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Posts with tag ClassRoles

Thank a Tank (and everyone else) Day

I find it really interesting how class roles, originally created completely by Blizzard, have been given their own flavor by the people who play them. Take a main tank role, for instance-- sometimes it's the raidleader (although it doesn't have to be), but usually it's someone dedicated to the success of the raid, a person who likes getting their hands dirty, is super knowledgeable about both the bosses and their own gear, and both supports and benefits from (in the form of gold for repairs or first choice on equipment) the entire raid. The main tank (just like the top DPSer or the main healer) is a position created partially by Blizzard, and partially by the people who play it.

Donaven (quite randomly) calls today "Thank a Tank Day." Unfortunately, he himself is a tank, so the actual proclamation sounds more like whining about being a tank rather than a sincere thanks for a tank who knows what they're doing, but the thought is noble. Instead of just thanking tanks, how about we thank all players who take a role and fill it out to the best of their ability-- who take a job, whether it be grabbing aggro, laying down damage in the right places, or playing the whack-a-mole game of healing, and do it well and without question.

For all the QQing about PvP and all the crying about how Arena is unbalanced, the best times I have in this game are in PvE situations, where everyone is working together and doing what they're meant to, all the way until the boss' health reaches zero. The main tank plays a huge part in that, by standing where they need to stand, and laying down sunders when it counts. But when a raid is really working together, everyone does what's needed, and that's when it's really great. I'll thank everyone for that.

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Raiding, Classes

Why does everyone want to DPS?

You see them in the arenas and in the battlegrounds, looking for groups in Ironforge and Orgrimmar, and complaining on the forums and their blogs. They are ret paladins, balance druids, enhancement shamans, and shadow priests who would like to see their class be able to DPS in raids. But why does everyone want to DPS? Tanks and healers are precious commodities, and DPS are a dime a dozen.

I talked to a couple people in-game who had switched from one role to another during their time in WoW. Most of them agreed that DPS was more attractive than healing or tanking and gave a number of reasons:

  • DPSers don't have as much responsibility. Unless you pull aggro, you're probably not going to directly kill anyone as a DPSer. Healers get blamed a lot for wipes.
  • All classes are pretty much forced to learn how to DPS just to level, but may not learn tanking and healing until they get in instances (if ever.)
  • DPSers get to be right in front of the boss and directly contribute to the death of the enemy. (Note: not true for dagger rogues, who get to spent every boss fight staring at the boss's backside.)
  • The DPS role is seen as the more masculine and aggressive role, instead of protecting and healing, which are seen as more feminine roles. Or, as a female elemental shammy friend of mine said, "Guys just like to punch things." Oh, now I'm all gender-confused, because I also like to punch things.
  • DPSers can show off their individual skill and power by comparing crits and DPS meters. What are healers and tanks going to say? "Wow, look at how much aggro I held on the mob?"
  • There are simply more DPS classes than tanks or healers.

To be fair, there are also some unique challenges for DPSers:'

  • Do you know how many of us there ARE? Try getting a guild invite as a rogue or hunter.
  • Because there are so many DPSers, we're rarely praised and often mocked, since we're seen as easily replaceable. "Don't complain -- do you know how many mages would kill to get into this guild?"
  • Some healers see DPSers as big, dumb brutes who push buttons mindlesssly. This hurts our fragile self-esteem.

So I'm turning the question to you guys. Why is DPSing more popular than tanking or healing? Which role do you like the best? What could be done to even out the balance a little more?

Census above courtesy of warcraftrealms.com, level 70s on all servers.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Leveling, Classes

Has Blizzard Filled All the Class Roles?

Well, there was a ton of new info about the expansion late last week, and along with new info comes-- you guessed it-- lots and lots of speculation. One of the more interesting things that came out of the interview Joystiq had with Jeff Kaplan was the revelation that Blizzard was giving Horde pallys and Alliance shammys not just to give either side a chance to play with the class, but because they wanted to make the classes more different in how they worked. Paladins are headed for a "holy tank that heals," and Shaman can expect more "DPS and utility roles."

So while we're not technically getting a new class with the upcoming expansion, we're actually getting two. Before, Blizzard had to balance out the changes they made to either one of those classes, but now they're much freer to send either class one way or the other. A few people are worried (aren't they always?) that with all the work being done on hybrids, single role classes will be left out, but Nethaera assures us that smaller, 25-player instances will actually give more individuals a chance to shine in their own roles.

Which leaves one more question: Considering this class balancing act is getting harder and harder, will Blizzard ever come up with another class for us? Of course, it wouldn't be until the next expansion (which we already know is years from now), but Tigole has specifically told us it's still an option on the table. Are there any other roles that need to be filled, say, by a Necromancer or a Monk type class? Or, by differentiating the Shaman and Paladin class roles, has Blizzard filled in all the blanks?

Filed under: Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions

Learn2play: a guide to class roles

While trying to explain the difference between MT, OT, DPS and healer to a new player, I found this well-written guide to party roles in WoW. If you're unsure quite what the difference between a main and offtank is, or which classes are considered "DPS", it's a great read.

As a druid, I love the fact that my class appears under all headings, but as a recent instance run taught me, it's best to ensure you know which you are before you begin. Hybrid classes can cause no end of arguments when they fail to remain hybrid, too, so don't be afraid to switch roles if necessary -- a healing class that refuses to heal when the only other healer is out of mana is a great party annoyance.

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, Instances

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