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Thread: Small talent discusion. [Frost Tank]

  1. #1
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    Small talent discusion. [Frost Tank]

    Well I was doing a review of my spec today its a pretty common build but Its something I have made myself (Ie. I didn't go copy paste it off the armory I understand how to play it and could explain why I chose every talent)

    I decided to do a small review of some earlier talents in unholy/blood.

    I'm questioning specing out of Two-Handed Specialization (2/2) 4% extra damage from two handed melee weapons. And also removing 1/3 in Scent of Blood.

    In turn I'll be putting 3/3 in Ravenous Dead for an extra 3% strength.


    My concerns with this change.

    • Will the strength scale, as a tank I don't have massive amounts of it.
    • Will I benefit more from 4% extra two handed damage since alot of my damage is Rune Strike, Melee, Obliterate.
    My reasons for considering this change.

    • Alot of my damage as frost is spell damage howling blast and frost strike are a essential part of my rotation. Thus, would the strength scale better due to the spell damage.

    Looking for opinions and hard numbers.

    Spec 1: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
    Spec 2: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft


  2. #2
    Since 3% Strength should on average translate into 3% more AP for a DK, 3% Str should provide less benefit to Obliterate / Rune Strike / Frost Strike than 4% damage does.

    Yes, Howling Blast and Icy Touch and the DoTs win, but overall you will probably lose out.
    SQUEAK.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiya View Post

    • Alot of my damage as frost is spell damage howling blast and frost strike are a essential part of my rotation. Thus, would the strength scale better due to the spell damage.

    Frost strike is not a spell; it's a melee strike with magical damage. That's very different; it use melee hit, melee crit and, more important for your decision, weapon damage (so it benefit from 2H spec).

    The only spells that you use as frost are HB, IT, frost fever and blood plague.

    Just to clarify things.

  4. #4
    1 Str = 2 AP for DK's

    I have tested both 3/3 into Ravenous Dead vs 2/2 in 2h weap spec. Honestly, I saw more of a damage increase from the 4% weapon spec than I did from the 3% into str.

    If you are moderately-well geared (say t8-t9 gear or equivalent with only a couple level 200 items equipped) you should be sitting around 950 to 1100 str unbuffed. So you'll gain between 29 and 33 str and that equates to between 58 and 66 AP. Without massive raid buffs, I'm not sure that you're going to see that gain you want.

    Since str scales better than straight AP (thanks to might, kings, and other raid buffs that scale str as opposed to AP) it COULD potentially work out stacking in your favor.

    I'm not sure of the numbers or calculations, but I'm betting Satorri has everything on a spreadsheet someplace that can be posted to help clear up the issue for you. Maybe there's information somewhere about how AP scales to 2h weap damage also.

    I'm still messing around with my own specs (since i have 2 tank specs on my DK). I do have a couple questions about your talent choices. My first question is, do you really see a benefit from taking Epidemic? I find myself using IT and PS in my rotation, and never reach the point where my diseases drop (especially with Glyphed HB on my AOE rotation). You might be able to free up a couple points in the UH tree for something more DPS (and therefore threat) related.
    My second question is do you see any benefit from taking 2 points into Runic Power Mastery? I use a Glyph of Icy Touch (on my single target spec) and that seems to drive my RP without needing anything extra to always be able to fire off a RS or FS without any issues. The same thing could be said with scent of blood, I don't think I would ever take it as Frost seems to be the fastest RP generating spec out there. Unless you are using DC as a RP Dump, I'm not sure there's value in it...but I want your opinion because I'm looking for a non-fail talent to drop 2 points into...and that might be it.
    I'm currently testing my spec with 3/3 in subversion for the extra 9% crit on BS and Oblit with the Oblit Glyphed.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Goros; 08-26-2009 at 06:43 AM.

  5. #5
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    Scent of Blood is harder to quantify because it will depend on how often it procs and how quickly you use the buff, but suffice to say it will be more RP for the tank spec that likes RP most (nomnomFrost Strike).

    2-hand Spec vs Ravenous Dead is much easier though. To illustrate we need to see how AP affects weapon damage. Here's the (slightly) simplified formula:
    Avg Weapon Dmg = (Weapon DPS + AP/14) * Normalized Weapon Speed

    Since, judging by your spec, you use a 2-hander, this formula becomes:
    Avg Weapon Dmg = (Weapon DPS + AP/14) * 3.5

    If you're using a non-hardmode Uld25 weapon (like Worldcarver) your weapon dps will be 232.5, so this formula becomes:
    Avg Weapon Dmg = 813.75 + 0.25*AP

    So, if comparing the two talents, if you have 5k AP (1200 Str), here is the base instant weapon damage:
    Avg Weapon Dmg = 813.75 + (0.25*5000) = 2064

    adding 1 pt to 2-hand Spec:
    Avg Weapon Dmg = 1.02*[813.75 + (0.25*5000)] = 2105 (2% increase)

    adding 1 pt to Ravenous Dead (+12 Str = +24 AP):
    Avg Weapon Dmg = 813.75 + (0.25*5024) = 2070 (0.3% increase)

    The margin should give you a pretty good idea that for weapon strikes (for you Oblit, Frost Strike, Blood Strike, and Plague Strike) will not receive remotely the same size buff from Ravenous Dead, almost an order of magnitude different.

    So what about HB and IT? Here are the formula to calculate their damage:
    Dmg(HB) = 540 + 0.20*AP
    Dmg(IT) = 236 + 0.10*AP

    So again, pulling down from above, the base:
    Dmg(HB) = 540 + 0.20*5000 = 1540
    Dmg(IT) = 236 + 0.10*5000 = 736

    1 pt added from Ravenous Dead:
    Dmg(HB) = 540 + 0.20*5024 = 1545 (+0.31%)
    Dmg(IT) = 236 + 0.10*5024 = 738 (+0.33%)

    So, given that FS and OB will be two of your biggest damage items, along with melee hits and RS (both of which will get similar scale buffs with 2-hand spec over Ravenous Dead), I can't imagine Ravenous Dead will do better per point than 2-hand spec.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  6. #6
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    sharp math satorri. the only other possible reason to take a passive strength bonus over the 4% 2h damage buff would be for the parry rating benefit, but the small amount you gain from Ravenous Dead is a joke:

    3% of 1200 strength = 36*.25 = 9 parry rating. after diminishing returns, it has near-zero efficacy on your avoidance. two-hand spec. is the way to go, without a doubt.

  7. #7
    Will this work? Took out points from Virulence and Epidemic.

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

  8. #8
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    I don't see why not, though I'd favor Epidemic over Ravenous Dead too.

    This one I can't quite support with the same easy math. But the idea goes like this.

    With 0//2 in Epidemic, your diseases last 15 sec which means you have to reapply them before the end of your second rune set in a bi-phasic cycle (which most specs will use, Frost is no exception). The alternative is you lose buffs on OB/BS most notably, and then Tundra Stalker most notably for everything else until you get around to refreshing them. It can have either a nasty trickle down of threat loss, or it can make your rotation messy.

    2/2 in Epidemic makes your diseases last 21 sec. If you start with applying diseases that means that they will wear off as you start your 3rd set which works out perfectly for reapplication (since you spent your Death runes generated from your first set).

    Obviously there are ways to mitigate this. If you're using a single-disease setup (wouldn't recommend it any more with the heft that OB hits for and the extra chances at Rime procs) you won't be working to refresh diseases. And if you use Glyph of Disease you can mitigate the cost of reapplication, though it will still mess with the most comfortable OB spam.

    It's a game style choice that will be filtered through the player's ability to affect the final product. The best thing you can do with that is to actually test it out on a test dummy to see how it feels when things are easy and you aren't under raid boss stress.
    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?!?

  9. #9
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    I think the advantage of Epidemic is almost entirely in running two diseases. The single disease rotation has a huge advantage in being very smooth & steady, which enables a fair amount of control. Also, the employment of a glyphed HB results in the equivalent of IT/Pestilience, but with notable secondary damage & in a single GCD. Result is the loss in threat is offset by the ease of use, IMO.

    I favor using PS is when I'm focusing on a target exclusively, but then the rotation is IT/PS/OB/BSx2. There is also the aspect of shifting a blood run to death (blood tap, or via GoG). In that case, I start an AoE pull, and use either DnD or BB to ensure one blood run cycles as blood, but use BS to stagger the other blood rune to death. The following rotation shifts to PS (using the death rune), with BS/Pestilence to refresh a death rune for later. All in all, it's a lot of micromanagement for what I find unneeded threat/dps in most circumstances.

    Note that I tend to go HB/BBx2/Ob or DnD/HB/BB as initial AoE rotations, depending on how mobs are set up. After that, I shift to more focused dps on primary targets.

  10. #10
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    Sorry if this is in the wrong topic, but I figured it was close enough to post it here.

    I run a DW build rather than a 2H, my current spec is 13/52/6. Would it be more beneficial to take one point out of Bladed Armor or Scent of Blood to max out Epidemic, or should I just stick with 1 point in it?

  11. #11
    Hrm, interesting. Hadn't thought about GoPestilence for tanking purposes, now that I no longer need Icy Touch for the +Def proc.
    Then again I am unholy, I guess I may as well use GoSS then? :S
    SQUEAK.
    -- (The Death of Rats, Terry Pratchett, Soul Music)

  12. #12
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    First off thanks Satorri for you're answer, much appreciated and couldn't expect any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goros View Post
    Since str scales better than straight AP (thanks to might, kings, and other raid buffs that scale str as opposed to AP) it COULD potentially work out stacking in your favor.


    My second question is do you see any benefit from taking 2 points into Runic Power Mastery?

    Thanks
    Ok to answer you're first question or point, as a mix of tier 8/8.5/9 geared DK tank in frost I sit at 1070STR unbuffed and without any STR modifying talents.

    Also you're second point I'm starting not to see the point in putting points in there, thinking about taking them out and putting them in 2/5 Icy Talons (8% Reduction) which would mean more threat via melee swing and more importantly, rune strike.

  13. #13
    I'm still thinking that the STR stacking isn't going to work in the long run better than 3/3 subversion 2/2 2h weap spec and 5/5 bladed armor. Stick with those and your basic frost tanking talents and you'll be better off than 3/3 in ravenous dead. 3% of 1070 is only 32.1, so 64.2 AP benefit for 3 talent points that can buy you much better bonuses.

    If you look at the straight AP gain as a percentage of your total AP, it should work out to be less than 2.5% of your total AP (assuming around 2700 ap), where your 4% damage boost is just that - 4%.

    And I played with a spec with the extra RP, seems like a waste when one IT can generate 25 RP in less than a second. Never should run out IMO.

    As for the 8% from IT, I had that, and actually have better luck with points into subversion for the extra crit. more threat (just barely, but it's there).
    Last edited by Goros; 08-31-2009 at 08:31 AM.

  14. #14
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    I run a DW build rather than a 2H, my current spec is 13/52/6. Would it be more beneficial to take one point out of Bladed Armor or Scent of Blood to max out Epidemic, or should I just stick with 1 point in it?
    that depends. do you feel you have enough RP to avoid deadzones where all your runes are on cooldown and you don't have enough RP to spam FS?

    typical single-target rotation will be:

    IT PS BS BS OB (FS Dump)
    OB OB OB (FS Dump)

    2 things you need to watch: are your diseases generally falling off of your target before your 3rd obliterate in the second rotation? and are you finding yourself not having enough RP to spam FS between each rotation?

    speaking purely academically, I would say that 1 point in epidemic is more effective than 1 point in scent of blood. I don't know what your glyph set-up is, but if you have the FS glyph and/or the IT glyph I wouldn't think you'd have trouble with generating enough RP to get at least 2 FS's in-between each rotation.

  15. #15
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    After taking everyone's opinions into account what I'm starting to do here is find an optimum frost tanking spec which maintains the defensive bonuses of frost (Hopefully staying 51 Frost) and focuses on some of the more offensive things in the unholy and frost tree's.

    Since I have no problems near constantly staying 30-50RP in a full rotation, I have chosen to take 2 points out of RP Mastery and 1 point out of Deathchill in the frost tree and place them into 3/5 Icy Talons, this allows for more white damage and in turn more rune strikes.

    Also on the point of me having no RP problems, I have taken 1 point out of SoB and put it into subversion.

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    Opinions and constructive criticism wanted.


    Edit : If I have 3/5 Icy talons and it brings my swing timer down to 3.0 (from 3.5) (12%) and I have another DK in the raid with Improved Icy Talons will it overright any benifit I get from my 3/5 Icy talons.
    Last edited by Haiya; 08-31-2009 at 04:54 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyd View Post
    that depends. do you feel you have enough RP to avoid deadzones where all your runes are on cooldown and you don't have enough RP to spam FS?
    Been trying it on my secondary with Icy Talons, and I definitely notice less runic power, I do have a few dead zones where runes are cooling down and I have no runic power left. But overall I think it feels better moving 1 point from Scent to Epidemic.

  17. #17
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    After moving some points to make 3/5 Icy Talons I rune strike more also I think im going to have to move the point back to SoB, as I'm going OOR.
    Last edited by Haiya; 08-31-2009 at 09:16 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eidi View Post
    Been trying it on my secondary with Icy Talons, and I definitely notice less runic power, I do have a few dead zones where runes are cooling down and I have no runic power left. But overall I think it feels better moving 1 point from Scent to Epidemic.
    good move imo. im' seriously considering it myself. scent of blood works great with DW but I think I might be losing dps/tps because more often than not i have to choose between a third oblit with no diseases up or refreshing diseases early.

  19. #19
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    Why so much love for Black Ice?

    People seem to view 5/5 Black Ice as almost mandatory - I'm just wondering why? When I tank, single-target, my combined frost/shadow damage output is about 20% of my total damage. I could therefore spend five talent points and increase my overall damage by 2%. By taking 2/5 in BI (for a 2h build) or 0/5 (for a DW build) it becomes quite painless to take Improved Icy Talons, which boosts personal damage about 5% and provides a great raid buff.

    I guess if you can guarantee a Frost DPS DK or Enhancement Shaman in the raid, IIT only provides a boost of about 1% to personal damage on top of that, and in that case Black Ice is a better choice. Black Ice also helps more for AoE pulls, where diseases/HB/BB/DnD are more significant, but on the other hand AoE threat is hardly where Frost struggles.

    Anyway, just wondering if I'm missing something or thinking crazy-thoughts. Thanks for any advice!

  20. #20
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    People seem to view 5/5 Black Ice as almost mandatory - I'm just wondering why? When I tank, single-target, my combined frost/shadow damage output is about 20% of my total damage. I could therefore spend five talent points and increase my overall damage by 2%. By taking 2/5 in BI (for a 2h build) or 0/5 (for a DW build) it becomes quite painless to take Improved Icy Talons, which boosts personal damage about 5% and provides a great raid buff.

    I guess if you can guarantee a Frost DPS DK or Enhancement Shaman in the raid, IIT only provides a boost of about 1% to personal damage on top of that, and in that case Black Ice is a better choice. Black Ice also helps more for AoE pulls, where diseases/HB/BB/DnD are more significant, but on the other hand AoE threat is hardly where Frost struggles.
    I would say you answered your own question. IIT has zero effect on your aoe threat, and is nearly 100% redundant if a dps dk or shaman is bringing the haste buff as well. in this case, you've paid 6 talent points for a 5% haste buff if the haste buff is being brought by another player.

    this may be purely a matter of preference, but i don't think it's the tank's job to bring dps buffs. it's their job to increase threat and survival. black ice increases dps/tps 100% of the time, both single target and aoe threat, with or without windfury/IIT.

    all that being said, it is a useful talent for 5-man's since you can't always guarantee that the haste buff will be present. but in 10/25 man's I think you should be more concerned about survival and threat than providing a dps buff to your group. if you are making it a choice between black ice and IIT, you should be choosing black ice every time, for precisely the reasons you stated. this doesn't make IIT a bad talent. it's simply a matter of getting the most bang for your buck as a tank. it is reasonable to assume that another dps class is bringing this buff to your raid. and 6 talent points for a 5% haste buff is not as good as 5 talent points for a 10% buff to your frost and shadow damage.

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