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Thread: Death Knight Threat...discussion/concerns

  1. #1
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    Death Knight Threat...discussion/concerns

    Snap Aggro Generation -

    Having migrated over from my Prot Warrior to a Death Knight it is safe to say that DKs do not have a shield slam type ability that will give you 7k+ instant threat. This is class design (setting up diseases) and at no fault of blizzards this can't be avoided with DKs in there present form.

    Raid Boss TPS -

    Having tested out multiple opening rotations and then going into the typical
    IT-PS-BS-BS-OB(or HB).... threat is extremely low and spikey. On a typical boss fight, Death Knights Tanks puts out a spikey 2-5k tps which usually keeps us ahead of dps but usually leaves us with a frostfire mage with his head half up our butt (there threat is really high at the moment compared to there dps for some reason). When ever there is a boss fight at the moment Prot Warriors can sustain a 5-6k tps for the length of the fight with the nearest dps at 50% of there threat.

    Scaling -

    As new gear has not yet been released by Blizzard yet, the future is uncertain but without a massive amount of +str on our future gear without any changes i don't foresee DKs able to keep up with the raid and other tanks

    Multipliers -

    Runic Strikes current form - 2x damage * 1x threat = 2.00
    Runic Strikes future form - 1.5x damage * 1.5x threat = 2.25

    Maybe this might be the solution to our spikey threat. I would be able to handle our current spikey threat if we were putting out more total threat.

    Thoughts, opinions, experiences... please share...

    ***these threat issues are involving good dps in a raid environment***

  2. #2
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    I haven't had any of these issues. Depending on group composition I'll range from 3k-5k peak single target threat. My co-tank is a warrior, and we can usually match pace for threat on a single target, though I pass him up for threat on multiple targets. This is as unholy.

    I think the variable is probably more the spec. With my frost spec my dps and as such my threat is spikey, but again it's like you say, it takes a couple cooldowns to set up our base threat. The only person who ever gets close on my threat margin is our arms warrior beast. He has a handy trinket/recklessness/bladestorm macro that lets him blow up on damage (and of course threat), plus with the frequent executes (and the threat modifier on the big damage). On a single target fight though I usually maintain a 40% lead, though most of my dps section is only averaging 2k dps, with a couple pushing 2500-2600 on average.

    I also tend to average 1900 dps on a typical 10-man Naxx run.

    So, out of curiosity, what is your working spec right now, and how's your gear looking these days?
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  3. #3
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    i'm running a frost spec... with acclimation and frost aura since naxx and obsidian and the eye all have magic damage being tossed around.

    i've got a good mix of naxx gear... you can see my DK's armory from the header in my post "ravencrest - johnyrico"

    Like you said i blow everyone out of the water for multiple target pull however my raid has a couple people in the low 4k dps and the rest in the mid 3k range for 25 patchwerk.

    My gear is getting to point where statistically i'd benefit more from an unholy build with bone shield (currently 43% dodge + parry atm unbuffed)... maybe i will give it a shot during our run tonight to test some tps numbers.

  4. #4
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    I am a Frost specced Death Knight tank.

    My guild has cleared 25 man Naxx/OS and, as such, people are getting nicely geared. The original post makes me smile because I'm currently a bit peeved about the threat of a Frostfire Mage who seems to now be riding my ass big time. It was never even a remote concern in Heroics or Naxx 10 man where I was easily doing 5-7k TPS.

    The first time we did Patchwerk, I was OTing and doing a consistent 5.8k TPS for the whole duration of the fight. When we did him last night... I was 4k constant while the Druid who was MTing was holding a nice steady 6k TPS. Of course, I am very concerned about this as the TPS of the DPS has gone up as mine has gone down. Where no one could get within 50% of me before, they're now ranging from 60-90%. Infact, when I tanked Grobbulus last night.... our Frostfire Mage ended up at 102% of my threat when the boss died. The WWS show him as doing 3487 DPS for that fight.

    My only current thought is that its a loss of Hit. The Bolstered Legplates from Heroic Violet Hold have 45 Hit on them, which I upgraded to 25 man T7 which has 0 hit on them. Then I've dropped 30 hit from my 10 man T7 gloves to the 25 man Callous-Hearted Gauntlets and also dropped 29 hit from upgrading my Sabatons of Draconic Vigor.

    As my avoidance has gone up with the "better gear", my hit has gone down and so has my threat. The question is... what do I do? Do I change back to wearing my "lesser gear"? That hardly seems like a solution, but more of a short term fix. Do I step aside and let other classes MT these bosses? My threat on trash (which is being AOEd down) isn't a concern at all, it just seems to be bosses.

    I am concerned.

  5. #5
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    I'm in the same boat. When we started 25 man stuff I was having no problem maintaining a lead. Now that many of our DPS classes are nearing having most/all best-in-slot items threat is getting very dicey. So much so that I've stopped using HP flasks and started using AP flasks.

    The rune strike change looks like it may help, but it appears more of a band-aid than a fix. In addition, the new FP armor bonus is only going to net me about 80-90 AP from bladed armor. I've already had to drop from a 9/11/51 LB spec to a more threat heavy 10/8/53. I don't like where this is headed.

    I've got moderate hit (179) and a beefy amount of expertise (180 rating) and am peaking around 5k AP when raid buffs and procs are happening. It just doesn't seem to be enough. I'm maintaining a lead, but nothing like our prot pally or warrior.

    For the short term, I'm now able to hit def cap without trinkets. I was planning on running the Rune of Repulsion and the Valor Medal. Now I'm considering running the Valor Medal and a dps trinket. The Mirror is certainly no good, considering our crit rate in tank gear is so low. Any ideas?

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    First off, for Merk, I'm jealous, I'm totally after that mace, it is DK tank sex on a stick. As for your threat, I think the lack of Blood of the North might be contributing to your spikey threat profile by protracting the distance between your "big threat" moves. The combination of smaller blood strikes (for single target anyway) and that you can't get that extra HB/OB on the second rune phase might be cropping up.

    For Merk and both the posters after, something to consider:
    Tanking in general is an exercise in balance. We all want to focus on being tough as we can be to survive stuff, and we sometime trade off a lot of dps gear and talents to achieve that, but as our gear becomes better we can afford to shift some of that back. I think the DK trees actually make talent shifting somewhat better for that than gear shifting. Blood of the North is a good example of that, so would Killing Machine with the Mirror.

    Also, it is far more feasible these days to buff up your hit/expertise. I actually prefer 20 hit rating on my gloves to the 2% threat/parry rating enchant, and I like expertise to bracers. I've actually been running with more of my hit/expertise tanking pieces over my avoidance pieces (of the still blue contingent of my armory) and it's been working out just fine. I did Patch 10 the other night as the secondary tank, because I had a net avoidance of just shy of 60%, and that's as Unholy, I have much better avoidance as Frost (thank you Frigid Dreadplate and Unbreakable Armor).

    I'm very interested to see what else they're adding/changing in the upcoming patch, since they're adding more sigils (about time, only thing keeping me from being in 100% endgame gear), new tanking runes, and changing a lot of our tanking glyphs. I'm a bit afraid though that the fact that we're not applying the frost presence bonus to bonus armor and non-armor armored items (necks/trinkets/rings) will actually not only negate the % increase but move our total armor backwards. That's probably just me getting ahead of myself though.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    I'm a bit afraid though that the fact that we're not applying the frost presence bonus to bonus armor and non-armor armored items (necks/trinkets/rings) will actually not only negate the % increase but move our total armor backwards. That's probably just me getting ahead of myself though.
    I'm not pleased with this either. Defender's Code just took a nose dive. I calculated roughly a 3.8k armor increase for me.. with Defender's Code on (doh!). So cut ~1000 off that. So now I'm gaining a few points of mitigation via armor and losing a truckload from the IBF/BS nerf. Sure, I've got somewhere around 63-64% avoidance w/HoW and Blade Barrier, but anything that gets through hurts... a lot. A bad string of hits, which may not be the norm but happens quite often enough, is almost certainly death on a hard hitting boss. Not pleased. WTB block, will trade soul.

    As for sigils, while I'm excited to see what defensive sigil's will be coming, I'm still looking for the Sigil of Awareness to drop to ease my threat concerns :-/

  8. #8
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    I would have to agree with the threat concerns and have actually noticed a threat decrease when trying to DW mostly because of the lack of hits and increase in misses and parry''s which most certainly creates the issue of haste'ing bosses to my quickening doom. If I am not running with my High dps mage friends I DW to get more parries of my own otherwise Im 2h'ing just to try and keep my threat up as they are nipping at my heels.

    I am hoping that increasing the threat on Rune Strike will help but its not the end all. I would agree that an increase in Str to our gear would most certainly help with this or even boosting our threat from Frost press just a smiggin. Hopefully as more content is added that things begin to even out or atleast revial to blizz some things that need some attention.

    EDIT: Sigils would be helpfull... maybe should have been added from the get go?
    Another EDIT: I am frost as well, and it seems that if I am given 20 seconds or so before the High DPS'ers go all out I have no issues. The Snap aggro that we need just isnt there.
    Last edited by Blueduck3285; 12-11-2008 at 06:45 PM.

  9. #9
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    I am as well a frost tank, i am struggling alot to hold aggro, but in raids i can do well since im normally OT, but then again ive got 30 seconds to secure aggro which i need, i tanked it well but somehow my tanking skills have gone suddenly, i just cant keep aggro above high dps classes!

  10. #10
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    Gonna run some numbers but since 99% of raids we rock since we always have a couple shaman (from the sunwell bloodlust rotation days) it might be time to make some changes to pick up BotN and subversion if possible and drop the imp IT...

    to other posters - glad i'm not the only one having these issues, i get really frusterated when i see other people putting out more threat than me (used to leading the charts by a mile in BC). Hopefully this gets addressed by blizzard in the upcoming patches.

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    I've picked up as much as i can as far as single target threat gen while still keeping my anti magic "niche"
    Last edited by Merko; 12-12-2008 at 07:12 AM.

  11. #11
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    I to am having some threat issues as our guild has some FF mages and hunters not creaping into the 4K DPS ranges on bosses. A couple of things, do we know if there is a TPS calc out for DK's using WWS reports? I also think that Unholy is not the optimised spec for single target threat. I think the change to UB will be helpful as I will have more RP to dump with DC. Also, Unholy feels lack luster in generating RP as there are times when I just sit there waiting on runes to come up due to having runestriked all my RP away. But, on Patch last night I was pulling a strong 5K TPS when I was glancing at omen. Why? Blessing of Sanc. This this is so wonderful. I was RS every swing, and still couldnt dump RP fast enough. So, if you feel your threat is suffuring, get a prot pally in your raid :P youll never regret it.

    Assuming BoS, i see frost as the highest TPS spec on a single target if you take BotN. Also, your +hit seems a bit low. Maybe a gem or enchant to bring it up.
    I cast the spells that make the people fall over.

  12. #12
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    I personally feel that we need another move (other then Death and Decay) that produces a high amount of threat. Yes, I know... Rune Strike is going to be such a move, but I feel Howling Blast/Heart Strike/Scourge Strike could do with a threat modifier. It could be something related to "this ability produces a high amount of threat in Frost Presence" or just the normal way they do it. Yes, I know that these are also abilities that DPS uses and I'm not sure how that would all work out in Blood Presence, but I've seen Blood DKs throw down Death and Decay on every trash pull and not get any threat from myself or our Paladin tank. I'm sure it could work out.

    Ideally... I feel we need a nice burst/snap aggro move more than anything. Something that grabs aggro like a shield slam always has. I'm not sure if it's feasible to attach it to Icy Touch or Plague Strike, but one of those two would seem to make the most sense. I don't know, just food for thought.

  13. #13
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    If you keep DnD up and we get the Rune Strike change, do you feel we will need more snap aggro love?

    I do.

    Warriors have several talents that "generate a high amount of threat":

    Heroic Strike
    Thunder Clap
    Sunder Armor
    Devastate
    Shield Slam

    I know we are not warriors but I still feel we need to be able to floor it if needed. Take the above into account Warriors also get 1 direct taunt, 1 aoe taunt AND Intervene. With my warrior, once I have a mob...you have to work to get him away from me. Why...because I can floor it using a rotation that includes the above.

    DKs have DG and a Dark Command which should be glyphed.

    For the scenario when dps is creeping up...we have no way to hit 2nd gear.

    If I have a runner, as Frost spec, I have to DG (provided it is up), target a mob with diseases and Pestilence -> HB or BB to snap aggro on them. I also have to hope I have the runes to pull off that rotation on the fly.
    This is assuming you have DnD up already or waiting on a CD. Sure we can pop Empowered Rune Weapon but come on!

    We need to be able to push out burst threat. Perhaps 1 more high threat ability? Perhaps add it to a Icy Touch or Plague Strike? It needs to be on a core ability so we do not have to alter a rotation too much. Runes and cooldown management is too precious.

  14. #14
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    There's a few things you can do. Most of the time I don't have runners on adds I've already had tanking, though there are rare cases (bladestorm being one) where I'll have to taunt it back.

    If an extra pack is pulled, no big deal, I pestilence it. Failing that, I'll IT one, DC another, and taunt a 3rd, leaving DG as a possible 4th option, but by that point pestilence should be up.

    I dont think there have been many times where I've lost aggro (even on AoE), and even fewer times where I've not been able to pick every mob up.

    As far as single target threat in a raid environment, I don't think there's too much of a concern there, though I'll have to keep a closer eye on it. When I MT'd a few bosses in 10 man naxx I had significant (30% or more) threat leads.

    Edit: I am Unholy though, and have been for most of the time. I can understand some AoE/picking up adds being more difficult for frost (UB works really well for AoE), but I think it's doable.
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  15. #15
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    I was main tanking 25 man KT last night and ran into some threat issues. A skilled Frost Fire mage was so close to me, even after using invis, and ice block. I'm not entirely sure if it's just the fact that FF mages seem to generate an abnormal amount of threat...or if it's the gear gap between the DPS and I. It's not huge but they have 3-4 epics on me since we have alot of tanks.

    Also...as frost spec do you guys prefer OB or HB? Also, do you weave DnD in every time it's up/runes are up.

  16. #16
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    One thing that has certainly helped (read band-aid) has been a recent glyph change I made. I tossed on the SS glyph and went a dummy for an hour messing around with rotations the other day. I came to the surprising conclusion that that for single target threat my rotation should consist of BS and SS. That's it. (RS macroed to SS, and extra runic dumped into DCs of course!) No PS. No IT. Just ignore the suckers and go to town. On the rare occasion I don't get a disease application from the glyph within 5 SS's I EPW and fire off two more. Counter-intuitive I know, but the results were impressive.

    This is not, however, a fix to our threat issues. I've got fury warriors and FFB mages pushing 4.3k+ dps behind me and things get a bit scary. We really need a talent mod to increase the threat mod of SS. Something like [Anticipation]: Increases your dodge by X%. In addition, your SS and Oblits cause an additional 40% threat.

  17. #17
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    When Frost spec'd, Meegs, I will only drop DnD as a foundation threat when I'm dealing with a big group pull. I'll drop it as much ahead as I can, then spread frost fever only, Blood Tap and HB. That usually puts me on a good threat lead. I never use it mid-fight, at that point I just make sure my diseases are maintained and HB as I can.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by nivani View Post
    One thing that has certainly helped (read band-aid) has been a recent glyph change I made. I tossed on the SS glyph and went a dummy for an hour messing around with rotations the other day. I came to the surprising conclusion that that for single target threat my rotation should consist of BS and SS. That's it. (RS macroed to SS, and extra runic dumped into DCs of course!) No PS. No IT. Just ignore the suckers and go to town. On the rare occasion I don't get a disease application from the glyph within 5 SS's I EPW and fire off two more. Counter-intuitive I know, but the results were impressive.
    Part of the problem with this to me seems to be the lack of IT off the bat means you're not guaranteed to have a 20% slow from the start, which can be important. Wouldn't you be better off starting the rotation with IT/PS and THEN relying on the SS procs? Interesting idea, anyway.

    I haven't had a problem AE tanking as frost, but I can see the snap-aggro problem. I'd love to see a modification to, say, BS, that increases its threat generated while in frost by x amount (or %). For single targets I use OB, and for multi pulls I drop dnd, then IT/PS, then pestilence. When dnd runes pop again, I hit HB and blood boil and the mobs will pretty much never leave me.

    Here's a question I've had for a while regarding you other frost tanks. Why do you bother picking up frost aura? It doesn't stack with resist auras or totems, and they are stronger in the amount of resistance. I can see it being good for trash or something like that, but in fights where you know the required resist going in and can plan for it, i.e. Sapph, someone should be running frost resist aura in which case yours does nothing. Acclimation still seems useful, though. And what about Merciless Combat? It seems somewhat pointless since by 35% you should probably have a good handle on threat anyway (not always, of course). I'm running 12/50/9, and it's worked well so far.
    Last edited by Alstott; 12-12-2008 at 11:36 PM.

  19. #19
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    Frost Aura is one like so many others to be used in balance with your raid. I like it because even though I run with a shaman, I don't ask him to drop a particular resist totem unless it's a high single-element damage potential like Sapphiron, heroic Loken, etc.

    Frost Aura is always on and always protecting you, and allows your pally to stay in Imp Dev aura, Sanc'd Ret aura, Imp Conc aura, or your shaman to keep down flametongue/wrath/wrath of air/windfury/healing stream/mana spring, well, you get the idea. It's intentionally not better than single element auras, but it protects you from everything and it doesn't come at the expense of anything else. I also like it for taking the edge off trash and other things you wouldn't bother actually putting up resist for.

    You're right though about acclimation. If you have extra pallies, shamans, or just plan on dropping specific resist buffs, then Acclimation will boost that.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  20. #20
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    Something I posted on the the WoW Tanking forums, some of my opinions, some probably wrong...but here it is.

    There are many factors which are making DK tanking a little more work than other tank classes. I've played all tank classes, however not to 80...because thats just insane.

    Lets start with the biggest factor: DK's are new, there is still alot of work that is needed to complete this class.

    -Casters seem to scale incredibly well in terms of DPS, thus their TPS scales much faster than tank classes.

    -DK's were supposed to be the "Parry" tank class, which is good in theory because of Parry Haste, but Parry is a not as attractive as Dodge in overall avoidance because of extremely harsh DR. We have skills to increase our Parry that isn't affected by DR, but 1 requires a minimum of 2 GCD's to activate, the other is deep into 1 talent tree. For example, from an itemization utilization standpoint, parry is far inferior to Dodge. http://elitistjerks.com/attachments/...odgegraph2.png

    -DK's don't have true threat generating skill other than the innate +threat from Frost Presence. We do have abilities such as DnD, that unfortunately uses half our Rune's to activate, thus semi-gimping our single target threat for 8-10 seconds while they re-activate. Rune Strike doesn't have, at least a tooltip stated, +threat mechanic, but this skill is a DK's only real RP dump that does a substantial enough single target damage to increase our threat.

    -AoE threat generation is good. Supposedly superior as an Unholy tank, but I haven't had issues with with Frost AoE tanking. I do, however, stress at the beginning of an AoE pull when all of my Runes are on cooldown and I'm praying for a HB proc, or for my Death/Frost runes to come up faster to get one off before all the DPS hits the targets (seeds and such). There is a distinct advantage to Warriors and Paladins who have Rage/Mana dumps for spammable AoE damage abilities such as Thunderclap (which now is a +threat skill, and hits decently hard) and Consecrate. I've heard absolutely no reports of Rage generation or Mana problems as of late. I do not feel that the change to Pestilence will increase our AoE aggro, it will only really affect our ability to quickly pick up adds when something goes wrong. DnD being on a 30 second cooldown (untalented) and it's obscene use of Runes makes this an ability that you open up with, and not continue to lay during an AoE pull.

    -Sustained fights versus caster heavy bosses is a rough threat battle due to very little, or no Rune Strike proc's, which is our only REAL ability that spikes our DPS, thus our TPS. The Frost tree contains the only REAL RP dump strike, however there isn't any threat modifier on the ability. Unholy have the swarm, but thats not spammable in any sort of capacity since there is no increased damage from the initial activation of the ability and runs for a long duration.

    What changes could help our threat?

    I suppose there would be a very easy change, give us more threat from our abilities while in Frost Presence, HOWEVER, that would make tanking a joke. I suppose adding more + threat to Rune Strike 'could' help, however this doesn't help during a fight that is mostly, or purely a caster fight.

    Blood Boil needs a serious look. It does such low damage that it's hardly worth the Blood Rune, and it doesn't even have a cool animation so using it isn't even a cool gimmick . If Blood Boil worked as an actual AoE damage, so that not only does the target take damage, but the targets around that target are damaged, then we may be talking about something. For example, the tool tip for Blood Boil Rank 4 could read:
    Causes any of the Death Knight's diseases on the target, and all enemies within 30 yards of the target to painfully erupt, dealing 117 to 143 Shadow damage to themselves and 50-75 Shadow damage to any target within 5 yards.


    Instead of:
    Causes any of the Death Knight's diseases on the target, and all enemies within 30 yards of the target, to painfully erupt, dealing 117 to 143 Shadow damage.


    There are many abilities that the DK has, deep into each tree, that can be modified to have increased threat while in Frost Presence, thus not gimping the usability for DPS builds. Such abilities that could be modified are:

    Frost Strike
    Unholy Blight
    Heart Strike

    Just a few thoughts for people to feed on!

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