Dev Watercooler – The Role of Role

General Discussion
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02/13/2012 11:28 PMPosted by Galindruhek
i like the upcoming model where u choose a spec and mold it to your liking, pve vs pvp specs or specializations dont work, i think in the upcoming mists of pandaria model you can choose a spec u like and adapt to your style of playing and for character usefulness, i think its the best system ever made

I agree...but thats because I love each and every step closer to full character customization that the game takes. From Transmog, to the upcoming ability to choose tier abilities...I still wish they'd stop baby-stepping it though, and just go all the way.

This suggestion of yours would force too big of a learning curve and give the impression of unfamiliarity to lots of players. That's why you need to take baby steps in something like this.

But in the same way, I agree with customization and even think that it should be possible for a rogue to get a throwing spec or a hunter an lock to get no pet specs...
I miss BC that was the best period of play so far.The talent trees where awesome at the time compare with today."that is my liking sry"
I guess it will be all about readjusting to the new changes and make the best of it.
Have a great time hunting each others.
I paid 15 dollars for a knife, knowing it was a knife. Now that i have paid for it i expect the knife to be viable in a gunfight. I also paid 5 dollars for a burger, that i now want to taste like a taco. I could have bought a gun or a taco.. but i decided i wanted the knife/burger instead.

I also dont want to have to make choices, and chose directions. I want to just do whatever and the world adapt to what it is I am doing. That sounds very unique and interesting.

Why even have horde and alliance factions, at this rate lets just combine all things WoW and just destroy what diversity is left.


WoW grew in popularity because of what vanilla and BC were and how they were played. The game became the '800 lbs gorilla' that it is because of those versions not inspite of them. Yes new things needed to be brought to the game but what is going on now is not okay. GC you're (not you personally necessarily) close to blowing up the whole game by continueing the path the game is on so I appreciate the request for input.

Panda's? really?
new tree system? really?
monks in leather? really? (Bliz was completely lazy on this one!!!)
how the monk plays...very interesting.
I like playing a healer, because it allows me to do a lot of "utility" things, such as kite an add, work with someone else who is kiting an add, interrupt spells, cleanse, etc. Having "talents and glyphs" that provide me with real choices as to what utilities I have available to me is what I find enjoyable about playing MMOs.

In Star Wars Galaxies for instance, I would play as Medic / Beast Master, where I would put all of my "talent points" into the combat side of Beast Master, which only left me with somewhere around 12 out the 45 points to put into the Medic class "talents". However, with this setup I was able to solo gold elite mobs, even though I was a terrible healer, because I was a very good Beast Master. Interestingly, every class could do this, because Beast Master was a "talent spec" in SWG and as a result, anyone playing as a pet handler had a whole lot of interesting "utility" options. My "main" in SWG was Trader (Crafter Class) / Beast Master for several years, because it offered a huge variety of real game play options, both solo and group related.

Anyhow, I think you folks over a Blizzard have spent a little too long "thinking inside your box" and it has clouded your ability to see the aspects of game play that lie beyond the trinity system of group dynamics. What's interesting is that you'll fill your raids with encounter mechanics that force players to using "utility", yet you don't value any kind of "utility" on the class/role design level. Here, have a look at this graphic from the original design of Star Wars Galaxies (which was influenced by Everquest, much like WoW was),

What SOE was going for here was clearly a diversified, yet over lapping flow of responsibility based upon a player's chosen role. However, in their multi-class system, the player was allowed to mix and match these responsibilities based on their preferred play style. And that, well, it's interesting roll design.

One last thing... Crowd control as a class/role mechanic is an excellent idea, because it allows groups to employ better judgment when assigning players to these tasks, because they can clearly see the players who:

A. Enjoy that play style.
B. Are actually going to have the aptitude to pull it off.

If a player picks the "utility spec" of his class to play, then it's pretty clear that's the way he like to play the game, so you can count on him to CC the adds, interrupt important spells, and help keep the group together while the Healers, Tanks, and DPS are also doing their jobs.

There are more mechanics to MMOs than what is offered in WoW alone and much of those mechanics have merit, because they too offer compelling, enjoyable game play options.
I would ensure that each class has at least a 2/3 roles.

In some other mmorpg, there is more than tank/healer/dps. There are roles like pulling, seriously debuffing the boss, crowd control, seriously buffing the group. This extend the basic tank/heal/dps, making the game more interesting and varied. It will also allow for more creativity in encounters.

There were elements of this in vanilla, I remember pulling with my hunter, that is all gone... Part of the fun has gone as well.
do not miss people back in bc that had really wattered down spec and gear, like druid with str/int/mp5/dodge etc gear that couldn't dps or heal really at a competetive level, i like the duel spec's that have come about now and people are set with one spec or the other and can function as one roll or the other, not just a watered down, not really helpful multi-spec.

however i do miss the versitility it lent in pvp with a boom/heal spec


But Which is the Best Model? Hell if I know!
Being a person that does not handle drastic change. I will try to be more constructive than i was on my post reply "forest full of trees". I have actually myself been pondering over for some time about the direction i would love to see the game move since more change seems to be certain to come. What i came up with for myself was a like and a dislike list. There are 3 major dislikes that i have at the current and possible future time frame of the game content. I miss the uniqueness of each class that it had in the old days.. ie.. the class specific buffing... i know this was a big issue because of a raid having to have a certain class in the group just for the buff but, it did seperate characters and hold off on stacking. The second is that i miss the old talent tree system not so much from the stand point of the amount of talent points we had to spend but the ability to hybrid build a toon.. ie: "15-12-6" those were just made up numbers that probably never existed but you should understand the point. The third dislike is the massive amount of stat watering that seems to have taken place.. the game feels more like ilvl more than ever vs what piece of gear benifits me best.

Ok now my 3 likes. I love that there are no longer spell ranks to train... that a spell auto updates as you level.. this could also play a bigger part in toon design as maybe a spell that you normally don't use while lvling becomes more important when you say hit max lvl.
Second like is how that most dps trees have come a lot closer to being equal in dps.. this has allowed me to be able to play the game more as i see fit not because some website said i had to be so and so spec to be max. My third like is mastery as a stat. Now at first i will have to admit i hated mastery as a stat... but now it is growing on me a bit.. while it lacks depth on some toons ie. my tanks it shines on others such as my healers... my dps toons don't know what really to make of it yet.

Now with all this being said and i will try to explain what i think would be a good direction to head with classes as far as talent trees and class building.... What if all toons only had 1 tree. would be about the same size we currently have. Six rows of 4 talents and a 7th row with 3 talents which would be the mastery talents. Would still be a 31 point total system. Do away with the talent point per lvl like you did with the spells but rather place all 31 points to be spent at say lvl 10. That is a total of 24 talents per toon with a choice of 3 different mastery options. Surely 24 talents per toons is not asking for too much considering the massive amount with 3 trees.. This would allow for hybrid building yet at the same time a mage would be a mage and a warlock would be a warlock... now i know it could get tricky to do with say a paladin or druid.. I am sure you guys are smart enough to deal with the tricky... ps this most recent post was much better than your forest post.. i didn't feel belittled by it.
I think the wow team should just leave it the same. Everytime I can remember in Wrath specs kept getting changed around to what players wanted. But not all players was really happy about it. If you change our roles in groups there are always going to still be players that are not happy. But if it must be changed I believe it should go back to the way it was in Vanilla. PVP spec, and PVE spec.
I thank the developer for this cool post...
but the entire discussion is pointless you've already made your move with this discussion.

The utility of each role will be something each player is going to pick regardless of role based on the current MoP spec trees you have set down on the table.

Be that as it may and having huge doubt anything will change about this...
I strongly hope that the utility of each role is not something you cannot mess up.

My vote goes for some of model 2 and 3 and here is why.

Playing this game is getting to be more complex and abstract with each passing year. Adding more choice to the role of each role is going to confuse more players and breed players to believe a false hope:
Model Five. You said it yourself not going to happen! (I wish it would)

Model 4 is pointless... I do NOT want PvP to be equal for everyone or have one spec that is only pvp. That is NOT fun.
Model 1 ... as if the game isn't going to go this path already. This is NOT fun.

Thanks for reading!
02/13/2012 11:20 PMPosted by Zethro
Before creating anything out of thin air, especialy with Model 5, please consider how it will all fit in with the WoW lore, fantasy setting, and flavor.

I've gave my ideas on how it would fit in the lore, I don't know if you saw.

Arcane Mage Healers would work, because Arcane energy was given to us by the Titans from the Well of Eternity, and Arcane was intended to be a life creating essence.

Demon Warlock Tanks, obviously.

Hunter Pet Tanks (a long quest line to tame an exotic beast who is capable of enduring hits, could be one of those challenging tames)

Rogue Tank: Swashbucklers mostly, I mean it would make sense that a Rogue would switch back and forth to throwing themselves into the shadows (not stealth, but like an evasion type thing) and use cooldowns to migrate incoming damage while dodging what you can't migrate.
Great thought provoking blog. I think it falls back to , you can't make all of the people happy all of the time, you can't make some of the people happy some of the time, you can't make some of the people happy EVER! i vote for Shammy tank lol.
I would love to see some fluctuation in the different specs. For instance, I think that Warriors, Paladins, Shamans (Though I'll put my thoughts for shamans in the shaman forum), and Druids are alright. They have a lot of freedom in what they can do. Death Knights have a decent amount of freedom and flavor as well.

Warlocks, Mages, Rogues, Priests. I LOVE the idea behind Demo locks, and I do like Affliction. But, they get boring to me. And destruction just feels clunky because I don't really ever think of Warlocks as large hitters. Demo pushes it a little, but I don't mind. When I think warlock, I think pacts with the dead, and other otherworldly things. So, If instead they became sort of a summoning spec, I think that could be really cool.

As with mages, I don't have much to say on them because I've never gotten one past lvl 20. But, I like fire. I like Frost. I like Arcane. I just wish it didn't matter which spec you chose (As stated in the post)

Rogues, To me, Subtlety is great. I love it. And I realize that Assassination is good as well, and I think the flavor behind Combat is there too. But, Rogues aren't just about killing everything around. Or at least there shouldn't be.

Priests, I dislike there being two separate healing specs, It makes sense, but it just feels wrong to me. I dislike holy entirely. And Priests could branch off into something more than just holy or shadow users. They could branch to become something like clerics of sorts, where hitting something with a mace actually hurts. Let them use a different type of armor with that spec. It's not unheard of.

Hunters, To me, Marksman and Survival are almost essentially the same thing. I really only LOVE Beast Mastery. Maybe if Survival became a more trap oriented spec, something similar it'd wind up being a little more intuitive. . . So like, needle traps, grenade-like abilities, and things along that nature.

Maybe that's not something to do with the class but the content for the class. I love the idea of class specific quests. Such as the rogue daggers. I just wish there was more use for the things we have such as Lockpicking, Far Sight, Sentry Totem (RIP), Portals, Targetable Buffs, Taunts, and other such things for questing. I'd love for a quest to tell me to spy on someone halfway across a zone by using Far Sight. Or for more quests to tell my rogue to pickpocket or unlock something. Or for someone to tell me to use Exorcism on someone who's possessed. Or even for a priest to heal someone important. Maybe a warlock to assist with demon conjuring. Mages to use their arcane knowledge to set things off in a certain order with their spells. DKs can be told to use Outbreak to infect a village of the enemies'. It's things such as this that would make the game a little more interesting than it already is. Just some ideas.
I like model 3, but with the added nuance of splitting what is now labeled with the umbrella "DPS" into (at least) three distinct roles. Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, and CC/Debuff should (and in some cases do) play differently than each other. In other cases they don't, and these seem to be the redundant classes. For example, a Boomkin plays very differently then a Feral Cat, even though both cue as damage, largely due to positioning and combo-point system that Feral has. Compare to an Elemental vs Enhancement Shaman, where the only strategic difference, apart from the cosmetic "which spells are mapped to which hotkeys" is distance to target. Similarly, in our guild, the main difference between the Warlock and the Hunter is that the Warlock player's primary job is to handle crowds, with either rain of fire or fear depending on whether the mobs in question are elite or not, and to increase the effectiveness of himself and the healer with his felhunter.

It would not be difficult to concentrate "control" within a certain spec. For example, all warlock specs can fear with similar efficiency. What if only one of them could, at least with any effectiveness (just like all druid specs can use hurricane and all Paladin specs can use righteous fury, but only one has any business doing it). What if poisons only had notable effect for assassin rogues? This would give these specs something very different to do than just "spam rotation until dead, repeat." Of course, if you -like- doing that, there would still be destruction and combat for you. I like tanking; this means that I play Protection, not that I !@#$% because I can't tank in Holy.

Beastmaster hunters and Demonology warlocks already have a "melee" concentration (sort of) built in. What if these had the option to take manual control of their pets while setting the humanoid on AI? This would vastly change the playstyle of that spec from the others (especially given the diversity in pets) and would make a BM hunter closer to a Feral Druid and a Demolock closer to a light Death Knight, though not enough to be redundant. The enhancement shaman could get better (and/or more effective) totems, possibly requiring a higher level of management (totems are essentially immobile pets after all).

Ultimately, it would be mages, warriors, and rogues that would see the biggest alteration, since neither of these have melee, range, and control already present. Ghostcrawler mentioned archery, which would be great for [probably warriors]; there currently is not a petless melee damage option (X:mage as Hunter:Warlock); ranged weapons have some advantage over spells in that they can't be silenced, usually do not channel, and can autoattack. Combat rogues could possibly lose stealth (or at least reduce it) but gain mail, like the current enhancement shaman, or armor buffs to match like Bear druids (if you like sneak attacks, play a stealth rogue). Mages...I could see a spec that could polymorph itself (kind of like a feral druid, but on a more temporary basis...duration and cooldown for the polymorph spells,but several to choose from...also different because no heal or tank option).

Ultimately, the complaint with this option seems to be that "people would have to play X spec for X effect;" so, if I like nuking with a warlock, I couldn't Fear. However, I see this as an inherent side effect of the class system in general. As is, if I like nuking as a warlock, I can't -Tank-; I can't even respec for it. I have to pick a different class. This does not seem to be viewed as a design flaw or an obnoxious limit on the player. Someone picking their class based on function will probably not care what level of armor they wear or whether their spells do fire or shadow damage—see the current crop where choice is made based on DPS percentage. Conversely, someone who likes Shamans for the sake of Shamans will probably not care if they can't use Chain Lightning in every spec (they already can't, so why would it be different for mages?) And people who like to be able to do the best of everything all the time...if you want to have the game do that, just replace all classes and specs with "Destruction Warlock."
Every person plays their character differently, and enjoys their class/spec for their own reasons; assuming that is true and putting it aside as a reality we have this:
- in PvE/Instancing/Leveling there are a cornucopia of encounters that involve multiple mobs.
- PvE Raiding involves burst damage, and prolonged damage, with an abundance of movement. Healers must also have a steady ability to heal, burst healing, and an abundance of movement.
- PvP involved burst damage, prolonged damage, with an abundance of movement, while leaders need to heal in bursts, and maintain healing on their raid remembers.

Judging from GC's blog and the game itself I'm seeing a lot of similarities. Here is what I propose makes the most sense to me:

- Every class and every spec should be proficient in PvP because the mechanics required for PvP and PvE raids are more and more similar. The end goal is to make it so players get to play, therefore balancing their specs so they are useful in a raid/pvp is a great place to start.

I'm not saying that a raid is entirely the same as pvp, but the mechanics are similar enough that I believe this can be used to our advantage. Again, much of this is already happening.

Each class should fall into three categories.
1. DPS (Tank Role as an option) - Think Warriors/DK's/Mages/Rogues
2. Utility - Think Paladins/Druids/Shaman
3. Healer - Think Priests ... and ... Priests...

From there each category has 3 specs:
DPS Spec 1: Single Target DPS (Tank Role has an Optional Talent)
DPS Spec 2: AE DPS (Tank Role has an Optional Talent)
DPS Spec 3: Utility DPS

Utility Spec 1: Single Target DPS
Utility Spec 2: AE Target DPS
Utility Spec 3: Healer of all Trades

Healer Spec 1: Single Target Healing
Healer Spec 2: AE Healing
Healer Spec 3: Utility Healing/Effects

Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of what I've suggested is already in play but dismissing it as "we already do that" isn't correct. One of my biggest peeves when it comes to class balancing is that the classes no longer have anything truly unique about them.

Want CC? Well, anyone can do it. Want a tank? Sure, let me change specs. Creating a Class that has 90% of the class abilities in any spec, and then specifically targetting single target effects vs AE effects, vs utility/buffs/critical abiltities provides depth and still maintains "but I want to be a fire mage!" options for players.

A mage is a mage is a mage... and once they know what their role is for the encounter they just swap specs to meet the role, without giving up the identity of being a mage. The same goes for all of the 'pure classes." Why are they "pure classes" if they no longer are really pure anything?

Also, I've never understood why a warrior can't take "this" talent OR "that" talent, thus opening up tank options or DPS options within the same spec. We already have this to a degree, but I don't think the division is far enough.

To summarize:
- Classes should be categories by their Role(DPS/Healer/Utility), which is the same in every spec.
- Specs should be focused on Single Target Effects (DPS/Healing), AE Effects(DPS/Healing), and Utility (Party Augments/Effects/Etc).
- Tanks should be a sub-set of each DPS Spec.

Well here is my 2 cents worth on this topic.

I started playing this game back when BC was very new. I have played ever since and i truely believe that the game was more fun back then. When you leveled up a toon you actually had to learn how to play that class and spec. There was no duel spec back then. You wanted a different spec you went to tanaris and paid a NPC to unlearn that spec and then you could respec to what you wanted.. PVP/PVE. Ya that was a pain... and got to be costly.. but that was the way it was...

Fast forward a few years and now the QQ has got to the point that instead of using the "Valuable Resources" that Blizzard has for game development, which has sadly been MIA since the middle of WotLK, they are wasting time and resources on this topic.

The role of roles is simplely this.. this game was designed around a multiple of 5 for dungeons/raids/bgs... in each instance there is a need for 3 roles.. a Tank aka the punching bag.. the healer for keeping the punching bag alive long enough for the "killers" the DPSers to kill the Boss/BG objective.

Tanks are Plate wearing classes with HIGH armor and LOW dps. Their job was a simple thing in the past just maintain a high aggro percent on the target and don't stand in the fire..

Healers come in many types and styles from the clothies to the plate wearers. Again they had the heals had usually either raid or single target talents. When the great dissappearance of the real game devs happened the first thing to change and made worse in Cata was the "Homogenization of classes". Resto druids was a "raid" healer and a holy pally was a single target (tank) healer. Both the "raid and single target" healers struggle/ed with this change.

Both of the above roles have had their fill of the QQ and whine and cheese debunk from the DPS classes. The dps classes out number the tank and healers on each of the realms by HUGE margins.. I have seen some realms where there is over 300 dpsers to each tank/healer. Blizzard in turn put into action the FAIL attempt to entice, lure, cajole, beg , plead and or BRIBE players to play those roles with the bag-o'goodies. (All that did was INSULT me as a player that play both of those roles and made me role a few DPS classes). I have gotten sick of all the bs that is dumped on those that try to play these classes as most have never played them.'

Now as for Model One – Everyone is equal all the time.. isn't that just another way of saying that you are going back on what you say that you are trying to NOT do?? Class Homogenization??? LOL I would just LOVE to see a clothie tank like a worlock WITHOUT any change from what they have now for armor values.. that will really make it challenging to the healers to keep them up.. keep up the lock.. or the pet.. hummm which one do i heal??

Model Two – Everyone has specialties and you match the spec to the situation .. to me that is more like what Burning Crusade was.. which unfortunately hated on some class/spec players.. back then i was a ret pally and trying to raid was nearly impossible. Ret was a lol class/spec and even prot pally was not really wanted either. Warrior and Druid tanks was the name of the game back then. WotLK prot pally got to shine for a SHORT time. Cata comes along and we are back to Warrior/druid/DK tanking and prots are kinda skipped over again. You design these encounters and put in the mechanics that make it this way. With the advent of duel spec expecially later in LK ICC raiding the off tank was required to have a off spec that WOULD help the raid out for certain fights... ie DPS or heal. which is oddly enough what you are suggesting for Model Three – You swap specs to gain specific utility.

Model Four – There is just a best spec for PvP and PvE has been asked for several times. If this comes true then there will be no chance for a player to play the way that they want to play like you keep saying that this game is able to provide. The hybrid classes are not what they were in BC with all the changes to them but they are no longer able to be made at low levels with the single spec lockout.

Model Five – Don’t have multiple DPS roles this is just asking for trouble like you stated. It is a nightmare waiting to happen.

So in closing.. which model is best..

Tanks... TANK...
Healers... HEAL...
and DPSers.. QQ
I really like model 3: I really liked the hybridized talent specs of Pre-BC and BC. I used to rock PoM Pyro on my mage, and was holy/disc on my priest. It was nice since I've always loved hybrid type classes. Problem with that was that talents could work well for PvE but be OP in PvP ( PoM Pyro blasting anyone?)

What I would love to see, instead of continuously nerfing skills that tend to be OP in PvP but are just right in PvE, is to have all the skills/specs be useable in both aspects of the game. What I mean is, work around PvE damage moreso than PvP such that PvE damage stays as is, but damage done is reduced to players for PvP, etc. I mean if you can figure out the coding for Polymorph duration on players vs NPC mobs then it shouldn't be too far fetched to expect the same out of the abilities we use.

I mean I understand that certain skills are way more powerful than they necessarily should be for PvE and that a little balancing act must occur, however I would like to think that being able to use all the talent trees for all aspects of the game would add more diversity to the play-styles. For example, I despise both fire and arcane on my mage, but I'm in love with frost. I get laughed at for trying to PvE as frost (granted my mage is now shelved for the time being). I understand that some specs excel in different aspects of the game, however Cataclysm was supposed to shatter these concepts, but it didn't succeed 100%.

Just my 2¢.

I like model 3.
Instead of nerfing skills under this model, create an alternate code to reduce the damage skills do to players vs mobs.
With this concept all trees would be viable for everything.
I would like an easier to use system. I love the game, but can get all the extra stuff clear in my head. I will work an alt. till they 85ish. Without all the inst. things. It is hard to get in groups to learn the inst. without getting kicked. Most just run in kill the bosses and leave. ???
Why??? I really enjoy the questing. My thoughts are play what you like... and let the others do the same. Play on.
Well I have been playing this game even before it was online. I have seen many changes and over all it is getting worse. First thing i dislike is Blizzard has taken all the challenge out of the game. What would have taken months to max a character now takes around 30 days. We are super powered at level 1 and can kill 2-4 guys at once. We might as well start at 85 and just work for gear thats about as much fun it is to me. I love PVE, the story, and struggling to level a character. When BC came out the challenge was awsome, then Wrath came out and the challenge was reduced but still there. With Cata its a PVP and Raiders game only. Am I a hard core player? If it based on the amount of time you spend playing or being logged in then yes I am extremely hard core. If based on if I raid and pvp then no I am not. So the problem is how do we make most players happy? The answer is simple to me. Its the server you choose to play on. For example, if I choose a PVE server all the challenge should be in the quests and leveling like BC was. If I choose a PVP server then keep it like it is now on that server. That, in my opinion, should satisfy most people.
XD how about an autokill button usable once every 3 mins in pvp by hunter only, for when those thrice damned spinning melee, irritating invincible Dk's, or annoying rogues get inside firing range, 30 seconds of defenseless invincibility is not enough need to make those annoyances think twice before piling on, a nice quick death and 27 sec trip to the graveyard to rethink their life will.

No seriously I agree with the poster above, also there needs to be balance restored to the servers, you have some servers that are dominant horde, some dominant alliance imo this disbalance takes fun out of the game. Something i've noticed as a player of horde and alliance on Windrunner the Horde AH is almost always empty, people don't raid, people don't do old raids, you can't get people to do anything, sometimes you can't even get gear for lack of crafters or raid groups. From 11pm to 9am Alliance will control Tol barad simply because the game will allow 4-5 ally players maybe more to enter to defend against 1 hordie, usually me, you're welcome to bring the entire blizzard dev team to come watch, all the while a server message is screaming Tol Barad is being attacked by the horde. Attacked? yours and my definitions must not be the same are you using Wibsters dictionary again? Proper announcement is The Horde is being Massachred by the Alliance lets all play find the scared lonely hordie. Every server should be 1 to 1, if that is not possible then as close as possible within 10% difference if you have to lock out a server to maintain balance then so be it but this 90 - 10 alliance to horde ratio should not exist, afterall the key to a good timesink is ability to access content, how is supporting something like that benefitting Blizzard? Seems to me it's sending players elsewhere.

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