Page 1 of 6
... LastLast
  1. #1

    Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    This is a compilation of the Cataclysm-related information released this week, including the official previews and important blue posts. I do realize that some of the class forums already have sticky topics, this topic is merely here to discuss this week's preview and changes and will eventually fall into the abyss of the class forums.

    Official Class Preview
    Originally Posted by Zarhym (Blue Tracker)

    World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will bring with it several changes to class talents and abilities. In this preview, you'll get a glimpse at some of the new abilities, spells, and talents in store for the death knight class, along with an early look at some improvements we plan to make to the rune resource system.

    New Death Knight Abilities

    Outbreak (level 81): Outbreak infects the target with both Frost Fever and Blood Plague at no rune cost. This ability allows death knights to apply diseases quickly when they are switching targets or when their diseases have been dispelled.

    Necrotic Strike (level 83): Necrotic Strike is a new attack that deals weapon damage and applies a debuff that absorbs an amount of healing based on the damage done. For context, imagine that the death knight can choose between doing 8,000 damage outright with a certain ability, or dealing 6,000 damage and absorbing 4,000 points in incoming heals with Necrotic Strike -- the burst is smaller, but a larger overall amount of healing would be required to bring the target back to full health.

    This ability is meant to bring back some of the old flavor from when death knights could dispel heal-over-time (HoT) effects. It also gives the class a bit more PvP utility without simply replicating a Mortal Strike-style effect.

    Dark Simulacrum (level 85): The death knight strikes a target, applying a debuff that allows the death knight to copy the opponent's next spell cast and unleash it. Unlike Spell Reflection, Dark Simulacrum does not cancel the incoming spell. In general, if you can't reflect an ability, you won't be able to copy it either.

    Rune System Changes

    While we're satisfied with the way the rune system works overall, we're making a few major changes to the mechanics that will ultimately help death knight players feel less constrained. Here's the rationale behind the changes, followed by an explanation of how the new system will work.

    • In the current rune system, any time a rune is sitting idle, death knights are losing out on potential damage output. By comparison, rogues spend most of their time at low energy levels, and if they're unable to use their skills for a few seconds, that energy builds up and can be spent later, minimizing the net loss from the interruption.

    • A death knight's runes, on the other hand, cannot be used until they are fully active. If a death knight ever goes more than a few seconds without spending an available rune, that resource is essentially wasted. Because the death knight is pushing buttons constantly, it can be difficult to add new mechanics to the class because the player doesn't have any free global cooldowns to use them. We can't grant extra resources or reduced cost, because there is no time to spend them. Missing an attack is devastating, and it's impossible to save resources for when they're most useful.

    • Additionally, each individual death knight ability has a fairly low impact on its own, making it feel like most of the death knight's attacks are weak. The death knight's rotations are also more easily affected by latency or a player's timing being just a little off. At times, it feels like death knights aren't able to take advantage of their unique resource mechanic, which can diminish the fun.

    • The new rune system will change how runes regenerate, from filling simultaneously to filling sequentially. For example, if you use two Blood runes, then the first rune will fill up before the second one starts to fill up. Essentially, you have three sets of runes filling every 10 seconds instead of six individual runes filling every 10 seconds. (Haste will cause runes to fill faster.) Another way to think of this is having three runes that go up to 200% each (allowing extra "storage"), rather than six runes that go up to 100% each.

    • As this is a major change to the death knight's mechanics, it will of course require us to retune many of the class's current abilities. For example, each ability needs to hit harder or otherwise be more meaningful since the death knight is getting fewer resources per unit of time. Some abilities will need to have their costs reduced as a result.

    Talent Changes

    Next we'll outline some of the death knight talent-tree changes we're planning in Cataclysm. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it should give you a sense of how we're intending each death knight spec to perform.

    • One of the biggest changes we're making is converting Blood into a dedicated tanking tree. While we feel that having three tanking trees was successful overall, it's less necessary in a world with dual-specialization. In addition, the current breakdown isn't as compatible with the Mastery-based passive talent-tree bonuses we want to add (see below). We'd rather spend time tweaking and balancing one good tanking tree rather than having a tank always wondering if they picked the "correct" tree out of three possibilities.

    • Blood seemed like the best fit for tanking. Unholy has always had a strong niche with diseases, magic, and command over pets. Frost now feels like a solid dual-wield tree with Frost magic damage and decent crowd control. Blood's niche was self-healing -- fitting for a tank -- as well as strong weapon swings, which could easily be migrated to Frost and Unholy.

    • Our plan is to move the most interesting and fun tanking talents and abilities to Blood. For example, you will likely see Vampiric Blood and Will of the Necropolis remain, while Bone Shield will move over from Unholy.

    Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

    • Damage reduction
    • Vengeance
    • Healing Absorption

    Vengeance: This new mechanic is designed to ensure that tank damage output (and therefore threat) doesn't fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will grant a stacking Attack Power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character's unbuffed health. For boss encounters, we expect that tanks will always have an Attack Power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Blood tree; these values will be smaller at lower levels.

    You only get the Vengeance bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Blood tree, so you won't see Frost or Unholy death knights running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to design tank gear more or less the way we do today; there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so their Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but the goal is that all four tanks will do about the same damage when tanking.

    Healing Absorption: When you heal yourself, you'll receive an additional effect that absorbs incoming damage.

    • Melee damage
    • Melee Haste
    • Runic Power Generation

    Runic Power Generation: This will function as the name implies, and the new rune system will make generating Runic Power more appealing.

    • Melee damage
    • Melee and spell critical damage
    • Disease Damage

    Disease Damage: Unholy death knights will be able to get more out of their diseases, which are integral to the tree's play style.

    We hope you enjoyed this preview, and we're looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on these additions and changes. Please keep in mind that this information represents a work in progress and is subject to change as development on Cataclysm continues.
    Tanking as Blood in Cataclysm
    Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)
    We're doing our Cataclysm preview on the death knight changes later this week, but we knew one change risked overshadowing all the others, so we figured we'd go ahead and drop the proverbial Blood bomb today.

    In Cataclysm, death knights will have a dedicated tanking tree, much like the other three tank classes. That tree will be Blood.

    We’ll go into more detail in the upcoming preview, but we wanted to take the opportunity to explain the reasoning for such a big change.

    Why the about face? We actually thought the “tri tank” experiment worked out okay. We suspected there would always be a “best” tanking tree, because that’s the way these things shake out, but we hoped it would be close enough that many players could tank with their favorite tree. When we tried out this design for Wrath of the Lich King, we were using it as a test case to see if we wanted to do similar things with the warrior and paladin talent trees.

    A lot has happened since that time. We introduced the dual-spec feature, allowing players to have a tanking spec and dps spec that they could switch between. We introduced Dungeon Finder, which makes it easier to find players who want to tank, and even let players level up using a dedicated tank spec. In Cataclysm, we are introducing the concept of passive talent tree bonuses and we think that feature is a lot stronger when the talent tree has a particular focus (such as damage, tanking or healing). For example, it’s safer to give more passive damage to a tanking tree than we can a dps tree. Above all, we were just spending a lot of effort trying to balance three trees (though it was really six trees, since each tree was trying to do two things).

    It started to feel unfair to the other tank classes that we had to spend so much effort tweaking three types of DK tanks, and it even started to feel unfair to the DK that we couldn’t focus their tanking experience. One bit of feedback that really struck home was the DK players who said, essentially, “I look at the Protection tree and I’m jealous of all of the cool tools they have to help their tanking. As a DK, I have to pick and choose tanking talents from within a sea of dps talents.” Rather than have a strong focus, the trees felt a little watered down because they were trying to do so much. With Frost as a dual-wield, spell and runic power focused tree, Unholy as a disease and minion focused tree, and Blood as a self-healing, defensive cooldown, tanking tree, we think the focus of each tree is a lot clearer and cooler.

    In Cataclysm, Blood will be the death knight version of a Protection tree. It will have passive talent tree bonuses that reflect tanking. It will have tools, such as a Demo Shout equivalent, necessary for tanking. Several of the more fun tanking talents from Frost and Unholy will be moved into Blood. We will be able to revise (or even remove) clunky mechanics like Rune Strike and focus on letting DKs generate threat with their normal Blood tanking rotation.

    This is major change, and we understand it will be met with some disappointment from players who really liked the flexibility, those who appreciated the unorthodox talent tree design, or those few of you who really liked Blood dps. Nevertheless, we are convinced that this is the right change for the game.
    New Rune Mechanic
    Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler (Blue Tracker)
    I'll take a stab at explaining the rune mechanic. Once you see it in action, it's pretty easy to understand.

    Just focus on Blood Runes for the moment. The big change is that rune #2 will never start filling up until rune #1 is full. They always fill 1 then 2. Today 1 and 2 can both fill at the same time.

    In Cataclysm, when you're killing things, you use rune 1. Then any extra "red" in rune 2 will fill rune 1 back up again. If both of them are full, you can use 2 Blood Runes immediately. But after that, rune 1 will fill up first and then rune 2. If it helps, imagine rune 2 is the extra tank.

    This sounds like it will slow down DK attacks, and it will to a point. That's part of what we're trying to accomplish. We can then fill those extra GCDs with things like free abilities or runic power abilities or we have room to add talents that make runes fill faster. Remember, slow attacks can hit harder though. Instead of DKs hitting fast like a rogue, they'll hit slower and harder, like a warrior, which fits a lot of player's image of a DK anyway. Dual wield will hit faster of course.

    I'll try another comparison. Imagine that all rogue abilities cost 100 energy. They have to wait until they get 100 energy, and then immediately use an attack so that they aren't wasting future energy. That's how DKs play now, except they have 6 runes to watch. Now imagine the same rogue except all his abilities cost 50 energy. If he hits an attack when he has 60 energy, then 50 is consumed but he has 10 energy still left and a head start on the next attack. That's the way we want DKs to play.

    If that still doesn't make sense, then focus on what the experience will be, which is that you'll have more breathing room in your rotation and won't have to hit a button every single GCD. If you don't use a strike the second it's available, that's more okay because the extra tank will store extra rune resources rather than just wasting it. You'll still be hitting a lot of buttons though. We're keeping double rune strikes and Death Runes and disease multipliers and all of that. We'll have to make some changes in some abilities to accommodate the resource change, but it won't be unrecognizable to you.

    We're not sure DKs even need Rune Strike any longer. If it survives, we'll turn it into an instant swing. But if we turn it into an instant swing, then it really isn't that different from existing strikes so it's possible we can just make a tanking rotation without it.

    Additional Information
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

    Outbreak is free with a 1-minute cooldown. It’s not supposed to completely replace Plague Strike and Icy Touch. (Source)

    Rune costs of skills on medium/long cooldowns
    I don't think we can make them all cost runes. That would be too hard to manage. If I had to guess, some will be runic power and some will just be free. If we did move Bone Shield to Blood, then that one might be okay as a rune since it's something you do pre-emptively, but we have some more talent tree work to do first before we can really answer that. (Source)

    2H Weapons and Frost
    We want to provide a 2-handed style for Frost since we recognize that pets are an acquired taste. We think we have the design space to do that now that we don’t need to support Frost tanking. We’re definitely committed to making Frost work as a dual-wield tree though -- that isn’t going away. (Source)

    We’re not sure how we’re going to handle presences yet. We recognize the oddness of Blood death knights playing in Frost Presence and Frost death knights not playing in Frost Presences. We might rename the presences or take some other action. (Source)

    Vengeance is based on damage actually taken (physical and spell). This means it might take a bit to get stacked up to the max value, but it generally will get up there on longer fights and can even stay there in between pulls if you pull quickly.

    Remember, the problem we're trying to solve here is sustained damage and threat. We're not as worried about mobs sticking to you initially because you have plenty of tools to handle that now (including telling the mages they need to wait for half a second). Yes, your AP might start out a little lower if you get a string of avoidance, but with lower avoidance in Cataclysm, that is probably less of a problem as well.

  2. #2
    High Overlord Madriel's Avatar
    10+ Year Old Account
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    They've officially made ME hate dk's. I WANT MY BLOOD DPS!

  3. #3

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Unholy and Frost are shit dps tree's

    Blood > frost/unholy

  4. #4

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Lies blood always was the meh dps tree, makes sence to me.

  5. #5

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    I specced frost not too long ago, before they even announced these changes, and I'm loving it.

    What I disliked about blood was the downtime. With frost, you have some dynamism and something to manage (procs), which give a bit more of a challenge than blood where you only have diseases to manage.

    Also, frost gives suitable AoE which is good in some encounters.

  6. #6
    Living Memory Sesshomaru's Avatar
    10+ Year Old Account
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Quote Originally Posted by hasslemoff
    Unholy and Frost are shit dps tree's

    Blood > frost/unholy
    Lets see.... When I respecced into Blood, I did max 3.5k Dps in raids... 5k Dps as Unholy and 5.5k Dps as Frost (DW)... I LUV FROSTY!

    Else I tank in Blood... Works perfectly! The only thing that Blizz could improve, would be the AoE threat.

  7. #7
    Stood in the Fire Zkeya's Avatar
    10+ Year Old Account
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Near a Keyboard

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizz
    Lies blood always was the meh dps tree, makes sence to me.
    Sure..Remember diseaseless blood?Actually even now blood isn't really far behind the other two specs and it really comes down to personal preferences.

    Being a blood tank since naxx,I welcome the change though,since blood will have most of the tanking talents of every tree which sounds awesome.

    But I really hope bliz will find a way to keep a physical 2h spec which is on par with DW frost and unholy

  8. #8
    Bloodsail Admiral
    10+ Year Old Account
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    The Island

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizz
    Lies blood always was the meh dps tree, makes sence to me.
    It's sense, I'm not flaming you or anything, it's just when you spell it like that you are putting quite a juxtaposition on the point you are trying to make, thus rendering it inert, I'm just letting you know for future reference .
    Yes, while Blood is quite lacklustre in the early stages without the required amount of Armour Penetration, in the later stages with the higher gear levels the tree was (I keep saying that - IS) the best tree because of the high physical damage. It is a good tank tree and anyone familiar with my recent rants about it being turned into a purpose built tank tree will know my feelings on the subject. While I am going to miss Blood dps because of how much fun I have playing it, Blizzard has made it up to me ten-fold by bringing back the one spec choice that I loved over Blood :- 2 Handed Frost .
    On the flip side, they had me bad mouthing them and acting like a douche for 2 days before announcing it so, for future reference, don't do that Blizzard, you had me worried :P.

    The abilities do seem quite PvP orientated and I do hope that they throw in a few extra ones that are more beneficial to the raiding Death Knights out there.
    The way the rune system was given a really ham-fisted explanation too, the way I read it is that we have 3 "attack" runes which we use for abilities and 3 "back-up" runes which are used to fill the "attack" runes, the runes can be used together as they are currently, so basically the only change would be that they only fill up one rune of each type at a time. I may have read this completely wrong so please correct me if I have :P.
    Skullmaster - Slathe - Duat - Tamriel

    Absolutely everything happens for a reason - Omnia Causa Fiunt.

  9. #9

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalënë
    Lets see.... When I respecced into Blood, I did max 3.5k Dps in raids... 5k Dps as Unholy and 5.5k Dps as Frost (DW)... I LUV FROSTY!
    that is just because you are bad.

  10. #10

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    What I dont really get about the whole thing is that they introduced the DK class in wotlk, spent the whole exp trying to balance it, and now they've decided to change how the class will play by changing the rune mechanics and by also making each tree no longer be viable to tank & dps. It's like going back to square one all over again.
    Ooh, they have the internet on computers now.

  11. #11

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Even tho blood is an awesome dps spec with most dmg coming from physical dmg,

    It is still the only spec with selfhealings for survival, and its 1min CD spell is helping bloods tanking only.. other specs had much more and better talents for dps than blood.

    Actually, I'm kind of happy blood is becoming The tanking spec, since I love their tanking style and easy way to solo with tanking gear.
    Moonguardi, 80lvl balance/resto druid
    Rolzun, 80lvl Frost dps/Blood tank DK
    Raiffol, 80lvl elemental shaman pvp
    Rolkundo, 70lvl pre-bc BM hunter
    Raifol, 70lvl Arms warrior
    Sairasta, 60lvl twink DK

  12. #12

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Unholy is the best :P

  13. #13

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Quote Originally Posted by hasslemoff
    Unholy and Frost are shit dps tree's

    Blood > frost/unholy

  14. #14

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Core
    Sure..Remember diseaseless blood?Actually even now blood isn't really far behind the other two specs and it really comes down to personal preferences.

    Being a blood tank since naxx,I welcome the change though,since blood will have most of the tanking talents of every tree which sounds awesome.

    But I really hope bliz will find a way to keep a physical 2h spec which is on par with DW frost and unholy
    No, they won't. Blood will be a DEDICATED tanking tree, which means not viable for DPS anymore. That's like hoping Blizzard will make warrior prot tree viable for DPS. Noob.

  15. #15

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    I find it funny that the people who are so hardcore Blood dps state that the spec is only really viable when your close to capped on armor pen, which we all know is gone in Cata. Plus I find the reasoning for the Unholy or Frost hate to be misguided aswell, I understand many of you want to beat on things with a 2 handed weapon but don't want to spec Unholy because of the pet, isn't that basically just an arms warrior?
    I also, am sick and tired of people saying that because we have dedicated trees were no different then warriors, I've played a warrior and there is a huge difference not just in resources but in overall class design, also people stating that unholy will be a PvP only spec, I can't see how it will be any different then it is now, viable for both PvP and PvE content.

  16. #16
    Fluffy Kitten Zao's Avatar
    15+ Year Old Account
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Thanks to Bibi for the compilation!

    And for qqing please refer to the dedicated threat about blood as tanking tree:

    First and final warning

  17. #17

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    I don't get why tanks are hoping that there will still be a DPS element in the Blood Tree. With this new Vengeance mechanic, tanks are going to be hitting for sick numbers.

    Raid buffed I have about 75.-7.9k Attack Power. Rune Strikes are critting for over 11k and HS for over 10k
    With Vengeance buff, since I've 50k HP unbuffed, full stack of Vengeance = additional 5k AP.
    Meaning that my main tanking abilities are going to be hitting for stupid amounts. I'm doing a solid 3.5k-4k DPS as a tank as is, and this buff will easily push me to over 5k.
    /cheer for tanks not just being the armored vehicle, we get to fire our guns as well. :>
    Dark Intent
    Buff Mage? I think not.
    "I made the comment "Melee Caster" because you will do more damage as a Demonology Warlock by standing in Melee range..."
    -Gherkin, US Rexxar.
    Proud Melee Caster!

  18. #18

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    From a design point of view... Blood DPS was pretty similar to both Warrior and Paladin, except with slightly more hectic tempo. Most abilities mirrored abilities from either class, the only thing which actually set it apart was that a Blood Knight didn't really need raid healing - not that such considerations were ever needed in this expansion with healer mana being so trivial as it is.
    Looking back I can't help but feel Frost lost something when going from Ulduar 2H to TOTC DW. The heavy hits went away, the AMS usage dwindled in importance, and the spec over all suffered from an injection of blandness. I must say I do like dual wielding as DK, though, but I am not convinced it was done to the correct tree.

    Since Death Knights already had pestilence, I can't really see the reason for a new ability to provide more diseases. It's not like the class suffered from target changing the way other classes did. Maybe from target acquisition after a 20+s period of inactivity.
    And here's to hoping the revert the most needless buff of all times - the extra threat on Icy Touch. Anyone who needed that seriously need a healthy dose of L2P - either that or need to tell the dpsers to let them have first strike.

    Oh well... here's the current TLR
    Blood - similar to other classes, provides no uniqueness. Spec of choice for most tanks in this Stamina-epeen-focused era.
    Frost - very dissimilar to other classes since it is exclusively a priority spec.
    Unholy - the situational use of the army together with a near flat-rate of damage among skills oddly makes this tree unique. Always were third-rate tank tree, though, so more of a burden to balance it around tanking.

  19. #19

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    Unholy > Frost > Blood DPS Trees for me

    So I'm not going to miss Blood, also it's the most boring DPS tree for me.

  20. #20

    Re: Death Knight - Cataclysm Preview Compilation

    they're turning DKs into a Warrior clone...
    single tanking spec, and 2 dps specs, warrior-like with 2h, rogue-like with DW.
    in the next upcoming patchs maybe we'll see DKs using shield and daggers.
    a lot of things that made DKs unique are being deleted or edited.
    sure, some stuff still remains, but imo, most of them are the worst.blood was still the best dps spec around, and they're deleting it, probably cause most ppl just cant push its DPS.too many buttons to press, unlike unholy or frost.its too hard to play it...

    the game is getting worse every patch/expansion released...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts