I miss Class Uniqueness

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What I miss is my totems (I know I'm the minority but still). That made this class feel unique. . .I never thought they were a hassle. I liked being able to set down my healing set of totems and be able to DPS and Heal. . .now I just feel like a Holy Priest with a Shield. And as Elemental. . .I just feel like a slower less powerful Mage. . .which sucks.

I feel the loss of class ID...I understand they want the game to be more accepting of randomness (not requiring a specific class for a dungeon/raid) but that shouldn't come at the cost of classes loosing what made them feel unique. The ability sharing is a great idea. . .but the removal of key class identifiers is not.
There are certain things I miss about the old system.

One thing I don't miss is this:

<Trade Chat> LFM Naxx25 need 2 shadow priests, 1 warlock, 1 tank heals and 2 raid heals

2 hours later

"Forget it, I can't get any spriests, call it for the night."

Another thing I don't miss:

<Loot drops from boss>

"Okay, we have agility + int mail chest, and int + spirit cloth helmet."

- Hunter wins roll on chest.

Enhance Shaman: "OMG NINJA."

- Warlock wins roll on helm.

Mage: "OMG NINJA."

Warlock: "But it's ilevel 245 and I haven't seen any int helms without spirit since 213! UPGRADE BY GEARSCORE!"

My Naxx10 raid had more sharding than anything I've ever seen for current content, it seems like it took FOREVER to gear up. So yes, there was "wasted" gear.


That was certainly true for early Wrath and BC, but I found that once Dual spec was introduced it did help out a lot. However I don't remember mages/locks getting high priority by comparison of a Holy/disc priest for gear with spirit on it.
There are certain things I miss about the old system.

One thing I don't miss is this:

<Trade Chat> LFM Naxx25 need 2 shadow priests, 1 warlock, 1 tank heals and 2 raid heals

2 hours later

"Forget it, I can't get any spriests, call it for the night."

Another thing I don't miss:

<Loot drops from boss>

"Okay, we have agility + int mail chest, and int + spirit cloth helmet."

- Hunter wins roll on chest.

Enhance Shaman: "OMG NINJA."

- Warlock wins roll on helm.

Mage: "OMG NINJA."

Warlock: "But it's ilevel 245 and I haven't seen any int helms without spirit since 213! UPGRADE BY GEARSCORE!"

My Naxx10 raid had more sharding than anything I've ever seen for current content, it seems like it took FOREVER to gear up. So yes, there was "wasted" gear.


That was certainly true for early Wrath and BC, but I found that once Dual spec was introduced it did help out a lot. However I don't remember mages/locks getting high priority by comparison of a Holy/disc priest for gear with spirit on it.


Aside from the fact that Warlocks actually used to benefit from Spirit. . .yeah.
However I don't remember mages/locks getting high priority by comparison of a Holy/disc priest for gear with spirit on it.

I do. Mana was such a non-issue for healers in Wrath that Spirit was rarely truly needed, while at the same time being a fantastic DPS stat for Warlocks and, to a lesser extent, Mages.
04/22/2013 06:15 PMPosted by Crepe
There was a lot of "wasted" gear back in the day.


How do you feel it's "wasted"?

Many people reach for individuality. So the more choices out there for them, the better (within reason, of course).


It was very common to go into a raid without a full assortment of classes (which was also common, because some of the classes simply didn't have enough to offer in a raid), and get gear that wasn't good for anyone in attendance. It didn't prove to be a good item design then, and I suspect that it wouldn't work much better now. We've done a lot to solve problems like this over time.

Introducing actual choices in gearing is extremely difficult, because when it comes to player power, all it takes is a spreadsheet showing that item A is better than item B, and suddenly item B is "trash". It becomes a let down to get it, even though ostensibly it's supposed to be an upgrade.

Is that why rogues all feel the same?


Rogues are something of an edge case, and moving previously spec defining abilities into the talent tree probably contributes to this, though I'd argue that it's resulted in a class that's more fun to play overall. Still, I find that Combat feels different from Assassination feels different from Sub. The differences are admittedly more subtle (no pun intended) than some other classes, though.
How ever you sum it up...the OP at least has one point -- classes aren't really that special from one another...or put it this aren't special ENOUGH from one another.

But at the same time others are right, people cried when only a certain class had a certain buff - blizzard then answered back with giving multiple classes the same buff to embark on this goal of "bring the player not the class" type of thing.

So I don't know how you make classes unique enough that other players are like "oh cool he's a hunter....or sweet its a paladin.....etc." (that's how it was back in classic/vanilla wow..certain classes were just awesome so you got excited when your 40 man raid had more of them join), yet at the same time not cause the problem they ran into before.

I guess I don't know how to explain it but I'm just saying very look beyond graphics and armor types seperates classes IMO these days.

I'm actually shocked that with all the "simplifying" that they didn't give another class the ability to port to cities like mages can yet.
04/22/2013 07:16 PMPosted by Illucia
However I don't remember mages/locks getting high priority by comparison of a Holy/disc priest for gear with spirit on it.

I do. Mana was such a non-issue for healers in Wrath that Spirit was rarely truly needed, while at the same time being a fantastic DPS stat for Warlocks and, to a lesser extent, Mages.


Alright, fair enough. I'll admit right here that I really don't know much about mages/locks (my least played classes) and I didn't really go into healing til Cata.


That was certainly true for early Wrath and BC, but I found that once Dual spec was introduced it did help out a lot. However I don't remember mages/locks getting high priority by comparison of a Holy/disc priest for gear with spirit on it.


Aside from the fact that Warlocks actually used to benefit from Spirit. . .yeah.


Ah didn't realize that (barely played lock/mage to any extent). Pretty much my memory was spirit = healer priority, so my bad.
How ever you sum it up...the OP at least has one point -- classes aren't really that special from one another...or put it this aren't special ENOUGH from one another.

But at the same time others are right, people cried when only a certain class had a certain buff - blizzard then answered back with giving multiple classes the same buff to embark on this goal of "bring the player not the class" type of thing.

So I don't know how you make classes unique enough that other players are like "oh cool he's a hunter....or sweet its a paladin.....etc." (that's how it was back in classic/vanilla wow..certain classes were just awesome so you got excited when your 40 man raid had more of them join), yet at the same time not cause the problem they ran into before.

I guess I don't know how to explain it but I'm just saying very look beyond graphics and armor types seperates classes IMO these days.

I'm actually shocked that with all the "simplifying" that they didn't give another class the ability to port to cities like mages can yet.


Please don't. . .that very well might be all that makes Mages feel unique anymore. As I said about my totems (not what we have now. . .fancy CDs that can be "killed" and stopped) they helped make Shamans feel different, without making it really that much different than another class. . .now? Not so much.
How ever you sum it up...the OP at least has one point -- classes aren't really that special from one another...or put it this aren't special ENOUGH from one another.

But at the same time others are right, people cried when only a certain class had a certain buff - blizzard then answered back with giving multiple classes the same buff to embark on this goal of "bring the player not the class" type of thing.

So I don't know how you make classes unique enough that other players are like "oh cool he's a hunter....or sweet its a paladin.....etc." (that's how it was back in classic/vanilla wow..certain classes were just awesome so you got excited when your 40 man raid had more of them join), yet at the same time not cause the problem they ran into before.

I guess I don't know how to explain it but I'm just saying very look beyond graphics and armor types seperates classes IMO these days.

I'm actually shocked that with all the "simplifying" that they didn't give another class the ability to port to cities like mages can yet.


Heavily class defining abilities haven't moved such as Mages portal, Paladin bubble, Warlock summons, etc. But the small ones have. During Cata many of the healers had similar setups such as "quick, but expensive heal, spammable medium heal, and heavy long cast heal" with at least 1 form of an AoE heal and at least 1 class flavor heal (IE Word of Glory, Riptide, Lifebloom (please tell me that's the druid one?)) that were all instant cast.
what i dont miss is trying to get a group for 5 man heroics in BC, being a elemental DPS.
no CC
no viable AOE
generally lower DPS

would often get turned down because CC was required for heroics in those days..

always had to start my own group, or heal...
It was very common to go into a raid without a full assortment of classes (which was also common, because some of the classes simply didn't have enough to offer in a raid), and get gear that wasn't good for anyone in attendance. It didn't prove to be a good item design then, and I suspect that it wouldn't work much better now. We've done a lot to solve problems like this over time.


I don't see that as a gear problem; to me that's a loot problem. If the drop algorithm could be changed so that say, there are no warlocks in the raid/group when a boss is killed no warlock piece will drop. I don't know how difficult that would be to configure but it seems like a solution to that issue.
I wish fire mages blew !@#$ up.

As it stands it is hard to tell from spell animations, and when you are in a raid with a Destro lock, wel you can imagine my jealousy when they are literally raining fire.
I wish fire mages blew !@#$ up.

As it stands it is hard to tell from spell animations, and when you are in a raid with a Destro lock, wel you can imagine my jealousy when they are literally raining fire.


I miss that all Warlocks used to be able to Rain fire. . .
04/22/2013 06:12 PMPosted by Daxxarri
So, for fear of using an often tossed buzzword, "homogenization" is a matter of degrees. I personally don't feel that we've at all crossed a threshold where playing one class feels essentially like playing another.


I could not disagree more. Especially with tanks. The official line is "Tanks are all active mitigation now." The translation is "Tanks are all Death Knights now." This gives us the ability to choose any tank for any raid, except whatever choice we make, it's doesn't matter, because they are all the so similar mechanically, that our choice won't make any difference.

The tanks all used to have a certain feel to playing them. Bears were great to soak damage, paladins were the master of AOE tanking, warriors could evade/reflect all the huge hits. Then came the DKs. Now we are all DKs. All tanks have a shield wall equivalent, all tanks have a frenzied regeneration ability, all tanks have a consecration ability.

The homogenization has completely destroyed group questing. Now every single class and spec has defensive CD's, self heals, and the ability to do decent damage. The bring the player not the class slogan should be replaced with bring the anything, it's all the same.

Last week my raid group was fighting Vizier Zor'lock. The tanks died and my Disc priest started tanking the boss. With shields, self heals, and atonement I tanked him while standing in attenuation, with no other healers. The way he finally killed me was with a stun. A cloth healer, able to tank a current raid boss. We're already to the point there is no need for tanks in heroics, I guess we won't need them for raids much longer.

Even worse, the focus is moving from the trinity mechanic to scenario centric instances, where the class role does not even matter.

But the single biggest killer to having unique classes was the removal of talents. You could even finish a dps tree, and start going down a tank tree or healing tree, giving you hybrid classes with some unique abilities. It was replaced with six choices, three of which have virtually no effect on gameplay. So, the official line is "Three choices gives you more opportunities for customization than 70 choices in multiple disciplines did." I'm not buying it. I call shenanigans on that one!

As for the homogenization making every class viable in every raid, that's true, no one can argue. On the other hand, no one can argue the raids have become more 'bland' and uninspired since the homogenization occurred. Remember Grull? You had to get a mage to tank Krosh, a boomkin for what's his name that polyed constantly. It was fun, challenging to come up with a group and strategy to beat the boss.

Now, boss mechanics are limited to marioesque jumping games to provide a challenge. I want Wow back, the multiplayer action/strategy game. Not Wowmario, a single player jumping game, where you do dailies (alone), scenarios (alone), and LFR (alone). When I say alone, I admit there are other players around, but there is really no reason to interact with them.
For those of us who played back before Cata may know what I am talking about when I say class uniqueness. In terms of balance, blizzard seems to be homogenizing all the classes. Every caster has some sort of instant, dot or burst ability. Every class has some sort of Burst CD, or stun.

Classes in my opinion are slowly losing their uniqueness and play style in the sake of easily balancing the game. You may not agree but that is the way I see it.


Back in the "glory days" that you speak of, unless you won the lottery on the character selection screen you were pigeon-holed into playing a certain role/spec and no matter how great of a player you were, you were pretty much screwed.

I welcome some homogenization in return for a bring the player and not the class x-pac
Rogues are something of an edge case, and moving previously spec defining abilities into the talent tree probably contributes to this, though I'd argue that it's resulted in a class that's more fun to play overall. Still, I find that Combat feels different from Assassination feels different from Sub. The differences are admittedly more subtle (no pun intended) than some other classes, though.


Sounds like a great opportunity to take a class I started this game playing, and I won't dream of touching now, and do a lot of things to it to make it a lot more interesting to play.

I'd start with how it feels to be able to take on 10-15 mobs, or solo a zandalari warbringer as an elemental shaman, and compare that to how unawesome it feels to single target the world as a rogue.

I'm pretty sure you can hit the mark on this one, because windwalker is fun as heck to play. But I have 11 characters, and my rogue is on the chopping block for more space next.
04/22/2013 07:44 PMPosted by Khorgun
So, for fear of using an often tossed buzzword, "homogenization" is a matter of degrees. I personally don't feel that we've at all crossed a threshold where playing one class feels essentially like playing another.


I could not disagree more. Especially with tanks. The official line is "Tanks are all active mitigation now." The translation is "Tanks are all Death Knights now." This gives us the ability to choose any tank for any raid, except whatever choice we make, it's doesn't matter, because they are all the so similar mechanically, that our choice won't make any difference.

The tanks all used to have a certain feel to playing them. Bears were great to soak damage, paladins were the master of AOE tanking, warriors could evade/reflect all the huge hits. Then came the DKs. Now we are all DKs. All tanks have a shield wall equivalent, all tanks have a frenzied regeneration ability, all tanks have a consecration ability.

The homogenization has completely destroyed group questing. Now every single class and spec has defensive CD's, self heals, and the ability to do decent damage. The bring the player not the class slogan should be replaced with bring the anything, it's all the same.

Last week my raid group was fighting Vizier Zor'lock. The tanks died and my Disc priest started tanking the boss. With shields, self heals, and atonement I tanked him while standing in attenuation, with no other healers. The way he finally killed me was with a stun. A cloth healer, able to tank a current raid boss. We're already to the point there is no need for tanks in heroics, I guess we won't need them for raids much longer.

Even worse, the focus is moving from the trinity mechanic to scenario centric instances, where the class role does not even matter.

But the single biggest killer to having unique classes was the removal of talents. You could even finish a dps tree, and start going down a tank tree or healing tree, giving you hybrid classes with some unique abilities. It was replaced with six choices, three of which have virtually no effect on gameplay. So, the official line is "Three choices gives you more opportunities for customization than 70 choices in multiple disciplines did." I'm not buying it. I call shenanigans on that one!

As for the homogenization making every class viable in every raid, that's true, no one can argue. On the other hand, no one can argue the raids have become more 'bland' and uninspired since the homogenization occurred. Remember Grull? You had to get a mage to tank Krosh, a boomkin for what's his name that polyed constantly. It was fun, challenging to come up with a group and strategy to beat the boss.

Now, boss mechanics are limited to marioesque jumping games to provide a challenge. I want Wow back, the multiplayer action/strategy game. Not Wowmario, a single player jumping game, where you do dailies (alone), scenarios (alone), and LFR (alone). When I say alone, I admit there are other players around, but there is really no reason to interact with them.


You win the internetz
Didn't people complain about class favoritism whenever a class got something special?

And now people complain about this. Figures.


We still strive to make the classes as unique as possible while offering a balance that doesn't lead to anyone feeling useless in raids (which was a very real concern a few years ago), and to a greater or lesser extent, I think we accomplish that goal. When I play a Warrior, Death Knight, Rogue, or Monk, for example, there are certainly similarities--they are all melee classes, after all. Crucially, there are also significant differences that span the entire experience of playing each class, and which contribute to a distinctly different feel for each one. Even among "pure" classes, each spec can feel quite distinct from the others, and that's certainly the case amongst hybrids.

So, for fear of using an often tossed buzzword, "homogenization" is a matter of degrees. I personally don't feel that we've at all crossed a threshold where playing one class feels essentially like playing another. I find myself reading posts where players are talking about the buffs a class brings to a raid, or listing off the abilities a class has like a litany. These lists are, themselves, devoid of context though. More classes bring more buffs because that was a problem we needed to solve. Classes have similar abilities to encourage flexibility in group composition. If these are the only measures by which you judge how similar classes are, then I think that you're missing the trees for the forest. Nuance matters. "Feel" matters. How a class toolset interacts with itself matters.

I would make the case that, for the purposes of game play, how a given spec or class plays is really what makes it distinct from the others, even if different classes can sometimes share similar roles. After all, that's nothing new to World of Warcraft; we've always had healers, dps, and tanks. Players have greater flexibility than ever to choose a class that they enjoy playing for the raw experience of playing it, rather than for what buff it provides.



I think the focus that is being overlooked is that specific type of defining traits a class brought before, made them feel unique. It isn't just about how your class plays that makes it unique, it was about what you could contribute that others can't. It was about feeling like you, specifically, were an important member of the raid.

Not only would you bring something good for everyone (be it even a buff), but you also could show how good you are at the class/role you take up. These days, you only really have the latter, and it's pretty much just the role that matters the most. Any class can generally be replaced by another, and that is basically the defining point of being homogenized for something like this.

I agree that the way classes play these days is fairly unique, when you compare the type of play they embody (casters compared to casters, melee compared to melee, or spec vs spec). But as I hopefully pointed out, that's not what those people you referred to were talking about (I think).

It seemed like you folks were focused more on making the individual feel unique by comparing class mechanics, than what made them unique (in a good way) through interacting with other players. That sort of thing is partially why people like to say "It was fun, so Blizz nerfed it". I long for another version of Savory Deviate Delight to make it's way into the game. The little things are often the most enjoyable and memorable. Off topic on that one, but I couldn't resist :(... I want a new costume item that doesn't have some sort of drawback!! Not being able to mount, jump, or that it just lasts 5min with a really long cooldown... boring and not very memorable in use.

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