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Posts with tag class-roles

Do certain roles encourage bad behavior?

I still like tanking and healing more than anything else in the game, but they have their deficiencies while you're trying to smash Hexos into a well-deserved stain on the floor. In order to finish off Brawler's Guild achievements, I went DPS for the first time in 6 years and then thought, "This is actually kind of fun. Let's try some LFR and see what this puppy does in a raid."

In a matter of days, I and my hapless raid-mates encountered the following:
  • A tank who RP-walked to everything. (Spoils took forever.)
  • A tank who posted the meters after each trash pull and boss to make fun of the least well-geared DPS.
  • Tanks who couldn't be persuaded to kill the blademasters in Gates of Retributon, trapping the entire raid in perma-combat.
  • Tanks who kept taunting Thok back and forth to alternately breathe on or tail-swipe the raid.
Notice a pattern?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Are pure DPS classes really just another form of hybrid in disguise?

Once upon a time, my guild was trying its hardest to down 25-man heroic mode Lich King. It was the very end of Wrath, and we were running out of time to put an end to the boss before the inevitable launch of Cataclysm. I had been playing an assassination spec since some point between Ulduar and ToC, having given up on ever obtaining a really good combat weapon (I was partial to fist weapons; something about punching people in the face with knives appealed to me), and I was really good at it. I spent forever poring over stat caps and best-in-slot items and had just gotten the perfect set of items that capped every stat that needed to be capped.

And then it happened -- the prep patch for Cataclysm. Do you know what the best stat is for an assassination rogue in Cataclysm (other than hit, of course)? Mastery. Do you know what wasn't present on any Wrath gear? Mastery. My DPS went down, and due to sup-par burst DPS, I was sat for the realm-first 25-man heroic mode Lich King kill. I watched all my guildies ding the achievement and get the one title I was really excited about. And later, one of the officers, a druid, asked me flat out -- why didn't I have a backup combat spec?

Oh ... if only he knew.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Dev Watercooler: Ghostcrawler on class roles

With the Mists of Pandaria press event still a month down the road, Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has posted a new Dev Watercooler to keep us busy. This time, he philosophizes on the role of class roles. He cautions up front that this is not meant to be any sort of announcement or even hint at what's to come in Mists of Pandaria.

But at the same time, the struggle of what to do with class roles is one that's always relevant and ongoing within the game, and that includes Mists of Pandaria. Ghostcrawler gets right into the meat of it with this blog, asking questions and discussing various methods of balance. Do we strive for perfect balance among all DPS specs? Is it fine to leave certain specs with specialties? Should we return to the days of the solid divide between PvP and PvE specs, as it was in the vanilla era? Should each class just have one DPS talent tree? Read on for all of Ghostcrawler's comments.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Breakfast Topic: What roles do you play?

An interesting thread popped up on the forums a few days ago that I wanted to ask our readers about here at -- what roles have you tried in the game, and has experimentation with other roles changed how you play overall?

Right now my main spends her time tanking and healing at an even 50/50 split. Healing's made me a more observant tank; I have a better appreciation of what a heal team goes through to keep my furry rump alive. Tanking hasn't exactly made me a better healer -- the two roles are so different that I even wind up redoing a portion of my UI while jumping between them -- but it's made me more forgiving of tank mistakes, and also left me in a better position to gauge whether a problem is the result of the tank or another group member. Damage-wise? Oddly enough, playing as a tank/healer for so long has made me into a hesitant DPS at best. I hate losing aggro to anyone as a tank, and hate healing oblivious DPS who pull it, and that's made me incredibly paranoid about my threat as a DPS. I watch Omen way more than I worry about my rotation.

So what role do you normally play in the game? If you change roles at all, do you notice experience from one role having an effect on how you play others?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The Queue: Why are warriors so awesome?

Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky be your host today.

Today has to have some special significance. If you take the month and the year and add them together and subtract 2000 you get the day. The day. It's like, the world is going to end or something, and it isn't even 2012!

Oh well, here are the last questions I'll ever answer in The Queue, because it's the end of the world as we know it (which happens to be today's reading music).

Rhornez asked...

"Why are warriors so awesome?"

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Filed under: Mage, Priest, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Breakfast Topic: The one-of-every-class club

A friend of mine just dinged 80 again the other day, and it put him into a community that we joked about: the "one-of-every-class" club. Like a few of our readers (including William B, who emailed us a while back), he now has ten 80s, one of every single class in the game. It's not something I'd ever do, or ever want to do, but certainly there are probably quite a few people out there who've gone all the way to the highest level with every single class.

As Turpster would say, it definitely gives you a nice overview of how all the classes work and what their strengths and issues are. And of course it'd be handy to run instances with -- you can roll into endgame instances playing whatever role you want or your guild needs to have.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Classes

Breakfast Topic: Which role is the hardest?

This is a pretty old post, and it's a question that's been asked before, but it's still an interesting one: what's the hardest role in a raid? Ghostcrawler says he doesn't find one of the three roles (tanking, healing, and DPS) to be "hands down harder" than the others, although he does call tanking and healing "probably more stressful."

As someone who's done all three in raids a fair bit, I feel pretty confident saying DPSing is hands-down easier than the other two roles. Of course, it varies fight-by-fight, but typically the most that's asked of DPS is "don't stand in the fire" and sometimes "switch DPS to X." It does take some research and work to get the optimal rotation down, and some classes (like Death Knights) have it harder than others (cough Ret Pallies), but the raid just doesn't rely on your split-second reflexes the way it does for tanks and healers. Heck, last night I caused a wipe by just saying the wrong thing while tanking.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Classes

Crygil wants to know what you think of class roles

CM Crygil has posted a very general thread over on the forums asking players what they think of the various class roles out there: "Ranged/Melee/DPS, Tanking and Healing." As you probably have noticed, those three roles make up what are often called the Holy Trinity in role-playing games and MMOs: either you do damage, prevent damage, or recover from damage, and those three roles make up the basics of most roleplaying combat systems, including the battles in World of Warcraft.

But as quite a few people in the thread say, they're not quite sure just why Crygil is asking for this information. Sure, there are lots of good and informative answers in here (most people actually spread out "the trinity" to four roles, splitting melee/close combat and ranged/magic combat into two parts), but as there has always been, there's really nothing outside of the kind of thinking that's been done before on the subject -- anytime developers try to break out a new part of the trinity of roles, they either fall right back into the stereotypes (a bard that casts magic damage "songs" is really just a dressed up Mage), or they end up breaking the game (mind control/crowd controller is a new class idea that's been played around with before, but as Blizzard has discovered, it's extremely hard to balance that exactly right).

As Crygil later says, these questions are his, not Blizzard's -- he just wants to get some perspective on what the forums dwellers think of how the current roles work. And he promises that CC is "on its way back," so maybe Blizzard will try to do some more experimenting with the different types of roles classes can play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

Arcane Brilliance: Mages hate Warlocks, and then Warlocks drain our hate and kill us with it.

Every week Arcane Brilliance strives to deliver a tiny parcel full of Mage-craft to your doorsteps. Not your real doorsteps, that would be creepy. Your virtual interweb doorsteps. This week, in addition to its usual magey goodness, that tiny parcel is pulsating with warlockian evil. You've been warned.

In case I haven't been clear on this in the past, I hate Warlocks. I've hated them since I was a child, when a Warlock ate my family. Just kidding, that didn't actually happen. My family is alive and well. In fact, I would say my Warlock prejudices originated as recently as last year, when I hit level 70 and took my first wide-eyed look at the brutal world of end-game PvP.

When our own V'Ming Chew (the only decent Warlock I know) suggested that we engage in a little back-and-forth in yesterday's Blood Pact column I was at first reluctant. I worried that halfway though the series of emails we sent back and forth to each other I might realize that I had 8 different DoTs hovering above my head, and a felhound might at some point end up eating my face. That didn't happen. Well, a felhound did eat my face, but that was in a completely unrelated Arena match last night. In fact, I thought the dialog went quite well: we agreed on a few points, agreed to disagree on other points, and nobody got killed. Or had their souls drained from their bodies.

Still, and not just because as a Mage it is my job to QQ more, I felt there was more to say. Last week I promised you a look at the Mage/Warlock rivalry, and after the break, I will try to deliver on that promise.

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Filed under: Mage, Warlock, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Classes, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Arena

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