Monday, December 15, 2008

Four death knights and a healer walk into a bar. . .

It sounds like the start of a bad joke. It is instead the composition of a group I ran with in a hellfire ramparts run (and a fairly common composition I'm sure). I thought I would share a few interesting notes from the run and behaviors I noticed.

First of all, despite what blizzard says, death knights are not ideal tanks. Their attacks by their nature generate aggro, and their frosta aura I believe has some built in mitigation and threat increasing components but even in a full frost build (which I admittedly am not), they are clearly a 4th option and may even be worse than an off-spec version of a "true" tanking class. Death and decay works much like consecration, but it's extremely high cost in runes (1 of each) makes it less than ideal for tanking. I ended up "tanking" our run by virtue of being in frost aura and using the same pattern I use for AOE griding. I generated the most threat so mobs attacked me and since I was taking the bulk of the damage, the healer healed me. This was COMPLETELY unintentional.

Death knights are admittedly over powered. Our group was 2 level 62's, a couple 59's and our healer was a level 65 resto shaman (who was amazing, I wish I could remember his name). We had no wipes even on an over-pull (which I will discuss in a bit). This being over-powered is great for solo grinding or a DPS capacity, but the mindset will be a drawback in a difficult instance. The group leader refused to mark, random people were pulling, there was no discipline at all. We didn't wipe, not because of anyone's skills (one guy wanted to AFK in the middle of the instance to "hit his bong") but because. It looks like we can safely name DK's "Children of Huntards" because they take even less skill to play and it seems like most people playing DK's now not only have no idea how to play the DK, but don't know the game in general.

I never want to run a multiple deathknight instance (unless it's all guild) again. There are multiple reasons for this. A) we all use the same gear, so everyone is basically rolling on the same thing so the only thing I have a good chance of getting is XP, no thanks, I can quest for that. B) No CC, no discipline, and most people who play them I think just hit random buttons, yeah ramps is about as easy as it gets, I see multiple wipes and frustration if too many were included. C) last, but not least, it seems like the only people who play them are annoying and/or don't know the game. Maybe its the level, maybe it's the fact I very rarely PuG anymore, but I see tons of them running around, chatting in general chat with no idea whats going on. You know whats worse than a n00b? An OP n00b.

I love my death knight. I will continue playing him. I will probably level him to 80 and keep him around in case my guild happens to want melee DPS and my tanking and/or healing services aren't wanted. I LOVE questing and solo grinding with him. However, thats what they're best for, questing/grinding and not instances.


Anonymous said...

Just curious...if you were intending to DPS, why are you in frost presence? Blood is the only presence you should all times unless you are tanking. You'll get unholy later which is good for pvp. The problem is that people spec for DPS and then try to tank which leads to bad things. DKs tank just as well as any other class. the trick is to manage cooldowns since that's what DK tanking is all about. A typical DK tank gets 3 mitigation abilities that can be cycled to control incoming damage. Our guilds 25 man MT is a DK and we have cleared all instances except sarth with 3 drakes up to this point without issues. As DPS, DKs can break 3.5K DPS on patchwerk when specced right. Thought I would point out a few things..:D

Fish said...

My intention was not to be tanking, and I use blood presence 99% of the time however, I prefer the order of a set tank with mobs attacking him to people runnning around pulling whatever beating on whatever they please.

I guess it is conceivably possible you have a DK MT. That player is either extremely talented, well geared, or your other tank options are lacking, from what I see, Paladins, Warriors and Druids are all better equipped, gear and player skill being equal to tank.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response :D We did clear sunwell with 2 prot warriors, one bear and one pally tank pre-nerf. The pally switched to a DK tank (we still have the other 3 MTs) and DK tanks are a god send when you are trying Sartharion with 3 drakes up - much better damage control than any other tank class. I think overall, prot warriors still make the best tanks however, the margin between the various tank types is currently very very slim. Who knows...when Ulduar releases, the status quo may change yet again :D