WoW Death Knight standing on the Isle of Dorn in WoW the War Within
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Blizzard outlines plans to completely overhaul Death Knights in WoW The War Within

Early changes are in the works for Death Knights in World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion, The War Within.

While every class in World of Warcraft will be receiving extensive updates and balance changes with the launch of the game’s next expansion, The War Within, one class in particular is already being targeted by Blizzard for some wide-sweeping alterations.

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That class is Death Knight, which will get all three of its specs overhauled in the new expansion. In a dev update posted by Blizzard, plans were revealed for all three Death Knight specs, which will aim to become less affected by “resource flooding,” as well as a dependability on certain spells at the bottom of each talent tree. All three Death Knight specs will be changed to promote more build diversity, talent options, and de-complexification overall in WoW The War Within

Isle of Dorn in WoW The War Within
The War Within will bring with it many changes. Image via Blizzard Entertainment

One of the biggest pitfalls of the Death Knight class has been how complex it is in comparison to others. The Unholy spec, in particular, has too many “plates that need to be spinned” for Blizzard’s taste, and the devs are looking to make it less frustrating to manage in The War Within. Spells such as Gargoyle, Sudden Doom, Festering Wounds, and Vile Contagion are all on the table to be updated in the next expansion. 

Frost Death Knights will have their gameplay altered slightly to focus less on Breath of Sindragosa, a core ability that Blizzard wants to tweak to “explore a potential alternative that feels fresh and exciting for players that wish to try something a bit different,” according to the dev update. 

Blood, which is Death Knights’ tank specialization, will be getting some abilities in the talent tree changed to become baseline spells, while other talents in the Blood tree will have their positions moved around to improve both the leveling experience and endgame diversity of the spec. 

All told, Blizzard’s goal with the Death Knight class is to make things feel more fluid when it comes to build options. The best way to accomplish this, the devs believe, is by spreading out the number of throughput-focused abilities on the talent tree, making them more readily available at different points in the leveling process as opposed to having the bulk of them stuck down at the bottom of the talent tree. By having so many strong throughput abilities alongside one another at the bottom of the tree, Death Knight players are forced to make sacrifices. 

“While we don’t plan to outright cut the DPS throughput nodes, we will rather make them easier to pick up as you naturally progress through the tree,” Blizzard said. “This will allow us to focus the capstones on much more utility or defensive focused talents.”


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Author
Michael Kelly
Staff Writer covering World of Warcraft and League of Legends, among others. Mike's been with Dot since 2020, and has been covering esports since 2018.