Jump to content

Updates to Death Knight Class and Unholy Trees on the War Within Alpha

Recommended Posts


The Death Knight class and Unholy trees have seen some notable updates in this week's Alpha build and we're looking at them in more detail.

Class Tree

  • Blizzard added a new talent called "Unyielding Will" that removes harmful magic effects when activated.
  • Blood Draw moved to third gate.
  • Mind Freeze and Coldthirst are now optional.
  • Icebound Fortitude moved to Frost starting position.

Unholy Tree

  • The layout has been updated for better flow; left side is disease-focused and the right side is pet-focused.
  • Unholy Assault and Festermight swapped with Morbidity and Superstrain.
  • Sudden Doom changes to ease Runic Power overflow.

Upcoming Changes

  • Blizzard teased changes to Blood to address Abomination Limb.
  • Fixes for the Arctic Assault Frost talent are also in the works.

Community Manager Kaivax explains the latest Death Knight changes in the blue post below.

Blizzard Logo(Source)

Hello again Death Knights!

Today’s new alpha build has some further updates to the Class and Unholy trees, mostly as it relates to their respective layouts. We heard plenty of feedback on how the Class tree fell short in some of our stated goals especially in the latter half of the tree. To address this, we’ve split out the newest choice node into individual nodes at the capstone level and added a new talent Unyielding Will that removes harmful magic effects when activated.

Blood Draw is no longer at the capstone level and has moved to an optional location in the 3rd gate. We’ve also reduced the ranks of Osmosis, Subduing Grasp, and Runic Protection which feels more appropriate for their effects. We’ve also restructured talents throughout the 3rd gate of the tree to something that should feel better to navigate in addition to the latter talent half restructure we’ve done some updates to the pathing in the 1st gate.

Mind Freeze and its follow up talent Coldthirst are now available on the left side of the tree and are completely optional based on your talent preference. To accomplish this, we shifted Icebound Fortitude to the starting position for Frost. We hope this latest round of updates feels much less restrictive and generally more exciting to navigate. Thank you for all the class tree feedback and we look forward to hearing your feedback on the lates revision.

Unholy’s talent tree changes were a little smaller in scope, but we aimed to address the primary concerns for the natural flow of the tree and some choices feeling at odds with each other and what your build is asking you to do. The general idea of the changes shifted the left side of the tree to be more “disease focused” and the right side “pet focused” while the middle has choices that are appealing to both types of builds. The biggest shift you will notice is the movement of Unholy Assault and Festermight functionally swapping locations with Morbidity and Superstrain.

Ruptured Viscera has moved to the right side of the tree and is less of a “gating” talent pick for something that should feel more optional. Lastly, this build has a functionality change for Sudden Doom to help address a few of the problems with the most recent changes as it pertains to Runic Power overflow and Festering Wound generation. Sudden Doom will now reduce the cost of your next Death Coil/Epidemic by 10 Runic Power (was free).

We tested removing the Runic Power cost reduction completely but found that it was easy to become starved outside of cooldowns leading to some higher than desired downtime. What is also nice about this change is it gives us a better tuning hook for future balancing of resources if we find the amount to be too little or too much. The second part of this change is a bit experimental in nature, but Sudden Doom will now make your next Death Coil/Epidemic burst a Festering Wound. Internally with testing we have found it creates a natural cadence in which you want to press Festering Strike instead of relying only on passive wound applicators.

The other perk of Death Coil bursting a Festering Wound when consuming Sudden Doom is it helps ease the friction of what to press during your cooldowns. This has created a little additional complexity in your rotation outside of cooldowns as it can require you to pre-plan a little more when Apocalypse is coming off cooldown. That said, we’ve been playing with it and while it does require a bit of forethought during your rotation the tension hasn’t felt negatively impactful. We are very eager to hear your thoughts on this change when you have a chance to play it in game.

Our next round of Blood changes didn’t make this build, but we would like to address the concerns over Abomination Limb and it no longer generating Boneshield charges as the last round of changes heavily impacted Blood more so than the other specs. With the update to Bloods talents, we are looking at ways to compensate the change to Abomination Limb to ease the loss of Boneshield charges on pull.

We are also aware of an issue with Frost’s newest talent Arctic Assault generating Runic Empowerment which is not intended and will be fixed in an upcoming build.

Thank you for all your continued feedback and we will see you next week for an additional round of updates.

Blizzard highlighted the Death Knight changes in the development notes. We'll be exploring them in more details in the days ahead.

Blizzard Logo(Source)

    • New Talent: Unyielding Will – Anti-Magic Shell’s cooldown is increased by 20 seconds and it now also removes all harmful magic effects when activated. Now a capstone talent available after Rune Mastery and Subduing Grasp.
    • The class tree has had further adjustments in talent locations and pathing updates.
    • Osmosis healing received while Anti-Magic Shell is active is increased by 15%. Now a 1-point talent (was 2).
    • Runic Protection armor increased to 6% (was 3%). Now a 1-point talent (was 2).
    • Blood Draw cooldown reduced to 2 minutes (was 3 minutes).
    • Blood Draw is no longer a capstone and is now available in Death’s Echo old location.
    • Icebound Fortitude is now the first available talent on the left of the tree replacing Mind Freeze.
    • Runic Attenuation is now available directly after Icebound Fortitude.
    • Death’s Echo now a capstone ability available after Will of the Necropolis and Subduing Grasp.
    • Subduing Grasp now reduces damage by 6% for 6 seconds when you pull an enemy (was 8% at rank 2). Now a 1-point talent (was 2).
    • Vestigial Shell no longer a choice node with Null Magic and is available in the right capstone space.
    • Null Magic no longer a choice node with Vestigial Shell and is available in the left capstone space.
    • Unholy
      • Sudden Doom now reduces the cost of your next Death Coil/Epidemic by 10 (was free).
        • Developers’ notes: With the update to Sudden Doom’s proc rate it further flooded Unholy with Runic Power and you weren’t able to spend the RP down fast enough in a lot of scenarios to prevent overcapping. This next iteration we are going to try a reduced cost Death Coil or Epidemic to help combat the problem of Runic Power overcapping. Internally we tested this as a full removal of the cost reduction but it left quite a bit of downtime in the rotation and felt particularly bad outside of cooldowns. A 10 Runic Power cost reduction felt reasonably well both inside and outside of cooldowns.
      • Sudden Doom now also causes your next Death Coil/Epidemic to burst a Festering Wound.
        • Developers’ notes: We are looking into ways to increase the frequency you apply Festering Wound with Festering Strike so we are exploring having a Runic Power spender burst a wound instead of only rune spenders or Apocalypse. Internally with testing we have found it creates a natural cadence in which you want to press Festering Strike instead of relying only on passive wound applicators. The other perk of Death Coil bursting a Festering Wound when consuming Sudden Doom is it helps ease the friction of what to press during your cooldowns.
      • Updated the spec tree with a few additional talent re-locations. Notable movements are:
        • Superstrain and Morbidity now located on the left side of the tree directly after Death Rot.
        • Unholy Assault and Festermight are now located in the middle of the tree after Army of the Dead.
        • Eternal Agony is now available after Dark Transformation.
    • Frost
      • Fixed an issue with Absolute Zero being available prior to the 3rd gate being unlocked.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Staff
      The War Within pre-patch event will start on July 30th!
      Blizzard hasn't officially announced the release date for the War Within pre-patch, but the latest splash screen suggests otherwise.
      Called Radiant Echoes, the War Within pre-patch event begins on July 30, 2024. This gives players four weeks to join in before the new expansion officially drops on August 26 (or August 22 for Early Access holders).
      We expect the pre-patch to hit live servers on or before July 30!
      Check out the full splash screen in all its glory!
      Placeholder for tweet 1803346055330750635
    • By Stan
      Conzil FTP has completed Scholomance in 13.3 seconds in MoP Remix with a Level 20 character.
      While we understand that clipping isn't ideal, it's commonly used by most speedrunners in MoP Remix, and this run is no exception. Conzil defeated only the final boss of Scholomance in just 13.3 seconds.
      Why Level 20? Trial characters in Remix are capped at Level 20, allowing players to continue growing in power without surpassing that level, effectively creating an overpowered twink.
    • By Stan
      Over the past two decades, WoW saw 10 expansions, each bringing new content and increasing storage demands. From the original "Vanilla" release in 2004, requiring just 4 GB, to the upcoming "The War Within" expansion in 2024, which demands at least 128 GB SSD storage, Blizzard's iconic MMORPG continues to grow. 
      Today, we're diving into how the storage demands for World of Warcraft have grown over the past 20 years. While the original game needed only 4 GB of storage, two decades of new content and improvements have significantly increased this requirement. Now, you'll need at least 128 GB of SSD storage to enjoy the latest expansion!
      The following timeline highlights the release dates and storage requirements of each WoW expansion from its inception with "Vanilla" to the highly anticipated "The War Within" in 2024. 

      Below is a recap of minimum storage requirements for all expansions. Thanks to Reddit user factor3x for the data!
      2004: World of Warcraft (Vanilla)
      Release Date: November 23, 2004 Storage Requirement: ~4 GB 2007: The Burning Crusade
      Release Date: January 16, 2007 Storage Requirement: ~10 GB 2008: Wrath of the Lich King
      Release Date: November 13, 2008 Storage Requirement: ~15 GB 2010: Cataclysm
      Release Date: December 7, 2010 Storage Requirement: ~25 GB 2012: Mists of Pandaria
      Release Date: September 25, 2012 Storage Requirement: ~30 GB 2014: Warlords of Draenor
      Release Date: November 13, 2014 Storage Requirement: ~35 GB 2016: Legion
      Release Date: August 30, 2016 Storage Requirement: ~45 GB 2018: Battle for Azeroth
      Release Date: August 14, 2018 Storage Requirement: ~70 GB 2020: Shadowlands
      Release Date: November 23, 2020 Storage Requirement: ~100 GB 2022: Dragonflight
      Release Date: November 28, 2022 Storage Requirement: ~120 GB 2024: The War Within
      Release Date: August 26, 2024 Storage Requirement: ~128 GB As you can see, the storage requirements have skyrocketed, but Blizzard has also improved their file system. They now use the same data for both retail and PTR, which has notably reduced the size of the clients. In the past, having separate retail and PTR clients took up a lot more disk space!
    • By Stan
      The requirements for The Great Vault have been updated in the Beta for the first War Within Season!

      For raids, you'll need to defeat 2, 4, or 6 bosses from Nerub'ar Palace to unlock the slots. For dungeons, you must complete 1 Heroic, Mythic, or Timewalking Dungeons to unlock the slots. The PvP category has been removed from the Great Vault and replaced with a World tab. To unlock items in the World Tab, you need to complete 3, 6, or 12 Delves or World Activities. You’re probably familiar with Delves, but World Activities are new. Under World Activities, think of events like Researchers Under Fire or Superblooms in Dragonflight.
      Overall, the World Tab is a great option for players who don't participate in raids or dungeons. You can still unlock your 3 item slots by completing Delves or other outdoor events.
    • By Stan
      Paladins didn't go unnoticed in this week's War Within Beta Build. Read on to find out more about the latest class changes!
      Latest Paladin Changes
      Laying Down Arms - When an Armament fades from you, the cooldown of Lay on Hands is reduced by 15.0 sec and you gain Shining Light or Infusion of Light. Holy Shock - Has an additional 10% critical strike chance. Generates 1 Holy Power. Triggers a burst of Light on the target, dealing [ 48.96% of Spell Power ] Holy damage to an enemy, or [ 147.36% 190% of Spell Power ] healing to an ally Grand Crusader - Reduces the cooldown of Judgment by 3 sec. Normal, Blessed Hammer : When you avoid a melee attack or use Crusader Strike, you have a 15% chance to reset the remaining cooldown on Avenger's Shield Shield. + . Crusader's Judgment : When you avoid a melee attack or use Crusader Strike, you have a 15% chance to reset the remaining cooldown on Avenger's Shield Shining Light - Every 3 Shields of the Righteous make your next Word of Glory cost no Holy Power. Maximum 2 stacks. Dawnlight - 10% of Dawnlight's damage and healing radiates to nearby allies or enemies, reduced beyond 5 targets. Casting Holy Prism or Barrier of Faith causes your next 2 Holy Power spending abilities to apply Dawnlight on your target, dealing [ 300% of Spell Power ] Radiant damage or [ 600% 480% of Spell Power ] healing over 8 sec Hand of Divinity - Call upon the Light to empower your spells, causing your next 2 Holy Lights to heal 40% 30% more, cost 50% less mana, and be instant cast. Tyr's Deliverance - Allies healed also receive 10% increased healing from your Holy Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Shock spells for 12 sec. Releases the Light within yourself, healing 5 injured allies instantly and an injured ally every 1 sec for 20 sec within 40 yds for [ 35% 30% of Spell Power ] Valiance - Consuming Shining Light or Infusion of Light reduces the cooldown of Holy Armaments by 3.0 sec. Blessing of the Forge - Avenging Wrath summons an additional Sacred Weapon, and during Avenging Wrath your Sacred Weapon casts spells on your target and echoes the effects of your Holy Power spenders. abilities. Divine Favor (New) - After casting Barrier of Faith or Holy Prism, the healing of your next Holy Light or Flash of Light is increased by 40%, its cast time is reduced by 30%, and its mana cost is reduced by 50%.
  • Create New...