Friday, February 6, 2009

Patch 3.1 Notes Scourge Style

So here are the notes, copy pasted directly from WoWInsider.

Gargoyle and Unholy Blight have swapped talent positions. Gargoyle's damage has increased and runic power cost per time has decreased.

Pestilence – this spell no longer causes damage but just spreads diseases. Blood Boil is intended to be the general area attack, and has been changed to be castable on targets with no diseases on them, but does extra damage if diseases are present.

Unbreakable Armor now absorbs a flat amount of damage that increases as your armor increases. It no longer boosts armor.

The Frost tree has been shuffled. Among other things, PvP talents such as Endless Winter are closer to the top of the tree where Blood and Unholy death knights can access them.

Sudden Doom – this talent now procs a Death Coil rather than requiring an additional button click. It works similarly to shamans' Lightning Overload.

Magic Suppression and Blood of the North have been reduced to 3 ranks for the same benefit.

Blood Gorged now grants armor penetration instead of expertise.

Unholy Blight becoming a 21 point Unholy talent is huge for AOE tanking. Consider this, in one spec you can now have Morbidity, Unholy Blight, and Howling Blast. You kidding me. 5/45/21 will be the new tank spec of choice. You won't have bone shield with it, but the changes to Unbreakable armor will offset that. You will have 18 seconds of IBF and 20 seconds of UA every minute. If its real ugly you can cycle in Lichborne too.

51 point Unholy 2H DPS will become one of the top DPS choices with Gargoyle getting rebuffed.

Blood will be happy with automatic, always criting, death coils. Talk about increasing your DPS or TPS for the blood tanks. Especially since the sudden doom proc will not consume a global cooldown.

With the reduction of Blood of the North and Magic Suppression to 3 points each that will allow a bit more flexibility for deep tree Frost/Unholy specs a bit more flexibility for the good stuff.

The changes to Pestilence and Blood Boil aren't a big surprise. The net damage between the two will probably be fairly similar to what it is now. As it is, you should only be including Pest in your rotation to spread diseases anyway.

Given the changes to the talent trees expect a free respec when this finally hits.

Damn I get excited about AOE tanking the more I think about this. I can see an early rotation being IT, PS, Pest, HB, BB, UB followed by DnD, OB, BB with Frost Strikes dumping the RP. If you can convince your DPS to wait on the first HB you will aggro like mad. Single target will be IT, PS, HB, BSx2 with FS RP dump followed by OB, OB, HB with FS as the RP dump. MMMMMM.

Now if they just throw in Dual Specs as well so we can have a full on DPS spec too we will be gods.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Onyxia Solo'd Sort Of

So I was in Dustwallow to pick up the fishing quest and thought to myself, "I started WoW in early BC, I've never seen Ony, I bet I could solo her." So off I went.

I talked a friend of mine in Dalaran to group with me so I could convert to raid and not get punted from the instance. Strapped my tank gear on, ate a food buff, and walked in.

Needless to say trash was easy.

Ony phase one was cake. Just back yourself against a wall so the knock back doesn't interfere with you and just work your DPS rotation. When you get below 75% health spam a couple Death Strikes to bring you back up.

Phase Two was a little more difficult. Since you are the only one in the place the whelps all go after you. In addition it was more difficult to keep the diseases up on Onyxia and time hitting her with Death Strikes. Eventually I made it through.

Entering Phase Three, I was very low on health, got feared immediately, then my diseases dropped off.

Had I been thinking I would have Death Pacted my Ghoul which would have brought me back to half health. Retrospectively, I believe this would have bought me the time I needed to get my diseases back on and Death Strike back up to full health so I could survive her deep breaths. I didn't and with all my other cool downs blown, turned into a ghoul and died shortly after entering phase 3.

She is killable as a solo Unholy DK. A solo Blood DK will have a much easier time.

About this time a guildy logged on and asked what I was doing. I decided to cheat. Since his main was a feral druid I had him log onto his full T4 level 70 Resto Shammy.

The results speak for themselves. In fact Aup basically only healed me in Phase 2 and tossed lightning bolts the rest of the time. Gotta say, the tremor totem was nice to have as well.

So I didn't pull off the solo kill. I had fun, scored lots of vendor trash, and got to see a boss I'd never seen before.

The AOE Grind

When I was leveling my first toon, a warlock, I thought I had a handle on AOE grinding. Use my pet to round up four to five mobs, DoT them all up, then fear which ever one came towards me. After a minute I'd have to run all over the place collecting loot since they all died in different locations.

Then I ran Sunken Temple. There was a Frost Mage in the group a little out of the level range on the high side. We had a room full of dragonkin melee mobs. He Ice Shielded, grabbed a preists PW: Shield and proceeded to gather up all the mobs. Frost Nova them in place. Blink away. Then Blizzarded them down. When they started to close in on him, it was a simple case of rinse and repeat.

I was awed. The control was amazing.

Eventually, I leveled my own Frost Mage to 60 so I could enjoy it as well.

Death Knights make fantastic AOE Grinders, especially if you are Unholy or Frost. First we aren't squishy like the mages and locks are. Second, we can produce tons of AOE damage while taking a hit. Third, we have the health and mitigation to stand in there.

So here's how you do it (This is the Unholy version).

Step One: Find a bunch of melee mobs in fairly close proximity you want to kill. Lately I've been using this technique on the mobs you kill for the Sons of Hodir dailies.

Step Two: Cast Bone Shield and mount up on your horse.

Step Three: Ride next to several mobs close enough to aggro them. Unlike a Frost Mage, you do not need to circle them into a tight pack to be effective, you just want them to come to you.

Step Four: Pick one out and hit it with Icy Touch. This will dismount you and all the others will start to come your way.

Step Five: Drop DnD, Plague Strike your first target, hit Pestilence followed by Unholy Blight.

Step Six: Loot.

Frosties obviously won't have Bone Shield or Unholy Blight, but they do pick up nicely with Howling Blast.

Effectively you are just AOE tanking without a pocket healer. Easy to do on non elites and makes those kill and drop quests go a lot faster.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

DK Flexibility

Yesterday I closed my poll review with a suggestion that all DK's try both Tanking and DPS roles. It was a blanket statement and there will be exceptions but I stand by it.

Grimtorn indicated that with his tank heavy spec his DPS would be off even in a full set of DPS gear. I agree with this, while a tank spec in DPS gear will never put out as much damage as a pure DPS spec, there are times where a raid only needs one tank(Maxenna comes to mind). Unless you are a prot warrior or pally, you can add more value by providing DPS and letting them tank than the other way around.

Wheresmedrink has two toons and the other is an effective tank. I'd argue his DK will be better at tanking magic heavy fights than his warrior would.

Kaleyen had the issue after collecting a full tank set was needed as DPS and had to rebuild.

In every case, your off-spec role will never be optimal, but it can be the difference between killing a boss or continuing a raid should someone need to leave.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Poll Results: Primary Roll

It's been a week and the poll is now closed.

The first thing that catches my eye is not a single person chose Off Tank. I think it is a fairly safe assumption that anyone filling that roll chose to answer whichever is needed.

Half of you that answered only provide DPS. This is reasonably consistent with my experience where most of the DK's in a raid are there for DPS only and have no interest in tanking. Needless to say, if you are looking at my talent spec for ideas you can avoid blade barrier, toughness, and anticipation. If you aren't going the dual wield route, I might suggest dropping those points into subversion, dark conviction, two-hand specialization on the blood side. That won't pick up all 15 points but will be more dps than what my spec provides.

Twenty percent of you said you tank. There are times I am envious of people who have the MT role for a guild, then there are times that I'm not. I enjoy tanking. but we all know it can be hard work. Needless to say, if all you plan on doing is tanking you can drop some of the lesser DPS talents and push down to lichborne in Frost.

I'm in the 30% that do what ever is required. Need me to tank, sure no problem. Gotta have someone soak hatefuls on Patch 25, I'm there. Got tanking covered and just need some solid melee DPS, all over it. Life is expensive for us. To fill what ever role is necessary whenever we are needed, we absolutely need two sets of gear. For example, in the last week prices on Titansteel helms have come down dramatically on my server. I grabbed one of each for tanking and DPS for about 1000g each. Throw in two meta gems, two blue gems, and two arcanums and I blew through 2,700g like it was monopoly cash. The upside, I can tank, I can OT, I can DPS, so in the rare times I do have time to play lately, I can score a run or a raid without a lot of difficutly.

The DK Flexibility to change from Tank to DPS between fights is one of our biggest advantages, and I would encourage everyone, especially the pure DPS, to give it a try.