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Thread: Death Knights to have Dedicated Tanking Tree in Cataclysm

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    Death Knights to have Dedicated Tanking Tree in Cataclysm

    Ghostcrawler just dropped the news on the official forums that, in Cataclysm, Death Knights will in fact see the Blood tree reworked to be the "Tanking" tree, with Frost and Unholy taking up the DPS positions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostcrawler
    [blizzard]Why the about face? We actually thought the "tri tank" experiment worked out okay. We suspected there would always be a "best" tanking tree, because that's the way these things shake out, but we hoped it would be close enough that many players could tank with their favorite tree. When we tried out this design for Wrath of the Lich King, we were using it as a test case to see if we wanted to do similar things with the warrior and paladin talent trees.

    A lot has happened since that time. We introduced the dual-spec feature, allowing players to have a tanking spec and dps spec that they could switch between. We introduced Dungeon Finder, which makes it easier to find players who want to tank, and even let players level up using a dedicated tank spec. In Cataclysm, we are introducing the concept of passive talent tree bonuses and we think that feature is a lot stronger when the talent tree has a particular focus (such as damage, tanking or healing). For example, it's safer to give more passive damage to a tanking tree than we can a dps tree. Above all, we were just spending a lot of effort trying to balance three trees (though it was really six trees, since each tree was trying to do two things).

    It started to feel unfair to the other tank classes that we had to spend so much effort tweaking three types of DK tanks, and it even started to feel unfair to the DK that we couldn't focus their tanking experience. One bit of feedback that really struck home was the DK players who said, essentially, "I look at the Protection tree and I'm jealous of all of the cool tools they have to help their tanking. As a DK, I have to pick and choose tanking talents from within a sea of dps talents." Rather than have a strong focus, the trees felt a little watered down because they were trying to do so much. With Frost as a dual-wield, spell and runic power focused tree, Unholy as a disease and minion focused tree, and Blood as a self-healing, defensive cooldown, tanking tree, we think the focus of each tree is a lot clearer and cooler.

    In Cataclysm, Blood will be the death knight version of a Protection tree. It will have passive talent tree bonuses that reflect tanking. It will have tools, such as a Demo Shout equivalent, necessary for tanking. Several of the more fun tanking talents from Frost and Unholy will be moved into Blood. We will be able to revise (or even remove) clunky mechanics like Rune Strike and focus on letting DKs generate threat with their normal Blood tanking rotation. (Source)[/blizzard]

    I should note that all classes except for Paladin will be seeing a large "Cataclysm Class Info" post this week intended to showcase the revisions to the class structure in Cataclysm. Death Knights are scheduled to see this post on Thursday, along with Warriors and Rogues. Hunters, Mages, and Druids will see their class info post on Friday, and Shamans, Priests, and Warlocks will be first up with their post coming tomorrow. Paladins are "still deep in development", so rather than getting just a partial update, we'll be waiting an extra week for a full post on April 16th. Watch here for updates as they come!

  2. #2
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    Exciting!

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    omnomnonom! Need more info to feed the brain!

    Some cool stuff already, I'm looking foward to the next 2 weeks!
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    Predicted this when they started talking about the mastery system... the whole concept of tree specific mastery bonuses didn't seem to work too well with 3 tank trees. I guess it might have been possible in theory, but I think this way is probably the best answer for DKs and tanks in general.

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    Makes sense, but I'm kinda disappointed they chose blood as the tank tree over frost. I would have much rather seen either blood or unholy go DW, frost go tanking and whatever is left go 2h, but I'm probably alone in that :P

    I'll have to see how it's actually like, blood right now is my least favorite spec, if the play style is largely the same I'll probably drop my dk for my warrior.

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    Hmm Too bad. I liked being a blood dps'er. Ultimately I like seeing them experiment and then make the hard choice when the experiment showed the idea to be too much work for too little gain. I just hope they scrap the dual-wielding requirement for frost then so I don't have to go Unholy.

  7. #7
    One tanking tree? I can see the logic behind it, so no complaints there. But...
    Why Blood?!!

    Maybe it's just me holding onto the original idea that frost was to be the tanking tree, along with the fact I simply do not enjoy the blood playstyle.
    Throw in the fact that Frost Presence is THE tanking presence, as well as Icy Touch being the new key threat generator.... why? Why Blizzard, why?

    Perhaps I should've clued in earlier when they said they were making Frost the dual-wielding tree, but nevertheless.... not a design decision I support.
    I'd very much rather have Blood as the DW DPS tree. The only reason frost is right now just seem to be a matter how the specs were done up originally
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    Here's hoping they tweak the blood rotation a bit—it always felt a little too busy compared to other rotations, not enough breathing time to use cooldowns without feeling like you are screwing up the rotation in my opinion. Maybe make heart strike use two blood runes and hit a bit harder?

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    I guess it was a grand experiment. They'd just gotten the dps trees arguably more balanced than any pure dps class' 3 trees. So maybe it was naive to hope they could do the same for tanking.

    The mastery system would have been clunky though and tanks do tend to min/max a little more than other classes which is easier to do through a respec than reroll admittedly.

    As for why Blood? Why not, it's pretty much been the dominant tank spec the entire expansion. Although it definitely will feel wonky that the tank presence doesn't "match" the tank tree. But maybe they'll change that in Cat too (ie - Blood is all about hp so the hp increase currently in Frost makes just as much sense in Blood).

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    itemisation around 2x 1 handers would be too much work too make it viable in the long run aswel i suppose. Much easier to keep it to 1 tank weapon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acidbaron View Post
    itemisation around 2x 1 handers would be too much work too make it viable in the long run aswel i suppose. Much easier to keep it to 1 tank weapon.
    Huh? Paladins and Warriors are itemised around two items: weapon and shield. Personally I hate DW but I can easily see two different talents included in the Blood tree: one for DW one for 2handers.

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    What really bugs me though is they made this HUGE deal about wanting to get away from "deep" talent tree spending and create broad multi-tree builds. DKs were built with that in mind, and they originally announced they wanted to do that with Cat as well.

    Lately though,the more I hear, the more it goes back to the old deep tree method. This is pretty much the nail in the hybrid spec coffin. I'm disappointed. I was interested in the idea of doing things differently. I get their points about DKs; but I feel like that was more due to bad design that the entire idea of multi-tree specs being wrong.

  13. #13
    Guys, stop fretting about them choosing Blood over Frost or UH for the tank tree. The new Blood tree likely won't look or work anything like it currently does, especially if they 'move tanking talents from Frost and UH into Blood'. I wouldn't even be surprised if we get some sort of Blood Nova that is roughly equivalent to HB or Shockwave.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by JakobBloch View Post
    Hmm Too bad. I liked being a blood dps'er. Ultimately I like seeing them experiment and then make the hard choice when the experiment showed the idea to be too much work for too little gain. I just hope they scrap the dual-wielding requirement for frost then so I don't have to go Unholy.
    Have you tried DW dps'ing as Frost? It's a lot of fun, much faster paced (hence more challenging).

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    Lately though,the more I hear, the more it goes back to the old deep tree method. This is pretty much the nail in the hybrid spec coffin. I'm disappointed. I was interested in the idea of doing things differently. I get their points about DKs; but I feel like that was more due to bad design that the entire idea of multi-tree specs being wrong.
    The way i got it from them is they wanted to make the last talent in a tree worth while at the same time they didnt want you to put all your points in one tree.

    As for why Blood? Why not, it's pretty much been the dominant tank spec the entire expansion. Although it definitely will feel wonky that the tank presence doesn't "match" the tank tree. But maybe they'll change that in Cat too (ie - Blood is all about hp so the hp increase currently in Frost makes just as much sense in Blood).
    Actually its been a turbulent roller coaster. Naxx saw unholy as the go to spec. Ulduar saw the rise of Frost. Trial had Blood. Only till ICC can you say that there might be two choices between Blood and Frost. They could have gone either way with it. Blood just presented itself as being unique in that it worked off self healing for mitigation where frost felt more of a traditional type of tank. Not to mention at this point in the game most DK tanks are Blood.

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    I was already pretty sure that Cataclysm wasn't going to do enough to keep me playing this time around. I made a DK specifically because I wanted a dual-wield tank. They even threw the runes in to make it work like using a 2H. The "by the way, we're not just breaking your playstyle, we're completely removing it" just pisses me off. And it's because they're lazy. It's because they want everything to fit into their neat "mastery" system that requires no mastery of anything. Not that there's been a whole lot of complexity going on here, but is it just going to come down to clicking icons on the desktop now?

    And I would argue that the trees were all pretty close until ICC when they devalued Bone Shield from the dodge reduction. So I don't think it's been so far out of balance as to be completely unfixable. It all sticks in my craw, as they say.

  17. #17
    Oh, one more thing. Old world solo-ability most benefits from Blood's self-healing, so for those of us who like to solo stuff on our DKs, thankfully that will still be equally viable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rude View Post
    I was already pretty sure that Cataclysm wasn't going to do enough to keep me playing this time around. I made a DK specifically because I wanted a dual-wield tank. They even threw the runes in to make it work like using a 2H. The "by the way, we're not just breaking your playstyle, we're completely removing it" just pisses me off. And it's because they're lazy. It's because they want everything to fit into their neat "mastery" system that requires no mastery of anything. Not that there's been a whole lot of complexity going on here, but is it just going to come down to clicking icons on the desktop now?

    And I would argue that the trees were all pretty close until ICC when they devalued Bone Shield from the dodge reduction. So I don't think it's been so far out of balance as to be completely unfixable. It all sticks in my craw, as they say.
    Who says they are removing Dual Wield from being viable for tanking? We're yet to see the talent tree so completely writing it off at this stage is just arm waving.

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    In fact GC had this to say:

    We're just not sure yet on DW Blood tanking or 2H Frost dps. Certainly our main focus will be to make sure 2H Blood tanking and DW Frost dps work, but we're not likely to crack down on alternate uses of those specs. We're not sure that a Blood DW style could work without talents that allow for strikes with both weapons, but we'll see. It should be a fun beta.

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    Im not too thrilled about it. I really love playing frost tank. Ill miss it if they do make blood the only tank tree. Guess its time to swap specs so I know wtf Im doing.

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