So I finally got around to completing the Death Knight starting zone that the world and his dog have been raving about. I should be joining in with commending on how good the quests are (they are) and how well designed it is (it is) and what a great, story driven experience the whole thing is but as much as all that really is true, I just can’t bring myself to do anything other than complain.
Nota bene: there will be spoilers and this is fair warning about them. Read on at your own peril if you have yet to roll a Death Knight.
So the setup is this: you are a former hero of Azeroth, slain in combat and resurrected as one of the Lich King’s Death Knights. You’re entire purpose is to serve him and lead the armies of the Scourge against the combined forces of the mighty Horde and the pitiful wretches in the so-called Alliance. After some initial training and briefings, you finally get to the front line of the offensive against the Scarlet Crusade and sure enough, you begin to spread terror and destruction as you raze their army to the ground, baby!
With New Avalon and Havenshire burning, the Lich King turns his attention to the Argent Dawn holed up at Light’s Hope Chapel. Now a champion of the Scourge, you shall join the other Death Knights and the legions of undead as you wipe them from the face of Azeroth. 10000 of you, 300 of them. But something is rotten in the Eastern Plaguelands and it’s not that decomposing limb you keep cleaning the maggots off. After quite an epic battle in which the forces of Light pull of a coup worthy of the English fighting at Agincourt and defeat the Death Knights. The next thing I know, I’m blindly following Darion Mograine, so called “highlord” of the Death Knights as they secede from Arthas’ army.
And I’m thinking “What? Now just wait a damn minute there, sonny…!”
I quite enjoyed seeing the Scarlet citizens cowering before me or running way in fear as I turned up. I had no qualms about going all Jack Bauer and torturing the enemies of the Lich King to extract vital information. You want skulls washed in the tears of innocents then I’m your man. Or orc. Or undead thing. Whatever. The Lich King’s will is my will. I exist to serve him. There is a world filled with life and beauty beneath us. I see it and I want to set it on fire. I want to burn it down for my lord Arthas and for the greater glory of the Scourge.
But oh no, somehow I’m being made to follow this cowardly traitorous, weak-willed cur. Yes, I’m quite aware that my will is not my own but really, my devotion doesn’t run to siding with losers and failures just because they had a truly touching, soap opera, chocolate box moment with their dear departed dad. Yes, I know the Lich King apparently “betrayed” us but I refer you to the bit where I exist to serve yadda yadda yadda. Not to mention the fact that Morgraine’s emo sulk means there’s a job vacancy open and I’m ready for a promotion.
So here I am, trudging through the streets of Orgrimmar, metaphorical cap in hand, off to beg a second chance from the so-called Warchief. By rights, I should be in Icecrown right about now, plotting the downfall of the Alliance and the Horde and bringing down countless legions of zombies and ghouls upon them and not suffering the iniquity of being pelted with rotten fruit by the very people who should be trembling and cowering in my presence.
It started off so well but I’m so totally disappointed with this turn of events that I’m not sure I can bring myself to play the Death Knight anymore. I know Paladins have been complaining about the seemingly endless cascade of nerfs that have hit them recently but quite frankly, this is far more humiliating and depressing. I could have been part of something amazing, something fantastic but no, I’m just part of the same old, ambitionless, neutered Horde as ever without even the vaguest hint or promise of being corrupted with the blood of a demon.
Thanks, Blizzard, thanks a lot.