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Posts with tag scourge-strike

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

Patch 3.3.3 PTR: Death knight changes

The Patch 3.3.3 PTR notes are out, and with them a nice handful of death knight changes. Oddly enough, most of them are buffs. The focus this time seems to be mostly on slightly buff death knight tanking, giving frost DPS some arguably much needed buffs, and applying some general changes to specific talents in the death knight class. While we'll need to see some PTR testing to be sure, it looks like frost DPS may be out of the pit and sitting pretty indeed. Without further ado, let's take a look at the changes.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight

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: Emblem of Frost gear for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight column. This week, Daniel Whitcomb is really regretting turning on his boombox in Acherus at the new year's party.

By now, I assume a good portion of you have managed to get on your daily heroics at least a couple times a week, maybe even have an ICC raid or three under your belt. If so, you're starting to amass enough Emblems of Frost to maybe possibly think about buying a piece of gear. Of course, the problem with Emblem of Frost gear is that it's a little bit more expensive than, say, Emblem of Triumph gear. You're not going to get away with gearing up quite as fast, at least not until all of ICC is open and you have a good group for the place. No 25-emblem tier gear here. So that also makes it important, especially for the more casual player, to pick what you buy carefully.

Let's take a look at the various options.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: 2009 in review for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb has decided that Boom Boom Pow is our class anthem for the new year, if only because those chickens are totally jackin' our style.

So here we are, at the end of 2009. This marks the first full year of the Death Knight class, and it's definitely been an eventful year as Blizzard's balanced and rebalanced our class to help us fit into the ranks of the more established classes. We've been called flavor of the month and overpowered. I dislike the former label on philosophical grounds but grudgingly admit that the latter label has probably been correctly applied at certain points in time. Still, overall we've definitely had the ride of our lives over the last year as the devs have worked on a patch by patch basis to get us all figured out and settled in. Lets look at each tree and look back at the highlights and lowlights.

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

Hotfixes incoming for some DPS and tanks, not hunters or priests

Ghostcrawler has dropped information on the forums about a few incoming hotfixes to patch 3.3. The first three changes are posted over on the DPS role forum:
  • Hunger for Blood will increase damage by 10% instead of 15%. Assassination rogues needed damage, but they got too much, and this will bring them back. Sorry rogues -- the tooltip, we're also told, might not change right away.
  • Scourge Strike will crit only once, not on the shadow portion of the damage. "This change just proved to be too bursty in PvP and provide too much sustained damage in raids." He also gives lots more explanation of the change on the forums -- this one will be discussed quite a bit.
  • Rolling Corruptions will no longer use the initial haste value indefinitely. More of a bugfix than a change, says GC -- the haste value should drop out to normal after a few ticks of the spell.
Elsewhere, GC says that there are no changes planned for the new hunter epic ammo, so find a friendly engineer and stick to them like glue. There is a hotfix incoming for the bug that causes tanked mobs to move around randomly -- thank goodness on that. And SW: Pain's immunity from the haste change for shadow priests will probably stay right where it is.

Filed under: Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: Patch 3.3 Roundup for Death Knights

Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's weekly Death Knight column, where your host, Daniel Whitcomb, continues to be caught in a bad romance with Unholy DPS.

So we're back on the scene after a lazy and luxurious extended Thanksgiving holiday, and just in time for patch 3.3. Death Knights got their fair share of changes, some minor bug fixes and some rather large adjustments, including, of course, the obligatory complete rebalancing of unholy DPS. That said, with 3.3 the last major patch before Cataclysm, we can hope for some normalcy with the whole issue. Or we can expect Patch 3.3.1, either way.

Regardless, since we're just starting out on patch 3.3, now's a good time to run down what patch 3.3 means for us, including a postmortem on the latest unholy DPS changes, and some advice on what to do with yourself in patch 3.3. Read on.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, News items, Instances, Quests, Raiding, Classes, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

GC clarifies ArPen's stat removal and others


Ghostcrawler's hoping this answer "gets read," so we'll help. A player asks why Blizzard is worrying about armor penetration with the Scourge Strike ability -- isn't, they ask, ArPen getting removed in Cataclysm like we heard at BlizzCon? The answer is basically no: Armor Penetration rating is getting removed from gear (along with Block value, Defense, Attack Power, and a number of other gear stats), but Armor Penetration as a stat is not getting removed from the game. Talents and other abilties will still depend on removing and penetrating armor, even if your gear selection won't revolve around it. They'll still be balancing it, but as players choosing gear, it won't be a part of our calculations there.

Make sense? Just because you don't see, say, Attack Power on gear doesn't mean you won't have an Attack Power number governing how much damage you do. It just means that the AP you have will come from stats like Agility and Strength (depending on your class and a number of other factors) rather than gear adding directly to AP. Of course, as Ghostcrawler says, these changes aren't even coming until patch "4.0" and the Cataclysm expansion, so there's still lots of gear choices and balancing to do before then.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Buffs, Death Knight, Forums, Cataclysm

Lichborne: The latest Patch 3.3 PTR death knight changes in depth


Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's death knight column.

Remember when I said that it looked like Patch 3.3 was going to be relatively quiet for us? I may have spoken too soon. There's been a pretty major shakeup to Unholy DPS (again), and there's one or two other changes we might want to discuss, including news of some armor tier bonuses. Let's get to it.

Scourge Strike Rebalancing: The Neverending Story

So before we delve into this change, let's take a moment to review the star-crossed history of Scourge Strike. Scourge Strike is meant to be the basic Frost/Unholy attack of an Unholy death knight, and the hardest hitting of their attacks. In theory. Here's the thing with Scourge Strike: It does shadow damage. That means it completely bypasses all armor, meaning it does a lot more effective damage than you might guess just from glancing at the tool tip. The problem back in the early days of the class is that it was doing far too much, easily outstripping Obliterate. So, Blizzard nerfed the damage, and all was well for a while.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight leveling 68-80


Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's column for all things deathly, knightly, and death knightly.
So, death knight. You're through with Outland. You just dinged 68 in Nagrand and want to move on to whiter, snow covered pastures. Maybe those pastures are in Northrend. Maybe those pastures are in Alterac Valley. Either way, let's discuss getting through those final levels and pushing you through to the end game.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Walkthroughs, PvP, Leveling, Guides, Death Knight, Battlegrounds, (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: What Cataclysm might mean for Death Knights

Worgen Death Knight concept fanart
Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight column that dares ask the hard-hitting questions of Blizzard. Questions such as: Can I make a Worgen Death Knight now? Pretty please with sugar on top?


We've now had about a week and a half to digest all the new information from BlizzCon about the Cataclysm, and while it's not a complete picture of what we can expect from the expansion, there's enough information now that we can make some pretty good educated guesses about the direction of the game and the new theorycraft of being a Death Knight. Let's take a look at we can learn from the latest information.

New Races


The new races definitely have some pretty awesome racials. The Worgen's plus damage racial will make them a very solid choice for a DPS Death Knight, and the sprint will be excellent for closing distance in PvP, especially when paired with Lichborne or Icebound Fortitude to avoid CC. Even the skinning racial will be nice for a leveling Death Knight who decides to take some time out to level the money making gathering tradeskills.

Goblins are definitely going to be a nice little convenient race, with low buy and sell prices and a free bit of banking. Combat-wise, the Rocket Boots should be nice for closing distances or running away.

As far as whether these races will end up being the "best" races for Death Knights, I don't think I can say. Part of this is because I think the idea of a "best race" is, to at least some degree, rather subjective, but also, the devs strongly hinted they'll take a look at everyone's racial abilities as they move into Cataclysm, so its certainly possible that other races will get some new or upgraded racials that will keep pace with the awesomeness that are the new races' racials.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Death Knight Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

With the arrival of Patch 3.2, let's take stock of what's going on with Death Knights and how things have turned out for us. The Patch 3.2 PTR's been the testing grounds for a few major changes to various trees and play styles, and now it'll be interesting to see how things play out on the live server. You can see the basic size of the Death Knight changes in this original analysis of the patch changes, but some things have changed since then, as we will note below.

Tanking

We do get a couple hits to tanking this patch. Frost Presence will be switching from a health buff to a stamina buff, and Veteran of the Third War will be nerfed to only a 3% stamina gain at the top level. Toughness is also dropping from 15% to 10% armor buffed at its top level. Honestly, I don't think these changes alone will be so bad as to drop us too low on the tanking totem pole, especially since we've been up at the top so long.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Instances, Raiding, Guides, Talents, Death Knight

Lichborne: Unholy issues in Patch 3.2

If there's one thing that researching the Death Knight class changes for patch 3.2 has done for me, it's reconfirmed my hatred of all these extra annoying little combat stats. You know expertise, armor penetration, haste, all those little things they added to the game for seemingly no other reason than to make determining best in slot gear a master's thesis level task or to make quest rewards suck worse than they first appear. Really, I long for the days when your choices were hit rating, AP, and spell power, heal power and spell or physical critical strike rating.

I mean, I guess if I sat down and thought about it, I can deal, especially since the system tweakage has also bought us more awesome stuff like consolidated spell power and critical rating. Still, times like this, I really long for the old days. In particular, I'm talking about the Unholy tree.

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

Lichborne: The Future of Death Runes in Patch 3.2

Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight class column, with your host, Daniel Whitcomb, who's still wearing mourning black for AE Unholy Blight. And also because black looks awesome.

I admit to being a bit underwhelmed by the Death Knight Q&A. To be fair, this is primarily because most of the things covered were already in the 3.2 patch notes, and the rest was pretty common sense stuff. However, one little comment by Ghostcrawler did catch my attention: His praise of Death Runes.

This caught me more than a bit by surprise, since, if anything, the Death Knight changes in Patch 3.2 seem tailor made to discourage the use of Death Runes, at least for Frost and Unholy.

Between the damage buff to Blood Strike and diseases, and the nerf to Scourge Strike, we have a pretty good chance of seeing people move away from using Death Runes. The major reason to use Blood Strike in both trees right now is to create Death Runes so you can use higher damage abilities on your next refresh cycle. If Blood Strike becomes the higher damage ability, it's not worth it to use the Death Runes on something else. There's a off-chance, I suppose, that you might want the Death Runes handy for an emergency use of Ghoul Frenzy, in theory, but that chance is so slim that no-one's going to want to waste the talent points in Reaping, at the very least.

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

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