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Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:07 AM
Welcome to the new world, fellow former servants of the Lich King. When the world split it did a real number on the Death Knight class. While much will appear similar, a lot has changed beneath the surface, so hold on to your knickers, let go of your old ideas about the class, and prepare to see a new Death Knight reality!

As with my previous work I will be breaking down each important sector of relevant material on Death Knight tanking. I will purposefully aim this work at instructing you on the what and the why, and leave room for you to make your own choices on how you want to use that information. I firmly believe this is the only way you will become a skilled player and not a cookie-cutter sheep. There is nothing wrong with making the same choices as other people, so long as you know why you are making those choices!

**Disclaimer**
While World of Warcraft is a game, software, scripts, and otherwise automated responses, the game has a very key element: human players. When you combine the level of complexity built into the game in terms of talents, glyphs, spells, gear, and the fairly complex interplay of stats, with the uncertainty of network latency, and the still more complex nature of the human being, in reflexes, psychology, perception, and the nuances of the hardware and software tools through which the player interacts with the game, you get a scenario that is anything but set in stone.

There is no “absolute best” anything in terms of the choices you can make in how you play your character. There are nuances and angles that can be used with varying value and effect and the only limitation is having the creativity to discover them, and the skills to execute them.

When I provide editorial, I will discuss many elements relative to other factors in terms of how I have seen them used, spoken with those who have used them, or in terms of the relative value next to other roughly equivalent stats. I am not always right, and there is room for new ideas, always.

The sections for this guide are as follows:

Terminology and Acronyms
Experienced DK Primer!
Runes and Runic Power: The Power System
Specs and Glyphs
Priority - How to use your Skills
Gear Stats, Reforging, and Enchants/Gems
Advanced Skills and Concepts: Developing your Style
UI Modification
FAQ

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:08 AM
Terminology, Glossary:

Common Acronyms:
HS = Heart Strike
PS = Plague Strike
IT = Icy Touch
OB = Obliterate
DS = Death Strike
RS = Rune Strike
NS = Necrotic Strike
FeS = Festering Strike
BB = Blood Boil
DnD = Death and Decay
DC = Death Coil
BP = Blood Plague
FF = Frost Fever
Pest = Pestilence
IBF = Icebound Fortitude
AMS = Anti-Magic Shell
AoD = Army of the Dead
RP = Runic Power
ERW = Empower Rune Weapon
SoB = Scent of Blood
WoN = Will of the Necropolis
BCB = Blood-caked Blade
RunEmp = Runic Empowerment
DarkSim = Dark Simulacrum

Rune System Terminology:

Rune Set = 1 Blood, Frost, and Unholy rune, 3 runes available in two sets to all Death Knights
FU Pair = 1 Frost and 1 Unholy rune, frequently used together for moves
Rune Blackout = when all 6 runes are on cooldown and are not available
Sleeper Rune = the second rune of any same sort that is waiting for the other rune to finish its regeneration in order to start its own

General Game Jargon/Terminology:

Mob = an enemy, monster, or computer controlled non-player character (npc).
Proc = a spell, talent, enchant, or glyph effect that triggers from some set of conditions usually providing a buff or ability.
Tank = the designated character in a party or raid who gears to be strong on survival and takes the primary attention of enemy targets.
DPS = short-hand for damage dealers. I will use the lowercase "dps" to short-hand for damage per second.
Pop = slang for using a spell or ability.
Cooldown (CD) = the period where a spell or item is unusable because it is refreshing.
Global Cooldown (GCD) = the game is built with a base cooldown for the player client of 1.5 seconds. This keeps the player from being able to use most abilities less than 1.5 seconds apart. Some abilities can be used without triggering the Global Cooldown, while for certain classes, the Global Cooldown can be reduced in length with certain stats or abilities.
Internal Cooldown (ICD) = a cooldown hidden in a talent, set bonus, trinket, or gear proc. Cooldown is not visible to the player, but the ability won't be able to proc again until the cooldown is finished.

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:08 AM
Primer for Experienced Death Knights

So, you played a Death Knight in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion and figure you know the ropes? This is the place for you. Many of the important names and elements have stayed, but there have been several adjustments on the system. In this section I will assume you had a strong, working familiarity with the WotLK form of Death Knights and will only look to bring you into the new system for the key changes.

The later sections may still have good information for you, but they will be designed to be equally accessible to someone who has never played a Death Knight before.

Dedicated Tank Tree
Blizzard made a very tactical decision. While they didn't feel that 3 specs capable of tanking and DPSing was not working or broken, they did feel like they were not offering the quality of design that they could. Each tree tanking *and* DPSing meant that each tree had to have a balance of tools for both, and the old talent system also meant that those abilities had to be carefully placed so that one spec couldn't overpower the others by cherry-picking prime abilities from another tree. The result is that the trees had a lot of split purpose or cautiously presented abilities. The upshot is that with one dedicated tank tree, DK tanks can have a spec like Paladins and Warriors that *really* feels like a tank spec, complete with generous helpings of tank-oriented abilities. Not supporting multiple purposes as a primary interest allows the trees to really shine at their designated purpose.

You will no doubt form your own opinion, but I think they've really done a nice job with the dedicated tanking tree, and Blood has had a unique and iconic feeling among tanks which is not forgotten or ignored.

I expect that you, as a DK of yore, will fall into one of three groups on this change:
1.) Blood Tank in WotLK = It's where you came from and now you get new toys!

2.) Frost/Unholy/Dual Wield Tank in WotLK = You loved your old spec and are a little sad that it is going away, but you still love your Death Knight, and tanking, so you are soldiering on and learning the new way.

3.) DPSer who's decided to take on more responsibility = Maybe you played Blood, maybe not, but now that you are going to tank, and you're locked into Blood for serious tanking.

Regardless of where you come from, welcome to the new world order, and welcome to the Bloody family (yes, I will not be shy with Blood-oriented humor).

The New Runes
The first and most obvious change you will notice is the new Rune system. This change revolves around two key elements:
1.) Runes of the same sort (Blood, Frost, Unholy) can only recharge in sequence, or one at a time. That means that if you spend your two Blood runes back to back, the first will start its standard 10 sec regen, and the other will wait until that countdown is completed to start its own 10 sec (note: Haste will now accelerate rune cooldowns, but as tanks I will not expect us to have much Haste on our gear).

2.) Runic Empowerment is a new passive spell given to all Death Knights. RunEmp will give each of your base RP abilities a 45% chance to regenerate a random queued rune. That means as a Blood Tank your Rune Strike will have a 45% chance on each use to cause a rune that is blacked out to regenerate instantly. This will always refresh a queue'd "sleeper" rune (the rune waiting to start its CD) and will not refresh a rune that has a live timer.

This change has severe implications for the way you will play your Death Knight, even as you keep many of the same priorities for abilities used. Some spells have had their cost adjusted to reflect the new availability, and all abilities have had their damage/threat output adjusted to reflect the new slower pace.

As it would appear this will have two practical implications on the feel of rune spending:
1.) Without accounting for Runic Empowerment, this will significantly slow down your rune spending, which in turn results in a slower pace no longer focused on filling and maximizing every GCD. While this may feel a little frustrating at first, remember to appreciate that this also allows for runes to be held in wait for use without being wasted (as opposed to the WotLK format where if you don't spend a rune you are losing out on the maximum output you are capable of). Blizzard's design is specifically to allow this sort of delay to do other important things like use non-central tools (healthstones, Lightwell, etc), move as required by an encounter, and make use of special procs without losing the value for resources sitting stagnant.

2.) Under the old system, rune use generated RP as a byproduct and using it was an afterthought. When you had nothing better to do with runes, you would "dump" RP into Death Coil (and RS was used with minimal consideration as soon as it was available, queued for the next swing, and macro'd by many into other buttons so they didn't even have to use it consciously). In the new system RunEmp creates a dynamic interaction between Rune spending and RP spending. Runes generate fixed proportions of RP at 10 RP per rune, and spending RP on RS or DC will give you a chance to restore a rune prematurely (Note: DC is only worth using as a ranged threat utility as RS costs less, hits harder, and is now always available in Blood Presence). This means that spending RP should no longer be a byproduct or afterthought, it will fuel your cycles. The simple lesson to take home here is that RP moves should be used more actively and aggressively to fuel rune refreshes, for more depth and insight see the Advanced Skills and Concepts section.

Be aware, the advent of RunEmp leads to a new level of unpredictability. The rune restored is semi-random (though the fact that it will only restore a sleeper rune will give you some degree of predictability). When you combine this pseudo-random resource availability with the much slower pace of the base rune regeneration you can essentially throw out any ideas you had of a "rotation." The only way to play cleanly now is by paying attention to what is available in the moment and making smart choices with that.

Spell Changes
A lot of abilities have taken on particular adjustments to cost, cooldown, and other little tweaks. Very few abilities have been significantly revamped. Among the buttons you press, however, here are some key highlights to note:

Heart Strike = where previously this struck up to 2 targets, hitting the second for half damage, HS now strikes up to 3 targets and does not drop off as quickly (25% reduction from one target to the next).

Death Strike = previously this strike, when talented, would restore 15% of your max health. This will now restore at least 7% of your maximum health, but will attempt to restore 20% of the damage you have taken in the last 5 seconds (scaled by talents up to 29%). That means that if you catch a spike of damage, this ability can scale upwards proportionately to off-set that increased damage. Also worth noting as the glyph will be an easy choice in the new system, the DS glyph will increase damage completely with the full scale of RP (from 0-100 instead of 0-25 for buffing range). When combined with the increased value of spending your RP, you may find you will no longer try to keep above a minimum to get the best possible value out of the glyph.

Blood Boil = while the ability itself is remaining essentially the same (though with a very pretty new animation when emphasis is turned on, see interface options), this will now tie, with talents, to our version of the enemy damage reduction debuff (new version of Demo Shout). We will also have access to a talent that both buffs the damage and allows us to use BB free of cost when we refresh an active Blood Plague with PS.

Death and Decay = there are two important changes here, not to the ability itself, but how we use it. First, the ability no longer costs 3 runes, it will only cost one Unholy rune, and will generate RP accordingly. Second, Morbidity no longer reduces the cooldown, but instead increases the damage. This means that we will not be able to use this AoE threat maneuver more than 10 seconds out of every 30 (15 sec with the glyph). Beware and use it with good timing to be sure it is not wasted when you need/want it most.

Dancing Rune Weapon = what was formerly a DPS-oriented ability at our 51-point talent, with very late expansion tanking applications in WotLK, is now a cool new tank tool. DRW now offers 20% Parry in addition to a 50% mirror to our damage while it is active for 12 sec on a 90 sec CD. With the matching glyph, this also will boost our threat by 50%. The spell still costs 60 RP which can be a bit steep (compared to two RS, each of which has a chance to regenerate runes), but it is definitely a fun tool in the arsenal. For more math on the breakdown, see the Advanced Skills and Concepts section below.

Rune Strike = First, RS is no longer on-next-swing. RS is now an instant strike meaning you will be inserting this with high priority into your GCD uses. In addition, RS no longer requires you to avoid an attack while in Blood Presence, which means you can use this preferentially over DC in almost every situation. With the new RunEmp-fed resource system, this will be an important tool as it provides the same 45% proc chance at 3/4 the cost of Death Coil.

Bone Shield = that's right, BONE SHIELD! The former characteristic Unholy ability has been transplanted to the Blood tree and it is ours to use. The spell is unchanged, and does still cost an Unholy rune. To get optimal benefit from this spell be sure to pre-buff early (5 min duration if not consumed, 1 min CD, if you buff 1 min or more before combat, you can have it ready to reapply as soon as you want) and reapply as is reasonable for your need for reduced incoming damage and available resources.

New and Revamped Mechanics
There are many tools that you will not press on their own, but it is important to know that they are there:

Scarlet Fever = previously lamented by many DKs, we now have a Demo Shout analog. With the talent Scarlet Fever, you can now apply the 10% damage dealt reduction debuff with Blood Boil.

Frost Fever = we still have the 20% attack speed reduction, but no tanks are required to talent any more to get the full version. Frost Fever, Thunderclap, etc all have the full 20% reduction as a base value.

Scent of Blood = there is no change in the functionality here, but it is worth noting the new relevance. In WotLK, for a Blood tank, this ability had the soul distinction of allowing you to use more DCs. While the RP generation will be slightly lower as you use runes less quickly, the value of RP is significantly increased now that we have both DRW as a tanking ability, and RS can be used freely as resources are available. Without changing the talent itself, Blizzard's changes have made this terribly relevant to Blood tanks.

Improved Blood Presence = this talent is now mandatory for anyone tanking serious content, and has serious secondary benefits. This is now the source of crit reduction since we no longer add defense to our gear, and will increase rune regeneration speed by 20%. There is no reason not to take this talent.

Blood Parasites = gone are the squishy little worms of yore, welcome the new pudgy sources of raid support healing! The new worms will path smartly (meaning they will hang out behind the target, not just wherever they pop out), have copious amounts of health (roughly 25% of the DK), and will exchange their old trickle of heals for a new splashy surprise. The worms will now attack their target, gorging themselves until they explode, healing everyone in close proximity for a generous heal. Each attack will grant the worm the ability to heal 10% of their health when they explode. The end result is that when the worms pop they will provide a very generous splash heal on the tank and the melee. This is now a talent very well worth taking.

Will of the Necropolis = the concept of WotN remains the same, but the application has changed in a fun new way. When your health dips below 30%, three things happen: you receive a refreshed Blood rune, your Rune Tap cooldown is finished, and you receive 25% damage reduction for 8 sec. This can occur once every 45 sec. This means that in addition to giving added protection if your health dips, you are able to instantly prop your health back up by savvy use of Rune Tap. This will not mirror the obvious protection of WotLK's WotN, but remember that health will not have the same fast flash rises and falls most of the time (at least in the Cataclysm endgame), and this ability will appear delightfully useful.

Crimson Scourge = this is a new talent that is designed to support our AoE and debuff cycle. The talent provides a passive buff to BB damage, and provides a secondary effect. When you reapply diseases (i.e. when you PS a target that already has Blood Plague), you can cast a BB free of cost, allowing you to refresh your damage reduction debuff for free when you reapply diseases.

Blood Presence = it is not terribly surprising, but a change worth noting. The presences were juggled to reflect the tree-appropriate names. Blood Presence is now the tanking presence, while Frost provides an increase in damage and Unholy still offers hasting effects.

How does this change the way I play as a Blood Tank?
If you are already an experienced Blood tank, this is the section for you. If you have tanked, but not as Blood previously, there is a whole guide to fill you in on the new situation.

Threat Abilities/Priorities:
First and foremost, your priorities have probably changed very little unless you were doing something weird or special.

Rune Strike is your best single-target threat move, and should be used early and often as RP allows. It is no longer on-next-swing, so be sure to use it actively. Remember, only queued "sleeper" runes can be refreshed by RunEmp. With this no longer based on a proc, the limiting factor of when you use it should now be only whether RP is available, whether you are reserving RP to use with DRW, and whether or not there are sleeper runes waiting that can be refreshed. The threat will always be a serious value, but the ability to proc a refreshed rune adds a distinct margin to the value of RS, so be mindful of this when you use it. Without a proc-based usage, you cannot waste RS by delaying its use, in all situations. For that reason it is good to be aware of the state of your runes. If you do not have any runes waiting to start their CD, you can delay RS to get better value out of it.

Heart Strike is still your strongest single-target rune-costing damage/threat ability, and will be the default use for Blood and Death runes if you have no other concerns. This also now hits 3 targets and does not fall off as quickly, so it will easily supplant Blood Boil for threat when you are tanking only 1-3 targets, possibly 4 if you are savvy at swapping targets (even on 4 targets it can keep a total damage/threat edge, but you run the risk of not threatening a target if you are not careful).

Blood Boil will remain your key tool for spreading threat around to unlimited targets when you have high enemy counts, but those situations should be uncommon comparatively once you move into the Cataclysm world. This will be most reliably used as an application for the damage reduction debuff. DnD will still support multi-target threat, but remember to use it at the right time as you will always be waiting on the full 30 sec CD.

Disease application is still important and should be done early. At level 81 you receive a new tool to apply diseases, Outbreak. This can be reserved as a tool for quick pick-ups or coverage when you accidentally let diseases fall off, or it can be used to start fights. Note: Outbreak deals zero threat. If you use Outbreak to start a fight, you will suffer one or two GCDs with no damage/threat done whatsoever as you apply diseases and spread them. This *might* make it worthwhile using IT/PS to start a fight, but you can make good use of the quick diseases if you are smart and your DPS aren't too jumpy. Mid-fight, with the use of Crimson Scourge, you will want to use PS/IT so long as you are maintaining the damage reduction debuff. There has been a popular style at level 80 to not use Diseases while tanking. This is a careful decision to make. You will lose some threat from diseases and the tanking debuffs, but you *may* be able to accomplish more total threat because of the simplified move usage. Should you choose to employ this method, make sure you are covering the missing buffs where possible.

Dancing Rune Weapon can be a quality threat buff, and a powerful survival buff. Use it wisely and use it, perhaps more often than you would be inclined to. With the glyph, the threat gained will be a very useful burst.

When it comes to threat, the best advice I can give is to be patient and tactical in your choices. The new system does *not* reward hasty moves above all else. Runes will not waste if you have one set on CD, if you delay a moment to use them. Timing is more important than ever.

Defensive Abilities: When did I get so many buttons?!
The new Blood tank has an arsenal of survival tools! Let's look at them all quickly:


Icebound Fortitude = talented to be free of cost, 50% damage reduction, for a 12 sec duration on a 3 min CD.
Anti-Magic Shell = 5 seconds of 75% magic damage reduction up to a maximum of 50% of the tank's health, on a 45 sec CD. This no longer costs resources.
Vampiric Blood = now free of cost, you receive a 15% health bump and a 25% increase to healing received for 10 sec on a 1 min CD. Glyphing this will remove the health bump, but increase the healing received buff to 40%.
Bone Shield = for one Unholy rune you get 3 charges for your Bone Shield. While the shield is active you take 20% less damage from all sources and get a 2% increase to damage done. Charges can be consumed on an internal CD of approximately 2 - 2.5 sec. Without consumption of charges the shield will last 5 min with a 1 min CD. Glyphing this will no longer increase charges, but instead give you a movement speed buff (non-stacking).
Dancing Rune Weapon = for 60 RP you gain a floating duplicate of your weapon for 12 sec on a 1.5 min CD. This weapon will duplicate every attack you make, dealing 50% of your damage on each hit. It will also protect you, effectively increasing your Parry chance by 20%. If you glyph this spell it will buff your threat by 50% for the duration.


We have several tools, both baseline tools with no cost, and special tools with special costs. We also still have our self-healing abilities to rely on, now with new tweaks:

Rune Tap = this ability is now tied as a pre-requisite to WotN, making it significantly more valuable and less likely to be overlooked by Blood tanks. It has also lost its additional talent point costs and gives you a 10% heal every 30 sec for the one point invested.
Death Strike = the purpose of the strike remains the same, delivering decent damage, but a significant heal. It has new embellishments though that allow for significant scaling of its value. First, the strike will heal for a minimum of 7% of your maximum health, but will be able to scale upwards to provide a heal equal to 29% of the damage you have taken in the last 5 seconds. This means if you are taking heavy damage in a raid, the value of Death Strike will scale up nicely to match. On top of this, the Blood tree's Mastery is the Blood Shield proc. When you use DS you will receive a bubble equal to a proportion of the heal that will be attempted (i.e. it works on the total heal, not the effective heal). This value starts at 50% of the heal and increases by 6.25% per point of Mastery (*not* Mastery rating).
Blood Parasites = the heal from these parasites may not be enormous on you in proportion, but their value is definitely present, and their raid value is more significant still. Do not discount these for your own sake, but remember that they are affecting much more than you.


All tolled, we have a strong arsenal of survival abilities, and it will be well worth your while to use them smartly. Blizzard has openly admitted that because of our copious ability to restore health, we are being balanced to take a bit more damage than other tanks. With smart use of our abilities, we can be very strong and very sturdy tanks. If our abilities are under-used for our survival, we can be potentially more squishy and do our groups a disservice.

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:09 AM
The Power System: Runes and Runic Power

The Death Knight class has easily the most complex power system of any of the 10 classes. That said, within the complex system there is a high level of dynamic interplay that allows the resources to be a mini-game all its own.

The Rune bar consists of 6 single runes in 3 pairs: Blood, Frost, and Unholy runes. At the base you will regenerate one rune of each type at a time with a 10 sec refresh timer. That means that if you spend one Blood rune it will immediately start refreshing and will be ready to be used again in 10 seconds. If you use the second rune at any time during this 10 seconds, the rune will wait until the actively refreshing rune is done its cooldown before starting its own 10 second refresh. This cooldown is also affected by Haste, which provides substantially more value than Death Knights have gotten previously from Haste.

The new rune system has an essential benefit over the old system: because the second rune will always wait for the active refreshing rune to finish its cooldown, it doesn't matter if you use that rune with 10 seconds remaining on the other's refresh, or at 2 seconds. In the old system if you didn't use the rune as soon as it was available you were setting your pace back and losing potential value. This allows for more spaces in rune spending than before without losing any of your peak value.

Runic Power is a semi-secondary resource that behaves like Rage for Warriors and Bear Druids. Runic Power (RP) is generated on a default-to-zero scale to 100 that will degenerate over time when you are out of combat. Using abilities that cost runes will generate RP at a rate of 10 RP per rune, and Horn of Winter will generate 10 RP when used.

A key new ability has been added in the redesign of the Rune system for Cataclysm: Runic Empowerment. Runic Empowerment gives all Death Knights a 45% chance when they use Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike to regenerate a queued, "sleeper" rune. So, any rune that is waiting for its matching pair to finish its cooldown can be refreshed by this passive ability. This ability has a great deal of significance because it changes the dynamic of the system. Where in Wrath of the Lich King Death Knights would consider RP generally as an afterthought, a byproduct to be dumped when there was opportunity (usually when runes were not available). Runic Empowerment creates a symbiotic loop. These refreshes will also create a degree of randomness, where you cannot fully predict what resources will be available next unless you play the system very carefully (and possibly to the detriment of your interests).

The Symbiotic Loop
Using a rune generates Runic Power. Spending RP on core abilities (each spec still has a spell that will consume RP with no chance to proc Runic Empowerment) will give a chance to regenerate a rune. This creates a loop wherein your abilities will feed into using each other. Consider the math for a moment:

1 rune = 10 RP
40 or 30 RP will give a 45% chance to regain 1 rune

If we use a grand statistical average (meaning lots and lots of repetition, results in localized small numbers of uses will vary from this point), that means:

Death Coil or non-glyphed Frost Strike (40 RP) ==> 89 RP = 1 rune
Frost Strike, glyphed (32 RP) ==> 71 RP = 1 rune
Rune Strike (30 RP) ==> 67 RP = 1 rune

I will discuss this significance in greater detail in the Advanced Concepts section.

The take-home points here are, beyond spec-specific concerns:
1.) Delay using RP dumping abilities (DC, FS, RS) until there are sleeper runes waiting to start their cooldown.
2.) Do not leave Runic Power as an afterthought while focusing on rune abilities. Any rune that has a paired rune on cooldown will not be wasted in any measure by being delayed. Runic Power gained when the gauge is maxed out is wasted. It is possible to become locked out of runes and RP if you spend all your runes and are unlucky with your RP moves afterward. If you have runes that can be refreshed by Runic Empowerment, refreshing them midstream can encourage a moving cycle.
4.) Don't over-think this until/unless you are comfortable with the system. Use your abilities strategically, and patiently.

I will discuss this with more specific relevance to Blood Death Knights when I discuss spells and talents.

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:09 AM
Specs, Glyphs, and Play Styles

Blood is now the dedicated tanking tree for Death Knights. That makes this section much simpler than it did in my previous edition. I will only discuss the mainstream tanking elements here, which is to say Blood-centric tanking. Please do not take that as a message that you cannot tank otherwise, always be creative if you have a mind to. Because of the dedicated tanking tree design, however, Frost and Unholy will not be able to support deep end-game tanking for a heavy lack of tools to contribute to survival.

Talents

The new 31 point talent trees simplify things, but they also have a nice degree of room for varying choices. These choices will specialize your skill set towards single-target threat, multi-target threat, or tanking utility. The defensive talents are powerful enough that you should consider carefully before not taking any them, none of them are truly sub-standard.

Congratulations, you have selected the Blood Tree, you now receive the following gifts:
Heart Strike = this will be your core Blood rune, threat ability. It hits for more than Blood Strike, and will cleave up to 2 additional targets (losing 25% on each additional jump, or 75% damage on the second target and 56.25% damage on the third). Note: each incidence of damage is based on the first but individually buffed by diseases, you do not get compounding value on each additional jump.

Veteran of the 3rd War = +9% Stamina and 6 Expertise (skill, not rating, and that is a good thing) are yours to keep.

Blood Rites (Death Rune Mastery) = when you use Obliterate or Death Strike the Frost/Unholy runes used for the ability will become Death runes (wild card runes that can be used as Blood, Frost, or Unholy). These runes will not last indefinitely, but they should last more than long enough to matter within any given encounter, and will often bridge to the next.

Vengeance = the new tank scaling ability that all tanks receive. When you take damage, 5% of that damage is added to your total attack power. The total benefit of Vengeance is capped at 10% of your maximum health. This allows tanks to add a scaling factor for longterm threat, based on their health (which will primarily scale with content/gear level).

Mastery = Blood Shield = When you use Death Strike you create an absorptive shield on yourself. The shield will absorb a static amount equal to 50% of the total heal value (*not* the effective heal value, so regardless of whether or not you need the healing, you will get the full shield size). That percentage is increased by 6.5% per point of Mastery skill, or ~179.5 Mastery rating. This shield does not stack with previous incidences of the buff. More on this below.

In addition to these core passive buffs, we have the optional investment of talents. The tree behaves the same way as older versions where it take 5 points to fill a tier and move to the next one. In addition, the new system will lock you into your tree until you have spent 31 points. These can be any 31 points and do not have to go to the bottom of the tree, but the 31 point talents in every class and spec's talents are worthy abilities, and Blood is no exception. This will leave 5 additional points to spend at level 80, and 10 additional points at 85.

I will discuss the specific value of each talent below, but as a general guideline:

Osyras says:
When making a talent spec for any class, take only what you *need* to first. Make hard choices with the most desirable talents first, and fill in points in the other attractive talents when you have extra points or the talents passed up become more attractive than later tier talents. I will add editorial lines to each tier's decisions to illustrate this process.
Tier 1
Butchery = when you deal the a killing blow that yields experience or honor, you get 10/20 RP. You also generate 1/2 RP every 5 seconds while in combat. Do not expect to get killing blows often as a tank, that RP generation will be rare and unreliable. The passive generation will give you 12/24 RP per minute.

Blade Barrier = when both of your Blood runes are on cooldown, you get a 2/4/6% damage reduction buff for 10 seconds. It does not matter if the Blood runes are currently Death runes, those specific rune slots will be the deciding factor. This will frequently be refreshed as you will often have one rune on cooldown in the middle of combat, and using the other will refresh it.

Bladed Armor = this passive buff grants you 2/4/6 AP for every 180 Armor you have. This is applied to the final armor value provided by Blood Presence, and so, it scales very favorably for tanks.

Choosing in tier 1. Butchery is a weak value overall as a PvE-oriented tank. The passive generation is slight, and as tanks we rarely get killing blows, definitely not enough to get consistent generation. Bladed Armor and Blade Barrier are both exceptional, and you will likely fill them later, but you can put 2/3 in whichever category feels less pressing for you to start: threat (Bladed Armor) or survival (Blade Barrier).
Tier 2
Improved Blood Tap = Reduces the cooldown on Blood Tap by 15/30 sec.

Hand of Doom = Reduces the cooldown on Strangulate by 30/60 sec.

Scent of Blood = Gives a 15% chance when you Dodge, Parry, or take direct damage to generate 10 RP on your next 1/2/3 auto-swing(s). Dodge, Parry, and taking damage covers the majority of the outcomes you could have. The only exception to that is miss which should be about 5% or less. Essentially, you have a 14-15% chance every time someone attacks you to proc this buff. If you are being attacked by one enemy every 2 seconds, that will be roughly 4.5 procs per minute (on a large average) for 45/90/135 RP per minute generated. If those procs are perfectly spaced they would be 15 sec apart, and you would have plenty of time to get 1/2/3 swings off before the next proc (with a ~3 sec swing timer that is a 9-11 sec window for 3/3). In reality the procs can come closer together. The more points you place in the talent, the higher the likelihood is you will clip that. Conveniently, however, the additional procs will stack up to a maximum of 3, so you have some protection. 2/3 is often a safe spending to rarely waste procs *but* you will still generate more RP if you take 3/3, just not necessarily the full point's worth compared to the first 2 points.

Scarlet Fever = Grants your Blood Boil a 50/100% chance to apply Scarlet Fever on all opponents it hits. Scarlet Fever will reduce physical damage dealt by 10% for 30 sec.

Scarlet Fever is the easy take here unless you are totally confident that you will have another group member providing that debuff. This is a significant survival value to leave off entirely. Scent of Blood is a very important value now to support the use of RP abilities in the symbiotic loop between RP and Runes. 2/3 is an optimal investment, though 3/3 will generate more RP. Improved Blood Tap is a prime value for a tank in terms of reliability; this is a talent to take to make sure you can far more frequently free up a rune when you need it. The free Death rune is also ideal for reapplying Bone Shield or using Rune Tap quickly. Hand of Doom is a strong utility, but is best left as a talent to come back to if you have some swing points. It is most ideal for reining in casters. I would recommend filling Scarlet Fever first, unless your raid is handling it elsewhere, followed by 2/3 in SoB, followed by 2/2 in Blood Tap. I would finish Bladed Armor or Scent of Blood if you do not take Scarlet Fever.
Tier 3
Blood-Caked Blade = Your auto-attacks have a 10/20/30% chance to generate a bonus strike. This strike will deal 25% weapon damage, plus 12.5% for each of your diseases on the target. This strike will have no effect on your auto-swings or special abilities and will not consume a SoB charge. Assuming 100% uptime on diseases this represents a 5% increase in auto-swing damage per point.

Bone Shield = at the cost of 1 Unholy rune you get a shield similar to a Shaman's shield with three Bone charges. So long as at least one charge remains, you take 20% less damage from all sources and deal 2% more damage. The shield will last 5 min if the charges are not consumed and the ability has a 1 min cooldown. Charges will be consumed when you take damage, but they have a ~2.5 sec internal cooldown for charge consumption. For that reason this is far more effective against multiple simultaneous damage sources and stacked damage components (for example, a melee strike that also does spell damage on hit, each individual damage component will be reduced).

Toughness = increases non-bonus armor by 3/7/10%. Bonus armor is any armor value on necks, rings, weapons, or trinkets, and any armor on gear that appears green (you can find the base and bonus by subtracting the green value from a piece for the same slot with the same item level and armor weight). This ability does stack multiplicatively with Blood Presence's armor buff, and the buff from the Stoneskin Gargoyle weapon rune.

Abomination's Might = all raid members within 100 yards receive +10% AP, and increases the Death Knight's Strength by 1/2%. This is the same buff provided by Marksman Hunters, Enhancement Shamans, and Blessing of Might from Paladins. These buffs are exclusive and do not stack.

Bone Shield is a useful and powerful cooldown, and at one point it is a very easy investment. Toughness is also a key passive buff for tanks and should not be left out, unless you are actively sabotaging your survival value to accomplish something. Abom's Might is a very available raid buff. The passive Strength buff is not sufficient to make this a decisive value on its own, it is only a bonus value if you take this to benefit your group. Blood-Caked Blade is a strong single-target threat value, but with the copious other values available on this tier, it is easy for it to take last priority. Bladed Armor will be better, point for point, than Blood-Caked Blade, so be sure that is maxed out before you put any points in BCB.
Tier 4
Sanguine Fortitude = increases the damage reduction of Icebound Fortitude by an additional 10/20%, and reduces the cost by 50/100%. This converts the base ability with 30% reduction and a 20 RP cost, to a powerhouse 50% reduction for no cost.

Improved Blood Presence = Reduces your chance to be critically hit by 3/6%, and you retain 2/4% of the damage reduction from Blood Presence while in Frost/Unholy Presence. Each point will also increase your rune regeneration rate by 10% for a total of 20% for 2 points spent.

Blood Parasites = your melee strikes have a 5/10% chance to spawn a Bloodworm. The worm will have roughly 25% of your maximum health, and will behave like a smart guardian (you will not be able to control them but they will position behind the enemy). The worms will attack the enemy, gorging themselves, until they explode. Their explosion will heal any nearby party/raid members for 10% of the worm's health per stack (2.5% of your maximum health). The worms can last up to 20 sec and multiple worms can be spawned at a time.

Improved Blood Presence is non-negotiable for any endgame tank as being able to be critically hit is extremely dangerous and hard on your healers, and the rune haste will likely make it a non-choice for anyone spec'd into Blood. Sanguine Fortitude is likewise a huge value as it turns your IBF into a serious tanking tool. Blood Parasites in its new incarnation is a great raid value, and even a nice hedging value for you as a tank. That said, it will have to take a third priority to the other two talents on this tier. It is an excellent filler value to come back to with spare points, however.
Tier 5
Vampiric Blood = Grants the Death Knight 15% additional maximum health and increases all healing taken by 25% for 10 sec, on a 1 min cooldown. At the end of the duration the bonus health is lost.

Rune Tap = for one Blood rune you regenerate 10% of your maximum health. This ability has a 30 sec cooldown and does not use a GCD. This is required to take Will of the Necropolis.

Will of the Necropolis = When a damaging attack brings you below 30% of your maximum health you receive a buff which reduces all damage taken by 8/16/25% for 8 sec. Your Rune Tap cooldown will also be finished and Blood rune will be refreshed. This cannot occur more than once every 45 sec.

This tier is packed to the gills with fantastic tank value. Vamp Blood is the DK's equivalent to Survival Instincts or Last Stand, with the key exception that the DK gets less health increase but receives an improvement to healing taken. This two-fold buff actually double-buffs the DK's own self-healing tools which are all based on his total health. Rune Tap is a strong ability on its own, but it is also required to take WotN which is also a very useful tool. WotN plays an essential role in Blood's design. Blood tanks are balanced to take slightly more damage, but counter that with self-healing. WotN acts as a safety net when the tank drops too low to make them easier to pick up and harder to kill.
Tier 6
Improved Death Strike = increases the damage and healing from Death Strike by 15/30/45%, and increases the ability's chance to critically hit by 3/6/9%.

Crimson Scourge = increases the damage dealt by Blood Boil by 20/40%. When you use Plague Strike on a target already infected with Blood Plague, your next Blood Boil cast will have a 50/100% chance to not cost runes.

Improved Death Strike is an easy take and a no brainer as it buffs both your threat and your survival (Blood Shield/Self-heal). Crimson Scourge will be a more negotiable value. The damage bonus to Blood Boil is strong, but with Heart Strike hitting 3 targets and the new climate focusing less on tanks taking large groups, that will be a less essential value. The secondary effect will allow you to keep Scarlet Fever up for free on longer fights, provided you take Scarlet Fever and reapply diseases manually. If you do not take Scarlet Fever the only value from this is primarily a buff to large group tanking.
Tier 7 - the 31 pt Talent
Dancing Rune Weapon = this ability has been given both damage and survival value. For 60 RP you receive a cloned copy of your weapon that follows you around for 12 sec on a 1 min cooldown. This weapon will mirror your auto and special attacks but will only do 50% damage with its versions. The weapon's damage does not count as your own threat, but when glyphed the ability will grant a threat bonus to the tank. The ability will also increase your parry chance by 20% while active.

DRW is a worthwhile threat *and* survival tool, and is certainly worth taking. The only drawback to the ability is the RP cost which will inhibit RS usage and the Runic Empowerment cycle. This is a very good reason to make the most of Scent of Blood for RP gain.
Additional Talents from Frost and Unholy

Note: the current Frost Talents in Tier 1 are lackluster at best for tanks. Runic Power Mastery should never be used as you should be using RP long before you reach the cap. Icy Reach will allow you to IT from a longer range, but that is a barely noticeable value in most situations for a PvE tank. Blood will perform very subpar while dual wielding, so most Blood Tanks will not do so, making Nerves of Cold Steel a non-value. Increasing the damage of Obliterate with Annihilation could/should be unused as Death Strike with talents will hit very hard and provide the added healing and protection value. The status protection of On a Pale Horse fits far better in PvP than PvE, and while it may not be totally without value, it is expensive to get. Endless Winter provides a nice resource cost reduction, but as with the previous two, it is very expensive to reach through unattractive talents.
Unholy Command = reduces the cooldown of Death Grip to 25/20 sec and gives a 50/100% chance to refresh the cooldown when you deal a killing blow that yields experience or honor.

Virulence = reduces your chance to miss with spells (i.e. any ability that isn't -strike or done with a weapon) by 2/4/6%.

Epidemic = increases the duration of your diseases to 25/29/33 sec.

Epidemic is an easy choice as it allows you to stretch out your disease duration an insert more abilities into the space before you have to refresh them. 2/3 will almost sync the duration with Scarlet Fever if you have it, but there is no reason not to take 3/3. Virulence is nice but we do not rely heavily on spell damage for threat, only IT and DC will be particularly noticeably affected by this talent. Unholy Command is a worthwhile filler should you choose to try to reach Tier 2 in Unholy. You should not expect to get killing blows often, but having a taunt more frequently available is not bad. Note: Death Grip currently has a minimum range, meaning that you can only use it to pull back things at range, or you need to be tricky and step out of melee range to grab something you are attacking.
Morbidity = increases the damage/healing of Death Coil by 5/10/15% and the damage of Death and Decay by 10/20/30%.

Desecration = Plague Strike will create a melee range patch within which enemies movement speeds are slowed by 25/50% for 20 sec.

Resilient Infection = if your diseases are dispelled you have a 50/100% chance to regenerate a rune appropriate to re-apply the disease was removed. In other words, if both diseases are dispelled, you instantly refresh a Frost and Unholy rune. Note: this does not apply to diseases that are "removed" from a target that becomes immune (such as through Hand of Protection or Cloak of Shadows), only ones that are dispelled.

Resilient Infection will be generally wasted in PvE as there are very rare mobs that dispel diseases. Desecration can make a nice utility should you choose to reach for it, but there are more central values that *might* be more appealing. Morbidity is appealing, but only a half-used talent as the new system allows you to use RS at all times, leaving DC only a utility for ranged damage/threat. As such, Morbidity will be a surplus multi-target threat buff of moderate value.
There is a special spec that is being tested for value right now. This spec takes Lichborne in Frost tier 2 to create a sort of indirect survival tool. While under the effects of Lichborne you are classified as Undead. Because of this you can target yourself (and other DKs can target you) with Death Coil to deliver a heal. In order to get full value, there are a lot of things that need to happen: the tank and/or other DKs in the group need to save up RP, and everyone needs to be ready to hit the tank with DC when she uses the ability. Lichborne has a 10 sec duration and a 2 min CD. The more you use DC, the more value you get, but note that saving up for this can inhibit your RunEmp cycle before hand (and provide proc potential, but at a reduced rate because of DC's higher cost). This saving actually gives value to Runic Power Mastery where there would not have been much before. RPM will allow you to save up for a full 3 DCs instead of just 2. The conditional nature of this spec may make it less appealing to people who do not have a well-coordinated group with at least a couple DKs including the tank.

So, based on the above, I would recommend this as a core skeleton:
http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jcGr0sMrusz

Where Scarlet Fever or Abom's Might are interchangeable (points are in Scarlet Fever in the link), or if you have both covered by others, you can place the points in Blood-Caked Blade for threat or Hand of Doom for utility. At least one of the two points will have to be put on the first 3 tiers.

I would recommend placing the remaining 10 points in:

(3) Epidemic for baseline play support.
(2) Unholy Command if you want to build to Unholy tier 2.
(3) Morbidity followed by Crimson Scourge for the sake of multi-target threat.
(2) Crimson Scourge to support Scarlet Fever for raiding.
(2) Scarlet Fever and/or Abom's Might to add insurance to your raids buffs if needed (10-mans particularly)
(3) Blood-Caked Blade to support single-target threat.


Glyphs

There are three levels of glyphs: Prime, Major, and Minor. Prime Glyphs are unequivocal buffs to your major abilities. Major buffs may enhance the way you use abilities or adjust their niche slightly. Minor glyphs have small effects that just make your life easier. For Blood Tanks, the following glyphs are best suited to help.

Prime
Death Strike = increases the damage dealt by DS by 2% per 5 RP (up to a maximum of 40%). That means at 5 RP you'll get 2% bonus damage and at 100 RP you'll get 40% bonus damage. With this full scale, it is not really reasonable to try and leave your RP maxed out to get the full buff. It may make it worth while to use DS *before* you RS, however, just to get the optimal value available at the time. It is not worth delaying or avoiding using RS to increase your DS damage however. This does *not* buff the heal, only the damage.

Heart Strike = increases HS damage by 30%.

Rune Strike = increases your critical strike chance with RS by 10%.

Death and Decay = increases the duration of DnD by 50% (to 15 sec on a 30 sec cooldown).

Rune Strike and Heart Strike are major values, and easy to take. HS will be powerful for single- and multi-target threat, while RS will be a central ability for single-target threat. DS will come in third in value as it only buffs single-target and not quite as reliably as RS, but it should not be under-valued. If you want to support more multi-target threat, you can glyph DnD in place of DS for more diverse value. Expect DS to outpace DnD on single targets every time however.
Major
Dancing Rune Weapon = increases threat generation by 50% while DRW is active.

Vampiric Blood = increases the healing received by 15% (to 40%), but Vamp Blood no longer increases your maximum health.

Rune Tap = Rune Tap also heals your party for 5% of their maximum health.

Bone Shield = increases your movement speed by 15% when Bone Shield is active. Does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.

Blood Boil, Pestilence, Death Grip = increases the range/radius of the ability by 5 yards.

Anti-Magic Shell = increases the duration of the shell by 2 sec (to 7 sec total).

Strangulate = increases the silence duration by 2 sec if used on a target casting a spell.

Dancing Rune Weapon is a very nice value, particularly if you are using DRW with some regularity/comfort. Rune Tap can be nice for a group buffing value, particularly if you are in the same raid party as the other tank(s). Note: it is only party-wide, not raid wide. In the new health/healing climate, that healing could be valuable and welcome. Bone Shield is a red herring for tanks, as it is very easy to get either a Mastery or Stamina buff with a run speed increase for enchantments to your boots. Anti-Magic Shell may be a decent value if you are not strong with timing, or are soaking less than what will consume your cap from a damaging over time. The Vamp Blood glyph will change the nature of the buff and should be taken with careful consideration. Some situations will be benefited more by an increase in maximum health and the unglyphed state will benefit your self-healing more as it will apply the two factors multiplicatively (for a 43.75% increase. However, in a raid situation you will receive a greater portion of healing from your healers, and a 40% buff will create a greater buff for them. The trade off should consider whether the health margin is helping you in a meaningful enough way to keep it Beyond these considerations you can get some small range/coverage benefits.
Minor
Blood Tap = removes the damage cost of using Blood Tap.

Resilient Grip = if you Death Grip something that is immune, it resets the cooldown (meaning you cannot waste your cooldown on something that cannot be pulled).

Raise Ally = increases the health of your Risen Ally by 25% and its run speed by 15%.

Horn of Winter = increases the duration of HoW by 1 min (to 3 min).

Path of Frost = allows you to fall from a slightly greater distance without suffering damage.

Blood Tap is an easy strong choice as, particularly with Imp Blood Tap, we will use this ability often. The health cost is not significant, but every little bit helps. Resilient Grip is a nice utility for preserving the cooldown, but naturally not a big deal. Raise Ally can be a nice value if you use it, as can Path of Frost. Horn of Winter's RP generation is helpful enough that you may find yourself refreshing it more often than 2 min, but the longer duration can help in any situation where you are not regularly on top of people you are trying to buff. There aren't really any poor choices for minor glyphs, though you may find Death's Embrace unattractive, since you won't want to spend RP to keep a ghoul alive.

Note: You can now learn glyphs and carry the capacity always. You only need Vanishing Powder at level 80 and Dust of Disappearance at level 81-85 to remove the old glyph and place a new one. These materials can be made with Inscription and carried with you, and the glyphs can be applied anywhere out of combat and arenas/battlegrounds.

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:09 AM
Priority - How to use your Skills

I will split this into two sections: threat and survival. I will trust that you will figure out the appropriate balance of the two depending on the situation, as the need of each will vary from fight to fight and group to group.

Threat
As Blood we will rely primarily on the following abilities to generate threat and hold the attention of our enemies:


Heart Strike = 1 Blood rune, hits up to 3 targets (100%, 75%, and 56.25% damage).
Rune Strike = 30 RP, single target, best single-hit threat on one target, 45% chance to refresh a queued sleeper rune.
Death Strike = 1 Frost, 1 Unholy rune, converts FU pair into Death runes, adds survival value, discussed below.
Blood Boil = 1 Blood rune, hits an unlimited number of targets. Applies Scarlet Fever if talented. Hits softer than HS.
Death and Decay = 1 Unholy rune, unlimited targets, point and set selected zone. 10 sec duration (15 glyphed) with a 30 sec cooldown.
Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Outbreak, Pestilence = the disease tools. IT/PS will apply diseases individually, and deal damage but not competitive damage on their own to other abilities. Disease buffing is important to HS and BB threat. Outbreak will instantly apply both diseases at range, but will deal no damage.

Heart Strike will be your strongest rune-cost ability for threat and your Blood/Death runes will be used for this for the sake of threat. Death Strike will be your best threat ability to use for FU pairs, particularly when you factor in the cross-over survival value. Death Strike will sometimes be used on Death runes for survival value. Death Strike *may* also surpass the threat of HS when the heal value is fully used, and you are fighting a single target (healing threat is split over all targets in combat, and overhealing causes no threat).

RS is your strongest threat ability and the single best way to use your RP. DC should only be used in situations demanding ranged threat as it will cost 33% more and hit for less threat.

DnD is a strong multi-target threat tool, but can only have a 50% uptime at most and must be placed. If you have to constantly move around it may not be as powerful, but if you have the ability to stand in the same rough area, this is your primary threat tool. If you take Crimson Scourge Blood Boil will be a strong support, otherwise it will be rather weaker, but still your only option on target counts higher than 4. On 4-5 or fewer targets, HS will be a superior ability for overall threat, but require target swapping to make sure it is well-dispersed where needed.

Diseases should be placed early and refreshed promptly. Disease damage/threat is not so significant that you need to worry about clipping their durations (i.e. refreshing before they fall off). If you have Crimson Scourge and Scarlet Fever, refreshing with PS will always be preferable on any fight where you will get ongoing value from damage reduction. Outbreak can be a handy utility or a quick start tool, but be careful of how and when you use it deals no threat on its own. It is possible to do well without diseases, but should you choose to do so, you need to be conscious of covering the tank debuffs that you will drop, and conduct your own tests to see if *you* can generate more threat with the simpler move set (not everyone will).

Dark Simulacrum is a new ability at level 85. It will not negate a spell the way Spell Reflect for Warriors can, but it will allow the Death Knight to copy the spell and use it themselves. Remember to watch for spells used by the enemy, it does not have to have a cast time for you to copy it, so if you learn the visual queues you can spot instant casts as well.

Survival
For survival purposes you will use the following 7 active abilities (plus one special and infrequent ability):

Icebound Fortitude (IBF) = talented this becomes a 50% reduction of all damage for 12 sec on a 3 min cooldown, for no cost.
Anti-Magic Shell = for 5 sec all magic damage (read: non-physical damage) is reduced by 75%, or until the shell absorbs 50% of your maximum health. 45 sec cooldown, costs no resources.
Vampiric Blood = for 10 sec your maximum health is increased by 15% and all healing effects on you (from your own abilities and items and outside sources) are increased by 25%. 1 min cooldown, costs no resources. When glyphed this ability no longer increases your maximum health, but instead increases all healing done to you by 40%.
Bone Shield = 1 Unholy rune gives you 3 charges/bones. So long as at least one bone remains the shield will grant 20% damage reduction and a 2% increase in damage dealt. The charges have a 2.5 sec ICD and the shield will last 5 min if the charges are not consumed, and the ability has a 1 min cooldown.
Dancing Rune Weapon = 60 RP will give you a bonus to damage and parry chance. For 12 sec, on a 1 min cooldown, this spell will grant you 20% additional chance to parry and create a guardian pet that will match every move you use but deal 50% of the damage you do (note: the guardian will continue to auto-attack even if you cannot). If glyphed, this will also increase your threat dealt by 50% when used.
Rune Tap = instantly converts one Blood rune into 10% health restored on a 30 sec cooldown. This spell does *not* use your GCD (meaning it can be cast simultaneously with other spells).
Death Strike = for 1 Frost and 1 Unholy rune, this ability heals the Death Knight for at least 7% of her maximum health, but as much as 20% of the damage the tank has taken in the last 5 sec. Talented, that becomes up to 29% of the damage taken in the last 5 sec. Note: this is not a random range, the heal will try to match the percentage of damage taken but will not heal for less than the minimum value. Blood Shield will grant the tank a bubble equal to 50%, plus 6.5% per Mastery skill point, of the total heal. The size of the bubble is not reduced by overhealing (i.e. the bubble is based on the total heal, *not* the effective heal).
*Army of the Dead* = for 1 of each of the 3 rune types you will perform a 6 sec channel to summon 8 minions. While channeling the tank will have all damage taken reduced by a percentage equal to the sum of your dodge and parry chance. Once active, the minions will also taunt and attempt to tank anything that is not a raid boss. Note: be careful about using this on any non-raid boss that has position-specific concerns like Dragons with breath weapons, tail swipes, and cleaves; the ghouls will cause the enemy to move and point in semi-unpredictable directions which can cause chaos and unneeded group damage.

Simple Directives:
On entering combat, your priorities should be as follows:
1.) Apply diseases. Outbreak can make a quick opener and allow you to keep a full set of 6 runes to open with harder hitting abilities like HS and DS. Be careful that your ranged DPS do not just start shooting off of the pull however as you will have no threat on your 30 yd ranged pull. Refresh diseases, do not proceed with core abilities other than RS or DS if you do not have your diseases active.

2*.) If you are providing Scarlet Fever, use BB early and keep the damage reduction debuff active. This is done for survival sake, but it will specifically displace threat priorities.

3.) HS is your best fall-back ability for threat. If you have no need of healing or preventative bubbling, use HS for your Blood and Death runes.

4.) When in doubt, DS! DS on any free FU pairs. DS if you have Death runes but want the healing and/or bubble (it will refresh them still as Death runes, not an FU pair).

5.) DnD if you have multiple targets you are collecting that can be kept in the same predictable location, or if you have adds streaming in from a predictable location and you want to make sure they are flagged to you. Note: the damage is not significant enough to lock them to you if they only take a tick or two, but it will give them a reason to look at you if nothing else has touched them, and enough to keep them from attacking the healer if there is not too much healing and sufficient numbers of enemies to disperse the threat.

6.) Use BB in place of HS if you have more than 4-5 targets that you are actively tanking.

7.) Dark Simulacrum can be a HUGE value if it is used on the right spell. Keep your eyes open for abilities that can be powerful to reproduce. This can be a useful utility, but it could also be a big threat tool in specific circumstances, do not underestimate this value.

For Protection:
1.) Use IBF when you are taking or about to take a heavy burst of damage. The catch-all damage reduction will make you far more easy to heal. Learn the dungeons and raids so you know the most appropriate times to use this, and otherwise use it any time you expect to need to be easier to keep alive (i.e. accidentally pulled a second group, a healer was killed or incapacitated, your health dipped particularly low and your healers are struggling to pick you back up). Note: this does not require a GCD or resources, so it can be used at any moment it is needed when it is off of cooldown.

2.) Use Vamp Blood more frequently than it is strictly needed. Look for periods of increased need of healing or reduced availability of healers, or in similar emergencies as described for IBF. Note: this does not require a GCD or resources, so it can be used at any moment it is needed when it is off of cooldown.

3.) AMS has a relatively short cooldown and can be a fantastic tool to soften the burst of magic damage effects, *or* it can make damage over time or aura ticks a non-issue for a short window. Another very important aspect of AMS is that it will block the application of many negative effects, both DoTs and status effects. Figure out the best timing to use this to soften bursts of damage, but do not otherwise concern yourself with saving this for emergencies. It will refresh more than often enough to let you cover yourself frequently.

4.) DS often, but try not to DS twice in immediate succession when you can help it, unless you are taking sufficient damage to consume the shield in the course of the GCD (1.5 sec). Any opportunity for the shield to be used will increase the effectiveness of the buff from Blood Shield.

5.) Rune Tap early and often. With a 30 sec cooldown and the spell not taking a GCD, it can be used heavily. If the heal is fully effective, it will provide as much or more single target threat as HS. It will be diluted over multiple targets, but the healing value is significant enough that it will be worth your while unless you absolutely need the threat. This is not a bad use for Blood Tap.

6.) Bone Shield. Pre-buff and refresh when it fits. You can apply it up to minutes before combat and have the cooldown finished on the spell and the runes while keeping the buff. If nothing else that is a good use of the spell. It can be awkward to use mid-combat as it will break an FU pair and inhibit nice round numbers of Death Strikes, but with RunEmp proc'ing rune refreshes, it is not hard to find runes and time to apply it if you are mindful. 20% reduction with a bias to soften bursts of damage, combined with a small damage buff is very nice value.

7.) DRW. This ability is a great threat and survival buff, but it is also expensive. Use it carefully and mindfully to be sure that you aren't infringing too much on your RS uses and RunEmp proc cycle. This can be very good if you push towards the RP cap for some reason.

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:09 AM
Gear Stats, Reforging, and Enchanting/Gems

Gear in Cataclysm has reached a new level of customization when it comes to stats. In addition to the enchantments (stretching back to Vanilla) and gems (added in Burning Crusade), we now have access to the Reforging ability. This ability allows us to subtract a small portion of a non-core stat (i.e. not Str, Agi, Int, Stam), and add a corresponding amount of a stat that does not appear on the gear. So, if you have Haste and Crit rating available, you can subtract a portion of the Haste Rating and add a matching amount of Hit rating. You could *not* add Crit rating because there is already Crit rating on the item.

In order to choose the most appropriate gems, enchants, and to understand where it is worth your while to shave stats and add others, we first need to understand the value of each gear stat. All values listed below will assume that you are wearing all Plate (+5% to core stats) and have the 5% Stat buff from Blessing of Kings, Mark of the Wild, or Gift of the Shale Spider. All values also represent the value at level 80, and will be updated later for 85.

Survival Stats:
Red = Parry rating, Strength*, Agility*
Yellow = Dodge rating, Mastery rating
Blue = Stamina

With the redesign of stat colors for Cataclysm, each color now offers a specific primary survival value. Mastery rating will also play a key role for tanks. Note: Strength and Agility will offer low levels of avoidance through parry and dodge respectively. While this will not match the pure survival value of Parry or Dodge rating, it may be worthy of some small note as a hybrid stat as Strength and Agility will also offer AP and Crit chance respectively.

Specific values:
Stamina => 1 Stamina = 16.81 Health for a Blood Tank.
A primary survival value. Increasing your health pool will increase the margin within which you can take damage, without receiving sufficient healing, and not die. For Blood Death Knights it will also improve the scale of our self-healing abilities and key survival talents, particularly: Death Strike/Blood Shield, Rune Tap, unglyphed Vamp Blood, Blood Parasites, as well as the threshold for triggering WotN. See more discussion about this in the following section on Advanced Concepts.

Dodge and Parry rating => 176.72 rating = 1% Dodge or Parry chance before diminishing returns. Expect the actual value to be between 70-85% of that value depending on how much you have (more you have the less % value you get). Look in the Advanced Concepts section for more details, but understand that while each additional amount of rating will give you less % avoidance from that stat, the overall value remains static, so 20 Parry rating at 10% parry chance is the same value as 20 parry rating at 30% parry chance for actual survival value. Because Dodge and Parry diminish on the same curve, you will always get more total avoidance value from the stat of which you have less.
Avoidance gives you a chance to completely avoid being hit by a melee attack, taking no damage at all. The pseudo-random nature of avoidance means that the shorter the window you look at, the less certain you will be to get the exact amount you see on your sheet. You may receive more or less actual percentage on a small window. However, the average over a long time will match the value listed. Avoidance allows you to reduce damage taken while also spacing out the incidence of damage taken from avoidable attacks. For perspective, on a typical raid encounter the tank will take roughly 60-100% damage from avoidable attacks. Avoidance has no effect on magic damage, bleeds, and some special attacks.

Mastery rating => 179.24 Mastery rating = 1 Mastery Skill = 6.25% increase that your Blood Shield takes from you Death Strike heal, from a base of 8 Mastery Skill and 50% of your Death Strike value as a shield. Note: unlike Expertise which uses a similar Rating => Skill => % Effect system, Mastery *can* make use of fractions. ~28.68 Mastery rating = 1% additional value from the Death Strike heal will be added to your Blood Shield.
Blood Shield is a standard absorb mechanic that will only reduce physical damage taken. The shield will last more than long enough (8 sec) that the shield will be consumed if you remain in combat, but it will not be consumed if you do not take damage, so it has no negative interaction with avoidance. The value absorbed will be applied to the damage value *after* damage reduction and armor, so it *does* keep the positive interaction with your other damage reduction abilities (Blade Barrier, Armor, etc).

A comparison of the survival value of Avoidance and Blood Shield can be found in the Advanced Topics section. The short answer is that the relative value is situational and personal. Avoidance will allow you to negate an entire hit, while Blood Shield will shave damage off of many more hits, but in much smaller relative scale per incidence. Comparing on a total damage reduction value, you can take less damage overall with the benefit from Mastery rating, provided that you use DS more than 4.6-5.0 times per minute.

Threat Stats:
Red = Strength, Expertise rating, Agility*
Yellow = Crit rating, Haste rating
Blue = Hit rating

While threat will likely be a secondary concern in most serious tanking situations, it is still worth understanding exactly what value the stats will offer you. Note: Agility will offer crit chance, and dodge chance as mentioned above, but both values will be inferior to pure Dodge or Crit rating; The key distinction is that Agility is available in a red slot for gems. I will assume that most people will not gem for Haste or Crit, but should you decide to make a threat set, I would recommend Haste for the acceleration of rune cycles it offers.

Specific values:
Strength => 1 Str = 2.205 AP (2.25 AP with 2/2 Abom's Might), and 0.25 Parry rating (~0.003-0.005% parry)
Expertise => at level 85, 125.72 Expertise rating will reduce your chance to be dodged by 1% (to a cap of 6% against a raid boss, or 754 rating), and your chance to be parried by 1% (to a cap of 14% against a raid boss, or 1760 rating). That means that below 754 rating, you are receiving a double-value for reducing your chance not to connect. As a Blood-spec'd tank, you receive 6 Expertise skill from the Veteran of the 3rd War passive. As a result, the Expertise caps are 629 Expertise rating to never be dodged, and 1572 rating to never be parried.
Hit => at level 85, 120.07 Hit rating will reduce your chance to miss by 1% with melee attacks. Special attacks and auto-attacks while using a 2-handed weapon will have a maximum of 8% chance to miss against raid bosses, which will require 961 Hit rating to remove. Icy Touch, Death Coil, and Pestilence use the Spell Hit table and the Spell Hit conversion (102.52 Hit rating = 1% reduced miss chance). These spells have a 17% chance to miss against raid bosses, which would require 1743 Hit rating, less 205 rating per point in the Virulence talent in Unholy.

To compare the increasing chance to hit from Expertise with the increase in hit size from Strength:

Consider first melee auto-attacks. Your weapon dps is increased by roughly 7.14% of your Attack Power. That means that if your weapon does 295 dps and you have 1700 Strength, your actual dps from auto-swings will cause ~563 dps reduced by your total chance to not hit (miss + dodge + parry). So, if you are soft-capped on Hit Rating, but below the soft cap on Expertise, say at 22 Expertise (1% dodge + 9% parry = 10% chance to not hit), your auto-swings will do 506 dps.

Now let's try adding Str or Exp in appropriate measure. One full epic red gem will give you either 20 Strength or 20 Expertise rating. 20 Strength will give you 44 additional AP, which will increase your dps by 2.84 (= 44.1 AP * 7.14% * (100 - 10% chance to not hit)). 20 Expertise rating will become 0.65 Expertise skill, which will reduce your chance to miss by 0.325% (0.65 skill * 0.50% dodge + parry chance), and increase your dps by 2.30. So on auto-attacks, the raw Strength offers more value.

Alternately, consider your Heart Strike ability. HS hits for a percent of instant weapon damage, meaning weapon speed is now a factor. From the base values above and a standard 3.5 sec base swing speed, your instant weapon damage is increased by roughly 25% of your AP. HS uses 100% weapon damage plus 735, and is increased by 10% for each disease on the target. If we assume both diseases are up, that means that the HS will do 3246 dmg on a successful hit to its main target. If we average that value over all your attacks to account for the strikes that do not land, that is an average value per swing of 2921. Now add a pure epic Strength gem again, and your HS damage average per use will increase to 2933, for a 0.41% increase. If instead you added a pure Expertise gem, it would reduce your chance to not connect and give an average per use value of 2932, for a 0.38% increase. Strength still offers very slightly more overall value.

A key ability to consider now, however, is Rune Strike. Rune Strike cannot be dodged or parried, and double dips from attack power by using both a percentage of weapon damage *and* an amount of AP as an additional value. These combined mean that your RS will receive no value from Expertise, but will receive a lot of value from Strength. Rune Strike will constitute a significant portion of your threat.

Spells will also not gain value from Expertise as they cannot be dodged or parried, but they will receive a small portion of your attack power in their damage value.

Combine the above and the result is that Strength will offer more total value towards your threat than Expertise in total damage, but Expertise will give a stronger likelihood that when you press the button, you get the value of the move. The margin is narrow enough that it would not be a significant loss to add Expertise rather than Strength, and the reliability factor gained may be more desirable.

Note: you do not *need* to cap Hit or Expertise to do adequate threat, but for the sake of optimizing reliability of threat, it is a worthwhile endeavor to aim for the soft cap of both Hit and Expertise (8% melee hit or 951 Hit rating, and 6% Dodge/Parry neglect or 26 Expertise skill or 764 Expertise rating). These values will optimize the chances that you will not fail to connect on a threat move. Having values in excess of these caps will not be immediately wasteful, but they will yield much less value than they did to that point, with more drop off in value for Hit rating. Be aware, a special move that costs runes and does not connect will still trigger a 5 sec rune cooldown, and a missed ability that has an RP cost will still take the RP from your pool.

Note: As opposed to WotLK, Taunt now uses the melee hit chance, so reaching 8% melee miss chance reduction will make your Taunt always hit.

So, how should I set up my gear then?!
Take your gear in the following steps. The philosophy here is that you should start with the least mutable or interactive values. So, the piece of gear is the first major choice, followed by the enchants you place on the piece, the gems placed in sockets, and finally Reforging. Reforging will allow you to make a very personalized adjustment of stat values. It is better to start with large strokes on Gem and gear stats, and then adjust with Reforging to dial values back to caps, or into the desired proportions.

1.) Gear Selection
In general, you will not have many pieces to choose from at a given level of content, and the ability to reforge should make differences very minimal in final effect. Higher level gear will now, almost invariably, offer more total value in every slot but trinkets.

For trinkets, you will get large single passive stat bonuses and bonus effects. The on-use effect or passive chance to proc an effect is as important as the passive bonus. Factor this effect into your decisions. A trinket with an on-use ability will only be put to best use if you are careful to use the effect regularly. Armor and Stamina trinkets can very easily be appealing for the raw health and survival value, but be aware that trinkets with avoidance ratings can be Reforged to give you other benefits like additional Mastery, should you choose to favor that value.

2.) Enchants
For every slot there is at most one survival enchant available, usually that is in the form of Stamina, Dodge, or Parry rating. Gloves are the one exception which also offer armor buffs and other special profession abilities for engineers, as well as Mastery enchants. At level 85, the only armor enchants available are old ones, and potentially not worth down-grading for scale. Alternately these enchants can be used for threat, particularly with hit rating to gloves, and expertise rating to gloves or bracers. Remember that if you are planning to reforge for hit/expertise soft caps, hit or expertise gained through enchants can allow you to reforge *less* from survival stats on gear, and allow you to use reforging to benefit survival more. Enchants of particular note (or are otherwise not particularly obvious):

Enchant Boots = this slot can be filled with a +50 Mastery enchant, but a strong alternative is Earthen Vitality. This enchant will exchange 15 Mastery for an 8% increase in run speed. This is very useful for staying on top of moving targets, kiting enemies into/out of key locations, and moving out of trouble. Unless you are getting a run speed buff from somewhere else it is highly worth the trade.

Enchant Gloves = there is a 65 Mastery enchant for survival, or 50 Expertise rating, or 50 Haste rating which may offer a composite survival and threat value by allowing runes to regenerate more quickly, and allow the tank to use abilities more often.

Enchant Bracers = there is a 50 Dodge rating enchant for gloves, or 50 Hit or 50 Expertise alternatives for threat. Bracers can also receive a 65 Haste rating enchant.

Weapon Rune = the two most powerful options for a survival-conscious tank will be Stoneskin Gargoyle (SSG) and Swordshattering (SS). It is worth noting that the 4% increase in armor will not represent a 4% additional reduction in damage taken (closer to 0.85% for a well-geared endgame tank). That said, the compounded effective health value will be appealing to many tanks, and the health buff is undeniably valuable to Blood and its self-healing focus.

3.) Gems
In gemming, in general, there are two ways in which you can gem a piece of gear: maximize a target stat -or- maximize the net stat value of the gear. The difference is simple. If you want to maximize a specific stat value from a piece of gear you can pay the opportunity cost (socket bonus) and add pure gems for the stat you want to maximize. Alternately, you can add gems selected to match socket bonuses and receive the socket bonus for added total stat value on the gear. So long as you can reasonably benefit from stats other than the one stat you might want to maximize, you can get a superior value by matching socket bonuses, while still playing to your preferred value with hybrid gems.

At level 85, the feeling of tanking is substantially changed from the experience at 80. Where at 80 the tanks had frequent heavy health flashes, dipping from full to less than half on every hit, at 85 the hits constitute a much smaller portion of your health, and tank health without focusing too heavily on Stamina is substantially higher proportional to the gains from adding Stamina gems. A typical tank with Stamina trinkets and no gems or enchants will have around 150k health. A heavy focus on Stamina in t11 (the first raid tier of Cataclysm gear) will only result in an additional 12-20k health. With smaller hit proportions (and smaller heal proportions), the balance of survival values shifts back towards favoring a balance of health and damage reduction, possibly even tipping the scale towards damage reduction for survival.

The optimal stats for maximizing survival in gems slots will involve matching sockets for bonuses most of the time. You can accomplish this while playing to the stat you want to maximize by using pure and hybrid gems with the following stats:
Red = Parry rating
Yellow = Mastery rating
Blue = Stamina
If you want to balance survival and threat, and/or allow your reforging on your gear to be used differently you can substitute Hit rating for Stamina, and Expertise for Parry rating.

4.) Reforging
Once you have added all the gems and enchants, only then should you look to reforging. Reforging is a fine tool to create the final touches on value. You can dial your Hit or Expertise up or down, carefully into/from Avoidance/Mastery or Hit/Expertise to reach the soft caps precisely, if you want to optimize your threat reliability.

To optimize your avoidance value, compare the total values of Dodge and Parry rating. It will be a small but cost-free benefit to move from which ever stat has more to the other. So, if you have 2000 Dodge rating and 1800 Parry rating, you will net a small gain in total avoidance by reforging Dodge rating into Parry rating (on gear that has no Parry rating), with no lost value (other than not being able to reforge that piece of gear otherwise).

If you make heavy use of Death Strike, it can be worth your while to shift Avoidance into Mastery. Consider this choice based on the information presented in the following section on Advanced Concepts.

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:10 AM
Advanced Concepts and Skills
*updates will come over time*

Mastery vs Avoidance:
Here is a spreadsheet representing values at level 80, a new sheet and discussion will be added in the month(s) ahead to reflect values at level 85.
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Am4-ocOs4DVxdHdlUGp4bk5TSGFQdGZMSHhwVVVia0E&hl=en&authkey=CPWz4fMF

Rune Value of RP spent
*to come*

DRW vs RS for RP value
*to come*

Avoidance Diminishing Returns and the survival value gained per increment
*to come*

Forgive me as these topics and more will take months to roll out. Much of it is highly case-specific and is greatly improved by testing and experience at level, in the Live content.

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:10 AM
UI Modification

*coming soon*

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:10 AM
FAQ

*coming soon*



Change Log:
10/12/10 = posted for 4.0.1
12/1/10 = updated for the release of Cataclysm and the level cap bump

Satorri
10-12-2010, 06:10 AM
[reserved Addendum]

Theotherone
10-12-2010, 07:56 AM
Kind of sad for the Frost tanks left roaming Northend; I tanked my last ICC 25 last night in Frost and fittingly exploded after 10 stacks on Fester (squishy warrior was one shotted right after the taunt) - out with old, in with the new.

A very nice guide, Satorri, you make me almost look forward to being forced back into Blood. I guess 5 man heroics almost become relevant again to learn the new talents.

Darkwitch
10-12-2010, 10:45 AM
I love the guide Satorri! Keep up the good work! One thing to note, don't forget that Improved Blood Tap halves the time on the 4 pieces set bonus for T10 armor. Effectively giving you 12% Damage Reduction 20s / 1 minute. Last I checked on PTR which was a few weeks ago, it hasn't changed.

Satorri
10-12-2010, 10:47 AM
Oooo that is good information, Darkwitch! I've been working on this for a while now (though obviously not complete...), but it has all been focused on 80+ stuff, very little attention at 80. Then I realized, "hey! People are actually going to start using the talent and spell changes today..."

RjLive
10-12-2010, 11:12 AM
Awesome another great guide =D, cant wait to see it finished

GBF
10-12-2010, 11:13 AM
Damn, was hoping to see some work on Mastery when I came here. That's really the only thing I'm unsure of - do I reforge away avoidance for a slightly more reliable form of damage reduction? I ask in the context of tanking H LK 25. It's hard to know because I'm not sure how difficult threat will be to maintain, and if the removal of Chill of the Throne will make it so I get hit too rarely to reliably use Death Strike for shields enough to make mastery worth it.

Also, is it true that Blood Shield reduces only physical damage? If so, it just became a bit less desirable than I thought it would be. You advocate Death Runes be used on Heart Strike - will we really need the extra threat over a potential shield/heal? Is threat that tight?

Planning on running some heroics and older raids tonight if possible to get a feel for all of this, but my initial guess is that tanking HLK 25 just became significantly easier for Death Knights (between having 4 piece Scourgelord AND either VB or BS for every Soul Reaper and the increase in avoidance, I'd say we're in a good place).

Swam
10-12-2010, 01:00 PM
With reforging up with 80 gear and all lvl 80 gear bing revamped (good bye def) You are going to want to reforge some mastery in there. I wouldn't go all out on mastery yet, but I also would not ignore it. For lvling once cata drops mastery will make blood tanks solo gods :)

With threat from what I have seen at lvl 85 (my dk is in all greens has run every new regular instance once) threat isnt a problem on your target if you know what you are doing. heart strike is nice because it can give some threat to other mobs in a pull.

Great stuff S! cant wait to see the ui modification stuff. I for once am very happy with myself because I had everything pretty much figured out by myself. Im a big boy now. still the detail is a great resource and your storytelling made me chuckle

Also sticky please!

Halandir
10-12-2010, 02:08 PM
Nice work... this is an epic guide. Moar stickies plz!

Swam
10-12-2010, 02:37 PM
So I do have one question. I have been looking at preferred specs and there is one thing that I differ with. Why exactly is improved blood tap so essential? Is that with the set bonus because then I can see it being amazing. but why take it over say abom might or blood caked blade? both of those seem very solid threat and dps to me.
whats thoughts on this?

Gendrake
10-12-2010, 05:29 PM
So looks like RS still requires a dodge/parry, did that get changed back in the Cata beta as well?

derangedhermit
10-12-2010, 05:33 PM
RS only requires a dodge or parry IF you are not in Blood Presence. Or at least that's how it is supposed to be now.

Gendrake
10-12-2010, 07:18 PM
Yah, it appears to be requiring the dodge/parry regardless of Presence.

Kanzer
10-12-2010, 08:35 PM
Yah, it appears to be requiring the dodge/parry regardless of Presence.

Yes, it isn't working how they said it was. Its very annoying too because I can't take advantage of runic empowerment which makes AoE tanking a pain because of runes not coming off cooldown.

uglie
10-12-2010, 08:48 PM
I'm loving blood even after being forced to change from frost.
Currently I've been practicing on the lvl 81-82 elites in icecrown and finding that dodge and parry is going to be a lot more useful especially from a threat stand point. Now hear me out on this before you judge. You must dodge/parry before you can use RS, and since RS has a chance to refresh a rune it allows you to use your abilities. So having both more heart strikes and RS's will allow you more threat gen as well as having more runes available to use for DS's and rune taps.
To test this theory I decide to use heroic CTC and ick's thumb (both of which i had to get out of the bank) and it seemed like i was getting more RS procs and as a result more refreshed runes.

novicracker
10-13-2010, 12:05 AM
wow I have never Blood tanked... But with the information you provided i have already worked out a tree and Rotation.. Plus what glyphs Im going to use... TY Sooooo Much!!!!!

uglie
10-13-2010, 12:58 AM
Tonight I decided to get some guildies together and run a couple raids to do some testing. We ran Toc10 and voa10. Everything went smoothly for us, well we didnt wipe. Our fury warrior went from 10k dps down to 4-5k, yeah they're crying themselves to sleep tonight lol. Threat was a breeze as long as I was dodging/ parrying and able to RS. If I was getting an unlucky string of taking melee strikes i would death coil to refresh some runes and get some DS's and HS's in. Granted I outgear ToC but it was for testing purposes, hopefully soon I will be able to get some icc testing in.
The only problems I've had is my addons not working. WTB updated addons soon. I do love the new raid UI which includes the role check, free smoke bombs in multiple colors.


http://www.wowarmory.com/character-talents.xml?r=Fizzcrank&cn=Theuglieone&gn=Marauders

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 01:31 AM
So tell me the real deal...

Is dual wield frost tanking feasible (yes I saw you mention an uphill battle with threat) and is blood DPS feasible at all?

Also, do you feel that any of these talents are going to be changed by the time Cataclysm comes out or are they all pretty polished now?

uglie
10-13-2010, 01:43 AM
Short answer to first question is frost DW tanking will be just like fury taking for warriors and blood dps will be just like a prot warrior dpsing. So yes either can be done but you will be severely gimping yourself doing either.
As far as current talents, I'm loving them but with i could reach 85 already to get the rest of my talent points. If talent changes are to come I believe fury will be the first to get hit hard with the buff bat. Other than that I dont believe too many changes will be made til after plenty of people hit 85 either on the cata beta/ptr or cata hits live servers.

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 01:47 AM
One more question.

Why was Festering Strike added?

uglie
10-13-2010, 01:52 AM
From what I've read it's for unholy dk's only. Personally our disease seem to last forever with with 8 seconds added to diseases from 2 points in epidemic allowing for tons and tons of heart strikes and death strikes, so I have yet to add it to my rotation and probably never will.

Swam
10-13-2010, 04:13 AM
So tell me the real deal...

Is dual wield frost tanking feasible (yes I saw you mention an uphill battle with threat) and is blood DPS feasible at all?

Also, do you feel that any of these talents are going to be changed by the time Cataclysm comes out or are they all pretty polished now?

yeah
blood dps: no
frost tank: no
gone is the days that dks can smudge all the trees.

2) while the talents may change a touch its pretty much set. get used to what is out there

Swam
10-13-2010, 04:14 AM
By the way I am Satorri's minion.

Acidbaron
10-13-2010, 04:23 AM
What swam said, if you dislike 2h unholy you can always use 2H frost, which is a viable spec.

Satorri
10-13-2010, 06:55 AM
Damn, was hoping to see some work on Mastery when I came here.
The stat section is a work in progress, but I should have something relevant to 4.0.1/3 hopefully within a week. I need to crunch numbers at 80 and I had only been doing it for 85.


That's really the only thing I'm unsure of - do I reforge away avoidance for a slightly more reliable form of damage reduction? I ask in the context of tanking H LK 25. It's hard to know because I'm not sure how difficult threat will be to maintain, and if the removal of Chill of the Throne will make it so I get hit too rarely to reliably use Death Strike for shields enough to make mastery worth it.
As far as the threat/survival balance, that is one we'll all have to figure out, since it varies group to group pretty seriously.

The value between Blood Shield and Avoidance will always be a little sketchy. You will get more Blood Shield absorb % than avoidance % in the exchange, *but* the Blood Shield value has a heavy personal element: it is based on how well and how often you use DS. When I post numbers I'll have a rough estimation that should ballpark it for you.


Also, is it true that Blood Shield reduces only physical damage? If so, it just became a bit less desirable than I thought it would be. You advocate Death Runes be used on Heart Strike - will we really need the extra threat over a potential shield/heal? Is threat that tight?
As I mentioned. HS will likely (not confirmed on live yet, needs testing and number crunching) to be superior threat for the rune cost, but like I said above, threat vs survival is a personal concern. HS will almost certainly be superior damage, which still may be something you're interested in. It is all a bit up in the air right now.

At last check, yes, Blood Shield was only absorbing physical damage.

Planning on running some heroics and older raids tonight if possible to get a feel for all of this, but my initial guess is that tanking HLK 25 just became significantly easier for Death Knights (between having 4 piece Scourgelord AND either VB or BS for every Soul Reaper and the increase in avoidance, I'd say we're in a good place).[/QUOTE]


Why exactly is improved blood tap so essential? Is that with the set bonus because then I can see it being amazing. but why take it over say abom might or blood caked blade?
Substantially more frequent Blood Tap is not just a matter of threat, it is a matter of having any one sort of rune, when you need it, more often. Its CD matches Rune Tap, can open up a rune for Bone Shield re-applications, could give you a BB to reapply Scarlet Fever (depending on whether you took Crimson Scourge or not), it could pair up with another rune (say from RunEmp) to use DS, it could just be another HS (and the RP that comes with it). The point is versatility and availability. The new rune system leaves potential blackout zones and this is a very valuable tool for never being caught without a tool.


So looks like RS still requires a dodge/parry, did that get changed back in the Cata beta as well?
Balls, I hadn't changed that because I hadn't been able to check. It hasn't been implemented on the beta yet, last I checked either. This *had* been an unreleased guide in my private stock of work, and I had made those adjustments expecting the change to go in before this ever saw the light of day. /cry


Is dual wield frost tanking feasible (yes I saw you mention an uphill battle with threat) and is blood DPS feasible at all?
You could dual wield Frost tank in any content that does not strictly require a tank spec. Frost spec does not support tanking CDs or skills. That means that if you try to tank raids you will be crittable and lack a lot of special moves for survival. In short you'll be squishy and take dangerous spikes. It *can* be done, but it would not be a good idea in situations where it matters. You could probably tank heroics if you have a nice tank set.

Blood DPS will be similarly hurt. You can do it, definitely more easily than a Prot Warrior, but do not expect to compete with DPS trees when all else is equal.


Also, do you feel that any of these talents are going to be changed by the time Cataclysm comes out or are they all pretty polished now?
They are polished, but I would expect some tweaks. You will not likely see MAJOR changes like total tree rearrangement, but one change already pushing to Beta removes the damage reduction carryover on Imp Blood Pres with an increase in rune recharge speed (which will be a huge value).


Why was Festering Strike added?
For Unholy, ScS is now a 1 Unholy rune cost, meaning they break FU pairs very easily. Festering Strike pairs well with that to allow them to use Unholy runes on ScS and fill BF pairs instead.

Don't assume, though, that it is only useful for Unholy. Extending disease duration may have situational applications. I've been playing with it as Blood, but with RunEmp and all it rarely feels like a good fit in all but matters of utility.

Kanzer
10-13-2010, 09:12 AM
Well according to the notes its back in the beta build to not requiring dodge/parry anymore but cost 30 RP and can only be used in blood presence now. I guess whatever they were trying to do just didn't work. Imp blood presence is also increasing rune regeneration by 10-20% so looks like they are addressing the near impossibility of always being prepared for any unforeseen situation that might happen. Glad to see that personally, after running chain heroics I was not completely happy with the pace I was forced to go at and with not being able to deal with a constant stream of adds reliably at all like I used to.

As far as threat generation goes, I really didn't run into any issues. I was hitting over 20k TPS in 5 mans...

Satorri
10-13-2010, 09:16 AM
Well, to be fair, the Beta represents what they are trying to do. Live is just what has been tested and works, for now.

4.0.3 at the latest, I would guess, will have the final-ish state of RS. I'm going to make a catch-all note at the intro of the first post.

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 11:04 AM
Thanks for your thoughts all :)

Satorri
10-13-2010, 12:13 PM
I am going to work up a more polished version of this for the guide proper, but here is what I'm working on right now for the Avoidance vs Mastery issue:

My numbers may be a smidge dated, but the rough translation I had last was that the rating shaved from avoidance would work out to be roughly 1% avoidance into 2.5% increase in Blood Shield % (absolute % mind you, not % increase).

To compare the survival value of Avoidance and Blood Shield, let's consider a simple scenario that should be indicative of rough general value in ICC (at level 80). Average Boss attacks you once every 1.5 sec for 20k damage after armor and % reductions. Let's say you have a base of 45% avoidance, and your DS heals on average about 11k (accounting for avoidance, and non-targeted DS to match optimal damage taken). We'll have a base only value of Blood Shield at 50%, since no level 80 gear has Mastery by default, leaving the average Blood Shield value at 5.5k. If you were to convert 1% avoidance into 2.5% additional Blood Shield % (note: this is the % of the DS heal), you would take 1% more swings and your Blood Shield would absorb 52.5% of the DS heal, or an average value of 5,775.

For the sake of comparison, let's say you are using DS so as to never waste a shield, and are able to use DS once every 15 sec on average, or 4 times per minute. In reality, this will vary with RunEmp procs, use of other abilities on the FU pairs, etc.

Using the values above, before avoidance or shields you are taking 40 20k hits per minute or 13.3k dps. At 45% avoidance and 4 50% Blood Shields per minute, you are taking 6.97k dps. If you exchange 1% avoidance for 4 52.5% Blood Shields per minute, you will now take 7.08k dps. The exchange would be small, but definitely in favor of Avoidance in the long average. Locally, the change in effect would shift between about half a hit per minute completely failing to hit and each of the 4 Blood Shields reducing their soaked hits by an extra 275 damage.

For perspective, the old GCD capped version would let you DS on average twice every 10 sec at most, if you were not using PS/IT to keep diseases up. Let's round that down to 3 per 20 sec to allow for disease application without Glyph of Disease. That would be 9 DS per minute. If you were capable of this now, that would result in the following numbers from the above example:
45% avoidance + 50% Blood Shields = 6.51k dps taken
44% avoidance + 52.5% Blood Shields = 6.60k dps taken

Another variation on the scenario to see if we can illustrate the region of relationship. Let's say you have 60% avoidance and still got those best plausible of 9 DS per minute:
60% avoidance + 50% Blood Shields = 3.84k dps taken
59% avoidance + 52.5% Blood Shields = 4.60k dps taken

So, the higher your avoidance value (and I would not expect you to have less than 45% going into ICC), the worse the trade off becomes. I'm going to check the conversion, it may be less fair, but with the lack of Chill of the Thrown, this may not ever be a trade you really want to make, or at least a trade from random chance to hoping for optimal user placement for a parity in value.

Take all this with a grain of sand, this is off the top napkin math and will need proper cross-checking. I post it though because I'd like to get any possible feedback before I start posting something more concrete in my guide. If there is something I am missing it would be helpful to have it pointed out. =)


Addendum:
Thought of another way to push this in the favor of Mastery. The maximum value you could get from DS would be 3 hits in 4.5 sec. This would require a streak without avoidance. Let's take the 45% avoid value and try DS heals for 18k (30% of 60k dmg). Now the 50% Blood Shield will be for 9k and the 52.5% Blood Shield will be for 9,450. So, *if* you can get 9 DS per minute (once per 6.67 sec), and always got them off following a 3-hit string (on average only 2.4 hits should land with 45% avoidance in 6.7 sec windows), then you would see the following value:
45% avoidance and 50% Blood Shield = 5.98k dps taken
44% avoidance and 52.5% Blood Shield = 6.05 dps taken

The best case I can come up with that is remotely plausible to see from an adequately geared tank in this scenario is still in the favor of avoidance.

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 02:14 PM
Now that I'm finally looking at the talents...

Yeah, I agree that blood DPS is not possible unless you want to severely gimp yourself.

I was looking mostly for the self-healing aspect as I really loved that about blood, but the only real DPS talent you can get into is bladed armor unless you go full blood and there's not a lot appealing in blood for DPS.

I made a test spec and as I'm adding talents I get the sense that the spec is better suited for PvP than PvE DPS.

Urythmic
10-13-2010, 03:16 PM
Wow, really great stuff here! Thanks so much for the guide.

I guess this is already planned for one of your *coming soon* sections, but you may want to mention reforging other excess stats into mastery for the extra shield. When I first purchased the Mastery spell last night, it gave me a base of 8 points to start with (despite none of my T10 gear having mastery on it). I was already a bit over cap on hit and new talents put me over cap on expertise, so I reforged some hit, some expertise, and some crit on my weapon into mastery. This brought my mastery up to 10, which pushed Blood Shield up to 62% or so. Not bad for old Wrath gear considering I didn't sacrifice any avoidance and only a little threat.

Sevantha
10-13-2010, 03:26 PM
Very nice guide as usual from you :) gave me a nice read while i was waiting for my game to be updated.
But damn i just changed alot of my dodge rating for mastery cause i thought it would be really imba but i guess that was not such a good idea after all ;)

anyways keep up the good work :D

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 03:27 PM
What kind of DPS does the blood parasite do? Does it give you additional threat?

If we take healing out of the equation.. which is better? Blood Caked Blade or Blood Parasite?

Roblina
10-13-2010, 04:01 PM
Ok I really don't get all the posts where threat is apparently fine, what I'm experiencing is completely different. At the current forefront of gear, that is we're all "Light of the Dawn" BiS, there's no way I'm going to be keeping threat off our full 277, reforged mastery mages and warlocks. They push out so much damage, and so much threat, while I'm sitting around waiting for either runestrikes or runes to light up and they shoot right past pulling agro.

I'm about to change my spec to make sure I get as much threat as I can, 3/3 BCB for a start, and then will reforge some of my gear including my Shadowmourne (that should already be helping my threat enough :<). My question is, what stat would be recomended to reforge too, obviously hit/exp/haste/crit can add threat, but the other possibility is even more avoidance for these vital RS procs. I'm already at 27%d, 20%p unbuffed however so dr's are pretty steep.

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 04:25 PM
Hmm. Any ideas where my phantom dodge/parry is coming from?

Dodge Rating of 1080 adds 23.87% before DR (main number is 23.75%)

Parry Rating of 694 adds 15.34% before DR (main number is 17.89%)

[EDIT: Nevermind. I forgot about STR being converted to PARRY.]

Gendrake
10-13-2010, 04:48 PM
So for Blood Shield we can waste applications? Wasn't there talk of it being additive so that you can't waste a shield or something like that? Oh well, guess that would have made it a bit too good.

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 05:18 PM
What do you all think of this opening rotation for AoE?

D&D - unholy
icy touch - frost
plague strike - unholy
pestilence - blood
blood boil - blood
blood tap - 30 second cooldown
plague strike - death
blood boil - free

[EDIT: Actually, in practice, this is a very lengthy opening rotation as by the time you get that free blood boil done.. you have a couple of the beginning runes ready to be used.]

..and this one for single target..

icy touch - frost
plague strike - unholy
death strike - frost and unholy
heart strike - blood
blood boil - blood

Seems pretty standard but I don't theory craft as much as you all do :)

Roblina
10-13-2010, 06:09 PM
The important thing to add, especially for single target is that if runestrike pops up at any point, you use it, and continue the rest of that rotation after. Don't like pop out the next hearstrike or w/e before using the runestrike.

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 06:11 PM
Yikes. Just tanked my first heroic (Violet Hold) and a few thoughts...

1) I sure feel slow when it comes to the 2nd add that comes from a single add portal. It's like I can do my opening rotation on the 1st add and then I just have to sit there letting things recharge in time to pickup the 2nd add.

2) I'm pretty well geared for a tank and a mage constantly kept ripping single target aggro from me.

3) They really should take Rune Strike off the GCD. They also really need to fix the whole "no requirements if in blood presence" thing.

4) They need to re-add the 'debuff' for DRW so you can know the timing on it on the target.

Meh.

[EDIT: Also, how did you unholy tanks get yourselves in the mindset to keep bone shield going all the time? I forgot like crazy.]

Meagree
10-13-2010, 06:53 PM
I've noticed that Improved Death Strike (supposed to add 45% healing to Death Strike) doesn't add any healing, at least not on the "10% of your health as minimum" - can anyone confirm that this is a bug, and not a tooltip error? (It'd be quite a shame if it was only intended to give 45% damage, not healing).

I'd also like to know if anyone knows if there's a cap on how much Blood Shield can absorb. I checked WoL and the highest absorb I ever got out of it was around 16,000, while the highest heal I got from Death Strike was over 50,000.

EDIT: My Mastery rating is 529, which brings the Death Strike to Blood Shield conversion up to 122%.

uglie
10-13-2010, 06:55 PM
One key thing to remember about RS is that is has a 45% chance to refresh a rune that's on cd but has yet to start refreshing. I do agree however that having RS off the gcd would be a great buff but if that was to happen the same would have to be done with warriors and HS/ cleave. Now as far as RS not needing to be procced by a dodge or parry, I personally like the way it is now. For me it makes things more interesting. Granted it does suck when you dont dodge or parry for a bit, but you can still DC to try and proc runic empowerment.

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 07:14 PM
Granted it does suck when you dont dodge or parry for a bit, but you can still DC to try and proc runic empowerment.The situation that made me think about it was against Lavanthor where it's very little melee damage to proc RS. I didn't have Omen running so I need to get back in there and see what kind of numbers I'm doing.

Did they remove the Icy Touch threat buff?

Urythmic
10-13-2010, 07:58 PM
Did they remove the Icy Touch threat buff?

Yep, it's gone, but you don't need it anymore, especially once the RS change goes through.

Urythmic
10-13-2010, 08:08 PM
Yikes. Just tanked my first heroic (Violet Hold) and a few thoughts...

1) I sure feel slow when it comes to the 2nd add that comes from a single add portal. It's like I can do my opening rotation on the 1st add and then I just have to sit there letting things recharge in time to pickup the 2nd add.

2) I'm pretty well geared for a tank and a mage constantly kept ripping single target aggro from me.

3) They really should take Rune Strike off the GCD. They also really need to fix the whole "no requirements if in blood presence" thing.


I had VH for my first test run, too.

1. I had fun popping Bone Shield (glyphed) to sprint over to each portal as it opened, drop DnD, DS/HS, diseases, BB. No problems.

2. Probably just an issue with mage DPS being absurd right now. It's getting the nerfbat soon: http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/27187856197/class-balance-as-of-oct-13-2010/

3. Changes on beta already. I hope they don't wait until 4.0.3 to put it on live.

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 09:10 PM
Yep, it's gone, but you don't need it anymore, especially once the RS change goes through.I hope so. Sheesh. Just tanked Saurfang on 10 and had a tremendously difficult time getting him to attack me over the other tank.

Omen (which I know isn't always accurate) had me just slightly above the other tank but hell if he would rune me over them.

Kanzer
10-13-2010, 09:38 PM
Well after tanking ICC 25 tonight...

I had no threat issues really, most of the time I was generating 25-30k TPS.

But I can say so far...I do not really enjoy it.

Felycitas
10-13-2010, 10:15 PM
But I can say so far...I do not really enjoy it.I don't enjoy the new rune system.

I probably wouldn't have an issue if it wasn't such a fundamental change X year(s) later.

I think we just need to get in some solo questing against creatures we aren't going to smash in one or two shots (so we can get a rotation going).

We're kinda jumping into the pool at the deep end and trying to learn how to swim that way.

Kanzer
10-13-2010, 10:39 PM
I just feel as if we went from one extreme to the other. I can understand not wanting us to have to use every GCD in order to maintain our max potential, but I don't like sitting around waiting either. Needs more of a happy medium. The faster regen rate and rune strike fix might solve my current problems however, we'll find out when they are implemented.

Auratus
10-13-2010, 10:56 PM
Great read, Satorri, as usual :)

I was reading the (Wowhead) change list (http://www.wowhead.com/guide=4.0.1), and one thing struck me as odd. In the Stat Changes section, it is stated that


Tanking classes will become uncrittable versus creatures by shifting into Defensive Stance, Blood Presence, or Bear Form, or by using Righteous Fury.

since Defense is being removed as a stat, and while I agree that this makes sense, it is contradictory to the Improved Blood Presence talent, which "reduced the chance that you will be critically hit".

So, how exactly does this work now?

Felycitas
10-14-2010, 12:13 AM
I just feel as if we went from one extreme to the other. I can understand not wanting us to have to use every GCD in order to maintain our max potential, but I don't like sitting around waiting either.I agree completely.

Felycitas
10-14-2010, 12:46 AM
Sheesh. The amusing things keep on coming.

So all my dodge/stamina gems got changed from red to blue.. which broke my stamina socket bonus.

Except.. I've been secretly getting that socket bonus.

Replace a +15 stamina gem with a +12 stamina gem to regain a +12 stamina socket bonus.. health goes down.

Illidra
10-14-2010, 01:43 AM
My most depressing find is that my rune strike hasnt actually got that lovely 'dodge,parry,or in blood presence' update yet -_-.

Carighan
10-14-2010, 02:17 AM
I just feel as if we went from one extreme to the other. I can understand not wanting us to have to use every GCD in order to maintain our max potential, but I don't like sitting around waiting either. Needs more of a happy medium. The faster regen rate and rune strike fix might solve my current problems however, we'll find out when they are implemented.

When I tanked HoR yesterday I never had that wait issue much, really.
On average I'd say I had maybe 2-3 free GCDs on a trashgroup in the spirit room, and 1~2 of those were because of spamming the RS button but not realizing it's not lit up.

So far my only "complaint" is that the RS-in-BP change did not get applied, forcing me to spam DC to proc Runes. It worked once I adapted to that, but it's a bit... inconvenient. Could rather bump RS to 30-35 RP then and make it always spammable. Didn't they bump it to 30 on the beta, actually? Sounds fine to me.

But yeah, love the new system. The unpredictability is quite fun after a bit, lots of reflexes and reacting to it. Proactive let-something-hang thinking helped with picking up adds, too.


Advice:
If anyone struggles with the new system, try to force yourself to expend all your RP, constantly. You'll be amazed how many runes you have to use all of a sudden. :)

Illidra
10-14-2010, 02:49 AM
For Unholy, ScS is now a 1 Unholy rune cost, meaning they break FU pairs very easily. Festering Strike pairs well with that to allow them to use Unholy runes on ScS and fill BF pairs instead.

Don't assume, though, that it is only useful for Unholy. Extending disease duration may have situational applications. I've been playing with it as Blood, but with RunEmp and all it rarely feels like a good fit in all but matters of utility.at the moment im finding that half of the time when i festering strike it is refreshing my diseases with the 8 sec extra duration on the end, im assuming this is a bug because i had diseases with a 1.30ish duration yesterday while toying with the dummies and that could jsut lead to abuuuuse in pvp / long fights, imagine jsut spending 30 seconds boosting disease duration up then being able to ignore them and just mash anything you want.

Rude
10-14-2010, 04:20 AM
It's worth noting that Death Strike does its heal now regardless of the presence of diseases on the target. So there are going to be scenarios where a diseaseless setup will perform better, particularly if you already have someone that can apply an attack speed debuff (Earth Shock, Waylay). Threat is probably going to be pretty close, depending on your health pool and amount of mastery. With Glyph of DRW propping it up, it probably wouldn't matter in the slightest.

Depending on how your rune refreshes go, you might find yourself with a frost floating around after using Bone Shield, so you could always toss in the occasional Icy Touch. Unless something changes with disease use, and they did deliberately change Death Strike to not scale off diseases, I suspect in Cataclysm, you'll just be using Outbreak on cooldown and not worrying about full disease uptime.

I would probably chalk it as a playstyle choice rather than a hard and fast rule either way. It buys you some talent points out of Epidemic, but that's not going to do much for you. Besides, it's easy enough to adjust on the fly as needed. Have a spot where you aren't taking a lot of damage, IT/PS; not getting to use death runes on Heart Strike, let your diseases fall off.

Felycitas
10-14-2010, 09:28 AM
Anyone have any thoughts yet on the DPS of Blood Parasite vs Blood Caked Blade?

Urythmic
10-14-2010, 10:57 AM
Anyone have any thoughts yet on the DPS of Blood Parasite vs Blood Caked Blade?

Kinda hard to compare those, isn't it? I thought Blood Parasite was mainly a survival tool (i.e., healing), but I guess it would also be interesting to know how much damage the little buggers do.

Unix
10-14-2010, 11:24 AM
On beta diseases spread via pest does reduced damage, dont know if it is like that on live.
I am rather disappointed at the lack of talents which buff blood strike in the blood tree.
Heart strike cleave is VERY bad for CC.

Urythmic
10-14-2010, 11:31 AM
Spell Alerts
The release notes state: "Spell Alerts have been added to notify players when procs on select spells and abilities occur. A visual notification will display around the character and the activated ability will be highlighted on the action bar."

I'm really happy about Blizzard incorporating their own built-in version of Power Auras, but so far it seems rather hit or miss, so to speak. This might be mostly an issue of documentation, but it seems that "select spells" really means "a few spells".

I know Frost DKs got some of these, but Blood DKs got left out of the fun entirely it seems.

When Crimson Scourge procs your free Blood Boil, you get a buff called Blood Swarm that lasts for 10 seconds. You have to use BB during that buff, but you don't get a spell alert for it. You do not get a display around the character, nor does the BB icon light up to show that you can now cast it for free. The Blood Swarm icon isn't very easy to spot and at 10 seconds it goes away very quickly.

Until this gets a fix, you can work around the bug by using the Power Auras addon to throw up a display around your toon while Blood Swarm is up.

Off-topic a bit here, the Druid passive Omen of Clarity/Clearcasting and the Feral Druid talent Berserk get much better treatment under Spell Alerts, but it's still inconsistent. Clearcasting is a familiar mechanic for Druids, so it's a natural for this. The Berserk tooltip states: "Your Lacerate periodic damage has a 30% chance to refresh the cooldown of your Mangle (Bear) ability and make it cost no rage. " Problem is, both of these only work halfway: Clearcasting displays around the character but does not highlight which spells/attacks are now free to cast (maybe because there are too many options?); likewise, the Berserk/Lacerate proc very nicely lights up your Mangle icon so you know when to use it, but there is no corresponding display around the character like there is for Clearcasting. Still, it's a lot better than failing to show any alert at all for Blood Swarm.

Urythmic
10-14-2010, 11:50 AM
On beta diseases spread via pest does reduced damage, dont know if it is like that on live.

Wow, if so then there could be an additional reason to use Pestilence, which right now seems very disappointing after it lost the ability to refresh the diseases on your primary target. Reading about that change is one thing; I was very sad to see it in practice.


I am rather disappointed at the lack of talents which buff blood strike in the blood tree.
Heart strike cleave is VERY bad for CC.

Yeah, I think it's totally idiotic (and counter-intuitive) that our single-target attack should be so much weaker than our cleave, especially if the cleave has a fairly big area it can hit. Just doesn't make much sense, you know? Isn't having the cleave effect in and of itself enough encouragement for people to want HS?

Maybe Blizz just enjoys forcing tanks to position mobs very carefully to avoid breaking CC. Grr.

fuzzbunny
10-14-2010, 12:01 PM
excellent post satorri!

I honestly wish you could make a guide for every class / spec combo! My hats off to you good sir!

One thing I think you should add though. You didn't include one my favorite, and life saving, death knight combos! Raise dead and Death pact!

(p.s. if anyone know of a retribution paladin guide that is off equal quality to this guide. let me know!)

Satorri
10-14-2010, 02:33 PM
What kind of DPS does the blood parasite do? Does it give you additional threat?
If we take healing out of the equation.. which is better? Blood Caked Blade or Blood Parasite?

Good question. I have not gauged Parasite dps yet, though I would *suspect* it would be slightly less than BCB, but I am totally just guessing. =) I'll let you know when I figure out the worms better on live, in a raid.



I'm about to change my spec to make sure I get as much threat as I can, 3/3 BCB for a start, and then will reforge some of my gear including my Shadowmourne (that should already be helping my threat enough :<). My question is, what stat would be recomended to reforge too, obviously hit/exp/haste/crit can add threat, but the other possibility is even more avoidance for these vital RS procs. I'm already at 27%d, 20%p unbuffed however so dr's are pretty steep.
Hit and Exp soft cap are great for ensuring reliable threat, and since you cannot reforge Str, that is a smart place to start. If you want a stat beyond that, I would play around with Haste a bit as this will speed up your rune CDs. Avoidance is not a bad idea for getting you hybrid threat/survival values, depending on the fight (more swings, more avoids, more procs), but I'm not sure of how it will compare yet value-wise with getting, say, haste. I can say that you are not getting steep diminishing return effects. Note: diminishing returns do not reduce the value of the stat, they simply reduce the speed at which you are approaching 100% so that the stat does not accelerate. Don't let that make you think you are suddenly getting less value from avoidance.


So for Blood Shield we can waste applications? Wasn't there talk of it being additive so that you can't waste a shield or something like that? Oh well, guess that would have made it a bit too good.
I wish it were so, but it is not. That said, they have incorporated a mechanic into other shields and I assume it applies to Blood Shield as well, though I haven't been able to pin it with parses yet.

Basically, if you have a second application of the shield while there is another up, it will *not* overwrite it if the existing shield is bigger, it will refresh the existing shield. It should have a very small benefit for us since our DS heals won't be *that* diverse, but should the timing be off a little, you will not lose shield value by overwriting with a smaller shield.


What do you all think of this opening rotation for AoE?

Both seem very logical for opening volleys. One thing to keep in mind and work with is getting away from rune-oriented rotation thinking. Once you have runes sleeping waiting for their CD to start you can get definite value from RunEmp procs. If RS procs early on, use it as soon as you have sleeper runes unless your rushing to get Scarlet Fever up, or another rune sleeping for a chance to refresh.



Also, how did you unholy tanks get yourselves in the mindset to keep bone shield going all the time? I forgot like crazy.
It is one of the reasons I considered Unholy tanking to take a measure more skill. It was a lot of juggling. It is a little less of a priority for Blood, but definitely a value when survival matters. I highly recommend making an indicator using Power Auras or the like to show you: when Bone Shield is up, when it is off CD, and when you can actually apply it.


I've noticed that Improved Death Strike (supposed to add 45% healing to Death Strike) doesn't add any healing, at least not on the "10% of your health as minimum" - can anyone confirm that this is a bug, and not a tooltip error? (It'd be quite a shame if it was only intended to give 45% damage, not healing).
Do you have any parses to confirm this, I have not seen it yet. Would need to see DS healing for 10% of your health and not more.


I'd also like to know if anyone knows if there's a cap on how much Blood Shield can absorb. I checked WoL and the highest absorb I ever got out of it was around 16,000, while the highest heal I got from Death Strike was over 50,000.

EDIT: My Mastery rating is 529, which brings the Death Strike to Blood Shield conversion up to 122%.
There is no cap currently. 529 rating should only bump you to 78.8% of your heal. And there are a few things to consider: Absorbs won't always happen all at once depending on what it soaks and when. The combat log, last I checked, was still a little iffy on correctly identifying what was doing the absorbing. It is also possible that the Blood Shield is not receiving certain buffs or compound buffs. In other words, it may not be getting the fully buffed DS heal, only the pre-raid buffed value. It may not be getting the raid buff to its shield value. It may be any combination of the above.


I just feel as if we went from one extreme to the other. I can understand not wanting us to have to use every GCD in order to maintain our max potential, but I don't like sitting around waiting either. Needs more of a happy medium. The faster regen rate and rune strike fix might solve my current problems however, we'll find out when they are implemented.

There are a few things here. The system plays a little smoother when you have haste in the equation as DPSers do. You can improve on the pace, where tanks don't have that liberty, yet. In the current beta design, Imp Blood Pres gives us a speed up to rune CD time. This will help with that.

The key element of the system that is an improvement is where queued runes are not wasting. It is a tricky balance they backed themselves into to make it so that you aren't always feeling like you're waiting, but sometimes that is ok. Having room to do other things is good when there will be other things to do, even if they are not in the current situation. I would expect this to become more meaningful in Clysm designs.



since Defense is being removed as a stat, and while I agree that this makes sense, it is contradictory to the Improved Blood Presence talent, which "reduced the chance that you will be critically hit".

So, how exactly does this work now?
The point is that we used to have to dedicate itemization to reduce our chance to be crit. It wasn't really something any tank would *not* do as it opened you up to unpleasant damage spikes.

All tanks now do the same things bears used to do, only. To be a tank we take a talent that reduces our chance to be crit like we would take any other fundamental tank buff. All tanks do it and it is what sets apart from a Fury Warrior with some dodge and parry (well, among other things, but it is a big one).


Anyone have any thoughts yet on the DPS of Blood Parasite vs Blood Caked Blade?
That is an item on my to-do list. BCB is easy, but the new parasites will need to be gauged. I would guess that BCB will be a slightly higher DPS value, but we shall see. You can be sure though that the Parasite will not likely help your *threat* only your damage, whereas BCB will definitely help your threat.


On beta diseases spread via pest does reduced damage, dont know if it is like that on live.
I am rather disappointed at the lack of talents which buff blood strike in the blood tree.
Heart strike cleave is VERY bad for CC.
The solution to this is strong meta tanks skills more readily than the buffing of BS. Try pulling targets away from the CC'd targets, you'll find that easier, and it should be in your awareness as a tank always.



I'm really happy about Blizzard incorporating their own built-in version of Power Auras, but so far it seems rather hit or miss, so to speak. This might be mostly an issue of documentation, but it seems that "select spells" really means "a few spells".
These only apply to items that are random procs from other abilities. So, if I have a chance to get a free/instant Pyroblast, I get a shiny default spell warning. The key difference is that Crimson Scourge is 95% predictable to anyone who knows how the ability works.

The default UI will not likely ever show you all the fun stuff Power Auras can be configured to track, that's not its design goal. It is also why addons will always exist. =)



Yeah, I think it's totally idiotic (and counter-intuitive) that our single-target attack should be so much weaker than our cleave, especially if the cleave has a fairly big area it can hit.
BS is not Crusader Strike to HS's HotR. HS is intended to replace BS for Blood. Refer to my above about placement over finding a use for BS. There are no current situations I know of that cannot be better handled by *not* tanking things on top of the sheep.



I honestly wish you could make a guide for every class / spec combo! My hats off to you good sir!
Be careful what you wish for, and come Cataclysm remember the name "Minerva Project."


One thing I think you should add though. You didn't include one my favorite, and life saving, death knight combos! Raise dead and Death pact!
That I usually place in the Advance Skills section (nowhere near done yet) because of the intricacies of its use. That said, now that ghouls do not require reagents, it may deserve a place in the basic skills section.


(p.s. if anyone know of a retribution paladin guide that is off equal quality to this guide. let me know!)
Lore himself made a basic guide (video I believe) to Retribution in 4.0.1. That said, I am abashed to say I do not know where to find it. Likely check his YouTube channel?

Felycitas
10-14-2010, 03:46 PM
Satorri.. have I mentioned lately how much you rock? :)




Good question. I have not gauged Parasite dps yet, though I would *suspect* it would be slightly less than BCB, but I am totally just guessing. =) I'll let you know when I figure out the worms better on live, in a raid.Okay, thank you!




Both seem very logical for opening volleys. One thing to keep in mind and work with is getting away from rune-oriented rotation thinking. Once you have runes sleeping waiting for their CD to start you can get definite value from RunEmp procs. If RS procs early on, use it as soon as you have sleeper runes unless your rushing to get Scarlet Fever up, or another rune sleeping for a chance to refresh.I do currently feel like I'm scrambling on AoE pulls. Now, I do understand that this isn't necessarily my fault.. and this is all supposed to be changing in Cataclysm.. but currently it's a mad rush to maintain aggro on the group with some Blood Boil spam. If I stop to Rune Strike my target.. the DPS rips off one of the adds and then I have to taunt it or spend time on it.

Another problem I had was in a heroic HoR (which was a successful run with only one wipe, yay!).

I throw down a D&D and wait for a primary target to get into range (IE: the priest or the mage) and by the time they get to me, so I can do a Plague Strike->Pestilence->Blood Boil.. the other targets have wandered off, despite my D&D, to hit the DPS/healer. If I open up on one target.. I still have to wait a bit for everything to get into range for Pestilence and/or Blood Boil (I took the range increase glyph for Blood Boil.. wonder if I should for Pestilence too).

I know the intention is to kill AoE tanking.. but it feels really excessive. I really want to have a high threat ability (IE: Howling Blast all talented out) that can jumpstart you right from the beginning.. instead of having to have all this build up. Maybe the rotation should be: D&D, BB, IT, PS, Pestilence, Blood Tap, BB.

The thing I loved so much about dual wield tanking was Howling Blast being able to apply Frost Fever to everything. That removes soooo much.

Honestly, the ONLY reason I have Plague Strike in my rotation is to fuel an extra 10% damage from Heart Strike and to generate free Blood Boils. I wonder if it's really worth it.




There are a few things here. The system plays a little smoother when you have haste in the equation as DPSers do.How much haste does it take for it to feel smoother? Is there a rune recharge cap on haste? What's the haste-to-percentage ratio?

.

Once again.. you rock Satorri :)

Milq
10-14-2010, 04:16 PM
I have yet to see the parses but - judging just by observation - our mastery is quite weak, bordering uselessness. In ICC 25 today my DS heals ended up being quite low, rarely exceeding the default 10% (overhealing mostly at that) and blood shield was usually consumed by the very next hit.

In comparison the 30% blocks pallies and warriors get look a lot more useful.

Felycitas
10-14-2010, 05:17 PM
On beta diseases spread via pest does reduced damage, dont know if it is like that on live.I just tested this at the dummies and it is in live.

Felycitas
10-14-2010, 08:16 PM
I've revised my thoughts on the AoE rotation...

D&D - unholy
blood boil - blood
icy touch - frost
pestilence - blood
blood tap
blood boil - death
death strike - frost and unholy

This should end 1-2 seconds before the initial unholy rune is ready (but timing may be off depending on when you start your D&D on the pull).

The death strike is to counteract DPS that actually focuses on your target.

[EDIT: On further thought.. this does seem like a real good starting rotation (as I mentioned I'm not a theory crafter so maybe I'm going way off here). That upcoming frost and unholy should be put into a death strike and then you pump out 7 heart strikes. That SHOULD be enough to keep aggro.. right? RIGHT? Pumping out Rune Strikes should help keep things slow enough that the heart strikes feel rhythmic.]

[EDIT 2: Alright, just did a heroic with this new rotation and two thoughts...

1) It feels sooooo much better.

2) Death runes on the next pull screw things up, but you can just spam more blood boils or keep the same rotation or just ignore the blood tap / death strike ending.]

Felycitas
10-15-2010, 12:55 AM
So yeah.. I just made my dual wield spec and I'm.. wow.. absolutely floored by the performance.

At least in comparison to pre-4.0.1 DPS.

No glyphs, gear still in shambles with all my haste (I had enough armor penetration from gear (no trinkets or gems) to get to 50%), using Ghoulslicers (233 weapons).. and I can hit 8k+ DPS on multi-pack sets (D&D + 4x Howling Blast) and I can easily hit 6k single target without even trying properly.

I'm not complaining anymore about losing my blood DPS :D

Also, it looks like.. 460 haste rating (14.03%) is shaving off just under 2 seconds from my rune recharge.

So now I'm REALLY curious how haste affects DPS with regards to rune recharging.

Satorri
10-15-2010, 05:43 AM
How much haste does it take for it to feel smoother? Is there a rune recharge cap on haste? What's the haste-to-percentage ratio?
Last I checked 1% haste is 1% off the CD so, 0.1 sec per 1% haste. The natural haste capacity you can reach puts that into relief.

As far as where it feels smoother is a matter for discussion. Remember, RunEmp plays a big part, so more RS (and DC right now) will make it feel smoother. On the beta I was feeling pretty close to fine with things the way they are, even as my avoidance dropped off from leveling.


I have yet to see the parses but - judging just by observation - our mastery is quite weak, bordering uselessness. In ICC 25 today my DS heals ended up being quite low, rarely exceeding the default 10% (overhealing mostly at that) and blood shield was usually consumed by the very next hit.

In comparison the 30% blocks pallies and warriors get look a lot more useful.
I would contend that you may not be using your DS as well as you could. I won't argue that the Mastery is not the be-all-end-all, but DS can be a HUGE value right now if you chase damage bursts with it. Blood Shield scales heavily with that value and how well you use DS.

Auratus
10-15-2010, 06:08 AM
The point is that we used to have to dedicate itemization to reduce our chance to be crit. It wasn't really something any tank would *not* do as it opened you up to unpleasant damage spikes.

All tanks now do the same things bears used to do, only. To be a tank we take a talent that reduces our chance to be crit like we would take any other fundamental tank buff. All tanks do it and it is what sets apart from a Fury Warrior with some dodge and parry (well, among other things, but it is a big one).

I think you might have misunderstood me. I guess my real question is: How is the chance of being critically hit (criticalibility? :D) calculated now that defense is off the table?

If tanks indeed are uncrittable in blood presence/bear form/defensive stance then there would be no point of having a talent for it. But then again, since Improved Blood Presence (and equal talents) actually exists in game, we certainly are crittable :)

BruisedOoze
10-15-2010, 06:33 AM
If tanks indeed are uncrittable in blood presence/bear form/defensive stance then there would be no point of having a talent for it.

You're only 'uncrittable' in those defensive modes if you have the talents. Just like bears used to be. The source you linked doesn't contain the detail that the talents are needed to improve the defensive aspects.

Much like weapon skills now, defense skill went the way of the dodo. So now everything is calculated as per a level difference basis, rather than having to train up to what your level 'should be.' Being uncrittable means that a mob no more than 3 levels higher (raid bosses) can't crit you with a melee strike.

fuzzbunny
10-15-2010, 08:58 AM
One thing I'd like to discuss is Blizzard's design for the blood dk. We have so many defensive cool downs; how do they plan to balance us against the other three tanks? I've heard rumors thats we're supposed to be the squishiest of the four, and honestly, I'm not sure how anyone could find that appealing! Being "squishy" and "tanking" should never go hand in hand. (the prospect sends a stark chill down my spine)

Urythmic
10-15-2010, 09:49 AM
These only apply to items that are random procs from other abilities. So, if I have a chance to get a free/instant Pyroblast, I get a shiny default spell warning. The key difference is that Crimson Scourge is 95% predictable to anyone who knows how the ability works.

What you say makes sense. Berserk gives the Lacerate DoT a 30% chance to proc a free Mangle, so yeah I'm not questioning the fact that a visual indicator is more important there. I think the main issue is that Blizzard is just terrible at explaining details about many of the new features they add (or they are just Lazy because they know hundreds of theorycrafters are lurking around to fill in the blanks for them).

However, your explanation actually disturbs me even more than mine did. Crimson Scourge 1/2 only gives a 50% chance to pop Blood Swarm. Does it give you a visual cue if you only take 1 point in it but drops the visual if you take 2 points in it?

Are there other good examples of temporary free-strike buffs that do not get a visual indicator?

I need to do some further testing on it to be sure, but in my limited experimentation it felt like I wasn't getting Blood Swarm every time it should have popped. Is there an ICD on the proc?


The default UI will not likely ever show you all the fun stuff Power Auras can be configured to track, that's not its design goal. It is also why addons will always exist. =)


Of course. And thank goodness for such great addons, I say! :-)


BS is not Crusader Strike to HS's HotR. HS is intended to replace BS for Blood. Refer to my above about placement over finding a use for BS. There are no current situations I know of that cannot be better handled by *not* tanking things on top of the sheep.


I completely agree about the sheep. There's no substitute for smart placement and this is a big part of why tanking is fun. Even though I'm the MT, I often choose to take on the OT role whenever it involves a lot of movement, kiting, etc., because I find it more fun and challenging than simply holding one guy in place for the whole fight.

I just think it would be more interesting if Blizzard actually gave us a good use for BS instead of relegating it to the dung heap. Using the right tool in the right situation is fun and I think the current design is wasting a great opportunity to create more fun in this regard. That's all.

If we had been using the 4.0.1 design for HS back when ICC was still new, a few of the fights would have presented issues for HS. For example, even though it's now possible to simply zerg Saurfang, back in the days before the 30% buff it was necessary to avoid cleaves hitting the Blood Beasts. Might still be necessary on hardmode I guess, but I can't say since I haven't tried it.

Not much you can do to alter placement in a case like that, is there? I think it's a fun fight and I'd hate to think that Blizzard will have to either avoid creating any more fights like that or force us to use a limp noodle just to avoid cleaves, which would be really irritating.

Urythmic
10-15-2010, 10:00 AM
Lore himself made a basic guide (video I believe) to Retribution in 4.0.1. That said, I am abashed to say I do not know where to find it. Likely check his YouTube channel?

It's not easy to find because it's posted under devomorph (http://www.youtube.com/user/devomorph).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QHP5rbOqbI

immerc
10-15-2010, 11:05 AM
Death Strike = previously this strike, when talented, would restore 15% of your max health. This will now restore at least 10% (talented to 14.5%) of your maximum health, but will attempt to restore 30% of the damage you have taken in the last 5 seconds (scaled by talents up to 43.5%).

IMO, the biggest Death Strike change is that it now heals you regardless of any diseases you have on the target.

Previously:


heals the Death Knight for 5% of his maximum health for each of his diseases on the target.

Now:


healing you for 30% of the damage you have sustained during the preceding 5 sec (minimum of at least 10% of your maximum health).

This is really huge, because the times you need the healing most are the times you can't waste U+F runes and GCDs on making sure the diseases are up. It means that when you have new adds joining a fight, you want to spread diseases for damage and debuffs, but if your health is dipping dangerously, you can use death strike immediately.

I think this should be added to the summary of differences.

Milq
10-15-2010, 05:10 PM
I would contend that you may not be using your DS as well as you could. I won't argue that the Mastery is not the be-all-end-all, but DS can be a HUGE value right now if you chase damage bursts with it. Blood Shield scales heavily with that value and how well you use DS.

The problem with DS comes when runes are converted to death runes (mostly used for HS). Incoming damage spikes are somewhat random, rune regeneration is generally slow, so that 5 second window to squeeze a DS in at the right time looks quite harsh compared to getting overall 30% melee damage reduction with the right amount of mastery. Please note this is not a veiled attempt to QQ, I just find that the mechanics in question puts an excessive burden on the tank.

Maybe we would need smart addons that measure incoming damage in the last 5 seconds to time DS? I still play in a world where total rune blackouts happen often and RS refuses to proc so I have to fall back to DC.

I wouldn't have believed this a few weeks ago but when I tanked a bit on my warrior it felt a lot smoother and more streamlined. (Regardless of the threat issues I had. :])

Moving on, I wouldn't mind BB lighting up when it is free. On a warrior Execute does when the mob is under 20%, and it's neither a proc nor something unpredictable.

jr3L
10-15-2010, 08:59 PM
The problem with DS comes when runes are converted to death runes (mostly used for HS). Incoming damage spikes are somewhat random, rune regeneration is generally slow, so that 5 second window to squeeze a DS in at the right time looks quite harsh compared to getting overall 30% melee damage reduction with the right amount of mastery. Please note this is not a veiled attempt to QQ, I just find that the mechanics in question puts an excessive burden on the tank.

Maybe we would need smart addons that measure incoming damage in the last 5 seconds to time DS? I still play in a world where total rune blackouts happen often and RS refuses to proc so I have to fall back to DC.

I wouldn't have believed this a few weeks ago but when I tanked a bit on my warrior it felt a lot smoother and more streamlined. (Regardless of the threat issues I had. :])

Moving on, I wouldn't mind BB lighting up when it is free. On a warrior Execute does when the mob is under 20%, and it's neither a proc nor something unpredictable.

I think idea is to save FU for just it+ps that way you have one FU @ all times for DS. The main dps for threat should be Heart or BB/Runestrike or DC when you can.

And I agree, I'm sure there will be addons that popup for free BB, RS. But for DS I think you just have to watch your health, be nice if a little countdown bar popped up for a given threshold of damage taken.

uglie
10-16-2010, 12:24 AM
I'd like to get some more opinions on 3pts in blood-caked strike vs 3 points in epidemic. I've ran with 2 almost identical specs with the only difference being those 3 points. Here are http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jchr0sbrusdZM . On quick heroics I don't notice any difference, but this isn't my area of concern. My thinking is that on a raid boss using epidemic will allow you to get in more HS or DS between disease refreshes. So my question to a better theorycrafter than I is, Which gives more aggro/ damage done, the extra HS and DS for the 12 extra seconds with epidemic or the blood-caked strikes?

SageoftheTimes
10-16-2010, 11:40 AM
Does Pestilence reset the duration of diseases on the target automatically now?

Felycitas
10-16-2010, 05:36 PM
No.. and no glyph for it either.

Reverand221
10-16-2010, 09:00 PM
Hi,

I want to add another angle of view on the blood shield vs. avoidance matter:

1. In any dungeon/raid situation a tank will have his (dedicated) healers. They can easily produce constant hps. Having a tank with random heavy dmg spikes makes healing more difficult. -> A healer will prefer a slightly higher incoming constant dps on the tank over less incoming dps with huge spikes.

2. I totally agree with your approach to compare average incoming dps scenarios to get a feeling how the different options perform "absolute". It needs to be done.

3. Avoidance is not controllable. When it procs, the tank avoids the incoming dmg completely. When it doesn't, the tank is hit by the full amount of dmg.

4. Blood shield is controllable to some degree depending on free runes. It is possible to use DS in a regular way, that every blood shield is used and none is wasted (as you pointed out, this depends on the skill of the player).

5. Blood shield reduces the variance of incoming dps and incoming dps (less than avoidance). Avoidance reduces incoming dps, but does not affect the variance.

What do you think? Pls correct me, if I am wrong somewhere.

Btw, I want to thank you for your great guides!

Rev

SageoftheTimes
10-17-2010, 03:30 PM
Hi,

I want to add another angle of view on the blood shield vs. avoidance matter:

1. In any dungeon/raid situation a tank will have his (dedicated) healers. They can easily produce constant hps. Having a tank with random heavy dmg spikes makes healing more difficult. -> A healer will prefer a slightly higher incoming constant dps on the tank over less incoming dps with huge spikes.

2. I totally agree with your approach to compare average incoming dps scenarios to get a feeling how the different options perform "absolute". It needs to be done.

3. Avoidance is not controllable. When it procs, the tank avoids the incoming dmg completely. When it doesn't, the tank is hit by the full amount of dmg.

4. Blood shield is controllable to some degree depending on free runes. It is possible to use DS in a regular way, that every blood shield is used and none is wasted (as you pointed out, this depends on the skill of the player).

5. Blood shield reduces the variance of incoming dps and incoming dps (less than avoidance). Avoidance reduces incoming dps, but does not affect the variance.

What do you think? Pls correct me, if I am wrong somewhere.

Btw, I want to thank you for your great guides!

RevHe has a point. If Blizzard continues to make unavoidable attacks (and we know they probably will, as it'd make some encounters unbalanced if you could dodge major attacks), Blood Shield will come in handy. It does only stop physical strikes, though, so that could make DKs hurt against magical bosses, depending how they flag the damage.

I still don't see how Blizzard is going to balance DKs to take more damage. I guess they could remove avoidance, but the intelligent use of healing seems like SUCH a better draw, assuming a good player. That said, I don't know how many people have tested this.

Reighnbow
10-17-2010, 09:15 PM
I was curious what about a dual wielding DK Tank. 31/3/2, Using blood caked blades and nerves of cold steel as a base for threat. This is a great way to stack avoidance since there are no 2h tanking weapons. However with 2 1h tanking weapons you are hitting twice as fast with BCB on both weapons. What are your guys thoughts?

uglie
10-17-2010, 10:33 PM
DW tanking is dead. You can technically DW but you'll be lacking threat since you won't be able to reach http://www.wowhead.com/spell=66192 which pre-patch was absolutely vital to keeping threat. 2H is the only way to be viable in a raid and keep threat.

faiten
10-18-2010, 04:28 AM
im looking for a macro that will use Rune Strike as a priority but if its not available use DC. any ideas how that macro would look?

Dendrover
10-18-2010, 04:37 AM
Dancing Rune Weapon = what was formerly a DPS-oriented ability at our 51-point talent, with very late expansion tanking applications in WotLK, is now a cool new tank tool. DRW now offers 20% Parry in addition to a 50% mirror to our damage while it is active for 12 sec on a 1 min CD. With the matching glyph, this also will boost our threat by 50%. The spell still costs 60 RP which can be a bit steep (compared to three RS, each of which has a chance to regenerate runes), but it is definitely a fun tool in the arsenal. For more math on the breakdown, see the Advanced Skills and Concepts section below *still coming soon*.
CD 1,5 min

Satorri
10-18-2010, 06:15 AM
One thing I'd like to discuss is Blizzard's design for the blood dk. We have so many defensive cool downs; how do they plan to balance us against the other three tanks? I've heard rumors thats we're supposed to be the squishiest of the four, and honestly, I'm not sure how anyone could find that appealing! Being "squishy" and "tanking" should never go hand in hand. (the prospect sends a stark chill down my spine)
To be clear, we are balanced to take *slightly* more damage and make or break the counter-balance with self-healing. Translating from Blue, that means if you do not heal yourself (go ahead, try not hitting DS, I dare you) you will take more damage than other tanks. If you do make use of your self-healing you may appear to take less (as far as the healers are concerned you *are* taking less, they do not have to heal you more).

This is *not* to balance against our CDs, and to be fair, we don't actually have far more CDs in overall effect than other tanks. Consider:
Basic Protection = IBF (DK), Shield Wall (Warr), Divine Protection (Pally), Barkskin (Bear)
Health/Healing Bump = Vamp Blood (DK), Last Stand (Warr), ~Ardent Defender (Pally), Survival Instincts (Bear)
General/Special Self-Heal = Death Strike (DK), Blood Craze/Victory Rush (Warr), Word of Glory (Pally), Leader of the Pack (Bear)
Major Self-Heal = Rune Tap (DK), Enraged Regen (Warr), Lay on Hands (Pally), Frenzied Regen (Bear)

*Note: just because I list them together does NOT mean they are balanced to match each other, they're just some what analogous in capacity offered.

DKs also get Bone Shield, AMS, and DRW.
Warriors also get Spell Reflect, Shield Block,Vigilance, and Intervene.
Pallies also get Divine Guardian, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice, etc.
Bears get less survival buttons to press.

Everyone gets fundamental coverage of key sorts of abilities, and extra tools that make them distinct and different.
For example, even though it's now possible to simply zerg Saurfang, back in the days before the 30% buff it was necessary to avoid cleaves hitting the Blood Beasts. Might still be necessary on hardmode I guess, but I can't say since I haven't tried it.

Not much you can do to alter placement in a case like that, is there? I think it's a fun fight and I'd hate to think that Blizzard will have to either avoid creating any more fights like that or force us to use a limp noodle just to avoid cleaves, which would be really irritating.
There are always ways around. =) In my group we stunned the beasts and so even the tanks were helping to take them down. The only real risk on threat against DPS focus was if the tanks actually focused. Mostly we were cautious just to cleave (HS was golden) and watch our threat. Over the time of the stun it was easy to do that. Pallies may have had to be more careful since they could off-target heavily and passively, but you can work around that as well, like leaving off Conscrate for a spell wouldn't kill you. =)

There are *always* creative solutions, not that there is anything wrong with using BS, I just wouldn't extend that to mean that Blizz should fix it so BS is an appealing choice as well, and I want to be sure that people understand that it is not currently designed to be the single target counterpart to HS.

The problem with DS comes when runes are converted to death runes (mostly used for HS). Incoming damage spikes are somewhat random, rune regeneration is generally slow, so that 5 second window to squeeze a DS in at the right time looks quite harsh compared to getting overall 30% melee damage reduction with the right amount of mastery. Please note this is not a veiled attempt to QQ, I just find that the mechanics in question puts an excessive burden on the tank.
Note here that the balance in the design does not put the burden on the tank. If you use the ability well you benefit, if your timing isn't perfect, that is closer to where the balance is aimed at.

In short, if you play poorly you will suffer a little. If you play very well you can benefit above the aimed balance. If you are just unlucky, you probably won't really suffer.


Maybe we would need smart addons that measure incoming damage in the last 5 seconds to time DS? I still play in a world where total rune blackouts happen often and RS refuses to proc so I have to fall back to DC.
There are addon developers working on this right now. =)

And avoidance is delicious. ;)


Moving on, I wouldn't mind BB lighting up when it is free. On a warrior Execute does when the mob is under 20%, and it's neither a proc nor something unpredictable.
Would not be bad, and I wouldn't be surprised if it did, eventually. Mind you that a lot of this stuff is still being cleaned up and the shiny, interactive UI is actually quite new to implementation on player clients, even on the beta. It'll take time for them to round it all out.

I'd like to get some more opinions on 3pts in blood-caked strike vs 3 points in epidemic. I've ran with 2 almost identical specs with the only difference being those 3 points. Here are http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jchr0sbrusdZM . On quick heroics I don't notice any difference, but this isn't my area of concern. My thinking is that on a raid boss using epidemic will allow you to get in more HS or DS between disease refreshes. So my question to a better theorycrafter than I is, Which gives more aggro/ damage done, the extra HS and DS for the 12 extra seconds with epidemic or the blood-caked strikes?
Heroics right now will be a totally different game from raids or even instances above 80. Heroic stuff is dying so fast it can test the value even of applying diseases...

My first instinct, though without doing the math yet, is that Epidemic's value will surpass BCB on any fight where the fight will last more than 30 sec. The increased window is not as easy to measure as added damage to auto-attacks, but it is definitely there.

Does Pestilence reset the duration of diseases on the target automatically now?
Nope

I want to add another angle of view on the blood shield vs. avoidance matter:
1. In any dungeon/raid situation a tank will have his (dedicated) healers. They can easily produce constant hps. Having a tank with random heavy dmg spikes makes healing more difficult. -> A healer will prefer a slightly higher incoming constant dps on the tank over less incoming dps with huge spikes.
In theory that sounds right, but in practice neither produces "huge dmg spikes." This is one of the major faulty perceptive issues with avoidance. People think that it actually produces such spikes. In reality it simply spaces the normal damage incidence out. Blood Shield by comparison softens those hits nearly imperceptibly.


2. I totally agree with your approach to compare average incoming dps scenarios to get a feeling how the different options perform "absolute". It needs to be done.
Though it has its own weaknesses which are the same reasons why there is no good way to really evaluate the distinction between avoidance and other mechanics. Avoidance can have a wide distribution of effect in localized situations (more or less than the average expectation). The classic fault here, though, is assuming that if you cannot predict which side, above or below, you will stand on, that it is always better to take an inferior overall average value just because it is predictable.


3. Avoidance is not controllable. When it procs, the tank avoids the incoming dmg completely. When it doesn't, the tank is hit by the full amount of dmg.
4. Blood shield is controllable to some degree depending on free runes. It is possible to use DS in a regular way, that every blood shield is used and none is wasted (as you pointed out, this depends on the skill of the player).
See previous.


5. Blood shield reduces the variance of incoming dps and incoming dps (less than avoidance). Avoidance reduces incoming dps, but does not affect the variance.
Quite the contrary. Avoidance reduces the *incidence* of hits. Blood Shield softens the *size* of hits. But I would contend that as imperceptible as the effect of either will be without huge swings in % value, the value of Blood Shield will still be smaller even between the two.

He has a point. If Blizzard continues to make unavoidable attacks (and we know they probably will, as it'd make some encounters unbalanced if you could dodge major attacks), Blood Shield will come in handy. It does only stop physical strikes, though, so that could make DKs hurt against magical bosses, depending how they flag the damage.
The trick is to measure the incidence of unavoidable damage that *is* soaked by Blood Shield. It is entirely possible that it will make up the difference, but not in every fight, and I'd go so far as to say maybe not in most fights.


I still don't see how Blizzard is going to balance DKs to take more damage. I guess they could remove avoidance, but the intelligent use of healing seems like SUCH a better draw, assuming a good player.
I would expect the likelihood to be a dialing back of armor value relatively. That means that a shield would offer slightly more armor than the Blood Pres armor bonus. A small change, and not to our values, *and* easy to miss, but it would easily dial up our damage taken slightly. Don't expect the difference to be huge and obvious, doubly so since they designed that to be actual damage taken, not *apparent* damage taken, which is what DS significantly blunts.


im looking for a macro that will use Rune Strike as a priority but if its not available use DC. any ideas how that macro would look?
You can just make a macro that says:
/cast Rune Strike
/cast Death Coil

And it will always try to cast RS first and give an error message saying there is not enough RP or "another action is in progress," unless you look up the suppress error script which I am forgetting. *Personally* I'd favor pressing the moves smartly since it will benefit you more as a player to get used making that discernment.


[DRW =] CD 1,5 min
Unless there was a stealth change in the hotfix over the weekend, that is a carryover typo on WoWhead. The cooldown was reduced on the beta, and last I checked, carried to live.

Satorri
10-18-2010, 06:18 AM
I was curious what about a dual wielding DK Tank. 31/3/2, Using blood caked blades and nerves of cold steel as a base for threat. This is a great way to stack avoidance since there are no 2h tanking weapons. However with 2 1h tanking weapons you are hitting twice as fast with BCB on both weapons. What are your guys thoughts?

The short answer?
You will lost 25-30% of your threat capacity with slow weapons, more if you use two tank weapons which will also lose a small margin of health, but gain a small margin of avoidance.

It is not really worth doing for any other merit than being different or enjoying doing something silly and awesome like tanking with two weapons. =)

SageoftheTimes
10-18-2010, 11:07 AM
The short answer?
You will lost 25-30% of your threat capacity with slow weapons, more if you use two tank weapons which will also lose a small margin of health, but gain a small margin of avoidance.

It is not really worth doing for any other merit than being different or enjoying doing something silly and awesome like tanking with two weapons. =) Some DW animations look pretty awesome, but it's not really...working. Just use your two-hand, maybe Blizzard will toss something in the top tier of Blood that's similar to Threat of Thalrissian. They kept the 1-H enchants, so it doesn't strike me as that bad of an idea.

Elechi
10-19-2010, 02:49 AM
There are always ways around. =) In my group we stunned the beasts and so even the tanks were helping to take them down. The only real risk on threat against DPS focus was if the tanks actually focused. Mostly we were cautious just to cleave (HS was golden) and watch our threat. Over the time of the stun it was easy to do that. Pallies may have had to be more careful since they could off-target heavily and passively, but you can work around that as well, like leaving off Conscrate for a spell wouldn't kill you. =)

There are *always* creative solutions, not that there is anything wrong with using BS, I just wouldn't extend that to mean that Blizz should fix it so BS is an appealing choice as well, and I want to be sure that people understand that it is not currently designed to be the single target counterpart to HS.

The only place where I use bloodstrike is when I'm tanking Keleseth in the Blood Princes fight. Killing of shadow orbs with cleaves is not a good idea.

Satorri
10-19-2010, 05:05 AM
Some DW animations look pretty awesome, but it's not really...working. Just use your two-hand, maybe Blizzard will toss something in the top tier of Blood that's similar to Threat of Thalrissian. They kept the 1-H enchants, so it doesn't strike me as that bad of an idea.

I'm not holding my breath. They took the initiative not to, so I wouldn't expect that major an about-face until at least a major patch or more down the road (i.e. 4.1, 4.2 or later). I think they're happy with DK tanks favoring 2-handers.


The only place where I use bloodstrike is when I'm tanking Keleseth in the Blood Princes fight. Killing of shadow orbs with cleaves is not a good idea.
If for some reason they float in front of you, take a few steps away and run back in, voila! Orbs behind you. =) HS will not cleave a target behind you. (I had the same consideration.)

Zsadistic
10-19-2010, 07:34 AM
Been Reading this thread over and over for a few days, great guide, thank you! But no matter what I try (and i'm pretty sure my rotation is working well, and my stats are properly reforged) I lose aggro to these new OP dps classes. On group pulls when one mob takes off and I turn to taunt it, another goes in the opposite direction! This is on predictable pulls in 5man heroics. But I found last night that if I attempt an UNPREDICTABLE pull (like 2 seperate mobs in HoL where tanks usually pull just one mob at a time), throwing the dps off thier game for a few extra seconds I end up having no aggro issues at all despite the larger number of mobs. So what i'm thinking is perhaps a huge change to threat has been that the DPS needs to give us MORE time to establish aggro. Coming from DW frost tanking before the patch, where glyphed HB established major threat right off the bat and rarely having had threat issues, it seems that our opening attacks as blood do not generate the threat I am used to and therefore I have a hard time holding.

My main is a hunter, and I have made it a point to give the tank more time to get aggro, which equals less pulls off the tank, whereas the other DPS will just fire off as soon as the tank goes in and I watch mobs head straight for them, so i'm pretty sure this is a serious issue. Can anyone else confirm that we need more time before the DPS unleashes? Granted i'm still learning to tank as Blood, but would it be unfounded to simply ask the DPS to give us say a 5 count before they let loose? Are the DPS not giving us a chance, or am I really just that bad at blood? lol

Tarrke
10-19-2010, 08:07 AM
Heya everyone.

First of all, great job, and great guide Satorri, just like every time may I had ? I've read the whole guide as you wanted me to (so when I've read this is ot for you, I passed).

I'm a former DW (or 2H) frost tank, now learning hos to use my Blood tank. I've some aggro issues right now but that mainly cause I don't use RS as often as I should and trying to get better. Right enought with my life. May have passed over some of theses info in the whole thread, sorry if I missed something.

For the guide, I've come with a solid single target opening, this may or may not be the best one but it works fine on ICC bosses for me so, I share :
IT - PS (or Outbreak later) 20 RP
BB - HS (using the two blood runes as soon as possible for Blade Barrier) 40 RP
DS - 60 RP (and 2 DR to get back)

This is classic I think, but here is the trick, we will wait for the first FU pair to came back, then DS with it, then ERW and we got 6 BR to use on HS, while our DRW is out. This leads to this sequence : IT - PS - BB - HS - DS - DRW - DS - HS * 6
You can always do this if you have both DRW and ERW CD up, no procs nothing to rely on. This lacks early threat with RS if you can (as you need 60 RP to pop DRW) but you can rely on this, and not pray for a RS proc, or a SoB proc.

I've been for some time in a total nigthmare of rune blackout, and then RP blackout not really working well. Then I noticed on Sindra's fight that haste was now something we should care about (seriously, sindra with one breath on me, can't do anything as rune have something like 20sec CD...). Then I tried to get some haste on my stuff via reforging. I wen up to 300 haste (294 I think exactly) easily and tryed this. I tryed 400, 500 and 600 haste, the best feeling I got was with 300 haste. I still get some rune blackout, but they are not this often and I can deal with theses.

This was for sharing with you :) Now my little help request. Right now, iwth the current sate of RS we can't use it as RP dump. But not using it at all is bad, really bad, I've tryed :s So I'm looking for a macro that can fire RS if RS can be fired, and use a Death Coil if not. If someone can show me something like this that works, I'll be thanksfull :)

Xephar
10-20-2010, 12:17 AM
Maybe I'm misreading this, but it seems a little like your trying to force a "perfect rotation" into a system that has been changed to a priority based casting sequence.

I havent really found much of a problem with establishing threat under the new system.

For large groups I use DnD, and a BB. For single raid bosses I just taunt then start building threat with HS followed by DS and RS as soon as its up.

In Heroics I often drop dnd at my feet then Death Grip the highest priority target to me which pretty succesfully gets the dps targeting my target and lets me build threat on the additional mobs as they enter my dnd and HS range while running over. Though really Heroics dont even seem to require a tank atm.

I'm currently on my 4th build of the patch, and atm am using no diseases. Though I NEVER would have considered it a viable option before, it's actually working quite well. I lose a little DS damage but I gain a full extra DS per standard disease rotation, so threatwise its very similar to my last rotation which was more traditional. In addition I get about 30% more blood shield and self healing with this method. It free's up 3 talent points which have been put to good use talenting some more AOE punch for tanking the large ICC groups. Lastly its an incredibly simple 3 spell priority based rotation (DS-RS-HS plus a bb now and then to keep up scarlet fever). My raid team has a unholy DK dps so frost fever is always up for the slowed attack speed on boss fights.

Oh also I'm using an addon called blood shield tracker that seems to be pretty effective at monitoring your damage taken and showing your blood shields strength and duration. I've got mine config'd so the damage bar turns from red to yellow when my damage over the last 5 seconds goes over my base 10% DS heal and its pretty easy to track without much effort. In ICC raids I doubt this information really matters much in the long run as you take so much damage that your probably best just using DS when its available (other then using it 2x in a row) but I do like seeing how our new toys are working and had alot of fun with it soloing non heroic old kingdom yesterday.

Elumort
10-20-2010, 12:55 AM
Heya everyone.

...snip...

This was for sharing with you :) Now my little help request. Right now, iwth the current sate of RS we can't use it as RP dump. But not using it at all is bad, really bad, I've tryed :s So I'm looking for a macro that can fire RS if RS can be fired, and use a Death Coil if not. If someone can show me something like this that works, I'll be thanksfull :)

Thats from Satorris post on the previous page:





im looking for a macro that will use Rune Strike as a priority but if its not available use DC. any ideas how that macro would look?"
You can just make a macro that says:
/cast Rune Strike
/cast Death Coil

And it will always try to cast RS first and give an error message saying there is not enough RP or "another action is in progress," unless you look up the suppress error script which I am forgetting. *Personally* I'd favor pressing the moves smartly since it will benefit you more as a player to get used making that discernment.

\o/ for successful quoting :)

Satorri
10-20-2010, 05:14 AM
It is a common problem that we've lost sight of before 4.0 because of the disparity between tank threat ability and softened dps threat. The big change is that there are no more threat reductions for DPS built into stances and specs. The end result is that some specs are doing as much as 50-60% more threat.

Calling back to ye olden days before the current situation, there are two solutions (one of which you've already employed, and the other you wisely identify) that make a direct solution:
1.) Unpredictable pace control. Surprise the dps or rush so they are working to keep up (be careful if it mattered, you can stress out your healer by surprising them too, not that it is terribly pressing right now, but better to be mindful).
2.) Actually communicate with your group. =) Tell them to ease up since it takes more work to pick everything up at the beginning.

Personally, I prefer the latter, and make sure to tell them and the healer that if they can't be bothered to mind their threat, they can tank what they pull (and the healer gets to decide whether or not to keep them alive).

This will shift some as we start leveling. Not a lot, but enough to not feel quite so intense. The Cataclysm instances have a rather different and heavier feel to them. Mobs have more health, and more often you will be cautious about how much you take at once, CC feels good and makes the healers' job easier, and DPS are smart and are usually coached to kill a specific order with focus fire. Marks are totally useful again (and maybe it is worth starting to use them now, even though 5-man stuff dies too quickly... >.<).

Zsadistic
10-20-2010, 06:29 AM
I decided to test it a little further last night, by dragging a healer friend with me through some randoms and starting off every one with a friendly message to the group about allowing me the chance to collect aggro. In every run except one the DPS were happy to comply and I had no threat issues in any of those instances. The one lone pally who refused to give me a break ended up dieing a few times when I said "screw it, you tank" and then stood back and watched. He eventually backed off as well, and the rest was a breeze =)

Still can't say I enjoy blood as much as I did frost, but now that I have a better idea of where my threat issues lie, paired with the wealth of info in your guide, I am happy to say that I will not be giving up on my DK!

Satorri
10-20-2010, 08:10 AM
Section on Stats, Gear, Gemming, and Reforging is finally up! (http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.php?71144-Cataclysm-Death-Knight-Tanking-Satorri-s-Guide-to-the-Bloody-Future&p=462783#post462783)

Up next: Advanced Skills and Concepts.

Tarrke
10-20-2010, 09:22 AM
Thats from Satorris post on the previous page:



\o/ for successful quoting :)

Thanks for pointing this to me, honestly I've totaly missed it.

But this macro isn't working at all, you can try if I'm in combat, I have 60+ RP and leave the mob that is attacking me behind me, target an other mob and press this macro then RS will show as next spell on the macro (with a #showtooltip line at the begining) and I won't fire a Death coil.

I've tryed some other macro (with a castsequence, with modifiers, etc.) and the only one that is working as intended for me is this one :
#showtooltip
/cast [nomodifier] Rune Strike
/cast [modifier:shift] Death Coil
/cast [modifier:ctrl] Death Coil

yeah two modifiers for Death Coil, sometimes I just hit ctrl instead of shift...

Milq
10-20-2010, 02:44 PM
I reforged everything I had (mostly dodge) to mastery. I have a 106% shield now with 19% dodge/parry unbuffed. It felt real fun, saving an FU pair for after Sindra's melee hits to use and many times almost completely absorb the next melee swing. The inevitable FR gear made the mastery a little bit lower on some tries and I am not really into analyzing data but for curious types this is our WoL data for the night: http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/acuf607qkc25xngw/ (Although, looking at it, WoL doesn't seem to factor Blood Shield in. Either that or I'm too incompetent to find.)

Auriya
10-20-2010, 04:32 PM
Section on Stats, Gear, Gemming, and Reforging is finally up!

Satorri, first, thanks for writing up this guide. I learned to love my DK based on your original guide.

I was looking over the numbers in the stats discussion, particularly the avoidance vs mastery calculations and I'm having trouble reproducing what you were seeing.

First, although the calculations of diminished dodge and parry percentages look correct - the total avoidance numbers seem to be missing the "naked" dodge and parry. For my Human DK, this is 5.19% dodge and 5% parry. Also, although you leave out chance to be missed for simplicity, with Defense gone and no longer adding to % change to be missed, it's 4.7% against a raid boss. (We'll continue to leave out any special modifiers to % chance to be missed)

Second, in your example, you use 30% as the healing bonus from Death Strike. This assumes 0/3 Improved Death Strike, as you said earlier in the guide, it's 43.5% with it.

I've rerun your example numbers with the following considerations:
1) Factor in 4.7% chance to be missed
2) Add in naked dodge/parry
(these two effects should reduce some of the impact of avoidance loss as they reduce the chance to be hit by the attack)
3) Calculate the effect of Imp Death Strike. [calculated, not posting]*
4) When converting 100 dodge or parry rating, I'm assuming the ideal case of 50 of each (instead of 100 from one of them)

* N.B - In looking at the numbers, I'm not posting 0/3 IDS scenarios unless requested, it's quite obvious that 43.5% DS heal (and the resulting shield) is better than 30% DS heal + resulting shield

600 Dodge / Parry:
Total avoidance: 33.09%, giving up 100 rating = 31.49%
Landed hits: 62.21%, 63.81% respectively (100% - 4.7% - avoidance)
5s damage: 41432, 42496 respectively
DS Heal: 18,023, 18486 respectively

4DS/min, 0 MR: 7686 incoming dps
4DS/min, 100 MR: 7715 incoming dps
++0.37% Increase to incoming dps converting to Mastery Rating

5DS/min, 0 MR: 7535 incoming dps
5DS/min, 100 MR: 7519 incoming dps
++0.21% Decrease to incoming dps converting to Mastery Rating

9.5 DS/min, 0 MR: 6860 incoming dps
9.5 DS/min, 100 MR: 6637 incoming dps
++3.25% Decrease to incoming dps converting to Mastery Rating


900 Dodge / Parry:
Total avoidance: 41.78%, giving up 100 rating = 40.43%
Landed hits: 53.52%, 54.87% respectively (100% - 4.7% - avoidance)
5s damage: 35641, 36541 respectively
DS Heal: 15504, 15895 respectively

4DS/min, 0 MR: 6611 incoming dps
4DS/min, 100 MR: 6634 incoming dps
++0.35% Increase to incoming dps converting to Mastery Rating

5DS/min, 0 MR: 6482 incoming dps
5DS/min, 100 MR: 6466 incoming dps
++0.25% Decrease to incoming dps converting to Mastery Rating

9.5 DS/min, 0 MR: 5901 incoming dps
9.5 DS/min, 100 MR: 5707 incoming dps
++3.29% Decrease to incoming dps converting to Mastery Rating


1200 Dodge / Parry:
Total avoidance: 49.19%, giving up 100 rating = 48.03%
Landed hits: 46.11%, 47.27% respectively (100% - 4.7% - avoidance)
5s damage: 35641, 36541 respectively
DS Heal: 13359, 13694 respectively

4DS/min, 0 MR: 5697 incoming dps
4DS/min, 100 MR: 5716 incoming dps
++0.33% Increase to incoming dps converting to Mastery Rating

5DS/min, 0 MR: 5586 incoming dps
5DS/min, 100 MR: 5570 incoming dps
++0.29% Decrease to incoming dps converting to Mastery Rating

9.5 DS/min, 0 MR: 5085 incoming dps
9.5 DS/min, 100 MR: 4917 incoming dps
++3.30% Decrease to incoming dps converting to Mastery Rating

Assuming my math is correct (If you find an error, let me so I can correct the spreadsheet I'm working from), I can't draw a universal conclusion based on these cases.

Clearly, in the long run, more avoidance is less overall dps taken. But it seems the greatest percentage effect of 100 Mastery conversion is in the lower end of stats than the higher, as more damage is taken so the shield is greater.

Two things I'm going to try to calculate, if someone doesn't beat me to it:
1) Similar dodge/parry numbers, but used as a starting point. Instead of converting 100 rating to mastery rating, I'll trade enough rating to be a 3% loss of avoidance and see what the % change is relative to 3% avoidance loss.
2) I'm going to work through an example with my DK. In this theoretical run, dodge and parry are equal, but before I started toying with reforging, I had 1069 Dodge Rating and 713 Parry Rating. Currently, I traded all the Dodge Rating over Parry Rating into Mastery Rating. I'd like to compare that to converting what Dodge Rating I can into Parry Rating then examining the rest. (i.e. get avoidance as high as possible in a 1:1 Dodge/Parry ratio through reforging, then look at dodge vs mastery rating).

Nurasha
10-20-2010, 04:43 PM
Thanks for pointing this to me, honestly I've totaly missed it.

But this macro isn't working at all, you can try if I'm in combat, I have 60+ RP and leave the mob that is attacking me behind me, target an other mob and press this macro then RS will show as next spell on the macro (with a #showtooltip line at the begining) and I won't fire a Death coil.

I've tryed some other macro (with a castsequence, with modifiers, etc.) and the only one that is working as intended for me is this one :
#showtooltip
/cast [nomodifier] Rune Strike
/cast [modifier:shift] Death Coil
/cast [modifier:ctrl] Death Coil

yeah two modifiers for Death Coil, sometimes I just hit ctrl instead of shift...

I can gladly inform you that

/cast [mod] Death coil
Will make you cast your Death Coil with any modification key (alt, ctrl, shift).

Having played with the new changes for a week I finally begin to understand the importance of Runic Empowerment. I have the feeling, RS spamming is a bad idea, while a rune pair is active because I either (a) run out of RP or (b) are left out with gaps of nothing to cast.
Thank you for a great guide Satorri!

Satorri
10-21-2010, 05:31 AM
Second, in your example, you use 30% as the healing bonus from Death Strike. This assumes 0/3 Improved Death Strike, as you said earlier in the guide, it's 43.5% with it.

I've rerun your example numbers with the following considerations:
1) Factor in 4.7% chance to be missed
2) Add in naked dodge/parry
(these two effects should reduce some of the impact of avoidance loss as they reduce the chance to be hit by the attack)
3) Calculate the effect of Imp Death Strike. [calculated, not posting]*
4) When converting 100 dodge or parry rating, I'm assuming the ideal case of 50 of each (instead of 100 from one of them)


Nice work. The info I posted was the super simplified version. I have the more complete one in the works for the advanced topic section and a bit more mathematically transparent. You are right though, I left out the Imp DS effect. The split rating is true, but I knowingly omitted that from the example for two reasons. The discrepancy between the two, even moving 100 rating was a hundredth of a percent, and also because it is an easier analog to imagine to take rating from one stat as that is what you will be doing on your gear with reforging. I also knowingly left out the miss chance along with the dodge and parry base values for simplicity and assuming that would skew favorably towards Mastery.

In retrospect, I should have revisited that when it came out in such a reasonable range.

I will likely touch this up once I've completed more of the full analysis.

Thanks for your work though, it is very much appreciated and helpful. With all the numbers flying around it is great to have others keeping it checked. =)

Satorri
10-21-2010, 06:10 AM
I am not really into analyzing data but for curious types this is our WoL data for the night: http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/acuf607qkc25xngw/ (Although, looking at it, WoL doesn't seem to factor Blood Shield in. Either that or I'm too incompetent to find.)

Currently, the combat log is not tracking Blood Shield size or absorbed amounts, so WoL cannot parse its effect. By comparison PW:Shield actually tells you in the tooltip how much it absorbs and combat log records when it absorbs damage, so Recount even shows that now without the guessed absorbs plug-in. Hopefully this eventually gets put in as it would be nice to be able to tell. =)

Some fun data pulled from your log, though:
In the entire raid, you only refreshed the shield (meaning the old shield was not gone before you added the new one) 5 times on 113 uses.

Your DS hit 87 times for damage, plus 20 crits (6 blocks, 1 miss, 11 parries, for 125 total). It *healed* 113 times. So, that means that it is not healing when it misses or is parried, not surprising, but it still heals when it is blocked. Not world shattering (allowed) but still good to know.

1hr08min "active" time in combat and 125 uses of DS suggests use of it about 1.84 uses per minute, but I wouldn't put too much stock in that for accuracy because of all the quirks of what role you were playing, split tanking requirements of many fights, etc. In this case, the divided tanking of Sindy makes that not very indicative without scrutinizing time spent actually tanking. Not worth the digging probably. =)

The log has 692,885 absorbs unaccounted for. Can't tell how much was physical or magical. You had 86 uses of AMS all of which appear to have been consumed before their full length (actually the average duration was less than 1 sec, nice timing =D). So, how much health do you have and we can get exact values. If you have ~65k that would be 279.5k absorbed, leaving 413,385 for Blood Shield absorbs. From 113 Heals, meaning 113 shields, that is an average of 3658 per shield. That would also put Blood Shield at #12 on your total healing taken list (DS was at #7), and guestimate the total % value around 2.5% of your healing taken.

Your actual avoidance values were roughly:
14.95% dodge
19.90% parry
5.98% miss
Total = 40.83%

Can you check out what your actual sheet numbers are when you're unbuffed so we can compare?

Kazeyonoma
10-21-2010, 10:20 AM
stuuuuuuuuck

danilche
10-21-2010, 10:58 AM
Hi Satori,

First of all, let me thank for your excellent work. Your detailed and patient answers to my old questions about my custom IT-oriented build in the old tanking thread helped me get past the stage where my tank gear was a few hundred GS points below my guild's DPSers. This guide is shaping up to be just as good as the old one. I hope you can answer a few questions for me though.

1) WTF is it with Spell Deflection being removed? <cry> We lost a huge chunk of our signature characteristic, magic damage mitigation!

2) What are your thoughts on diseaseless tanking? The way I see it, now that DS doesn't depend on diseases for either damage or healing, diseaseless tanking is looking to be a viable alternative -- you lose the HS and diseases bonus threat, but you gain an extra DS per rotation, and you can put 3 points from Virulence elsewhere. At a guildie's suggestion i tried it in RS yesterday, and was very favorably impressed -- the rotation is much simpler, that left me more brainshare to manage, and communicate with the raid about, the shadow lasers; and my threat was still around 30% above the highest DPSer's (the AoE threat is heavily gimped, but it's the single-target threat that really matters). One would still need someone else to provide the attack speed debuff of course.

I imagine Blizzard will make it go away though, because it breaks the DK class paradigm.

3) Even though dodge/parry got equalized, Agility still seems to give about double the amount of Dodge than Strength gives of Parry, and of course Agility also gives you armor. This means that Agility weapons are still the better survival choice, is that correct?

4) I can't get the simulations to work correctly (Rawr and Kahorie are both trying to do 3.3 on me), but what is your sense on H Ramaladni's vs H. Bryntroll for an orc tank, in terms of threat? (Bloodfall seems to be the clear survival leader at that content tier, outside ilevel-284 weapons).

Many thanks in advance.

Auriya
10-21-2010, 02:47 PM
Thanks for your work though, it is very much appreciated and helpful. With all the numbers flying around it is great to have others keeping it checked. =)

The irony is, I made a mistake in my numbers for the 4DS scenario (bad copy of a formula on that column).

I added a 5DS/min set of numbers because in messing with a working spreadsheet, I saw that was where the dps taken went from a small increase to what's taken to a small decrease.

In looking at 3% sacrifices at 600, 900, and 1200, I saw a correlation I expected - namely that at higher avoidance, 3% avoidance is more rating to convert and more damage reduction from the shield.

Percent DPS reduction for 3% shift of avoidance to Mastery


600 900 1200
5 DS/min 0.44 0.65 0.84
7 DS/min 2.84 3.52 4.21
9.5 DS/min 6.13 7.45 8.83
Comparing moving excess dodge to parry in my earlier post with my tank and balancing the two, I have two reforging scenarios:

729 Dg, 713 Parry: 36.77% Avoidance, 101% shield (376 Mastery Rating) ++current++
909 Dg, 909 Parry: 42.02% Avoidance, 50% shield (0 Mastery Rating)

Under the example of my tank and the sample boss model we've been looking at, I'm getting the following numbers:

4 DS/min, 0 Mastery: 5914 dps taken
4 DS/min, 376 Mastery: 5166 dps taken
++12.64% decrease in damage taken

9.5 DS/min, 0 Mastery: 5874 dps taken
9.5 DS/min, 376 Mastery: 5079 dps taken
++13.54% decrease in damage taken

In this scenario, the conversion of avoidance to mastery seems far more enticing.
My hunch is that Mastery conversion in the small is far more tied to DS usage, but as it scales up it ends up better, as avoidance has diminishing returns to worry about. For instance, converting 376 Dodge lost approximately 5% avoidance to double the shield size.

I think I'll need to review my log parses from last night's ICC10 to see what real values look like.

I hope these scenarios are helpful.

Satorri
10-22-2010, 04:41 AM
1) WTF is it with Spell Deflection being removed? <cry> We lost a huge chunk of our signature characteristic, magic damage mitigation!
Well, I can't speak to the Blizzard mindset, but if I had to guess? They were paring down talents and configuring Blood as a tanking tree. We already have a significant spell-protection value in AMS which is now cost-free (though it doesn't give us RP on absorbs by default). We didn't really *need* another signature anti-magic ability, let alone a talent for it. All the tank specs got the same treatment (they had flat 6% spell damage reduction talents).


2) What are your thoughts on diseaseless tanking? The way I see it, now that DS doesn't depend on diseases for either damage or healing, diseaseless tanking is looking to be a viable alternative -- you lose the HS and diseases bonus threat, but you gain an extra DS per rotation, and you can put 3 points from Virulence elsewhere. At a guildie's suggestion i tried it in RS yesterday, and was very favorably impressed -- the rotation is much simpler, that left me more brainshare to manage, and communicate with the raid about, the shadow lasers; and my threat was still around 30% above the highest DPSer's (the AoE threat is heavily gimped, but it's the single-target threat that really matters). One would still need someone else to provide the attack speed debuff of course.
It is a popular option at the moment with some. My personal feelings are that by the pocket math it will not actually *improve* your threat by numbers on its own. It does, as you point out, make the rotation simpler and for some people that will result in a gain. The rune system is complicated and intensive to manage right now, so simpler could actually make your life easier. They've removed a handful of elements that might have marred it in general: DS does not rely on it, you get flat-per-rune RP so you gain nothing by using 2 1-rune spells instead of 1 2-rune spell. That said you still lose 20% on your HS damage, the 20% melee de-haste debuff, ~6-8% of your total damage that was coming from diseases, and 15% (not re-confirmed) BB damage. If you can get away with it, you won't care about the loss. I would expect that going above 80 you will want the diseases back, but that is a different game and still more than a month away.

For my own use, I wouldn't bother with it unless something was going to die in a matter of seconds (but then I won't be trying too hard to tank it, but I may try to train myself at efficient disease application).


I imagine Blizzard will make it go away though, because it breaks the DK class paradigm.
If people tried to do it above 80, I'd agree, but like I said, I expect you will want your diseases then.


3) Even though dodge/parry got equalized, Agility still seems to give about double the amount of Dodge than Strength gives of Parry, and of course Agility also gives you armor. This means that Agility weapons are still the better survival choice, is that correct?
Sadly, Agility does not give you armor any more. I would expect that buries Agility pretty thoroughly, but don't take my word for it, I haven't tested it thoroughly. The loss of AP would be pretty prohibitive as well, now that those Agi weapons don't have *any* AP for us.


4) I can't get the simulations to work correctly (Rawr and Kahorie are both trying to do 3.3 on me), but what is your sense on H Ramaladni's vs H. Bryntroll for an orc tank, in terms of threat? (Bloodfall seems to be the clear survival leader at that content tier, outside ilevel-284 weapons).
I can't say for sure, having not scrutinized the details (and not having an Orc DK =D). I can say that both Kahorie and Shazear (the DK tank author for Rawr) have been working on their simulators for a while now, but there are a couple of complicating factors: we got some last minute curveballs at 4.0.1 for what went in and what didn't, and the new rune system has a significant X-factor since rune generation has a random factor involved. That will make simulators hard-pressed to give you a truly accurate prediction, especially when RS is still *also* contingent on random chance. I expect they will find a way, in 4.0.3 if not before, but from here on, so long as RunEmp exists, I would take them with even more of a grain of salt than you did before.

In the meantime here are things to consider:
1.) For threat sake, the weapon DPS will always out-weigh the stats on the gear in total value.
2.) With reforging you can also get the soft-caps for Hit and Exp without juggling gear too much, if you have a mind to. That said, *because* of reforging you can also over-load those same stats and reforge them into ones you want, if the piece of gear is otherwise better.

So, I would expect that H-Bryntroll would win on threat, but the question becomes (since you've said you have a strong threat margin), do you think you can get more of another value you want from using H-Ramalamadingdong's? Reforging can let you turn one of those dps stats into a survival value.

Satorri
10-22-2010, 06:52 AM
Quick update to the Avoidance vs Mastery values at 80 (thank you Auriya for reminding me to fix some key elements!).

The increase in DS healing obviously reduces the frequency required on DS usage to get a break-even overall damage reduction value. Adding in the base avoidance (small variance from race to race, but it is about 5% and change for dodge and parry, and 5% miss for all but Nelves at 7%) pushes the value back up, but the overall is a net benefit towards Mastery.

In the best case scenario even in the smallest margins (i.e. taking even amounts from balanced dodge and parry ratings to get the Mastery bonus), You are still only looking at 4.6-4.7 DS per min to get break-even value at the start (going from 0 Mastery rating to 100).

Something else interesting showed up here, and that is that above a certain avoidance value the curve starts to reverse direction, where you have to use more. In the numbers I ran that peak was around 2400 total avoidance rating (1200 dodge + 1200 parry). That turning point also corresponds to a minimum of ~4.57 DS per minute.

I also did a check on the effect of adding Mastery value from more and more avoidance, to be sure of the trend. I started with a combined value of 2000 total avoidance rating, 1000 each. The trend has a very gentle diminishing slope. It is not enough that you will notice much of a deviation from linearity in any range you will work with. That said, you do reduce the number of DS required on every step as you go to validate each additional reduction (meaning that the more you convert Avoidance to Mastery the more favorable the exchange becomes). The range for 2000 total avoidance rating becomes about 4.6 DS per min for the first step, and about 4.4 for the 3rd 100 rating increment (putting you at 300 Mastery rating, which appears to be a current rough reasonable peak you can hit with reforging alone).

So, with these adjusted values, it seems to me that it is very easy to get superior value from Mastery rating to avoidance (always bearing in mind the tricks of how often you use DS and how much total effect you get from the damage window), and if you are going to do it, go all the way to tilt the benefit in your favor.

Kurtov
10-22-2010, 08:08 AM
I can confirm that Imp DS does not currently buff the minimum heal, it is still only 10%. It does buff heals based on damage. It's not listed as a known issue, so I don't know if it's a bug or working as intended.

I'll give an example of how the mechanic works, it's a bit confusing.

Assuming 100,000 health:

Scenario 1 - You take less than ~23% your total health as damage in the 5s preceding Death Strike. Let's say 20,000. 20,000 * .3 * 1.45 = 8,700 Since this is less than 10%, it's ignored and you get healed for 10,000.

Scenario 2 - You take greater than ~23% total health as damage, let's say 25,000. 25,000 * .3 * 1.45 = 10,875 This is greater than 10%, so you're healed for 10,875.

Discussion/Logs can be found here : http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=27401640289&sid=1

(Galgarion is my DK)

Satorri
10-22-2010, 12:02 PM
Fortunately, we don't need to account for that possible issue in the discussion of Mastery value for the sake of a fair comparison on heavy survival value. When you are really taking damage you should not be catching the minimum flag. =)

Felycitas
10-23-2010, 01:44 AM
On the topic of a diseaseless rotation...

I find an Icy Touch rotation to be very effective. I haven't lost aggro except when DPS goes berserk on a mob I'm not targetting.

D&D -> BB -> IC -> Pestilence -> Blood Tap -> BB -> Death Strike

This is a 0 death rune situation.

When you have some death runes you can spam BB or HS instead of using Death Strike.

SageoftheTimes
10-23-2010, 12:29 PM
Don't forget about Outbreak, either. We could Outbreak to get both diseases up, then throw in IT for another 30 seconds of disease, then repeat. The main things to focus on with Death Strike seem to be: boss damage, Death Striking every 2 hits taken or one hit, and not over-doing the investment in mastery & haste, so that you don't hit a point where throwing in more haste/mastery will give minimal gains.

dotOrion
10-24-2010, 11:55 AM
Great guide, Satorri, can't wait for the unfinished parts :D

Concerning my view on the changes I'm with Kanzer - I'm hoping the changes that didn't go Live yet will make the tanking experience more enjoyable.

So far though, my experience is based on all kinds of random heroics, mostly with guildies, and while stuff died really quickly I'm not feeling the love. I'm used to tab-targeting from my druid tanking in TBC, but I'm not feeling that smoothness on my DK currently.

uglie
10-24-2010, 09:52 PM
In case I missed the discussion of the bloodworms, sorry I only scanned through.
My feeling on the bloodworms are extremely low right now considering I solo tanked sindy about 2 hours ago and from recount bloodworms only healed for 6030 for the entire fight. Which I have to say is extremely weak. I'm wondering if anyone else has seen these extremely low numbers?

dotOrion
10-25-2010, 01:07 AM
In case I missed the discussion of the bloodworms, sorry I only scanned through.
My feeling on the bloodworms are extremely low right now considering I solo tanked sindy about 2 hours ago and from recount bloodworms only healed for 6030 for the entire fight. Which I have to say is extremely weak. I'm wondering if anyone else has seen these extremely low numbers?

I would say the worms died too fast due to her Frost Aura and Blistering Cold, probably.

Denekawa
10-25-2010, 06:42 AM
I am finding the current RS situation to be downright frustrating. I spend a great deal of time in an OT role, which means I don't get the luxury of MD or ToT nor do I have something beating on me directly unless it is trash or some additional mini boss. I spend the entire fight literally with little or no threat at all and the only thing I have to gain threat is taunt. Which normally would be fine if Vengeance weren't in the mix... it's the tank's form of lingering MD. RS doesn't proc and I have little in my arsenal to convince the boss that I am actually a tank. Remember, I am the OT, the assumption is I am below the MT in threat, but with the new system in place I am usually just ahead of the healers. Everyone else is ahead of me. Pre-patch I could atleast get a decent rotation in even if it wasn't made up of threat strikes... but I find that if I am not being directly beaten on, I have rune starvation out the ass. I literally have nothing to use but DC for long stretches of time. I know IT was a bit OP pre-patch, but without it, I find the notion of generating threat as an OT literally non-existent. No runes to use strikes, no threat strikes because no dodge/parry... just measly DC to kiss all my RP goodbye and still have no runes to use for x number of seconds. It's like the whole DK tank runs on the assumption that it is the MT all the freaking time or it breaks down like a car out of gas.

Michultradk
10-25-2010, 07:44 AM
Satorri, thanks again for a great guide, it has made me a better tank along with giving me a much better understanding of my class. I look forward to the advance sections. I am still trying to undertand the reforging/mastery issue and the numbers I should be looking for. There is a lot of good reading already in your guide, and much more to come I'm sure.



Are you using Death Strike and DRW when you have the runic power. I am finding the advice someone gave in here very helpful, "try to use RP as fast as possible", I find that really helps. Maybe a link to your talents would help as well.
I am finding little trouble now building threat with a very simple rotation, keep in mind I am a random clicker so being able to really list a rotation for me is tuff, I'm not really sure I have one constant rotation, but more use of hits when I need them.
I am finding that there are several things now I barely use, Obliterate comes to mind. I am finding very good use of my DRW and Bone Shield now, along with my HS and DS when RS proc's I seem to stay fairly busy.
I am way behind most players here so maybe someone else will comment on building threat.

Felycitas
10-25-2010, 10:30 PM
You shouldn't be using Obliterate so that's normal for you to be experiencing.

So far I use DRW on a boss pull at the start of it. I haven't run into a situation yet where I've used it on a boss middle of the fight, but that's because I haven't BEEN in those situations.

I think our threat issues will be less of an issue once Rune Strike goes live with the 'free in blood presence' fix.

Auriya
10-26-2010, 05:36 AM
I solo tanked sindy about 2 hours ago and from recount bloodworms only healed for 6030 for the entire fight. Which I have to say is extremely weak. I'm wondering if anyone else has seen these extremely low numbers?

Remember that recount counts effective healing - be sure to cross reference against overheals too.
Another thing I've noticed about the bloodworms is that although they position "smartly" - those smarts don't work for dragon mechanics (mine seem to hang out on the tail)

Some data from worms (a run I did in ICC 10N):
Marrowgar: 57 heals, average 300 ea, 95.1% Overheal
Deathwhisper: 13 heals, average 2.3k ea, 58% Overheal
Saurfang: 26 heals, average 1.25k ea, 81.4% Overheal
Festergut: 37 heals, avg 1.56k ea, 73.9% Overheal
Princes: 46 heals, avg 2.35k ea, 61% Overheal
BQL: 55 heals, avg 1.69k ea, 63% Overheal

Yes, there's a bunch of overhealing, but that should be expected in the current content where it's substantially easier to keep people topped off. That said, they do seem to heal for a nice chunk of health.

SageoftheTimes
10-26-2010, 07:54 PM
I am finding the current RS situation to be downright frustrating. I spend a great deal of time in an OT role, which means I don't get the luxury of MD or ToT nor do I have something beating on me directly unless it is trash or some additional mini boss. I spend the entire fight literally with little or no threat at all and the only thing I have to gain threat is taunt. Which normally would be fine if Vengeance weren't in the mix... it's the tank's form of lingering MD. RS doesn't proc and I have little in my arsenal to convince the boss that I am actually a tank. Remember, I am the OT, the assumption is I am below the MT in threat, but with the new system in place I am usually just ahead of the healers. Everyone else is ahead of me. Pre-patch I could atleast get a decent rotation in even if it wasn't made up of threat strikes... but I find that if I am not being directly beaten on, I have rune starvation out the ass. I literally have nothing to use but DC for long stretches of time. I know IT was a bit OP pre-patch, but without it, I find the notion of generating threat as an OT literally non-existent. No runes to use strikes, no threat strikes because no dodge/parry... just measly DC to kiss all my RP goodbye and still have no runes to use for x number of seconds. It's like the whole DK tank runs on the assumption that it is the MT all the freaking time or it breaks down like a car out of gas. Convince your guild to swap you as tanks, or spam Death Grip with the Minor Glyph that resets it's CD when you get an immune message. Bosses are apparently immune to it, so you can basically keep aggro on anything. It'll be much better once we can Rune Strike at any time while in Blood Presence (for admittedly 50% more RP cost, but still).

Xephar
10-27-2010, 06:44 AM
Convince your guild to swap you as tanks, or spam Death Grip with the Minor Glyph that resets it's CD when you get an immune message. Bosses are apparently immune to it, so you can basically keep aggro on anything. It'll be much better once we can Rune Strike at any time while in Blood Presence (for admittedly 50% more RP cost, but still).

Either by purpose or by bug, the glyph you are referring too will activate Death Grips cooldown if either the pull or the taunt mechanic have an effect on the boss. Therefore you cant use it as a limitless boss taunt as you suggest. Its a shame because what seemed like a really nice glyph perk has become rather worthless in most cases.

I agree that off tanking is depressing because of the lack of damage you can put out without RS in the rotation but it will obviously improve when RS loses its dependency on dodge/parry. In the meantime we can use DC's to dump RP, they dont do much damage but they do activate Runic Empowerment, giving you a little more threat. Anyway, as an offtank in situations like you describe your job is to share damage, not generate threat. It could be worse, at least we still build RP with our attacks, if you were OT as a warrior you would be rage starved and have no way to make up for it.

Satorri
10-27-2010, 10:52 AM
In case I missed the discussion of the bloodworms, sorry I only scanned through.
My feeling on the bloodworms are extremely low right now considering I solo tanked sindy about 2 hours ago and from recount bloodworms only healed for 6030 for the entire fight. Which I have to say is extremely weak. I'm wondering if anyone else has seen these extremely low numbers?
There are two tricks with Blood Parasites, one current and one that has extended ramifications:
1.) (current) Healing is still in a state of excess where people are fairly frequently overly topped off. That changes a lot above the 80 endgame and so do the worms' value accordingly when people aren't topped off and the healers are happy to not need to heal as much so they can conserve mana.

2.) (looking forward) The worms have a fairly short range. On fights like Sindragosa they position behind her hit box (which is pretty big), while everyone else, including the melee, do *not*. The particulars of a dragon fight mean that only pets can safely hang out back there. That means they are not likely to hit people well. This has longer reaching issues, but we'll see how that looks when the 85 endgame comes around.


I would say the worms died too fast due to her Frost Aura and Blistering Cold, probably.
I'd be surprised if they did, they're resilient little buggers now.


Are you using Death Strike and DRW when you have the runic power. I am finding the advice someone gave in here very helpful, "try to use RP as fast as possible", I find that really helps. Maybe a link to your talents would help as well.
I usually include a section on what *I* do at the end of the guide, I realized that after I had blocked posts off. I can probably add that in before the advanced section (which will likely need to come in installments anyway).

Satorri
10-28-2010, 06:19 AM
For the mathier folks in the crowd:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Am4-ocOs4DVxdHdlUGp4bk5TSGFQdGZMSHhwVVVia0E&hl=en&authkey=CPWz4fMF

The stuff at the top of the page is just a quick actual avoidance calculator, and a simple solver iteration I used to calculate a rough approximation of the numerical limitations of DS usage (finding the limit allowing that you need to have enough cooldowns, and generate enough RP to regen enough runes to fill those GCDs, and note that I allow for one FU pair to be used every 30 sec for diseases).

The bottom is the data I pulled from for my ranges, and the charts show the nice clean trendy interactions. In simplest terms, both charts show how many DS per min you need to use to get break even value on total damage reduction for trading off avoidance rating into Mastery rating.

The top chart shows the effect of the *first step* of changing Avoidance to Mastery with increasing values of total avoidance, and the second chart shows the trend as you keep adding more and more Mastery from a set value of Avoidance (started with a slightly generous avoidance value for a decently geared ICC tank, about 1000 of each rating).

Deathsvalor
10-29-2010, 01:36 PM
4.0.3 is now on the PTR and Rune Strike still has not been changed. It looks like we may be tanking with RNG for a little longer.

Felycitas
10-30-2010, 03:23 AM
I am INCREASINGLY frustrated by my inability to generate threat when it matters. Fix rune strike damnit.

Darkwind
10-30-2010, 09:10 AM
One issue which I am not sure I have seen addressed in this thread as part of the mastery vs. Avoidance discussion. What is the affect on overall threat/DPS of the reduced RS procs and prioritization of DS over HS in order to maintain the higer number of DSs required to take advantage of the Mastery stacking.

Whereas numericaly there is an adavantage to mastery stacking what are we sacrificing other than pure avoidance stats to achieve it?

Xephar
11-01-2010, 01:13 AM
I am INCREASINGLY frustrated by my inability to generate threat when it matters. Fix rune strike damnit.

I totally understand how frustrating it is not to have a rune strike option, and how boring it is to off tank when your rune locked and cant RS (though death coil also activates runic empowerment).

Still, I've been tanking ICCH with absolutely no threat problems. I have NEVER had a boss pulled off me due to lack of threat, and my gear is all reforged for mastery, leaving only about 19% in both dodge and parry (meaning RS is often unavail). I sometimes use my +500 dodge on use proc from my indomidability trinket on pulls to get some extra RS procs up front, but not always.

I have to wonder if some of the posts here aren't complaining about threat when what they really mean is lack of dps and available runes as I just dont see threat being an issue.

On those people who are complaining about heroic 5 mans, in that case it is hard to gain threat and hold threat sometimes, though more RS's wouldnt really help as its usually an issue with AOE tanking and dps not targeting off the tank. I dont see this as a real issue though, as heroics at this point are so easy that you dont really even need a tank. I've done several with no tank (in my dps spec) and several with no healer (in my tank spec), seems you really only need one or the other to complete them.

Felycitas
11-01-2010, 12:27 PM
The situation I have a problem with threat is taunting off the other tank (I most noticed it with a bear tank).

If rune strike doesn't light up.. I'm there flailing away trying to outthreat their dots.

Another good example is Deathwhisper.

uglie
11-01-2010, 08:35 PM
On tank switching fights except PP p3 i find it best to slowly use your runes while not being the active tank so that you'll have plenty of runes ready to go when you switch but this takes knowing the fight. Right before its your turn to taunt refresh your diseases then taunt and HS away til a rs proc popping blood tap if needed. You also have to make sure that the other tank backs off their threat.
As a side note the only thing I have reforged is the haste on shadows edge to mastery. With the way RS works (I actually like it since it makes dk tanking more interesting and not a RS/DS spam and for this reason hope they dont change it) I find dodge and parry not worth giving up in any way. So much so that I changed out from the gargoyle spit bragers to the bracers of dark reckoning for the extra dodge and parry.

Satorri
11-02-2010, 05:46 AM
Whereas numericaly there is an adavantage to mastery stacking what are we sacrificing other than pure avoidance stats to achieve it?
That is one I cannot answer for everyone. How you prioritize will make a big difference, and how well you use your resources is as big a variable as the current system can be pretty challenging to use with the most effectiveness.

Some short-hand generalizations, though:
1.) Losing avoidance will reduce your RS proc rate, but not as much as you might think. It *is* a loss of threat however.
2.) The gain of Mastery from Avoidance will result in a larger overall damage reduction *if* you use DS more than the cited amount (about 4.6 times per minute give or take 0.2-0.3 depending on your gear level). How you mix in HS and DS will determine that value for you.

I would love to do some rough average values to approximate the threat hand-off but there are a LOT of variables in that, worse still than figuring out the value of Mastery.

If you are struggling on threat, you might want to consider swapping to Mastery, especially if you are low on avoidance to begin with.


On tank switching fights except PP p3 i find it best to slowly use your runes while not being the active tank so that you'll have plenty of runes ready to go when you switch but this takes knowing the fight.
This is what I do. I have a good sense of the pacing, so I hammer away but I let the runes stack up (with diseases on) and get up my RP to hammer away right after the taunt.

DRW is great for that too. Popping that with all your runes up and diseases already set can make for some nice threat.

Uranos7
11-02-2010, 10:43 AM
What i did (on horde dk) was too use the haste given from the old armor into mastery with duel weilding haste isn't needed much so we can afford to lose it.
However on my ally DK went 2-hander and lost some haste and some hit but in both cases left avoidance alone for greater damage reduction and to proc rune strike more often for threat.

salmonman78
11-05-2010, 01:05 AM
First off, bravo on a excellent guide once again to the DK tanks. Was daunted after not playing in months coming back wanting to redo my tank and you've made me feel a bit better about it.

Thing is I am still in love with my DW-DK and wonder if it still is viable to be DW tanking.(Will be thinking of the points I have to work with right now @Lvl 80 and not counting in the extra when you'd reach 85)

Those last points thinking 2/3 going into "Nerves of Cold Steel" to increase hit and the dmg from the Off-Hand and the other 2/3 into either "Virulence" to help the diseases land or "Epidemic" to help maintain them. Although I will say skipping "Nerves" and just getting the last two I mention sounds feasable as well, I just am trying to get the most out of my DW performance.

Also wondering about my weapons. I have dual Nighttimes(232 1h Axe from H-FoS) and dual Ghoulslicers(219 1h Sword from HoR). Which set would be optimal for me to use? Alot of people say to go with the axe for the dps/agility and heard a few say as well for the ghoulslicers for the expertise boost. Having a hard decision between the two.

Thanks again and hope to try it soon.

Satorri
11-05-2010, 07:06 AM
Viable is a word I don't like.

Let me put it this way. There is one tree built for supporting serious tanking: Blood. If you want to tank with Frost/Unholy, it will not offer remotely the survival values (or the uncrittability) that Blood offers. Blood does not support dual wielding at all. Without Threat of Thassarian in deep Frost, you'll be losing a significant margin of threat (think 25-35%).

If you want to do it as Blood, be aware that you will sacrifice a lot of threat. If you want to dual wield tank as Frost, you will sacrifice a lot of survival, and be crittable. I won't tell you not to, but you'll have to recognize the sacrifices you'll make to do what sounds cool. =)

As far as stats, if you want to make dual wielding happen:
1.) Expertise is no longer a survival value, parry haste is gone.
2.) The current level 80 Exp soft cap is now 23, above that it is reduced in value as it only reduces chance to be parried against raid bosses (see my previous comments about dual wield tanking serious content)
3.) Agility no longer grants armor, only dodge/crit (/mourn Agi's reduced survival value)

Kurtov
11-06-2010, 02:47 AM
I have a good sense of the pacing, so I hammer away but I let the runes stack up (with diseases on) and get up my RP to hammer away right after the taunt.

DRW is great for that too. Popping that with all your runes up and diseases already set can make for some nice threat.

This is about the only way I can stay ahead of the other tank. Yeah, my threat is enough to stay ahead of the DPS, but it (and my DPS) absolutely blows compared to a Druid or Paladin. It shouldn't be necessary to hold off on our rotation and blow cooldowns just to keep the other tank from pulling with his auto-attack.

On H: LDW, I'm pretty much screwed. Icy Touch being back to crap threat has also really hurt me on tanking Keleseth. Haste debuffs from Sindragosa and H:Festergut are also game-breaking. Is being able to RS whenever we want really going to make much of a difference?

For now I've been continuing to DPS with my DK, and switching to my Druid whenever we need a viable tank.

uglie
11-06-2010, 10:26 AM
For me, I haven't noticed any particular game breaking difficulty in tank switching fights. Did H:LDW a couple nights ago with a bear co tank and honestly didn't find taking threat from him too much of a problem. I kept my diseases rolling on her while picking up the add and just did my normal rotation using DC as much as possible. Now granted pre patch it would've been much easier but it is still definitely not so difficult that a dk is not a viable tank for the fight.

Satorri
11-08-2010, 07:11 AM
On H: LDW, I'm pretty much screwed. Icy Touch being back to crap threat has also really hurt me on tanking Keleseth. Haste debuffs from Sindragosa and H:Festergut are also game-breaking. Is being able to RS whenever we want really going to make much of a difference

I think I also have a bit of an advantage there. I did these fights before Icy Touch was Icy Slam so I didn't learn them relying on that. I abused it sometimes once I had that as a tool, but taking it away just means I go back to the way I used to do it.

Urythmic
11-08-2010, 11:09 AM
I've noticed a few threat issues, but nothing that seems game-breaking. Yeah, it's certainly more of a challenge to stay ahead on threat now, but so far for me anyway this just means a change in approach was needed and fairly easily corrected.

However, my perspective is limited to normal-mode ICC10 (yeah, we're late to the party, I know -- my guild is almost entirely comprised of new raiders; we started with Naxx in May and slowly worked our way up to ICC), so I'm not having to compete against hardmode raiders wielding Shadowmourne.

The main thing seems to be that a taunt alone (or taunt + Icy Touch) is often no longer enough to grab and keep a target. This means I have to live a bit more dangerously when kiting the big oozes on Rotface and be ready to smack down some heavy hits right after the taunt on LDW, PP, etc. Not really a big deal, just a different way of doing things. To me it definitely feels more fun than the old way, where threat was just never much of an issue.

Over the last week or so I've been having a lot of fun working toward our first Lich King kill. I have a pally off-tank holding the Shambling Horrors during Phase 1 while I hold the Lich King and all of his Ghouls. I pop DRW early to establish a solid threat lead on LK, then DnD+BB to hold all the ghouls. Holding all those Ghouls on me provides almost constant RS uptime and I try to dump as much RP as I can with it, holding back only when I know I may want to use the RP for IBF or DRW. As a result, I almost never find myself starved for runes or otherwise lacking the ability to control the situation.

I've also noticed that the healing from Death Strike, Bloodworms, and Rune Tap ends up being a significant help, adding up to almost 7% of the total heals for the fight. Bloodworms alone account for almost half of that, so they seem very effective in this fight at least.

The only thing I still find really frustrating is not being able to easily gauge how much the absorb shields are helping. The WoL parses just don't reveal much about this as far as I can tell. I tried switching from Recount to Skada, but Skada is missing some of the deeper analysis tools I need to figure out what went wrong on a wipe, etc. I'm curious how other folks deal with this. Is there any good way to find out how much the absorb shields are helping? Do you run both Skada and Recount?

Edgewalker
11-09-2010, 02:53 PM
On H: LDW, I'm pretty much screwed. Icy Touch being back to crap threat has also really hurt me on tanking Keleseth. Haste debuffs from Sindragosa and H:Festergut are also game-breaking. Is being able to RS whenever we want really going to make much of a difference?
.

You get, at maximum, one haste debuff from Sindragosa if you properly use AMS. The same can be said of Festergut, with the only possible debuffin occurring when your Gastric stack is high enough to make threat trivial.
How are you screwed on H:LDW? If it is on adds, properly saving runes for the burst threat required on the 3 set spawn isn't difficult to manage, and if it is on the boss then you are complaining about a universal agro reduction mechanic that transcends class.
There isn't a whole lot to complain about in ICC25 if you are using the class properly.

Kurtov
11-09-2010, 11:22 PM
When your DPS are doing 10k plus, you need to be doing substantially more threat on H:LDW. As it is, DKs are barely ahead, and that doesn't cut it while you're waiting for your off-tank's debuff to wear off. Yes, it's the DPS responsiblity not to over-aggro, but with a Pally or Druid they don't even have to hold back. I can't really speak to Warriors as we have hardly any raiding warriors in my guild, and none of them are tanks.

This Sunday I tanked normal ICC on our alt run with my Druid since my DK was already saved to H:ICC. I've barely played him, haven't practiced the rotation with Pulverize, stacking Faerie Fire and Mangle procs, and only have one Prime Glyph learned (Mangle). I still nabbed the 4th spot on WoL http://worldoflogs.com/rankings/players/Icecrown_Citadel/Blood-Queen_Lana'thel/10N/Feral-Bear_Druid/ (Keremanas), and did 8.7k dps without Heroism. I'm sure if I tried again with glyphs/heroism, I'd top 9k easily.

I'd be lucky to do half that on my DK. There's no way self-heals will make up the difference in threat. It's not like our rotation is hard, there's really no room for me to get better at it. My threat just sucks. Even if I didn't have any threat issues, I don't see that justifying the huge disparity between tanks just because DKs are "good enough".

It seems from the comments that it's just me. That's okay, I have 2 other max-level tanking classes I can play. I guess I'm just disappointed I'll be abandoning what has become my favorite class at the start of another expansion. In Wrath it was my Warrior, in Cata it will be my DK.

Satorri
11-10-2010, 06:13 AM
Do you run both Skada and Recount?

I only run Recount, I too was disappointed with the lack of depth (that I could find) with Skada.

Right now Life Shield is a little out in the cold for tracking. The other absorb effects are now properly enumerated so combat logs and Recount without plugins (and Skada I assume) can track the absorbed value of PW:S, Divine Aegis, and Illuminated Healing (Holy Pally mastery). Life Shield is not tracked with absorb numbers, but if you really want to know you can collect a combat log parse and do the math. Since the other absorbs will all be tracked you can back calculate the remainder and find the total absorbed by Life Shield and if you divide that by the number of DS heals you get you can find the average absorb per DS.

Hopefully this is patched up with 4.0.3/Clysm box.

Urythmic
11-10-2010, 12:27 PM
I only run Recount, I too was disappointed with the lack of depth (that I could find) with Skada.

Right now Life Shield is a little out in the cold for tracking. The other absorb effects are now properly enumerated so combat logs and Recount without plugins (and Skada I assume) can track the absorbed value of PW:S, Divine Aegis, and Illuminated Healing (Holy Pally mastery). Life Shield is not tracked with absorb numbers, but if you really want to know you can collect a combat log parse and do the math. Since the other absorbs will all be tracked you can back calculate the remainder and find the total absorbed by Life Shield and if you divide that by the number of DS heals you get you can find the average absorb per DS.

Hopefully this is patched up with 4.0.3/Clysm box.

Yeah, I sure hope they patch that up, too! Backtracking the numbers like that sounds a bit too cumbersome for me, but it's very good to know.

Thanks, man!

Edgewalker
11-11-2010, 03:11 PM
When your DPS are doing 10k plus, you need to be doing substantially more threat on H:LDW. As it is, DKs are barely ahead, and that doesn't cut it while you're waiting for your off-tank's debuff to wear off. Yes, it's the DPS responsiblity not to over-aggro, but with a Pally or Druid they don't even have to hold back. I can't really speak to Warriors as we have hardly any raiding warriors in my guild, and none of them are tanks.

This Sunday I tanked normal ICC on our alt run with my Druid since my DK was already saved to H:ICC. I've barely played him, haven't practiced the rotation with Pulverize, stacking Faerie Fire and Mangle procs, and only have one Prime Glyph learned (Mangle). I still nabbed the 4th spot on WoL http://worldoflogs.com/rankings/players/Icecrown_Citadel/Blood-Queen_Lana'thel/10N/Feral-Bear_Druid/ (Keremanas), and did 8.7k dps without Heroism. I'm sure if I tried again with glyphs/heroism, I'd top 9k easily.

I'd be lucky to do half that on my DK. There's no way self-heals will make up the difference in threat. It's not like our rotation is hard, there's really no room for me to get better at it. My threat just sucks. Even if I didn't have any threat issues, I don't see that justifying the huge disparity between tanks just because DKs are "good enough".

It seems from the comments that it's just me. That's okay, I have 2 other max-level tanking classes I can play. I guess I'm just disappointed I'll be abandoning what has become my favorite class at the start of another expansion. In Wrath it was my Warrior, in Cata it will be my DK.


Do you have an armory link to your DK?
It could easily be minor gearing / spec issues.

arctempest
11-11-2010, 11:53 PM
Icy Touch being back to crap threat has also really hurt me on tanking Keleseth.

I've actually taken to using a frost spec for ranged tank fights like Keleseth and ooze kiting. If you reforged to maximize Blood Shield, HB will hit like a truck (6-12k). And since your overall objective is to not get punched at all, the loss of crit immunity and health won't matter much.

uglie
11-12-2010, 03:32 AM
I too play an bear which is pretty closely geared and I do generate almost twice as much threat as my DK. All this means to me is that there will be some threat balancing come cata with either a buff to DK's or a nerf to bears. Bears too can run into a similar problem that dk's have, if the bear is not getting hit hard enough or often enough rage starvation can come about quite fast. This is why if I'm asked to run a heroic to help a guildie i don't tank my bear but instead grab my dk. This how ever does in no way mean that a dk is not a viable tank it simply means that we aren't nearly as much of a faceroll.

Star Scythe
11-12-2010, 03:44 AM
On H: LDW, I'm pretty much screwed. Icy Touch being back to crap threat has also really hurt me on tanking Keleseth. Haste debuffs from Sindragosa and H:Festergut are also game-breaking. Is being able to RS whenever we want really going to make much of a difference?

he was talking about the H:25 version of the fights in particular. in the heroic version of LDW she is untauntable. this changes the fight for threat from /yawn to a weird dance where (at least the strat i used) i was hopping in and out of melee range to reset the threat debuff without letting the melee get aggro in full frost resist gear (couldn't afford to let LDW stop casting at the wrong time)

the other guilds on the server (who i was heavily involved with in alt runs and 10mans) all reported terrible nightmares with aggro on LDW where my guild was easily above that simply because i was the only DK tank that any of the hardmode guilds had. my guild disbanded shortly before 4.0 hit and i haven't bothered to do any 25s since then so i cant speak for now-a-days, but my guess would be that instead of the 2 tank (1 DK) set up you can use the 3 tank strat where you have 2 tanks fighting for aggro along with the the DPS trying to break 20k dps

Satorri
11-12-2010, 06:22 AM
In 4.0.3 there is a massive up-shift in DK threat capability/availability. Two-fold changes that got held back in testing through 4.0.1:
1.) RS usable at all times. It gets a 30 RP cost and about a 25% damage cut, but it can be used as our RP dump at all times (only using DC when you want a ranged utility). There is a small threat benefit directly here, but a great benefit to our RunEmp cycle.
2.) Imp Blood Pres now reduces our rune CDs by ~0.1 sec per point (not the full 10%, but in the ballpark). This 20% speed up is a big deal for a talent we're already locking in for crit removal.

Michultradk
11-15-2010, 09:10 AM
You get, at maximum, one haste debuff from Sindragosa if you properly use AMS. The same can be said of Festergut, with the only possible debuffin occurring when your Gastric stack is high enough to make threat trivial.
How are you screwed on H:LDW? If it is on adds, properly saving runes for the burst threat required on the 3 set spawn isn't difficult to manage, and if it is on the boss then you are complaining about a universal agro reduction mechanic that transcends class.
There isn't a whole lot to complain about in ICC25 if you are using the class properly.

I am having some trouble here in 10man Heroic Sindy, using my AMS at the proper times. When you say you get at maximum 1 debuff, does it matter which one you get; Should you skip a certain one or just let the CD/duration of the AMS' work there natural rotation. We were unable to down her this week on our first guild attempt and even though it wasn't completely my fault some of it was me not being able to run. I do know for fact that I have to get better at timing the frost breath so I can dodge the debuff, but it was seeming impossible, are there any tricks to this other than watching DBM and clicking the button at the right time. I am using the AMS glyph for this fight.

I have got my priority of hits good enough that I am having little problem with threat, though I will say it has taken some team work with the heavy hitters to make our runs trouble free.

Thanks in advance

Urythmic
11-15-2010, 09:28 AM
I am having some trouble here in 10man Heroic Sindy, using my AMS at the proper times. When you say you get at maximum 1 debuff, does it matter which one you get; Should you skip a certain one or just let the CD/duration of the AMS' work there natural rotation. We were unable to down her this week on our first guild attempt and even though it wasn't completely my fault some of it was me not being able to run. I do know for fact that I have to get better at timing the frost breath so I can dodge the debuff, but it was seeming impossible, are there any tricks to this other than watching DBM and clicking the button at the right time. I am using the AMS glyph for this fight.

I have got my priority of hits good enough that I am having little problem with threat, though I will say it has taken some team work with the heavy hitters to make our runs trouble free.

Thanks in advance

For the Frost Breath, it's pretty easy to time your AMS. Just watch for when she lifts her head up -- that signals she is about to breath on you. Not sure if this will help with the debuff, but it does absorb a big chunk of the Frost Breath.

Satorri
11-15-2010, 12:53 PM
I assume Edge means in phase 1/2 (ground/air) you can get only one by soaking the first and third breath with AMS and you only get the second's debuff. So that is to say, one per ground phase.

Michultradk
11-15-2010, 01:05 PM
Thanks for your comment.
Before now I was use to having a Pally in our group to cleanse me, since this element is gone I've had to get better and quit being lazy. For the record I do use it but my timing really stinks, something I surely need to work on. If I understand everything I've read about this debuff AMS does in fact help with it's affects a lot, to the point that it's crucial to have it up at the right times or chance being slowed up to 250%, and nothing helps then. A warrior can intervene and charge out of it I think, and his/her CD is good enough that they can do this everytime if of course they survive the damage.

Ahhh, ok Satorri, that makes perfect sense now.
So can I ask if that is sufficient enough to keep your run speed good enough to run out and in on air phases, or is there something else I need to do.
With this being heroic I'm having trouble I never had in regular, I just need to work through them if it can be done and I'm sure it can.

Thanks guys.

my edit was adding my reply to Satorri....

Satorri
11-15-2010, 01:12 PM
Well, that's the trick. AMS active prevents you from receiving debuffs (most anyway). So, if nothing else, soaking the third/last breath before the air phase will make sure that you don't have the run speed reduction.

Hand of Freedom is handy too, albeit requiring you to rely on someone else. Worse things have happened. =)

MellvarTank
11-15-2010, 03:24 PM
Here's a thought Satorri: Can an imp (destro lock pet) burn off the slow?

Satorri
11-16-2010, 06:52 AM
I'm rather certain that it is not a dispellable debuff or all the healers would be able to as well, and the Imp dispel is just that, a magic dispel (split, I discovered, off of Fel puppy's Devour Magic. That used to be aggressive or defensive, but now Devour only does offensive dispels and Imps got the defensive part).

Michultradk
11-16-2010, 09:50 AM
Thanks for the comments guys.
Truth is I must get better at the timing of the breath, shouldn't be a hard thing really now that I understand it's crucial in tanking that boss. It's a shame that before on regular and with a different group make up I just fluffed this off instead of practicing my defensive buffs like I should have been doing.

Felycitas
11-17-2010, 04:07 AM
2.) Imp Blood Pres now reduces our rune CDs by ~0.1 sec per point (not the full 10%, but in the ballpark). This 20% speed up is a big deal for a talent we're already locking in for crit removal.Ooo, this is nice.

I'm at 20% haste on my DW DPS gear and it feels soooo much better than 0%. We'll see how this carries over into tanking.

Wish they'd put the Rune Strike patch live already...

Satorri
11-17-2010, 06:45 AM
I wanted them to put it in with 4.0.3, but I knew they wouldn't since it is only a bug fix patch, not a class change patch.

Now we just have to be patient until 4.0.3a/Dec 7th. I'm starting to think they may be co-current.

Edgewalker
11-18-2010, 06:00 PM
I am having some trouble here in 10man Heroic Sindy, using my AMS at the proper times. When you say you get at maximum 1 debuff, does it matter which one you get; Should you skip a certain one or just let the CD/duration of the AMS' work there natural rotation. We were unable to down her this week on our first guild attempt and even though it wasn't completely my fault some of it was me not being able to run. I do know for fact that I have to get better at timing the frost breath so I can dodge the debuff, but it was seeming impossible, are there any tricks to this other than watching DBM and clicking the button at the right time. I am using the AMS glyph for this fight.

I have got my priority of hits good enough that I am having little problem with threat, though I will say it has taken some team work with the heavy hitters to make our runs trouble free.

Thanks in advance


With DXE or DBM updated timers you should be able to hit every 1st and 3rd breath in the primary phases. If you are lucky enough to have a Sindras Fang you can use that on the second breath and full out resist it a lot of the time.
Regardless, with just 1 debuff going into the air phase, you should still move with plenty of speed to get behind a block.

TPS issues are on your guild, they need to know that until the final phase the damage on Sindragosa isn't critical. Letting you have a large enough TPS lead and having their own personal DPS cooldowns / bloodlust for the final phase is of the highest importance.

Edgewalker
11-18-2010, 06:02 PM
Here's a thought Satorri: Can an imp (destro lock pet) burn off the slow?

You can't. The pet abilities mimic the player abilities, anything a player can't purge or dispel a pet won't be able to either.

Michultradk
11-19-2010, 07:36 PM
Thanks EW, I think I understand now what I need to do. As I said before I was just being lazy and even though I would hit my AMS I really never cared about the timing. I am ready to put my learning to work now and maybe I wil lget my chance soon.

racoon21
11-22-2010, 03:39 PM
hey guys i was wondering if you could take a look at my char and see if i have done something wrong

im denied ICC runs cause i supposedly have too low health can you check my armoury and see if you can give me any tips for improvement

cheers :)

i know im missing enchants in places

Theotherone
11-22-2010, 05:01 PM
The nerf bat is being swung tomorrow. IBF is going to a 3 min cool down with reduced damage reduction making it really kind of useless in the average fight and Rune Tap healing is reduced among other things. It's kind of right as we were a bit over powered cool down wise; but still disappointing.

Uranos7
11-23-2010, 05:05 AM
TY Satori for his in depth report. I have 2 DK tanks one ally one horde and lvl'd each as tanks in specs other than blood.
Although I still hate the blood spec for tanking this has made the transition less painful. lol

Edgewalker
11-23-2010, 08:09 AM
The nerf bat is being swung tomorrow. IBF is going to a 3 min cool down with reduced damage reduction making it really kind of useless in the average fight and Rune Tap healing is reduced among other things. It's kind of right as we were a bit over powered cool down wise; but still disappointing.


Well that's just silly. With the changes to IBF and other tanking cooldowns Blizzard will balance raid and heroic encounters around longer tank cooldowns. The only difference is instead of Soul Reaper every minute, you would likely see it every two minutes. Probably a good change for overall game design.

Felycitas
11-23-2010, 08:34 PM
Is Rune Strike able to be used freely now?

Splitpea
11-23-2010, 09:25 PM
It seems like you can use rune strike freely now. The cost has been upped to 30 RP, but I can use it whenever I have the RP.

Edit: I just confirmed on a training dummy. You can use Rune Strike Freely now as long as you are in blood presence. Tooltip isn't updated to reflect this, but it works. I verified by switching to frost and get the "you can't do that yet" message, but switch to blood and the ability lights up. Cost has been changed from 20 RP to 30 RP.

Felycitas
11-23-2010, 10:52 PM
Thank you Splitpea :)

novicracker
11-24-2010, 06:03 AM
Hey I'm looking for a idea of what all the caps are for the new DK stats... I don't know what they are so I cant reforge right.. the funny thing is that I'm pulling 5k in Lich king Dungeons with out the reforging... Do you think it will be possible to do more damage with the reforging in place?
My Toons name is PhreakNovic on the Cairne server.. I made sure to log with my DPS stuff on. So any help would be great...

Felycitas
11-24-2010, 12:16 PM
So any help would be great...Put the RUNE OF THE FALLEN CRUSADER on your main hand weapon (the benefit of razorice there is very minimal).

Swap out the tank helm/chest for DPS versions.

First Priority: get your expertise to 26 (I think you can do 21/22 right now, but it'll have to be 26 again once past 80).

You're well over the hit soft cap (which is only making it so that your white damage hits more often -- which is not a strong source of damage from us). You need 5% from gear.. and I don't know if the armory factors in talents so you can drop 5% hit for other things.

My recommendations after you do the above tasks...

- Get your haste to 20% (no hard numbers.. just feels nice to me on my DK).

- Reforge hit to mastery on any gear that has hit (make sure to keep watch on your hit section so that your special attacks stay at 0% miss).

- Reforge critical strike to mastery on any gear that doesn't have hit (but has crit).

Also, when you DPS, it's recommended that frost dual wield be in frost presence.

Hope this helps!

novicracker
11-25-2010, 06:04 AM
Hey TY!!! I have done as you asked and or suggested... Im still have trouble with getting my DPS past 5k... what can I do to get more out my toon?
PhreakNovic... My toons name.


NovicRacker

Karih
11-25-2010, 07:38 AM
Hey TY!!! I have done as you asked and or suggested... Im still have trouble with getting my DPS past 5k... what can I do to get more out my toon?
PhreakNovic... My toons name.


NovicRacker

You might find more luck in the DPS Forum or the HALP fourm. This is after all the Tanking thread.

novicracker
11-25-2010, 05:43 PM
yeah I know... Im already an oober Tank!!! I'm just here cause I would like advice from other Awesome tanks that know DK's better than I Do...

Star Scythe
11-25-2010, 09:10 PM
any thoughts on the armor nerf from 60% to 30% while in blood presence? i'm trying to decide wether or not i should panic, especially after all the nerfs to our healing.

Acidbaron
11-26-2010, 03:07 AM
According to EJ, In damage taken we are still below druids and warriors, paladins still beat us though but they have escaped the round of nerfs this time around.

thefiddle
11-27-2010, 04:35 AM
Hello all!

First of all, excellent posts in this thread. The summary of all things about death knight tanking is very good!

The armor nerf felt quite huge, our healers noticed it on heroic LK. Now, I believe that the nerf was motivated to balance the effectiveness of the death knight mastery however, the questions i have about the mastery also stand alone. In the original post, it was mentioned that 5.3 or 5.4 death strikes a min would roughly mean more benefit from mastery than avoidance on a lot of raid bosses. Is there a way to exactly read out how much damage has been absorbed by the blood shield from, say, world of logs. Despite my efforts i have not been able to do this (thefiddle from US lightbringer <Tupan Techno> if anyone knows the answer!) I wonder about the following:


a) How much was actually absorbed via just the 'blood shield'. To my knowledge, the shield itself is a coefficient off amount of heath gained, i.e. effective healing. So assuming that the coefficient is some positive number 'c', a crude estimate would be

c*Healing done * ( 1 - %Over healing/100)

Is this estimate actual ?

b) A related question would be if the shields stack. The tool tip only says 'absorbs physical damage, but does not say how much. If i Death strike 2 times in a row, both of then heal me will the shield i have be the following expression:

Shield from first + shield from second ;

or just

Shield from second.

c) Another related question would be the order in which physical damage is absorbed. For instance, if i have power ward shield, valanyr proc and blood shield up and i get hit for 20k, will the blood shield always get absorbed first? or will the absorption happen in the order in which they were applied (if PW: Shield was applied first then it gets eaten fallowed by w/e).

This is most likely the latter. It is important because i dont think the buff from blood shield is that long (unless it is actually 30 seconds and then w/e) and between swings, parries and casts it may actually wear off before absorbing anything.

-- End of questions --

My goal is to compute the optimal death strike / heart strike ratio under a variety of situations. 5.3 heart strikes a min sounds reasonable but under various circumstances (casting, transitions and a lot of other things that just *come up* on progression), answering these questions would really help.

I would like to note though that death strike is not modified by diseases and is far less threat than heart strike. It would not be surprising, if not expected, that the optimal way to maximize utility of the mastery would be to sac diseases and a lot of threat (though one may not actually do this).

Thanks for the help
thefiddle

Uranos7
11-29-2010, 08:40 AM
Yikes. Just tanked my first heroic (Violet Hold) and a few thoughts...



2) I'm pretty well geared for a tank and a mage constantly kept ripping single target aggro from me.

1) if they have an itchy trigger finger and hit them first then it can take a bit to get it back from them and if they are pulling one of a group then your aoe will never be > thier single target; but most dps need to learn how to follow a kill order or take tanks target.

2) heart strike and rune strike give the most threat per hit ifyou rune strike isn't coming up enuff get more avoidance.

3) diseases do not produce alot of threat initially but do make it easier to get threat back if you lose it due to constant building of threat from them





[EDIT: Also, how did you unholy tanks get yourselves in the mindset to keep bone shield going all the time? I forgot like crazy.]

Thier are some addons that track it for you mine may seem strange but works well it's healbot, also VuhDu works well too.

Satorri
11-29-2010, 11:32 AM
Is there a way to exactly read out how much damage has been absorbed by the blood shield from, say, world of logs.
Not yet. Currently the size of Blood Shield is not enumerated anywhere in the player's side of the game. All the other player shields *have* been however (all the applied ones anyway). If you use World of Logs you can take the total you absorbed, subtract Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, and Illuminated Healing, and the remainder *should* be the Blood Shield soaks with two asterisks: it can only be physical damage, you need to account for AMS (which will only be on spell damage). AMS, if you used it completely, can just be counted for half your health times the number of times you used it.


a) How much was actually absorbed via just the 'blood shield'. To my knowledge, the shield itself is a coefficient off amount of heath gained, i.e. effective healing. So assuming that the coefficient is some positive number 'c', a crude estimate would be
c*Healing done * ( 1 - %Over healing/100)
Is this estimate actual ?
Cleaning up your language: the shield is not based on *effective* healing, it is based on total healing (so even 100% overheal will give you the full size shield). In other words, Mastery cannot be wasted by DS heals when you don't need them, it can only be diminished by using it at a poor time for your damage taken (resulting in a small DS heal and a matching proportion of shield).

So, get rid of the overhealing adjustment. Life Shield = c*(DS heal)


b) A related question would be if the shields stack. The tool tip only says 'absorbs physical damage, but does not say how much. If i Death strike 2 times in a row
We cannot be 100% because we can't see the numbers, but I think it is a safe assumption that it got the same treatment of every other shield: If the second Blood Shield is smaller than the existing one, it refreshes the duration but does not over-write the shield. If the second Shield is larger, it will over-write the existing bubble.


c) Another related question would be the order in which physical damage is absorbed. For instance, if i have power ward shield, valanyr proc and blood shield up and i get hit for 20k, will the blood shield always get absorbed first?
Results hazy, try again later.

We have no current way to be sure which bubble gets eaten first, and no one has found a good way to structure an experiment to answer that conclusively.




My goal is to compute the optimal death strike / heart strike ratio under a variety of situations. 5.3 heart strikes a min sounds reasonable but under various circumstances (casting, transitions and a lot of other things that just *come up* on progression), answering these questions would really help.
I've re-crunched the numbers (appears in the replies, I guess not the original?). There is a semi-complex interaction between Avoidance and Mastery, but the short answer is that over the range of available avoidance at 80:
1.) if you can do better than ~4.8 DS per minute, you can effect more overall damage reduction from Mastery than Avoidance
2.) the DS requirement decreases as you increase Avoidance or Mastery rating (meaning the more ratings you get the less you need to use DS to benefit more from Mastery, overall)
3.) the basis for this does gross statistical averages, if you use DS with poor timing you will get less value; if you time your DS well, you could get more value.



I would like to note though that death strike is not modified by diseases and is far less threat than heart strike. It would not be surprising, if not expected, that the optimal way to maximize utility of the mastery would be to sac diseases and a lot of threat (though one may not actually do this).
DS does *not* do much less or less threat at all if you have a high effective heal value. Remember, effective healing causes threat, and is modified by the threat multiplier from Blood Pres.

Diseaseless tanking is a not unpopular thing right now for people who want to simplify what they're doing. The threat loss is small enough to not be a big issue overall and some find they can be more effective thanks to said simplification. Should you choose to do this, you need to remember to account for your tank debuffs from elsewhere (particularly the de-haste you lose with Frost Fever).


And a blanket note:
All of this becomes potentially out-dated next Tuesday. All of these numbers and assumptions will change with level 85 tank values, gear layout, gem and enchant choices, and the overall change in tank damage and healing conventions.

Satorri
11-29-2010, 11:33 AM
And, on that note, I will work to update numbers to their level 85 values as I can, but some of the updates may lag a bit during the onset of the new expansion.

I'm happy to make sure the community has resources, but I've been quite short on time lately. =)

Urythmic
11-29-2010, 11:51 AM
Satorri,

What is your feeling on the EJ debate over using a Lichborne spec (http://elitistjerks.com/f72/t105485-cataclysm_dk_endgame_tanking_4_x/p14/#post1806084)? Sounds pretty interesting once we reach 85 (maybe even good for solo leveling before that).

Hoping you have more time soon. ;-)

thefiddle
11-29-2010, 05:07 PM
Thanks for the reply sattori! I did not know that the mastery works even off overheal. Also, thanks a lot for clarifying that the shields dont stack but overwrite !

Felycitas
11-30-2010, 10:34 AM
What is your feeling on the EJ debate over using a Lichborne spec (http://elitistjerks.com/f72/t105485-cataclysm_dk_endgame_tanking_4_x/p14/#post1806084)?It all hinges on us having healing issues at 85.

Satorri
12-01-2010, 06:42 AM
What is your feeling on the EJ debate over using a Lichborne spec (http://elitistjerks.com/f72/t105485-cataclysm_dk_endgame_tanking_4_x/p14/#post1806084)? Sounds pretty interesting once we reach 85 (maybe even good for solo leveling before that).

It is hard to say as I haven't really tested it myself to get a feeling for it.

The idea has merit for adding another survival CD, but there are major issues with its use to get the most value. You need to be well-prepared which can impinge on the already longish CD of the ability. To get optimal use you need to let RP pile up (which will likely mean sacrificing moves to not using your RunEmp cycle), and it takes multiple CDs to make full use of the ability. It *is* improved if you run with other DKs, the more the better, but it still presents the issue of timing with them, again, to get the value when you need it.

It *could* be a powerhouse move if executed as a team maneuver.

There are just so many *ifs* for me. You also have to spend a lot to get it. The first 5 points in Frost are mediocre at best. RPM *at least* could actually get used for Lichborne combos, but Icy Reach and NoCS? Meh. Icy Reach even loses a lot of its value when you introduce Outbreak at 81 (30 yrd range, instant delivery of both diseases).

Satorri
12-01-2010, 06:44 AM
It all hinges on us having healing issues at 85.

This is a key point as well.

From all appearances there could be good use for it *because* healing is less time intensive. Because you won't die on the next hit so often, it could be a valuable tool. At the same time, for that same reason, many people may end up favoring more threat oriented talenting, and not like spending the extra cost to buy into Lichborne.

Satorri
12-01-2010, 09:12 AM
Updated numbers and fixed a bunch of anachronisms.


*All values represented will be for level 85*

Xarleen
12-01-2010, 11:57 AM
Please delete this post, made it by accident.

Korgoth
12-02-2010, 06:12 AM
After being a lurker for a long time I thought I owe you a big thank you Satorri for your excellent guide! I have been a dk tank since day 1 and have always found your guides helpful. And after recently returning to wow from a year out I found myself not having a clue about all the recent class changes and what they meant for me. You fixed that! Cheers :D

Satorri
12-02-2010, 06:33 AM
Xarleen, you can delete your own post in the full editor.

Valeroice
12-03-2010, 06:52 AM
I took a break from wow back in September to Coach Soccer, before leaving I was a blood tank and loved it!

Anyways, I have been reading numerous DK tanking posts over the past few days and have yet to come up with a spec that feels good on paper. What are your thoughts on http://www.wowhead.com/talent#jcGrMsMruszZbhc:0Rsks00zM ?

Regards,

Vale

Felycitas
12-04-2010, 02:02 PM
What are your thoughts on...While I don't have any actual evidence (because I never paid attention to it)...

I strongly recommend dumping Unholy Command completely. It's not reliable, it should be fairly rare that the tank gets the killing blow (unless you're looking at PvP), and at least pre-Cataclysm there's never really been any situations I encountered that needed Death Grip to be active as much as possible. Putting those 2 points into Virulence would be much better IMO (as Dark Command uses spell hit).

Also, be aware that in Cataclysm the emphasis is to NOT make it the AoE-fest that Wrath was so we're looking at more single/double target pulls. Death and Decay may not be used AS MUCH to warrant 3 talent points to make it do more damage.

DarklingThrush
12-04-2010, 09:48 PM
Loving this thread and returning to it often. To update and comment on some of the questions here:

1) There is now an addon available through Curse ("Bloodshield Tracker") that not only tracks your shield once it procs, but also attempts to forecast the strength of a shield you would get at any given moment based on the damage you have been taking. This addon makes the talent even more fun and satisfying. My best shields so far are from tanking Algalon (17k) and from tanking two enraged Shambling Horrors at once in LK fight (21k).

2) The changes to Rune Strike are now in effect, and I love them! When in Blood Presence, you no longer need avoidance to proc Rune Strike. In fact, I now find that I can almost spam alternating Death Strikes and Rune Strikes. Threat concerns are a thing of the past. I have to be careful in two tank fights not to pull aggro when it's not my turn (is like using too many ITs in the old days before the patch). Let me get glyphed DRW up, fire off a couple of Rune Strikes, and I defy even the best dps to pull a boss away from me.

3) The new Plague Strike/Blood Boil proc is a great tool for holding group threat. I still use Heart Strike a lot too; which route I go depends on how many mobs there are. For larger groups, I drop DnD, IT, PS, Pestilence, BB, then just alternate PS and BB...

4) Lastly, for the tank complaining of dps pulling fringe mobs (the ones he is not directly striking) off him: The good dps have figured out that Blizz has deliberately taken us back to the days when tanks needed to BUILD threat. The bad dps are not worth protecting. Your taunts are there to protect healers, not fail dps. "You pull it, you tank it" is once again the order of the day. Most of us tanks have a dps spec or toon as well; do we not all know how to manage our threat? If we fail to manage our threat, do we complain? or do we apologize since we know whose fault it really was? It is the tank's job to lift the threat ceiling as high as possible, and the 4.0.3 mechanics make this a gradual process; it is dps's job to stay under the ceiling as it rises.

DarklingThrush
12-04-2010, 09:55 PM
RE: Sindragosa slows: Hunters can buy you 4 seconds of normal speed by using "Master's Call"; the hunter on our team would save that for when I called for it (usually when I was racing to drop stacks, or racing back to grab Sindy).

DarklingThrush
12-04-2010, 10:11 PM
RE: Bloodworms

I gave up on bloodworms for two reasons:

1) The total healing I was getting from them was extremely low (according to Recount and my combat log)

2) What healing I got was poorly (randomly) timed. Unlike a Rune Tap I can use when I need it, bloodworms are as likely to burst when healers have just topped me off as they are to help when needed - more likely, actually, since healers have me covered more often than not.

In the end I decided that a sure gain from Abomination's Might (2% str always, and an awesome +10% AP for the whole raid if not already being provided) was a better buy than a rarely-occurring over-heal from the worms. I would argue that the little-used glyph for Rune Tap is actually more useful than bloodworms; it may only be 5% party heals now (down from 10%), but we can still time that heal for when the party needs it (like LK's Infest).

Michultradk
12-06-2010, 08:26 AM
RE: Sindragosa slows: Hunters can buy you 4 seconds of normal speed by using "Master's Call"; the hunter on our team would save that for when I called for it (usually when I was racing to drop stacks, or racing back to grab Sindy).

Thanks for that, one of my best raider friends is a Hunter.

Lord Soth
12-06-2010, 10:31 AM
RE: Bloodworms

I gave up on bloodworms for two reasons:

1) The total healing I was getting from them was extremely low (according to Recount and my combat log)

2) What healing I got was poorly (randomly) timed. Unlike a Rune Tap I can use when I need it, bloodworms are as likely to burst when healers have just topped me off as they are to help when needed - more likely, actually, since healers have me covered more often than not.

The way I understand Cataclysm encounter design is that we will not be getting topped off regularly like we do in WotLK. If this is the case, the random nature ought not to be a problem. Overhealing should be minimal on the Blood Worms. That doesn't really help with number 1, though.

The spec I am going with gets both the 10% AP raid buff and the 10% AP debuff and Blood worms. I doubt the usefulness of taking Virulence to get to tier 2's morbidity for a mere dmg boost to DnD (we don't use DC). I look forward to playing it at 85 and finding out just how wrong (or right) I am. I am stoked for this release, heh.

Satorri
12-06-2010, 04:08 PM
'tis true.

The final verdict on Blood Worms is still to be determined at level 85 content.

I think it is safe to assume that it will never be *huge* heals, but for some it could be very desirable. The big value is where it can reduce the healing load on the healers and spare their mana pool. That does not exist really at 80, so we'll have to see how it feels later.

The other key to appreciating healing values is that it is *not* always about total healing done (yes, feel free to relay that to your ace healer who likes to link healing charts). The key in healing is the heals that land when you need them most. A semi-random heal like Bloodworms may not be dependable, but it is a chance at a lucky heal you don't have otherwise. You never know when the healers may be taxed and that one little bugger bursts and makes their life easier, or even saves the day.

That doesn't mean it will be for everyone, just reserve judgment for another week. Then you'll probably start getting an earful about the t11 raid scene.

Happy world ending to all of you who, like me, are going to start the new climb tonight!

Swam
12-06-2010, 11:50 PM
I got red bull, jack and coke, noodles and i slept all day. I am ready

Lord Soth
12-07-2010, 06:33 AM
Swam, fit some fruit and protein into that mix and have a good time man. I am envious. Dec 8th will be the earliest I play.

Felycitas
12-07-2010, 12:42 PM
The tooltip says 60% for blood presence. This correct?

Also, no mention of a haste increase. That correct as well?

Acidbladze
12-09-2010, 12:25 PM
Love the guide so far, looking forward to updates. Nearing 83 on my DK as we speak and will try a few random thoughts and post my findings when available if anyone needs something that may not be mainstream enough for the guide.

Acidbladze
12-09-2010, 12:28 PM
at what level and point should we consider sacrificing bonus stats from say ICC/ H ICC gear and T10 for the increase in stam/str/ gem slots versus no gem slots. I have been holding items and AH/vendoring a lot because i am having a hard time weighing out the small stat increase versus the loss of the bonus stats???

Satorri
12-13-2010, 07:39 AM
The tooltip says 60% for blood presence. This correct?

Also, no mention of a haste increase. That correct as well?

The tooltip took time to correct (I think it is, I don't look at it). Armor is +30% from Blood Presence now.

The haste increases comes from the Imp Blood Pres talent, it is never represented in Blood Pres' tooltip. The talent's tooltip is accurate.


at what level and point should we consider sacrificing bonus stats from say ICC/ H ICC gear and T10 for the increase in stam/str/ gem slots versus no gem slots. I have been holding items and AH/vendoring a lot because i am having a hard time weighing out the small stat increase versus the loss of the bonus stats???
This is the fun of leveling, and not really a question for this forum, but hey, why not. =)

The set bonuses will be awesome for a while, but the base stats on loot from Deepholm-ish and most likely Uldum/Twilands should well out-pace the total value of ICC gear plus their gems and enchants. You just have to add those values into the gear stats and compare.

Sgt_Scrap
12-13-2010, 07:38 PM
. . . I Am a Tank! to the core Primarily Warrior since 05.
I will start a new class , Pally,Druid,DK and swear up and down I will not tank with them, however eventually because of instant Ques. . . One by one I give in and start tanking with them.
Up until recently I Hated DK tanks, thinking they were purely a Joke and that they were never serious contenders for tanking.
Then we got the new trees and DKs got the dedicated blood spec for tanking which was my spec before the change. I tried going dps in frost and unholy. . and then I Finally realized that it's not the instant ques that drive me into tanking.
It's Just who I am It's what I am and I can't change that. I was doing good with tanking as a dk all the general rules to tanking apply to ALL tanks (don't flame me for that comment) it's your Job to be the Protector of your party.
However once Cata Hit and I started leveling and replacing gear I was dazzled by all the shiny numbers and was doing fine until I started trying to tank the instances.
Now, I've lost all confidence in my ability and so I come online and look for Rotations/Priorities, builds, tips anything but all I Find is OLD Stuff.
Then I found this thread here and it is VERY Nice However. . . There is Just SOOOO Much Here. and it's too much information for me to process all at once.
I was never truly dedicated to my DK because I still had my Warrior but I've retired him now, and am focusing my Attention on my DK.
Would it be possible to get a Sumary of the information here So that i can fix myself then tweak and I have more time to Go through all of this Wonderful Information. Please

Felycitas
12-13-2010, 11:12 PM
The summary is in the first post.

Also, anyone refresh my memory on the change to agility for DK's?

I don't remember what we lost.

Sgt_Scrap
12-14-2010, 02:05 AM
The First Post is an Introduction to the Guide. . not a summary.

Lord Soth
12-14-2010, 09:46 AM
Don't short yourself, Sgt_Scrap, take the time to sit and read the entire guide. Satori's presentation is excellent and not overly complicated by numbers like the stuff over at Elitist Jerks. He presents the how and why to everything, presenting summarized data where appropriate and it is presented in a way that allows you to make choices based on his information not "just do it this way" you get in many other guides. If your attention span is inadequate, take it in smaller chunks, but almost everyone ought to be able to take it all in one sitting if they are dedicated to the class and role, as you obviously are. Tanking rocks!

Sgt_Scrap
12-14-2010, 11:32 AM
I read through things some and was quite anxious to stay in game lol wanting to continue Leveling almost there been questing with a friend mining skinning and trying out archaeology. :) I was skinning and mining my way around Twilight Highlands with the lv 84 mobs (same lv as myself) and not even surviving 2 at a time which really opened my eyes and discouraged me (which was before I found this thread).

I came here and studied a bit made my post read some more. Then I thought to my self, Just do what you always do Read your abilities again. So I cleared out ALL my bars and Macros and took the time to Re-learn the changes and Started peicing myself back together. I kept comming back here and checking things only to make sure I wasn't gimping myself. I didn't feel the need to respec my talents, and things are looking up!
When my friend came on last night (druid Healer) she never Needed to heal me, sure she would top me off now and then or after a fight but the struggle for my life had vanished! I wil definatly keep reading and studying this guide. But, for anyone who is dedicated to any class or role, sometimes taking the time to Compare your abilities and study how they work together to benifit you and your friends!
I may post back latrr with my macros and rotation and my reasons behind why I did them how I did besides the Obvious Needing Space on my bars (I refuse to use bar mods).
Sometimes all the abilities can get confusing when you are going over them all together but when you take the time to read each one individually and focus on just that one before moving on to the next, your mind will start putting things together saying
"Hey this ability will work very well with That one when I put them together like This!"
After a while you begin to truly understand your mechanics and will be better for it.
Just a a bit of friendly advice for anyone struggling like I was :)

Satorri
12-15-2010, 07:39 AM
Just do what you always do Read your abilities again. So I cleared out ALL my bars and Macros and took the time to Re-learn the changes and Started peicing myself back together. I kept comming back here and checking things only to make sure I wasn't gimping myself. I didn't feel the need to respec my talents, and things are looking up! For anyone who is dedicated to any class or role, sometimes taking the time to Compare your abilities and study how they work together to benifit you and your friends!

And there it is! That is exactly what I want to support.

Learn your class, read your spells. Learn how things work. If the game isn't clear or you want some external source of guidance or organization to start making sense of it all? That is what I'm writing for.

Beyond that, I just try to answer the things that are not obvious or stated directly in the game (or perhaps emphasizing what is when there is confusion).

Glad to hear things are looking up Sgt_Scrap. =)

DarklingThrush
12-15-2010, 08:21 PM
Now that the Cataclysm has occurred, I have some more thoughts on
Bloodworms vs. Abomination's Might:

The case for Bloodworms: We are definitely not getting healed to 100% as often, so the chances of a bloodworm heal coming at a welcome time are much better than in WotLK.

The case for Abomination's Might: It looks like heroic dungeons will be a considerable challenge before we return to raiding, and the chances that this buff will be duplicated are obiviously lower in a 5-team than in a 10-team. 10% more AP for the whole raid (and 2% more strength for the tank) means fights are 10% shorter and that is 10% less time that healer mana has to last.

For the moment, I am sticking with Abomination's Might, but I will continue to check here for other thoughts and data.

DarklingThrush
12-15-2010, 08:45 PM
Early Cata Observations:

1) Tanks need to glance at healer mana bars before pulling. At marginal gear levels, at least, healers need to replenish after every serious fight. This does have an upside; we get to use our CDs on almost every fight!

2) In normal dungeons, the trash fights are much harder than the boss fights, but this flips in heroics. Normal dungeons, then, are an opportunity to study the boss mechanics before they become deadly.

3) CC is truly the order of the day. In heroics, especially, we are sheeping selected mobs on every trash pull. The challenge for tanks, then, is creating threat on other mobs without breaking CC on the sheep. Separating mobs, careful placement of DnD, and watching the radius of BB and Pestilence are all important skills to develop. In guild runs, we have actually been letting the hunter pull using freeze-traps, with me grabbing the other mobs after. This will get easier once we have all the pulls memorized; right now (since I can't just charge in to drop DnD) I spend a lot of time figuring out which mobs will charge us and which will need a Death Grip.

4) Like tanking, healing now requires much more skill. I have more success with lower-geared and even lower-level guildies from our core raid teams than healers with higher stats that I've pugged. Consequently, I am less likely to take advantage of the instant tank-queues in the dungeon finder and more likely to wait for a guild run (especially for heroics).

5) Dark Simulacrum is FUN! Just wish I had more time to see exactly what I was throwing back at the caster (just for the fun of knowing). Death Knights are truly positioned to be THE optimal tank for caster fights, with Death Grip, Mind Freeze, Stragulate, Anti-Magic Shell, and now Dark Simulacrum... yeah, the clothies must hate us :)

uglie
12-16-2010, 06:57 AM
Early Cata Observations:

1) Tanks need to glance at healer mana bars before pulling. At marginal gear levels, at least, healers need to replenish after every serious fight. This does have an upside; we get to use our CDs on almost every fight!

2) In normal dungeons, the trash fights are much harder than the boss fights, but this flips in heroics. Normal dungeons, then, are an opportunity to study the boss mechanics before they become deadly.

3) CC is truly the order of the day. In heroics, especially, we are sheeping selected mobs on every trash pull. The challenge for tanks, then, is creating threat on other mobs without breaking CC on the sheep. Separating mobs, careful placement of DnD, and watching the radius of BB and Pestilence are all important skills to develop. In guild runs, we have actually been letting the hunter pull using freeze-traps, with me grabbing the other mobs after. This will get easier once we have all the pulls memorized; right now (since I can't just charge in to drop DnD) I spend a lot of time figuring out which mobs will charge us and which will need a Death Grip.

4) Like tanking, healing now requires much more skill. I have more success with lower-geared and even lower-level guildies from our core raid teams than healers with higher stats that I've pugged. Consequently, I am less likely to take advantage of the instant tank-queues in the dungeon finder and more likely to wait for a guild run (especially for heroics).

5) Dark Simulacrum is FUN! Just wish I had more time to see exactly what I was throwing back at the caster (just for the fun of knowing). Death Knights are truly positioned to be THE optimal tank for caster fights, with Death Grip, Mind Freeze, Stragulate, Anti-Magic Shell, and now Dark Simulacrum... yeah, the clothies must hate us :)

I'm loving Dark Sim. Me and my guild holy pally were screwing around and dueling and I got a HoJ off on him and it was glorious. Pissed him off to no end and made me as giddy as a school girl after prom considering I've always hated HoJ from pvp.

As far as pugging heroics, not happening with me unless I have a guild healer but a guild group is much more preferable. Running with the same dps for most runs makes things so much easier to the point that everyone just knows when and what to do cutting run times down drastically

Love cc when it's there, hate it when it not. Heroic Vp without a shammy or lock requires some interesting and creative thinking. knowledge and smart rotation of cd's is of a much greater understanding as well. Even knowing when to army or rather when NOT to army makes AotD capable of being a wipe saving move allowing you and your healer to take a small break. Knowing what mobs to sheep and which to kill first comes with experience and careful study of the mobs. Repeated runs of dungeons on reg makes heroics just a bit easier. Think of reg's as training grounds and heroics as proving grounds. When learning the mobs on reg make sure to pay close attention to which mob is doing what and what moves will be deadly in heroic.

Satorri
12-16-2010, 09:45 AM
Darkling, the one problem with Abom's Might is how often it can just not be needed.

If you have a Pally and a Druid or two Pallies, it is definitely covered with no talents spent. Similarly if you have an Enhancement Shaman it is an appealing talent for them to take even if the buff is redundant. If you're randoming a lot, it can be nice to take for the assurance you'll have it, but you still won't really get value out of it often enough.

My perspective *is* a bit slanted since I almost always have 2 Pallies or a Pally/Druid in my groups.

Felycitas
12-16-2010, 12:12 PM
Bumping about my question on agility. What was removed in Cataclysm?

Lord Soth
12-16-2010, 12:42 PM
@Felycitas - Agility no longer provides armor or AP (not sure if it gave AP in LK), it only affects DK crit chance, making it of very little use.

uglie
12-16-2010, 06:52 PM
Agi in wrath gave armor, dodge and crit. Now it only gives crit and dodge.

Sgt_Scrap
12-16-2010, 09:53 PM
Hoping I Do not get Flamed here. . . btw TY for the Props :) now to buisness. . When patch hit back before cata I wasn't tanking on my DK I think I mentioned that above.
When I did Start to tank with Gothas (my DK (: ) I noticed a Serious lack of 2handed tanking weapons.
I looked over blood talents Several times and Saw No Weapon Specific pros or cons in regard to DW or 2Hing.
My thoughts are this Main/Off handed Tanking weapons Normally used by pallys and warriors . .Have Tanking stats! Things like dodge/parry/stam/ and Str or Agi and now with cata Add mastery.
So because I till see a Lack of 2Hers with those stats I choose to DW with Tanking Weapons. Am I Wrong in this because, I keep having people who aren't tanks or used to be tanks b4 cata telling me that I should be Using 2Hers but looking directly to my character what he has and what he does not, it seems Stupid to me to ditch my mitigation weapons for something w/o them. Also the Runeforgine enchants seem to support my feelings of Non Specifics on Weapons for tanking b/c when you look at them Nerubian Carapace Xs 2 = the same stat % as Stoneskin gargoyle.
Not to mention the Pure speed Increase of my attacks feels Very nice.
Am I Missing something?
I feel as though my Logic is Sound. But, just because I think I'm right doesn't mean that I am.
Ty

Crom
12-17-2010, 03:27 AM
I doubt there will ever be 2H tanking weapons. they would be designed for only one spec, which is the opposite of what blizz is trying to accomplish with the actual item design.


Am I Missing something?
Yes. Dual wielding w/o ToT means, only your MH will perform styles (such as RS, HS, DS etc.). It may not be too important now, but in later tiers, your threat generation will suffer a considerable loss.

uglie
12-17-2010, 04:00 AM
Right now a 2H weapon with mastery on it can be considered a tank weapon as well. With reforging it can be even more so with reforging cirt or haste to dodge, parry even mastery if none already on the weapon. Personally I'm in the "ha ha mr boss you hit like a girl" club with mastery vs the " ha ha you can't hit me" club with avoidance. So yes there can be 2H tank weapons, you just have to spend a tiny bit of gold to get em.
As far as DW goes, it's a threat thing since you're basically only doing half the damage that you would with a 2H weapon. Even when we could tank in frost and had http://www.wowhead.com/spell=66192 we again used dps slow 1H weapons for threat because fast 1H tank weapons simply didn't do enough damage. Since damage = threat 1H tank weapons did not produce enough threat. Even top end pallies and warriors used slow 1H weapons for threat.

In short, if you really want a 2H tank weapon reforging is your option. You'll also be doing yourself and your groups a favor by getting those mobs down faster with a 2H weapon.

Satorri
12-17-2010, 07:23 AM
Bumping about my question on agility. What was removed in Cataclysm?

Did I miss a question on Agility? Short answer is, no more armor from Agility, so it is purely a hybrid survival/threat stat with smaller amounts of dodge and crit than either pure rating. In all likelihood it is no longer a stat you'll go out of your way to get, and not at the expense of any pure survival stat, but where there is no survival stat available, Agility will give you something.


@Felycitas - Agility no longer provides armor or AP (not sure if it gave AP in LK), it only affects DK crit chance, making it of very little use.
It did give a very small amount of AP through armor. No more armor, no more AP. =(


I looked over blood talents Several times and Saw No Weapon Specific pros or cons in regard to DW or 2Hing.
My thoughts are this Main/Off handed Tanking weapons Normally used by pallys and warriors . .Have Tanking stats! Things like dodge/parry/stam/ and Str or Agi and now with cata Add mastery. So because I till see a Lack of 2Hers with those stats I choose to DW with Tanking Weapons.

This has come up a few times. Here's the nitty gritty:
Dual wielding will severely compromise your threat. Rune Strike, Death Strike, and Heart Strike damage (read: 80+% of your threat) are all based on instant weapon damage. The slower the weapon, the higher the instant damage. They also *only* calculate on the main-hand weapon without the Frost-only Threat of Thassarian talent.

That works out to about a 36% reduction in damage from each of those strikes every time you use them and a 25-35% reduction in overall threat.

What you gain is moderate at best. You can get a little more Mastery (maybe), maybe a little dodge or parry, but otherwise nada. It is up to you if you want to make that trade off, if you think you can manage with that handicap. For my money, I think it is not worth it. DPS 2-handers are fine and they can offer plenty of survival value. They have comparable or better Stamina levels, the copious amounts of Strength gives us some measure of Parry, and you can get Haste or Mastery both of which have definite survival values. Grab a weapon with Mastery, Haste, Hit, and/or Expertise and you are benefiting yourself very well for Survival and Threat.

Sgt_Scrap
12-17-2010, 08:09 AM
Dual wielding will severely compromise your threat. Rune Strike, Death Strike, and Heart Strike damage (read: 80+% of your threat) are all based on instant weapon damage. The slower the weapon, the higher the instant damage. They also *only* calculate on the main-hand weapon without the Frost-only Threat of Thassarian talent.

That works out to about a 36% reduction in damage from each of those strikes every time you use them and a 25-35% reduction in overall threat. See. . This Is exactly what I was Wanting :)
My only feedback so far was "You loose Threat" but not WHY! I Have found that since I started tanking with a DK some of what I had been learned/trained about tanking has been "thrown out the window" it was the INSTANT weapon damage that I was missing. in my mind it was woking like this

{The slower tanking weapons Are Faster than the 2 handers which makes my threat generating abilities hit more often. .then with the constant stream of dammage every 3/4 seconds rather than 3.80 seconds calculates in my mind as "Streaming" ((like watching videos on the internet:P)) the dammage doesn't stop. So with the abilities hitting more often to me that was calculating as = more threat}

But it is the INSTANT that changes that as to the Comment by UGLIE :) where he says

"Personally I'm in the "ha ha mr boss you hit like a girl" club with mastery vs the " ha ha you can't hit me" club with avoidance."

To me at least (and this is just personal Logic, which has failed me in the past) from a threat standpoint I would think that Getting hit is a bad thing.
When I hit things I Feel Good when I Miss them I Get Pissed. and to my understanding isn't a small % of that built into the mechanic as realated to dodge/parry/Block generating Threat as well? (Yes I know DKs Don't have block, it's just an example)

It all goes back to my Warrior days, and that Little voice in my head

.oO YOU my friend, are a TANK!!! Don't worry so much about your .dps. You have people for that. Oo.

I'm starting to realize that in those aspects in relation to Old School tanking things are changing. Even on my pally w/o even trying as I tank with him he is beginning to stay at or very near the top of the dammage meaters which was making me Feel like I was doing something wrong but the threat was there. So maybe these changes are accross the board with tanking.

Blizz has been Stupifying things more often than not here as of late, making things easier is fine to some degree, but it seems as though the longer WoW goes on the Less skill it takes.
I am glad they brought back the CC, it bothers me some because it took Forever it seems to Untrain myself to stop and wait for mana, and I find myself having to Retrain myself on several things however, some of it is comming back quite quickly.

I always loved the creative thinking it took when your group didn't have the Standard CC abilities.

NOW Time for some Reforging!

As always TY for the insight and information . . I'll shut my trap now :)

Felycitas
12-17-2010, 01:37 PM
Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle is what turns a non-tank weapon into a tank weapon.

Also, I STRONGLY recommend everyone go get this...

http://www.wowhead.com/item=63787 -- the Oversized Oblique Ogre Obliterator

...as soon as possible. It's from the 'Ring of Blood' stuff in Twilight Highlands. I tanked the entire thing at 84 and didn't really have too many issues.

No RNG needed. Dunno when it's going to get replaced, but it'll definitely get you started if you didn't have something really sweet in Wrath (I had Shadow's Edge and this one is better; I also saw a better weapon drop from the 3rd boss in Stonecore (http://www.wowhead.com/item=55811 -- the Sword of the Bottomless Pit) but the OOOO is superior (the Sword has mastery and the OOOO crit, though)).

Here's a comparison of all three weapons: http://www.wowhead.com/compare?items=55811;63787;49888

Sesambine
12-17-2010, 03:37 PM
Regarding the Tank-Weapon, I can only point at the Deadmines HC weapon http://www.wowhead.com/item=65165 that just keeps dropping two out of three times (I have one for def and for off, to not keep switching enchants and reforging ^^)
Hit and Expertise are in definite need, and the 80 mastery/dodge/parry you get out of it, is a hell of lot for a simple reforge.. 2 pure gems :>

Felycitas mentioned the arena-quest-reward, which you can easily carry until visiting heroics or, for really evil drop-luck, into the first raids :)

Apart from this, I have also begun thinking of switching weapons infight, as I usually have a pretty enormous leap in threat after Heroism and begin-of-the-fight-all-out-DPS' cooldowns have worn off, which will not do the enormous survivabilty-boost, but will definitely help you keep alive.. as pointed out by Satorri 2*1-hand has about the same stamina as 1*2-hand, but more dodge/parry will help, when threat is not an issue, as it is right now for most bosses when being some minutes into the fight.

indaril
12-18-2010, 10:27 AM
Hi,

this might be just me or I really missed something, what's going on here? I checked this with different specs, different presences, with and without a weapon and chest just to be sure, apparently I'm getting more hp per stamina, the more stamina I got.

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/5169/hpperstamina.th.png (http://img534.imageshack.us/i/hpperstamina.png/)

Anybody?

BruisedOoze
12-18-2010, 08:47 PM
Hi,

this might be just me or I really missed something, what's going on here? I checked this with different specs, different presences, with and without a weapon and chest just to be sure, apparently I'm getting more hp per stamina, the more stamina I got.[/URL]

Anybody?

I doubt that is the case. The first 20 stamina your character has only gives you 1 hp per point, before 4.0/Cataclysm at least. I don't have WoW in front of me to check if/what it changed to, but replacing 20 and counting it only as 2 gives values much closer together (range from 13.985 to 13.999). This would likely be the main culprit.

Edit: For example, if I assume the value is supposed to be 14 hp per stamina, I find the discrepancy among the stamina values in Blood presence is consistently 130/7 (18.5714) stamina.

indaril
12-19-2010, 04:51 AM
It's still the 20, thanks a lot, didn't know that.

Urythmic
12-20-2010, 11:41 AM
Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle is what turns a non-tank weapon into a tank weapon.

Also, I STRONGLY recommend everyone go get this...

http://www.wowhead.com/item=63787 -- the Oversized Oblique Ogre Obliterator

...as soon as possible. It's from the 'Ring of Blood' stuff in Twilight Highlands. I tanked the entire thing at 84 and didn't really have too many issues.

No RNG needed. Dunno when it's going to get replaced, but it'll definitely get you started if you didn't have something really sweet in Wrath (I had Shadow's Edge and this one is better; I also saw a better weapon drop from the 3rd boss in Stonecore (http://www.wowhead.com/item=55811 -- the Sword of the Bottomless Pit) but the OOOO is superior (the Sword has mastery and the OOOO crit, though)).

Here's a comparison of all three weapons: http://www.wowhead.com/compare?items=55811;63787;49888

Yeah, I'd say the Ogre Obliterator (http://www.wowhead.com/item=63787) is a great starting point since it's a quest reward.

For normal-mode dungeon drops, the Wild Hammer (http://www.wowhead.com/item=56131) rocks due to its higher topend damage.

For heroic drops, it looks like the sweet one to aim for is Sword of the Bottomless Pit (http://www.wowhead.com/item=56342) (3.8 speed, topend dmg 2519)

The heroic Wild Hammer and Foe Reaper are both very good, but they suffer from being a bit faster than SBP.

uglie
12-20-2010, 11:54 AM
just got the http://www.wowhead.com/item=56342 last night, and /drool. reforged the haste into dodge personally. but really that haste can be reforged to hit or expertise. Love all the mastery on it too and imo makes it the best pre epic/raid dk tank weapon available.

Swam
12-21-2010, 09:32 AM
Im gonna throw a side bar in here. Have any of you tried blood in pvp? I have recently and have found it to be a power house. With the stuns and silences we had before, and adding to that dark sanctum and Necrotic strike, I have been able to beat 2-3 people solo and at one point in tol barard I was surviving against 10 people while alone for over 3 min. I find it highly amusing to kill casters with their own spells, or steal bubbles from pallys.

Lord Soth
12-21-2010, 09:57 AM
That is pretty awesome, Swam. I have done PvP in blood, but only back when Windrunner was getting 20 stacks of Tenacity. Tanks already have ridiculous health, but 20 stacks made my health pool completely insane, easily topping 200K. It would take the alliance a good minute to kill me with 10-15 guys on me. Ahh the fun. I am looking forward to trying it again with our new tools. I am almost there (moved servers, now level 75.)

uglie
12-22-2010, 01:35 AM
Gotta say dark sim is very fun in pvp. Timing it takes some practice and still has some practical uses in pve such as in VP timing it steal a cyclone from one of the trash mobs and since it doesn't reflect immediately you can use said cyclone to cc another mob even if only for a few seconds.
As far as my XP in pvp with my dk it's limited to playing around with a guild holy pally in durator which was about as long as a tank on tank match. But i was using dark sim on him on every cd and caught a HoJ. I can foresee the better pvpers constantly looking for it so probably about the best way to use it would be to watch their cast bar and use it on your opponent at the last second so they can stop their cast in time.

DarklingThrush
12-22-2010, 10:58 PM
Bloodworms Revisited:

Been playing with my spec some more, and found a way to spec both Bloodworms and Abomination's Might at level 85. I am still seeing the Abomb buff active in most of my groups, and find the worms more satisfying with the new graphics for procs. You actually see the blood splashing; I never saw this during my first trial with them between 4.0.3 and Cata. My average heal seems to run around 8k, and this seems to happen at least once per significant fight. That's still not much better than a randomly-timed glyphed rune tap, but - as someone observed earlier in this thread - we always seem to need more healing these days.

I freed the points up by spec-ing out of Morbidity (simultaneously swapping my DnD glyph for Heart Strike). I have also reforged some hit and expertise into dodge and parry. At this point in the expansion, I am struggling less with threat than survivability. Even with the complex pulls demanded by CCs, I can still almost always hold onto a group; the trick is staying alive as the healer runs out of mana before DPS can finish off the mobs. It will be interesting to see how that balances as we move through heroics and into raiding. How are others finding the threat vs survival challenge? Which do you wish for more of?

DarklingThrush
12-22-2010, 11:25 PM
Does expertise generate threat just by being there? or only when it allows you to land a blow that otherwise would have been dodged? I have not been expertise capped since "expanding" out of my old raiding gear, and wonder how much of a priority it is to change that (along with hit cap). If I remember right, I am about 22 expertise atm (reforged some for more avoidance), and I think that gives bosses around a 3% chance of dodging me.

Former Frosttank
12-23-2010, 12:30 AM
For those DK tanks out there, what i have been doing is throwing down DnD, death strike-ing (to get the death runes), spaming blood boil (get to do it about 4 times with out stoping), they rune strike-ing till out of runic power. Spec 2 point into higher RP so i have exactly enough RP for 4 Rune strikes. Then i start the rotation over. if you guys have a better rotation let me know.

Blood and Thunder.

Satorri
12-23-2010, 06:16 AM
Does expertise generate threat just by being there? or only when it allows you to land a blow that otherwise would have been dodged? I have not been expertise capped since "expanding" out of my old raiding gear, and wonder how much of a priority it is to change that (along with hit cap). If I remember right, I am about 22 expertise atm (reforged some for more avoidance), and I think that gives bosses around a 3% chance of dodging me.
Expertise gives you threat (and some survival) by making sure your threatening moves hit. You get zero threat from being dodged, parried, or missing.

22 Expertise means you have about a 1% chance to be dodged and a 8.5% chance to be parried.

If you aren't having threat issues, I wouldn't worry too much about pushing the values up.

Arclyte
12-24-2010, 04:04 AM
I was wondering if anyone had any theories on stat balancing. Has anyone done the math on the benefits of reforging mastery vs dodge/parry? Basically, because of diminishing returns, what is the (for lack of a better term) "soft cap" that a DK should hit with mastery?

The reason why I ask, is while I think our mastery is amazing, I believe it's benefits are rather hard to quantify. To be honest, math is not my strong suit by any means, and I am trying to find information on the value of mastery rating vs avoidance. At what point will one benefit more from reforging away from mastery? Is our mastery so good that we can just stack it up to 100% DS heal conversion without risk to survivability? If that is the case, doesn't that mean one must then reach expertise soft cap as well as hit cap, leaving little room for avoidance ratings?

I apologize if my question my seem a bit vague but, I'm just trying to find information to help tune my character. Thanks for any help I may receive.

Lord Soth
12-24-2010, 07:15 AM
I was wondering if anyone had any theories on stat balancing. Has anyone done the math on the benefits of reforging mastery vs dodge/parry? Basically, because of diminishing returns, what is the (for lack of a better term) "soft cap" that a DK should hit with mastery?

The reason why I ask, is while I think our mastery is amazing, I believe it's benefits are rather hard to quantify. To be honest, math is not my strong suit by any means, and I am trying to find information on the value of mastery rating vs avoidance. At what point will one benefit more from reforging away from mastery? Is our mastery so good that we can just stack it up to 100% DS heal conversion without risk to survivability? If that is the case, doesn't that mean one must then reach expertise soft cap as well as hit cap, leaving little room for avoidance ratings?

I apologize if my question my seem a bit vague but, I'm just trying to find information to help tune my character. Thanks for any help I may receive.

Satorri posted a link to a google spreadsheet with mastery vs avoidance values in the advanced concepts section.

Arclyte
12-24-2010, 12:50 PM
Thanks Soth, but unless I am missing something, the spreadsheet I saw used values for level 80 tanking with 85 values yet to come. It seems that the guide was written as a projection for cataclysm, and now that we have had a few weeks with the game, I was just wondering if anyone actually had updated values for 85 content or ideas that we can discuss concerning the new values. I am more than happy to contribute combat logs if anyone wants them, I would just like to get the conversation shifted towards optimization at 85.

I'm mostly trying to gauge other DKs and how they feel about mastery vs avoidance and go from there. Because both avoidance and mastery DR is linear, there has to be a sweet spot where one can balance all three stats to a point right before the DR makes additional rating slightly less efficient.

DarklingThrush
12-25-2010, 09:20 AM
I am not trying to fine-tune my stat balancing just yet; my gear is still changing every day. At this point in the expansion, I am leaning a bit towards avoidance over mastery because I get to use Death Strike less on the many significant trash pulls (too busy with HS/PS/BB). So avoidance is helping equally on trash and bosses while mastery is more useful for the bosses. That being said, I really just going for the best gear overall and will take either. When I do reforge, I am usually taking points out of hit or expertise and using it to increase dodge (which is a tad lower than my parry atm). I am item-level 346 currently and expecting three more significant upgrades today (the Tol Barad 2h sword, the Hyjal epic tanking cloak, and a crafted epic tanking belt). As I cross the I-level 350 mark and am equipping mostly epics, I will probably start worrying about reaching the hit and expertise caps.

Felycitas
12-25-2010, 06:14 PM
What do you all think about still using the 2% threat enchant on gloves?

DarklingThrush
12-26-2010, 01:41 PM
I am still using the Armsman enchant (+2% Threat should scale just fine through Cata), and I use the new version of Tuskar ("Earthen Vitality" now) on my boots. I am mostly stacking avoidance with my other gems and enchants.

Hypathia
12-27-2010, 03:07 AM
Hello,

I have seen some people saying that haste will be an interesting stat, if it's not already in term of survivability. It would be based on the fact that haste provides more DS, which means more absorption. It was suspect to me so I decided to make basic calculations :

x is the number of DS. Mastery is the mastery coming from gear and haste (10% haste has a value of 0,1 here)
Absorbed+healed = x/(1-haste) + (0,5+Mastery*x)/(1-haste)

We have Mastery= haste for values of 60% haste or more which seems a little difficult to obtain. Mastery seems to be the best stat for survavibility against haste for a long time.

However I forgot to take into account the runic power generated by DS which means more RS and consequently more DS even. (Scent of blood too)

Number of DS considering RP generated by DS :
Each DS provides 20 RP, while we need 133 RP to have statistically a DS by activated runes.
x/(1-haste)+ x/(1-haste)*(20/133)+ x/(1-haste)*(20/133)...
which would means 10% haste = 11,75 more DS from this source.

Considering scent of blood, we have (with the 3 points talent and a fast 3,4 weapon) 20 (200RP) strikes per minute in raid conditions, which means another 20 RP if we increase haste by 10%.
200/(1-haste)+200/(1-haste)*(20/133)...
which would means 10% haste = 11,75 more DS from this source.

If we add Scent of blood and considering the symbiotic loop, we have
Finally, I think a 10% more haste is equivalent to a 13,5%/(1-0,1) = 15% DS boost which would mean we have mastery and haste equivalency (in term of stats budget in survivability) if haste =~ 30%

I would be interested if some people could do the same computation to see if my reasoning is correct.

[Edit] I believe my post after reading another time is far from being readable (missing information,/explanations), I will correct that, sorry.

Leucifer
12-28-2010, 03:52 PM
Haste is beneficial to all strains of DK due to it's impact on rune cooldown alone.

Really eager to see the spreadsheet regarding mastery vs avoidance. I have a funny feeling avoidance will still top off as being the better value versus mastery.

One thing I want to bring up on the mastery:

Anything you do to reduce that incoming damage will reduce the effect of your mastery/DS powers. So, if you pop IBF in anticipation of an incoming hit, the follow-up death strike will be limited due to the reduced damage from IBF.

That in mind, I've kinda taken a look at the survival tools for a blood DK and see it can be broken down into basic tiers as to their value to our survivability and the effectiveness of these abilities. As I see it currently, this is how I'd break these down:

Primary - Always on, high returns/effectiveness

Avoidance (dodge/parry)
Stamina/Health

Secondary - Mid to low frequency* with high returns OR high to mid frequency* with moderate to low returns

IBF - high damage reduction
AMS - high damage reduction
Vamp Blood - Improves healer's mana efficiency, BIG VALUE currently
Blade Barrier - with new rune cooldown mechanic, more up-time
Rune Tap - on demand heals for 15% of base health, and can be group heals also
Lichborne/DeathCoil Combo - (see OP)

Tertiary - Low frequency* with mid to low returns

DS - high rune investment, duration short, value as a minor cooldown (regardless of mastery level)
Blood Worms - hard to time, low chance, group heal though
Bone Shield - low to moderate effectiveness, long wait to reuse


(*Frequency = ability's effective uptime)

DS-

I've been using this as a "mini-cooldown". BB, HS, and diseases are my bread and butter for maintaining threat in multi-mob situations. DS used mainly on boss fights, spaced out with blade barrier to try and keep some sort of level damage reduction up. It's a little tricky though. The one big benefit I've seen is removing the tie to diseases, as before, in order to get benefit out of DS, it used a FU pair that you might need to refresh diseases. I don't rely on it as much as an offensive, aggro generation device anymore.

Bone Shield-

Pain here is that it can take away effectiveness of DS blood shields. Good for softening up big hits and buying a little bit of breathing space afterwards for the healers. Seems like most are having issues with mana and my approach has been trying to keep myself from becoming a mana sponge.

Which leads me into....

Avoidance-

Best bang for the buck so far. Again, tied into the previous mana sponge notion, it's just needed. If the healer over-extends trying to keep the tank and dps (which, now have health pools of 100k+) topped off, it's easy to find yourselves in trouble quickly. I know it's NOT a tank issue, but my recommendation is that ANY dps with self-heals need to use those if they have them. Rogue's is sweet. DK dps, I'll use death strike to try and reduce workload on healer when I run dps. Pally, Word of Glory. Enh shaman have an instant when they do things right.

Back to avoidance though, I feel that dodge/parry lead the pack for ANY tank, regardless of class, simply due to survival issues. Mastery is nice, but it's not king. Compared to the actual hits we're taking as tanks, blocks from shields of any sort, blood shield or other, is a pittance compared to the gain from avoidance.

Just my two cents.........

Leucifer
12-28-2010, 03:53 PM
And yeah.... I know Sat was probably hoping I vanished into the ether......... lol