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Posts with tag blood-tap

Lichborne: Learning to live with 3 weird death knight quirks

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 the end of the year coming up, it's a good time to sit back and reflect. This week, my reflections on the death knight class have tended towards those little quirks, those mechanics that come up week after week in discussions, pet peeves to some people, things they may want changed, or things that are just a bit weird. This week, we'll look at three of these in particular, why they're sources of such controversy and frustration, and speculate on whether or not Blizzard might consider changing them in the upcoming patch 6.0.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) 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: 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: What do I do at level 90? And 2 other burning death knight questions

Lichborne 3 common death knight questions
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.

Reading a guide is all well and good, but sometimes, even after you read, you still have questions or need clarification. This week, I've taken 3 questions I see death knights ask a lot at various places around the web, and provide some advice and clarification.

Why don't tanks need so much hit and expertise?

If you've been reading the column, you've probably noticed that I have de-emphasized hit and expertise when discussing blood death knight tank gear and strategy. This is for a very good reason. Certainly, active tanking is the rule of the day in Mists, which means in theory that tanks should want hit and expertise so their abilities land. In theory, if your Death Strike doesn't land, you don't get the healing or the blood shield, right?

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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: 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: 3 more death knight issues that need fixing soon

Lichborne 3 more death knight issues that need fixing soon TUESDAY
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, I talked about three quick fixes death knights should get before the Mists of Pandaria beta is over. This week, I'd like to discuss three more death knight issues. These aren't necessarily any less urgent or problematic than last week's issues, but they're complicated enough that we probably can't expect them to be fixed before the expansion goes live. Still, they should probably be dealt with sooner rather than later.

1. Tier 5 talents have got to go. I have to admit, the level 75 death knight talent tier had me pretty excited when it was unveiled. Finally, anyone could choose their flavor of rune regeneration. At optimal balance, it seemed like everything could turn out great. People could choose how much control they wanted, people could avoid rune tetris if they wanted, and everything would be cool.

In practice, it hasn't worked out like that. It's become more and more obvious that it will be nearly impossible to balance the three types and that Blood Tap is the clear winner for any death knight DPS player, with Runic Empowerment nearly equal and Runic Corruption taking up the distant rear. The level 75 tier, in other words, doesn't pass the basic litmus test for the new talent system. There's no real choice. Min-maxers will feel forced to take a specific talent on this tier in all situations, and it will, in fact, almost always be Blood Tap.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The latest Mists of Pandaria beta updates for death knights

Image
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.

Since the last time we talked, we have seen a couple of new updates to the Mists of Pandaria beta. There haven't been many earth-shattering changes for death knights, but some of the changes have been significant enough that it's worth talking about both what they mean for the class and what they may imply about future updates.

It's difficult to say where Blizzard is going with our class in Mists, if only because they haven't said much. They've started talking on the beta forums, but they haven't directed anything at the death knight class yet. This isn't completely surprising. Our class is not in a horrible place right now, and the beta's young. Chances are we'll get our turn eventually.

That said, having developer feedback is useful for figuring out how to mold your own feedback. Knowing what a developer intends with a certain change can help us test that change with a better understanding of how it fits in to a larger vision. In absence of that, however, we can still look at the implications of these changes to see what we come up with.

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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

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: Blood tanking 101


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly journey into the world of the death knight. This week, we're getting ready for Cataclysm in our own round about way.

While sometimes less considered by the WoW population at large, blood tanking has long been known to serious players and theorycrafters as an incredibly dominant raid tanking spec, thanks to incredibly high health pools. It will also be the sole tanking tree for death knights in Cataclysm. While it is certain that the tree will change extensively under this new system, it is likely to have a lot of the same elements in place that make it distinctively blood tanking, even in the new expansion, so it might not hurt to start practicing with it now.

Whatever your reason for trying blood tanking, this guide is here to help you take the first few steps along that path. Remember as this is a 101 guide, we won't necessarily being doing hardcore theorycrafting, and we may simplify a few basic concepts that can be a bit more nuanced for an experienced, high-end blood tank.

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

Lichborne: Buttons more death knights should push


Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's weekly death knight column. Daniel Whitcomb sort of wanted to call this week's column "Neener neener, I can stand in the fire and you can't," but the editors weren't too enthused with it.

One of the most important things you can do to become a good death knight is to solidify your damage (or threat) rotation or priority system so that you can consistently keep your runes on cool down and your damage high. That said, it's far from the only thing that marks a good DPS or tank. Another thing is flexibility.

Death Knights have a wide variety of tools and tricks that can turn the tide of a battle. These tricks can be hard to weave into your existing system without giving up your rotation, but there are tricks to making it easier, and sometimes the benefit outweighs having to mess up your rotation for a few seconds. Let's take a look at 5 specific buttons that more death knight should be pushing.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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