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Posts with tag death knight

Zarhym: Death knight tier 13 coming "next week if we can"

Yo, death knights. Chill. Zarhym's got this.

It's no secret that the artists at Blizzard put a lot of effort and creativity into creating unique tier pieces for every class. It's a time-intensive process. But for death knights, it's been an uncomfortably long wait. After all, each and every other class had an official preview of their tier 13 set by the end of September.

Well, it turns out there was a good reason for that wait. Death knight tier 13 was completed "weeks ago," but because the finished product wasn't up to Blizzard's standard of quality, the original idea was scrapped and a new concept was conceived -- or so said Blizzard Community Manager Zarhym last night via Twitter and on the official Blizzard forums:

DK tier 13 revealed at blizzcon?
I'll give you a bit of the lowdown on why the death knight set hasn't come out yet, even in the 4.3 PTR files third-party sites are looking through. As with all sets, a concept art piece was done for death knight tier 13. When that was translated to the actual in-game look, we felt it wasn't up to par with the concept, and ultimately wasn't nearly at the quality level of the other tier 13 sets. But, that death knight set was completed weeks ago.

Zarhym (who is totally welcome to come to next week's WoW Insider Reader Meetup and buy me a drink) says that Blizzard would "love" to post it next week, but with BlizzCon 2011 starting Friday, that may not be a possibility. I'm sure that few people will be happy having to wait another week (or longer) to get a look at death knight tier 13. But ultimately, I think they'll be glad that Blizzard didn't rush to implement a substandard product just to beat a nonexistent deadline.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Is it time to kill pure DPS?

Hi guys, you may remember me from last week when I threw a rock into a hornet's nest. I was frankly blown away by the responses, some of which were very well thought-out, that supported, refuted, or elaborated on the issue of tanking and if it is here to stay or on its last legs. Since I find that kind of discussion valuable, I thought, "Well, I can always find another rock, right?" And so here we are.

The DPS classes in World of Warcraft present us with a conundrum. If we consider the holy trinity of tanking, damage dealing and healing to be a pyramid that the game relies on, then the base of the pyramid is most easily envisioned as cornered by the tanking and healing classes and the apex occupied by the DPSers. The issue is, only four classes can hold up the tanking corner, only four can hold up the healing corner (and two of those classes are also in the tanking corner), and absolutely every single class in the game can stand on the top of the pyramid. This results in a pyramid that's metaphorically heavier on top than at the bottom.

Furthermore, of the game's 10 classes, four of them (the rogue, mage, warlock, and hunter) can only stand at the top. Whether or not they want to do something else is immaterial (although one assumes that they do not, elsewise they might have chosen a different class), because they simply cannot do so -- at least if we continue to visualize the game as based around the tanking/damaging/healing triad. So what to do?

Well, we can get rid of DPS classes entirely.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Patch 3.2: Horde Tier 9 plate armor set gallery

After doing some digging in Patch 3.2's latest PTR files, I've assembled a gallery of the new Horde Tier 9 plate sets. The shoulders are slightly unfinished, or at least looked like they were in WoW Model Viewer. The gallery includes Death Knight, Warrior, and Paladin themed sets. In a move that bodes well for Alliance mail armor, the Horde Paladin sets are blood elf themed, so we'll see how that goes for our Draenei Shaman friends (read: me).

I'm not too upset about the looks, myself. They look very Horde, even if the helm screams "Onslaught", and the colors are quite different for each class -- even more so than on the Alliance plate pieces.

Have a gander and enjoy! I'll dig through every new PTR patch that comes out looking for the Horde cloth and Alliance mail and leather sets, so keep your eyes open for updates here.

Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Paladin, Warrior, Patches, Galleries, Death Knight

Raid Rx: 10 clutch healing and tanking abilities

Raid Rx has returned from retirement! Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a new WoW blog for all things UI, macro, and addon related. This week, we examine the relationship between tank and healer. More importantly, we look at the raid saving cooldowns that can mean the difference between a boss kill and a wipe.

I read a post last week on the Orly Factor. It was about communicating with healers. Now if you visit the blog, the first thing you'll discover is that it's a Warrior tanking blog!

But Matt! Why on earth are you reading a tanking blog? Have you forsaken us?

No, I have not. I've always been first and foremost a healer. However, this does not mean I do not pay attention to tanks. The relationship between tank and healer is a harmonious one. A tank places their lives in the arms of their healers. Healers have to pray to Elune (or whichever deity you happen to follow) that their tanks are exceptional at pissing off mobs.

Two way communication between tank and healer is a must. If not cultivated or exercised properly, your team will face difficulties down the road.

There is one particular topic I want to zero in on.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Warrior, Tips, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Metzen on BC: "There was nothing really personal about it."

From our WoWinsider image gallery for Wrath of the Lich KingThe folks at World of Raids linked to this fascinating and disturbing interview with the folks at Blizzard about the upcoming expansion. Disturbing in a good way, to my mind, in that they talk about making the journey from 70 to 80 one of tough moral choices and twisted encounters with the Lich King himself, and fascinating because it talks about what the design team for the expansion learned from The Burning Crusade.

Blizzard vice president of creative development Chris Metzen seems to be apologizing for it. "It had a lot of high-concept ideas, high-concept environments," he says, calling to mind the psychedelic mushrooms of Zangarmarsh, the tragic majesty of Tempest Keep, "but other than some really nice moments, there was nothing really personal about it."

There's a lot more substance in the interview, although some of it is stuff we've seen before - Lake Wintergrasp PvP, flying mounts not working right away, Death Knights - but the insight into what they've learned and how they're approaching the mood and feel of the new expansion is, I think, worth a read in of itself. The way they intend to weave Arthas' journey into each player's experience, if it works, will be one of the most interesting things any MMO has ever done.

Filed under: Blizzard, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Official Wrath of the Lich King forums are live

Official Wrath of the Lich King forums
Late this afternoon, Blizzard created an official forum for their next expansion, The Wrath of the Lich King. Both the U.S. Wrath forum and the European Wrath forum are just now filling up with the usual questions, and some are already getting blue responses.

From the U.S. forums:
The European forums have plenty to offer as well:
Keep your eyes on those forums and on WoW Insider for future news about the expansion.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

More WotLK and future content info from Leipzig

Wyrmskull Village
Monde Persistants, a French Warcraft site, has released their full interview with Lead Designer Jeff Kaplan and Art Director Chris Robinson from last week's Leipzig Games Convention. Some of this information we already know, but there's quite a bit that was new to us. You can read the entire interview (in English!) and see the video at MP. Here's the summary of the new items:
  • Part of the lore behind the Wrath of the Lich King expansion has Arthas trying to seduce players to the dark side, both Alliance and Horde.
  • Part of the Death Knight lore will have them "break away" from the Lich King influence to be free agents, the way the Forsaken have broken away from being mindless undead.
  • Death Knights will "probably" be able to inscribe any weapon with their Runes that give them power.
  • Ulduar is going to be a new raid instance. It's controlled by storm giants and is a fortress of the Titans like Uldaman and Maruadon according to WoW lore.
  • The Nerubians (spider guys) will host a few instances at the underground Azjol'Nerub.
  • The Nexus will have a L70 5-man instance.
  • The main boss in the CoT: Stratholme instance will be Mal'ganis.
  • Possibly new daily quests introduced with the Sunwell Plateau patch (2.4?)
Previous information gathered from Leipzig can be found here.

Via World of Raids

Filed under: News items, Expansions, Interviews, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knights' "rune" system might take some skill

"Oh my frikkin dog, everybody and their second cousin is gonna wanna be Death Knights!" was the cry heard throughout Outland when the new Hero Class was announced. WoW players everywhere had visions of dungeons and raids filled with only Death Knights; as well as Alliance and Horde cities alike all filled wall-to-wall with thousands of players who abandoned their original class to become Death Knights, only to discover (along with rogues and hunters) that it ain't so easy being uber-cool and powerful when everyone else is uber-cool and powerful too -- because everyone else is taking your raid spot.

Well Drysc has a ray of light to shed on this despair... or, in the case of Death Knights, perhaps that should be a big tank of unholy frozen blood to spill on it (assuming that would help):
I expect just about everyone is going to want to try one, but is everyone going to want to drop their long-time proffered class for one? I seriously doubt it. Also there's some amount of self regulation that will really be required to keep group composition equalized.
Not only will the other 9 classes still be needed to succeed in any group effort, but the tactics involved in playing a Death Knight might be too hard for the average Stanley Noobsauce to master. In response to one player who felt that the rune system Death Knights will be using seemed "clunky and not fun," Drysc responded:

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Filed under: Expansions, Humor, Classes, Death Knight

Two Blizzard inverviews from Leipzig now on video

Utgarde KeepYesterday, new Wrath of the Lich King information began trickling out of the Leipzig Game Convention in Germany. Journalists are lining up to talk to Blizzard and two of the interviews with Warcraft Lead Designer Jeff Kaplan can be viewed as video.

First, we reported on German game site Buffed's interview with Jeff Kaplan that revealed more details of the new COT: Stratholme instance and an explanation of the Death Knight rune system. If you go to their page, scroll down past all that German and you'll find a video of the interview (in English!)

Later in the day, we covered Curse Gaming's own interview with Kaplan that announced Utgarde Pinnacle, gave more detail on the new Inscription profession, revealed the plan behind the increased pre-60 leveling curve and explored the dev's thoughts about giving the Hunter class some PvP love. Now Curse has put up a video of the interview.

Leipzig isn't over yet. Hopefully we'll have more revelations before the weekend is over.

Filed under: News items, Expansions, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

New pre-WotLK zone announced: Sunwell Plateau

Utgarde Keep Entrance
ActionTrip cornered WoW Lead Designer Jeff Kaplan and Art Director Chris Robinson today at the Leipzig Game Convention in Germany (E3 for Europe.) And boy, did they get a lot out of those two about Blizzard's plans for the future. Here are the highlights:
  • The art for the expansion will look more like classic Warcraft (gothic fantasy), and less like Outlands art (high fantasy)
  • Sunwell Plateau will be coming in a patch before the WotLK launch. It will include both a 25-main raid and a 5-main instance with both normal and heroic mode.
  • WotLK will have "just as much" 5-man instances as TBC and more 10-main instances due to the popularity of Karazhan
  • A new PvP area called Lake Wintergrass will combine world PvP (non-instanced) with the new siege weapons and destructible buildings. The faction that controls this zone may receive an effect that not only applies to the zone, but to the whole continent
  • When asked about class balance, they said they had no plans for any major changes to classes
  • The Death Knight unlocking quest will start at level 55-60
If I'm not mistaken, the Sunwell Plateau is north east of Silvermoon city, the Blood Elf capital. I hope Blizzard is planning some kind of Alliance friendly transportation into the area with the introduction of the Zul'Aman raid zone in Patch 2.3. If not, they are definitely going to need it for these new zones.

Full interview can be read here.

Via WorldOfWar.Net

EDIT: In regards to #14's comment: Stratholme is the new CoT instance according to this interview with Lead Designer Jeff Kaplan aka "Tigole." It is a 5-man, Level 80 instance. You will travel to the past before Arthas was corrupted and help him rid the city of demons and burn it down. As far as we can tell, the Sunwell Plateau will only be accessible by traveling there physically.

That same article also mentioned that future Hero Classes could be Demon Hunter, Archmage or Blademaster.

He also talked about the Death Knight rune system. What runes the Death Knight carves into his blade will determine what role he plays in the group (i.e tank, dps, a mix of the two, etc.)

In this separate interview, Kaplan revealed another new WotLK instance, Nexus, located in the Borean Tundra zone. It will be split into several wings, one of them for a 25-man raid that must defeat Malygyos, the blue dragon.

Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

WotLK talent speculation: Is it ever too early?

Snuffles of Whisperwind server has used a web-based talent tree generator to speculate on WotLK druid talents. He proposes all sorts of class balance breaking goodness. A druid using these talents could probably solo Illidan. While AFK.

Digging more into this talent tree generator, I found people have built all sorts of ideal talent trees. But the most interesting ones are what people would like to see for the Wrath of Lich King Hero Class, Death Knights. Fantasy talent trees range from the overpacked to the well thought out to the one in Korean I wish I could translate.

What kind of talents would you like to see in the expansion for your class or the new Death Knight hero class?

Filed under: Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Will we ever see more hero classes?

I'm pretty sure we've all heard about the Death Knight by now and know that it is going to be the game's first "hero" class -- unlocked by a level 80 quest and starting at a higher level than a non-hero character. But I'm not really wondering about Death Knights right now, but instead about other hero classes that might be in our future. It struck me as an odd move to release an expansion with a single hero class purely for practical reasons -- as soon as people start hitting level 80 with their mains, we're going to see a swarm of new baby Death Knight alts. (That Death Knight Spree isn't just a joke!) The best counter to this, in my opinion, would be more than one hero class in the expansion. Of course we'd still wind up with a lot of new hero class players, but at least there would be a variety of them. And on the forums Nethaera gives a bit of hope for future hero classes, though not in this expansion:

We are thinking at current that any future hero class additions will be made in expansions further along the line so that we can control just how many classes the game has and continue to work on attaining balance as we add them.

I'm still hoping they'll come around to the idea of more hero classes sooner, rather than later.

Filed under: Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Runes and hero classes

As we look forward to the release of Wrath of the Lich King, I've been thinking on the new resource system they are introducing with the Death Knight. The runes carved into the Death Knight's blade are not necessarily unique amongst MMOs, but they are certainly new to WoW. I wonder though, as more hero classes are added to the game, will they use the new runic system? And how exactly would that work?

I can see many classes as defined by their weapons, the Blade Master and his sword, the Archmage and his staff, so it's not too far off to expect that when we have access to new hero classes they might use this system, but they might not. Adding new novel ways that we play the game we love is one of the reasons I do love WoW so much. I admit more than a little curiosity as to how this might play out. What sort of resource system do you see being used by, say, the Demon Hunter? Would they use mana, energy, rage, runes, or something completely different? Are there any advantages to the runic system over the others?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Moviewatch: Death Knight Spree

If you've enjoyed Nyhm's previous music videos ("Just So OP" and "Can't PuG KZ"), then you'll enjoy his latest effort in which he addresses the impending flood of Death Knights upon the World of Warcraft. And if you haven't heard of Nyhm before, you should give this one a try -- trust me, he's gotten much better at the machinima-making game since posting his first movie in July!

Previously on Moviewatch...

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch, Death Knight

Breakfast Topic: Future Death Knights in the audience?

So we've heard all about the new hero class, the Death Knight. They're going to be plate-wearing tanks (but without shields) wielding heavy weaponry to dish out the melee DPS while throwing around shadow & frost damage and summoning their own army of the dead. What's not to love about this class?! While we still don't have specifics on how the Death Knight will function in the game, today I'm asking how many of you are already planning on rolling one. (By which, of course, I mean rolling one as soon as the expansion is released, you level to 80, and complete an epic quest line.) Planning on being the first Death Knight on your realm? The first Death Knight in the world? Let us know!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Death Knight

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