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Posts with tag classes

Breakfast Topic: Why do you love your spec?

It's no secret: I love being a shadow priest. I've played plenty of other characters over my lengthy World of Warcraft career. My first character was a fury warrior. I've leveled a balance druid and shammy to 80 and then to 85. I've even started rogue and mage alts. But for all of that, there's no class I love more than my priest, no spec I love more than shadow.

There are many reasons why I love my class. I love the mana system more than the other systems of energy and rage. I love the unmatched power of the Dispersion defensive cooldown. I love how every point of damage I do rewards a small percentage back to me as self-healing. I love shadow priest lore. And most of all, I love how badass I look in Shadowform.

I love shadow priesting so much that I cannot begin to comprehend why anyone would play any other spec ... which is why I'm putting the question out there: What do you love most about the class and spec you play?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The New Class: Monks and class balance

I've wanted to talk about this for a while. The game's hybrid vs. pure debate is about to swing into high gear. With the monk, not only will there be a third class that can tank, heal or DPS, but it will be doing these things with entirely new mechanics. What does the monk mean for everyone, both those who will adopt and love it and those who will have to compete against it?

The first change the monk brings along with it is simple: the class numbers game. Not only will we have 11 classes now, but all sorts of other numbers change as well. For instance, there will now be five classes capable of tanking and five capable of healing. We'll have four pure DPS classes and seven hybrids that can DPS. There will be a total of 33 specializations (although it may be easier to balance with talents shifting to the new system) to design around.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

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: Does gender influence class choice?

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

A while back I ran a survey for a course I was taking and I enlisted the help of the WoW community. One of the more interesting results that came out of the survey was what classes the different genders played. From most played to least played, the classes were:

  • Men paladin, druid, shaman, warrior, death knight, priest, mage, hunter, rogue, and then warlock
  • Women druid, priest, paladin, shaman, hunter, mage, warlock, death knight, warrior, and then rogue

What you might notice is that men prefer the three-role hybrids, then the two-role hybrids, then the pure DPS classes. For women, the order of popularity is classes that can heal, classes that do ranged DPS, then the pure melee classes. The results of the survey would seem to imply that women and men have entirely different ways of approaching class choice. Men seem to judge a class based upon how much utility it provides or how flexible it is, whereas women seem to be more focused on what they'll be doing and where they'll be doing it.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Balancing class strength and flavor

One of the things I hear a lot from other tanks (especially paladin tanks) is how much they envy Charge, and especially being able to Charge in combat. "Man, I'd give up X for Charge." Usually what they want to give up is their shield throw, or their AoE taunt, which of course is not a terribly compelling idea: warriors have parallels for these abilities and charge isn't one of them. Heroic Throw is our weaker form of Avenger's Shield and Challenging Shout is our stronger but longer cooldown AoE taunt. As soon as they gave up Righteous Defense (which rocks on the Lich King fight, btw) they'd just say "Man, I'd give up X for Challenging Shout" anyway. If warriors actually managed to give up Shockwave for Consecration they'd want it back in a week.

What it ultimately comes down to is the difference between a necessary ability and one that is useful but not necessary. You also need to take iconic roles into account. I doubt many would support giving warriors Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Sanctuary, Lay on Hands, the paladin system of Auras, or what have you. The ability to die without taking equipment damage via Divine Intervention? How much, exactly, is Charge worth and if it's so pivotal to tanking why are you rolling a paladin to tank instead of a warrior? How do we keep classes compelling and interesting while giving them the tools to do the same job?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Will WoW ever have a 'DPS to heal' model?

We were just talking about it on today's podcast (thrill to the sound of three people barely awake trying to coherently discuss World of Warcraft) and hey, look, Ghostcrawler reads my mind from across the interwebs. Well, okay, no, he responded to a forum thread, but it's still interesting. Yes, interesting enough that I'm going to replicate the post here before discussing it. I am out of control, a renegade, I should hand in my posting badge and keyboard.

Ghostcrawler - Re: What's wrong with an Active Mana Regen Model?
I'm not sure we'd ever do a "deal damage to heal" model. It might work for new classes, but feels like a big change to existing classes that players know and love.

Having choices to get mana back is good. Standing around to regen mana is bad.

However, we still ultimately need a way that healers who are playing badly, trying to keep alive an undergeared / underskilled tank, or just tackling content that they're not yet ready for, can run out of mana to the extent that the encounter is over.



Personally, I hope that 'it might work for new classes' statement means we'll finally get something like a Warhammer Warrior Priest. I'm still jazzed from seeing Diablo III's version of the Monk and I'd be thrilled if they created a cloth wearing, staff wielding, spirit and intellect utilizing melee healer. I'm sad that they've ruled it out for any current classes (man, it would rock for paladins in my opinion and would single handedly make me like that class) but I'm very hopeful we'll be monking it up in an expansion or two.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Are Bloodlust/Heroism drums incoming?

If you're a shaman you're familiar with the "grar grar grar grar" sound of Bloodlust or the "ktang!" of Heroism, its Alliance counterpart. For a long time one of the complaints has been that you absolutely had to have a shaman along in order to gain access to this buff. Even when leatherworking drums and inscription scrolls were created for lesser versions of buffs like Blessing of Kings and Prayer of Fortitude, Bloodlust/Heroism were still a unique buff to the shaman class.

Is that going to change? A discussion on the forums leads to Ghostcrawler revealing that yes, they are considering allowing Bloodlust/Heroism be a buff one can gain through an item. Now, I'm torn. On the one hand, NO! Keep your filthy crafter fingers off of my precious! My precious! I'll kill you! I'll kill all of you! But on the other hand, it really isn't fair at this point that Bloodlust/Heroism is pretty much the only buff we can't get a lesser version of through crafted items. A 25% speed increase for 30 seconds (or even 35) would be weak enough in comparison to real Bloodlust that you wouldn't have to worry terribly about being replaced by a drum kit. I suppose. Man, I don't want you to have my Heroism. Like I said, I'm torn.

So what do you think oh why am I even asking we all know you want my precious. My precious!

Filed under: Shaman, Leatherworking, Analysis / Opinion, Classes, Inscription

Officers' Quarters: Does class matter?


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Hello, fellow officers! This week I received an interesting question in my mailbox. It's not something I've really thought about before, but I think it's worthy of discussion. Here it is:

Hi Scott,

I had e-mailed you a couple months ago with a question. I don't remember what it was (lol), but you answered it and it helped me out a bit. I wanted to return the favor by giving you an idea for a column. I've always thought about what role a guild leader, like myself, should be playing, in relation to class, in a guild. Most Guild Leaders I know are Tanks, as am I. I just thought it would be a cool column for you to do.

Ghostey
<Struggle of the Common>

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

A new blogger survey, this time for DPS

Last weekend we spotlighted the big healer survey that went around the blogosphere a little while back -- it was chock full of information straight from healers about their classes and abilities and what they thought of them. Now, Death Goddess is aiming to do the same thing for DPS classes. She's only got a few blogs who've answered so far, but they run a good range, from hunter to warlock to mage, and maybe getting the word out like this will encourage a few more DPS-style bloggers to put their answers in the pot.

As long as we're going to keep encouraging this meme (or non-meme, as they may be saying), I'd love to see some of this stuff quantified a little bit more. It'd be interesting to put into numbers which kinds of classes like their roles best, or which situations each role likes to play more (do healers prefer raiding over 5-mans, or do DPS prefer to play solo rather than PvP?). The healer survey was a treasure trove of raw anecdotal information, but it'd be good to see this put into a spreadsheet or graph, and maybe give us a more quantified look at what people think of their class. We'll keep an eye on the DPS data and maybe try hashing it out once the list of those surveyed becomes pretty substantial.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes

Rawr updated to 2.2.25 [Update: 2.2.27]

Rawr is a great third-party app (it's open source, and doesn't interface with the game at all) that's designed to help you figure out everything you need to know about your character, including how to best buff, enchant, and gem up your gear and set up your stats for whatever you'd like to do. It started out as an app strictly for tanking druids, but recently, it's grown to include pretty much all classes and stats. Our good friends at sister site Download Squad just recently found out about it, and they've got a nice basic writeup posted that serves as a good overview if you've never used the app before.

They also mention that the app just got another update, to version 2.2.25, and all of the release notes are posted over on their site. They're also looking for help -- if you're a C# developer, or know one who can work on their rogue and hunter models, be sure to let them know. Since the program is open source, anybody who knows the code can jump in and add their own features, or fine-tune the class choices, which then helps out everyone who uses the software. Rawr is definitely an excellent resource for anyone looking to get their gear perfected -- it's a free download for Windows on their site right now.

Update: Since this post was written, the app has been updated to 2.2.27. That was fast!

Filed under: Items, Tips, How-tos, Classes, Buffs

The argument for paladin stances

Righteous Defense lays out an intriguing argument for an idea that I still personally can't get behind: paladin stances. The recent changes around patch 3.3 have shined a light on paladin versatility, and basically, paladins are forced to pay the hybrid tax three times over -- because they can do it all without limiting themselves, they can't do anything as well as other classes. So RD makes the suggestion: instead of letting paladins have all of their spells under any aura, it's time to narrow things down a bit. Devotion Aura becomes tanking stance, gets Righteous Fury's threat bonus added to it, and enabling it makes pallies lose some other abilities (Avenger's Shield is RD's suggestion). Retribution Aura becomes a DPS "stance," with added benefits and costs, and so on. By forcing paladins into a playstyle, you can give them extra power, because you've taken away versatility.

Unfortunately for those in favor, I don't think it'll ever happen. First of all, we already have a class in the game that uses stances, and I think that this type of gameplay is too close for Blizzard's comfort to implement in the same way on paladins -- they want the classes to play different. Second, the paladin class design has always focused on the versatility of being a hybrid. While paladins may want to limit themselves to see buffs, Blizzard has never shown an inclination to limit pallies' versatility just to make them more powerful. I like the idea of Righteous Fury's buff getting linked up to something else (it definitely seems like it's out there on its own as an arbitrary tanking buff), but paladins getting a fully implemented stance system doesn't seem likely at all.

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

All the World's a Stage: The voices of every race and class speak in RP

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

All the World's a Stage has been a voice for roleplaying in WoW for over two years now. I didn't quite realize it at the time, but the article entitled "So you want to be a bad guy" was just about at the 2 year mark for this column! To celebrate belatedly, today we'll review some of the other websites about roleplaying in WoW out there. If you like All the World's a Stage, you'll probably enjoy these as well.

In addition, you will find that some of these websites have similar, but unique pages with information about roleplaying the various races and classes of Azeroth. So for those of you who would like to have a reference to all these articles in a single place, I've collected them all together in one list at the end of the article. This list includes my own articles, as well as those of all the other websites I'm about to mention which follow on the same theme.

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Lore, Factions, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Defeating the anxiety of running your first instance

One of my favorite WoW blogs, HoTs and DoTs, has a great post up about Dungeon Groups 101 -- the very basics of running instances. You may think that there's nothing more basic to the game than getting in an instance with four people and taking down a few bosses and trash, but you'd be surprised. Even in a social game like this, one of the first hurdles newbies have to deal with is joining a group to play together. They worry that they'll do things wrong and that other people will make fun of what they're wearing or playing, and that worry keeps them from enjoying my absolute favorite part of the game.

Cassandri's writeup is an excellent read for anyone who feels that way (and feel free to pass on this post to any friends or relatives you know who've been too leery to join an instance yet). She does do some basic knowledge stuff in there, just hints on the classes and what they can all do -- and our WoW Rookie posts will help out with that stuff too -- but more importantly, she says what lots of new players need to hear: that messing up in an instance isn't that big a deal, and that playing together with others (which is the reason why we're all playing an MMO rather than a single player game in the first place) is more than worth getting past any anxiety around joining a group. I've read a lot of comments like the one Cassandri quotes in her post, too, and I'm here to tell you: if you haven't run an instance yet, it's time to stop worrying about what it'll be like and give it a try.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Instances, Bosses

Ghostcrawler and the "hybrid tax"

Ghostcrawler has put a significant sticky up on the forums about what he calls the "hybrid tax" in terms of PvE play -- there's been some back and forth lately on the forums about hybrid classes and what they should and shouldn't be able to do, and GC wants to put any confusion about what Blizzard intends "hybrids" to be to rest. Very basically, he says that there are three roles in the game (tanking, healing, and DPS), and if a class can respec to perform a different role, it's considered a hybrid class. Otherwise, it's a "pure" class. This means a few things: pure classes, he says, should have slightly higher DPS ("all things being equal," and when does that ever happen?), because they don't have the option to switch out. There's no rule as to how much better that is, but as a tradeoff of rerolling being the only way for "pures" to switch, they get to be a little better. That's the "hybrid tax," and mages, hunters, rogues, and warlocks don't have to pay it.

Hybrids, however, do, and that means that paladins, druids, priests, shamans, and to a certain extent, warriors and death knights, will in Blizzard's view never be able to equal "pure" classes in terms of DPS output, with everything else being equal. You may love your ret pally, and he may be in uber gear, but he should never be able to pour out as much damage as an equally specced and geared hunter, because you can switch to healing, and the hunter can't.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Raiding, Classes, Death Knight

The five classes of guilds

Blessing of Kings does a great job with this post of putting into words (and then extending) the idea of something we've talked about many times before: all guilds are not equal. He separates them into a kind of hierarchical class structure, with "Royalty" (guilds like Stars and Ensidia) at the top of the raiding game, going down to "Aristocracy" (guilds working on hard modes), "Gentry" (guilds who've cleared normal but haven't been able to do hard modes yet), "Bourgeoisie" (guilds working on normal), and the "Proletariat" (casual folks who haven't started raiding). I think he's squeezed things down a bit farther than he should -- I would call the "Bourgeoisie" level guilds still working on Ulduar and Naxx normal fights, as I think there are quite a few of those out there. But his points are strong -- there are bands of raiding guilds, partly by Blizzard's design and partly by mere fact that people approach the content in their own ways.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Leveling

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