Monday, August 9, 2010

The 'Little Things'

Given that this expansion is winding down, I suppose the paucity of posts on my favorite topic, DK dps, is no surprise.
The mechanics, strengths, and weaknesses of the class are well known.
DKs aren't going to see any changes prior to Cataclysm.

So, I'll probably write here and there about my DK, but otherwise, my blog will remain.... just a blog. :)
Well, unless I get into beta and then I'll have something to write about again.

In any case, I still have folks dropping in on my server to ask about their DK and how to improve their play, so I thought I'd write a short reply here.

As usual, I'll point to Elitist Jerks (see my links) for a plethora of information on Death Knights. Whether you're a frost or unholy DK, EJ is a one stop shop on how to play. Of course, there's Tankspot which has some decent forums and threads as well. In any case, I don't try to reinvent the wheel when they do it so much better than I ever could.

The interesting thing is, the last several people stopping by Baelgun to say hello looking for help have pretty much known all their basics. They know gearing choices, rotations (priorities!), and so on. And yet, they're looking to improve even more.

Good for you guys!

What to say, though?

I don't really have a lot to add for the experienced DK, but I'll make just a couple of comments.
1) Do the 'Little Things' that maximize dps.
Example: on a fight like Saurfang, summon your army ~8 seconds before the start of the fight. This allows your runes to refresh just as the fight starts. Haste pot 1-2 seconds before the fight starts. Then you can haste potion again when your gargoyle is off cooldown. Don't be lazy. Don't worry about cost. Do every little thing possible to get every last little bit of dps out of your toon. It all adds up.

Sometimes, you have to sacrifice dps to ensure you successfully complete a fight. Sometimes you can go nuts. This week, just like last week, we found our raid still not full, so we cleared VOA again. As I mentioned, this time I decided to try to maximize dps and 'cheese' the Emalon encounter. Despite missing several of our best dps (which shortens the fight and increases personal dps ratings), we beat Emalon shortly after the first big add. I didn't switch to the add. I DnD'd. Even though I'm sure I could have done better, I finished with a #6 rated parse on World of Logs. Who cares, you ask? It's just Emalon - old news. And yes, it is old news! I just wanted to have fun and see what I could do. Two messages here. Do every thing possible to maximize dps, but also stay within the parameters of raid success. My raid didn't need me to switch to adds, so I didn't - but other times, personal dps loss is secondary to raid success, and you know which comes first!

2) Think at least 1-2 rotations ahead. The thing about PVE as opposed to PVP is that encounters are scripted and well known. Most likely you already know a lot about the fight before you ever attempt it. Once you see it the first or second time in person, you know what it's all about. It's not changing. You need to take each fight, and think ahead. Putricide phase change coming soon? Hold your gargoyle until the adds are out, so you can burst the oozes down faster. Valkyr coming soon? Drop DnD where they will be, and save a blood rune for a second so you can pestilence to them as soon as they come down (breaking the normal rule of spread diseases first, then DnD. Why? because you have free runes and DnD will last long enough, and you want all your runes free when the Valks have landed). Think about each move and anticipate. Watch your runes. Death Coil when you have a free gcd, rather than waiting to the 'end' of the rotation.

It's very difficult for me to come up with concrete suggestions to veteran players that already know the class well. Still, what separates the top players from the many good players out there?

Doing the little things, and thinking thinking thinking.

Good luck out there, guys!