Thursday, September 25, 2008

Latest build thoughts:

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.


Jame said...

I agree 100% with your suggestion on Chains of Ice. It definitely should apply Frost Fever. It totally screws our rotations as it stands right now, so that would be a really smart change.

Also, in case you're interested, I've done some parsing in the afternoon to see how Blood DPS and Unholy DPS compare now, and it turns out that Unholy is still slightly ahead (only when sticking to one target for a long period though).

What surprised me is how bad the ghoul got nerfed, it barely does half the DPS it used to do.

Scourge Strike, Heart Strike and Obliterate are quite good now, I think they're close to where they should be in terms of damage.

Anyways, if you're interested to see some parses to compare Blood DPS vs Unholy DPS, here's the link to my latest article:

Blood DPS vs Unholy DPS

Jame said...

Oh and Death Coil really got a nice boost, its damage is now relatively significant.

Neil said...

Your comments on Killing machine are not correct at all. I thought better of you Jayde, WoW has been using a 1 roll attack table since vanilla. These are basic combat mechanics. Your post on the US forums goes even further to show your lack of understanding.

"So if you have a 0% hit rating (if it were possible), but 100% crit rating... would you crit the mob?

I would argue not."

doesn't work like that. 100% crit means the whole attack table = crit therefor you cannot miss, be parried, dodged, or blocked. If the mob can parry/has higher defense whatever then it LOWERS your crit in this example to facilitate the deficit.

The reason for blizzard using the one roll system is because it makes sense server side. Far less calculations to perform. Imagine trying to calculate the chance of landing a crit on a target:

-with you having 10% hit chance
-mob having 50% parry, 10% dodge (random numbers)
-with you 50% crit chance

3 step process, then times that by the number of players in combat on the whole server. Then multiply that each time they attack the number gets pretty big fast.

Vizzard said...

Good Day Jade and others. I am not sure that this is the place to publish this post, however, I have been reading up on your posts and figured it would not hurt to ask some questions here. I have been very interested in the dk and have been struggling with finding answers to some basic stats.

When you have the time could you either direct me to a place that contains some of the answers to the below questions?

-What is the preferred defense cap for DK's?

-What, if any, is the suggested hit cap?

- In your taking tests, have you derived to a ideal number one should have for dodge and parry for pve?

Again thank you for the feedback and wonderful videos.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jayde,

As europeans we don't get to have as much as an impact on wow as the american players.

What I would like to ask of you is to post this chains of ice suggestion on the beta forums pretty pls :D

Chains of Ice (physical snare)
1 Frost 15 yd range
Shackles the target with heavy chains, reducing their movement to 40%. Lasts for 20 sec.


Chains of Ice (physical snare)
1 Frost 15 yd range
Shackles the target with heavy chains, reducing their movement to 35%. The target regains 1% of their movement each second. Lasts for 20 sec.

I firmly believe that a physical snare is the way to go, and having it at 15 yard range instead of 20.
(If possible I prefer that chains of ice also applies frost fever, like you suggested. But that it is physical is more important)

Thanks for reading.

Alrenous said...

Vendetta: Compare blood craze to second wind. Blizzard does make talents that are mainly for grinding. If they make your change I expect a damage bonus on blood craze as well. :P

I think that annihilation has broken frost. Because it's there, obliterate has been fluctuating between useless without it and overpowered with it.

Similarly, it was put in before the age of frost strike, and it seems to me that the role annihilation played for frost is now filled. (Frost didn't have heart strike or scourge strike, so...annihilation.)

The talent now just confuses design and frustrates balancing obliterate with the current mechanics.

Howling blast is pretty much in the same situation. It's either overpowered with frost fever or useless without it. Essentially, it wants to either drop the damage multiplier or it may as well be 'only works on target with frost fever.' I'm not sure what the design of the talent is supposed to be - what kind of behaviour is the huge damage multiplier supposed to promote?

While oblit can be useful without diseases, it seems that HB basically can't be.

(Change annihilate to make HB useful without diseases? Change HB to aoe oblit?)

Basically this talent is whirlwind. Warrior AOE is amusing but mostly WW is a rage dump. Since frost DKs will always have IT, it's not good as a rune dump. And it's too expensive - with the pestilence dependency - for AOE damage, unless you make it overpowered for holding threat.

(Make annihilation give HB auto-pestilence?)

Actually it reminds me of sweeping strikes - if you're in an instance, your mage will AOE for you, so it's basically just good for grinding when you accidentally pull an add.

You'll note that sweeping is two tiers shallower.

Perhaps the damage multiplier should be changed to a runic power multiplier, and use HB for a little bit of extra damage but mostly to fuel extra frost strikes.

Incidentally, how often do you actually use frost stike? Would giving it frost fever for chilblains break it in PVP?

Hungering cold is awesome in concept. You put everyone in stasis by annihilating all heat.

In practise it's like a very expensive intimidating shout, as a talent. The root needs to be at least as good as frost nova. Or at least as good at chains.

(Still think they should go back to the old chains.)

Perhaps make it like living bomb? It doesn't purge all heat around you, it purges the heat around the target. Again, with the goal of nerfing chains (and/or chilblains if necessary) but having something to make up for it.

Blood of the North:
I suspect the problem is giving enough things to spend points on, so buff the talent, don't reduce the point cost.

Regarding chains again, I think DKs are just going to be slow in PVP. You need the frost runes for snares but also for damage.

I think this supports the idea of making HC a ranged root to make up for the lack of chains. Especially as frost, you need the runes for damage.

(Annihilation; HB reduces rune cost by [enough to immediately use HC]. Last for (short) seconds.)

But this just reiterates that DKs need a few cooldowns to set up in PVP. You need a root, IT, and some damage, all at once. It's just not possible, unless you scrap the rune system entirely.

(I think DKs need a death rune as standard, for a total of seven, to make up for the fact that in desing, DKs could reassign runes.

Plus, considering )

Actually this would work well with HB generating bonus runic power. HB and immediately HC, and you should, I think, have time to close before using IT to stay on top of the target.

Although all this also makes me think that blood needs a snare of some kind, too, or it's just not going to be pvp-viable.

(Perhaps switch a modified annihilate with chilblains, so that you don't have to go deep frost to pvp?)

TLDR: Howling blast and Annihilation as now both frustrate balance. HB because of the multiplier and annihilation because oblit is supposed to be execute - both are either useless without the bonus or overpowered with the bonus.

Hungering cold is silly while grinding, a bit weak for tanking, and silly in pvp. It is not a tier-11 talent. It's AOE blind, a shitty ice trap, and too expensive, respectively.

Hey Jayde, (or whoever, really) if it didnt' take so long to build the runic power, (assume it's free, I guess) could HC replace pestilence in an HB AOE rotation?

Alrenous said...

That "Plus, considering )" should end,

"levelling a DK from 1 to 80. At level one, are you going to have six runes? No. (This is partially why it's a hero class.) You'll only have one or two abilities, probably blood strike and IT. So you'll start with either just a blood rune or a blood and frost rune. As you level, you'd gain more runes, just as warriors gain more rage and casters find bigger mana pools.* (Probably get the first unholy rune at level 30, as warriors get zerker stance.)

As such, I would expect that since you got 4-5 runes between level 1 and 55, somewhere between 55 and 80, you'd get your seventh rune.

*(and rogues get...jack? More free abilities like vanish and evasion?)

Mani said...

Sam, get on steam more often you noob, I gotta talk to ya.

Alrenous said...

And while I'm here, runic power would be a lot more fun if the maximum were much higher - 200 or even 300.

Keep generation and costs the same, so a DK just using coil or frost strike when they can will have the exact same dps, but this would allow much higher burst damage by banking it up and then just tossing coil after coil after coil.

HC and UB scaling with runic power would have stopped this, and DRW can get a clause like gargoyle's of 'up to 100 RP and up to 20 seconds.' DRW would have to be extremely nerfed if it could last an additional 40 seconds, but this is the only skill affected AFAIK.

This would also mitigate the loss of annihilation.

Also, please make sure they don't let Death & Decay get so nerfed it becomes Discomfort & Delay. I'd rather have it use all six runes and have a five minute cooldown than have it equivalent to consecrate. It needs to kill things or get a new name.

Jame said...

What you said about increasing max runic power actually makes sense alrenous.

The most glaring issue with DKs is the lack of burst. Now if our max runic power was raised up to 200 (or something like that, I just pulled 200 out of my arse), we could for example:

Summon Gargoyle (and keep it up) + Death Coil a few times.


Summon Gargoyle + a bunch of frost strikes (would be a weird build, but it's just to illustrate the possibilities).

Alrenous said...

In an arena I'd get a healer and just live for thirty seconds without using runic power, and next time someone rooted me I'd spam coil at them. It'd be awesome.

I want to go to AV, beat up a couple people, and then go pretend I'm a mage for a few seconds. I'd be frost so I could use powerful ITs as well.

Snare me? Sure. No biggie. AMS IT IT coil coil coil coil coil. You go ahead and try to kite me. I don't mind.

I just realized Empower rune weapon is exactly improved bloodrage except warrior abilities cost way less rage.

There's still no coil equivalent for blood, either. Blood curdle; causes physical damage and does some CC so that you don't have to go frost for slows or unholy for the speed bonus/ghoul stun.

Something like that will happen. Not anytime soon, though. :P

Anonymous said...

Jayde i cant beleive you of all people cannot see how bad the COI change really is, ive played a war for a long time now and i know a thing or 2 about being kited. We will be the joke of arena if they dont revert it back.

i cant kill what i cant hit and a dk cant hit s##t

Anonymous said...

Dude you should try some 1vs1 and10+vs10+ PVP like world pvp, duels or BG and test DK for mobility.

They play a lot like a Ret pally mixed with warrior. Rets use BOF to remove and prevent snares, where Warriors have a 15 sec charge.

Maybe DKs can do with a 1min or even longer AMS CD,but they will need the snare prevention.

Just test that with a normal spec and see how it goes.
You can make another WoDKs video to have devs look at it if you find it is a problem and you want that helped.

Lilo said...

So after spending my time pvping with my DK, I can confirm the actual Chains of Ice suck ! You can't stay at CAC when there is a dispeller, and you spend your time running after people, and when you cast Chains of Ice, you can say bye bye to Scourge Strike.... Not really fair. They need to tweak COI, and make it indispellable again OR be dispellable only by a mass dispell.

The warrior can harmstring and stay at CAC without problem and us?

Anonymous said...

Dear jayde,

regarding your previous pvp vid on DK throught arena, it seems that DK is a very powerfull class when it comes to survavibility and CC on caster.
Your stats in BG or arene show you do not meet any big difficulty. However reading beta off post on dk and other fan pvp site (arenajunkies, pvp source etc), many people don't share your optimisum.
Does it means thats it is a difficult class to play? that average people will not master as good enough to appreciate it?

deingesicht said...

just educate yourself about hit/crit/miss-tables before you start writing nonsense.

hit rating just improves your chance to hit. if you miss that miss would have never become a crit. with capped hit% it would have been a hit. but never a crit nor a dodge nor a parry/block.

so killing machine is not affected by hit rating at all.