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Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for information, guides, ideas and opinions on the loss of life knight class. In the most recent beta patch, Blizzard was so form as to bump the level cap as much as 85, in addition to opening Uldum and Twilight Highlands, the final two major leveling zones within the expansion. Unfortunately, neither zone is itemized, but more on that later. In my testing this previous week, I've delved in the lengthy-lifeless, dormant spec of two-handed frost. The spec was formally killed off (not less than in the sense of having aggressive DPS) in the latter part of Wrath, when Blizzard decided to make frost the official spec of dual wielding. Nevertheless, with the appearance of Cataclysm, that is changing. With blood changing into a dedicated tanking tree, it left unholy as the only two-handed weapon tree. Recognizing that some gamers may dislike the pet-tending facet of unholy, Blizzard decided to help two-handed weaponry in the frost tree once once more. That stated, deciding to support it and succeeding at it are two different things, and in addition, there seems to be quite a lot of people who are nonetheless confused as to whether or not or not Blizzard plans to assist it. You'll be able to put your thoughts at ease now though. Very recently, Ghostcrawler (lead techniques designer) confirmed that, sure, Blizzard is supporting the two-handed weapon playstyle for the frost tree. I started out with this spec. The good thing about a two-handed frost spec is that you simply it solely takes three talent factors (for Might of the Frozen Wastes) to lock in the weapon, as opposed to six for dual wielding, leaving you slightly more freedom to choose your skills. Sadly, this is considerably tempered by the fact that it's important to take a relatively useless (for PvE) talent, Icy Reach, to even break into the tree, however I'm hopeful they'll change that up earlier than launch. As far because the playstyle goes, your fundamental precedence system goes to be about the identical as twin wield, with particular consideration paid to your Rime and Killing Machine procs to make sure you are getting the most use out of them. Of course, with all of the runic energy output, you will be arduous-pressed to sustain with churning out the Frost Strikes, particularly you probably have Glyph of Frost Strike (and it stays unchanged on live, which is not a given). General, I found that in Deepholm quest gear, I used to be churning out harm in more than respectable amounts and often seeing huge critical strike damage on my Frost Strikes. I can report that two-handed frost is actually at the very least as sufficient as dual-wield frost, so far as leveling goes. The big question as to whether or not it's going to keep viability at the endgame remains tied to the massive difficulty that plagues demise knights throughout beta: GCD. If the lack of free international cooldowns constrains dual wield frost already, how way more will it constrain two-handed frost? If all the additional runic power granted by Might of the Frozen Wastes cannot be converted to precise Frost Strikes, then two-handed frost has a strong risk of languishing behind dual wield frost as they each hit the GCD ceiling. Within the rapid present, it suffers the same downside that unholy and frost twin wielding do: the health factor. The actual fact is, blood's wonderful self-healing potential is simply too laborious to ignore, and whereas two-handed frost (like dual-wield frost and unholy before) can hold up comparatively effectively in one-on-one fights, it's blood that is going to be sure you survive and help you take on the hairier quests through which you cannot assist however pull some pretty massive groups of mobs. There's one quick thing to notice about Twilight Highlands: Stuff hits onerous. Actually arduous. It is clearly meant to be the last zone you enter in game, so I might strongly recommend heading to Uldum as soon as you are carried out with Deepholm, if things keep as they are. Of course, certainly one of the opposite issues that will help here is zone itemization. Uldum wasn't too bad, however by midway by way of Twilight Highlands, it was pretty obvious that Deepholm gear was now not cutting it. Once we get the actual quest gear in sport, it might prove to equalize issues a bit and make TH a little extra bearable. One thing I do imagine deserves mention is the new, in-sport energy auras which were added in the most recent beta patch. These make your proc talents a lot easier to see and activate, and I think quite a lot of loss of life knights who never downloaded an addon like Power Auras will likely be stunned at what they missed. For instance, when Rime procs, it not solely creates a frosty aura around your character that is unimaginable to overlook, however Icy Touch and Howling Blast mild up in your hotbar so you know precisely which keys you're free to push. Sadly, not every proc ability has an aura yet; Killing Machine remains to be with out an aura, for example. That said, it's nonetheless beta, so which will change, and I believe this new power aura system will help lots of demise knights who've neglected their addon suites to play at a higher degree. Sit up for this. It's price saying just a few words on Darkish Simulacrum, the new level eighty five spell steal capability. Proper now, it is actually pretty amazing. You solid it on your target, and the debuff stays for around eight seconds and steals pretty much no matter spell the target casts, providing you with a buff that lasts for 20 seconds that permits you to solid a copy of the same spell on whatever goal you need. However here's the factor: It not only works like Spell Reflection, it works like a souped-up Spellsteal, as properly. You'll be able to copy paladin heals or mage fireballs, yes, but you can also copy a priest's Shadowform or a warlock's Felhunter or a paladin's Seal of Righteousness, so long as they solid it whereas you've got them debuffed. This video by a beta tester reveals how superb the spell can get. In fact, given this primary state, it's most likely protected to say it is just a little overpowered. Preliminary commentary from Ghostcrawler, nonetheless, suggests they won't nerf it as a lot as we predict. For example, he says, Shadowform might even stay in a stealable possibility; they're going to just give it a brief duration, similar to how a mage's spellstolen buffs cap out at 2 minutes. If we see one thing as simple as that, I might see Darkish Simulacrum changing into an incredibly versatile and fun skill -- something that, when used appropriately, joins Anti-Magic Shell on the list of skills whose proper use separates a good loss of life knight from an ideal death knight. We have now recommendation for the whole lot from PUG etiquette and buttons it's best to push extra typically to Icecrown loot and gear stat weights. Check out's DK leveling guides, and visit Lichborne each week for extra loss of life knight strategies and tips. All merchandise beneficial by Engadget are chosen by our editorial crew, unbiased of our father or mother company. A few of our stories embrace affiliate links. If you purchase one thing through one of those hyperlinks, we might earn an affiliate commission.

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