Death knights are unique as the only hero class in World of Warcraft, and as such players start at level 55 – but they must have another character leveled up to 55 before they can roll a death knight.
Roleplaying Options and Combinations
The lore of death knights is well explained in the opening movie on beginning a death knight character: “A hero. That’s what you once were. You stood boldly against the shadow, and purchased another dawn for the world – with your life. But the evil you fought is not so easily banished; the victory you claimed not so easily held.”
Basically, death knights are fallen warriors who were resurrected by the Lich King to fight in his army. Following a battle at Light’s Hope Chapel the player manages to free himself from the Lich King’s service and regain his own free will.
This storyline gives a great deal of scope for roleplayers to create interesting characters. To give a few ideas, how would the death knight’s family react to seeing them again? How would the death knight him/herself react to knowing what they’d done? If the death knight is Forsaken, then how did he/she cope with dying and coming back to life for a second time?
Another option is to play as a death knight for the instances and levelling, but to roleplay as another type of character.
Dungeons and Instances
The death knight is classed as a ‘primary tank’ for dungeon runs, but some players may find it difficult to generate enough aggro over multiple targets to be a successful tank. However, death knights also make very successful dps players, and have the added advantage of being able to summon a ghoul to fight alongside them.
Why Choose a Death Knight?
In an interview given at BlizzCon 2007, the design team behind the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, which introduced the death knights, said they wanted “to make the death knight a viable, fun tank that coexists with the current tanking classes without replacing them. It’s also important to keep in mind that even though the death knight is a hero class, that doesn’t mean it is more powerful than the other classes, just that it will offer a very different playing experience.”
With such a well spelled out back story death knights are an intriguing character for roleplayers, and the weaponry and magic at their command makes them fearsome fighters. This mix – and the fact that the class is accessible to all races – makes death knights an exciting prospect for most players.