Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Friends don't let Death Knights tank

This post is a response to a recent post of Pike's.

I don't do a lot of group instances these days, as I've probably mentioned. However, in between trying to eventually farm for my flying mount, I have been attempting to get in at least one Heroic per day.

Blizzard tells us that the Death Knight is a tanking class. However, my experience with Heroics in WoTLK so far, has consistently told me that DK tanking is an example of the truth of the statement that, "just because you can do something, does not mean that you should."

I ran two Heroics this evening; Utgarde Keep, and Utgarde Pinnacle. They were the first Heroics I have ever done with a Death Knight tank where the group did not wipe a minimum of four times. In fact, these two Heroics proceeded extremely smoothly. However, they still illustrated another complaint that I have with the Death Knight class; one which Pike brought up.

The Death Knight encourages rushing. The Death Knight encourages recklessness. The Death Knight encourages a lack of crowd control, consequent stress on healers, and, to be blunt, overall lack of attention to form.

After launching into a tirade on Trade the other day about how unhappy this class had made me in instances, I was offered a trip to Utgarde Keep with, believe it or not, four other Death Knights. We tore through the place as though it wasn't there at all. I should have enjoyed the experience, but yet...

The Death Knight does not belong, in my opinion, in World of Warcraft. There is something about the class's mechanics that feels fundamentally wrong. Simply calling it overpowered does not go anywhere near sufficiently describing the problem, either.

There should not be a scenario where people can simply AoE bulldoze through an instance on autopilot, and the other problem is how fragile their ability to do this really is. If even the slightest thing goes wrong, they inevitably lose aggro, the healer dies, and the group wipes. This, for me, has actually been far more common an occurrence than the scenario of being able to burn through an instance quickly.

My favourite tanking class, when I think about it, is the bear Druid. I see this class as being the best compromise between single target and AoE tanking. A bear has a couple of abilities which it can use to handle multiple targets when needed, but it does not have AoE abilities as an overpowered and gratuitous primary focus.

I also understand the rationale behind the "AoE lol," approach. The Death Knight as a class is, in general terms, designed from the ground up to get through all of the content in the game as rapidly as possible; both in terms of starting at level 55, and in terms of the AoE mechanics. Arena players in particular, and those who want to get through an instance as quickly as possible, love it. That leads me, however, to another point.

If your only focus, in running an instance, is to get through it as quickly as possible, you might want to rethink your overall motivation for playing World of Warcraft, since wanting to get through content as quickly as you can does not imply that you actually enjoy the game itself, at all.

No comments: