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Posts with tag Unholy

Looking at death knight changes testing in PTR Patch 4.0.6

There are changes on the upcoming 4.0.6 PTR for death knights. Actually sorting through them may prove a little difficult, as the official patch notes and the datamined information sometimes say two different things. In short, though, we can say that blood has received a bit of a survivability hit, but a nice threat boost; unholy has both become a more solid 2H damage tree and received a sizeable (but expected) DPS nerf; and 2H frost has gotten a nice boost that may actually make it viable in endgame raiding, depending on how the numbers hold out.

Remember, though, that this is the PTR, and things may (and probably will) change before this thing goes live. With that in mind, let's take a look at what the changes say.

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Filed under: News items, Death Knight

Ghostcrawler reveals upcoming class changes in Cataclysm

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has posted the blog post I think most of us have been waiting for ever since Cataclysm went live. It features a summary of where the dev team sees the PvE and PvP games at this point, including some analysis of various classes and specs, and some planned changes for those specs that are underperforming and overperforming.

In PvE, Ghostcrawler mentions that Blizzard is mostly happy with the tank classes and notes that while healers do have it a bit hard, this is intentional. Heroics are meant to be a challenge. As for DPS, he offered that some classes, such as arcane mages and marksman and beast mastery hunters, are too low in their damage, while others, such as shadow priests and fire and frost mages, are being watched closely before final judgment is made on their numbers.

In PvP, Ghostcrawler says Blizzard is satisfied with the decreased emphasis on healing prevention and burst damage. Crowd control and dispel mechanics, especially offensive dispels, may see some PvP nerfs, and priests will specifically be getting some PvP buffs.

Stats also got some mention. A lot of stats are being neglected by some classes, and the dev team wants to fix this. Mastery will be either buffed or completely revamped for many specs, such as unholy death knights and retribution paladins. Haste may be made to scale with more attacks, such as Lacerate, Slam, and Steady Shot, in order to make the stat more desirable to certain specs.

Check after the break for the complete text of Ghostcrawler's post, including a list of specifically planned (but not finalized) class changes for future patches.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm

Lichborne: A guide to death knight spell alerts


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights.

One pretty cool change coming to Cataclysm is the advent of spell alerts, on-screen notifications that direct you to a button you really should be pushing when you get some sort of class-specific proc or buff. Of course, many high-level players have had this for a long time in the form of player-made UI mods, but now newbies, UI minimalists, and people who just get confused by UI mods get a chance to have them, too. This week in Lichborne, we'll discover what spell alerts death knights get and discuss how best to apply them in battle.

Generally, when a spell alert goes off, you'll hear a sound and see a certain graphic envelop your character on screen. If you have scrolling combat text turned on, you'll also see green or yellow text describing the buff. Finally, the button for the affected ability or abilities will light up on your action bar, telling you exactly what you need to push. Once you understand all this, it's pretty easy to anticipate the effects, but let's take a quick look at what you'll see so you know exactly what to expect and what to do.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight regemming and reforging for patch 4.0.1


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights.

Now that we've had a bit of time with patch 4.0.1, hopefully you've settled in to a decent rotation and spec and have begun to feel your way around the new system. Now that you've done that, there's one more step to take: figuring out the best way to reforge and regem your gear. Reforging can be done through certain NPCs in major cities and is a process whereby you take one secondary stat (the ones in green text) and reforge part of it into another stat. This process can be very useful for getting rid of extra stats past the soft cap or just plain getting rid of stats that aren't important for your class or spec. You can't reforge a stat into another stat that's already on the item, but otherwise, your possibilities are endless.

Gemming remains more or less how it always has. The one big, new curveball we've been thrown is the fact that hit gems are now blue. This is probably overall a win for DPS death knights, as it gives us a few more options to aim for gear bonuses without handicapping ourselves as much.

To understand how, when and if to regem and reforge your gear, you'll need to understand stat weights. While it's still pretty early in the 4.0.1 game (and therefore, it's not completely clear what stat weights are for every spec), the death knight community has still done enough math that we're relatively certain of the general order. With that in mind, let's look at every spec and figure out the best ways to regem and reforge.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for death knights in 4.0.1


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

So the bomb finally dropped. As expected, Patch 4.0.1 finally made it to live realms and players are scrambling to get used to everything new. For most players, that first free respec is used for PvE to enable them to join the latest PUG looking to down the week's raid boss. This is when reality bites -- that spec you've been fiddling around with over at Wowhead or wowtal.com isn't delivering the way you thought it would. That's OK. If you're doing some PvP, understand that there are a number of bugs out there, so things aren't behaving exactly as they should. Add to that the fact that the game is balanced around being level 85, that stamina is low, and resilience has taken a hit ... things are going to be somewhat wonky. So don't write off that spec you've theorycrafting on for weeks just yet.

Since specs are pretty complex and fluid at this point, we'll take a look at vital PvP talents instead. The fun thing is that at this point in the game, all specs are good to go for PvP -- although your mileage may vary. There isn't much room for variation, unlike before, when players could reach deep into two trees, especially for PvP. But inevitably, there are talents that are extremely useful in a PvP environment. Today we'll take a look at core PvP talents for each spec for death knights, just in case you were wondering what to do with those last few talent points. For this exercise, we won't bother discussing any 31-point talents because, well, you're supposed to pick those up, anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Death Knight, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Lichborne: Unholy and the state of the Cataclysm beta talent trees


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for news, guides, tips and opinions on the death knight class.

With this week's Lichborne, I was hoping to have run a few heroic Cataclysm dungeons so I could report back to you on how death knights play through them -- but alas, it was not to be, as my beta client refuses to log in to the game without crashing. Luckily, there are plenty of things to discuss apart from that. This week, I'd like to discuss our talent trees as they currently are in the beta and where things are headed for us as the release date draws nearer.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Cataclysm Beta: Build 12984 death knight changes

In the wee hours of the morning, an (as yet unimplemented) beta build found its way out onto the internet for dissection by the usual datamining suspects. As has become a happy habit with the past few builds, there are death knight changes to be had. Now, these changes don't solve all of our problems. In fact, some of them exacerbate a few of them. However, a couple of the changes are amazingly good, and I'd call this patch, overall, another step in the right direction. Let's take a look at what changed and what it means for the death knight playstyle. As a warning, this patch has not yet been placed on the beta as of this writing, so things may still change from what's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Lichborne: Death knight changes for Cataclysm beta build 12942


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for news, guides, tips, and opinions on the death knight class.

Cataclysm beta build 12942 is now on the beta servers, and with it has come a much-anticipated, huge round of death knight changes. There's some deceptively minor stuff, some incredibly game-changing stuff and a lot of in-between stuff. Let's take a look at the changes (some gleaned from in game, some courtesy of MMO Champion) and see what we can figure out about where the death knight class is headed.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne, Cataclysm

Lichborne: The death knight beta diaries, part 1: Unholy in Hyjal


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for news, guides, tips and opinions on the death knight class.

With the Cataclysm beta well under way, the death knight class does still have some bugs and glitches to work out and maybe even a bit of balancing work needed. But for now, the beta is definitely where the action is, as we work out some of the major changes to our rune systems and trees and figure out where the future of the class is headed. With that in my mind, I'll be playing through the beta for the new few weeks using various builds and heading to various zones and dungeons, getting a feel for how a death knight plays in Cataclysm. This week, we're headed for Mount Hyjal as a freshly copied-over level 80 unholy DPS death knight.

Note that for the most part, I plan to discuss only specific items and death knight mechanics and will do my best to keep out actual zone and quest plot line spoilers, but if you're afraid of spoilers from item names or discussion of quest mechanics, some of them may appear in this column.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne, Cataclysm

Lichborne: Unholy DPS in Wrath of the Lich King

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly peek into the ins and outs of the death knight class.

With the last announced content patch of Wrath of the Lich King released, and the devs stating that they don't plan to make any major class changes until patch 4.0 and the Cataclysm expansion, It's a good time to start taking a look at how our trees have fared this expansion. Yes, I know that death knights were technically introduced this expansion. Certainly this means there's a comparative breadth to what we have experienced, but Wrath was a time of great change and turmoil for all of our mechanics and trees as well. Let's start our look back with Unholy, specifically by looking at two of its most volatile abilities: Unholy Blight and Scourge Strike.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Unholy tanking 101


Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, we're refusing to say goodbye to a dying friend.

Unholy tanking is both a unique and endangered form of tanking in WoW. Unique, because of Bone Shield, which makes unholy uniquely suited to be an avoidance tank, and endangered, because it's going to go away in Cataclysm. That said, there's still reasons to be an unholy tank, whether it's one last hurrah for your favorite playstyle, wanting to try the playstyle before it goes away or wanting to get used to Bone Shield before it moves over to blood to become a core tanking talent for all tank death knights. Whatever your reason, read on. This guide is meant to provide you with the basic talenting, glyphing and technique for starting out as an unholy tank.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Cataclysm Class Changes: Death knight analysis

I'll be completely honest: If I were to describe the death knight update with three words, it would be these: We need more. PvP-focused death knights will likely be pleased with the new revealed skills, but for PvE death knights, all three hold little to no PvE applicability. The new rune system's original explanation is somewhat convoluted, and while I think I have a handle on it after some extensive testing and theorycrafting, we really can't say much about how well it will work until we know more about how our abilities will be rebalanced. The talent discussion mostly focused on telling us what we learned a few days ago when we were told blood will be the only tanking tree.

Essentially, given this update, a large part of me wishes they had just held off until the beta. Right now, we just don't have enough information to make anything more than vague educated guesses about how the new rotations and abilities will play off of each other. That said, it's still worth a look at what's going down, so let's start it up and see what we can surmise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Lichborne: The rise of PvE frost DPS on the patch 3.3.3 PTR


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly look at the world of the death knight.

With Patch 3.3.3 on the PTR and looking closer and closer to going live, the buzz around death knights is just about where you'd expect it to be, squarely on the frost talent tree. This is especially true of frost DPS. While it once reigned supreme as a cornerstone of the famous 39/32 builds, it's fallen out of favor, and even Threat of Thassarian hasn't been enough to keep it from being consigned to the status of third rate, a pariah from any raid that already has a shaman to provide Windfury.

Blizzard's obviously dedicated to getting the tree properly buffed in Patch 3.3.3, but have they succeeded? Let's take a look at the frost tree thus far, and what we may be doing with our own builds and talents in a few weeks' time.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Unholy DPS 101


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly peek at the world of the death knight. This week, we're looking at what may be the most volatile, versatile, finicky, and powerful of the death knight dps specs.

1. What is unholy DPS?

Unholy DPS is one of the biggest roller coasters you can step on as a death knight DPSer, in that almost every major patch has bought huge changes to the tree, sometimes making it totally overpowered, sometimes slamming it down into the dirt, sometimes making a basic unholy spec look like a convoluted Escherian nightmare. In Patch 3.3, it's leveled off into a solid, dominant powerhouse that combines stronger diseases and physical damage with the added bonuses of a cool pet and a very powerful magical debuff. It's essentially the choice for any death knight DPSer who wants to maximize their DPS.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Icecrown Citadel - Lower Spire loot for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, where your host is still figuring out the perfect roleplay celebration macro for when he downs the Lich King -- when he's not writing about death knights, of course.

With Icecrown Citadel now properly breached, hopefully even some of the less uber among us are making our way into the breach to say hello to the father of all death knights, the Lich King himself. Of course, as we start upon the final leg of the journey that started so long ago at Light's Hope Chapel, as we trudge ever closer to our destiny to the fight that will bring our story full circle, that may lead to our damnation or to a brighter new destiny, there's certainly a question that's on everyone's minds: What about the loot?

It's a good question. Let's take a look at the loot from the first few bosses up in the citadel. Before we do, though, it's a good idea to take a quicker refresher course in why we choose what we choose:

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Filed under: Raiding, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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