Tuesday, March 24, 2009

All I Needed To Know I Learned By Rolling A Death Knight

Aeglys, my DK just dinged 70. I've learned a lot from playing him and leveling his professions. Here are a few points I've picked up along the way.


Melee DPS is much more engaged than the pew pew from range that I experienced with my mage. To be courteous to the tank (as well as increase my own dps) it is important to not attack the boss/mobs from the front.

I really try to help my tank out because I understand the nuances of that role. I probably give the tank a little more time than he needs to have solid aggro, but the ability to go all out without worrying about aggro is nice. And I always try to stay to the back or side to avoid parry gibbing my tank.

But dang! Some tanks just can't stop moving! Some mechanics make constant movement or frequent changes necessary, but some tanks just never stop moving around, making it hard to stay where I should be.

This experience brought with it the realization that I could do a much better job (while tanking with Billy) positioning mobs so my melee dps can do their job better.


In many (most) cases, I am the group leader when tanking. This is rarely the case when I'm on my DK, and I've found it hard in some instances to not try to take charge. Usually the tank is capable but may just have a different style or approach...sometimes they aren't. I try to take advantage of this situation to explain my main is a tank and offer some advice. I always do this in /w to avoid embarrassing the tank. More often than not, they express gratitude and step up and get us through. I feel good that I helped someone do a tough job a little better.


As a blood spec DK, I do primarily single target dps. Wrath has brought to the game a heavy aoe mentality. Rarely are mobs marked. I rarely mark when I tank, however, on Aeglys I can pull aggro off the tank on a single target. I try to attack the target of my tank, but he may be hopping (tabbing) through the mobs to get solid aoe threat built. I can't hop with him, as my abilities rely on establishing diseases to unleash my big hitting combos.

Marking a kill order does not signify a weak tank! I've been made fun of a few times when I marked with Billy. If it bothers you, kiss off. Marking targets makes everyone's job easier. Just because there's a kill order doesn't mean that you can't aoe, but it does mean that single target dps can do their job without frantically trying to find the target the tank is focusing on.


My mom always said that if you're angry or irritated with someone, try to put yourself in their shoes. You just might find you understand where they're coming from.

I haven't been upset with dk's per se, but I now have much more respect for DK tanks. It's so foreign to me that I don't get it very well and therefore don't do it very well. Yeah, I could put the time into researching DK tanking like I have with my warrior, but I'd really like a change of pace. I can get tired of the responsibility of tanking and look forward to having an alt that can just dps.

So thanks tanks! Druids, Pallies, DK's, Warriors, Mages (lol, I threw that one in because of a steamvaults run that I did on my Mage back in the BC days. I was with a priest and three druids. I grabbed all the little leper gnomes before the robot boss and aoe'd like mad while my 4 group mates spam healed me. It was good times.) I will no longer scoff at your concerns in tanking forums regarding class mechanics. I will no longer think that warriors are the only ones that matter. They're still the best, or coolest, in my opinion, but you guys are all right too. And you have my respect.


OK, not always...BUT you can really gauge a DK by his or her use of death grip. The DK that pulls mobs off the tank is fail and should be deleted. The DK that pulls a range/caster to the tank is full of win!

I find that the brief experiences I've had tanking on my DK were made much more difficult by the other DK's in the group. I think it spawns an unhealthy competitive attitude. I'm not looked at as the tank, so much as another DK, and suddenly there's an undeniable need for these failknights to want to put as much turf between their name and mine on recount - with complete disregard to consequences.

Because of this, one of the DK's in my group will deathgrip my primary target, and I've already called for deaths in these instances via a /w to my healer. I ask them to stop, but if they ignore me, then I ask the healer to let them die. Is it bad that as a tank, I relish in the opportunity to assassinate one of my group members? Or is it simply not intervening on another retarded suicide attempt?

Well, this wall of text is enough to make China jealous, so I will stop now. I decided to not talk about professions, because it wouldn't be interesting. But JC/BS combo is a bear!

I have enjoyed rolling my DK. It's been a great experience full of learning and fun shenanigans due to being OP. Group quests mean you'll use your ghoul and maybe a health pot! :) If you have resisted the DK, give it a try. The opening quest line is EPIC! And just because there's so many bad DK's out there should not be a reason for you to miss out on great fun.


  1. Don't think of it as assasinating a group member, think of it as an accelerated form of Darwinian evolution. If they are stupid enough to pull from the tank, they deserve whatever they get. DPS has a job too, and mainly it's kicking as much tushy as possible WITHOUT pulling aggro!
    Failknights take heed....

  2. Pretty sure parry gibs have been removed from the game.


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