A Death Knoob (aka Dork Knight, Dunce Knight, Donkey Kong, etc.) is a poorly played death knight. The initial popularity of death knights coupled with a quirky play style resulted in a ubiquitous but not necessarily skilled player base. In addition, resentment grew among other classes, especially the classically tanking ones, that death knights who did not know how to tank generally wiped groups with some regularity while competing with other tanks for loot. Another sore point is their distinction as a hero class, initially "OP" capabilities, and an association with a 'dark' character leading to a stereotype of a pompous, egotistical, "emo" player. This is exacerbated by the high initial level of death knights, with players complaining death knights will never have the experience of a player who has been playing since level 1. While the requirement of having another 55 level character implies the player having previous game experience, detractors point out the character may not necessarily fit a similar play style as the death knights. It is also not uncommon for players who were bad from levels 1-55 to create a death knight as soon as possible, believing the class to be overpowered, making it a noob magnet.
Stereotypical indications of a Death Knoob include:
- Prior to Cataclysm, all or almost all talent points in a single tree. (With Cataclysm's reworked talent tree, launched with patch 4.0, this became mandatory.)
- Inappropriate use of fairly easy-to-master DPS- or aggro-buffing Presences.
- Queueing as a tank in the Dungeon Finder without tanking gear and tanking talents.
- Not opening immediately with both diseases and not casting Pestilence on AoE fights.
- Dual wielding without 3/3 Threat of Thassarian.
- Dual wielding fast tanking weapons.
- Buying a weapon enchant (runeforging is free and always better).
- Using Death Grip inappropriately, namely, using it when not the tank, or in PvP, inadvertently pulling an enemy player to safety.
- Heading to the opposing faction's low level zones as soon as possible to pick on lowbies.
- Using gear not intended for their class, like Holy Paladin plate.
- Wearing an assortment of DPS and Tanking gear.
- Replacing the Rare-quality gear (that normally would last a decently long time to any Non-Death Knoob)with an assortment of "Of x Resistance" (or other 'bad' enchanted) uncommon items.
- Using Dark Command, and claiming it is part of their rotation as DPS.
- Dual wielding as frost, and not putting points into Threat of Thassarian, claiming it is a tank ability because it has the word "Threat" in it.
- Leveling in lower-level zones, whilst already at level 58+.
Ironically, the proliferation of death knights may have resulted in an overall improved reputation (though lower population) of rogues and especially hunters, under the presumption that players who did poorly with those classes created a Death Knight thinking that it would be easier for them.
Adding to the selection bias is that players may roll a death knight on any server once the initial 55 level requirement is fulfilled, making them popular 'test' or 'farming' characters on new realms, which quickly become overrun with them.
Death knights are popular on role playing servers, due in part to their ability to equip a large range of armor and weapons as well as being able to travel more freely than a new character of any other class. It is difficult to overlook those traits, yet not everyone wishes to be an undead vengeance machine, so the solution is to pretend to be something else. Players can write an alternative description using mods, such as FlagRSP, in which their characters could be described as being anything they'd like. This approach works on the assumption that fellow players are blind.
Role playing Death Knoobs tend to adopt the "out and proud" approach - playing their death knights as undead guys who know how to party. These death knights are most commonly seen dancing, drinking and whoring the night away in the Pig & Whistle, Stormwind. It is unlikely that this is what Mograine had in mind when pledging his men to the destruction of the Lich King.
Another rather irritating addition to Death Knoob role playing is a blood elf death knight who claims to be a high elf, simply because of possessing blue eyes in-game. This can lead to further confusion, such as "high elf" death knights who become another class altogether, such as paladins, hunters, even warlocks.
Since it became possible to make a Death Knight on any server, provided you had a character that was at least 55 on another server, Death Knights that weren't in their high 60s to low 70s were considered to be lazy people who only created the Death Knight so as to have a 55 some-odd level advantage when they started.
If you are interested in roleplaying a Death Knight appropriately, then do not let this stigma stop you - you may break expectations and earn yourself friends to roleplay with, or a place in a heavy lore-compliant roleplaying guild.