Sticking with my Death Knight

Hicks of Hudson’s Hideout posted his own debate over leveling his Death Knight to 80 now, or re-rolling a healer instead to help fill the healer shortage and spend some more time in groups. I know the feeling. While I like questing solo, I’ve noticed that I get more quests done a lot quicker when I’m in a group or just have a leveling partner. It really helps keep me on track when there’s another person there who has similar goals. I have tendency to drift off task, off topic, away from my desk, yeah the list goes on. When I’m leveling with someone or at least around other guild members, I tend to stay focused and quest more efficiently. I also tend to take more screen shots and have better material for my blog posts (insert giggles here).

A bit a go I posted that I’m a little disheartened about leveling my Death Knight. For the most part I really felt as though I spend most of my time leveling solo. Hicks pointed out in his post that he ‘s also
had a hard time getting into groups. This made me feel a little less like a social leper.

I’ve been reading the adventures of Hudson’s Priest (same blog as Hicks) and found them entertaining and inspiring. Hicks noticed that Hudson was able to get into instance groups and actually seemed to be doing it
pretty regularly. Hicks also noticed a lot of ‘looking for heals’ requests and wondered if rolling a healing class would make it easier for him to group. At posting, Hicks was running as a Death Knight in the Outlands.

Recently I had the same doubts about staying on course to 80 as Geistig my Undead Death Knight. After experiencing all the Death Knight drama I could handle, seeing a bunch of requests for heals in the general channel, and reading Hudson’s adventures I was considering going Holy with Strategeist and taking a break from the Death Knight grind. I had gone over to Holy before the WOTLK release. I enjoyed healing groups (for the most part) so I did have some experience running Holy. I’d switched back after the WOTLK release to try out the Priest Shadow tree talent Dispersion. Playing the part of the happy fool I logged in to Strategeist and listened to the general chat in the Outlands a bit. Since Strategeist is 68 I didn’t see a lot of requests in the general channel for healers in the Outlands. I thought that must mean the majority of folks had made their way for Northrend and that I should go there too. I zipped back to Orgrimmar, specced out for holy, sifted through the Auction House for a few helpful upgrades and ran for the zeppelin. Hopping of
the zeppelin with high hopes of groups and heals I kept my eye on the general channel as I ran out to pick up my first quests.

Insert the sound of crickets chirping right about… here.

It was pretty cool to have Howling Fjord all to myself. I didn’t have to compete with anyone to complete the quests. I did have to compete with my mana bar, but that’s a tirade in and of its self. Grinding away
as a Holy/Disc Priest I kept my eye on the chat window but to no avail. The only request for heals that came through was a bit too big for my healing britches. Safe to say I once again felt like I’d missed the call for recess and was stuck in the class room beating chalk dust out of erasers.

Recently while lurking in the official WOW Death Knight forums I did some reading on the ‘healer shortage’. The posts there seemed to be a back and forth on whether there actually was a shortage of healing classes. One person posting stating that there was not a lot of level 80 Death Knights and another poster mentioned that they’d noticed that a lot of folks still haven’t leveled their Death Knights out of the Outlands. (OK the WOW official forums aren’t really a place I’d recommend going for sound information, but they’re sort of like the bad magazines at the grocery store checkout, they’re a quick funny read while wasting the last 5 minutes of a lunch break.)

This got me thinking and a theory popped into mind. I began to wonder if there was just a glutton of Death Knights in the Outlands making it hard for Death Knights to group. I also wondered if the number of players across the classes kind of levels out a bit more in Northrend (which would mean less demand for heals from Strategeist but hopefully a little more demand for Geistig).

I went over to www.warcraftrealms.com to get some numbers. I wanted to compare how many Death Knights there were in both the Outlands and Northrend. I also wanted to know how many healers there were in same places. Warcraft Realms really only tells you how many players have rolled each class and doesn’t
specify whether they’re specced for healing, but I figured even lumping together all of the healing classes I’d still have at least some rough numbers to test my theory. The Warcraft Realms data also doesn’t tell me which characters are actually in what zones. I compensate for this by grouping together levels 58 to 67 and levels 68 to 80. The minimum starting level for the Outlands is level 58 and the minimum starting level for Northrend is 68. The level 58 to 67 group is my Outlands group and the level 68 to 80 consists of my orthrend group. While the data isn’t solid enough for a genuine study, and is subject to controversy because it is all user submitted, it is essentually all I need to get a general idea of healers vs Death Knights in the Outlands and in Northrend. These are also only numbers for the server Strategeist and Geistig are harbored (Uldum).

I looked up Uldum, set a level range for 58 to 67 and jotted down the numbers for all of the healing classes and the number of Death Knights. I also set the level range for 68 to 80 and jotted down the numbers for all of the healing classes and the number of Death Knights. I popped all of the numbers into a spreadsheet, did some calculations and walla, a graph!

In my signature creepy colors you can see that these base numbers back up my theory. In the Outlands (levels 58 to 67) there’s something like 1 healer for every 4 Death Knights. According to Warcraft Realms Death Knights made up 67% of the classes between 58 and 67 on Uldum. In Northrend (levels 68 to 70) there’s a total reversal. There’s something like 4 healers for every 1 Death Knight. According to Warcraft Realms Death Knights only make up about 8% of the classes between 68 and 80.

After doing this little analysis I don’t feel so bad about suggesting that Hicks just continue to play his Death Knight. It also inspires me to continue leveling my Death Knight. While there’s a ton of them out there,
it would be kind of cool to be one of the few that actually makes it to the level cap. I also want to get to 80 and do some Dual Wield testing, which is just more incentive. I did log on to Geistig a bit last night and made it one level closer hitting level 67. So now I’ve got one more level until Northrend and then on to level 80.

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