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Posts with tag death-grip

Lichborne: PvP, grinding, the Unholy tree, and you

Every weekend in Lichborne, Daniel Whitcomb will take you through the ever-changing (Beta) world of World of Warcraft's first hero class, the Death Knight.

With a new Beta Build on the test servers, Death Knights have received a massive amount of talent changes. Many of them have been hinted at on the test servers for eons, and I've covered much of them in last week's Lichborne. The new disease changes are in, as is the changing of Chains of Ice's Snare component to an undispellable physical effect. You can check out the full list of changes here.

Among the new changes is a very extensive revamp of the Unholy tree, which features quite a bit of talent consolidation and quite a few new and interesting mechanics and abilities. In fact, I'd have to say that the current build may very well mark the rise of the Unholy Tree, with the changes making it an amazing tree for grinding and PvP.

As a disclaimer, there's still lot of bugs in this build. Many abilities don't seem to be working quite right, especially Blood Caked Blade (which only hits for 1-4 damage based on the number of diseases instead of 60% weapon damage per disease), Raise Dead, and Night of the Dead. Because of that, it's often hard to say how or if an ability would be better or worse if it actually worked. Therefore, I'll be discussing the abilities based on if they actually did work, backed with some feel for them from Death Knight play on the Beta Servers.

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

Scattered Shots: New and improved abilities


Scattered Shots: noun. 1. (Scatter Shot, singular) An ability used by Marksmanship hunters, especially to annoy other players in PvP. 2. (Scattered Shots, plural) A column at WoW Insider about anything even loosely related to hunters, except for high-level raiding and completely improper, sometimes libelous personal commentary.

Hunters are getting quite a few changes in Wrath of the Lich King, but so far haven't covered them all. Today I'd like to go through the newest abilities and discuss them in greater detail.

New Baseline Hunter Abilities:

Nope, no Camouflage. We talked about this before, but it looks like the devs read our article, "Do hunters need Camouflage?" and decided the answer was no. So, instead we have a couple other new abilities to look forward to:

Kill Shot:
This is the new level 80 hunter ability, and it provides us with a bit of utility that help us to stand out and perform better in various situations:

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Death Knight Gameplay Video: Unholy PvP

Jadefury continues to deliver with the Death Knight videos. This time, he runs around in one of the Northrend starting zones and preys upon unsuspecting Alliance. It's a bit of a gank video, so fair warning if you're not into that. He uses this level 73 Unholy/Blood build.

Jadefury himself admits, of course, that the first thing he had going for him was the element of surprise -- not only ganking, but people panicking as they had to face down an unfamiliar class. We wouldn't be surprised if PvPing with a Death Knight for the first few months of Wrath is easy if only because of that deer in the headlights phenomenon.

Still, he also showcases some very nice uses of Death Knight PvP skills. My favorite is his use of Death Grip, which looks like it's fast becoming the signature Death Knight move -- not only does it take care of people trying to run away, but he uses it as a spell interrupt in a pinch. There's also some freezing action going on as well with what looks to be Chains of Ice. Of course, having Magic Suppression probably helps a lot as well.

Of course, it's worth noting that he leapt upon people in combat (with some rather sweet looking Nerubians at that, we can't believe we'll be able to solo those, Wrath is going to be so epic), and this is only at level 73, so level 80 organized PvP may look somewhat different. Still, it's yet another good look at Death Knight gameplay to prepare all of us rerollers.

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

The Art of War(craft): Dreaming about Death Knight PvP


I know, I know. It's too early to actually figure out how Death Knights will work in PvP. Humor me for a bit. The new class, with its juicy talents and abilities, even if they will get changed before Wrath of the Lich King hits the shelves, have got me really excited. They have some pretty cool spells and a new resource mechanic that promises to shake things up as far as gameplay is concerned. I'm not big on alts, and I play mostly on my main and a secondary toon that really needs more love, but I actually want to make a Death Knight. I'm not an alt-o-holic, but I think I'll be taking it all the way to Level 80.

Of course, while I tell all my friends that I'm finally making a toon I'll be happy to tank with, what I'm really thinking about is PvP. I had initially wanted to make a Death Knight class when the game was announced, Death Knights being my favorite Hero in Warcraft 3. I thought Warlocks were the going to be it, considering the Death Coil spell, but I ended up never making a Warlock at all. But now here's the real deal. Plate armor, badass Rune weapons, Deathchargers, and all things ooky, spooky, and vile. Sounds like a lot of fun to me.

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

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: Unholy spells and talents


Unholy was originally touted as the PvP DPS tree. What it appears to do rather well, though, are diseases and minions. If your vision of a Death Knight is close to a Diablo 2 Necromancer type, leading an army of undead minions and spreading plague and exploding corpses across the land, Unholy is probably going to be the tree for you. Of course, your crowd control is probably going to be a little peeved at you with all those DoTs, but that's what AE spells like Death and Decay and Unholy Blight are for, right?

Unholy also seems to include quite a bit of utility, including the ability to resist lots of spells and status effects, and some debilitating debuffs, so it could be called a utility tree of sorts as well. Here's a list of some of the Unholy spells and talents available in the WWI Demo:

Unholy Spells:

Death Gate
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
10 second cast, 15 minute cooldown
Description: Returns you to Ebon Hold (Note: Since Ebon Hold is not yet implemented, in the demo it returned you to Tirion Fordring).

Death Grip
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 35 second cooldown.
30 yard range
Description: Harness the unholy energy that surrounds and binds all matter, drawing the target toward the Death Knight and forcing the enemy to attack the Death Knight for 3 seconds.

Plague Strike
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune and 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast
Melee range
Description: A vicious strike that deals weapon damage plus 37 and plagues the target, dealing 350 shadow damage over 12 seconds.

Raise Dead
Requires level 56
Costs 2 Unholy Runes
Instant cast
30 yard range
Description: Raises a ghoul from a corpse to fight by your side. if the target corpse is not humanoid, Corpse Dust must be supplied to complete the spell.

Death Strike
Requires level 58
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Description: A deadly attack that deals 60% weapon damage. if the target dies within 6 sec and yields exp or honor, Death Strike heals the Death Knight for 406 damage.

Death and Decay
Requires level 60
Costs 1 Unholy Rune, 1 Blood Rune, 1 Frost Rune.
30 second cooldown
30 yard range
Description: 100 shadow damage modified by Attack Power is inflicted every 2 seconds to all targets in the affected area for 10 seconds. Has a chance to cause affected targets to cower in fear

Degeneration
Requires level 62
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Description: Instantly attack the target, dealing 60% weapon damage and inflicting a disease dealing 91 damage over 21 seconds. Any existing heal over time spells on the target become corrupted, dramatically increasing the damage done by the disease and removing the healing effect. Stacks up to 3 times.

Unholy Presence
Requires level 70
Description: Imbues the Death Knight with unholy fury, increasing attack speed by 15% and reducing the global cooldown on all Death Knight abilities by 0.5 seconds.

Anti-Magic Shell
Requires level 75
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
20 second cooldown
Description: Surrounds the Death Knight in an anti-magic shell, absorbing 75% of the damage dealt by the next harmful spell. Damage absorbed by anti-magic shell energizes the Death Knight with additional runic power. Lasts 5 seconds.

Army of the Dead
Requires level 80
Costs 2 Unholy Runes
10 minute cooldown
Description: Summons an entire legion of your best ghouls to fight by your side.

Unholy Talents:

Lichborne
Requires 10 talent points
Instant cast, 5 minute cooldown
Description: Draw upon unholy energy to become undead for 30 seconds. While undead, you are immune to charm, fear, and sleep effects, and your horrifying visage causes melee attacks to have an additional 25% chance to miss you (Will of the Forsaken, eat your heart out!).

Corpse Explosion
Requires 20 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Instant cast
20 yard range
Description: Unleashes all available runic power to cause a targeted corpse to explode for 3.6 nature damage per 10 runic power to all enemies within 20 yards.

Improved Corpse Explosion
Requires 25 talent points, Corpse Explosion
Costs up to 2 talent points
Description: Exploded corpses cause 25% additional damage and have a 50% chance per point to cast a disease on enemy targets that deals 36% of the explosion Damage over 9 seconds.

Magic Suppression
Requires 25 talent points.
Costs up to 5 talent points
Description: You take 1% less damage from all magic per talent point. In addition, your anti-magic shell absorbs an additional 5% of spell damage.

Anti-Magic Zone
Requires 30 talent points, 5 points in Magic Suppression
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Places a large, static, anti-magic zone which can protect any party members inside it. The anti-magic zone absorbs 75% of the damage dealt by the next harmful spell. absorbs up to 10000 damage. lasts 30 seconds.

Crypt Fever
Requires 35 talent points
Costs up to 5 talent points
Description: Your diseases also cause crypt fever, which reduces an enemies attributes by 1% per talent point. Crypt Fever lasts for 18 seconds and can stack up to 3 times

Ebon Plaguebringer
Requires 40 talent points, 5 points in Crypt Fever
Costs up to 3 points.
Description: Your Crypt Fever morphs into Ebon Plague, which increases vulnerability to magic by 1% per talent point in addition to reducing attributes by 5%. Ebon Plague lasts for 18 seconds and can stack up to 3 times.

Summon Gargoyle
Requires 40 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Instant Cast, 5m cooldown
30 yard range
Description: A gargoyle flies into the area and bombards the target with shadow damage modified by the Death Knight's attack power. Persists for 1 second per 8 runic power up to 1 minute.

Unholy Blight
Requires 50 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Instant Cast, 1 minute cooldown
Description: A creeping swarm of unholy insects surrounds the caster for a 10 yard radius. all enemies caught in the swarm take 34 damage and are plagued with a disease that can stack up to 3 times. persists for 1s per 10 runic power.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Expansions, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: General Impressions


We learned at the Q&A panel on Saturday that Death Knights will be starting at a new area just off Eastern Plaguelands called Ebon Hold, but for now, it remains unimplemented. Thus, these demo Death Knights start at Tirion Fordring's house in the west of Eastern Plaguelands.

On Death Knight Gear and Gear Mechanics:

They start with a complete outlay of green gear with DPS Warrior type stats: strength, agility, critical strike rating, and stamina. Their sword itself is blue quality 2 hander named the Massacre Sword. It does 127-191 damage at at a speed of 3.1 seconds, giving it 51.3 DPS. It also provides 22 strength and 23 hit rating.

It should be noted that the gear did not have spellpower, and it doesn't look like Death Knights will need it at all. Almost every spell that did magic damage specifically stated that the damage was modified by attack power. This is perfectly in line with Blizzard's recent trend to simplify and consolidate gear, which they discussed in relation to Retribution Paladins at Saturday's class panel. Perhaps we'll even see this mechanic show up on other magical melee hybrids in the future.

The Death Knight came loaded with 6 runes on their rune weapon bar: 2 Blood Runes, 2 Unholy Runes, and 2 Frost Runes. Talents points were unavailable with this demo, although we could see the talent descriptions themselves.

Death Knight Starting Spells and Playstyle:

The Death Knights started with a few basic skills:

Blood presence:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Description: Strengthens the Death Knight with the presence of blood, increasing damage done by 15% and healing the Death Knight by 4% of damage dealt. Only one presence may be active at a time.

Blood Strike:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Melee range
Description: Instantly strike the enemy, causing 60% weapon damage plus 55 for each disease effect on the target.

Icy Touch:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Frost Rune
Instant cast, 6 second cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Deals 217 to 235 Frost damage modified by attack power and reduces the target's ranged, melee attack, and casting speed by 15% for 20 seconds.

Death Coil
Requires Level 55
Requires Runic Power
Instant cast
30 yard range
Description:Unleashes all available runic power, causing up to 460 shadow damage modified by attack power to an enemy target or healing up to 460 damage from a friendly undead target.

Death Gate
Requires Level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
10 second cast, 15 minute cooldown
Description: Returns you to Ebon Hold (Note: Since Ebon Hold is not yet implemented, in the demo it returned you to Tirion Fordring).

Death Grip
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 35 second cooldown.
30 yard range
Description: Harness the unholy energy that surrounds and binds all matter, drawing the target toward the Death Knight and forcing the enemy to attack the Death Knight for 3 seconds.

Plague Strike
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune and 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast
Melee range
Description: A vicious strike that deals weapon damage plus 37 and plagues the target, dealing 350 shadow damage over 12 seconds.

Casting these spells uses up the listed runes, which have a cooldown of 10 seconds. Our (lucky) play tester reported that the system felt a bit like having 3 seperate mana pools with their own spells, but that the pacing seemed to work well, and that she was now interested in actually trying one out in when beta rolls around where she hadn't been before.

Introducing the Knights of the Ebon Hand

After roaming about a bit and killing stuff, Elizabeth stumbled upon Light's Hope Chapel. This venerated base of the Argent Dawn had some new guests known as the Knights of the Ebon Hand, lead by a night elf named Siouxsie the Banshee, a Death Knight trainer. It's likely, of course, that these NPCs will be gone and moved to Ebon Hold once it's implemented, but for now, they gave us a sneak peek at the new Death Knight faction and some of the spells Death Knights will get post-55.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Events, Expansions, Leveling, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

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