Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Hey, A New Patch...

I heard a rumour that patch 3.3.3 was coming out tomorrow for us EU folk...


I've been looking forward to this patch since I heard about the Death Knight changes that were coming up and I'm trying to figure out why.  I'll admit that nothing but buffs for your main character is always a winner, but I'm pretty sure that this kind of thing has happened before - just without the Christmas Eve eagerness thing.

You know what?  I've think that the reason that I'm interested in this patch more that previous ones is that when the previous ones came out, I wasn't tanking.

When I was playing the DPS game, if they buffed or nerfed my class, that little number on Recount (or Skada if you're smart) went up or down by a few percent and that was it.  Okay, maybe you had to do a little bit of reading, change your rotation, maybe even pay a visit to your class trainer and tweak your spec here and there.  Not that big a deal, really.

Tanking... well... that's a bit different.  Now I have 9 or 24 people trusting that I'm not being an idiot, have specced correctly and that the patch changes haven't messed things up too much.  If the survivability has dropped, the healers have to compensate, if the threat has dropped then the DPS might have to hold back a little (yeah... I wish...).

Fortunately for DKs, it's all good.  Here are the changes:

  • Icy Touch: This ability now causes a very high amount of threat while the death knight is in Frost Presence.
  • Chains of Ice: The ability now innately applies Frost Fever to a target.
  • Rune of Razorice: Now stacks 5 stacks of 2% Frost Vulnerability instead of 10 stacks of 1% Frost Vulnerability. Proc chance changed to 100%.
  • Talents

    • Blood

      • Abomination's Might: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc on certain strikes. Rank 1 is 5% attack power and Rank 2 is 10% attack power. The self strength buff remains unchanged.
      • Will of the Necropolis: There is no longer a cooldown on the frequency at which this talent can be activated. In addition, this ability can now also be triggered by damage which deals less than 5% of your health.
    • Frost

      • Endless Winter: No longer causes Frost Fever to be applied by Chains of Ice, but instead grants 2/4% strength.
      • Icy Talons: The personal haste benefit provided by this talent is no longer exclusive with other sources of melee haste. This will allow death knights to always swing 4/6/12/16/20% faster when Frost Fever is applied. Windfury Totem and the party/raid component of Improved Icy Talons still do not stack.
      • Improved Icy Talons: This effect is now passive instead of being a proc. The self haste buff remains unchanged.
      • Nerves of Cold Steel: Now increases off-hand damage by 8/16/25%, up from 5/10/15%.
      • Unbreakable Armor: The amount of strength granted is now 20%, up from 10%.
    • Unholy

      • Scourge Strike: Now deals 70% weapon damage, plus 12% of physical damage done as shadow damage for each of the death knight's diseases on the target. The net result should be larger strikes with no diseases present, while maximum damage with all diseases applied to the target should stay the same.
      • Unholy Blight: In addition to its previous effects, this talent now also prevents diseases from being dispelled from victims afflicted by Unholy Blight.

Being as this is all about me, me, me, I'm just going to talk about the changes that will affect 95% of my Death Knight playstyle.

Most of the time, I'm offtank in ICC or ToC raids.  This involves picking up adds or sharing taunt-swap duties with the maintank the vast majority of the time, my priorities in talent choice are survivability and high single target threat which is why I'm using the current 53/8/10 Blood spec.  Yeah, some snap AoE threat would be nice, especially for the insane 5-man random dungeon runs, but I cope alright with them... just.

The Icy Touch threat change is going to be so much fun!  There's always this period of 3-4 seconds after a pull where you're waiting for the target to attack you, you (hopefully) dodging/parrying the attack, Runestrike proccing, you hitting one of your lovely macroed attack buttons and your weapon swing kicking in and hitting the target for a nice, big lump of Runestrike assisted threat.  Up until that point, I'm always nervously looking at the threat meter to see how much of a lead I have on Mr. Overkeen DPS No.1.  Let's see if my new and improved Icy Touch opening shot will lead to a little less stress!

Add to that the fact that a threat increase is a threat increase.  Got to be a good thing.

The Will of the Necropolis change... well... what can I say?  I take the talent because it seems like a good idea.  I couldn't tell you how often it kicks in and saves me because if I'm getting hit so hard that my health drops that low, I'm really not looking at my list of buffs at that moment in time; a more accurate picture of what I'm doing is staring at the monitor in alarm and mashing all the cooldown buttons in front of me, so I couldn't really say whether it's WotN, my healers or my cooldown mashing that saves me from time to time.

Still, a buff is a buff...

Lastly, Abomination's Might...  10% AP buff for all?  No proc involved?  Nice.  This is the real reason that you guys drag me along into those impressive looking citadels of death, doom and gloom, isn't it?

Oh yes, I'm a happy Death Knight alright...

- Keep your diseases up and move out of the fire.

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