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Thread: A Thought or Two on AoE Threat Generation for a DK Tank.......

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    A Thought or Two on AoE Threat Generation for a DK Tank.......

    I'm cutting and pasting this from WoWHead where I posted, since I found something there that was grossly out of whack.... at least from my viewpoint, and I wanted to share it with everyone here:

    http://www.wowhead.com/spell=49565#comments:id=1013282

    But it doesn't stop there! DnD has an Attack Power Coefficient (APC) of 0.15. This is the highest APC in the game, other than Summon Gargoyle (which is situational and complicated, so let's just ignore it for now). In practice this means that if you're level 80 and you have basic tanking gear (let's assume 2000 AP after talents), your DnD will actually do a total of 3620 shadow damage to every creature in the radius over 10s.
    This is wrong. In fact.... I beg to differ that this talent is really all that good. I'd say it's "silver" versus his "gold".
    The poster took the wrong information from this post: http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...r-coefficients and ran with it.

    The attack power coefficient is not 0.15 as poster claims. It's 0.0475.... half of it. He read the post incorrectly. He read this:

    The Attack Power coefficient allows Attack Power to act like Spell Power. For example:

    Death Coil (Rank 5) causes 443 base damage, plus 15% of attack power.

    A Death Knight with 2000 AP will do 443 + (2000 0.15) = 743 damage with Death Coil.
    And translated Death Coil to Death and Decay. The real APC is listed as below:

    Anti-Magic Zone ____ 2
    Blood Boil _________ 0.060 no diseases / 0.095 with diseases *
    Blood Plague _______ 0.055
    Bloodworms _________ 0.006 **
    Corpse Explosion ___ 0.105
    Death and Decay ____ 0.0475
    Death Coil _________ 0.15
    Frost Fever ________ 0.055
    Howling Blast ______ 0.2
    Summon Gargoyle ____ 0.333 (Gargoyle Strike) ***
    Icy Touch __________ 0.1
    Unholy Blight ______ 0.013
    Now..... for my counterpoint. I suggest that this talent and Death and Decay are both overrated.
    Death and Decay as a base does 62 shadow damage. Let's take for example a 4k attack power DK tank (which honestly is pretty good). Their APC for this will be approximately 200 points (round up, 5% of 4000 ap). That makes Death and Decay 262 shadow damage per second. Add in our DnD threat multiplier and you get 497.8 threat per tick. Add in frost presence, and you now have 721.81 threat per tick. This is without Black Ice, Impurity, Glyph of Death and Decay, or the t10 set bonus factored in.

    So, for each second or proc of Death and Decay that actually hits a mob (and trust me.... they can run through it) you're only landing about 750 threat points.

    My question to you is..... how much damage is that hunter or mage in your group blasting per second? In a lot of cases, I typically see 4k to 6k dps from these classes. Guess how long it will take for them to rip aggro off you with that mob that is only targeted with death and decay? Even with threat multipliers... they'll be able to pull them away. Trust me.... I've seen it often enough.

    I contend that Death and Decay alone is not sufficient. Paired with diseases, the two combined are MUCH more effective. Which...... I will cover in the next post............

    Ok. We already know about Death and Decay. Let's take a look at diseases.

    Frost Fever
    Blood Plague

    These bad boys do 253 damage EACH. That's their base. If you land BOTH on a target, you're popping 506 damage every 3 seconds, and in frost presence, due to the 1.45 threat modifier, you're dropping down 733.7 threat every 3 seconds. This is VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE. It doesn't proc every second.

    So, this effect, for each proc, generates as much threat as Death and Decay per proc. And this does not take into account Impurity or Black Ice. Or..... even better yet..... Crypt Fever, which drives up the damage of all diseases by 30%!

    Factor in both Death and Decay and two diseases plus pestilence, and you end up with the following.

    TIMELINE:
    0 - Slap DnD Down
    1 - Death and Decay initial proc... + 721 threat....... IT hits, laying down frost fever
    2 - Death and Decay #2................ + 721 threat (+1442 total)... PS hits, laying down blood plague
    3 - Death and Decay #3................ + 721 threat (+2100 total)... Pestilence, spreading diseases
    4 - Death and Decay #4................ + 721 threat (+2900 total)... Initial diseases proc with pestilence... + 733 threat (3600 total)
    5 - Death and Decay #5................ +721 threat (+4200 total)....
    6 - Death and Decay #6................ +721 threat (+5000 total)...
    7 - Death and Decay #7................ +721 threat (+5721 total).... + 733 disease (6500 total)....

    From this point on, Death and Decay gets 3 more ticks. Diseases can keep on rolling though as long as you can supply ONE rune for pestilence before the disease timer clocks out..... if you have Glyph of Disease.

    Now, the cost for each of these..... can vary.
    Death and Decay is a non-negotiable 3 runes. Blood/Frost/Unholy or combination of death runes.
    Diseases.... one frost.... one unholy.... and one blood to get them rolling. Both have equivalent costs to establish.

    The cost to MAINTAIN however..... is very different. After your ten seconds of glory with Death and Decay, you're stone cold dead and waiting at least 5 more seconds for it to even remotely become available. And even then, the cost to get it back up and rolling.... is going to be 3 runes. You'll be VERY fortunate to have those ready, unless you pop Empower Rune Weapon.

    Now, here's the gorgeous part. With diseases, once you get them up and rolling, so long as you have a Glyph of Disease.... you can keep their cycle of doom going damn near endlessly just so long as you are willing to commit just ONE rune to it.

    At the end of the day, one point I REALLY.... I mean REALLY want to stress to ALL DK TANKS, is this....
    It takes time for us to build threat with our tools.

    EDIT: With one caveat..... the frost tank with Howling Blast. And even they benefit from diseases on target paired with death and decay.

    So, help yourself out, and tell the dps to hold off their attacks for at least 4-6 seconds AFTER you lay down death and decay. Because it takes THAT long for you to build up about 7000 points of threat on all targets. If you only use Death and Decay.... be prepared for trouble.

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    So I'm confused, is the point of this thread to educate people that a DK is going to take awhile to build up AoE threat or are you trying to say that a particular talent like morbidity is not worth taking?

    While the math and everything is good, it doesn't take one important thing into consideration, and that is snap aggro. The reason tanks take Morbidity is so that their DND is 15 second cooldown instead of 30, and the reason DND is used is because it does AoE damage right off the bat, and generates high threat, and gets mobs attention right off the bat. Mobs aren't going to wait for you to Icy Touch, plague strike, pestilence, and then wait 3 seconds for a tick before they run to start beating people up.

    In the end, DND is a staple for any DK in a AoE tanking situation.

    Again, I could just be confused what you are trying to say here, because I think maybe I read you saying 'DKs don't just use Death and Decay to AoE tank.'

    Maybe a little clarity is in order.

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    Sorry if it is confusing. A large part of my point is that it does take significant time for a DK to build up threat. My second point is that Morbidity should probably be re-evaluated for it's usefulness. I am NOT disregarding the usefulness of Death and Decay.

    I understand your confusion though. Yes. Death and Decay IS one of our primary tools. It IS a staple. I AGREE with that.

    I disagree that Morbidity may be "all it's cracked up to be". Yes, it reduces the cooldown, but honestly, after our opening sequence.... how soon will you have the runes available to DO anything? Each rune is on a ten second cooldown. So, assuming you use your first three with Death and Decay.... then follow with a IT - PS - Pestilence follow up..... you'll be doing one of two things.

    - Waiting for your Death and Decay cooldown for 5 more seconds.....
    - Using runes on other abilities, and thus...... extending your time to use Death and Decay beyond 15 seconds.

    My question is..... are you following up with tab-striking immediately afterwards? Or waiting, letting auto-attack do its thing, while waiting for DnD to light up again?
    I forsee aggro problems if you're waiting. If you have dps blowing down your primary target while you're waiting for the cooldown, I'm not positive you've slapped enough threat to hold that target.

    My thoughts lead me down the path that.... I might not need the full 3 talent points in Morbidity to get best use out of it. I think, potentially.... 2 points would allow DnD to cooldown in sequence with your runes better.

    Care to share yours?

    Oh. And as for it being snap aggro, I think it's great for snap agg at the start of a fight. During a fight.... I don't think it generates threat quickly enough to recover if you have multiple mobs making a break for it. It just doesn't tick fast enough or hard enough.

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    That's patently false though. You're forgetting that you don't burn runes instantly and have 10 seconds of dead time before they're back up, it takes GCDs to ditch your runes. If you have morbidity, you can drop DND, use your other 3 runes, wait on the first set to return, use those, and almost IMMEDIATELY drop DND again, it cools down exactly as the 2nd set has refreshed for the first time, 15 seconds in. It will continue to refresh every other rotation of alternating rune sets, 15 seconds is a perfect timer for it. The only problem with DK threat in AoE situations as I see it is the ridiculous BASE cooldown on DND. I don't like to respec for crap like heroics or trash, so I muddle through without it, but it can be very painful not to have DnD to start off a group of mobs. Threat is fine without it during a pull, but if you're doing an instance you're not waiting 30 seconds to pull groups of trash. It's not a 'mandatory' talent but sometimes it sure feels like it, and I think THAT needs to be changed.

  5. #5
    My Unholy Death&Decay laughs at your puny AE Threat worries while I go to the kitchen and get a new coffee. *cackles*
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    The value of Morbidity for DnD is in three parts:
    1.) Coverage. It is a fixed location. If you are dealing with encounters where you are picking up waves of adds, it can be very important to be able to cover a new location. More so than it is in most 5-man trash where locations are predictable, but in general even that isn't entirely predictable.

    2.) Uptime. It always lasts 10 sec, and the base cooldown is 30 seconds. If you were to reapply the moment you could that would be 33% uptime. In reality you'll rarely set it the moment you can, since you'll be waiting for your runes *then* looking to refresh it. Morbidity will cut it down to a 15 sec CD, which could allow a maximum of 66% uptime, leaving only 5 sec of minimum downtime. For the sake of compounding #1 or just covering the same group, it is very nice for minimizing when it isn't available.

    3.) Pace. If you are rolling through a 5-man it can be very noticeable if you wait on DnD to come off CD. You can aoe tank without it but you will absolutely notice the comfort factor of the coverage. Minimal downtime will generally let you pull much much quicker while still relying on DnD.


    Say what you will about it, but beyond a certain target minimum DnD will be your best threat tool for the cost. Frost can make do without it, certainly after the first application, but Unholy has no good reason not to for groups, and Blood is just better covered with it up (again, even if only once).
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    DnD is for lazy dk's who have bad timming on there runic cooldown's! HB all the way!

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    As an ICC blood DK I use DnD as my opener. On very large groups I find DnD, IT, PS, PEST then wait for CD. DS when ever its up to convert to Deathrunes. Then I start BB like crazy. Keeping eyes on my diseases and refreshing them and pest when I need. I have found this to hold much more aggro for me. I am not great with the math of it but I know someone who is. As long as we have the master in the thread...

    Satorri, What would be more efficent once you have been thru your second cycle and have 2 Death runs. 5 BBs on two diseases or DnD? As a blood DK of course.
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  9. #9
    Also keep in mind that 2/3 Morbidity is virtually all of the gain of 3/3 Morbidity.

    Due to the 10s rune cooldowns, 20s cooldown fits together about as well as 15s.
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    I haven't crunched the numbers in a while, honestly. I tend to only set DnD once on a given pull (I only recast when you have add waves spawning to help collect them). I will spam BB if I think the group is getting burned fairly evenly, or more often I will just HS and swap targets to get more threat on the stuff that is going down faster.

    I would wager though, thinking purely off the top of my head:

    BB costs one rune and hits for ~1.5k (~3.1k threat) on every target.
    DnD costs 3 runes and ticks for 420, 11 times per cast, on every target, so 4620 damage (~18.2k threat).

    So if we compare on per-rune threat, BB is worth 3.1k and DnD is worth 6.1k. DnD wins but a factor of 2 (note: that is pretty much the bonus threat factor, 1.9, so damage should be about the same) for total threat.

    Each has its strengths and weaknesses.
    BB will be instant and upfront and because of that you can't waste it if you use it at the right time.
    DnD will be in a fixed location, if things move out of the range or don't start in it you can lose portions of the threat (10% per second lost), and you have to wait for all 3 runes to be up to cast it.

    So, it is easy for the margin to not be so big but targets have to miss half the duration of DnD to get less threat. Sometimes the waiting for runes can be a spoiler down the road as you are just going to be waiting on using them and once they are spent, that's your blackout. If you need more AoE threat, you can't do much better than dropping DnD on cooldown provided everything is sitting on top of it. The question always remains though if you *need* that maximum threat, and whether or not things will live long enough for you to get more DnD's worth of threat.
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    I believe that you also need to take into account deathrunes and the cooldown. Once you have your DRs cued up you can BB 5 times nearly back to back with the GCD in between. With morb in your spec you have DnD off CD ever 15 seconds. However, if you are going to use DnD as a main part of you rotation then you have to be very rune CD aware to ensure you have 1 of each ready to go every 15seconds like clockwork.

    When you calculate 6 BB in 11 seconds (If your Death and Blood Runes are managed correctly) Your putting 18.6k threat down range in 11 seconds. When I get home tonight I will test my theory however, I believe that with proper management BB in blood spec with twin diseases on targets will generate more threat over time than DnD will. DnD will always have more snap aggro when your dealing with over active aoe dps'rs however, in a well oiled raid team this shouldn't be an issue.
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    Ok. The following is MY personal approach and thoughts.....

    The way I see it..... DnD is great for opening AoE threat generation (assuming the mobs don't just run right through). After that..... you NEED to get diseases up and rolling. I ALWAYS spec with Glyph of Disease for this. Diseases just have too much benefit to let them fall off. Even without Impr. IT talent... you're still slowing all mobs by 14% on their attacks, you're getting more threat than DnD procs per second every 3 seconds and at a cost of ONE rune.

    I DO like to have DnD available after the initial pull. My experience though is that it doesn't "hit hard enough" to really pull agg back quickly. What I've found, personally, is if I have multiple runners, slap a DnD down on me.... pop Dark Command and Death Grip..... and hope that I have them in the DnD long enough the hold them on me. Usually, a BB or better yet, a HS will keep them there. Usual issue is with.... surprise... hunters/mages. They just keep blasting away at a target making it the yo-yo of aggro. If I have loose trash that takes off after healers, it's usually a one-and-done affair with a death grip pulling them back to me for good.

    Again though, what I've found, through my experience anyways, is that even if DnD is done with its cooldown, I'm not able to "instantly" access it due to available runes. It just leads me to question the value in a talent that is split between a dps heavy talent and a tanking cooldown reduction.

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    I guess the real question is on AOE trash pulls and the amount of DPS that our geared raid can put down range is DND needed to retain aggro or just snap it. How many pulls are large enough and stay alive long enough to warrant the second DND when most of the mobs are below 30% health at this point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banterloft View Post
    I believe that you also need to take into account deathrunes and the cooldown. Once you have your DRs cued up you can BB 5 times nearly back to back with the GCD in between. With morb in your spec you have DnD off CD ever 15 seconds. However, if you are going to use DnD as a main part of you rotation then you have to be very rune CD aware to ensure you have 1 of each ready to go every 15seconds like clockwork.

    When you calculate 6 BB in 11 seconds (If your Death and Blood Runes are managed correctly) Your putting 18.6k threat down range in 11 seconds. When I get home tonight I will test my theory however, I believe that with proper management BB in blood spec with twin diseases on targets will generate more threat over time than DnD will. DnD will always have more snap aggro when your dealing with over active aoe dps'rs however, in a well oiled raid team this shouldn't be an issue.
    And you've touched on something else I've seen. If I have death runes up and full diseases on target, I get SOOOOOO much more out of popping blood boil than laying down another DnD. Maybe I'm crazy, but that seems to work better for "recovery" purposes.

    Again, DnD works nicely with an opening sequence. It doesn't hold well against high-powered dps who are doing direct-fire damage to targets that I'm not physically beating on.

    I know. Maybe the problem is in the dps........ ^_^
    I try to educate when I can..... but well.... sometimes it can't be helped.

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    Theorycraft for a moment...

    Using Satorri's math (Which I would trust his "in his head" math over my calculated math anyday lol)

    BB is 3.1k threat per target every GCD. With blood runes off CD your talking about putting 6.2 threat down range in 3 seconds with back to back BBs.

    DnD is putting 18.2 threat down range over 10 seconds. Take that and divide and your talking 1820 TPS and put this over the same cast time of 2 GCDs and you get 5460.

    Now DnD is a tick and BB is a one time dmg so do we cound DnD as a dot and BB as burst? If so, I think BB more than wins out over DnD.
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    Also we really should take into account that if you are managing your Runes to ensure you have DnD off CD for the second drop how many ITs are we missing out on? Pulling a 4 mob set might look like this...

    IT/PS one mob.
    IT the second.
    Pest/BB and they are on you.
    FR are now off CD IT 3rd mob to secure aggro
    IT 4th mob to secure aggro.
    HS to your heart's content...

    We have alot of playing room I believe that we haven't looked at yet.

    Also in the math we should think about PS and DS. I know that these aren't our heavy hitters in blood but if we are rune starving ourselve waiting on DnD the we are also depriving RS from doing it's job down range. We all have RS macro'd to all of our attacks right?
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    Why would that starve your RS's? You should be mashing abilities ALL the time whether the runes are available or not, precisely to get those RS's out. DND is locks threat in while you set the rest up, there's no way around that. Sure, diseases do a large part of our AE threat but they take a long time to get going. Once I've done a DND once and are rolling with blood runes, Blood boil is plenty, absolutely. DND is still superior to the 3 BBs though if you had the option, and it's certainly more flexible when you don't want to be standing around waiting to pull.

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    Disagree that DnD is superior to 3 BB. We already "know" that diseases hit for about 733 threat at the time they proc. BBB.... hits for 812 on a 4000 ap DK that has two diseases on target (1.45 x (180 + 4000 x 0.095)). During the course of 3 BB... you'll have thrown down roughly 3100 threat to all affected targets. During that same approximate time, you'll have only netted 2800-2900 (assuming 4 full seconds) with DnD.

    And here's the real clincher.... Blood Boil hits all targets in a 30 yd range. DnD.... again, let's HOPE the mob doesn't just breeze right on through and sits nice and still in it while beating on your healer for that 4 seconds.

    DnD is great if you KNOW you can keep the mobs in it for more than 1 second. Trust me. I've seen far too many times where a mob on HoR just runs right on through between ticks. It's fantastic! ...... And then I pop BB... get their attention and drag them back into the DnD zone where they can be hauled into a tight knit pack to die.

    Personally... if I have a bunch of death runes up... and mobs all front and center... I'm tab-striking heart strike. Once I get THAT rolling.... I'm set. That is sheer and joyous tanking bliss right there.

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    There are situations where I have to go into fire control rather than just threat generation on large groups.

    Specifically, the large packs in front of Marrowgar and the Geist swarms in the Plague wing. I have a Fury Warrior and Feral Kitteh who pop stuff and rack up to 30-40k dps all tolled, but they're hitting each target for a pretty obscene amount. At that point my co-tank usually uses his AoE taunt and I focus on select target taunting to make sure they don't tank more than they have to (sometimes with a Mark of Blood to offset the difference).

    It's fun, but of course it is not required. It is the only situation where 1 DnD, and adaptable use of BB and HS from there on doesn't hold everything in for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    There are situations where I have to go into fire control rather than just threat generation on large groups.

    Specifically, the large packs in front of Marrowgar and the Geist swarms in the Plague wing. I have a Fury Warrior and Feral Kitteh who pop stuff and rack up to 30-40k dps all tolled, but they're hitting each target for a pretty obscene amount. At that point my co-tank usually uses his AoE taunt and I focus on select target taunting to make sure they don't tank more than they have to (sometimes with a Mark of Blood to offset the difference).

    It's fun, but of course it is not required. It is the only situation where 1 DnD, and adaptable use of BB and HS from there on doesn't hold everything in for me.
    See, I run into the issue sometimes with rogues.... but usually hunters and mages. It's usually when they're nuking something that is not directly taking hits from me. Probably my best example is HoR.... when they choose to bombard the new incoming mobs instead of pummeling the ones I have solid aggro on.
    No one tanks in a void.........

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