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Posts with tag Frost-Presence

Lichborne: 2012 predictions for death knights and how they actually shook out

A picture of a death knight from the Mists of Pandaria beta, standing in front of a pagoda in a bamboo forest.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

As it was for, to some extent, all classes, 2012 was a busy time for the death knights, as one expansion ended and another began. As the news of Mists of Pandaria began pouring in, I started making some predictions. As the Mists beta progressed, I started mentioning things that I felt, or that the death knight community felt, needed to change or would change. This week, I figured it might be interesting to look back on some of those old articles and see what exactly happened, and how far off the mark I was (or wasn't).

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Guide to PvE frost death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Guide to Mists of Pandaria PvE frost death knights
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With patch 5.0.4 barreling down on us and the release date for Mists of Pandaria itself a mere month away, we've probably seen our new class specs and mechanics get about as solid as they're going to get. With that in mind, we'll start in our guides for all death knight specs. Note that these guides will cover primarily the basics of group PvE for each spec.

This week, we cover frost DPS.

Stat weights and other basics

Frost hasn't changed much mechanically from Cataclysm, at least on the surface. We still have the same strikes and spells serving the same basic function. You can now switch more freely between dual wielding and two-handed frost, as you get both Threat of Thassarian and Might of the Frozen Wastes by default. Frost Presence is now the best DPS presence for frost death knights, in a move that should make literal-minded death knights happy. In addition, the runic power regeneration on Frost Presence helps make up for some the runic power generation talents we lost in the revamp. Your stats priorities are also more or less in the same order they were for Cataclysm, with a few minor changes and caveats.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight DPS presences get some major changes

Lichborne Death knight DPS presences get some major changes
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

If you've been following death knight news at all, you know that presences -- specifically, the interplay between Frost Presence and Unholy Presence -- have been a hot button issue for some time now. The flames only got hotter in the Mists of Pandaria beta, as massive changes to presences caused severe issues in our class mechanics and rotations. Luckily, Blizzard's heard our pleas and recently released a huge overhaul to the DPS presences on the beta. This week, we'll take a look and see what they did.

The basic rundown
  • The base global cooldown for all death knights is now 1 second. As a result, Unholy Presence no longer provides this bonus.
  • Unholy spec death knights now get Improved Unholy Presence, which provides an extra 10% rune regeneration and attack speed when in Unholy Presence.
  • Frost Presence lost a good chunk of its extra runic power regeneration (it's down to 20% from 100%), as well as the extra 30 base runic power.
  • Frost spec death knights now get Improved Frost Presence, which reduces the cost of Frost Strike by 15 runic power when in Frost Presence.
  • Might of the Frozen Wastes no longer generates 15 runic power per a hit but does make your Obliterates cause 50% more damage while using a two-handed weapon.
  • Threat of Thassarian no longer has an off-hand damage bonus but does increase your Frost Strike damage by 50%
  • Improved Icy Talons is now Unholy Aura, and both DPS specs gain use of it.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: 3 quick fixes death knights need for Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne 3 quick fixes death knights need for Mists of Pandaria
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

We still don't have an official release date for Mists of Pandaria, but conventional wisdom says it's going to be out before the summer's over. I tend to agree with that, so it's getting the point where we have to assume we have two to three months to see our class really where we want it to be before the game goes live.

I have to say, I'm not as optimistic as I could be. The players and developers seem to be at loggerheads to what the real issues of the death knight class are or even if it has any major ones at all. Still, the blues have also shown that they may be coming around to at least some of our points of view, so in the interests of figuring out our major problems (and realizing we're running out of time to do any major revamps), I offer three quick fixes that might hold the class over for a few content patches in lieu of any major class mechanics changes.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Ghostcrawler discusses death knights

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

To say that the death knight community has been a little grumpy this past week is probably an understatement. Essentially, what happened is that we got a post from Ghostcrawler discussing some of our Mists of Pandaria beta issues, and in almost all cases, he wasn't quite on board with our complaints. This week, we'll hit some of the highlights of what Ghostcrawler said and what they mean for our class, as well as look at some of the changes we have seen coming from the beta.

It's not a disadvantage -- it's a feature

In the list of perennial death knight complaints, there are three that are probably pretty near the top and have been for a while. First, unholy pets and summons do not scale with mastery. Second, unholy has very little in the way of burst AoE. Finally, critical strike is incredibly undervalued for frost due to Killing Machine.

Ghostcrawler pretty much breezed through all three of these complaints with a classic "working as intended." That's not to say he didn't explain all three reasonings to some extent, but they all boiled down to the idea that the dev team is perfectly happy with the skills working this way, because they're all calculated differences that separate the death knight trees from each other.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knights remain in holding pattern in Mists of Pandaria beta

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

When one takes a two-week vacation, one generally looks forward to things having changed, even slightly, when one returns. This is especially sure when speaking of the Mists of Pandaria beta test. Strangely, that hasn't been exactly the case for death knights. There have been changes, certainly, but not as drastic as we might have hoped -- and not as well-explained, either.

Today, we'll take a look at a few of the more important changes and what they imply for our class. In addition, we'll see what Ghostcrawler did and didn't say about death knights in a recent post.

Plague Leech and disease issues

There've been a few changes to death knights, but the most interesting one comes with Plague Leech. This first-tier talent, which replaces Vile Spew, will allow you to generate a death rune by canceling the diseases from your target.

The nice thing about this skill is that it gives us another much-needed Blood Tap replacement now that Blood Tap itself has been turned into a somewhat more restricted talent. The bad thing about this skill is that it's probably going to become mandatory for min-maxing DPS death knights. If your diseases are about to expire anyway and you can eat them for an extra death rune, it's hard to see how that won't become a DPS increase. Once we all reach level 90 and the math has been sufficiently mathed, it seems relatively obvious that Plague Leech will be considered mandatory by the hardcore PvE community, for better or for worse.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne, Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne: The DPS presence issue in Mists of Pandaria

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

In Cataclysm, there were many hot-button death knight balance issues, but one of the biggest was Unholy Presence vs. Frost Presence. Frost Presence fell out of vogue very quickly in Cataclysm, since all DPSers found themselves running into a global cooldown wall pretty quickly. We were producing resources so fast, we needed the 1-second GCD provided by Unholy Presence to have any hope of spending them all.

This issue has come to the forefront even more in Mists of Pandaria beta testing. This is because a loss of runic power generating talents have put the dual wielding frost style at a disadvantage, enough that it needs the extra runic power regeneration from Frost Presence. Unfortunately, when it loses the 1-second GCD of Unholy Presence, it starts to stutter, with many testers using the dread descriptor "clunky" to describe the resulting rotation. Part of this could be trying to adjust going from Unholy Presence to Frost Presence, admittedly, but it feels like a problem.

If you want to see a comparison, switching to two-handed frost provides it. Thanks to the improved runic power generation on Might of the Frozen Wastes, two-handed frost can use Unholy Presence with ease, and its rotation plays nice and smoothly, very close to what it is on live.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: New Mists of Pandaria talent updates for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

As I'm sure you've heard by now, Blizzard treated us to a nice new chunk of news this past week with an update to the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator. Death knights received some new talents and new skills as well as adjustments to old ones that definitely deserve some analysis. We'll start by looking at the talent tiers, then move on to some of the new modified skills we're seeing in this build.

Level 15 begins our journey with a couple pieces of very welcome news. Outbreak is back to a general class skill, once again taking its place at level 81 for all three specs. In its place for tier 1 talents is the old-school Unholy Blight, in all its AoE glory. That's right, you can once again have that awesome semi-permanent damage aura. Alas, this welcome change is accompanied by the similar removal of Corpse Explosion in favor of Vile Spew, an ability that will explode an undead minion for AoE damage and disease infection.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Cataclysm: Reaching uncrittable

For those of you who don't know much about tanking, we're going to talk quickly about a stat that won't exist in Cataclysm. This lowly stat is called defense rating, and it's something that tanks need quite a bit of. The nice thing is that it's on just about everything that tanks wear, which means at higher gear levels, we've got it coming out of our ears. The primary point of this stat is to reduce the critical strike ability for incoming melee hits from the standard of 6% to 0%. Druids currently don't need this stat, as they've got a talent called Survival of the Fittest, which means that bosses don't need to drop defense leather.

All in all, the stat is kinda boring, as while it does still do nice things after you reach the defense cap of 690 rating (or 540 skill), most people don't bother with it and stack stamina or other avoidance. So Blizzard decided that they're going to get rid of it.

Around BlizzCon 2009, we were told that the crit reduction we formerly got from defense rating was going to be tied into things that were available to all members of each tanking class. Examples used were baking it into Bear Form for druids, Righteous Fury for paladins, Defensive Stance for warriors and Frost Presence (or rather, Blood Presence in Cataclysm) for death knights. That means that if a retribution paladin or arms warrior wanted to tank, all he'd need to do was swap to vaguely appropriate gear (or just over to a sword and shield), pop his respective abilities, and away he'd go. That's not how it appears things went down, though.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking stat changes in Cataclysm

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown.

Since paladins are last on the list for the upcoming Cataclysm class previews due to how Blizzard ended up doing the development schedule, we've got another week and a half to wait for our details. I'm not picky as long as it gets done, so there's no reason to really grumble other than having to wait an extra week. However, I thought I'd go over some of the things we do know about Cataclysm for tanking.

Blizzard has mentioned that they're going to rethink tanking cooldowns and has previously asked for feedback on some of the abilities we currently have -- but to what end, we're unsure at this time. What they have told us about thus far is how some of the avoidance stats will be working in the coming expansion. Essentially, the only avoidance stat that isn't changing is dodge, with the others either being overhauled or removed. Let's take a look.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm

Lichborne: Rune cooldowns, tank mastery, and Cataclysm

The devs have been speaking a little a bit about the new mastery system coming with Cataclysm, and while they've kept most of the specific numbers vague, there's been a surprising amount of information one can read between the lines about death knights. Of course, it started with the frost death knight stats. The stats were solidly DPS oriented, providing damage, haste, and runic power generation. This lead to two major concerns: What would frost tanks do for mastery? And for that matter, even DPS don't need runic power generation that much, considering we can only use so many frost strikes (or death coils for other specs) before we need to spend our runes anyway.

The Blues actually gave answers to these questions, answers that managed to both answer the question and provide a whole new level of speculation and questioning. On the question of the new runic power bonus, Ghostcrawler and Eyonix revealed that death knights would find their rotation less constrained by the global cool down and rune cool downs, and that changes such as that would make the runic power generation more desirable. On the tank front, they're actually being deliberately coy about what they have planned for death knight tanks, but they at least seem to know the issue's on the table.

This week, I figure it might fun to take a look at these statements and mull over some possible ways they might implement them.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks and the barrier to entry


Every week, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting druids and those who group with them. This week, we have cause to reflect on something written by our esteemed colleague Archmage Pants: "Tanking is an interesting thing. It makes you hate everyone else in the party."

It comes as no shock to a longtime player that WoW's social culture is riddled with a number of real-life counterparts, and one of the more troublesome is something called the barrier to entry. In real life, this refers to the difficulty of becoming a qualified professional in a given field, and there are some jobs where the barrier to entry is very high indeed.

Take neurosurgery, for example. Ideally, you want to be completely sure of someone's aptitude for the job before you let them take a buzzsaw to your skull. Society relies on the grueling education and residency required to be a neurosurgeon to weed out anyone prone to use of the word, "Oops."

While there's nothing in WoW that comes close to the seriousness of getting a competent surgeon, most players would acknowledge that there are similarities between the RL and in-game version of the "barrier to entry." I'd argue that the comparison is strongest when you're discussing tanks. Tanks, and more importantly, beginner tanks who could potentially ease the tank shortage that causes lengthy queue times for DPS in the Dungeon Finder, have to hurdle a series of problems in the effort to become geared and experienced. Some of these problems are the result of deliberate design choices on Blizzard's part, but the larger share is the consequence of a playerbase that needs tanks but is (ironically) hostile to beginners.

Everyone wants an experienced professional. Nobody wants to be there for the learning process.

And if you're a beginner tank, there's a lot of crap in your way that Blizzard didn't put there.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Lichborne: A death knight primer for tanking 5-man dungeons

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, your host is in a bit of a tanking mood. Those Emblems of Frost don't earn themselves!
So when the Dungeon Finder came out, it was pretty cool even for DPS. A 10 minute wait for a DPS slot for a 5-man dungeon is pretty insanely awesome. If nothing else, it was certainly faster than the old way of sitting in Dalaran for 2 hours picking your nose and watching the LFG channel.

Now that the dungeon finder has been around for a while though, things are getting a bit stickier for DPS. My server averages around 15-20 minutes for a level 80, and I've heard some battlegroups are up to 30-45 minutes, even at prime time. To make matters worse, tanks and healers can continue to boast instant or near-instant queues almost everywhere, leaving the poor DPS green with envy.

Now technically, this is how it's almost always worked. Tanks and Healers get groups pretty quick, DPS has to wait around. And all told, the dungeon finder system is still pretty cool, and you still get a group faster than the old way. That said, now that we've had a taste of true power, I'm sure we're all loathe to lose it. Luckily, death knights have an out: We can go tank.

Whether you're a DPS DK considering going tank for shorter queue times, or a 5-man DK tank newbie looking to up their game, this column's for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Analyzing the latest Patch 3.2.2 PTR changes


Avast ye swabbies! Welcome to Lichborne, where Death Knights rule the Seven Seas and the rest of ye lubbers walk the - Oh. Wait. Talk like a Pirate Day is OVER? Well, dangit. At least I still have this cool buff for a few more hours.

These past few weeks have bought a flurry of updates the Patch 3.2.2 PTR servers, and a lot of the updates have a lot to do with Death Knights. Since we were the most changed class in Patch 3.2, it might be expected that we got a good amount of tweaking in 3.2.2 to complement and compensate the Patch 3.2 changes. Thus, it would behoove us to take a look at said changes and see where they'll leave us coming into the likely rapidly approaching patch.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, News items, Guides, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Death Knight Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

With the arrival of Patch 3.2, let's take stock of what's going on with Death Knights and how things have turned out for us. The Patch 3.2 PTR's been the testing grounds for a few major changes to various trees and play styles, and now it'll be interesting to see how things play out on the live server. You can see the basic size of the Death Knight changes in this original analysis of the patch changes, but some things have changed since then, as we will note below.

Tanking

We do get a couple hits to tanking this patch. Frost Presence will be switching from a health buff to a stamina buff, and Veteran of the Third War will be nerfed to only a 3% stamina gain at the top level. Toughness is also dropping from 15% to 10% armor buffed at its top level. Honestly, I don't think these changes alone will be so bad as to drop us too low on the tanking totem pole, especially since we've been up at the top so long.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Raiding, Guides, Talents, Death Knight

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