Wednesday Posts: Both Productive And Pretty

Today’s other links are very visual, for the most part – we’ve got some serious prettiness going on. But fear not, there’s productivity there too, as Windsoar explains how she prioritizes to avoid letting her raid down.

Let’s go!

  • Brian “Psychochild” Green reviews the unique Everquest player-based dungeon creator, and concludes it’s interesting, but more than a bit lacking“I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that the most popular dungeons are almost entirely about earning resources rather than telling an interesting story.”
  • Kamalia has a really interesting themed post on WoW transmogging – she’s designed colour-themed Death Knight outfits around the three talent specs for the class
  • A Casual Stroll To Mordor features the sights of Caras Galadhon in Lothlorien – spoiler-filled, but if you’ve seen it or you don’t care, it’s also really beautiful
  • And Windsoar at Jaded Alt goes through the ways she makes sure to prioritise her raid “chores” when she’s short on time, with loads of helpful tips“The important thing I’ve learned is that you never know when a crisis is coming. When I get a new piece of gear, the very first thing I do is reforge, gem and enchant. I try not to log off before this is done, and the reason is simple: except for raid time, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be on. “

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Death Knight talents in Mists of Pandaria – Unholy, Frost and Blood – new WoW 5.0 talent system

It’s all change time! Mists of Pandaria’s new talent system introduces a total change in the way WoW talents work. With the 5.0 talent system, Death Knights of any spec – Frost, Unholy or Blood – will all get to choose one talent every 15 levels.

Here’s the complete list of all the DK talents, as announced at Blizzcon, and subsequently updated on the Blizzard site.

Updated 12th Dec 2011 to latest alpha talents!

Note: If you’d like to copy any part of this to use in a blog article, please feel free – just please link back to here as the source.

Tier 1/ Level 15 talents: Roiling Blood, Corpse Explosion, Outbreak


Roiling Blood

Your Blood Boil ability now also triggers Pestilence if it strikes a diseased target.


Corpse Explosion

30 Runic Power

Instant cast

Detonate the nearest Disease-Ridden corpse to deal 2493 Shadow damage to enemies within 15 yards, afflicting them with Blood Plague and Frost Fever. An enemy that dies while afflicted by one or more of your diseases will receive the Disease-Ridden effect.


Outbreak

30 yd range

1 min cooldown
Instant cast

Instantly applies Blood Plague and Frost Fever to the target enemy.

Tier 2/ Level 30 talents: Lichborne, Anti-Magic Zone, Bone Shield


Lichborne

2 min cooldown
Instant cast

Draw upon unholy energy to become undead for 10 sec. While undead, you are immune to Charm, Fear and Sleep effects.


Anti-Magic Zone

2 min cooldown
Instant cast

Places a large, stationary Anti-Magic Zone that reduces spell damage done to party or raid members inside it by 75%. The Anti-Magic Zone lasts for 10 sec or until it absorbs 10114 spell damage.


Bone Shield

1 min cooldown
Instant cast

Surrounds you with a barrier of whirling bones. The shield begins with 6 charges, and each damaging attack consumes a charge. While at least 1 charge remains, you take 20% less damage from all sources. Lasts 5 min.

Tier 3/ Level 45 talents: Death’s Advance, Chilblains, Asphyxiate


Death’s Advance

While your Unholy Runes are both depleted, movement-impairing effects may not reduce you below 75% of normal movement speed.


Chilblains

Victims of your Frost Fever disease are Chilled, reducing movement speed by 50% for 10 sec, and your Chains of Ice immobilizes targets for 3 sec.


Asphyxiate

30 yd range
1 Blood

1 min cooldown
Instant cast

Lifts an enemy target off the ground and crushes their throat with dark energy, stunning them for 5 sec. Functions as a silence if the target is immune to stuns.

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    Replaces Strangulate.
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Tier 4/ Level 60 talents: Death Pact, Death Siphon, Vampiric Blood


Death Pact

40 Runic Power

2 min cooldown
Instant cast

Drain energy from an undead minion, healing the Death Knight for 25% of her maximum health.


Death Siphon

40 yd range

Instant cast

Consumes a Death Rune to deal 3116 Shadow damage to an enemy, healing the Death Knight for 75% of damage dealt.


Vampiric Blood

1 min cooldown
Instant

Temporarily grants the Death Knight 15% of maximum health and increases the amount of health received from healing spells and effects by 25% for 10 sec. After the effect expires, the health is lost.

Tier 5/ Level 75 talents: Blood Tap, Runic Empowerment, Runic Corruption


Blood Tap

Instant cast

Each damaging Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike generates a Blood Charge, up to a maximum of 6 charges. Blood Tap consumes 3 Blood Charges to activate a random fully-depleted rune as a Death Rune.


Runic Empowerment

When you land a damaging Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike, you have a 45% chance to activate a random fully depleted rune.


Runic Corruption

When you land a damaging Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike, your rune regeneration rate is increased by 100% for 3 sec.

Tier 6/ Level 90 talents: Gorefiend’s Grasp, Remorseless Winter, Desecrated Ground


Gorefiend’s Grasp

1 min cooldown
Instant cast

Shadowy tendrils coil around all enemies within 20 yards of a target (hostile or friendly), dealing 2543 Shadow damage and pulling them to the target’s location.


Remorseless Winter

1 min cooldown
Instant cast

Surrounds the Death Knight with a swirling tempest of frigid air, dealing 3777 Frost damage to enemies within 10 yards, every 1 sec for 8 sec. Each time Remorseless Winter deals damage, it reduces enemy movement speed by 15%, stacking up to 5 times. Upon receiving a fifth application, an enemy will be stunned for 6 seconds.


Desecrated Ground

2 min cooldown
Instant cast

Corrupts the ground in a 8 yard radius beneath the Death Knight, dealing 1246 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 10 sec. While standing in this corruption, the Death Knight is immune to crowd control effects.

Want talents for other classes? Text of all 5.0 talent trees

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Firelands Boss Guides: Lord Rhyolith melee DPS tips

Melee DPS players have had a hard time of things in Cataclysm. There’ve been very few fights which were balanced in our favor, and most were downright unforgiving. That’s not the case with Lord Rhyolith. Melee DPS have the hardest job in this fight, but we also have by far the most fun.

If you want an overview of the fight, you can also check out our overall guide to Lord Rhyolith tactics.

It’s all down to you

For most of the fight, Rhyolith won’t do any direct damage to the raid. Instead, he’ll wander casually in the direction of the molten lava at the edge of the fight area. Your job is to stop him from ever getting there. Why? Because if he manages to reach the lava, he’ll take a big refreshing drink of it, then spew it back out as liquid fiery death all over your lovely clean raid. Lord Rhyolith reaching the lava is an almost guaranteed raid wipe.

To stop him reaching the lava, you need to turn him and point him in another direction. You’ll need to constantly adjust his trajectory throughout the fight. It’s not as simple as asking him nicely, though. You can’t even taunt him, or trap him, or slow him. No. What you’re going to have to do is hit his feet to turn him like a badly-behaved kodo. That’s right: you get to steer by spanking. Navigate by nastiness. Guide by goading. Drive by DPS.

Lord Rhyolith actually has three separate unit frames: one for his body, and one for each of his feet. Damage done to his body or feet will be automatically spread evenly among all three of his bodyparts, so you don’t have to worry about DPSing the three bodyparts at the same rate, Mimiron-style. What you will have to worry about is whether you’re applying more pressure to his left or his right side.

 

  • Hitting Rhyolith’s body has no effect other than damage. He’ll keep moving in his current direction.
  • Hitting Rhyolith’s left foot will cause him to turn gradually to the left.
  • Hitting Rhyolith’s right foot will cause him to turn gradually to the right.

There’ll be a new element added to your user interface for this fight: a Direction Guage, indicating Rhyolith’s current heading. The meter can be a bit confusing to read, but it’s actually quite simple. It’s a horizonaltal bar, like an energy bar or a mana bar. If the value of the bar is towards the left (i.e., an energy bar on low energy), Rhyolith is currently steering left. If the value of the bar is towards the right (i.e., an energy bar close to full energy), he’s steering right. The closer to the left or right, the more acute Rhyolith’s current ‘turning’ is. That means that when the bar is 50% full, Rhyolith is neither steering left nor right, and will therefore continue in a straight line.

As melee DPS, your most important job in this fight is to steer Rhyolith so that he never reaches the lava at the edge of the platform. Your raider leader will have assigned somebody to coordinate the direction in which to steer, so you should pay attention to the direction currently being requested (either in /raid chat or via voice comms). If you’re the one doing the ‘driving’, check out uur main guide to Lord Rhyolith tactics to see where you should be steering him.

Insert meme reference here

Good news, everyone! There’s fire on the ground in this fight! Don’t stand in it.

Rhyolith will cast Concussive Stomp every 30 seconds. This ability has three effects:

  • It has a knockback effect on anybody who’s close to him (which, almost certainly, includes you).
  • It deals fire damage to all raid members. This damage is unavoidable.
  • It creates volcanoes on the ground.

Each Concussive Stomp will create either 2 or 3 volcanoes. Volcanoes occasionally erupt, spreading fire damage among the raid for 20 seconds. Your aim is to steer Rhyolith in such a way that he steps onto the volcanoes. When that happens, they become craters.

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As soon as a crater is created it will spew out Lava streams. Lava streams start at the point of the crater and move slowly outwards in all directions. If you stand in a stream it’ll deal you some fire damage, so … don’t.

After 10 seconds, the lava streams explode, dealing yet more fire damage to anybody who’s stood on them. Once that’s happened, the crater will disappear and be replaced by a lava pool – which, in a shocking twist, is a thing on the floor made of fire that you shouldn’t stand in.

More things made of fire

Lord Rhyolith will regularly summon adds during this fight. They’re not your problem – the tank and the ranged DPS should be dealing with them – but they may occasionally get in your way.

The smaller adds are called Fragments of Rhyolith. They won’t prove much of a worry, unless they take longer than 30 seconds to die. That’s because, 30 seconds after they spawn, they’ll pick a random player to charge at in a clever Suicidal Kamikaze Explosion strategy. The random player might be you. There’s not a lot you can do about it if it does happen, but if a little fiery mob suddenly charges right at you and explodes, taking a big bite out of your health bar, at least now you’ll know why.

The larger adds are called Sparks of Rhyolith. They don’t have such dramatically suicidal tendencies as their smaller cousins, but they do emit AoE damage to everyone around them. The tank will be tanking each Spark away from the raid, probably somewhere at the edge of the platform, so be careful not to guide Rhyolith in that direction.

Getting to Phase 2

Each time Rhyolith stands on a volcano, he’ll lose a bit of his armor. The armor is not just cosmetic – it actually does give him a buff which lowers the amount of damage he takes. At the start of the fight, in full armor, he has an 80% damage reduction – so don’t panic when your uber DPS doesn’t seem to be making a dent!

Once Lord Rhyolith’s health (that’s his hit points, not his armor) reaches 25%, he’ll initiate a short bit of scripted animation, and then move to Phase 2. Just like Shannox and Beth’tilac, the final phase of this fight is DPS race. Your aim is to kill Rhyolith before his slowly-increasing damage kills you.

Although no more adds will be summoned during Phase 2, Rhyolith will still be throwing down Concussive Stomp, which causes knockback. Watch out for this cast – there’s little more frustrating than starting a once-per-fight channeled spell only to have it immediately interupted.

As you might expect, this is the phase to use all your cooldowns, trinkets and potions. There’ll be a lot of raidwide damage heading your way, but hopefully you’ll give as good as you get, and then some.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Beth’tilac melee DPS tips

Wanna hit some spiders? ‘Course you do. One of the first bosses you’ll encounter in the new Firelands raid is Beth’tilac. Melee DPS have a reasoanbly easy time on this fight, but there are still a few mechanics that could trip you up. Here’s our quick and easy guide to Beth’tilac as melee DPS:

Your raid will be split into two groups: one to stay on the ground level and one to climb up to Beth’tilac’s web level. Read our full guide to Beth’tilac tactics to get a detailed breakdown of each group. As a melee DPS, you’ll probably be assigned to the Web Level Group (if you’re not, use the tactics for the Ground Level Group from our guide to tackling Beth’tilac as ranged DPS).

Getting to the web level

At the start of the fight, Beth’tilac will run away to hide on the web level, and additional spiders called Cinderweb Spinners will start to spawn. Initially they’ll appear suspended from the base of Beth’tilac’s web, out of melee range, but your tanks will be taunting these mobs to bring them down to the ground level. If you have a taunt ability (Dark Command, Taunt, Hand of Reckoning, etc) feel free to help out. It’s important to start killing spinners as soon as possible.

A dead Spinner will leave behind a spider’s thread (which takes the form of a thin red line leading from the corpse to the web level). These threads are vehicles, and you can use them to move from the ground level to the web level. Each thread is only good for a single use.

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Your tank and healer should claim the first two threads to appear, but you should grab a thread as soon as you can after that. Do not be overeager here, and make sure that the tank and the healer have made it up before you make the move.

Once you’re on the web level, your job is to DPS Beth’tilac. Watch out for Meteor Burn, during which Beth’tilac drops flaming meteors onto random spots on the web. Each meteor is preceeded by an indicator in the form of a fiery orange circle on the ground, which you should be sure to dodge. Once a meteor has hit, it will leave a small pool of fire behind. You know the rule about fire and the stepping therein: don’t.

Running away

Beth’tilac has an energy bar, called Fire energy, which will slowly deplete over the course of the fight. When it reaches zero, she’ll begin to cast Smoldering Devastation. You need to be on the lookout for that castbar. As soon as you see Beth’tilac begin to cast, run like the wind. You need to head for the hole in the web. It’s bang in the center. Drop down through there to the ground level.

Once you’ve reached ground level, you should temporarilly join the Ground Level Team and help to DPS the various spider adds that will have appeared. Once Smoldering Devastation has finished, Smolderweb Spinners will start to appear in just the same way as they did at the start of the fight. Once again, you should grab them, spank them, and steal their threads. Get yourself back up to the web level as soon as you can (but, as always, let your tank and healer go first).

In total, Beth’tilac will cast Smoldering Devastation three times. You need to jump down the hole in the web every time. After the third Smoldering Devastation, Beth’tilac will move from the web level to the ground level. Follow her down and get ready to pound some spider backside.

Phase 2

Beth’tilac’s descent from the web level to the ground level indicates the start of Phase 2. This is a pure DPS burn phase, just like the last phase of Shannox. Make sure you’re positioned correctly first of all: you should stack up directly behind the boss, with the healers and the rest of the raid. Once you’re there it’s time to break out the big guns: pop every cooldown you have, drink a potion, scream a battlecry, and hope that this time you beat that damn Rogue on the meters.

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Firelands Boss Guides: Shannox – Melee DPS tactics

The first Firelands boss most raids will tackle is Shannox. Melee DPS, frankly, have it easy for this fight, so there’s no excuse not to be on top form. Take a look at our general guide to Shannox tactics, then come back here for specific melee DPS tactics.

Initial positioning

As melee DPS you’ll be focusing all your attention on Shannox himself. Ignore the two dogs unless your raid leader specifically tells you otherwise. Your job in this fight is to avoid Shannox’s Cleave attack, avoid the traps he regularly drops, and hit him with your big weapon of choice – in that order.

Yes, Shannox does have a nasty cleave attack which will hit any target in a 120° arc, so your first priority should be to make sure you’re standing behind him. Your tank shouldn’t need to turn Shannox once the fight starts, so get yourself entrenched right behind his fiery rear end and prepare to do some damage.

Avoid the traps

Your primary task during this fight is to avoid the traps that Shannox regularly drops. This takes priority over everything, even DPS. The traps in this fight look like standard Hunter traps, and are easy to spot.

There are two types of trap. The first is an Immolation Trap, which will burn your lovely shoes right off if you stand in it. It’s not an instant kill, but it throws out some nasty damage, and you’ll have a ‘fire hurts more’ debuff at various points during the fight, so be nice to your healers and don’t stand on the fire traps.

The second type of trap is called a Crystal Prison Trap, and is basically an iceblock. Stand on this nasty little device and it’ll encase you in crystal. You won’t be able to do anything at all until the crystal is shattered. That means that the rest of the raid will have to stop what they’re doing and DPS your prison to free you. The crystals have lots of health, so this is a distraction you don’t need.

There’s another fight mechanic which effectively counts as a third type of trap. When Shannox throws his spear he’ll do colossal damage to anybody standing in the way. If you’re standing in the circle of fire once the spear comes down you’re virtually guaranteed to die. It’s easy to avoid – just look out for the big pillar of fire and make sure you step away from it as soon as it appears.

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The secondary effect of Shannox’s spear throw is lots of little fires that appear on the ground after the spear throw triggers. There’ll be a lot of them, which can be quite panic-inducing the first time you see it, but – like the spear throw itself – they’re easy to avoid. They appear in a spiral pattern, moving outwards from the spear’s point of impact. Just make sure you’re not standing directly on one of them.

Remember – none of these do any AoE damage, so they’ll only ever affect one person. It’s also worth noting that the _Immolation Trap_s and the _Crystal Prison Trap_s can be disarmed by Rogues. Rageface and Riplimb can be affected by the traps, so you normally want to keep them all in place, but occasionally it might be worth disarming a trap which is in an awkward place, or which is in danger of hitting a tank.

The moment you’ve been waiting for

Your aim in this fight is to kill both the dogs when Shannox is at about 35% health. When that happens, he’ll enrage and start to give your tanks a very bad day. That’s your time to shine. Turn the DPS dial up to 11 and pop every cooldown in your arsenal. Burn, burn, burn – you need to kill Shannox before he kills your tanks (and shortly thereafter, you).

This fight is all about awareness. Watch out for the traps and you should be fine.

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Patch 4.3 Unholy Death Knight (DK) Quick-Start Guide: stats, spec and talents, glyphs, gems, reforging, and rotation

Ah, Unholy. After a brief and unpleasant interval at the bottom of the tree in 4.1, it’s going from strength to strength as it heads into Patch 4.3, and the Fight with Deathwing’s Appendages. So, get your stats, specs, glyphs, gems, reforging priorities, rotation and all that other stuff sorted out right here, and let’s get on to the slaying.

Updated Nov 29th 2011 for Patch 4.3

Unholy Death Knight changes in Patch 4.3

Unholy only has a few changes, but they’re good ones. Unholy Might now offers 25% additional Strength, up from 20%. In addition, all DK pets now properly inherit Crit and Spell Penetration stats from their master, and Unholy’s gargoyle will now always use its ranged attack, which will make it more effective. Finally, we’re the beneficiaries of the global 4.3 melee DPS buff, giving us an extra 10% attack power.

Unholy set bonuses in T13 are strong, but don’t significantly change gearing or rotation once achieved.

Rotation / Priorities

Unholy DKs, like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, do not have a “rotation” as such. Instead, they work on a priority system – use the most important abilities whenever possible before less important ones.

Single-Target

Top Priority: Diseases and Dark Transformation. Apply or reapply diseases as first priority, preferably using Outbreak, and use Dark Transformation whenever it’s available.

Second Priority: Death and Decay or Scourge Strike if Death Runes are available. Use DnD even on single-target fights. Use Scourge Strike if DnD is on cooldown.

Third Priority: Death Coil IF Sudden Doom is up or Festering Strike. Only use Festering Strike here if it will extend your diseases.

Fourth Priority: Death and Decay or Scourge Strike. This is your bread-and-butter.

AOE

For standard dungeon packs, you still want to use the single-target rotation above. Only use the AOE rotation here for LARGE packs of mobs. Switch to Frost Presence when using this.

Follow the same priorities as for Single Target – however, ignore Festering Strike, and use Pestilence to spread your diseases.

Other abilities

For the love of Pete, remember that you can use Raise Ally to combat-res! Other abilities to bear in mind are Icebound Fortitude (to not die), Death Strike (to not die) and your various interrupts.

As far as your damage cooldowns go, Empower Rune Weapon, Gargoyle, and Unholy Frenzy should be used together, ideally. Army Of The Dead is best used on a pull or a phase transition – and be SURE that your ghouls won’t taunt anything important before using it. Seriously. Or you will be very unpopular.

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Best Unholy DPS Spec

The unholy forces of Elitist Jerks and #Acherus on IRC align to agree that this build (Patch 4.3) is the best option.

At Tier 3, you’ll have to spend a point in one of two places – either Unholy Command or Desecration. Unless you have a specific need for mob slowing abilities, take Unholy Command.

There are also 3 points left at the end of the talent build that you can spend in a variety of places. Good options include:

  • Improved Blood Tap (Second Tier, Blood) – can be used to increase your DPS with more runes. Not always useful, but a handy option.
  • Runic Power Mastery (First Tier, Frost) – increases your maximum Runic Power. Useful, but less so than you might expect because you’ll usually be below 100. One point highly recommended.
  • Magic Suppression and/or Anti-Magic Zone (4th and 5th Tier, Unholy) – very useful survival talents with some DPS application. Anti-Magic Zone is very situational, Magic Suppression generally useful.

Stats, Reforging and Gems

Strength is by far your most important stat, followed by Hit to the Hit Cap (961 for anyone except Draenai, for whom it’s 841), then Haste, Crit, Mastery, Expertise to the Expertise cap of 26

Gems: Always choose a Bold Inferno Ruby unless a socket provides 20 or more Strength or 40 or more of another important stat. In the latter case, use either Fierce Ember Topaz or Etched Demonseye as appropriate.

Reforging: Reforge to Hit up to the hit cap. Then, reforge to Haste, or Crit if that’s not possible. Never reforge Haste to anything else, including Hit.

Buffs: Stay in Unholy Presence and use Rune of the Fallen Crusader. Keep Horn of Winter up whenever possible.

Enchants for Unholy

Remember to check if your profession offers better enhancement options for a slot!

Head Arcanum of the Wildhammer (Alliance) or Dragonmaw (Horde)
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Major Strength
Hands Enchant Gloves – Mighty Strength
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots – Haste or Precision if you’re not hit-capped
Weapon Rune of the Fallen Crusader

Glyphs for Unholy

Prime: Glyph of Death Coil, Glyph of Scourge Strike, Glyph of Raise Dead unless you want to focus on AOE damage, in which case replace the first two with Glyph of Icy Touch and Glyph of Death and Decay.

Major: Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell, Glyph of Blood Boil, Glyph of Pestilence.

Minor: Glyph of Blood Tap, Glyph of Death’s Embrace, Glyph of Path of Frost – all of these are actually useful!

  • Elitist Jerks – Unholy Guide – Unusually well-written and easy to follow for EJ, this is a superb guide. If you want more detail than this article has given you, go here. Updated for Patch 4.3 already!
  • Son Of A Lich – from the people who also write the EJ Death Knight guides, a superb site for all DKs.
  • #Archerus IRC channel on irc.coldfront.net – GREAT DK community.

You also might find the rest of MMO Melting Pot interesting – we scour the blogosphere daily looking for the most interesting discussions and posts about WoW and other MMOs and deliver them straight to you, all in one place, right here. See what’s on the Pot today!

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Another great post for Death Knights

If you’re a regular Pot reader, you probably think that I’m only capable of posting about something if it’s Death Knight-related. That’s simply not true. I don’t have to talk about Death Knights all the time. I just chose to.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that, yes, yet again, I have a post full of DK goodness for you. Somehow I missed Sharden’s three-part series on tanking Cataclysm heroics at 15 Minutes Of WoW (Part 1 is here if you missed it too), but the follow-up post came at just the right time for me. I’m not a very good tank. My main spec is DPS, and I only tank very occasionally. I’ll be totally honest with you: I haven’t tanked anything more challenging than High Shaman MacKilligan since Cataclysm launched. I know I’m not nearly as competent a tank as I am a DPS, so I’ve been doing some reading to try to fill the gaps in my knowledge.

[pullquote]This … isn’t a guide on how to get ready for heroics, it is instead a primer on what to do when you get there.[/pullquote]

Sharden’s primer is chock full of sensible, solid advice for a new DK tank. It’s a great place to start building your tanky know-how. I’ve made copious notes from this post, as well as from Sharden’s previous three-part series. Soon I won’t have any excuse not to occasional switch to my tanking spec and stand right in front of the bad guys.

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Don’t forget to kill Philip!

If you play an Unholy Death Knight, I’ve got some bad news for you. You might want to sit down. There’s no easy way to break this to you, so I’m just going to come out and say it. Consider is gone. I know, I know. It’s going to be hard, but we’ll have to struggle on together.

Consider has maintained the awesome Unholy DK thread over on Elitist Jerks for quite some time now, and it’s brilliant. Have you ever randomly been grouped with a DK only to realize with shock that they weren’t an idiot and actually knew how to play their class? It’s rare (for Death Knight players, anyway) but it does happen, and the reason is usually because they’ve read Consider’s thread.

Sadly, Consider is finally hanging up his ghoul and calling it a day. Luckily for us poor Death Knights, the thread already has a new maintainer. Matron Heartless has taken over, and she’s in no danger of letting the quality drop. The new thread, Just Act Natural (which scores bonus points for an excellent Shawn Of The Dead reference) is excellent. It’s based on the guide published at Heartless’s own blog, Son Of A Lich (again, bonus pun points must be awarded), which is in itself a great read for Death Knight players.

So, if you play a Death Knight and haven’t yet memorized every damn word of these guides, get reading. Maybe one day we can lose our moniker of Class Most Likely To Attract Morons!

The EJ thread for Frost Death Knights (which was also maintained by Consider) is still in need of an new author, by the way, so if you’re up for the job (and you’re not scared of the notoriously friendly and welcoming Elitist Jerks), throw your name in the ring.

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Addon recommendations for Death Knight runes

I play a Death Knight on World Of Warcraft, and I have something to confess: I wish death runes didn’t exist. Now, before you throw up your hands in despair and head to the Contact Us page with your proforma death threats, hear me out. Let me explain.

I know death runes are the thing that gives our rune system so much flexibility. I know most DPS builds are focussed on enabling as many death rune procs as possible. I know it means less time spent staring at a global cooldown or an empty rune bar. Nonetheless, I repeat: I wish they didn’t exist. Back in the heady days of pre-4.0.1 raiding, I knew exactly what the rune cost of each of my abilities was, and how the use of each ability would affect my rotation. I got to the stage where I could pretty much store the cooldown states for all six of my runes in my head, which meant I didn’t have to look at my rune meter all the time … except for the damn death runes. They throw everything into disarray. It means I have to put a big rune monitor right in the middle of the screen so I know what’s going on.

With the changes in 4.0.1, of course, I’m back to being utterly lost, so I’ve once again been investigating the best way to display my rune status. Lucky for me, then, that two of the best Death Knight bloggers on the internets have both been doing the same thing, and have blogged their experiences. The legendary Skeleton Jack (who I’m so pleased is blogging again) recommends DK Monitor in combination with Tell Me When. Hinenuitepo at DK Death Goddess, on the other hand, is sticking with DKI Runes.

Both posts give an excellent detailed discussion of what each author is trying to achieve and what benefits each addon brings. Personally, I’m currently running DKI Runes concurrently with DK Monitor. Multiple redundancy for the win.

Do you have any addon recommendations for Death Knights? At the moment, I’m trying to find a way to display how many buff stacks my ghoul needs before I can hit the Dark Transformation button. Any clever suggestions?

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