Dev Watercooler – The Role of Role

General Discussion
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Well. In a perfect world, model 5 is the way to go. But as GC pointed out, that ship has probably sailed.

I like the idea of introducing "utility hybrids" to the "pure" classes (BM hunters should be an off-tank spec!) and making it painfully obvious what the focus is for each spec. Maybe even giving a blurb of "This spec is primarily used for <X>" in the mouseover when you choose spec.

Going from my main experience (my top 3 characters are all hunters), I'd go something like:

BM - off tank spec: The hunter's pet does serious threat generation, the talent points for the character are mostly buffs to the pet's survivability. The character is giving up a significant (20-25%) DPS move in exchange for being a very strong off-tank with capability to tank the lesser dungeons. Upside: More tanks in lower level dungeon LFG. Downside: Would hunters needs to be able to roll on druid-tank gear? Find a way to make "traditional" hunter stats be what this spec is based on.

MM - Single Target Boss Spec. This is what this spec feels like anyway. Against a single target, MM does serious damage. Against a horde of lesser critters, the focus is a DPS nerf. Let this spec be more focused on "I can do a bajillion damage... if I can stay targetting one dude. If there are 3, I suck." I can live with that. (And do, since I love MM hunters).

SV - Multi-Target Spec. Not as effective against a single target, but relatively low cast/fast recharge on multi-target or quick-target lesser attacks.

Taking this approach to the other classes (and I'd obviously suggest getting "solid" members of those classes involved) would work. How many warlocks *wouldn't* want demonology to be an off-tank spec?
02/08/2012 06:53 PMPosted by Sivartilfer
why not give everyone a fourth spec to choose from instead of three?


poop
i think when you consider these 5 specs, you can almost 2x these as you balance the game for pve vs pvp. i could say i like one theory better than another for a pve perspective, but not for pvp...

the goal should be is to design a system that allows a player to define themselves further...almost create a niche within the talents.

"i am a mage specializing in xyz, best suited for xyz task" this increases your player base's desire to fulfill a need, which is one of the easiest things to lose in this ocean of players - your identity

in this instance multiple dps specs are great. dps gets to identify themselves further in dps, where as hybrid classes are stuck identifying themselves as...yup...i tank and heal.... it seems more fun to say that. the talents you pick need to be more defining than they currently are.

look at diablo - you get a small handfull of spells to use at once...and you dump your points into those. THAT'S defining - you had lots to choose from, but you chose those few abilities...those define you. adding more defining talents, could create more definitive subspecs within spec. i firmly believes thats the best type of change you could see at this point in wow.
Gotta say that the "This is the best PvP spec, this is the best PvE spec, and this is the leveling spec" sits best with me.

However, that one kinda kills hybrids, or at least leaves them as a giant question mark. Since as a druid I have 4 roles I can fulfill, if you decide to make one obsolete in any section of the game the outrage will be through the God damned roof.
As for PvP balance, you could just have the damage of certain abilities change while in a BG/arena... that way, you can have each separate of each other, without having heavy repercussions for one side when you need to balance the other.
Model Four – There is just a best spec for PvP and PvE


Isn't that how it is now tho, honestly?

Do you see top PvP mages specing arcane or are most frost?
Do you see top PvP rogues specing Combat or are all Sub?

Do you see top PvE locks spec demo?
Do you see top PvE warriors spec Fury?

Etc.


I personally think this is the best solution to this current problem, but may show favoritism to hybrids, but that's just something that comes with having different roles. When you write it all out it looks like this:


~"Pures"~
Arcane - PvE
Fire - PvE
Frost - PvP

Destro - PvE
Demo - PvE
Aff - PvP

BM - PvE
Survial - PvE
MM - PvP

Fury - PvE
Prot - PvE
Arms - PvP

Blood - PvE
Frost - PvE
Unholy - PvP

Assasionation - PvE
Combat - PvE
Sub - PvP

~Healing Hybrids~

Prot - PvE
Ret - PvE/PvP
Holy - PvE/PVP

Holy - PvE
Disc - PvE/PvP
Shadow - PvE/PvP

Boomkin - PvE/PvP
Feral cat - PvE/PvP
Feral tank - PvE
Resto - PvE/PvP

Ele - PvE/PvP
enhancement - PvE/PvP
Resto - PvE/PvP


But from a realistic point of few, is this really any different than what's currently happening on live servers? If you're a rogue and you're spec'd combat in pvp.... I'm sorry but you're just simply doing it wrong. You are reducing your class' capabilities and through that you are not living up to your classes full potential for your team.

When it comes to "But hybrids have more roles than me!!!" Well yes, that may be true in a sense, but it's not if you look at it in a perspective of role vs role. How many PvP melee specs do Druids have? 1. How many melee specs do PvP warriors have? 1. How about DKs? Paladins? How many PvE specs? Tank specs?

In my opinion, no class is really gaining the upper hand on another, it's just healers need to be added in to both sides of the game, that's the only reason why it may appear to be more. An example.

Remove Holy from paladins, what would their 'roles' look like?

Prot - PvE
Ret - PvE
Ret - PvP


Does that become different from warriors? Is that holy to much "favoritism"? Or is that just finally looking at the game in a much more realistic way?

Coming from a person who enjoys Ret, I'd hate to see Holy take the main stage as "The PvP Tree" because I like the theme of the class, but don't really like to heal. But while on my lock, mage, rogue, or whatever, I've come to accept that I'm required to be a certain spec, but at least my role hasn't changed, I'm still doing damage with spells, daggers, or whatever my class is themed around.

In my experience as a paladin, I know what its like to be balanced around another spec's tools, I fear that's going to be the biggest problem in MoP. A frost mage with fire survivibilty is going to be a pain to balance, a boomkin with a feral's mobility could turn out to be an extremely over powered spec, that doesn't mean the talents are overpowered for feral tho. Good luck trying to balance that out.

In my opinion, if you just designated certain specs for PvE and PvP, you could give those specs the required tools they need to have to perform in that area of the game.
Honestly i think model 4 is your best bet. Keeping the balance beetween pvp and pve has always been an issue since the attempt of making every spec viable. I think its time to take a step back in this regard. It makes it so much easier for class balance and people will just have to learn diffrent specs if anything. Now its great for pure dps classes but what do yo do with hybrids? Resto druids will still need to be balanced in both as well as any other healer. and youll still have to balance moonkins and feral for both pve and pvp. But at least most of your issues will be easily addressed. You might have to go back to putting several pure pvp talents and pure pve talents in the tree and you wont get rid of the cookie cutter builds but pvp and pve is balacing is a huge problem. Unless you scale down the numbers and resilience should go back to what it was and not what it is now. thats my 2cents
I'm far more curious to know if you feel it'd be fair for Ret and Shadow to be quite good in all aspects (burst, sustained, defenses, AoE, single target, mobility, etc.) because they are quite simply the only damage-dealing options the classes have. Not having sufficient capability in an area renders the whole class subpar for such a situation, where other classes (depending on the model followed) have options like respeccing to fulfill the requirements of the situation.


love this
There is a model missing.

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

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 think I'd like a spin on this.

Combine multiple specs and instead make the tree a logical structure to answer questions. Mage, for instance, could have the following questions:
What spell do you spam, (fireball, frostbolt, arcane blast)
What spell does your spam spell proc, (pyroblast, frostfirebolt, arcane missiles)
What quick cooldown/dot do you have (living bomb, deep freeze, arcane barrage)
What longer cooldown do you have (combustion, icy veins, arcane power)
etc.
Warlock might be something like: which dots do you use, what do you do when all your dots are up etc etc.

Not saying it'd be easy to implement, which may make it infeasible, but it would bring a great deal of "uniqueness" to every given "spec".

This could even make solving some balance issues more easily by adding questions:
What do you do while moving?
What do you do to burst?

So I guess I'm saying, do the same sorta thing to dps you did with healers.
What heal is efficient?
What heal is big?
What heal is fast?
I suggest a mix of model 1 and 2 and some changes from model 5.

I think pure classes should no longer exist but I think it needs to be solved by giving them a fourth spec and not turn one of there current spec into healing/tanking(that would probable irritate too many people). I think it should be something implemented in the next expac after MoP in lieu of a new class(4 new specs might be harder to market than a new class with 3 specs, but I think its for the best).

As for model 1 and 2, I think everyone should be pretty good at raiding/pvping/leveling etc. I would loathed to go back to BC or even worse vanilla, and be told "hey you cant dps as an ele shaman go heals!".
02/08/2012 06:52 PMPosted by Bendok
All the options are iffy to me, but I would like it if for Hunters there was a bigger difference in playstyle for each spec. Right now there really isn't one, it's just slightly different rotations, it doesn't feel any different. Survival has lock and load, MM has their free aimed shot, BM has the boosted kill command, as an example. It's all the same feeling really. Explosive shot = Kill command = Chimera Shot with the filler shot in between, etc.


I feel like this a common problem for pure DPS classes. I've been enjoying playing my warlock lately because destro and demo feel quite a bit different from each other, and I get a diverse experience out of playing both, but I don't feel that as much with my mage or my rogue. Mages especially -- every spec feels the same. Spam a nuke, hit a proc.
I think the answer to at least some of the problems mentioned is a sort of "Model 5 Lite". Add fourth specs to the pure dps classes that let them either heal or tank. Probably healing for the pet classes, tank for mages and rogues. Eliminate the concept of pure dps classes entirely. As for the more central issue, I lean towards Model 2. I'm sure you guys can handle balancing for say 3 dps roles.
Part of the reason that the role and buff balance has continued to be incredibly important has been the rise of 10 man raiding to be competitive with 25 and far better represented outside of the very top end.

The tweaks to buff availability this expansion did a lot to promote player > class (or spec) in 25 mans, but 10 mans are still a terribly frustrating to fully cover buffs in. Sure, in normal modes you can usually kill anything with some buffs missing, but once you start working on heroic modes making sure buffs are covered becomes increasingly critical. I filled in for another guild team raid yesterday where we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find a solution to the missing % AP buff because their normal paladin missed their raid and they wanted to work on heroic Ultraxion.

Hunters in particular have had to become very adept at tracking buff coverage in a raid because as the "plugger of most buff holes" class, we have to pay attention and make sure to bring the right pet (and in some cases be prepared to swap specs). I'm glad to see that in MoP there will be further improvement on the buff coverage front, but I suspect that unless you remove almost all buffs/debuffs we'll still end up in a situation where 10 mans will bear the brunt of the the problem.

With regards to role, this also tends to become more critical in 10 mans. There have been fights in the past this expansion where having a 3rd tank was extremely valuable. Originally we didn't have anyone who could fill this role in our 10 man and as a result the fight was more challenging for us to learn. This tier we have a fight (heroic Morchok) where having 4 healers greatly reduces the difficulty of the fight. We don't really have a 4th person who heals, but we managed to talk our boomkin into taking the bullet on this (luckily he could do it using his balance gear). I'm sure we could have learned it without, but 4 healers greatly speeds up the learning process.

Some groups have the issue of having 2 tanks or 3 healers who don't really like dpsing, and due to the way fights are designed, at some point you really have to force one of them into an offspec role if you want to get serious about heroics. There are also cases where as you've mentioned, specific class/spec combos shine. DK tanks make heroic Yor significantly easier- our paladin tank hates to dps but he takes the bullet on this fight so that our DK can tank it. Another group in our guild has one of their dps play a DK alt to tank the fight. I also keep hearing about how wonderful holy paladins can be for specific heroic boss fights, but since we haven't had a holy paladin most of this tier I will never know. I suspect that the healer/tank class/spec differences become less critical in 25 where you're more likely to have more choices and more coverage of potential weaknesses, although to be honest I haven't really raided 25 regularly since Wrath so perhaps someone with more experience in both can comment.

Most of the classes I play are pure dps classes and I definitely like the idea of having options as to the way they're played. So I wouldn't want to see the flavor completely sucked out. I do like the idea of some of the utility moved to an area where all specs can select from as you've planned on in MoP.

I think there are areas where there could be more balance between specs and roles that you guys might want to treat with more organization. For example, the difference between classes/specs with short and long term cooldowns was definitely emphasized by heroic Spine. Making sure there's a bit more balance on that front is an area where improvement can be made. For specs which have higher rampup times, it might be of value to put in more long term cooldowns which shorten that rampup (like redirect or soul swap). Making sure that tank and healer cooldowns and abilities cover enough of the scenarios reliably that there isn't overly large value in bringing one over another is worthwhile. It's possible to have flavor in playstyle without having to sacrifice similar utility in emergency measures.

I also feel that in some cases, spec design really hasn't been given sufficient thought. Every time I play my boomkin, I'm struck by how screwed up the mechanics of the spec seem to be. I'd give you details on what I mean by screwed up, but I suspect you have seen plenty of treatises on the subject. The current design of the hunter marksmanship spec feels accidental and disjointed. BM hunters have suffered from major pet mechanics issues for a long time. Destro warlock feels extremely high maintenance. Playing Ultraxion on my assasination rogue reminds me of the folly of positional requirements, and playing her on many other fights makes me wonder why she doesn't have this magical cleave that makes some other specs so attractive.

This tier has also reminded me how much fight design plays into our perception of spec value. When fights are designed around stack up and heal (which many are in this tier) you see far different value out of certain specs than you do when fights involve a more scattered approach (like last tier).





02/08/2012 06:58 PMPosted by Salah
Model Four – There is just a best spec for PvP and PvE


Isn't that how it is now tho, honestly?

Do you see top PvP mages specing arcane or are most frost?
Do you see top PvP rogues specing Combat or are all Sub?

Do you see top PvE locks spec demo?
Do you see top PvE warriors spec Fury?

Etc.


I personally think this is the best solution to this current problem, but may show favoritism to hybrids, but that's just something that comes with having different roles. When you write it all out it looks like this:


~"Pures"~
Arcane - PvE
Fire - PvE
Frost - PvP

Destro - PvE
Demo - PvE
Aff - PvP

BM - PvE
Survial - PvE
MM - PvP

Fury - PvE
Prot - PvE
Arms - PvP

Blood - PvE
Frost - PvE
Unholy - PvP

Assasionation - PvE
Combat - PvE
Sub - PvP

~Healing Hybrids~

Prot - PvE
Ret - PvE/PvP
Holy - PvE/PVP

Holy - PvE
Disc - PvE/PvP
Shadow - PvE/PvP

Boomkin - PvE/PvP
Feral cat - PvE/PvP
Feral tank - PvE
Resto - PvE/PvP

Ele - PvE/PvP
enhancement - PvE/PvP
Resto - PvE/PvP


But from a realistic point of few, is this really any different than what's currently happening on live servers? If you're a rogue and you're spec'd combat in pvp.... I'm sorry but you're just simply doing it wrong. You are reducing your class' capabilities and through that you are not living up to your classes full potential for your team.

When it comes to "But hybrids have more roles than me!!!" Well yes, that may be true in a sense, but it's not if you look at it in a perspective of role vs role. How many PvP melee specs do ferals cats have? 1. How many melee specs do PvP warriors have? 1. How about DKs? Paladins? How many PvE specs? Tank specs?

In my opinion, no class is really gaining the upper hand on another, it's just healers need to be added in to both sides of the game, that's the only reason why it may appear to be more. An example.

Remove Holy from paladins, what would their 'roles' look like?

Prot - PvE
Ret - PvE
Ret - PvP


Does that become different from warriors? Is that holy to much "favoritism"? Or is that just finally looking at the game in a much more realistic way?

Coming from a person who enjoys Ret, I'd hate to see Holy take the main stage as "The PvP Tree" because I like the theme of the class, but don't really like to heal. But while on my lock, mage, rogue, or whatever, I've come to accept that I'm required to be a certain spec, but at least my role hasn't changed, I'm still doing damage with spells, daggers, or whatever my class is themed around.

In my experience as a paladin, I know what its like to be balanced around another spec's tools, I fear that's going to be the biggest problem in MoP. A frost mage with fire survivibilty is going to be a pain to balance, a boomkin with a feral's mobility could turn out to be an extremely over powered spec, that doesn't mean the talents are overpowered for feral tho. Good luck trying to balance that out.

In my opinion, if you just designated certain specs for PvE and PvP, you could give those specs the required tools they need to have to perform in that area of the game.


The issue with your proposal is it would force people to play specs they don't want to play.
I pay for this game, I play the spec I enjoy is what GC is saying.
I agree.

If I enjoy frost, I should be able to play frost in PvE... this is what they are doing in MoP... if you look at the talents, I can now choose PvE talents and play frost... without having to worry about anything.
I like model 5. Arms and Fury aren't different enough to justify a heavy investment cost to swap between them. Instead, the MoP talent design makes a lot of sense: let players choose between just a few talents, including choosing between Arms-feeling cooldowns and Fury-feeling cooldowns that might change the way they play.
I think the game has matured thus far to the point where people roll a class with the expectations to only play one spec. I think people should be able to play what they want in any situation, but I also think the classes should feel and play differently enough that changing specs has a meaningful impact on the player experience. I think all specs should be able to aoe, burst and long term dps. I also think utility between specs is the key on making them feel different. Ghostcrawler pointed out in the past that the game feels like it has 30 specs that need balancing rather than 10 classes. i agree with his sentiments.


I like Model three- This model, where you swap to bring different utility is a good one. All Dps and healers need to be able to do their job well both single target and aoe as a fundamental rule. Utility is a different thing all together. Different utilities help specs feel different. I might gem my fury war differently than my arms war because i know he has that 5 percent crit buff attached to his spec. I still however feel confident with both specs being able to fundamentally do their job. Having a boomkin give knock back when a feral cannot is fun. Its fun to be able to do different things between different specs. So long as its not related directly to fulfilling your role as a dps, healer or tank.



Dislike Model four- the spec with a pve choice and a pvp choice is the one I dislike the most. The point of having multiple trees is to give a sense of choice. It sucked back in the day when druids could only heal, and I like being able to pvp as arms and as fury. It breaks up monotony and offers new avenues of play.


Dislike Model two - Everyone has specialties- This just feels like a variation of model four. Specialties is what makes certain specs viable for pvp and certain specs not viable. I could see an aoe spec that simply handles pvp differently but is still viable. Still it feels like the probability of a person playing the specs is rooted in what it does, rather than how it feels and the kit behind it. I dislike this. In a perfect world people should play a spec based on the kit behind it, not what it offers.


Dislike Model one- Is where the game is heading and I dont think its a good direction to go. Model one suggests a situation where people will *never* want to leave their current spec. Its also a situation where specs with similar roles dont feel very different. If your aff spec can do everything your destro spec can, whats the point of having a destro spec? Specs need to feel different, but in ways that dont make one inherently better than the other. Specs need to be able to burst and be able to have sustained dmg, but I dont like giving every class a 1 min cd. I suggest balancing instances like spine of deathwing around raid mechanics. If burst is needed frequently, then have a feature specific to the fight that enables that burst.


I DislikeModel five is something that probably isnt a good Idea. I dont support it, because even if it were the right decision, right now isnt the time to be considering it.


In summation, i like model three the most. Give all specs the ability to do their jobs( aka burst and aoe when needed). Similar dps, fairly similar burst uptime ( but the extreme requirements like those of spine need to be given through raid dynamics rather than forcing everyone to have the same cd up and downtime). Make specs feel different through class specific utility. Things that fit niches, but are not mandatory on paper. Utility does not have to be limited to buffs as Im sure you know. PvP wise, strive to make all specs viable in pvp. PvP wise, let all specs be able to burst, cc, and otherwise within the limits of their class design, but make sure they do it differently. Dispelling destro might stop its burst, where as for affliction you need to focus on interrupting. Both capable of burst, but both do it in different ways and are suppressed in different ways.


best post so far.
In essence, Model One asks not which spec you prefer so much as which class you prefer, which I find to be a far more interesting and challenging decision to make on the whole; the most important choice regarding the uniqueness of your character than you can actively make is choosing what class they are, because once you choose that it's set in stone, like it or lump it.

If you boil away the "uniqueness" factor in whether or not a Mage's spells are blue, red, or purple, what you actually have is the number of buttons in the rotation (comparative complexity) and the difference in the amount of utility that each Mage will bring to the party. Mists of Pandaria appears to want very badly to change this by rebalancing the utility of each class in a way that makes each spec equally viable in that regard, which I wholeheartedly applaud.

Of course, I'm already sold on the ideology that the player should play the spec they prefer to play regardless of what theoretical improvement their DPS might have if they chose a spec they like less.
interesting this forum is leading us to MoP talents....... was that the intention of this Watercooler addition?

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