Death Knight Talents, Builds, and Notes

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Oct 022008

Death Knights, the heavy metal (plate) wearing Hero Class of [tag-tec]Wrath of the Lich King[/tag-tec], are probably going to be the most played class once people load Wrath onto their systems.

As it stands, their ability trees are blood, frost, and unholy. They generate runic power and use it to power their big smash attacks. Blizzard sees them as tanks for caster mobs, which brings about interesting PvP thoughts, but they’re solid in the DPS department and should be a blast to solo.

Talents? Builds? Powers? Well… All their talents and abilities are still being run through the beta grinder and will be buffed, nerfed, and kicked around until Bliz is happy enough with their status. Since they’re getting a lot of attention from the Devs I assume that the “happy enough” state will actually occur.

If you’re one of the few whole will actually be playing one of these death machines then you might want to check ouit some of the “How the [tag-del]Death Knight[/tag-del] Stands Right Now” posts below. Keep in mind that there will be changes between now and the Wrath release date.

Edit: While you’re here grab this free Death Knight Leveling Guide. It’s a PDF and it covers the DK starter area (levels 55-58.)

This first is advice to raiding DKs from a Druid:

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow melee, part 1 – I’ve healed a lot of Death Knight tanks, and tanked for a lot of Death Knight DPS. Most of you seem like cool people, so I say this with sincere love in my little Druid heart and a touch of worry over what will happen in November: …

Zuggy covers Death Knight presences and powers:

Death Knight Abilities and Spells – Death Knight Presences Death Knight presences can be best described as equivalent to warrior stances. There are 3 stances a death knight may enter. Blood Presence – Increases damage done by 15% and heals the Death Knight by 2% of damage …

An Update on current talents and DPS:

Death Knight Discussions/Changes for Wrath of the Lich King (Oct 2nd) – Frost tree to get some buffs Disease damage went down a little, which will lower’s Unholy’s overall dps. Dancing Rune Weapon was doing a huge portion of blood’s dps. We thought it was cooler to let it hit hard but be out less often. …

More on DK changes and where they stand, now:

9014 Beta Build and More – As always, our friends over at WotLKwiki where quick to post the Death Knight changes. Here they are, I’ll add any other changes I find in a future post. 9014 Death Knight Changes. Blood. Bloody Vengeance – No longer increases frost and …

More DK Changes and Commentary:

New Beta Patch: Death Knight Changes – Runic Focus – Description changed to : “Unlike most casters, a Death Knight’s spells cause double damage on critical hits.” Unholy. Death and Decay – Damage Increased (Now Rank 4 – 62 Damage) (Old Rank 4 – 52 Damage) …

Here’s a free Death Knight prep guide. (Look for the button in the middle of the red text.) It’s not a talent or leveling guide, rather it gives info on recommended gear as you level to 70, as well as a number of other tips. You can also pre-order the full Death Knight guide from the same page.

Sep 262008

Transferred my 70 BE Rogue over to the Wrath Beta the other day. So here are some gameplay thoughts.

It’s interesting having to redo my talents everytime I log in. Went with a 51 pt combat build (s1 swords) this time around. With Blade furry, sword spec, adrenaline rush, unfair advantage… It’s Cuisinart Rogue! 🙂 May have to try a bit of herding…

I’ve only been through a few of the quests, halfway to 71 now, but there are some that I really like. Freeing NPCs and having them help out is always fun.

Smashing 100 undead with a tank that’s armed with a big saw… Well, that quest’s good for a little extra grinding. “Hey boss, I killed 3,650 of the scourge things, is that ok?”

Riding under the flying carpet was interesting… (sorry, no screenie, I was asleep at the switch.) Guess the Devs thought it was a glider type parachute.

Speaking of parachutes, yep you’ll get to parachute down at one point (at least.) Very cool.

Joined a guild, Violence, that has 350+ members. Quietest guild I’ve ever been in.

I like the mist effects.

Yeah, I’m looking forward to Wrath.

edit: by the way, I’m already seeing green gear that’s, in some ways, as interesting as my s1/s2 PvP gear. I expect in a couple levels I may be thinking about going back to greens.

Sep 212008

The Wrath is coming. Time to hide.

Of course, one of the big changes in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is the changes to all the various talent trees. As you probably know, Blizzard isn’t just adding a few new talents or increasing the level cap to 80. No no no, there’s a little more to it than that – they’re making large changes to existing talents and shuffling around their exact position in the talent trees.

So what I’ve put together here is a collection of posts, from various places, that discuss the level 80 talents and changes. Some of these also offer build suggestions, both from raiding and PvP points of view. In addition, If you want to play around with talent builds for your own characters you’ll find the level 80 WoW talent calculator here.

Of course, the changes aren’t 100% finished, all of this is still in beta test, and Blizzard has been known to make big last minute changes. We can count on more changes along with the usual collection of nerfs and maybe some buffs. Still, it’s a place to start thinking about how you might spec your characters when you upgrade to Wrath.

Update 10/14: The 3.0 patch has arrived and here’s an update post on what’s happening with the WoW Talents and Builds.

’nuff said, here ya go!

WotLK: Build 8962 – 4 Extra Points for Frost – When the WotLK expansion hits, as I level up, I will start filling in the Arcane tree until I get Focus Magic. When I hit 80 and start raiding again, the talent build that I will most likely be using is this: 80 PvE/PvP Frost.

WotLK Paladins May Have “Shocking” Potential – All of the above said, the following, were I to PvP as a Shockadin at level 80, would be my talent build without question:.  Allow me a couple caveats with the above build: …

Tanked! Revaluing Feral Combat Talents in Beta Build 8926 – The pictured talent build is essentially what I’d like to be using at 80. All PH NYI (place holder, not yet implemented) talents are now “live” on beta, and it’s pertinent to note that the talent “Mother Bear” has been renamed to the …

Want to hit level 80 fast? Looking for ways to familiarize yourself with Northrend without wasting valuable playtime running around in circles? Check out the Killer Guides’ Wrath guide and get ready to go before the expansion hits.

Shock and Awe: The Art of Dual Shockadins in WotLK – Both of these assumptions are based off of items I found in the WotLK database at WoWhead situated around an item level of 200 (the item level which seems to be the base for epics at level 80). In addition to these two assumptions, …

Why 3.0 will change Arena entirely – Much like when Blizzard imeplemented the WoW 2.0 41-point talent trees into the game shortly before TBC, and much of the dissaray it caused, the WoW 3.0 talents are almost entirely based around players being level 80 and consequently …

Truckload ‘o Changes – At level 80, this 80 spellpower. Much higher than it was before. I believe it is still weaker than Flametongue Totem and doesn’t stack with it. Twin Disciplines – The tooltip was fixed to read: Increases your spell power on instant …

8926 DK changes, Blue Posts, and Site News – They may be fun in that you get a lot for your money, but they work against the design goal of being able to build a customized talent tree for your character. They also make spec parity or class balance a lot harder when there are …

A look at our Bear Tanking future in Wrath – Clearly (I hope) a class that could do rogue-level dps and warrior-level tanking with the same talent build is the kind of thing that makes other players a little miffed. But we’re reevaluating a lot of old (and some admittedly tired) …

[Druid] The 3.0 patch – cat build edition – That’s about .66% dps per talent point, which just isn’t that good. This may not make the cut at level 80; it’s still lower per point than master shapeshifter. Rend and Tear barely makes the cut. Assuming that you’re only hitting …

WotLK Hunter Pets – Major Changes – Pets will still have to level to some degree, but it will be a lot more transparent than it is now. A level 1 beast trained by a level 80 hunter will hop to level 70 instantly. That way the pet isn’t completely useless while you try

Edit: Big Red Kitty says – Beta Talent Builds, Just Say No – “OK, see? The hunter class is going to be totally mixed up. Anything and everything people have said, including us, is kaput and moot.”

Edit: By the way, don’t forget to grab your free Death Knight Starter Area Leveling Guide.

The New Orgrimmar Arena

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Sep 192008

One of the many additions, for all you Arena fans out there, that’s coming to WoW with The Wrath of the Lich King expansion is the new Orgrimmar arena.

Spooncraft has a video which shows of some pretty interesting features of this particular arena.

Holy crap am I excited about Arenas!? YES I AM! This would be a first for a long time, but I think Blizzard has just made arenas fun for me. I figure if they’re going to turn the PVP game into an FPS Team Deathmatch, then at least make the maps fun to play.

Check it out here: First Look at the New Orgrimmar Arena in Wrath of the Lich King

Sep 162008

As I mentioned previously, the pre-order page for Wrath of the Lich King is up on

The release date has been moved from Nov 3 to Nov 13 (darn close to my Birthday!) Given that Blizzard is willing to let release dates slide if things need more work I wouldn’t say the 13th is etched in stone, but it’s probably close.

edit: Since it’s on the front page of the official World of Warcraft site that date’s probably pretty well etched. Still, don’t be too surprised if it slides a bit.

Get yours here: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Pack

So just off the top of my head, here’s a reminder of what’s coming in November:

  1. [tag-tec]Deathknights[/tag-tec] are coming, hide now.
  2. All classes will have new talents, changed talents, and the talent trees are being shifted around. Hopefully Bliz gives us all a free respec.
  3. Level 80. Who’s gonna get there first? The guys playing 24/7? The writers of the leveling guides? Nyhm?
  4. New cooking recipes (some of which will be in our cookbook.)
  5. The Inscription profession. Glyphs will be inscribed onto your naked flesh with Raptor Claw pens… Oh, waitaminute… wrong game.
  6. Modified professions
  7. New daily quests and badges from those quests, which will allow you to buy high end recipes for various professions.
  8. Northrend. ’nuff said.
  9. A new BG and Arena to slaughter alliance in.
  10. New dungeons, raids, and some changes to the raiding system.
  11. Various buffs, nerfs, and bugs. Hope they fix the “randomly fall off your mount and die, while flying way up high” one.
  12. And a partridge in a pear tree…

Word has it that Bliz is going to provide a free patch that will incorporate a lot of the Wrath changes. I expect this is to make sure that people who don’t buy Wrath are still on, more or less, the same page as those who do buy it.

This will be a huge download, but will be handled as a background process so it shouldn’t force long waits on people. Estimated time on a dial-up connection is 3 weeks, 2 days… (just kidding, I think.)

When does it happen? Real Soon Now.

Get your Wrath on Amazon, here.

By the way, you DO have to have Burning Crusade installed in order to play Wrath.

Edit: There is going to be a Wrath Collector’s Edition, but it’s going to be hard to find. Here’s the link to the Amazon page, but as I write this it’s only available from Amazon’s 3rd party sellers. For the low low price of just $300.00 (no, that’s not a typo.)
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Collector’s Edition

If you want it then check back to the Amazon page every now and then, to get the Amazon price just in case they get some in. Or camp your local game store.

Level 80 Rogues in Wrath of the Lich King

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Sep 132008

My wife and both kids have got their [tag-tec]Wrath of the Lich King[/tag-tec] beta keys, but not me. Sob. Guess I’ll just mooch off their accounts. Mwahahaha!

So as you may know, especially if you read my other post WoW PvP, Blizzard is letting you copy premade templates of level 80 PvP characters into your Wrath beta account. (They’re also letting you move your regular PvE characters to PvP servers, but that’s another post. )

If you have your beta key, you log into the WoW Beta page, pick the copy template option, and go from there. You’ll land on a page which gives you two choices, one ally, one Horde, for each class in the game. You can pick any three and it takes about a day for them to copy over.

Once it’s copied you’ll have a nicely PvP geared 80, in Dalaran, to play with. My Rogue, for example, has 747 resilience. Not bad. 😉

There’s an interesting glitch, though. Apparently, and I assume this will be quickly fixed, some classes have invisible gear. The female Blood Elf Pally, for one. There are others.

The gear is a mix of blue and purple, so this isn’t a maxed out character. PvE geared characters are not available. I assume this means they want to test the PvP system, right? Well the instances are open (and Rogues don’t need a key,) but the battlegrounds and arenas are not, at least as I write this. Being beta things will change and then change again.

Here’s the Rogue with Weapons:
Level 80 Orc Rogue Showing Weapons

Click here for the full size shot

If you’re wondering… I went with a Shadowstep build on this one. The world server is down at the moment, so I don’t have exact numbers, but it’s a pretty basic build. You can hit the level 80 WoW Talent Calculator here and play around with builds.

You do start with some stuff and some nice bags. Haris Pilton, in Shattrath, sells the Gigantic bags at a Gigantique price.

Here’s a screenie of the Orc Rogue with bags. Note the bandages (heal 5800) and the poisons, which are now (will be) bought from vendors. No more flash powder for your Vanish, either.
Level 80 Orc Rogue with Starting Gear

Click here for the full size shot.

Naturally, when Wrath goes live all beta characters will be deleted. Still, this gives us a good chance to play around with talents and see what gear will be coming.

I’ll probably use Zygor’s Guide and blast my Rogue to 80 ASAP, then work for some of that gear in the BGs and Arenas (with my 1200 Arena rating.)

Deathknights are a lot of fun so far, so that one will be next. After that, we’ll see.

I expect all the new talents and everything DeathKnight will be significantly tweaked between now and release, so take all beta info with a hefty lump of soothing spices.

Sep 102008

[tag-tec]Wrath of the Lich King[/tag-tec] is going to bring many changes to the World of Warcraft and one of these changes will be to crush many of the addons that you’re using. As if you didn’t already have that figured out.

This is to be expected given all the basic changes being made. Blizzard is revamping a lot of stuff and I think a lot of it isn’t making it into the patch notes (big surprise, right? ) So with the addons there are many that work and many others that partially work and some that are totally broken.

Being that the whole thing is still in beta I think we can expect more breaking, more pwning of defenseless addons, and maybe a few that suddenly start working.

WoWwiki has a list of wow addons that currently work, or don’t, with the Wrath beta. Check it out here.

If your favorite addon is broken you might want to send some flowers and/or cookies to the developer and beg them for a Wrath update.

Life Beyond the Lich King

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Sep 082008

This is from the G4 website. Blizzard is thinking a little farther into the future here:

Blizzard said that they already have plans for future expansions of World of Warcraft even before the release of Wrath of the Lich King this fall, according to an interview with VG247. Lead designer Tom Chilton said:

“We actually already have ideas on how we’re going to expand on that in the future,” Chilton told us when asked if more land was going to be added to the game…

Here’s the story

Wrath of the Lich King Beta, the Experience

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Sep 072008

So I finally logged back into the [tag-tec]Wrath Beta[/tag-tec] yesterday.

Hmmm… all my Death Night talents have been reset. Of course talent tweaking and shifting is to be expected in a beta and it gave me a free reset, so what the heck. Still blood, but maybe a tad more efficient.

Hmmm… Mission: Gateways (one of the earliest Hellfire quests) seems to have caught a little bug… Hop on the flying beastie, line up for the bombing run, get glued to the ground with no control, and what’s this? We seem to be glued to the ankles of this 20′ tall demon thing? Who doesn’t even know we’re there?

Hmmm, there’s four of us here, all glued to his ankles. Couple of Allies, and Undead, and me, All DKs. Ok, wait, he’s wandered off and we’re not moving. Whoosh! Ok, we’re all back on his ankles.

Alt 4f (exit game) in hoped of canceling this quest. Log back in, still glued to his ankles, server goes down.

Log in later. Ok, I’m flying back to the beastie dude. Try again? Sure, maybe it was just a one time thing (that affected several others?) Coming in for a bombing run and… ankles again.


Log back in, flying back to beastie guy. Ok, let’s try this: Go on a bombing run and just enjoy the ride. That works, no ankles, fly back and hand in the beast.

Try again, this time with bombs. No ankles, but can’t score with bombs. I know, put the green targeting field on the teleporter and drop the bomb (I have done this on another character.)

Nope. Nogo. 6 more tries, no teleporters destroyed. Oops, back to the ankles, but this time I’m somehow kicked loose. Fly back, hand in beast, and log.

Big Red Kitty has more on the beta experience: Just Freak Out Already