Monday, September 29, 2008

Is unholy still too good? Probably.


Q u o t e:
I play (amongst other classes) a hunter & this is the class I have raided for most of BC with. Obvious similarities aside I can't help but feel that Unholy is to DKs what BM was to Hunters - the superior spec for most situations.

The testing I've done has shown that Unholy does better DPS for levelling - better DPS for instancing, arguably more powerful in PvP, too. It has less healing capability than Blood certainly but DS does good enough for me that downtime is not an issue. Unholy gives exceptionally superior AoE DPS - primarily through talents like wandering plague - but this is the only class/spec (other than prot paladin) where I've noticed my DPS rise substantially if I deliberately pull more than 1 mob - and climb quite fast the more mobs are added.

I'll freely admit that I tend to min/max somewhat but unholy really does just seem much further ahead in just about every aspect of the game - so my questions are these:

Is there any outstanding benefit to speccing anything else other than an unholy?
Do other specs (primary focus either blood/frost) start to catch up to unholy at 80?

I'd like to note that I'm not asking or suggesting that unholy be nerfed & I understand that heart strike isn't doing the damage it should be. I'm just finding a moderate disparity between unholy in any situation (PvP/PvE instancing/soloing) and either other spec.

All valid concerns.

Unholy seems to have quite the monopoly still on most major aspects of the game. As far as tanking goes, it's quite clear that bone shield is technically superior to it's counter parts in just about every way possible, save for the possible exception of vampiric blood in pvp with a druid rolling hots on you constantly.

Unholy also seems to have the best abilities for scaling towards large encounters, as well as good single target threat (damage).

Unholy has access to AMZ, which now with it's new scaling mechanic, will probably be seen as the superior raid AOE magic damage mitigation tool when compared to acclimation, as acclimation no longer seems to stack with frost aura, and is too RNG-based for most to appreciate (self included).

Desecration fills the role of providing a very handy "frost trap on demand" for pvp scenarios, as well as keeping a tight leash on mobs, which again lends itself very well to multi-mob tanking and AOE scenarios.

I'm also troubled that a passive talent such as wandering plague can keep up with damage/threat scaling in multi-mob scenarios about as well as the damage frost DKs gain via speccing into howling blast, which is an active 1F1U ability. Clearly this means that howling blast should be doing more damage than it is, considering it costs so many runes to use effectively.

In addition, it seems that scourge strike is also the most spammable single-target big hitter any spec gets, as you can squeeze in 3 scourge strikes per rotation, thanks to epidemic rotations. Not only is it the most spammable, but scourge strike (thanks to all the synergies of the tree) is also the hardest hitting 1F1U ability any single tree gets. This fact requires the use of the cinderglacier rune forge, however.

To top all of this off, unholy also has virulence and unholy command, both of which seem as required for pvp as things like vile poisons, improved stings, and improved intercept (on live right now). Death grip is too good to not talent a lower cooldown, and our disease dependency screams getting virulence against 3 out of the 4 healers (which any team is almost surely to have at least one of). And again, let's not forget how valuable desecration is now that chains is dispelable.

TLDR version: Unholy has the best AOE damage/threat via mostly passive or easy-to-use abilities such as unholy blight (which is great for spreading Ebon Plague, which makes all the other AOE abilities scream in joys of synergy). Unholy also enjoys access to the best on-demand physical AND magical mitigation tools in the form of bone shield, magic suppression, and AMZ, in addition to our highest damage single target hitter. Unholy also enjoys the monopoly on some of our best pvp talents.


Bion said...

doesn't blood do more single target dps vs a raid boss for instance?

Jayde said...

Unfortunately not. Besides, it would have to be significantly better to give up the lack of other benefits that unholy provides.

bodewell said...

I've have been reading your blog for sometime now and I was wondering what TLDR meant?

Danielg said...

Iam really concerned the way unholy has evolved and really is it the way blizz intended it to be? Wasnt the intension that the 3 trees where for diffrent agendas?

But to be honest i did love to have everything in one specc makes the game more fun and respeccing bills less of a pain.Tho iam really worried as mentioned. I smell a nerf coming up soon.

Since the tanking tree, frost is pretty good atmo and a buff in that tree would clearly make the other tanking classes go QQ. Maintaing the balance between the diffrent tree/class is hard.

Where gonna see more nerfs for DK's having a "all in one skill tree" iam totally sure of it. Tho i dont want it iam worried.

PS Is Unholy even better on single target treaht then frost? DS

Schadenfreude said...

Whats regrettable, is that aside from the change to Heart Strike, there are no more changes coming for Blood. The changes for Frost incoming aside, Blood feels very... blah. It suffers from simply too many buttons to push and too much focus on healing. Rune Tap, DRW, Vamp Blood, Hysteria, I have a hard time remembering to use them all. Blood needs both a boost to its synergy (beyond just the healing buttons) and a streamlining of unique abilities.

Jame said...

Spot on analysis.

Blood needs more single target DPS. It's as simple as that.
As to frost, well I'm not sure what they should do with it anymore. Give it more single target dps? More AoE Dps? more of both? More threat/tanking talents? More cc?

It's hard to say, but for now it's true that Unholy is superior in all scenarios sadly. Nerfing it would be a bad move. Buffing the other trees is the way to go.

@bodewell: TLDR means "Too Long, Didn't Read". That's basically a short summary of his post for people who don't feel like reading a long wall of text.

Mike said...

3 Unholy DKs in 25 naxx last night.

They were all on the top dps for ALMOST every boss, and overall. They averaged 3.5k on each boss (Top being 3.8k lowest 3.3k). 4th highest dps was Ret pally (Got 5k dps on one boss but averaged about 3.2k). And 5th dps (me) hunter 3050 dps.

The fact is, they had no challenge in the top dps. They were up there no matter what. 1 of the unholy dks was in almost all PVP murmur gear. Its very sad that they can do 3300 dps in pvp gear.

Is it imba? yeah. Worst part about it is I told them they were doing to high of dps right now and they will see a number change and they thought they just said "Oh were just better than you and your making excuses".

Conclusion: Blood needs a dps boost and Unholy needs a number tone down. (3000 dps is fine for aoe, but not 3800 on every boss in 10 man naxx + heroic + a few 25 pieces. )

If this doesnt change my DK who I was planning to tank on, will most likely be dpsing because its a guarenteed raid spot... high dps single target, aoe... its like a rogue and a warlock combined.

Anonymous said...

I wouldnt be surprised if the bone shield and the ghoul where the cause of this.

Anonymous said...

Ghoul doesn't do that much extra dps anymore, and bone shield... no its a tanking skill. 2% damage is nice, but mostly for tanking and O crap I got aggro but atleast I didnt get 1 shotted.

Anonymous said...

Here are some screenshots of my dps as an unholy DK in naxxramas 10.

I did some mistakes on some fights, and I'm not a pro uh dk yet, but maybe it can help :

Anonymous said...

I wear 80% blue gear, no enchants, no gems.


Anonymous said...

For sometime I had been reading you blog and would like to thank you for all the movies and reviews you give of the class to everyone that didn't got any key.

I must say your posts last few months had been great, but try to avoid negative review.

Just to clear up things, from what I had understood unholy is the only spec that doesn't feel broken, after the huge nerfageddon that had hit DK not long ago right?

How about frost and blood while tanking, are they managing to hold agro and mitigation on them?

Joh said...

Jayde, a little love feedback for Tanking DK's would be greatly appreciated!

Anonymous said...

From reading a large amount of posts and looking up a few calculations I feel it is safe to conclude that unholy is not too good, its what it is meant to be. Wasn't one of the main goals with death knights to make each tree good for everything in different ways? Maybe I'm retarded but that seems to be the "complaint" right now. From the best I can tell unholy is next to perfect, the real issue is that blood and frost are not. I only mention this because comments like this tend to lead to nerfs of the "good spec" instead of buffs to the average ones which is really what seems needed. I'd imagine if blood talents worked together more easily its damage would go up considerably, frost just fails in general at the moment but hopefully it can be turned around with the up coming changes.

Just some thoughts, I apologize if this sounds like a rant. (it mostly is a rant but I don't want it to SOUND like one)

Anonymous said...

I disagree about your "hard hitter spam" comment with three scourge strikes

consider a frost build with a little bit of blood in it

your obliterate gets +31% chance to crit - with death runes, you can spam it thrice, however you -also- have hard-hitting frost strike that you can spam three times with full runic power and runic power mastery (four times if you're a blood elf and blow arcane torrent)

imagine in pvp setting up an oblit-oblit-oblit-FS-FS-FS-FS burst combo over the course of seven seconds. Absolutely wrecking.

Anonymous said...

Unholy it´s not overpowerd.
Frost and Blood are underpowerd.

I´ve Dk´s are on top of dmg, thats not their problem. It´s the Problem of the other DD´s.
I hate whiners like mike, who cry after every run only NERFNERF.
Actually in BT there are some Fury Warriors wich do more dmg as rogues. Do you now what we say?? Rogue LEARN TO PLAY. We don´t cry NERF FURRYs.

Zyphyr said...

I think the feeling of unholy is pretty good as it is right now.
What they need to do is correct / nerf Wandering Plague. That talent is way to strong right now and scales exponentially with both your crit and the amount of mobs you pull.

Other then that they need to fix blood. When im playing blood, im seriously just cant keep up with the buttons i have to push.
You are spending at least 5 GCD on pushing out your runes, and with the buff of deathcoil i simply dont have enough time left to pump out that RP, expecialy not when Sudden Doom procs as well.

Maybe a solution would be to just give DK as a class a 1 sec GCD, im not sure how OP that would be, but it would fix some issues for both frost and blood i think.

ATM we are like a rogue that regens its energy faster than it can spend it. Thats the reason rogues got 1 sec GCD.

Unholy suffers the least from it, because in most cases it uses a rotation where it spends either 4 or 5 GCDs on runes and RP as opposed to 5-8 GCDs from blood and frost.

Anonymous said...

IMO, what they should do, is make some of the blood builds talents use runic power, not blood rune. Like Hysteria, make it use 10 runic power, instead of 1 blood rune, that way you can hit more blood strikes or heart strikes and icrease damage. I'm not really a fan of unholy, im planning to make a 51/0/20 PvP Blood spec, as it has the best synergy with warriors and other classes with melee, and great survivability.

Only thing i think they should change, is that heart strike deals alot more dmg, as it now deals less than blood strike. Blood talents are great, people havent just understood it yet. And yea, ofc blizz needs to buff blood a bit, like i said, make the talents give more dmg, or just incrase the base dmg of the abilities. I'm in love with blood atm, i tried frost and unholy. What can i say, frost had some imba moments with some great bursts and jaw dropping cc, and unholy... Well, i didn't like unholy at all. In TBC i have only played with hunters and warlocks, and im really not into anymore pet stuff. Maybe Unholy is great for PvE, but i seriously doubt that aoe dmg is the best thing in arenas, and so much reliability in diseases that can be cleansed and bone shield to be purged (good talent anyway, for aoe tanking) I really dont feel like Unholy works too good. Its Blood/Arms Warrior/ Resto Shaman. Am planning on raiding in blood spec, as the healing aura thingy is just great in a melee dps group.

Buff Blood strike/Heart strike dmg a bit, or make the dmg talents a bit better, and I'm a happy DK!

Acidsniper said...

Out of speculation and not playing a DK in beta, what do you think of a build like this:

Maximises spell / disease damage and crit chance while still giving you lots of survivability.


Anonymous said...

yup. and now what?
nerf unholy? noes, pls.
buff other trees? yes, gief plx.