DW Death Knight - First thoughts...

Hi there - this was posted on 17th of august by me in EU Beta Forums:

Since I am in the beta I started my DK and leveled him as a DW. I love DW, it is a lot of fun and really fits the Deathknight very well... even if some players think the opposite and are trying to defame DW.

So, to give everyone an impression what the DK is like when you play him as DW, I made a first video in the build 8770:


Starting gear and 2 swords from the honor hold, it was really fun but I noticed, that the lack of +hit takes quite some damage away.
Also build 8770 hade a few bugs, necrosis was not proccing with correct damage, blood-caked blades not proccing, Ghul somehow going amok...

So with the new build 8781 from august 12th I did some newer scenes, mostly with level 66 or 67 and a different specc, to show you how it is to play DW in this build and what it will be like when you are nearly finished in outlands:


But unfortunately, there are still Bugs in this build. Blood-caked blades still not proccing, so I did not skill it this time... Icy Thalons is giving no haste buff, that is kinda disturbing when you DW. But you can see, that it is still fun and that DW has a nice killspeed with no down times.

Going Northend...

Now I am 70 and did quite some quests in Northend. The gear from the quests there is simply amazing for a fresh DK, finally you can get rid of the (still awesome looking) starting gear and get some new, really good looking and refreshing stuff which also fits together in color and style.

I took most items with +hit and +crit (there is stuff with like +53 crit rating... awesome!!) and I could see an increase in DPS and a decrease in miss... finally, it was getting more fun!

Doing around 300 to a maximum of 400 dps in Outland, I can now reach 700 dps, and with some critluck also 800 dps. And this with just some green questitems and buggy talents / skills...


Aiming for a good Specc for raiding or 5-man groups, some points in blood are fine and push the DPS - but not all points in blood. So you have to find the right balance... and I think, the best specc to go for Raids at Level 80 is to put most of the points into Frost until Howling Blast or even until Frost Strike, and take the important stuff from Unholy like Necrosis und Blood-Caked Blades (when they are finally working...). and just the rest into blood.

That could look like:


Or you can try to do more Unholy:


But that would cost you 5% crit from blood and a synergy from Unholy... but may be worth it, if Blizzard gets the balance of RP costs and RP Generation for frost. At the moment, it is nearly unplayable because you cannot really do everything you need to do in a fight - you run out of runes and RP very fast.

Problems and concerns...

One of the best things of a DK is the self-healing. But not for a DW. Most helpfull talents are imho in Frost and Unholy. Some say deep Blood would be better with spamming blood strike and heart strike etc... but I don't think that it is reasonable to put the points in the same tree a 2h DK would use.

So, when leveling with DW you may lack selfhealing, which is why I specced a bit more into blood now. Helps a lot in Northrend.

The biggest concern at the moment are our talents which mostly are based on weapon damage. Seeing 2h going up to 700 or even 800 max damage, our main hand weapon barely will have half of the damage.

As DW we may can have mor AP or will stack more +hit and +crit ... but I think this won't balance it out. A solution I would have for that would be, that every skill or talent that "strikes" the enemy with the weapon, strikes as DW with both weapons and is calculating the damage on the sumed up weapon damage of both weapons.

For example Blood Strike:
[i]Instantly strike the enemy, causing 60% weapon damage plus 164 for each of the Death Knight's diseases on the target[/i]

This could look like that for DW:
[i]Instantly strike the enemy with both weapons, causing 60% of the overall weapon damage of both of his weapons, plus 164 for each of the Death Knight's diseases on the target[/i]

Weapon example:

Main hand 430
Off hand 300
Summing up 730 - 60% of that for the damage calculation

The talent could have 2 tooltips, or there could be 2 talents - one for 2h and one only to be used for DW.

This would equal 2h and 2 1h weapons in the damage calculation. I don't really know how far 1 hand weapons will go up on level 80... so this should be closely watched that this calculation won't exceed 2h weapons.

Because this seems to be the current fear of the 2h DK fans... that DW will overcome 2h like it is with warriors or shamans.

But summing up that in some cases, a very fast offhand with lower weapon damage might be better for proccing rune-enchantments, there wont be such a huge overall weapon damage then with 2 slow 1h weapons... I think, it would be worth a try!

Another current problem for now, is that many of the important talents are buggy, so there is no way to 100% calculate what it will be like in raids, but one thing I saw in my last Utgarde run:

Unholy Presence plus a working Icy talons will give you an insane attack speed, counting Killing Machine in with Howling Blast, and Necrosis and also a working Blood-Caked Blades ... we will be able to get some nice damage output.

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