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Posts with tag wow-classes

Breakfast Topic: What defines your class?

Playing perhaps too much Hearthstone -- in which each class feels very much like its World of Warcraft counterpart -- has me musing about just what defines each of WoW's classes. They have different spells and abilities, of course -- but is a class defined by any particular spell or ability? You might say, for example, that priests were defined by their healing skills, but in doing so you overlook the category of shadow priests. And you might be tempted to say that both hunters and warlocks are defined by the pets -- beast and demonic -- that they summon and control, but not all specializations rely heavily on their pets. And if you do define hunters and warlocks by their ability to summon pets, just how do you explain how very different the two classes are?

Each class, of course, is more complicated than that -- there's more depth to any character's gameplay than a single ability. But what I'm wondering today, readers, is what you feel really defines your class -- whether it's one thing or several things. Is your class about the skills you use? The armor you wear or the weapons you wield? Which skills and what gear makes your class your class instead of something completely different?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Your least favorite class

We all have our favorite classes -- classes that we love to play and always seem to go back to. Classes in which we have multiple characters -- even multiple max-level characters. It can be hard to explain our fondness for our favorite classes, which we sometimes cling to even as class changes turn them into something new.

And, similarly, most of us have at least one class that we just don't get. A class whose playstyle is alien to us, that we can't understand even after several attempts to play it, a class that we dislike at least as much as we like our favorite. Perhaps your least favorite class is even a class you used to love, but the patch cycle changed it into something you detest.

So tell us, readers -- which World of Warcraft class is your least favorite and why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: The character(s) you keep going back to

No matter how many WoW characters we've created over the years, there are some classes or characters we just can't escape. We keep going back to our favorites, through every nerf and class change. We may flirt with other classes for a while, or even get so far as doing end-game content with them, but our favorites never quite leave our hearts.

For me, it's a blood elf healadin that I created just after Burning Crusade. I've never quite gotten back to playing it after Cataclysm, but I think it will always be a favorite -- probably because I have great memories of playing with friends and generally having grand adventures on that character. New characters just don't have that history, and though I had other characters before and have had other characters since, I'll probably always be a paladin at heart.

What about you, dear readers? What are your favorite, most memorable characters, the ones you can't quite escape no matter how many new characters and classes you've tried?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Should you play a priest in WoW?


If you're just getting started with WoW -- or even if you aren't -- picking the perfect class to play can be a challenge. But the number of class options doesn't mean you need to close your eyes and see where your cursor lands in order to pick the class you're going to play. With a bit of research, you can make an informed decision on which class best fits how you like to game -- and we're here to help. Today, we're talking about priests, spiritual devotees who unleash the powers of light and shadow to heal or harm.

Priests are unique in their talent specializations: while specializations for most classes mean multiple ways to do damage or fill different class roles, priests are the only class with two healing-focused specializations: holy and discipline. These two specs offer very different ways to heal, which can make priests very versatile healers... if you're into that kind of thing. But even if you aren't, don't count priests out as on offensive class: their shadow specialization gives them access to a powerful arsenal of damage spells, which could make priest the class for you even if you never want to cast a healing spell.

But does that mean you should be playing a priest? Read on and we'll discuss just what priests can do.

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Filed under: Priest, WoW Rookie

Poll: Do you think Blizzard will ever offer class changes?


Intrepid reader Grace wrote in posing this question to us, which started us thinking about why class changes aren't on the menu for WoW players. Blizzard lets you do lots of things to your WoW character after you've created it. Besides leveling it up, you can change races, you can change factions, you can change names, you can change servers, you can change your appearance, and you can even change the looks of your gear with transmogrification. But one thing you're stuck with is your class.

However, while most of these changes are superficial, cosmetic things, class is not -- the class of your character is intrinsic to its identity, and you learn how to manage any class by spending time playing it. But when class changes hit our favored characters hard and we see greener pastures in a newer, more interesting class, leveling an alt -- and then gearing it up -- can make for tedious work. And sometimes all we really want to do is shift from one healing class to another, to better hone our skills or work with our group.

So here's the question for you: Will Blizzard ever offer class changes? Should they?
Will Blizzard ever offer class changes?
I don't see why not. With all the other options they offer, they probably will eventually.668 (8.2%)
They'll do it as yet another money grab.939 (11.6%)
Maybe they will and maybe they won't. No one can tell what Blizzard will do next.429 (5.3%)
They probably won't offer class changes, but may offer other ways for experienced players to fast-level new classes.3926 (48.5%)
There's no way they'll offer any kind of class changes -- it would ruin game balance.1979 (24.4%)
I have another opinion entirely.156 (1.9%)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Should you play a druid in WoW?

Should you play a druid in WoW
Just getting started in World of Warcraft and not sure what you want to do? Or maybe you've been playing for a while but aren't sure which class you like best. We're here to help by taking a look at what each class can do and leading you to the right one. Today, we're talking druids.

Druids harness the powers of nature to help their friends or harm their foes. They can wield magic to harm like a mage or heal like a priest and can shapeshift into animal forms to dive into melee fighting. Like the monk and paladin, druids are a hybrid class that can fill any role in the game they wish: if you play a druid, you have the flexibility to do whatever you please. But are you up to the task of wielding the raw elemental power of nature? We'll take a look at just what druids can do and try to decide if it's the right class for you.

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Filed under: Druid, WoW Rookie

Should you be playing a monk?

Should you be playing a monk
World of Warcraft has a character class for every type of player... though you may have to hunt around to find the class that's a perfect fit for you. These days, I've found my perfect fit to be the monk. (Though who's to say that I won't change my mind again in the future.) So if you're in the market for a new character -- whether you're a new player or an old hand -- let's talk about why a monk should be at the top of your to-play list.

Just what is a monk?
Monks are masters of weaponless combat who have learned to harness their chi hurt their enemies or heal their friends. While they fight bare-handed, they can (and should!) equip weapons: they can use fist weapons, one-handed axes, one-handed maces, one-handed swords, polearms, and staves and can dual-wield one-handed weaponry. They use cloth and leather armor and, though monks originated in Pandaria (and you'll need the Mists of Pandaria expansion to play one), the class is open to pandaren, dwarf, human, blood elf, tauren, undead, draenei, gnome, night elf, orc, and troll.

They're a true hybrid class who can tank (brewmaster monks), heal (mistweaver monks), and DPS (windwalker monks). For resources, monks have health, energy (for brewmasters and windwalkers), mana (for mistwalkers), and chi. Chi is unique resource to monks: you have four possible points of it and start combat with zero. Some of your attacks will generate chi while others will use it, meaning monks take careful resource balancing.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Monk

Of monks, mains, and the ability to change

I've changed my main exactly once in all of my years playing World of Warcraft. It wasn't out of need or necessity for a guild -- in fact, I was guildless at the point I decided to switch. And I wasn't really planning on switching so much as I really wanted to play a rogue. I wasn't tied down to a guild, and I figured I could simply have fun with the experience. Over the course of leveling that rogue, I met a group of friends in a raiding guild, and once I hit level 70, they encouraged me to apply.

Going from a healing class to a pure melee DPS class wasn't as much of a stretch as you'd think. In fact, I think I almost fared better than most because as a former healer, I keenly understood the importance of staying alive. More importantly, I understood that as a pure melee DPS player who was not a tank or a healer, my priority on most heal lists was fairly low. So it was up to me to keep myself alive and happily stab things.

I don't think, however, that I could ever make that switch again -- although honestly, I've thought about it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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

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)

Poll For The Day: Which class does Blizzard hate the most?

The patch 3.1 changes have not been sitting well with some players. Death Knights are up in arms about their nerfs, and Mages are feeling as rejected as ever.

And Warlocks? Who plays those anymore. I received a free level 70 Death Knight in exchange for deleting mine. True story.

All kidding aside, I personally don't think Blizzard has it out for any one class. But I know that many in the community don't share my feelings. And while nerfs are never personal (aka, Ghostcrawler doesn't say "That damn Holisky, just because he posted this article we're going to nerf Shamans!"), they are often taken quite personal by the player base.

So for today's important poll (all polls are important after all): what class does Blizzard hate the most?

What class does Blizzard hate the most?
Death Kngihts1145 (3.6%)
Druids2169 (6.9%)
Hunters2528 (8.0%)
Mages4291 (13.6%)
Paladins2728 (8.7%)
Priests2083 (6.6%)
Rogues3227 (10.2%)
Shamans3609 (11.4%)
Warlocks6255 (19.8%)
Warriors3493 (11.1%)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion

Ghostcrawler and Vaneras on the classes that GMs play

What classes do Blizzard employees play?

This is an often asked question by people on the forums. Sometimes it comes with a finger pointing at such and such a developer or community manager, accusing them of favoritism for a given class because it's the one they play the most.

Over the past few days we've seen two blue responses over this issue. Vaneras over on the European forums makes note to say that the GMs play the game just as "everybody else does." They encompass all classes and all play styles.

This is interesting in that it shows that Blizzard folks are involved in both casual and hard core raiding, and casual and hard core PvPing. I find this particularly interesting, since after a long day of work at WoW Insider sometimes the last thing I want to do is sit down and trudge through some raid content. But then again, sometimes I do.

Ghostcrawler also weighed in on the issue a few days earlier, making several interesting points.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Classes

Arcane Brilliance: How to fix Mages



Each week, Arcane Brilliance puts a Mage-related joke at the beginning of a column about Mages. This week, though, after the class panels at the WWI, Arcane Brilliance is not in a joking mood.


Warriors are unique in that they are the strongest, most durable melee class, can use all of the biggest and best weapons and armor in the game, and make highly-sought-after tanks.

Rogues are unique in that they can Stealth past almost anything, are downright impossible to hit at times, and can contribute incredibly high single-target DPS in groups.

Druids are unique in that they can shape-shift into awesome animal forms that amount to slightly lesser versions of several other classes, can be excellent tanks, DPS, and healers, have incredible buffs, and are the single most annoying Arena class in the game.

Priests are unique in that they can be both an incredibly effective caster DPS class as well as the best (and surprisingly durable) pure healing class, while providing some of the best buffs around.

Hunters are unique in that they can tame their own pets, then use them to tank for them while they sit back and provide top-tier ranged DPS.

Paladins are unique in that they are the only healing class that can wear plate, can perform the duties of the best multiple mob tanking class, the best single-target healing class, or an effective melee DPS class. Also, they have a bubble.

Shamans are broken currently, but will soon have some of the best raid-wide buffs in the game via their totems, and are still sort of unique in that they can spec to provide both melee and caster DPS, as well as very nice healing, and have an incredibly nice panic button.

Warlocks are unique in that they can provide what is possibly the best caster DPS, both single-target and AoE, have Life Tap, which makes their mana almost never-ending in groups where they have a healer willing to throw them a heal every now and again, have a pet which can add to their DPS, tank for them, destroy casters in PvP, or provide CC.

Mages...Mages are Warlocks without pets.

Ok, to be entirely fair, we can also make food and open a portal to Shattrath at the end of every instance.

Mages need help (Shamans need help too, but Arcane Brilliance isn't a column about Shamans). Come back after the break and we'll talk about what needs to be done.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Features, Classes, Buffs, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

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