Eloquence – Forget It

I was originally typing something up on GC’s first blue post of the day concerning Runic Empowerment and GCD capping. Long analysis short, his post was excellent except for the line where he (once again) falsely attributed our GCD problems to haste rating (despite math/simulations showing the opposite and despite it easily being experienced by anyone on beta that even with 0% haste we’re locked).

Unfortunately, I never completed that response because then he made a new post where he basically said that we only get global capped when we get procs (which is true),  and that’s ok because it only happens some of the time not all the time (which is only somewhat misleading). You see, his logic is faulty – yes, where RNG is involved you can’t use absolutes. That’s a fact of life. Sometimes we’ll get lucky on procs and get way overcapped. Sometimes we’ll get unlucky and sit for a few seconds twiddling our toes (much more fun then twiddling one’s thumbs, I assure you). Neither situation is the norm, however. Over time, on average, we will get a sufficient amount of procs to use all of our available globals and then some. Period. Extreme situations, such as those mentioned above, don’t skey things much one way or the other over the long run. Kahorie ran some numbers a week or two back using his sim, and was able to show us using 98% of our total GCDs. That’s pretty much as capped as you can be when RNG is involved!. Saying that if you ignore procs you’re not limited, and procs are rng, thus you’re fine because sometimes they won’t happen, is just nonsensical. The vast majority of the time they will happen more than enough for us to cap ourselves.

Anyways, my second entry was much more thorough, but then I had to scrap that one too!


A new beta build has been uncovered, and with it a change which negates half of the above discussion to pointlessness:



  • Improved Icy Talons now increases the melee and ranged attack speed of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 10%. (Down from 20%)

The Improved Icy Talons nerf is relatively meaningless. The same was done to Windfury and the other, similar buffs. Hardly matters; our dps will be balanced all the same regardless of what number this one specific buff lies at. If anything, it just means a slight dps boost when soloing or other scenarios where the buff isn’t present.

That out of the way, it should be pretty obvious that the Unholy Presence change is what’s most interesting and relevant to the topic at hand!

Suffice is to say, this takes care of all of our GCD problems by a safe margin. I could conjure up a spreadsheet and I’m sure Kahorie will update his sim appropriately soon, but it doesn’t take any complex math to know that reducing the GCD by 33% (thus allowing us to fit in 50% more abilities in any specific time frame then before) solves the capping issues handily.

There’s no denying this was the easiest, quickest, most direct solution. But it’s far from a perfect one;

  • For one, it doesn’t help Frost, who is suffering as much as Unholy. More specifically, Frost 2H is in a rarely poor spot at the moment – if it’s overcapped without MotFW, you can just picture how it looks with the talent. Unholy has already been pulling ahead of Frost in terms of change from live and overall tree flow, and now that it’s also less flawed… not good. Even if the numbers are equal between the two trees, who would go Frost with the additional headache that is RE, the lack of synergy that is the new KM and the mastery, and the problem that is severe GCD capping? Unholy is just so much better off and, yes, although some of it is certainly subjective, even the objective aspects are heavily favoring it.
  • It causes PvP issues. As always, the usual disclaimer that I’m not terribly well versed in this aspect of the game, largely because I just don’t care much for it. But it doesn’t take a gladiator to see how Unholy is shaping up compared to Frost – Desecration verse Chillblains, the ease of grabbing Resilient Infection (or Unholy Blight), the way Necrotic Strike fits into your “rotation”, Anti-magic Zone, pet stun/charge/interrupt, and so on. On top of it, 1 second GCDs? Seems like it will be quite tough to balance it all. Time will tell, I suppose.
  • Ghostcrawler has stated in the past that they don’t like lowering the GCD if they can help it. I’ll dig up the blue post for referrence later. It makes me wonder why they went this route – there were other answers, to be sure.

At any rate, it works. It does what we need it to do, for at least one spec. It has faults, sure, but a slightly flawed solution is better than no solution, so I’ll take it!

All in all, I dare say that Unholy is nearing completion (number tweaking aside). It’s more streamlined – you can get all the dps talents you would want (even if you then only have a couple raw utility talents). It’s more synergistic – Sudden Doom, Shadow Infusion, and Dark Transformation just work wonderfully together. It’s more changed  the rotation and what have you is totally changed from Wrath. It’s more focused – almost everything feeds into or benefits another aspect of the spec. And now, it has empty GCDs.

It’s pretty much perfect – or as perfect as we can reasonably expect. If I had to name one more change for the tree at this point? Death to Virulence!

Now, here’s to hoping Frost (and Blood) undergo some similarly amazing transformations.

103 Responses to Eloquence – Forget It

  1. PennyRush says:

    I thought they got rid of it because they wanted us to have less, harder hitting strikes instead of more, weaker strikes. It just strikes me as odd.

    I really don’t think its going to stay. It causes too many balance questions and problems.

    • Insolence says:

      I think I’m going Unholy when Cata hits Live…. And I hate DPSing >.<

      Or at least I'll have Unholy as my PvP Spec lol.

  2. BloodyFox says:

    Well, the first thing I thought when I read the patch notes was: Will Frost now be playing in UH presence too? I mean this change isn’t spec specific, you will benefit from it even if you’re specced frost. So would this be the obvious conclusion to draw here, that frost will be using UH presence if nothing changes?

    More so, I can’t believe UH will stay as is without somehow tweaking with our damage. We basically are now rogues who use devastating 2H abilities in the same time window as they do with DW, but I believe our damage contribution from special attacks is proportionally higher than it is for rogues or am I mistaken? (Just tossing some thoughts in here, could be quite possible I’m wrong)

    • Consider says:

      Damage and numbers will be tweaked, of course. They’re of little importance at this stage.

      But, yeah, Frost 2H definitely favors UP now. Whether the same holds for Frost DW I can’t yet say.

      • BloodyFox says:

        Then it’s most certain that something will have to change for frost, once Frost DKs start using UP over FP. As stated several times, it is intended for every spec to play in its respective presence. The question still is, when is it gonna happen? GC (and obviously none of the developers) is still not seeing the simple truths laid out before him by the community. The simple truth you pointed out in this entry. The simple truth that beared truthiness for the last couple of months.

        And as you pointed out, it’s gonna get even worse once you’re going to get your hands on the new Tier 11 pieces, which will at least have some haste on them (most of which you will reforge if nothing changes).

        In addition to that, there are still UH tiers 1 and 2 that need some reworking. Partly because of 1/2 Desecration that is forced onto us and mainly because of Virulence… which is STILL in there. I can’t imagine the thought process behind this, I mean did it go like this?:

        Dev A: Hey, let’s make spell hit baseline for rets!
        Dev B: Think so?
        Dev A: Yeah! I mean, they are kind of a caster class, but ret spec is more like a warrior than a mage.
        Dev B: M-hm… point taken there. Think we should to that for DKs too? They don’t even have mana to begin with, so this would be the logical conclusion.
        Dev A: Nah. That’s not my department *shrug* *walks off*

      • Sag says:

        I still really don’t get why DKs don’t get that spell hit baked in somewhere. Since frost is pretty much intended to be a DW tree, and 2 handed is somewhat of an after thought (say what you will that is my opinion) I don’t mind 2 handed having to use UH prescence. Not ideal, but it’s something I can accept because I know balancing isn’t the easiest thing to do.

    • PennyRush says:

      I think their passive damage (white, poisons, dots etc) is higher. It might vary from spec to spec.

  3. frostfright says:

    How many classes get to play in a 1 second GCD? Is it common? If it’s not, then they may have chosen it specifically because it was an interesting “flavor.” Unholy Presence also does the same thing on live, and it solves the problems with GCD-capping in the ‘clysm… Seems coincidental.

    Unholy really just seems like an incredibly well-done spec at this point. The 1 second GCD, Dark Transformation, and a one-rune main strike? It really has an identity now. It won’t play anything remotely like Frost, and that’s a good thing.

    Sadly, I think this is the change that puts the final nail in Frost’s coffin. Being able to play competitively in a 1 second GCD is addictive. I don’t think I’ll spec away from Unholy except to tank pretty much, well, ever.

    • Consider says:

      Feral cats and rogues. That’s it.

      Of course, casters can use haste to scale down their GCD, but they can’t reasonably hit 1second (for all of their spells; sometimes they can for specific abilities like hots for Druids).

      • Disargeria says:

        Pretty sure hunters now have a 1 second GCD.

      • Consider says:

        Oh, do they? Hmmm. Hunters are a bit of a different case though, since they have cast-times (to an extent).

      • Sag says:

        Actually I don’t think hunters have any cast times anymore. Everything is somewhat CD based now. It’s been pointed out that since they start with 100 focus that they can actually hit arcane shot 4 times in a row now (not sure if that is a good idea, or if that one actually has a cast time, but they can do it). In early levels that pretty much obliterates everything they go up against before their pet can even make it to the target at early levels. I don’t know that they have a 1 second GCD though. Apparently they have been shaping up quite well, even with the focus change.

      • Gosox says:

        Steady shot, Cobra shot, and Aimed Shot all have cast times. I can’t comment on the 1 second gcd but it doesn’t feel like a 1 second gcd.

      • Sag says:


        Do you know how their trees change those shots? Maybe I missed it but doesn’t marksman get like free, or reduced (even instant) aimed shots, while like BM gets faster casting cobra shots? I have no idea about survival…

      • Gosox says:

        Marksmen can produce a free instant cast aimed shot but aimed shot doesn’t serve the same purpose as Cobra or Steady. Hunters regen focus at a lower rate then rogue regen energy but when a hunter uses steady shot or cobra shot they regen focus faster then energy. Cobra and Steady do not cost any focus they produce focus.

        It puts hunters in a slightly different situation to DKs since hunters are technically always GCD capped but with a 1.5-2.5 cast on resource generating abilities you are given time to react to things and stopping a cast to interupt or drop a trap wont kill your dps since you have passive regen as well.

  4. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    I’m genuinely happy a lot of our issues have been cleaned up and that Unholy is shaping up to be a very awesome spec (even with the loss of its current AoE supremacy). I assume this means Unholy DKs go back to use Unholy Presence and putting the 2 points into the Improved versions?

    I’m quite interested in seeing how Frost works now- perhaps a change to Blood of the North and letting it affect Runic Empowerment (Procs Death Runes? Affects FU like DRM instead of Blood Runes?) will solve some of the clunkiness?

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I do hope that Unholy DKs and Moonkins are a little more balanced in terms of the magical damage debuff- seems quite silly to just hand over the “superior” version to another class rather than just evening out the playing field.

  5. Grave says:

    Well that was sort of expected, Unholy presence being worthless before this change. It was the only way to make the presence work.

    I wonder if they expect 2h Frost to play in UP or not. The original 2h frost did. Although I wonder if this change makes frost presence the worthless one, even for DW frost. Oh god, now we can unload 8 necrotic strikes in 8 seconds. (Outbreak, Festering, Festering NS NS, ERW NS X 6, I cant wait to heal the nerf cries on that one.) But only unholy can do this. I’m pretty sure the last nail just hit frost’s coffin as far as pvp viability goes.

    • BloodyFox says:

      I would disagree on your first statement. If it were so then all the GCD problems for frost would be unsolveable. What I mean by that is: it might be true that we couldn’t benefit from UP before this change due to being GCD capped, but if there weren’t any solutions other than that the devs could come up with, how are they supposed to make frost work? If they’d come up with a solution to solve our GCD constraints without touching UP, we could still have benefitted from it in its previous incarnation the way the devs inteded us to do. This would then probably have been the same solution they would have applied on frost.

      I figure the only way to solve this mess would be to revert the change and try to work on a fix that helps both UH and Frost. I mean what else could you do to frost that wouldn’t benefit UH too GCD-wise, thus putting it even farther ahead of the former? Yeah, frost using UP would be the easiest solution, but that is contradictory to design philosophy, so they have to come up with something else.

      • Grave says:

        I will have to disagree with you, Without radical changes to all the abilities, or an overhaul of the ability costs in unholy, Unholy was never going to use UP when UP provides 15% haste. Unless they changed UP to something other than 15% haste, it needed to give a 1 sec GCD.

        Affecting Frost’s GCD issue is completely irrelevant of unholy, they use completely different abilities!

        Off the top of my head.

        -Make frost strike have a “heroic strike” type scaling of RP cost.
        -Lower Rime proc rate
        -Give frost better ways to burn rp quickly
        -Lower the rp gain from blood strike and obliterate
        – Lower Chill of the Grave
        -Change Might of the Frozen Wastes to something other than RP gain

      • Consider says:

        I assume you mean some of those solution?

        All would be quite overkill!

      • George says:

        Sorry for the bad english:

        Back when the Frostmastery used to boost our RM-regeneration, I had the Idea to change Froststrike into a 1 -GCD- Skill. I thought, it kind of fits with the “Theme” of Frost and would helb to solve the GCD-Issues.

        Kind of like this:

        Obliberate outdamages Froststrike, but Froststrike can be used faster so that three Froststrikes in three seconds outdamage two Obliberates in three seconds.

      • Consider says:

        That would be interesting. The ship’s probably sailed on such a change, with UP now being as it is, but still, quite curious.

  6. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    Oh and I forgot to ask, is this what flew into your room?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Cockroach

    (DO NOT open that if you don’t want to be assailed by a rather large picture…. I don’t want angry players trying to hunt me down for causing you to have a heart attack this close to the beta!)

  7. frostfright says:

    Well, I just tried Unholy briefly on the PTR. We actually have free GCDs now, just based on how it felt on the test dummy. It was pretty awesome.

    Blazed through a Heroic Nexus (though I disconnected on the third boss), and the spec seems like it works pretty well. Taking into account that trash will be a bit stronger, my only complaint (that Dark Transformation often doesn’t get used on trash) probably won’t matter in Cataclysm.

  8. Jesabelle says:

    I absolutely love the current unholy play on PTR. Unholy Presence feels great, and the GCD’s feel just about right. Death to Virulence would be fantastic (and 1 point in desecration feels kinda silly), and they really REALLY need to fix the Rune UI bug that tells you runes are available that aren’t.

    Otherwise, Unholy plays fantastically. I’m really happy with things atm.

  9. Baphomette says:

    The UP change is amazing news for PVP. We’re the least mobile melee and I gather the CoI nerf has really highlighted that. At least now when we get on someone we can dump some damage into them before they get away. 😛

    I know you don’t care about PVP but I wanted to mention that it is a big deal. Unholy could go live with how it looks right now… they just need to fix Frost so that I don’t have to have two Unholy specs like I have since 3.2.

    • Sag says:

      It’s been a complaint of mine that the only way DKs get to a target is DK and CoI, neither of which work on vehicles. Since vehicles are now a huge part of pvp (as in you can no longer with certain BGs without them) being able to reach these vehicles after being CCed is important. This is something DKs can’t do and it sucks. I don’t think that will change because DG has advantages elsewhere, but I wish it would be something they would look into. Maybe an effect like when a warrior spell reflects DG.

      For those of you who do not know, if a warrior spell reflects DG, the DK goes flying to the warrior. It’s actually kind of awesome. I suggest dueling a warrior to get the effect.

      Also I HATE the CoI change and I haven’t even used it yet.

  10. Fahar says:

    Consider which glyphs, in your opinion, would be the best ones for UH at this point? Will we be able to afford getting Glyph of Disease??? That would definitely be a huge life quality improvement and a guarantee that we would never have to use IT or PS in PvE, right!?

    • Consider says:

      Glyph of Disease would be absolutely worthless, my friend! Festering Strike and Epidemic will make your diseases last over a minute, which means you can simply use Outbreak for all disease application purposes. No need to IT or PS, save for soloing/target swapping around AoE, and so on.

      The best primes would be Scourge Strike, Death Coil, and Ghoul. Death and Decay would be swapped in (I’m not sure for which yet; probably Death Coil with the current numbers, but things are still in a state of flux there) whenever used on cooldown.

  11. Ledge says:

    This post isn’t mentioning that, according to GC, Runic Empowerment shouldn’t change up our rotation. How does that one make sense, especially in the context of an expansion that is meant to be less confusing?

    • Insolence says:

      That’s what I said. I’m not sure what he was thinking when he was writing that, but its obviously wrong information.

      • Sag says:

        It’s been mentioned before that maybe the runes generated from RE procs shouldn’t be used right away. Given the new way runes CD maybe these RE procs should be “sat” on until another rune comes back for the two rune strikes. Example:

        Frost DK has all runes on CD except 1F&1U, diseases are up, so he hits OB, RE procs 1F returned. What should the DK do? Use IT, or wait for 1U rune to fresh?

        I think in GC’s mind we should wait for the 1U rune, unless we need to apply FF or something.

      • Consider says:

        But if you do that, then the proc was completely worthless because the 1U rune would have likely come up with the 1F rune anyways.

        That’s the thing about “holding” RE procs which boggles me.

      • Sidh says:

        This is what I’ve been thinking Sag. Currently everyone tries to evaluate RE in ‘use this ready rune now’ mode. But that is pretty much wrong in cata mechanic. We won’t lose any dps if respect 2 rules.

        First, we always have to have at least one rune of each type on cooldown. This is so no time is wasted with runes not regenerating.

        Second, we always have to have at least one rune of any type fully depleted. This is to allow RE to proc at any given time. And this rule have one exception – you need one fully depleted rune ONLY if you are going to use something that can proc RE.

        If both are fulfilled, we won’t lose a single point of dps if we don’t use those ready runes ‘here and now’. This is a pretty big change in terms of how you handle runes. Very big one. If it will stay as it is, it will matter a lot how well you gonna manage this.

      • Sidh says:

        Consider, even if 1U came with 1F, after OB you will still have 1F ready and next RE proc on 1U will enable free OB. Yeah, it might be not 1U if you have U and B fully depleted. But you can control that too.

      • Futhark says:

        I’m the guy GC quoted, and I feel like I have a great handle on how RE is intended to work.

        The proc is only wasted if you can’t mentally unlink these “numeric” rune pairs from each other. UH1 works just as well with FR2, DR1, or DR2 as it does with FR1. In the course of a boss fight, the accumulation of RE procs handled this way will give you more Oblits earlier and increase your Oblit rate per minute. More rimes, more RP, more FS, etc. Don’t trade Oblits for PS and HB.

        It’s not “are those Oblit runes up” anymore, its “are ANY Oblit runes up” now.

      • Sag says:

        Consider, it would be worthless because over the course of the fight you would still be getting more runes back earlier than you would if you just waited for their CDs to be up. This means that you’d get to do your large strikes more often over all. It can’t be looked at over the course of 2-3 rotations.

        I don’t like this method. What if you have bad luck as frost and get two unholy rune procs from RE? That’s crappy. You have UH runes waiting and frost runes on CD. Because runes are such a short CD over all it’s hard to make an accurate comparison with the classes I play. My best guess would be Meta as a demo lock. I want to hit that button. I want to hit that button every time. I ❤ that button. That is how I view runes as well though. They are up, let's use them. going to a system where I want to use my resources, but I can't and I have to wait sucks. Aside from blood for tanking, I really can't see myself playing frost because of the RE mechanic.

      • Sidh says:

        “What if you have bad luck as frost and get two unholy rune procs from RE?”

        You can only get that if you use proced UH rune. RE doesn’t proc not-fully-depleted runes.

  12. Jesabelle says:

    I posted this on the DDF’s, but I wanted to see what people here thought:

    What if Desecration and Runic Corruption swapped places in the Unholy Tree? This would allow a couple things to open up:

    1. Frost and Blood can get Runic Corruption if they really, really hate RE. You could make it effect Frost Strike as well as Death Coil (and remove the Frost Strike Glyph). This would give Frost a really interesting decision in Unholy subspec versus blood!
    2. It removes the “dangling” point that unholy specs are currently required to put into desecration (or imp grip) and allows a full 3 points for utility talents. You could grab Magic Suppression for more survivability and RP damage soaking, or you could grab desecration for something like Valks on LK. It really frees up a tree to a point I had envisioned when the devs first described our new trees.

    Do that (and replace Virulence with something more fun than just spell hit) and the Unholy Tree is perfect (given a numbers sweep, of course). It also gives Blood and Frost other options to consider.

    Of course, this takes away desecration from Frost and Blood, but really, only having plague strike to apply it takes away a lot of desecration’s value. Plus Frost still has Chillblains (which if isn’t as good, could always have its own balancing done).

    • Insolence says:

      No good for Blood. Right now Blood Sub-Speccing has to be Unholy for Morbidity, once you apply 8 points in the Unholy tree (Epidemic, Virulence and Morbidity) you’re out of points, because you need to apply 33 points in Blood. Has to be T1 (as a hopeful replacement for Virulence) or something entirely separate in the Blood Tree if they don’t want Frost to reach it so badly.

      Blood needs something, it isn’t an option not to give them something.

      • Sag says:

        Currently with runes tied to several defensive abilities I would think RE would be much better for them than a DPS class. Granted it might lead to a case of praying RE will proc so you can survive, but look Bone shield takes a rune, VB (rune), strangule (no cd, still a rune though). The only free ability I get is speccing into saguine fort. With the CD I am not sure it will be enough. Ams, and MF still take 20 runic power, which can lead to ill timing of DCs and RS. Also hey we still needs runes for DS, anything to get them back faster has to be good for that ability alone. Regardless additional DCs for blood doesn’t do much of anything truly helpful for them.

        @jesabelle – read the beta tooltip for magic supression. It does not provide any additional survivability at all. It just generates runic power. Maybe in coding it does something different, but according to the TT, no. Though I agree with your proposal, but only so that UH can pick up AMZ as raid utility, instead of having points in descration or imp grip.

      • Jesabelle says:

        Sag, the tool tip states: “Increases the spell damage absorption of Anti-Magic Shell by 25% and…”

        Which I read to believe AMS goes from a 75% magic damage absorb to a full 100% (like the talent does on live). Plus you get the RP with it. I admit it’s likely a small amount of survivability, and it’s really the RP that you’re spending the points for, but it is certainly a buff to survivability.

  13. Qnyx says:


    Consider – thank you for the wonderful input you are giving us, much appreciated.

    Just a quick observation regarding Festering Strike – or a question if you prefer. Trying to perfect my unholy prio system (as you gave advice on the EJ forums couple of days ago), I noticed that for some reason ebon plague gets quite off-sync with the other diseases if refreshed by Festering Strike. I remember you said that right now Festering Strike increases duration of diseases by 8 seconds (although the tooltip still adds only 6 seconds and the disease tooltip also adds 6 seconds /shrug), but Ebon Plague is quite often getting differences of many seconds (once I noticed up to 12+ seconds) compared to Blood Plague let’s say.

    I doubt that’s normal, but if it is – is there anything that I’m doing wrong and can change to “fix” that?

    • Insolence says:

      Festering Strike currently doesn’t extend the duration of Ebon Plaguebringer, assumed Bug, awaiting Fix.

    • Consider says:

      It’s how it’s been working for the past build or two; it increases the the duration of FF and BP by 8 seconds, but the duration of EP by 6 seconds. Quite odd, but nothing you’re doing wrong, and no way to fix it at this time. Likely a bug; either it’s intended to bump all three by 8 seconds, or all three by 6 seconds – if I were to guess, the latter.

  14. Évilyn says:

    So let’s get this straight.
    1) GC says we’re not GCD capped, it’s because “We have too much Haste”.
    2) We recieve a reduction in our GCD to stop us being GCD capped.

    If we’re not GCD capped, why would we need the change? I think GC has some explaining to do.
    It would be nice for Frost to recieve a similar treatment too…though I can’t imagine what it might be. I also get the distinct feeling that Runic Corruption should be baseline, instead of Runic Empowerment…it just simply makes sense to me.

    • Consider says:

      It’s possible GC was talking already knowing this change and thinking we knew it the whole time. Afterall, it is a bit suspect he waited to comment on the subject until the day the patch was revealed addressing it – but then again, that could have just been because a thread was made which he liked. Who knows.

      RC is superior to RE in every way, PvE wise, and I would argue most ways, PvP wise. Would be lovely for Frost and especially Blood, but what can you do.

  15. Jonneh says:

    Pretty sure this is the most overpowered change they could have made pvp wise :/

    I mean, did you guys hear about the warrior on the tournament realm who got banned cause his GCD had been externally lowered to 1sec? His team were pretty successful until he got caught, and he ability to burst was obviously greatly enhanced.

    We have two resources that we can plug into these 1 sec GCDs.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that this is a mistake.

    • Qnyx says:

      Right now it’s like this on live servers as well (the 1sec GCD) and it is far from “overpowered”.

      Comparing it to an ‘externally modified” (read cheat/hack) GCD of someone is not a valid point, since it is one thing for something to do it by design, it is completely another to have external tools modifying how spells/abilities work 🙂

      The former is dev. design, the latter is plain cheating 🙂

    • Sag says:

      DK’s don’t really have any burst ability though. Maybe dark transformation will change that, but yeah there isn’t much. Will 1 second GCDs change that? Probably not as much as you would think. Remember our large hits are tied to runes, which have a CD anyway. Granted RE can make things unpredictable, but I don’t think this would change too much. Our initial rotation still goes something like

      Obr – SS – SS – FeS – FeS – DC

      The timing difference with 1 second GCDs is 3 seconds faster for our entire initial rotation. Given the increased stamina values it is more likely that 3 seconds will not be enough to kill anyway unless they are woefully undergeared. Yes I realize that it is still an increase in DPS, but it’s not like say warlocks conflag where it’s a 1.5 second cast and then BOOM! People will see what DKs are going to do a mile away. Hell even dark transformation is somewhat predictable. Hmm… that ghoul has five stacks of shadow infusion wonder what he is going to do next? I bet he’ll just keep hitting me, maybe stun me when that is off CD. Yeah no…

      • Jonneh says:

        3 seconds faster is 2 heals a person wont get before you’ve unloaded.

        As I recall, it was always pretty overpowered and in fact lead to the death coil nerf a while back? Alot of DKs builidng RP then swapping to unholy to machine gun DCs.

        Cooldowns on runes doesnt matter, for burst setups you assume that you have all runes and full RP, since thats easy to do in preperation for bursting (just wait a while doing nothing pretty much!)

        Sure, if you expend all that you have a long time to wait for more resources but.. if someone has died then thats pretty much game over from an arena perspective.

        The thing to really remember is, its ALOT more attacks you can output during a potential 9 second CC. 9 yellows instead of 6. If all classes damage is equel, thats 33% more damage you do in that time burst potential wise. Which is pretty much why the melee GCD is the way it is. GCD won’t really affect damage done at the end of the day, or damage over-all. If this is a band-aid to help us get more abilities off then sure, those abilities will be slightly less each but they can still crit and they come thick and fast compared to another melee.

        Who knows, it might work out. Just seems like a dangerous step to make if they make it, and may lead to us once again getting hotfixed or nerfed in some way. I wouldn’t look forward to being in a 3.3.5 state for 4.0->4.1 or longer.

    • dracosz says:

      Just to clarify The Warrior in question (Bladey on stormscale EU) was not banned, he simply admitted to using the GCD hack (and indeed had been using it for over a year before admitting it). At the time he was on one of the top EU teams. Due to his fear of being caught he refused to play on the ptr and his team played with another warrior and placed third at the european invitational.

      From a pvp perspective, I feel as though a numbers pass will have to be done on unholy again (FeS will be too powerful from a burst perspective) and necrotic strike absorb stacking will be too powerful with a one second GCD (in its current instantiation it stacks infinitely) that being said however, it WILL be nice to see that performance capacity back for unholy as it really allows the class to exhibit their full potential in pvp.

      There is a reason almost all pvp dks use UhP -> The one second GcD keeps us viable. and while in cata our damage will help us if we were to be GcD capped we would be out of a job.

      Also GoD is good for pvp still even with FeS/Outbreak due to how little uptime most melee have on casters atm =S.

      • Sag says:

        Maybe I missed the boat on that one, but as a DK who has pvped a lot the 1 second GCD is an after thought. And the only pvp DKs I know that use UhP are the ones specced unholy. Anyone who picked up bladed armor typically runs in frost presence. Please note the differences in the current frost presence and the beta blood presence and you’ll see what really changed. UhP is used for the movement speed increase, increased rune regeneration as well as the 1 second GCD.

        I don’t see how NS stacking with itself is an issue. There maybe a numbers issue on how much damage NS does, but that debuff should stack since it can be completely healed through. It isn’t mortal strike where the debuff is on at all times. One crit by the healer could completely erase everything that DK set up. Do I see unholy DKs lining up situations where there are 6 or more straight NSes? Yeah, and healers should be ready for it. Now if NS is one shotting people, well, that is a different story and something needs a nerf (probably the damage NS does), but it doesn’t have to be the NS additional healing required mechanic. NS should force the healer to actually heal the target being hit, which he doesn’t have to currently do if a DK is beating on them. The healer can wait out the NS debuff and hope that his partner lives, or heal through the debuff, or pray his partner can outlive the DK. It does make me wonder how DK+MS teams work out. It could make those teams deadly against 1 dps + healer teams in twos.

    • Branith says:

      You realize UH presence is 1 sec on live now. Not to mention in our scenario we lose 15% (live) or 10% (Cata) damage playing in UH presence. As it stood prior to them re-adding the 1 sec GCD back to UH presence no PvP’er in their right mind would of played in UH Presence ( Except for Gargoyle Summoning, which was killed last patch with losing all RP upon changing stances).

      10% Rune regen and 10% haste on the least mobile Melee class in the game, compared to 10% more damage on all abilities and 10% more Runic power (our most valued PvP resource) is a no brainer in PvP. Now they put the 1 sec GCD back on and I think it balances it out for PvP as much as it does for PvE. Me personally I will still PvP in FP but I will test UP at 85 as well before I decide completely.

      • Jonneh says:

        The fact remains that a lower GCD adds more burst, its impossible to deny. If you can use abilities faster, you’re doing damage faster than someone else would with a higher GCD. Even if your abilities do slightly less damage to compensate, the fact that you’re swinging white hits and critting on X% just means you’re capable of dumping your resources faster than someone else. Assuming your total resources do as much damage as theirs do (in an ideal world this has to be true, or else DKs just do less damage than other classes overall, which is the definition of gimped imbalance).

        There are ways around it, but if this is just a band aid because they’ve realised we’re a bit correct about GCD then its a bad one imo.

        Then again, it could just be a mistake and they accidently copied some code over from the current UP. /shrug

        Is it in the tooltip, and has someone tested it? Does it still do all the other stuff its supposed to do?

      • Noin says:

        The data was pushed to clients this morning. It’s in the tooltip, through and through.

      • Sag says:

        Actually, maybe I have this wrong, but don’t PvE DKs DPS in blood? I thought that the AP increase from the current blood presence was worth more than the 1 scond GCD and the faster rune regeneration. If that is correct than it shouldn’t matter that much, yes Unholy presence could possibly provide a better brust situation, but not necessarily more overall damage. It’s important to note the difference between burst and damage.

  16. Sag says:

    Man this is pretty far down and there are numerous comments already, but I am curious. Where does this really leave empowered rune weapon as a CD?

    If we are close to GCD capped, even with the changes to UP, what good is a CD that gives us more resources that we are apparently flooded in already? Can anyone really answer that? I’ve heard blood needs more, so maybe there, but where does that leave frost and unholy? Does frost have enough open time to merit using an ability like that? Any answers? Possibly suggestions to change?

    • Sevyne says:

      Playing around with the change on PTR, I definitely had a few occasions where the opportunity came up that I could use ERW as Unholy, and that was with about 18% haste/unholy presence. It was very accurate to Ghostcrawler’s simplified description of rotations. Those very rare occasions where you are starved for procs you have ERW and it’s longer CD compliments that just fine.

      I do fear for Frost and Blood at this point however. Something needs to happen, thought maybe with Unholy pretty much done (still need to burn virulence in a fire) the focus wil shift to the specs that are in direneed of attention.

      • Demosthenes says:

        I am a bit concerned with the fact that in order to sustain a rotation that is less locked, we must sacrifice 15% dmg to all attacks. Does the empty GCDs constitute enough of a dps increase to negate the dmg buff of Frost presence? Or will improved UP roll that gcd into other presences?

      • frostfright says:

        Yeah, interestingly enough his example now seems dead on the mark. AB_AB_AB_AB_AB, with C only entering into it a bit over half the time. Unholy Presence solves our problem and then some, which means that even at 85 if we decide to reforge entirely for haste, it will be a viable playstyle. I’m in Icecrown 277s for the most part with Shadowmourne, and I’ve just got a ridiculous amount of haste at 80 on PTR, but I’m still far from GCD-capped.

        It’s a good feeling.

  17. Musashi Blaker says:

    Hey Consider
    I have a little off-topic question:
    How close to feeling comfortable or how confident are you that you can make an Unholy Rotation for the pre-cata patch for those of us still raiding Wrath Content? I mean sure you’re more worried about the Cata Raiding Rotation for lvl 85, but what should we be doing once the first part of the pre-cata patch hits? Feel free to say
    “No as its PTR/Beta” and stuff can be totally changed at any time although its getting close to not looking like that if it does ship early November.

    • Consider says:

      You mean something like this post? ^^. All in all, I feel fairly confident about it – as confident as I can be with changes still ongoing (the UP buff doesn’t alter anything in that post). The only addition for Pre-Cata is Blood Strike at the very end before HoW, which you otherwise wouldn’t have after level 81 and Outbreak.

      • Jonneh says:

        Say what you want about GCD capping and etc, but the new rune system really does make it alot less frantic and button bashey for spending runes. You pretty much get the entire cooldown duration before you’re losing regen time by not pressing a rune attack.

        Personally, I like the style. I always get tempted to press DC when I can to keep RP low. Overcapping it upsets me. Not to mention the lag on a really populated server pretty much always means I have half seconds to wait for runes sometimes (desyncing them) and using DC in those gaps always feels right, but is probably a dps loss over waiting

  18. ODK says:

    So what is unholy’s “rotation/priority”?

    is it still
    Disease > SD/RP Uncap > Dark Transformation > SS > FeS > DC > HoW ?

    what does that come out to in a rotation?

    Outbreak – SS – FeS – SS – FeS – SSx6 – SS – FeS – SS – FeS – SSx6? with SD procs, DC’s and DTransformation

    is it just me or did our rotation just get HEAVILY simplified comming from wrath?
    thats only 6 effects, 5 buttons, 2 of which are only used every 30-60 secs, nearly a 3 button rotation….

    and if you need a mortal strike effect, swap position of SS and NS on your bars, effectively fixing your rotation for that type of fight…

    am i missing something? are we suppose to be able to avoid BS as unholy? is it suppose to be this easy to maintain so we can pay more attn to the fight? am i just use to having to watch the bars more closely which is making me feel like this is to easy? it just doesnt feel right to me, its fairly fun and effective but quite wierd feeling…


  19. Insolence says:

    Am I the only one worried about the constant update of the Background Downloader? They’ve got 3 stages of it up now, which means 4.0 is pretty close. I’m pretty worried about Blood and Frost hitting Live in their current states, am I the only one? Its starting to seem almost like they’re “rushing” the patch just to get it to Live.

    DK Tanks in particular aren’t in a great state, its not impossible to Tank but its not “fine” either, and Frost is still GCD capped (I think?)

    • Waylandyr says:

      Welcome to playing a game owned by Activision : /

      • Insolence says:

        Unfortunately true…. >.<

      • Noin says:

        Can we please avoid speculative nonsense about Activision and (as his name always comes up) Bobby Kotick?

        Moreover, could we please stop acting like the sky is falling? DKs are not in that bad of a state. Take a deep breath and step back. Class changes will not suddenly end the moment 4.0 goes live. If anything, the immediate post-launch period is a very important time for change and correction.

      • Insolence says:

        Yeah assuming they get over their “You’re all in super-haste Gear wait until you get into Cataclysm Gear.”

    • Consider says:

      Doesn’t worry me at all. Balancing classes and such is relatively small (data size wise), which is primarily what they have left. Finish that, tune numbers, complete Uldum/TH/Silithus (last old zone left), and tune heroics/raid as appropriate. That’s really not very much left, when you think about it. As urgent as some class issues may seem (and may be), that’s actually one of the easier things to finish off, I would imagine.

      On the other hand, all the stuff they’ve completed and have done for good? A million zones changed. Three brand new ones, plus Kezan/Gilneas. New BGs complete, plus Tol’Barad. All the new five mans done and properly tuned (presumably). Professions done, included Archaeology. Tons of music (which takes up a lot of space, if I’m not mistaken), as well as loads of in-game cinematics. New models for new races/npcs complete. So on.

      Things could easily hit in mid November at this rate, and that stuff is already being downloaded isn’t bad – it’s not like they can’t always change that stuff if they so desire, and besides, 95% of it probably doesn’t need changing. Most of the expansion is nearing completion. Class balance… simple, simple thing.

    • I was telling people months ago that if DK’s were the last to be reviewed, they would get the least work (and probably not enough). If the talents Bladed Armor, Butchery, Virulence, and Icy Reach make it into Live Cata, we’ll know I was right. For our sakes, I hope I’m wrong.

      Oh, we’ll be adequate, we’ll function, but warriors had their Bladed Armor talent removed for a reason, ret pallies had their Virulence talent removed for a reason, Icy Reach is a range talent like the ones removed for other spellcasters, and Butchery is… well, if its purpose is not to do anything meanintful and just lead into BCB, then Blizz might as well put an arrow between the two.

  20. Phanuel says:

    DK tanking at the moment just isn’t fun. It’s all I’ve been doing in beta thus far, even leveling as blood due to mob damage and the fact that I can pretty much aoe down 2-3 mobs at time in tank gear and end up 80% whereas leveling as frost is 1 mob, 30% ending hp.

    But, nothing I do is really ‘satisfying’ if that makes any sense. I don’t have big hilarious shield slam numbers or revenge numbers. I have a pile of mediocre numbers, tanking by a thousand cuts is what it feels like. And then a random RS proc (this really needs a Blizzard power auras icon, I’m so busy now staring at my rune display and at my RS key to see if it’s lit up that I can’t really focus on the battle at hand).

    On bosses with tons of streaming adds, I can’t even really deathstrike properly due to the need to fire off large quantities of blood boils (and using PS 2x to proc a 3rd one at times when one gets runic powered back up) so my ‘block’ isn’t really engaged. But I’m sure everyone has problems with streaming adds at this point.

    And off course the sheer number of cooldowns and their linkages to my threat generating resource that everyone has mentioned. Bleh, I’ll probably end up tanking this expansion anyhow, but I’m having 0 fun doing it.

  21. http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/1988-Cataclysm-Beta-Build-13066-(Codename-Bubbles)

    New build up again. No DK changes. I’m getting that sinking suspicion that Blood and Frost are done. I don’t see how that can be, but faster build updates, massive changes for everyone else, and Stage 3 download being up…

    The end is fast approaching. If they were going to be finetuning dk’s, then the major talent changes would already be done. Everyone needs to steel themselves that Blood and Frost might be going Live more or less as they are now and figure out what they’ll do in that scenario.

    • Consider says:

      Oh man. They buffed Gemcutting.

      Thank god.

      (And yet it’s still worse than almost all other profession racials, Gift of the Naaru still scales horribly, and the hit aura being a self buff makes it weak than comparable passives!).

      • It’s odd that they kept racials for the end and are only doing minor touch-up’s. Then again, draenei did have a great racial, better than most everybody else’s from a PVE perspective, for quite a long time. Perhaps they figure you owe some time being subpar? Seems like they could change it to 1% crit (with crit devalued) if it is a self-buff and it’d be better.

      • Noin says:

        I am incensed. We Draenei should be able to cut jewels faster or something.


      • Consider says:

        One would think!

        Racials hardly matter, I just expected a bit more of a look through then they’ve actually done. No big deal. Heroic presence is good enough for PvE, I suppose! Worgen is still easily superior for Alliance, and Orc for Horde, but one is always going to come out on top. Simply how it is. The difference is no more than about 1% dps any which way, which is probably as small a margin as we’re likely to get.

    • Certainly, Blood going Live like it is now should make for a very interesting Q&A session at Blizzcon. I’m thinking rogues are already going to make it interesting.

      • rebellion says:

        I know alot of people who already sharpen their pitchforks 😉
        I can’t help but Boubs comment just made me lol.
        Lets hope they finally fix the worgen starting area, itemize TH, fix the god damn european character copy (FFS i prefere my opinion beeing ignored like last beta over not beeing able to test at all as it is now), smithing and smelting, my ghoul (stay away from the hunter stable masters!), some of the cinematics, my postbox (can’t change my char because of the damn post error) and maybe make the uldum questgear not look as bad as it looks now ^^.

      • rebellion says:

        Btw, the UP change seems not final yet. At least that should have made it into the beta build.

  22. ODK says:

    BTw for those curious, so far every pug ive gotten into on the Beta ive been able to pull 9-12k while most others seem to be around 5-7… a few mages tend to do well in the 9-12k range once in awhile but not consistantly throughout the dungeon, but just the same im not comfortable with my buttons yet either so there is room for improvement – most i can say is, i dont feel like i have a clue what im doing quite yet and im stomping everyone on the meters hehe – thats before 1sec gcd, if they dont drop our dps at the same time then the 1sec gcd is gona be great, i lose quite a few free DC’s at 1.5

    one REAL disapointment ive seen so far was Dark sim, the few random spells that are hittin me for 6-10k that ive returned only did like 30-50 damage…. ?? wth is that about? i donno if its that the npc you steal from is going to be resistant to that type so you need other types around to use the dark sim spell on or if its bugged…

    cant decide if i like gameplay more or less than wrath…. im useing less buttons more often so far thats for sure…at this point its really going to come down to content and the normal mode stuff ive done at ilevel ~320 is pretty easy to aoe down (stonecore and origination – i keep crashin so those are the ones ive gotten the most time in)

    • Rebellion says:

      It’s quite simple. It depends on what the spell you copy is based on. Some are based on Spellpower, which we simply do not have, some spells have fixed values, others use multipliers that blizzard (as lazy as they are :P) applies to all their mobs. So when they think: Lets make all level 85 mobs hit for 3-4 times the dmg of a level 80 mob they just apply a factor in their database and now all level 85 mobs do 12k dmg instead of 3k, we players however, do not have that factor and therefore hit like wet noodles with their spells. I wonder if they will bother to fix it or if DSim will end up as another PvP only tool.

      PS: because I still can’t post on the offical beta forums: The debate if DK’s should get a CC is most amusing. Many ppl tend to forget, that there are other things to CC besides humanoids. Just make a disease that only cc’s dragons and elementals and call it ancient plague (because they are among the oldest races) and here you go, cc that is usefull and yet does not imbalance the game.Well maybe shamans, but who cares 😉

  23. ODK says:

    Anyone have an Addon that watches your diseases/runes with 3 bars that each drop by 50% when you use an ability of that type? kinda like having 3 rogue energy bars, one for each color and have every skill use 50 energy….

    i keep finding addons that try to do the single runes themselves and they all end up incorrect and sometimes start filling the 2nd rune when the 1st one is used ect, just bad design for easy use information

    ive noticed Tidy Plates Threat Plates will put up disease counters on all of your targets above their nameplates, thats kinda nice for multi target…but id like one in my runewatcher for main target…

    ive found when i try to use the bliz icons, ill have death runes that wont work for single rune attacks and other colors sometimes not allowing me to use (donno if its graphical bug or wha) – can kinda make things confusing…

  24. Kin says:

    Yo Consider, big fan of your blog and in relation to your twitter about where you should do your guide and if you should do it on Frost and Unholy, I think it would be cool if you did it on both. I consider (ah!) you the man to go to when it comes to DK’s so it would be cool if you handled both, instead of some random person doing frost and completely neglecting the thread for, like, 8 years. I understand it might be a bit of work though, so don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. Stay chill, bro!

  25. Qnyx says:

    Honestly I would prefer you to focus on the Unholy thread, although helping out with Frost would also be wonderful.

    You have done an amazing job with the Unholy thread, however maintaining 2 DPS threads, unless you unify them would take slightly too much time 🙂

  26. Taters says:

    Not sure if this is the best place, but I see you’re thinking adding a frost thread (or expanding the EJ thread to frost). I just want to say I think it would be great — your posts are incredibly detailed, thorough, and helpful. It’d be great to have one DPS source (and would also be helpful in explaining in more detail the differences between 2H Frost, DW Frost, and Unholy).

  27. Dude1 says:

    I’m happy that they finally worked on unholy, it’s been a long wait, so long that I don’t believe they will touch blood or frost till 4.1 which is bad for Dk tanking and frost stuff obviously.

    For unholy pve i’m mostly satisfied with unholy, only thing i’d like worked on is possibly army. Cooldown went from 6min to 10min with the changes that went in. Still to long of a cooldown at 6min for dps that is not worth casting, will only be less worth casting in this xpac most likely once numbers come in. Also virulence & epidemic, just to many points in early unholy for must have talents.

    For unholy pvp the biggest thing i’m worried about is the ghoul, not enough hitpoints for one, not 30 seconds to call another one anymore. Very worried about dk pet dying very early in pvp and haven’t a hard time keeping up without it. Magic supression costs to much for something bascally we had for free last xpac (runic power gain). Would be nice to reach AMZ, for 4 points it’s hard to get to.

    With the major change to blood for tanking this xpac i’m very surpised that there has been almost no action to fixing the tree and dk tanking at all.

    Overall, happy with unholy, boggled on blood, would like to see some frost fixes. Seems like there is alittle over a month left till this goes live.

    • ODK says:

      wasnt AMZ a 4 pt spend before too? i guess 4 pts is worth more now…

      i was wondering if 1 point in AMS gives enough runic to make it worthwhile?

      • Anonymous says:

        Was kinda thinking 2 points in bladed armor myself, but I guess that is going to depend on the raids and the amount of damage auras vs. large bursts of magic damage.

  28. Anonymous says:

    “Posts like http://bit.ly/9NeTZP make…” That guy made very little sense..

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