Build 12942 – At Long Last

Will be updated as appropriate, but this should be just about everything. I’ll probably make a follow-up commentary entry later this evening, once I’ve had some time to wrap my mind around it all. In short: very nice stuff for Unholy. Still some problem talents – Virulence! –  still going to be hard to balance our laughably weak mastery, and still GCD capped, but things are shaping up well enough.  The us-ghoul synergy is excellent, and long awaited. A lot of improvements to the general flow of the tree. So on.

Can’t complain (too much)!

Oh, and before it gets asked: No, Runic Empowerment has not changed.

Death Knight


  • Glyph of Raise Ally added; Increases the health of your Risen Ally by 25% and its run speed by 15%. Minor.
  • Glyph of Resilient Grip added; When your Death Grip ability fails because its target is immune, its cooldown is reset. Minor.
  • Glyph of Path of Frost added; Your Path of Frost ability allows you to fall from a greater distance without suffering damage. Minor.
  • Glyph of Vampiric Blood changed; Increases the bonus healing received while your Vampiric Blood is active by an additional 15%, but your Vampiric Blood no longer grants you health. Major.
  • Glyph of Pillar of Frost added; Empowers your Pillar of Frost, making you immune to all effects that cause loss of control of your character, but also freezing you in place while the ability is active. Major.
  • Glyph of Strangulate changed; Increases the Silence duration of your Strangulate ability by 2 sec when used on a target who is casting a spell. Major.
  • Glyph of Scourge Strike changed; Increases the Shadow damage portion of your Scourge Strike by 30%. Prime.
  • Glyph of Pestilence is now a major glyph, changed from a minor.
  • Glyph of Death and Decay changed; Increases the duration of your Death and Decay spell by 50%. Prime.
  • Glyph of Death Grip changed; Increases the range of your Death Grip ability by 5 yards. Major.
  • Glyph of Bone Shield changed; Increases your movement speed by 15% while Bone Shield is active. This does not stack with other movement-speed increasing effects. Major.
  • Glyph of Heart Strike changed; Increases the damage of your Heart Strike ability by 50%. Prime.
  • Glyph of Blood Boil added; Increases the radius of your Blood Boil ability by 50%. Major
  • Glyph of Death Strike changed; Increases your Death Strike’s damage by 2% for every 5 runic power you currently have (up to a maximum of 40%). The runic power is not consumed by this effect. Prime.
  • Glyph of Dancing Rune Weapon changed; Increases your threat generation by 50% while your Dancing Rune Weapon is active. Major.


  • Death Rune Mastery renamed Blood Rites.
  • Bone Shield, Scarlet Fever, Hand of Doom, and Sanguine Fortitude received new icons.
  • Death Strike: Now heals you for 30% of the damage you have sustained during the preceding 5 sec (minimum of at least 5% of your maximum health).
  • [Tier 5] Will of the Necropolis now cannot occur more than once every 45 seconds.
  • [Tier 5] Rune Tap now heals you for 15% of your maximum health, down from 20%.
  • [Tier 5] Vampiric Blood now increases the amount of health generated through spells and effects by 25% for 10 sec, down from 35%.


  • Pillar of Frost received a new icon.
  • Horn of Winter; ranged increased from 30 yards to 45 yards.
  • Howling Blast; cooldown removed.
  • [Tier 1] Improved Icy Touch removed.
  • [Tier 1] Runic Power Mastery re-added. Still increases maximum runic power by 10/20/30.


  • Impurity removed.
  • New tree passive: Unholy Might – Increases strength by 15%.
  • Summon Gargoyle received a new icon.
  • [Tier 1] Vicious Strikes removed.
  • [Tier 1] Unholy Command moved from tier 2 to tier 1.
  • [Tier 2] Desecration moved from tier 5 to tier 2.
  • [Tier 2] Resilient Infection changed; no longer excludes Pestilence-spread diseases.
  • [Tier 2] Corrupting Strikes removed.
  • [Tier 3] New talent; Contagion – Increases the damage of Pestilence-spread diseases by 50/100%.
  • [Tier 3] New talent; Shadow Infusion – When you cast Death Coil, you have a 33/66/100% chance to empower your active Ghoul, increasing its damage dealt by 10% for 30 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.
  • [Tier 4] Dirge removed.
  • [Tier 4] New talent; Rage of Rivendare – Increases the damage of your Plague Strike, Scourge Strike, and Festering Strike abilities by 15/30/45%.
  • [Tier 5] Unholy Blight moved from tier 4 to tier 5.
  • [Tier 5] Ghoul Frenzy removed.
  • [Tier 5] New talent; Dark Transformation – Consume 5 charges of Shadow Infusion on your Ghoul to transform it into a powerful undead monstrosity for 30 seconds. The Ghoul’s abilities are empowered and take on new functions while the transformation is active. Costs one Unholy rune, no cooldown, 60 yard range.
  • [Tier 6] Ebon Plaguebringer now includes Outbreak.

76 Responses to Build 12942 – At Long Last

  1. Roth says:

    Annoyed by the continued presence of:
    Unholy Frenzy still reducing health
    Unholy Blight now being tier 5

    Outside of those things, wonderful changes. The Impurity to Unholy Might change is insanely good. Wow.

    • Insolence says:

      Agree lol.

      DS change looks odd I think. And CDs got nerfed 😦 but TBE really, WotN was rather OP.

    • HisDivineOrder says:

      Virulence needs to be part of being a dk. Necrosis needs to be a semi-utility talent that is useful to dps to help bridge the gap where you go from choosing nothing but utility talents at the top two tiers to nothing but raw dps talents at the bottom.

      As it is right now, not only is Virulence required to progress down the tree, it’s a talent that every Unholy (if not every DK outright) requires anyway. I thought the idea was to excise talents that every spec required to function properly. There’s a reason all the rest of these talents were moved into the class spec’s.

      Currently, the two tier choices for blood to subspec into suck. Frost and Unholy have essentially one subspec tree and, save for Blood-caked Blade, nothing very compelling exists there either. I really hope that they give Blood and Frost a pass where they help Butchery and Bladed Armor become things more interesting. They already removed all the, “Armor converts into AP” talents from warriors. Now they need to take it out of Blood. Butchery is bland and mostly pointless. I don’t want it to be a super ability, but it needs to be… something useful. I actually think that by moving the RP generation parts into Frost’s “Runic Mastery” they’d have a Frost utility talent that made a lot of sense. I think Butchery should be about some kind of life generation or even life stealing, but then I’m biased towards wanting that as Unholy’s looking way behind the times (and Frost’s not much better) at present for self-healing compared to where all the other classes are now.

      • Caeden says:

        I tend to view Virulence as one of those things that Blizzard will be honest and say they like. “We’re the only class that has/doesn’t have X.” doesn’t get much sympathy from them lately.

        If they’re going to give a really great strength mastery to make up, it essentially becomes Flavor. We can whine about it but in the end, its a DPS and, to a potentially lesser extent, TPS increase.

  2. Azerius says:

    Well things are starting to look a bit better, as said still things that clash with the whole cata talent concept *cough necrosis cough* but its nice to see the ghoul get some love.

  3. kc102 says:

    Unholy will be way OP for PvP in its current state.

  4. Zav says:

    So much for Blizzard not wanting Pestilence to be our main source of AoE damage.

    I still question the usefulness of Resilient Infection, at least in PvE, given the so far unchanged nature of Unholy Blight. I mean, unless there are going to be AoE-oriented encounters with creatures that dispel themselves, I don’t see it being anymore than a PvP talent (in which case it still bothers me, having to put at least one point in one such PvP talent in order to advance down the tree)

    Also, Dark Transformation sounds VERY intriguing.

    • BloodyFox says:

      GC recently admitted that the boat has pretty much sailed on Pestilence so it will stay as we are used to it at least for Unholy. Dark Transformation sounds more like a PvP ability to me than anything else. I’m not sure if it would be worthwhile activating it as soon as our Ghoul got five stacks of it, not as long as we’re not getting anything out of it like BM’s “Focus Fire” talent. Something like that would be nice – it could proc haste (which at our current GCD state wouldn’t be that great), improved crit, some spells doing more damage, healing us, or something totally different. Would be a nice addition to the tree.

    • Neinball says:

      GC had recently commented that he didn’t mind pestilence being unholy’s main source of aoe since frost has HB, blood has a suped up BB, and unholy had nothing really.

  5. BloodyFox says:

    I find UH tiers 1 and 2 to be totally horrible from a PvE point of view. You are noew pretty much forced to put 3 points into Virulence which isn’t only a bland talent but also not that big of a dps contribution. Since you would also put 3 points into Morbidity and Epidemic you’re still lacking one point to advance to tier 3. So what are you taking? Resilient Infection is absolutely useless in PvE, period. So you’re left with either reducing your Death Grip CD by 5 sec or putting one into Desecration. I presume Desecration would be the best choice out of the two, but I don’t like the idea of forcing utility onto us, because we have no option to go into another DPS talent if we would like to do so.

    Also, despite the nice changes regarding Pestilence and our Ghoul, has anything really changed for UH heavily favoring DW? I’m not really good at tossing numbers around when it comes to theory craft, but looking at the changes, I can’t really see how those changes could have steered UH away from DW, at least so much that it wouldn’t be viable anymore.

    Anyone feeling the same as I do?

    • Leviatharan says:

      Hopefully they’ll add a lil’ something to Desecration to make it more useful to Unholy DPS. 😛

      • Leviatharan says:

        Or alternatively, move Contagion up and Resilient Infection down. That way the PvP specs and PvE specs will be happy.

      • HisDivineOrder says:

        They won’t move Contagion up to 2nd tier. They don’t want every spec having access to full strength Pestilence. Only Unholy. Frost has HB and Blood has industrial strength Blood Boils and Heart strikes. Every spec already has access to Morbidity and the DnD glyph.

    • Alrenous says:

      Mandatory virulence is basically free hit. It means they’ll have to balance around us not having much up there, which means things like +15% strength passives. I’ll take it. Certainly there are better ways, but this is good enough.

      /Agree with swapping Resilient with Contagion. Although as it is it nicely balances Necrosis and Frenzy against Magic Suppression and the tent.

      Unless you really love the desecration thing, just take grip. Basically those tiers have been turned into; take some stuff, whatever. Technically, they’ve achieved their design goal of not locking (those tiers) into cookie-cutter patterns.

    • Minaka says:

      It would really help if they added an additional effect Virulence, something that would change the talent from “Ugh, I have to get Virulence?” to “WOW, Virulence is really good! I HAVE to have this!”

      • Leviatharan says:

        Maybe if they moved Two-handed Weapon Specialization to Virulence? Or something to increase the effectiveness of Blood Plague?

      • HisDivineOrder says:

        I wish they’d take the stun reduction out of On a Pale Horse and put it with Resilient Infection. Then take the mount speed increase and put it with Virulence. Then take Lichborne and put Brittle Bones onto that undead effect. Then give them a utility worth having, like, “Feverish Complications – Your Frost Fever now has a 50/100% chance to also infect the target with Blood Plague.”

    • Seamus says:

      The fact you are forced to choose a non dps talent is the stated design goal, you should see the rogue combat tree where you are forces to choose 3, (I believe), non dps talents. They want to give folks the ability to get to choose between non dps talents. The only way to do this is to force people to pick up at least a couple non dps talents.

      They are balancing dps around this. You can argue as to the utility or fun factor of the talents you get to choose from, but this is a good direction to take the game.

      • Sag says:

        I believe that the idea is to force DPS it actually be concious of what is happening more than stay out fo the fire. There are several damage preventing abilities that several DPS classes have and they are never used by DPS that are only concerned about numbers.

        Apparently some people haven’t gotten the message that spending time to kick, bash or mind freeze an opponent is worth the cost. A few of the classes are getting some DPS talents baked into that ability, but are most likely balanced against having that. In Ret they changed Selfless Healer to give Ret a DPS increase for their use of holy power… Of course Ret has a talent to give a chance to not use holy power while casting word of Glory anyway. Basically every class is going to have something like this. The fact that I am targetting after DGing something is good. I should be DGing things off of healers, There is less of a chance of the run wiping if I am the one that dies as opposed to my healer. Hell my healer might be able to keep me alive.

    • Sag says:

      If you haven’t noticed it’s part of the new talent tree plan to force some kind of utility into every tree and make people take it in order to move down the tree. Unholy actually has less of that than some others. Hell just look at Frost. After sinking 8 points in, the next point won’t really do anything for your DPS, you have lichborne, endless winter, and on a pale horse in T2, and runic power mastery or Icy reach in T1. If you don’t DW, well, there is nothing for your directly DPS in T1 at all. Other classes have trees that are the same way.

      • Seamus says:

        Yup. They came to the stunning conclusion that as long as there was a choice to get a dps talent, even if it was only 1 dps, folks would take it over utility/fun talents.

  6. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    The ghoul change made me pump my fist up in the air and go “Yes!”. It’s almost exactly what we’ve been discussing on this blog for months- more synergy for ghouls with our other talents/skills. I’m even OK with more micromanagement for the pet, but praying that the idiocy that is the pet AI gets an update.

    Seeing more and more “useless” talents being pruned away is always good too- so far, so good.

    My hope for the next build is either seeing Virulence “baked in” to our core.

  7. Dalavita says:

    So the way the new death strike works, does this make it impossible for DKs to solo old content, unless the bosses hit your for less than 5% of your maxHP (meaning you can never heal for more than the damage you take with Death Strike alone)

    • Haardrada says:

      At 80? Perhaps. (If nothing else, when 4.0 hits I’ll probably have to put on tank gear for my weekly Thunderfury binding farms, instead of just barging in with 264/277 DPS gear which I can currently get away with on everything in MC except Ragnaros.) Might work different at 85 with everyone getting much bigger HP pools (north of 100k for tanks).

      Talented, DS heals for 52.5% of the damage taken and shields for… what, 50% of that before mastery rating?

      • Lasenka says:

        It does not make soloing impossible ONLY because on the shield. Assuming you get enough Mastery rating to get 100% of DS as shield… that’s a 52.5% heal and a 52.5% shield, plus RT every 20 seconds. We’ll be OK.

    • HisDivineOrder says:

      I’m more concerned with the fact that warriors, rogues, druids, warlocks, even BM hunters, so everyone has superior methods of self-healing than death knights that are not Blood. Unholy even has to wreck their rotation (and watch their diseases drop off) to get any self-healing. I don’t want the world, I don’t want to even go back to old instances. I just want enough self-healing (1-2% of our dps) to make up for the act of questing.

      Unless one of the new presences has the return of the minor self-healing that we all took for granted on Live through Blood Presence? If they put it on Unholy Presence, at least I’d have a real use for that presence (I don’t PVP).

      If not, most every dk will be leveling, questing, and living in Blood spec. I don’t particularly like Blood spec.

      This would be a great way to fix the crap that is Butchery imo. Then every spec could go for very minor self-healing that adds up over a long, long period of time and those that don’t care don’t have to use it.

  8. Alrenous says:

    Necrosis gives you an unholy-themed lightsabre.
    Unholy Frenzy gives you bloodshot eyes and lethal hands.

    I don’t (much) mind if they don’t do anything with necrosis.
    UF is also handy for testing self healing. They should boost the buff to be worth the cost rather than sacrifice the flavour.

  9. Insolence says:

    Uh…. Will of the Necropolis (according to Tooltip) costs 1 Frost Rune. Confirm/deny since I can’t login to Beta atm anyone?

  10. Zokrah says:

    From MMO-champ:

    Unholy – Dark Transformation
    As far as I understand, ghouls now gets charge of Shadow Infusion over the fight and can morph into a powerful undead monstrosity for 30 secs.

    Gnaw becomes – Strike an enemy with a smashing attack, dealing 125% of normal melee damage and stunning for 4 sec.

    Huddle becomes – Unleash a fortifying roar, reducing all damage taken by 50% for 10 sec.

    Claw becomes – Rakes an enemy with deformed claws, dealing 150% of normal damage to the target and up to 2 additional targets.

    Leap becomes – Charge an enemy, interrupting spellcasting and immobilizing them for 2 sec.

    • Haardrada says:

      Here’s to hoping that the Transformed ghoul’s model is a smaller Festergut/Rotface.

      • Waylandyr says:

        I’d be happy with an Abom from naxx model.

      • HisDivineOrder says:

        Sounds good. I want a minor Glyph of Geist that lets me transform my ghoul into a geist complete with its sounds. That would allow us to tell different ghouls and geists apart in the midst of combat. Since they took away the healing of Ghoul Frenzy and the only way to heal our ghoul is through Death Coil, I’d like to know where he is when I’m targeting him for a death coil and, though not strictly necessary, it’d be handy to be able to spot him from a distance visually.

  11. PennyRush says:

    Its a step in the right direction but they still need to weed out the passive damage talents.

    And the new Ghoul Mechanics sound awesome! Hopefully they give Frost some cool stuff too!

  12. Anaroth says:

    Frost and Blood were pretty much unchanged, hopefully they’ll get a smoothing pass.

    I like most of the unholy changes, they clarified the rotations a lot, but I think it was fairly clear what they should’ve been. The 50% penalty on pestilence is still stupid but I can live with the talents. i like the Ghoul talents.

    MMO-champion has a list of Dark Transformation abilities. Not a great deal of boosts. I wonder can you build up Shadow Infusion stacks while the ghoul is transformed?

    Of course they did very little to address some of the other problems.
    With the additional overloading on death coil from the ghoul talents, they actually made the DW gulf even larger.
    AFAICS there were no presence changes so unholy presence still isn’t worth using.
    The unholy mastery will still do much more AE damage than single target. Especially with the Contagion talent.

    The DK trees really are lacking in synergy for PvE.

  13. Rebellion says:

    When I saw that post I almost wet my self, at first I thought I was halucinating. But as it is for the time beeing a ninja patch, well, lets hope it makes it to the servers. Anyway, my first impressions:

    Frost: The CD thing on HB is a welcomed change. No much else though and I’m still not sold on the viability (sic?) of 2h Frost. Still, it makes me happy to see that at least I don’t have to spam IT and with HB we get a decent AoE skill.

    Unholy: HOLY MOLY! I love the new pet synergy, it makes one at least think we finally have mastered the art of necromancy. It also brings alot more flavor to the class than ghoul frenzy.
    I think the first tiers of unholy are awsome in that they bring back the option for you to spec some of the features that the “primal” unholy tree offered at the beginnig of wotlk, before it was nerfed to hell and back. Desecration was one of the most iconic talents in the whole tree, but as they split of the 5% buff it became somewhat mood and was only usable in PvP. I’m glad I can finally spec it again (should if prevail) w/o feeling bad. The only problem i see for now is that it might annoy other players again because ground effects are absolutly impossible to make out when the ground is desecrated. But the same goes for all the 10 million dummy pets every class can cast now and the eye cancer that comes in trap form.

    Blood: That they needed to tweak the healing was obvious, the solution though is a bit akward, but I will wait until I can see it myself. DS is “interesting”, but we will have to wait and see what it really means. The fact that it no longer scales with diseases though seems kinda strange to me.

  14. PennyRush says:

    After thinking about it for a bit, I think the Ghoul stuff might get changes. Unholy will have a lot of burst cooldowns (Garg, Unholy Frenzy, Dark Transformation) that will turn it into a killing machine when you can line them all up especially in PvP.

    • HisDivineOrder says:

      I’m kinda hoping Unholy Frenzy gets some major reworking as the life cost to damage increase is abysmal at this point anyway for a spec that can’t heal itself very well or easily. Could you cast it on the ghoul? If so, well the loss of Ghoul Frenzy means you’d have to death coil your ghoul to get it back up in health.

      Perhaps dk’s need some kind of damage to life conversion similar to what locks and (frost) mages have. Then again, ghoul death in the past hasn’t been a big deal. Perhaps it’ll remain so.

  15. Insolence says:

    Thanks for Datamining the new Glyphs for us, some look pretty good already 😀

  16. Anaroth says:

    So for unholy single target,
    We’d be using the Scourge Strike prime, and probably the DC and Ghoul (now renamed Raise Dead) glyphs. (I doubt IT would be optimal). DnD would be swapped in for ae.
    Single target majors look like UB and a big blank. If you take the talents then AMS might be the next best. And then perhaps PS. Or you could go with the ae radius glyphs of pestilence and blood boil.

  17. frostfright says:

    Thank goodness for a damn DK patch. I assume this will be one of several, though, as it looks like they mostly focused on giving Unholy the pet synergy and disease effect that the tree really needed. The change to Death Strike doesn’t seem like a nerf, since it potentially only increases our effective healing (Against lower-damage targets we’ll heal for less, because we’ll take less damage… No worries, since Rune Tap still scales with our health).

    The Unholy changes are really promising. If Death Knights went live like this, I’d give 2H Frost a try, but probably play Unholy more just because it looks really fun. Here’s to hoping Frost gets something really cool in a future patch as well.

    Finally, the fact that they gave Raise Ally a glyph makes me hopeful that they’re going to make it worth casting. Exciting!

  18. Scuzoid says:

    Blood is still terrible. I foresee very few raids letting DK’s tank sindragosa (Single target threat where high damage dot specs see more TPS time on the target than tanks do.) or green dragon (no explanation needed.) Essentially swapping the morbidity talent with glyph of dnd is amusing though, might as well just boldly state blood boil spam won’t cut it on the first thorim encounter….

    • Seamus says:

      GC has stated several times that Blizz is comfortable with specific tank classes not being optimal for certain fights. It’s not the end of the world.

      It’s still beta. DK’s are getting their pass now. Considering the number and scope of changes Paladins have gone through I’m pretty sure this is only the first patch with lots of DK love.

  19. Concerned says:

    Three cheers for blizzard! I really liked most of the changes, here is to hoping we keep these :). I do wish they would of made a minor glyph that would of ,..oh say, maybe changed chains of ice into a stun. All in all though very nice.

  20. Grave says:

    It might be asking much Consider, but could you post a complete glyph list? Even if the glyph hasn’t changed we would like to know if it is prime major or minor.


    Glyph of Heart Strike changed; Increases the damage of your Heart Strike ability by 50%. Prime

    I’m all for prime glyphs being an obvious increase, but that makes me think this is one of those cases where the ability doesn’t even function without the glyph.

  21. Jonneh says:

    Well, we did ask for our pet to stop being a glorified auto attack bot!

    Guess we got what we asked for, can’t wait to see the theory on that thing :p

  22. Nahela says:

    I assume that Frost and potentially Blood will be receiving similar revamps,which is very promising.

    Still bothers me that RE hasn’t been fiddled with yet, I really wish they would do that first so we can get on with the rest of our testing. All these changes are nice, but if we’re still working with a frustrating resource pool it’s going to severely hinder our feedback.

    • HisDivineOrder says:

      Have they improved the Rune and Runic Power icons built into the game to match the awesome Shard and Holy Power systems built for locks and pallies? Or is it still boring?

  23. Leviatharan says:

    I wonder if they’ll have a Power Aura for Shadow Infusion x5 so you know when to hit Dark Transformation…

  24. Rebellion says:

    The new glyphs are, well I dunno. Not what I expected but they will probably be changed over and over again anyway.
    Hmm hopefully we will see some more glyphs though. I was hoping for a reverse death grip glyph, that gets rid of the taunt and brings you to the target instead of the other way around (shouldn’t change anything in PvP and would be the long needed gapcloser for pve).
    And if they should deem us worthy of a cc I would like to suggest a glyph that turns strangulate into a force choke :D,

    Well one is allowed to dream, right ?

    As for the rest of the changes, lets hope blood and frost will see some more things in the future as well.

  25. Luckton says:

    I guess Hand of Doom is sticking around for a while…anyone actually going to get it over all the other better talents?

  26. Seamus says:

    Just thought I’d point something out, again. This is pretty much guaranteed to be the first iteration of the DK pass. They barely touched Frost and Blood so I expect the next patch or two to address these trees and see some more tweaking and balancing.

    GC has flat out stated several times that DK’s will not be GCD capped. This is the goal. If DK’s are still GCD capped put it into feedback with numbers, timing and example rotations.

    The internal testers are mostly likely using builds several iterations ahead of what is on the beta. I’ll assume they’re using a daily build mechanism. I dunno if they test daily builds or test a drop a day or two off. But I can guarantee they are using builds well in advance of what is available in the beta.

    The amount of QQ is incredible for a beta product. The uholy tree is looking great. Its the pet/disease tree everyone wanted and as GC stated it would be. It’s beta, give feedback not QQ.

  27. Seamus says:

    Just thought I’d add a little more to the conversation.

    It dawned on me that a lot of folks don’t understand the amount of time it takes to design, code and provide art for this content. Nor the time required by internal testing. WOW is not a simple php web page.

    The changes we’re seeing today are probably at least 6 weeks old with some tweaks from feeback. But the design was in a long time ago. It helps explain GC’s disconnect with the GCD issues. He’s stated internal testers are not experiencing GCD lock. Probably because they’re on a build we still haven’t seen.

    I figure GC is dealing with at least 3 builds at any given time. The one in development, the one in internal testing and the one on beta. Actually it sounds more and more to me like they have forks for the classes they’re currently doing passes for complicating things even more.

  28. Andeus says:

    I wouldn’t have so high expectations as some people in previous comments regarding future changes.

    Paladins got a major overhaul; we shouldn’t expect to receive the same amount of changes. Frost and Blood will probably remain as they are for the most part with only minor changes. Blood’s niche just got more…”niche-er” ( sorry 😛 ), Frost could probably use another mastery ( ? ) but both trees are mostly where Blizz wants them to be. The first tanks through self-healing the latter is full of procs with lots of RP.

    Why should they receive the Unholy treatment?

    Unholy needed those changes, cause it lacked character (pet changes) and was weakened by our Cataclysm changes (Pest nerf). Not to mention that it’s the tree that has the burden of carrying most of our PVP talents.

    On another note, Virulence got tooltip clarifications etc. Isn’t that a hint that Virulence is here to stay? Maybe it falls under the design category of “just because another class has it, that doesn’t mean this one has to have it too”. I mean they might not want us to have it baked into our core mechanics, so that we look/feel different in how we spec, what to have in mind while choosing talents, aka variety between classes.

    • frostfright says:

      Well, realistically you have to take into account the fact that Frost won’t actually change the abilities it uses at all. Even Mages, the class whose playstyle has probably changed the least (in terms of abilities used in a standard rotation) got a few new abilities and toys to play with in PvE and PvP (Moving Scorch, Time Warp). Frost is missing that “something new” in PvE that causes a draw to the spec for players who play it now, and players who may want to play it in Cataclysm.

      Unholy needed something that caused a synergy and interaction between the player and their pet(s), because it is a tree based around that. That’s the flavor of being Unholy. Frost has a similar problem caused by Threat of Thassarian vs. Might of the Frozen Wastes, in that both DW and 2H Frost play almost exactly alike. They could use some factor of differentiation. Single Minded Fury vs. Titan’s Grip is a choice that directly impacts playstyle, because Slam and Heroic Strike are suddenly higher on the priority list for SMF Warriors. That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about, and something I think we’re likely to see.

      But really, I just want to see something new that we can use in PvE. Obliterate and Frost Strike kick ass, and I love them, but I really would like to see some kind of new mechanic/ability. Hungering Cold is a likely candidate for redesign given that it’s a highly situational ability that we’re forced to get, and which gives little to no actual benefit. Plus, waste of a really cool talent name.

      • Andeus says:

        I have mentioned this before in a comment in Consider’s DSim article that our abilities feel one-sided (aka more PVP oriented) and thus bring very little to our PVE rotations. In that department I kinda agree with you. But we got what we got, I wouldn’t expect to for us to get something more. I’m thankful we even got Festering Strike.

        Now about your 2nd paragraph, I believe that they don’t share the same opinion about Frost as you think. The switch between DW and 2H is a matter of a player’s personal preference due to how the weapons look/ feel/ whatever. Most of the times players who want to 2H don’t want to DW and the opposite, so being too similar is not really a problem. That was the reason they added 2H Frost in the first place: lots of peeps didn’t even touch Frost (me included) cause they just don’t like DW. If you gave me now on live a 2H spec that plays the same way as Frost DW since, for example, 3.2 it would still feel fresh for me. As you can see it’s a bit different than, say, TG vs SMF.

        Also, if I remember correctly, GC mentioned somewhere that a class shouldn’t expect to get new toys for everything, sometimes things just work.

      • HisDivineOrder says:

        At the very least, the fact that HB is an AOE and yet is the better use of Rime procs than IT easily. I suspect IT needs a damage increase for Frost (if it hasn’t already gotten one since I read somewhere else that IIT was added IT baseline possibly for Frost only?). I think HB should not be superior to IT for Rime because that’s an odd situation for what is apparently Frost’s go-to AOE (now that it doesn’t have the cd).

        I also happen to think that 2h Frost, if it is catering to ex-Blood “I hate Unholy” crowd, then it needs to have something like DRW/Gargoyle to hit, something flashy just to show off. Every spec likes to have awesome, “Whoa, did you see that” abilities that you use after you’ve ramped up to give you a feeling of being powerful. Not saying they have to add it, but I think it would help satisfy the, “I want something new to bring me back to Cata and Frost spec.”

        There’s also the concern that Frost as a subspec has some serious flaws. Annihilation is useful only to Frost. Runic Mastery makes the GCD worse for every spec that can’t afford the GCD’s. Icy Reach is useless to the other specs because it’s way too expensive for what you get. NoCS isn’t intended for Unholy (GC confirmed) or Blood, so why is it even in the beginning of the tree? Meanwhile, talents every DK might like to have for convenience, OaPH and EW, are expensive AND on the second tier, meaning you’d be throwing talent points away on the first tier just to get down to them. Perhaps if they were on the first tier, dk’s might trade dps for the convenience.

        I’d argue that Frost and Blood’s early tiers show no hint of change, which means they may well be up for changes. Unholy’s early tiers were changed, but wow… they still suck. So maybe not. I don’t understand why there can’t be some PVE-useful utility talents in there versus all these PVP talents that aren’t useful. Or Virulence which is a talent no dk SHOULD be without. There’s no choice in that. It’s just, “Hai, u haf to spend 3 points in UH, sux 2 b u.”

        And I didn’t even go into Butchery or Armored Blade (talents like this were taken out of other trees for every other class).

        Thought the point was to give us choices, not force everyone to take the same talent (Virulence, Armored Blade/BCB) regardless of spec.

  29. Raxx says:

    Glad they fixed it, but re-rolled to my priest now lol

  30. Noin says:

    People have often said they’d like to see a new PVE ability.

    Okay. What’s your idea? What are you looking for in this ability? What hole or niche do you want it to fill? What is it about Frost/Unholy playstyle that’s missing?

    Unholy got something because players said they didn’t like how our pet wasn’t particularly exciting. They wanted more pet synergy from our abilities and such. Blizzard responded to this. Now Unholy gets a pet zombie. Yay.

    Do you see the process?

    Vague feedback is useless feedback. Unless Blizzard has some concrete idea of what you’re searching for, they’re not going to respond. You can’t demand something of them just because you “want” a “new PVE ability.” You have to give them something to work with.

    Re: Virulence.

    The talent is frustrating, but I think it’s *possible* Blizzard wants to emphasize the fact that we’re a hybrid of spells and strikes. It sounds great from a conceptual standpoint, but (in my opinion) it’s pretty terrible from a gameplay standpoint, especially from PVP: we have too many stats to juggle in PVP as it is. We need that part of our class streamlined.

    I’m hoping they throw us a bone here and fix our spell hit issues.

    • frostfright says:

      Oh, there are a couple things I’d like, but I disagree with your point. Giving Blizzard ideas is actually by far the least valuable form of feedback. Nine times out of ten they will completely disregard what you suggest, because they have their own vision for the class, and so many player suggestions simply don’t fit that. I think the main thing I want are abilities that I can use Unholy or Blood runic empowerment procs on. Waiting for an accompanying rune with which to use Obliterate is a very, very poor design for the Unholy Empowerment, and Blood Strike is quite frankly our least interesting ability (It’s not fun to use, it doesn’t do much damage, and it’s only a means to an end), and the only single target ability we have for the Blood Empowerment.

      I cant imagine it is the intent to have a 2/3 chance of getting an undesirable rune, as Howling Blast had its cooldown removed, and has become a very attractive button to use when we get a Frost Empowerment. Hence, something needs to happen to make those procs more attractive. There are multiple ways they could do this, from adding new abilities, to simply changing the function of existing ones (IE – Blood Strike causes your next damaging strike to hit for 10% increased damage, Crimson Scourge effect for all specs, or implemented in an altered form for each, etc.).

      Honestly, I just want something to change up the rotation a little bit. It doesn’t need to be a new ability, because changing an old one to make it more fun accomplishes the same thing.

      • Ganglati says:

        I’m with frostfright. My idea? Outbreak is our only disease applicator, with a much shorter cooldown obviously. Icy Touch has the Cinderglacier runeforge effect rolled into. Plague Strike extends disease duration. FeS as a result goes bye-bye. Blood Strike does what you say, or maybe something along the lines of Colossus Smash, our attacks ignore armor for a time. Bam. Single-rune attacks with benefits to all 3 specs with which we can burn our RE procs on without feeling guilty, confused, or annoyed.

    • rebellion says:

      There are alot of niches a new ability could fill, ranging from a simple cc to viable filler options for RE procs. But why bother coming up with thousand and one ideas, if you don’t get any feedback on it anyway? If you haven’t noticed, blizzard hardly responds to suggestions at all, because, as frostfright alrerady pointed out, they do not fit with their vision, they see no need for it or are just op every regard.

      If blizzard were saying that they want to bring in a new ability and give hints to what niche it should fill I will gladly point out a hundret possibilities for each rune, spec or combination of these two, but just tossing out random ideads is not valuable feedback, its just a pointless waste of time on my and on their part (mostly mine because they probably don’t even bother to read it).

      The whole notion about what is valuable feedback beginns to kinda annoy me. This beta GC spent more time arguing about semantics and what he thinks is good feedback than actually responding to the vast amounts of well written feedback. Even worse, everyone and their mom now beginns to judge every piece of feedback that is given. The first rule about feedback is, that there is no bad feedback. Even monkeys throwing their feces after you gave them bad tasting food is valubale, it only comes down to what you make of it.

      In this case some people feel that the DK didn’t get much when it comes to PvE. Which is kind of a valid concern. We got one ability that will now be used for PvE as it was finally fixed (Outbreak) but the crux is that it just replaces two other abilities, which is kind of .. well lets say boring. Furthermore we got a 100% PvP tool in the form of necrotic strike, which will be pain to balance at least for unholy. And at long last we have DSM (DSim ? Which one is it now?) which might work in PvE sometimes but will be highly situational at best. Oh and not to forget we got the awsomeness that is called festering strike. While it is now an integral part of unholy’s playstyle, it does little to nothing to frost and blood.
      But considering that other classes didn’t fare much better (well besides some exceptions like warlocks maybe) that is of no problem to me.

      Anyway, if i had the chance to wish for an abilitiy it would probably be a cc. But introducing a new spell always brings balancing concerns with it. The main problem with CC’s is that they usually have to be balanced for PvP, even if they are needed in PvE. There are ways though to make them balanced, even if it entails crude solutions like disabling them in PvP. Blizzard doesn’t like that though, that much we know so that won’t work. But there are other ways too to make them work, even if it makes the ability in question expensive to use and therefore undesireble. I would even go as far as making it cost 2 of the same runes. You could make a Frost Spike spell like marrow’gar has and make it cost 2 frost runes. That would severly cripple our burst in PvP, as every spec needs its frost runes to some extent even for their stronger attacks. Coupled with a cd it were probably somewhat balanced, but lets face it: That won’t happen, not because the idea is that bad (its a cheap example of course) but because they don’t think we need it, they don’t think it fits or they have something else already planned.

      And now i will finally go to bed. It’s 3:47 in europe and as my post reflects can barely keep my eyes open.

      • Andeus says:

        I disagree about those countless whining posts about how GC doesn’t read/post/whatever are feedback. They aren’t even bad feedback. He was also right about the theme/direction stuff. The problem here is the notion players have that if GC doesn’t respond to a thread then he doesn’t read it. His point was that he spent some time explaining about semantics cause he does read the threads and he wanted to read normal posts in them, not whiny pointless ones. One would argue that if he does indeed read them, how come he didn’t see the whole GCD locked DK thing? Well, ha.

        As for new abilities…well why get one? Do we really need one or is it just that players want to see something new for the sake of it being new and exciting? Even if we got one it would have to be situational and then there would be whine all over.

        So why not an ability that fits into a rotation? Because of 2 things:
        1) We are already GCD-locked with our current set of abilites, getting 1 more to fit in there will only make things worse. I believe that’s a serious problem with RE too, it’s not that we don’t have what to do with the extra runes that we need a new ability. It’s that we don’t have the required GCDs to do something with them.
        2) Only way to make it fit would probably be for the new ability to get a talent or something and replace an existing ability in our rotation. Not really needed for Frost or Blood since that would render the discarded ability useless. Blizz instead opted to just empower a core ability through talents (ie Annihilation, Rime), it’s pretty much the same effect.

        Now if they added an extra effect or niche to, say, Icy Touch or Frost Strike through a talent, that would be doable and interesting. But that sounds more of a glyph job so meh.

        Also I really like the whole Marrowgar Spike CC you mentioned and i’m gonna think it over a bit and post an idea of mine for it 😛

  31. Phanuel says:

    I have a question about Rime and Icy Touch. Is this ability hitting like a truck load now compared to Live? Why would I ever burn that proc on something, that as far as I can tell, hits for 50% of Howling Blast?

    • PennyRush says:

      You can use Icy Touch on Rime because of leveling specs. A leveling Frost DK won’t get Howling Blast till level 70 while they’ll be able to get Rime while doing the DK starting area. Without Icy Touch on the talent, the talent would be a waste for leveling Frost DKs.

    • rebellion says:

      Two scenarios come to mind:

      – A fresh pull and you would agro everything if you were to use HB.
      – Something is CC’ed, a HB would break said cc, so its better to use an icy touch (maybe?).
      – maybe some odd scenario where everything is fubar thanks to RE and you want to reaply frostfever but you don’t have a frost rune while you are already chocking of unholy runes ?

      what ever, as far as I’m concerned they could add pillar of frost, chains of ice and even path of frost to it as well. Its a temporary third frost rune, so why bother? 🙂

    • PennyRush says:

      Its for leveling. Leveling DKs who go Frost will have Rime before Howling Blast. The talent needs to be useful even in that situation.

  32. Kraav says:

    Well did some testing with Frost:

    – Imp Icy touch talent got rolled into Icy Touch baseline now.
    – Chilblains is considered a physical debuff now.
    – Howling Blast glyph will apply both Chilblains and Brittle Bones to all targets.
    – Outbreak will apply Chilblains & Brittle Bones

    Frost changes required:
    – Hungering Cold needs the applies frost fever to target removed
    – Pillar of Frost needs the rune cost removed
    – Endless Winter needs to be rolled into Icy Reach
    – Annihilation needs to be rolled into Rime

  33. Andeus says:

    An idea for a CC that started out as an iteration of the Spike CC Rebellion posted in a comment earlier and evolved into Sindra Frost Tombs in my head :P. Maybe a replacement for the current Hungering Cold.

    Hungering Cold
    The Death Knight uses frost power to hunt down and trap his target and one of his nearby allies in a Frost Tomb for X seconds. Applies Frost Fever on the afflicted target(s).

    In essence its the Frost Tomb from Sindragosa in a dispellable form. When used the DK starts Channeling it, while an animation shows him touching the ground and from his hand a Coldflame (like Marrowgar’s only with more simple effect) is emitted that goes after the DKs target.
    The Coldflame moves with 125% running speed and if it makes contact with it’s target then that target + 1 of his allies 8 yards around him are encased in a Frost Tomb for Y secs and are infected with Frost Fever. Frost Fever damage does not break it.

    PVE applications:
    – On stationary packs the DK can effectively CC 2 mobs.
    – On patrols the DK must know how to use the spell so that he can get the patrol at the right spot. Remember that the spell is channeled and has travelling time.

    PVP application:
    – Forces enemies to scatter or risk getting CCed
    – During casting the DK is pretty much vulnerable. Correct use would have to take into account the distance from your target, how they can evade it and figuring out the right moment. Deciding how far away from your opponent you are gonna use it is very important.
    – Would force enemies to use Evasion CDs (R.Boots, Sprint, BLink etc) adding to the utility of the class.

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