Something fun from the salvage yard is the class specific gear drops which emulate the starting character gear. For Death Knights the gear-set is easily obtainable, except that a new two handed rune-sword model was added in WoD. It is a really nice looking weapon, and I’ve luckily found one in a crate. The weapon goes by many names depending on what the source is (quests, crates, etc) – Heart Lesion Greatsword.
I hate Garrosh’s storyline, but I had the chance to join the Ex-Tenebra guildies in a casual run to kill the last few bosses in Siege of Ogrimmar. I must say it was a thrill to see the content I thought I’d miss out on.
The plan was to return after the expansion launched, but a few free days gets you motivated; and with that small effort (large effort by the guildies to do it each week which made it look easy) I’ve now got a Heroic Heirloom two handed axe for 90-100 and a few other items of nice loot – probably far too late to be of large benefit.
I’ll add a few screenies of the axes – it had me set for tanking and dps now.
And of course I died early in the Garrosh fight and watched the rest play out – not much more to be expected for a player who’d never seen the Garrosh Hellscream fight before, and only been in Siege LFR once before, and left that run in disgust.
Happy killing folks. See you after the expansion hits.
Frost – Icy Talons now increases melee attack speed by 45% (up from 30%)
Unholy – Unholy Might now increases Strength by 35% (up from 25%)
Well shoot, l like this recent patch – a few Dk dps buffs for Frosty attack speed and Unholy strength benefit. Always welcome.
Quick note on some (now) very old news – the recent patch 5.4 stuff has a few DK changes which are real quality of life tweaks.
Death Gate now returns the Death Knight to a location near their original departure point when the spell is cast while in Ebon Hold.
Icebound Fortitude no longer costs Runic Power.
Yehaw for both! The Death Gate change means we’ll not be stuck in old world which is a nice quality of life change. I can now use DG to quickly get to a vendor then back into play. for DKs who are leveling it also gives you a place to port to if you’re stuck somewhere dangerous; although not much is dangerous to a DK while leveling. The IBF change is good to allow its use exactly when it is needed. Excellent.
I shouldn’t look at DPS Rankings, as they are skewed in ways that mean they are one source of input for performance and are nothing like a perfect. That said, the recent updates from SimCraft are giving me deja vu.
I wrote about the 5.3 Dps rankings in August this year, and this post could use many of the same words. Meaning the upward geared DKs will be fighting harder to get the same dps as some other classes. Ref: http://www.noxxic.com/wow/dps-rankings/realistic#553.
This is the Ranking for ilevel 553-ish gear, and I’m uninspired by how the ilevels scale.
What do we have here for Patch 5.4? Continue reading
Don’t get me wrong, Thassarian is one heavy dude. I have a lot of respect for a fellow Death Knight, especially one who faced up against Arthas. But Thassarian, you’re doing it wrong.
Dual wielding in Blood presence makes no sense, but I’ll forgive him; he’s only level 72 after all. He has a long way to go before getting to 90.
This is one for the original DKs. Found while leveling my lowbie Shaman through Wrath content.
Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew.
My Druid ding’ed 90 in WoW last week, which makes a tally of three level ninety characters: a Death Knight, a Warrior, and a Druid.
Next will be my slowly leveling Shaman who is now level 71 (the toon in the top left if the image below) and a long time lost Shadow Priest who is level 82 (bottom left character).
In my character list I also have a handful of 85s and then each class smattered down to a lowbie Monk at level 13. I do not really want to repeat the 85-90 grind so many more times, but the leveling path in Pandaria is so fixed there is little choice. Perhaps I could level by only queuing in Dungeons and just farm my way through the Pandaria starting area for materials to sell. That will only be moderately dull as well but will ensure my lowbies have the ability to increase their professions.
The Wrath of the Lich King content on the baby Shaman is sensational by comparison to 4x more Pandaria zones and a Cataclysm story.
If I cannot raid regularly in 5.4 due to work & life, then I might as well start working on these alts. Getting through the levels is something I can do whilst also being interrupted, and it is not “hard” content to do. Continue reading
I went digging for relative DPS performance of each class and spec. Why? Well I heard grumblings that Boomkins were shitty dps in patch 5.3, and Mages were getting nurfed. Apparently Shadow Priests were doing poorly too. I did not want to accept that on face value, so had to dig.
(Source: Noxxic’s rankings, based upon SimCraft. http://www.noxxic.com/wow/dps-rankings/realistic, for patch 5.3 using normal mode gear)
As a DK what I found made be bloody angry. It seems that the rough simulations performed by the SimulationCraft app for both “ideal” and “realistic” conditions have Death Knights as the lowest dps regardless of their spec choice.
Yup, that means all the banter normally seen between which playstyle is performing better is basically moot when you consider that any choice a DK makes can be out performed by every other class. Continue reading
To say it is an upgrade from the ilevel 530 dps cloak I was using is a shattering understatement. 530 vs 608 is a wonderful difference when you are on this side of the quest reward.
I chose the Tank challenge as I’d been told is was a little easier and I was short on time. Overall it was very straight forward, with the only trick being where the tank must stand in front of the incoming blasts from four directions. Cute mechanic for a mini-boss style encounter, but I’d be annoyed to see that in a raid fight.
It also means that I’m actually caught up on “current” for the legendary questline for the first time since starting it. Luck has a great deal to do with that.
I cannot wait to use it. Happy Killing.
Last night the guildies were one man short, and I was lucky enough to be able to Tank for them.
It’s kind of post worth because I could play in a real raid with friends, which happens rarely and also tank. Rare indeed for a player who is more used to standing behind the big-bad and deeeeps’ing, more often in LFR.
In around 3 hours which included the special trash boss for the week and also a few bathroom breaks; we killed the first three bosses in Throne of Thunder. Then poked the huge turtle in the eye a few times, but he’s a tad chaotic. First time that I’d died to those swirly floating trolls who kick you off the bridge, shamefully I took an OS trinket for Tanking from a kill, and as I expected these were no Titan Runestones to be seen. It is a shame that these only drop from the last 6x bosses.
Once again I learnt a lot about these bosses that I didn’t know, and loved it. Makes me ponder nudging the regular tank in the side and flooding his connection so I get a spot (kidding).
As an aside I wonder if gearing a Tank set as priority is a better option for Patch 5.4 than Dps. I don’t think I’ll be able to keep within distance of the regular raiders for gear level in 5.4; but a tank is something when needed by role as much as output. That might mean a set that I can switch with between the raid groups.
Ps. Sorry about the title, it made sense at the time.
Death Knights rejoice! Or moan longingly, or at least smile. OK don’t smile. Players can now have more than one DK per realm.
Why do I like this?
Well for a start I’ve a DK sitting on an old realm who has a fair amount of gold that I might transfer, and I also have enjoyed playing a DK of a different race and faction to see both the different cities and the different animations. Undead DKs have a two-hander animation I like, so there are probably more out there. Yes, I could see that with another class I guess, but I don’t like some of my lowbie alts anymore. Ok, it’s nothing world changing, it’s nice. And more Death Knights is a good thing.
For Death Knights the May 14 tweaks have some relevance, and the new “Reborn” style weapons can now apply the Legendary upgrade.
As I said, it was very disappointing that the Reborns were same as the LFR drops – and they still are disappointing. This brings a 30 day crafting slog up to the scale of a random LFR drop. I’m seriously contemplating dropping Blacksmithing for Enchanting or some other profession with regular solid buffs beyond Bracers and Gloves socketing.
More after the break. Continue reading
PvP round three was much better. How you ask? Well I seemed to get into more teams that knew what they were doing, and were better able to bolster my silly ass through the experience. I did participate as well as I understood.
(Warning – Achievement screenshot spam).
For Temple of Kotmogu – 4x killing blows, 3x deaths, 48 Honorable kills and 4x Orb possessions, which also grants 403 of the 1600 points were mine. Another DK teamed with me for the match pulling in a very nice 498 points.
For Mines – less impressive and far more like the noob I am in PvP. 1x killing blow, 1x death, 26 honorable kills, and 2x carts controlled. If not for the frustration I think PvP could be enjoyable.
Best of all, this means I’m back onto the PvE based grind for the Wrathion quest chain. Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew
A small amount of luck goes a long way. Yesterday I got the LFR shoulder token, and today some Pvp boots. Rewards make the loot treadmill less crappy. Happy for this week, and hording my Valor points for a while to see what the cool kids buy at Revered rep with Shado-Pan.
Now that I’ve done the Test of Valor (yay, finally) I’m at the part in the epic quest chain to kill a special commander, and win two pvp battlegrounds.
I’m not keen to do the PvP part as I do not understand anything about the two games, and this late in the expansion I can imagine that random teams will not like a scrub. Tough luck for them though, blame Blizzard folks, the Epic quest chain is making me hurt your PvP fun. As such I’ve started collecting the ~458 pvp gear, so I don’t get roflstomped straight away and I won’t be a useless scarecrow for the team I join.
Getting a started Pvp set is cheap if you know the patterns (10-15 ore per item, + gems and enchants) or very expensive if you want to buy your way through the sets. I either crafted the items, or had them crafted except for one item. So an almost full kit out was around 2000g with gems and enchantments, with most of that cost coming from the gear I purchased and the gems/enchants. The 458 gear is a long way from the beautiful Conquest items that I can see the vendor selling (/drool). For a full gear-set 2k is cheap as chips. If only beginning PvE gear was so cheap; nice that there is a lower barrier to entry for PvP.
I’ve also purchased a pvp neck and ring with Honor, and using a few one handed LFR 483s to go Dual Wield Frost for the pvp battles. I;m not expecting to get top charts for Dps, and did not want to affect my main hand 2H dps weapon by reforging away to the “wrong” starts for PvE.
So far the biggest problem is bag space. A Dps, Tank, and now PvP-Dps set takes up a lot of space. I wonder if PvP-Blood is still fun and frustrating for the enemy? Coming to a battleground near you, Mortigen the scrub DK.
Happy Killing, TyphoonAndrew
GC has delivered a short blog as a review and update on their perspective for Death Knights, one part of a series for each class as a reflection of the changes made in patch 5.2. The intro to all the class updates was:
We don’t alter classes lightly, and every change comes only after a great deal of player feedback, developer thought, and careful analysis. We also know that while class changes can help keep things fresh, they can also mean that there’s a need to re-learn things about your character that you thought you already knew. We want to make this process clearer, more understandable, and easier to adapt to as we move into patch 5.2, so I’ll be working with World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to write a short blog series that will provide an overview of the important changes coming to each class.
For the DKs is worth a read (source)…
We had three main goals:
- Make some less attractive talents more compelling.
- Improve quality of life for Unholy Death Knights.
- Give a small PvP buff.
We didn’t feel like Death Knights needed many changes overall, and we try not to change classes for change’s sake, especially midway through an expansion, so you’ll see fewer changes here than for some other classes.
To address some issues with less attractive talents, you’ll see buffs to Death Siphon (more damage dealt) and Conversion (less Runic Power over time).
Unholy’s quality of life changes were mostly to solve the problem of “orphaned” runes. A Death Knight would, for example, Blood Boil twice and then Scourge Strike, leaving two Frost Runes, which weren’t sufficient to use Festering Strike. Now Icy Touch activates Reaping, which will allow those Frost Runes to convert to Death Runes. We also made Plague Strike apply Frost Fever to reduce the need to use Icy Touches. We also made Summon Gargoyle no longer cost Runic Power and changed the damage done to both Shadow and Nature to synergize better with Unholy’s Mastery, Dreadblade.
While we think Death Knights are in a good place in PvP overall, we did agree with the feedback that Strangulate has a very long cooldown for what it does, so we lowered its cooldown and also lowered Asphyxiate to match. Finally, it is worth pointing out that the tier 14 2-piece ended up being overbudget to the extent that we were concerned DKs would keep using it in the 5.2 raid. We nerfed the set bonus and buffed Death Knights to compensate. Blood is in a good place overall, but we did buff Blood Parasite dramatically, because it was just undertuned.
In pondering what this means…
Overall – yes, DKs are in a good place and do not need a large set of changes.
Further every time a class gets refined in a significant way the changes swing up and down to find a new point of balance. I’d rather not have a large set of changes applied mid-expansion even to fix Unholy’s dps output. Frankly it does not make enough of a difference to me. I love Unholy the most out of all the specs, but will use whichever Dps style is better overall for me. In a month we’ll be able to review the changes being introduced for priests and monks and evaluate if they needed tweaks. I bet they’ll need tweaks.
I think most DK players have a similar ethos. The choice given to players for which spec to play when each spec is basically the same is somewhat of an illusion; a final max will be found through theory-craft, and it will likely become the default. e.g. Mage, Hunter, Rogue, etc specs too.
Talents – Conversion is a great talent, as it is passive. A nurf hurts a little, but if overall damage is altered to compensate (as indicated) then ok cool. No worries. That meas it might be worth mucking around wit the others. Death Siphon is a wonderful ability that I use in raids regularly to help the healers, and if it does more damage then that helps my Dps role. No bad there.
Timmy’s been upgraded – Overall an update to Unholy was needed, and i totally agree with Timmy being altered so that he is more usable. This does not alter the need to understand the complexity of when to use Timmy, or how Timmy might affect the raids – and that is excellent as Timmy’s idiosyncratic behaviour is one of the complexities that I think Unholy should keep.
T14-2pc Dps set bonus – it was good enough that having the set bonus and using 483/476 gear was better than using 489 gear (I have the SimCraft numbers to prove it too). Yes, that might be “overpowered” a little, but it also means that the bonus provided a bridge for those who were struggling to get gear in other locations.
Blood – My gripe for Blood is still that the health shield disappears too quickly. I know it is manageable, but fight mechanics often are more important than the timing of Death Strike, and that means a shield dropping off without being fully used, or sometimes the runes are needed for other powers.
For the PvP changes – I honestly cannot say.
Issues to bitch about – as a class DKs have a very complex mix of resources to plan with – generate and use RP for some powers, but not others. It shits me. We have cooldowns on powers to ensure they cannot be spammed and be abused, but the DK class is as complex a beast that I’ve ever played (compared to Boomkin, Warlock, Tankadin, SPriest) in raids. i.e.
- BattleRes requires Runic Power…why? This power is meant to be used to recover from a whoops moment, but often I cannot use it as I’ve just burnt RP doing DPS. Do druids have a mana/energy/rage cost to cast the bloody thing? No. What the hell.
- Soul Reaper requires a Blood rune, with it’s own additional internal cooldown… why? Runes have cooldowns/regeneration already. Suggestion – take the blood rune requirement from it and let me spam it according to Blood Runes.
- Outbreak alone is almost but not really enough to keep diseases up on targets when playing Frost (well the way I play at least). This means using runes on “lesser” abilities. That is fine, but it is not as useful as it could be. Perhaps a tweak to cooldown? Not sure.
- Bone Shield (blood) is not a fun and interesting mini-game. It is something to remember, which is just meh.
- Blood Shield – as above.
Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew
It has been almost a week between posts, as a deliberate strategy to not smash a few folks in the head using text, to calm down a bit, and to reflect on what we’re about to get from Wow’s patch 5.2. The stupidity indicator in my mental framework was flashing warning yellow all last week, and moved to match the aggro indicator in red on Friday and Saturday. Nothing to post here except that I have maintained my intolerance for liars, thieves, and real estate agents (do real life things get an interest here from readers? – I’m not sure).
In good news our guild’s raid team is getting stronger again thanks to some players returning from hiatus and also switching back after looking for greener pastures. That is a minor compliment of sorts as I do not think many folks quite a guild then return, and it also shows that the remaining players are good enough to accept them back. Kind of proud of what our GM and the officers have built. Kudos to all folks, and welcome to the recent arrivals.
[ … The angry part of my lizard-brain wants to suggest that some of these folks left guild for a reason and we’re still the same people, and that it might open us to more drama. Well yes, you lizard bastard, shut it. I choose to see this as positive and good. Circumstances and people are not the same between two different days of the week. Do I judge a person once and keep that sentiment forever? Sounds like a path to a boring and unhappy life.
Lizard-brain is a term I stole from a sci-fi novel where the storyteller explains basic animalistic reactions we have like attraction, anger response, survival, and such as being powered by the lizard-brain rather than the reason. I really like it. Eat, food, lunch… ]
For the raid team it means strength and diversity. We are stronger is a very practical sense as I am hoping that the more casual players (myself included) will be able to be slackers again. I love raiding, but hate that I let the team down with an early finish time each raid. It is a pain for everyone. The advantage of having 12-13 players in a raid team vs 8-10 is irrefutable. I still plan to be online and sub-in when needed, but can slip away when I need to in prep for the early starting work day.
We also get diversity from (hopefully) adding more classes to our mix. We lack a regular Warlock and a regular Paladin in the raid team, two classes of the three on one of the tier tokens. This means that our resident Priest is bloody well geared in main and offspec. Good for him too I say, but sheesh we had a lot of Mages, Druids, Death Knights in the runs. We don’t have a lot of Rogues, but then does anyone?
Tokens – T15 tier tokens seem to be reusing the classes of the T14 Tokens. Well shit, that’s just poor. I was hoping against all historic precedent that it would be switched around for each Tier in Pandaria. yes, I know that is a bitch for some teams, but for us it means we’re over saturated in a few classes for the entire expansion.
The class mix is:
- Token A – Rogue, Death Knight, Mage, Druid
- Token B – Warrior, Hunter, Shaman, Monk
- Token C – Paladin, Priest, Warlock
I maintain that the tokens should be for any class, and let the raiders divvy them around. But hey, I’m just a casual and don’t understand what “real” raiders want. Sarcasm.
Appearance wise I maintain that the DK tier set looks dumb. I’ll revise that in game when I see it on screen – for now the teeth look lost. The human figure looks like it is half eaten. The armour is also inelegant. Did the designers run out of skulls for Death Knight gear and have a heap of Hunter teeth left over? Perhaps they ordered too many.
A positive is that the models match our spec choices, which makes transmog use somewhat appealing. There – I said something positive about the dental mistake that T15 is for Death Knights.
(Help! I’m stuck inside this abstract sculpture of teeth, and all I have is floss)
Looking forward I am anticipating the T15 raids to be good. The hype machine has certainly been telling me that they are fantastic, and I’m happy to take that expectation to heart. The content devs have even been doing the promo interviews amongst the big blogs and shows to demonstrate how much of a push T15 has. It had a promotion vid and also an official video too. Effort has been made by Blizzard, will it be enough?
The smaller changes in Patch 5.2 are interesting too.
Old patterns becoming available from Blacksmithing is meh, as it added no additional raid patterns (meaning ilevel 476+) out of the gate. I have no use for an ilevel 463 item now, and now also cannot upgrade that item as the upgrade vendor has left. That means it’s LFR or nothing for the quick upgrades. Whatever – don’t argue it, I get it. It shits me that the system was offered in the first place to act only as a patch jump.
When we see T16 replace T15 the gear divide from new level 90 to raider will be even wider, and there is a likely scenario where new patterns and the upgrade vendor will return. A telling mistake in previous patches was the time to get from newbie through to raider very late in the expansion’s life. Plans can be made to mitigate that.
I’m also a bit underwhelmed by the Archaeology changes for the Klaxxi. Here is a race that used to serve and worship the Old Ones as gods when they were active on the planet, and the archy material is a few new items and some achievements? Lost opportunity to do fantastic stuff right there.
Heck, the entire last Tier could be Klaxxi + Garrosh with aplomb. Imagine if T16 is a hash of old gods and the rejection of Garrosh by the Horde. It stinks of a good story. Even better if Garrosh is not thrown out because of being corrupted by old gods, but because of his own ambition. Let Garrosh raise alone to attempt to rule all of Azeroth, let him burn all before him, let his drive for power and absolute rule be the force that compels his followers and emboldens his naysayers.
Actually now that I read that, leave the Klaxxi/Old Gods out of it, and lets see a true natural menace appear in the world again. Garrosh can be the return to a true evil overlord in the story. No cop-out corruption, or misguided passion for purity. Give me a downright evil bastard and I’d consider switching factions to Horde just to feel the story of betrayal. Perhaps T15 bosses will open a few stories when they start falling…
Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew Continue reading
So this for DKs:
– You now maintain the same percentage of health when you switch into and out of Blood Presence
– Strangulate (but not Asphyxiate) is off the GCD.
Means that I missed a great exploit? Damn it! (heh) Continue reading
This post is brought to you by the word: Random.
I was going to whine about loot in LFR, as a run through Terrace and the first part of Heart of Fear saw nothing. But then I got lucky in the second part of Heart of Fear LFR, and got the Gloves token which I’ve now had drop 4x times. Arrrrg. No weapons, side grades, other drops for ages. Oh, working as intended? Random rewards are fun. /sarcastic
On an actual positive note I have now handed in and completed the first stage of Wrathion’s quest-line for the “Ordinary Legendary Gem“. Now the slow grind up to 6000 Valor points has started, and we’ll see how far behind the curve I am. I doubt patch 5.2 is 6-7 weeks away given the news and press flying around.
I love the fact that the Legendary quest line is a pain in the arse and bloody difficult for a casual player. Blizzard got this right. it should be driving those players crazy, and should not be something that we feel is deserved; earn it. I get a good quest line and the promise of more great stuff to come.
Not that the “Ordinary Legendary Gem” is actually useful as it requires a Sha Touched Weapon to be slotted into, which is also RANDOMLY DROPPED. So the Ordinary Legendary Gem” is actually a “Useless Ordinary Legendary Gem“. I’ve decided to treat the gem like getting the Left Binding in Molten Core. Now begins the stupidly long path of getting the other random thing to drop.
My Death Knight could really use a Sha Touched weapon for Tanking. Really, really, handy. Random and hard for LFR upgrades is poor, random and hard in a Legendary quest is perfect. Its like the two are the same now. Just saying.
- LFR Sha of Fear – Tank’n for laughs (typhoonandrew.wordpress.com)
- Time for Tokens to die (typhoonandrew.wordpress.com)
- Elder Charms, LFR loot, and perception of the doubly random (wow.joystiq.com)