Change – Believe In It

Just a reminder, since Mmo-champion and other similar news sites have still not covered it, but new/changed glyphs are listed in one of my previous posts. I’ll do a page which organizes it nice and neat by prime/major/minor, with all of them (old and new) later today, most likely. The reason why I haven’t done so already is that, honestly, I expected Mmo tobe on top of thing… but who knows why they aren’t!

Anyways, on to the topic at hand: We finally got a sizable amount of changes. At long (long) last. The big question, of course, is what does it all mean? Did some of our problems get fixed? Did any of them get fixed? Why did they bother changing this, but not that, and that, but not this? So on and so forth; after all, change isn’t automatically positive, and although we received a lot of good in the patch, it wasn’t some magical cure-all for the ills of the class in beta.

Not even close.

It’s a start, and a decent one at that, but nothing more.


There were only two changes to Blood worth discussing: Blood Rites and Death Strike.

“Blood Rites? What are you talking about! That was nothing more than a new name for Death Rune Mastery.” Yes, very true. But why would they possibly change the name of a talent that’s been around for ages? Especially right when the talent is having issues (promoting the sacrifice of Death Strike for Heart Strike, right as the tree/playstyle itself would lean towards the exact opposite). It’s entirely possible the change is nothing – Blizzard just thought DRM was boring relative to Blood of the North or Reaping (and I would agree) – but I’m not so sure.  DRM is quite conflicted at the moment, and considering they just changed one of Unholy’s lackluster passives, it wouldn’t shock me to see the same thing happen here. I would expect it, in fact.

Then there is Death Strike. The change, for DPSers, is a huge nerf. Huge. our self-healing has already taken a large hit due to the lack of passive healing from a presence, on top of the fact that DS itself was proportionally more expensive (and more difficult, for Unholy) to use under the new rune system. Now it heals for much, much less. Blizzard has stated they have been inteitonally nerfing the self-healing capabilities of many dpsers, but for most other melee, exactly the opposite has happened! It may not seem like a terribly important aspect of the class, but when you consider the difficulty leap in questing (Twilight Highlands mobs are no joke, I assure you), the lack will really hurt.

For tanks, on the other hand, the change (which in some cases is a nerf, in others a buff) was absolutely necessary. Remember, Death Strike is intended to be our version of block, and block now covers a percent of damage taken (as opposed to a flat amount)…. and that’s where the problems with the old version began. It healed for a flat amount which was independent of damage taken (much as block on live). This would lead to it being overpowered in various scenarios; particularly, any situation which involved less than raid level tank damage. The new version doesn’t have that issue; it’s essentially a reactive (but controllable) version of block. Instead of having a chance to take 30% less damage, we can recover 30% of the damage taken in the last 5 seconds ‘ on demand’. It makes the two mechanics much more similar.

The introduction of Blood Shield, which is more analogous to Critical Block than block itself, is another subject which I won’t delve too deeply into here, since most of you probably don’t care about tanking!


Once again, there happens to be only two changes of any real value: the replacement of Improved Icy Touch with Runic Power Mastery and the removal of Howling Blast’s cooldown.

One can’t help to be happy that Improved Icy Touch is now gone (technically, it was simply made baseline with the damage bonus being folded into Icy Touch, but that’s beside the point). IIT was all that was wrong with the old talent system. However… replacing it with Runic Power Mastery? What! RPM is slightly more interesting than IIT, I suppose, but it’s just as weak (if not moreso). In PvE, it’s essentially useless, especially with runic power gains being more predictable (due to the lack of Revitalize/Rapture, and Anti-Magic Shell’s RP being locked behind a deep talent). In PvP, with health pools being increased so substantially, there’s equally little incentive to hoard RP to try and burst someone down (since you just won’t be able to). Removing a bad talent? Great. Replacing it with an even worse one? Not good!

Howling Blast’s cooldown is practically pointless under the new rune system… if it ever served any meaningful purpose at all May as well remove it. It’s just an annoyance.

There’s one other thing about Frost worth briefly discussing. It’s not a change, but rather the lack of one: Glyph of Frost Strike survives. Is GoFS a potent glyph? Yes. Is GoFS a more interesting glyph than some raw damage buff? Yes. However, GoFS is a huge, huge issue as the spec currently stands. I’m sure you all can guess why: global capping! In my last GCD mapping, I even assumed GoFS would be removed, and we were still capped. Want to imagine how that picture would look if I went back and added it in? This ongoing problem we’ve been fighting against all beta just got quite a bit worse.


The best for last, or so they say.

Or, in this case, the most complicated for last.

Is the spec still GCD capped? Yes, as much as ever. The changes do nothing to affect that situations; Dark Transformation use essentially displaces Unholy Frenzy in that it will replace a Scourge Strike every ~60 seconds or so.

Is the spec still bloated in the sense that it can’t take any talents aside from those which are straight up dps? Yes, as much as ever. Try to spec it out at 85; 8/0/33 is what you’re going to get, and the only non-dps talent you pick up is a single point in Desecration which you have to take to move down the tree. Nothing else. There’s no room for anything else.

Is the spec still DW leaning? Yes, as much as ever. The removal of Improved Icy Touch and Dirge don’t hurt DW that bad… especially since, as discussed, Improved Icy Touch wasn’t actually eliminated but made baseline. The introduction of Rage of Rivendare doesn’t actually boost Scourge Strike damage since it’s simply balancing out the dearth of Vicious Strikes and Corrupting Strikes.  On the other hand, Nerves of Cold Steel is still easily accessible. Sudden Doom still favors DW by a large margin. The new Shadow Infusion/Dark Transformation mechanic just plays off SD, further emboldening DW. A large portion of the spec’s damage is still weapon damage independent; a larger portion than ever, in fact, due to the mastery and ghoul buffs. This problem got worse, not better, I assure you.

All of that said, the new synergy between us and our pet is excellent. It’s just the sort of thing we’ve been lacking for ages now, and it helps make the spec “flow” better. The introduction of Contagion is well-warranted, considering how weak Unholy’s AoE was becoming (although the use of Pestilence is still going to be a bit odd, due to the sole Frost rune leftover). The buff to Blightcaller was greatly needed, as I was discussing just the other day how weak mastery was for the spec. The removal of Impurity in favor of Unholy Might is quite welcome; Impurity was rather weak, only benefiting death coil and diseases, whereas UM will affect literally all of our damage.

Suffice is to say, Unholy got a handful of very nice and much needed additions. But it most certainly did not get all of its issues worked out… far from it. The largest among them are as present as ever, and have just grown worse in some cases. Unholy’s general playstyle (sans Runic Empowerment, of course) is now quite solid, for the most part. They just need to tackle the ‘number’ heavy issues; GCD use, tree bloat, and DW.


57 Responses to Change – Believe In It

  1. Insolence says:

    The way I see it new DS is anti-productive even for Tanks tbh. As the expansion progresses, you avoid more. Imagine avoiding 1/3 blows you take in those 5 seconds before you cast DS. Large amount of Healing just totally gone. This is adding to the Avoidance VS. Stamina Gemming issue for Hybrid Gems, straight Stamina is higher Vengeance faster more Avoidance is more Rune Strikes and more GCDs filled with RS instead of DC. Haven’t had a chance to do actual testing with it personally so these are just assumptions though.

    I think they’ll kill DW Unholy by (seriously should have already been done) making Nerves of Cold Steel and/or Threat of Thassarian Baseline as a Frost Passive Tree Bonus, after all its missing a 4th one anyway.

    • Consider says:

      New DS is far from perfect, certainly. But so was the old DS. Either way, there’s going to be balancing issues with covering a lack of passive, rng mitigation (which is what paladins, warriors, and even druids have) with a form of active, controllable (to an extent) healing/shield. Very, very difficult to do.

      If possible at all. Not that the two have to necessarily be equal – if DS is stronger/weaker than Block/SD, we/they can just cover it in other areas.

      • Insolence says:

        True, they could balance it out between DS and Life Shield for example, think that’s probably their goal, but they’re getting there very, very slowly…. Ah well, least its something.

  2. Jhadur says:

    I still think the idea I had to reduce overall disease damage by 20-25%, remove the pestilence reduction, and have Blight Caller compensate for that(and beyond) and increase the disease scaling portions of strikes would be a better route to take. It keeps the other specs from drawing as much aoe from disease damage while keeping that as a niche for unholy aoe and allows Unholy’s mastery to increase something other than disease damage while still maintaining the the theme.

    Maybe then Frost’s mastery could scale frost damage and the weapon damage percentage of strikes.

    Also, Consider, do you think they should remove Chill of the Grave aswell? I’ve been thinking about whether it would be better if rp was tied directly to the number of runes used by an ability, 15rp per rune. So a single rune ability would give 15, double-30, Army-45 😉 .

  3. Alrenous says:

    My main issue with DKs right now is that death runes should be used before plain runes in certain instances, because otherwise RE can easily peg a rune pair.
    Btw my 81 toon in PVP gear isn’t GCD capped, even with improved Unholy. Just barely…we’re talking maybe one GCD a minute…but still. This may be what Ghostcrawler is talking about when he says he’s not seeing the GCD capping.

    I can’t agree that blood presence was a whole lot of healing. While soloing it was completely overwhelmed by Vendetta/Death Strike, and it would almost never save you in a raid.
    I do like new tech. The new Death Strike’s mechanics show a great deal of promise, especially if they can weave diseases back into it.
    So what’s the actual factor of health pool inflation at 85? We talking double? Less? More? Looks to me like not very much inflation, (say 1.8) and they’re planning on nerfing boss damage and healing spells instead. If so, then a DS nerf is simply putting it better in line with the other changes.
    It’s not a straight up nerf, either. Read it like this: “After being hit, you have five seconds to heal all the damage, up to 30% of your health.” So it’s terrible against things like shadow damage auras, but great against burst raid damage.
    Don’t forget that getting the runes isn’t much of a problem. It’s no longer a huge DPS loss to pool some on fights with burst AOE, plus if you’re really stuck, tossing a couple of DCs is likely to proc RE.

    I love being able to get into Runic Power Mastery. I don’t care if it’s weak, it’s hella fun. It does make it a lot easier for not-entirely-gosu players like me not to peg the RP meter. My tests the other day certainly put it to use. (Now I’ve said that, I should probably go test it again to be sure…but what I recall is, “Time to dump RP – oh hello, SD.”)
    And come on, if IIT is baseline, this is just a straight up buff. Now, you get both for the same talent points.

    For talents, we’ve found out a difficult tradeoff facing blizzard. If they unbloat the trees, people whine about having to take ‘utility’ talents. If they don’t, then they violate their cookie-cutter design goal.
    If you take a point out of Virulence – which you don’t like anyway – you have three utility talents to choose from. Pick whichever one you enjoy more. Sure it’s not much, but it’s a start.

    And is is what an unbloated tree looks like. An open choice of non-DPS talents – or at least not-straightforward-DPS talents.

    Similarly, Necrosis is balanced against Magic Supression. If they meet their goal of improving the importance of survivability, this will be a real choice for everyone, not just PVP chars. I’m not saying I agree or disagree – but this is probably what they’re thinking.

    I kind of wish Sudden Doom procced off SS or something instead of autoattacks. Casting DC has a chance to proc RE which (essentially) generates RP during which I’m autoattacking and getting more SD procs… Maybe I’ll get used to it with more experience, but it’s a bit frustrating to try to dump RP and fail. Especially while (almost) GCD capped.

    • Consider says:

      Remember, when rng is involved, you’re going to have occasional empty gcds, no matter how it may look “on average”. That’s simply common sense! It doesn’t change the fact that, in more cases than not, you’re going to be GCD capped (assuming you’re doing everything correctly and assuming you’re talking in a PvE environment – PvP or PvE gear doesn’t matter), and even the rare times you’re not, it’s going to be quite close. If you can show otherwise, fraps or whatever, I would be quite interested in seeing it. But we are capped.

      How is RPM fun? “If you don’t do something in a reasonable time frame, you’re not punished as much” by losing out on rp, is all it comes down to. If you’re actually making use of it in PvE (outside of when you use AMS as Unholy), then that means you’re just playing wrong without it. It makes it easier if, no offence, you don’t watch your resources. That’s all. If you don’t watch your resources as any class, you should be punished, not handheld. Otherwise what’s the point? Besides, RP gains are 100% predictable now in Cataclysm, so there’s even less reason/need for RPM.

      Just because IIT is baseline means nothing. Yeah, it’s a buff overall, I suppose, but an unnoticable one at that since RPM is even less valuable. It will make absolutely 0 difference to a decent player in PvE that they have RPM in Cataclysm. Absolutely 0.

      I don’t like Virulence, yes, but it’s still a dps talent. A weak, obnoxious one, but one all the same. It’s going to be taken. That leaves one free talent point to spend between Desecration, Unholy Command, and Resilient Infection. Only one of those talents is even remotely of use in PvE.

      Magic Suppression is a dps talent now, like it or not. One point in it is pretty much mandatory, as it gives phenomenal returns. The survivability aspect of it is quite minor, and not necessary anyways. You will take 1/3 MS and 3/3 Necrosis. There’s no decision between between the two to make.

      • Alrenous says:

        If my empty GCDs were an RNG issue, then the RNG should occasionally overcap me as well, giving me more buttons to push than I have time to push them, which isn’t happening.

        Oh wait, I know what the issue is. I’m not using HoW for RP. So nevermind, capped. I don’t think you’re really supposed to be spamming horn on cooldown, though, in the design. So perhaps that’s where GC is getting his idea. I would add it to your question thread if I though it might get read.

        “then that means you’re just playing wrong without it.”

        Yes, exactly. I don’t play perfectly. (See HoW above.) Not gosu. RPM means I don’t have to stress about it. I can just play. It mainly happens when I get chains of SD and RE, so not too often, but it does happen quite reliably.

        I also enjoy burst, which will only be somewhat tempered if it’s pointless. I also have this trick in BGs with Lichborne and glyph of death’s embrace, which works better with RPM. Sure, it would be much better to have a healer – but I don’t.
        Actually, that trick is probably why I don’t care about the DS change either. I’m just going to lichborne-DC myself.

        “It will make absolutely 0 difference to a decent player in PvE that they have RPM in Cataclysm. Absolutely 0. ”

        My point is that blizzard doesn’t do everything for such players.

        “Only one of those talents is even remotely of use in PvE.”

        Because if they were of much use, then it would become mandatory. You won’t even give up a point of virulence. I’m not trying to argue that this is good from a raid dps viewpoint. I’m trying to show the other viewpoints from which it is, while not good, at least a step forward.
        Essentially I’m just worried Blizzard will decide that their early failures mean the idea is unworkable, when A: the players clearly don’t understand what they mean and B: their early failures are because it wasn’t worked on enough.

        This is what opening up the talent trees to choice looks like. If you don’t like having that free point, then you like cookie-cutter trees. There’s no middle ground here.

      • Jonneh says:

        “You’re not supposed to use an ability that increases DPS on cooldown” is a totally flawed argument. One might as well say you’re not supposed to SS every time you have the runes to do so!

      • Sag says:

        I’m pretty sure that blizz intends for HoW to be used if there is a free GCD. That is the reason that they changed several of the warrior shouts to provide rage as well as continue the buff. If they didn’t want us to use it on CD then they should remove the runic power generation from it.

        While I do agree that not every talent does not need to be a DPS talent it would be nice if the more pvp oriented talents that are left in the UH tree would at least help in PvE. When was the last time any pve mob dispelled a disease? On that note, if you DC them first, how would they even remove that disease if they already have UB on them? If I am using DG on CD to pull mobs from a healer then the tank needs to start doing his job better. And if I am the tank and I am repositioning the mobs I don’t want them slowed through desecration. What I am saying is that utility is fine, just make it attractive to both parts of the game.

    • Jonneh says:

      Worth remembering that even with 0 haste if we are just under cap then once we start working up the raid gear, we will be very very quickly making haste alot less valueable than it should be because we lose some of the benefit it gives us.

      GCD and unholy DW are the two issues we really need work on now.

      Tanking is in a sorry state, but tbh I’m just past caring now. So long as I can tank reasonably well for fast 5 mans when/if thats needed again, and our guild has enough paladins, bears and warriors to fill the role… meh. Healing yourself a bit is just a terrible tank design. You’ll always be inferior. So long as another tank would survive the hit that would kill you, you’re substandard at endgame, and doomed to be the “tank of convenience” for the 3drake sarth, sindragosa HC and blah blah blah fights where AMS gives you an advantage the others don’t have. Even sind HC isn’t really a DK advantage fight cause she hits so hard in melee. /shrug. Thats a sad fact, but an honest one.

      If someone wanted to champion the blood issued I’d support it, but I don’t see enough support on the forums and elsewhere to really get any discussion going about the way our mechanic is shaping us. I rather think alot of people think just as I do. They’d like to tank when its convenient to do so, and as long as the job gets done they couldn’t care less about endgame tanking on a DK.

      • Alrenous says:

        Yeah I say ‘my main’ issue because I’m not even pretending to be objective about it. It’s simply the thing that’s bothering me the most right now.

      • Sag says:

        Taking larger hits and healing yourself could work as a tanking direction, but only if the health pool was large enough to sustain something like that. The heals would probably need to be more frequent than they are currently with DS and the rune system. This system could work though, I just don’t see blizzard doing it. Personally I feel that even with the DS shield blood DKs should probably have a health pool a bit less than a bear tank, and I don’t think that is going to be the case. I think that we’ll probably be normalized with warriors and pallies, which is bad because last I checked they don’t have a CD on blocking with their shield… maybe that comes next patch.

        The reason that more blood tanks aren’t up in arms about that particular tanking issue probably has more to do with just getting resources for blood’s abilities. DRM, or whatever blizz wants to call it, is still counter productive to Blood’s design. I’ve read several complaint’s elsewhere just saying that blood doesn’t handle any sort of streaming adds well due to resources. Maybe I am wrong and that has changed.

  4. Derah says:

    “The introduction of Blood Shield, which is more analogous to Critical Block than block itself, is another subject which I won’t delve too deeply into here, since most of you probably don’t care about tanking!”

    U_U aww come on! I care about tanking, I’m a tank to the core and take great pride in my job.

    I really wanna know your opinion on these recent changes and about Blood-shield’s usefullness.

    besides, even with tank gear and blood spec, is questing on Twilight highlands THAT much harder? (I’m guessing chain-pulling 15+ mobs like I did on WOTLK is out the window then :P)

    also I don’t see much of a nerf in the new DS.

    Currently DS heals me (on my tank gear and spec) for about 7-8k yet it MUST have the 2 diseases to heal, on cataclysm let’s say that in the last 5 secs you took 20k damage, then you get healed for 6k (wich is further enhanced by the talent of Improved DS) and 20k damage in 5 secs is being generous, tanks usually take MUCH more punishment than that in 5 secs today, now imagine how much we will take in CATA.

    plus, DS being independant from diseases leaves a much broad margin of error, for example in solo-questing, I had to make sure diseases never fell off, otherwise my only reliable self-heal would be useless, now I don’t have to worry about diseases to keep myself alive.

    DS “divorcing” diseases is probably the best thing that has happened to the skill in a LONG time, they were a bad couple anyway =/

    • Jonneh says:

      The whole concept of blood tanking is just crazy bad, the mechanics are confused and terrible, and nobody seems to care enough (or not enough people care enough) to have a discussion about it and get engagement from developers on the issues.

      I’ll help you out if you want it to be you;

      So long as you will relyably die to hits that another tanking class would survive; ie the confirmed case that “DKs will take more damage because they heal themselves”, you will be inferior at endgame. Its that simple. Can’t DS and heal yourself if you’ve died, and if another tank would have lived he is a better tank than you. Player skill, abilities, all that.. just doesn’t matter. You are incapable of doing as good a job as them, because when 9/10 you will die, they will only die 6/10 times. That is why “Effective Health” is the word of the centuary for tanks. Time To Live. These are the things endgame tanks are concerned with. Ours is lower/worse! By design!

  5. PennyRush says:

    “We’re trying to keep under control the healing abilities of the non-healing classes. Since healer mana is supposed to matter now, self heals become much more potent than they are on live.”



    All changes to DK self healing are intended.

    • Consider says:

      Yet that begs the question of why warrior and rogue healing are up through the roof (relative to where they are currently)! Even Ret Paladins now have the choice to use Word of Glory when soloing at minimal cost. We have DS, which is a huge hassle – forget the dps loss, it complete screws with your runes if you’re Unholy – for, now, next-to-no gain. And then we have Death Pact, which has a lengthy cooldown, and is, once again, a pita for Unholy to use. Compared to a rogue keeping up recuperate while solo, or a warrior using victory rush/blood thirst, etc, we’re pretty far behind.

      For raiding and grouping, I understand it completely, but there’s more to game than just raiding and grouping! Blizzard, of all people, should know this, especially in an expansion where they are intentional tuning up the solo difficulty.

      • Derah says:

        but that begs the question…… is questing on blood-spec really that bad? I’m guessing a DK on DPS gear but blood spec “should” be able to kill mobs fast and keep his/her HP high enough (I say “Should” because I’m not in the beta, so I have no way to know)

        during the entire WOTLK expantion when I was leveling my 2 DKs I leveled them in blood spec all the way, then changed specs to unholy for DPSing.

        can’t see why that would be a bad move on cataclysm, unless blood-spec really sucks at killing things and you take 9 minutes to kill a non-elite mob due to the severely low damage when compared to DPS spec.

        again I’m not saying “level in tank-spec and gear” I’m saying “is posible to level at a decent speed on tank spec, but DPS gear”?

        unlike warriors or paladins, we tank using a 2hander, wich gives a higher damage per strike (a DK using heart strike definitly hits harder than a prot pally using hammer of the righteous)

      • HisDivineOrder says:

        Pallies also have Seal of Insight:

        Fills the Paladin with divine power for 30 min, giving each single-target melee attack a chance to heal the Paladin for [ 15% of AP + 15% of Spell Power ] and restore 4% of the paladin’s maximum mana. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time.

        Word of Glory AND Seal of Insight. Warriors have tons of options plus talents in the dps trees to help. Rogues have Recuperation plus talents to either make it useful to dps and/or make it a much better heal. Ferals have free heals if they pop out at specific moments (Predatory strikes) plus Leader of the pack healing for every attack 8% health for each critical hit every six seconds. Shamans… are shamans. Hunters have Chimera shot healing for 5% health each hit and BM/Surv/MM hunters can all spec to get 2% health every 10 secs for doing nothing.

        Locks get %dps health return plus drains. You can argue that’s a core mechanic of their class and I’d agree. I’d say the same for life drains on a dk. The concept of “stealing life with attacks” for dk’s was always a core part of the class from day 1 of dk’s in their beta phase and they are now the absolute weakest in this in the entire game for no discernible reason. Taking it away from dk’s because it’s MIA for everyone else, okay, I can get that. Because the game’s then tuned for everyone not to have self-heal. Taking it away from dk’s while giving it to everyone else in spades, well that’s just plain stupid because it means the game is tuned for everyone else having said self-heals and dk’s’ll be sitting on the ground eating constantly or leveling/questing/daily’ing as blood if they want to get anything done.

        Before anyone says, “self-healing’s not a core mechanic of the class,” consider that every tree is supposed to emphasize a core mechanic of the class. Blood, Frost, and Unholy. Every dk–any spec–does Icy Touch, uses Horn of Winter, and Path of Frost. That’s Frost. Every spec of dk is expected to use diseases, your temp ghoul, DnD, and plague strike. That’s Unholy. Every spec of dk is expected to… Pestilence and use Blood Plague. Except BP is shadow damage, so that’s Unholy. Blood strike isn’t used by Unholy at all (FeStr is Frost). Blood’s core mechanic is self-healing. Even Blizz acknowledges this. Yet nothing of that except the weakest of all self-heals remains for the dps specs. And Death Pact, which might be fine for Frost to abuse their temp ghoul with, but will absolutely destroy Unholy dps, especially with the new changes.

        Where is the Blood part of the DK coming in? Self-healing is the core mechanic of one of the three pillars of DK-dom (Blood tree) and it has virtually no representation in the other specs. That’s my problem. Why are warriors and rogues healing for more life and more easily than dk’s when healing isn’t even one of their core mechanics?

        One of the rogue trees is dedicated to subtlety, which is sneaking around. It’d be like a dk doing stealth better baseline than a rogue can do. There’s no logic to it.


      • Sag says:

        What really bothers me is that the self heal from the current blood prescence is really nice. People don’t seem to think it is a lot because they only see 100-200 coming back, but when that is coming back every second or two it adds up, plus it makes DS a decent choice if you’re unholy or frost because is helps to magnify that heal as well. If it is currently built in one of the prescences, how can it be argued that it isn’t a core mechanic of the class? I wish they would have left it in, at least for soloing.

  6. Ashe says:

    The patch was certainly a step in the right direction, and hopefully they still have a few more important fixes in the works (RE, GCDs, change a few more talents, cripple DW unholy, etc). It worries me a little bit that they have put these talents up the 4.0 PTR, but hopefully that doesn’t mean DKs are mostly done.
    As for glyphs, I was really hoping they would take GoFS the other direction, having it increase both RP cost and dmg (obviously, in such a way so that dmg per RP was higher) so that you could consume more RP. It’s also interesting that they left in GoHB and GoHC, both of which apply full strength Frost Fever to all targets.

    Well…here’s to hoping this patch caught them in the middle of DK changes and the next one is more complete…

  7. Leviatharan says:

    Possibilities to deter DW Unholy:

    -Change Sudden Doom to proc more Scourge Strikes instead of Death Coils.
    —–> Although considering the new Shadow Infusion, this may be counterproductive, so it’s a low priority option.

    -Move Nerves of Cold Steel downward since Frost will be the only ones using it anyway.
    —–> Devs already said that Blood should tank with a 2H for threat, and we *are* trying to eliminate DW Unholy…

    -Add a talent that makes diseases do more damage based on weapon damage.
    —–> Or just change Blightcaller to do that. It’d be fun to see Ebon Plague start dealing some damage…
    —–> Or just add a talent that increases the chance for diseases to crit based on Festering Strike casts, or Scourge Strike damage, since both are handicapped by DW.
    —–> I suppose an alternative to this is effecting Ghoul damage instead of disease damage.

    -Change Sudden Doom and Necrosis to ONLY activate off of 2H (or Mainhand) weapons.
    —–> Off topic, switching Necrosis with Desecration in the new talent trees would make everyone happy.

    -Add a bonus to Virulence to increase 2H Wep damage, increasing its demand for all specs.
    —–> Or add another talent to do so, and combine some of the PvP talents in the first 2 tiers for room.
    —–> Whatever this talent is, it should be in the first tier so 2H Frost and Blood can access it.
    —–> Downside to this is a lack of synergy between it, Ghouls, and Diseases. Upside, more Strike damage.

    The list goes on…?

    • Waffle says:

      Adding to the list: If they’re planning on keeping Necrosis, have it proc on strikes instead of auto-attacks.

      • Leviatharan says:

        But wouldn’t that make Scourge Strike entirely redundant?
        “Deals 100% of wep damage and an additional 12% damage per disease as Shadow damage, and an ADDITIONAL 30% damage as shadow damage.”
        Seems like it would be strange is all. 😛

      • Waffle says:

        Maybe it’s a take-away from some of the games I’ve been playing recently where one attack can deal like physical damage, plus extra damage for 5 different elements, plus extra physical damage, etc. So a single attack can actually hit up to like 10 times. So yeah, getting 3 damage effects from Scourge Strike doesn’t feel all that strange to me 😛

      • HisDivineOrder says:

        Why not have Necrosis temporarily apply a very short term fourth disease like, “Necrosis – Every Scourge Strike hit has a 10/20/30% chance to apply a Necrotic Wound. This counts as a disease toward attacks that improve with the number of diseases per target, but the Necrotic Wound is cauterized by the attack and the disease drops off.”

    • Leviatharan says:

      Moving on to self-healing…
      One idea, add a talent to the first tier of Blood (or just change Butchery) so you heal a little based on attacks like the current Blood Presence.
      Or, if that would make Butchery far over budget, put the self-healing together with the theoretical 2H-specialization talent from option 5 on the list.

      • Sag says:

        A possible issue with that is that self healing can cause extra threat. Nice for soloing, bad for and grouping. Ask warlocks the heals from Fel Armor caused extra threat, and it took blizz forever to realize this. I’m not sure how/when that got fixed.

    • Leviatharan says:

      And something else completely unconnected from these suggestions, so pardon if this sounds completely off topic (cause it is):
      I really love Consider’s idea that Scourge Strike should make diseases instantly tick, or at least have a chance to. It creates a lot of synergy between the Shadow Damage of the spec and the diseases.
      So extending beyond that, maybe Scourge Strike should make ALL of the DK’s debuffs on the target instantly tick? We have Unholy Blight and DnD to worry about too… and if Ebon Plague ever gets to deal any amount of damage or gets some benefit from ticks, that too.
      Extending beyond THAT, what if Festering Strike increased the duration of all debuffs on the target? Scarlet Fever, Chillblains, Brittle Bones, Ebon Plague, Unholy Blight, Dark Simulacrum, (Necrotic Strike if they make it something remotely useful,) etc. That way, more PvPing DKs would use it occasionally as well.

      • Leviatharan says:

        And to tie it back into the topic, something like this would make Unholy DKs prefer Festering Strike over BS+IT, which would hopefully further deter the DW style.

    • Jonneh says:

      I’d actually go so far as to base our pet damage off of our mainhand wep damage somehow. That’d probably go a long way in one stroke.

      You could also revert Sudden Doom back to an auto proc instead of a manual one, which would help our new pet mechanic.

      Don’t forget that as the real kicker for getting things changed……….. they could always just make it so that SS required a 2h weapon. I mean, if unholy 2h is the only way to play unholy in their eyes… that seems like the simplest way doesn’t it?

      Could Oblit even come close to making a DW unholy viable without the talents that prop it up?

      • Leviatharan says:

        Yeah, but when you remember that “No free, mindless DPS” rule that converted Sudden Doom to its current state, it reminds you exactly why auto-procs would be a bad idea.

        Although alternatively, they could just do that (combining Sudden Doom with it’s current incarnation in Blood to proc off, say, Scourge Strike whenever you have a 2H equipped), and use the Sudden Doom animation to show off when Dark Transformation is available instead of a Sudden Doom proc. It WOULD remove some of the GCD-capping, if they take Sudden Doom procs off of RE (no problem there, you’re not spending anything so no need to gain anything) but kept it on Shadow Infusion, Morbidity and Unholy Blight.
        I’m partial to either really.

        SS requiring a 2H would also be possible, since it’s one of the main foci of the tree and you may as well not spec UH if you’re not gonna use it.

        And I don’t think UH DWs would use Obliterate for the same reason UH DWs won’t use Festering Strike: Spell damage is just higher than onehand wep damage. So… no, I guess, it wouldn’t change anything. 😛

      • HisDivineOrder says:

        Just put both Threat of Thassarian and Might of the Frozen Wastes in the Frost spec by default. Move Nerves of Cold Steel down to where ToT is and give 2h’ers another talent where MotFW is. Blood and Unholy DW is dead for good with no chance of return ever.

        While I was at it, I’d combine Runic Mastery’s effect into Butchery’s effect and call it Runic Mastery for two points. Then I’d take the name Butchery and put into it a more interesting mechanic for dps increase than “Your Armor scales poorly up to add AP.” With that, I’d add, “Your Presences are altered. Each Presence gives you a 1/1.5/2% self-healing for every strike you land on a target affected by your diseases. In Blood Presence, Death Strike has a 33/66/100% chance to reapply diseases if they are within 2 seconds of falling off. In Frost and Unholy Presences, Death Strike no longer looks at damage in the last 5 seconds, but instead provides a flat 3/6/10% heal and costs 1 U rune.

        And while I was at it, I’d give dk’s a way to heal their ghoul other than spamming death coils, probably through some kind of dps done heals your pet mechanic similar to hunters and locks OR return some “Night of the Dead” mechanic to reduce the cd on Raise Dead when the ghoul dies by doing attacks. I’d also not let dc’s used to heal the ghoul activate Shadow Infusion charges.

      • Sag says:

        @Leviatharan – well then they should ditch blood caked blade and necrosis. Though admittedly I like blood-caked blade. Yes it is mindless, but it is extra damage on auto attacks, but it is a reward for keeping my diseases up. A build like this could get it, but I am not sure if it would be a DPS increase or not:
        Regardless, the easiest way is just to not let it happen. Restrict DWing to frost only, probably the best way is to make NoCS baseline for the frost tree.

    • PennyRush says:

      Or they make it so Frost is the only spec that can equip an offhand weapon like it is for Enhancement or Fury.

  8. Disargeria says:

    One of the… possibly unintended benefits of Death Rune Mastery for Blood is that Runic Empowerment refreshes the death runes that are on cooldown. So even if it recycles its own death runes (DS->DS), all of the refreshed runes are spent on the tree’s signature strike, and the Death Strikes are priortizing the runes that were refreshed from the base runes spent on the RE procs.

  9. Jonneh says:

    Kinda wish that Abom’s Might would be moved down to replace Butchery.

    I mean, I know we’re kinda screwed for bloat and endless reachable dps talents.. but thats mainly in the 31 we have to take from unholy, and in fact end up taking like 32 atm, even being forced to waste a point to move down.

    Honestly though, I don’t really see the point in ABM being 3rd tier in blood. It gives a str % bonus, which is useless to a tank to do his job (some parry for us ofc, but really not worth writing home about unless the numbers have changed). Seems that it’d be much better off where we could get it instead of wasting two points in butchery. I must admit, I don’t care what raid benefit a blood tank brings because I have no intention of using one under the current changes proposed!

    Unholy actually only brings one unique raid buff dont forget, and that one is now inferior to Warlocks. (HoW I suppose, but I’m not counting that because we’re still gcd capped!) Frost brings 4% physical and 20% haste now. Thats alot of utility for one spec. Enhance will still bring 20% haste and 10% ap. Ret brings a whole host of raid benefits, too numerous to name.

    I’d just feel more comfortable not having to spec butchery I guess. Why not give us access to a decent raid utility buff with slight self benefit along the way?

  10. Jonneh says:


    Any ideas as to what talents could be changed, removed, trimmed or combined in order to give us a target of 26-28 DPS talents in unholy (and therefore 3-5 points we could take in ‘utility’ stuff)?

    Personally I find it hard, since pretty much everything in unholy either provides DPS or is a blatent PVP talent. What fun/utility would you like to spec if you could?

    Currently you need to spec 32 points for optimisation. The problem with a prune/combine in those talents is, there is still AMS to take which has provided us with many hours of DPS increase, and is required to continue doing so. Thats more 3 points sucked up which we already don’t have, so you’re looking to trim the fat to a total of ~7 points from this somehow.

    But if you did, what could you take? Desecration sure. Its kinda useful in pve, but it can also be a pain for those of you who remember not being able to see rocket warnings on the floor for mimi HC, or slowing adds that shouldn’t be slowed because the tank needs to position them quickly. AMZ yea, I’d love to be able to take AMZ you know. Slight DPS loss on use which is a little crappy, but even so.. awesome raid utility ability (just more bar space which frankly I think is an issue which will require its own post and discussion soon Consider!).

    Thats it really isnt it? Of the 4 talents we don’t already take, 1 is a DPS increase and 2 others are ‘pvp only’ abilities. We only really have AMZ.

    So as things stand we’d really only need 4 points freed up to take both of those.

    Ideas where/how to get them, or perhaps on a way to add more fun/utility to our tree?

    Don’t forget that IUP is a dps increase (and always was) so we take it for granted now, but 15% move speed is a really nice buff to have. I am not displeased with the way the tree shapes up as a whole! I kinda wish we still had On a Pale Horse to take (cause im lazy, and 20% mount speed is pro?). A choice between taking AMZ and On a Pale Horse is a decent one, so far as personal choices to make your char and spec your own. Do you want to help your raid absorb damage, or do you want to reduce slows on yourself and run faster on your mount?

    Any thoughts?

    • PennyRush says:

      1/3 Magic Suppression will be mandatory.

      I’m not sure Contagion will be required on every fight. We might have to run 2 builds, 1 with it, 1 without depending on the fight.

    • Noin says:

      Well, if Virulence was made baseline for Unholy at the least, that’d free up some talent points, though it’d have to be replaced with something.

      For Unholy, it seems to me that the biggest violators of bloat, so to speak, are Unholy Blight (yes, even though it’s one talent point), Necrosis and Magic Suppression. Tier 3 of Unholy has 9 talent points, and all of them are mandatory for PVE. That strikes me as problematic at best.

      Necrosis is just terrible as a talent. It’s effective and significant, but it’s 30% on our auto-attacks. Yay. It does nothing to affect our rotation. I think this would be a good candidate for a remnant of Consider’s idea of Scourge Strike making our diseases tick.

      Magic Suppression 3/3 and tied to AMZ is really sucky. Because of the talent opportunity cost and the absorption limit to AMZ, nobody will want to take such raid utility. We’ll put 1 point in it to get RP returns from AMS. Even in PVP, the feature is far too costly. They need to shrink MgS from three points to two, at the very least. Or unlink it from AMZ. Otherwise it’s largely deadweight.

      Unholy Blight is the most boring talent in Unholy, even more than Necrosis or Virulence. At least those provide an appreciable or effective bonus to our damage or spells. Unholy Blight, however, no longer serves a purpose. It’s pretty much agreed to be useless in PVP in the light of Resilient Infection. Nobody intelligent in PVP will take it, and we only take in PVE because of a theorycrafty increase, not because we really care. They really need to redesign this one as well.

      However, I think the best way to actually free up Frost/Unholy Bloat is to affect Blood and simply make upper Frost less limited or boring.

      For Blood:

      -Either move Blood-caked Blade to Tier 1 to make it easy to reach, or move it out of reach of both to Tier 3 and switch it with Toughness. Bladed Armor can take Toughness’ current place. Having universally valuable DPS talents in Tier 2 of a different tree is inadvisable at best if they’re trying to give us more options.

      For Frost:

      -Merge Endless Winter with something, preferably Icy Reach. Doing so would form an excellent Tier 1 Frost Utility talent.

      -Just make RMP baseline and forget about it. It’s such a terrible talent.

      -Nerves of Cold Steel – Make this a Frost Tree bonus. Unholy DW gets skewered, maybe even dies.

      Now, to replace these talents:

      -Bring Black Ice back as a 3-point talent and put it in Tier 1 to replace RMP. Yes, it’s passive and boring, and the numbers might need to be tweaked to make it worthwhile or such, but that kind of talent is more acceptable in the initial tiers, and it’s something Frost, Unholy, and even Blood can appreciate conceptually. It’s better than nothing and it’s simple. Less brainstorming for the dev’s at this stage is good, as bad as that sounds.

      -For replacing NoCS, I think this would be a great place for a utility talent that affects Pestilence or such and makes it ignore CC’d targets. It’s not a direct DPS increase, and wouldn’t be mandatory in raids, but it’d be very useful.

      • Noin says:

        Bah, I messed up in my Blood suggestion. Bladed Armor stays where it is.

        I’ll fix up a War-Tools tree this afternoon for these suggestions.

      • Insolence says:

        Bladed Armor will probably get burned, they removed the Armor = AP Talents from all other Classes. Then yes, move up BCB and there, frees up a lot of points for DPS Builds and no more QQ over “ZOMG I need to take BUTCHERY. QQ QQ QQ!!!”

        I’d love to see AMZ moved to Blood tbh, but with some buffs.

        Merge Endless Winter with Brittle Bones would have been my suggestion but yeah IR works.

        Frost does indeed need a 4th Bonus, Nerves of Cold Steel (and?) Threat of Thassarian (merged) would be the best choice, kills off DW Unholy in the process.

      • Jhadur says:

        I’m working on some moddified talent trees myself in war-tools. Had to use someone elses who had the new stuff put in, all in chinese, as a template so it’s still a wip. Only part I’ve finished is Blood. If you’ve read some of my suggestions on the beta threads, especially for Outbreak, then you can figure most of it out.

  11. Failoria says:

    Long time reader of your blog here (thanks for all your work btw). I’ve been browsing some of the threads about 4.0 on the PTR, and there’s one on the EJ DK cata changes thread that intregues me. A poster mentioned that after playing around on the PTR, he found that using OB to be a dps loss for frost because HB is hitting harder than OB even w/o mastery. Have you found this to be the case in beta as well? Dropping OB from the frost rotation would make the skill useless since no specs will use it at all, but it would make rune management for frost a lot easier (everything would be a single rune), and would allow RE to actually be slightly worth using (at least it seems that way to me).

  12. Noin says:

    I disagree that AMZ should be moved to Blood. I think its utility against Spell Damage as an option in the tree is exactly fitted to Unholy and the themes of Cataclysm.

    I would definite buff the spell and make it more effective (removing the absorb limit for one), but I think it should stay in Unholy.

    I’ve got Unholy mostly finished in this War Tools tree. I’m moving onto Frost.

    • Insolence says:

      Well if not moved to Blood then at least moved up so Blood can access it, maybe T1 Unholy, or even T2. Its excellent Tank Raid Utility.

      • Insolence says:

        Well, it would need cost modification and of course cap removal but apart from that excellent Tank Raid Utility.

        I should have said “Has the possibility to become excellent Raid Utility.”

  13. QXQ says:

    I can’t believe GoFS survived the glyph pass. A mechanic like the new Hunter pet talent Wild Hunt would’ve made for an awesome effect for this glyph (imo) that (partially) addresses the spec’s GCD issues, freeing up GCD’s when you need to, and not freeing them up when you don’t.

    For convenience, the effect would read something like “When you are at or above 50 Runic Power, your Frost Strike does 35% more damage but costs 25% more Runic Power.”

  14. Noin says:

    All righty, here’s my first iteration (of multiple iterations) on these trees.

    Major Changes for Unholy:

    Infest has replaced Unholy Frenzy. I don’t like Unholy Frenzy. It’s too costly in terms of health and just bland as far as an enrage talent. And since the Lich King had some cool abilities, why not give some to his former elite? It has PVP utility, PVE use, and a unique form of burst.

    Defile is meant to replace Death and Decay and Unholy Blight for Unholy and eliminate excess Frost runes, hence the shared cooldown.

    Otherwise I think the Unholy changes are fairly straightforward.

    For Frost:

    Black Ice replaced RMP. RMP is now baseline for all DKs.

    Pro-CC talent for Frost’s first Tier: Winds of the North (CONSUME YOU!). Something to choose between when you want to go up the tree.

    I merged Brittle Bones with Chillblains. I don’t know why Blizzard hasn’t something like this yet. This would be tricky with bosses that are immune to snares, but I don’t see why Blizzard couldn’t just work it so the debuff can be applied still, a la Infected Wounds.

    Chinook = QXQ’s suggestion, although slightly modified to make the cost increase a tad more intuitive mathematically.

    Annihilation is a “meh” attempt to make Frost less dependent on Outbreak or PS/IT for disease reapplication. I’m not so sure it works, but it’s something more than just “30% increased damage on one strike.”

    For Blood:

    I moved BCB down to Tier 1. Bladed Armor died a painful death in the backyard. I made it squeal.

    Butchery was modified to give us some self-healing back.

    Festering Earth is designed to make Death and Decay singularly attractive for Blood as an AoE threat opener. It may conflict with Blizzard’s idea to make such things less potent and long-lasting.

    I switched Blood Worms and Scarlet Fever, renaming the latter Hemorrhagic Fever, because the pathologist in me feels Blizzard’s original name for this talent was much, much better for Blood, and it fits with adding a snare component to it. People with Hemorrhagic Fever don’t move very fast, as grim as that sounds. Blood Worms lower in the tree is an option for those looking for some healing utility, though I doubt that would be popular.

    I tied Blood’s major CDs together, simply because the Blood Tree right now looks really hazy and unstructured.

    Improved Blood Presence is an attempt to compensate Blood for our massive loss in avoidance. Not sure if it would be effective–this is just an imaginary tree–but it’s something.


    Major changes that are not included in the trees:

    Spell hit bonuses have been included in all three Tree bonuses.

    All DK Shadow spells have had their range increased to 40 yards baseline. Frost spells are not so.

    For Runic Empowerment, I don’t think it’s a particularly good idea to try to address it in the talent trees while trying to get rid of bloat, especially in the lower trees. That seems like a conflict of interest.

    Soooo, in the interest of simplicity, I simply made each Death Rune tree bonus turn each Runic Empowerment’d rune into a Death Rune. For the sake of getting rid of excess GCDs, I would probably half Runic Empowerment’s chance to proc, somewhere around 20-25%. This is table-napkin iteration, so don’t get too obsessed with my numbers.

    I don’t think I mind the whole random aspect of RE; it’s just too reliably random. If you make its products Death Runes and reduce its proc chance, I think you can keep the ability as is without filling up all our free GCDs or creating some carbon copy of Arcane Missiles.

    • Insolence says:

      Few things: Blizzard would never implement Festering Earth with the 10 second increase on DnD, Glyphed that would bring it to a 25 second duration which is too long, they don’t want to go beyond 15.

      Tanks will go for Pestilent Wind, it might be better to reduce Epidemic to a 2 pointer and increase Pestilent Wind to a 3 pointer.

      10% Healing from Butchery might be a bit too much. DPS would gain quite some numbers, and Blood is supposed to have its Self-Healing reserved for it’s own use, not shared with DPS – apart from DS Healing.

      Blood VB – RT – WoTN – DRW Tree looks funny, but nice. I likey. Maybe dump in Imp. DS somewhere? Lol.

      Tanks also lack sub-spec choices?

      Would personally prefer RMP not to be Baseline, I’d rather not have 130 RP as Blood, maybe bake it into a Frost Passive or something?

      Excess GCDs isn’t due to RE procs as much as Haste I believe btw.

      • Insolence says:

        Oh yeah, reducing Outbreak’s CD to 30 seconds would totally eliminate the need to ever do IT – PS, GC has stated that is not the design goal however, so Pestilent WInd might need some changing.

  15. Noin says:

    Good points. All numbers are subject to change, of course.

    I halved Pestilent Wind’s cooldown reduction, but I’m not sure about making it a 3 pointer, though. Virulence/Epidemic is generally meant to be the “main” talent for Tier 1, valuable for all specs in PVP and PVE. It’s supposed to be a decision between Pestilent Wind and Unholy Command.

    Festering Earth’s increased duration was changed to slightly increased radius. I’m playing around with the idea of having runes used on Death and Decay refresh quicker. Just a thought.

    I don’t see how 10% is too much, considering Shadow Priests get 25%, and other melee classes have stronger healing capabilities. 10% is actually rather mild all told, I should think.

    I don’t tank as Blood, so I don’t particularly understand why having 30 extra potential RP is a bad thing. Perhaps ye can enlighten me.

    I believe RE procs are the main culprit for being GCD capped, considering all simulations that result in this assume 0 haste. I just think it’s a bad idea to try to copy Arcane Missiles, however awesome that might be, due to class homogenization. RE is meant to give us some RNG, no question. One might get better results with Blizzard if you don’t go out into left field too much.

    I think RE can be saved if it’s toned down and controlled some more.

    • Anaroth says:

      I don’t think that making RE proc death runes is really the answer they’re looking for. I originally thought it was the right way to go, but I doubt they’ll actually change it any more, other than tweaking the numbers. It’s usable in the current form and fulfils it’s main goal of providing us with bonus resources, even if they’re hard to use optimally.

      I like your change to necrosis. They need to give us some single target only disease damage in order to make the mastery more balanced. You may need to tweak the numbers though.

      I’m not sure removing NoCS is enough to kill DW unholy. With SS and DC actually being responsible for so much of our single target damage, I can imagine a DW build that concentrates on those two abilities, and festering strikes when it can’t. It’ll probably be GCD locked, but could still easily do more damage overall than the classic 2H build.

      The other big issue is unholy presence, it does nothing for DoTs or DnD, has a weaker magical SS hit, and contributes to our gcd issues. What changes would you make to that?

      • Noin says:

        RE is definitely a subjective issue. It all depends what Blizzard really wants to do with it. The concept is sound, it just seems to run us into the GCD-cap too quickly and hampers the purpose of the new rune system. However, I heavily dislike the its feature of Triple RNG. Perhaps that’s the reason the proc rate is so high. I think it’d better on the whole for it to provide a more definite benefit that simply happens less, rather than a possibly cool, possibly lame benefit that simply procs a lot and throws us off.

        The new Necrosis I really like. It gives Scourge Strike some extra oomph. Obviously I’ve done no theorycrafting on the actual numbers. All of this is concept-testing, not numbers-testing. I’m better at the former; I leave the latter up to more the more mathematically inclined.

        I’m not sure what else to do about DW Unholy. Perhaps make Sudden Doom only proc off of main-hand auto attacks? All we have to do is make sure DW Unholy is behind 2H consistently, not utterly destroy it.

        For Unholy Presence, I’m not sure. Going back to the 1-GCD feature is out of the question. I would take out the reduced rune cooldown and make it increase all magical damage significantly instead. Frost presence can increase Frost damage and Runic Power generation. Simply changing Frost’s damage buff to Frost could easily keep Unholy out of it forever. The numbers would have to be tweaked carefully, but I can see ways to distinguish the two.

    • Insolence says:

      Well originally self-healing from Blood Presence was 4% of all damage you dealt, it was minor but it was present, you went beyond doubling it so I think it might be more than what Blizzard might do if they were to bring it back. Not sure if Shadow Priests got theirs buffed with Cata or if it was like that before since I don’t play one 😛

      Extra 30 RP wouldn’t be an issue, as much as wasted. Right now we go for 1/3 SoB and we still spend a lot of time with high RP due to how RNG Rune Strike is. Increasing the cap further to 130 would just fuel un-used RP unfortunately.

      Not being a DPS I’m not sure if its RE or Haste, I was just lead to believe it was more Haste than RE from forum posts and the fact that RE is so RNG in nature its highly un-predictable whereas Haste can be calculated. Class Homogenization sucks. /Agree.

      Runic Empowerment is flawed in it’s current design due to the fact that it doesn’t work well with Multi-Rune Abilities – Frost and Unholy Runes for Blood are spent on Death Strike – If you get a RE Unholy Rune you can grudgingly spend it on Necrotic Strike. If its a Frost Rune, you can only spend it on IT though, similar issues with Frost and Unholy. If Runic Empowerment procd Death Runes on the other hand the choice would come down to Heart Strike, Howling Blast, or Scourge Strike depending on your spec. Sure, it makes the Talent a no-brainer but better than it’s current weakness. If Blizzard comes up with a better alteration I’ll be content, but as-is I dislike it. For Tanks it doesn’t help us out very much since its double-RNG – First you need to get a Rune Strike proc and from there a Runic Empowerment proc, since you can’t Death Coil to RP dump (assuming you’ll walk that road, personally I’d prefer to avoid it with a Rune Strike that costs no Avoidance but for reduced damage) until all your Runes are gone and Rune Strike isn’t lit up.

      What I’m getting to is that they need to balance the proc chance around both our needs, and it seems that this job would become a lot easier if they were to release Rune Strike from its RNG nature, since it would mean we’d go back to dumping Runes and then RP in our non-Rune GCDs which we would have for A. Slower Rune Regeneration and B. We can’t Death Strike openly anymore, it has to be timed due to it’s 5 second heal thing, while keeping up our Mastery Shield.

      Frost will probably never use Festering Strike, nevertheless Scourge Strike or even Death Coil – Make those abilities require a 2H Weapon? Then the core abilities for Unholy are bound to 2H Weapons.

      Why would Unholy Presence’s 1 sec-GCD be so bad? Faster swings brings Runes down faster so more free GCDs isn’t it?

      • Anaroth says:

        With the current build, they nerfed shadow frost so it’s no longer optimal.
        That is good because it makes DW less viable.
        DW is only better damage in three main areas:
        Sudden Doom procs – which is probably easy to fix by making it PPM off main hand attacks.
        Auto Attack damage – Change necrosis (say like noin did), and a lot of that would go away. You could also make NoCS frost only.
        Finally it can be better for weapon procs.

        With the current setup for unholy most of our base damage will be from strikes and from DC. The strikes definitely benefit 2H, and if you fix Sudden Doom, then so would that. Additional changes could also be made (like removing NoCS or changing necrosis / BCB to be mainhand only) if that isn’t enough.
        The one weakness then becomes ae. That’s pretty screwed up atm anyway, but because there are less strikes being used for ae it could eventually become an issue.

  16. Shikatsu says:

    You know what i would really like to see as a DPSer, Some form of threat reduction Ala ToT, misdirect, fade, hand of salvation etc.

    Make it a rune dump whatever, it seems to me that with the changes in threat generation as I have seen them, it is going to be a stone cold PiTA to not pull threat from the tank..

    Maybe I am missing something but that was one of the few reasons to sub spec into blood…For subversion.

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