Dev Watercooler – The Role of Role

85 Draenei Death Knight
there was another idea put forth, which i think would have been a great way to handle pvp, and another idea which i think has poisoned the WoW development, either in the dev team themselves or the qa team that tells the dev team what works best;

the first is that if there was a talent tree only used during pvp in battlegrounds; elsewhere the pvp talents would not have any effect. the second is something that became clear after burning crusade, in the raids added after bc came out, i.e. sunwell, and tempest keep, that WoW has departed from a content- and quest- driven story line and instead is entirely based on getting to 85 (or 70, back then) as fast as possible so a player can start raiding for purples. even the hokey-pokey dance for raids like magtheridon's lair and lich king is slowly being replaced with simple tank-and-spank mechanics, making the raid encounters themselves less rewarding.

this leads to the same problem that warcraft seems to have suffered from ever since chris metzen, et al, left the project for blizzard north, et al. for some reason, the player's wants have been confused with the player's needs from a good game with challenging game play and worthwhile rewards, and started as a good game with a good story to make the game play more compelling, and instead of giving us what makes our characters better, i.e., more cross-class balancing, new classes and races. more raid encounters and a more engaging in-game experience through new story content to keep us interested in something that's not the same old quests and classes that we started with and the grind to the top, whoever is in charge of new content seems to be on permanent vacation, coming in once a quarter to update loot tables and nerf a different class. any time a new complaint arises or a new so-called "exploit" like the "mend pet fiasco". or all the players who were banned for traveling into the prohibited zones like hyjal, pre-wotlk, when flying in azeroth became legal.

so anyway, will blizzard ever change their policies? i'd like to think so. but judging from all that has happened since the game began, imo, things will continue to progress the same way they have been going. and now, since EVERY avenue of story-telling that has ever been explored pre-WoW has been exhausted with the death of deathwing, the only thing left are the stupid gimmicky easter eggs and selling points that have been inserted into the other games, like pandaren, who never had any sort of plot relevance, instead just a silly bonus for players who got the hint guide or insisted on tearing down every single tree in a level; anyone remember the brotherhood of the horse? how about the tomb of sargeras or his duel with aegwynn, or what ever happened to the frostwolf clan in alterac valley? how about the alliance and horde members still in the outlands? my point is that according to the story, what has any sort of relevance any more? there is nothing of consequence that i can see is left in the old rts games to re-use here in this last expansion. only way to make this last expansion worthwhile is to make this a new story line. maybe the emerald dream thing would be cool. i mean, it's only been hinted at since the first expansion (remember those giant green portals that have been useless since WoW was first released - like the grove at the center of duskwood) but is a single new zone worth another $90 expansion, or a $60 dlc?
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85 Night Elf Hunter
I always felt like the biggest problem was having specs so dramatically change your class. Does anyone remember hybrids in EverQuest? They were jack of all trades, they could do a little bit of everything but not as well.

I think the way WoW defined Hybrids is the problem. In WoW Hybrid just means they can spec to a different role. A DPS Warrior is little different than a pure DPS class.

Not having any pure tanks and healers was the problem, Druid could have been so fun as a real hybrid class but unfortunately you're either a bear,cat,chicken, or tree and rarely do you get to slip outside that role without changing your spec.

Side note, hunters should have had a melee spec.
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100 Dwarf Hunter
Ohhh, new storylines... I read somewhere (in here, or in the news part of those short stories about the leaders of each race. I read through them all. One part in particular attracted me... while Thrall was trapped in a deep cave somewhere with Neltharion (er, Deathwing), or just before that, he went to what would be the depths of Ironforge... and found a Dwarven King praying there, and no Deathwing corruption in sight. or something to those lines. Good point for a new lore, new Dungeons, and yes, (why not?) good in-game role-playing that drives the story forward. And those huge unused gates you mentioned in all but forgotten parts of Azeroth. A little bit off-topic, but hey, good point.

Another experience of mine: running Dragon Soul, LFR, 25-man raid... instead of bringing only the top DPS classes, they decided to bring along all the outcast hunters. Me included.
A) People in our voice chat was LOVING to have 6 hunters. I distinctively heard "Aw man, I always gonna bring 6 Hunters with me!"and "look at all adds dying!". No, I was not the top DPS, I was one of the last ones. It didn't hurt one bit.

B) Someone completed "But none of them are in the top DPS", but everybody felt the difference. My guess is less running around. to start DPS'ing.

C) While charging the Dragon Soul in (phase 1?) there were 6 distracting shots available. Not a single aspect was even scratched. I never even used that skill BEFORE, like, I wanted all the aggro on me! Basically the raid leader asked us to do what 5-man groups hate we do: to pull aggro for us. We bought time for the melees to act.

D) On the back of Deathwing I barely needed to move to attack anything, anywhere. Somehow people appreciated that. Keeping the heat off the healers I noted as important. Keeping the adds busy was strictly asked by the raid leader, while the amalgamation was cooking...

What becomes clear: each class unique abilities are not ADVERTISED or POPULAR. The Developers should consider that. Oh, the skill and abilities are there and function properly, sure, but nobody remembers that when forming the raid. The raid could incorporate some sort of function to recommend insert different specs or people with different skills that could potentially make the raid easier. Something like (of the 17 DPS roles, 16 are melee), like a warning that it could potentially be so much harder to complete.

Like Ahn'Qiraj raid that is UNDOABLE without Frost classes, either Death Knights or Frost mages (I don't know), due one particular boss that won't die unless frozen. We crushed that gooey boss to 1 hp, and he wouldn't die. We had to call a couple of mages to help. Casuals won't read raid Journals, unless it pops-up on their faces when stepping on the dungeon. When there are potential complications like that, a big warning at the door helps cutting the grief down, and everybody enjoying the experience (isn't that the whole point of the tread?) Some sort of Host at the entry hallway of the raid could greet in the raiders (Oh I love when Thrall does that in 5-man!) and point out this particularities. The whole point of specs is to allow good performance on the raids and/or PVP, so let the participants decide that they can do without some classes, while others will back down and ask for different players.

Turn the problem upside down. Don't focus on the problem (how to build a tech tree, which specs to let the player choose) but instead focus on the solution (how do I make this class important/relevant, how and when do I add CHOICE to the player.)

Example: If I build a Marksman Hunter, can I do it WITHOUT chimera shot and be sucessful? I guess not. So there is no CHOICE there, have it or FAIL. So this skill should be BOUGHT, not chosen. Can I do without silencing shot? Probably, but I forfeit an important interrupt, in favor of something else. What is this 'else', ability to cast steady and cobras shot running even without Fox and steady shot recovers twice as fast on fox? Aimed shot ALWAYS crits and damage x4? Trueshot aura adds a survival (heal, stamina, whatever) or haste factor beyond the regular buff? What am I recieving if I give up the silencing shot? Do I include sinergy between skills? There you have real choices.
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85 Blood Elf Priest
I wasn't suggesting cross class talent trees. I was thinking more of the individual class trees be opened so you could essentially pick whatever talents you wanted out of all the three available trees. I was saying that you should be less restricted. Back when I started playing you could put talent points in any of the trees. Yes, some talents still required X talents in that tree, but you could spec as shallow or deep you wanted into any tree at any time. Take a priest, instead of having a holy, disc, and shadow spec, you would be able to pick whatever talents you wanted from any of those three trees, providing you had enough talent points to do so. Right now, once you pick a spec (disc, holy, shadow) you have to put points into those talents for that specific tree. Eventually you can put a few in a different tree. I just know that I've seen some talents that I find useless for my play style and talents in other trees that I thought might be more useful instead. I think your "mastery" should be a talent that you can put points into. Something that you choose. I love the shielding on the disc spec but I would love that mastery for the holy spec instead.
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90 Orc Warlock
On my vision, any class is one on they do better. Locks demon is best AE and Have good burst damage but it really sucks on mobility and versus 3 fights, Aflly has good overtime damage, mobility and good to fight versus 3 enemies, but they have no burst, and they fail on kill an medium life enemy, and fail more on low life enemies, like the adds on Ragnaros fight. Destruction locks have best instant damage, u hit what u need, when u need, and are the best choice to kill low life enemies fast.

What i want to say with that? Every spec has a potential to something, and kill this is destroy the game, is turning the game on a algorithm that only need to be follow. I dislike the change on healers and tanks on the Cata expansion just cause of it. They copied some unique skill to the others shared roles, like barskin of druids, they do a similar version in divine protection on pallys. I Think, that each class must have he peculiarity more and more strong than other. Healing with a pally, must unique and different that healing with a holy priest and different that healing with a resto druid.

Other think is impose a class a spec game stile, i dont know what guys think with, pvp, i particularly dont play it to much, but i think that have various situations that every spec will do better than others, remember that pvp is city invasion, word pvp, and bg as well, not only bg and duel
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90 Goblin Priest
Lol...I choose Model 5...kinda

What I would say scratch the total hybrid theory meaning u dont need to make more pally/druids. Instead only give each class either tank/healer spec, cant have both and two some what different dps specs. Example the already almost there just make disc into a dps spec and ur good to go,and the dk/shammy is already set. These are popular classes for the reason of options,"two dps specs vs one" unlike the pally/druid that overwelm you with 3-4 different types of gear you need to carry. Caster dps works good alongside of heals, where as melee would go good with tanking. This would provide 2 options for dps pve/pvp and a very universal spec for guaranteed spots in any group. Not to mention no shortage on healers/tanks for queues. Raids wouldn't have to completely stop raid when one of the last healer/tank had to leave, they could just move people around.

As for the balancing of the opinion...Make both dps spec's viable for pve dps and let the players figure out wich one works for them better in

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90 Blood Elf Paladin
I would like to have an option to choose an advanced set up or easy set up for talents. I love some of my characters more than others and while I am really good at my pally and mage, I am not so hot with my rogue or warlock. I would like to chose just a few perks on those toons and not have to study the character like its a class in school just to stay alive or do any significant damage. Much of the game is being denied to some people who cant grasp the entire tree and do maximum DPS. I see others shunning these people and I feel sorry for them. Why not let a person choose a pre set tree and rotation or have the freedom to build it up a point at a time?
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85 Orc Death Knight
There is a model missing.

Model 6: Do not have multiple specs for certain classes.

There is only one rogue, hunter, warlock, mage spec. Balance that spec against the other classes.
Two warrior specs: tanking, melee dps.
Two priest specs: healing, ranged dps.
Three shaman specs: healing, melee dps, ranged dps.
Three paladin specs: healing, melee dps, tanking
Four druid specs: healing, melee dps, ranged dps, tanking

This is like Model 5, but no need to add new specs into the game to cover totally new roles. Just remove specs.

Of course, a lot of players woud howl. I don't think this would be a good solution in the current WoW. But it would get rid of the arms race between Arcane Mage and Fire Mage. There would be only Mage.

I kinda dont like as it is already where there are classes that can be a party themselves cause they can cover all the roles and classes that ONLY have one role.

For example, Druid and Mage
But then I DONT like the way they did it in SWTOR where every class (I played anyways) all have heals and in a case where youre missing a heal they can get together and make it work. It limits the usefulness of the heals CHARACTER, especially in a game where you CANT respec.

Also, fixing the bug where you DC if youre alt tabbed and land from a taxi flight would be nice, thats been in there forever (it just happened to me is why I say it)
Edited by Mooxie on 3/29/2012 7:48 PM PDT
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85 Human Warrior
03/29/2012 07:29 PMPosted by Justynn
I would like to have an option to choose an advanced set up or easy set up for talents. I love some of my characters more than others and while I am really good at my pally and mage, I am not so hot with my rogue or warlock. I would like to chose just a few perks on those toons and not have to study the character like its a class in school just to stay alive or do any significant damage. Much of the game is being denied to some people who cant grasp the entire tree and do maximum DPS. I see others shunning these people and I feel sorry for them. Why not let a person choose a pre set tree and rotation or have the freedom to build it up a point at a time?

Please don't necro
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93 Human Death Knight
I like a new option that gets rids of the class blending and adds a solution to a long term problem.
1) I dislike the homogenization of the classes that has been happening over the years.
--- I no longer feel like every class is unique.
--- I understand why this was done, but I don't agree it was a good thing. I enjoy playing the least favorite class in MMO's, because I enjoy making them look amazing, but now there is no least favorite. They all get the same stuff, so pick whichever dessert you want, they all taste the same.

2) Someone mentioned earlier of adding a 4th role to the current balance.
--- I think this is an amazing idea that would solve many problems.
--- Take all the buff/debuff abilies away from other roles, and give them to a new "Utility" role. Many games have used this concept and it has worked for them in balancing, and for player enjoyment.
--- Instead of buff/debuffs playing a passive role in the game, give it to the players to control.
--- One of the earlier posts on the first page laid out a perfect example of how this could work. I will add to it by saying, merge all dps classes with 3 dps roles into dps classes with 2 dps roles, and add a new utility role. They can control the +10% attack power, -5% attack speed for enemies, etc. By merging existing specs, players will not feel they lost out on their old spec, but rather gained new options.
--- I just want to add: If this is implemented, it has to be a full support role, unlike the BC shadow priests and shaman. They only had half a job to do, so they got bored and wanted to be able to do damage. Give full control over all buffs, and even support healing. Lots of small things like small heals frequently, or small shield absorb amounts often, to keep the role active. Add an ability: "Inner Heat: Increases damage by X %, where X = 2 x the number of different players that have Inner Heat cast on them, up to 5 max."
--- They dps class as a new role could still use dps armor. Just have a passive ability that says "converts 5% of attack power into haste", or something that benefits the class.

3) I really enjoy what you guys are doing with warlocks. You're adding embers! A new resource that I hope makes it more complicated to play. Managing resources is a fun part of playing. Playing a class that just casts 2 or 3 spells until they are out of mana is boring. I Am excited to try this new resource as I feel it will add more complexity to the class (I hope!).

4) I think having certain classes as "beginner", "novice", "expert" is alright. Meaning that some classes may require more experience in order to master. I feel DK's are that way. As posted above, I hope warlocks will be as well.

Ok. Onto the options presented by Ghostcrawler

Model 1: I'm ok with this, but as long as people are useful, I feel damage is not that important. It's also hard to balance around this for the reasons GC mentioned. Ex: Casters can nuke and don't have to run out from aoe on certain encounters, which decreases melee dps. Overall, I feel this isn't a good solution.

Model 2: I feel this is alright as well. This brings back some of the unique feel to classes and their specializations. However, I its not the best option because people who want to play with fire should be able to aoe like arcane mages.

Model 3: This is the same as 2. Same thing basically except instead of utility, it's ability.

Model 4: This isn't too bad, but isn't needed anymore. Now that you FINALLY added a base damage reduction to PVP (30% in MoP), it should solve most problems, making anyone able to stand a chance at least.

Model 5: Sounds nice for the devs, but you would lose a lot of players. Far more doing this than any other option I think. We need distinction, not blending.
--- This could be an option if the talents were one giant tree, but just more robust. However, it's a fine line between large talent tree and separate roles again.


I vote for adding a new role to the game. Not for MoP, but the next expansion. As for the immediate situation, I feel a mix of 2 and 3 is the best, to keep the classes unique.

I just hope whatever you guys do moving forward makes the game feel different (warlock embers!). Changes can be bad, but most people like changes, even if they are afraid. And you can't make everyone happy.
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70 Orc Death Knight
Personally, I like the idea of Model 5. I understand that at this point in the game it is impossible, but some of the classes really could have used a little distinction between their specs that covered the other roles. Hunters for example: all around they are considered strictly ranged DPS, even a BeastMaster relies on their pet to keep enemies at bay while they attack from a distance. However, when I think of a hunter and the three specs involved I envision something more like: stealth/melee DPS, BeastMaster, and Ranged DPS. Hunters should be able to hide and sneak and should be able to handle themselves better in hand to hand then what the currently do, there just are not enough attacks for melee on hunters.

Now this is just one example, i'm sure there are other instances for other classes, where looking at the class more in a way of what that class would be capable instead of what "role" it is meant to play that a blending would become much more apparent.

Again, like I said in the beginning, I understand that this far into a game, making changes like this would take too much work and create too drastic of changes for players that have already lvled their class to the cap and are used to playing a certain spec if it suddenly disappeared in favor of something else.
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85 Night Elf Druid
Best Idea.... copycat class options from guild wars 2 and Champions online...
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86 Blood Elf Mage
If each class is going to have 3 specs, there need to be more roles than just tank, dps, heal. CC is something that if done right can be a ton of fun and create new design space for encounters. I can see CC as a role fitting into the class lore and style of Warlock's, Mages, Hunters, and Rogues.

Ofcourse if you are going to have CC specs it would probably be a good idea to overhaul how CC's work and lay some ground rules, especially for pvp. CC should always be broken on damage, always. Part of what makes playing a heavy CC class fun (like the EverQuest Enchanter) is the level of mental focus, and party/raid wide discipline required to execute. CC should also come at a cost to dps, not so much so that a CC spec can't level, but enough that a CC spec can't solo 5 man content before running out of resources.
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90 Draenei Paladin
For those classes with multiple DPS specs rather than multiple role specs, optimize spec with content tier - where an AE spec is the best choice for optimal dps for one tier, while single target is the obvious choice for another tier. (Except for one spec...One of the three should always be PVP optimized).

It would give players an opportunity to experience all their character has to offer if they choose to advance through end game content and it could offer an opportunity for incentivising tier gear upgrades - preventing people from wanting to hang onto old set bonuses.
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85 Blood Elf Rogue
In model three, where you mentioned x spec bringing synergistic abilities but lower dps, what if those specs became "Support" specs? Give them slightly less dps or healing, but fill out their rotations with SHORT duration buffs that can be situational to make them choose which to use.

For example, Assassination could be THE dps tree for rogues, then make Combat a tanking tree (why not? hard to damage what you can't hit... and one of the things that people generally think of as roguish is avoiding the hit in the first place. Rogue tanking would be like a combination of death knight and druid most likely.), and have Subtlety be the SUPPORT spec, giving them a mix of dps and either damage mitigation or healing abilities along with massive buffs and debuffs on SHORT cooldowns. Make the support rotation consist of using whichever is needed more, dps or heal/mitigation interwoven with their need to constantly reapply their buffs/debuffs. And this is just an example, but I think it would add more flavor to what each class is if they were given more choice of roles.

Tanks expect to do less dps than the dps of the raid/group. As long as support classes had the ability to be at least on par with tanks for dps if not somewhere between them and pure dps, there wouldn't be quite as much complaint.

While we are on the subject of more options for "pure" spec classes, I don't see why Beast Mastery and Demonology specs couldn't be made into tanks. There are always going to be those who would complain about it. However, when death knights didn't work out so well "tanking" in any spec, you changed it. I think you could make some interesting mechanics involved if pet tanks could be full on raid tanks.

And if anyone complains about dungeon queue time, more healing/tanking/support and less pure dps would shorten dungeon queues for pure dps by a decent amount. That is kind of the problem now, too many dps and not enough tank/heals.

And what if specs like Survival and Frost that admittedly have more in common with the pvp/utility of their origin, became support specs? Have them do less dps than a dps role spec, but more than tanks. Or even give them heals of some kind as well so they could choose if they dps or heal when in support spec and change at a moments notice as the situation changes for even more utility/support? (Less dps than a dps, less heal than a heal, more dps than a tank, and a sum greater than its parts because at the same time it makes everyone else better at what they do as well.)

Encounters could be tuned to be completable without a support spec character, but to be much easier if one were there. Tank, Heal, Dps x3 versus Tank, Heal, Support, Dps x2: the group with the support class would get less dps from the support character, but that loss of dps could be more than made up for in the extra dps the 2 remaining pure dps specs would gain from buffs/debuffs. Its all in how you would balance it.
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100 Troll Shaman
i vote number 3 i think is the best, i love to be a support class.
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90 Goblin Warrior
08/21/2012 11:50 AMPosted by Vodoospell
i vote number 3 i think is the best, i love to be a support class.

Why would you necro this, why?
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