My Death Knight, Gnomesblight, has been running around Westfall recently, and she's not the only one. Despite being granted rank 270 in all skills a Death Knight starts with, including weapon skills and first aid, this does not include any professions you choose once free from the Lich King's thrall. With both my mining and blacksmithing starting at zero I have to run around the low-level areas to increase my professional skills, bumping in to other Death Knights also looking for copper veins.
It is not a terrible situation, though. The completely new mechanics of the Death Knight's runes and rune power, coupled with being presented with a dozen or so new powers and abilities in quick succession, has made it difficult for a casual player like myself to get comfortable with how everything fits together. Running through zones where I am in no danger from the mobs has allowed me to experiment with various powers and find out how they combine effectively. I could go through a similar process at the target dummies in a city, but at least I am increasing my profession skills when I go out in to the field.
Going through the low-level areas also gives me the opportunity to run some easy quests whilst hunting for ore, and gathering cookery ingredients, boosting my reputation as I do so. Perhaps old-world reputation is becoming increasingly insignificant, though. One aspect of the Death Knight that is welcomed is the knowledge of the flight points in Azeroth. I don't know whether the flight points known are accumulated from another character or whether you are given them all for free but it certainly cuts down on a lot of unnecessary travel time.
In-between ravaging the Deadmines for its ore I decide to try my powers in earnest and to gain a quick level or two on Gnomesblight to see what new or upgraded powers I can get, so I head to the Blasted Lands to venture through the Dark Portal. On the other side I am flown to Honour Hold where I run around picking up the now-familiar quests. Despite only being 58th level, much as Sapphire was when I first brought her to Outlands, I was mowing down the orcs and demons found in the peninsula quite easily. I don't want to spend too much time in Outlands and get carried away as I cannot mine the exotic ores found here. I will only have to revisit all these areas once I raise my mining skill to be high enough and I would prefer having to avoid the separation of levelling and professions as much as possible.
It is a bit too easy to forget about the level disparity after playing high-level characters for a while and I often take on a 61st level mob without realising that it is in fact three levels higher than me, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. Indeed, at one point, when setting the bolt throwers ablaze ovelooking the Path of Glory, I accidentally aggro three orcs, one of whom brings his wolf to the combat. I strike them down with ruthless efficiency. Four mobs at once, all higher level than I am, when I am still familiarising myself with the abilities. Death Knights are pretty powerful.
Whilst in the area and noticing a few more Death Knights around I do a quick
/who hellfire peninsula and notice that about ninety percent of the players in the area are all new Death Knights levelling up. I suppose most people are in Northrend instead of levelling alts, with the exception of the Death Knights. But it isn't always easy to spot a Death Knight once they start levelling in earnest, at least not out of combat. Even though all Death Knights effectively start with the same imposing equipment—the Lich King offering the best perqs for his elite troops—the gear is soon replaced by better quality loot from the Outlands, and this loot is the same generic choice offered to every other class.
Fairly soon, apart from the glowing eyes, a Death Knight looks as innocuous as any other adventurer, with clashing armour colours and nondescript weapons. It seems to make a mockery of this powerful class, particularly with the coordinated and vicious-looking equipment they gain early on, but on reflection it makes sense from the point-of-view of the character. Armed by the Lich King and his powerful allies the Death Knight is loosed upon the land to wreak havoc, but memories of their past break the Death Knight free from Arthas's hold and they have to rebuild their life after being redeemed in the eyes of their new faction. Death Knights may have powerful abilities and access to resources no other adventurers have but they have to work to prove themselves with each faction as much as anyone else, showing their worth and accepting what rewards they can.