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Posts with tag hybrid-tax

Encrypted Text: Rogue news from BlizzCon 2011

blizzcon qa panel
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

I love BlizzCon. I am a long-time fan of each of Blizzard's Big Three games, and I am eagerly awaiting next year's triple release of Diablo 3 paired with the StarCraft and WoW expansions. Channeling my rogue reflexes, I conquered the BlizzCon ticket boss again this year, so I had the opportunity to visit BlizzCon in person. While in Anaheim, I tried out a Pandaren monk, crushed some cowards in a Diablo PVP match, and shredded a batch of zerglings before losing to so many banelings. To all of those who I met at the WoW Insider Reader Meetup and on the convention floor, it was great to meet you!

I have been collecting my notes on what we learned at BlizzCon about the future of rogues, but I am realizing that there's not much news. We're losing access to ranged weapons, but we will be able to simply throw our melee weapons with Throw and Fan of Knives. The revamp of the talent system affects everyone, and there's no use diving into the new trees since they're not even close to being finalized. Pandaren rogues will be available in Mists of Pandaria, but that's not really exciting information, is it?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Spiritual Guidance: Revisiting the hybrid tax

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. And every Wednesday, Fox Van Allen takes over, encouraging priests to abandon the light in favor of the shadow. Shadow priesting: Because friends don't let friends lolsmite.

When I first sat down to write, I had decided my column this week was going to be all about patch 4.1.0 and the PTR. Once I started looking through all the priest class changes, though ... well, there's not much there. That's not to say there aren't any changes. There are some tweaks to Power Word: Shield (which I do use all the time), and Inner Fire no longer has a duration (which is great). It's just that there are no changes to our damage-dealing spells in the mix.

Perhaps that's a good thing. Our boomkin friends are getting a pretty ugly-looking nerf to Starsurge in patch 4.1.0, which surprised me a little bit. Admittedly, I'm no expert on balance druids, but from what I've seen on the DPS meters, their damage didn't seem stratospheric. In fact, I usually see boomkins trailing shadow priests across the board.

The whole thing got me thinking. Why are boomkins being nerfed if they're not topping the meters? Is it a "hybrid tax" thing? Does the hybrid tax even still exist in Cataclysm? And what does it all mean for shadow priests in a post-4.1.0 world?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Tom Chilton retrospective interview on Wrath of the Lich King

There's an excellent interview with Tom Chilton, the World of Warcraft lead game designer, up on GameInformer. Lots of stuff we've heard before, but there are some interesting talking points. For example:
  • They are looking into extending the dungeon finder to 10-man content.
  • Chilton hinted that we may see a new boss in the Ruby Sanctum before Cataclysm launches
  • They have a "general philosophical approach of getting the hybrids to where they're close to the DPS classes when it comes to DPS roles. Otherwise, those specs just turn into joke specs."
  • They feel warlocks could use a boost to their DPS.
  • Tol Barad, the Cataclysm equivalent to Wintergrasp, will be more of a Isle of Quel'Danas style daily quest hub instead of a farming zone.
  • Before settling on death knights for Wrath of the Lich King's hero class, they specifically debated necromancers and rune-masters.
  • They feel that with all the accessibility work they did on end game PvE in Wrath, end game PvP has become harder to get into by comparison.
It's a three page interview, so click through to read the whole thing! What really struck me reading this was that comment about hybrid DPS compared to pure. This "hybrid tax" concept has been harped on by posters on the official forums for a long time now, and this is a fairly straightforward way of putting it.

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

[1.Local]: An Ensidia-free zone

Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Grab a cushion, flop down and give your weary dogs (puppies?) a rest. The photo above notwithstanding, rest assured that the rest of [1.Local] this week is an Ensidia-free zone. (So is the world-first 25-man Lich King kill, for that matter.) Can you imagine having to hash that out yet again? What a relief that [1.Local] isn't merely a tally sheet for comments from stories with the most views -- or even the stories with the most comments, or the most positive comments, or (as comment trolls hold fast to believing) the most negative comments ... We can follow our own little quirky path through the conversation of the past week.

Let's bite into the rest of this week's goodies just like we all like it: nice and meaty, with a little bit of hot, runny juices from the odd little beasts we discovered just down yonder, off the beaten track...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, [1.Local]

Spiritual Guidance: Paying the hybrid tax



Every Wednesday, Fox Van Allen uses his dark, shadowy powers
to take the reins of Spiritual Guidance, causing severe harm to others in the form of large, yellow five-digit numbers. Holy and disc brethren, alike -- come join the dark side before his shadowfiend eats you.

Fact: Priests are pretty much awesome.

It's because we're versatile. We can DPS the living snot out of Lord Marrowgar in shadow, and then change to discipline so we can cover the raid in Power Word: Shields and Renews for Deathbringer Saurfang. Heck, we can even do both. We're just that awesome.

But awesomeness comes at a price, my friends, and that price is called the hybrid tax. It's the term commonly used to explain why our DPS is designed to lag behind that of mages, warlocks, hunters, and rogues -- the pure DPS classes. If you're a jack of all trades, you're supposed to be a master of none.

(It's cool though, they need the handout. It really sucks not being a Priest.)

We can be forgiven, though, for looking at Recount or a World of Logs parse and thinking that whatever the hybrid tax is, it's just way too high. But is it really? Are we finally doing the kind of damage that we should?

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance, Wrath of the Lich King

The Light and How to Swing It: A little less hybrid


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown.

Ghostcrawler has been doing a lot of talking pertaining to paladins and Blizzard's vision of them for the future. A lot of this has been spawned by some of the changes the developers have been toying around with on the public test realms. In the current build of the PTR, Lay on Hands causes Forbearance on its target which has prompted quite an uproar from the playerbase. This cuts a leg out from our two major defensive cooldowns making us choose either health or invulnerability during a fight. Holy paladins are getting some text tacked onto Sanctified Light which will allow them to reduce the chance it will cause Forbearance on others by 33/66/100% to allow it to still be useful when healing in groups. As this is the PTR, we don't really know how much of this will end up on the live realms. The developers have been toying around with several different ideas and at the moment we're not sure which one or ones they'll end up going with.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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

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