Death Knight Glyphs and Runeforges – Patch 3.1.0

April 21, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

They’re small, sometimes overlooked, and aren’t included in the box.   But when used properly they are game changers. It’s time to get out the special doll and point to where the bad man put his…

Glyphs and Runeforges

Runeforge Changes

  • Rune of Cinderglacier now procs per minute instead of a 5% chance.
    • Good. This change needed to be made for the rune to be anywhere near effective
  • Rune of the Fallen Crusader: This weapon enchant now provides only 15% strength, but its chance to proc is doubled.
    • So now it’s at basically 100% uptime but the strength gain was reduced to minimize burst damage.
    • PvP change
  • Rune of Razorice now affects Frost damage done by the death knight only, but stacks up to 10%.
    • Frost DPS change. Intended to be placed on two weapons to get the % up as fast as possible.
    • Makes Frost the largest burst damage spec for DKs

Glyphs

  • Glyph of Blood Boil: This has been replaced with Glyph of Heart Strike, which adds a snare effect to Heart Strike.
    • I guess a ranged snare was too powerful to have when it was not from a frost rune. Good thing that this speed debuff will be undispell-able just like Chilblains. Entirely a PvP glyph
  • Glyph of Dancing Rune Weapon: Increases the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon by 10 seconds.
    • PvE blood glyph. Keep the blade out longer, do more damage with it for less RP. Important for DPS efficiency
  • Glyph of Dark Death: Increases the damage done by Death Coil by 15%.
    • Blood DPS Glyph. It’s their only RP dump, might as well make it more useful
  • Glyph of Death Strike: This glyph now increases Death Strike damage by 1% per 2 runic power, but has a limit of 25% increase.
    • Almost restored to its former glory. The DS glyph is back in style. Great for PvP when you’re not being told to burst and for farming alone.
  • Glyph of Disease: Your Pestilence ability now refreshes disease durations on your primary target back to their maximum duration.
    • Huge Glyph. Transforms 1 Blood rune (least valuable) into X Frost / Y Unholy Runes depending on what you get caught in the AoE. A must have for any DPS spec.
  • Glyph of Howling Blast: Your Howling Blast ability now infects your targets with Frost Fever.
    • If Blizzard didn’t incorrectly implement Icy Talons then this glyph could be mainstream for Frost DPS DKs
  • Glyph of Hungering Cold: Reduces the cost of Hungering Cold by 10 runic power.
    • Still horrible.
  • Glyph of Icebound Fortitude: Icebound Fortitude now grants at least 30% damage reduction, regardless of defense skill.
    • Still horrible, but less than before
  • Glyph of Plague Strike: Bonus lowered to 20%.
    • Why you would ever glyph this skill is beyond me. Perhaps it’s because it’s raw DPS, but I still say this Glyph is not worth it.
  • Glyph of Strangulate: This glyph has been changed to reduce the cooldown by 20 seconds.
    • AWESOME. PVP Change to the maximum.
  • Glyph of Unbreakable Armor: Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Unbreakable Armor by 20%.
    • Reduces the amount of suck and fail that UbA produces by 20%
  • Glyph of Unholy Blight: Increases the duration of Unholy Blight by 10 seconds.
    • More bang for the buck. Lets you throw out a Death Coil every other rotation, also allows UB to overlap better with Gargoyle.

Miscellaneous Changes

These are two very important changes I think I need to address here separate from everything else.

  • Ebon Plaguebringer: Multiple death knights can now use this debuff against a target without overwriting each other.
  • Necrosis: The damage from this ability will no longer benefit multiple times from damage increasing effects.

The Ebon Plaguebringer change we knew about but I don’t think you really understand how strong this change really is. The more unholy DKs you stack the more damage your casters will do. Raise eRDPS by stacking one class? Didn’t Blizzard want this to NOT happen? Expect this to change.

Necrosis’s change is interesting in that it will only be affected by one singular damage increasing effect… but what they mean by this is that only ONE buff to your damage will modify Necrosis’s damage. In other words, only ONE AP booster (probably going to be GBoM) will add the value of its contribution to Necrosis. This was done more or less for balance purposes only.

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Death Knight General Changes – Patch 3.1.0

April 20, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

Now let’s turn our unwavering gaze on some subtle, or overlooked changes in the midst of all this 3.1 excitement…

Armor Penetration

Is it now worth it?
When Blizzard took a look at their current implementation of the Armor Penetration stat I think they realized a very important problem: Placing a worthless stat on tier pieces would make players unhappy. I say armor penetration is worthless because it simply does not scale in PvE very well and that’s going easy on the term “worthless.”

As a prime example let’s look at Patchwork (the DPS optimal scenario): He has enough armor to reduce the damage you do on your melee attacks by about 30% of their physical value. As a Tank, I pop obliterates with raid buffs for about 2300 non-crit on his dome; against a target with 0 armor (made possible with a cooperative warrior) the very same obliterate hit for about 3500 damage.

In relative terms Patchwork has less armor mitigation than your standard Naxx tank, half as much to be exact (As I cannot find a published value for Patch’s armor mitigation, I have no choice to assume my testing is accurate, if you have better numbers please let me know!). If you are one of those weird DPS people who decided to aim for ArPen and got your magic number up to 50% then you would be mitigated against about 15% less than everyone else hitting with physical abilities. Whoopdie freakin’ doo!

Compare your damage to the person who went with expertise and got around the 8% rear quarter dodge (assuming their hit capped). You will do 15% more damage but miss 8% more of your attacks. Total, you’re only getting away with an increase of 7%. If you would have just gotten up to the expertise line you would pump out 1% extra damage.

Now that Blizzard is giving all classes 25% more bonus from ArPen the question of worth actually comes into play. The benchmark by which I determine worth is always in the latest raid instance (Ulduar ATM) and thus far it seems like bosses have a marginally higher amount of physical mitigation which makes armor penetration just as worthless as it was before the patch. If Blizzard puts some more armor on their bosses then of course this opinion will change.

Flip Side: You could argue of course that with the bonus amount of ArPen you get that you can now squeeze out some more damage by jumping onto a fresh DR curve if you’re already expertise and hit capped. This is a very viable argument and the ONLY instance which I would recommend flipping into ArPen. The curve looks better than Haste…

Haste

Armor Pen is no longer viable!
… At least it did look better until you see the extra haste bonus. If you’re a DK then forget everything I just said above this section of the post: If you have to choose between getting your haste rating up and getting ArPen up, it looks like haste is the winner. The reason for this is simply that you will now get more of a bonus out of the haste than you will the ArPen; 5% more of a bonus to be precise.

Of course if you’re any kind of decent you will remember that Haste rating was sooooo nice that Blizzard took it off the DK epic sigil from Heroism Rewards and replaced it with critical strike rating.

The end idea is that even though Haste and ArPen are both getting buffs, both are still equally worthless to Death Knights as most of our attacks are yellow damage and bypass mob armor to an extent.

Hysteria

Damn
Changing the % based damage stacking really sucks. It used to be a great way to get the most amount of burst damage that you could if needed. I guess this just means that one physical DPS guy gets to have his +% damage buffs rotated instead of stacked.

Overall: a neutral change.


Death Knight Talent Trees and Skills – Patch 3.1.0 – Unholy

April 19, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

With 3.1 upon us, I have dove in and looked around at all the changes with the current build. Here I will be giving you my take on each of the changes for Death Knights tree by tree.

Doesn’t matter who smelt it, YOU dealt it! It’s stinky, toxic, and will kick major ass. That’s right! It’s time to talk about…

Unholy

Is the hot chick at the party

Unholy has been given breast implants and a cooch that emits pheromones in such volume that all DKs go rabid when they get near it. This is not an overstatement at all. I will explain why at the end of this section.

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Death Knight Talent Trees and Skills – Patch 3.1.0 – Frost

April 18, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

With 3.1 upon us, I have dove in and looked around at all the changes with the current build. Here I will be giving you my take on each of the changes for Death Knights tree by tree.

Put on your mittens and earmuffs — mine are made from baby polar bears.  It’s time to go…

Frost

Wait… I thought I was a tank class

When I first posted the build 9347 notes I knew that Blizzard would screw up my class almost beyond recognition and the most recent (most likely LIVE) notes confirm this. Lichborne has been reduced entirely to a PvP talent and Unbreakable Armor blows royal cock for tanking. DKs have, at best, been relegated to dedicated OT duty in case shit hits the fan.

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Death Knight Talent Trees and Skills – Patch 3.1.0 – Blood

April 17, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

With 3.1 upon us, I have dove in and looked around at all the changes with the current build. Here I will be giving you my take on each of the changes for Death Knights tree by tree.

Hmmm, let’s start with…

Blood

Got some ROIDS

I was really hoping that Blood got the buff it needed to become viable against Unholy in terms of sustainable damage and my prayers were answered… to an extent. Let’s take a look into the world of the Blood DKs and how everything just got turned upside down for them.
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On MMOs in General

March 16, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

One of the biggest challenges that exist for MMO games is the fact that your Box sales (copies of the game) will never make you as much money as would your monthly subscriptions.

Blizzard has overcome this problem by producing a record number of 14+ MILLION subscriptions to the game worldwide. At the average rate of $14.99 per month Blizzard is making $209,860,000 A MONTH. That’s revenue of approximately $2,518,320,000 every year. Two and a half BILLION dollars a year.

Blizzard is not hurting for money, and the costs on keeping servers stable and running (which they don’t do a very good job of) is sub $10 million a year.

So why is the game taking a turn for the worse? Why are the classes losing their distinctions and more of the “devoted” fans leaving the game and yet blizzard is turning a blind eye? It’s the money!

You see, when you make a $2.5B yearly gross revenue for doing basically nothing, you are disinclined to change the game in a way that would cause people to be either frustrated or confused. As only 5-10% of the game’s population actually cares about the way their class works and not just the numbers they put out, Blizzard is free to do whatever they want with their game as long as it maintains mass appeal and is easy enough for anyone to feel like they are a champion.

Add to these facts the idea that Blizzard is primed to release Diablo 3… they want you to stop playing. They want you to go and buy D3 and forget about your monthly recurring subscription for a while. Re-read that last sentence real quick: Blizzard wants you to stop playing WoW and buy Diablo 3. It means more money for them if you forget to cancel and let your recurring subscription run for 2 months without playing.

After all that is said and done, Starcraft 2 comes out… a release for which they want the exact same effect.

Then you have the second generation WoW… You see where this is going I hope.

This is the problem with a game studio that has other active franchises developing an MMORPG. They, the studio, do not want you to stop playing their other games because this leads to people in that company who have domain over the IP (intellectual property) leaving and forming their own company. This, in turn, removes potential revenue from the big studio. To justify keeping those people from going out and stealing all that money they have to keep them onboard to develop their franchise, and for THAT to happen, people MUST play those games.

I think Blizzard is screwing up their game on purpose. I think this is a marketing strategy designed to keep us all from walking out the door and leaving blizzard with a mere shell of a $2.5B/Year gross income.


A Quick Rant on PvP in WoW

March 15, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

A long time ago a video was made and posted on youtube that was just over 30 seconds long. It made a simplistic depiction of WoW PvP combat using the analogy of Rock, Paper, Scissors. If you haven’t seen it, you should… right now. Go watch.

Or watch it here:

The reference I make here is to the traditional mechanic of balancing something in a game. The reason that PvP is currently (in this author’s opinion) unenjoyable is that Rogues are capable of beating every class in the game without much effort at all (except for possibly other rogues or mages). I’ve heard people attempt to argue this point with me by saying, “Trinket out of the kidney shot and you’ll be fine.”

The truth is that you WON’T be fine because a smart rogue will just blind you and resume his rotation. You die and you didn’t once get to play your character.

I would like to make it clear that Blizzard has fucked up pretty bad with the DK changes for this patch. Not because there are a lot of class nerfs, or changes to skills that cause us to lose damage, or little things changing like the duration on diseases… no. Blizzard fucked up this patch because they forgot that Death Knights are a hero class.

In an earlier post I made a reference to Star Wars Galaxies and how Jedi were what a hero class is supposed to be: difficult to obtain and beyond the scope of balance. Death Knights are NOT that class. We have been homogenized down to work exactly the same as every other melee DPS class. We have had defining talents removed from our trees. We have been changed to such an extent that now there is no such thing as an Unholy DK tank (unless he has > 59% avoidance unbuffed) any more, and Blood is almost to the same state (a 30 second Last Stand w/ bonus healing on a 1 minute CD is too good to invalidate blood as a tanking spec).

If Blizzard doesn’t get their act straight in the next 4 months, I quit. I’m making that publically known right now. I will most likely change all my account info and sell, or give away, my account. This is utterly ridiculous.

-Surazc Out