Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DK For Dummies - Them Runic Power

So what about them runic powers?

It’s the light blue bar right under your health bar that’s filling up as you hit the mob and as you use your abilities.

You fill up your runic power by:
1. Applying your diseases (IT, PS).
2. Striking your target (BS, HS, SS, OB, DS).
3. Blowing your horn.

You lose runic power by:
1. Not in combat.
2. Using them for abilities listed below.

What they are used for:
Offensive abilities:
-Death Coil
-Frost Strike
-Rune Strike
-Dancing Rune Weapon
-Hungering Cold
-Corpse Explosion

Defensive abilities:
-Ice Bound Fortitude
-Death coil
-Mind Freeze
-Anti Magic Shell
-Death Pact

Since you start with 0 runic power and build up your runic power as you spend your runes, the abilities mentioned above fit after the ‘rotation’ we’ve establish previously.

So now our ‘rotations’ looks somewhat like this:

1. Apply diseases (spending runes, building runic power).
2. Strikes (spending runes, building runic power).
3. Spend runic power. (waiting to spend runes).

And that’s ladies and gents is the universal Death Knight rotation.

Whether you are tanking or damage dealing, in blood, unholy or frost, you will be doing those 3 activities. That is our core class mechanic.

Next post we’ll talk about pairing up abilities to maximize up time and minimize down time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quel Delar Delar....

Whatever will be… will beee…

So here’s short report on the Quel’Delar quest line that I’m doing at the moment.


The depth of my knowledge on WoW lore is pretty pathetic. It goes along the line of… Allys are pretty, Hordies are ugly. The end.

But it’s Quel Delar…. The sister blade of Quel Serar…

Epic quest line… Like Ebert’s review of Sex in the City, I’m going to give it 4 star out of 5. Actually that was not accurate, he gave it a thumb down. Complete waste of time that movie was.

This quest line takes you to 3 different dungeons. THREE!!! It is thick with lore and it takes you back in time. It has some NPC interactions, NPC acting, some voice acting and it rewards you with a bad ass epic.

It is the ‘solution’ of providing end game content besides raiding. Give us a story line that we can immerse ourselves in. Let us interact with important lore figures in the game. You can do the quest on your own time and pace.

I truly had fun questing even after I got to level cap. Hopefully they’ll have more of this come Cata.

Note: I’ll post up some of the lore stuff that I’ve learned after completing this quest. It’s really cool.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

DK For Dummies - Abilities & Rotations

Let’s talk about abilities and rotations.

The DK class have 3 types of abilities:

1. Disease(s)
2. Strikes
3. Filler (or some people call it runic power dump)

That’s it. This is true of all 3 of our specs. There might be some little variation and ‘fun’ things from each of the specs but these 3 are the core abilities of our class mechanic. These 3 abilities are intertwined and affect how and when to use them. We'll take a closer look of each tree later to talk about these 'fun' things that make each tree unique.

So let’s try to build us a ‘rotation’ by looking at any of the ability that has the word ‘strike’ in them.

These are Blood Strike, Death Strike, Heart Strike, Scourge Strike

Depending on the tree that you choose to level/dps/tank with, you’ll probably have some of the above ‘strike’ ability. In either case, they are available as you start the Hellfire Peninsula zone in outland.

Let’s look at the tool tips for these strikes.

Blood Strike:
Instantly strike the enemy, causing 40% weapon damage plus , total damage increased by 12.5% for each of your diseases on the target.

Death Strike:
A deadly attack that deals 75% weapon damage plus 84 and heals the Death Knight for 5% of his/her maximum health for each of his/her diseases on the target.

Heart Strike:
Instantly strike the target and his nearest ally, causing 50% weapon damage plus on the primary target, and 25% weapon damage plus on the secondary target. Each target takes 10% additional damage for each of your diseases active on that target.

Scourge Strike:
An unholy strike that deals 70% of weapon damage as Physical damage plus 238. In addition, for each of your diseases on your target, you deal an additional 12% of the Physical damage done as Shadow damage.

See the pattern there?

‘for each of your diseases on the target’ your strikes gets more potent. It will hit harder than if you do not have any disease active on your target.

So just by reading the tool tips we can built a starter DK rotation and it goes something like this:

1. Put diseases on target
2. Strike the target.

Pretty simple right? Yup.

But wait that’s not all. What about that runic power we’re gaining as we start our rotation?

Next we will talk about the dump phase. It’s like taking a dump, but better.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

U and I Must Change

With the UI overhaul in cataclysm, you know the one thing nobody talks about and the one thing that Blizzard really need to change?

The default location of your portrait.

It has vital information. Your health, your runes, your energy, your rage, your mana, your focus, your runic power.

Currently it is on the top left corner of your screen. You know what else should be on the corner of your screen? Your recycle bin. Mine’s on the bottom right corner of my screen.

I like to locate things that I deemed important on the center of my vision.

This might be the reason why I'm such a bad Karate practitioner since punches and kicks that hurt the most typically comes swinging about from my peripheral vision areas.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Subway No Way

Unrelated to WoW, they’re going to put a cap on the unlimited metro card. So instead of ‘unlimited 30 days metro card’ it’s going to be ’90 ride card’.

Assuming that I use the card every day (and I do). One swipe going to and one swipe coming from, that’s 60 guaranteed used up charges. I’d still have 30 more to use. Not a problem for a single transit user like me.

But let’s take a look at somebody that needs some transfer to a bus in addition to subway, that’s 120 charges. Not good.

The thing is, I can definitely see myself being in that group. The 5 NY boroughs do not get complete coverage from the subway system. This change will increase their travel cost by one third.

That’s a lot.

Imagine the cost of fuel went up by 33% for you that drives to and from work.

That’s a lot.

Always Practice Safe DPS

While I was in the subway this morning I got to think of why I play WoW. I can blog about it and it probably be a very boring post. Most blogger already post about it. So I decided it’s a moot point.

But something else was on my mind.

I will let you in on a little secret.

I let stupid DPS die… I let them die multiple times in a run if they don’t learn. And it felt great afterwards.

Yes, I have a healer. Yes, I have healed heroics with no tanks. Yes, I know I can keep you all alive. No, I won’t do it just because it will keep me awake for daily random.

If I practice safe DPS, the why can’t I expect the same from others when I switch to healing or tanking?

On a lighter note, I started the Quel’Delar quest on my druid. I won the hilt’s roll on a HoR run. It’s definitely one of the coolest quest line I’ve seen in the game. I’m hoping the next expansion have more of this.

Edit: I just found out that healer letting people die is not so uncommon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

DK For Dummies - Resources

In the first post of DK For Dummies series, we’ll take a look at resources that the DK class use. It’s definitely different and unique.

Like all class in the game, the death knight have their resources to fuel their ability. This is like mana for the caster classes, rage for warriors/bear, energy for rogues/cat, etc. Unlike the other class with the exception of rogues and cat druid, death knights have 2 types of resources that fuel their abilities.

One of them is called runes and the other one is called runic power.


All death knights starts with:
(2) frost runes
(2) unholy runes
(2) blood runes

Most guides called them FFUUBB
These are the little balls that are hanging under your character plate on the top left corner.

Some if not most of our abilities spend these runes. Once they are used for an ability, they go through a 10 second cooldown before they can be used again. So here’s an example of how the runes resource is used on a fight:

Start (fresh set of runes)

Icy Touch

Plague Strike

Blood Strike

10 second later

11.5 second later

13 second later


Runic power works exactly like rage. We gain runic power through the use of runes.

The rest of our abilities that does not use runes as resource will use runic power.

See how that works there?

Think of a backwards rogue or cat druid mechanics.

In short:
-Runes creates runic power that’s used for more abilities while we wait for the runes to finish up their cooldown.
-Our resources have a set of exact timers. It does not matter whether you are in heroic blues or in ICC heroic gear, your runes will refresh in exactly 10 seconds after it is used. This makes the Death Knight mechanics gravitate to a heavy resource management mechanics.

Next up we’ll look at what do we spend these runes and runic power on to maximize our output within the exact 10 seconds of each runes cooldowns.