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Friday, September 7, 2007

Death Knights' "rune" system might take some skill

"Oh my frikkin dog, everybody and their second cousin is gonna wanna be Death Knights!" was the cry heard throughout Outland when the new Hero Class was announced. WoW players everywhere had visions of dungeons and raids filled with only Death Knights; as well as Alliance and Horde cities alike all filled wall-to-wall with thousands of players who abandoned their original class to become Death Knights, only to discover (along with rogues and hunters) that it ain't so easy being uber-cool and powerful when everyone else is uber-cool and powerful too -- because everyone else is taking your raid spot. Death Knights

Well Drysc has a ray of light to shed on this despair... or, in the case of Death Knights, perhaps that should be a big tank of unholy frozen blood to spill on it (assuming that would help):

I expect just about everyone is going to want to try one, but is everyone going to want to drop their long-time proffered class for one? I seriously doubt it. Also there's some amount of self regulation that will really be required to keep group composition equalized.

Not only will the other 9 classes still be needed to succeed in any group effort, but the tactics involved in playing a Death Knight might be too hard for the average Stanley Noobsauce to master. In response to one player who felt that the rune system Death Knights will be using seemed "clunky and not fun," Drysc responded:

In its current design, at least as far as I've seen, it's like having three different energy pools that can be made smaller or bigger before each fight for what you think you may need. I would kind of also liken it to some systems used in space sims where you throw more power into your shields, weapons, hull, etc. While the rune system is designed to be a pre-combat setup, there's the possibility of there being some on-the-fly swapping abilities for re-proportioning your rune distribution.

It's definitely going to be more complex. I think there's going to be a clear definition (more so than other classes) of a good death knight player that manages and controls their runes and cooldowns well, and someone who doesn't.

So the official word is that Death Knights won't be able to do everything by themselves, and may in fact be pretty hard to play. Is this enough to allay fears of Death Knight overpopulation? Will we still have to hire Death Knight exterminators from the opposite faction to clear out our own cities?