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Posts with tag rune-tetris

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

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: 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: Testing notes and goals for death knights in the Mists of Pandaria beta

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 Mists of Pandaria beta test under way, I'm reminded of an interesting discussion I've seen going around the death knight community. Coming out of Wrath, we were most definitely seen as overpowered, and starting a few patches later, we started off on a balance roller coaster we've never quite disembarked from, getting nerfs, de-nerfs, tweaks, and even the removal or redesign of entire spells and systems.

Some argue that we could have avoided this by being more thorough and honest while beta testing in Wrath. By not only advocating for what we needed but being honest that some stuff (such as, say, the stun effect on Death and Decay) was overpowered, we might have avoided a lot of heartache down the road.

Whether you believe this is true or not, it does highlight the importance of beta testing. Blizzard certainly has its own internal numbers and testing methods, but for those of us lucky enough to get hands on in the beta, this is our chance to help make sure our class gets through this great period of balancing. This week, let's look at a few things we'll need to focus on when we finally get those invites and get to beta test our death knights.

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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: Analyzing the proposed patch 4.3 death knight tanking changes

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. This week's header image comes to us from everyone's favorite WoW Insider commenter, Orkchop.

So recently, Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted a new Dev Watercooler discussing the ins and outs of the new active mitigation tank philosophy. Since he dedicated a whole section to proposed death knight changes in patch 4.3, I figured it would be a good idea to take a look at the stuff and see what it does.

My preliminary verdict would be pretty simple: It's a pretty big help. It fixes or mitigates a lot of our quality of life issues, it makes a little less squishy, and it nullifies rune tetris nicely. I can't really disagree with the individual changes or the rationale behind them. That said, it doesn't completely solve our problems, and there are probably one or two more little things to be done before stuff looks really good. Let's take a look at the specifics.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: What the patch 4.3 tank changes may mean 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.

So by now, I'm sure everyone is aware of the huge tanking changes recently announced by Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street. Of course, there are the immediate threat increases, but the really interesting part regards their plans for patch 4.3. They're planning to put all four tanks on active mitigation models, similar to what death knights have currently with Death Strike, which is primarily the focus of today's column.

There's been an uproar from many corners with this announcement, with many tanks declaring that if they wanted to tank like a death knight, they would have rolled one. Funnily enough, many death knights who rolled the class to tank back when they could do it as frost or unholy, or back before Death Strike spam, might protest that they never wanted to tank this way either -- but that's not the point. The point to make here is that active mitigation won't put the other three tanks in the same dire straits as we are, per se. While there are arguments to be made for and against active mitigation in general, active mitigation isn't our only problem, if it's a problem at all. Our problem, among other things, is that we're reactively mitigating.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Why the death knight blood tree needs tweaks

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.

Patch 4.2 will likely be on live servers by the time you read this, but I figure we've talked enough about the patch 4.2 in past columns. If you read those, you probably have a good idea of where everything is for death knights. This week, I've decided it would be a good idea to take a break and talk about something that didn't get much attention in patch 4.2: the plight of the death knight tank.

It's been sort of an undercurrent in the death knight community since the beginning of Cataclysm. The death knight blood tanking tree is just sort of gummed up. It's not that we're underpowered, per se. No, a well played death knight tank is pretty dominant in heroic dungeons and even normal raiding. You only start really falling behind in heroic raids, where the problem becomes really evident: You're doing twice as much work for the same results, more or less.

Most of the issues are centered around Death Strike and how it interacts with our resource system. The quirks of said resource system are so demanding that you end up staring at your rune bar more than the battle in front of you, trying to game the system just right to squeeze out one last Death Strike.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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