GCDs – What Changed; What Didn’t

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a post analyzing our GCD situation, and suffice is to say much has happened since then: Runic power gains have been globally nerfed. Unholy Presence now reduces the GCD. Weapon speeds appear to have 3.8s as the new “norm”, as opposed to the previous 3.6s of Wrath. The melee haste raid buff was reduced to 10% from 20%. So on and so forth.

What do all of these changes have in common? They all reduce the total globals we consumed, fortunately.

The big question is; does it do enough? Are we no longer capped, even without haste rating, or is the problem still as present as ever?

For better of for worse, it all depends on which of the two dps specs you’re looking at:


A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words, so I’m not quite sure what else I can add!

As always, I tried to be as generous as possible to the situation. I ignored any scraps of haste rating from gear. I ignored Raise Dead. I ignored Butchery. I ignored the potential use of Dark Simulacrum. I ignored Empower Rune Weapon. I tried to give the issue the benefit of the doubt, but short of plain distorting the facts, the spec is capped (on average over time), plain as day, and I just can’t make it appear otherwise.

And remember, this is just the dual-wielding rotation. I’ll leave it to your imagination what 2-hand Frost looks like with Might of the Frozen Wastes factored in! Spoiler: it consumes an additional ~3.5 GCDs directly, due to the extra Frost Strikes, and then another ~2.5 GCDs from Runic Empowerment procs (and the feedback loop therein) off of those FS. Essentially, that’s an extra 6 GCDs a minute – or a 15% increase. Whether that makes UP worth it is likely a yes, at least once you start being more realistic and accepting that at level 85, you’re not going to have 0% haste from gear!

At any rate, many may wonder why the GCD situation looks relatively unchanged, despite the RP nerf, from the last time I did such charts; that’s because, previously, glyphs had still yet to be touched and Ghostcrawler had said many times it was better to pretend they just didn’t exist at that point in time. The spec, or at least its dual-wielding version, would not be capped (at 0% haste, anyways) without Glyph of Frost Strike, for what that’s worth.

A bleak picture? Perhaps. Fortunately, Unholy is a shining light in the darkness!


Huge disclaimer before I begin: This example graph is not representative of our actual rotation, simply of the number of globals consumed! That’s very, very important to understand. In reality, you would never Death Coil within 2 seconds of already having done so. All that changes is the order of abilities, not how many you use. In reality, you would obviously replace a Scourge Strike with a Dark Transformation whenever needed. All that changes is the occasional name listed under Action Taken, not the number of actions taken. Neither have any affect on the usage of globals, which is all I’m concerned with here.

Now, with that out of the way, one can see that Unholy has a ton of empty globals: 29 before factoring in procs! Sudden Doom takes that down 3, and Runic Corruption (the math for its GCD consumption can be found here) another 6, still leaving 20 free.

20 free per minute? “But Consider,” you might say, “that’s exactly how many globals you gain from Unholy Presence over Frost Presence! Wouldn’t we still be better off running in FP and being exactly capped, instead of running in UP and sitting on our hands a third of the time?”

You would… if you were naked fighting a training dummy, perhaps.

In reality, of those 20 globals, you’re going to be able to consume a healthy amount in actual play. There’s Blood Tap, which is a free SS (and thus a fourth of a DC) every minute. There’s Butchery, which is a free DC (and thus a chance at another RC) every minute. There’s Anti-Magic Shell, which can range from 0 to 7 (with the glyph, which you may as well take) DCs  (and all of the resultant Runic Corruption procs) every 45 seconds. There’s Dark Simulacrum, which can be another two per minute. There’s haste from gear, which even in a mix of leveling greens and dungeon blues, I already have 10% of on beta. There’s also the more exotic factors: Heroism and Empower Rune Weapon, for example, whose worth is a bit more difficult to quantify.

At the end of the day, is Unholy still going to have free GCDs even when you add in all of the above? Yes, in most cases… but only a small handful – maybe half to a full dozen, on average, as I see us using up 50-55 in regular gear on your average fight – which isn’t enough for us to want to switch back to Frost Presence and which is probably in lines with the amount Blizzard was trying to accomplish; so my hats off to them! Perfectly done.

Unholy is just an absolutely beautiful spec now. It’s not GCD capped, but it uses enough (in raid/PvP situations) to not feel too empty. It has excellent synergy between itself and the ghoul. Its playstyle is very dynamic, and greatly changed (for the better) from Wrath. It has actual flavor, not just a million different focuses. It’s truly 2H centric, at least for the present. All in all, it’s shaping up wonderfully.

Of course, the tree still has its faults, make no mistake. Some bland talents – here’s to looking at you, Virulence – remain. Gargoyle is incredibly lackluster these days – it still melees, it takes  away a chance and a half to proc Runic Corruption, it takes away a chance and a half to stack Shadow Infusion, its damage hasn’t scaled well, and so on. Stats are wildly imbalanced, with mastery rating being far below haste rating. Diseases are still rather dull.

But Rome wasn’t build in a day, or so the saying goes, and Unholy is looking quite good. Will it ever realistically reach the point where I – or anyone else – can claim no fault? Of course not. There are always going to be some issues, perceived or concrete, and that’s simply unavoidable. The current issues, however, just aren’t that big of a deal, and if the spec went live as is today, I would have a blast playing it – and, ultimately, that’s what matters.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the damage is quite up there!

Other Notes

Wanted to get the above out there, since a couple had been asking, but some other quick notes to attend to:

  • I’m currently working on my Unholy Cataclysm thread for Unholy. I probably won’t throw it up until the release of 4.0 is imminent, but don’t worry – even if the patch were to unexpectedly hit, say, tomorrow, I could have a full-fledged post rivaling in quality my previous one up within 24 hours. Trust me!
    • I’m still unsure what I’m doing about Frost. I really just need to see with Darkside, the current author, if he plans to continue the spec’s thread – or if anyone else is looking to do so. If not, then I would happily undertake it. If he or another is still going to maintain it, then although I’ll continue to post Frost relevant information here – best in slot lists, stat weights, so forth – I will leave that thread to whomever, as there’s obviously no need for two and I’m sure whoever did it would do a perfectly solid job.
    • Everything covered in the current Unholy thread will be in the new one, and then some. Obviously my posting here will continue unabated (and should likely get a boost once the expansion goes live and there’s actually interesting stuff on live to discuss), but beyond that, I haven’t figured out anything specific. Perhaps I’ll have the guide in its entirety here, but extended and better formatted. Perhaps I’ll just have some extra additions which don’t fit in the EJ post. Perhaps this, perhaps that. Time will tell.
  • Sometime between now and Cataclysm’s release, I’ll probably be redoing the format of the blog. Improving it, of course. Unfortunately, the free hosting of wordpress severely limits what I can do, but I’m still not certain I can reasonably justify bothering with a private domain and such for what is, essentially, no more than a means for me to share my thoughts on this and that. I don’t know; no real good option, but whatever I’ll do, I’ll make the most of it!
  • Weekend after this is my birthday. Just throwing that out there!

100 Responses to GCDs – What Changed; What Didn’t

  1. Griefpb says:

    Happy almost birthday!

    All credit to darkside, but the frost thread hasn’t been updated in months. Not even any information on gemming arp.

  2. woohaa says:

    Very nice as always. I wish Frost would follow Unholy’s example. Hopefully, they’ll do another pass over frost and blood and Happy Birthday in advance.

  3. Theunknown says:

    Most likely he stopped playingor took break(Darkside). Simply because his recent activity is last dated on 22 july.

  4. Vegah says:

    I would absolutely LOVE it if you took over the frost thread, even though I’m definitely not a frost player. I’m absolutely convinced that it’d be very hard to find someone else as dedicated (researching and thread upkeeping) and well-informed as you for our frost brethren.
    Of course I could understand if it was a bit too much to attend to two threads and their respective specs but if you think that wouldn’t be a problem, I’d like to urge you to take over frost (you don’t happen to have interest in blood tanking, too? 😉 )

  5. Vorga says:

    It sounds like B. figured out U at last. From what I understand Blood has a ton of empty GCD and resouce starvation, is that right?

    So it’s just down to Frost…

    • Consider says:

      Blood can. Blood is heavily, heavily tied into Rune Strike use. Rune Strike provides more than quadruple the threat per runic power than Death Coil, it provides twice the chance per runic power to proc RE, it provides twice the threat per GCD, so on and so forth. And it’s all RNG!

      If Rune Strike theoretically had no avoidance requirement, Blood would be more or less fine when main-tanking a single target.

      • PennyRush says:

        They would gut Rune Strike if they unhooked it from Dodge and Parry.

      • Jonneh says:

        Reactive threat is a terrible design though. Offtanking? Basically all bosses need to be tauntable to have an OT.. or a DK OT is gimped.

        They could easily manage it the same as every other class if they wanted, put RS on a cooldown and make it our “Shield Slam”. Homogenization though. :/

      • PennyRush says:

        I agree reactive threat is bad design. But unhooking Rune Strike from Dodge and Parry by itself would buff DPS. I haven’t worked out any numbers but for Unholy, while you had DT up, you probably would use Rune Strike instead of Death Coil to dump RP.

        Without totally reworking the ability, one way to make to make Rune Strike better is add a Taste for Blood type talent for it. That way, you would could Rune Strike when you had to build secondary aggro on a boss even when you’re not getting hit.

      • Consider says:

        You can just nerf the base damage and then increase it via Imp DS (which is a kinda bleh talent since it doesn’t currently affect the healing) or what have you. There’s plenty of options to make it viable for one spec but not the others!

        The main thing is you can’t have RNG on top of RNG on top of RNG, which is what RS with RE is, especially when that initial seed of RNG (i.e, RS) is so relatively low at 85 and your alternative (i.e, DC) is so abysmal a choice otherwise.

      • Insolence says:

        As already said nerf base damage on Rune Strike, have maybe Imp. Blood Presence buff it so people stop whining about it having no real secondary effect.

        As is (as already said) we make for terrible Off-Tanks, and above all this;

        Having to Death Coil spam (as Blood) whenever your Runes + RS are/is down is just horrible, horrible design. You’re essentially wasting 40% of your Runic Power and a GCD if you don’t get a Runic Empowerment proc from it since the generated Threat is pathetic.

        Since they removed Icy Slam and seemingly with no intention of returning it (so why does Shield Slam still produce high threat?) we have no decent threat grabber.

        Then again, simply removing Rune Strike from its Avoidance cost would turn the rotation into a major RS spam: IT – PS – BB – RS – RS – RS whenever you have 20 RP. The whole ability needs a re-vamp, maybe remove it from the GCD and give it a cooldown so we can slam it in the background, then apply some sort of Rime or Sudden Doom proc style ability to make Blood more interesting. They could do all this in a talent deep in Blood so DPS can’t use Rune Strike if they’re worried about it that much.

      • Insolence says:

        I mean like a Talent (I’ll use Imp. Blood Pres as an example);

        Imp. Blood Pres; bla bla bla. Rune Strike no longer requires a Dodge or Parry to proc, is off the Global Cooldown but has a 3 second Cooldown. Your Heart Strikes and Death Strikes have a 30% chance to reset the Cooldown on Rune Strike.

        So Frost and Unholy keep the current Rune Strike while Blood gets a re-vamped version with a proc they need to watch out for to keep the tree interesting.

      • Jonneh says:

        Stopping dps from using RS is childs play, there are 1000 ways to do it, not least of which is just making you be in blood presence to use it, making it a deep blood talent, or making it do little or no damage for dps so that DC/FS are always more attractive. Its kinda OP for pvp anyway really, serious burst potential when you parry someone’s attack. I two shot a ret pally once!

  6. Sidh says:

    Most likely I’m missing something, but why does your frost chart add 10% to everything that generates RP? I thought frost mastery that generates RP was removed?

  7. bermm says:

    Just my 2 cents, I’d rather see you maintain the Unholy thread only…..just thinking of burnout down the road trying to maintain two different threads……and still find the time to enjoy raiding 🙂

    Happy Birthday

  8. Sera says:

    It would be very nice to have a skilled and dedicated player of the Death Knight such as yourself maintaining a Frost thread as well; however it is a very valid point about burnout. I’d rather have a strong single thread than two unmaintained and inaccurate because of weariness. If you feel you can maintain two, then hooray. Just be wary of too much burden.

    • Consider says:

      People way over-estimate how difficult it is to maintain the thread! Maintenance is relatively easy, and just requires some time in the weeks before and the weeks after each patch.

      The more difficult aspect is starting the thread, particularly from scratch, but that’s a one time investment (if you will), and thus bearable.

  9. Sag says:

    So Consider with what you have seen how well do you think unholy will actually scale? I’m still kind of worried about diseases not scaling with haste. It happened in the past with warlocks and shadow priests, but rogues and warriors haven’t seem to have had those issues dispiate using bleeds/poisons. I wonder if this has to do with how much haste affects their swing speed, which is probably a larger part of their damage overall.

    Also I realize that numbers are not finalized, and perhaps I missed where this was stated, but currently how does %haste affect rune regen? I mean like 2% haste = runes regenerate 1 second faster? I’m really curious if those stats that are on our tier set are final how long would it take for a rune to regen in just that gear with no other haste on gear?

    • Consider says:

      2% haste regen = runes regenerate 2% faster.

      Unholy should scale just fine, even with the current numbers. Diseases, specifically, won’t, and mastery might suck, but the rest of it… just fine ^^. Crit/haste/str/weapon dmg/etc should all be fine.

      • Sag says:

        So 1% haste means .1 seconds off of rune regeneration, and 10% haste means runes generate a full second earlier than baseline with 0 haste. Hmmm… I am now wondering if you could do the same chart you did here at 85 with tier 11 gear. Seems to me that we could run into some issues right after the first tier or two of raiding.

        Though I do wonder how the idea of hit scaling will work with our class.

      • Kahorie says:

        “So 1% haste means .1 seconds off of rune regeneration, and 10% haste means runes generate a full second earlier than baseline with 0 haste”. Using this logic, 100% haste would make the rune refresh instant. Unless I’m missing something, 100% haste give your rune at 5s, 200% at 2.5s and so on…

      • Consider says:

        Indeed. The formula just comes down to (BaseRuneRegenTime)/(1 + (haste%/100) = New Rune Regen Time. So 10% haste would mean 9.09s regen cycle. 20% would be 8.33s. So forth.

        The only question I have is whether IUP is additive or multiplicative with haste from gear. If it’s the first, then you simply add 15 to your haste formula. If it’s the latter, as I would imagine it is, then you can just use 8.69s as your base rune regen time.

  10. Clevinger says:

    I’ve been wrestling with whether to continue my DK into Cataclysm or switch to a cat/bear.

    At times I really enjoyed DK dps. Two handed frost was fantastic when it only required frost fever and I enjoyed diseaseless blood for its pure simplicity. However, a lack of other DK’s meant I was forced to play unholy most of the time. I also tanked as blood and frost a fair bit.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’d like to switch. I think there are four current problems with DK’s:

    1) Diseases are not very much fun. Having to regularly use two GCD’s to apply diseases and the fact they have priority over everything else is not fun. I always look at the disease timer with dread – “Oh no. Time to IT/PS again.”
    2) Our pet is a dull dps bot. The most fun thing to do with him is blow him up.
    3) We lack mobility. Death Grip makes up for this somewhat in pvp and some pve.
    4) Good DK dps relies on pressing lots of buttons quickly rather than thinking about the right buttons to press. The only real exception to this I can think of is the use of killing machine.

    I think the change in rune regeneration and the recent unholy changes address 1, 2 and 4 pretty well but frost is still in a bad place and blood looks awful. If they sort out blood I’ll probably stay as a DK. However, I’m as things stand I’ll probably switch.

    Anybody else considering switching?

    • Jonneh says:

      Unholy looks much stronger now, I’ll almost certainly be sticking with it as I always have.

      Blood will not be sorted out until after it goes live and fails a bit. They just dont seem to understand the limitations that a time-based resource system puts on a role where you need to be able to pick up adds, put out threat and stay alive. Sure the QoL changes to vampiric blood and so on are all well and good, but at the end of the day when day turns to night, its just not very fun to play.

      The double punishment for sitting on your runes is what gets me. You have to save runes to grab an add or two sometimes, great. Ok. Less threat, punishment one. More damage taken!? Blade barrier drops, and you’re taking more damage until you spend. Pointless clash of design goals right there.

      Nevermind the “you take more damage cause you heal yourself” crap. Said it before and I’ll simply say it again; if you take more damage than other tanks, it doesnt matter if you heal yourself back up for the exact amount of the difference between you. If paladin tank takes 10k damage and you take 12k but heal for 2k over the time between swings – he is a better tank than you. Bottom line! Here is why if its not obvious;

      1) If you have 11k hp, he lives and you die. Can’t heal the damage back if you’re dead!

      2) Your healers cant count on you healing back an average amount of damage if/when needed, so they need to heal the extra damage you take anyway. More mana consumption.

      3) The heals aren’t even consistent. What you spam DS every rune set? No! You need to use HS if you’re tanking multiple mobs for sure. I’m not sure which is more optimal for single target threat, but you have to assume its probably HS? Even if its not HS, thats 1 DS every 10 seconds. Not exactly flooding your HP back up is it. Its a “nice to have” feature, its nowhere near a strong enough concept to design (and gimp) a class role over.

      I’d be quite interested to see if the self healing thing really even balances out the extra damage you take. Even if it does perfectly balance out my points above are still hard to deny. I dunno, maybe the play style will change so much from what I see as a massive issue, and it’ll all work out in the end. But I wont be tanking unless I have to!

      • Sag says:

        I have yet to play blood, but I am really interested in seeing how it all plays out. Though I did see this (can link blizz forums at work though) http://www.blizzard4ever.com/wow-cataclysm-beta-tank-balance

        The interesting line in that link is this “As far as tank balance goes, in beta we found that DKs and Feral druids were taking less damage than paladins and warriors.” It talks a bit on avoidance and why that is so, but I find it difficult to believe. I also think that DKs could have a difficult time keeping threat because of the rune issues, but that is only based on what I have read and knowing that even now when I am taking I can always, always use another rune up.

    • Madarame says:

      yep, you have same thoughts as me. kinda liked frost 2h and diseaseless blood more than anything else.
      uh is so boring.

      your so right with the disease thing. they should add some utility to them
      or something like rogue poisons who are even better than diseases … :

      remove dmg diseases do,
      bloodplague – 25% MS effect,
      frost fever – you do 4% more (melee) dmg // cast time increase
      and remove the need of diseases for the maindmg strikes ( + 15% add dmg for each disease)

      i don’t want to have to fuckin apply disease to do max dmg

      destro lock may be my new main in cata -.-
      cc and burst > dk

  11. Alrenous says:

    So for frost RE remains about equivalent to 25% haste. Shockingly this puts the haste cap from gear at pretty low.

    The RP and GCD changes put unholy lower, at a mere 18% haste from RC. Happily waiting for an empty one second GCD isn’t nearly as painful as waiting for an empty 1.5 second GCD. Humans are weird.

    Now, to try to work out how GC could possibly have come to the conclusion that RE works and DKs have open GCDs. Unless he’s flat-out insane, it must be some difference between the internal model and actual DKs on the ground. If we can find what it is, it’s the work of a moment to correct the internal model if it is correctable. And if it’s not we’re screwed regardless.

    Messing around with frost yesterday, forgoing all frills, just doing the basic rotation – outbreak, OB, BS, FS, HB, ITPS – RE doesn’t seem too bad. You really can do exactly as GC suggests and just wait for RE procs to line up into OB pairs. (Unholy sans RC works the same way.)

    Lacking a firm official word, I’m going to assume outbreak was designed to be utility, not to replace ITPS. Devs often design things like outbreak that they think will just be utility that end up being rotation mainstays – see blood tap, various rogue abilities. (Originally this was solved by half hour/quarter hour cooldowns, which have even more issues.)

    If you DON”T open with outbreak, it desyncs your F and U, but that means you can easily pair them with death runes when they come up, so you don’t have to wait for both death runes to refresh to use them for OB. Plus, getting a death rune RE proc actually seems like a bonus – woo, early OB. Even popping a blood rune means getting a death rune earlier, and thus an earlier OB. Just occasionally it can cap the frost rune pair, but not for very long. Staring at the rune bar is still a problem, but knowing that mods will fix that, I consider this confirmation that most of the issues with RE being unfun are tied up with GCD capping.

    Plus, for the less than stellar player, you can spam FS to try to proc a rune you need. Moreover RE doesn’t always just accelerate your next strike, just usually.

    In other words, with these assumptions RE works exactly as Blizzard has been saying it works. For some reason -such as the fact RE is 25% haste- frost was assumed not to be GCD capped. Or perhaps it was by leaving out any of the other things that eat frost’s GCDs, leaving enough time to wait for OB pairs to line up.

    So GC has said he’s not seeing GCD capping on his end. Which means if they’re generating charts like Consider’s they’re not including all the abilities. They’re also not running an actual glyphed and geared DK, at least not at a high end raiding level. (Consider DPS >> Blizzard DPS.) But what are they doing? Are they running in-game DKs at all? What do their mathematical models include?

    There’s now also the problem of pegging bias. Having seen RE as a pain, beta testers will be difficult to convince even if it gets fixed, because it will still have all the features that made it a pain in the broken environment.

    • Futhark says:

      Nice to see someone else understands how RE works. You explained Frost’s “death rune dilemma” and how RE solves it perfectly. Well done.

  12. Jonneh says:

    Suggesting this for the new Unholy thread – strange boss tricks, or boss gimmicks to up your DPS.

    I don’t just mean dsim use, though that could be part of it. I mean.. what about section where you talk about how to optimise your DPS for various bosses. Bosses where there are things you can do outside of your normal rotation to optimise further. Stuff like rolling your high AP diseases on Anub, or etc.

    Mentioning about how many targets there needs to be for you to use DND to aoe. Simple stuff you know, but stuff that it can be hard for people new to the class to work out.

    Main reason is I have people who bug me for this information, and it’d be nice if it was all in your thread where I could link them and not have to answer questions ;p Some of it IS on EJ if you look, but its alot more effective to link one thread with all the unholy answers rather than say “go look on EJ”.

    • Consider says:

      Already the type of thing I’ve contemplated, I assure you!

      • Jonneh says:

        Eeeeeeexcellent smithers

      • Seralyn says:

        Do you, in your upcoming compilation, plan on adding anything about optimal reforging? For example, on the PTR I’ve seen players remove excess crit and reforge to haste or even mastery. Is it possible for some math to be done on what would be recommended in 277 for 4.0? Or, if preferred, for Cataclysm?

      • Jonneh says:

        That’ll just be a matter of looking at the stat weights and converting X lower value stat to Y higher value stat on everything until you cap Y.

        Hit -> Haste -> ??

        In that order atm, until you cap hit then stacking haste until you’re GCD capped again, prosumably!

        What a great system eh? ^^

        Didn’t GC say stacking all haste “wont be good for you” or something? 😛

        Seems like the best to us atm!

      • Sera says:

        I understand the stat weights and will be swapping stuff around to gain hit when I drop DW for 2h. What concerns me is I’ve seen a lot of reforging current stats to mastery, which isn’t innately on current gear. My question is, is it at all practical to reforge to gain mastery pre-cataclysm? The masteries seem lackluster but is reforging for more haste when I already have some better than acquiring mastery when I have none. Do I even need mastery before Cataclysm? There are some hardcore number crunchers here so I was curious if Consider would add something like this to his proposed post. lol I suppose I could just be patient and wait for 4.0 🙂

      • Jonneh says:

        I would imagine alot of people were just curious to see how mastery changed thier lives. In truth its just a gimmick stat which can be stacked in a way which has a clear dps increase (or effectiveness increase if you like, in the case of healers/tanks) without the complication of over stacking like crit haste ArP all suffer(ed) from. (Or Dodge/Parry/Defence, mana regen stats and all those other things which either have soft/hard caps or hard-to-calculate-benefits)

        Its a clean design goal. Pretty much like AP/Str and stuff, it has no limit to its benefit, and makes a great filler for gear budgeting.

        In any case, for leveling I assume you mean after 4.0 hits? Just dont worry about it. From what I hear its Outland all over again where you’re in full quest greens by the end of the first zone!

      • Waylandyr says:

        Not completely true…I’m in basically BiS and didn’t replace most of it till late deepholm/uldum. At which point I was 85 and doing dungeons anyhow.

      • Sag says:

        Where you doing that before all of twilight highlands and the other zones were fully geared out? With the way that blizz has dicussed having stats decline if a player levels it seems we would want to switch gear as soon as possible. It was mentioned that this was one of the reason mobs seemed to be difficult.

      • Jonneh says:

        I definitely saw a weapon to replace shadowmourne in one of the early zones so, you have to assume if it beats the legendary then there is comparable gear itemized around the same level all over.

        Would assume that the guy above did level before the full quest loot itemization took place.

      • Waylandyr says:

        Actually, I leveled him last week 😀 i swapped out my weapons at the end of deepholm/83+dungeons. Until Twilight Highlands, I never really had an issue with mobs beasting me all that much.

  13. Frozen says:

    Take over Frost!

  14. Abd says:

    Happy Birthday Consider :).
    Regarding the Frost thread, would like you to be in charge of that spec as well, as others have mentioned the OP has not been updated for ages.

    @Clevinger: I also miss the 2H frost spec, one disease rotation (with HB glyph) I really really really enjoyed that spec, Im afraid that I dont like the idea of Proccy rotation spec (current frost spec theme in cataclysm). Will see how things will go and I might change to my paladin.

  15. Rythian says:

    Please please please Blizzard, fix 2H Frost as well as you fixed Unholy! It’s not that I mind Unholy, but Frost has always seemed just flat out [i]cooler[/i] to me.

  16. xtatik says:

    “Card trinket (http://bit.ly/dmU9Pi) + badge trinket (http://bit.ly/ay3ZsU) are so nice. Trinket itemization has really improved.”

    Nice to see that they’re making trinkets a little more specialized. It is incredibly annoying to have to compete with every single physical dps class for trinkets.

    • Jonneh says:

      Yeah, there was a blue post saying that they were going to be itemizing alot more of these slots, simply because everyone needs two and almost everyone in the same role needs the same ones under the previous designs.

      Makes sense when you think about it that way.

    • Kin says:

      That Hurricane trinket sounds really cool…a shame it’s gonna cost a fortune =/

    • Sag says:

      I’ve never liked getting AP on gear. I am under the impression that our ghoul/gargoyle attack power was based off of our STR stat, not AP. Have I been wrong to assume that?

  17. Time says:

    Would it be possible to try and model a Frost rotation with rune hoarding in mind (ie: trying to proc the runes you want from RE)? If the new rune cooldown times are relevant to each other shouldn’t rune hoarding become non detrimental in the long run? Maybe I am over looking a major issue here but it seems like your model is still based on the fact that any rune not on cooldown is a DPS loss, is this still true?

    Sorry for all the questions. 😮

    Happy Birthday as well!

  18. Epie says:

    I’d be appreciative of you taking over the frost thread at EJ honestly. Darkside has done little to nothing as far as maintaining the thread goes (his initial post after the dw frost changes wasn’t spectacular at all, even the recommended talents are unclear and vaguely helpful if you don’t already know what you’re doing), and more often than not the only conversations happening there are people that were too lazy to go back a few pages and check (HOW DO I USE UA AND BT ??!?!?!).

  19. Insolence says:

    Um…. This could be totally irrelevant but the Frost one says BT + PoF… (Blood Tap + Path of Frost?) I thought Path of Frost no longer Generated RP?

    20 Free GCDS for Unholy seems like quite a lot though.

  20. Necrotize says:

    PoF = Pillar of Frost

  21. InRage says:

    With 4.0 goig live soon, any news on fixing uh ghoul stamina scaling? (which is very low atm) and re introduction of the passive aoe dmg reduction in pve? (gone when notd was cancelled). With 4.0 goig live soon

  22. ODK says:

    Anyone found a good way to use Blood Tap with unholy without mixin up the “rotation” without getting your Festerings off timing ect…

  23. Gosox says:

    @Consider(twitter post)- Not sure if you resolved your beta issue as of yet but I had a similar problem with the PTR and I just had to remname/remove my cache folder for it to stop.

  24. Raaj says:

    Question for you beta players. I want my Pale Horse. If I go unholy dps, how much damage do I lose by subbing frost instead of blood? Yes, I know Bliz isn’t done the numbers pass yet all I am looking for is the general area.

    • Theldonn says:

      You need to remember that leveling is not the same as raiding. Picking talents that will increase survivability, lower downtime and make you travel faster are usually good talents and you can end up with unorthodox builds. You can always respec back to Unholy when you hit 85 or to a more ‘preferred’ spec for optimum DPS.

      • Theldonn says:

        To expand on this further, I am watching closely to see if they will keep Glyph of Death Grip the way it currently is.

    • Insolence says:

      Don’t worry, Frost is the only viable sub-spec choice anymore anyway.

  25. Crellis says:


    Please take over the Ej frost dps OP!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been playing frost since the start of wotlk and have always been envious of the dedication the Unholy thread got when you took over. Consider it 😀

  26. Insolence says:

    Latest Batch changes:

    Hand of Doom is now a Tier 2 talent, up from Tier 3.
    Blood-Caked Blade is now a Tier 3 talent, down from Tier 2.
    Improved Blood Tap (Tier 2) *New* – Reduces the cooldown of your Blood Tap ability by 15/30 sec.

    Unholy Command now also gives you a 50/100% chance to refresh Death Grip’s cooldown when dealing a killing blow to a target that grants experience or honor.

    • Insolence says:

      So, BCB is for Tanks. Lovely. Do we have 3 points for it? No.

      Imp. Blood Tap… Do we have the points for it? No. So why is it a whole separate Talent instead of being just baked into Imp. Blood Presence is entirely beyond me.

    • Rebellion says:

      Somehow I knew they were not going to make BCB more accessible but instead put it out of reach for all dps.. At least we are no longer forced to spend 8 points into blood. Well, I guess we will still spend 5 in it because the other choices are more than lackluster (even though I would love to get AMZ in a dps build for a change).

      Now I wish they would just put on a pale horse in the first tier of frost instead of the second.
      The unholy command change is ok I guess, it replaces the glyph and is easily accessable for leveling.

      • Insolence says:

        Isn’t Imp. BT worth going for? Someone said it would be Mandatory for all specs.

      • PennyRush says:

        I spoke too soon. Its worth it for Unholy/Blood. Its bad for Frost.

      • Anaroth says:

        Weird. AFAICS Rune Tap and Imp. RuneTap are more useful for frost than unholy.

        Unholy just gets an Extra SS every 30 seconds (The base rotation uses about 15 runes in 30 seconds (in imp UP with 10% haste) with 10 of them being used on unholy abilities. Unholy basically has to use all Frost runes with Festering Strike, so can’t make much use of the fact that blood tap means the rune is a death rune for 20 seconds.

        Even with RE procs, frost should get far less runes per 30 seconds, so an extra one is a bigger boost. Furthermore frost can take advantage of the fact that the rune refreshes as a death rune for 20 seconds, to get an extra death rune to use for an Obliterate.

    • I am glad they spruced Unholy Command up a bit. How I wish they’d put Outbreak in there instead of Death Grip, though. They were so close to a great, useful, even much needed change there and then at the last second they picked the wrong spell to put in there.

      So close.

      That Virulence, Bladed Armor, Butchery, Icy Reach, and Runic Mastery are all untouched is odd. They seem pretty weak for the cost, except Virulence which is required for everybody so much that it’s a required 3 points into UH. Hell, I’m surprised they’ve left Nerves of Cold Steel in the first tier of Frost. Ghouls still having no AOE protection or summon improvement (waiting 2 mins after it dies is a long time considering how much dps UH uses it for) is also looking like a nuisance.

      Perhaps more changes are in store for Frost and/or Blood early tiers. Here’s hoping.

      • Leviatharan says:

        Well they don’t have anything effecting the new DK 81+ abilities in the current trees- DSim, NS, or Outbreak- so I’d just assume they’ll wait until after we *have* those abilities, or just add glyphs for them later.
        (To be fair, Unholy only has 1 Major glyph for single-target, and Frost has 2, while Blood has all 3…)

  27. Rebellion says:

    I’m not sure if 1 additonal SS every minute is worth 2 talent points. I’d say putting them in imp. AMS is better. Though when looking at the talents it looks like we have these two points anyway, even with 3 in imp. AMS. Well, maybe one if we max out virulence.

    I guess I would take AMZ just for fun and ignore imp blood tap. The diffrence should be around 416 dps at best (and I’m not sure my SS hits for 25k, I have to recheck it), which is kinda laughable when doing 16k dps.

    • Kin says:

      You only need 1 point in imp. AMS to be able to get RP off of it, so why put more?

      • Rebellion says:

        My guess was that less time in the fire equals more dps. More points mean more RP/DMG, but I haven’t tried the actual rate yet. The tooltip only reads : “and increases the RP generated when damage is absorbed by Anit-Magic Shell”. Well if it is still 8-10 points in blood, I guess it can’t be helped, but It’s kinda sad that the other dps tree is such a waste compared to the tank tree.

      • xtatik says:

        It looks like you’ll be able to take those two points from imp BT and put them wherever you want without much of dps loss (probably not more than a couple percent at the most)

        From a min/max perspective, seems that imp BT will probably be the way to go, though.

  28. Jonneh says:

    @twitter update

    what thread? Can’t find!

    • PennyRush says:

      The 125 page DK thread on the beta forums.

    • Consider says:

      The main Dk thread on the beta forums!

      The last couple pages which bug me so much contain such gems as “It is however gonna be a great reason for me switching to SW:TOR” or “Wow this is %#@#ing stupid” or what have you. And I know some of those making such posts have commented here in the past, which makes me all that much more sad!

      Being frustrating and what have you is understandable. Expressing it with such posts on the official forums of all places is not.

      • Jonneh says:

        That is quite some petulance we have right there.

        Some people just can’t contain the need to try and strike out at Blizzard I guess, even though they know really that its a pointless exercise. All the do is make devs listen less!

        Shame on you, try and put your points across without being douches.

      • Roth says:

        I dont understand at all why those ppl brought out the pitchforks. This build wasnt THAT bad. Its just another build we can basically ignore. Although I will say that I find it ridiculous that ppl are complaining that we “lost dps” now that BCB was moved to tier 3.

        How many times does it need to be stated: they havent done a numbers pass yet.

      • Jonneh says:

        The panic of seeing an assumed patch date so soon with so many perceived issues I would guess. I could imagine if frost or blood is your tree then you’re still feeling a little like blizzard hasnt fixed you yet.

        Personally I’d be happy to play unholy as is and wait for the annoying little things to be sorted out. Now that the main issues are out of the way.

        Cant really say the same if you’re a frosty though.

      • Alrenous says:

        Have the DKs been more shrill than other class discussions on the forum?

        Just a possibility I’d like to suggest. Someone noticed that some class has to be last. (You, perhaps?) So what if indeed DKs are going to be done last, and the QQ in the DK thread made the devs generally too exasperated to actually share their design direction. And perhaps since DKs are being done last there’s not much of a direction yet.

        Putting myself in the devs shoes, having seen certain parts of that thread, I would not be enthusiastic about getting involved.

      • Jhadur says:

        In general I don’t like being that way but you can just chalk it up to a cynical sense of humor coupled with frustration and my tendency to purge negative emotions. I’ll be better after today.

        The SW:TOR comment was a joke btw, I’ve been planning on playing both WoW and TOR for awhile now.

        But yes I have been looking forward to going back to Frost for a long time now but I may just shelve my DK after I finish Shadowmourne till they finish the work on the class. Just means I’ll raid on my Demo Lock for awhile.

      • Jesabelle says:

        @Roth “How many times does it need to be stated: they havent done a numbers pass yet.”

        They seem to be doing the numbers pass now. I assume losing BCB was a part of that, but you can see the % modifiers being messed with for multiple classes.

        I agree, there’s no reason to freak out over anything, but it’s definitely time to talk about numbers 🙂

      • Demo locks do look pretty hot in Cata, imo. The constant popping Doom guards (from your cd and the Bane of Agony), becoming Illidan-like more (with the ever-reducing cd), with a stronger felguard and dropping Hands of Gul’dan sounds slick mechanic-wise. Not been following if the damage will be there, though.

        I’ve always loved having a pet/minion/servant class.

  29. Keith. S says:

    With Tier 11 bonuses in it’s current state (Each death rune = 1%) imp blood tap (30 sec cooldown) will be very important for keeping those death runes up. That leaves unholy with two points to play with which can either be used for utility talents or the blood boil debuff. After seeing some the videos of the 85 heroics, I am leaning toward the blood boil debuff unless they move it.

    • Rebellion says:

      As the set is not available for testing (and even if it were I doubt I get the chance to raid that much on the beta realm to get 4 pieces) it is hard to state the following as a fact. But my guess is that unholy, with it’s four death runes, will have no problem at all to keep the buff up. It stacks just three times and after the initial outbreak -> FeS -> FeS -> .. it should already be at the maximum. About 20 seconds from then the buff will already be reaplied as thats the point where the next FeS is needed.

      I’m not sure I have some major flaw in my thinking, but if so, feel free to point it out. I guess it will be the best dps/point ratio, even though it might be the worst utility option. But w/o having seen the actual raid content it’s hard to comment on something like this. I still hope they buff AMZ (at the moment an extremly overpriced version of the priest shield) and the gargoyle.

  30. Kortic says:

    Looking at the GCD chart posted above for Frost dps I would assume when 4.0 hits most Frost dk’s will see maximum benefit by replacing 10 str/10 haste gems with 10str/10 crit and then also reforging Haste off gear to boost Crit or even Mastery. I am really interested to see how our Stat weights will be once 4.0 hits @ L80.

    Has anyone been able to come up with a number of haste (in %) which allows us to proceed with a normal rotation? And haste over this % means we are GCD locked and not able to use abilities?

    Also Consider, it would be good to see the charts you posted above with one as Frost spec in UH presence and UH spec in Frost Presence etc.

  31. ODK says:

    Wow, i lost about 2-4k dps with the loss of Blood Caked Blade….. really disappointing…not to mention its a good scaling talent, so woulda been even better at higher gear levels….

    then left us with really not mcuh other than crap to choose from, i like pale horse and extra runic, the AP talent is a given for dps – but some other utility would be nice if they dont wanna give us anything worth a damn dps wise…

    i think pale horse should be tier 1 talent

    • Leviatharan says:

      A possible solution to this: Make Virulence a passive for the class (Runic Focus seems like a good opening), then put BCB in its place in the Unholy tree (if it’s in the first tier then Frost will be able to access it more easily). Otherwise it’s just a DPS talent wasted on the tanking tree, too deep for DPS to grab.

      • Baadshah of Turalyon says:

        (Yes, the name change is intentional- farewell Dawnbringer and hello new server!)

        I can’t speak much for Frost, but I honestly do not mind making BCB inaccessible to us with this new talent. My reasoning? BCB is so reminiscent of those “boring” DPS talents like Necrosis. Once you talent into it, all you need is to make sure you have diseases up on the target….. If you’re even a half decent DK, that will always be the case. Hence the boredom. For a tank, it mostly makes sense just for extra threat generation.

        Improved Blood Tap however, makes things a lot more interesting (Extra Scourge Strikes? More Dark Transformations?) as DPS. My guess (and this is just a guess, feel free to tell me I’m wrong) is that they deliberately included this to take care of too many free GCDs in the Unholy tree.
        It’s a lot like AMS right now- it can lead to a significant DPS increase IF used at appropriate times and situations (as opposed to off cooldown). So for now, I’m giving it a tentative thumbs up.

        As I said though, I am unaware of the ramifications this will have for Frost- I do trust Blizzard to balance out the numbers though.

      • Consider says:

        Congratulations on the new guild (assuming that’s why you transferred), and I echo your sentiments. BCB was boring, while Imp BT provides just as much (more, pending spec) dps, while also being more interesting and giving us an extra talent point to play with.

  32. ODK says:

    hmm, had never thought of that, sucks to lose pale horse again tho…was the one positive thing about looking like it was forcing frost as the only real subtree…still hope they put it in the first tier – so far i dont use BT atall for dps cause it only seems to bork up the runes and make the priority off so i end up with frost runes just sittin around waitin for blood (or fireing off a IT) – is there a specific timing that makes them work without changing the way the runes refresh? – i usually use it for a clutch Chains of Ice or Strangle, but actually twice as often would be useful…

  33. Baadshah of Turalyon says:

    I don’t have a Twitter account, so I can’t respond there, but: Yes I care to read!

    And thanks, it is indeed a new guild 🙂

  34. Failoria says:

    @ twitter in regards to item values and whatnot

    Stat weights for 4.0 would be nice, but I don’t think you should worry about BiS lists. People should be able to figure out what is good and what isn’t just based on the stat weights IMO.

    Also, from everything I’ve seen, the looks like the general rule is that ArP turns to crit UNLESS the item in question already has crit rating (in which case it turns to haste). I could be wrong, but just glancing around this seems to hold true. This means that the STS trinket SHOULD be crit…

    BTW, are you for sure taking over the frost thread? It would be awesome if you did….your unholy thread is 2nd to none on the EJ class forums. Darkside hasn’t been around in a long time, and even when he was he had a very “figure it out yourself” attitude about his thread toward the end.

  35. Mark Miller says:

    I would like to read too, very interested in what you came up with – kelben is the user name of EJ

  36. Magdalena of Turalyon says:

    My apologies for replying to that message twice! I hate my laptop sometimes =/

    The thread is looking quite awesome and I do think that Darkside’s prolonged absence is good enough of a reason for you to pick up the Frost thread as well.

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