Let's start of with the lv 100 talents.
- Necrotic Plague
- A powerful disease that deals 100 damage per stack every 3 sec for 30 sec. Each time it deals damage, it gains 1 stack, and jumps to another nearby enemy if possible. Cannot be spread by Pestilence.
- Replaces Blood Plague.
- 1 Unholy, 30 yd range
- Instant, 30 sec cooldown
- Defiles the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing 100 Shadow damage every 1 sec for 10 sec. Each time Defile deals damage, it increases in area and damage by 5%. This growth can occur a maximum of 3 times per second.
- Replaces Death and Decay.
- Breath of Sindragosa
- 15 Runic Power, plus 15 per sec
- Instant, 1 min cooldown
- Continuously deals 2000 Shadowfrost damage every 1 sec to enemies in a cone in front of you. This effect lasts until canceled or Runic Power is exhausted
I took a poll on which talent you liked the best over the past week, and you can see the results up to your right.
45% of you said Defile, 30% said Necrotic Plague, and 25% of you said Breath of Sindragosa.
There will be little number/balance analysis in this post because the numbers given are CLEARLY placeholder, and have been pointed out as such.
I'll start with the what appears to be the fan favorite, defile. Defile has the same cost, range, CD, and basic mechanic of DnD, and replaces DnD, so what does it add? A ramping up damage mechanic, and a ramping up range mechanic. Chances are this'll be weaker at the start than DnD, and it will be stronger at the end, or useless. The range increase is... kinda cool, but of limited practicality. When you want to kill adds, you stack them. DKs are essential for that with gorefiend's grip, and we're very good at our jobs. There are some cases when the adds stream in and are not controllable with a single grip/stun, or able to be tanked on top of each other, but for the most part, the range upgrade will be not that important. Which leaves us with a damage component, that ramps up. Kinda boring if you ask me, but I'll have fun yelling "Defile!" in mumble. Equally good for all specs. Will do more damage for unholy with mastery, but then so did DnD, so that's nothing new.
Next up on the list is Necrotic Plague. I'm going to use this opportunity to talk about some of the other DK changes, specifically those regarding DoTs. DoT snapshotting is GONE, DoTs update dynamically in 6.0. This means that festerblight is dead and gone, and furthermore means that we don't have to worry about necrotic plague jumping around and messing up our "high" damage disease with our "low" damage disease. It also removes the importance of lining up DoT application with CDs, and leads to a very simplified DoT management: keep them up. In addition, abilities like obliterate and scourge strike will no longer scale with the number of diseases on the target. That change is essential to making this talent viable, because it would have been horrible having a disease jump off the target half a second before you hit obliterate.
With both of these changes, Necrotic Plague gets a bit more interesting, and a whole lot more useful. We know it cannot be extended by festering strike, so it will do X damage the first hit, 2X the second hit, all the way up to 10X the final hit, for a total of 55X damage per application, the majority of which will happen in the second half of the duration. Note: The talent looks like it will be "clunky" for unholy, causing diseases to desync. This ramp up, similar to defile, will render the talent "bad" or at least suboptimal on targets that don't last long enough to enjoy the higher damage, although I'm not sure how the disease reacts when the target dies. IIRC, LK's plague disappeared on death if it was out of range of any other valid targets, but otherwise jumped to another close target. The jumping is cool, and potentially very annoying if you're trying to kill a specific target with many others up, but that inconvenience will perhaps lead to it doing more damage than it otherwise would have.
The last talent on the list is Breath of Sindragosa. I think this talent has the most potential, personally. We're getting an AoE runic power dump. We know that this talent will proc T5 talents, and will probably be amazing comboed with AMS. I really hope they don't add the "Extra runic cannot be generated when this is activated" that they have on conversion. If they don't, this talent could change how we AoE, and add itself into our ST rotation. It allows us to dump runic power quickly, which will aid us in being GCD capped, it allows us to get "huge" (balance not yet implemented) damage bursts in AoE, like we didn't already have them, and it allows us to get runes very quickly through T5. We can do a lot with this talent, and I personally can't wait to start playing around with it.
So that's all we really know for the time being. 3 new talents, DoT snapshotting gone, and oblit/SS do max damage without diseases. We'll have to wait and see about more DK changes, but in the mean, time, I've set another poll about the non-dk changes, and will be doing a post on the stat changes for WoD.