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Posts with tag Lichborne

Three needed changes to the death knight leveling experience

Lichborne 3 needed changes to the death knight leveling experience
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.

So With patch 5.3 not holding much in the way of new content for me, I've been spending my new found free time leveling a brewmastery monk. I must say, it's been a blast. Certainly, I didn't get my entire toolkit at level 10, but I got enough to get by, and as I've leveled almost exclusively by tanking dungeons, I've almost never felt that I was missing something essential to my job.

By contrast, leveling a new death knight in early Mists in order to update and rewrite leveling guides, my experience was different by leaps and bounds. Depending on your spec, a new death knight could be missing vital, near-mandatory pieces of their toolkit for 20 levels. I know I'm not alone in seeing an issue with this, and in fact this column was in part inspired by Magdalena (who just got a namesake item in game) pointing it out twitter this morning.

With that in mind, today I'm going to make a couple suggestions on slight tweaks to the death knight leveling experience to make sure new faces to the class have a smooth leveling experience that properly equips them for the end game.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Reviewing death knight talents for patch 5.4

Lichborne Reviewing death knight talents for the patch 54 revamp
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.

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has indicated that Blizzard is pretty happy with the new Mists of Pandaria talent design, and I have to agree with him. While it does suck to wait 15 levels between new talent choices while leveling a new alt, otherwise the new talent system allows real flexibility and interesting, meaningful choices, arguably more than we had under the 51 or 31 point talent systems, where almost every tier had a clear best choice for whatever role you were playing.

That said, there's always room for improvement, and the devs have mentioned they plan to use patch 5.4 as another opportunity to go over talent trees and bolster talents that see less use or otherwise feel underpowered. With that in mind, this week we'll look at the death knight tree and pick out some candidates for a patch 5.4 redesign.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Survivability for the DPS death knight

Lichborne Survivability for the DPS death knight
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.

Death knights have long been notorious for their insane survivability since they were first introduced. Over the years, a lot of it has been nerfed, but a lot remains. While blood knight survivability feels somewhat obvious, it's a little harder to see what unholy and frost death knights have going for them. Today, we're going to examine how DPS death knights can use their skills to stay alive when the heat is on.

Anti-Magic Shell

Anti-Magic Shell remains one of the most versatile and underrated tools in our arsenal. By absorbing most of the magical damage from a massive magical attack, it allows us to stay in position longer than other classes, and save ourselves from own mistakes in some cases.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Leveling tips for death knights in Pandaria

Lichborne Leveling tips for death knights in 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.

By the time you read this, Mists of Pandaria should be out and playable in Europe (coming soon to the US), and there's probably even a few of you who will have hit level 86 or 87. With the new talent and specialization system, I expect figuring out how to level will be easier than ever, if only because it's a lot more difficult to go wrong. Still, there's a few recommendations to make that may help you hit level 90 just a bit faster, and we'll go ahead and dispense some of that advice today. Note that all advice here is for leveling only, and may not apply to end game dungeon running or raiding.

Choosing your leveling spec

I would recommend you choose either two-handed frost or blood as your leveling spec. Blood is strong enough and has enough self-healing and emergency defense tools that will probably never die. That said, your DPS won't be as high as you might like. Frost will allow you to kill things faster but still gives you some decent survivability options in the form of Death Strike and, if you talent in to it, the Lichborne heal trick. If you do level as blood, make sure you are either queuing for dungeons as a tank, or have a secondary frost or unholy spec ready to switch to when you DPS a dungeon. Blood is still not great DPS, and your dungeon group will need better than what you can put out as blood.

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

Lichborne: Death knight group utility in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Death knight group utility in 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.

Death knights are not always the first class you think of when you think group utility. They don't have a long-term crowd control method, they can't summon food or Healthstones, and they don't have one of those long term castable stat buffs like Mark of the Wild or Power Word: Fortitude.

That said, you shouldn't sell them short. We have a lot of little things we contribute to a group in a ways people may not think of. This week, we're going to look at some of the buffs, debuffs, and group utility moves death knights contribute, with an emphasis on things that or new or significantly changed in Mists of Pandaria.

Bringing the Buffs

Horn of Winter has long been a valuable buff that you should never neglect, and it's changed in some interesting ways in Mists. Instead of a flat buff to strength and agility, it now adds 10% attack power to you and your group. This ends up being pretty handy since it should scale as gear levels increase.

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

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

Lichborne Guide to PvE unholy death knights in 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.

With Mists of Pandaria less than a month, it's a good time to get caught up on your chosen class' mechanics and playstyle in order to get a good start in the new expansion. With that in mind, we've spent the past few weeks discussing the various specs and how they'll play. This week, we add to the collection with a guide to unholy death knights in PvE. As a reminder, the following guide is for the basics of the class and spec.

Unholy basics

Unholy, much like its sister trees, remains more or less unchanged in basic look and feel. Of course, there's enough tweaks that there's stuff to learn, but if you liked the way unholy played back in patch 4.3, you'll like the way it plays in patch 5.0.4 and Mists of Pandaria. The biggest change you'll notice is that the new version of Ebon Plaguebringer no longer has the magic damage debuff or the third disease. They have upped the damage on our strikes to compensate, but it's one more little piece of unholy look and feel that's gone.

Unholy is, of course, played with a two-handed weapon enchanted with Rune of the Fallen Crusader, as you will need its power to get the most damage from your strikes, and in Unholy Presence. You will also want to make sure you have your ghoul out as much as possible, as it makes up a not insignificant amount of your damage. If you don't want to deal with a pet or want to dual wield, you're better off switching to frost DPS.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

Mists of Pandaria Guide to PvE blood death knights in 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.

With Mists of Pandaria fast approaching, we continue our basic guides to the specs as they stand in the expansion. This week, we catch up with blood tanks. As a reminder, the following guide is for the basics of the class and spec.

Blood basics in Mists of Pandaria

Blood has changed remarkably little in Mists of Pandaria. Our basic setup is still using Death Strike to get our Blood Shield up, while trying to keep threat at the same time. Vengeance is now based off the amount of damage you've taken in the last 20 seconds, which won't be a huge deal but may lead to some attack power and threat spikes in the long run. Be aware that, especially at the start of a fight, you may need to work slightly harder for threat.

The two things you will probably notice the most are the 1-second global cooldown and the loss of 30-second Outbreak. The GCD change was one that was very much needed for DPS death knights but wasn't really an issue for us. However, since Blizzard decided to make that GCD change global to the class, we do have to deal with it. It may cause some noticeable downtime. That said, it will also allow you to fit in more emergency health-gaining cooldowns faster, so it may be a fair trade. Overall, it's something that should be easy to get used to and may work to our advantage more often than not.

A 30-second Outbreak is a little more of a solid nerf, in that you will have to deal with Outbreak's being on cooldown just when you need it most, but Blizzard has taken most of that agony out of the equation, since Scarlet Fever now allows Blood Boil to refresh diseases. Just be sure not to let diseases completely drop, and you're golden.

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

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: More death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and patch 5.0.4

Lichborne More death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and Patch 504 TUESDAY 14TH
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.

Last week, we started our discussion of the redesigned glyph system for Mists of Pandaria. This week, we'll finish out that discussion, covering the remaining major glyphs as well as minor glyphs.

The glyph system continues to look remarkably alien compared to what we have had before, but there are still some familiar glyphs, as well as a few long sought-after cosmetic additions. As we mentioned last week, there are very few mandatory glyphs, so a lot of this is going to come down to your personal preferences and playstyle. Be sure to read part 1 of this guide if you haven't already, then read on for the rest.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and patch 5.0.4

Lichborne Death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and patch 504
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 redesigning the glyph system for Mists, Blizzard's taking away the prime glyph tier. More than that, though, they've essentially gutted the system, removing many glyphs and changing others in incredibly drastic ways. In the case of death knights, what this has done is leave us with very few mandatory]glyphs and even fewer glyphs that greatly affect our ability to do our jobs or climb higher on the damage meters in any meaningful way.

With this in mind, lets take a look at death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria as they stand. You will be able to use three major glyphs and three minor glyphs at any given time. There's a lot of glyphs to cover, so we'll do this in two installments. We'll cover most of the major glyphs today, and next week we'll finish off the major glyphs and talk about the minor glyphs.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Passing time until Pandaria on your death knight

Lichborne Passing time until 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.

With a release date finally forthcoming for Mists of Pandaria, we have less than two months until the expansion drops and even less time until we reach patch 5.0.4. With all that in mind, how do you pass the time until then? This week, we'll take a look at a few things death knights can do to look and feel their best when the expansion drops.

Solo to swell your stables

Soloing is a time-honored death knight tradition, and with the expansion winding down, it's the perfect way to pass the time. When choosing your soloing target, you may factor in nostalgia, transmogrification needs, or just plain ease of access. Another popular reason is grabbing mounts and pets. In the Cataclysm era, both Vortex Pinnacle and The Stonecore normal modes drop a mount.

Soloing same-level dungeons can be a bit hairy, but considering these two were in the game at the start of the expansion, you should find that even with Dragon Soul raid finder gear, you'll barely break a sweat in blood spec. As a bonus, both of these mounts will be going account-wide in Mists of Pandaria, so you'll be grabbing some possible stylish mount options for your alts as well.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Observations on new death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Observations on new death knights in 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.

With a new expansion coming out, it's a perfect time to try out a new character. New skills, new spells, and new mechanics all mean there will be new ways of playing and new ways of looking at things, and sometimes you just want a fresh start. Of course, there are only a few people dedicated or crazy enough to play multiple characters of the same class on a regular basis, but sometimes, I find that leveling the same class more than once gives you insights and helps you remember the basics.

With this in mind, I've started a couple new death knights of my own on the Mists of Pandaria beta. And while there's a lot for new death knights to learn, it's interesting to note what lessons this old death knight learned and what subtle differences herald for the class.

It's easy to become talented

In the original plan for creating a death knight, you got chunks of talent points to spend when you completed certain quests. In theory, this allowed you to slowly build up a talent build as you would when leveling a fresh character, getting small chunks of talent points to distribute bit by bit. In practice, I feel it was a bit more confusing than that. A level 55 character with no talent points getting those talent points from random quests with no real rhyme or reason to when or how they came wasn't a deal breaker, but it really felt like you didn't quite have a handle on your talent points until you were finally caught up at around level 60 or so.

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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

Lichborne: Analyzing patch 5.0 death knight talents

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 you probably know by now, Blizzard has drastically overhauled the talent system for patch 5.0, giving everyone a ton of automatic level-ups and then a choice between three talents every 15 levels. This week, we'll take a look at the talents they previewed for death knights at BlizzCon 2011: what they mean, how they work, what looks good, and what sort of sucks. As a reminder, these talents are all a work in progress that can and will change before patch 5.0 goes live, which could easily be over half a year from now. With that in mind, we'll focus more on mechanics and philosophy and less on math. Math can always be tweaked.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: A death knight DPS guide to staying alive in PvE

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.

I know it's probably a bit weird to be talking about PvE DPS when the big story for PvE is the new cool stuff we can get by tanking -- but by now, the shine is probably off the apple for many Call to Arms participants. With bugs preventing us from getting bags and DPSers who refuse to follow kill orders or use crowd control, many have decided even the chance at a cool new pet isn't enough.

That's why, for everyone who's gone back to DPS and for everyone who never stopped DPSing, I want to offer a few quick tips for surviving in PvE. Maybe you're dealing with an inexperienced Call to Arms tank; maybe you're still working on recognizing your own threat levels. But whatever the reason, DPSers do die from time to time, and in Cataclysm, they seem to die faster and easier. Many of these tips will be death knight-specific, and some will be a bit more general.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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