As part of the World of Warcraft Talent System Panel held at BlizzCon 2011, Ghostcrawler introduced details of the Death Knight talent trees.

Level 15

Ghostcrawler: The first, Death Knight tier is all about diseases. Outbreak is a current ability, it’s up against Roiling Blood — which now works with Pestilence — and the return by popular demand of Corpse Explosion.

(crowd cheers)

The way it works is if a target dies with your diseases on it, you can target that corpse and blow it up.

Level 30

Next tier, we have three Survivability buttons. You can choose which one, the Lichborne, Anti-Magic Zone or Bone Shield.

We’re hoping the Blood Death Knight doesn’t just say “I have to have this because the other two can be pretty useful as well.

Level 45

Level 45 is all about movement and control. Death’s Advance, and Chilblains are current abilities that Death Knights are very familiar with.

And then we have a new ability called Asphyxiate. You lift your target off the ground and strangle them.

You’ll see what we do with some of these talents — if you get Asphixiate, it replaces Strangulate. It’s kind of an Improved Strangulate. You don’t get both of them, you just get the most awesome version.

Level 60

Alright. At level 60 you get a healing tier. Death Knights have always been about self-healing. Particularly, the tanks. So we still have Death Pact, Vampiric Blood in here, and a new ability named Death Siphon which does shadow damage and let’s you heal yourself a little bit based on the damage dealt.

Level 75

Level 75 is a little interesting too. We introduced the concept of Rune Empowerment in Cataclysm, with the idea that rotations didn’t feel too — we know you get to the point where you’re just hitting: “One-two-three-four. One-two-three-four” — so we introduced this to mix it up. Some players don’t care for the mechanic and they want a little more control.

You can make other criticisms about it, but it’s a great candidate to have as a talent.

If you like it, choose it. If not, you have other two choices. You have the Runic Corruption — which just increases the amount of runes you get back; or this really modified Blood Tap where now you can take a depleted rune, and turn it into a Death Rune.

Level 90

And now the final tier, level 90 is all about awesome crowd control. Gorefiend’s Grasp is a Death Grip.

Remorseless Winter is more like the Lich King’s ability himself. Kind of a replacement for Hungering Cold — but the instant nature, we didn’t think the cast time went over very well, so here, you can still do control, but it takes a little while to stack that five stack up and stun the target at the end.

And then finally, Desecrated Ground here. When you stand within the area of effect, you are immune to crowd control effects.

Automatically, three of these abilities do some amount of damage. We want them to apple to apple choices. So if you pick one you think you have to pick the other.

Talents Window

We’re going to build a Talent Calculator after this presentation. We’ll set something up on our website pretty soon where you can read all the tooltips you don’t have to furiously iPhone everything, but I’m sure you will anyway.