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Thread: How could or should the Blood tanking be made more interesting for Cataclysm?

  1. #1

    How could or should the Blood tanking be made more interesting for Cataclysm?

    We've seen the class previews, we've seen some of the new abilities. But as of yet, very few details about one of the the primary concerns about death knight tanking (for me at least) has yet to be addressed. Quite simply, Blood isn't the most interesting tank spec to play as currently. It doesn't even really feel tank-like. This has been touted by many people favouring the frost tree for tanking, as it seems to be more fun if not necessarily more effective. The lack of AoE damage is another point of contention.

    It has been revealed that the blood spec will be seeing changes.... but what sort of changes exactly?

    So how about a few ideas, some theorycrafting, and all that jazz to pass the time? What abilities should be added? How should current abilities be changed? In short, all the technical stuff. Effectiveness will presumably be taken care of without any trouble, and as such I'm trying to focus on the improving the fun and variety within the Blood tree.

    I'll start off by throwing in a few of my own ideas, but don't be afraid to throw in your own.



    Current abilities:

    Heart Strike -- The "heart" of the Blood tree, pardon the pun, currently acts as a total replacer for Blood Strike by dealing more damage and giving a cleave-like effect. It's almost spammed as well. In my opinion, it needs an overhaul. I'm thinking of changing it to a variant of whirlwind, or perhaps simply a high-powered cleave. Cost should be changed, requiring either two blood runes or a frost/unholy rune combo to use it. To address the stylistic design choice that abilities granted by each tree abilities uses runes from that tree may have to re-evalulated. A cooldown of approximately 10-15 seconds would be needed of course. Blood Strike would then become your go-to ability for single targets and general use. More variety and AoE damage all in one stroke.

    Hysteria -- This is quite frankly more of a DPS talent, but it doesn't hurt tanking too much as well. It has mostly been set against Blood's established self-healing capabilities, but it may be undesirable for a tank tree. It may not be a bad idea to move it to a low-tier talent (something like only 11 points in) to allow access to it by more DPS oriented specs. Or moving it to another tree and renaming it, perhaps "Unholy Might"?

    Dancing Rune Weapon -- An iffy talent, and again mostly a DPS increasing talent. It's not bad again for burst threat, but it may not belong in the Blood tree. The Unholy tree looks like a good candidate again.

    Bone Shield -- Thematically, it's not too much of a stretch to throw it straight into the Blood tree. Increasing the cooldown may be necessary, as there are a lot of cooldowns available to death knight tanks and increasing the amount available may need a counter balance. The same could be said of Vampiric Blood.

    Unbreakable Armor -- Tricky.... definitely a tank-oriented cooldown and name. Not too sure if it should be moved to the Blood tree, lowered far enough in Frost so that blood tanks can pick it up (the strength it provides makes it a solid DPS cooldown as well), or simply altered and renamed into a purely DPS talent.

    Death and Decay -- AoE threat is slated to be scaled back a bit in the Cataclysm, to approximately warrior levels. That is not too high that AoE threat is mindless and not a concern, but AoE tanking is a viable tactic in a way. The change proposed for DnD is simply removing the additional threat modifier on it. Less AoE threat for DPS DKs, and Blood will be getting additional AoE abilities to compensate for the loss.

    Rune Strike -- Presumably this is getting redesigned like Heroic Strike, but I think it should still be a clearly tanking strike. One of the fun things about Frost tanking is Frost Strike, a second way to dump your runic power. Death Coil has always been kinda "meh" for blood, so this will be a very welcome alternative.

    Self-healing in general -- Applying to Death Strike, Rune Tap and Mark of Blood. While these talents are very good for tanking now and will continue to be so in Cataclysm, they may be a wee bit overpowered once it arrives. Healing up to full will take more than one cast, and as these talents are based off of a percentage of max health. Simply, the amount they heal for might have to be scaled back. A 20% heal every thirty seconds may be too potent with the new healing model that will be in Cataclysm.


    New Abilities (proposed):

    Blood Nova -- Intended to be a mirror of Howling Blast, only more blood themed. Partially based off of the ability used by Deathbringer Saurfang in Icecrown Citadel. It could also apply Blood Plague, and/or refresh diseases. More AoE damage, easier AoE threat off the pull, and more "oomph". A cooldown would be needed again (Howling Blast is set at 8 seconds, not a bad number), but it should perk up the fun aspect of Blood Tanking.

    Unholy Blight -- Actually the old version of Unholy Blight, the AoE damage aura. Great for tanking, and I always thought it looked awesome. Why not?


    I suppose there may have been something I missed, but that should serve as the basework for discussion. How could the proposed changes above be improved? What other changes could be made? What sort of different abilities do you think Blood needs?

    There's still a ways to go before Cataclysm comes out, so it doesn't hurt to throw around a few ideas. Try to keep things reasonably balanced of course, it's easy to go a bit overboard and make a bunch of overpowered changes or abilities.
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  2. #2
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    Heres a couple Proposals for new abilities or remade abilities.

    Mark of Blood: Places a Mark of Blood on the Target. Every time the caster strikes the Marked Target the target Erupts and does 50% of the Strikes Damage to all targets within 10 yards. Only Erupts STRIKE damage. Costs 2 Blood runes. Duration 1Min.
    This is a Retooled MoB that currently very few tanks take. It would allow Tanks to deal AOE damage with thier rotation but it forces them to burn thier Blood runes.

    Rune Tap: Places a Buff on the caster Called Shimmering runes. The next ability that uses Runes Procs a Self HOT that regenerates 10% of the casters Max HP over 30 Seconds for each rune. Maximum of 30%/30sec. Costs 1Frost, 1Unholy, 1Blood. 2Min Cooldown.
    Makes the healing from Rune tap less bursty and more even over time.

    Blood Beasts: Summons Blood Beasts = to the Number of Blood and Death Runes available. Beasts act like ghoul Pets and will attempt to attack thier target from behind. Every time a Beast strikes its target it generates 1 RP for the caster. Beasts Last 1 Minute or until a new set of beasts is cast. FREE ABILITY. 45 Second Cooldown.
    This would be an interesting way of buffing the Tanks RP generation. The beasts Damage wouldnt be signifigant but it could allow for an interesting Rotation where popping your beasts at the right time is rewarded. Also this gives us a way to generate RP thats less dependant on Useing Rune strikes except to setup Death runes for it to maximize output.

    Mark of the Fallen: Resurects Target Ally and allows them to fight for you in combat for 2 Minutes. Should the DK take damage that would otherwise Kill him while the Marked Ally is still alive the ally will take the hit instead. 20min Cooldown.
    This Would fix the god awful Raise Ally spell. It is a Limited Duration combat rez. Not as good as either Druid rez or Warlock Soulstone which both return the target to life, this just lets the target stand back up for 2min and then need a real rez.

    Heart Strike: Everything it does now except it Cleaves an Unlimited number of targets.
    Seriously if were going to use a cleave why not normalize cleaves? This is the most restrictive cleave possible right now.

    Death Strike: Everything it does now except the Heal portion is a 30sec HoT. Any Remaining HoT effect is Instantly added to the DK when a new one is Used.
    This way we again, even out the Healing the DK produces on himself and still allow for some burst healing. This would Gel better with our fewer strike count makeing smaller more regular Healing pulses more valuable.

    Things we can Get Rid of.

    Danceing rune weapon: Seriously this ability goes back and forth in terms of usefulness. I combined this with Mark of Blood above makeing it a more useful ability that is more suitable for a Tanks needs.

    Bloodworms: My god these guys are terrible right now. Blood beasts would be so much more useful than these pieces of garbage.

  3. #3
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    I don't think it's necessarily a great idea to get too specific about this kind of wishlist, at least at first. Better to think in generic terms.

    I think what Blood needs is something dynamic in the 'rotation' to make it less like a 'spammy rotation' and a bit more like the priority systems you see in frost or prot warrior. Some kind of reactive mechanic that means you want to press button A to get best performance, rather than just another heart strike. How they handle rune strike could play into that... if runestrike had a cooldown and heart strike had a chance to reset that cooldown and make it free, it would end up a lot like prot warriors' sword n board (perhaps too much like it).

    If blood is getting boneshield, there is a real danger of having simply too many buttons. VB, Blood tap, Mark of Blood, IBF, AMS, Boneshield, the new dark simulcrum thing... that's a lorra lorra cooldowns, and it doesn't count hysteria and DRW. Even shifting out the dps cooldowns, there's a danger of button overload, so maybe a bit of streamlining is needed.

    Blood AOE tanking needs a bit of refinement. Blood boil isn't a very fun mechanic, and it's not very easy to visualise the range and effect. I am expecting that death and decay will be pushed as a tank oriented ability, so this may deal with that issue, although the noises that Blizzard are making about AOE tanking in general could mean I'm wrong... in fact, if they really want to push back on all classes ability to tank multiple mobs, things like pest and DnD appear contradictory to that. Heart strike being a cleave may also be worth re-considering, if they want to push things back in the direction of control then having one of your primary strikes hit a random 2nd target is not helpful.

  4. #4
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    I like the idea of moving DRW and replacing it with a Howling Blast~like attack. Mostly because I like my Frosty DK more than when she was Blood, and HB is a tree~defining attack. Even just change the color from white to red, and rename it 'Blood Burst', or some such...

    A Blocking mechanic has been (rightly or wrongly) demanded for Death Knights. Bone Shield has been an oft~suggested candidate for this: making BS universal, and placing a talent deep in the new Blood Tree to either augment or replace the current functionality with a 30% damage reduction and long duration might do it. Though with the changes to Parry, it may no longer make sense to do this. *Provided*, of course, that DK Parry chance is suitably raised. No matter which path Blizz takes, I'd anticipate this to be a topic of (continued) endless debate.


    The Big Change on my list, however, isn't one of class mechanics. Rather it's a visceral one: I'd really, really, really prefer DK attacks not make a "whifffffff" noise like a tennis player missing the ball. Distinctive sounds with IMPACT, please.

  5. #5
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    Totaly not more of the same above

    I agree that blood needs to be less bursty. Blood currently is very bursty in all its aspects. Healing and Damage.

    It's irked me for awhile now that Heartstrike was the difinitive strike to the tree. Perhaps give us a new FrUh Attack that instead of Big healing it drops a Bleed on the target. This gives us something Diffrent to use instead of Deathstrike. Mabey even allow the bleed attack to change how blood boil works?

    Overall We could use 2 things. Rework our Single Target rotation so its more Satisfying, and Rework our AOE rotation so its effective and satisfying.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrekgar View Post
    Mark of Blood: Places a Mark of Blood on the Target. Every time the caster strikes the Marked Target the target Erupts and does 50% of the Strikes Damage to all targets within 10 yards. Only Erupts STRIKE damage. Costs 2 Blood runes. Duration 1Min.
    This is a Retooled MoB that currently very few tanks take. It would allow Tanks to deal AOE damage with thier rotation but it forces them to burn thier Blood runes.
    Love it. Nice alternative to just a renamed HB. Might want to reduce the duration and cd though. Anything from a Shockwave-like 10s duration & 25s cd to a HB-like 6s duration and 15s cd. Any shorter duration might be too hard to use.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrekgar View Post
    Rune Tap: Places a Buff on the caster Called Shimmering runes. The next ability that uses Runes Procs a Self HOT that regenerates 10% of the casters Max HP over 30 Seconds for each rune. Maximum of 30%/30sec. Costs 1Frost, 1Unholy, 1Blood. 2Min Cooldown.
    Makes the healing from Rune tap less bursty and more even over time.
    Personally I like Rune Tab being bursty. I've tried tanking with a lot of differen blood builds, but always come back to Rune Tap. I just can't find any other place for those points that provides the same 'oh-shit' emergency utility. Tank takes spike dmg down to 10%, my assigned healer is killed or cc'd, I can VB + Healing Pot + Rune Tap myself back into the safety zone while the healers adapt. I love the little extra margin for error that talent combined with others provides.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrekgar View Post
    Blood Beasts: Summons Blood Beasts = to the Number of Blood and Death Runes available. Beasts act like ghoul Pets and will attempt to attack thier target from behind. Every time a Beast strikes its target it generates 1 RP for the caster. Beasts Last 1 Minute or until a new set of beasts is cast. FREE ABILITY. 45 Second Cooldown.
    This would be an interesting way of buffing the Tanks RP generation. The beasts Damage wouldnt be signifigant but it could allow for an interesting Rotation where popping your beasts at the right time is rewarded. Also this gives us a way to generate RP thats less dependant on Useing Rune strikes except to setup Death runes for it to maximize output.
    Like the idea of Blood Beasts, but not sure using them to regen RP is the best use of them. Do many DK tanks have problems w/ RP regen, even w/ SoB in the Blood tree.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrekgar View Post
    Mark of the Fallen: Resurects Target Ally and allows them to fight for you in combat for 2 Minutes. Should the DK take damage that would otherwise Kill him while the Marked Ally is still alive the ally will take the hit instead. 20min Cooldown.
    This Would fix the god awful Raise Ally spell. It is a Limited Duration combat rez. Not as good as either Druid rez or Warlock Soulstone which both return the target to life, this just lets the target stand back up for 2min and then need a real rez.
    Love it. Ardent Defender for DK's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrekgar View Post
    Heart Strike: Everything it does now except it Cleaves an Unlimited number of targets.
    Seriously if were going to use a cleave why not normalize cleaves? This is the most restrictive cleave possible right now.
    Yeah I'm not sure you can call hitting 2 targets a 'Cleave'. The word brings to mind the image of Sauron cutting swaths of soldiers in his path, sending 10 of them flying off all at once.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrekgar View Post
    Death Strike: Everything it does now except the Heal portion is a 30sec HoT. Any Remaining HoT effect is Instantly added to the DK when a new one is Used.
    This way we again, even out the Healing the DK produces on himself and still allow for some burst healing. This would Gel better with our fewer strike count makeing smaller more regular Healing pulses more valuable.
    Interesting, but again, why the need to even out our healing, since our incoming dmg is mostly spike? I'd rather have abilities that can spike my health back up in response to spike dmg. It's not a big deal when you're over 50%, but when you take spikes that drop you below 50%, spike self-heals can really provide some extra padding b/f the boss's next melee swing.

  7. #7
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    Healing:
    The basic reason why I want Healing to be HoT based is to better Mesh with the new Healing Models. We are "supposedly" going to be at 100% less and blizz wants our health to fluctuate more consistently. So Self Hot's would deliver more effect as there is less of a chance to waste a large chunk of Health from a miss-timed overheal. The Runetap design above is something that could be fired off in a rotation to keep an even stream of healing flowing in. Right now i find too many situations where i feel like im either wasteing the heal or dont have enough time to use it properly. The deathstrike change would still allow for Powerful Burst healing but also gives a constant stream of healing comeing in allowing less of it to be wasted.

    Beasts:
    This would actualy in my opinion REPLACE SoB. It is fitted into a rotation as a RP Generator. It wouldnt require DK's to attack the mob itself and it rewards the DK for Stacking Death/Blood runes. The real reason behind it is to give us a personal swing time independant source of RP so other abilities can be converted to useing RP. Plus i like the idea of a DK summoning Minions like Saurfang JR.

    Mark of Fallen:
    I didnt think of it like that but i guess your right. However unlike AD you have to proactively fire this off and the period of protection is 2min. Its real purpose is to make the DK's Battle Rez fuctional. As instead of becomeing a Ghoul the ally is raised as themselves.

    Heart:
    Well it hits a 2nd target which is LIKE a cleave. Really idd be happy if it hit just ONE target and did something interesting like a Stacking Bleed or something.

    Mark of Blood:
    This baby is really supposed to be something you fire off when engageing a group. An alternative to DnD. Its long duration is there so the tank focuses on 1 more dangerus mob and his attacks to that mob hit the others around him meaning a more single target focused rotation can affect multiple targets.

  8. #8
    Seems we got some very good ideas here, as well as a general feel of what people want.

    Self-Healing HoT:
    This is actually a brilliant idea, a way to tune back the burst healing which could be potentially too good for Cata. Just to throw out a suggestion, how about the base healing of Death Strike and Rune Tap to remain as they are (~10% max health), and the talents improving them providing a HoT rather than increasing the amount initially granted? As for Mark of Blood, that one is a tad tricky. Giving it a HoT component with it's basic function right now would be plain odd. Simply scaling it back would be easier, if it's be necessary at all. I'm not sure a stacking HoT would work, but that's an idea as well.

    Blood Beasts:
    A good idea, but it does have a small issue in that tanks generally don't like to have pets. When Unholy was the top tank build, I'm fairly sure it ignored the ghoul. Still, independent RP generation is a good idea. A simpler idea could be Scent of Blood simply providing something like X RP every 3 secs. Blood Beasts could still be a decent idea, providing the same extra RP generation. Making them an evolved version of the Blood Worms, that could provide some healing for the damage they do as well as redirecting any threat they generate to the DK who summoned them.

    Mark of the Fallen:
    Very interesting idea actually, but for defensive purposes the requirements are a bit high. A dead party member, just so you have an auto-life. On the other hand, I've always kinda felt Ardent Defender was kinda like cheating (the auto-life part of it). Preserving it as apart of a long cooldown which requires a very unlikely resource isn't quite so bad.


    It also appears that quite a few people still want Howling Blast, or some variant of it. Again, I suggest Blood Nova. Same basic functionality as HB (it can even apply Blood Plague), and a bit more "boom" or "oomph" to it while being Blood flavoured. I'm still fond of the idea of turning Heart Strike into a whirlwind-type attack (AoE strike) instead of a upgraded and cleaving Blood Strike. Either way, some more variety is needed for the spec. Some more impact to the moves as well.
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  9. #9
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    Death and Decay needs its cooldown removed entirely. It costs half your runes! The only thing the cooldown does is make you stand around between pulls.

    A Blood version of Howling Blast would completely solve the snap AoE aggro problem. There are plenty of other possibilities, but this seems like the path of least resistance.

    I expect a talent to add the AP reduction debuff to Blood Plague. That would mirror Frost Fever, and if it were toward the bottom of the tree it wouldn't be snapped up by every PvP spec (especially since it sounds like they're rolling it into a flat percentage of physical damage reduction).

    I like the idea of abilities that take two blood runes. That would have nice synergy with Death Rune Mastery and take some of the spamminess out of the BBBBBB half of the rotation.

  10. #10
    Thinking about this issue again, I think the main annoyance of Blood Tanking is spreading diseases. You can either choose to lead off with DnD-IT-PS-Pst, or not (DnD-BB-tab-IT-tab-PS, Pst when runes refresh). The former is boring, the latter is clunky.

    It would be nice to have an opening rotation with a little more Oomph, even if it's only equivalent to a War's Charge+TC. Maybe just providing a Glyph of Blood Boil that lets BB apply Blood Plague, so we can run in, DnD-BB and do whatever. Hopefully some of the non-Rune abilities we're getting to fill in the new gaps in Rune cd's will provide something of the sort.

  11. #11
    Most current mechanics I find rather interesting.

    Vampiric Blood
    I actually somewhat hope that we don't get more defensive cooldowns moved over because that'd just mean the individual ones get weaker. And I enjoy VB the way it is, it's quite fitting into the blood theme and powerful enough, with a useful but not 100% necessary glyph.

    Rune Tap
    Again, I think this works. Including it's extra talent and the glyph. It saved my life plenty so far, the only thing I'd maybe change is to exempt it from causing Healing Absorbtion or it could end up too strong given the new healing setup in Cata.

    Most non-tanking talents
    Well the question with these is: How are they going to stay in Cata? And if not, will we get replacements + a serious nerf to Frost Presence so we have to pick all those new tanking talents up? But hrm... passive talents are to be removed, so they can't do that either.
    In any case, I don't have an issue with these ofc. Threat talents are threat talents, one hardly notices them.


    Now the talents I think could use some work:

    Improved Blood Presence
    This is interesting although ofc useless if Blood becomes the tanking presence and then needs a change anyways.
    If it stays as it currently is (Frost for tanking), then this would ideally need some buff to how much health one drains. I like the idea of a small non-saving but near permanent HoT on me, it's just too small right now.

    Bloodworms
    These could use a similar treatment, currently mine heal for 400-800 health every 2s in a raid (total), which is just way little.
    An interesting idea here would be to move DRW down the tree and make active Bloodworms on a 60s cooldown the final ability, but make them drain a significant amount of health.

    Dancing Rune Weapon
    Hrm... while I know it transfers threat, it's still extremel misplaced. Lower talent position, mebbeh.

    Will of the Necropolis
    I think this is too strong, but I know I'll not make friends with saying that. However I do think that sometimes talents should be held against an arbitrary scale too, and for a single talent this has a lot of power. It should be weaker while the DK tanking as a whole should be stronger.



    As for it's general cycle, like Frost and Unholy always have a choice to use Death Strike instead of Obl/SS to get some health back in, we need a similar choice not to use DS, or even better when to use Blood Strike over Heart Strike again. Some choice to soften up the rotation.
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  12. #12
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    Knthrak:

    Well nobody knows how Healing absorb works beyond how all 3rd tier Mastery abilities scale with mastery rating from gear. It could be like a bear absorb meaning even 1hp heal could proc a signifigant bubble. or it could take into acount how much heath was healed... or some other mechanic. Too little is know to be sure.

    Imp Blood presence is probably going to be reworked some. I seriously doubt its going to heal much more % than it does now but they might add something interesting to it instead.

    Bloodworms chief problem is they spawn as GUARDIANS not pets. That means they stop wherever they are spawned and attack the nearest thing. Usualy this means they eat cleaves or breathweapons. They have no AOE defenses like normal pets do. They always spawn right at your feet and in serious raid encounters usualy die seconds later if they even last that long. This is why i proposed turning this into a spell we cast as more of a rotation. Blood beasts still feels cool and distinctive and makeing them true pets more akin to shaman wolves would go Lightyears to make them more useful even if they didnt heal the tank at all.

    Dancing runeweapon has always been well.... murky. I dont doubt it has its uses but i never could settle it into a rotation and for burst threat its utter an complete rubbish unless you burn ERW to power it up with diseases of its own. Its primary place seems to be for Cruise threat right now which is absolutely fine which begs the question, Why bother?

    Will of the necropolis is Fine. It adds much needed stability to the DK healthpool when takeing large hits. Its not as good as Ardent defender for surviveing crazy situations. Its Sole point of strength comes from being able to reduce a truely MASSIVE strike by 15%. Anything that hits that hard wont hit often enough to matter compared to how its been for the last 3 TIERS of content. In cata were getting even larger health pools and apparently much more static mitigation which means this will just act as a good Effective health boost for the last third of the DK's life. Again its not as good in that regard as Ardent defender is.

  13. #13
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    Blood Nova is not as cool as Howling Blast. Boo to Blood themes!

  14. #14
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    You just enjoy makeing the howling blast jokes dont you? Hey honey, instead of money shot lets call it HOWLING BLAST!

  15. #15
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    Just a dream here... Wouldn't it be great to have the raise ally spell raise a ghouled form of your fallen ally? Say giving the rezee 20% reduction on all stats? This would put 2 toons with Brez in teh game and it would make more sense. I mean they gave hero to mages right?
    Quote Originally Posted by WarTotem View Post
    You know you just called yourself an asshat, right?

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