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Thread: Death Knight Struggling with AoE.

  1. #1
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    Death Knight Struggling with AoE.

    Greetings everyone:

    I'm just trying to become better at what I like best, tanking. I found it easy on a Paladin before the expansion and several patches but now I play more with my DK.

    This is his armory link: The World of Warcraft Armory

    As you may see his gear is not that bad for most heroics and some raids and I am on my way to improve it as much as I can before next expansion.

    I may need some feedback about how the gems are doing. I usually mess that up by not tracking them correctly.

    Nevertheless, my main issue is the following. Single tanking is no problem in most of the cases. The real problem comes with AoE tanking.

    The one target I focus first (And that I make sure to mark first and I do my research about every single mob that should die first) gives me no trouble. However, the adds are the problem in some cases.

    I don't really know if I am doing something wrong, maybe the rotation or simply my talents... I must say that with experienced players who follow marks I don't have a problem and the idea of tanking for people who just don't know how to support their tank has also come to mind.

    This used to be my build: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    But, because of the AoE issues, I am using this one and seems to work but wouldn't really like to stick to it: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    This would be my rotation:

    I hope you can help me guys. Just trying to do my best out there.

    Thanks in advance! ^^

  2. #2
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    well first of all how much do you use death and decay? if you dont use it much you should consider it its a serious threat bomb if you talented(reducing its cd by 15 sec thus almost giving it constant up time since it last 10 sec and the cd starts on use^^) other than that as a frost you should never use howling blast before you have both killing machine and rime up.

  3. #3

    AoE Threat

    Quote Originally Posted by thorwan View Post
    well first of all how much do you use death and decay? if you dont use it much you should consider it its a serious threat bomb if you talented(reducing its cd by 15 sec thus almost giving it constant up time since it last 10 sec and the cd starts on use^^) other than that as a frost you should never use howling blast before you have both killing machine and rime up.


    Personally, I tank in blood spec, I seem to get the best results out of that.
    Make sure though that you get the 10 points from the other trees, anticipation and the other 5 points from the frost tree. I dont Dual Weild either, probably because I dont understand the mechanic of the offhand weapon. Obviously use the gargoyle rune, and go to town with DND. Granted I am only tanking with my level 75 DK, using dnd and then icy touch, plague strike, and pestilence, then a boiling blood I dont really have an issue with threat, granted my DPS is a little bit lower, but Im a TANK =D. Most importantly, DND. keep it down anytime you have more than one mob up.

    Legata on silvermoon is the one im tanking with. (warning, I am changing her spec when I get home)

  4. #4
    In my opinion you should've spent your badges on the tier gear, and not the (some who deam) "vendor trash shoulders", the tier bonuses outway the slight extra dodge or so.

    I too had some AoE troubles with frost for a time, I had left wow back in 3.1 and came back too late 3.2, and all my threat went down, only through blood could I even hold aggro.
    With the HB nerfs there is a new rotation: HB, DnD, BB, (blood pact for extra rune) BB, HB /OBL etc. this pretty much made things glue to me.

    Not to sound forceful but, I don't think the epidemic/morbidity has any value, sure Dnd damage rises, but the real threat lies in HB, Dnd is only good for a general threat opener/ranged consecrate, not that it's bad, it's just I've not found it to make a difference without specing into it.
    Use those spare 5 points in bladed armor, and I personally put a spare 2 in icy reach, 30yard HB is lovely for me, head start on aggro tables.

    Also drop icy touch/unbreakable armor glyphs for rune strike/hb glyph. I can't stress the importance of HB frost tanking, one of the main functions of the frost tree is that it can be a one disease rotation tree, and with hb glyph, you won't need pestilence, get free raise dead for a extra health pot.

    Hope this helps.

    - Nexsus, your friendly neighbourhood Frost Knight

  5. #5
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    Actually I dissagree with the above writers.

    A pull with more than one target should be made like this (only rune use)
    DnD + IT + PS + Pest then HB as soon as you can regardless of proccs.

    It's only when you are single target tanking that HB should only be used with both proccs.

    Then to keep threat from others just tab around and try making a Rune Strike on all targets and keep the HB's comming as soon as possible. reapply DnD when you can. (I recommend you take atleast 2 points in morbidity).

  6. #6
    I agree with Nexus. I run as a Frost tank and have zero problems with AoE threat.

    The good news is that your gear looks fine. You are hit-capped and have 29expertise which is important for DW.

    Your glyphs are currently HB, OB, IT. The HB and IT glyphs are redundant. If you're going to run single disease frost (I do and recommend it, because it simplifies things) then switch the IT glyph with Rune Strike. Macro rune strike to all your abilities so you use it whenever it's available because it's a huge threat ability.

    Once you have your glyph fixed and from looking at your gear, it's all about the execution. Pick your target, drop DnD, HB, BB and everything should be glued to you. Hit Rune Strike if it's available before your runes refresh and then when they do, go through your rotation. If you can't keep a mob on you with this approach and your gear, I'd say the problem isn't you - but DPS who can't be troubled to find your target. Even still, with DnD, HB, BB you're going to have enough burst threat that keeping mobs on you regardless of dps targeting just shouldn't be a problem - and if they do pull one off you, it probably doesn't matter because it'll die 2 seconds later.

    You also might consider picking up 2 slow (2.6) dps weapons and using them instead of the Peacekeepers. The slower weapons will hit harder and increase your threat/dmg. 2xAdelar's Battlestar is a great choice. Ghoulslicer from normal HoR is pretty easy to get because you can run it multiple times in a row. Nighttime from FoS heroic is another good choice as is Black Icicle from heroic HoR.
    Last edited by zuke8675309; 01-12-2010 at 06:29 AM. Reason: add extra comment

  7. #7
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    I will recommend a change of glyphs, first from IT to Runestrike like zuke said. Another thing what will help you would be to glyph of DnD (glyph of Oblit isn't that yummy for tanking).

    At what point are you having aggro issues?
    From what I know, frost DKs have one of the best initial aggro buildups amongst DKs (which is why I'm asking).

    My initial rotation would be: DnD > HB > BB (runestike when available)
    which is usually followed by: HB > BB > BB > OB > runestike when available or FS if you have a good lead on threat or KM procs for better DPS.

    On high AOE dps groups then I will time my runes and skills so that I can drop another DnD when the 1st one clears. This will usually help keep mobs stuck to you. There are occasions when I'm tab targetting to get runstrikes off different mobs to help with AOE aggro, but that's more of a habit than a real need to maintain aggro.

  8. #8
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    Well I tank in blood 2hander and I was having problems with AE threat. I switched up my rotation abit and modified the warrior mouse over macro for frost strike. In small trash pulls I drop a DND, IT, Pest, BB, then start mousing over the nameplates and dumping my RP with FS. It works well for me. I have been scauffed at before by our DW frost tank until he lost aggro last week while I held mine just fine. It takes alittle more effort but lets face we, we aren't all Uberdins..... lol
    Quote Originally Posted by WarTotem View Post
    You know you just called yourself an asshat, right?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banterloft View Post
    Well I tank in blood 2hander and I was having problems with AE threat. I switched up my rotation abit and modified the warrior mouse over macro for frost strike. In small trash pulls I drop a DND, IT, Pest, BB, then start mousing over the nameplates and dumping my RP with FS.
    Sorry banter but I'm a little confused. You're blood spec and you use frost strike? Was this when DKs were first released ('cos there's no way you're blood and using FS now)?

  10. #10
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    No Bladed Armor in your spec?
    That is a great boost to Threat Generation.

    Any particular reason for Improved Icy Talons? I know it is nice, but DW Tanks have very little flex in the spec, those points there are taking away some of the stuff that helps out a fair bit, like Bladed Armor.

  11. #11
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    As a frost tank, AoE threat should be the last of your problems.

    First off, use this spec to start and then go from there.

    Next is rotation. Generally, a good frost DK can do really well holding aggro without having to resort to Death and Decay. I suggest the following:

    (optional Unbreakable Armor)>Howling Blast (HB)>HB>Blood Strike (BS)>BS>Rune usage (Frost strike, Icebound Fortitude, Antimagic Shell, etc.)>HB>HB>HB and so on.

    If you insist on using DnD use the following

    DnD>HB>BloodBoil>Rune usage>DnD>HB and so on

    But believe me when Y say that the DnD-Free option will be much better.

    Ignore whatever !3m has said, it makes no sense. Frost Fever is significant threat on AoE. His advice on frost strike might make sense on single target, but even that is not a huge difference, and not glyphing obliterate as frost is sheer lunacy.

    You could stand a bit more hit, but you could probably get closer to acceptable if you didn't go cheap and used all epic gems. Also, get going on mining and smithing, we all hate it but will make a huge difference.

    Never, EVER, use an orange gem as a tank. Ever. Really. Replace head socket with hit/stam.

    A small note on the pants, going for expertise is admirable, but you are better off with one expertise/stam and 30 stam on the blue slot.

    I suspect some of your orange/purple gem usage has to do with them being cheaper, but don't. It adds up, and it will have you turned away from some raids because it's bad form.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Insahnity View Post
    Ignore whatever !3m has said, it makes no sense. Frost Fever is significant threat on AoE. His advice on frost strike might make sense on single target, but even that is not a huge difference, and not glyphing obliterate as frost is sheer lunacy.
    I'd like to know about what I said about Frost Fever... I don't recall saying that Frost Fever was what held aggro.

    My suggestion for swapping oblit out for DnD was because the question was about how to hold AoE aggro better. And seriously, I don't really like your degrading tone towards me, even if you consider yourself a better tank than I am. My suggestions were purely to help, and if I'm wrong, you could enlighten me based on facts and reasoning, not name calling.

    Also, HB > HB > BS > BS > runedump doesn't exactly work in a group of high AOE players, I say this because you're counting on RNG to crit HB. And in terms of crits, your DPS will crit as well... therefore it's very situational imho. There's also no mention of what situation which I will consider to be general AOE, which might mean places like VH or situations where you'd have your runes on cooldown if you're not timing it properly to grab additional mobs as they spawn after you've used HB > HB for your initial aggro. Granted we have CDs to blow for rune activation, I would rather put my advise around not having to do that just incase he needs it when situation gets hairy.
    Last edited by !3M; 01-14-2010 at 08:22 PM. Reason: added info

  13. #13
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    First off for opening your attack chain.
    If at all possible always use Death and Decay on as much of the mob as you can, follow with Howling Blast and Blood Boil.
    Then use an AoE Rotation.
    Also marking your target should help things too.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Insahnity View Post
    As a frost tank, AoE threat should be the last of your problems.
    This.

    To OP, here's another Frost tank guide for your consideration. Use that build and style and you'll have no more aoe threat problems.

  15. #15
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    Wow, didn't expect so many posts.

    First of all, thanks to all of you for your comments and advice. I read them all through and I will be giving them thought and experiment with a few ideas I got out there.

    Just for the record, I do use DND whenever I see a 3-man or more pull. My rotation would be:

    IT - PS - BS - BS - OB - FS for single targets. It's obviously flexible depending on the situation but it's most likely to go like that. As I think I mentioned don't really have problems with single targets.

    For a group of 3 or more I use the following rotation:

    DnD - IC - PS - Pes - BB - BT (Or ERW) - BB (Or HB if I used ERW) and so on. As well, with variations when needed.

    I saw that some of you posted rotations without PS, is there any reason for this?

    I will make sure to give a try to the specs rotations and ideas here and thanks a lot. ^^

    I will review the glyphs asap. As far as my gear goes, I mainly need help with the gems more than anything but thanks for the other ideas.

    Shazhad.

  16. #16
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    Oh! And I forgot to state that I mainly have trouble at the beggining of the fights rather than at the end. As I said, some times I get the idea of people not knowing what they should do... I mean, most of the players already know which mobs to kill first in most of the dungeons (Which in most cases are casters imho) yet you see them going after pets... It's not like I don't mark mobs. I do that for every single fight and the skull mark should be pretty obvious... But anyway, I am not perfect and that's why I rely on the advice of nice people. ^^

  17. #17
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    I'd keep the oblit glyph personally. How often are you using Howling Blast? You are glyphed for it but don't state you use it in your rotation. If it is used only on rime procs or for some front loading of threat, like I do, then don't worry about glyphing for it and instead put something that will help.

    Craft the toc bracers, change all your hit and exp gems to stam while still keeping 26 expertise and consider switching to slow one handers if threat is a concern.

    Do you raid with shaman? If so you can drop your points used to get IIT and put some into bladed armor and scent of blood.

  18. #18
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    Howling Blast should be used for any aoe rotation regardless of procs or glyphing.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shazhad View Post
    Wow, didn't expect so many posts.

    First of all, thanks to all of you for your comments and advice. I read them all through and I will be giving them thought and experiment with a few ideas I got out there.

    Just for the record, I do use DND whenever I see a 3-man or more pull. My rotation would be:

    IT - PS - BS - BS - OB - FS for single targets. It's obviously flexible depending on the situation but it's most likely to go like that. As I think I mentioned don't really have problems with single targets.

    For a group of 3 or more I use the following rotation:

    DnD - IC - PS - Pes - BB - BT (Or ERW) - BB (Or HB if I used ERW) and so on. As well, with variations when needed.

    I saw that some of you posted rotations without PS, is there any reason for this?

    I will make sure to give a try to the specs rotations and ideas here and thanks a lot. ^^

    I will review the glyphs asap. As far as my gear goes, I mainly need help with the gems more than anything but thanks for the other ideas.

    Shazhad.
    The aoe rotation information you have listed here is absolutely sound....

    If you weren't a frost tank!

    Methinks you should spec Blood (or even Unholy!). The frost spec does not suit you. I gave you a few options for an aoe rotation, both included HB. If yours does not include HB, then switch to another tree, you will be happier there. Plaguestrike is great for a single target rotation in frost, but its not necessary for frost given that the frost damage bonuses in the frost tree more than compensates for the lack of PS.

    If you decide to go to another spec, your single target rotation is almost valid. It would be like so:

    For Blood
    IT - PS - HS - HS - DS - <Rune Dump, usually Deathcoil>

    For Unholy
    IT - PS - BS - BS - ScourgeStrike - <Rune Dump, usually Deathcoil>

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by !3M View Post
    I will recommend a change of glyphs, first from IT to Runestrike like zuke said.
    Quote Originally Posted by !3M View Post
    I'd like to know about what I said about Frost Fever... I don't recall saying that Frost Fever was what held aggro.
    You suggested removing IT glyph for Runestrike. IT glyph makes frost fever do 20% more damage. Glyph of HB puts frost fever on all targets. See the problem?

    You didn't say that frost fever is what held aggro, and therein lies the problem. HB does great damage to get snap aggro, but it's the ticking frost fever (+20% from glyph) which makes it stick.

    Quote Originally Posted by !3M View Post
    My suggestion for swapping oblit out for DnD was because the question was about how to hold AoE aggro better. And seriously, I don't really like your degrading tone towards me, even if you consider yourself a better tank than I am. My suggestions were purely to help, and if I'm wrong, you could enlighten me based on facts and reasoning, not name calling.
    The problem with removing Oblit for DnD is that he would exchange one problem for another. If we set aside the fact that DnD is not the answer to Frost AoE problems, he would now lose TPS on single target because his Obliterates have been gimped. In choosing AoE strength vs Single Target strength, the Single target concerns win out, as downing trash packs by aoe is not what gets you through an instance/raid, its downing the bosses with single target tanking. That's the most challenging aspect of threat in tanking. If you can't deal with the trash, then you need to gear up & practice at the next lower content (heroics or lower instance if necessary).

    I did not name call you, calm down. I said what you said makes no sense, which it didn't from my perspective. I also did explain in detail why it was so. Please read comments fully and objectively.

    Quote Originally Posted by !3M View Post
    Also, HB > HB > BS > BS > runedump doesn't exactly work in a group of high AOE players, I say this because you're counting on RNG to crit HB. And in terms of crits, your DPS will crit as well... therefore it's very situational imho.
    Crits have nothing to do with this, I am not counting on crit, nor do I mention crit anywhere. However, let's walk down this path. The most crit-happy AoE spec I can think of is a frost mage with Shatter supporting out to wazoo, although a SoC happy warlock would do wonders. For a pre-80 DK tank and a frost mage, this is hard situation to tank. The idea here is that the DK GETS THE FIRST HIT, and gets a few additional hits (for DnD, ever 2 seconds, so 2-3 hits). Even if the frost mage crits every one, and gets 200% damage bonus on every crit (due to talents), he would not pull aggro right away, and the DnD would still keep on ticking, keeping pace, even if not crits. To top it off, ranged attackers must exceed aggro by 130% before a mob changes target.

    Where this falls apart is as follows:
    1) Mobs don't stay in DnD, or stray in and out of DnD, but for some reason the DPS AoE manages to get them. Tanking skills need sharpening here.
    2) The DPS significantly outgears the tank, and can blow past the 130% cushion. Nothing can stop it short of gearing the tank or threat-capping the DPS's output (or maybe getting some TotT-FOK / MD+Volley assistance). But that is just band-aid solution for a deeper problem

    There's also no mention of what situation which I will consider to be general AOE, which might mean places like VH or situations where you'd have your runes on cooldown if you're not timing it properly to grab additional mobs as they spawn after you've used HB > HB for your initial aggro. Granted we have CDs to blow for rune activation, I would rather put my advise around not having to do that just incase he needs it when situation gets hairy.
    You will have to elaborate on this, I can't see where this is a problem. Runes on cooldown, or Rune blackout, only lasts for a few seconds.

    Using VH as an example, even if by some miracle you have some AoE DPS going away at the exact moment that a mob spawns, AND you are on a rune blackout period, there's only one mob that spawns. That's what Dark Command is for, and if you miss that, death grip it back. And if THAT fails, you will most definitely have your runes back by then.

    Taking another example, you are in some nightmareish Onyxia raid where people keep getting tail whipped repeatedly into the whelp corridors, and those buggers keep spawning, you will be on rune blackout after a while, but you should have enough runepower to deathcoil by then. And if you don't well, wait the few seconds to get your runes back and DnD or HB. Because whelps will not oneshot DPS, and even if they get swarmed, well, the healer needs to cope, and usually they can heal a DPS for a second or two, which is enough for your runes to come back.

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