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Posts with tag bone-shield

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: 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: Emblem of Triumph Gear for Death Knights


Welcome to Lichborne, your look into the issues of the moment for the death knight class.

Ah, Emblems of Triumph, the new hotness. Even if you're not running the coliseum, you still have chance to grab them in the heroic daily, and by now, surely most of us have at least had the opportunity to save up enough to buy something. Deciding what to buy, however, is a whole different question. Let's take a look at the badge loot and see what's in it for a death knight.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Raiding, Guides, 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

Lichborne: Dual Wielding and Tanking on the 3.1 PTR

Nerfs stink.
Welcome to Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb is ready to help you roll with the punches (and Death Knight changes) coming from the PTR.

We had a new build hit the PTR this week, and with a week gone by, now's a good time to take a deep, focused look at the changes and see how they're shaking down. They're mostly pretty solid nerfs, and a lot of Death Knights aren't too happy about them. Still, beyond people concern about the fact that they are nerfs, the question remains: Were they merited, and where do they leave us? Let's discuss.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Are Death Knights autowin in PvP?


Here's a question I'm sure a lot of players have asked themselves when faced against those dreaded Death Knights. Critical QQ wrote an interesting post in his blog theorizing that the side with the most number of Death Knights will win. Think Ret Paladin during the first week or so of Patch 3.0. He posits that Death Knights are such a powerful PvP class that they tend to turn the tide of a battle. To a degree, it's actually true. The very first Arena Master was a Death Knight.

The blog post plays out several scenarios where Death Knights make a difference but doesn't get into too much detail. But the point he makes is clear, and some of you might have actually felt it whenever you played some Battlegrounds -- whichever side has the most Death Knights wins. I've never actually stopped to figure out the ratio of Death Knights in all my Battlegrounds games, but there's no question a Death Knight is a force to be reckoned with in PvP. But are they unbeatable?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Death Knight

Patch 3.0.8: Analysis of Death Knight changes


Well, I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I'm certainly having fun playing my death knight. I can solo a lot of the more difficult quests in the game; my Blood self-healing along with my glyphed Death Strike keeps me topped off and out of danger almost all the time; and I bring desirable buffs to parties and raids.

I keep thinking to myself, "Something has to change! I can't have this much fun all the time!"

Well, guess what, WoW community? You've gone and done it. You've gotten us buffed. Great. Just great.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: A Death Knight statistics primer

Death Knight Itemization: This guy is doing it wrong.
Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column by professor Daniel Whitcomb, who totally has a PhD in Death-Knightology from Ebon Hold University. It's the truth, I swear.

I've seen a lot of people asking these questions as we've been getting into the expansion: Now that I am trying to gear by Death Knights, what stats should I get? What's good for a Death Knight? Which armor should I take. We've started getting in that somewhat in the last few columns, with advice on reputation gear and starting zone gear, but I figured today we should delve a little bit more into the why of Death Knight stats.

Today's column will double as a little bit of primer on how Death Knights get their power, and what stats you should be looking for on armor in general to make your Death Knight the best it can be. It's not completely in depth, but it should get you well on the road to understanding just how Death Knights get all that awesome power and sexiness.

We'll have 3 sections today. The Good are stats that are excellent choices for DPS, Tanks, or both. The So-So are stats which still do us some good, but are pretty situational or conditional in their usefulness. The Outcasts are those stats that you should avoid -- Well, I'd say avoid like the plague, but we're Death Knights. We like the plague around here. So I'll just say you should avoid them.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Ghostcrawler's thoughts on Death Knights

Ghostcrawler has sparked conversation on Death Knights and potential future changes on the official Tanking forum with a rather lengthy post. He starts out saying he's thrilled that Death Knights have been well-received, but they've expected since the beginning that they'll have to make changes to the class as they go along, because it is a brand new class. I think us players expected that as well, so it's really not a big deal.

He mentions a number of problems that have cropped up with Death Knights since launch (or before in some cases) and some potential ideas on how they can be fixed in upcoming patches. No official change announcements, just thoughts and discussion. If you want to see the full list, head on over to the forum thread. I'm just going to touch on a few that I've experienced firsthand.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Lichborne: Reputation rewards for Death Knights in Wrath of the Lich King

This pretty much never gets old.
Welcome to Lichborne, WoW Insider's weekly column on the Death Knight, written and named by a guy who actually doesn't have that talent. How does this keep happening, seriously?

So by now, I'm sure a lot of Death Knights are, like yours truly, getting into the level 80 home stretch and trying to figure out which of the Wrath factions to grind first. If you've already read our Wrath 101 guides to reputation and to the Oracle and Frenzyheart tribes, you're off to a good start. In this week's Lichborne, we'll take it a step further by looking at the purchasable rewards for each faction with the eye of a Death Knight. As with our previous gear guide, I'm operating on the assumptions that haste and armor penetration are less desirable for Death Knights and that expertise is primarily for Death Knight tanks.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Leveling, Factions, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death Knight Tanking


Welcome to the first post-Wrath installment of Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column. Join Daniel Whitcomb on the bleeding edge of a new and untried class.

So Wrath is upon us, and we can finally start leveling our Death Knights on the live servers. That's right, this time it's for keeps. I'm pretty excited about that. One thing, though, that I haven't gotten to do yet on live servers is tank a dungeon. It's not that I don't want to, it's that 98% of the people leveling through Outland right now are Death Knights, so finding a healer is a bit difficult. Still, I did my fair share of tanking on Beta servers, and I played a Druid tank for years, and I'm figuring I'll do my fair share of tanking again at 80. Thus, I decided that this week is the perfect time to start getting ready to tank, even if Utgarde may be the first instance most Death Knights will get a group for.

Let's get down to the basics:

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Filed under: Tips, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Talents for catching up


Welcome to Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb is doing some last minute agonizing over what face to give his Death Knight on Thursday.

So there are quite a few of us, I imagine, who are still on track to switch to a Death Knight, or at least play one quite extensively, immediately when Wrath of the Lich King hits the live servers. But the fact remains that you'll be 15 levels behind everyone to start, and if you have friends to catch up to, you're going to want to get up there pretty quickly, most likely. Even if you plan to take it slow, you'll still want a good effective leveling build, most likely. So today, we'll look at three solid solo DPS builds from each tree, and discuss how to use them most effectively for grinding and leveling.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Leveling, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow tank, part 2


Dear corpsified bundles of beautifully-armored joy (but more particularly those who tank Azjol Nerub while wearing Expedition Bracers of the Bandit),

We had a little bit of controversy in the first installment, so I'm just going to state this as baldly as possible; if you hated what I wrote last time, there's a good chance you'll walk away from this one thinking I eat babies. Delicious, delicious babies. While I never mean to offend people, I reserve the right to tell them the truth, or at the very least a highly entertaining and plausible lie.

Truth, she be at times an ugly mistress. And she ain't gettin' any prettier as we move from DPS to tanking.

Tanks have significantly more responsibility, both in groups and raids, and they face the competing directives of maximizing mitigation (to keep their healers happy) and maximizing threat production (to keep their DPS happy). I've healed dozens of Death Knight tanks at this point, and while the average pugged DK tank has gotten noticeably better, there are still a few trends you'd want to be aware of as a healer. The problems in beta right now are made worse by Blizzard unintentionally overselling the ease of tanking on a Death Knight in 5-man runs. Many people seem to have interpreted the statement that they should be able to tank well with Blood, Frost, or Unholy specs as being tantamount to saying they can tank well regardless of how their talent points are spent in those trees.

Any experienced tank can tell you right now that this is not true, but people believing that it is is how you wind up with 11K-life Death Knights taking 7-8K enraged hits from Keristasza in the Nexus. If you've never tanked before but you're interested in tanking on a Death Knight -- or pragmatic enough to know you'll probably wind up tanking a certain number of 5-mans on your DPS Death Knight -- I hope this article helps you avoid what I went through in May 2007 when I started tanking and sucked at it.

I came to the beta to slowly lose my mind trying to heal insane tank damage and gulp Extra Strength Tylenol. And I'm all out of Extra Strength Tylenol.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Expansions, Features, Humor, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow melee, part 1


Dear reanimated angst-puppy hero corpses,

Love what you've done with the smell, really. The little air freshener attached to the runeblade is a nice touch. Now that I'm in the beta, I've had the opportunity group with -- conservatively -- billions of you. I've healed a lot of Death Knight tanks, and tanked for a lot of Death Knight DPS. Most of you seem like cool people, so I say this with sincere love in my little Druid heart and a touch of worry over what will happen in November:

Most of you are awful.

I don't wish to be needlessly cruel here, mind you, or to overlook that the class is still new. Blizzard endlessly tinkers with you, so it's not like your rotations haven't changed, or your talents and skills are stable. And I know you're not coming to Northrend with a bank full of awesome gear from Burning Crusade. This isn't about your wearing greens or using the wrong attack or tanking rotation; I'm not even going to bother with the theorycraft surrounding the ideal DPS rotation until Wrath actually ships. But I'm seeing an awful lot of you running around playing as if...almost as if...you haven't played a tank or a melee class before. It's uncanny. But when I switched from playing a balance to a feral druid more than a year ago and knew nothing about playing a melee DPS/tank, I made all the mistakes you're making right now. Help me help you!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Expansions, Features, Guides, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: Death Knight glyphs

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly weekend look at the first hero class, the Death Knight. Daniel Whitcomb is back after dealing with some light administrative work back at the Ebon Hold.

Inscription seems to be coming on to the beta server in bits and pieces, especially when it comes to the much looked for glyphs. One or two classes seem to trickle in each build, and in the latest build, it is the Death Knight's turn. Today, we'll take a quick look at the new Death Knight glyphs, and figure out how useful they'll be to the various playstyles and specs of the Death Knight. As always, it's worth noting that these are beta numbers, so things could change by the time Inscription and Death Knights see the light of day on live servers.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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