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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Windows Vista Gadget Link

Here’s a link to the windows vista WoW Explorer gadget.

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Tweets and Gadgets

You might have noticed we’ve added Twitter to our site. Part of the reason for this is that we’re moving and I wanted to be able to keep in touch with our WoW guildies and also the blog as we’re in transit and before we get our internet set up. That should be an interesting task, since we’re going to be out in the country and there is basically ONE broadband option. A WISP, or wireless provider that caters to “last mile” wireless rural broadband. Looks to be good, just will take some time to set up. In the meantime, you can look for “Tweets” from us about our trip and on the status of our internet setup. Pray for us gamers, now and in the hour of our installation.

Secondly, I have a new and fun thing for you Windows Vista users! If you are using the Vista Sidebar with all of the fun gadget options like calendars, clocks, sticky notes and slideshows, there’s a new one just for WoW players! It’s called WoW Explorer. A neat little gadget with several nice background choices, that will display the realm status of your chosen realm(s) on your desktop all the time. (Handy for Tuesdays.) Also, it has a search feature that lets you search from among your favorite WoW related sites such as WoWDB, WoWHead, Thotbott, Allakhazam, WoWInsider, Curse Addons and even the Armory! Just today it’s been really handy for me when I was trying to figure out where to find a kind of fish I hadn’t gone after before. I recommend it!

And on a final note, when we do get our access back up and running, we should be introducing a new blogger to you. A blogger with a unique viewpoint. Stay tuned!

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Update!

Lord, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I really am terrible at the whole blogging thing, apparently.

So, big things are afoot in the RaidedM household…mainly, it is changing locations. I was laid off in November, and we’re moving to BFE, Texas so Sharon can be closer to her family…down the hall closer. We hit the road March 10th, so things have been and will continue to be hectic. Also, we’ll be without ‘net access probably for about a week or so once we get down there. Is there a way to set up an intravenous WoW drip?

On the WoW front, Blood has surprising become a very viable tanking spec. I’ve been main tanking Naxx 10 using this spec, which I’ve been extremely happy with. Sadly it’s getting a slight nerf in 3.1 as of the PTR right now, losing the expertise on Blood Gorged and gaining armor pen. On the upside, it gives some more liberty to not go 51 points deep in Blood, and play around a bit more in the other trees. Once 3.1 lands, I’m considering going with a Blood/Unholy tanking build that uses Death Strike for it’s U/F pair, skipping Annihilation for more toys in Unholy.

Also, in news from the PTR, Frost is taking it in the ass. Not only is Howling Blast getting moved to the 51 point talent, it’s taking a 25% damage cut, nerfing aoe threat generation for frost tanks in a big way, which will push more people into Blood or Unholy for tanking, and push the majority of DK DPSers to Unholy, pretty much killing Frost’s viability. The good news? Unholy is being buffed, so we can expect a nerf to Unholy and a buff to Frost shortly after the patch, if things remain as they are on the PTR.

And why is all of this taking place? Because Blizzard can’t seem to figure out how to make dual wielding a non-viable raid dps spec. Now, granted, the HB/Impurity/Crypt Fever build has been pretty broken for some time. Tossing on some rep blues/mostly greens in 3.0.3 and rocking 1800-2k DPS in heroics was a tad broken. However, there has to be a way to kill the DW specs without gutting Frost tanking in aoe situations. If they’re that determined to nullify dual wield in raiding situations, just remove the ability from DKs and compensate one handed weapons in inventory somehow.

Why do I say Blizzard is trying to remove dual wield viability entirely, rather than just balance it? Let’s look at the facts. Back in beta, Blizzard openly stated that they wanted 2h DPS to be superior to DW DPS. Also, let’s look at the tree. With Howling Blast moved to the 51 point talent, it is no longer possible to obtain it and Impurity, which was the main talent boosting the damage on it so high for DW DKs. You’re also no longer able to pick up desecration, another cut to the HB damage. I believe these changes would have brought DW spec in line with 2H DPS. However, to remove those talents interacting with Howling Blast -and- cut the damage on it by 25%, you’re gutting the ability, yet again making a substandard ability for the 51 point ability in Frost.

As a disclaimer, all of this ranting is regarding PTR patch notes/changes, which are subject to change at any time.

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