World of Warcraft survives and even prospers thanks to its highly engaged, knowledgeable, and, above all, opinionated player base. With its system of public test realms and player feedback, Blizzard do a commendable job of adapting their plans where necessary – especially ahead of a new expansion
Last month Blizzard unveiled the new Death Knight talent trees set to be implemented with the launch of Dragonflight. Like with the other class overhauls, the main goal of these changes is to reintroduce choice and careful spec building by complexifying the talent trees. Unfortunately this process is a delicate one, and as a result of player feedback from the Dragonflight Alpha, Blizzard will be making changes to their plans for Death Knights. Let’s quickly run through the broad strokes.
In the core class tree, the principal complaint has been that talent choices are far too linear, with little variation in talent picks. This certainly goes against one of the stated aims of the talent system overhaul; to introduce greater customisability into class speccing.
To remedy this, Blizz are rearranging some nodes – adding connectors from Blood’s branch to both Frost and Unholy, and adding more nodes before the first locked gate. The tree looks to be more interconnected, which should improve decision making for those utility skills. There are still some known bugs that’ll be going into the next Alpha build, but we’re still in early days yet.
The bulk of the rest of the changes will be affecting the Unholy tree, which has had issues with the dreaded “cooldown desync” – for those uninitiated, this refers to a situation wherein inconsistent or strangely timed cooldowns for core rotation abilities result in a span of “dead air” – gaps in your rotation that impact both your performance and the fun factor of playing the class.
The main goals of the Unholy adjustments are as follows: to fix cooldown desync, to reduce RNG mechanics, and to restructure the tree layout. Deadly Coil and Infectious Wound are being cut or reworked, Unholy Command and Army of the Damned are having their dependencies on other abilities removed, and Summon Gargoyle and Epidemic are to be buffed, as both feel underpowered. In addition, the tree layout will have its interconnectivity improved, allowing for more flexibility in speccing and reducing dependency and “trap” builds.
For more of the latest on the Dragonflight Alpha, check out our preview here. If you just want to know what’s next for your favourite class, check out our rundowns of the upcoming changes to Rogues and Hunters coming in the new expansion.