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Thread: Death Knight Tanking

  1. #1
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    Death Knight Tanking

    I was wondering if anyone is testing / theorycrafting the new content (glyphs and talents) for 4.0.3 and I was wondering what everyone was thinking .. between Threat Gen rotations, Mastery cap, talent builds. What are your thoughts?

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    I've only been playing my DK a bit, but besides the new rune refresh system, tanking is mostly the same. You still use diseases & DS/HS (although the choice there is survival vs threat) and you use cooldowns like you did before. AoE tanking now requires a slightly different approach with the 'free' BBs but afaik that's about it.
    Pestilence is weaker for AoE tanking, but BB makes up for it, atleast that's how it's going for what I've done so ar. (but haven't done any serious stuff yet)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
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  3. #3
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    My brief version:
    Threat Gen "rotation" = stop thinking in terms of rotation ASAP. If it was mildly possible before, it is not now. You will need to adapt and use your RP and Rune abilities to match what you have. Runes can be regen'd randomly, and not with a 100% chance, so if you just wait to hit a specific ability next, you'll be waiting an unpredictable amount of time and wasting resources.

    Mastery cap = there is no *actual* cap. I see no particular value of where you will want to cap yourself, there is no arbitrary inflection point. It is a survival stat, and (pending math) not a poor one, when I have more definite numbers (see below) I will share to give a sense of relative value, for stat colors it will be competing with Dodge.

    Talent builds = well, it won't be terribly diverse, I expect, but I will share my breakdowns.

    I am working the sequel to my previous work. Unless I get bogged down at work, I hope to have it done within a week or two. A post-able draft anyway, there will likely be some meaningful changes, even in the first couple patches after the 4.0.x fun starts.
    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?!?

  4. #4
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    Still trying to figure out how to proc the free bloodboil "properly". Opening up with DnD, IT, PS, pest already eat up a lot of runes.

    With heart strike hitting up to 3 targets I find myself not using blood boil all that much.
    It is "rare" that you get to just aoe down a pack of mobs with exception to the troggs in HoO/add phase in 1st boss of stonecore.
    For thee most part I just use my blood runes on heart strike, can tank 4 targets easily.
    I also usually do not like clipping diseases =/.
    I mainly use bloodboil only for the demo debuff, but I feel that its easier if your other tank cover that in a raid situation.

    Not speccing into all those bloodboil points free up quite a few talents imo

  5. #5
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    The free BB is a tool for use with longer fights. Basically, when you reapply diseases you get a free reapplication of Scarlet Fever through BB.
    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?!?

  6. #6
    I copied over my DK tank this weekend -- spent some time "tanking" a target dummy and then ran a full easy mode violet hold solo to try out tanking abilities in single target and multi-target situations. On the target dummy, it felt like I was "standing around" more than on live (unable to use any abilities). In the dungeon it felt less bad, due to rune strike (which is of course a gcd ability now). I guess since then we got some really great news on rune strike (http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/th...eNo=1&sid=1#14). This should help out a lot on fights where the boss stop melee (Rotface comes to mind among others) and off tank fights.

    The rune change is difficult to adjust to. Instead of 6 independent energy bars each recharging at the same rate, the new system is 3 energy bars with each ability requiring half of an energy bar. I've long been a default UI kind of guy, but I have to admit, the default UI is really doing a terrible job of visualizing DK rune resources with this change.

    Runic Empowerment adds a new level of complication. If the tooltip is confusing, I believe what it does is looks at all 3 energy bars, picks out the ones that are less than half full and does a random roll between them. So, it's only a 45% chance, but I could see the possibility of tricking it into giving you the rune you want by only having one fully depleted rune.

    For post-4.0.1 pre-Cata raiding, I think the 4-piece Icecrown set bonus is rather overpowered, as you can drop that mini-barskin down to a 30s cooldown. I doubt it will stretch too far into Cataclysm, but for a couple weeks it will be an unfair advantage.

    I'm looking forward to Satorri's analysis. The first guide was very helpful to me. In particular, I was surprised to learn some strange technical details like about Glyph of Howling Blast (applying disease before dmg calculation) or Acclimation (applying resist to spell which procs it).

  7. #7
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    Hrm, the Rune Strike changes are making me think maybe RPM>Epidemic.

    Is Blood Parasite any better than it was in Wrath, or do the blood worms still die too fast to be worth much?
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Leave shields to the sissy tanks who need something to hide behind. Death Knights take it full in the face!
    | Unforgiven | Blood DK tank: Urikslargda |

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urythmic View Post
    Hrm, the Rune Strike changes are making me think maybe RPM>Epidemic.
    RPM actually will get less possible use than it would have before, but for the same reason. Consider:
    In WotLK it would only get use if you had frequent enough rune use to just not dump for a while (because DC was not worth not using a rune for). The problem was that what RP you might waste wasn't worth the talent points to preserve it. It was better to waste it and take/fill another talent.

    In Clysm, now RP is way more valuable because it actually regens our runes and powers the cycle that speeds up how often we can act. *But* by the same measure you will use it earlier, and more often, with more preference. The new system generates RP only slightly faster (20 RP for 2 rune abilities instead of 15), and you get runes back less often at the base, and the only way to get them back faster is to use RP. The upshot is that if you are reaching the RP cap, you're not using your abilities well and probably just doing nothing for periods (or you're a DPSer with heaps of haste...).

    Quote Originally Posted by Urythmic View Post
    Is Blood Parasite any better than it was in Wrath, or do the blood worms still die too fast to be worth much?
    Night and day. The new Parasites position smartly, have 25% of your max health (my 85 DK's worms have about 22k health and he's in blues and greens), and appear to heal themselves or have passive protection. I've never seen one die, but there are no proper raids yet, so we'll see. They also heal the group for a percentage of their own health (based on yours), so they're a fantastic utility for your group.

    So, yes. Night and day, and definitely worth taking.
    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?!?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unix View Post
    a raid situation.
    Not speccing into all those bloodboil points free up quite a few talents imo
    There aren't a whole lot of other great talents in the other trees to get instead, and you can NEVER count on someone else getting the demo talent. 5 mans will be a lot of the game until raids get going, and even in raid situations there are a ton of encounters where every tank will need the ability due to positioning or certain mechanics.

  10. #10
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    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jcGrcsrrusdZ0h

    im guessing thats going to be the basic tanking spec?

    The others will swap out blood parasites for 2/2 unholy command or maxing out scent of blood and either 1/2 blood parasites or 1/2 unholy command?


    i donno if this spec would serve any purpose, unless theres some boss fight in cata that its pretty crucial for the tank to stay outta a fear or what ever..

    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jcGhcsrruszG0o
    Last edited by Trimack; 10-07-2010 at 04:27 AM.

  11. #11
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    The talent trees are really less than exciting.

    Was thinking along these lines:

    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jchrcsrrusdZf

    However, I'm thinking with the shift back to cc'ing being a big part of the game, a talent like Hand of Doom may have a use, but, if Unholy Command will still interrupt casting, then not so much.

  12. #12
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    I was planning on http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jcGM0srrusdZbGz for levelling and 5mans. Undecided for raiding yet, will see how Cata goes.
    SQUEAK.
    --(The Death of Rats, Terry Pratchett, Soul Music)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trimack View Post
    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jcGrcsrrusdZ0h

    im guessing thats going to be the basic tanking spec?
    That is likely what I will use. I updated the spec with some Glyph suggestions

    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jcGrcsrrusdZ0h:z0RamZM0m

    The Last Major Glyph could go quite a few ways, Blood Boil, Anti-Magic Shell, Death Grip, Rune Tap, Bone Shield or Vampiric Blood. Of that list I'd likely lean towards Blood Boil but I'm interested to see what others think about glyphs.

  14. #14
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    At least for 5mans I am fairly certain I do not want the Blood Boil glyph, and neither the Pestilence glyph. Handy for picking up huge packs but I want to be able to Pest 2-3 targets or BB 4-5 targets while there are CC'd ones nearby.

    Plus I want those Bone Shield and Rune Tap glyphs.

    But that's what I like about DK Tank Major glyphs: They're pretty much all optional. Everyone can pick what they prefer personally.
    SQUEAK.
    --(The Death of Rats, Terry Pratchett, Soul Music)

  15. #15
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    I pretty much think the only non-optional Major is Dancing Rune Weapon. +50% Threat for the duration is insanely good. The other two slots are most definitely variable.

  16. #16
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    I would not be sure it's that must-have.
    Activating it costs you 3 Rune Strikes worth of threat, so you have to produce 66% of the threat of those three in the 12 seconds it's active to break even. Much less make a gain from it. Using it for threat-purposes would mean you need to time a moment where you have full or nearly-full RP, then have SoB proc and just that moment activate DRW.

    And ofc since it is also a defensive timer the times when you can actually reap both uses out of it in one go are going to be uncommon. I'd say it's a utility glyph, allows you to use one of your defensive cooldowns as a threat-cooldown instead.
    SQUEAK.
    --(The Death of Rats, Terry Pratchett, Soul Music)

  17. #17
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    It's a great glyph for exactly the dual purpose. On fights where survival matters, you use it as survival, on fights where you need to burn fast, it's a threat CD.

    PS: It works EXTREMELY well with RP generators such as AMS, Horn of Winter or the belf racial, because once you can get a couple RS in there, it's a net threat increase.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
    Damn old people, screwin' with my grind.
    Mists of Pandaria Protection Warrior Spreadsheet
    Warlords of Draenor One Minute Field Guides

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenier View Post
    I pretty much think the only non-optional Major is Dancing Rune Weapon. +50% Threat for the duration is insanely good. The other two slots are most definitely variable.
    While I'm a firm believer that everything is an option, always... =)

    I'm with Fenier here. The glyph is an unequivocable value so long as you use DRW ever (and if you do not, you're likely wasting an opportunity). The price of using DRW right now is that it sabotages the RunEmp cycle. If you can get a strong threat buff in addition to the damage buff that really softens the blow of getting the added survival/damage.


    I'll also add to WarTotem's sage advice. It is a great thing to pair with ERW. Using ERW right after almost negates the RP cost and it opens up all your runes so you can unload with RS and the rest of your heavy hitters in the GCDs that follow. It is smartly timed when you use it like this to use when all your runes are freshly on CD. If you do not use ERW I would recommend using it when you have a couple of runes, at least, ready, and if you have enough RP left over for an RS or two, all the better.
    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?!?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    RPM actually will get less possible use than it would have before, but for the same reason. Consider:
    In WotLK it would only get use if you had frequent enough rune use to just not dump for a while (because DC was not worth not using a rune for). The problem was that what RP you might waste wasn't worth the talent points to preserve it. It was better to waste it and take/fill another talent.

    In Clysm, now RP is way more valuable because it actually regens our runes and powers the cycle that speeds up how often we can act. *But* by the same measure you will use it earlier, and more often, with more preference. The new system generates RP only slightly faster (20 RP for 2 rune abilities instead of 15), and you get runes back less often at the base, and the only way to get them back faster is to use RP. The upshot is that if you are reaching the RP cap, you're not using your abilities well and probably just doing nothing for periods (or you're a DPSer with heaps of haste...).


    Night and day. The new Parasites position smartly, have 25% of your max health (my 85 DK's worms have about 22k health and he's in blues and greens), and appear to heal themselves or have passive protection. I've never seen one die, but there are no proper raids yet, so we'll see. They also heal the group for a percentage of their own health (based on yours), so they're a fantastic utility for your group.

    So, yes. Night and day, and definitely worth taking.
    Awesome! That all sounds great to me.

    Thanks for sharing your insight. It's a huge help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Leave shields to the sissy tanks who need something to hide behind. Death Knights take it full in the face!
    | Unforgiven | Blood DK tank: Urikslargda |

  20. #20
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    Depending on how much the content demands spell cast interrupts, might make sense to spend all points in blood:

    http://cata.wowhead.com/talent#jcGGfsrrusd:z0RaRs

    But yeah, may depend on how good the final version of Strangulate is.

    Might consider dropping Scent of Blood for Epidemic, but I guess that will depend on whether you find yourself starved for RP much.
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Leave shields to the sissy tanks who need something to hide behind. Death Knights take it full in the face!
    | Unforgiven | Blood DK tank: Urikslargda |

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