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A quick dive into the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King beta… (Deathknight Edition)

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, folks.   I’ve been working a ton of overtime at my “real” job and with both of my systems out of commission I don’t have as much to talk about.  Except for one little bitty tiny thing.  I got into the Wrath of the Lich King beta.

Where to start…. where to start….

Lets go with the Deathknights, the first new class introduced to World of Warcraft since they put Huntards in the closed beta about 4 years ago.    I made myself a gnome Deathknight because I am partial to the race (I’ve also have or have had –  I sold an account) a gnome warlock, a gnome mage and a gnome warrior.   I like gnomes.  They are creepy and small.

Anyway, the deathknight starting area as you may or may not know is just off the eastern edge of the Eastern Plaguelands.   Pretty much up in the hills behind Light’s Hope Chapel.   You start off in this massive, evil looking structure and follow a series of quests that give you basics on how the class is played, and also do a great bit of introducing you to the lore of not only Deathknights, but Arthas specifically.   In fact you interact with Arthas quite a bit.   I won’t get into any plot spoilers, but the way the story plays out is fantastic.  I would say the zone is blizzard’s best story telling to date in WoW.

The class itself is pretty damn fun to play.   I am considering making one my main, though I do fear there wil be overpopulation.   On the beta server I was on the Deathknight zone was PACKED at 3am when I first started.  Likewise, the next day around 5pm the zones in Northrend (which I will get into in a later post) were pretty empty.  So just using that as my judge there will be an assload of Deathknights.  But then again, I like to think I play pretty well so even if the class is a dime a dozen Im sure the better players will rise to the top.

The class seems to be fairly complicated, which is good.   That is the main reason I switched my main to a Warlock over the past year.  Yes, a fair bit of time is standing there spamming shadowbolts, but Lock’s have a ton of utility and can save a group from a catastrophic pull if played correctly.   Deathknights seem to be similar.   I only got mine to level 59, so I have not seen all the skills, but what is there is pretty cool.

Every class has one skill (or set of skills) that just redefines coolness, like a warrior’s charge or paly’s concecrate, or a mages use of quick snares and AOEs to burn something (or a group) down.   For Deathknights the skill is basically a tether that will grab an enemy from far away and drag his ass over to you with the quickness…  basically like Scorpion does in the Mortal Kombat games.  In fact I fully expect a bunch of mods to come out to play the “GET OVER HERE” sound clip when you use it.

The deathknight also has some other run of the mill skills, like abilities to taunt, to put a bit of extra damage on swings, to disease enemies… etc.   They are good, but nothing we haven’t seen in other classes.   Once you start unlocking talent points (you get a few each quest you do) and start going down the talent trees you start getting some cool ass abilities.   One ability, which is kinda the opposite of a holy priest, is that when you die you are resurrected for 45 seconds as this Undead killing machine.   It’s a great “oh shit” ability that can help stave off a wipe in an instance… or nab you an extra kill or two in PVP.   I also unlocked an ability where I have a chance on hit to make all these undead arms come out of the ground… though Im still not sure if they are doing damage or snaring.   I should probably pay closer attention to that.

My problem is that now that I am out of the starting zone and on to Hellfire I don’t have much desire to play him anymore.   I do want to see the new skills as I level… but at the same time since it doesn’t matter in the long run (because its beta…) I have a hard time motivating myself to do something I am just going to have to do over again on November 13th when this sucker comes out.

The 4 level window into the Deathknight I saw, however, was fantastic.  The class seems like a lot of fun to play, and like I said before the story in the starting area is as good as it gets in wow.   I do worry though that come 3 months into WOLK that 30-50% of the characters you will see standing around looking for groups will be Deathknights…



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