The patch updates from 4.1 for the Death Knight class has changed Frost dps significantly. A Frost DK should review the new EJ notes which seem accurate to my quick testing (repeat wiping on Neferian) in last night’s raid.
- Blood Strike is now removed from the rotation / priority, as Blood of the North gives Frost Death Knights all their Blood runes as Death runes. I love this, it feels so much better to be managing one less resource, and instead trying to balance the use of those extra runes for Obliterate strikes.
- Unholy presence is now the default presence. This changes all the previous information for DPS as Frost, and is probably the biggest change in the update. It may also not stay that way, depending on what the percieved issues are with the Frost presence being almost redundant. I also really like this as it gives a great movement boost, which so many raids need. It is however still a huge debate in progress, being based upon all sorts of parses of combat logs. It may be that in a stand and spank fight the Frost presence might pull ahead, rather than Unholy presence which is excellent for movement fights. My bias is based upon doing kiting and high movement fights. I’d expect that eventually an optimal will be found.
- Check your Glyphs, especially the Hungering Cold glyph. I’m finding that as Frost DK my job is often to kite something, so this glyph is very powerful as you can ignore the normal resources needed to trigger it. I’ve changed from the standard build to have better CC options for our raid, and hopefully the increased control will be a suitable compensation for a reduction in dps.
Still to test is which of the off-spec talents are actually better, give the balance of diseases increased duration vs the persistent dps increase from other talents.
Psynister has written a fantastic guide to the heirlooms now available since in the patch 4.1 update. If you’re hunting for a comprehensive, well written guide you must review this. It includes enchants, selection by armour type and role, trinket selection, and links to the items in question.
Here is a simple sorted list of the gear that has been added in Patch 4.1. Or a list of only the items that drop from ZA and ZG without all the other items.
As you’ll see there are some great rewards from the new ZG and ZA instances, some ok stuff added for Archaeology, and some nice Bind to Account gear for Tanks. Be warned too that wowhead’s search also allows some fnucky items to be found so doublecheck before ranting about the upgrade.
Patch 4.1 granted all sorts of old content to be visited again. We get to once again experience ZA and ZG, extra loot, some portals in Dalaran (once again), no miss chance for taunts, and a raft of class specific changes. This post is a bit of a quick first impression and rant (how unsurprising), so you can cut to the chase if you wish.
TLDR Version: This patch was disappointing. It delivered all that it said it would, but it missed delivering something that will sustain the playerbase until 4.2 is released.
All the micro changes & updates are kind of moot, as I expect tuning to always be occurring. The feature of this patch was the Troll content. The bugbear I have is the patch feels like it under-delivers: old content done badly, a set of bug fixes, and some new loot. Hardly what you would call innovative and interesting; more like maintenance. If you like spending 2-3 hours to do a 5 man run, and wiping on trash then you will be happy with this patch. I’m not happy about it and think it’s getting to the point where we are close to be being taken for a ride by the game’s developers. Opinions and the reasons why after the break.
A quick update – seems that The Instance podcast also have observed players thinking that the 4.1 patch was a little rushed. I’m glad it was not only me (said on the Ep #227, show 26 mins in).
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The lack of CC for feral Druids, Death knights, and Fury Warriors is known – and I’m a keen supporter of adding some sort of CC utility to these classes. Lichbourne on WoW Insider reported today that we’re seeing a fix in a roundabout way, in patch 4.1 a change to the dungeon finder which will stop these classes being combined in random groups.
The random dungeon finder will now attempt to put DPSers of the same armor class in separate groups. This means that in theory, nevermore shall a fury warrior and an unholy death knight end up in the same random dungeon run. Sure, you may get a feral cat and an unholy death knight, but the cat has Hibernate, and in theory, your third DPSer will be someone like a shaman or a mage, who actually does have crowd control options that work on most stuff you’ll come across in your average heroic dungeon.
Source: Lichborne: Blizzard tackles death knight DPS utility in patch 4.1
That is total rubbish in terms of a change to assist with intelligent selection of a 5 man group. For randoms it might make it slightly better, but for all other groups its unchanged. So we have a change here that helps to take part of the symptom away; not address the core problem.
- What will this do to the queue times for these classes?
- How it is anticipated this would help non-random groups, like Guild runs?
- Why is adding a small form of CC to these classes so wrong?
This is however a good idea anyway, and a nice change to the random group engine that I think is ok. It would be just as poor to see three clothy dps and a clothie healer in a random group too.
Gone will be the days of getting a group at level 61 that contains four death knights and a druid. For those runs the CC was just the prudent and over use of Deathgrip between the DKs, until the mobs became so dizzy they just threw-up on the floor rather than fight. Fun times, great memories.
I hope the CC aspect of the game continues to be thought about, and we see a further change of some sort along the way.
As a suggestion how about an affect called Ice Tomb?
- Affect: Encases the targeted creature in a solid tomb of ice which melts. Damaging the tomb decreases the duration of the tomb.
- Duration: 30 seconds, 1 minute with a glyph.
- Cooldown: One use per combat would be better than nothing, but once per 10 minutes would also be fine so that it is not usable in arena.
Happy killing everyone.