[Suggestion] DK Blood Tree Talents

90 Draenei Death Knight
With respect to the major DK tanking issues outlined here in my other post: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1869557081?page=32#639

Although we are still capable of tanking, I think the suggestions I will list below would improve the "natural-ness" of our tanking, while fixing/lessening most of those issues. Since the patch seems imminent, this is probably being suggested too late.

I appreciate the efforts of those that have suggested their own talent trees, but I don't feel that those address the current problems. Although I could be wrong (and hope I am), the lack of any developer response for a while makes me wonder if they currently have a blood template to work from. If not, hopefully this might be a good starting point.

Any talents not listed are unmodified. I don't PvP, so I don't know how this will impact that.

This also assumes that all current PTR changes will go in effect.

Class-wide change: remove Glyph of Dark Succor; change DS to be a 15% HP heal baseline (read mastery change before you complain).

Summary Tab
    • Heart Strike - Keep unchanged from PTR notes (maybe less damage, see rest and Tier 6); switch this to heal us for 60% of what DS currently heals for (as in, lower min/max healing to 60%.)
    • Veteran of the Third War - Increases total stamina by 9% and expertise by 12
    • Mastery: Blood Shield - Triggered exclusively by HS. %'s unmodified

Tier 1
    • Blade Barrier - When blood runes are on cooldown, decreases physical damage taken by 1/2/3% and magical damage taken by 2/4/6% (physical will be made up elsewhere)

Tier 2
    • Scarlet Fever - Gives your PS a 50/100% chance to apply Scarlet Fever, reducing their physical damage dealt by 10% for 21s

Tier 3
    • Change BCB to Bloodthirsty - Whenever your HS or DS fails to land for any reason, increases your rune regeneration rate by 10/20/30% for 3s. Further failures will increase this timer by 3s.
    • Bone Shield - In addition to the current effect, reduces the cost of DRW to 30 RP as long as the player has at least 1 charge of bone shield.
    • Toughness - In addition to the current effect, reduces physical damage taken by 3% per enemy that is diseased by your Blood Plague. Lasts for 10s and stacks 5 times. Refreshed whenever a Blood Plague tick goes off. (# of stacks might need to change; probably too difficult to implement)

Tier 4
    • Change to Blood Parasites (not talent) - increase the explosion radius of bloodworms by 15yds, but decrease the amount healed by 50% and cap to 5 members intelligently healed.

Tier 5
    • No changes

Tier 6
    • Rename Improved Death Strike to Bloody Strikes - Increases the damage of DS by 90%, and its crit rate by 9%. Increases the damage and healing of HS by 45% and increases its crit rate by 9%.
    • Crimson Scourge - Increases the damage of Blood Boil by 30/60% and your auto-attacks against targets infected with your Blood Plague have a 5/10% chance to immediately refresh the cooldown of Rune Tap. (ICD > 20s to prevent DW from gaining an unfair advantage; add in a Power Aura like Paladin Grand Crusader)

Tier 7
    • No changes

For Blood Shield stacking, allow HS to refresh current timer and stack shields. Set cap at a value equal to 3x max HS healing (27% I think, unless talents modify the min/max heal range. 30% is probably fine too; math: .15*.6*3). This should prevent abuse, but not be significantly low enough that it will conflict with HS on a regular basis.

Further comments in post below.

edit 1: formatting
Edited by Euliat on 1/29/2011 3:51 PM PST
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90 Draenei Death Knight
What these changes help address in the listed problems
    1. Primary skill usage becomes mandatory
    2. Mastery
      • Mastery still depends on expertise/hit, but the 12 expertise in VotTW and 30% rune regeneration should help lessen this issue, since by the time we HS again, more runes should have popped
      • Mastery still depends on reaction time (which most seem to like), but is more flexible since it only costs 1 rune as opposed to 2
      • Absorb tracking not fixed
      • Although mastery might not be more effective with multiple mobs, the Toughness change (3% phys/mob) will help; shield will have less downtime with 1 rune cost

    3. "Rotation"
      • All runes should be used regularly.
      • Applying diseases no longer locks us out of using mastery. All we lose is 15% heal from DS to apply diseases since we'll have F/U runes again. Can do PS->HS->IT to minimize damage.
      • Number of GCDs to apply debuffs isn't changed; AoE is still not ideal but doable. Bone Shield lessening DRW to 30 RP will help for initial threat, since 30 RP is very feasible.
      • RE procs will get used almost every time. Still a delay for F/U, but acceptable, and nice for diseases.
    4. Blood Rites is now utilized. Death runes will be used for HS for mastery.
    5. See #3, bullet 3.

Additional notes/ramblings: Toughness could be abused by tanking mobs next to bosses. HS damage might need a reduction. HS heal might need a slight reduction, but having to use an extra GCD warrants more than 50% current DS healing IMO, since we're more prone to it not landing. Alternatively, HS could be changed to not be parry-able (but dodge is still fine; reduce VotTW to 6 if so); ATM a 27.5% failure to land (hit+parry+dodge) without hit/expertise is rather bad. Bone Shield will have a nice synergy with DRW. If 3%/phys for Toughness is too difficult to implement, try 4% per mob that HS hits. Blood Boil conflicts with mastery--AoE threat might take a hit.
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100 Blood Elf Death Knight
To be brutally honest, this is a bad game plan. The nature of DS mechanics mean you do not want our mastery to act in any of the ways your proposed. Capping our shields without scaling it based on boss damage and our mastery is just not good. The heart strike heal / shield would suffer from abominable "DR" due to "clipping" (removing damage from the 5 second window) and would require insane knowledge and precision to make it worthwhile or better than DS spamming. We still have our runes if rune abilities don't land, so I don't know why that is there.
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90 Draenei Death Knight
I appreciate the feedback. Maybe this will help clear a few things.

Since it would take 4.5s minimum to reach the shield cap (assuming you actually took a fair amount of damage beforehand to make it heal for the maximum amount), the boss would have swung at least once, and about to swing again, so your shield probably would have taken some damage already. I don't honestly see how you would actually hit the absorb cap that often, unless you happened to avoid a good deal. By taking less damage from more (weaker) shield uptime, it would require more damage to reach the cap. Maybe I'm just interpreting your statement incorrectly, though.

Not seeing where you're saying it doesn't scale with boss damage; I was still assuming it had the same mechanics as the current DS that changes based on received damage, not a flat heal.

As for taking less damage in the previous 5s because there will usually be a shield up, yes, I understand that, and it does make the next shield less effective. Keep in mind that we would be using more than 2x the current amount of DS (with HS, that is) because blood rites is actually used now, plus RE.

The 30% rune regeneration has nothing to do with losing a rune when it fails to land (because you don't). I never said that. It helps "pad" losing your mastery for the second you wanted it, by quickening the next HS after the HS you wanted to use. Instead of getting 1 late shield, you'd get two smaller shields.
Edited by Euliat on 1/29/2011 8:51 PM PST
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100 Dwarf Death Knight
01/29/2011 9:03 PMPosted by Grinling
Change BCB to Bloodthirsty - Whenever your HS or DS fails to land for any reason, increases your rune regeneration rate by 10/20/30% for 3s. Further failures will increase this timer by 3s.

We welcome our new Blood DKs actively attempting to get to negative Expertise and negative Hit.

Yeah, this is kind of a colossally bad idea.
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90 Draenei Death Knight
It could always be changed mirror unholy's talent; % chance when RS lands to increase rune regeneration instead of RE.

Although missing more often would be great for rune regeneration, it wouldn't be the greatest for reliability.
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90 Draenei Death Knight
Regarding hitting the shield cap, I'll assume the DK has around 180k HP, 30% avoidance, 110% mastery raid buffed, and perfect timing with HS (every 1.5s). Even if the boss hits for 60k (not sure what heroic mode bosses hit for), the only time I'm calculating that the shield will reach the cap is if you avoid 2 attacks in a row, and even then it won't always (more accurate combat assumptions might change this). At 30% avoidance, that's somewhere around ~10% of the time on average, and the amount of the shield that gets "wasted" isn't a great deal. With imperfect timing of HS, I'd expect the % of occurrences to drop. There are times when the incoming damage caps the heal at 9%, but this doesn't end up fully capping the shield.
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100 Blood Elf Death Knight
01/29/2011 8:46 PMPosted by Euliat
As for taking less damage in the previous 5s because there will usually be a shield up, yes, I understand that, and it does make the next shield less effective. Keep in mind that we would be using more than 2x the current amount of DS (with HS, that is) because blood rites is actually used now, plus RE.

More != better. This is one of the massive misconceptions when it comes to DK mastery. While I could post reams of math again, I really don't want to do it. A DK that uses twice the death strikes as another, when both cover all damage, will have the exact same mitigation as the other DK. However, when you reduce the 100% to 60% on the guy using it twice as often, you add a penalty that only needs to be there to stop "double dipping." The timing required to offset that penalty is huge and would make DK mastery even more convoluted than it already is.

As for the cap, you don't appear to understand why a DK should be rune pooling and double dipping instead of just firing off DS as fast as possible. Those make the cap easily attainable. In addition, basing it on a fixed amount of mastery is flawed. I don't mean this to be an insult, but before you attempt to re-design our convoluted mastery, you need to understand exactly how it functions or you risk making it worse. Blizz appears to fall into this same category.
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90 Draenei Death Knight
Do the math, please.

I'm curious how you find it to be less mitigation overall, because that's not what I'm seeing. Just because your shields are less and you can't stack up to massive amounts in 2 ICDs by timing DSs well doesn't mean you're going to take more damage overall.

And even with double dipping, I already said why you probably won't hit the cap. You'd only be in danger of that if you avoided 2+ attacks in a row, and that's only if both of those HSs were timed well enough to receive the max benefit. The third HS wouldn't put you over the cap unless you had taken (using the previous DK) 60k+ damage in the past 5s, but having avoiding attacks makes that rather improbable.

edit: Don't forget the magnitude of the DS change as well. If you know you're going to take a lot of damage, you can either use the death runes from blood rites to build a HS shield and steadily lower it, or, you can wait until you take the damage and DS twice (30% if no overheal, should probably be lowered some to around 20% if so). Double tapping with HS may be less effective, but you can still somewhat accomplish it with DS, but overheal weakens it. Don't box yourself in to thinking that you have to use the death runes for heart strikes. Being able to use death runes and blood runes all effectively changes the equation. If I'm looking at it correctly, using HSs will provide in overall less damage taken (f mastery is great enough), however it doesn't help as much with huge hits. This is where DS still provides benefit, not only in just making death runes.
Edited by Euliat on 1/30/2011 10:19 AM PST
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I still think that the best idea would be to make some % of damage dealt to the DK be drained back to the DK as health. Blood DK's are vampiric tanks. They use their blood and the blood of their foes to sustain large amounts of damage. The blood shield thing is great, that's fine. But make the blood shield tied to multiple abilities of the DK, and not just DS. Make DS, HS and RS all some how cause a shield to be applied to the knight, where the amount mitigated is also added to an amount drained by the DK from the mobs. You adjust down the damage of the DK to balance out the increase source of damage. I know this would require a re work of the system. But, I'm talking about an ideal fix. But a more practical one would be to incorporate this idea in a 'fix' and make the implementation of this come out as some point in the future. That would be my summary fix without all the math and specifics.

The reduced damage debuff currently applied by Blood boil could be the same debuff, and in addition to that reduced damage also drain some amount of damage, or the first debuff can be 3%, then increased by 3% for each disease. It seems obvious to me Blizz wants all DK's to use diseases, this would make use use them.

this will also keep AEO threat to hold mobs, but not that they need more with DnD, Disease spread by pesty, and outbreak, and BB.
Edited by Racine on 1/31/2011 7:56 AM PST
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90 Draenei Death Knight
01/31/2011 7:53 AMPosted by Racine
The reduced damage debuff currently applied by Blood boil could be the same debuff, and in addition to that reduced damage also drain some amount of damage, or the first debuff can be 3%, then increased by 3% for each disease. It seems obvious to me Blizz wants all DK's to use diseases, this would make use use them.

If the boss already has the -10% physical debuff, assuming I am interpreting this correctly, the addition of a "drain" on his damage on top of that would cause an imbalance between the tanks. Any tank that tanks with a blood DK will take less damage than he would otherwise with any other tank, which wouldn't go over that well. The "drain" would have to be a buff on the DK player that further reduces damage taken to prevent the imbalance.
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85 Human Death Knight
1) If the heal from DS could be split into an initial heal and a HoT component, as Kali suggested, it could smooth two ruffles out: the overhealing issue could be reduced and a timing error in shielding could be softened by the continued heal.

2)A blood rune ability (Blood Boil or HS) would have a chance (1/2 point talent for 50%) to reduce the cd on outbreak to enable a more seamless disease application without having to really hurt survivability. This could be tacked onto one of the two lesser blood talents like BcB or CS.

3)Dancing Rune Weapon: I like the cosmetic aspect of DRW and it was neat back in Wrath. However the mechanics behind the current iteration ability make it one of my least used cd's. The cost, the cd timer, and the benefit are vastly disproportionate. The cost should be a blood rune or two so that the additional threat can be useful. It would also become one of the premiere abilities of blood tanks instead of a neat idea that got left behind, something befitting a capstone ability.

Dks have quite a few spare talent points to play around with even after the Lichborne spec so any option that gives us something to use them for constructively would be nice. The problem comes in not putting them higher in the Blood tree would lead to possible confusion amongst the other specs and go back towards the "three-tree tank" of wrath.

PS: Please understand I'm not asking for buffs. I only have a few basic suggestions for smoothing some things out and hopefully a slightly more logical and smoother playstyle.
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85 Draenei Death Knight
Wow... tons of Necros...

On a side note, this was one of Eul's first posts. /tiphat
Edited by Kalle on 5/17/2011 2:09 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Death Knight
Quite a necro.

I've already retracted this suggestion.
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