More PTR Whining

So, yesterday a new PTR build dropped, and I just got around to reading the patch notes/undocumented changes on mmo-champion today. You can read it here.

Death Knight tanks are being gutted. There is no other way to describe it. Let’s review the impending changes between the PTR and Live, shall we?

General

Frost Presence: 15% magic damage reduction to 10% magic damage reduction. Flat out 5% magic damage mitigation nerf. This is a nerf to all DK tanking specs.

Blood

Blade Barrier: Changing from 10% parry to 5% damage reduction. This is a flat out 5% nerf to DK damage mitigation on physical bosses, and a 5% gain on magic damage. Except Frost Presence is being nerfed by 5%, so it’s no gain overall. This is a nerf to all DK tanks, as it is one of the core talents in all tanking specs. This also reduces DK threat per second, as fewer parries means fewer rune strikes.

Will of the Necropolis: A 15 second cooldown is being added to the damage reduction effect. This is one of the changes that just completely floored me. It seems very much like the age old situation of a PvP nerf FUBARing PvE.Blood spec nerf.

Vampiric Blood: Cooldown doubled to two minutes. The, as Blizzard calls us, “cooldown tanks” now have fewer cooldowns available during a fight. Blood spec nerf.

Blood Gorged: Losing 5 expertise, gaining 5% armor penetration. More TPS(maybe?), less damage mitigation on most bosses due to parryhasting effects. Blood spec nerf.

Frost

Lichborne: 25% miss chance being removed from the cooldown, making it a will of the forsaken for Death Knights. The “cooldown tanks” now have one fewer cooldown available. This is, for the most part, a nerf to all DK tanks, as Lichborne is taken in almost all DK tanking specs. Upside, 1 more talent point available to blood and frost specs, 3-6 more TPs available to unholy spec.

Unbreakable Armor: The lackluster ability(25% armor increase) this cooldown provides on live is being changed to damage reduction that scales with how much armor you have, and the amount of parry it grants is being nerfed from 10% to 5%. Cooldown is doubling to 2 minutes. So, the cooldown is being made useful for magic damage, but again, fewer cooldowns available during a fight. Frost spec nerf.

Howling Blast: The gutting of Howling Blast has been somewhat reversed, it’s gone from 5 second cooldown double damage on targets with frost fever to first 5 second cooldown, +50% damage against targets with frost fever, to 10 second cooldown base damage doubled scaling doubled. Not sure how this will effect the ability. Also moved from 31 point talent to 51 point talent.

Unholy

Bone Shield: Cooldown doubled to 2 minutes. Yet again, the “cooldown tanks” have fewer cooldowns available during a fight. Unholy nerf.

So, Blood DKs are getting hit the worst(expected), with Frost and Unholy also getting significantly nerfed with the spec specific nerfs and the general DK tanking nerfs. Now, I understand there are some issues with tanking parity and shield-based tanks falling behind druids and Death Knights. The answer to this problem, however, is not to break Druid and DK tanks so that all of the tanks are subpar for bosses with big, slow hits. Specifically for Death Knights, the tanks with the most Damage Taken Per Second(DTPS) are going to be taking even more damage. I do not envy the struggle healers will be facing healing Death Knight tanks in 3.1.

Oh, and so I can avoid being told that all I’m doing is whining without any kind of suggestions for ways to fix the problem that don’t involve nerfing Druids and DKs to the ground, here we go: Change shields so instead of blocking a set amount, they block a set percentage of damage from a hit. Seems like it would buff a warrior or pally’s capability of dealing with big, slow hits without screwing those of us not using shields.

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Death Knight Tanking Spec

So, it’s been way too long since I posted…this seems to be becoming a bit of a trend for me, unfortunately. I’m hoping now that I’ve hit 80 and things have become a bit more relaxed, I’ll have more time(and inspiration!) to post.

Today, I bring you my Death Knight’s tanking spec. Here’s a talent calculator link.

Right now, I’m specced 23/48/0, and quite happy with it. The highlights of the spec are Guile of Gorefiend for the boost to Icebound Fortitude, Acclimation, Frost Aura, and Spell Deflection for caster mitigation, Improved Icy Talons for buffing the party/raid, Howling Blast for aoe tanking, and Unbreakable Armor and Lichborne for the talented oh crap button.

So far I’ve tanked most regular 5 mans with this spec. Frost is far and away the best tanking spec, in my opinion, as the aoe rotation is much cleaner, and the mitigation is much better, at least at lower gear levels. Once I’ve pushed my avoidance higher, I’ll try Unholy again to see how the uptime on Bone Armor is enhanced.

My basic rotations are Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Blood Strike, Blood Strike, Obliterate, Frost Strike, wash rinse repeat for single target. For aoe tanking, the rotation alternates. Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Pestilence, Death and Decay for the first rotation, then Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Pestilence, Howling Blast, Blood Boil for the second rotation, with some RP dumps thrown in the end of each, situationally.

So, that’s my extremely basic Death Knight tanking guide. Hope this helps some of you.

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Kaboomkin

So, I was doing dailies tonight, running around the Isle as a Crit Chicken of Death, and I guess it hadn’t really occurred to me just how insane Boomkin damage has become. Is this going on with all of the other classes, as well? I’ve primarily been playing my resto shaman since the patch, and doing dailies on my druid was crazy fun. Almost nothing that did the melee thing was able to hit…no roots needed. Starfire, starfire, moonfire, dead. And that’s when the first starfire didn’t crit. I actually one-shotted a Blood Knight with a starfire crit. It was pretty insane.

Bring it, Ret Pallies. Just don’t hit me in the face.

P.S. As an aside, flipping through the wow blogosphere, at first I thought some of the QQ I was seeing about pally nerfs was ridiculous. I saw at least a couple posts that were pure whining about Ret being nerfed, and this was when Ret was obviously and retardedly overpowered. However, that said, the Ret pally(and pally in general) nerfs have gotten out of hand, and I really hope that things get turned around, and soon. Ret pallies were stupid when 3.0.2 first came out. Now, they seem to be getting closer and closer to becoming retardins again, and that’s not cool.

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DKing It Up

So, I have decided what I will be doing when Wrath launches. That’s right, I’m going to be main-switching to a Death Knight, and grinding towards 80. Over the next few days, I hope to get some posts up regarding my EJ research on Death Knights, and my general impressions of the class. Until then, an idea of what my prospective Unholy leveling builds look like.

58 http://wotlk.wowhead.com/?talent=jZZfMMfxfkxcq0c0bL

63 http://wotlk.wowhead.com/?talent=jZZfMMfxfkxcq0cchx

I’m not 100% on leveling as Unholy, I may actually level as Blood. I need to play around with it a bit more, and see how Unholy solos(there’s been a lot of builds since I played around with Unholy, and I’m much more familiar with Blood soloing).

Also, I’m a tad late for my first post of NaBloPoMo, but I’m gonna count it anyway, since I haven’t been to bed yet. It totally counts!

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Every Druid’s Dirty Secret

We all have one. Some of us may not know it, but we all have one. Doesn’t matter if you have a Big Bear Butt, if you’ve pledged to be Resto 4 Life, or even if you think Kitty form is Purrfect, there’s a dirty little secret, a nasty little urge lurking just beneath the surface, waiting to jump out and surprise you when you least expect it. What is this secret, you ask?

Boomkin. Doomkin. Oomkin. Whatever you want to call it, every single druid on the planet is one quick little respec away from discovering what is possibly the most fun spec in the game. Let’s examine what, exactly, makes it so fun, shall we?

1. The awesomest form in the game. I don’t want no stinking Shadowform. You can leave cat form in the litter box. Bear form can go look for the pope in the woods. Tree form can…uh…go with bear form. Give me the lumbering, waddling, laser-bringing, insect-swarming, mage-creaming, Chris Farley-dancing Moonkin form.

2. See that bit about mage creaming? You go Balance spec, and every mage, destro lock, and elemental shaman in the raid is gonna be your new best friend. They’ll send you mails, buy you pretty things, and show up at your house at 3 in the morning just because they missed you…in their party in the raid. No more being relegated to the tank party for your ToL aura! No more having to hang out with the(rather morally questionable) melee dps! (Seriously, who wants to hang out with dirty pickpocketing thieves and tanks with anger management issues?) You get to hang out with the mages and the locks, baby! You’ve made the big time. All the biscuits and cookies you can eat, and you could probably even talk one of the baby eaters into throwing you a soulstone, healers be damned!

3. Spell crit. Screw steady DPS. Boomkins bring bursty, spikey, crit-happy DPS to the table, and there is absolutely nothing more fun in this game than seeing GIGANTIC numbers consistently showing up above a boss’ head. Add on top of this the ludicrous amounts of armor we have in doomkin form(I’m rocking around 11k unbuffed in my pvp gear), and that just means we can take an extra hit or two when we invariably pull aggro. We also don’t have to go searching too far for our aggro dump/oh shit/save me buttons, because aside from Barkskin, they don’t exist! Less buttons to push = more DPSing to do! No wasting time Soulshattering for us, just keep spamming those wraths.

So, on a slightly more serious note, I had, probably a month ago, played around with Boomkin spec, did a couple raids and some battlegrounds with it, and had quite a bit of fun. I wound up respeccing to fill a gap(tank or heals, forget which, I’m losing track of when I spec to what these days), and to be honest, I regretted it a little. I mean, I helped get a run off the ground, so that was awesome, but there was this faint nagging in the back of my head. I think it was saying “You could be pewpewing right now.”

So, flash forward to friday night. I’m working on my hunter alt, and I get a tell from my 2v2 partner in the guild. Him and our most experienced PvP priest want to know if I’m specced feral to roll up on some 3v3 with them. About ten minutes later, and I’m already respecced Boomkin. We did absolutely awesome. I’d only done about five matches with the lock, and never really PvPed with the priest, so going 5 and 5 our first night of matches together felt like a good win for us. The way Boomkin/Priest/Lock meshes together is crazy. The only way other teams seemed to be able to beat us was by pressuring the priest a little and then focusing me down. I’m the lowest stam, lowest resil on the team, so I’m working on that(hence my rather angry rant about pvp gear).

But yeah, I’m looking forward to doing some more as a boomkin. I particularly want to do some raids as Boomkin. Prince needs some lazers in the face, and I know just the chickencow to give them to him.

Edit: Just in case you were wondering, here is a link my Boomkin Spec. It’s intended to be a hybrid pvp/pve spec.

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