View Full Version : Death Knight Frustration overwhelming

09-19-2010, 04:59 AM
Hi lads,

I've searched for hours, tested, spreadsheets, you name it, and everything came up with different results, even people on messageboards can't agree, so excuse my noobish question which I absolutely hate to ask -

If I am not capped for expertise as a DW frost DK, should I gem for it? I'd hate to replace 9 gems if the dps gain turns out to be minimal.

Also, I'm having doubts about yellow sockets as well. If the bonus is +4 strength or more, I put +10 crit/+10 strength instead of +20 strength, but now I'm hearing that +10 haste/+10 strength is the new black? Supposedly it increases BCB procs and is therefore a bigger dps increase.

Thank you in advance !

09-19-2010, 06:47 AM
Easy test for you. Download Rawr, import your toon from the armory, setup your buffs & check your dps rating. Go into optimizer, set yellow attack avoidance <= 0, optimize while allowing regemming. Check your dps rating again & decide.

Rawr optimizer usually works well, letting you choose between gear & gems. Where it fails is taking into account your hit & expertise - as in, it doesnt try to optimize to get you hit/expertise capped unless you specifically tell it to in the optimizer constraints. So run optimizer twice, once with no additional restrictions and once more with hit & expertise cap required. Then check which is best.

09-19-2010, 07:35 AM
Once you reach a certain gear level (4pc t10 & mostly 264 gear) as DW Frost your spec and gearing changes.

Most dk's will gem straight armor pen until they reach around cap (97% or more) and then go to gemming str.

If you go look at WoL and search the highest dps output frost dk's in the world for any of the fights and then armory them you'll be amazed at what they are doing. Until I did this I thought that str was the way to go.

As for expertise, as long as you stand behind the boss you don't have to worry about it. Just make sure you have between 8-11% hit and you'll be fine.

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09-19-2010, 08:08 AM
Thank you for the answers.

Rawr is slow, lagging and so tricky to configure that I won't even bother with it.

I don't have the gear to reach the ArP soft cap just yet, so I'm sticking with str until I get better gear - All I want to know is if I should gem for expertise if I am not geared for ArP gemming - Will 9 (!) +20 expertise gems really be better than str if it means I'll reach 26 expertise?

Sorry if I come off as an idiot but I'm frustrated that the internet is so vast, yet I can't find an answer to a simple question :(

Thank you.

09-19-2010, 02:55 PM
You don't need to hit the expertise cap unless you plan on standing in front of the boss with the tanks to deal damage.

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09-20-2010, 06:07 AM
You don't need to hit the expertise cap unless you plan on standing in front of the boss with the tanks to deal damage.

When a melee dps talks about expertise "capping" they are generally referring to the 26 expertise skill "dodge cap", not the parry cap, a number which the OP specifically mentioned in the post above yours. It is necessary to have 26 expertise skill in order to remove dodges, even when dpsing from behind.

Just wanted to clarify that, I don't have an answer for the OP.

09-20-2010, 08:06 AM
This is what I meant, sorry.

26 Expertise, attack from behind. Good.

09-20-2010, 12:43 PM
Lazy boy :P

I went ahead & played with Rawr a little. I made two profiles, one equipped with 271 & 277 items (anything except heroic LK / Halion). The other one from purely paying cash & farming frost badges from heroics/weekly raids, ie no raid loot.

Statwise this is how it comes out:

At low levels of armor pen, armor pen & str have about the same dps returns. Once your armor pen starts getting high, it starts trumping everything. Moral of the story: try to reach arp cap.

Str: Once you get to arpen cap, str becomes the best stat to stack, especially if your hit/expertise numbers are at respectable levels (ie near the caps, even if not exactly there)

Expertise: at really low levels of expertise, it gives the greatest return per red socket (arp vs str vs expertise). Once it starts getting higher, ie at around 15+ish, it starts out losing to armorpen but holds its own vs str. As you near the 26 softcap it starts losing out to both str & arp. So, no, you dont need to be expertise capped but getting as near as 26 is a really good idea.

Crit vs Hit vs Haste: Up till 8% hit, hit is the best stat to get. After that, crit, haste & hit start zigzagging in value. Rawr graph puts hit till spell hit cap over haste over crit. But if you actually start replacing gems, the dps returns start zigzagging all over the place.

I play my own dk as frost only rarely but i'll hazard a few guesses about how this stuff works:
Frost dk delivers a significant portion of its damage through white melee attacks. Plus, you get to proc a lot of killing machine which you can use on Frost Strikes. Even with 20% base crit, i'm seeing 60%+ crits on my frost strikes. If you're not hit/expertise capped, maybe one could get into situations where you're critcapped or missing those procs too much, making the value of crit, hit, expertise & haste very much dependant on each other. Ofc, i'm just speculating :)

Well, this playing around was very interesting for me too btw. I'm more used to fury warrior dps where only about 16% of dps coming from white hits, making hit/expertise caps vitally important.

09-22-2010, 03:14 AM
Definitely hit 8% hit (including talents and racials for spacegoats) and 26 expertise. However, I've read recently that switching to ARP once you hit 5k attack power is a fairly good idea, and something I plan to try myself. As far as +str/haste over str/crit, personally, I'd say to take the gem you're lacking more, though 10 points of either rating isn't going to make a miraculous difference. I myself saw a huge increase in DPS when I went hit the 26 expertise range. Also, unless the bonus is HUGE, like +6 or more, I don't honestly thick socket bonuses make a world of difference unless the sockets are all red. Currently, I stack strength like it's the only stat in the world, and I'm only pulling about 10k on Saurfang in ICC10, and that's with AMAZING group comp, though my gear doesn't look like I've been smashing Arthas into the mud. Also, if you'd link your armory, that'd be EXCELLENT so we know where you truly stand.

09-24-2010, 05:22 AM
Thank you for your answers! Although I have yet to see a solid answer to the importance of hitting the expertise cap, I still feel much more enlightened :)

I've recently obtained my T10 legs which has a sh*tload of expertise on them, so that helped me push towards the cap.

My armory: http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Darksorrow&cn=Andrakyr

I know some of my gear sucks compared to the rest but I just haven't had any luck in ICC on those specific item slots. Oh well!

I'd love any opinions still. Thanks again!

09-24-2010, 05:49 PM
yes expertise soft cap, get 26, glove enchant and or bracer enchant if you need it are the best way to go for this since your close with your t10 pants

09-24-2010, 05:58 PM
The reason to go for soft expertise cap is the same reason you want to reach the soft hit cap: being below it means you have a chance of completely missing an ability.

Missing abilities hurts rotations and priority systems beyond simply causing a loss of dps for the one strike missed or whatever. They also often mean missed chances at procs, etc... you don't want to miss an ability, so your priority before any other stat is to make sure you're not missing abilities.


I'm more personally interested in how to get expertise on my gear for my DK. My DK has been a tank, but I've been gearing up my DPS so I can practice it a bit before the expansion comes and I'm finding it difficult to find expertise on any of the gear that's remotely easy to get, maybe gemming is the best bet after all...

09-24-2010, 06:28 PM
On my dk(blood) I Find that expertise is lack luster for tps generation, I've messed around with it. Going as low as 12 expertise and not noticed a huge differance, while its annoying for a PS to get parried, i've never noticed an IT get parried. I would go so far as to say for straight TPS(not going into parry haste) Hit is better then expertise.

I read your post at a late hour and the second part Confused my sleep addled mind.

To change my above statement, I'm having trouble Not having 40 expertise at the moment on my tank's offset, I actualy swapped out my t10.264 pants for some 251 ArP pants to lose some expertise.

The Easiest way to get some expertise i've found are the boots from 10man Lootship, I think that's 9 expertise w/ which is a considerable amount that + the orc racial(all my melee toons are orcs) is half the expertise i need.

09-24-2010, 06:46 PM
Thought we were talking about dps not threat >.>