I had time to mess around with the changes a bit last night, and I wanted to bring up a few things. Some of these things have been around and still need looking at.
Subversion: Now that blood strike has seen more love (and obliterate will soon, if I'm not mistaken), this is an even better talent.
Scent of blood: still only works against melee and ranged, and not against application of spells. Now that AMS cooldown has been pushed back considerably (which I often used for RP generation vs spells), is it possible to have this affect spell applications as well? Would this talent be overpowered if it procced off of auto attack damage as well? It's pretty useless right now if you're on the offense and noone is hitting you back.
Vendetta: One of the best grinding talents we have, but ultimately useless at 80. Unholy has necrosis for auto attack damage. Can't this provide an ancilary benefit via additional lifeleech via auto attacks only, or something else to make it more attractive at end game?
Blood aura: Out of the 3 auras, this one is the most underwhelming. 2% healing sounds nice, but it isn't exactly going to keep your rogues alive and topped off through AOE damage in raids and such. Also consider that unlike frost and unholy aura, not everyone in your raid will even really benefit from this aura. It only helps those that are dealing damage. Frost and Unholy aura, on the other hand, help everyone. Please consider buffing this talent.
2 Handed Weapon Spec: Very similar to the warrior talent, but ultimately not as useful per point spent. Why? Because a lot of our damage, even if using 2 handed weaponry, does not come from strikes (even as blood spec). A lot of our damage also comes from diseases, icy touch, deathcoils, a ghoul, or other abilities if going down another tree. Initially looks attractive for frost strike users, but ultimately turns out to be under-budgeted for that type of build due to so much of deep frost/unholy's damage coming from non-strike damage. Could be deeper in a bit for more emphasis on blood builds, or buffed a hair.
Death Rune Mastery: Great talent! I like this one a lot. It's good for just about any build, really. The death rune concept, while useful in altering rotations in pve, is probably 4x more useful for pvp uses and applications. Being able to switch your rune config around to allow for using chains of ice x4, or multiple blood strikes, blood boils, etc is insanely useful in any scenario that doesn't allow for standard rotations to be used (PvP). I am heavily biased to pick up any death rune talents in pvp builds for that reason alone. If I had any wish, it would be to have DRM switch places with 2H weapon spec in the blood tree, making this death rune talent easier to access for something like frost (which also uses heavy amounts of obliterate). In addition, it isn't rare for unholy users to death strike, and any unholy pvper would benefit greatly from this talent as well.
Strangulate: 2 minute cooldown? I get one ranged silence, maybe two per fight now. This makes using it more skill-based, and makes it less spammy, I understand. But 2 minutes seems pretty over the top.
Killing Machine: Not really digging this talent anymore, at least not at my current gear level (which is probably the problem). My auto attack crit % is pretty low (13% chance without dark conviction?). This means that, assuming max hit rating, I have at best a 6.5% chance for this talent to proc. When you factor in things such as resilience and other crit chance reducing abilities (Molten armor, demonic resilience, etc), I have somewhere around a 1-4% chance for this talent to proc, which is pretty awful.
Yes, this talent becomes more attractive as my crit chance increases. If I can assume to have 34% crit chance in end-game gear, that gives me a 17% proc rate off of auto attacks (again, assuming max hit rating). Better, but it's still only a 17% proc rate to do double damage on one of my main frost attacks. What's the problem with that you ask? Well..
Subversion + rime = 24% extra crit chance on obliterate, before gear. Factor in just my base crit chance of 13% right now, and it becomes 37%. Add annihilation and it's 40%. So the fact that obliterate has an innately high crit chance via good supporting talent picks makes killing machine less desirable.
Rime = Icy touch will have a very crit chance as well (can't see my char sheet for spell crit right now, so I can't give the math).
Howling blast = Damage is disappointing, so unless I'm AOEing something, I'd rather blow a killing machine proc on something else anyways, such as frost strike.
Frost strike = Damage is about equal to obliterate right now. This is where killing machine procs are best spent.
So, what does that mean? Killing machine, although available early in the tree, isn't really useful unless you're deep frost and want something to boost frost strike damage. Anyone who doesn't go deep in the tree, will skip killing machine, as their icy touch damage isn't amazing. People who go deep in the tree for howling blast, would probably rather use the proc on obliterate anyway, since it does more damage. People who go deep enough for frost strike will just only use it on frost strike when available.
For these reasons, it feels expensive for the 5 points, the placement feels wrong in the tree, and the fact that it only works off of auto attack crit chance makes it unattractive for pvpers.
Howling Blast: Damage is underwhelming. To be useful in AOE rotations, the actual cost essentially requires a blood rune, making this technically a 3 rune cost ability to be used for the damage it's balanced around. The damage is underwhelming if the extra targets do not have frost fever. This ability also feels a bit awkward to use in rotations as well, because of the pestilence requirement to make the most out of this. It really just feels like a 3 rune ability. You only use it when AoEing, because the single target damage is always less than that of obliterate, especially if frost fever isn't up on the target. If you use it without spreading frost fever first, the damage is just bad (500 damage at 80 with 2400 AP).
Also, it's worth noting that this talent can probably be skipped for pvp, as it has a huge diseases dependency, and you're better off using obliterate instead every time. If you want to blast a single target, obliterate is better, diseases up or not. You're not going to AOE a group of players down when it's doing 2250 damage on a crit when frost fever is up.
I almost wish this ability was swapped with hungering cold, did significantly more damage with a higher cooldown (back to 10 seconds), and had it's disease dependency tweaked.
The old howling blast we had felt more like a 51 point talent than hungering ever has.
Rime: Doesn't feel like a good talent because howling blast feels pretty weak, for reasons already stated.
Hungering Cold: I still personally think that hungering cold would have been better served as a 1F1U talent. An emergency CC should be used with a more readily available resource. The problem, then, is it interferes with the so many other 1F1U abilities we have as frost.
This talent is OK. I've used it in a few arena matches, mostly to end up forcing a trinket. It's useful, but certainly doesn't "wow" me. You also only get one shot with it per minute.
Blood of the North: Doesn't need to be a 5 point talent again, does it? Feels too expensive.
Chains of Ice: Now that this is dispelable, can we please just have it apply frost fever at the core level now? The fact that it doesn't already screws with pvp rotations right off the bat. Players don't need to dispel anything to screw with our "standard" rotations. The fact that Chains doesn't do this by default mimicks this problem already, as it puts this 3rd frost rune requirement in. We can't chains, and apply frost fever, and do a 1F1U ability in the same rotation. We have to pick one, and not using chains is often not an option. Please consider fixing this, and reworking endless winter.
I'll get to unholy later.