Thursday, April 8, 2010

Requiem for a Blood Spec

Earlier this week, Blizzard announced that they would be gutting and overhauling the Death Knight tanking talents. The class was originally designed with three talent trees (same as the other classes), but each tree contained both melee DPS AND tanking talents. This predicament was not entirely unique - Feral druids also use one tree for both tanking and DPS - but I can see how it is a balance challenge that will only increase as Cataclysm allows more cross-tree points.

As a result, the Death Knight blood tree will become a dedicated tanking tree in the expansion. I'm a bit puzzled about why DPS blood, as opposed to frost, was chosen to get the boot, when the DK frost stance is used for tanking. (WoW.com claims that DPS blood had drifted closer to DPS unholy, which is as good an idea as any.) I'll also admit to a bit of nostalgia.

The blood spec I knew and abused in the Wrath beta is long since gone - at varying points it the beta, it was possible to spawn half a dozen blood worms and solo just about anything that couldn't one-shot you. I ultimately opted to reincarnate Cheerydeth as a rogue rather than suffer the disappointment of playing the Death Knight in a state that actually resembles balanced. Even so, I'm a bit sad to see the option of revisiting the minion horde go away.

In related news, Klep quips that shaman tanking will be the next spec overhaul. The new spec that has me really excited, only a week late for April Fools Day, is the new Frost Mage kiting/tanking setup. The Frost mage taunt will be a skill called "got your nose" that only works on frostbitten foes, and forces them to chase the mage until they can get in melee range. The ability also applies a debuff called "to spite your face" that reflects any non-melee damage the afflicted mob might otherwise be tempted to send the mage's direction.

2 comments:

What's my main Again? said...

I'm a little disappointed only because it means that the frost tanking build that I love so much... just won't exist. Then again... my DK isn't the highest on my priority list to level once cataclysm comes out so who knows.

Klepsacovic said...

As I've interpreted GC's reasoning: "Blood sucked and whatever tree is the designated tank will need a lot of work, so we might as well kill two birds with one stone."