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Thread: Comprehensive Guide to Death Knight Tanking

  1. #401
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    You ignored half the modifiers in the frost tree and completely missed the point. I don't think you really understand what's happening in this thread.
    Skipping Abomination's Might because you outgear the content and would kill it anyways is, again, terrible, terrible, terrible, flawed logic.

  2. #402
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    Edgewalker,

    I'm sorry. You might have understood me wrong

    I was talking about Leucifer's point that many people pick to tank as frost in 5-man dungeons because it its easy to maintain threat, and I agree.

    About the point in skipping Abominations might, is that I prefer to spend points else where when I'm tanking 5-man's in my blood spec to increase my threat generation.
    That is just what I prefer in my spec, and I think it benefits me more than the 10% attack power buff to my party members.

  3. #403
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    You realize you get your own buff right?

  4. #404
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    There seems to be a flurry of angst here, let's take it down a couple levels.


    For what I'm trying to say, please don't have it misconstrued. I am *not* saying that WotN is not worth taking, or that it is somehow sub-standard. I just don't believe it is a mandatory talent. It is great for what it is designed for. Blood is a consummate meatshield spec. We rely on massive health pools and self-healing, not talent-based mitigation to survive the beating we take. That works fine with the scale of our self-healing which effectively counters the *appearance* of damage, but it is a risk when the scale of damage becomes too big. WotN is a great counterpart to the meatshield in high damage situations because it creates a safety net, when our health drops dangerously low, we take less damage, making it easier to keep us from dying. Death is the one thing a tank can't bounce back from without intervention (unless you're a pally and get one free pass every couple minutes).

    WotN is good. The point of my skeleton in the guide is built on this concept: you are going to climb down this tree, here are the talents that you should take to climb, here are the other talents that you *can* fill in the rest of your points with. WotN is at the bottom of the tree, so it is not a climbing talent. Therefore it is up to the user to decide if they want it or not.

    Do you want a safety net? Awesome, WotN is your talent. We can all use some protection for when things don't go perfectly, and there are some fights where you will proc WotN even when you are doing things perfectly.

    Festergut, Sindragosa phase 3, and the Licking himself will almost certainly proc the talent in the best cases, and when they do you will be thrilled at how much damage it prevents.


    The other thing, the other talents. What I was trying to say was, that ironically each point that you took away from talents like Blade Barrier, Vot3W, Toughness, and Anticipation would *increase* the value of WotN by making it easier for you to slip into the danger zone. Not using Vamp Blood would accomplish the same. Increasing your health by 15% increases the size of your danger zone by 15%, but it also makes it harder to reach by increasing the area above it by an equal scale (but greater amount). If you have 60k health you have to dip below 21k health (>39k dmg taken without heals) to trigger WotN. If you pop Vamp Blood you have 69k health and have to drop below 24.15k health (>44.85k dmg taken without heals) to trigger the effect.

    Another way to look at it, if you trigger the effect you are usually looking at a "the next hit will kill you, if you don't get healed" scenario. WotN increases your margin for survival by hopefully enough to make you not die. Hard to question that value if there is a chance you are going to dip that low (which is highly likely in many hard modes, and likely in select fights of regular modes, and likely for new groups).
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
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    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  5. #405
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    Also, I'd generally take from threat talents before I took from survival talents to get WotN. If you are concerned enough about your health to want WotN why would you voluntarily take more damage to get it? And with IT as it is, if you still need threat I'm wondering what you're doing.
    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?!?

  6. #406
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    WotN is good. The point of my skeleton in the guide is built on this concept: you are going to climb down this tree, here are the talents that you should take to climb, here are the other talents that you *can* fill in the rest of your points with. WotN is at the bottom of the tree, so it is not a climbing talent. Therefore it is up to the user to decide if they want it or not.
    I agree.

    Its a great talent, and anyone attempting some challenging content "should" pick it up.

    I feel extremely jealous knowing that a paladin tank could have saved the group from a wipe through the Ardent Defender talent . I'll be trying out a paladin in the PTR soon.


    Satorri,

    I can see you have a blood tanking spec as your main spec, but would you still rely on avoidance and armor from the Shifting Dreadstone gems rather than full stamina stacking as blood ?

    We rely on massive health pools and self-healing
    So would stamina stacking (ignoring the socket bonus') benefit a blood tank more than avoidance and high armor value ?

    I'm sorry I haven't tanked as blood in a while.

  7. #407
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    It *can*.

    Blood gets loads of value out of bigger health pools, as sort of an exception to the rule (for my concerns). Think of it like Discipline Priests with Divine Aegis. Normal rule of thumb for playing a healer well is to not overheal. Pure overhealing is a waste (we're going to ignore the unfortunate situations where you have to spam heals to not have your tank die because you waited for healing to be needed). With Divine Aegis you can get value from your overhealing in the form of more bubbles. It's not necessarily the way you want to play, but it can have value.

    Blood *can* rely on piles of health to boost your DS, Rune Tap, LotP, and Mark of Blood heals, and it generally trickles down into all your other values (WotN, Vamp Blood). So, you could blow past what is certainly "enough" health and still get practical value.

    Personally, I prefer to hedge my bets and do something that isn't strictly min/maxed "best" for tanks. I prefer to get the net value of socket bonuses and make use of non-central values to make myself a heartier tank. I love agility because it piles on the armor and avoidance, and provides a little crit to boot which just feels nice with the Blood design. The end result is that I take less damage, and I like that, even as a big slab of meat shield. The comically high Defense I've been getting from making yellow socket bonuses and the huge amounts of defense on the high level gear has been having the delightful side effect (beyond high avoidance) of making my IBF a really powerful protection. I did some quick math and it is currently reducing damage taken by about 60-65%. When I pop that I feel pretty good that I am REALLY hard to kill.

    Making socket bonuses is not all dumb from min/max standards, especially since you get Stam from the socket bonus. Generally, if the bonus is +9 Stam or better you are likely really getting a better deal to use not pure-stam gems. Less health, but better survival. I'm a nut for not wasting stuff though, not as a rule anyway.
    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?!?

  8. #408
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    Regarding Icy touch as a frost tank... you are looking at +60% damage and +18% crit on icy touch. Scales at 10% of ap. Combine that with 200% crit modifier on dk spells... Well you can see why it did boost frost threat more. Even so being it doesn't really scale that well with ap it's not hitting THAT hard. I've seen 5-6k crits or thereabouts. It's more that you crit more and hit a little bit harder on average as frost than anything else; and it being multiplied by 7 for threat... well it adds up. Frost always had good threat though, both ST and AE.

    As for Wotn... Well if everything is perfect and your healers are always on the money.. yah it could possibly never go off. If you have healing like that.. well yah I guess you could afford to not take it. But, that's pretty much only going to be the case on some icc fights.. there are plenty that you are rarely going to be in that position for. Even so, a talent that automatically saves your ass is a talent you take in my opinion. Saying you don't really need to take it is like telling a pally that they don't really need to take ardent defender. Pretty sure you would be hard pressed to find a raiding pally tank that doesn't take it ;p "Real World" use of it is probably more than you can deduce... there is always that one healer that doesn't listen to vent or watch DBM for the switch on festergut and is a little late switching.. "reactive" healers are common, and being common you will see a lot of value to wotn. Perhaps it won't be up as much as you would like... but when it is up it's likely it just saved a wipe.. I would put it as a baseline ability for blood.

  9. #409
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    WotN to me, with 3.3.3, became one of the "must have" talents if you're going to Blood Tank.
    Yes, if you have great heals, you may never use it. It's not a talent that's going to pay dividends when things are going well. It's great for when things start going badly, and the more health you have, the better this talent is. It's like having a free automatic, permanent bone shield up anytime you get below 35% health!

    Take a DK with 30k health vs 50k. The 30k, their 35% is 10.5k. The 50k sits at 17.5k. That is a 7.5k larger "buffer" zone for the DK with more health.

    In places where a 10k hit might land, well, pull 15% off that for a 8.5k hit, and the talent buys the 30k DK one extra hit to survive long enough for heals to land. It's good, but not great.

    Now, for the 50k DK, that same 10k hit, when reduced to 8.5k, they now can afford TWO hits before they crump with the 3.3.3 version of WotN. The previous version would ONLY apply to the first hit, which meant that the second hit would very likely be enough to crash the DK for good.

    Point being, it's a GREAT automatic mitigation tool for "oh shit" moments where the reaction time to pop off IBF or one of the other tools might be that slim margin between life and death. Also, I have not seen anything that states that this doesn't stack with other effects. I have had moments where I popped IBF and I KNOW WotN was in effect. Combined, I was looking at an additional 45% damage reduction on top of my base.

    Honestly, I think it plus Bone Shield are now two of the best mit tools for DK's. I know, everyone likes to run with Bone Shield up all the time. Just one thing to think about: it CAN be used as a cooldown similar to IBF. Depending on the fight, personally, I might very well consider that as an option.

    One talent that I found to be less than fantastic, is Mark of Blood. Getting back about 5% of my health with each hit is fine..... if the hits aren't THAT big. It serves almost as a 5% "damage reduction" in that sense... problem is, I think the hit still lands before the heals occur. If anyone knows for certain, might be useful. Honestly, the BEST use of this that I have ever seen is in defense of a capital. I've seen firsthand where Tauren DK slapped this on a rogue who was attacking Thrall, and we watched Thrall go from about 25% health back up to full health in a matter of moments. It's a FANTASTIC talent for PvP. For raid, where a boss is landing huge hits.... again, it's a 5% buffer. Not bad.... but not great either. Paired up with Vamp Blood, it goes from 4% up to almost 6%.

    In effect, the Blood Tank has a lot of damage mit, but it takes some understanding of how and when to apply those tools. A blood tank that has all their mit tools active at the same time becomes VERY hard to kill..... temporarily. After the timer runs out.... better hope heals are inbound.

  10. #410
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    Maybe it's just me being stubborn, but I don't understand saying that Blood is all about massive health pools and then write off a talent that adds a massive amount of effective health as optional. If that EH is optional, so is the massive health pool.

  11. #411
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sterbefall View Post
    Maybe it's just me being stubborn, but I don't understand saying that Blood is all about massive health pools and then write off a talent that adds a massive amount of effective health as optional. If that EH is optional, so is the massive health pool.
    Stubborn? I don't think so. I'm not saying that blood is all about having massive health pools.What I WILL say is that, massive health IMPROVES the build. Look at how many abilities that are affected by the amount of health held:

    Mark of Blood - 4% of max health with each hit... more health means larger heals
    Rune Tap - 10% to 20% of max health.... potentially more with Glyph and Vamp Blood.... more health means larger heals
    Vamp Blood - Gain 15% of max health temporarily.... more health means larger bump
    WotN - Kicks in at 35% of max health... so more health means you have a larger health pool protected
    Impr. Death Strike - Extra 50% effect on the 5% of max health heal per disease with each hit delivered..... larger heals with larger health pool
    Blood Gorged - Increased by up to 10% more damage if above 75% health.... bigger health pool means can be hurt more before losing this benefit.

    So, all of that in mind, I would say for a tank with more health, blood spec improves or becomes more appealing/effective.
    Last edited by Leucifer; 03-31-2010 at 04:41 PM. Reason: typo

  12. #412
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sterbefall View Post
    Maybe it's just me being stubborn, but I don't understand saying that Blood is all about massive health pools and then write off a talent that adds a massive amount of effective health as optional. If that EH is optional, so is the massive health pool.
    Many things are optional.

    Just because we have many talents that benefit from having a large health pool doesn't mean you have to take them all. Many people don't take Rune Tap, which also benefits from having a lot of health.

    It is not black or white, it is not all or nothing.
    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?!?

  13. #413
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Many things are optional.

    Just because we have many talents that benefit from having a large health pool doesn't mean you have to take them all. Many people don't take Rune Tap, which also benefits from having a lot of health.

    It is not black or white, it is not all or nothing.
    Because Rune Tap is a cooldown ability that requires a blood rune and has a large potential for overheal. WoTN is a passive, always active, free ability that always procs when in a danger zone.

    WoTN really isn't optional for a raiding blood tank (no more so than Ardent Defender is for a paladin), I think most reasonable people realize that by now. Any argument against it is... well... wrong. Sometimes there IS black and white or right and wrong with talent choices.

    We rely on massive health pools and self-healing,
    No. We rely on incoming heals from healers and health not dropping to 0, like every other tank. WoTN helps with the second.

  14. #414
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    WoTN really isn't optional for a raiding blood tank (no more so than Ardent Defender is for a paladin)
    While I realize they are functionally similar, it's not really a fair comparison. Ardent Defender is higher in the tree, which means you get into a position of needing three points there or somewhere higher in the tree. You're basically choosing between 3% more healing taken or 3 points in Reckoning (questionable threat increase on bosses; quite useful for trash). It's a good talent, but it's also going to be taken due to a lack of options. Plus, there's a fundamental difference. It doesn't matter how much you get hit for, you're still going to be healed to 30% of your health. It's guaranteed to save you once; WotN isn't.

    But my Paladin is an alt and I raid as Frost, so what the hell do I know?

  15. #415
    Edgewalker is right though. WotN is completely reliable, and hence just the strongest tanktalent you'll find in the blood-tree.

    A tree built around taking the full damage and then re-healing parts of it to cushion it all of a sudden gets a very powerful and completely reliable damage reduction. It is that powerful.

    The real issue is that they made it too reliable. It was ok as long as it wasn't, because then the concept of the Blood tree was still to take all damage and heal it, at times if you fail, your talents may save your hide anyways. Now Blood is about taking less damage than Frost or Unholy, does that sound weird to anyone else, too?
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  16. #416
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    Spell Deflection is not a good talent except in very, very, very limited situations.
    Spell Deflection is better than you think. Tanking Sarth last night, I noticed that it was proc'ing off his breath weapon/attack! I had to go back and double check.... and it proc'ed off all the drakes too. I was surprised because I had believed the breath to be an AoE..... but for purposes of the talent, well, it counts as a direct attack.

    It apparently also can deflect damage from things like Koralon's meteor fists. I had it proc during that fight too last night and looked into it. It seems like it is applied against a wider range of "spells" than just the arcane missile/frostbolt/fireball type attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by KnThrak View Post
    Edgewalker is right though. WotN is completely reliable, and hence just the strongest tanktalent you'll find in the blood-tree.

    A tree built around taking the full damage and then re-healing parts of it to cushion it all of a sudden gets a very powerful and completely reliable damage reduction. It is that powerful.

    The real issue is that they made it too reliable. It was ok as long as it wasn't, because then the concept of the Blood tree was still to take all damage and heal it, at times if you fail, your talents may save your hide anyways. Now Blood is about taking less damage than Frost or Unholy, does that sound weird to anyone else, too?
    Shhhhhhhhhh!!!!! Quiet it down. WotN is not too reliable. No one listen to his rambling madness.

    Keep saying shit like that and Blizz is gonna nerf it..... yeesh.

    On a serious note. It IS, by and far, since 3.3.3, one of the BEST talents available, in my opinion. Like I said previously (I think I said anyways), it's like having an automatic bone shield go up once your health drops dangerously low. It's not on a cooldown. It doesn't have a timer. It's an "I'm harder to kill as you beat me down" talent..... which to me, truly makes it finally worthy of a name like "Will of the Necropolis". It's the blood tank's..... F**k you.... I refuse to die... talent.

    And that makes me smile.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mend View Post
    Every tank class can slow the attack speed of enemies through a certain talent. Frost Death Knight's have an easy time applying this debuff to an unlimited number of targets by picking up Improved Icy Touch and using the Glyph of Howling Blast.
    Ummmm. All DK's can slow attack speed. Frost Fever And they can apply it to all just by laying down pestilence.
    Improved Icy Touch simply improves the frost fever effect. But ALL DK's already have a reduced attack speed effect, not just frost.
    Last edited by Leucifer; 04-01-2010 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Combined Multiple Replies into One Post.......

  17. #417
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    Stubborn? I don't think so. I'm not saying that blood is all about having massive health pools.What I WILL say is that, massive health IMPROVES the build. Look at how many abilities that are affected by the amount of health held:

    Mark of Blood - 4% of max health with each hit... more health means larger heals
    Rune Tap - 10% to 20% of max health.... potentially more with Glyph and Vamp Blood.... more health means larger heals
    Vamp Blood - Gain 15% of max health temporarily.... more health means larger bump
    WotN - Kicks in at 35% of max health... so more health means you have a larger health pool protected
    Impr. Death Strike - Extra 50% effect on the 5% of max health heal per disease with each hit delivered..... larger heals with larger health pool
    Blood Gorged - Increased by up to 10% more damage if above 75% health.... bigger health pool means can be hurt more before losing this benefit.

    So, all of that in mind, I would say for a tank with more health, blood spec improves or becomes more appealing/effective.
    Here's the thing though. Everyone gems for stamina. That's not particular to the Blood build. What makes it stand out in terms of being recognized for large health pools is the extra 3% stam modifier.

    That being the case, if one seriously suggests that's better and more mandatory because the extra health benefits health percentage based healing abilities, then that person is seriously underestimating the value and strength of the current version of WotN (which I believe to be the case here). I could understand not including the previous version of WotN in a tank build. As it is now, I just really don't see leaving it out of any blood tank spec, even an incomplete one.

  18. #418
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    With the increasing health pools from the ICC buff plus the increased effectiveness from Blood's self healing abilities you should be seeing yourself dip to 35% or lower less and less. This would make me question the real effectiveness of the talent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    No. We rely on incoming heals from healers and health not dropping to 0, like every other tank. WoTN helps with the second.
    As a main healer this gives me a sad face. It a tank has abilities to self heal themselves on demand I would hope they're using them wisely to help with the incoming damage. That comment reminds me of a Blood tank we had back in Ulduar that wouldn't use his CD's properly and then chew out the healers for letting him die because he got roflstomped.

  19. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rude View Post
    It doesn't matter how much you get hit for, you're still going to be healed to 30% of your health.
    Are you 100% sure about this? In the past AD didn't heal for 30% everytime. Oftentimes it healed for less (based on your health and the size of the hit and overkill). There were logs over at Maintankadin showing AD heals for 250ish health. Now they might have hotfixed it recently or maybe in the last patch, but there were no notes on it that I recall.

  20. #420
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    Quote Originally Posted by bling581 View Post
    As a main healer this gives me a sad face. It a tank has abilities to self heal themselves on demand I would hope they're using them wisely to help with the incoming damage. That comment reminds me of a Blood tank we had back in Ulduar that wouldn't use his CD's properly and then chew out the healers for letting him die because he got roflstomped.
    When you take 5 straight 50K hits from heroic lich king your self healing means about * all



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