When Did All This Get Here?

by Andy/Betancore

Holy shit, has it really been a month since I blogged?  Sorry ’bout that guys, but my life got a bit crazy, my computer broke, yada yada, I had no WoW or blogging time.  But, summer’s nearly here, so this’ll all be over soon.

I’ve recently realized that to fill needed DPS slots in my raid, I’ll need to switch from tanking to DPSing on my Rogue, at least for a little while.  Does that mean I won’t be tanking anything?  Aw hell nah, I love tanking, it’s what I do.  You just might see one or two Rogue-centric posts mixed in with all the shield stacking.

With that out of the way, I’ll get to what I really wanted to talk about: the deluge of 4.2 info we’ve had lately.  Today, I’d like to ponder the awesome new set bonus paradigm and look at the Death Knight Tank and Rogue set bonuses.

A New Paradigm

Ever since the T8 set bonuses enhanced some abilities (notably making Rupture usable for Combat Rogues,) set bonuses have largely been passive damage increases or lackluster procs.  More than half of the 2 piece set bonuses from tiers 9-11 have been along the lines of 5% increases to the crit chance or effectiveness of various abilities.  While that does incentivize collecting  a set, it’s just plain boring.

T12 looks set to change all that, with bonuses that add unique functionality to abilities consistent with the flavor of the Firelands.  Even the lowly 2-piece bonuses have been given a makeover.  There’s something here to make every class go “oh HELL yes!”

Death knight tanking

  • 2-piece Your melee attacks cause Burning Blood on your target, which deals 800 Fire damage every 2 for 6 sec and causes your abilities to behave as if you had 2 diseases present on the target.
  • 4-piece Your Dancing Rune Weapon grants 15% additional parry chance.

2-piece :  Diseaseless tanking is back, baby!  At least, it is if you have someone providing a 20% melee slow, and a 10% physical damage reduction on the boss.  If the other tank is on the same target, or you have another class providing the debuff, you could probably get away with another Death Strike every 30 seconds or so.  More shields.  Delicious, delicious shields.  Not to mention how much this combined with Heart Strike will help your multi-target threat.

4-piece: This one had me picking my jaw up off the keyboard.  Dancing Rune Weapon is already one of our most underrated cooldowns.  Your T12 4-piece bonus will turn it into (situationally) the strongest tank cooldown in the game.  In my current gear, with DRW up, I’m at about 55% avoidance.  Pretty nice in itself, but let’s assume that T12-level gear will bring that up to 60%.  Add on the 15% from the bonus, and you’re looking at 75% avoidance.  A full three quarters of the boss’s melee attacks will do no damage to you for 12 seconds.  For a hard-hitting boss, that is a lot of time for your healers to top you off when you get low.  Now, it does nothing for magic damage, but on a fight like Chimaeron, this could be a real life saver.


  • 2-piece Your melee critical strikes deal 6% additional damage as Fire over 4 sec.
  • 4-piece Your Tricks of the Trade ability also causes you to gain a 25% increase to one of your combat ratings at random for 30 sec.

2-piece: Ignite? On my rogue’s crits? Yes please! Hopefully, though, this mini-Ignite won’t have the real Ignite’s issue of smaller DoTs overwriting bigger ones.
4-piece: 25% is a lot. This has the potential to be a 500+ DPS increase, unheard of for a set bonus. Tricks of the Trade is free with a glyph, and the 30 second duration of the buff means that you’ll potentially have a near-100% uptime.  The only possible downside to the set bonus I could see is how random it is.  Right now, depending on your spec, some ratings are massively more beneficial than others.  If a Combat rogue gets Crit Rating five times in a row, he’s going to be missing out on a lot of DPS compared to one who gets a Haste Rating proc five times in a row.  Also, if the buff can also affect ratings with a hard cap (Expertise, and Hit to some degree,) a rogue at both caps will get absolutely no benefit out of his bonus 20-40% of the time, which may be frustrating.  But, we don’t know exactly how it will work yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

All in all, I like where Blizzard is going with set bonuses.  Using unique, powerful abilities as set bonuses makes for more interesting gear choices, and more fun all around as we learn how to best utilize our new tricks.  I look forward to more sets like this in the future.


~ by Andy/Betancore on May 11, 2011.

3 Responses to “When Did All This Get Here?”

  1. Don’t dodge and parry have diminishing returns after 25% or so? When I saw the 4p bonus for DK tanks, my first thought was that “DRW” stood for Diminishing Returns Weapon.

    Am I missing something though? I’m not a tank by trade, I’m a healer…I try to keep on top of tanking concepts and mechanics, but I would hardly brand myself an expert. Will that 15% parry really be extremely impactful when it’s pushing parry so far above the diminishing returns soft cap?

    • Except that there isn’t really any sort of cap right now. Yes, there are diminishing returns, but it works exactly the same as it does with dodge, so both dodge and parry are equally valued as long as you keep them about even. And diminishing returns only apply to avoidance you get through parry or dodge rating, so the extra parry from DRW with the 4-piece T12 bonus will be 15% whether you have 0 parry rating or 1000. It works the same way with our Swordshattering rune.

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