Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friends don't let friends be death-tards. . .

I think the least understood class in the game currently is the death knight. This is completely normal as it is the newest class, people have more often than not less experience playing them than other classes. The fact the they start "powerful" relative to other classes makes this even worse. There is no lowbie learning phase where you feel out the character, what it can do, put it through it's paces. It is powerful with very minimal effort and its possible to breeze through the game by mashing random buttons, hence the advent of the death-tard. Yes, the stigma of reaching the level cap with no real skill which used to be reserved almost solely for hunters now applies to death knights as well. Friends, don't be a death-tard (or death-n00b if you prefer) it is very easily avoided if you just remember a few simple things.

Death knight talent trees. First of all, anything you may know about any other class, forget it completely before you look at death knight talent trees. Every other class in the game, the tree progresses, making the character more effective in a given role, be it tanking, DPS or healing. This is not the way the death knight trees work. There is no pure tanking tree. No, "well frost is supposed to be for tanking, cuz my buddy said so" is not an acceptable rebuttal. There is no single death knight tanking tree. There is no single death knight tanking tree. OK, repeated, reinforced, bolded, we should be on the same page. Death knight "tanking" talents are spread out amongst all three trees, and the most useful to a tank is actually located fairly deep in the blood tree (reduces damage that would take you below 35% incrementally).

Basically, Blood is single target DPS/self healing, Frost is utility/dual wielding, and Unholy is Pet/AoE damage. Again, for those of you slow to catch on, there is no tree for pure tanking. All three have tanking abilities in the first tier (a dedicated tank should take all of them), and at least one useful ability farther down in the tree. It is impossible for a player to have ALL of the useful deathknight tanking abilities. Personally, I find deep blood supplemented by some frost and unholy to be the best tanking build and deep unholy supplemented by blood to be the best for leveling (I enjoy an AoE heavy style). That is me, based on my experiences and conversations with people whose opinion I respect (shout outs to WTFspaghetti for suggesting blood as a tanking spec)

OK, now for a couple do's and dont's. First of all, anyone who plays a death knight loves death grip, it is incredibly useful in leveling and can be great in group play. Unless you are tanking, do not use death grip unless specifically told to by the tank. Nothing pisses me off more than tanking a group of melee mobs and having a death-tard pull one off me. You're not tanking, I am, there is a reason for that. Beat on the mobs like a good little DPS. Mages, death grip to your heart's content. Also, when in the role of DPS in a group, be conscious of the use of your AoE abilities. I know for a fact warriors and paladins can produce very solid AoE aggro, so the use of AoE abilities should not pull mobs off them. However, I have limited druid tanking experience, so make sure you don't pull threat from the tank with your AoE abilities. A good tactic would be to use virulence to spread your diseases to the group, this ability, since it spreads DoTs, isn't super high in threat right away.

Lastly, a very basic damage rotation. I normally use icy touch to pull since it is ranged and I prefer to save death grip so it's not on cooldown when I really need it. I then use plague strike so the mob has 2+ diseases, then use virulence to spread the diseases to any nearby mobs. If there are 3+ mobs, I drop death and decay in the area to get solid AoE going. Then you should have 1 or 2 unused blood runes to hit blood strike on the primary mob and once your death strike will be ready shortly to regen any health. That is a solid rotation, not rocket science and fairly basic, but if you havent played a DK or don't know what to use, that will work.

Remember, friends don't let friends be death-tards. If you see someone that you think may be experiencing death-tardism, tell them to get help, before it's too late.