Today is a big day for World of Warcraft fans who are looking to know more about one of the game’s most-anticipated features in Legion: Artifact weapons and the overhauled Talent Tree. The Legion alpha client was updated last night with class halls, a pair of new zones and the first look at the new artifact weapon for each class specialization. Data-miners are hard at work extracting the newest, most up-to-date information about artifacts and more.
From all that Blizzard has said, Death Knights are in a pretty good place overall as far as capturing the class fantasy but that some things needed tuning to bring more variety in the way Blood, Frost and Unholy Death Knights play. Across all specs, runes have been combined into a single type rather than the three that currently exist. To that end, each spec, as with all specs within WoW, will be given its own particular artifact weapon. Blood DKs will receive a 2-handed axe; Unholy DKs score a 2-handed sword; and Frost DKs a pair of swords forged from the shards of the iconic Frostmourne.
Along with the artifact weapon players receive, talents are being reworked, again to help capture the sense of utility and to enable players to work through the game in a way that suits them best. Blizzard stated at one point that they hoped that some of the decisions about which talent to choose would be difficult thus underscoring the reorganization and removal of some talents.
For our purposes today, we’ll take a look at the Frost Death Knight since it is the one that will undergo the most significant change in Legion with the removal of the spec’s ability to use 2-handed weapons.
Let’s start with a look at a very early alpha version of the traits that Blades of the Fallen Prince (Icebringer & Frostreaper) bring to Frost DKs in addition to the more familiar attack abilities including Howling Blast, Obliterate, Frost Strike, Remorseless Winter and others. (Our thanks to WoWdb.com for the artifact trait calcuator)
It is in talents, however, that the seemingly small, but genuinely significant changes to Frost DKs shows. The first image is the talent tree as it currently stands; the second as it is right now in the second version of the alpha test. Keep in mind that changes will be implemented based on player feedback as the alpha progresses and that this is a general idea.
You will notice that some of the skills are brand new, in this case the first two tiers for Frost Death Knights has six brand new talents. Other tiers have a combination of new talents and existing ones that may have been moved from where they currently are in the live game. New talents listed below are starred.
From the very first glance, it is apparent that there is a real effort to capitalize on the idea that a “Frost” Death Knight deals in...you guessed it: COLD.
Tier 56: Three New Talents
*Sub-Zero: Killing Machine also causes your next Obliterate to deal an additional 30% Frost damage
*Icy Talons: Frost Strike hits increases melee attack speed by 25% for 3 seconds and can be refreshed
*Without Remorse: Killing Machine now affects Frost Strike and auto-attacks are more likely to generate Killing Machine
Tier 57: Three New Talents
*Frozen Pulse: Auto-attacks have a chance to cause you to radiate intense cold, inflicting Frost (30% of attack power) damage on all nearby enemies
*Biting Winds: Increases the chance for Obliterate to trigger Rime by 25%. Up to two charges of Killing Machine & Rime can be stored
*Gathering Storm: Hungering Runeblade now starts with 5 trapped souls and the damage of the explosion is increased by 15%
Tier 58: Two New Talents
*Runic Longevity: Gain a 7th rune and the regen rate of runes is increased by 10%
Runic Empowerment: When you spend Runic Power, you have a 1% chance per each spent to activate a random fully-depleted rune
*Runic Corruption: When runic power is spent, a 1% chance per runic power spent increases rune regeneration rate by 100% for 3-seconds