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6-23-2010 @ 9:26AM
"Blizzard classified them as being a hero class, not to be confused with your ordinary, run-of-the-mill class. To many people, this caused worry that death knights would be grossly overpowered and far superior to all of the others. Blizzard was quick to point out that this was not the case..."...and once again lost a gross amount of credibility, as this was obviously countered by just about everyone's experience in both PvE and PvP. They were grossly overpowered, stayed grossly overpowered, and are arguably still OP, but probably not moreso than whatever class ends up favored in any specific patch.The problem I see/saw with DK's is the ability to start at lvl 55. The limits to when you could have a DK fell so quickly that they were in practical terms irrelevant.It's bad enough that every time a class ends up OP, the immature ganksters flock to it in droves - witness BM Hunters in TBC - and the class develops a reputation for idiots and retards. Multiply this exponentially by the fact that they could skip the leveling process up to lvl 55? And it's a SURPRISE that every ankle-biter 12-year-old made one? Really? Even if you're a serious, skilled player interested in playing through the (awesome) intro quests, you really shouldn't be at all surprised that you're painted with that broad brush.I'd like them to take the logic of DK's and apply it to other classes as well, that would at least mitigate the population imbalance due to people wanting to shortcut leveling.For example: If you have an 80 warrior class SOMEWHERE on the account, you can start a new warrior at 55. If you have an 80 druid, you can roll a druid on a new server and start in nice blues at 55 just like DK's (albeit you don't need the big long backstory quest).DK's aren't inherently bad, and aren't really excessively OP. Their legacy however is something that people who play DK's will simply have to live down over time.
6-23-2010 @ 9:44AM
You know ... this is a pretty good idea. Well done.
6-23-2010 @ 9:45AM
"Blizzard was quick to point out this was not the case" does not equal "they were never overpowered". Blizzard says & promises things that don't happen all the time. His statement is absolutely correct, because Blizzard SAID they wouldn't be OP, whether or not they were.
6-23-2010 @ 9:52AM
Also, since the starting quests deck them out in blues, many feel godlike when they first step foot into classic/bc areas. In two senses, they are, as PvE solo mobs weren't made to be challenging based on such high level gear, and PvP fights against one other person is ridiculous when the death knight's gear is leaps and bounds above what other classes get until the end levels of Outland/early levels of Northrend.However, this also created a huge flaw in the class, which is that they had only 3 levels with which to learn their class, instead of 58. This, paired with the easy-mode in solo situations, led to many* fresh DKs being the worst teammates possible for late classic and early BC dungeons, as well as battlegrounds. Quite a few times, when levelling my tankadin, Death Knight dpsers would just pull everything over and over, and the healer would quickly go OOM trying to save them, because if they didn't save them all that trash would wipe the group. Other times, their dps simply was too great for similarly levelled groups (around 55-60 range), and pulling aggro was a given for a person still learning the ropes of their class. On the PvP side, the early Death Knights made bgs a death-grip tug-of-war (I don't care what you may think, Death Knights, being death gripped 5 times in a row across the BG only to be put in Icy Chains at the end is NOT fun), and really could walk around with little to fear. Once people learned their weaknesses (and the got nerfed), however, it seemed this mindset persisted, and if you ever rolled into a BG with a 58 Death Knight, who just got [An Honorable Kill], you could rest assured they would be a liability for several matches until they learned what the heck they were doing.Now, if I am levelling an alt and see a death knight before /I/ am 70, it is generally something to be avoided, whether it be my faction or the opposing one. I know there are good players who "get it", or have death knights on other servers and know what they are doing, but they seem so few and far between for that 15 level span before Northrend.
6-23-2010 @ 10:04AM
You don't need 58 levels to learn a class.You don't even need 1 level.
6-23-2010 @ 10:23AM
@styopaI think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to starting a toon at 55. I am a mature experienced player leveled a DK alt and it can be overwhelming. You are bombarded with abilities early on that you barely get a chance to test and fully understand the synergy between your new ability and your current ones before you get two more. And even with shoulder and chest heirloom items 1-55 took me about 2 to 3 days on a recent toon. And I believe I hit 80 around 6 to 7 days played time. That means my DK missed a large the amount of early game experience that other classes have.So your right leveling a Mage to 55 leveling DK to 55, but that is effectively what they are saying.
6-23-2010 @ 12:13PM
@SunGodThat's exactly how I felt leveling mine. My first two 80s were both Mana classes, so I decided to try a Death Knight out just to get a glimpse of how non-mana users work. By the time I finished the Scarlet Enclave, I had unspent talents, unfamiliar abilities, and no one really told me how the class worked. Didn't help that I had never played a melee class and was still fairly new to the game.It wasn't until I was midway through Howling Fjord that I really became comfortable with the class's mechanics. While my Death Knight is now my main and I'm happily raiding with him, I still remember how tumultuous the early leveling process was, so I'm always a little more patient with them (assuming they don't violate certain modicums of decency, but any class can do that).
6-23-2010 @ 12:45PM
I have...a ton of 80s. But I'm not sure forcing everyone to go through level 1 to 85 is the answer. You don't really gain all that much. Your rotations are largely static. And you certainly don't need much skill to PVE level grind (I once knew a DK who did 250 dps at level 80, i mean how the heck do you go through 25 levels doing that bad?).I think we over-complicate situations. Eddie Merckx, famous cyclist, said his training was to 'bike lots'. Similiarly, the best way to be good at arena is to do arena, the best way to do BGs is to do them. It doesn't matter what the level is to some extent. Yes you'll get new tricks, and gearing at 80 is a whole different ball game, but the principles are the same. Just like group play. Do you need to go through 20 different dungeons throughout your leveling 'career' before you know how to group play? Would that even help? No, i doubt it. Everything is faceroll. Its not until either 1) the player becomes interested in how to actually play properly, or 2) the content gets too difficult for facerolling, that you have any sort of 'hey I can play better in a group'. Otherwise it's 'meh' and 'shrug'. The reason people suck is because they got through 80 levels without having a need to not suck. This will not change if its 10 levels or whatever.
6-23-2010 @ 1:19PM
@Daethar I pretty much agree with everything you've said, except one thing: "[Starting at level 55 and having an entire set of epic blues] created a huge flaw in the class, which is that they had only 3 levels with which to learn their class, instead of 58.""Learning the class" is something that happens to most if not all classes - mainly because just about every class has a "leveling spec" which they discard for "the real spec" later on. For warlocks, it's pretty well accepted practice to be Affliction until 50, Demonology until 80, then Destruction for raiding. Each spec has tricks and rotations that must be learned. Mages go Frost until they can make Arcane viable. On my druids, at least until recently, it was easier to spec as feral dps until 40, then switch over to balance for moonkin form. I suppose it's possible to level a rogue via Subtlety instead of Combat, but why would you want to? (Perhaps Selfloathius could offer his opinion...) This could be just my opinion, but as far as I'm concerned, the spec is the class. So, while DKs have only 3 levels before they're "Azeroth ready", it's not a unique weakness of the DK class. It's part of the weird foundation of the game, where leveling as one spec and ending up as another is standard practice.
6-23-2010 @ 4:01PM
I played an unholy DK through Outlands and northrend the first month wotlk came out. You started in outlands with gear would make angels weep. You got 4 or 5 diseases (I cant remember, it was alot) that could be spread among as many mobs as were near with a button. You had an awesome pet that only required a corpse to summon, and in the unlikely event that you died you came back as a ghoul, just to make sure you could exact that last little but of revenge. BGs in the 40-50 range were basically decided by how many DKs you had on your side, and i distinctly remember participating in a contest to see how many of those buzzards we could grab, at once, outside honor hold and still finish the battle with full health (it was 16). Notice all this stuff is in the past tense. Today, are still extremely powerful classes but only on paper. They have a litany of (albeit watered down) abilities that can do some serious damage when mixed the right way. However, they have also become, arguably, the least creative class Blizz ever made. Whereas the stealth mechanic rogues get requires a certain subversity (dare i say, perversity) to fully harness, the mage an understanding of CC, the warlock health and inventory management, etc., DKs have become basically about stacking debuffs to launch a single massive strike. When I see a DK, I know that the fight will evolve in only one way: diseases, chains, melee strike. There is no subtlety, no creativity, in the way a DK fights. Every time I go to EoTS, and watch the shamans eject the enemy off the middle with TB or Priests MC their foes off bridges to their deaths I feel a little pride, because I have seen an extremely powerful but limited ability employed in just the right way- a certain alchemy that is sublime to behold.So therefore I say do not hate the DK because he has leet DPS, weep for his pitiable position- his godliness has reduced him to an existence of banal ownage, never understanding the joy, the exult, of using a skill in a way it was never intended but instead merely meting out his damage in a most unbalanced way.
6-23-2010 @ 5:58PM
Hob, I don't quite agree with you about leveling specs.With the newer design philosophy that Blizzard is hoping to use, "leveling specs" may well become things of the past, or at least become less significant.What is the point of a leveling spec? It is to have the least amount of downtime for the longest amount of "uptime" (i.e. getting experience - not being dead, killing more faster)Let's look at some of the more popular leveling specs for solo questing:Druid: You go feral so you don't have to worry about mana. It can be painful until Mangle.Death Knight: Unholy for more AoE capabilities.Mage: Frost for Blizzard-grinding/survivability/cheaper spellsRogue: Combat (I tried to level a rogue as this spec but I wanted to kill myself out of boredom, so I can't say much)Priest: Shadow for high mana returnsPaladin: Prot for AoE grindingShaman: Enhancement for cheaper spellsWarlock: Affliction for multi-mob "DoTting"/better mana returnsHunter: Beast Mastery for better pet tanking/pet damageWarrior: Prot for AoE/survivability/Revenge-skillageNow, many other specs are viable. Smite-priests will be certainly more popular come Cataclysm from the look of the changes to Disc, Subtlety rogues are seen as "more fun" by a growing playerbase (fast Stealth CD, Ambush 1-hit KOs). Many warriors still level as Arms or Fury (MS & Overpower, Whirlwind & fast big hits). BM's status as the hunter leveling spec is debatable, one might prefer Marks' increase to Volley damage. Retribution remains a good leveling spec thanks to Divine Storm.Players should not be pigeon-holed into one spec just because "it's better", and Blizzard knows this. With Dungeon Finder and BG leveling, you can level your shammy as resto for faster queues in LFG, or make that mage fire and do crazy AoE damage at the EotS flag along with knocking people off the edge.When I started playing the game as a mage back in 2.1, my friends (who have since stopped playing WoW) told me that "Arcane has offensive and defensive talents, but don't take it unless you're a n00b. Fire is more offense, frost is more defense."I picked Frost because I thought shooting ice bolts was cooler. My friend had leveled his mage as fire; when I reached higher levels he got mad when I started winning duels.In short, play because you want to play in the way the spec exemplifies the class. If you would rather shove swords into people, but you want to play a rogue instead of a warrior, go Combat. If you don't want to play a mage, but you love lighting people on fire on your warlock, go Destruction.
6-23-2010 @ 7:01PM
"DK's aren't inherently bad, and aren't really excessively OP."Well, not anymore, they're not. But I remember my first hardcore raiding guild in the early days of Wrath: several of the tanks were DKs, purposely re-rolled because of the new class's OPness. Their cooldowns were amazing, and they tanked while pumping out DPS that was in line with some of the, well, actual DPS.
6-24-2010 @ 12:48PM
@splodesondeathI'm not really sure on what point you're disagreeing with me... I'm not defending leveling specs, nor even advocating them. I'm just pointing out that, for a significant part of the player base, there are talent trees you use until level X, then you swap over to the "real" spec. And when you swap over, you have to learn how to play that spec.Ironically, you did a much better job than me at identifying popular leveling specs. :)I agree that it would be nice to be able to solo play in whatever spec you like (although I suspect healing trees for healers or healing hybrids will still never really fly). I also agree that the dungeon finder absolutely has made solo-leveling specs less important. However, even using the dungeon finder, it's going to be easier for a warlock to level via affliction than demonology (until 50, anyway); an so on.Although I talked about a lot of things in my post, my point was that, people change specs all the time after have played a significant portion of their character in a different spec - which means that they're learning new spells, rotations, priorities, etc. It's not a phenomenon unique to the death knight class.
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