The Perception of Death Knights from Blizzard

09/28/2009

Death Knight is the newest class in World of Warcraft. I don’t know how players understand Death Knights are overpowered in WoW, but recently, Ghostcrawler, the Lead Systems Designer of Blizzard opened up in the forums and talked about the perception that Death Knights are overpowered. Here we summarize the key 5 points of his post which will help player know more about Death Knights and have opportunity to gain more World of Warcraft gold in the game.

In the post, Ghosstcrawler said that it is not purposely to make DKs to OP. In matter of fact, there are a few logical mistakes to make one class overpowered intentionally. Here, Blizzard don’t mind being up front about.

First point

As a WoW player, we have learned a lot how to make classes. For early DK, we hope to create a new class which can avoid some of the limitations. Therefore, we gave the early Death Knight an answer to almost everything and try to break the limitations other classes have. In the absence of a lot of tradition, we definitely don't want to keep some of the crud that has built up on the older classes; we need it turns out and make a new class without junk. We hope to bring new fresh to our players, the class is full of powerful and able to bring more profits, such as easy to gain WoW currency (copper, silver and WoW gold), infrequent items, exclusive equipments and experience. The DK talent trees in particular had a lot of polish to make sure there weren't too many just terrible talents.

Second point

Before start to create Death Knight, we inquire with PvP and PvE players who were comfortable with the BC status quo. From most players and raid leaders, we know they didn’t have room for Death Knights and didn’t need to replace anyone to DK on their team. It is impossible to let players to accept DK who has the same abilities and features with other old classes. So, we decide to give the DKs a lot of different tools to handle different situations. They became a little too versatile. It must be prefect if we give DK the skills of creating WoW money and we think nobody want to buy WoW gold from some gold selling site. OK, that’s just a joke.

Third point

Through the investigation of players, we almost create a prefect class. At the same time, players show legit concerns about the Death Knight. General speaking, we desire players to feel exciting and happy with the DKs, so we probably gave players the benefit of the doubt too often and added or buffed abilities when we didn't need to. Players said the DK being too kiteable or the DK tank not having an answer for physical damage or whatever. More hardcore PvP and raid testing on the beta or PTR might help as well, since a lot of those concerns were born of solo experiences or pure speculation.

Fourth point

The Death Knight as the newest classes, we have to say that we give more favoritism. To help them complete WoW power leveling to the Northrend content fast, we showered the DK in blue items and mounts. It feels weird to suggest we should have made the starting experience less epic to just to tone it down. On the other hand, maybe there was a way to communicate our goals better. A lot of players took the "hero class" thing (which really only meant that we modeled them after the Warcraft III heroes) to mean they should be overpowered, which was never our intent.

Fifth point

There is at least having bad luck with two of the Death Knight systems which are their plate + spell damage combat. If the DK had been a caster, I don't think casters would have dominated the earlier seasons. If health pools had grown more (as they did going into BC) and we had been harsher about mana regen, then perhaps tanking wouldn't have been so overshadowed by giant boss hits that could only be survived by chaining say IBF and Bone Shield. Of course, the Death Knight is too versatile as a class and some player don’t like it. However, DKs is still very popular owing of its strength and gathering WoW gold easily. There are a lot of players who love their DK even when she isn't overpowered. Adding a new class is a challenge, which we knew going in, and the DK didn't disappoint in that regards.

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