Cataclysm Death Knight Changes Part One: Rune System

4 05 2010

Hi guys, I’m back

A friend of mine gave me a scroll of resurrection, so I decided that while I was temporarily (possibly for more than the 10 day free playtime) back in the World of Warcraft, I’d toss a blog post up here in case anyone’s reading. Seeing as I am not an expert in optimal DPS theorycrafting these days, I’m going to talk about the rune changes proposed for Cataclysm. Here they are, in case you are not familiar with them:

Dragon's going to eat part of DK rotations, leaving big holes.

The new rune system will change how runes regenerate, from filling simultaneously to filling sequentially. For example, if you use two Blood runes, then the first rune will fill up before the second one starts to fill up. Essentially, you have three sets of runes filling every 10 seconds instead of six individual runes filling every 10 seconds. (Haste will cause runes to fill faster.) Another way to think of this is having three runes that go up to 200% each (allowing extra “storage”), rather than six runes that go up to 100% each.

This sounds like gobbledeyguk, so read this explanation by Ghostcrawler instead (scroll down to see his full post):

In Cataclysm, when you’re killing things, you use rune 1. Then any extra “red” in rune 2 will fill rune 1 back up again. If both of them are full, you can use 2 Blood Runes immediately. But after that, rune 1 will fill up first and then rune 2. If it helps, imagine rune 2 is the extra tank.

GC then goes on to talk about how this might slow down DK rotations, and how it might leave space between rotations, open GCDs, breathing room, etc.

Does anyone really want breathing room in a rotation?

I don’t know about you, but I like my rotations packed. It’s part of why I liked ITx6 rotations back in the day: they were fun and engaging. When you have a lot of open GCDs, it feels like you’re not doing anything. So when GC says that we can hit less and harder instead of often and weaker, I’m not encouraged. I’m confident that DKs won’t stop doing reasonable amounts of DPS, but I’m not convinced that we’ll stop being really fun.

I don’t like ranged DPS or caster DPS because it simply doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything. So if DKs stop being a class that DPSes at a rapidfire pace, well, I’ll be sad. I know we probably won’t get a rotation that plays in Unholy Presence anytime soon, but all the ones that did were really fun.

It might not be a bad idea to make open GCD rotations and tight rotations appropriate for different trees. Unholy has always had more open GCDs (its main strike is a two-rune ability and it doesn’t have a cheap RP dump like glyphed Frost Strike) and Frost has typically (especially in the UP rotations) had tighter rotations. Blood has usually had pretty tight rotations as well, but in cataclysm it will be a tanking tree (sad panda here) so it’s not part of this discussion.

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5 responses

5 05 2010
JokeyRhyme

I quite like the button mashing we currently have for rotations. It’s kinda’ fun and I feel really busy.

I’m very interested in how spacing out our rotations will feel in practice. I think it’ll probably end up being for the better, but it will probably require us long-time DKs to forget WotLK in order to enjoy it.

5 05 2010
Andrew Gordon

I like how what we do isn’t quite true button mashing (just hit buttons, regardless of order) but intelligent button mashing. So we’re always making split-second decisions of what button to hit next, always a balance between runes and runic power to be achieved. And I think it’ll be less interesting if we’re given a lot more time to make these choices.

14 07 2010
Ken

I totally agree man. 100% …

8 06 2010
Justin

Yeah Jokeyrhyme,

I must agree with you. I began WoW in WOTLK made a hunter got him to 55 and instantly went into a DK. As soon as I made it, I knew I was meant to play a DK. As time progressed I learned my class better and better and once I hit 80 I decided to become a Blood Tank. The changed taht have been talked about will probably make a DK less fun. However, I believ that Blizzard will do something that will make it entertaining like it is currently in WOTLK. One can hope at least.

21 07 2010
Steve

the way I think of the new rune system is pretty simple: They’re basically gimped energy bars. If you think of a DK as having 5 resource bars rather than 2 with runes(that is, one bar each for HP, Blood, Unholy, Frost, and RP) , and assume the 3 “rune” bars work roughly like energy. The “energy-analogue” bars fully recharge after 20 seconds, and each ability will cost either 50 energy or 100 energy for any given rune type. (for instance, IT would cost 50 frost, PS 50 unholy, SS 50 unholy 50 frost… D&D would cost 50 of each “rune” resource)

I think that’s *about* how this change is going to work in practice (granted, I don’t have a beta key)… and as I haven’t tried it, I’m not sure how I feel about it.

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