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postheadericon Monks – Are They The First Real New Class for Warcraft?

Monks - The first TRULY new class for WarcraftAs we look forward to the introduction in a few months of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria expansion, I thought it was time to take a look at the last class introduced to the game. The Death Knight.

At the time I think Blizzard’s introduction of this class was done for obvious reasons.

To reward long-term players with a slightly overpowered class capable of performing most main actions slightly better than average. You could tank, you could self heal, you had partial group healing abilities, you could DPS. Depending on your spec Death Knights at patch 3.0 could do just about anything.

2) To reward seasoned players. At the time of Wrath was released it had become clear that most seasoned players had several alts at a high level and had done Azeroth several times. Death Knights gave these players the opportunity to perhaps fill a hole in their stable of ‘toons without the grind of Azeroth.

3) Refer to 2. Yes, Death Knights were simply to allow many players to skip Azeroth and go straight to the burning Crusade. Skip the entire original game and go straight to the expansion packs.

 

If you think about it, that’s an incredibly telling fact.

It’s saying,

“We don’t think our original game has enough content or variation to keep our established players interested.”

It also pointed to the increasing dominance of endgame raids and instances to provide meaningful rewards the players. Both in terms of content and gear.

Stylized Death KnightThis had a knock-on effect a game. With gear increasingly farmed from high end instances, even the scant “ new raider” recipes available to crafters would be trimmed down to the bare bones. Blacksmith’s could make one tanking weapon for level 80 starting raiders, and for some reason it was mace. The story was the same for most other crafting professions. The game was shifting towards more endgame group content – and something in the mechanics had to change.

But times have changed. As we look forward to the monks that will be introduced in Mists of Pandarea, the headroom above Death Knights has increased dramatically. Levels 80 to 90 have added a considerable amount of levelling scope. Azeroth has been completely remodelled quest lines that followed you throughout your entire levelling process now require that you start at the beginning.

Death Knights themselves have been nerfed and nerfed again until they are barely capable of holding their own.

They are now the ubiquitous jack of all trades, and masters of none.

The class mechanics have been simplified again and again, and “Mists” looks like they will be simplified still further.

Other than a quick alt to fetch and carry..what now is the actual purpose in game of the Death Knight? The first – and probably last “Hero Class”

Death Knights seem to have been designed to solve a problem that no longer exists, and now stand out as anachronisms. Serving no real purpose other than a quick fix for levelling.

So all hail the monks of Pandaria. The first proper new class in Warcraft.

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