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Thread: + more threat generation for Frost Presence?

  1. #1

    + more threat generation for Frost Presence?

    Greetings everyone,

    I've been a DK since the night WotLK came out and been pretty much a tank the whole way to 80. I've gone through MANY tanking specs ranging from 51 Unholy to dual Frost/Unholy spec, and now am sitting at 51 Frost spec for tanking.

    But throughout this whole time it seems that DK tanks always have trouble holding on to their aggro. Whether it is single mob or multiple a DK has to go all out to keep hold of it.

    Do you think that Frost Presence needs to get a threat buff? I am satisfied with the changes to it in 3.0.8 but do you suppose it needs more threat generation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Honestly, I've never had significant problems holding threat, but I've been keeping pace step for step with the dps I run with.

    What I have noticed is that our threat scales faster than the damage output with improving gear. I've heard people complain about their threat and I've been spending a lot of time thinking about why I don't have that problem, and I've come up with a few things:

    1.) Spec
    There are a LOT of options in talents and very little that are actually worthless for a tank. That being said, there are two angles that need to be appreciated. First, you want to balance survival and threat talents and appreciate that often times the talents don't do both. Second, DK talents are designed significantly around compounding bonuses, so to get the best threat out of your spec you want to play to a theme on your damage/threat building methods.

    2.) Gear
    Common sense, I know, but the same basic edict applies to gear as to spec, your stats need to be balanced in terms of survival and threat. If your gear is stacked with nothing but stam, defense, dodge and parry, your threat will be weaker than if you have some pieces itemized with hit and expertise. Strength is always a value, but pretty much every single tanking piece has a healthy helping on it, for armor anyway. Having decent hit and expertise values ensure that more of your moves hit, flat out this is major value for threat. Interestingly, there is also a serious threat value from improving avoidance values. More dodge+parry will give you more Rune Strikes (to a point), and Rune Strike can become a VERY major damage/threat component. In the most recent patch (3.0.8) this is transitioned from huge damage (often top 3 on my damage) to being somewhat smaller damage and a lot more threat. So more positive threat feedback for DKs with improving survival from higher level gear.

    3.) Hard Work
    At the end of the day, any tank, and DKs up front, you have to work for your threat. Know your moves, know your priorities, and be paying attention to everything going on in the pull. If you are losing threat on a single target hate match, against equivalently geared dps, then the problem can only lie with your priorities and how you're making threat.

    2 things I recognize about my gear that not every (or even not a lot) of DKs have: Bladed Armor, and the Sonic Booster. The latter doesn't help most folks since it's engineering only, but it has a pretty high uptime and 450 ap is a nice little buff. Bladed Armor, I can't sell enough. Every tank can and should have Toughness, and you will be tanking in Frost Presence, if you aren't doing one or the other of those, you got some 'splaining to do. Those two will give you serious armor values, now more than ever (off my own sheet I think I'm sitting at about 29k unbuffed). Bladed Armor is 1 AP/180 armor per point in the talent (5 fully talented). With my armor and 5/5, that is over 800 AP! AP flat out, increases the damage and thereby threat of every thing we do, most every move that doesn't scale on weapon damage (which is in turn a factor of AP), they scale of a % of our AP. The threat value is pretty amazing for a tank (and conveniently smaller for a dps, such is the smart design of the talent).

    We don't need threat buffs, to be sure, though I think the particular scaling is a little rougher on new tanks than better geared tanks. I don't think a buff to Frost Presence is the way anymore, not that I'd turn one down. =)
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Just same as Satorri, the only time I've problem with my thret generation is when I stayed in that dammed unholy presence or blood presence (more in unholy than in blood for the record) but in frost not so much problems keeping aggro from my dps.

    I don't have Bladed Armor but I really think that if you got some difficulties holding threat then this might be a good option. I can see that you sit at 560 def w/o your sigil proc, then maybe think about a more offensive sigil.

    About your spec, something is bothering me. You pass on blood of the north, but take epidemic. I can assume then your rotation is something like : IT - PS - OB - BS - BS - RD repeat.
    Maybe you should try something like not hitting OB and doing HB instead, keeping OB just for some rime proc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Great post Satorri, excellent points.

    I fully agree that Bladed Armor is very close to a "must have" talent, I haven't spec'ed out of BB or BA since I got invited to Beta, they are that good in my eyes.

    Regarding threat, I think we (as in my Frost tanking brethern) are pretty ok in terms of TPS. I rarely have a troublesome time keeping well ahead of our best mages and rogues in AE packs. Single target mobs w/o a MD can be exciting, but with a tight rotation/priority system, I still don't have enough trouble to consider it worrysome.

    I haven't taken a close look at my recount logs, but I know I like the new changes to help our tps, especially Rune Strike and Killing Machine. I can't speak for Blood or Unholy tanks as I have never really done much tanking in them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Bladed Armor is 1 AP/180 armor per point in the talent (5 fully talented). With my armor and 5/5, that is over 800 AP!

    I agree that bladed armor is almost a must have; however I found yesterday that my AP doesnt change when I go in frot presence, and I got bladed armor 5/5; then a friend DK told me that it always been like that and it only take base armor.

    So I dunno if it's a bug, if it's intended, just a typo on the character sheet...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Or just lag.

    There are tons of thread speaking about that, the character sheets take about 30 sec to aplly changes like stance dansing. So just go in blood pres, open your sheet, then go into frost pres and then wait.

    That's what's beeing said, but as I don't have this talent I've never checked that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Ok I checked it and in fact it's just lag.

    Btw, while checking this, I though about something to boost our starting agro as a frost tank (with bladed armor): begin the fight with unbreakable armor.

    Some quick test: I got 2871 PA, buffless.
    With UA (glyphed), it go to 3357, +486 PA; not bad at all.
    There is also some "lag", while using UA, in the armor > PA conversion; at first my PA only went to 3045 (I guess it's the effect of the +10% str), then a few sec after it went to 3357; then when UA faded, it went to 3183 first (no +str effect anymore but the +armor effect still up), then back to normal, 2871.

    A few more test: sometime, the armor effect doesnt show at all during the 20sec of UA; I have the feeling that it's not really a lag but that the PA is calculated every 30sec or so.

    The question is, it's only the character sheet and the PA boost is still effective or not?

    EDIT: Answer: it does affect the damage :s

    Tests: I used death coil on a dummies: damage without UA: 874; damage with UA, but only the str effect on: 900; damage with UA and the armor bonus calculated: 947

    So, you can still use it as an aggro boost, you will get the str effect at least and if you are not unlucky you will get the armor bonus too (if it's up before UA fade, the bonus will stay until the PA is calculated again, so it will stay up for 20-30sec, even if it show up at 1sec left of UA)
    Last edited by Feanorr; 01-23-2009 at 08:07 PM.

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