Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.
Like just about every Blizzard fanboy these days, I have been playing a lot of Diablo III. And while playing it, I have indeed been looking to complete achievements whenever I can. A lot of Diablo achievements are similar to WoW achievements, but one category Diablo III has that WoW doesn't is class achievements.
This is understandable. There are a lot of reasons WoW doesn't have class achievements. It's harder to level multiple characters and get them all. It's harder to implement flashy achievements that could force you to put a group at a disadvantage. People could focus on gaining achievement points rather than winning a battle. That said, I still think there's some merit to the idea.
One of the best reasons to have class achievements, I think, is as a possible teaching tool. There's still not a really solid, in-game way of teaching you how to play your class, but a few achievements that rewarded you for using certain skills in certain ways might just be a good start. Sure, you could just cheese them anyway, but if you tried to get them legitimately, you could very well find yourself learning how to play along the way. This week, we'll brainstorm a few death knight achievements and see how they could help a lot of people play the class better.
Achievements as a teaching moment
Mind Games Successfully interrupt 50 spells using Mind Freeze, Death Grip, Gnaw, or Strangulate.
The art of the spell interrupt is one that any successful death knight should be familiar with. In PvE, it's your main DPS utility. In PvP, it's the difference between victory and the healer just negating every bit of damage you did. An achievement that emphasizes this could be just the thing to poke new death knights into learning the ins and outs of this basic but perhaps overlooked hammer in the death knight toolbox.
Weathering the Storm Absorb 1,000,000 damage with Anti-Magic Shell while in unholy or frost spec.
As a DPSer, especially after the Wrath era, we sometimes forget that avoiding damage is one of our goals. As a vanilla raider, it was always pounded in to me. Healers need to save their mana for the tanks, and you need to get out of the fire. Luckily, death knights have that awesome Anti-Magic Shell that helps us survive all those little standing-in-the-fire moments. With that in mind, you definitely want to remind DPS death knights to use defensive cooldowns, too. Giving us an achievement that rewards us for consistent, successful use of the spell could be one way to do so.
Take My Death Away Resurrect 25 party members during combat.
Raise Ally is a relatively new addition to the death knight toolbox in its current form. Whereas it used to make your group member a ghoul for a few minutes (during which they would stumble about aimlessly with no idea of how to use their sudden new skill set), now it just works as a basic battle rez. It's another great piece of utility a death knight can bring to a 5-man group or raid. An achievement that requires you to use it and keep using it could be just the thing to remind you it exists.
Feast or Famine Spend an entire current tier dungeon or raid boss battle without having full runic power or completely filled runes for more than 2 seconds.
One of the hallmarks of the death knight class in the Cataclysm era is our feedback loop. We spend runes, which give us runic power. Then we spend runic power, which gives us runes via abilities like Runic Empowerment. What this means is that we're essentially in a never-ending quest to keep our abilities from getting capped, because if we have full runic power and fully regenerated runes, we will technically be "wasting" a chance to get more resources to spend. This achievement might be pretty hard to pull just because we do have these near-unavoidable moments of resource glut, but this might be as much a goal for the development team as players. Get us to a point where this achievement is obtainable -- or if this effect is not desired, get us to a point where this goal isn't a major point of our damage rotation.
Call of Acherus Keep the Horn of Winter buff active for 30 minutes while in a full dungeon group.
The Horn of Winter buff should never be underestimated. Strength is and always has been the stat that gives us the most damage bang for our buff, and Horn of Winter gives you a huge chunk of it absolutely free. The only catch is that you have to remember to use it every few minutes. Novice death knights (and sometimes even some veterans) can forget this, so why not remind us with a nice achievement?
Plaguebringer Keep your diseases up during at least 75% of every boss fight in a single top level dungeon.
Keeping your diseases up is at once a hallmark and a bane of the death knight class. Learning to keep your diseases constantly up and sometimes sacrificing a hard hit for a smaller one that will refresh or reapply diseases is something all death knights eventually need to learn. As much as we may love trying to find disease-less rotations, those always get nerfed by the dev team. Like it or not, diseases are here to stay. This achievement reminds us all of that.
The goofing-off achievements
Soldiers Arise Have a gargoyle, your Army of the Dead, and a ghoul or controlled undead pet active at the same time.
To me, half the fun of the death knight class is being able to summon undead minions to do your bidding. An achievement that celebrates that and offers the excuse to reference the Headless Horseman can't go wrong.
Dark Command Let one of your pets get the killing blow on a kill that gives experience or honor.
What's good being a general of the undead if you can't force your minions to do the heavy lifting for you? You kick back and have a lemonade. Let your ghoul take care of this one.
Vengeance Is Best Served Cold Solo the Lich King.
This one is difficult, but it has been done. Our unique self-healing style of tanking sometimes causes angst at the endgame, but it does give us the ability to solo stuff no one else can. Given our class' lore as former slaves of the Lich King, an achievement that lets us dispense a little justice could be a lot of fun. It'll be easier once Mists of Pandaria hits, if nothing else.
Can you think of any other useful or fun death knight achievements? Why not let us take a look in the comments?
Learn the ropes of endgame play with WoW Insider's DK 101 guide. Make yourself invaluable to your raid group with Mind Freeze and other interrupts, gear up with pre-heroic DPS gear or pre-heroic tank gear, and plot your path to tier 11/valor point DPS gear.