torsdag den 14. maj 2009

Speccing as a death knight (dual specc)

Welcome to pro-corner (*cough*)

Thought id spend some time talking about how to best specc as a death knight. Both as dps-pewpew and as tonki-tonk tonk.

The short answer:
PEW: blood
Tonk: Frost

That was easy, have a nice day!

Allright ill elaborate. First lemme just start by saying, that this is my personal opinion, based on lots of experience, and my hatred of unholy. Hatred might be a kind of a strong word, I just dont get it. Nor do I trust a specc that with 10 points moved around, is supposedly the best dps+tank specc out there, and the best pvp specc.
But dont take my word for that, listen to self-rightious Skeleton Jack and Ensidia cool guy Zkygge. I mean the first one thinks he is a big shot, and the latter IS a big shot. So why do i disagree with em?
Well, lemme just say that I have the outmost respect for Zkygge, and no DK crunches numbers like Jack does, in a easy to swallow little post. So there is truth in there, but its far from the whole truth.

The most important questions to be answered before deciding a specc are theese: What are you gonna use it for, and what specc feels right for you? The first is kindda obvious: if you are gonna be maintanking big bosses with a pala picking up adds n stuff, you dont want to specc AOE tanking. The second one is a bit trickier. Personally, ive just never felt comfortable as unholy, so my choices where easy. I never cared for, or liked unholy. It felt clumpy, it felt akward. I felt like a priest in vanilla wow wanting to mainheal as disc.

So if you are not like me, and just cant get enough of unholy, go check out Zkygges specc, its brilliant, it works and its good.

Lets break down the speccs as i see em:


frost: smart money are on frost as dps once you are in full Ulduar 25 manned gear, maybe only after ulduar. Frost seems to be the best scaling dps specc, but right now it aint cutting it.
blood: 2nd best dps specc (why i choose this ill show you later)
unholy: best dps specc, if you like that, you like that.


Blood: best survival specc, and imo the best single-target DK specc aswell
Frost: arguably the best aoe specc, in certain situations, and a shared 2nd place on single-target aswell.
Unholy: arguably the best aoe specc, in certain situations, and a shared 2nd place on single-target aswell.

Reason why i think that frost-tanking is equally as good as unholy-tanking (unlike most i think) is because most people dont get how frost AoE tanks. As frost you hardly use DnD, mostly you use HB and BB (oh yea if the abriviations are confusing check this site) -mind you the glyphed HB. and sometimes a little PS and pest aswell. I usually only use DnD at the start of the pull to ensure initial aggro for my HB and BB to build up, then im solid. -One thing you need to be carefull of is the DnD cost, make sure you use it early enough so that it wont mess up your rotation on the very easy, and very effective HB, bb, bb rotation :)
So where does unholy aoe win out? On those pulls where small low-health mobs keeps spawning. Thats where a shirt duration DnD+ UB wins out.
Singletarget frost-tanking is all about generating runic power for frost stike and runestrike, while keeping up both diseases.

As for dps, why does blood win out over unholy then? Im far from denying that unholy does better and higher dps, so why do i choose blood? Well that answer is simple really. Its hidden inside a question: How much dps are you capable of doing dead?

Unless I screw up (and thats kindda a lot) I dont need any healing what-soever, any splash i can get back within seconds, i can even help the tanks survive via mark of blood, also the various group buffs are very helpfull. On top of that a lot of the crunch fights in Ulduar, are based around burst dps: the girlie-robot, the iron council (in part), razorscale, cat-lady (in part), the bridge-guy (in part) mimiron (very much so) Yoggie-beara (extremely much so inside the brain) they all very much boost you if you are able or capable of timing your bursts, and nothing says burst like DRW and Hysteria... at least not if you are a DK.

Also, should stuff go wrong, you can eat kindda a lot of damage as blood too from... lets say mimiron, if both tanks are dead and you happen to be the only melee left standing and mark of blood is off its cooldown and so is IBF.. as a matter of fact, you can (if you have amazing healers) easily survive the last 5% of p4 in dps gear nuking away and praying for survival. Some might even argue that that sort of thing, could get you a first kill on mimiron in 25 man, if the *lesser* warrior tanks somehow got themselves killed :D

Oh and the specific builds I use. They arent canon or anything, but its what i use
Tonk glyph: Frost strike, HB, unbreakable armor (3rd one is in a testing phase)
Pewpew glyph: DRW, Dark death, death strike

PS, sorry if it seems im trashing another blog. Theres a reason i read it, I just dont like the way its written.... Does that make sense?

mandag den 11. maj 2009

Learning new content (pt two - 10 manned content)

So as promised this time we will look at how learning new content felt like in the two 10 manned groups I am currently part of.

As I've briefly mentioned my guild used to be pretty huge. And pretty huge doesnt even begin to cover it. We had 2.5 40 manned raidgroups, 2 ZG groups and the leftovers back in vanilla.

Now, not so much. So organizing a lot of raidgroups is not really an issue for us. (When I say "us", i mean our raid-leaders, i dont do diddly other than help tracking for one of our groups). What im getting at here, is that, in my guild, going to different raidgroups is very smooth and easy.

So here I am raiding as much as possible in our 25 manned group. And in theese two raidgroups:

grp 1: the "serious one". We where by far the first grp to get sarth 3d down in our guild, and also one of the first 10 manned kill on our server. Since then we have had some changes in the group where people who wanted different things have switched (or those who no longer really liked the time of day we raided) and more... Achievement oriented players have joined.

grp 2: the other group. Yea im not gonna say its not a serious grp, or that the people involved are not as good players- because that would be very unfair. Most of em are very great players. But the goals here are much more relaxed than they are in grp 1. More of that later.

So how was 10 manned Ulduar?

...So was that it?

The very first 10 manned raid day in grp 1 I missed, because I was stuck at work, on the seasons last saturday shift (for me). So All I had where the guides i'd written (ripped of from all the favorite ptr guides) and our groups thread that i constantly updated to read more news). As expected the group - without me - ripped through content, clearing more than half of Ulduar of the first day. Leaving me feeling very much left behind.

It didn't improve much that on the following day, when I joined, we had reached the first bosses that posed a problem, so I pretty much joined for a series of wipe-sessions.

Yea enough 'who' 'what' or 'when'. This is a very fun group. Once you know why you are there. To kill stuff (and soon on hard mode) and giggle a bit about stuff. But the most important bit, is to play well and play smart. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you know why you are there. Don't get me wrong, theese are great people also, we have lots of fun: poking at eachother, laughing at ourselves when we screw up and all that. It's just a premise that you play well, and know what you are doing (or Lord have mercy on you ;).

So how was group 2, different?

When you say 'frozen blow' -does that involve icecubes??

Grp two on the other hand is very much different. We raid friday and saturday evening (at times when the little ones are asleep), and the mood of the group is very different. Again, dont get me wrong, stuff dies, people discuss strats and work hard, Its just very different from the other group, both chat and teamspeak is mostly full of (apart fom strat talking)... well silly talk. I provide most of it, im not afraid to say, but its relaxed and there is room to say:

"Im just gonna tug in the little one, mr-wannabe-mage-turned-into-something-resembling-a-tank (i know he reads this so: GORN YOU SUCK!!! learn deathgrib allready.... stupid warrior) want to wait on the next pull please?".
Usually the banter going on there brings me to tears laughing, while I enjoy some well-deserved G&T and relax and celebrate that yet another week is over. And im far from the only one....

Like this guy. He is usually our tree-hero. he earned the right to get the first legendary hammer, because of a long history of loyalty and priest-like-healing abilities (yea he is that good). Anyways, he had to cancel our main raid because of an incident that happened in grp 2... well try and decipher (ill give you a clue, it involved beer) what he wrote:

"I had a buggy evening fis I spied ove my keybaod and ehn I suddeny compeey os my connecion. keyboad is buggy and as you can see I can' ype whoe aphabe....his was fun yping....Apoigies"

...God i crack up everytime i read this :-)

Back to the group. A lot of people are our core raiders, on alts. Im one, disc healing. Gorn is another (am i revealing too much in saying that he usually likes to "pew pew with lazorz" in our 25 manned group?), and the feeling in the group is very relaxing.

ehm, is it a sign of addiction that, when i relax from work and raiding on my death knight - I raid! ?
When you put it like that it sounds kinda pathetic, that I play with a raidgroup to relax from raiding.

But its true. I enjoy raiding for a purpose. I love killing a new hard boss (mimimimiron was a blast, and yogg will be great once that little bi.. ehm not so nice Sara dies.) But im also a social gamer, and I love to mess around and do silly jokes with people I really like. This way I get both. Although i've yet to attend all the raids for all the groups in one week. And Mrs-dw is starting to look a little worried at me, and I think she would (litterally) pull the plug if I did end up doing too many weeks of 100% attendance. Because that would entail 7 raids in 5 days.

At the end of yet another rant-post, ill add a bit of an update, and a question:
So ive been doing this setup with 3 group raiding for 2-3 weeks now, and i can feel im getting tired. I can tell that my mood is affected by this, and im just not having all that much fun playing this many raids.
It isnt the burnt out feeling all healers experience at one point or another (although it sure has some of the same symptoms.), but I can tell that im not having as much fun playing the game.
And that sucks, because Id hate to miss any of the groups im in.
Then again, i do suffer from "all-things-to-all-people"-syndrome. I want to do everything and try everything. And right now, doing and beeing just that is kind of tearing me down. Then again it is monday and im working a long day, and got a long night of mimmimimiron 25 manned wiping to do all night.. So maybe thats it. Yea its monday.