The Glyph of Disease Problem

3 06 2009

In an earlier post entitled Talents Can Be Deceiving, I discussed a few talents that seem excellent on the surface but in fact can be troublesome/not worth the space in practice. Today I want to discuss the Glyph of Disease, partially in response to a comment on my glyph post over at Big Hit Box. The commenter stated that the Disease glyph is currently not worth using due to its buggy nature.* Despite this, I believe the glyph will still be a DPS loss for all current DPS specs. As per usual, I’ll begin with Frost.

*Current bugs include not proccing Icy Talons and sometimes diseases falling off too early.

But I want my Icy Touch…

Current (and past) Frost rotations have often excelled using only one disease, applied through Icy Touch. These rotations often involve the IT glyph, which means you will want to cast IT, rather than avoiding it. Since the Disease glyph is all about not having to waste two GCDs on re-applying diseases, it’s really not very effective here. Even double-disease Frost rotations, which often focus on Obliterate more than Icy Touch, will still not want to give up the extra RP from the IT glyph. Similarly, the Obliterate and Frost Strike glyphs contribute more to your DPS than Disease would.

What about the Scourge Strike glyph?

Unholy is probably the best candidate for the Disease glyph, though in my opinion it still isn’t worth it. The obvious glyph to switch out for it is the Scourge Strike glyph, which itself is only a way to re-apply diseases. The problem with getting rid of it is that you will no longer have the chance to chain long strings of SS – SS – BS – BS / SS – SS – SS. Since Unholy’s best damage comes from SS, you want to maximize its use. The other problem with Glyph of Disease, which applies to all specs, is that you’re essentially using a rune and doing 0 damage with it. It also generates less RP than its counterparts in Icy Touch/Plague Strike. Unholy gets extra RP from PS because of Dirge, while Pestilence will only be generating 10 RP. You also have to sacrifice the (minor) DPS of one Blood Strike per rotation in favour of Pestilence.

Death Strike doesn’t care about your diseases

Blood is different from the other two specs in that you don’t need diseases up to be doing full damage with two of your main nukes, Death Strike and Death Coil. This means that allowing your diseases drop off before you’re finished with your second set of runes isn’t really a big problem. The Disease glyph would require you to always refresh diseases before they run out, which would only complicate Blood rotations. You also lose out on a Heart Strike, your main nuke (unlike Frost and Unholy, who lose only a single Blood Strike, which makes up a much smaller % of total damage). Like Frost, you also lose DPS on any glyph you might replace with the Disease glyph.

Tanking might possibly sort of want the glyph

Unless you’re a Frost tank using Glyph of Howling Blast, the Disease glyph does have some applications. Mostly for tanking large packs of adds. In the end, however, it is largely a convenience, since you can simply tab target and cast pestilence on a secondary target to refresh diseases on all other targets. If you’re tanking a large amount of mobs, likely with a combination of DnD, Unholy Blight, Howling Blast and Blood Boil, having diseases fall off on one target is probably not worth fixing with a glyph slot. There are better glyphs.

So even though it’s current incarnation is quite buggy, I don’t think this glyph is worth using barring an overhaul of the way it works.

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23 responses

8 06 2009
The Daily Quest: No seriously, that glyph is horrible | The Frozen Gnome

[…] the Glyph of Disease is kind of terrible, says Runeforge Gossip. Click here to submit a link to […]

8 06 2009
The Daily Quest: No seriously, that glyph is horrible | World of Warcraft

[…] the Glyph of Disease is kind of terrible, says Runeforge Gossip. Click here to submit a link to TDQ Filed under: Death Knight, The Daily […]

8 06 2009
The Daily Quest: No seriously, that glyph is horrible - World of Warcrack

[…] the Glyph of Disease is kind of terrible, says Runeforge Gossip. Click here to submit a link to TDQ Filed under: Death Knight, The Daily […]

8 06 2009
The Daily Quest: No seriously, that glyph is horrible |

[…] the Glyph of Disease is kind of terrible, says Runeforge Gossip. Click here to submit a link to TDQ Filed under: Death Knight, The Daily […]

9 06 2009
Richard

For a blood death knight, your main two damaging abilities are Death Strike and Heart Strike. Death Coil is only used when everything else is on cooldown.

Both of those abilities benefit from diseases. Furthermore, because of Death Runes, when you use Pestilence in place of Icy Touch and Plague Strike, you get a free rune to use toward an extra Heart Strike.

Please properly research a topic before shooting your mouth off on it.

9 06 2009
Norm

As a blood tank, I find that this glyph greatly increases my ability to keep aoe aggro and do some pretty decent dps. It changes my rotation so much in fact that i find playing without it just doesn’t work anymore. Because of this glyph, i can fire off 6 blood boils or heart strikes in a row, which do a lot more threat than death strike and are aoe. My roto looks like this

IT – PS – Pe – BB/HS – DS – DS – BB/HS 5-6 times, throw in a PE to refresh when needed and repeat

9 06 2009
Llothtank

I agree with Norm. My DK is a blood tank as well, and I love this glyph. It free up my death runes for HS’s instead of using them to refresh diseases. It’s an awesomely nice glyph for tanking, at least for blood anyways.

9 06 2009
Vindice

@richard: doesn’t matter, glyph of disease sucks. while the OP did mention that it was buggy, he didn’t exactly go into the problem. namely, if there’s a second or less left on blood plague, it won’t refresh. furthermore, it won’t spread it to the other targets. this can completely mess up your rotation, and it happened frequently enough that i glyphed back out of disease the day after i picked it up, out of frustration. in theory it should save you two GCDs (and runes), in practice it’s just a waste of time.

that last sentence was also completely unnecessary. your point was made (and you’re right), no need to be a jerk about it.

9 06 2009
shopx3

@Richard: I don’t believe Death Strike benefits from having diseases up on the target. Unless the Wowhead tooltip is lying (“A deadly attack that deals 75% weapon damage plus 222.75 and heals the Death Knight for 5% of maximum health for each of diseases on the target.”) it’s only the healing part of the skill that benefits. I concede that you may gain a Heart Strike from using it (my mistake), but won’t your rotation get all messed up by having to always Pestilence before your Diseases run out? Also, the fact remains you’re using a GCD and a rune that don’t do any damage. You also have to consider the fact that the glyph slot being used by Disease replaces one that directly affects your DPS (Dark Death, most likely).

@Norm: Yeah, I think the glyph’s main use is as a tank. Since I use the HB glyph in my tank spec, I don’t have much use for it, but for a Blood tank I can definitely see the benefit. Good call.

@Vindice: Thanks for explaining what exactly the bugs are. :)

9 06 2009
Laniver

The WoWhead tooltip is correct, Death Strike’s important effect (Damage) Is not affected by the Diseases, only the healing is.
As for the rotation, it depends on how many points you put into Epidemic. I myself only put 1 point, allowing my diseases to fall off momentarily just after the second ‘half’ of my Blood Rotation (IT-PS-HSx4-RP… DS-HSx2-DS-RP) before they’re refreshed again. If there was a talent to pull the point out of to put into Epidemic, you may have enough time to refresh diseases via Pestilence (courtesy of the Death Runes from the first DS in the second half of the rotation) and your rotation could then be something like Pe- HSx5-RP…. DS-HSx2-DS-RP.

9 06 2009
Artori

I have two points in Epidemic as a blood tank and I’ve never had problems with my diseases falling off with my Glyph of Disease not working. I use the six heart strike rotation, and other than having to move my runic dump around a lot to deal with waiting for runes to refresh, I never really have problems with it.

9 06 2009
jiveturtle

I agree somewhat with Richard. I tank as Frost, and I wouldn’t use it there, but I find myself DPS’ing as blood a lot more lately; if it worked properly I could see using it.

Death Coil makes up a pretty small portion of my overall damage, even with the glyph of dark death.

What it really boils down to is something like this; if the damage of a death strike minus the damage of an icy touch minus the damage of a plague strike is bigger than one heart strike plus 0.15 times the damage of a death coil times the average number of death coils you use in a full disease duration, it’s DEFINITELY worth it.

This is because once you’ve eliminated all the abilities that are the same in comparable rotations, you’re using either a B rune or a D rune instead of U+F for diseases, freeing them up for a DS. You’re going to keep them up either way to maximize HS damage.

The most likely glyph to give up is dark death.

What this article doesn’t take into account, though, is GCD limitation. Quite a few things in boss fights can cause you to mess up rotations, and Blood rotations can be somewhat unforgivingly bound to the GCD, even with Epidemic, and if this glyph worked properly, it would give you a bit of leeway.

I think a PE- HSx5 – RP – DSx2 -HSx2 rotation would end up being pretty hot.

12 06 2009
Laniver

AFter some limited testing, my biggest issues are as such:
1) Because of Blizzard’s Logic concerning death runes (e.g. It will burn the first available, then the second available–regardless of the ‘base’ rune it originally was), if your rotation is at all disturbed, you could likely be screwed. Your Death Runes MUST be used in a UF pair, or else you are likely better off setting up the diseases over again.
2) This may be related to the bug above, but with a second left on my Blood Plague disease, it inexplicably drops off, forcing me to waste a Death rune on re-applying the disease–resulting in a net DPS loss (from the loss of the Icy Touch that would have re-applied the Frost Fever).

For Reference, my Rotation was:
Set Up: IT, PS, HS, HS, DS, RP
DS, HS, HS, DS, RP

Then:
Pe, HSx5, RP
DS, HS, HS, DS, RP.

The difficulty with #2 above would only come in AFTER I had refreshed the diseases via Glyph of Disease.

12 06 2009
Laniver

Further testing (with Unholy Aura) shows that this may be a cumulative bug, in that the more often you refresh with Glyph of Disease, the shorter Blood Plague’s actual duration becomes.

9 06 2009
The Daily Quest: No seriously, that glyph is horrible | zacsgames.com

[…] the Glyph of Disease is kind of terrible, says Runeforge Gossip. Click here to submit a link to […]

9 06 2009
Matt

Wow. Just. Wow.

You miss the entire point of the glyph. It is a tremendous help in a multi target fight. Let’s see.

My heart strikes do more damage to diseased targets. So does blood boil. If I wanted to keep diseases up on all targets I’d have to use a frost,unholy and blood rune anyway to keep all diseases up and spread. Instead, this just takes one blood rune. I’m not afraid of losing that as blood tap will get it back for me.

You complain it wastes a heart strike. Guess what? Saving 2 runes for another death strike = more death runes = More Heart Strikes! Again, blood tap fixes this as well if the CD is up.

Also I’ve never had this glyph glitch out. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it isn’t a huge problem like you seem to think. If the bug is there, I hope they fix it.

In a multi-target fight this glyph is beautiful. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Seriously.

9 06 2009
Shandreya

Hello, me again! Glad to see that you posted about Glyph of Disease as its being hotly debated amongst my DKs and is always an interesting topic of discussion.

Okay, let’s use Glyph of Disease in a setting where we absolutely want to maximize U-F Strike usage: Unholy with a typical build of SS spam: IT PS, BS BS, UB SS, _ SS, _ SS, _ SS. This 20 sec rotation uses BS to turn Blood runes into Death runes via Blood Strike. Even with SS glyph we still need that BS BS portion, and on occasion when our diseases do fall off, we start over with IT PS instead of _ SS.

Add Glyph of Disease to this and change out one of those Blood Strikes for a Pestilence. The disease refresh (without bugging) would eliminate the need for IT PS at any point. This basically turns into a 5 SS, 1 BS, 1 Pest build which doesn’t rely on procs.

The basic dmg difference given that you refresh diseases in accordance to a proper rotation and given that diseases don’t fall off early:
(Pest dmg) 0 vs 1 BS
U-F Strike vs IT + PS initial
Diseases stay on in both cases and continue ticking. We exchange the dmg equivalent to 1 BS for 1 Pest (zero dmg), and we drop the initial dmg of IT and PS and gain the dmg of 1 U-F Strike. It does of course, require that the player be within range to Pest the boss before the diseases run out, or they both start off with applying diseases again.

There are, in many bosses issues where you need to run around/away. It’s a common problem even for those that don’t use Glyph of Disease, but even moreso for this build which relies on being at the target every 20 sec. At its worst, the diseases can fall off and we would need to restart the rotation by applying diseases.

Of course, all the hype over Glyph of Disease was before Ulduar was out and we were catching glimpses of its potential based on hilarious standstill situation fights i.e. Thadius, Patchwerk, KT
There are still some situations where I think Glyph of Disease was beneficial though: For example XT heart phase & Razorscale harpooned to the ground. While normally diseases would fall off during this burn period, one Pestilence will refresh diseases long enough to last the duration of the window. A different build would need to refresh the diseases via IT PS (or what-have-you) while I would use those runes for an Oblit. Just an example, and Very situational.

It’s not a huge game-breaking glyph at all, but it’s handy in very specific situations where you need the diseases refreshed (Give Pestilence some cast range and maybe EJ would consider poking it with a 10 foot pole =D ).

9 06 2009
Lokasenna

Count me in with “Is win for Blood tanking” comments.

A free Death Strike (since I don’t need one of each rune to reapply and Pestilence) means more free healing, which I’ve always understood to be one of Blood tanking’s main ideas.

As others have noted, that Death Strike means more Death runes, which are an excellent excuse to drop another D&D or pop Blood Boil if there are multiple enemies. I don’t have any hard numbers, but popping Blood Boil with two diseases seems to hit for upwards of 1k on my DK. Some rigorous math might prove me wrong, but on the face of things I’d say that balances out losing the glyph of Dark Death, no?

9 06 2009
Nick

I think the issue here is not whether death strike is better than IT/PS, or whether HS does more than Pest. The problem here, is whether blood should go disease-less or not.

If you go disease-less, the only thing changed is that the HS’s do a small bit less per hit. Your rotation is still going to be HS-HS-DS-DS -> HS-HS-HS-HS-HS-HS (ignoring dumps, since it doesn’t apply here). if you are a disease spec, you are definately going to be using the glyph, since a blood rune for pestilence is way better to keep up diseases than doing IT/PS instead of a death strike (which, btw the way, also has the added benefit of generating death runes).

Thus, ignoring bugs, accidental drop-off of diseases, dumps, inital fight start rotation, etc, your ideal rotations are:
Disease: Pest-HS*-DS-DS -> HS*-HS*-HS*-HS*-HS*-HS*
Disease-less: HS-HS-DS-DS -> HS-HS-HS-HS-HS-HS
* = bonus damage for diseases being up.

Notice the difference? Overall, the only difference is that in one, you do pest instead of a HS, but when you DO do HS, it does more damage than in the other rotation.

Thus, you need to figure out if the BONUS DAMAGE on 7 HS’ do more than one bonus-less HS in the other rotation.

I believe the answer is yes, you do more damage with disease rotation (and the glyph), but every time your diseases fall off, the initial setup rotation is going to be weaker than disease-less’, and you lose ground. If that happens enough, then it’s not worth it using the glyph, let alone diseases at all.

10 06 2009
Artori

Diseaseless blood is horrible, and I’m really surprised people even consider it anymore.
Glyph of Disease allows for chaining six heart-strike combos, if you’ve specced in to Epidemic, which makes it very good for DPS, even moreso when you consider not having to reapply between mobs in AoE fights, since blood tends to fall behind in those. You don’t need to start at the beginning of your rotation, you just keep the heart strikes going.
I tank blood, and I gotta say, for blood tanking, it is also amazing, when you consider you get more health back with Death Strike on diseased targets, and saves your unholy/frost runes for an extra death strike per rotation, which, like Lokasenna said, is a big deal for blood tanks.

I really can’t speak much for the other two specs. I kept it when I switched my DPS spec to unholy, but I plan to get rid of it since Scourge Strike keeps my diseases up fairly reliably, so I can just pestilence to spread instead of refresh, freeing up a glyph slot. A lot of frost players only use Frost Fever, so it’s useless to them as well.
The glyph basically boils down to, if you’re blood, it’s useful. If you’re unholy or frost, theres much better choices for that Major slot.

10 06 2009
Artori

Ugh, wtb edit button.

“Thus, you need to figure out if the BONUS DAMAGE on 7 HS’ do more than one bonus-less HS in the other rotation.”

Heart Strike deals an additional 10% of its total damage per disease, which means that the bonus damage on only 5 Heart Strikes with disease would equate to a single heart strike, diseaseless. Diseaseless blood rotation loses to diseased in terms of damage, but is easier to use, for people who can’t seem to wrap their head around the concept of factoring disease cooldowns into their rotations.

10 06 2009
w797 - The Collection of Game Post » Blog Archive » The Daily Quest: No seriously, that glyph is horrible

[…] the Glyph of Disease is kind of terrible, says Runeforge Gossip. Click here to submit a link to […]

31 08 2009
Glyph of Disease: Revolutions « Runeforge Gossip

[…] of Disease: Revolutions 31 08 2009 This post may or may not be the complete opposite of my earlier post that generated some rather passionate comments. […]

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