things around to make the most use of each and every GCD, but that’s not relevant to the purpose at hand – which is that we shouldn’t be capped, period. Yes, if you are capped, then you start dumping Horn of Winter first, but that doesn’t make you any less capped.

        So, yeah, perfectly accurate when you consider I’m not dealing with how we handle being capped since it really doesn’t matter as it shouldn’t be the case.

      • Andeus says:

        Yes, forgot to write the part on my previous post about how this doesn’t change the end result and it’s just an observation on the process getting to it. 😛

        Didn’t mean to doubt you or anything if it came out like that.

  12. Olanai says:

    Some good info there. I’m glad someone’s looking at this stuff in depth. One bit of wording caught my eye, though: “I assumed each spec was running in its respective presence”. I know in this context you’re simply identifying the presences, but in other posts you’ve expressed a desire to have Frost want to use strictly Frost Presence, and Unholy to use strictly Unholy Presence. But I’m not sure why you find this desirable. Is your desire mostly because you’d rather be using Unholy Presence with an Unholy Spec, and don’t really care what Frost uses? Is it some kind of aesthetic association of Spec to Presence? Personally, I’d rather have both be useful for both specs, in different circumstances (as it is now on live, we only use UP for run speed, and – I am guessing – for PVP burst), and in particular I’d like to see UP as a solid presence for Frost, because of the Haste focus of the tree (IIT + passive tree bonus).

    • Kahorie says:

      It’s just because for each tree you have talent to enhance its effect. More haste in UH presence and more damage in Frost Presence. As a furry warrior is in bezerk stance most of the time, they want us to use our designated presence.

      • Anaroth says:

        Which is a major problem. At present unholy presence is as inferior to frost presence as battle stance is to zerker!

        You could make both useful to both specs, and the improvement talents are set out so that in theory that could be the case, however until they fix unholy presence it’s not worth considering unless you bizarrely need the extra run speed.

      • Olanai says:

        But the both talent enhances the effect of that presence, AND allows part of the effect to carry over to other presences, so all presences gain from the talent, not just the one whose name is on the talent. Of course, they could use some tweaking in that regard (is it really increased run speed that you would want to carry over from IUP…?)

    • He states this because it was the stated intention of the developers that the presence named after the tree should be the best presence for that spec to use in most scenarios.

      Personally, I think the “improved presence” model for each tree is flawed. I think they should move the 6% uncrittable to another talent, get rid of all of these individual presence talents and put one talent at the top of a tree somewhere (perhaps blood) called, “Inhuman Presence” that boosts each presence in specified ways depending on which tree you choose to specialize in. Or just get rid of the presence talents altogether since no one would skip them because if anyone ever did, they’d consider that presence a failure and would keep working on it until they did take it.

      Either way, I think the 6% uncrittable should be in a different talent for Blood.

  13. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    The Pestilence comment is what really grabbed my attention. I’d fully understand what they were trying to accomplish here, and why they’re frustrated with their lack of options (leave it crippled or restore it to full strength)- that is, if they hadn’t given similar effects to warlocks, mages and hunters.
    With these classes and their new Pestilence-like abilities in mind, I simply don’t understand (not QQing, genuinely baffled) why they’re so scared of DK AoE.

    As Consider has stating numerous times: Numbers aren’t an issue. If they’re scared our Pestilenced diseases will end up doing a lot more damage than their warlock or mage counterparts, they can balance that out.

    • Griefpb says:

      I agree, it seems strange that they have design goals that match for other dot classes, but with DKs the design goals completely change.

      I think the main problem is Unholy disease damage can really ramp up, disease damage for blood and frost is trivial.

    • Kahorie says:

      Of what are they scared?Unholy mastery:
      Blightcaller
      Increases the damage done by your diseases by 20%. Each point of Mastery increases disease damage by an additional 2.5%.

      A full mastery UH DK will be unmatchable in an AOE situation. I don’t know if it will be useful in the cata encounters but this might make a so big difference with a frost spec that we will be pigeonholed into a single spec/gear whenever we have more than 1 opponent.

      • Anaroth says:

        Of course once we get lots of mastery gear the reverse is likely to be the case. Unholy will only be used for ae fights!

        They need to fix the ae vs single target balance of the unholy mastery. I fully support nerfing overall disease damage (if it’s done in a sensible way and the pestilence nerf isn’t that), nerfing unholy ae disease damage, but unholy single target disease damage needs to be boosted in some way.

      • poiso says:

        That has an easy fix of changing mastery to something that would scale well in more then just AoE fights, like “increased SS/FS damage”, or “increased shadow damage” (but much less % per point of mastery then current one).

      • Anaroth says:

        It has countless fixes. The simplest is probably to change the magical damage part of SS to be increased by effects that increase disease damage, with a possible rebalancing of the two parts. The precedent already exists with shred.

        The unholy mastery is pretty generic, but the frost one is even more generic.

      • Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

        As some of the other replying posters have said, our mastery could simply be changed to not cause our diseases to overscale like Rage for warriors currently does (and would certainly go a long way towards providing a more interesting theme!).
        Also, lets say they do not change the mastery and we remain as we are right now: Does this mean that we become like Fury Warriors are right now, i.e. horribly weak at the beginning of each new tier of content, and ridiculously overpowered at the end? That’s just the whole WoTLK headache in a new package.

        I also believe that the loss of Wandering Plague and a neutered DnD (unless it’s back to full strength and I’ve forgotten) will greatly help to cull the numbers that we see Unholy DKs capable of today. The point here is that their entire argument about not wanting “incidental AoE” just makes no sense when they add these new abilities.

    • I find it hard to imagine Unholy AoE being awesome enough, even with disease mastery, to match Frost’s equal improvements in frost damage when combined with spread Frost Fever, Morbidity-improved D&D, BB, and Howling Blast, especially if its range is increased. They’d also have a weaker version of Blood Plague going together with all that.

      Unholy, on the other hand, would have improved D&D, improved FF and BP, BB, and enhanced damage by Ebon Plague. If the concern is that Unholy could do masses of damage (even with the loss of Wandering Plague which was built to make diseases into WMD’s), then why not have Pestilence apply decreasing disease damage with each “hit” it shows. It still gives solid damage on, let’s say, three targets, but by five the targets are getting less powerful diseases. They still apply for Ebon Plague and strike use, but not for full disease damage.

      Perhaps make Morbidity do this in addition to some kind of proc effect that works with your ghoul for death coil, give us some much needed synergy between the dk and his ghoul beyond, “Hit Ghoul Frenzy.”

      Or they could have the diseases spread by Pestilence have a reduced duration, potentially reduced by the number of targets in the vicinity dynamically. I just think right now Pestilence has been made pathetic for all specs and without it or some other addition, Unholy’s AOE is pathetic, too.

      • Aram says:

        1) Unless you spec for AE, Frost will never have Morbidity in its current position. Giving up 5 talents points on Unholy Tier 1 is a huge trade off for a normal build.

        2) Look at currently implemented encounters with high HP mobs or adds like Thorium, or Faction Champs. With Diseases alone, you can dominate. In mostly Naxx gear, I would finish #1 on all the Ulduar fights with adds because I would make sure I had my diseases up all the time. It was ridiculous even then.

        Its very bad design that 1 button does this much damage. It has no interaction, no thought. It is 100% mindless. I’m actually shocked that people think that the current Pestilence is good for the game.

        Trust me. Its better this way. They can give DKs cooler AE than just spamming Pestilence.

      • I was actually thinking about this and I think they should get rid of Pestilence and have BB explode the diseases onto nearby targets. BB would still do reduced (or even little) damage for targets without diseases and targets with diseases would get improved damage.

        One less button, same functionality. This does not address the “Damage is reduced by 50% for being spread in this way” part.

  14. Griefpb says:

    There was an RE idea posted in that thread that seems like a perfect solution. Make RE work like Rime, when it procs it will allow a free DS, Oblit, or FeS.

    Runic Empowerment – Your next Obliterate, Death Strike, or Festering Strike will consume no runes.

    You can obviously make the choice of which ability to use, but it will be the greatest DPS gain to use the ability associated with your individual spec.

    • Andeus says:

      I think the reason they haven’t gone that route yet is because they want to try and give RE a broader spectrum.

      By making it pop up 3 abilities it becomes a…erm, “predictable” proc if you know what I mean, since you are always gonna use just one of them (the one favoring your spec) so it is not really a choice anymore.

      On the other hand with the current implementation you have to make a quick choice (maybe to associate this more with skill? ), and if for example you are PVPing and you got someone running away from you –> a Frost rune pop ups, so you either hit him with IT putting a dot on him along with damage, either CoI and catch up etc.

      There’s more of a choice in this implementation. Downside of all this is that sometimes RE’s RNG could prove to be the winning or losing factor in a PVP match / PVE DPS meters.

      • Sag says:

        Actually, if RE did not refresh runes and instead proced a free DS, OB or SS I think unholy might actually use OB, and spec into annihilation. We’d need meters to check that, but it would be an idea. I would think that there would be potential there.

        Annihilation is the only talent in frost that buffs OB damage with no conditions.

      • Ganglati says:

        Then maybe allow RE to proc a rune-based ability, period. Unholy MIGHT use Oblit for them, but I figure it RE is changed to such a system, the proc rate will go down as well (45% would be a bit high I feel like for a free 2-rune attack), which means Unholy would have to sink at least 8 points into Frost to pick up Annihilation for an attack they would only use for RE. Unless they make Frost’s top tier much more attractive, I don’t think it’s worth it, and even if Frost were more attractive, not sure it’d be worth it. I personally like the idea just cuz I’d like to be able to use FeS as Frost (really hate re-apply diseases right now, IT and PS are boring otherwise) at least every now and then.

        But actually, the even simpler solution (though with less utility) is tie the proc’d Strike to the presence you’re in (DS in Blood, OB in Frost, FeS in Unholy) to avoid using your non-tree Strike.

  15. Anaroth says:

    Well HoW is actually one of those things that’s really just filler and would be one of the first things we would drop if we were actually gcd capped. It should also be noted that in a raid setup we get 6% spell haste which makes quite a bit of difference to unholy as DC is a spell.

    Looking at RE, it really does supercharge our rune dumps. If for the sake of argument when you use the average RE proc it dooes as much damage as a normal rune dump, consumes as many gcds (1) and generates half a rune dumps worth of RP (20) then if you add in the extra procs from the extra RP and so on you end up with your rune dumps doing 175% as much damage as before RE and using the corresponding amount of gcds.

    One thing I’m moderately concerned about with the way the talents work at the moment is the shadowfrost rotation. I really need some numbers but I’m pretty sure that with the current dirge and ignoring gcd constraints that the 2*IT + BS + 3* SS + extra DCs of the shadowfrost rotation is going to be more damage than the FsS SS*4 rotation. If they balance us around the latter rotation in unholy presence (which is the one Consider analysed), what’s to stop us running mostly as the shadow frost rotation in the superior frost presence.

    • Aram says:

      DW Unholy will work itself out. Once they delete Improved Icy Touch, and Dirge as well change Sudden Doom to a more 2H centered talent (I think PPM is the way to go), DW Unholy will not be a viable option.

      • Anaroth says:

        I agree switching SD to MH PPM would be a good first change and definitely benefit 2H over DW.

        The shadow-frost problem isn’t really confined to DW though, but you’re right it’s largely a result of the most recent version of dirge. In Frost presence you get very close to an entire extra DC per 20 seconds from the shadow-frost rotation. That strikes me as bad thing.

        One thing that unholy conceivably has going for it is the ability to use dual rune strikes to adapt to how many free gcds you have, but things have to be balanced well for that to make sense. I’d like to see a setup where Festering Strike and a blood strike + (unnamed single rune frost attack) do comparable damage, but the later generates slightly more RP and the former consumes one less gcd. That’s close to what we have at the moment, but death runes complicate things, and icy touch is a poor frost attack to use because it pretty much erodes the value of epidemic. The shadow frost alternative probably generates too much RP too.

      • Aram says:

        Well the Death Coil centered play is caused by those 3 elements for Unholy.

        Dirge, which is a stupid talent now. They should have deleted it. Second, Sudden Doom favors one handers.

        Blood Strike isn’t a problem because Unholy doesn’t have a ToT talent so the damage isn’t going to be that great. So that really leaves Icy Touch.

        I advocate that deleting Imp Icy Touch (I think deleting this talent should be deleted anyway) is part of the solution to Shadowfrost because even tho Unholy doesn’t have access to Frozen Heart, it can combine with Impurity and Ebon Plaguebringer for similar damage if not more. I mean what Icy Touch bonuses does Frost have over what Unholy has access too. Merciless Combat and Killing Machine? Those aren’t that great for Icy Touch damage compared to what they do for other abilities. And powerful Icy Touch should be exclusive to Frost tbh.

      • Anaroth says:

        Yeah I agree.

        What I’m really thinking of is best demonstrated by assuming Festering Strike was just a single frost rune and didn’t generate death runes. Then unholy could have this nice play off between obliterate vs festering strike + scourge strike. If you get too many procs and you’re about to be backed up you use obliterate, but if you have some free gcds you go with the two strike option. Unholy would then be too similar to frost, but I think that pattern is superior to the options we have now.

      • Aram says:

        I don’t think that type of gameplay with the Unholy rotation is on the table.

        When Festering Strike was first introduced, I thought it should only be 1 Frost but after doing some theorycraft on it, I think it works pretty well as 1 Blood 1 Frost. Its unique and fits Unholy rotations well.

        If there was one strike I’m worried about, it would be Necrotic. its awkward for Blood and Frost and isn’t hooked to any talents. They should just combine it with Blood Strike tbh.

      • Anaroth says:

        We pretty much have that sort of trade off capability at present, although the single rune strikes are a bit weird, and quite possibly due to the RP a bit over powered.

        Due to the nature of RE every spec could do with single target attacks for all three runes that do more than just put up diseases.

        One of the relics of the current trees is as it stand obliterate would actually hit harder for unholy than frost due to the extra disease and annihilation being tier 2.
        Doing a rough calculation if you assume annihilation then an obliterate cycle actually does comparable damage to the standard festering cycle especially if you’re otherwise GCD capped.

      • frozenblows says:

        Doesn’t sudden doom not make a whole lot of sense to begin with since unholy’s mastery is based on diseases. Shouldn’t a talent that deep in the tree be supported by the tree’s mastery. Sudden doom should make each death coil cause ebon plague to do damage or something.

    • 08/15 says:

      I made a “simulation” of a frost rotation in excel and have to say, i was surprised, that the result was quite positiv. while in the first 60 seonds a frost DK has 0-1 empty globals in most scenarios, it looks much better in the following 60 second cycles. there it’s more like 2,5-4,5 empty globals depending on your luck witch procrates (although i have to admit that you quite often don’t have a complete empty , but rather 0,5 or 1 second wait time. my number of empty globals comes from adding all the free time and then dividing by 1,5 seconds)
      but right now i’m not sure how i could upload my work

  16. Noin says:

    RE is a very significant issue, but it’s not a very “important” one, if you understand me. Yes, it affects gameplay tremendously, but it’s not the most worrisome of issues in the long-run. I think Pestilence and how DK AoE/CC play out is a more pertinent issue because they’re balanced on a razor’s edge and rather difficult to fix without ruining DK flavor or coming up with really strange mechanics. RE, on the other hand, is nothing like that. There are plenty of quick, easy solutions to fix whatever flaws it has. The community has already come up with a multitude of such brainstorms that could easily be implemented.

    There really isn’t much to say about RE. Either Blizzard finds it satisfactory for some reason (or there’s something they know or have access to that we don’t) or they dislike it and change it using whatever ideas and player feedback they deem worthwhile. I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

    • Anaroth says:

      Agreed. For the most part. The biggest issue with RE is that it screws up your rotations especially when it comes to death runes and multi rune strikes. I suspect Blizzard is prepared to live with that fact. On the flip-side it’s actually a really good tool for tweaking our available gcds.

      Overall I’m thinking frost is looking pretty good. I’d like to see them make some changes but they’re by no means necessary. It’s ae probably makes the most sense.

      Unholy by comparison has several major mechanical issues that need to be dealt with. The pestilence
      issue is mostly an unholy issue, they can just tweak disease damage down for the other builds to an acceptable ae value, however they need to look carefully at the spreadable disease damage for unholy, and also boost single target disease damage. It isn’t actually that hard to fix that, but it needs to be done. Despite all their changes Unholy presence is unfortunately still in the same place as it is on live, only worth using when running back after wipes for the run speed boost. That really needs to be fixed. At present unholy has a number of viable single target rotations, although I suspect that the IT spam one shouldn’t be as viable as it is, but it’s ae one doesn’t really make sense. Overall the tree really lacks synergy. Yeah you get pets and diseases, but it’s all in isolation. It doesn’t really feel like “A master of death and decay, spreading infection and controlling undead minions to do his/her bidding.”

    • Aram says:

      And RE isn’t the core issue but it is part of the core problem with DKs. We simple have too many things to do with not enough resources. Even if they manage to fix the issue by deleting RE or Sudden Doom or whatever, it still won’t matter. Once we get enough haste from higher tiers of Cata raid progression, chances are that we’ll be in the same position.

      Resource issues will always trump everything else. Without a sound resource system, you can’t add flavor or CC or other abilities that use those resources.

  17. Disargeria says:

    I’ve been working on modeling Blood. If you average out things like Rune Strike over time, it’s GCD capped as well.

    And when not getting hit it has frequent 3-GCD gaps in the rotation. Go figure.

  18. Nikolos says:

    I’d like to point out that Blizzard will not see HoW as a valid GCD capper. Their opinion will be that HoW should be cast once every 2 (or 3) minutes, not every 20 seconds.

    I have no proof that this is their opinion, other than long experience, but we all know that’s how they’ll see it.

    • Consider says:

      I am fairly positive you are mistaken! The fact is, HoW provides dps in the form of runic power, and thus is going to be used, even if that isn’t it’s primary purpose or intent. If they wanted it otherwise, it wouldn’t give 10 RP or it would have a longer cooldown. They’re probably not as concerned if the only way for us to get gcd capped is through HoW usage (although, for the record, we can still do it without, you just then have to include Dark Simulacrum and what have you), but being capped is being capped, even if one of the abilities we use to do so isn’t terribly potent.

      • Anaroth says:

        Consider is basically right.

        HoW is exactly where they want it to be. A low benefit gcd filler. Melee classes are all based around cooldowns and finite resources rather than the always be casting model for caster dps. Due to those mechanics and the fact that haste does reduce the melee gcd, you need to build some slackness into the system, or else you only need a few things (such as extra haste) to take what was previously a nice setup with some idle time and end up in a gcd locked situation. Thus if you have a few small benefit things that you can do there isn’t much difference between a free gcd and a low priority gcd, and so you can adapt to a wider variety of circumstances. My argument is that we need more things like HoW, or a few more cases where we can trade off a bit of damage for saving a gcd given our relatively restrictive resource system.

      • Aram says:

        Its also worth pointing out that Battle Shout was changed to a similar mechanic for Warriors. They clearly like the way it works or they wouldn’t have done that.

  19. Vuvuzela says:

    Anyone have any idea if the beta patch that currently is beign uploaded is the same as today’s “ninja patch”?Or is it something entirely new?

  20. So since no one discusses it, is Unholy meant to live with the wreckage of their rotation if they try to use Death Strike to get some healing back? Frost can drop DS right into their rotation, no problem. Blood has it baked in already. It seems like nearly every melee has some easy, not too outside the rotation, self-healing, but with the loss of Blood Presence’s self-healing and the change of Unholy’s rotation to change to using different runes from the other two specs, doesn’t it seem like a change should be made for Unholy somewhere?

    Even a talent to change DS’s rune cost to the same as FeStr (or SS) deep in the Unholy tree seems like a solution to this. They could remove most of the damage but exchange it for Death Runes (similar to FeStr). If they’d prefer to do something less boring, they could have Ebon Plague do some minor self-healing based on damage done by diseases, similar to other dot classes self-healing. Anything. As it is, it seems like Unholy’d have to kill their ghoul or kill their rotation to do it.

  21. Anaroth says:

    Unholy can use DS fine. DS+BS is a perfectly fine use of runes. Sure it might screw up your death runes a little, but RE will screw them up frequently anyway.

    • Roth says:

      Im hoping blizzard gives us a more elegant way of getting some health back and actually healing ourselves than Death Strike and Death Pact. Both are clumsy to use.

      • Anaroth says:

        Yeah agreed. As unholy I going to miss the semi indestructible feeling I get in raids. Bone Shield was awesome as dps.

        Personally I’d love for them to sexy up Death Strike too…. surely that’s the signature move of the class as a whole. I liked my death strike uses a death rune and does thing awesome but spec based idea.

        As a whole, while I can’t really complain about any one thing, the class doesn’t really seem as sexy any more, and the new stuff they’ve given us just rates a meh out of me.

      • Sag says:

        I agree, also given how little anyone except blood is healed by DS I think it kind of ridiculous that this is affected by MSs. Which makes me wonder, if the boss, or trash has an MS how does that affect a blood tank? If they are taking more damage, they sure aren’t overcoming that damage when they are MSed all of the time.

        I’d like to see Death Pact work like the void walker bubble. Not in that it bubbles the DK, but in that it doesn’t kill the pet anymore, just takes some portion of life away. It’s pretty significant as an UH DK to have your pet die, even if it is better for the pet to die than for me to die.

  22. Fish says:

    Consider – I like reading your blog and all, but I’m curious why you don’t post some of your ideas on the official forum as well? Wouldn’t it be easier to get blues to read them on the official forum?

    • Futhark says:

      Check who the author of the post GC responded to was. And keep reading.

      • Fish says:

        I did saw that thread. But I meant posts like this one.

      • Consider says:

        http://bit.ly/9Kp8HF and http://bit.ly/atM4Ed actually!

        But, no, I don’t post a ton on the regular damage dealing forums. I have my reasons. Perhaps someday I’ll explain why, but it has a lot to do with the difficulty of having serious, intelligent conversation there. But, trust me, if there’s something important or what have you, I post regardless. And, yes, the patch yesterday did increase the level cap to 85 (although beta servers are still down!).

  23. Jonneh says:

    The thing that really gets me is this whole RE deal.

    I mean, really. One rune back randomly? In what world was that ever going to be anything but a pain in the ass to use. Without control over which rune, its totally useless.

    I still say it may as well just make your next rune ability free. It would still give us the ‘you need to watch for it’ deal, because using your ‘best’ rune strike > accidently using whatever you were going to press anyway. Plus it makes it useful for all specs without any complexity. The problem being I suppose that its just a little too similar to Rime and Sudden Doom.

    Not really sure what kind of solution blizzard would like these days. They seem intent on changing the whole feel of our class. Pestience hasn’t ever been used as ‘intended’ so thats has to go… After a whole expansion of balancing us for its use.

    Ignore the bitterness! Not looking forward to being an AoE gimp.

  24. woohaa says:

    I think blizzard’s attitude towards RE is that they want to make it work the way it is. Honestly, compared to the other issues consider brought up RE is not that big an issue. If you look at it the way consider first theorycrafted it’s a DPS increase no matter how you look at it. Sure there’s other ways of implementing it, unfortunately many ideas are too similar to what they’re looking for. Also, if you look at the builds for the other classes. Most of them have a good amount of RNG built into their specs now. Yes frost has way more RNG then it needs. Rime, KM, and now RE??? that’s alot of procs to watch…

    I think the biggest issue is the GCD cap. If we weren’t so GCD capped, RE wouldn’t actually be that big an issue. You’d be able to monitor the procs better and actually, use your abilities in a way so that RE would mainly proc on the runes you’d like them to proc on. However, when your GCD capped you don’t really have too much choices.

    Also, like what was stated above i am alittle worried that like warriors we’ll be gimped at the beginning of cata and become OP at the end, which will result in the nerf bat. Haste has always been a huge issue for warrior scaling too well. Yet their making the exact same mistake with us. Even if they reduce our RP generation, eventually the cause and effect of haste, will GCD cap us at higher tiers of gear which will probably result in a huge damage increase.

    More haste = Faster rune regen
    More runes = More RP
    More RP = More RE procs
    More RE procs = More RP

    And this isn’t even taking into account the RP from rime and the extra RE procs from Sudden Doom. I’m sure they’re aware of this because they’re so afraid of warrior rage scaling too well in later tiers. However, like many of you, i’m optimistic that this will be addressed. I don’t really care too much about the RNG of RE since i like the proc playstyle of frost. However, i don’t like the idea of being GCD capped and the scaling issues.

  25. Sag says:

    I was thinking a few things about Pestilence. First off with Pestilence, how much extra damage is from the minor glyph of pestilence, that gives the “jump” an extra 5 yards. It seems to me that in add fights this could be quite a bit, but maybe I am over estimating that advantage.

    The other thing was about a suggestion that HisDivineOrder had about BB spreading the diseases. I kind of like it, if it worked where get a full set of diseases, BB to spread them, but have BB consume the original diseases on the main target. Basically explode the diseases off of the main target to spread 1, or both (with EP if you are UH) to all enemies in a 5yd radius of the main target. This means the DK would have to reapply diseases to the main target, but now all mobs at afflicted by at least 1 disease and ebon plague. I think that the one disease model works better here because it means the full power for all diseases is not on every target, nerfing AoE damage, but that 1 full strength disease and a magic damage debuff is on several targets. It also makes the DK either use outbreak on the main target or PS+IT, effectively nerfing single target damage because OB, SS, and DS would be a bad idea to use right after a BB. Maybe have the disease spread be based off of current DK presence, blood + UH would spread Blood plague, while frost presence would spread FF.

    While we are on that topic, I think it would be fun if wrapped into another talent we got something that reset diseases that are not on our main target. Yes they want to cripple AoE, and this would be a move in the opposite direction, but something like a random disease tick or crit has a change to spread the disease to a nearby target who is in combat. I like this type of idea as unholy because I would really like to feel like I spread plague, just being around me does it.

  26. Vuvuzela says:

    Consider just said through his twitter that nothing different talent wise…..guess we have to wait next week because i do not think they will release a back to back patch till friday.Back to college/work for me /sigh, what a letdown still having a great time reading other people idea’s and theorycrafting in this site

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