Feedback: Death Knights

Yea Unholy absolutely has a ton of cooldowns. It might be time to cut some that are a bit redundant and focus on one’s that matter.

I don’t know the best solution here. But some specs don’t even have 1/3 of the cooldowns we do.

Unholy could legitimately be a spec with 8-9 cooldowns. Which doesn’t really leave much space on our bars for any other abilities.

And that many cooldowns is just way too much for a newer player to juggle.

7 Likes

Watched the VoD of Ion’s interview with Max today, thank you Ion!

Regarding the question on things like death grip greatly simplifying mythic raid encounters, I think a very important point was missed.

MASS grip is insanely good for some fights (earning kills weeks earlier before nerfs make progging without a bdk more manageable), and ONLY comes from a blood death knight. Its so good that mythic guilds have to plan for having a bdk somewhere in the roster, often resulting in increased pressure on tanks to multi-class.

I have been tanking in the US 50~ space for 12 years and can’t tell you the number of cotanks I’ve had wash out of the game, often because they want to “have one of each tank class, just in case” and burn themselves out within an expansion. Right now I’m feeling this pressure too, to maintain a class and spec that I honestly have zero interest in.

I get that mass grip is bdk’s ticket into mythic raiding, especially when the spec is performing poorly. Honestly though I think it would be so much better for the game and class to have mass grip available to all specs. And yes I know the necrolord “gripping hands” is an option, but real actual mass grip is substantially better to use. It is so much better/healthier/easier to just bring in your dps dk to a fight when mix and match dps comps is the accepted norm anyways than to bring a main tank’s bdk alt that they hate having to play and more detrimentally, have to maintain “just in case there’s a mass grip fight next tier”. 20-40% more “required” play time to maintain a “just in case” is loco.

Thank you for your attention!
/endrant

4 Likes

Gorefiends STILL being Blood DK only is a mistake.

But if Blizzard insists on Gorefiends remaining Blood only, then at least make Abom Limb the legendary version for Unholy and Frost and the regular version for Blood.

Unholy and Frost really need a boost on the mass grip utility in comparison to Blood.

I personally don’t like that solution at all but it just feels futile to ever expect Gorefiends to be made available to all DKs at this point. It’s been locked into Blood for so long its kinda ridiculous.

Edit:

Do you know what helps solidfy at least having 1 class in a raid? A raid buff. Just saying.

5 Likes

We have seen some abilities that have been spec-locked since literally TBC make their way into class trees, I don’t think it’s impossible to get a change for Gorefiend’s. I generally think locking utility to a class is cool but a single spec, not as much. Especially not locking to a tank spec as that is a very limited slot. Most players are DPS players! Tanks and healers are already special, implicitly.

4 Likes

Precisely this! We’ve already seen tank only utility go class wide in things like spell warding for paladins. The tank role, only have 2 spots in the raid comp, is just too restrictive a place to put spec only utility.

1 Like

In the next alpha build the Death Knight core tree is being updated to better increase talent choice. In order to do this, we’ve made several abilities baseline and cut talents that were proving to be problematic for the overall health of the resource economy for the specs. The left side of the class tree had 4 talents all dedicated to resources, which felt a little excessive. This has been reduced 2 (specifics noted below). In addition to the resource talents being shifted around, we’ve also made Death’s Advance and Lichborne baseline.*

Death’s Advance

  • This has moved baseline and is now learned at level 9.

Lichborne

  • This has moved baseline and is now learned at level 9.

Unholy Endurance

  • Now positioned where Lichborne was previously located in the talent tree.

New Talent – March of Darkness: Death’s Advance grants additional movement speed.

  • Now positioned where Death’s Advance was previously located in the talent tree.

Horn of Winter

  • Cut from the class tree.
  • This will return as a Frost talent in a future build.

New Talent – Insidious Chill: Your auto-attacks reduce the target’s auto-attack speed by 5% for 30 seconds, stacking up to 4 times.

  • Positioned where Horn of Winter was located

Runic Corruption and Runic Empowerment

  • This choice node has been cut.
  • These two talents will be returning to their respective specs baseline (Unholy – Runic Corruption and Frost - Runic Empowerment)

Runic Attenuation

  • Now positioned where the Runic Corruption/Runic Empowerment node was located.

New Talent – Gloom Ward: Absorbs are 15% more effective on you.


Blood

In the next alpha build, Blood tree has undergone significant changes including updates to pathing, new connections, 6 new talents, updated existing talents, and 3 max rank talents have been reduced to 2 max ranks. Due to the sheer amount of changes to the talent tree we will just highlight some of the bigger changes to the tree below.

Blood Boil

  • Now has 2 charges, up from 1.

Improved Blood Boil

  • Cut

Rune Tap

  • Now has 2 charges, up from 1.

Improved Heart Strike

  • Reduced to 2 max ranks, down from 3.
  • Damage per rank increased to 15%, up from 10%.

Blood Fortification

  • Cut from the talent tree
  • Now learned at level 11.

Everlasting Bond

  • Death Strike and Heart Strike no longer increase the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon while its active.
  • Now increases the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon by 8 seconds.
    • While the act of extending your Dancing Rune Weapon with Heart Strike and Death Strike can be fun, it quickly can overshadow the rest of Blood’s gameplay decisions. In order to address this, we will change Everlasting Bond to be a flat duration increase in addition to its existing mechanic of summoning one extra copy of Dancing Rune Weapon. Our goal here is to open up more options throughout the tree as well as avoid making one style of gameplay feel mandatory permanently moving forward.

Improved Boneshield

  • Reduced to 1 max rank, down from 2.
  • Now increases Haste by 10% while Bone Shield is active.

Vampiric Blood

  • Now available above the first gate, directly below Marrowrend.

Dancing Rune Weapon

  • This has moved higher into the tree and is available immediately after unlocking the 1st gate.

Hemostasis

  • Max ranks reduced to 1, down from 2.

Hasty Bargain

  • Renamed to Perseverance of the Ebon Blade
  • Now grants 3/6% Versatility instead of Haste when Crimson Scourge is consumed.

Voracious

  • No longer a choice node with Blood Worms

Bloodworms

  • No longer a choice node with Voracious

Gorefiend’s Grasp

  • Now centrally located within the tree with multiple pathing options to reach it.

Tightening Grasp

  • Can now only be obtained directly after Gorefiend’s Grasp
  • Max ranks reduced to 1, down from 2.

Heartrend

  • Max ranks reduced to 1, down from 2.

New Talent - Blood Feast: Anti-Magic Shell heals you for 100% of the damage it absorbs.

New Talent – Iron Heart: Blood Shield’s duration is increased by 2 seconds and it absorbs 20% more damage.

New Talent – Bloodshot: While Blood Shield is active, you deal 25% increased Physical damage.

New Talent – Sanguine Ground: You deal 5% more damage and receive 5% more healing while standing in your Death and Decay.

New Talent – Coagulopathy: Enemies affected by Blood Plague take 5% increased damage from you and Death Strike increases the damage of your Blood Plague by 25% for 8 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.

New Talent – Umbilicus Eternus: After Vampiric Blood expires, you absorb damage equal to 5 times the damage your Blood Plague dealt during Vampiric Blood.

Unquenchable Thirst

  • This has been cut.
  • Dev Commentary: This talent has been cut and replaced with Umbilicus Eternus. Unquenchable Thirst had a bit of design overlap with both Bonestorm and Shattering Bone on the opposite side of the tree. The choice to replace it was done to add what we hope is a more interesting decision point as you navigate toward the capstones especially factoring in the synergy of the new Blood Plague talents and existing Vampiric Blood talents.

Updated Blood Tree

Unholy

In addition to Unholy’s latest changes we have a few updates we’d like to make to their talents that affect resource generation. The changes to the class tree should be a step in the right direction for better balancing Unholy’s resource economy, but we also want to target a few Unholy specific talents as well. Unholy has been a class with a higher downtime and while we think some downtime can be okay, it’s important to find a balance between too high and too low. The current alpha version swung that pendulum too far in one direction and we are looking to find a better middle ground that both feels fun and rewarding to play. Resource tuning will continue to be on going as we head into Dragonflight. As mentioned last week we are making efforts to prepare for tuning in Dragonflight as such Unholy will be receiving a few tuning tweaks to their talents.

Plaguebringer

  • Disease damage now ticks 100% more quickly, down from 150%.

Feasting Strikes

  • Removed Scourge Strike’s chance to refund 1 rune
  • Chance to proc increased to 20%
    • Having both Festering Strike and Scourge Strike trigger a Rune refund left us very little room to tune around and also made this something that just always happened. In an effort to give us more ways to tune this and also add a little more gameplay thought we are changing this to only work on Festering Strike.

Replenishing Wound

  • Reduce Runic Power gained from popping a Festering Wound to 2, down from 3.

Improved Death Coil

  • Damage increase reduced to 15/30%, down from 20/40%.

Plaguebearer

  • Cooldown increased to 90s, up from 45s
  • Status changed to implemented

Unholy Assault

  • Buff duration increased to 20 seconds, up from 12 seconds.

Ghoulish Frenzy

  • Attack speed and damage increased to 6/12% up from 4/8%.

Morbidity

  • Damage per disease reduced to 2% down from 3% at rank 2.

Death Rot

  • Reduced to 1% per stack up to 10%, down from 2/20%.
  • Increased the duration to 10 seconds, up from 8 seconds.
  • Fixed a bug preventing this from being applied by multiple Death Knights.

Commander of the Dead

  • Damage to Gargoyle and Army Ghouls reduced to 30%, down from 40%.
7 Likes

A 90 second cd on Plaguebearer is a really bad change. I’m sorry to lead with negativity, but I see no good reason why the talent needs to have that long of a cooldown. It’s a really bad change.

That limits the usefulness of the talent in dungeons DRAMATICALLY. Literally cutting our wound spreading qol in half is a major major blow to that talent and I honestly don’t know why that’s being made. If you need to tune the ability in some way fine. But doubling it’s cooldown? That is not it.

This is 2 steps forward and 1.5 steps back.

The other changes I understand for tuning purposes. But that change makes no sense.

Also if we are tuning Unholy to have better resource management…can something be done about its cooldown management? While things have improved a little, Unholy is still likely to run 6-7 cooldowns. That is way too much.

Also, extending Unholy Assault to 20 seconds is appreciated…but that’s a bandaid on a shark bite. The talent needs WAY more than that to justify being a capstone.

Honestly… Festermight is more worthy of a capstone than Unholy Assault it. It is THAT weak.

16 Likes

Please please PLEASE just add this to the Class Tree somehow. Gorefiend’s Grasp being Blood-only felt bad in Legion, it felt bad in BFA, and it felt bad in SL, and it’ll continue to feel bad every time we get a new Soulrender, Anduin, or Kil’jaeden (ToS).

It wouldn’t be a huge deal if we didn’t have fights that felt like they needed this extremely limited and specific utility, but it felt like we’ve gotten more fights like this since then, rather than fewer, despite Unholy and Frost not having it for anything after Xhul’horac/Mannoroth.

15 Likes

AWESOME! FINALLY! we have some baseline movement speed… oh how ive missed you old friend.

Good change, talent was pretty useless. giving it baseline just makes sense.

Still have a lot of issues on unholys side of the general tree, but, this is a step in the right direction.

awesome! while i know this may seem like a nerf to unholy and blood, we were just far too flooded on resources for this to be useful.

Interesting, somewhat a raid buff? as long as it works on bosses. This would be very interesting utility in that regard.

This is good, but, please, please look at runic corruptions tuning once unholy has it back baseline. i loved the freedom that runic empowerment gave, but, runic corruption has been so undertuned for so long that its lead to so many issues with unholys downtime.

Overall solid choice for the mid point capstone on frosts end. good resource gen, and feels nice to get.

this one is pretty interesting, i guess its somewhat a buff to AMS and AMZ… for the Death Knight specifically.

Good change, the disease tick rate with this previously was an absurd 1.2s per tick. this brings it up to 1.5s per tick, which is more reasonable.

Interesting change, reduces resource flooding in AoE for unholy a bit, but, honestly id rather be given a reason to want to spend that runic power in AoE over just…reducing our generation of it.

Bit interesting, doesnt help the death coil in aoe situation though, still just far too much incentive to use death coil over epidemic, even if its nerfed from current.

Not a great change. if you want to tune this, tune the targets hit, not the cooldown. i get it, bursting sores is insanely good. but, this was huge quality of life, making festering wounds bearable to setup and play with. don’t step back on that, please. Youll just make people hate wounds even more.

Amazing change, actually makes this talent somewhat intuitive to use! now we can actually use it to setup apocalypse, lovely… now, if only we could use it every time we had apocalypse :expressionless:

Still abysmally bad by comparison. This is a 15s flat buff, doesnt scale with the duration of dark transformation on the player. so… 15s of 12% damage, every 45s. VS… Festermight… and Morbidity. This needs to be like 20-25% damage to compete for its duration.

Still a very solid increase, overall good change to reduce our reliance on this node with superstrain… still doesnt effect guardian damage tho.

This one seems odd to nerf, a vast majority of our damage isnt shadow, and this doesnt effect pets. Plus its stacking on the targets hit with death coil, its not like this was absurdly strong, it was pretty alright the way it was.

Gargoyle is already suffering damage wise compared to army on a similar cooldown… this doesnt do anything to fix that. Also, this doesnt effect Magus summoned by army, might be unintended, but, makes this talent way worse than what it seems at a glance.

Interesting… not sure why youd choose to leave it on festering strike, and not scourge strike. we will almost never be pressing festering strike anyways, so this just became a dead talent.

for reference on this, running a single target build in a sim for dragonflight (yes… ive spent the last few days coding all of this into sims, and they are functional already)

it casts 31 festering strikes in 5 minutes. about 6.2 festering strikes per minute.

6.2*0.2 = 1.24

1.24 runes per minute from this… wow, thats almost as bad as harbinger, which gives ~0.5 death coils per minute.

16 Likes

You guys really nailed a bunch of points from my rant and I appreciate it so much whoever is the brain behind these changes. Your creativity on making mastery(blood shield) more interesting is actually so good. Ontop of splitting the tree to encompass bone shield on one side for more phys mit / m+ situations while leaving the right for bigger death striking / blood shields. chef’s kiss Can’t wait for it to hit alpha to try it out and give some more feedback.

Also thank god DRW extend is gone, and not destroying the idea of having longer DRWs was a good alternative so really nice one there.

1 Like

An alternative for Plaguebearer: if you want it to have a 90 second cd, have it grant 2-3 runes on use to help facilitate its usage for aoe scenarios.

That at least makes it much closer to being worth a 90 second cd.

5 Likes

So I understand a lot of these changes, I think looking at the resource bloat is a good idea as has been mentioned previously in this forum so I hope this is a step in the right direction, however it does just feel bad that unholy is still stuck with runic corruption vs runic empowerment. A lot of the tuning stuff is whatever, this has to happen and I understand things will be buffed/nerfed throughout the development cycle. It is good to see it happening so early.

I do have a lot of anxiety with the (still) large disparity between blood and frost/unholy goes when it comes to raid utility. Keeping GG and relevant nodes in the blood tree while also having AMZ have a health cap based on max hp and when blood has a 15s cd on death grip baseline, and both dps specs are stuck at 25s. This really needs looked at, especially when compared to other classes, DK is pretty low on the utility list and if grip is not good in a certain form of content, there is little reason to bring one.

Also, with the removal of Horn of Winter, now you are forced to choose between 2 different forms of poor damage reduction (AA speed and blood draw) I would like to see this altered a bit. DK already gets many strong defensive options if needed (IBF, AMS, Death Pact, Will of the Necropolis, Permafrost)… Locking strong resouce options behind these feels bad when the resources of the class were just reduced. Maybe change up rune mastery & Blood Draw to make this feel a bit less bad?

For blood, I feel like the capstones are extremely underwhelming. Purgatory I get, it is a cheat death so putting it there is fine. Bonestorm is a bit… why? This talent does not see much use already, why make it difficult to go and grab? Umbilicus Eternus is… okay? for a capstone, but it feels like the direction is a bit chaotic in terms of where the development wants to go. It also feels like there is no reason to pick a blood DK currently. The only thing it does differently than other tanks is healing the damage back, but is that really needed when you can just play BRM/VDH which offers you a bunch of unique utility, two nearly required raid buffs (phys/magic) and also things like darkness?

I think the thing the DK tree is missing the most is the incentivization to bring DKs. Yes, grips are extremely strong where they are needed, but when they arent… what else is there? There are even more classes getting a battle res, which is one of DKs ‘niches’ along with druids and locks, which are straight up better as they dont cost resources. Even small things like having Purgatory in the class tree would help because now all 3 specs have a cheat death, which can be useful in all forms of content and is another form of utility, even if niche.

8 Likes

Breakdown of Unholy issues, in concise format:

Major issues:

  1. Our opener is still insanely long.
  2. Way too many CDs. We need 2-3 CDs to come off the GCD.
  3. Gargoyle damage needs to be doubled, again.
  4. Guardian pets need to be added to Morbidity and Commander of the Dead.
  5. Epidemic needs talent support (Death Rot, Eternal Agony, etc)
  6. Runic Corruption is undertuned
  7. Plaguebearer CD is way way too long. Keep the 45 sec CD and reduce damage if necessary. The 45 sec cd is the most important thing.

Minor issues:

  1. The middle section of the Unholy tree is SO BLOATED with talents.
  2. Virulent Plague is weaker than Frost Fever. A bit odd considering that Unholy is supposed to be the disease spec.
  3. Magus of the Dead/Ruptured Viscera tuning is poor.
  4. Reaping is weak. Include pets?
  5. Ghoulish Frenzy is really really weak.
  6. Unholy Assault is still not worth a capstone talent.
  7. Unholy Aura’s area is way too small.
  8. Replenishing Wounds isnt worthy of a talent, especially now that it was nerfed by 33%.

Im sure Im missing some. But those are the big things I can think of atm.

17 Likes

Alright! time for the “Unholys Opener makes no sense!” post of the week.

mapped things out with the proposed changes, and… oh boy this one is a slew of contradictions.

so to start with the contradictions now,

Every penultimate, and every final talent wants you to do something different.

so
Unholy Assault should be used before Apocalypse to generate Wounds
Unholy Assault should be used 5s after Gargoyle for its Haste
Apocalypse should be used 5s into Gargoyle for Festermight
Apocalypse should be used before Gargoyle to generate Runic Power, and ensure the ghouls are spawned for Commander of the Dead’s buff immediately after.
DT with Commander of the Dead should be used IMMEDIATELY After Gargoyle, and no more than 4.5s after Apocalypse
DT with Ghoulish Frenzy should be used at the very end of our opener as to buff us, the player, when we are doing the most damage ourselves (and not just spamming cooldowns that are unaffected by it)
DT with Unholy Pact should be used 10s into Gargoyle to overlap its strength buff with the end of Gargoyle
Unholy Blight should be used 5s into Gargoyle for Morbidity
Unholy Blight should be used on encounter start to apply all diseases immediately
Empower Rune Weapon should be used 5s into Gargoyle for its Haste
Empower Rune Weapon should be used before Gargoyle to generate resources
Gargoyle should be used with at least 90 Runic Power
Gargoyle needs to be sent out in a period of time where Bloodlust will effect its full duration.
Abomination Limb should be used at the start of the encounter to generate resources
Abomination Limb should be used at the end of our opener so it overlaps all our other buffs that affect it
We should generate as much runic power as possible before Gargoyle
All we can press before Gargoyle is Festering Strike, Unholy Blight (sometimes), Apocalypse (sometimes), Outbreak, and Army of the Dead.

i don’t even know what to do anymore if im being honest, how am i supposed to find the best combination all of the lesser of all evils here? Not even considering when multiple of these are selected (as they often are)

Heres an example

Outbreak, 10-15rp
Army of the Dead, 20-28rp
Festering Strike, 40-53rp
Festering Strike, 60-73rp
Apocalypse, 72rp-94rp
Gargoyle, 72-97rp
Dark Transformation, 72-102rp
Death Coil, 42-77rp
Death Coil, 12-50rp
Death Coil, 0-20rp (if the RNG gods smiled upon you with Runic Attenuation, and Frost Fever RP procs, or Sudden Doom)
Unholy Blight, 10-38rp
Unholy Assault, 10-38rp
Empower Rune Weapon, 15-46rp
Abomination Limb, 15-51rp

In this example, we sacrificed;
Generating at least 90 runic power before Gargoyle (unless the RNG gods smile upon you)
Starting Festermight 5s into Gargoyle
Empower Rune Weapon generating resources before Gargoyle
Abomination Limb generation resources before Gargoyle
DT At the end of the opener so Ghoulish Frenzy buffs the player on its more damaging phase
DT 10s into Gargoyle for Unholy Pact
Unholy Assault before Apocalypse to reduce setup Globals

now… at a glance, this looks mostly fine, and well, its the Opener ive been using for simulations thus far.

But, it desyncs Unholy Assault from Apocalypse for the rest of the encounter, killing the value in the recent change so it should be used to setup Apocalypse if taken. (Granted, this is better than before where it was much further desynced)

Ensures Empower Rune Weapon will never align with our other cooldowns, so we hold it for the next Gargoyle (1m after it comes off cooldown), just used as a haste buff rather than resource generating talent.

Puts Abomination Limb on a weird spot rotationally, where its always giving resources when we don’t really need them, and basically always coming at the start of a new Festermight window, gimping its damage potential after the opener.

now then… how do we fix some of this convoluted mess?

To start, please consider Commander of the Dead’s buff, its only on the active pets, so we cant freely adjust when we use our pet cooldowns, we always want Dark Transformation last. Might be a good opportunity to move it to the player?

Please think about our opener resource generation before Gargoyle. Giving us something more here will help a ton in ensuring we can smoothly flow into Gargoyle without relying on RNG in Frost Fever, and Runic Attenuation RP procs to get us the rest of the way there.

Festermight, Maybe consider how this works, or its duration? Giving it some ironfur type effect where its always rolling, and the stacks dynamically adjust would be a godsend both here, and in general play outside of cooldowns, as we wont be punished nearly as hard for pressing apocalypse 1-2s early, or popping a wound as a less than ideal time.

Consider Unholy Pact, this talent has far outshined its partner in that node, Defile, forever without defile being night fae, the strength portion of this talent really isnt needed tbh, just convolutes things, and makes it hard for defile to compete.

Consider Ghoulish Frenzy, this only effects us, and our main ghoul. The player buff is a static 15s (Looks like this was changed to the duration of Dark Transformation) we have to optimize our personal damage for (none of our other minions benefit, so, we really dont want to use this when we are in a slurry of popping cooldowns that do beans for damage)

Consider whats on the Global Cooldown. Some of the bloat in the opener, and convoluted nature of it is due to stuff being there that really has no reason to be. With our resource generation available after these changes, unholys at a really nice balance with a few resource nodes left on the table. Removing a few GCD’s does increase the downtime a but, but, we have little enough to where it wont feel terrible to do so.

Consider Abomination Limb’s benefit to Unholy. Runic corruption procs from it are, well… kinda not needed anymore to reduce downtime. Maybe its time to give this a bit of RP generation spice?

Consider Morbidity, and its effect on only player damage causing us to want to stuff like Unholy Blight at the end of the opener where we are doing substantially more damage.


Everyone working on Unholy right now is moving it in the right direction, and i appreciate everyone doing so.

Right now most of my feedback has been targeted at these major pain points, and contradictions, so, id like to take a moment to just say, thanks for listening to us, thanks for responding. Its not easy trying to fix up Unholy, its been a mess for many years, and its a very complex spec at that. Seemingly simple changes have cascading effects. You guys are very close now, a couple more little tweaks, and all those dominoes can fall into place to make Unholy truly something great for everyone who plays it. So, keep up the good work.

22 Likes

Alright, time for a big block of feedback about Frost!

A lot of the complaints about the tree thus far, lack of choice, only a few nodes to switch around between builds, and focuses, as well as the lack of new playstyles. Well, they all seem to stem from a single aspect of the tree. That being the lack of overall nodes. Frost DK’s talent tree, only has 34 nodes. Many of which are 2 point nodes. And well, that locks up the build potential a bit.

Theres a few playstyle potentials have also been locked behind choice nodes, the primary example ends up being Obliteration and Icecap sharing a choice node. Now, i understand why that’s a thing. One, or both of these talents would need to be gutted for them to be able to work together, taking away a standalone option… At least with their current designs both being linked to Pillar of Frost.

But… what if Obliteration wasn’t…? If we take a look back at the past a bit, towards Legion. The last time Obliteration was able to truly shine as a build potential in the aptly named “Machine Gun Frost” build, what was different? Well Obliteration was its own button, with its own cooldown. Had its own duration, its own interactions separate from Pillar of Frost. Now, the way things currently stand, we are blocked out of a potentially very fun, very different build than what we have had in the last 4 years, Obliteration + Icecap, where in you can sustain good damage, and have those hefty burst windows in single target situations as well. And well, guess what Frost DK as a whole is really lacking? Well, that’s a strong, purely single target cooldown.

Everything Frost DK has on the cooldown front, they are all jack of all trades cooldowns. They work okay in single target, they work okay in cleave, they work okay in AoE. Theres too much homogenization, and not a good focus for each. Really think about Frost, is there a button that is only ever used in one situation? There’s only one, Chill Streak. Now, jack of all trades cooldowns can work, look at Dark Transformation. But, conversely, Unholy has cooldowns that only benefit it in Single Target. Cooldowns that only benefit our AoE in Plaguebearer, Death and Decay, and Defile.

Setups like this, tend to be more clear, more defined in build potentials when it comes to the talent tree. So, i must ask, why is Frost stuck in this homogeneous situation? Why is Frost lacking a strong single target oomph cooldown? If we once again were to have a breakout of Obliteration into its own cooldown, its own purpose with its own strengths, rather than being tied to yet another jack of all trades cooldown in Pillar of Frost. What does that bring to the table? Well, new playstyle potentials. We could go with a variety of interesting setups if this was done. Obliteration Breath would be possible again, utilizing Obliteration between Breath windows. Obliteration Icecap would be possible again without having to utterly gut these talents as standalone options. I know this is just, something old coming back as well, but, Frost has felt a bit stale, unchanging for many years now, i think its time for a bit of a shakeup. Even if its not in moving Obliteration to its own button again, Frost sorely needs something new. Something that changes up the way we can interact with the spec and its buttons.

Now then, this also loops back a bit to the lack of total nodes in Frosts tree. This lack of anything new, the feeling of lack of choice in builds, it mostly stems from the lack of total nodes, Adding 1 extra by breaking Icecap and Obliteration out into their own helps a bit, but, i still do think it needs a few more. Unholy after the changes now has 39 nodes, and it feels just, so much better than its previous 34. Adding a few more as you did with unholy, and making them very, very clearly focused on AoE, cleave, or single target, very specifically with gameplay changing factors to them would go a LONG way into making frost feel fresh, but, at the same time, familiar for those who love the spec the way it is now. Theres nothing wrong with more choice in the trees, as long as its done in a way where players feel that their choices are impactful.

This isnt to say Frosts current tree is bad, its very much not, its a great tree that has a lot of the greatest hits of the last 4 years plastered all over it. But, well, as mentioned, its still lacking that feeling of freshness the other two have in terms of playstyle options. These things coming back, they don’t really change the way we play, just enhance what we already had. Theres nothing wrong with weaving during Obliteration, theres nothing wrong with setting up and executing a Breath window well, and theres nothing wrong with speeding up the base rotation with icecap. But, after 4 years of the same 3 flavors trading places, well, it gets a bit tiring. You can beef these options up, make them stronger, enhanced in some way, but, at their core, they are still the same as they were 4 years ago. Why not let us combine these in a more interesting way? Let us experiment and create some unique playstyles based off these gameplay changing factors? While Obliteration and Breath in their current forms conflict with each other on what you want to do… does it have to be that way? Does the opportunity cost of Breath Icecap have to be so high that you feel like you gutted the strengths of each, leaving you with a bit of a shell of each of them?

I don’t think it has to be that way. And opening up these options, letting us adjust them, play with them, create our own unique version of Frost by combining different options, or, enhancing our favorite standalone final talent. That in itself would be the healthiest thing i can think of for Frost as a whole. Giving players a lot more motivation to get creative with it. Its a very simple spec at its core, and these final row talents, they make up Frosts identity, theres so much more room for there to be uniqueness, new stuff to play with. And, i think its time to explore that potential.

23 Likes

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. The frost tree brings back most, if not all of the things that we’ve had since Legion & BFA that made the spec really fun.

Frostwhelps, Gathering Storm, Chill Streak, etc. But, as you point out… there’s nothing… New here.

I’d still love to see the Frost streak choice node changed to let it work either in larger AoE or single target.

Single Target: Allow chill streak to bounce off the casting DK, giving a stacking shield
Mass AoE: Give each hit of chill streak a X% chance to bounce to Y number of additional targets.

The other thing I would really like to see in frost is another way to apply razorice. Currently it can only be done through runeforging and Glacial Advance. The current tier helps this issue with passive GAs, but having another way to apply runeforges would be very interesting

19 Likes

Today’s complete DK notes:

  • General
    • Death’s Advance is now learned at level 9.
    • Lichborne is now learned at level 9.
  • Class Tree
    • Developers’ note: The Death Knight core tree is being updated to better increase talent choice. In order to do this, we’ve made several abilities baseline and cut talents that were proving to be problematic for the overall health of the resource economy for the specs. The left side of the class tree had 4 talents all dedicated to resources, which felt a little excessive. This has been reduced 2 (specifics noted below). In addition to the resource talents being shifted around, we’ve also made Death’s Advance and Lichborne baseline.
    • Unholy Endurance – Now positioned where Lichborne was previously located in the talent tree.
    • New Talent: March of Darkness – Death’s Advance grants additional movement speed over the first 3 seconds. Now positioned where Death’s Advance was previously located in the talent tree.
    • Horn of Winter – Cut from the class tree. This will return as a Frost talent.
    • New Talent: Insidious Chill – Your auto-attacks reduce the target’s auto-attack speed by 5% for 30 seconds, stacking up to 4 times. Positioned where Horn of Winter was located.
    • Runic Corruption and Runic Empowerment – This choice node has been removed. These two talents will be returning to their respective specs baseline (Unholy – Runic Corruption and Frost - Runic Empowerment).
    • Runic Attenuation – Now positioned where the Runic Corruption/Runic Empowerment node was located.
    • New Talent: Gloom Ward – Absorbs are 15% more effective on you.
  • Blood
    • The talent tree for Blood has undergone significant updates to its pathing and connections.
    • Blood Boil – Now has 2 charges baseline (was 1).
    • Improved Blood Boil removed.
    • Rune Tap – Now has 2 charges baseline (was 1).
    • Improved Heart Strike – Reduced to 2 max ranks (was 3). Damage per rank increased to 15% (was 10%).
    • Blood Fortification – Removed from the talent tree. Now learned at level 11.
    • Everlasting Bond – Death Strike and Heart Strike no longer increase the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon. Now increases the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon by 1 second.
      • Developers’ note: While the act of extending your Dancing Rune Weapon with Heart Strike and Death Strike can be fun it quickly can overshadow the rest of Blood’s kit making any other abilities used within that window the wrong choice. In an order to address this we will be changing Everlasting Bond to be a flat duration increase in addition to its existing mechanic of summoning one extra copy of Dancing Rune Weapon. Our goal here is to open up more options throughout the tree as well as not make one style of gameplay feel mandatory permanently moving forward.
    • Improved Boneshield – Reduced to 1 max rank (was 2). Now increases Haste by 10% while Bone Shield is active.
    • Vampiric Blood – Now available above the first gate. Directly below Marrowrend.
    • Improved Vampiric Blood – Now available above the first gate. Directly below Vampiric Blood
    • Death’s Caress – Now available above the first gate.
    • Dancing Rune Weapon – This has moved higher into the tree and is available immediately after unlocking the 1st gate.
    • Hemostasis – Max ranks reduced to 1(was 2).
    • Hasty Bargain – Renamed to Perseverance of the Ebon Blade. Now grants 3/6% Versatility when Crimson Scourge is consumed (was Haste).
    • Voracious and Bloodworms are no longer a choice node.
    • Gorefiend’s Grasp – Now centrally located within the tree with multiple pathing options to reach it.
    • Tightening Grasp – Can now only be obtained directly after Gorefiend’s Grasp. Max ranks reduced to 1 (was 2).
    • Heartrend – Max ranks reduced to 1 (was 2).
    • Shatterning Bone – Damage now correctly scales with rank upgrades.
    • New Talent: Blood Feast – Anti-Magic Shell heals you for 100% of the damage it absorbs.
    • New Talent: Iron Heart – Blood Shield’s duration is increased by 2 seconds and it absorbs 20% more damage.
    • New Talent: Bloodshot – While Blood Shield is active, you deal 25% increased Physical damage.
    • New Talent: Sanguine Ground – You deal 5% more damage and receive 5% more healing while standing in your Death and Decay.
    • New Talent: Coagulopathy – Enemies affected by Blood Plague take 5% increased damage from you and Death Strike increases the damage of your Blood Plague by 25% for 8 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
    • New Talent: Umbilicus Eternus – After Vampiric Blood expires, you absorb damage equal to 5 times the damage your Blood Plague dealt during Vampiric Blood.
    • Unquenchable Thirst has been removed.
      • Developers’ note: This talent has been cut and replaced with Umbilicus Eternus. Unquenchable Thirst had a bit of design overlap with both Bonestorm and Shattering Bone on the opposite side of the tree. The choice to replace it was done to add what we hope is a more interesting decision point as you navigate toward the capstones especially factoring in the synergy of the new Blood Plague talents and existing Vampiric Blood talents.
  • Unholy
    • Developers’ note: In addition to Unholy’s latest changes we have a few updates we’d like to make to their talents that affect resource generation. The changes to the class tree should be a step in the right direction for better balancing Unholy’s resource economy, but we also want to target a few Unholy specific talents as well. Unholy has been a class with a higher downtime and while we think some downtime can be okay, it’s important to find a balance between too high and too low. The current alpha version swung that pendulum too far in one direction and we are looking to find a better middle ground that both feels fun and rewarding to play. Resource tuning will continue to be on going as we head into Dragonflight. As mentioned last week we are making efforts to prepare for tuning in Dragonflight as such Unholy will be receiving a few tuning tweaks to their talents.
    • Plaguebringer – Disease damage now ticks 100% more quickly (was 150%).
    • Feasting Strikes – Removed Scourge Strike’s chance to refund 1 rune, and now chance to trigger increased to 20%.
      • Developers’ note: Having both Festering Strike and Scourge Strike trigger a Rune refund left us very little room to tune around and also made this something that just always happened. In an effort to give us more ways to tune this and also add a little more gameplay thought we are changing this to only work on Festering Strike.
    • Replenishing Wound – Reduce Runic Power gained from popping a Festering Wound to 2 (was 3).
    • Improved Death Coil – Damage increase reduced to 15/30% (was 20/40%).
    • Plaguebearer – Cooldown increased to 90 seconds (was 45 seconds). Status changed to implemented.
    • Unholy Assault – Buff duration increased to 20 seconds (was 12 seconds).
    • Ghoulish Frenzy – Attack speed and damage increased to 6/12% (was 4/8%).
    • Morbidity – Damage per disease reduced to 2% at rank 2 (was 3%).
    • Death Rot – Reduced to 1% per stack up to 10% (was 2% per stack, up to 20%). Increased the duration to 10 seconds (was 8 seconds).
    • Fixed an issue preventing Death Rot from being applied by multiple Death Knights.
    • Commander of the Dead – Damage to Gargoyle and Army Ghouls reduced to 30% (was 40%).
9 Likes

Appreciate the update. The big issues going forward continue to be these:

-Our opener is too long.
-We have too many cooldowns.
-Gargoyle damage is too low.
-Magus damage is too low and needs to be added to Commander of the Dead.
-Guardian pets need to be added to Morbidity
-Epidemic needs another buff or better talent support
-Runic Corruption is undertuned
-Plaguebearers cd is way too long.

15 Likes

While you’re re-evaluating pvp talents, please consider changing Dead of Winter (the remorseless winter stun) back to having it stun when you have Pillar of Frost up.

I strongly dislike increasing the cooldown by so much on a core rotational ability, especially when frost dk is one of the simpler rotations. Taking a button out of your rotation to only use during set ups feels bad. When it’s attached to pillar of frost, you still only get the stun during setups but can still use remorseless winter 2 other times in between.

I /beg you, update Dead of Winter. Make it stun after using blinding sleet, stun during pillar of frost, hell even stun during empower rune weapon; anything but increasing the base cooldown.

6 Likes

I have an issue with the new talent “Blood Feast” for Blood.

I think it’s a great talent in what it does, but it feels redundant as a function at the moment.

The absorb from Anti-Magic shell is great, but adding a heal during that duration feels like we’re not going to see the full effect of this talent, UNLESS we’re taking both physical and magically at the same time. OR if you have already taken damage before popping AMS.

The way to fix this is to make the Talent instead place a HoT on the DK that builds as you absorb more damage, and possibly have it only take effect once the AMS is fully expended or expires. This way if you are only taking magic damage, you will get the full benefit of the AMS as well as the heal after, in case the magic damage is still present.

In it’s current state it’s overly redundant, or just something you wouldn’t pick. Because it is only useful if you are missing health, or taking physical damage on top of magical. It also makes it so that popping AMS with full health feels like a waste of a selected talent which is never fun.

1 Like