Undead Resilience

76 Tauren Death Knight
3970
How much could an undead/death knight take? Apparently, Sylvanas can't take a bullet to the head. Although I'm not sure why. Is the brain still an important organ for a dead person?
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90 Dwarf Mage
12450
12/03/2012 05:20 PMPosted by Gorec
How much could an undead/death knight take? Apparently, Sylvanas can't take a bullet to the head. Although I'm not sure why. Is the brain still an important organ for a dead person?


She died from the bullet to the head. It took the sacrifice of three Val'kyr to restore her.

It depends on the type of undead, various undead having greater resilience or different types of resilience compared to others.

So you'd need to specify what types of undead exactly... but in the case of a DK:

Stabbing through the heart would probably weaken them, but it wouldn't kill them - they could continue fighting with a wound to the heart. The same goes for major organs - they can have a sword piercing them in each and keep going... to an extent. It'd basically amount to 'bleeding out' if they didn't seal their wounds as they went.

Severing the head is generally the most assured way of killing a corporeal undead... though abominations might be able to function without their head... given how many severed abomination heads are around and still animate.

They're also a higher form of undead, though - so they'll be taking a lot of punishment.

Lesser undead - if you inflict enough 'fatal wounds' you'd disrupt the necromancy powering their systems. How much this is has never really been said... but bear in mind even fire isn't always a surefire way of killing them outright.

Ghosts/Spirits are probably more resilient than corporeal undead just given their higher level of unnatural nature.

But I don't think there's any source immediately saying 'This is how much it takes to kill this type of undead.'
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91 Undead Warlock
7410
Quest: Hero Killer (Horde)

''Cut off the head, and the body will fall.
... Unless you're forsaken, I guess. I realize I should probably stop using that saying now that I am.''

Forsaken can apparently survive decapitation. So yes, it seems the Brain is the weakest part of the undead's body.
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100 Undead Death Knight
Req
14480
12/03/2012 05:58 PMPosted by Maoseitun
Stabbing through the heart would probably weaken them, but it wouldn't kill them - they could continue fighting with a wound to the heart. The same goes for major organs - they can have a sword piercing them in each and keep going... to an extent. It'd basically amount to 'bleeding out' if they didn't seal their wounds as they went.
This is true, in Arthas's case, he got rid of his heart because I think he said it made him weak. Then later on the Argent Crusade and Knights of the Ebon Blade got it back and destroyed it but it greatly weakened Arthas rather than killed him. With major organs that support living I think it kind of depends on the death knights' use of necromantic magic. They probably could survive without major organs but said major organs helped them to survive when they were alive. So I'm not really sure. I think if you destroyed enough of their major organs at once it should kill them.

If I had to guess however, along with this line of destruction, if necromancy is fueling their internal processes regardless of what's in place it should theoretically make the undead more prone to light attacks. I think the light is the best weapon to use against the Undead rather than figuring out what body parts to destroy.
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100 Undead Death Knight
Req
14480
12/04/2012 06:48 AMPosted by Forben
Undead run on necrotic magic, not the organs. I don't think a blow to the head will kill them. You will see undead often who have no brain running around, or undead with a giant stick going through their head in the starting zone for Forsaken. Imo, I think necrotic magic taps into the brain so the Undead runs as if the brain's working, accessing memories and that kind of stuff, but the brain isn't truly 'living'. Forben here's lost an arm a time or two from fighting, but he just restitched it back on and kept going. I'd say the true way to destroy a Undead would be to destroy the body, like cutting, breaking, or damaging it enough to where the magic can no longer support it. If you pop the head off, the body will just collapse and fall, and the head still going. Also as mentioned above, there's Abomination heads around that still have moving eyes.
This is true aside form vital organs. Like with the Lich King, if you lose your heart or your brain then I think it should end up killing you.
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90 Dwarf Mage
12450
12/04/2012 04:20 PMPosted by Forben
Since the heart isn't pumping and the blood doesn't flow


It, uh, it does for DKs.
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100 Undead Death Knight
Req
14480
12/04/2012 04:20 PMPosted by Forben
if you lose your heart or your brain then I think it should end up killing you.

Since the heart isn't pumping and the blood doesn't flow, there'd be no reason for it to be there. The brain, I'd say it still gives your memories from the magic, but if it has a giant arrow in it like in brill, then you might be a dumb zombie that attacks anything living.
It's not really about what makes sense or not, it's been proven with the lich king that if you lose your heart it should seriously injure you, and potentially kill you. Since the Lich King is an enormous conduit for necromantic power it should mean that Death Knights and the like should be able to survive through it. With lesser undead however I think it shouldn't. Non-Death Knights and Necromancers can't just produce new necromantic magics into their bodies to help them to survive. They were reborn into a body with functioning organs, it should stand to reason that if the constants change then they should end up dying as well. So unless you managed to get to a necromancer in time I think you're out of luck.
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10 Worgen Druid
7360
12/03/2012 05:58 PMPosted by Maoseitun
How much could an undead/death knight take? Apparently, Sylvanas can't take a bullet to the head. Although I'm not sure why. Is the brain still an important organ for a dead person?


She died from the bullet to the head. It took the sacrifice of three Val'kyr to restore her.

It depends on the type of undead, various undead having greater resilience or different types of resilience compared to others.

So you'd need to specify what types of undead exactly... but in the case of a DK:

Stabbing through the heart would probably weaken them, but it wouldn't kill them - they could continue fighting with a wound to the heart. The same goes for major organs - they can have a sword piercing them in each and keep going... to an extent. It'd basically amount to 'bleeding out' if they didn't seal their wounds as they went.

Severing the head is generally the most assured way of killing a corporeal undead... though abominations might be able to function without their head... given how many severed abomination heads are around and still animate.

They're also a higher form of undead, though - so they'll be taking a lot of punishment.

Lesser undead - if you inflict enough 'fatal wounds' you'd disrupt the necromancy powering their systems. How much this is has never really been said... but bear in mind even fire isn't always a surefire way of killing them outright.

Ghosts/Spirits are probably more resilient than corporeal undead just given their higher level of unnatural nature.

But I don't think there's any source immediately saying 'This is how much it takes to kill this type of undead.'


funny thing about severing the head. Shademaster whats her face in the horde story/daily quests actually claims a forsaken wouldn't die if you cut their head off. The quate goes something like cut the head off the body and it will fall unless you are one of my kind of course. Its the daily where you have to kill the alliance hero I think.
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10 Worgen Druid
7360
Honestly people this is the surest way to kill an undead. Burn it with fire burn the corpse until nothing but ash remains or B have holy magic/holy weapons like blessed truesilver bullets, knives, and blades or something made of Lightforge which paladins use to make armor. Honestly the bullet to the head killing sylvanus was a mistake on Blizzards part they should of at least explained some where that Godfrey used some kind of bullet with qualties that imbued it with holy magicm because it really just dosn't make sense.
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90 Dwarf Mage
12450
12/07/2012 12:41 PMPosted by Walegar
funny thing about severing the head. Shademaster whats her face in the horde story/daily quests actually claims a forsaken wouldn't die if you cut their head off. The quate goes something like cut the head off the body and it will fall unless you are one of my kind of course. Its the daily where you have to kill the alliance hero I think.


Well, you can reattach the head and reanimate them and they'll be fine... but severing the head and destroying it is how you kill an undead.

12/07/2012 12:50 PMPosted by Walegar
Honestly people this is the surest way to kill an undead. Burn it with fire burn the corpse until nothing but ash


Needs to be hot enough to burn the bones as well, then.

12/07/2012 12:50 PMPosted by Walegar
Honestly the bullet to the head killing sylvanus was a mistake on Blizzards part they should of at least explained some where that Godfrey used some kind of bullet with qualties that imbued it with holy magicm because it really just dosn't make sense.


It makes perfect sense... undead die when their brain is destroyed or the feedback from their brain to their body is disrupted.
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100 Undead Death Knight
Req
14480
Forgive me for the late delay, but...

It's not really about what makes sense or not, it's been proven with the lich king that if you lose your heart it should seriously injure you, and potentially kill you. Since the Lich King is an enormous conduit for necromantic power it should mean that Death Knights and the like should be able to survive through it. With lesser undead however I think it shouldn't. Non-Death Knights and Necromancers can't just produce new necromantic magics into their bodies to help them to survive. They were reborn into a body with functioning organs, it should stand to reason that if the constants change then they should end up dying as well. So unless you managed to get to a necromancer in time I think you're out of luck.


The Lich King's heart, I believe, I don't have much to back me up on this, still had a link towards him. It's like saying if you take a Undead's heart out and then destroy it a mile away, it'll hurt them even though you took it then ran a mile. The Undead's heart is just in there rotting away from lack of living and no blood flow needed to it. If a DK did the same story as Arthas with the heart, it might be the same story, but I'm not saying it'll be happening because it shouldn't. DKs don't need their organs either, they run on necrotic magic like Forsaken. If they have blood in their body, it means the rest hasn't bled out. I'd see Death Knights whose power is with blood would having blood flowing in them from their own magic instead of a heart for power. If a DK had working organs and a heart, that means they can be killed as easily as before they were a DK, a stab to the chest and they're down. I doubt Arthas rose them as new warriors for them to die by bleeding out on the ground from one stab to the chest.

But, you're some-what right on the Necromancer part. I can't remember where, but I think I've seen some Necromancer mobs who die and then come back again as a ghoul or something. You'd need a necromancer to come back to life as an Undead, yeah. I'd see it possible for a Necromancer to die and then quickly be brought by necrotic to be some-what living with the organs, but other times, they're rotting corpses who can raise more corpses.
I think we're arguing two separate things. Basically Death Knights or Undead need their major organs to survive but for different reasons. They may not need their hearts anymore to pump blood throughout their bodies but they could have the same type of connection as Arthas had with his own so destroying the heart would kill the undead or seriously injure it, but that's not to say that it doesn't actually need the heart to survive.

Also this is just out of the information that we know about. Unless we get any further information about undeath (which I would imagine to be unlikely since the Scourge's main expansion pack has passed and no future expansions seem to mention undead) I think this'll be our main explanation.
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100 Undead Death Knight
Req
14480
12/07/2012 09:16 PMPosted by Forben
I'll stand by my arguement saying they don't need their organs at all. You see scourge running around as simple bones who can still think and fight. But, I doubt Undead would have the Arthas story. Dks, I see it possible, but I don't believe it.
In that case if what you say is true then the only real way to kill an undead is through the power of the Light, or possibly a Death Knight sucking the necromancy out of them, or else any other class cutting them up until they no longer serve a threat Besides these things I don't really see any other ways of hurting it. Theoretically speaking I think hurting it would mean sucking out its necromancy or using the Light on it though. Incapacitating it technically isn't actually killing it.
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I'll stand by my arguement saying they don't need their organs at all. You see scourge running around as simple bones who can still think and fight. But, I doubt Undead would have the Arthas story. Dks, I see it possible, but I don't believe it.
In that case if what you say is true then the only real way to kill an undead is through the power of the Light, or possibly a Death Knight sucking the necromancy out of them, or else any other class cutting them up until they no longer serve a threat Besides these things I don't really see any other ways of hurting it. Theoretically speaking I think hurting it would mean sucking out its necromancy or using the Light on it though. Incapacitating it technically isn't actually killing it.


To kill an undead, you need to sever the binding between body and soul (the same imperfect binding is what makes them numb to pain and weak to Light in the first place).

This can be accomplished in two ways, by attacking the body to a point that it can no longer support the soul or by attacking the soul directly with Light or techniques like Soul Fire.

This is also why Saronite is as an effective weapon against the undead as an armour for them - Saronite can harm the soul.

Beyond that, even if undead cannot feel the damage they take, an undead with its bones broken, its muscular system crippled, or its still-functioning head chopped off may as well be dead.
Edited by Amorene on 12/8/2012 12:04 AM PST
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