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Patch 7.3: Frost Death Knight Changes

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The next PTR build will have a round of changes for Frost Death Knights that address various issues, focusing on Breath of SindragosaBreath of Sindragosa, Legendary items funneling the spec with resources and general talent balance to give the spec more talent viability.

What will change?

The official post can be found below.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

The next PTR build should have a round of changes aimed at addressing various concerns with Frost. The major issues we're focused on are:
  • The spec is too dominated by Breath of SindragosaBreath of Sindragosa (which has knock-on effects on talent choice throughout the tree).
  • Breath of SindragosaBreath of Sindragosa, when you do use it, can be maintained for far too long. In addition to causing the talent/legendary lock-in around it, it means the demand for continuous time on target is very strict for extended periods of time.
  • The spec has many talents/legendaries that (individually or taken together) flood it with resources. Breath contributes to this by encouraging you to take all of them, but it's also a problem on its own.
  • Talent balance generally has to be reviewed, especially after addressing all of the time.
  • We're trying to limit the scope of the changes in the patch, to address the above without opening up the core rotation for changes.

 

We want to preserve the identity of Breath of SindragosaBreath of Sindragosa, including the steady resource drain being the main limiting factor, and the expression of skill in optimizing around that. So in trying to avoid less natural solutions like capping the duration or redesigning how it works, we're trying to limit the talent/legendary synergies that cause huge variance in how long Breath can be maintained. And breaking the Breath of SindragosaBreath of Sindragosa/Hungering Rune WeaponHungering Rune Weapon interaction, on its own, goes a very long way toward making Breath's duration more reasonable again. DPS adjustment for the change is being put mostly into the baseline spec rather than into the power of Breath, because it's currently so far ahead of other setups.

Using even a small subset of all of the above effects causes the rotation to be quite flooded. They are all being either weakened in power (with compensation to the baseline spec), or given non-resource-granting effects for part of their value. In addition, the two most egregious offenders (Murderous EfficiencyMurderous Efficiency and Horn of WinterHorn of Winter) can no longer be taken together.

Overall, there should now be a much broader set of talent combinations that produce a good-feeling rotation in which there are resources to do something on most GCDs, but you're still able to spend them down. Including, for example, during Hungering Rune WeaponHungering Rune Weapon, which is overly hectic or frustrating right now when you can't spend all of its resources.

In addition, the talent rearrangement puts Frozen PulseFrozen Pulse on a row with two predominantly AoE talents, which is a better home for it. The Frozen PulseFrozen Pulse /Icy TalonsIcy Talons ("machinegun") synergy is preserved, but can no longer be taken alongside Runic AttenuationRunic Attenuation as well.

NB: The Hungering Rune WeaponHungering Rune Weapon bug may be fixed on live shortly as well, after we test the fix and analyze the impact.

Minor talent rebalancing to match the above rearrangements and talent changes; numbers are likely to be updated as the rest of the changes settle into place.

Breath can retain its role as a talent that encourages building around it to some degree (and its synergies with things like Runic AttenuationRunic Attenuation, Koltira's Newfound WillKoltira's Newfound Will, and Seal of NecrofantasiaSeal of Necrofantasia are preserved). But without the overpowering Hungering Rune WeaponHungering Rune Weapon interaction, there is a lot more room for other builds to compete, and we've buffed the spec's baseline damage a great deal to shift the landscape towards all talents being closer together in DPS. As always, we'll continue to examine all of these changes based after people can start to test them on PTR.
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2 hours ago, DasBigHippo said:

Did they really need this that badly? Last I played Frost was the better of the 2 DK DPS specs.

As of right now Unholy is doing a little better, However, this isnt just an overall buff. They're trying to make other builds of Frost viable since as of right now only BoS is hence the massive overall buff and the nerf to HRW being in the same teir as BoS. It'll be interesting with the buffs to Shattering Strikes if it could be a viable build option.

The problem with BoS build is its not that good in fights that have alot of movement and ToS fights do tend to have alot of movement. This change makes it so other builds that isnt so hamestringed from heavy movement more viable.

Edited by alleraz

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Always and ever this issue with Breath of Sindragosa. And people still argue Blizzard know what they're doing. BoS has gone through 19 f*cking changes since its first iteration. Either it drains too much, not enough, not enough damage, too much damage, didn't help recharge runes etc.

 

Just remove it and replace it with something else. Be done with it. If you can't do something like "Increases damage dealt and RP consumed over time" and make that work then you're just endlessly balancing this horrific skill.

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Well... BoS can be speced in 7.3, but then we have to say good bye to HRW and for the legendary ring (Necrofasia). The Soul legendary will be good then (or the bracer+belt combinaton will be king again). We will see it.

Lets see...

Runic Attun on the first row, (or Icy Talons?)
Murder on the second (or Horn?)
Icecap for third (ToS 4 set bonus)
...
...
Pulse (with Soul ring), Storm (with no ring)
BoS

Can this be playable?

Edited by Vulpius

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4 hours ago, VictorVakaras said:

This dual wielding, floaty weapon abomination isn't Frost to me at all. 

If it was 2H then other people would say "This standard 2h, plain weapon abomination isn't Frost to me at all."

 

In other words, what you're mentioning is both not on topic and irrelevant to balance; purely aesthetics and a matter of taste.

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4 hours ago, VictorVakaras said:

Here's hoping they allow 2-handed Frost DKs in the next expansion. This dual wielding, floaty weapon abomination isn't Frost to me at all. 

If they were to take away my DW I'll quit playing my DK all together.

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1 hour ago, RageMonkey said:

Yay! The wrecked my entire DK! 

To be fair something had to change. BoS was the only viable build for frost dks. The overall changes seem to actually benefit frost dks. Now you dont need long breaths to do massive damage since alot of that damage is now baked into the spec. It also can make other builds viable which is what the spec was sorely missing.

Edited by alleraz
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I like the fact that they at least TRY to change the BoS domminace. But the way they try to fix it sounds like epic fail....

I am one of those Players that play their DK since WOTLK as Blood/Frost with an almost 50:50 "played" ratio. Rading as Frost, M+ and solo content as blood. Never liked unholy and never will like it.
Same goes for BoS. I HATE BoS but was forced to use it in Legion because it was so  rediciously much better compared to the other Frost builds. Especially when you have the Ring.

So i SHOULD be happy about the anouncement right? Right.... i am not. The changes they are planning to make sound to me like they will arise even more problems in the rotation.
Even now with Hungering Runeweapon and all the other ressource generators and procs - /hail RNGJESUS - i have times in a fight where i am sitting at 0 runes, 0 runic power for many seconds watching my knight autohitting while in other situations i sit at 100 runic power and full runes GCD capped not knowing how to dump all those ressources before i am overcapping or wasting rime procs.

So yeah... taking away most of those "ressource generators" and/or reducing the proc chances even more wont fix this situation for me. Leaving us with an even more rng based rotation :(.

I hope i am wrong but the first reading of those changes sounds like dogshit to me.

 

Oh and why do they nerf Freezing Fog and Frozen Pulse again?

And last but not least:
yet again not a single word about Spiritwalk and Crystaline Swords. Two skills with quadrillions of complaints since the early alpha of Legion and yet they refuse to address them -.-.

 

€dit:

What i also dont understand is why on earth they keep BoS on this "run for as long as you have RP to sustain it" thing. Impossible to balance right. Especially with all those procs, rng, legendaries.

Why can't they change it to the way  that Boneshield works?  Activate it on X Runic Power to last Y seconds. DONE.

Edited by Ulathar

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1 hour ago, Ulathar said:

Oh and why o they nerf Freezing Fog and Frozen Pulse again?

They didnt nerf Frozen Pulse.... they moved it to another tier however not many ppl used the talent in the first place so it really not a big deal. They probably nerfed Freezing Fog since the 27% overall damage buff probably made it to powerfull so they just scaled it back a bit (HB and FF will still do more damage then they do now) . Also if ur resource capped but BoS isnt up use FS.... I do and I hardly have problems resource wise.

Reading these changes makes me more interested to see if more builds could be made viable. I dont really see the negatives since I never really had problems managing my resources. It's still very early however and things could, and will, change.

Edited by alleraz

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Let me explain what spec auras are. Each spec has an aura (spell). This makes tuning easier for developers. Instead of buffing/nerfing a single ability, they can do that to an entire set of abilities. In this case it's Frost Death KnightFrost Death Knight. As you can see in the tooltip, it modifies all listed spells. When the overall aura is increased by 27%, it's natural that some spells would be to OP so they're tuning them down a bit.

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Hmm if a skill did 30% of the damage of the rotation, buffing the entire set of skills would still make that aforementioned skill do 30% of the damage of the rotation.

 

Thus it must have been that a skill was already deemed OP before the buff, otherwise the aura buff could simply be set to 20% or whatever.

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4 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

Hmm if a skill did 30% of the damage of the rotation, buffing the entire set of skills would still make that aforementioned skill do 30% of the damage of the rotation.

 

Thus it must have been that a skill was already deemed OP before the buff, otherwise the aura buff could simply be set to 20% or whatever.

Yes and no. The 27% buff just made HB hit harder than they wanted to so instead of buffing every other skill by 20% and not touching Freezing Fog they nerfed freezing fog a bit while just doing a general damage buff. It's like what Stan said, its just easier for devs.

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3 minutes ago, alleraz said:

Yes and no. The 27% buff just made HB hit harder than they wanted to so instead of buffing every other skill by 20% and not touching Freezing Fog they nerfed freezing fog a bit while just doing a general damage buff. It's like what Stan said, its just easier for devs.

So the portion of damage that one skill does was indeed deemed too high compared to other skills while the overall damage kit was too low. That doesn't invalidate my statement.

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4 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

So the portion of damage that one skill does was indeed deemed too high compared to other skills while the overall damage kit was too low. That doesn't invalidate my statement.

No you're saying without the overall 27% buff freezing Fog was to powerful, it wasnt. Its only with the 27% damage buff that it was deemed to powerfull so the Devs brought it back a bit. Thats how the devs think and how they balance classes. 

Edited by alleraz

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6 hours ago, alleraz said:

No you're saying without the overall 27% buff freezing Fog was to powerful, it wasnt. Its only with the 27% damage buff that it was deemed to powerfull so the Devs brought it back a bit. Thats how the devs think and how they balance classes. 

The portion of one skill doesn't change by a global DPS increase. if it was deemed fine before it would have been deemed fine now. That's just how logic works. It still took the same slice of damage as it did before. That's how percentages work. So they buffed all skills and nerfed one slightly to both compensate for it and make the slice of the pie smaller.

 

That's how devs think and how they balance classes. That's also why fury warriors no longer have 60% "white damage". they nerfed white damage and buffed the skills so it no longer takes a large slice.

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7 hours ago, Yridaa said:

The portion of one skill doesn't change by a global DPS increase. if it was deemed fine before it would have been deemed fine now. That's just how logic works. It still took the same slice of damage as it did before. That's how percentages work. So they buffed all skills and nerfed one slightly to both compensate for it and make the slice of the pie smaller.

 

That's how devs think and how they balance classes. That's also why fury warriors no longer have 60% "white damage". they nerfed white damage and buffed the skills so it no longer takes a large slice.

What I'm saying is if they didn't give an overall massive damage buff they wouldnt have changed Freezing Fog. It's obvious they changed it BECAUSE of the massive damage buff they gave the spec and not cause the ability was deemed to OP before hand. They did this to Feral Druids too, buff the spec massively but pulled back some of their damaging abilitys since the massive buff increase made them hit harder then they wanted. 

Thats how they tend to balance some classes now. just give a spec a massive buff increase and see what spells/abilitys that buff makes to powerful and then nerf them while making other abilities  do the damage they want passively.

It's EXACTLY like what Stan pointed out and it's what the dev's are doing in this case.

 

Edited by alleraz

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I for one am happy they are validating SOME other playstyle than Breath.  How it plays out on live we shall see...  but it's a good path to go down. 

As was mentioned before, I would personally just like to see it handled like Bonestorm.  X power lasts Y seconds, simple, neat, easy to manage.

Edited by PatrickHenry

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On 7/15/2017 at 0:00 PM, alleraz said:

To be fair something had to change. BoS was the only viable build for frost dks. The overall changes seem to actually benefit frost dks. Now you dont need long breaths to do massive damage since alot of that damage is now baked into the spec. It also can make other builds viable which is what the spec was sorely missing.

Yea, except the other builds are even more braindead and boring. Frost is a Spam-fest and that needs fixed. 

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Frozen pulse dmg reduced by 39%?!? 
That's insane... A talent that hasn't seen use since pre nighthold and even then would only be good by rune starving yourself and relying on obliterate spam... which still doesn't scale with anything. It's just another hail mary buff that is going to hit the scaling wall again. Why blizz refuses to aknowledge the faulty core mechanics is a giant mystery.

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On 8/20/2017 at 11:27 AM, Alexizonfire said:

Why blizz refuses to aknowledge the faulty core mechanics is a giant mystery.

This whole post is kind of exactly about that - the biggest issues is that Frost DKs have absolutely no choice in their playstyle. It's BoS or reroll and that's what they are aiming to change. They also aren't going to completely change an entire spec mid-expansion. They'll do it after Legion is finished. They're just trying to force different viable builds atm.

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17 hours ago, Blainie said:

This whole post is kind of exactly about that - the biggest issues is that Frost DKs have absolutely no choice in their playstyle. It's BoS or reroll and that's what they are aiming to change. They also aren't going to completely change an entire spec mid-expansion. They'll do it after Legion is finished. They're just trying to force different viable builds atm.

Yeah but with a 39% nerf to the talent which is still a 10 something % nerf after aura buff really isn't helping . Besides isn't bos basically dead with hungering and obliteration in the same tier as bos? Plus murderous and horn in the same tier as well, bos uptime is not looking good at all.

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21 hours ago, Alexizonfire said:

Yeah but with a 39% nerf to the talent which is still a 10 something % nerf after aura buff really isn't helping . Besides isn't bos basically dead with hungering and obliteration in the same tier as bos? Plus murderous and horn in the same tier as well, bos uptime is not looking good at all.

Every single top parse in ToS currently for Frost uses BoS. Everything in the top 10 even. The other talents can't even come close to competing in the current, live patch.

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