The Death Knight Intro

As has been stated, the tech is good. Phasing is interesting the first couple of times you see it, but you quickly notice exactly when they’re changing sets. Oh is that why they keep having me mini-zone? I am starting to get the hang of vehicles.

Most of the storyline is good. Betray your former allies, slaughter the innocent, corrupt the living, torture people for information: everything you should demand from a soulless monster under the will of the Lich King. Then you get to the ending, which is long and boring and lousy. Let’s dial up all the numbers for the big fight, then make it so none of them matter anyway! Let’s have a story of betrayal, which is exactly the Lich King’s right and what you expect from him, rather than a stunning revelation; the whole point of having undead minions is to send them on suicide missions for your fleeting tactical advantage, which he somehow fails to convert despite being the freaking Lich King. Way to have the Big Bad fail, lose, and be defeated trivially in his first appearance. Let’s have a story of redemption that no one cares about because we have no reason to care about any of these characters, to say nothing of wtf did that come from. And what, we piggyback on his redemption?

I’m parking the Death Knight just because I no longer care about it after that introduction. But it seems like a good first class whenever you go to a new server, because you can get Burning Crusade gold quickly and mail it to a character you are interested in.

: Zubon

9 thoughts on “The Death Knight Intro”

  1. if i recall right, he couldn’t use his numbers etc because of the location – Light’s Hope Chapel has something buried under it, that makes the ground practically holy – for all intents and purposes, Arthas doesn’t have anywhere near the power he otherwise would.

    Light’s Hope chapel was a major player center most of preBC – Stratholme (+Scholomance sometimes) being endgame instances everyone ran, then it became even more important in 1.12 when Naxxramas was released, and suddenly every raider was interested.

  2. I’m right there with you. The ending of that storyline was utterly contrived. Which sort of sucks because the first 2/3 or so of that is some of the best storytelling to be found in WoW. From where I stand WoW abandoned all hope of a cohesive narrative once the “kindly space demons” joined the Alliance in BC.

    Gameplay must rule the day, I understand that. However, (much as with the Star Wars prequels) I can think of ways they could have achieved their overarching goals in the last two expansions without setting their lore on fire and boning my immersion.

  3. Some of my friends who were into the lore of the Warcraft RTSes (yeah, those are the type of people who hang out with me) got some joy out of the final bits. I guess seeing all the big names is kinda neat.

    As someone who didn’t care much about the lore from before, the last part of the Death Knight intro was not interesting at all. My participation in the battle was entirely pointless, and somehow I was the only grunt to survive the battle? Uh, right…. I’m supposed to be a hero and all that, I guess, but that’s a bit of a stretch.

  4. Yeah, at work here we all made our DKs the day WotLK dropped and came in and 1. raved about the DK storyline 2. bitched about the ending. It’s pretty crappy, especially the second or third time you go through it. I shelved my DK at 63, since I hadn’t gotten into the class, but I went back later thinking, “Okay, I’m just going to look at my skills and talents and figure out wtf it’s all about,” and promptly fell in love. I blazed my way through Outland and Phobetor soon became my only alt who has made it to 80 so far. Maybe give it some time, but I suggest going back at some point and trying it again.

  5. Pretty much the same thing here. I loved everything in the DK zone up until the ending. But I did stick with him (mostly because I HATE leveling from 30-60) because I wanted a second 80. I leveled as Blood and found that I really like it (not as much as my feral druid but hell, i’ve been playing that druid for years now) much more than Unholy (not tried Frost), Its pretty nice as a leveling spec as you have pretty much no downtime thanks to the self healing (I was able to solo most of the Ring of Blood in Nagrand at I think level 63-64) but Unholy is apparently faster due to the AoE abilities /shrug to each his own.

  6. The phasing storytelling is pretty excellent… but at the same time, underscores a few things for me.

    One, we are still playing in a largely static world. Sure, phasing works to move the timeline along, but we’re still just bit players. Sometimes that sense of being a pawn instead of a king is fun, getting swept up in grand events, but these are the Hero class here. …who are just scrubs compared to the level 70s camping just outside, chomping at the bit to gank you as you emerge as a newly pardoned antiHero.

    Two, sure, I may be the only grunt that survives the battle… until I join the parade being accepted into the Horde or the Alliance. This suggests to me that, once again, story just doesn’t survive the collision with MMO design reality all that well.

    Three, what with the mob of ghouls puttering around the town, killing random bad guys during the assault, the place felt plenty lively… as it were. The DK starting area would likely have functioned *more* effectively in a single player RPG.

    Why are these things MMOs again?

    *biting tongue on another rant on the subscription model, and how companies would LOVE to make everything into a revenue stream with little thought to narrative or game design*

  7. “*biting tongue on another rant on the subscription model, and how companies would LOVE to make everything into a revenue stream with little thought to narrative or game design*

    I actually like a subscription model. Since most games right now are running 50-70 bucks for about 10-12 hours of gameplay, I see value in my subscription simply based on the fact that I will spend more than 10 hours playing in a month even if I am only “dabbling”. The only reason for me to hate the subscription model is if I wasn’t playing for a month, but thats what the cancel button is for.

    1. Oh, it certainly has its uses, my concern there is that it’s fueling what really could have been an offline single player game. The redemption of a Death Knight has potential, sure, but the very “epicness” of the storyline is undermined by the nature of the MMO medium.

      Which is to say, strong dev-driven storytelling doesn’t fit all that well in the medium, and I suspect that sweet, sweet subscription money will tempt more devs to shoehorn things in like this where they really don’t work.

  8. I think they did what they could. Yes, the resolution of the DK arc is underwhelming, there’s no doubt about that, but from a design and narrative perspective it’s easy to make one people feel special… how do you make five million feel special?

    To top things off…

    **incendiary comment follows as usual**

    … you have to do it by making sure every Tom, Dick and Jane is given the same skills, the same tools, the same options, the same opportunities and so on. Otherwise it wouldn’t be “fair” and cue the Boys’ Chorus of Our Lady of the Holy My $15 Entitles Me To Everything.

    It’d be different if we forgot a little bit (just a little bit, I’m not that reactionary tonight) about ‘balance’. I’m not talking just about skill balancing. Balancing is not “let’s just mirror everything”.

    **back to the point**

    They did what they could with what they had. I didn’t like the confrontation at Light’s Hope myself purely from a story and lore perspective. The Lich King (essentially Ner’zhul+Arthas) in no way would’ve been stopped by silly things (in comparison) like “holy ground” (whatever might be buried down there stops the Lich King but didn’t do a thing about the Plague, go figure), or even Mograine, Ashbringer or not. The whole thing felt like a cop-out and a setup to get DK players out and about.

    Technically the whole DK start was very good, though.

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