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7.3 PTR Frost - Rejoice!

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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 Sindragosa (which has knock-on effects on talent choice throughout the tree).
  • Breath 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.
  • All damage abilities increased by 27%
  • Hungering Rune Weapon (L58) and Glacial Advance (L100) swapped positions
  • Breath of Sindragosa damage increased by 10%

We want to preserve the identity of Breath 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 Sindragosa/Hungering 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.

  • Murderous Efficiency (L56->L57), Frozen Pulse (L57->L90), and Runic Attenuation (L90->L56) swapped positions
  • Hungering Rune Weapon duration 12s (from 15s) and additionally grants 20% haste
  • Bugfix: Hungering Rune Weapon correctly generates a Rune every 1.5s instead of every 1s
  • Murderous Efficiency chance 50% (from 65%)
  • Horn of Winter cooldown 45s (from 30s)
  • Koltira’s Newfound Will generates 1 Rune (from 2) and now causes Obliterate to deal 10% extra damage

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 Efficiency and Horn 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 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 Pulse on a row with two predominantly AoE talents, which is a better home for it. The Frozen Pulse/Icy Talons ("machinegun") synergy is preserved, but can no longer be taken alongside Runic Attenuation as well.

NB: The Hungering 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.

EDIT: Added Frozen Pulse change which was missed when I copied changes into the post earlier. As with the other changes, this is meant to make Frozen Pulse balanced within its new row, and meant to be accounted for in the overall DPS increase above.

Breath can retain its role as a talent that encourages building around it to some degree (and its synergies with things like Runic Attenuation, Koltira's Newfound Will, and Seal of Necrofantasia are preserved). But without the overpowering Hungering 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.

I haven't worked out the ramifications of these massive changes... HUGE but at the moment I'm more excited for 7.3 than ever... this is fantastic news. It's good to know they are finally addressing the single talent build issue.

Edited by Browed
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Personally I think Icy Talons will be back in a big way, especially with a buff to it's effect.

Icecap vs. GA is an interesting choice... I expect Icecap to de-value in this tier due to T20 being replaced.. but T21 is still unconfirmed afaik... watch this space.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the BoS build become:

RA, ME, GA, FP, BoS

The only one I'm not so sure of is FP, will it's nerf make it less powerful than GS.

If they reduce the CD on BoS (more pooling periods) then FP devalues further than just the nerf.

I doubt that will be my choice, but it seems to be the front runner for those heavy into the spec.

My choice will likely go IT, ME, Icecap, GS, Oblit but I really like the Shattering Strikes buff and will play with double Razorice again at least to rule it out if it turns out sub-optimal.

Edited by Browed
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I believe a few more updates actually made their way into the next PTR (some potentially still in progress):

--Obliteration now causes Howling Blast to grant Killing Machine, as well as Frost Strike. This should help with feeling like you can use Rime procs without interfering with Obliteration.
--The overall damage buff is 21%, not 27%. Just a new estimate of what's correct to roughly account for all the talent changes. Rest assured the goal is to find the accurate amount by which the talent changes would hurt total DPS and correct for that, even before looking into possible further adjustments for class balance.

Finally, the L75 row is generally redesigned. The overall situation seemed to be that Permafrost did a rather low amount of shielding, but was usually taken because the other options had so little use. Some of this might be a little preliminary, but the ideas on PTR are:
--Permafrost shields for 75% of autoattack damage (from 30%).
--White Walker redesigned to: "Wraith Walk cools down 100% more quickly anytime no enemy is within 10 yards."
--New talent Inexorable Assault (replacing Volatile Shielding): "For every 2 seconds spent in combat without melee attacking, you gain a stack of Inexorable Assault. Each stack causes your next autoattack to deal additional Frost damage."
(PTR numbers might vary slightly from the above)

Both of the new talents are going in a direction we want to better explore on slow melee specs like Frost: helping to address time off target, without power-creeping general movement capability. Overall, sprints and gap closers are very prevalent on melee specs (likely too much so across the game), and it's been increasingly hard to deliver on slower, heavy-hitter melee archetypes. Most of that discussion is much longer-term, but I wanted to give some context for trying to resist the direction of having every melee spec use a short-cooldown sprint/charge, and try to branch out into more class-appropriate ways of dealing with the problem.

Wow, I'm wondering how much better things can get ... these changes are all very significant.

Obliteration proccing KM is massive.. a big buff to that talent.

The mobility compensation isn't really great... but extra damage is always good so I'm not going to cry about surviving mechanics or being last to the party, that element is unchanged so overall it's a positive.

The revised cooldown condition on Wraith Walk is ok, however I can't see it being used over the new talent.

Edited by Browed

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58 minutes ago, Browed said:

Wow, I'm wondering how much better things can get ... these changes are all very significant.

Obliteration proccing KM is massive.. a big buff to that talent.

The mobility compensation isn't really great... but extra damage is always good so I'm not going to cry about surviving mechanics or being last to the party, that element is unchanged so overall it's a positive.

The revised cooldown condition on Wraith Walk is ok, however I can't see it being used over the new talent.

Yea the mobility damage talent depends on how much damage it does. It could either be good or suck, though it would have to really be low if Wraith Walk is the better choice.

As for Obliteration I still think it doesn't last long enough but thats just me. The added benefit of it proccing off of rime is a big bonus though.

PS: I think they need to buff Hypo proc chance by a large margin. It doesn't seem to proc much at all.

Edited by alleraz

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On 7/17/2017 at 10:11 AM, Browed said:

Icecap vs. GA is an interesting choice... I expect Icecap to de-value in this tier due to T20 being replaced.. but T21 is still unconfirmed afaik... watch this space.

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Unless that 4 x proc is very high I can't see it being more powerful than 15% dmg added to Obliterate and HB.

Not bad, at least we don't have to modify any rotations or talents to benefit fully from the buffs... also ST vs. AoE is pretty neutral.

Might even see the legendary helm come back depending on how the HB +15% stacks with it and Freezing Fog.

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Rejoice! once again frosty ones...

25% baseline increase is now 30% on the PTR, a relatively minor buff but good to see they are watching it closely enough to make minor tweaks like this. I'm fairly hopeful that things will remain as they are for talents.

In my own testing the Obliteration build has definitely benefited from this change as I have seen the theoretical +30% in real numbers too.

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11 hours ago, Browed said:

Rejoice! once again frosty ones...

25% baseline increase is now 30% on the PTR, a relatively minor buff but good to see they are watching it closely enough to make minor tweaks like this. I'm fairly hopeful that things will remain as they are for talents.

In my own testing the Obliteration build has definitely benefited from this change as I have seen the theoretical +30% in real numbers too.

I thought they nerfed the overall buff to 21% instead of 27% like it used to be, are you saying they buffed it again...

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11 hours ago, alleraz said:

I thought they nerfed the overall buff to 21% instead of 27% like it used to be, are you saying they buffed it again...

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ideathknights.gif Death Knight (Forums, Talent Calculator, PvP Talent Calculator, Artifact Calculator)
Frost

  • Frost Death Knight Increases damage/healing of Avalanche, Breath of Sindragosa, Death Strike, Frost Breath, Frost Fever, Frost Strike, Frost Strike Off-Hand, Frostscythe, Frozen Pulse, Howling Blast, Obliterate, Obliterate Off-Hand, Remorseless Winter by 25% 30%. Increases periodic damage/healing of Avalanche, Breath of Sindragosa, Death Strike, Frost Breath, Frost Fever, Frost Strike, Frost Strike Off-Hand, Frostscythe, Frozen Pulse, Howling Blast, Obliterate, Obliterate Off-Hand, Remorseless Winter by 25%. Death Knight - Frost Spec. 30%. Death Knight - Frost Spec.

Latest build

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4 hours ago, Browed said:

Latest build

Interesting last time I checked it was at 21% over damage.

I still think Obliteration doesnt last long enough. 12 seconds would be good but then I'm not on the PTR so I wouldnt really know if 10 seconds is actually long enough.

Edited by alleraz

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Has anyone tested a non-BoS-build ? Or is there any chance for an Obliteration-build ?

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7 hours ago, Raka said:

Has anyone tested a non-BoS-build ? Or is there any chance for an Obliteration-build ?

According to the changes BoS isnt viable any more. Matter in fact looking at the recommended talents it looks kinda messy. How would HRW be better than Obli in single target fights specially when Obli helps Ice cap? Also if HRW is better at ST then wouldn't Seal be the BiS for it? It looks like stuff needs to be tested out alot more.

I have a feeling frost is going to be worse off then they already are with the new changes.

Edited by alleraz

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Found an old MMO-Champ post of mine from back in April:

http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/2197905-Hopefully-Blizz-wakes-up-and-scraps-BoS-build?p=45311137&viewfull=1#post45311137

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Also a juggle of talent tier positions is needed eg; all AoE/cleave options on one tier etc. but that will need a large overhaul..... and I think GA should be a no cost ability.

Would be interesting to see us get gripped TO an immune mob if the grip fails... interesting mobility mechanic and introduces a bit of risk.

Lets hope Blizz were listening to the mobility idea too ;)

Edited by Browed

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¬_¬ it's a hope for the future, I can read patch notes :P

A vain hope maybe.

Edited by Browed

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+4% baseline modifier goes in on this reset, more importantly we're looking at the Netherlight Crucible for tweaking and enhancing ... do give any feedback if you are testing (NA) before the rest of us in the EU.

Edited by Browed

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