Well, it isn’t much of a secret, depending on if you listened to the WoW Insider podcast last Saturday.

The secret is, I haz a Beta key… and I used it to check a few things out, do a little investigative journalism… and to report on what I could find to the Devs, of course.

I still have the Beta key, but at the moment I have no access. One of my hard drives went down, and ate the WoW.exe file while the latest 8970 build was being patched.

Hard drive issue, not the patching process. But since it happened in the middle of patching, yeah, it took me a while to figure out what happened.

I’ve since recovered my other data, but the Beta program is gone and I’ll need to re-download and install from scratch. Just haven’t had the time.

But what I did do, aside from testing Druid stuffs, was play the Death Knight class from 55 to 58 and Hellfire Peninsula.

Not once, mind you. Twice.

Yes, it is that much fun, even with insane lag.

I started on the PvP server, made a gnome with pink pigtails… and immediately deleted her. I went back and made a human female with rather pale visage, and went with that instead.

Why?

Well, first and foremost, while I had thought it would be awesomely ironic to have a big bad evil Death Knight be a cute gnome with pink hair… when I logged in with mine on the Beta Server, what I found was, so did everyone else. An army of gnome DKs with pink hair.

Blech.

The reason I went human in particular instead of night elf or tauren, was the Human Expertise racial bonus, of course. I’m a tank and DPS, I know what Expertise is used for, my good friends.

The PvP server was lag free. I went all the way through to Hellfire, leveling Unholy spec the entire way, and had a great time. Every part of the entire quest chain and playstyle was awesome.

I didn’t like playing an evil character, but the care and craftsmanship that has gone into the quest chains, area, and staging of the play from 55 to 58 is truly epic. Everyone should at least take one that far, even if you go no farther.

Amazing.

There are also a few new quests that bring a lot of fun.

Do you remember, those of you that played pre-BC, how astonished we were when we had our first ‘bombing run’ style quest in Hellfire that first day or two?

The gushing in general chat over how awesome the bombing run was, and how people just wanted to do it over and over again, because of how neat it was?

It was a new, fresh experience in the game, a new style of quest that reminded us how sick we were of “go kill 10 of xxx and bring me 30 ears”.

There are actually a COUPLE of new styles of quests in the starter zone that give you that exact same feel.

Seriously. They did a great job.

The gear you get also looks great. No question. Very nice design job. It is fun seeing the difference your new gear makes in your appearance.

I had so much fun, I went and made another DK, on a PvE server, to experience the lag, and leveled that one Blood.

Ice is the third spec, but from what I saw it was truly a tanking spec, so I didn’t try that for the leveling feel.

I can tell you that both Blood and Unholy are incredibly fun.

With Blood, so much of the Talent tree is built around giving you health back when you do damage, that at the time I played, I was almost never damaged after a fight. Even after hitting Hellfire, I could easily take two or three Orcs in Hellfire, even a wandering orc plus an orc and his wolf, kill them all, and still be nearly full afterwards if I rotated Dots on all of them and payed attention to what I was doing.

With Unholy, you have a lot more downtime from Health issues, but your spells are just more fun. You get lots of neat spells, like corpse explosions and anti-magic party shields and permanent Zombie pets that it just feel like a ton of fun.

Basically, I think of Blood as going Alchemist to get the useful pots, while Unholy is going Engineering to play with all the neat toys.

One is all business, and one has a lighter side. For an evil bastard, that is.

Do I feel they are overpowered?

Well, that’s a hard question to answer.

They are supposed to be an Epic class. And they certainly feel epic.

Are they more powerful, in direct comparison with a similarly geared level 58 DPS toon, when just entering Hellfire?

Yes. Without question.

However, they are undoubtedly still being adjusted for balance. And they are Epic class, after all.

But I have to say, if this is an example of the care and the attention to detail they are putting into an Epic class, then I really, truly hope that the rumors of a possible Arch-Druid epic class for an Emerald Dream expansion someday come true.

13 Responses to “I haz a dark secret!”
  1. Tuketi says:

    Mmmmmmmm arch druiddddd om nom nom nom…. nom.

  2. ARA says:

    So happy to hear it. Thanks for the write up. So I guess I’m gonna go unholy – thats a great way to make it easy for us to choose!

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about DKs from even the most hardened cynics, so I’m sure its gonna be awesome!!!

  3. bigbearbutt says:

    I haz another dark secret…. I have been wondering the last two days why I’ve been bored and posting so much, and why I feel like I’m entering datastarve….

    Work is blocking my feedreader, and my feedreader at home went down with the hard drive.

    I haven’t read any blogs since Sunday night.

    Oh crap.

    I feel a trembling in the force… it’s like the sound of a hundred thousand unread posts, crying out to be read… and me, cowering in terror.

  4. Toon says:

    I too have been playing the beta, I think many of the fearture that you discussed will be nerfed to more reasonable dps numbers maybe slightly better for DK’s. I think right now its just unGodly OP the damage DK puts out. Try the tanking spec BBB, much like palitanks w/ a twist. Be far my fave spell is to be able to pull runners away from me w/ my Sith power. I love watching a mage blink away only to be pulled right back to me….lol.

  5. Avonar says:

    Thanks for writing this, it was a great way to gain some insights into the class. Very interesting! :)

  6. Lenaiya says:

    Hey BBB, did you take the Bloodworms talent in the Blood tree? And if you did, did you turn green? Been curious if that “bug” is still in effect, though people were saying the devs put that in just so people would try other trees out.

    Also, Ice spec is tons of fun for leveling. It is kinda like leveling with a prot pally, and has the same types of benefits as the Blood tree – running low on hp isn’t really an issue, and you still do very decent damage. Definitely more fun than popping consecrate and going afk for 5 min :P

    I too had to do the quests twice… and will definitely do them again once the xpac comes out. Agreed, the design of the quests and gear was great, and I had far too much fun than was probably healthy.

    Too bad the beta key is my friend’s account – he got an invite right after he decided to stop playing, and had uninstalled WoW from his PC. >.< Fortunately for me, it got put on my PC, so I’ve been able to reap the benefits, but am sad that I can’t transfer my druid on there. :(

  7. Itsnoteasy says:

    Please excuse the caps, but we’ve been fighting this tooth and nail since beta started, and I don’t want this myth to spread any further.

    THERE IS NO TANKING TREE FOR DKS.

    All three trees are viable. Frost can DPS just as well as Blood and Unholy can. Blood and Unholy can tank just as well as Frost can.

    THERE IS NO DPS TREE FOR DKS.

    Each of the different trees is viable for DPS, tanking and PvP. That’s not to say every SPEC is equally as viable, but each tree is.

    ALL DK TREES ARE EQUAL BUT DIFFERENT.

    Blood is all about self-regeneration. Frost is about big crits and control. Unholy is about straight-up DPS and, as you observed, funky situational spells.

    YOU CAN TANK, DPS OR PVP IN ANY OF THE DK TREES.

    Blizzard have repeatedly stated that if one tree is conspicuously better at tanking, dps or pvp than the other trees are, then that’s a balancing bug and should be fixed. The trees exist to allow for different play styles, not force the DK into a particular role.

    THERE IS SERIOUSLY NO TANKING TREE FOR DKS. REALLY!

    Thank you for your attention. This has been an announcement by the Death Knight Information Board. Authorised by Darion Mograine, spoken by Deborah the Death Knight.

  8. Itsnoteasy says:

    (And as for pink-haired female gnome DKs… I made one on the PvP server named “Tinyevil.” When I got to Hellfire, I ran into someone with the exact same hair and face. She was called “Minievil.” Sad, twisted minds think alike! :D)

  9. ARA says:

    Itsnoteasy thank you so much !!!! Maybe you can contact CNN and get them to inform the rest of the human population about the lack of “tank specific talent trees for Dks in wrath”. Its obviously of vital importance to global security, and I’m sorry to say I didnt know this myself sooner. If we’re not careful, this dangerous myth could ruin everything. Thank you for you setting the record straight.

    Now, go and have some fun dude!

  10. Pike says:

    I made a female gnome death knight. I know everybody else is too (though oddly, when I made mine, I didn’t see many others), but I don’t care! I couldn’t get past the third or fourth quest anyway due to technical difficulties =P

    I have my own secret to confess: I have no idea what expertise is or does. Do I get away with it though, for only ever playing hunters? /puppy dog eyes

  11. Sarai says:

    Female gnome DKs are pleh.
    I made a big male tauren /flex
    Also, Arch Druid? WANT!

  12. bigbearbutt says:

    Pike, you can get away with anything when you use the /puppy dog eyes.

    And as long as you, a Hunter, admit you don’t care about or even bother to know about melee fighting stuffs, it restores my faith in the universe.

  13. Artorin says:

    I wonder how much of the OPness in Hellfire is because of the abilities and how much of it is gear. I’m thinking all the gear you have up to that point is specially tailored for DK and therefore going into BC at 58 you are geared much better and more appropriately then a lvl 58 that just came out of Azeroth. Bare in mind unless you raided in Pre BC you replace all of your gear with 58 greens entering Outlands. I have a feeling the transition is much smoother for DK.

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