Thursday, December 11, 2008 Upcoming Deathknight Changes

If you haven't seen them yet, here they are!

From Ghostcrawler: We have talked about making some of these changes and wanted to provide more details. You should be able to try these out yourselves on the PTR before they go live.

Our reason for most of these changes should be obvious, but some common themes are:
-- Making tanking still rely on cooldowns, but rely on them a little less.
-- Make Blood a more attractive spec, and particularly for tanking.
-- Chill out some of the defensive capabilities all DKs have in PvP.
-- Avoid having to use Death and Decay as an out-of-combat runic power generator.

1) Rune Strike -- damage decreased from 200% to 150% but threat increased to 150% from 100%.

This was changed because RS was the "Rogue Killer", and far be it for a class to kill a Rogue so it's damage was modified. This change is indifferent to me as a Tank I feel that the threat increase is rather nice.

2) All multi-rune abilities generate 15 runic power.


3) Anti-Magic Shell -- cooldown lowered to 45 sec from 60 sec.

This is hot, completely hot. DK's were suppose to be the spell tank and this ability not only helps that, but really will help out in PvP. I really like this change.

4) The healing of Blood Aura, Blood Presence and Death Pact has been doubled.

I'm not a Blood DK and I'm not in Blood Presence much, but for when I group with Lorren this will be hot...beyond hot, sexy hot.

I like the fact that Blizz is trying to make the Blood tree more appealing and make all three trees have their special niche.

5) Bone Shield -- mitigation reduced from 40% to 20%.

BS was shown to scale extremely well as your avoidance went up -- too well. I knew, along with many others, that a nerf to BS was coming. However, down to 20% was a bit too drastic, I was looking at 30% personally. There are some early numbers also showing that with BS nerf along with IBF nerf that Unholy falls behind Frost in tanking. Looking forward to seeing this in action to get more solid numbers out of it.

6) Icebound Fortitude – now reduces damage by 20% instead of 50%. The amount of damage reduced increases with bonus Defense (to about 35% for 540 Defense, but it can go higher). The stun immunity is intended to be its primary role in PvP.

This one I'm trying to take in stride - yet another PvE nerf because of PvP. I think Blizz needs to decide what type of game they want, PvE or PvP then attempt to balance for that type and whatever happens to the other aspect of the game happens.

Now, as a tank I'll always have 540 Defense, however when I do choose to PvP, and I'm in PvP gear, my Defense will be significantly lower as PvP gear has resilience instead of Defense...not so hot.

7) Frost Presence -- bonus armor increased from 60 to 80% and magic damage reduction increased from 5 to 15%. We wanted to reduce the effectiveness of cooldowns but bring up base mitigation to reduce damage spikiness.

This was the main tanking buff that GC mentioned on briefly a few weeks ago. My only fear is that I don't want to tank like a Bear - IE shit ton of armor.

8) Corpse Explosion -- damage increased substantially, added 5 sec cooldown, and changed cost to 40 runic power.

CE is now useful! Yeee!

9) Heart Strike – we overhauled this ability. It no longer has a haste debuff but will now be able to strike two targets like a cleave. It still hits for more than Blood Strike, but you can still use Blood Strike if e.g. you don’t want to break CC.

Never spec'd Blood I don't have any in depth analysis on this, however the word of mouth from my Blood buddies is that they are excited to see HS get an overhall.

10) Horn of Winter -- now has no cost and grants 10 runic power in addition to its stat buff, but has a 30 sec cooldown.

I like this one as well...hoping to see that the glyph will add duration onto it as it is only a 2 minute buff.

11) Night of the Dead -- now grants 40/70% passive area spell avoidance to your pet in addition to its current effects.


12) Outbreak – this talent no longer receive bonus damage from Pestilence. The bonus from Plague Strike and Blood Boil has been increased slightly.


13) Bloody Strikes – the bonus damage from Pestilence has been moved here to help Blood AE slightly.

Which in turns lowers Unholy AoE damage...slightly, but a nerf to Unholy.

14) Pestilence -- no longer has a 10 sec cooldown.


15) Raise Dead -- now split into two spells: Raise Dead now raises a ghoul or pet ghoul (if talented). Raise Ally now raises a fallen party member (at no reagent cost).


16) New runeforge rune -- Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle (two-handed only) now grants 25 Defense and 2% Stamina.

Ok, granted the 4% Parry scales better then the 25 Defense - BUT! With this rune we can gem for other stats - dodge, parry, sta or go in for gear that has slightly less Defense on it because we have it covered on our weapon.

17) Shadow of Death -- duration reduced from 45 seconds to 25 seconds.


18) Unholy Blight, Dancing Rune Weapon and Hungering Cold – cost reduced from 60 to 40 runic power.

HC = Still useless for PvE, has some PvP applications now.

19) Vampiric Blood -- in addition to its current effects, also adds 20% health temporarily.

More Blood buffness!

20) Will of the Necropolis -- now reduces the damage of any attack that takes the DK below 35% health by 5 /10/15% instead of boosting armor when wounded


21) Many death knight glyphs have been changed. In many cases the negative consequences were removed.

This is a great addition as the Major Glyphs for DK's really sucked...really really bad. And not just a few of them, almost all of them.

22) New death knight sigils are now available, primarily from vendors, including a tanking-oriented sigil.

WOOHOO! I simply cannot wait for these! It's about time is all I can say!