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Posts with tag bring-the-player-not-the-class

Yes, we need no new classes

In The Queue the other day, an intrepid reader asked about opinions on a new type of mail-wearing class. I can see the appeal of certain types of new classes, for sure -- one to wear mail armor, as suggested, or another one to wear intellect plate -- but to be perfectly honest, I really, truly hope that we are forever done with seeing new classes added to WoW.

I've talked about this with a few other people, and as expected, opinions are mixed. Some people are horrified at the idea of never having a new class again in WoW, and other people, like myself, are relieved. I really, truly do believe that adding more classes to WoW would only create headaches for everyone, developers and players alike. I'd much rather see the required resources in design, development, and maintenance go to other aspects of the game such as dungeons, raids, scenarios, quests, and events, than to creating and continuously balancing still more classes. So, without further ado, I present three arguments as to why there should be no more new classes in WoW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Do warlocks bring too much utility to a raid?

Over the years Blizzard has created more and more overlap between certain aspects of different classes so as to allow more flexibility in choosing who you bring to a raid. For example, as a long-time druid raider, it still makes me an itty bitty bit sad every time I see a paladin overwrite my Mark of the Wild with Blessing of Kings. I remember the days when those were different buffs, dangit! On Twitter, players have been venting their frustration at Ghostcrawler about just this kind of thing:
Now, that's an interesting response, and it got us at WoW Insider thinking. Do warlocks really bring too much utility? In my 10-man raid team, our guild leader nearly always plays his warlock, and there are certainly a number of perks to that. Summoning is very nice, and saves us a run back out the instance if we need to bring in a different toon halfway through. Soulstones have brought me back to life on a number of occasions, the raid constantly asks for Healthstones, and both warlocks themselves and their minions bring various buffs and forms of crowd control that always come in handy. And portals! Portals make many, many things much more convenient.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Bring the player, not the class, except maybe healers

"Bring the player, not the class" has become a cliché by now. However, there's been new discussion about it lately on the official forums. This portion of the discussion focuses on an exception - healers. While Blizzard's player-centric design mantra tends to apply pretty well to DPS (and often tanks), it isn't really true for healers.

When putting together your healer team for a successful raid, especially a 25 man raid, you need some variety. You don't need a Discipline Priest's Pain Suppression and Power Word: Shield, but it sure as heck can feel that way. You don't need a Resto Druid's Lifebloom, but it sure helps. Ultimately, you're often best to have one of each -- variety seems to be the way to go with heals. Ghostcrawler has been discussing some very interesting points on the forums, which we'll take a closer look at below the cut.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Give Bloodlust to Rogues

The idea behind "Bring the player, not the class" is that raid stacking shouldn't be as big of a deal as it was during, oh, say, Sunwell. For each buff and debuff, we have a few different classes that can provide it, so raid leaders don't have to go too far out of their way to get good coverage.

However, what single buff was the biggest factor causing guilds to stack a particular class in Sunwell? Ten points if you said "Bloodlust/Heroism." And that is, irritatingly enough, one of the few remaining buffs that no other class has; if you want Bloodlust, you need a shaman, period.

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Filed under: Rogue, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Buffs

Loot, rationality, and the Sunwell effect

Here at WoW Insider we don't always agree with each other. Whether it's debating the merits of various tanks on different encounters, the damage difference between pure and hybrid DPS classes, the ideal function of a particular healing class in raids, or the superiority of cake over pie, our back-channel discussion tends to be pretty interesting.

Eliah Hecht's article "25-man gear should not be better than 10-man gear" sparked a lot of great discussion with our readers and, I think, some illuminating poll results as well. The majority of responders believed that giving 10-man and 25-man raids the same loot table would result in a significant drop in popularity for 25-man raiding. Overall, I tend to agree with this, but I also think that Eliah touched on something that speaks to Blizzard's evolving sense of game design, much of which is evident in the transition between late Burning Crusade and Wrath.

I would like to call this the Sunwell effect, or "ingame rationality." To wit: don't incentivize players to behave in a manner contrary to your actual design interests. I believe this played a huge role in the differences between BC and Wrath raiding, and that it underlies why the 25-man loot table has to remain superior to its 10-man counterpart.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Blizzard's patch 3.1 goals

The blues have been very open lately about the direction that Blizz is taking and the goals that they're trying to achieve. Three, in particular, come to mind when considering patch 3.1 and its effect on tanks and healers in particular:
  1. Bring the player, not the class.
  2. Healing should be more interactive and interesting.
  3. The tanks need to be on par in order to satisfy #1, in terms of performance and stats, yet they do not want to further homogenize the classes.
Obviously, Blizzard has not finished making the 3.1 changes, but we can already see the ways in which they are tackling these goals. Druid healing is getting a controversial overhaul, tanks are having their health and armor adjusted, and some tank talents even seem to be creeping across the board. This leaves some bears, for example, feeling like fuzzy, big-butt warriors.

How are you feeling so far about the direction Blizzard is taking your main character? Even if it isn't perfect yet, are you excited about what you think your class will look like, or are you worried about your favorite spec/role?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Classes

Does 'bring the player, not the class' apply in PvP?

We've been discussing the whole 'bring the player, not the class' idea, playfully dubbed by Eliah as BTPNTC, and in raids this boils down to a few core abilities or effects that Blizzard feels are mandatory. It was such a powerful statement that it got Eliah's mind doing all sorts of math about it. That said, the same doesn't quite apply to PvP. In Arenas, particularly, some compositions are simply more viable and synergistic than others. Take the incredible cohesion of Rogue-Mage-Priest, which continues to be a powerful comp even in Level 80 Arena play (as seen in the current ESL tournament).

When asked the question of whether BTPNTC applies to PvP, as well, Ghostcrawler had a succinct answer: "we're not sure." He explains that the immediate concern is to make all specs equally viable in PvP (read: Arenas), with particular focus on the class specs that have historically been underrepresented. I can tell you right off that that they probably overcompensated with Survival Hunters. With such limited numbers -- twos, threes, and fives -- it's quite unreasonable to think that just any combination of classes and specs will work the same way they do in PvE.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Forums, Arena

What they really meant by "bring the player, not the class"

We here at WoW Insider and others around the WoW community have talked so much about the term "bring the player, not the class" that I'm a little surprised we haven't started shortening it to "BTPNTC." But apparently I, at least, have not really understood what Blizzard meant by it when they said it was part of their new philosophy of balancing for raids.

Ghostcrawler basically QFTs another forum poster who said the following: "Blizzard has repeatedly stated they didn't mean any class will be identical to all other classes in effectiveness for your last raid slot. Blizzard has provided a bunch of options you can choose from to get Replenishment, but expects you to choose one of those options. If any choice were a valid choice, there would be no incentive to think about the choice you make. Blizzard wants you to think about your group composition."

As you may have gathered, this is in the contest of "A plea to remove Replenishment." What Blizzard, then, apparently means by BTPNTC is that it's now easier to get your (semi-)required buff and debuff coverage, not that you can do it with any old group. Sort of like threat for tanks, the mini-game of group composition has been made easier, but not made a non-issue. Honestly, I do think Replenishment should be removed – I don't see how requiring my 10-man raid to bring one of five specific DPS specs, or face the consequences, makes the game more fun. But it's good to have some insight into the developers' mindset.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Ghostcrawler on the success of "bring the player not the class"

You have heard Blizzard's motto for raiding in Wrath of the Lich King, "bring the player not the class." The intent is to steer away from strict raid composition and shake things up.

Encounters are being designed so that no one single class is necessary, although the 25-man Razuvious fight currently requires at least one priest, preferably two or three, with at least one specced shadow.

Classes are being designed so that many necessary buffs, such as Replenishment, can be acquired through a variety of classes, rather than just one.

The rigidity that came with Sunwell is one of the reasons that development has taken this direction. The motto sparked high hopes, and not all players are convinced that the implementation has been successful.

In response, Ghostcrawler points out that just like everything in WoW, it is a process. It's not going to be perfect, because things are always changing.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

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