Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Death Knight - Speculation

Cross-posted from: Gathering Gamers

I'm a pretty frequent troll on the WoW forums. While I'm not online all that much outside of work and raids, I've picked up on a lot of rumors and tidbits on the upcoming WoW expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. By no means, however, should anyone consider my words the full truth. What lies herein is mostly pure speculation, sprinkled with Blizzard-based specks of information. Short version? Don't quote me on this.

When Blizzard first announced Hero classes, I got really excited. My initial understanding of the concept was similar to prestige classes in 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons. I liked the idea of specializing my character. I was even looking forward to it.

When Blizzard clarified that Hero classes were going to be an unlockable class which allowed you to roll a pre-leveled, separate character... Well, needless to say, it was an understatement to say I was disappointed.

Why call it a Hero Class and make it stand above all the rest when the only difference is that you get a 50+ level head start? Why give up a character you've played, leveled, and progressed with so you can play this new one? And while it supposedly fits the theme of the new Northrend area, why give the subjective "good guys" an inherently evil class?

Now, I know you all are just bursting with rebuttals, but give me a moment and I'm sure I'll get to your point.

Why, for instance, do they call it a Hero Class? The only thing that makes it different is that you put less work into it. Let me clarify- you put less work into the actual class. The reason I could never buy an account (other than terms of use violation, of course), or roll a non-paladin pre-made onto the PTR is because I *like* learning the ins and outs of my class from one to seventy. And to be honest, I prefer people making that slog of a journey because it weeds out a lot of bad players. Sure, not all of them. But a good amount.

Both Alliance and Horde experienced the influx of dumb players rolling a new race/class. I'm willing to bet both sides aren't eager to see that again.

Onto my next question, why give up a previous character for this? While in reality you keep your previous character, this kind of doesn't make any sense. The RPers are ticked because it ruins lore and confuses their storylines (Why, Sir Hunter, however did you seek the light and forsake it so quickly to attain this new form?) and the casual players like me are aggrivated that all the dumb players are going to go repopulate a class that could potentially be amazing, unique and cool, bitch and whine when it doesn't "work as intended" and redirect Blizzard's attention to a new class rather than fix the old ones! While I can't speak for the company, I highly doubt all the quirks of the current classes will be worked out at the rate and style of balancing things that's going on (*coughARENAScough*).

Finally, why give the good guys a "bad guy" class? I've heard all the arguments for this one. "We already have Warlocks, so it's okay." "The Forsaken turned away from the Scourge, so why can't Death Knights?" "They're cool, STFU!" I've got one answer for you.

It's repetitive.

If there is one thing I hate as a gamer, a writer, and an actor, it's repetition. When a story or theme repeats itself, it screams unoriginality. And all that does is disappoint me. When one abuses the "it worked before, it'll work again" formula, it doesn't come off as credible.

While I will remain excited and continue to anticipate the coming of WotLK, I'll remain tentative of Death Knights. Blizzard's going to have to pull some pretty amazing strings to change this paladin's mind.


Anonymous said...

Blizzard has made more money than any MMO Creator ever, and they also seem to release the smallest amount of new content in their expansions of any MMO I've ever played...
Money > content?

Andrew said...

I was disapointed that Blizzard only announced one class. Its a poor showing and I was expecting a few classes. There are examples from NPCs in the game which could add real flavour to our playing and not break the lore at all (monks, spell binders, and summoners come to mind).

IMHO blizzard would be better off not showing a new class at all, and keeping the spread they way it is. And I agree totally that having a character start at 50 sounds ok on the surface, but will lead to more balance issues.

They could also add more profesions to the game. A profession to create scolls would be great, and a woodworker would mean Staffs, Arrows, etc could all be made.

The blizz devs must like pain. I know the players do.