PTR 4.3 – Unholy Bounty

Following Blizzcon, there’s always a burst of community activity and interest in the game. This is largely true of players; #Acherus for example has been popping with theorycrafting, how content will affect us in 4.3 and, further ahead, the 5.0 expansion. It’s like the Black Friday of gaming: a magical time of year where people curb their sanity over the newest goodies and bask in the season of plenty. Glorious.

The same reinvigoration is happening for us development-wise too. If you watched Blizzcon, we asked this question during the World of Warcraft Class Q&A Panel (video, second question):

Unholy Death Knight minions do not inherit crit, and among them, the gargoyle has a melee strike that is useless compared to its ranged attack. Are there any intentions to improve these mechanics?

As a follow-up, Magdalena also authored this thought provoking thread ‘Unholy DK stat parity: Minions included!’ on the World of Warcraft (US) Forums.

Within the past 2 weeks, our queries have received an amazing amount of response and attention from game developers, gamemasters, community managers, and fellow players regarding unitended parities, AI issues, and related issues.

Here are the 4.3 Patch Notes updated today, November 4th, with new improvements specifically aimed at QoL (a.k.a. ‘Quality of Life’):

Death Knights

  • Death Strike now heals the death knight whether or not the attack misses, or is dodged/parried. As a result of this change, Death Strike no longer refunds its rune cost if it fails to hit the target, as the death knight will still receive the healing effect.
  • Blood Presence now provides an armor bonus of 55%, up from 30%.
  • Death Knight pets now properly inherit their master’s crit and spell penetration stats.
  • Talent Specializations
    • Blood
      • Blade Barrier has been redesigned. It now passively reduces damage taken.
      • Bone Shield now has 6 charges, up from 4.
      • Veteran of the Third War now reduces the cooldown of Outbreak by 30 seconds.
    • Unholy
      • Unholy Might now increases Strength by 25%, up from 20%.
      • The gargoyle called by Summon Gargoyle should exclusively use its ranged attack regardless of range to the target.

Happy Birthday, Timmy!

Are there words to describe how great it is to read these notes today? Maybe a picture of colorful, shredded mylar says it best!

Our freshly Garmin’d gargoyle friend and the other changes will understandably go through a lot of revisions but this is a rapid and committed response to what we wanted. Death Knights on the PTR will find their Unholy minions are entering a new realm of damage values and we have a sort of responsibility (don’t worry, it’s the fun kind) to see it through. The gamemasters and developers can really use insight and our continued feedback into what behaviors are working and are not working reliably. I strongly encourage you to test your minions out in the Unholy spec on the PTR and open tickets for any issues. Put the minions through their paces: take them to different dungeons and out in the world, compare their activity on mobile fights vs. stationary ones, summon them on hitboxes of all sizes. The more testing and feedback we provide, the more we’ll ultimately be rewarded.

If you need a montage for Timmy to work out to, my personal favorites are “Take it to the limit“, “Danger Zone“, or “You’re the Best“.

Happy testing!


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