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Death Knights get new starting zone, Runeforging skill

No more spawning at Tirion Fordring for new Death Knights, it looks like the Death Knight Citadel of Acherus, The Ebon Hold, is now implemented on the Beta servers, reports beta tester Jayde. The Ebon Hold, which is located on the eastern edge of the Eastern Plaguelands, will be where all new Death Knights start.

What's more interesting is that some of the first new quest text seems to imply that new Death Knights are still under the control of the Lich King, as the quest "The Eye of Acherus" sends you to a beacon on top of the hold to report to the Lich King himself. So apparently, you will in fact have to quest to break free of the Lich King -- but you start the quests on the Death Knight. Of course, we'll know as soon as we can get more information from the servers.

Another mechanic of the Death Knight that seems to have popped up for the first time is the concept of Runeforged Weapons. However, this is not the switching of Blood, Unholy, and Frost runes that has been previously discussed-- rather, it appears that the forging instead applies buffs to your weapons. The two examples shown by Jayde's screenshots are as follows:

Rune of the Fallen Crusader: Affixes your Rune Weapon with a rune that has a chance to heal you for 3% and increase Strength by 30% for 15 seconds. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.

Rune of Lichbane: Affixes your Rune Weapon with a rune that has a chance to strike the undead for extra fire damage and stun them for 5 seconds. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.

They definitely look intriguing to start out. The Rune of the Fallen Crusader's abilities seem to gel nicely with what we know of the Blood tree's DPS methods, while Rune of Lichbane should be helpful both for leveling up in the Eastern Plaguelands and attacking Northrend itself. It should be interesting to see what the other Runeforged enchantments do. Likely, we'll get a few good tanking, crowd control, and PvP ones as well. One should also note that there is a reagent cost line on the Runeforging crafting interface, although it currently has no actually cost listed for any of the spells -- we should probably expect those in a later build.

There are, of course, still many questions as to how the system will work: Will you be able to put multiple Runeforging enchants on multiple weapons for multiple situations? Will the Runeforging enchants overwrite or be overwritten by an enchanter's permanent weapon enchantments? Is there a cooldown between applications of new runes, and if so, how long is it? And what do all those other runes do?

And of course, the largest question: Does this mean that changing from a 2 Blood/2 Frost/2 Unholy rune setup is now gone? It may be that changing your rune configuration will be unlocked in a later quest, but it also may be that they decided that the 2/2/2 setup was adequate for all specs.

Hopefully, we'll have answers for you on these and many other topics as soon as we can get our hot little hands on the Beta.

[Via Death Knight.info]

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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