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Posts with tag Role

The headspace of switching roles

The headspace of switching roles
It's about as easy to switch your role in World of Warcraft as it has ever been in the history of the game. With dual spec, you can have two ready to go. With the justice/valor system and heroic Hour of Twilight dungeons, you can have a passable off-spec set in a few days. The problem nowadays isn't gear, and it isn't having to go respec to do it. The problem is ingrained habits, and that problem can be the hardest to overcome.

It's certainly far from impossible, though.

The first thing you have to do when switching from tanking or healing to DPS or vice versa is abandon how you approached the job. You're not doing that job anymore. When I first went DPS in Firelands, it took me two weeks to get myself to stop trying to intercept mobs running for the healers or other DPSers and getting myself killed. That was because no one was healing me -- not because they didn't care, but because they had no idea I was about to get aggro on Firelands trash. Why would they? I wasn't a tank. It's not that they didn't appreciate it; it's that they had no way of anticipating I was going to do it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Cataclysm

Ol' Grumpy and the crushing disappointment of roles

There are no pure DPS classes in World of Warcraft that use two-handed melee weapons to deal damage and only one pure DPS class that can even equip them. There are literally hundreds of two-handed melee weapons in this game. This has always annoyed me, because I love big weapons. I know you know this about me.

One of the reasons I hate the argument that pure DPS classes should have dibs on top DPS weapons is that in order for me to play a character that uses a two-hander, I have no choice but to play a hybrid. In fact, in order to play as melee DPSer at all, I either have to play a rogue (all three rogue trees dual wield small, fast weapons) or a hybrid. Those are my options. If I wanted to play ranged DPS, I could pick from one of three possible pure classes, but if I want to melee, I'm forced to either give up the weapons I enjoy and take up a playstyle I don't like or accept that I will be forced to DPS at a penalty and be expected and/or pressured to tank.

This to me is asking me to pay twice, and it's unacceptable. Last week, Ghostcrawler posted an excellent discussion on class and role that I highly recommend everyone check out, and it seriously has me pondering what design I'd prefer for World of Warcraft and indeed how I feel about classes and roles entirely.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Raid Rx: Can healing be diversified further?

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street (lead developer) published a developer blog post a few days ago and shared thoughts about roles within the game. DPS classes tend to have multiple specs that can be switched to in order to provide a different set of damage spells and utilities. Some of the examples cited included warlocks and rogues, since they're straight DPS classes. Would it be possible to hypothesize and think about single-role healing classes with varied specs? While I don't think it is unheard of, I can already think about the different logistical and gameplay difficulties that are going to come with it.

For DPSers, you have that role divided between those players in the ranged group and those belonging to the melee. With healing, you're limited with just being purely at range. There isn't a classified melee-only healer (and we don't know entirely how the monk will play out).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Learning your role

One of the things that playing other MMOs can do for your WoW experience is get you to question how the game does things, and more importantly, how you do them. Recently I've been flirting with the latest superhero MMO, and it does tanking differently, to the point that I had to start unlearning my WoW habits to play it.

This has me going back over the past six years and realizing I've had to relearn tanking four times now. I had to learn how to do it originally in order to start working on Molten Core for my then-guild, and then I had to relearn it in The Burning Crusade (and actually, I had to relearn it twice there, thanks to the awful implementation of rage normalization for warriors and our astonishingly bad AoE threat that whole expansion). In Wrath, I didn't so much relearn it as suddenly find it much more efficiently designed and fun. Finally, Cataclysm has me tweaking how I tank, but I can't really argue I've relearned it from the Wrath era so much as simply refined it. Meanwhile, I've also had to relearn the DPS side of my class every expansion, in much the same way.

All of this learning has been done on the fly. To paraphrase a famous quote, World of Warcraft is vast and deep, and I'm swimming forever. Most certainly, there are sources to go to for players who want to learn a new role (one of them being this site), but there's only so much you can be taught before you have to hold your nose and jump in. This makes me wonder two things. First, is there more that the game could do to teach those roles, and two, would it be beneficial or harmful to immersive gameplay if it did?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What prompted your class choice?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

You're sitting at your character creation screen, starting a brand new game, maybe with no previous gaming experience at all. Or perhaps you're well-versed in the realms of MMOs, and you have a favorite character archetype already. No matter which applies, we all started at that screen, wondering: What class should I pick? What does class choice even mean? What are tanks? How come this class's armor is so hideous? What on earth is a paladin?

For me, I was devouring the manual that came with vanilla WoW as it installed, trying to find a class I'd like. When I stumbled upon druids and the fact that they could turn into bears and kitties (and moonkin, although I didn't know that yet), I was instantly hooked. Later, in the 40-49 bracket of Warsong Gulch, after getting wrecked over and over by warlock DoTs, I thought, "Hey! Warlocks seem OP! I should make one!" And thus, the warlock was born.

A guildmate of mine chose a rogue because she'd watch her husband play and he would always exclaim how annoying they were and how much he hated rogues. His anger amused her, so rogue she went!

What influenced you? Death Grip looked awesome? You wanted to dispel Hunter's Mark because you hated that graphic (my priest!)? You wanted to shoot huge balls of fire at people? Tell us about it!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Back to where you once belonged


I always knew this day would come.

I was a tank all through Burning Crusade. A proper tank, no less, none of that arms specced but tanking anyway nonsense you could get away with in the original raid game. I was prot spec and I liked it! Sure, our AoE threat was ludicrously bad. Sure, I had to spam Devastate and HS so much that I grew a nasty cyst on my wrist. Sure, I kept having to deal with DPS players who had never tanked a day in their lives giving me tanking advice in the middle of a fight. To say I got stressed out would be an understatement. To say I ran screaming to a guild I'd been in back in the old days of WoW to take up a DPS spec and get as far away from tanking as I could would be accurate.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: A Rogue without a cause

Maximogu of Firetree posed the question "Why bring a Rogue to an 80 heroic?" in the general forums. He claimed that at this point there CC is unnecessary for most tanks that rely on AOE. Most of the trash pulls are handled by AOE classes now, making the Rogue's single target focus obsolete. He argued that Rogues are best suited with Druid tanks that do not handle multiple mobs as well as other tanking classes do.

Here are some of the reasons given for bringing a rogue along:
Anushka of Kel'Thuzad: There's a lot of nasty things that can be interrupted in most heroics. Though I wouldn't take more than one rogue.
Khadros of Frostwolf: To listen to the sound of theirs daggers going schlick schlick schlick.
Morgrimm of Korgath: Because one of my friends is a rogue.
Owari of Frostwolf: To DPS, of course.
Mypetgoat of Bladefist: It's one expendible DPS that won't roll on my gear.
Madia of Maelstrom: They need loot and stuff too.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Transitioning your role

Well, I've been thinking about doing this for almost half a year, ever since Titan's Grip was announced, and now I have. I'm a raiding fury warrior again. My job is to hit things until they are dead, or in some cases to hit them until they are dead and have the common decency to stop moving around like that.

It was a decision made harder by the glory of prot spec in its current form, but as Adam's post this week pointed out, fury is getting some nice changes that will make it even more viable, and when you come down to it, I have wanted to dual wield 2h weapons for years now. When an old friend of mine 'put the band back together', so to speak, and told me that the guild I'd raided all the 40 man original raid content with was back and that they were looking for a fury warrior for Wrath, it took a lot of time for me to decide what to do. Changing guilds was hard, as the guild I'd raided with in TBC was an excellent one and i know they'll have lots of success in Wrath, but in the end I felt like this was a move that would help keep the game fun and interesting for me.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, Expansions, Raiding, Talents, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

Ghostcrawler: The rules of the role forums


1st Rule: You do not talk about the role forums.
2nd Rule: You do not talk about the role forums.
3rd Rule: If this is your first post on the role forums, you have to fight.

There are eight rules to Fight Club, and there are eight rules to the new role forums. Coincidence? Highly likely. Ghostcrawler has referenced the movie before, and for some reason I could see him kicking the crap out of himself screaming "Don't nerf me, bro!"

But nonetheless, Ghostcrawler has outlined eight simple and easy to follow rules for these new discussion forums. We'll take a look at them all after the break, but the highlight of the rules is rule #4 which in part says, "Sometimes Blizzard employees, such as me, respond to threads." That along with the preamble remark that "...class designers, such as myself, visit [the class forums] less often than the role forums," makes these new forums very interesting.

It looks like the discussion and back and forth we've come to see in the beta will continue on the new role forums. This can only lead to good things.

The full rules after the break for all you special and unique snowflakes.

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Filed under: News items, Forums

WoW Rookie: Lowbie instance guide


Dungeons, known as instances, are special zones where players group together to fight tougher monsters than the outside environment. They are called instances because each group who enters them is given a separate copy of the dungeon and will not interact with other players of either faction when inside. Higher quality loot is available in instances than the environment, in addition to excellent quest experience and rewards. Today's WoW Rookie gives you a guide to the dungeons may enter in your first forty levels or so.

Instances are known in most cases by their initials. Notable exceptions will be listed below. This guide also gives suggested levels for completing the dungeons. Entering at a lower level will usually prove difficult and, at times, painful. If you do an instance at a higher level than recommended will garner little experience and rewards that do not benefit your current level.

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Filed under: How-tos, Instances, Leveling, Guides, WoW Rookie

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