Blizzard on Upcoming Death Knight Tier Set Changes in Patch 9.2 for Blood, Frost and Unholy
Blizzard has responded to feedback from the Death Knight community, posting a large blue post on the forums about upcoming changes to the Tier Sets and explaining some of their design intentions.
Happy Friday Death Knights! Apologies for the delayed response, but your feedback here – and across all of the many different channels we’re reading and viewing – has been invaluable. Let’s talk about next steps and what sorts of changes we’re considering & bugs you should see addressed in future builds. Thanks to some of y’all for reporting these!
Glacial Advance should fire when Killing Machine is consumed by Frostscythe
Looking into reports of Glacial Advance sometimes overwriting Killing Machine’s buff mid-flight
In general, Frost seems to be doing well from a a power level perspective and both bonuses have a bit more going on to them than at first glance. However, something we’ll be exploring in a future update (as in, likely not this very next build) is a sort of re-packaging of the 2-piece to keep it at the same power level but have more integration into the kit - likely aimed at generating or planning out Killing Machine applications, which in turn may make the 4-piece feel smoother to play.
Numerous inconsistencies with the 4-piece’s on-parry Heart Strike not triggering the 2-piece, or interacting with talents
Goals are to clean up the interactions between Heart Strike and the rest of the tier set - the intent here is for the 4-pieces’s Heart Strike to trigger basically any and all effects a normal one would. This should make it a lot more powerful in standard situations, while fixing the bug that’s letting people solo entire high level keys on their own (oops lmao). Beyond that, we’ll be adding an internal cooldown for the on-parry trigger to have better control over its output for future tuning. Looking towards future updates, a piece of recurring feedback so far has been the pretty stark difference in value and excitement between this set as it pertains to tanking in Mythic+ vs Raid tanking. While the nature of the set’s design is simply that it’s going to favor one over the other, it’s still worth exploring for ways to keep the sort of ‘endless’ value engine in multi-target scenarios while finding a better boost for our Raiders. There’s a few thoughts about how to achieve that (such as frontloading more of the 2-piece’s value), but you won’t see that addressed immediately.
In some instances, Unholy’s pet isn’t actually receiving the 20% attack speed buff as advertised
Overlapping applications of Soul Reaper (from the 2-piece and the base spell) will cause whichever was applied later to be slower to detonate than normal
A big one: When a unit dies with Soul Reaper on it, an Army ghoul from 4p isn’t being spawned - this was intended functionality to give the set value in cleave/Mythic+ that didn’t quite make it to PTR
Unholy’s a tricky one to balance given it’s based on Execute windows, but some of the aforementioned bugs are making it much worse outside of Execute than it’s intended to be. We’re going to make all of the above changes and watch a bit while revisiting exactly how the 4-piece’s summon should work. There’s been a lot of feedback that due to it being an Army of the Dead ghoul its duration should be upped to 30 seconds, but also desire to have it spawn Maguses via talents as well. What seems most likely at the current moment is moving to 30s duration and no Magus spawn, but we’re going to take a bit to decide which one to pursue. It’s worth noting that even with a buff to the 4-piece, it’s very possible to see it reined back in (or testing out the other option) due to tuning concerns, so your continued feedback, testing, and theorizing is incredibly valuable!
That’s all! TL:DR - expect all of the listed bugs to be fixed alongside some minor functionality changes, with later builds focusing on updates to the Unholy 4-piece, Blood 2-piece, and Frost 2-piece (in about that order of priority). Suffer well, knights.
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