Erm, slight correction, but DRK being DD isn't a recent dynamic. They've almost always been slow, heavy hitters who sacrifice HP for spike damage. Also, with the exception of FF II, XI and CC, they've always been primarily depicted using one-handed swords. There's some precedent for DRK to branch off from LNC, as Leon (the original DRK) had a spear as his ultimate weapon, but series wise...
Saw that on the beta forums...After I read the highlighted bit I went and took a look at the skills for Lancer. They are totally setting this up. Blood for Blood, Life Surge and, to some extent, Vorpal Thrust really sound like abilities that a DRK would rely on. And the parry would be really handy if they stole hate. I could see DRK coming from Lancer with Marauder and Thaumaturge as secondaries.
Lv30 - Shadow of Death - The Dark Knight infuses his lance with dark energies, transforming it into a fearsome weapon of total destruction. While in this state, the Dark Knight's combat and magic abilities are increased but he cannot be healed with White Magic, stops regenerating TP (Only base regen is lost) and constantly loses life. Effect is canceled upon reuse.
Visually this would basically surround the lance in a dark energy that looks like a scythe. The weapon would not actually change it would just have an dark (black? Dark Purple?) aura around it. It would be impossible to heal the DRK and they would lose 15% max health every 10s.
Additional Effects: En-Darkness (Increases Damage by 15%), adds 50% STR to INT. Life lost due to Shadow of Death effect reduces enmity 10%
Additional information: Instant cast w/short power up/scythe aura thing animation. 100 HP, 100 Mana and 100 TP cost.
Lv35 - Consume (Requires Shadow of Death) - The Dark Knight consumes his opponents very essence, restoring HP/MP/TP. Instant spell that steals MP/HP up to 20% of maximum and 200 TP. 30s recast.
Lv40 - Dark Seal (Requires Shadow of Death) - Drains 1% of the DRKs maximum HP per second and triples the effect/potency of Consume, Darkness and Scathe. Also doubles the duration of any status effects (Lethargy, Sleep, Darkness) cast during the duration. 10s duration. 180s recast.
Lv45 - Darkness (Requires Shadow of Death) - The Dark Knight weakens his foes at the cost of his own life. X Mana and 15% maximum life consumed to afflict all nearby enemies with Blind, Physical Defense Down and Darkness damage over time. Restores 1% of the DRKs maximum HP/s for each enemy afflicted (This is not affected by Dark Seal). DoT Potency 30. Duration 15s. 60s recast.
Lv50 - Souleater (Requires Shadow of Death) - The Dark Knight consumes 35% maximum HP and does a devastating attack on all surrounding enemies.