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Filed under: Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Itemization, Patch 2.4 and beyond!

My original intent for this week's Hybrid Theory was to take a close look at the Badge Gear for Hybrids in patch 2.4, but that turned into a monstrous project that left my head spinning. I remained vigilant, until I saw the specific class columns were working on this themselves, starting with Shifting Perspectives. Upon hearing that, I jumped for joy and it was as if the Heavens opened up and thousands of beautiful angels embraced me against their supple forms.

So instead of filling your browser with loot links and badge prices, I'm going to talk about the future of itemization, from patch 2.4 and onward.

"We do plan to have more specs share some loot. I know it's great when the Retribution-Paladin piece drops, but that's a piece that isn't good for 26 other classes/specs, so hopefully we can make it so the item will apply to more classes/specs so even the randomness of loot won't be so much of a big deal."

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Dear engineers, please build me a walking bank

Welcome to another installment of Hybrid Theory, wherein columnist Alex Ziebart assures the world that he does not, in fact, hate Retribution Protection Paladins. In fact, he raids with a Retribution Protection Paladin. Really. He does. Pinky swear.

Nearly every hybrid has felt the sorrows of lacking itemization at one time or another. Every hybrid has seen its ups and its down, has watched class balance fall into and out of order, and embraced their spec through the good and the bad. Throughout all of this, though, there has always been one ever-present issue. Completely unchanging. Viability and acceptance? Oh, no no no.

Bag space. The Blue Crew of Blizzard has made it very clear over the last few years that limited bag space is fully intended. It's viewed as an important aspect of game play. A mini-game, if you will. I must say, being forced into choosing whether you want to keep an item you enjoy or vendor it in favor of that new piece of resist gear that is mandatory for your raid's upcoming boss fight is the worst game ever. Sometimes little vanity items mean quite a bit, like your first epic. A lot of them are just plain neat, like the furbolg outfit maker.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: What can I do? part 2

Hybrid Theory comes to you yet again from blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart. You're in for thrills, chills, and quite possibly some useful information, but I doubt it.

Last week on Hybrid Theory, I got into some of the basic details of what would make you and your spec desirable in a raid. I covered the DPS specs, and this week I'll be covering tanks and healers. Warriors, priests, I'll be leaving you out of this one. I love you, really, I do! But it's that conditional love, where I only love you if you're specced how I like. I hear Rossi, Knox and Harper still love you! Man, they sound way cooler when you refer to them by their last names, don't they? Like detectives, or super heroes.

...Right. Anyway! I'll be detailing the strong points of the tanking and healing specs of our beloved hybrids, and the utility you provide. Should you be looking for a new raid group anytime soon, these will be the things you'll want to keep in mind when asked what you can offer a raid. Having good gear and knowing how to play is also a plus, but this is a start.

Never fear you QQasuals(just kidding!) out there, next week I'll take a step back from the raiding scene and cover some of the new toys in Patch 2.4 and what they mean to you. However, it isn't next week yet, so read on!

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: What can I do?

Welcome to another installment of Hybrid Theory, wherein columnist Alex Ziebart assures the world that he does not, in fact, hate Retribution Paladins. In fact, he raids with a Retribution Paladin. Really. He does. Pinky swear.

Let's face it, folks. A lot of raid leaders have very little idea what they're doing when they're brand new to the raiding thing. I was there once, too. Until you have some experience in the 25-man raids, you have very little idea how group synergy works or anything of that sort. As a hybrid, especially one specced in a tree other than your healing tree, this could cause you some issues when looking to break into raiding from the ground level, rather than filling a gap in an existing raid that generally knows what's what.

You will most likely find that you'll need to sell yourself to raid leaders. What can you bring to the table? What can you do that a mage can't? What can you do that a rogue can't? The answer: Quite a bit! First thing to keep in mind, though, is that as a hybrid, you will probably not do as much damage as the other DPS classes in the raid. Healing specced, you will keep up just fine. Damage specced? Well, you won't keep up on every encounter. That's okay though. You don't need to. Why? Because you specifically allow those other classes to meet their maximum potential.

I'll go through each of the damage specs one by one. Tanks, healers, sorry. You come next week. I'm writing a column, not a novel!

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Raiding, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: What's a hybrid? v2.0

Hybrid Theory returns under the banner of column-newb Alex Ziebart. Incredibly biased opinions await you. If you are reading this, you have already been made a victim of his inability to create interesting graphics. No World of Warcraft players were harmed in the creation of the previous image, though that does not mean it won't hurt you.

When I decided on my topic for today, I was mighty excited. A fire raged within me, and my fingers flew over the keyboard as soon as I sat down at the computer. My first column! Awesome! Yes! About three paragraphs in, I realized I should probably make sure my predecessor, Jason Lotito, hadn't done the topic yet. Unfortunately, he did. Fortunately, I completely disagree with what he said in every possible way.


What is a hybrid class? The basic answer is pretty simple: A class with multiple viable roles. Paladins, Druids and Shaman are obvious examples of a hybrid class. If you disagree with the fact that they're hybrids, you must be playing the wrong game. Holy, Retribution, Protection. Feral, Balance, Restoration. Elemental, Enhancement, Restoration. All of them are viable specs, especially in raiding. As fun as it is to mock Retribution Paladins, even they have a place in the end-game.

Basically, Shamadruidins are hybrids. Don't try to argue that they aren't because you will lose.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: What's a hybrid?

Each week, Jason Lotito contributes Hybrid Theory, a new column on hybrid classes in World of Warcraft.

Each week I bring to you my views and the news of the hybrid community. In true form, each week I get comments from readers debating my views. Without fail, each week people bring priests and warriors into the mix as well. This week, I'd like to tackle that issue.

Let me first start by explaining the opinion of some that warriors and priests are hybrids. They point to the actual definition of a hybrid as proof. Of course, at face value, when you consider the trinity of tank, damage-dealer, and healer, both priests and warriors seem to be hybrids; built up to perform multiple roles. Honestly, unlike rogues, mages, warlocks, and hunters, whose only role of the three is damage, it makes sense.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Getting into raids as an off-spec

Each week, Jason Lotito contributes Hybrid Theory, a new column on hybrid classes in World of Warcraft.

Last week we discussed hybrids playing more than just the healing role and the flame wars that causes on the forums. This week I'd like to focus more on off-spec hybrids and how they can get into raids. Let's be clear now -- I'm focusing on off-spec hybrids and them getting into 25-man raids. And we aren't just talking about farmed content. I'm focusing on real progression raids. So let's get started!

Be realistic

Knowing if you can actually fill your needed role is important. But you have to be honest and realize that just not everyone is open to allowing off-specs into raids. And while you might get into a raid eventually, are you actually a regular player? Are you someone who is actually contributing to the raid as a whole?

The whole goal is for you to play an active part in your raids daily successes, not sitting on the sideline hoping for a pity invite. So really you have to ask yourself from the outset if your guild and raid leader are open to giving you an honest shot.

One way to go about doing this is to get support from key members of the guild. Class leaders and officers can do a lot in getting you in on raids. Of course, it also doesn't hurt if you are an officer or guild leader yourself.

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Filed under: Tips, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Healers aren't hybrids?

Each week, Jason Lotito contributes Hybrid Theory, a new column on hybrid classes in World of Warcraft.

Healing has long been the widely accepted, much debated, raiding role of most hybrids. Most of the discussions regarding hybrid viability in end-game raiding are on helping hybrids in non-healing areas. This leads to a lot of discussion on the class boards that revolve around making other trees equally viable, or at least making them as desirable as the healing role. The outside audience generally views hybrids as healers first. Sure, the concept of a protection paladin, a feral druid, and a enhancement shaman enter the discussion on occasion, but at the end of the day, the popular opinion is if you have healing spells, you are healing.

This very attitude has long dictated many hybrids specs. For many hybrids, the desire to see end-game dominated their desire to play what is known as an off-spec build. These players bit the bullet and went the healing route. This isn't to suggest all players chose their healing spec because of outside pressure. Many healers really did want to heal and enjoy the art of healing.

Regardless, the attitude of many hybrids is to look down at those who spec for healing regardless of the reasons. Who's to blame them though? Often these players are playing an off-spec themselves. The retribution paladin or the "Boomkin" have been on the receiving end of these attacks for a long time, and all too often it's the healers making these very attacks.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Talents, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Three parts awesome, one part me

Each week, Jason Lotito contributes Hybrid Theory, a new column on hybrid classes in World of Warcraft.

I've never written an article about myself. I've never thought about what I should say if I was introducing. Despite being confident in my ideas (some call this arrogance), I'm actually quite humble about my accomplishments. I didn't want to start my column with an introduction. I wanted to show you exactly what it is you were going to get rather than just talk about what I intended you would get. Actions speak louder than words, though in this case, my words were my actions.

Frankly, my first article was a smashing success.

But now it's time for me to introduce myself to you. To give you an understanding of whom I am, where I come from, and my experiences as a player.

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Filed under: Paladin, Shaman, Raiding, Hybrid Theory

Hybrid Theory: Why paladin tanking needs buffs

Each week, Jason Lotito contributes Hybrid Theory, a new column on hybrid classes in World of Warcraft.

Prior to the expansion, paladin tanking wasn't something many people took seriously. A few daring paladins tanked and kept alive the hope that one day the paladin class would be a serious contender for the role of main tank. With the expansion, paladin tanking was suddenly taken seriously. Being a protection paladin was no longer considered just a gimmick, but a real spec with the very real goal of main tanking.

For many paladins, this was a welcomed change to the class. Making paladin tanking more appealing to the masses pushed the stereotype of paladins being strictly healers out the door. With the expansion, paladins started working together to find what worked, and more importantly what didn't work.

Of course, any discussion of tanking would lead naturally to comparing the class to a warrior. Druids went through the same treatment at the start of The Burning Crusade. Though, in the case of druids, the consensus was druids being able to spec for both tanking and DPS with the same build was too overpowering. Through the first couple of patches, druids and warriors were balanced out, and in the end, both were made comparable. Druids come away still being viable tanks, and protection warriors still retain the role they feared losing. During this time, protection paladins didn't see much in the way of any changes despite much feedback.

But I'm geting ahead of myself.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Hybrid Theory

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