Gnomesblight visits Underbog

9th December 2008 – 11.25 am

Whilst flying to Ashenvale after failing to find a campfire in Felwood on which to cook my bear flanks I am offered a spot in a group that is looking to conquer Underbog, part of Coilfang Reservoir in Zangarmarsh. Despite normally being shy with new people, as well as the quality of pick-up groups tending to be rather random, I am keen to enter an instance with Gnomesblight, my Death Knight, to see how I fare in a group. I don't mind being there for DPS or to tank, as both options are available to a Death Knight. Having already got a good idea of the kind of damage I can produce from running through solo quests, when the question is raised of who wants to tank I volunteer.

Having already levelled two protection spec warriors to 70th level and run through just about every five-man instance with one or the other I am confident that I know the basic principles of tanking in World of Warcraft, it only remains to be seen how the Death Knight's abilities achieve the same aim. I switch in to frost presence, which buffs my armour and increases my threat generation, but apart from that I am not sure how much more I have to change about my spell rotation. I'll use area of effect spells a little more regularly and cycle through the mobs as we fight, but I don't yet have too many more abilities that seem specific to tanking. I'm not too worried, though.

The party is comprised of myself, two other Death Knights, a Paladin and a Hunter. That's four plate armour wearers. Even if a mob runs astray the damage mitigation we have between us really shouldn't cause a problem. Everyone but myself is 65th level, with me at 64th. Feeling confident, mostly because I am really enjoying being a Death Knight and have slid comfortably in to the role, the early pulls are fluid and assume that everyone is ready, instead of a cautious tip-toe. It pays off, as we plough through group after group of mobs, chain pulling our way through the instance. We don't even bother to mark the mobs, they present little enough trouble for the group.

We barely pause before the bosses too, even when one member of the group goes AFK briefly at the first boss. Two Death Knights and a Hunter wreaking massive amounts of damage and me in frost presence and managing quite well to keep all the mobs focussed on attacking me, yet still hitting hard myself. We find that there is no such thing as a bad pull with our group composition, diseases being spread amongst all the mobs, boiling blood coming from the ground, and anyone trying to get away is pulled back with a death grip.

It is a fast and smooth run, awfully good fun! The only problem through the whole run was my computer locking up, which may be a problem with my graphics card, but a quick hard reset and I was back to continue soon enough. The Death Knight is immense fun for me to play. I doubt I'll get Knifey, my rogue, out for the foreseeable future, because Gnomesblight appears to have comparable, if not better, DPS combined with the survivability of someone who wears plate armour. I just hope that Gnomesblight doesn't also supplant Sapphire, if only because I like the character.

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