Class Q&A: Death Knight

Eliah Hecht
E. Hecht|06.25.09

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Class Q&A: Death Knight

Third in the class Q&A series is Death Knight. I thought it was going to be Warlocks, but I guess plans change. So far Shaman and Mage have been covered, and in each post the Ghostcrawler has been talking about the developer vision for the class past and future, as well as answering popular questions from the forums. What do they have to say about WoW's first hero class? Read on.

Introducing a new class to a game that didn't really have an empty niche was tricky, but they think they have succeeded - "perhaps too well." They like that there's a lot of room for variation in player skill.

In patch 3.2, they wanted to reduce DK AoE and defensive cooldowns, which they definitely did.

The resource system (runes and runic power) is a large part of what makes Death Knights unique. They also have a lot of medium-length cooldown (able to be used a few times per fight), and there's a lot of skill involved in knowing when to use them. DKs are also especially well-rounded, with a lot of versatility and a lot of tricks, which makes them at risk for being over-powered in PvP.

The talk then shifts to dual-wield, in which he basically describes the new Threat of Thassarian talent, although I get the impression this Q&A was done before the patch 3.2 PTR notes were finalized and released, because he doesn't quite give specifics. The general goal, like they've said before, is that DW is an option, but not dominant. Both DW and 2H DKs should be viable.

Back to tanking, GC says (and I'm not sure if this is a typo or not) that they "wanted to make cooldowns the unique part of DK tanking." The unique part? Really? Anyway, obviously DK cooldowns are a bit overpowered for raid tanking, so they are being toned down a bit. Death Knights should still be able to tank any encounter (as should the other three tank classes, I assume).

This was also mentioned in the Mage Q&A, but they don't like that some stats are valued much more by some specs than others (ArPen). They don't want to make many different types of DPS plate; instead, they'll just try to make sure all specs benefit from all DPS stats.

A straight answer to the question of saving runeforges as part of your main/alternate spec: no. They're already convenient enough.

The discussion now turns to PvP. Players are concerned that there is sometimes a delay in Mind Freeze, which causes the interrupt to show in the combat log, but not actually interrupt. Unfortunately, the devs have never been able to replicate Mind Freeze acting differently than other interrupts, but they're still looking into it.

Other players may be concerned about DK self-healing in PvP, but Blizz is unlikely to do anything about it, as they see it as a core class mechanic. Chains of Ice, interrupts, or magic damage are a more likely target for nerfs if PvP nerfs are necessary.

Mortal Strike for DKs? No. DKs don't need PvP buffs, and if every Arena team ends up needing Mortal Strike, they'll just make it an aura that you get upon entering arenas.

Chains of Ice on diminishing returns? If necessary, but it's not currently planned.

Finally: are ghoul voices returning? Yes. They were removed because they had been using the vendor voices, which had some odd consequences. They will come back eventually.

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!

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