Dev Watercooler – The Role of Role

General Discussion
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I think he made #5 a little more extreme than it needs to be. Rather than "nobody has multiple DPS specs" it could easily be "nobody has 3 DPS specs." I'm not so sure Warlocks would cry if they had 2 DPS specs and one tanking, for example. Mmm, permanent Metamorphosis.
Seems to be hedging toward another why we make hybrids do less dps GC post. But being they don't have the utility any longer so it's now become they can dual spec!

Simply put, the pure dps classes have the luxury of always having a spec that is competitive. That in itself is enough reason to bring them along and defeats the illogical notion that they will be "left behind". Now I'm quite aware that every "pure dps" will argue they should do more on merit of the name of their class, which they already do due to always having a pick of specs where one will likely be extremely competitive.

From personal experience, if you were say an elemental shaman... you could easily go from great competitive dps (firelands) and then in the course of one week not be competitive due to a developer decision to nerf you. Then have no real options other than turn into a healer or melee class. Note I'm not saying elemental is unplayable and unwanted, but that the limitation of a hybrid is that if they wreck the role you play it's wrecked.

If you play a class that has multiple dps specs available to it you will very rarely (and not for long in that rare case) be in the position where your role has been wrecked by designers. They nerf fire for mages, you can go arcane. They wreck fury, you go arms... etc. If they wreck your role as a hybrid, you hope your guild likes you.

I like option 4 best, for what it's worth.
I honestly have to say #5 would be my personal preference. Sure, it would require a major change for some classes, but change is interesting and in most cases where thought is put into it....Good.
Also, like I've posted so many times before, hybrid spec's, while not the best dps output for example, allow for the most creativity from the player while picking and choosing the spec/talents along the way. This would also foster more of a uniqueness from one toon to another. Option 5, IMHO, is the way I'd go.
Though I can't ever see it happening, I'm also for choice #5. Most interesting idea, biggest changes.
would like buff uniqueness back, and new / old buffs back again (3%hit, maybe add a 5 expertise raid buff, mastery buff)
Ok here is a first for me: I'm actually gunna try and respond to this constructively and toss a few ideas.

First off I'd just like say that I have never been a fan of Homogenization. Of all the models used so far I felt that the bc model was the most enjoyable for me. I don't mind sacrificing some hps/dps for some UNIQUE utility in my class. I understand that model is probably harder to balance but it just felt right. I also understand that this way will also lead to more raid stacking and class exclusion. But if the fights in a given tier are diverse enough it may balance out in the end.

Now for the fun part, a few ideas on specs and classes.

First off lets start with the tank classes.

Warriors: In my book they should have the most survivablity, period. No matter the spec, I'm thinking terminator kinda toughness. On the flip side to kinda balance that out i feel like the self heals and stuns need to suffer a little.

Druids: I like the idea of jack off all trades but master of none, but man, druids just seem to be all over the place regarding the 4 specs. Maybe less rogue like on the feral kitty. Boomkin I really did not enjoy this expac, just the idea of watching a bar slide back and forth and pressing buttons accordingly feels a little too much like pong to me. Perhaps a bit more nature sided and maybe a passive pet that gives some bonuses?. Bear I know nothing about so I'll do everyone a favor and not talk about it. And lastly, my beloved tree form. PLEASE make the shapeshift a part of the healing tree.

Paladins: Holy has felt ok so far to me but the rogue combo point system could use something different, maybe giving a flat bonus to heals as the points rise but certain key spells will subtract points? Ret just seems to be a slot machine so far, push a button and see what rolls out. Now seeing how I am lower middle class I'll let you figure out how i do at slots... Prot: I like it, I'm nowhere near skilled playing the spec, but man do i like healing a skilled prot palli

Mages: heres a tough one for me, I have never really enjoyed this class but heres my take.
Frost:more control needs to equal less damage. End of story. Think glass cannon here.

Death Knights: Honestly I was very dissapointed in this bring a melee only class. I always thought of unholy being similar to the necro in d2. I do like where blood is right now. Frost always has been a mystery to me, never could get the hang of it

Rogues: Personally I'd like to see the pvp/pve spec differences to show up here. Sub should definatly give that player an edge in pvp but hinder them in pve. Combat is vice versa.
assasin:Maybe a mix of the 2 to give average success in both areas?

Priests: I really feel like this classes 3 specs need a healing mechanic in all 3 specs.
Disc should be a healing class with some dps, holy should be straight heals and shadow dps with some healing.

Hunters and Warlocks I know nothing about.

Sorry for the wall of text and maybe something in here may be useful

02/08/2012 06:29 PMPosted by Ðreamz
would like buff uniqueness back, and new / old buffs back again (3%hit, maybe add a 5 expertise raid buff, mastery buff)

I didn't care for buff uniqueness. Punished you too much for bringing multiple of the same class.
A quick recap of what I personally thing of the 5 (nah I'll just say 4) roads:

1. This would effectively make the game very bland. The entire point of working as a group is to say that 1 + 1 > 2. Each person brings something that makes the group as whole better than simply stacking the same number of the same class. As a player of Runescape for almost 7 years, I can attest that everyone having the possibility of being everything works well for solo. It works horrendously for groups because no niches means no synergy and lacks depth. I.e. It's not fun. However, see below.

2. This one is good in moderation. Fights should not be engineered to cater to everyone (though they should cater to as many as possible), AND there should not be making roles when there are no niches for them to fill. Diversity is fine, but not making everyone so different that you're comparing apples to coal.

3. This one really sells it for me. I think it's the closest to MoP talent design, and I think that is probably the best solution to making people feel different but also keeping things relatively the same for balance purposes. I feel it's like #2 except that you swap talents instead of specs, which to me sounds much more appealing since it's only giving up specific utility for one fight for no gold cost whereas changing specs takes up a slot for DTS and possibly gold if you need a spec that you don't have saved already. It's also less drastic than changing whole specs, so people would probably be less averse to this than #2.

4. A step up from #1, but only just a bit. It's only bad in my opinion because you guys have broken the mould already. If the vanilla model had remained all the way up to S12, I think this actually might be the best solution. However, you've already given people a taste of pvp and pve in other specs than the traditional go-to at various times. That gets people thinking, and that makes people say, "But I like this spec for pvp/pve! Don't take it away please!" It would be the same as getting rid of Frost 2h to emphasize difference between unholy and frost dps. It's actually the same as making the decision to nix the frost and unholy tanking. Even though Blood got all the goodies, people still felt a feel lost when they couldn't tank in frost or unholy. This mental barrier is what keeps this solution from truly being viable in my opinion.

5. This sucks so much I'm not even going to get into it. My hunter was my first character, and even though I'd probably still play, you guys would make me extremely bitter if you broke my class like that. Same thing with my lock and my mage.
We’ve recently [url=""]posted a Dev Watercooler[/url] in which Ghostcrawler lays out several different models for how class roles could be designed in World of Warcraft in the future. We’ve locked down comments in the blog post and are instead asking that if people would like to discuss the topic, they do so here in this thread.

Please first read through [url=""]the entire article[/url], and if you have any comments or would like to discuss the pros and cons with others, that you please do so in this thread.


Can I vote for model one?

Model two and three fail, dramatically, because not every player can or will play every spec, and would cause people to be "sat out" for some fights, or even an entire raid.

You ask about depth and flavor...

But is it "flavor" for your spec to be just plain useless for one fight, and then downright required for another (thus making some other spec useless instead)?

Nobody wants to feel useless by comparison.
I've always envisioned model 5 as being the ultimate in coolness. BM being a melee DPS role, demonology being a tanking role, arcane being a tanking role, fire being a melee role. I agree it'd be almost impossible to pull off with WoW's current incarnation, but for me it's the gold standard by which I'd judge the other models.

Under model 5, what do you think the largest departure from today's norm could/would be for a class-spec transformation? A melee mage would be my vote.
I'd prefer if there was even more buff homogenization. As a raid leader, it sucks to have to bring X person for replenishment, as it is arguably the most mandatory buff.

That, or the other extreme, remove the buffs entirely. (But that will never happen)

Also, wouldn't Model 5 have the greatest chance of breathing new life into the game?

I Love how it is Right Now....all 3 Warlock specs can do good enough DPS to raid DS, even excel, and if you're good enough to switch specs ( I'm not ), you can even squeeze out a little more dps by picking fights, love it, it's brilliant for Warlocks right now.

I hated the last tier where affliction did better dps no matter how good a player you were....

When it comes to dipping into other talent tress....I love that as well...why not, in fact WOTLK was even better, the more talent choices and differences we can make the better....that was awesome having 70+ talents to choose from

AS far as utility goes, I really don't have an opion of hybrid utitlies, but warlcok specs are kinda using this already and I would not want to see anything in these regards change too drastically

Pleeeeease drop Demonic Fury, I really don't like the whole idea
02/08/2012 06:24 PMPosted by Pumpkin
I say this because it still, to this day, ticks me off what you did to my DK. I really enjoyed playing Blood DPS but then you went "Oh hay! Let's throw the original DK design out the window and make Blood a tanking spec."

Yeah, Blood doesn't really ahve the most self ehaling when you think of it. Frost has both Blood runes turn Death which is good for 3 Death strikes instead of the 2 Blood gets, but since Obliterate takes UH/F runes, it renders it useless, but I remember Frost being prolly the best of the 3 specs for tanking back when WotLK came out. At least I found more 'tanks' to be Frost than anything else.
I'd prefer if there was even more buff homogenization. As a raid leader, it sucks to have to bring X person for replenishment, as it is arguably the most mandatory buff.

That, or the other extreme, remove the buffs entirely. (But that will never happen)

Also, wouldn't Model 5 have the greatest chance of breathing new life into the game?

They're already homogenizing the buffs dramatically.

In MoP, there will be exactly 8 buffs, and they're removing a lot of the debuffs too.
I like Model One, with all specs having a place in both PVE and PVP, and players being able to play the flavor they like without having to sacrifice huge chunks of viability (thus leading to severe community pressure to give up that flavor, depending on the situation).

I honestly don't care if class gameplay isn't nearly as varied as it used to be in BC or Vanilla. Before I created this character in January 2005, I had already decided I would play a female troll fury warrior (with Blacksmithing!). I quit during BC because there was more of the same community pressure I endured all through Vanilla. That wasn't fun, and I wasn't going to do it all over again.

Regarding Model Five...I hope more spec variety can be added in the form of a 4th Specialization. If MoP's talent system greatly eases spec balancing, and Druid's 4th Specialization (Guardian) works wonders, then I hope Blizzard seriously considers expanding the idea to all classes. But I swear, if there are STILL pure DPS classes after expanding 4th specs, I'm going to mail angry beavers to your interns. :P
whichever option they chose they need to make sure classes are balanced for different fights currently spine is Horrid for locks and the recent nurfs just made it worse with adds having less hp and not having CD off every second tendon means that the only spec for locks which has something close to burst is useless for half the fight.
02/08/2012 06:35 PMPosted by Holybelle
I'd prefer if there was even more buff homogenization. As a raid leader, it sucks to have to bring X person for replenishment, as it is arguably the most mandatory buff.

I'm pretty sure that replenishment is dying a horrible, horrible death in MoP. I know I said the same thing in the run-up to Cataclysm, but I really mean it this time.
My 2 cents.

I think, for PvP prouposes , that MORE skills need to be designed like Polymorph or Repentance. The same skill has different effects on PvP and PvE. That includes damage, effect and time. So, for instance, you don need to NERF frost mage on PvE, you can make Ice Lance inflict less damage on players and more damage on npcs, deep freeze will do more damage on npc than players, and the list goes on on every class and spec.

This way we can, for instance, play Frost Mages on PvE and PvP without PvE being extremelly nerfed and PvP being overpowered.
I would love it if I could be a Frost DPS in raids. I tried it for the longest time, but no matter what I did I could not pull the numbers needed. I detested Arcane because it just felt too simple. So I'm fire now, I'm doing good deeps, but frost is where my heart is. :P

It felt awesome being able to throw out my ranged frost novas from my water elemental as part of my dps rotation, it really helped the tanks on our raids, especially against Maloriak.

Cant imagine how tough it would be to balance so many classes and specs like that though to be all doing about the same damage. @-@

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