Death Knight Overview
World of Warcraft: Death Knight Overview
MMORPG.com World of Warcraft Correspondent Marie Brazeil writes this voerview of the Death Knight hero class in Blizzard's World of Warcraft.
I know for a fact that a lot of WoW subscribers had stopped playing a good while before the launch of The Wrath of the Lich King expansion. I was actually one of them! I had grown very tired of the guild drama and silly mistakes while taking down Akil'zon (the eagle boss) in Zul'Aman. And eventually I just decided to try other things. Warhammer was just coming out at the time and I hopped over for a couple of months. But eventually, the call of Warcraft started to seep into my being and as the launch of the new expansion neared, I found I couldn't resist the urge to finally play a new class in WoW, the Death Knight.
Now please understand, I'm not one of those players that picks a class and lives and dies by it. I have played every single class in WoW. Some I liked more than others, like the warrior, shaman, and warlock. But I played them all. And to tell you the truth, I never really found my niche. This led to toon hopping and many, many alts. Which ultimately led to boredom because of all the incessant leveling and grinding I had to do. I state this mainly because I really want you to understand that my opinion of the new Death Knight class is a meaningful one, since I have played them all extensively. With that said, I will go on to explain why the Death Knight really is a hero class.
To begin, all Death Knights start in an instanced area, one that other characters(classes) can't get to and one that once the death knight has completed it, can never return to. You start your journey beside the Lich King (yes the Lich King!) He whispers sweet nothings in your ears and you are his slave - there to do nothing but his bidding. You spend most of this time gearing up your newly born death knight, earning talent points, and getting your stallion. This is all done within a series of quests leading up to the betrayal of the Lich King. He basically sends you on a death mission which is uncovered by Tirion Fordring. Fordring then assaults the Lich King with none other than Ashbringer and the Lich retreats to Northrend. This sets the stage for the basis of the Wrath of the Lich King and explains why the death knights no longer serve the evil king.
You are then sent to the real world and have to walk through your races main city. The walk of shame includes citizens and guards spitting at you, throwing rotten fruits at you, and many vocal cheap shots. You finally make your way to your leader - in my case it was the king of Stormwind - and you vow to join forces and fight together against the Lich King.
Now that I've explained a little about how the death knights have become a playable class, I'd like to go into more depth about the actual class and what makes them so utterly awesome! This class has it all and when I say that I really do mean it.
The Death Knight fights by using runes. All Death Knights have 2 blood runes, 2 frost runes, and 2 unholy runes. There is also a fourth rune - the death rune - which can act as any of the 3 aforementioned runes. Most of their skills require a specific rune to be used. Other skills require runic power. Runic power builds up when you use skills that require a rune. Some build more than others but the basic skill will build about 10 runic power. Below is a display of your character's portrait and where you can keep track of your runes cool down and availability.
Notable Skills: These are the skills that all Death Knights can get regardless of your talent specialization.
So just with these basic skills you can have a second hearthstone to Eastern Plaguelands, a reverse charge where you can bring an enemy to you instantly, the ability to spread disease without wasting more runes, be able to heal yourself, slow people down, and even ride your mount on water! You also get 2 forms of silence that I couldn't fit in the image. Death and Decay is worth a mention here too as it is an AOE.
The Talent Trees: You can choose from a specialization in either Blood, Frost or Unholy. Blood is single target DPS; frost is the tank; and unholy is AOE (Area of Effect). I happened to choose unholy and therefore that is all I will cover as I don't feel experienced enough in the other trees. So what skills does a death knight get from the Unholy Tree that stand out?
There are other skills of note that I couldn't fit though such as Unholy Blight and Summon Gargoyle. Basically in the end you have a character that can have a constant ghoul / pet out to help it fight, that can ride and walk extremely fast, explode corpses, maintain protection against magic and even with physical damage with bone shield and lastly to have another AOE (plus Death and Decay).
With most classes there is always something they are weak against. Whether it be lack of interrupts for casters (magic damage dealers), mobility, protection, etc. With a Death Knight, you have it all! You have AOE dots (Damage over Time), pets, slowing abilities, interrupts, a taunt, many shields, a way to heal yourself, and the list goes on!
Not once while levelling my Death Knight (who is currently 69) have I ever felt like I was missing something. If anything, playing a Death Knight makes the player feel spoiled. I would guarantee that anyone who would give this class a chance would be more than happy with it. It takes a little slice out of every classes pie and combines it to make a very fun class: the Death Knight. And yes, the Death Knight really is a hero class.