Sunday, October 14, 2012

Defense of the Death Knight

A few days ago on WowInsider there was a very interesting breakfast topic. It was basically If you could remove any class from the game which would it be? Most of the votes were evenly spread among the different classes except for death knight. It seems that death knights were the clear "winners".

That was definitely a surprise for me. Why do people think death knights need to go? It couldn't be because they were the new class since monks didn't have an outstanding number of people voting to kick them out. And there were a lot of comments about why people felt death knights should go. I'm not going to address them. Instead I want to give 5 reasons why I feel death knights are amazing.

1. Death Knights have one of the few melee specs I can think of where you can easily go from dual-welding to using a 2-hander. Frost was nice in Cata but if you wanted to change from two one-handers to a two-hander you had to change your spec. Not so anymore with the Mists talent changes! As for others specs, rogues and shamans dual-weld and druids and paladins use two-handers. Hunters, priests, warlocks, and mages are all range. Warriors were similar but still different. Arms warriors used one 2-hander while fury would either dual-weld two 1-handers or two 2-handers. Now the monk class does something similar with the windwalker and brewmaster specs but the idea of having the choice of weapon first came from the death knight's frost tree.

2. Another reason I love the death knight is the story. The idea is very similar to the undead but is different as well. Death knights could have either died or just been close to death. But the idea that the soul has been ripped from your character and returned by the Lich King and the need for blood and violence infused into your character's body is a bit different from the mindless minions that the Forsaken used to be. The starting area provides all the death knights was a similar starting experience but if you're into role-playing it than gives you the opportunity to take your story in whatever direction you think would best fit. There's some direction given for what a death knight can do but the fact that so many death knight npc's come across as slightly evil and definitely anti-hero gives them a very different vibe from so many other classes. We don't care about nature or saving the world. We wanted revenge against Arthas and after that it's pretty much up to you to decide what you want from your toon. And Mists is an amazing place to continue the story of the Death Knight! A place that reacts to your emotions. Is your character conflicted? Than they are ripe fodder for the Sha! But there's places and npc's that your character can interact with that can help them find a balance and peace and who needs peace more than a death knight?

3. Blood spec. One of the least changed tanking specs from Cata to Mists. Why? Because we were doing active mitigation before it was cool. But the idea that as a tank I can do more to improve my chances of surviving that just having the very best gear I can that makes playing a blood tank fun for me. I have tanking cooldown's like other classes that reduce the amount of damage I take but I also have abilities that do some self-healing. Not big heals like a paladin but lots of little self-heals. But knowing how to use those abilities to survive things such as healer death or a large amount of damage is part of the appeal of being a blood tank.

4. Army of the Dead. Does that really need any more explanation?

5. Control Undead. Five minutes of having a constant undead minion from a mob you'd otherwise have to kill. sounds nice to me. And when the five minutes are up you can control the mob again. Tanked all of heroic Scholo the other night with an undead minion at my side. How is that not awesome?

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