First off I am not a theory crafter and I do not play at a mythic skill level. My analysis is from a casual player’s point of view.
I’m cobbling this together from things said at Blizzcon and the official Legion Death Knight preview. I’m not going to copy every detail of the preview. Follow the link and check it out if you have any questions about what I’m referring to.
I primarily play as a frost Death Knight so that is the spec I am going to address here.
I currently play two handed frost and I am sad that it is going away. The artifact weapons for frost are dedicated one handers so this spec is going to be dual wield only – at least for Legion.
“Combining martial prowess with supernatural cold, frost death knights leave their enemies chilled to the bone—and broken of the will to fight. Unlike mages who learn to harness frost magic to great effect, these death knights are born of it, rime gripping their decaying hearts. These frozen undead warriors wield dual blades to strike with ferocity and inflict deathly cold upon anyone who would stand against them. “
I’m not personally thrilled about that, but I do think it makes sense for the class as a whole. I don’t like the current version of dual wield frost but the change to Killing Machine makes it sound like the Legion version will actually be very similar to the way two handed frost plays now.
The big bomb dropped on all Death Knights was the elimination of frost, blood, and unholy runes.
Instead, all specs will just have six runes that will work for any rune ability.
This pretty much eliminates rune tetris. I admit that I’m casual enough to not have really paid that much attention to my runes, but I do understand how juggling them was a fun added element for higher skilled players.
Even to me, it seems like Blizzard is unnecessarily simplifying the class.
Frost now only has one disease – Frost Fever. I’m assuming this means Plague Strike and maybe Outbreak are completely gone from frost abilities.
Based solely off of that, it looks like frost will be reduced to Howling Blast, Obliterate, and Frost Strike. Blizzard added Remorseless Winter in there too as an example for a rotation. I’m wondering if that will replace Death and Decay.
Honestly hitting only three buttons sounds really boring to me. Hopefully talents are going to change game play more than they do now.
It will probably be possible to take all passive talents and have a three to four button rotation. That will probably be helpful for new Death Knight players.
I’m hoping that choosing more active active talents will give you more abilities to use so it isn’t boring. It looks like the artifact weapon will also have active talents that can be key bound. I expect those will help add some complexity back in.
If I end up not enjoying the new frost, I’m going to try unholy. It sounds like it got the biggest Legion facelift.
Unholy also has a lot more core abilities shown in the preview which annoys me as a frost Death Knight. Whatever else it is, unholy doesn’t look boring at first glance; I have not played unholy since Wrath so I can’t really comment on the actual changes. This also applies to blood. I solo stuff in blood on occasion, but I usually do not tank so I don’t know the spec well enough to say much.
Obviously I won’t know for sure what I think about the future state of Death Knights until the Legion beta opens up and people can actually test them. I am still worried, but ultimately I doubt I’ll be abandoning my favorite class.