Movement speed in unholy presence

8th January 2009 – 12.23 pm

Having wreaked some mayhem and destruction with my death knight out in Howling Fjord I ride back to civilisation. As I do so I notice a night elf on a sabre mount ahead of me, riding to the same village. There is nothing particularly curious about a night elf on a big cat, except that I was in unholy presence and not gaining on her.

One benefit of the death knight's unholy presence is a 15% increase in movement speed, which is not only a substantial boost in PvP but can also reduce travel time in PvE between quest objectives or running from mob to mob. Or, indeed, the added movement speed can help when fleeing from mobs, who generally can only match normal running speed, although obviously a death knight doesn't run away from a fight. But does this 15% increase in movement speed apply to all movement?

I grab a friendly guild member, asking for help with a few races. I pick a Draenei partly by chance, but it also helps that I am essentially running after someone with a tail, as it gives added incentive to catch up.

First, we race on foot. I let my colleague run off in a straight line and I try to catch up. This is easy, as I catch and pass my friend quite quickly, clearly showing the added speed that unholy presence grants me.

Next we climb on to our swift land mounts and do the same experiment again. This time she races off and it is all I can do to keep up with her. I check to make sure she isn't using a carrot on a stick or riding crop, but she has nothing equipped that would boost her movement speed. The minor 3% mounted speed increase offered by the carrot on a stick shows a fairly obvious gain over even small distances so it is clear that the 15% boost is not in effect and we are both riding at the same speed.

For completeness we jump on to our flying mounts. Flying level and straight I again find that I am only keeping station with my colleague, not catching up.

Each race is attempted again, just to make sure that there are no curious interactions occurring, with the same results. It seems that the 15% increased speed bonus of a death knight's unholy presence only applies to running speed, not when riding or flying. This makes sense, as effects that modify your speed when on a mount specifically refer to 'mount speed', which the unholy presence doesn't.

Even so, it is good to verify the distinction of the unholy presence's movement benefit for myself. I now know that my perceived swiftness when mounted in unholy presence is probably a psychological effect induced by the reduced global cool-down's rushed, flurry of key presses combat.

  1. 2 Responses to “Movement speed in unholy presence”

  2. Also, unless I'm vastly mistaken (and I could be because I haven't got my account on hand to check), Carrot on a Stick, Riding Crop and various other items that boost mount movement speed do not work for players above level 70.

    Which was disappointing after I'd spent a fair bit of gold buying a Riding Crop in TBC. Oh well, easy come, easy go play another MMO.

    By Melmoth on Jan 8, 2009

  3. It's just fake money anyway. It makes me wonder why I spend so much time in the auction house trying to make more of it.

    By pjharvey on Jan 8, 2009

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