PTR – Just Some Reminders

It’s old news by now that 4.0.1, the pre-Cataclysm patch, is currently live on the PTRs. That’s great. I’m glad that all of those not in beta get to have some first-hand experience with the changes the class is undergoing. I’m happy, honest. There have been, however, numerous posts – not here, fortunately, but on the official forums and on Elitist Jerks (regrettably enough) – which are fundamentally flawed in one manner or another, as the author is analyzing the changes through the lens of Wrath and level 80, not Cataclysm and level 85. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely good feedback one can give just from being on the PTR and not on the beta, but you do have to keep some things in mind:

  • Yes, at 80 in current gear, Howling Blast may hit harder than Obliterate. It really shouldn’t, even at level 80, but it might depending on the exact gear you have. That does not mean a Howling Blast centric playstyle is anything to worry about! Not in the least. Oblit will ultimately outscale HB easily, as is readily experienced on the actual beta and as anyone can math out. Not just that, but even if HB did theoretically outdamage Oblit, so long as we’re GCD capped – which we are, beta or PTR – Oblit will still win. Plus, you have Rime procs. Suffice is to say, Obliterate is significantly better than Howling Blast. Don’t worry if anyone tries to say differently.
  • Yes, the specs (Frost DW vs Frost 2H vs Unholy) are wildly unbalanced. Yeah. For lack of a more eloquent term: duh. The general pass isn’t complete and the number pass hasn’t happened yet, and even if it had, remember, things are going to be balanced around level 85 gear, so if one spec reigns supreme at level 80… it really doesn’t mean anything. Just don’t worry about numbers and focus on the playstyles themselves. I’ll be honest, I laughed when I saw a post where someone actually said, and I quote, “In its current form DW will be top DPS over 2H” for Frost. They have no clue what they’re talking about, and they’re basing it on nothing. Of course, this was the same post promoting an HB-focued rotation, so…
  • No, the new rune system is not horrible and it doesn’t make it so you just hit a mess of buttons instead of a rotation. False and false. The new rune system, on its own, is perfectly fine. We still have a rotation ([Diseases > FS if RP capped > Rime > Oblit > BS > FS > HoW] for Frost and [Diseases > SD/DC if RP capped > DT > SS > FeS > DC  > HoW] for Unholy, more or less). All the new rune system does is slow it down somewhat, by making for fewer rune abilities but more runic power and proc spells. If you feel like things are just utterly random and that there’s no semblence of thinking going on, it’s almost certainly just Runic Empowerment at play. Copy a second character over and don’t train RE and see how it feels. It’s really not all that different from live in terms of priority. The new rune system, by itself, is fine.
  • Yes, the damage of almost every class is absurdly high at the moment. If you die in one or two globals, that isn’t reflective of you being “squishy” or what have you.
  • Yes, various bugs (like diseases not benefiting from haste) are there on beta and they are (likely) not intended. Don’t worry about them.
  • Yes, you can train Festering Strike on the PTR. It’s available sub-80+.

I’m sure there’s some other things I’m forgetting, and feel free to add in comments, but basically, remember to keep things in perspective. Stuff (especially numbers) are not complete and, even if they were, they’re not balanced around level 80 (and the gear/lack of new skills/lack of 5 talent points which that includes). Feedback is great, but this isn’t a regular patch, so keep that in mind.

Some of the posts/threads I’ve seen… ugh!

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77 Responses to PTR – Just Some Reminders

  1. Nessad says:

    I feel sad about the PTRers… They haven’t yet experienced the awesomeness of DSim in all it’s glory and probably never will…

    On a serious note, people also forget that frost and blood didn’t change in this patch, which is screwing with the results. Unholy did, and while not done yet (I hope), their focus should be there.

    • rebellion says:

      I wish I could even play on the PTRs but thanks to the buggy character copy that won’t happen for now, europe wow ftw…not 😉

      Anyway, the huge whine flood was expected. Too many people think test realms promote finshed products, which results in obvious chaos when you get to test something of the caliber of the massive talent overhauls which are still far from finished (hopefully) and mostly not intended for the current content.

      Some flaws though show themself quite early (RE, nDS) which hopefully gives blizzard enough motivation to reconsider some of them.

  2. Korell says:

    “like diseases not benefiting from haste”

    Its debatable if they will be able to benefit at all, in light of GC’s recent post to warriors about rend not being hasted.

    “Haste does not affect Rend ticks. Our general philosophy is that melee dots do not need to be sped up. Melee benefits from haste by generating more resources.” – GC

    Guess it just depends on if our dots are counted as “melee dots” or not.

    • rebellion says:

      I’m not sure how much dmg actually comes from rend for warriors, but for deathknights (especially unholy) the numbers seem reasonable around 20-30%, which is quite on the same level as most of of the casters (affliction warlocks of course not).

      • Anaroth says:

        The next GC quote is actually the relevant one:
        “Garrote and Rupture are not affected by haste. I am not aware of any melee dots that are.

        We want haste to apply to as close to 100% of your damage as possible. For casters it always applied to cast time spells. Now it also applies to dots. For melee, it improves your auto attack damage but also grants you more resources, therefore improving your special attacks as well. ”

        That last statement is basically a contradiction. I don’t really see why haste shouldn’t apply to most melee DoTs. It’s not like melee can actually apply them more often with our extra resources. This is potentially a major issue for unholy DKs and feral druids at least. Of course you could make the same argument that haste should also change the melee gcd, but GC isn’t too keen on that one either.

      • Noin says:

        Hey, this might be a good time to use the anti-homogenization mantra. DKs are a hybrid spellcaster/melee class. Why shouldn’t our DoTs, which do a great part of our damage and are meant to do so, especially for Unholy, scale with haste and be balanced around that?

        I can sort of understand GC’s line of reasoning; they may just see it as a way to balance melee v. caster scaling, but I think it can be applied more on a case by case basis, rather than a monolithic standard.

      • Anaroth says:

        Well technically our DoTs are actual spells, triggered by a number of different spell application mechanics (although they used to crit based on melee crit chance).

        Bleeds are basically the speciality of ferals (hence the mastery), so they’re also potentially affected by this change. However they at least have some “bleed” damage (shred / ravage) which is scaled by haste. Incidentally, I think doing some or all of SS damage as “disease” damage is probably the best way to make our mastery affect our single target damage more… (I’d loved the SS glyph to simply be, the spell damage done by your SS is now affected by boosts to disease damage).

      • Insolence says:

        If they haven’t let our DoTs work off of Haste up until now I think its intended. Sure DKs have been neglected apart from 2 Builds (1 during Alpha and the 31 point Talents Build) until now so I could be wrong though.

      • Anaroth says:

        Yeah I think it’s deliberate. I also think it’s a bad idea. There are other, better ways of putting a handle on our disease damage which don’t mess with our scaling so much.

      • Andeus says:

        Instead of gaining extra damage from Haste on our diseases, we get it from more Auto-attacks. It’s essentially the same thing only that instead of watching more yellow numbers you get more white numbers.

        They could easily allow for Haste to affect them but then Haste’s value would sky-rocket and they would have to nerf the scaling itself (or reduce damage / tick ) to balance it out. And in the end of the day, after they had gotten all the numbers right, your DPS would be the same number as if they had left all Speed DPS gains come from auto-attacks.

        The net result is the same and easier to balance in it’s current iteration.

      • Sag says:

        Rebellion, Rend actually doesn’t do much damage at all, infact aside from the new blood and thunder talent for Prot warriors I doubt prot would use rend either. Rend is used by arms for one reason, to proc Taste for Blood that allows for the use of overpower without being dodged. Also improved overpower gives a 50% crit chance to overpower (which still applies when taste for blood is proced) and (I believe) every crit an arms warrior has causes a bleed… All of that is possibly because rend is on a target. Fury and Prot don’t currently care about Rend all that much. Last I have heard it was heroic strike spam ftw for those specs.

  3. Ashe says:

    I’m surprised they went ahead and pushed the build onto the PTR before doing a real numbers pass on Beta for all classes. As a DK, obviously I feel it is especially incomplete due to there still being some major holes for us.
    I guess maybe Blizzards wants to be able to balance lvl 80 and lvl 85 numbers because people will be “raiding” at 80 with new talents for a month before Cataclysm comes out. Seems silly though. I hope its not an indicator that they are in a rush :-/

    • Insolence says:

      I agree, rushing it will ruin this expansion which so far DK changes apart looks great. At the same time I hope it doesn’t get dumped on us 2 days before X-Mas, which would mean over 12 months solid of ICC for one thing and ruining some people’s holidays for another.

      Funny, people tried to go ICC 10, they got nuked and couldn’t go beyond Marrowgar lmao, people actually trash wiped, with the 30% Buff! They’ll really need to remove Chill of the Throne with 4.0, they’re making major nerfs to Avoidance by removing Talents and Defense so its deffo no longer necessary, especially at level 85 when people will go back to farm ICC for Invincible/Shadowmourne.

      • Andeus says:

        Daelo said that ICC is messed up from the number conversions and they haven’t bothered yet to fix it.

        As for the PTR, who knows, maybe they want to see average-player reaction on some new mechanics. Maybe they will enable PVP, BGs et al for number passes and want to have numbers from mass testing to compare. There’s also the chance they want to get more bug reports on hardware related stuff.

        Also I prefer if everyone gets to see the new mechanics now, to save us from the massive QQ later when Cataclysm gets released 😛

      • Leodar says:

        I’m not surprised at all, and I think its totally justified/important. They have 2 content patches to release before Cataclysm, and 4.0.1 will unleash the entire talent/mechanic overhaul.
        The Beta is testing so much more than the talents/mechanics with quests/zones/dungeons/etc. I think having a larger population of testers is the right way to go.
        Also, there are some obvious and serious bugs/problems on the PTR. ICC has no 30% buff, and my paladin character copy lost almost 9% avoidance. Add in healing numbers being off and you have a perfect storm of people being stomped in ICC until they straighten out a few things.

  4. ODK says:

    do you really consider DK dots melee dots? i can understand Rend – and i believe Rupture and Garrote in similar situation, they are Physical type dots, while DK may use a physical strike to apply the dot, the dot itself is still magical is it not?

    • Andeus says:

      The criteria on whether a DoT is physical or spell is if the person is also using Auto-attack as part of his main fighting abilities. It’s not a lore or descriptive thing.

      Think of auto-attack as a big DoT that only works in melee range and fills in the DPS blank we have by not having Hasted spells like casters do.

      • Consider says:

        I really don’t get GC’s logic. The only dots which shouldn’t be affected by haste are the ones based off other abilities; think Unholy Blight or Ignite. They already benefit from haste in a roundabout manner because their cause benefits from haste. Such dots would doubledip otherwise, and that’s a huge no-no.

        But other melee dots, such as Rip or our diseases? Why shouldn’t they benefit? Yeah, melee benefits from haste because they generate more resources, but that doesn’t mean they can apply their dots any more often, and if dots aren’t affected, then less of our damage benefits from haste relative to casters. For them, all of their yellow damage benefits. For us, all of our white damage and only some of our yellow. The discrepancy is entirely illogical.

        The fact that our auto-attack is increased by haste doesn’t matter. It’s balanced so that our white + yellow damage is equal to a caster’s yellow damage. That’s how it’s always been. It wouldn’t make haste stronger for us relative to them just because we auto-attack. If haste doesn’t affect our dots, 1% of it will be worth about 0.8% dps, give or take. For casters, 1% of it will be worth about 1% dps.

        There’s no reason our dots shouldn’t benefit, and GC’s post lacks any semblance of reason.

      • Anaroth says:

        Yeah. I love the contradiction in that GC goes and says they want haste to pretty much affect 100% of your damage, and then they go and exempt large portions of some melee classses damage from that calculation. Of course you can apply a similar argument to melee gcds. It doesn’t make much sense for them not to be affected by haste.

        If we’re doing too much damage due to our dots being hasted then it’s a sign that something is out of whack, not that our dots shouldn’t benefit from haste.

      • Scuzoid says:

        Sometimes I wonder if GCer is able to keep up with all the unique mechanics in this game. I mean, really, is he aware different classes see 1% haste at different levels of haste rating right this moment? It really isn’t that complicated to see a trend “Hey, all the dk’s are stacking haste over hit/expertise/mastery/crit, and we think it’s because their dots are hasted.” and make one simple change to one class to the amount of haste rating we need at 85 for 1% haste. I honestly don’t get why anything in the game shouldn’t be affected by haste, hit (minus heals), crit, and expertise (minus spells/shots).

      • Andeus says:

        I think that GC’s response to all that is that they do want for Haste to be of different value to us than casters. It adds to the variety.

        If we generate more resources and have our DoTs Hasted don’t we kinda double-dip into it? They could balance that just by changing a few numbers (reduce damage on all hasted abilities? ) but wouldn’t it still be the same as a net result?

        I mean the way I see it, when they finally go for number adjustment and since it’s a new expansion with all new stats, they are gonna set themselves a DPS goal and they are gonna balance everyone around that, add boss HP etc. etc. Now if that DPS goal is e.g. 30k DPS, does it matter how we get to that number?

        “What about scaling for future tiers?”
        Well it’s not like we don’t already scale (unless I’m mistaken), maybe they saw that we have enough scaling to bring us through Cataclysm. Also they might be scared that if Haste gets so useful, with Tier 13 Haste numbers things might get out of control. It seems kinda easier to balance it the way it is now. I think 😛

      • Consider says:

        It adds to the variety, I suppose, but then he could just say that. “We’re ok with intentionally and arbitrarily making haste worse for melee by not affecting a key aspect of their damage for no real reason just so it differs from casters” =p.

        And, no, dots wouldn’t doubledip because of the fact that they can’t be spammed. It’s the same reason why a warlock dot with a 1.5s cast time can have that reduced plus the time between ticks without it being overpowered/undesirable, even though it may technically be considered doubledipping.

      • Jonneh says:

        haste will probably always be like that though, since its so clear cut how it affects casters. they don’t need to worry about GCDs and so on, since really its just about using the best spell thats off cooldown.

        With haste giving melee more resources, you could argue that it gives a similar benefit… the thing is, if that is the arguement, then didn’t warriors benefit from haste in that way already? Swing faster, more rage. Didn’t seem to work out for them in terms of balance really, warriors have always been a class which has been at one extreme or another. ArP might take some/most of the recent blame for it though I guess.

        Anyway;

        Our diseases benefitting from haste may be a bad thing anyway. They are already afraid that using our diseases to aoe is too potent, if that scales super well with gear then we may end up in the 4 set tier 9 situation again. Even more potent than diseases benefitting from crit though isnt it? (alright, it was a double tripple dip thing with 4xT9, but even so) While I must say its true that you can really enjoy being overpowered, its not something I can see them really being comfortable with.

        Depends how you look at it really. Caster aoe scales with haste.. the warlock seed of corruption applies corruption still doesnt it? Do those dots benefit? One assumes so.

        In any case, you have to imagine that the more our diseases become in terms of damage ratio, the more damage they’ll have to remove from strikes in order to balance us. Eventually we’ll be a melee shadow priest or something.

      • Alrenous says:

        The only thing I can see is that haste gives melee more resources, while it costs casters more resources.
        ‘Course it doesn’t seem to cost a meaningful amount more, even though that’s the only thing that differentiates it from a plain % increase.
        So here’s my story. May be fiction, maybe not, but it makes sense.
        In the original design docs, haste was something of a choice for casters, as they’d run out of mana earlier and more frequently, necessitating downtime unless it was balanced by spirit and MP/5. However, it turns out that downtime is boring, so it was cut. Similarly, having to moderate your own dps because your haste is too high is basically punishing players for getting better stats. (Even though moderate or starve is exactly the classic/new healer model.)

        However, when downtime was cut, the haste model, balanced against being costly for casters but all upside for melee, was not updated. GC is still working off this now-broken balance for some reason.

        Similarly, caster GCDs are affected because they spend a lot of time waiting for casts to finish, whereas lowering melee GCDs means the servers get hit significantly harder for each point of haste the population stacks. (Which is why I’m utterly unsurprised UP’s live effects were changed.)

        Hope you enjoyed my story.

      • Sag says:

        I am with the rest of you in thinking that our dots should be affected by haste. Some may say that this makes us scale too well, I’d say I’ll believe it when I see it. Maybe I am viewing this wrong, but after several years of warlock playing if haste doesn’t affect dots the class will scale poorly. See BC affliction warlocks and shadow priests. I don’t believe that this will be as large of a concern for frost, but it would be a concern for unholy. Consider is 100% correct that autoattacks make up very little of unholy damage, so haste helping there is useless. As far as rune regeneration time, I haven’t played with the new rune system, so I do not know how that will affect us, though if we are already near being GCD capped, then if haste doesn’t affect dots I see it as nearly useless.

        @Alrenous
        When haste became a of major importance (I’d say around the time sunwell opened) it was not a choice for DPS casters at all. Those fights had very strict enrage timers that weren’t forgiving in the least. Getting the casts off as fast as possible was important. Casters wanted their hardest hitting spell hitting that target as much and as fast as possible. Let the debuffs on the target multiply your damage. I believe that starting in sunwell several casters actually lost spellpower in favor of haste. It is also one of the reasons warlocks ending up doing shadow destruction as opposed to affliction (at that time haste did not affect dots and shadow destruction outscaled affliction by a long shot and shadow destruction had a very, very simple rotation).

        I can’t say haste was as important for healers, so arguing about spirit or MP5 isn’t valid. Infact of all of the healing classes the only one concerned about MP5 were shaman. Pallies still wanted crit, and large mana pools, priests and resto druids were more concerned with spirit. As I recall few priests outside of pvp went full disc, though if there were two priests one usually went half disc to pick up divine spirit (as that was considered an essential, and unique, raid buff). I do recall that my resto druid didn’t want haste at all.

      • Consider says:

        I never said that autoattacks make up very little of Unholy’s damage! Or didn’t intend to, at any rate. All I said was that we do less yellow damage (relative to casters) because we output some white damage, and thus if 100% of a caster’s yellow damage is affected by haste, there’s no reason that 100% of our yellow and white shouldn’t be as well.

      • Andeus says:

        Consider is 100% correct that autoattacks make up very little of unholy damage, so haste helping there is useless.

        Um, did I miss something here? Auto-attacks is where most of Unholy’s damage comes from on live (well, except 14/0/57 ), or are things that different in beta? It’s still too early to tell though.

      • Sag says:

        Ok, maybe I missed the boat on the auto attack thing. I’m going to have to find a breakdown of unholy damage on the dps meter. Ah, something to look at later tonight.

  5. Leodar says:

    Having a chance to experience Runic Empowerment for myself now …. it is extremely painful.
    Free resources are great, except in a resource system when each resource (B/F/U) is used differently.
    Its seems to me that many of the suggestions are spot on regarding RE.
    I especially like the idea that it be a smart mechanic that understands which resource/ability is most useful for that spec.
    The new ghoul is fantastic, although tracking shadow infusion is near impossible, and of course the bug that allows me to keep my perma-ghoul while tanking ….

    • Wake says:

      I agree on RE. Even if it is a DPS gain, it feels way better without it. Too random, and if you proc the wrong rune it just feels awkward. Give it the Arcane Missiles treatment or make it always proc a Death Rune, I’d say.

    • Scuzoid says:

      I haven’t messed with frost at all yet, but as for unholy, I fail to grasp consider’s concept of a “rotation” with 900 haste, hit cap, frost presence, and fifteen expertise. I REALLY do feel like it’s just “Hit whatever.” Multiple times now I’ve hit festering strike when one disease was at 1 second and the other at 2.5, only to somehow walk away from that without letting either disease drop off because, hey, crazy sudden doom procs procing crazy RE runes. I messed around on the target dummy for a good half an hour before bothering with an updated rune ui. Once I did download docs debug runes and actually tried paying attention to my runes, my dps didn’t really change at all. 10kish spamming scourge strike sorta zoned out, 10kish paying super close attention to my ghoul, using cooldowns on cooldown, and following the obvious priority cycle. Seems rather silly.

      • Insolence says:

        Got a link to your Addon? MagicRunes isn’t updated for Cataclysm yet 😦

      • Leodar says:

        I chose to spec “ideally” with Improved UP, and DPSing in UP …… its crazy.
        (1st is AoE, 2nd is Single target)
        IT –> PS –> FeS –> Pest/BS –> SS. After this its a total crapshoot. DC whenever I can, with alternating between FeS/SS and BB if there are still mobs up. If it says I don’t have enough runes, I just press a different button, it truly is just smashing button until an ability goes off. Its tough, because you lose health fast to any mob that is tough enough to withstand your initial 2/3 attacks. Level 80 elites are a good test, but staying alive is a challenge.
        The reason I was using FeS early was to extend the length of diseases before spreading them via Pestilence. I have not yet tested if this works properly though.
        I have recount working – but its mostly to see how many times I used each ability, and for healing numbers/ratios. DPS numbers are worthless right now, I’m not even bothering to keep track.

      • Leodar says:

        I should specify that ideally in the sense that the design goal is to DPS in the spec appropriate presence.

      • PennyRush says:

        We don’t actually know that. Its not intended in the current game.

      • Andeus says:

        @Insolence

        Here’s Doc’s Debug Run mod. It’s very simple but it’s something he made up fast while still being better than the default ones:

        http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info17815-DDR-DocsDebugRunes.html

      • Insolence says:

        IMO anything is better than Default – Default Rune UI hasn’t even been updated for Cataclysm (Graphics-wise) yet I think lol.

      • Scuzoid says:

        @Leo. Dps numbers right now aren’t worthless when they’re used as a measurement to compare the first half hour of half assed dps “testing” vs the following day with a better understanding of how to manage your ghoul and runes. In this instance, doing the same exact dps either way, what I was trying to point out, takes a lot away from the idea we have an actual rotation at 80 as unholy. I mean, really, whack-a-mole works perfectly fine.

      • Leodar says:

        @Scuzoid

        Thats a great point. I think we are both right though, and I didn’t write clearly enough.
        I meant that the actual number doesn’t really matter. How hard FeS hits isn’t of a big concern unless its doing ridiculous damage that the devs should now about (ie, bug)
        But yes, I missed your point earlier, comparing how the DPS looks when you understand your rotation/priority and when you don’t is important. I don’t feel like there is much difference right now.

  6. Jonneh says:

    I have a question which may require a post, Consider;

    Bar space. With new skills and talents coming into play, how many keybinds do we need now to be effective and is it too many?

    Personally at the moment I have two full bars and half a 3rd, all bound to keys. Unholy is losing Bone Shield but gaining what.. another 4/5 things to bind? Will we still need BS bound (for once per fight?) Will we be able to remove some old stuff? (thinking like DS here since its useless now, or at least way less effective)

    I worry that too much has been added and we really have far too many skills needing keybinds now!

    • Sag says:

      Hate to say it, but welcome to what every other class in wow feels like? Most of my bars are chalked full of stuff, some of it I rarely use. It’s one of the nicer things about playing a DK, it’s not that I don’t have my abilities displayed, it’s that I don’t even have them. The only other class I play with a less cluttered bar is my druid, and that is because a good portion of his abilities get a new bar with a form shift.

      Anyway, what I am saying is that if I have to click because I am using an ability I never use, I have to click, but I’d rather have it displayed so I am not searching for it in my spellbook. That means for most classes my bars are full.

    • Disargeria says:

      DKs actually tend to have fewer keybinds than most classes.

      Our normal ability usage is varied between more skills, like say using 6 or so different abilities every 20 seconds compared to a rogue spamming Envenom. However most classes have many many more abilities that they use only in specific situations, where we actually tend to have fewer. It works out.

      • Jonneh says:

        I’m not convinced tbh,

        I play several other chars, most recently a priest – come cata she might have 3 more buttons to press but that still leaves her with alot less in-combat abilities to bind. Even as shadow she has maybe 5 skills less to worry about than my DK.

        It’ll annoy me to have to keep the likes of IT/PS and BS on the bar somewhere, knowing that they’ll only be used once in a blue moon when needing to swap target while outbreak is on cooldown. Suppose I could always put them on a second bar I only swap to when needed.

        Will need to have on bar:

        Outbreak
        IT
        PS
        BS
        NS
        DC
        BB
        CoI
        Strangulate
        AMS
        Mind Freeze
        IBF
        DG
        Pestilence
        HoW
        Gargoyle
        DnD
        Raise Dead
        ERW
        Gnaw
        Dark Transformation
        DSim
        Unholy Frenzy
        Blood Tap

        Nice to have bound: (even as dps)

        DS
        Dark Command

        Death Pact
        Leap/Passive macro
        Raise Ally
        Mount

        So ~31 active skills. All of which actually do have some purpose in a well played pve (dps) DK. Unholy ofc. That really seems like alot compared to other classes I play.

        Priest – 24 binds (disc)
        Druid – 22 binds (bear)

        You can imagine those going up by ~3 or so. Still quite a few less than my DK.

      • Consider says:

        IT/PS for Unholy really don’t warrant a bar space. You’ll use them so rarely, you’re best off just macroing it in (with a modifier) to, say, Outbreak. Button = Outbreak, shift + button = PS, ctrl + button = IT, or some such thing. Saves bar room, if nothing else.

        BS is just 100% unnecessary! Can’t think of a case you would use it.

        NS in PvE is unneeded as well (and, if they don’t severely buff it, unneeded in PvP, too!).

        Strangulate in PvE… eh. MF should be your go-to interrupt, and if you ever need a real silence, there’s other classes which can do it on demand without having to wait for up to 10 seconds for a rune to cool off. At most, I would macro it in with MF, similar to Outbreak+PS+IT, but honestly, unnecessary, in ym opinion.

        Gnaw in PvE is another thing. Rarely are stuns even of importance, and generally other classes can do longer ones, so us gnawing would just mess with diminishing returns.

        Raise Ally and Leap I would consider mandatory, not really optional. Same with mounting!

        Anyways, I don’t see us being any worse off than any other class (in PvP, maybe, but not PvE). As someone said, we use most of the time (meaning in our regular rotation and what have you) but fewer abilities over time.

      • Sag says:

        Jonneh, I’m curious as to what you are binding on your Disc priest as well. I also wonder about your binding of NS, if you are only pveing.

      • Jonneh says:

        I’m more just approaching this as an “any useful skill” perspective. If it could have a use, we would use it right?

        I mean strangulate I always use. Ranged interrupt? Far too useful. Adds, mind controlled allies, etc. Don’t we use a single blood rune strike if we’re forced to PS/IT ? So they all kinda go together, if you’re forced to use one. I suppose in that case you could probably just use Blood Tap to deal with the situation.

        NS and stuff, well if its useless atm then fair enough, but it may not always be. Gnaw though, again, used it on at least 2 fights in ICC. Valkyrs? Sure other classes can stun for longer, but actually they cant once we have the DT pet! I find it helpful and comforting to stun my own valk on LK. Nobody else can do that!

        We should probably all consider BGs and pvp as well though within our feedback, since rated BGs are a big feature in cata. Dunno about you guys but I enjoy a nice bit of battleground fun with guildies! And as you say, most if not all of the ambiguous skills do have a use in pvp.

        Well anyway, its not a big deal. Combine some longer cooldown spells into alternate macro keybinds like you said before perhaps.

      • Sag says:

        Jonneh, I’m not really trying to knock your DK choices. I was more curious about your disc priest ones. While I don’t do much of any PvE at all on my priest, I am sure I have more than 24 keys bound. I’m at work away and I came up with 24.

  7. Mysiana says:

    Was anyone else experiencing a bug with mastery as Blood spec? I trained it, crashed, and now it’s just gone. My spellbook says I need to see my trainer but my trainer no longer has it. I believe this is a large reason why DK tanks are being obliterated on the PTR – without our “shield block” we are taking even more damage than intended.

  8. Gosox says:

    Overall i’m largely dissapointed with what i’m seeing here. I got to test my hunter and my dk on the PTR so far and one class had a complete resource overhaul while the other had a tweek.

    Hunter changed from waiting on cooldowns to a much more interesting focus dumping dynamo especially with proper cooldown use while the dk felt just wrong.

    They are analogs in a way major damage cooldowns are on a 6-10 second cooldown kinda like rune regen and steady shot builds the focus bar much like rune/rune abilities build the rp bar. Here’s the kicker though you never stop doing things as the hunter you are always either casting steady shot or some other attack so you’re technically GCD capped but it never feels that way due to how the class just works. While you are always resource capped you also always have a specific ability to use when you are out of resources to generate further resources this means that if you enter a situation where you are no longer resource capped you feel like superman and unleash massive amounts of damage for bursts of time (blood lust or other haste buffs). That was my biggest take away from playing on the prt that the hunter resource system rewarded the player where as the dk one punished the player.

    Having a full RP bar means you have 10 seconds to burn that bar or more runes show up which you have to use or you are wasting dps. Maybe having more choices like consider mentioned before for RP draining or RP cooldowns would help this some but I just don’t know. I need to try out unholy to see if thats less frustrating but I imagine that RE makes every spec annoying at this point.

  9. Fersken says:

    Hey Consider (and anyone playing the beta or PTR atm)

    I’m just wondering if Mind Freeze have undergone some changes so far? Currently downloading the PTR, so haven’t had the chance to test myself yet – but would love to know if the lag/cast time-like issue with Mind Freeze is still there.

    • Consider says:

      I don’t believe so, unfortunately.

      • Scuzoid says:

        On the subject of spells, I assume Outbreak is using the spell hit cap. Something simple enough for unholy, meanwhile Frost has geared for the spell hit cap in the past, but in the past frost also had 3% talented hit and 3% debuff hit. If outbreak is using the spell hit cap, are you 5-6 points into unholy with your beta frost spec? Seems like a missed one minute cooldown is a pretty big deal for pve dps.

  10. HisDivineOrder says:

    Didn’t GC recently say (in response to a warrior question about haste) that, “melee dots will not be affected by haste because melee get faster resource regen and faster auto hits?” I’m paraphrasing, but I’m sure he said that. I took that to include dk’s since dk’s are melee?

    Is there confirmation that diseases are intended to be affected by haste?

  11. Karesh says:

    Hmm thought I read that somewhere before 🙂 there is no confirmation on what haste will effect in regards to DKs. I think since DKs are a true hybrid melée/caster in one we should gain benefits from both groups. Would be nice to know what the devs actually considered us to be but then again that in it self could open a whole lot of more demands from the community 🙂
    I have given my DK a shot on the PTR and from what GCD capped it is when you are waiting for your attacks to come back off cooldown? (I am not very wow crafty but learning) I also got to see why it has been a concern for others with it. I have never really paid much attention to it on live as I was happy with my performance (went from top 15 to top 5 dps on my guild raids after becoming comfortable with the DK and gear upgrades) RE I am not sure as my rotation was just single target which was IT->PS->BS->FS->SS then just “button mashed” DC, FS, SS with DT when I could. Which I am sure is not the best way to pull it off.

  12. Insolence says:

    @Anyone playing a DPS and is good at Theorycrafting –

    If they removed Imp. Runic Power Generation from Frost Presence and applied it to Imp. Frost Presence, would it make Unholy Presence in anyway more viable for Unholy DKs?

    • Anaroth says:

      The 10% more RP is a nice bonus, but unholy does get free DCs (roughly 1 out of every 4 or so with a 2H) so that dilutes it a bit. Obviously if you removed it from the base frost presence then unholy presence would be more viable, but its still likely that it wouldn’t be optimal (at least some of the time)

      It depends on the exact breakdown of damage for unholy.

      The two main things that are affected by frost presence but not unholy is double dipping for the SS magical (could easily be removed), and of course our DoTs (including DnD). Conversely unholy presence affects pet damage.

      In ae situations the DoTs and DnD would clearly win out. Single target I’m not so sure. Because it’s only the magical part the boost to SS is only roughly 3-4%.

      All this also assumes that GCD considerations don’t come into it. Unholy presence is more likely to hit the GCD constraints, and unholy is likely to be so constrained during blood lust at least.

  13. Zokrah says:

    This is probably a captain obvious moment, but my tests in frost and unholy on the PTR have shown either blood or frost fever diseases will crit depending on what spec you are. I can only think thats intentional to keep unholy diseases from becoming overpowered.

    • Anonymous says:

      No its more than likely a bug.

      Testing is going to be really limited until we can actually use the mastery bonuses like blightcaller. and frozenheart.

    • Zokrah says:

      Looking back at my post, I think I didn’t explain what I was seeing very well.

      What I meant was if I was Unholy only Blood Plague would crit while Frost Fever wouldn’t and vice-versa for Frost.

    • Vuvuzela says:

      I think there is a leftover bug with glyph of icy touch not letting frost fever crit that is probably still not squashed yet,so could you retest with and without the glyph to see if it still does not crit?

      • Zokrah says:

        My Unholy test was without the glyph, but I was using Glyph of Icy Touch in my Frost tests. Mainly due to a lack of working professions on the PTR

  14. Eater of Birds says:

    excellent post.

  15. Rix says:

    Anyone find a rune mod that works pretty well for the PTR? Or everyone limping along with the stock UI?

  16. Roth says:

    I havent been keeping up to date on news the last week. Does that GC comment about haste mean our diseases wont get haste benefit? Because if so, thats stupid.

    • Sag says:

      I believe at this time we don’t know. It seems most here believe our diseases should be affected by haste. I believe so as well, but GC has said that several bleed or maybe the wording was “melee” effects will not be affected by haste. This worries the DK community because we are melee, though we don’t have bleeds. Also I don’t believe that the pally vengenace dot scales with haste (though I am unsure if that even exists anymore :s ). So we don’t know and we’re worried about it.

      My biggest issue is that I can’t have rip, rend, garrote, etc dispelled from me, and silence mechanics can significantly reduce my damage, as can becoming disarmed. So I get the both negatives for caster and melee and none of the advantages. Well I suppose being able to IT, BB and DC spam while being disarmed is an advantage… somehow…

      I realize most don’t pvp, but it means is that a shadow priest with their horrify and silence can cause me to do half damage for an entire fight, and with current talent trees their bubble is as strong as a disc priests, how am I supposed to kill that? Oh yeah I think he can still remove my diseases too.

  17. Choice says:

    in case anyone cares, I did a test to see how gcd caped we are. I only did the test in unholy and I didn’t train runic empowerment. I logged my tests and made them readable with actual times between casts. It came down to 3 empty gcd’s on the test realm with no runic empowerment.

    If you want to see the results, I posted on the test realm forum
    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=26850265901&postId=268477398345&sid=1#0

    • rebellion says:

      As pointed out in your thread as well: You have way to much haste rating at the moment. Though we are still kinda gcd capped in cata, as some beta based simulations showed.

  18. Rebellion says:

    Finally after almost one week my characters made it to the european testrealm. And my first impression was:
    1.) I can’t wait for my haste to decline, because 25% is waay to much.
    2.) I knew RE was supposed to be quite random, but thats an understatment. After whacking on the target dummy for almost half an hour (while adjusting my ui) i think, that i finally got a hold on how to utilize unholy. But while I thought i could maintain at least a little bit of order throughout my trials, I just found that whack a mole is probably the best discription possible.
    3.) I didn’t like bloods rune usage to begin with on live, but unholy turning into a blood clone saddens me, dispite all the new things they added to it.

  19. Leviatharan says:

    http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/26859266474/against-runic-empowerment/
    Well now. This is interesting.
    While I detest the thought of having runes regenerate faster- since that hardly makes us any less GCD capped, considering most GCD maps were made disregarding Runic Empowerment, and we’re still capped in them- at least there’s some hope for one spec.

    Although personally, I say they should just add the instant-disease-tick mechanic in in place of RE for Unholy (instead of increasing rune-regen time), and make Rune Strike proc for Blood.
    Frost can keep it, since they’re used to being proccy, and it IS a Frost ability. And it all works out if the devs can add some sort of PvE-viable effect to Necrotic Strike (maybe it can deal damage equal to twice what was left unhealed when it runs out? or has a chance to eat a whole healing spell and transfer it to the DK?), so Frost can hit it for those spare UH runes!

  20. Roth says:

    That still leaves Frost and Blood kind of screwed over…

    • Scuzoid says:

      Me and a Disc Priest duo’d Moorabi in heroic Gundrak on both the PTR and Live. I did more dps on the PTR, but took more damage. Even when you factor in Moorabi does a stacking bleed on the tank. The bleed did 132k damage on the ptr, while doing 182k on live as I had to survive it for an extra 28 seconds. Suggesting the bleed wasn’t affected by the 30% damage increase to all mobs on the PTR. I used the majority of my tanking cooldowns on cooldown (Bone shield being the exception as it is very awkward to fit that in even when using a death rune on it.) in both zones.

      On the PTR, he was dead in 133 seconds after 419k damage done, or 134 seconds. On live, he was dead in 162 seconds after 431.5k damage done (I suspect the difference is from pet damage which isn’t displayed on recount. I did use DRW and Raise ghoul on cooldown in both zones.) or 2666 dps. I took 138.5k auto attack damage on the ptr (Diseases+Crimson scourge had 100% uptime.) or 1041 dps taken. I took 31k auto attack damage on live, or 191 dps taken. Clearly the 30% mob damage buff is a factor here, and it’s entirely possible I took crits as I really wouldn’t be able to tell too well considering I have 60k health on the PTR. That said ~550% increase in damage taken over a ~2.5 minute fight is pretty extreme.

      In the end though, the priest had no mana issues in either zone. I DID drop below 25% on the PTR, where I simply didn’t hit 50% on live, ever, but even so, the ~2400 damage taken per second I experienced on the PTR wasn’t remotely enough to dent the priests mana bar at 80. Meanwhile, if PTR DK tanks can stay alive on a target beating on them for ~40 or so seconds, vengeance, runic empowerment, tanking cooldown cycling, does yield higher personal dps over live on a single target. It most certainly won’t yield higher tps though, which IS a noteworthy problem when I swap to unholy presence and pick up raid buffs/debuffs, I’m easily hitting 14k dps without an ICC 30% buff. Honestly, none of the tanks can keep single target threat off of dk’s/boomkin’s/ele sham’s/and a couple of the other ridiculous specs at 80. Which is rather disappointing.

      Honestly, I’ve grown into RE for blood. I’m perfectly happy with RE as a tank as long as I’m not in ICC (23% avoidance raid buffed in ICC on the PTR….) the problem with this viewpoint, is I’m pretty sure that 23% avoidance I have in ICC is pretty close to what I’ll have at 85. Which will once again make relying on RE’s (Which I most certainly do in PTR heroic 5 mans) a glaring issue.

      • Scuzoid says:

        *he was dead in 133 seconds after 419k damage done, or 3150 dps

        Initially, that post was supposed to be a lot more organized.

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