Monday, September 29, 2008

Two Birds, One Stone, and 6 Weeks

Ok, 1 month since my last post, what has changed ?

We have a release date, Nov 13, this is of course news to absolutely noone that will ever read this but whatever.

I have a beta key !! Again, probably news to noone, but maybe not. I have been testing various aspects, mostly DeathKnights. I have been reluctant to start into Nothrend very far, I don't want to preview much of the new levelling content so it will be fresh for launch.

Recently there was a discussion amongst Heroes Inc about whether the guild or some members would reroll Horde before WOTLK goes live. I was a proponent of this idea because I was/am bored of the live servers and rarely if ever log on. For myself I wanted to see the quests and stories from the Horde side as from level 45 through TBC they are a complete mystery to me. The beta invite has afforded me a rare opportunity, I created a Belf DK on the Beta PVE server so I could get a feel for the new class, see the Horde TBC questlines and to some extent not get burnt out doing quests that I would be redoing come launch day. Win, win, win.

Now to actual DK data:

The DK starting area is really well done, you get introduced to the class gradually and you are not so overwhelmed by the available options starting as a level 55 character since you acquire talent points as quest rewards. The gear you start with is very good and will last you quite a while in outlands, it also looks really cool. I wont go into any details so as not to spoil the experience for anyone.

The levelling is pretty quick, you exit the starting area at 58 or just shy of it. You can definitely go straight to Hellfire since the starting gear is good enough that you wont have the difficulties that the other classes do going to Hellfire before 60. The levelling curve is currently accelerated from 60-70 by about 30-40%, I think Blizzard is still tuning this but I will try and keep tabs on it. I am currently 62 and about 20% toward 63 and I still have lots of quests to do in Hellfire and I have not ran any instances. I suspect I will leave Hellfire at 63. Of the gear I started receiving at 55, I have replaced the gloves and the chestpiece, oh and my weapon although that was more of a sidegrade. I have tried all three specs to some extent, I have not tried Dual Wielding yet due to a lack of decent 1-handed weapons.

This is the Energizer bunny tree, no downtime. All the self healing in this tree along with good damage equals non-stop killing. This is currently how I am specced and I am enjoying it a lot. I also think of it as DK-light, not because it is less powerful but because it the least complicated of all 3 trees. Dancing rune weapon is really cool, but pretty much useless while levelling.

Has a lot of utility and emergency buttons, unfortunately does the least damage and does not the self healing of blood, currently underpowered compared to the other 2 trees although the last patch (8982) brought it closer. This was the tree I was most looking forward to and still am from a tanking perspective (although I am not looking for a main tanking job), but it is playing a little lackluster currently. Hopefully this is just due to the damage being a little lower and when this balanced (hopefully) the tree will prove to be more fun.

Unholy has a lot of very cool toys, does the most damage and is the probably the fastest way to level since AOE'ing is rediculous. With access to 4 diseases at 60, a permenant ghoul, Bone Shield, and Wandering Plague being very broken with a large amount of mobs this spec chews through enemies, especially when you can AOE. There is more buttons to push, is more complicated, especially when AOE'ing so I would recommend going Blood for a few levels to get used to the basics before switching back to try this tree. I will respec to this tree the next time I log onto the Beta in order to test out the AOE before Wandering Plague is nerfed. I love having a controllable, permanent ghoul. Very handy.

I am enjoying the DK quite a bit, and I am looking forward to making Chickenpox my main. I will try and keep posting my experience in Beta up until launch day.

Chickenpox has been killed by Chickenpox.

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