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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blood is going full time tank!

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.

More exciting death knight news coming up soon in the preview.

Cataclysm Preview!

On April 8th 2010, Blizzard is going to preview what is new with the Death Knight Class. Blizzard has already announced that Blood is going to be the dedicated tank tree while Frost is the dual-Wielding. Unholy is 2h DPS. Now that the trees has been selected for their roles, running the mastery system for the Death Knight class will be much easier.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blood Infusion

Blood Infusion is the second part of the Shadowmourne questline. In order to do this quest you must be in 25 player mode(Normal or Heroic) and kill Blood Queen Lana'thel. To start the infusion, you must be part of the Blood Mirror for a second. This will apply a debuff which will do physical damage throughout the fight. You must be the second person bitten to do this quest so you can bite 3 people throughout the fight. The first bite will do 3k physical damage over time and reducing 10% damage. The second bite you cast will do 4.5k and reduce 20% damage done. The first and final bite will remove the debuff and apply "Blood Infusion" buff. You must not die with the buff and defeat Blood Queen in order to complete the quest.

Unholy Infusion

For this part of the Shadowmourne quest, you must be the abomination in the Professor Putricide encounter. In order to infuse Shadow's Edge you must be 1. having it equipped
2. Have 100 Energy 3. Estimating when to use the skill. As the skill cost 100 energy, that makes you'll be entirely wiped out on energy to unable to slow an ooze. Also the ability has a cast timer so you can't do it with any slime puddles up. After you use the ability, you will gain "Unholy Infusion" buff for 6 minutes. Death will remove this buff and you must kill Professor with the buff in order to get the quest finished.
Disc priests and Resto druids spec'd into revitalize will give energy back to the abomination. When you are using the skill, make sure the priest cast the bubble early for it to wear off in time and have your resto druid spam Rejuv and Wild Growth on you.
Using Unholy Infusion at 50% seems to be the best time.

Patch 3.3.3 This week!

As mmo-champion.com already pointed out, if everything is working correctly, patch 3.3.3 should be released this week. As the patch comes out. Unholy DKs will have another alternative spec to sub frost instead of sub blood. This allows more strength but the loss of Bladed armor makes indestructible potions useless. You will also hit 20% faster all the time. If frost fever is up, you'll hit 40%. Also for DK tanks. IT has it's threat generation increased.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More 3.3.3 changes!

Frost

* Chains of Ice now infects the target with Frost Fever.

Unholy

* Unholy Blight now prevents any diseases on the victim from being dispelled.

Glyphs

* Glyph of Chains of Ice - Your Chains of Ice also causes 144 to 156 Frost damage, increased by your attack power.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Patch 3.3.3!

These are the changes made for next patch.

Spells
* Icy Touch: This ability now causes a very high amount of threat while the death knight is in Frost Presence.
* Rune of Razorice: Now stacks 5 stacks of 2% Frost Vulnerability instead of 10 stacks of 1% Frost Vulnerability. Proc chance changed to 100%.

Blood

* Abomination's Might: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc on certain strikes. Rank 1 is 5% attack power and Rank 2 is 10% attack power. The self strength buff remains unchanged.
* Will of the Necropolis: There is no longer a cooldown on the frequency at which this talent can be activated. In addition, this ability can now also be triggered by damage which deals less than 5% of your health.

Frost

* Endless Winter: No longer causes Frost Fever to be applied by Chains of Ice, but instead grants 2/4% strength. The previous functionality of this talent can now be attained via the Glyph of Chains of Ice.
* Improved Icy Talons: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc. The self haste buff remains unchanged.
* Nerves of Cold Steel: Now increases off-hand damage by 8/16/25%, up from 5/10/15%.
* Unbreakable Armor: The amount of strength granted is now 20%, up from 10%.

Unholy

* Scourge Strike: Now deals 70% weapon damage, plus 12% of physical damage done as shadow damage for each of the death knight's diseases on the target. The net result should be larger strikes with no diseases present, while maximum damage with all diseases applied to the target should stay the same.

Glyphs
* Glyph of Chains of Ice: Now causes Chains of Ice to apply Frost Fever instead of dealing damage.
* Glyph of Disease: When this glyph causes Frost Fever to be refreshed, it will now also trigger a refresh of Icy Talons.