Unholy Death Knights: Mechanical Shortcomings

90 Orc Death Knight
16140
12/17/2012 06:09 PMPosted by Slant
How bizarre. I would report that as a bug.


DOT and HOT effects have worked off snapshotted stats since the beginning of the game, for every class. You are a fool if you think it's a bug, especially considering nearly every class has some kind of DOT in their DPS rotation.

12/17/2012 07:49 PMPosted by Rothulean
Edit: I use Unholy Blight, so for me, I simply open up the fight using UB. It gives me a good 10 seconds to get full strength diseases up. Also, UB may actually be a dps upgrade over PL for Unholy (maybe). Check my crappy napkin math above.


I have been doing the same thing since the start of T14 and have had great results with it. Many high rankings compared to other Unholy players. As far as high AP disease rolling in general, it definitely has its merits with Lei Shin's Final Orders, but on the other hand, Darkmist Vortex scales our pets (ghoul and army primarily) more than strength procs do. I've hit some extremely high burst (and solid overall DPS) when combining all my haste effects with army.
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90 Draenei Shaman
4790
12/17/2012 08:37 PMPosted by Semmi
DOT and HOT effects have worked off snapshotted stats since the beginning of the game, for every class. You are a fool if you think it's a bug, especially considering nearly every class has some kind of DOT in their DPS rotation.

Lets back off the insults here, OK? Try to keep the level of discourse high.

MoP was supposed to fix snapshotting issues, but now that I think of it, that may have only been for pets.
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90 Human Death Knight
10680
12/17/2012 09:12 PMPosted by Slant
DOT and HOT effects have worked off snapshotted stats since the beginning of the game, for every class. You are a fool if you think it's a bug, especially considering nearly every class has some kind of DOT in their DPS rotation.

Lets back off the insults here, OK? Try to keep the level of discourse high.

MoP was supposed to fix snapshotting issues, but now that I think of it, that may have only been for pets.


I too, had also assumed snapshotting had been fixed for everything.
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90 Human Death Knight
16910
It would be great if we could get some testimonials from Unholy DKs as to how they feel the spec fares up against current raid mechanics. Potential questions to answer might include:

1. What boss fights do you find particularly frustrating?
2. Are there fights where you see yourself at a distinct advantage as Unholy?
3. Have you had the opportunity to also play Frost alongside Unholy? If so, what are the key differences you've noticed when playing one compared to the other?

Please be sure to mention what kind of content you're currently progressing through- heroic, normal, etc. It's important to give the Devs context.
Edited by Magdalena on 12/17/2012 9:31 PM PST
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90 Orc Death Knight
12740
Edit: I use Unholy Blight, so for me, I simply open up the fight using UB. It gives me a good 10 seconds to get full strength diseases up. Also, UB may actually be a dps upgrade over PL for Unholy (maybe). Check my crappy napkin math above.
I have been doing the same thing since the start of T14 and have had great results with it. Many high rankings compared to other Unholy players. As far as high AP disease rolling in general, it definitely has its merits with Lei Shin's Final Orders, but on the other hand, Darkmist Vortex scales our pets (ghoul and army primarily) more than strength procs do. I've hit some extremely high burst (and solid overall DPS) when combining all my haste effects with army.


Maybe my math is off, but I'm pretty sure lei shins is actually better.

@Mag

Tsulong, as an Unholy DK, is by far the worst experience in T14.
Will of the Emperor is pretty bad if on add duty.

Just normal modes.
Edited by Rothulean on 12/17/2012 10:19 PM PST
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90 Orc Death Knight
16140
1. What boss fights do you find particularly frustrating?
2. Are there fights where you see yourself at a distinct advantage as Unholy?
3. Have you had the opportunity to also play Frost alongside Unholy? If so, what are the key differences you've noticed when playing one compared to the other?


1. Will of the Emperor. Assuming you don't actually have to grip constantly, you still need to switch targets throughout the fight. If you are on grip duty, it's even worse as the rages completely decimate melee when rooted, as well as not living long enough to set up Unholy's AoE rotation. Frost can burst AoE the rages from ranged, and target switch with relatively little loss. Lei Shi is also somewhat annoying as she goes immune every 20% of her health and spawns adds, as well as periodically becoming untargetable when she hides. Tsulong day phase is also very frustrating due to the unstable sha needing to be bursted down.

2. Elegon I feel is fairly advantageous for Unholy, depending on the rest of your raid. Assuming your orb is dying quick enough, the added disease damage on all of the other orbs (via glyphed pestilence and Roiling Blood) can help soften them up for the rest of your DPS to kill. My guild actually lost DPS by me going 2H Frost due to orb difficulties. Spiritbinder Garajal is another fight that Unholy can be useful on. As mentioned in the numbers thread, my guild uses me as a replacement DOT class when going into the spirit realm. With plague shrooms and Unholy Blight, I can pretty much clear all the adds in the spirit realm paired with a Warlock. I can't actually think of many other fights where Unholy has a clear advantage over Frost.

3. I had to play Frost for heroic Will, but have played Unholy for normal Will. Frost had a much easier time dealing with adds and really, anything except for dancing. Even with dancing, Frost can simply switch to Unholy Presence if the movement speed increase is needed to help avoid combo strikes. For Garalon, the advantage is clearly in Frost's favor due to Howling Blast being able to cleave off the legs and hit the boss. Unholy struggles to do the same as Pestilence/Roiling Blood (even glyphed) won't spread diseases from the body onto the back legs, causing target switching issues.

This is coming from a 25 man raider progressing through heroic raids (all HoF and MSV fights mentioned here have been experienced and cleared on normal and heroic, whereas ToES bosses have only been experienced and cleared on normal).
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90 Orc Death Knight
17135
It would be great if we could get some testimonials from Unholy DKs as to how they feel the spec fares up against current raid mechanics. Potential questions to answer might include:

1. What boss fights do you find particularly frustrating?
2. Are there fights where you see yourself at a distinct advantage as Unholy?
3. Have you had the opportunity to also play Frost alongside Unholy? If so, what are the key differences you've noticed when playing one compared to the other?

Please be sure to mention what kind of content you're currently progressing through- heroic, normal, etc. It's important to give the Devs context.


As a 25s raider finishing up normals and just starting on heroics here are my thoughts.

Stone Guards: I find this fight frustrating to say the least. Everytime a new Guardian is swapped, I have to re spread diseases. This de-syncs my runes like no other. Especially frustrating due to the rng nature of it.

Feng (heroic specifically): Depending on my luck with my runes, I may end up having orphaned frost runes during the shield aoe phase. Extremely frustrating. AoE requires preplanned time that is sustained.

Spiritbinder: I've only done normal but if heroic add killing is similar, its not fun. Adds are too far to reliably spread diseases and target swapping makes scourge striking feel rare.

Spirit Kings: Actually a pretty nice fight. I can plan my movements and pool RP to dump death coils while dodging flanking orders and other times when away from the boss.

Elegon: Great fight, annoying if I cannot get diseases spread to the protector ( random spawn location) but otherwise pretty nice. High stacks during execute makes this fun along with aoe that almost exclusively benefits us. This is probably the only fight i'd say we have an advantage over frost on. Not because of mechanics even, its just because our diseases are tuned for more damage and we have a better execute.

Will: Add duty? Reroll. Not sure what else to say, they don't live long enough for much of a rotation, and if you're on strengths then you may have to toggle blood presence to actually hold threat. If you're on bosses, its a fun fight. ( Maybe because I like dancing?)

Vizier: Decent fight. Can move and dps just fine. No real complaints.

Blade Lord: No huge complaints either.

Garalon: Annoying due to pestilence/rolling blood not always spreading diseases to all legs. Its better now that pets get the buff, but otherwise the fight is annoying when diseases don't' get spread.

Wind Lord: I've only done normal so I think its fairly nice. However our aoe ramp up is made especially clear with this fight. Waiting ~10 secs for 4 death runes and waiting another 10 ish for Dark Transform really hurts opening dps. ( Prepot and lust)

Amber Shaper: Feel like i'm aoeing so much on this fight when I"m supposed to be single target. Why? It allows me to keep my runes more sync'd and target swap easier. If I single target and just spread diseases to new targets, my runes will be permanently screwed up.

Empress: Not a huge difference from any other single target fight. Phase 2 is annoying as all hell when adds fixate, diseases fall off. Some die before others and you may have to reapply diseases. Frustrating but at least its only temporary.

Protectors: Kind of like this fight. Mobility isn't exactly horrible, plenty of AMS soaking on last phase of elite mode. Not sure if it is better than frost but I feel very effective with the constant haste buff.

Tsulong: Not a fun fight. Adds die so fast during day phase that I apply my diseases and they're dead soon after. No real time for rotation.

Lei Shi: Adds are short lived so naturally our burst on them sucks. Boss dps is decent but due to our long duration cds, its likely you'll get a hide or something annoying during them.

Sha of Fear: Not too bad. If you're on add duty then spec frost. If you're not, shouldn't be too bad.

Key differences i've noticed after playing frost early on for lulz is mainly relating to target switching and flexibility. Transitioning from an AoE rotation back to single target is a no brainer that has no lasting impact as frost. Target switching feels worthwhile because howling blast actually does damage.
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90 Gnome Warlock
15905
Suggestion for the Gargoyle: Have it act like Demonology's Wild Imps. Have its time out be based on a set number of completed casts, rather than a set amount of time, in case it has range/LoS issues. That should ensure that none of the cooldown is wasted.
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90 Draenei Death Knight
17970
It would be great if we could get some testimonials from Unholy DKs as to how they feel the spec fares up against current raid mechanics. Potential questions to answer might include:

1. What boss fights do you find particularly frustrating?
2. Are there fights where you see yourself at a distinct advantage as Unholy?
3. Have you had the opportunity to also play Frost alongside Unholy? If so, what are the key differences you've noticed when playing one compared to the other?

Please be sure to mention what kind of content you're currently progressing through- heroic, normal, etc. It's important to give the Devs context.


1. As far as my progression entail, the most frustrating boss would have to be Lei Shi (N) in ToES for me. I've noticed due to the long ramp up time, you can never really reach that max power before his next phase change, in which case diseases usually drop off, your gargoyle barely gets full time on the boss, and DT drops eventually.

2. The only fights I have seen an advantage in was Elegon (N) and Wind Lord Meljorak (N) as I think it's been mentioned in this thread. Due to the + damage % mechanics, the execution phase with Soul Reaper does splendid.

3. Only had the opportunity to go frost once, and that was for Elegon. The lack of micromanaging your ghoul, alongside frost's level of burst makes the orbs easily killed. Also, a well timed Howling blast also affects all the orbs at time of spawn. As for execution phase, it was only slightly lower than Unholy's.

PS: For heroic Feng, I could imagine life being easier there as frost for the shield phase. Frost has less AOE setup than Unholy, which was also creating a slight hindrance for me.
Edited by Kassadin on 12/18/2012 4:55 AM PST
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90 Human Death Knight
16910
12/18/2012 04:49 AMPosted by Angrygnome
Suggestion for the Gargoyle: Have it act like Demonology's Wild Imps. Have its time out be based on a set number of completed casts, rather than a set amount of time, in case it has range/LoS issues. That should ensure that none of the cooldown is wasted.


We suggested exactly this during Beta. It's possible one reason they didn't implement it is because it would make Haste scaling irrelevant, though as it is the Gargoyle's Haste scaling logic is extremely silly (Spell Haste for a melee spec).
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90 Orc Death Knight
17135
12/18/2012 05:38 AMPosted by Magdalena
Suggestion for the Gargoyle: Have it act like Demonology's Wild Imps. Have its time out be based on a set number of completed casts, rather than a set amount of time, in case it has range/LoS issues. That should ensure that none of the cooldown is wasted.


We suggested exactly this during Beta. It's possible one reason they didn't implement it is because it would make Haste scaling irrelevant, though as it is the Gargoyle's Haste scaling logic is extremely silly (Spell Haste for a melee spec).


They could make the number of casts scale with haste too.
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90 Orc Death Knight
17135
<duplicate post>
Edited by Nangz on 12/18/2012 11:49 AM PST
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90 Draenei Death Knight
17970
Tsulong was a nightmare for micro-managing Timmy. Dunno how I managed it, but without REALLY good micromanagement, your ghoul will be running in circles as you move from add to add int he light phase.
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90 Orc Death Knight
16140
12/18/2012 03:34 PMPosted by Kassadin
Tsulong was a nightmare for micro-managing Timmy. Dunno how I managed it, but without REALLY good micromanagement, your ghoul will be running in circles as you move from add to add int he light phase.


I think part of the problem there comes from the AI change they made in Cataclysm that replaced aggressive behavior with assist. Along with that change, they changed defensive so that the pet will no longer attack and stay on the first target you attack, and instead will only attack if you are actually attacked. I still want this change to be reverted as it was basically assist without the pet automatically switching targets.
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90 Orc Death Knight
13765
Big issue with any of the aforementioned +% dmg modified fights, (IE Amber Shaper, Wind Lord etc) is that anytime it would make Unholy's execute shine...Frost shines more due to the KM mechanic.

We need a target switching change.

The only spec I can think of that does as poorly on switching targets would be Feral...but as long as they have a Rogue to Symbiosis, it's a null issue for them.

Garalon isn't terrible for Unholy, if you play your rotation tight and are thinking ahead on the legs, you can Pestilence to every leg you're on from the body and back to the body. You shouldn't ever lose fully buffed diseases on this fight. That being said...being able to hit 2 legs+ the body with HB as Frost way outscales that, along with the % modifier and KM on OB/FS. Pretty easy to see 600k+ OB's as 2h on the legs.

Lei Shi is a nightmare for Unholy. By the time you're fully ramped up, she disappears. Rarely is she actually around for the full Gary cast.

Tsulong is in the same boat as Lei Shi during the day phase, night phase you have a LOT of things to soak AMS, so it's actually better off than Frost imo as it completely smooths out the rotation.

Sha is pretty much a wash imo, you can pestilence back to Sha from the majority of the adds, and can roll the %modified diseases forever once you get ported to a platform.
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90 Human Death Knight
14215
Garalon isn't terrible for Unholy, if you play your rotation tight and are thinking ahead on the legs, you can Pestilence to every leg you're on from the body and back to the body. You shouldn't ever lose fully buffed diseases on this fight.

Sha is pretty much a wash imo, you can pestilence back to Sha from the majority of the adds, and can roll the %modified diseases forever once you get ported to a platform.


Pestilence/Roiling Blood diseases don't work that way. They snapshot your stats again when you cast pest/bb. They're treated like new applications of diseases, not copies of the current target's diseases.
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90 Draenei Shaman
4790
Yep, that was fixed back in 3.x, with the old glyph of disease that caused pestilence to refresh your disease duration. The fix was aimed more at shadow priests than DKs, but hit us also.
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90 Orc Death Knight
13765
Which isn't an issue when you hit pest/bb with the leg buff up....
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
11850
The main 2 problems with Unholy is scaling (both personal stats and pets) and worse AoE rotation than Frost.

For targets more than 1, frost performs exponentially better than unholy for each increase in number of targets.. There is no possible AoE situation where unholy performs better. Solution is to give unholy a cleave or improve AoE rotations...

Second problem is scaling.... Frost scales much much better than unholy. Right now, Frost has a lot of dead GCDs (2h more than DW) and unholy is almost GCD Capped.... With more haste in future tier gears, these GCDs will be replaced by abilities for frost while unholy only has a linear increase in dps.

Frost also has better scaling with weapon DPS than unholy. While frost strike (or Obliterate), Frost's highest damage ability scales with weapon, Death Coil for unholy doesnt...

If these two issues are addressed, Unholy will be in a much better place in future tiers...
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