4.0.6 – PTR First Glance
January 6, 2011 114 Comments
The PTR is up for the next balancing (not content) patch. The DK changes, courtesy of Mmo-champion, are as follows:
- Blood Strike damage is increased by 12.5% for each of your diseases on the target, up from 10%.
- Heart Strike now deals 120% weapon damage, up from 100%.
- Blood Boil base damage increased by 20%, from 297 to 357.
- Blood Presence now increases armor contribution by 30%, down from 60%.
- Death Strike now heals for 15% of the damage sustained, down from 25%.
- Crimson Scourge now has a 5/10% chance to proc from melee attacks on a target infected with your Blood Plague. (Old – 50/100% chance to proc from Plague Strike)
- Will of the Necropolis no longer regenerates a Blood Rune but makes your next Rune Tap free instead.
- Runic Empowerment wording changed to add “successfully” use Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike.
- Rune Strike now deals 180% weapon damage, up from 150%.
- Might of the Frozen Wastes now also has a 4/8/12% chance to proc from your melee attacks. 15/30/45% chance to proc from auto attacks remain the same.
- Killing Machine no longer affects Icy Touch.
- Scourge Strike now deals an additional 18% Physical damage done as Shadow Damage for each disease on your target. Up from 12%.
- Unholy Might now increases your Strength by 5%, down from 10%.
- Desecration now also affects Necrotic Strikes.
Suffice is to say… wow. Some of these changes are great, some are horrible. Some are justified, some less so. There is a lot here to take in for all three specs, although it’s obvious this is only the tip of the iceberg (as evinced most clearly by the lack of any sort of Howling Blast tweak, Unholy mastery change, and so forth). Unfortunately, this came out at a bad time of day for me, and I have to leave for work shortly, so I can only offer my initial thoughts and commentary to it all; math and more in-depth analysis will come later, of course!
Although I won’t delve into it too deeply, as tanking isn’t the main interest here and as there’s likely something missing (there really has to be), but the Death Strike nerf is way over the top, and just plain illogical. It solidly puts mastery below avoidance (and stamina, but it was already there, in my opinion, and with one being a primary stat and the other being secondary, they’re often not in direct competition), essentially killing the stat. It means our damage taken, even if you assume 0% overhealing and near-perfect DS usage, is higher than any of the other three tanks… while also require more attention due to being active instead of passive. Even if DS was too strong by whatever metric, a 25% nerf to the ability is more than was necessary.
As to the other Blood changes, they’re nice enough. Our damage was below that of other tanks and it’s nice to see it being addressed. Yes, threat may not be a problem, but a dps discrepancy in tanks is still very important – when you’re trying to hit an enrage timer, if one tank does 1k more dps than another, that’s just as remarkable as one dpser doing 1k more dps than another… and the gaps are currently equal to or greater than that number between the specs. Crimson Scourge is somewhat decent now, although it still boggles my mind how that got through all of beta without being touched. The Blood Presence change is simply a tooltip correction. So forth.
Anyways, moving on to what really matters: the dps specs!
Frost DW was untouched, aside from the meaningless Killing Machine change. As said, however, these patch notes appear very incomplete, and I would expect much more to come. If anything, the removal of IT from KM likely signifies something to come causing us to actually use IT instead of Howling Blast, but time will tell.
Frost 2H received a decent buff: basically, on top of the 45% chance per auto-attack, Might of the Frozen Wastes now has a 12% chance to proc per yellow (melee) attack, which should significantly improve the talent, and thus the spec’s overall dps. Will it be enough to make the playstyle viable? Only math will tell, and I will certainly get to that this evening. What I will say is that it makes Frost 2H have a hilarious feedback loop through all of its talents and, especially, haste. More white attacks feed more MotFW procs which feed more FS which feeds more MotFW procs (which feeds more FS which feeds more MotFW which feeds… so on). On top of that, more FS feeds more RE procs which means more Oblits which feeds more MotFW procs which feeds more FS… and so on. And haste improves both the number of white and yellow attacks, and so feeds into it as well. A flow chart of it all would be quite amusing! The actual numbers will be interesting although if I had to guess, no, this won’t prop the spec up enough to compete with, say, Frost DW, let alone Unholy. It’s a start, though, if a curiously, unnecessarily complex one.
Unholy DW takes a double hit from the Scourge Strike buff and the Unholy Might nerf, which I can tell just by doing the numbers in my head will put the spec on the back burner, at least for this tier. Without Sudden Doom and/or Nerves of Cold Steel being touched, I still wouldn’t right off the build making a comeback in later content, but that’s another problem for another day, and it may not arise, anyways.
Unholy 2H does take a hit; the SS buff doesn’t quite outweigh the UM nerf, by my quick estimation, but it’s not very noticeable, and nothing much to worry about. What the changes do do to the spec is get rid of DnD from our single target rotation, so that’s a huge plus. Nothing else otherwise.
Blood’s survivability got a large hit, while the dps/threat got a nice, needed boost. Frost DW was untouched, while Frost 2H was buffed, although probably not by enough to make the two even, and HB went unaddressed. Unholy DW is out of the way for now, and Unholy 2H got the lightest of nerfs to its damage. All in all, very interesting stuff, although not half as interesting as what we’ll likely see come to the PTR in the coming weeks.
As I said, expect a more through look at this all later in the night.