Dev Watercooler – The Role of Role

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After reading GC's post, I put down my thoughts on the matter. This may not work completely, but it may serve as a good springboard for ideas, specifically on making different DPS specs feel different. This is rough, but I think it gets the points across.

Two problems that seem to go hand on hand are class vs spec and how they feel different, but remain balanced and viable; and class and spec roles in combat, specifically PvE.

Generally in a boss encounter you have several types of interactions:
Tank gets threat on Boss.
Boss tries to damage Tank.
Tank tries to mitigate or avoid damage.
Healer tries to prevent or heal damage.
DPS try to damage Boss.

We can add complexity to this with adds and get more interactions by introducing Adds to the fight. We can get even more by introducing Environmental effects tot he fight, such as the fire.
Generally Adds are handled the same way the Boss is.
Environmental effects are simply avoided, or in some rare cases negated.

We should have more interactions with Environmental effects. For example, a Frost Mage could put fire out with frost abilities. An Elemental Shaman could do extra AoE damage by casting lightning bolt at some water. A Rogue could slow adds with caltrops. A Fire Mage could set a tree on fire, Arcane Mage could explode it, Warrior could chop it down for different types of effects. Fire would be a slower DoT, copping it down would do lots of damage in a direct path.

This gives different specs meaning based on how they work and feel to play. The new talent model in MoP solves a lot of problems, but it leaves some specs feeling unimportant, or too similar in function. What’s the real difference between a Subtelty, Assassination, or Combat Rogue? Let’s look at mages. Frost is about freezing, slowing, and building up to a large hit. Fire should be about burning, damage over time. Arcane should be about explosions, burst damage with small splashes to nearby enemies. This makes each spec play differently and feel different. Each can be viable with the right tools.

Different melee weapon types and different schools of magic should have some defining characteristics. What’s the difference between a Destruction Warlock and a Fire Mage? Following the idea that fire is for DoTs, then Destruction should be the DoT spec and Affliction should be the nuke spec. Or we make fire behave differenty as a DoT or nuke to give variety.

Melee weapons should do the same. Swords should behave differently than maces, daggers or axes. This gives some easy to define DPS roles for pure classes. A DoT spec, a nuke spec and a burst spec. All three could perform equally on a tank and spank boss fight if played correctly; it’s in the differences of the specific fight mechanics that it would vary.

For example. A DoT/Fire Mage rolls 3 DoTs on the tank and suppliments with a nuke and a maintained self-buff for 20k DPS for 30 seconds. A burst/Subtelty Rogue bursts for 70k DPS in the first 5 seconds, but 10k DPS for next 25 seconds. A nuke/Destruction Warlock starts at 10k DPS and gradually builds up to 50k DPS at the end of 30 seconds, or perhaps more if adds are present for extra AoE damage. Then the cycles repeat. Each gets the job done, but in a different way. Each comes with its own risks and rewards based on fight duration, target switching, fight mobility and so forth.

This model could be applied to Healers. Restoration Druids have always been about HoTs to great success and have their pros and cons. Holy Paladins and Discipline Priests are burst healers that can put out a lot of HPS for a short time every so often. Restoration Shamen and Holy Priests are the nuke healers that keep a fairly steady pace, but can build up when things get dangerous. These concepts exist already; they just need to be more clearly defined to give each spec its own unique feel but without going so extreme that the difference between them is debilitating. A Restoration Druid should still be capable of burst healing a tank in trouble as long as they also have a full spread of HoTs rolling. It would just require more planning ahead. A Discipline Priest should still be able to heal raid-wide damage, it would just require faster reactions than a Holy/nuke Priest.

We can also apply this idea to tanks. The DoT style tank keeps debuffs on the boss and manages self buffs on himself to reach an appropriate level of avoidance and mitigation. The burst tank takes almost no damage for a little while, but needs a little extra healing in between bursts. The nuke tank maintains a balance of the two, keeping a moderate baseline of mitigation with occasional surges when needed. Tanks should push a button or two to keep threat coming by doing damage with a threat bonus based on a Tank ability like Righteous Fury or Blood Presence, but the rest of their attention should be on keeping their mitigation up. Bears Lacerate three times then Pulverize for threat, but they really should just Mangle and Maul for threat and stack/spend for mitigation. A rolling stack of Lacerate could reduce the Boss’ damage by 10% per stack and hitting Pulverize should reduce the Boss’ damage by 50% for 5 seconds. This would allow the stacks to begin to be reapplied with a small margin of danger and allow the Tank to choose when to Pulverize and gain the extra damage reduction.

These are fundamental mechanics that exist all over the game, we just need to take the best of them and apply them to situations that need more compelling gameplay.
IMHO, I feel WOW classes and spec's have become too homogenous over time as a result of the constant complaining of the wow community.

Back in Vanilla, if you chose to roll a warlock, you knew there were certain limitations and benefits of that class. You knew the roll you filled, and you chose a class/spec which played to your interests. Now, every class has a little bit of everything; sure, Mages are still the only ones who can make food; Warlocks can soulstone. But there are too many abilities which are shared by multiple classes in a effort to make the game more "fair"

I liked it better when every class and spec had its own Niche. Each class had its limits and its benefits, Maybe this was less fair in some respects, but it made the game more interesting. Now the game is diluted with a lot of classes which are OK at a bunch of things but really good at nothing.

I would be a huge fan of opening up tanking to more classes. Arcane mage could be an Archon, Beast Mastery Hunters could tank through their pet (already can), Demo 'locks through their summoned, well, demon, Combat Rogues evade and parry. Not that I've thought through any of these ideas beyond, wouldn't it be cool if... But, changing tanks from the current plate and bear might be a fun change and allow long time mages a chance to finally magetank.

GL!
I have to admit, I would't mind a Rogue tank if it's done carefully. I imagine it would help with class itemization. Heh, maybe they could make UH DKs healers and finally find someone else to use all that INT plate.
Fury was not an option in 2005...
Here what i think. Bring in some new classes to help elevate the issues of trying to make the current classes fit for everything. I thing it would be fun to have new classes and races brought in for each new version. What about a barbarian, cleric, monks, conjurer, thief, warrior mage, sorcerer, scholar and trader. Each would help out a existing class, instead of watering down the existing classes to try and fit every need. New races would be great also as they bring different attributes to each class they are allowed to use. This would create new excitement for the game and everyone evolved with it. As far as raids and dungeons it would be nice to have the encounters in each randomly change so there would be more flex ability in bring along different classes as that is one of the biggest complaints that I have heard as no one likes to be left out doing these things. It would also mean that it might take more work or less to get through the raids and dungeons. A little bit of the unknown is good for everyone. I like playing a fire mage the most, but is sucks when I have to melee (like it should) when questing by myself. I think if you follow the old standard of how classes are broken up then it might become easier to create the talents and attributes for the races and classes.
Blizzard ty for YET another tuesday downtime that should have been DONE on Sunday night into monday morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
YET AGAIN you have REALY SCREWED up my day because of THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....
TY EVER SO BLOODY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have to say after reading this article, I am really losing the clutch of WoW.

I remember when roleplaying games were just that. A game where you played a role. You were either Tank, Healer, Rogue, or DPS(ranged or melee). Pick a role.

Its bad enough that you can level 1-85 without ever stepping a foot out of the capital city to see the game that the Blizzard spent endless hours creating lore about. But then people are going to complain that mages and locks, rogues, only do dps? When were they ever healer or tank material in past games? I think Blizzard should put it back to the original build where if you want a class that does it all, PICK A HYBRID. Pally or Druid take your pick. The rest are classes that have specific purposes, be it Melee damage, Ranged damage, or Healing.

The game has gone through so many changes in the last 7 yrs, that now its starting to become the game where every class is getting every ability to make everyone happy.

Examples of this are Hunter getting camouflage, Mage getting invisibility, Rogue getting a HoT, Warriors getting a heal, its going into a downward spiral.

The thing that Blizzard did that disappointed me the most: Death Knights

Reason? They were supposed to be "The first of many Epic Classes".
But we never saw any others come out of the woodwork. It quickly became some Pally vs DK battle, to drown out the Jedi vs Sith hype at the moment. Then you have everyone complaining that DK's are too OP because no other epic classes were released to counter them. So they wind up nerfed thus making them a regular class and flushing the epic class idea down the crapper.

The game is too cookie cutter, like a messed up version of rock, paper, scissors. Blizzard, you have tried to combine the casual players and the serious raiders, the arena junkies and casual/non-experienced PvPer's. And in doing so it has failed. Severely. Nothing you can do is going to make everyone happy. There are always going to be players that suck. When you start trying to make a game that's so easy a caveman can do it, people start to get bored. And when you have a game where everyone can do everything it becomes like an episode of Itchy and Scratchy taking turns hitting each other over the head with a squeak hammer.

Truthfully, I miss the days where I would be out exploring looking for the end of a quest solving the puzzle and having a player of the opposite faction causing grief. Nowadays, you don't have to put any effort into your game. You take a quest click on your map to see where the ? is and kill whatever it is and turn it in. You are working yourself out of a job Ghostcrawler. Nobody even pays attention to the details anymore. I didn't notice how vacant Azeroth had become until this week when I went to farm some lower level ores in Silithus. It used to be that in doing something like this you would come across other players along the way, maybe opposite faction. But there is nobody out there. They are all camped out between the bank and the Auction House from level 1-85. Is this where you thought your developments and hard work would lead the game?
Well said scrubtardinc


I remember when roleplaying games were just that. A game where you played a role. You were either Tank, Healer, Rogue, or DPS(ranged or melee). Pick a role.

Its bad enough that you can level 1-85 without ever stepping a foot out of the capital city to see the game that the Blizzard spent endless hours creating lore about. But then people are going to complain that mages and locks, rogues, only do dps? When were they ever healer or tank material in past games? I think Blizzard should put it back to the original build where if you want a class that does it all, PICK A HYBRID. Pally or Druid take your pick. The rest are classes that have specific purposes, be it Melee damage, Ranged damage, or Healing.

This is blizzard's fault, not ours.
We complain that we only do dps now, because Blizzard has homogenized everything so much that pures are no longer useful or needed. Hybrids can do as much dps as we can, and bring the same buffs. I would have no problem only being able to do dps if I was the best at doing dps, and not Warlocks but Hunters, Rogues, and Mages too. All pures should be better at dps, but that's not the case anymore.

all of the models have their downsides and upsides, but what it comes down to is how they will improve the models to work with MOP. all of the models as it stands just aren't efficient enough and fair for the majority player base; however, all of them could work for MOP if they were Designed to work better with MOP ruling out model 5. what i want to know is when a model is picked what do you guys intend to do for the modifications if its needed for each model?


I want to be the PVE frost mage.
The PVP holy priest
The Mutilate rogue who poisons things to death and not be constantly pressured to be combat.
I want destro to be about the nukes again!(and GREEN FIRE!)


I don't like switching to different specs for different fights. With the added Monk class, someone is gonna be ditched. Why not move back to the 15m model?



Also warlock tanking/melee sounds fun. Bring back firestones and the leather mmk?


psssssssssssssst!
GREEN FIRE!








i have several 85s all have two specs even what i consider pure dps class (hunter, mage, warlock) and i love the way the talents are currently set up i can go BM on my hunter do as much usually more dps than other classes i can do 5mans as a frost mage and i love it. but a warlock tank you got to be kidding me or a melee mage yeah right! But a pally that can tank or heal im good with that as long as he cant do both at the same time. but i think taking the specs away and making oh just pick 10 things you want to be able to do really takes away from game. half of this game is figuring out what works best and knowing its not the same. I like knowing that i don't have all the same talents or abilities as the next guy and THAT can give me a competitive edge. that being said with all the resources and forms these days i see toon after toon spec identical, witch however i do not like. too many cookie cutter toons out there. that being said i guess what i don't want to see is an arcane mage with the defensive of a discipline priest, or a prot pally who can heal like a holy pally, or SV hunter who gets to use BM pets, that would ruin spec definition IMO.
Keeping ever class balanced does keep the complaining down, also helps out when your trying to balance pve and pvp. Come on now though have you ever see a hybrid class dps(DK's) against a true dps class that cant tank or heal. I am not going to say a dk is OP just saying that a mage,lock, rog need some looking into when you start talking about balance. Also check out shaman at low lvls tring to heal a grp compaired too priest or druids.

But this post is about models.

I would like a 6th choice. 3 different specs like we have now, but the 3rd spec be a hybrid of the other 2 that can be decided on what abilitie to use by the player.

Also a rebuild of the balance of classes:

Pally - tank/dps/healer
Druid - tank/dps/healer
DK - tank/dps
Warrior - tank/dps?
Priest - healer/dps
Shaman - healer/dps
Hunter - dps
Lock - dps
Mage - dps
Rog -dps

One last thing a auto-attack for casters, hopeing your not counting the wand(lol). Been told that casters dmg is higher cause they dont have it. Have the dev team really looked at the dps output during a real boss fight than against a dummie, when we arent just standing still and able to concentrate on rotation.
IMHO, I feel WOW classes and spec's have become too homogenous over time as a result of the constant complaining of the wow community.

Back in Vanilla, if you chose to roll a warlock, you knew there were certain limitations and benefits of that class. You knew the roll you filled, and you chose a class/spec which played to your interests. Now, every class has a little bit of everything; sure, Mages are still the only ones who can make food; Warlocks can soulstone. But there are too many abilities which are shared by multiple classes in a effort to make the game more "fair"

I liked it better when every class and spec had its own Niche. Each class had its limits and its benefits, Maybe this was less fair in some respects, but it made the game more interesting. Now the game is diluted with a lot of classes which are OK at a bunch of things but really good at nothing.


I agree with this very much. I've always felt this way. You mention it being unfair in some respects, which means it needed balance. However, the game balanced this situation by giving out these unique abilities to more classes, rather than tweaking the ability itself. As this happens more, it takes away class uniqueness. Switching from one class to the next doesn't feel different enough.
Assuming that this is centered around raid oriented players, and to some extent pvpers,

The fundamental idea is too improve the experience in these raids and battlegrounds/arenas. The answer isn't to just revamp the class and talent systems. Boss fights have become stagnant and need to become more dynamic. The mechanics in the spine "boss" fight was a step in the right direction. I think another step would be in making the boss fights more reactive to the classes/specs of the players that are challenging the boss. It would probably be a mistake to completely make the boss fight dependant upon the class makeup, and it would quite frankly be unecessary in 25 man situations where the majority of classes are usually represented. However, any way to make boss fights more dynamic needs to be looked at.

From a pvp perspective,I'm not sure whether there should be a pvp tree, or if there should be pvp talents that are accessible in some fashion for pvpers only (or for use in pvp situations). but as long as you aren't basing balance off of dueling, it will not be difficult to justify what you are doing. And for the most part, people will still complain about one class being more OP than another. But they'll keep playing the class they like.

Just a side note: it does not make me feel confident in the abilities of these programmers and game designers when I see GC saying things to the effect of "it would put too much strain on developers to do this." I'm sorry if you think it would be too much of a strain...but quite frankly, we're paying you to try anything and everything to make these games more fun. The least you can do is think outside the box and explore these possibilities before you just say, "this would be too much of a strain on us."



STOP GIVING IN TO THE MASS CHILDISH POPULATION OF WOW.


Most people have no idea about class balance, and or probably completely terrible at playing any class. The talents trees you guys have set up are fine. If you are a Warlock and you want to tank, to Fing bad.... go roll a TANKing class. People complain about everything to much. If you want a class to do everything, roll a Druid (Melee and Ranged DPS, and a !@#$ ton of damage at that, as well as healing).

You should stop listening to cry babies. More often than not, the people crying are the classes already capable of doing 10k more DPS on every fight than every other class. Or a Healer that can out heal the other 3 classes with a ridiculous margin.

If Blizzard sees a class do way more damage based on all people playing that class, then go ahead and balance it, same with heals. Don't do it because people crying want more damage. Spriests have been at the top of meters for 2 xpacs. "We heard from Shadow priests that they wanted to do competitive damage, not just be there to make everyone else more awesome." - from WOTLK Xpac. lololololol A Spriest with 5 stacks can now hit someone with 4800 resil for 60k, I know because my partner does it all the time. 60k? on 4800 resil? Come on. They complained a little and now they hit that hard. Same with Mages, hell a Mage can nearly drop someone with 160k to 0 in one Deep Freeze.

You guys give in to easy. I can't wait to see how the new system in MoP works out. 7 Years and you finally changed it to a way you guys have been wanting. Not the little children around the world who never went to school to make video games, or don't play anything but WoW. They shouldn't have the experience to persuade you guys to go one way or another. Blizzard dev make the game, not 12 year olds that can't hit 3 buttons in a proper rotation.


Edit: Also, if yuow anted diversity for DPS strict classes. You can add more fights like that of Gruuls Lair. Not sure if many even think about it anymore but, Ranged DPS used to tank that fight, Mages specifically. You can always add more fights like that. Some kinda of "don't get close to that add or boss type deal". I always loved that fight.

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