The Default UI and Its Flaws

30 10 2010

As you’ve probably noticed, in patch 4.0.1, Blizzard introduced what is essentially a default-UI version (WoW Insider gives a brief explanation of it here) of Power Auras, a mod that let you create large, visible notifications for procs, debuffs, any number of things. At first it was confusing–I didn’t know what meant what, and big things were popping up on my screen confusing me during combat. That quickly passed as I became familiar with new talents and abilities. And while the WoW Insider post I linked above says this about Bizzard’s auras:

It’s simple, it’s effective and it’s pretty. I was really impressed with these ability notifications because, frankly, there aren’t really any options. The system is just … there. Believe me, it’s a plus. Sure, there are options to turn it on or off and set the opacity, but that’s all you get. Fewer options, in this case, is better,

Blizzard auras

No countdown to be seen

I have to disagree that fewer options is better. The images are nice, yes, and it’s good that we can set the opacity, but frankly, that’s not better than Power Auras. This isn’t really a complaint, seeing as how this is the case with almost all basic UI elements that are inspired by addons–the Blizzard version is functional but not customizable. But rather a plea that raiders do not use these over Power Auras or similar notification systems.

Timing is everything

The most important feature that the Blizzard auras are missing is a timer. When Killing Machine or Rime procs (the two Frost DK auras), I need to know when they’re going to run out so I can plan my next few abilities appropriately. It’s also crucial to know what’s going on with other abilities. Again taking the example of Frost DKs, Unbreakable Armor, on a 1 minute CD, needs to be used often, and Power Auras will help while Blizzard’s won’t.

I haven’t yet had a lot of experience with the raid UI, but my guess from looking at the options is that it has about half the functionality of Grid. When I healed as a Druid, one of the most important uses of Grid was seeing where my buffs were and how long was left on them without having to click on players individually. Grid does this–admittedly with a fair amount of setup–and does it well.

 

Raid frame options

Limited options

Too much is too much

On the opposite side of things, some default UI stuff just does way too much. Again, this comes down to a lack of customizability, but leads to a problem of too much information busying up your screen. The default Floating Combat Text is a great example of this. Realistically, you don’t need to see any kind of damage in a raid environment, but it is nice to see when you hit a big crit or something. It’s also really important to see certain things, like immunes, parries or misses since that can either mean you’re positioned wrong or have been standing in something bad (e.g. dust clouds). You don’t need to see your DoTs ticking, your pet’s attacks, other raiders’ hits, white hits, etc. I set my combat text to display the following:

  • Any incoming damage above 3k (probably will raise this once Cataclysm raiding begins since health pools will be much larger)
  • Outgoing damage above 5k (this means I don’t usually see non-crits or white hits)
  • Parries, dodges, misses, immunes, buffs and debuffs

    Floating Combat Text

    Can't control the flow of numbers

That’s the really important stuff you need to see. Blizzard’s combat text just isn’t this flexible. And your level of addon customization should ideally reflect how seriously you raid. If you do 5-mans and that’s it, well, most of this stuff won’t matter. But in a 10-minute long boss fight, it’s extremely important to see what matters most in a clear and understandable way. Lack of information or missing something in a cloud of text is no excuse for a death. So get customizing!

Like stats, raiding UIs should be min-maxed

For raiders, the barrier to entry is already steep. If you want to seriously play your class, there’s a lot of information you need to know, and more and more comes with each patch/expansion. 4.0.1, for instance, introduced entirely new abilities, a new rune system, more glyphs to work with and an easier way to switch glyphs around, and reforging. Addons are simply another aspect of this. Many great addons do far too much or far too little out of the box, such as MikScrollingBattleText, of which I use a very pared down version. 

So when you’re going into your next raid, pay attention to exactly what you’re using the default UI for and how you could do it better with addons. No matter how much Blizzard incorporates addon-inspired ideas, these will almost never be ideal for any serious raider.





The Fringe Benefits: Beyond Death Knight Raid Buffs

25 10 2010

In the process of forming my Cataclysm raid group, there has been a lot of discussion of what classes we need to get all available buffs. As a primarily Frost specced Death Knight, I bring a few things: 20% attack speed debuff (Frost Fever), 4% physical damage taken debuff (Brittle Bones) and 10% ranged/melee attack speed (Improved Icy Talons). This isn’t much, and a lot depends on having other melee/hunters in the raid to benefit. If I’m in a 10-man with mostly casters, I’m not helping much at all.

The Fringe Benefits

Falling down

AMS will save me, right?

This buff-induced unhappiness got me thinking about what else I bring to the table as a Death Knight. These things won’t be unique to DKs, particularly, but they are still important considerations when dreaming up an ideal raid group.

  • Survival. Few DPS classes have as many ways to stay alive as Death Knights do. Paladins and Druids come to mind because they can heal themselves in a pinch, but that’s far more reactive than most DK survival tools. The abilities involved are: Death Strike, also a reactive tool; Anti-Magic Shell, now with 7-second glyphed goodness; Death Pact; and Icebound Fortitude. These survival tools benefit a lot from knowledge of the fight. To use some old-timey examples: Death Striking after Gluth’s decimates, Icebound Fortituding in preparation for XT’s tantrum… you get the point.
  • Slows. Chains of Ice, while not as awesome as it used to be, is still a potent slow. And there are fights where this matters. Mimiron’s Bomb bots, for example. I also read there was an ooze that needed slowing in the Omnitron Defense System encounter. Awesome!
  • Army of the Dead. Hey, don’t look at me like that. I swear this spell will be the lynch pin of an encounter some day.
  • Interrupts, taunts, emergency tank, Death Grip, lions, tigers, bears, etc.

My point in all this is that a class is more than the three or four buffs it brings and some DPS/tanking/healing. No matter how much our gear is standardized between classes, or however much we’re reduced to numbers and buffs, each class inevitably brings its own stuff to a raid.

Note: I also posted this as a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic idea, so if you have your own blog, check it out!





One-Handed Weapons: A Death Knight Conundrum

21 10 2010

This has bugged me ever since I started Dual Wielding as a Death Knight. It still bugs me to this day. And it bugs me even more given the recent hullaballoo over simplifying stats and making sure each class has access to properly itemized gear. Changes in this vein include: all healers getting mana regeneration from spirit, reforging and the removal of ArP in favour of mastery (ArP was worth more to classes that did lots of physical damage compared to classes like Paladins and DKs whose rotations include magical damage). So what’s bugging me? Where are the one-handed weapons itemized for DKs?

Agility One Handers

Bad itemization, bad!

Oops. This post has been edited to reflect the truth

As excellent commenter Argon pointed out, not only can Fury Warriors also use one-handed DPS weapons again, but there are also a number of properly itemized one-handers for DKs and Fury Warriors that have popped up on Wowhead. So instead of deleting this post, which I considered, I’m going to turn it into a more positive one.

Thanks, Blizzard

Since 4.0.1 hit the servers, I’ve been noticing a lot of little things that just make life easier and more fun. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to give thanks.

  • ONE-HANDERS WITH DPS STATS AND STRENGTH! (Thanks again, Argon!)
  • General UI improvements (everything looks a lot prettier and is generally more elegant now, especially the spellbook)
  • Guild achievements and leveling
  • The amazing transformation of Haste and making it a useful, interesting stat for DKs (it’s really cool to have a stat that isn’t a straight DPS increase like most are)
  • The new glyph system

That’s all I can think of for now. There’s lots more. The only reason I didn’t include reforging in the list is because it’s just so complex and I have yet to wrap my brain around my feelings toward it.





Patch 4.0 Frost DW Talents

12 10 2010

Wondering how to spec in 4.0? Confused? Me too. This post is my attempt at creating a Frost DW spec that will do two things: get me to Cataclysm and help me get used to the new mechanisms and procs of DW Frost. Here’s the spec:

4.0 Frost DW talent specBrrrr

Some explanations:

Icy Reach vs. RPM: RPM lost a lot of its usefulness due to changes to other abilities, such as AMS not energizing runic power and Druids’ revitalize not giving runic power either. Icy Reach therefore provides more benefit in combat situations, since you should avoid capping your RP and a higher cap, if you are good at using up RP as it is generated, does not help you.

Endless Winter vs. On a Pale Horse: I lean towards EW because in the limited situations that both talents do anything, EW will help more. It frees you up to use your usual rotation and not lead to accidental wipes because you used up RP when you shouldn’t have. On a Pale Horse, on the other hand, is a more passive talent that, when it works, will help marginally, but will really not affect your gameplay very much. When you’re slowed, you’re still going to be slowed. Although both are narrow, I think EW has a more important effect when it is useful, since when interrupts are part of an encounter, they are often a significant part (see: Vezax, Jaraxxus, etc).

That’s all, folks?

The rest of the Frost talents for DW are pretty much must-haves, especially since many of them are new and the most important thing in the last months of WotLK is not to get uber DPS but to become used to how the new talents will work in tandem with the new rune regeneration system, which I’ll hopefully be able to talk about once the servers come back up.

Glyphs!

Prime glyphs: Two are fairly obvious, here being: Obliterate and Frost Strike, stalwarts of Frost glyphing. The only competition is between HB and Icy Touch. After some experimenting with both, I think I’ve come out in favour of HB, mostly due to being given the nod by EJ and some testing here and there. HB just hits harder. And means that you can do quicker, better AoE damage due to not having to rely on Icy Touch/Pestilence, which suffers from the Pestilence nerf.

Major glyphs involve a bit more choice, but mine are as follows: Pestilence, AMS, Hungering Cold (or Blood Boil). Frost gets pretty mediocre returns from these glyphs, but there isn’t a lot of choice because Pillar of Frost is likely more of a hindrance than a help for PvE. Blood Boil and Hungering Cold are exchangeable depending on how useful HC turns out to be in raids (I’ve been out of the game for a while, also never had it in PvE specs before). AMS will most certainly be helpful for obvious reasons, fire bad, etc. Pestilence range increase is still good, and the rest just don’t do anything.

Minor glyphs: These also don’t do much, but if you’re curious I’ll be taking Path of Frost, Blood Tap and Horn of Winter.

What about you? Have any other choices in mind? Have you gotten on the servers yet?





Does Anybody Really Enjoy Faction Champions?

31 10 2009

I don’t try to hide it. Whenever I down Jaraxxus, I sigh at the upcoming fight. I hate Faction Champions. I’d rather lose Eye of the Storm than do this encounter, which says a lot since I’m not a huge fan of PvP. I know there are a lot of other people who don’t like it (and some crazy weirdos who do) so I thought I’d compile a list of reasons why I don’t like it.

  1. Randomness. In very few other fights can you get gibbed so easily, especially while CC’d. I can break fear once every two minutes with my PvP trinket, but when I can’t break out? More often than not the melee champions start chasing me and kill me while I’m CC’d. Is there any other encoutner in Wrath where something so random can happen (and happens frequently)?
  2. I don’t get to DPS. I spend most of my time in heroic FCs casting Chains of Ice on the Death Knight and the Rogue to keep them off our casters. So basically I end up running around, away from the kill target, to cast Chains. That’s boring. It’s not the same as having a few interesting gimmick-things to do in an encounter, like switching essences in Twin Valks.
  3. It’s not PvP. One of the irritating things about this fight is that I would likely perform better if I used a PvP spec. Since it is a raid, and not a battleground, I find this to be something of a design flaw. I’m all for some off-the-wall talents being useful sometimes (like reduced Death Grip cooldown to help with Sparks on Malygos) but when it’s better to completely nuke your DPS in favour of a bit more survival? I’ll pass, thanks.
  4. Morale. I play on a PvE server, so there are a lot of people in my raid who just don’t like PvP. Whatever people say about FCs, it will always be a PvP encounter forced into a PvE situation to me. Again, this is bad design in my opinion. If anything, this is the kind of encounter that should be put behind a PvP barrier like Wintergrasp, since at least the flavour of PvP is retained. So when we do this fight, and half the raid is irritated even before we wipe, well, it just doesn’t help the raid’s morale.

So why don’t you like Faction Champions?





Why the Scourge Strike Redesign is Amazing

26 10 2009

Around when the DK Q&A came out, I was pretty unhappy with Armor Penetration as a whole. Back then, I was Frost specced (in those days Obliterate was not the primary source of damage) and thought that I would never want to see ArPen on my gear. Ever. When 3.2 hit and I started Dual Wielding, things changed. Obliterate was a lot better than it was and as a result so was ArPen. Since then I’ve switched to Blood and ArPen is the best stat besides Strength, but that’s beside the point.

The worst thing that happened to DKs since Wrath was when Unholy Death Knights started using Obliterate. Deep Unholy, that is (not counting the 32/39 builds of old that used Howling Blast). Why, you ask? Well, on the surface Obliterate and SS aren’t very different. They’re both use an Unholy and a Frost Rune and hit for some % of weapon damage plus some other damage.

It’s the texture that matters

To me, though, SS and Obliterate feel different. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like casting Death Strike, Obliterate, and Scourge Strike each have unique associations. In this comparison, Obliterate is on the generic side since its only unique aspect is that it removes diseases (which can be talented away). Its respective glyph is also a flat damage increase rather than one that’s dependent on other factors.

Moving on, though, I think it’s important that each talent tree uses different strikes or else they’ll all start feeling the same. So when I read that Scourge Strike was being redesigned in 3.3 into an attack that initially does physical damage and then shadow damage based on the physical part, well, I was happy. I used to be despondent about how ArPen sucked for 2/3 specs, but Blizzard has managed to quietly make it useful while maintaining each tree’s uniqueness. Well played, Blizzard, well played.





Rolling Diseases: How to Effectively Spread the Plague

18 10 2009

Note: this post is primarily about Blood DPS (though it is also applicable to Frost, which often uses Glyph of Disease).

Rolling diseases is the term used for casting diseases while you have temporary buffs (such as Greatness, Fallen Crusader, Unholy Might, Unholy Force, etc.) that increase your Str/AP and then refreshing those buffed diseases with Glyph of Disease/Pestilence. The way Pestilence works with GoD is in the wording: “Your Pestilence ability now refreshes disease durations on your primary target back to their maximum duration.” Compare this to Glyph of Howling Blast: “Your Howling Blast ability now infects your targets with Frost Fever.” The HB glyph causes HB to apply Frost Fever while GoD allows Pestilence to refresh the diseases already applied to your current target.

Keep in mind that the decision to use Glyph of Disease (over Glyph of Dark Death) depends on how many on use/chance on hit AP/Str procs you have. The major ones you can get are: Darkmoon Card: Greatness, 2p t9, Sigil of Virulence, that sort of thing. The more you have, the better Glyph of Disease will work for you.

GoD

But Shop, how can I get all my procs to align?

The short answer is that you can’t. The long answer is that there are a few tricks that can help you set up your procs to align.

1) At the start of your fight, use HS-HS-DS (with the option of BT to get a 3rd HS if Unholy Might doesn’t proc) to get as many procs going as possible, then apply diseases.

2) Download and configure Procodile, an addon that can monitor internal cooldowns (ICD) of buffs (as well as the buffs themselves, but I use other addons to cover that). When you have it set up to track all the ICDs of your buffs, if you don’t get all your buffs up at the start of a fight, you can see in advance if and when multiple proc cooldowns will line up again. Considering how important this can be for your DPS, Procodile is a worthwhile investment.

How does Pestilence fit into your rotation?

If you are spell hit capped, you can wait until the last possible second to refresh your diseases. If you’re not, it’s best to leave yourself at least one GCD before your diseases fall off when you refresh. This way if your Pestilence misses you don’t lose your buffed diseases. Aside from this, fit Pestilence in wherever necessary, and where possible refresh disease right before you use DRW so you don’t waste a GCD on a Pestilence while DRW is up.

The ideal rotation for Blood with GoD is to use the traditional 20 second rotation (IT-PS-DS-HS-HS-DC // DS-HS-HS-HS-HS-DC-DC) and simply cast Pestilence before the 21-second diseases run out. This is, however, in an ideal situation and you should be thinking ahead about what might happen to cause you to be away from the boss. One example is Icehowl: you want buffed diseases to stay up as long as possible but are frequently knocked away from the boss.

Some final tips:

  • First priority in your rotation is keeping buffed diseases going; if they fall off it’s not always easy to get them going again
  • Know when you will be away from the boss so you can refresh in advance
  • Cast Pestilence as little as you can while still keeping diseases up (i.e. don’t refresh halfway through disease timers without a good reason to)




Glyph 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.

Oops.

Oops.

Since then, things have changed a bit, especially for Frost. The main reason is the discovery that, much like how Lifebloom worked in previous eras, you can pop trinkets and time with procs to get the most AP, apply new diseases, and refresh the boosted disease ad nauseam (unless the fight is such that you can’t help your diseases falling off).

For Frost DW (if you don’ t have to provide the haste buff), you also aren’t losing much by ditching the IT glyph, which was the major disadvantage of using Glyph of Disease in previous patches. Frost DW runs in Blood Presence, and with the IT glyph frequently has an abundance of unusable procs and RP. So by using GoD, you lose the functionality of overflowing RP (for IBF and AMS) and gain significantly better disease damage and more space in your rotation.

Using the glyph comes with a caveat, however. Many fights simply don’t allow it to be used effectively, both in Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader. Basically, the glyph won’t help you if you have to keep applying diseases the standard way with Icy Touch and Plague Strike. Some examples of bad fights for the GoD are Northrend Beasts, Twin Valkyries, Faction Champions, Yogg.. the list goes on.

If you have the liberty of having two DPS specs, having one DW Frost with GoD can be very beneficial especially for sit-and-DPS fights like Vezax. Right now my secondary DPS spec is DW Frost with Endless Winter for free interrupts that I use for Faction Champions and other interrupt fights. If you’re not an off-spec tank, don’t be afraid to use one general one and another very specialized one for certain situations. My primary spec is Blood, which is good at basically everything but interrupting, since losing 20 RP at crucial moments in your rotation is frustrating (due to the Death Strike glyph and the large amount of RP that DRW uses up).

P.S. There’s a new, updated thread for Unholy over at EJ which I encourage you to check out if you’re interested in that sort of thing.





Death Knights, Faction Champions and You

20 08 2009

The Faction Champions encounter in the Coliseum is probably the most innovative and different fight in all of Wrath. Not necessarily because it’s really difficult (even though it’s a significant step up from Jaraxxus and the Beasts) but because it’s dynamic. Unlike most bosses, where you can succeed by paying close attention to a boss’s cooldowns and various other timers, Faction Champions plays like a 5v5 arena match scaled up to PvE numbers. What that means is that this fight requires an incredible amount of coordination and quick, intelligent reactions.

Luckily, as Death Knights, we have ample resources to help out in this fight. I actually wished I was using my old 17/54 Unholy PvP spec for this encounter to get the Ghoul stun along with some other utility (but strong DPS is very important in the early phase of the fight, so I don’t recommend sacrificing DPS stats/talents for resilience or utility). The only exception to this is the WG PvP trinket, which has 190 AP on it. If you haven’t already, check out Tankspot’s video guide to the encounter. Once you’ve done that, I’ll provide a few DK-specific tips for the fight.

A few DK abilities stand out in this fight. Let’s begin with some tips for using the ever-awesome Death Grip:

  • You can use Death Grip to interrupt heals (none of the FCs are immune to the GET OVER HERE aspect of the spell), but beware of putting dangerous melee on taunt diminishing returns.
  • My guild had me pulling the primary target (for us, the Priest) out of the pack to start the encounter, as well as gripping subsequent targets out of the hubbub so that melee DPS didn’t get cleaved by Whirlwinds, Hellfires, etc.
  • If you see a mob targeting (can be melee or ranged) a clothy or healer, don’t hesitate to grip it to you. You can also use Dark Command for this purpose, but again don’t overuse these abilities lest mobs become immune to taunt (happens after 3-4 taunts on a single mob).

Next up, tanking cooldowns. I’m going to lump AMS, IBF and Frost Presence together here. Depending on your spec, you will most likely have another cooldown in the form of Rune Tap/Vampiric Blood/Unbreakable Armor/Bone Shield, but I won’t mention these individually.

  • If you’re Death Grippings mobs around, taunting off healers and generally doing DPS to stuff, chances are you’re going to take some serious damage. The mobs don’t have aggro tables, but can focus on you if they feel like it for any amount of time. So if you notice that you’re taking a lot of damage, use a cooldown. Don’t pop everything at once – pretend you’re tanking and spread your defensive abilities out.

Interrupts (so incredibly important). Since these mobs are stunnable, interruptable and grippable, it’s your responsibility to interrupt important spells (note: this means paying attention to what spells you’re interrupting rather than blowing your cooldowns on every spell you see).

Here are the important spells to interrupt (from highest priority to least)

  1. Any kind of heal (Holy Light, Flash of Light, Flash Heal, Penance, Nourish, Regrowth, Healing/Lesser Healing Wave).
  2. Unstable Affliction (this spell is bad news – not only is it immune to dispel, but it also can be hit by your Priests’ mass dispels by accident and cause bad things to happen)
  3. Any form of CC (Fear, Polymorph, Hex)
  4. Damage spells (Shadow Bolts, that kind of thing)

Note that your interrupt abilities are not limited to Mind Freeze. Strangulate was recently patched to have an interrupt component for PvE, so even though it’s on a 2min cooldown, don’t hesitate to use it if necessary. This means keeping a Blood or Death Rune available when your Mind Freeze is on CD. You can also use, as mentioned earlier, Death Grip to interrupt spells (even if you’re close to the mob in question. If you’re specced for the Ghoul, you should be using Gnaw as well.

Chains of Ice and other utility things

  • The best target for Chains is the Death Knight, followed by the Warrior (because he Bladestorms around a lot slows are less helpful). Since these targets are often left alive late into the fight, it’s important to mitigate the damage they do. The best way to accomplish this is by either hard-CCing them (things like Polymorph and various stuns), fearing or kiting.
  • Unlike most fights with adds, the FC encounter lends itself quite well to Army of the Dead usage. While your ghouls won’t taunt the FCs themselves, they can and probably will taunt the enemy’s pets (which are only level 80) and mitigate some damage. Don’t forget that AotD also acts as a defensive cooldown and reduces damage done to you while channeling it. Since taunting random crap away from healers is what this fight is all about, AotD can be a good way to start off the fight.
  • Note that the ghouls will probably break CC, so use it at a time in the fight when lots of your CC is on DR or when you are ignoring CC to burn healers down. Anything that distracts the FCs and takes a few hits is a help to your healers.

N.B. See Kathmaul’s comments for some further strategy suggestions





ITx6 Meets DW

17 08 2009

I want to preface this post by saying that I haven’t been able to try ITx6 in a raid as of 3.2 (yet) and so don’t have any solid numbers. That said, Erekose (the author of the ITx6 explanation video I’ve posted about before) has suggested it is once again viable. Here’s his post on EJ for your viewing pleasure. So if I have no numbers, what’s this post about? Well, DPS specs are about 90% numbers and 10% other random crap that goes on in the background.

For reference, here are the two specs I’m going to be talking about (and their corresponding rotations):

ITx6: Spec (take points out of Dark Conviction and into Virulence if you need extra hit that you don’t have on your gear)

Rotation and an explanation of how the spec works can be found here.

DW Frost (Obliterate-centric): Spec (Choose between BCB/Subversion)

Explanation of the spec and how it works here.

Let’s start with the ITx6 spec and its pros and cons.

Pros

  • Not GCD-locked
  • Flexible rotation (with so many Death Runes, it’s easy to fit in things like Pestilence and Unbreakable Armor as necessary)
  • 15% movement speed from UP (frees up your boot enchant plus the move speed is helpful in general)
  • More procs from the 15% melee haste in UP
  • Single-disease rotation is simpler to manage and allows you to start DPSing new targets quicker
  • Able to make good use of any and all procs
  • Can take advantage of AMS soaking rather than simply getting capped)
  • Parries/dodges/misses don’t screw up the rotation

Cons

  • Lower disease damage (single-disease, no BP modifier)
  • Can’t take advantage of Glyph of Disease (one-disease rotation makes it moot)
  • Lower AoE damage
  • Requires spell hit to function properly (way more ITs in the rotation compared to the Obliterate-centric rotation)
  • Without a source of magical damage to AMS soak from can have downtime in the rotation
  • Obliterate glyph is much less effective than the other Frost rotation since ITx6 uses so few)
  • Disease clipping (casting IT before FF falls off)
  • Doesn’t benefit well from ArPen (~45+% damage is from Frost Strike)
  • Only really wants Str/AP/hit on gear, all other stats are largely wasted

And now the Obliterate-centric rotation:

Pros

  • Higher disease damage (no clipping)
  • Higher Obliterate damage (takes full advantage of the glyph)
  • Higher AoE damage
  • Can use Glyph of Disease if not providing the 20% haste buff
  • No downtime in the rotation
  • Scales well with ArPen (prevalent on a lot of gear)

Cons

  • Extremely GCD-locked
  • Can’t effectively make use of all Rime/KM procs without delaying the rotation and therefore rune refreshes
  • Difficult to fit UA into the rotation (even with macros, requires extremely difficult and precise timing, making it unavailable at certain points in the rotation, such as when Frost Runes are available)
  • Extra RP is essentially wasted (from AMS soaking or other sources, such as a Druid’s Revitalize talent)
  • No movement speed buff (stuck with the Tuskarr’s boot enchant)
  • Capped expertise required since parries/anything that pushes the rotation back will have a negative effect on DPS

All this said, I’m going to test out ITx6 and post a parse of that compared to a parse of previous boss fights done with the DW Frost spec. If you’ve tried ITx6 post-3.2 or have pros/cons to add please e-mail me or post in the comments. All the utility in the world means nothing if one spec dominates in DPS.

Edit: Although I don’t have any parses because the person who usually records them wasn’t on for most of the raid, I found that I was doing competetive DPS – slight variations up or down most likely due to rustiness with the spec.

Time to respec.

Time to respec.








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