Friday, January 23, 2009

Core classes get owned

The holy triangle in fantasy RPG's since the time of Dungeons and Dragons hitting the shelves in the 70's has been Warrior, Priest and damage dealer. Even more so in the MMO's, where it has been defined as Tank, Healer and DPS. It has been under the constant discussion, heated debate and polite argument over the years whether it should be as profoundly basic and necessary for the contemporary MMO's and obviously Blizzard has listened to the public. It has been much quoted that Blizzard has stated that "Bring the player, not the class" to the newest dungeons and instances, which makes it obvious that they have been devised for 1) casual player (rendering the dungeons too easy), 2) players who want to play their class well, and 3) making all dungeons more or less independent of the holy triangle.

However, this leads to the problem we encountered on our Thursday run in Dire Maul: East, a problem which Tobold posted about so nicely. As we are three, Tank, Healer and DPS, we represent the triangle perfectly. Granted that the Tank is higher than the Healer, who in turn is higher than the DPS, we still depict the former norm of a adventuring group.

And even though Tank and Healer over level the instance, we are not prepared.

I have run Dire Maul with lower level Druid earlier, when being druid meant you were the laughing stock of the group. And then we didn't have any problems with the mobs, none at all. All around 50-55 at that time, and we cleared the DM: East without a problem, and tackled West with ease and North while we were upon it.

Not us, not on Thursday anyhow. It wasn't that the mobs would have been too hard. It wasn't that we couldn't pull them in reasonable groups. It was the lack of CC, for us being only 3 we didn't have the versatility of a full group.

But I can imagine replacing the warrior tank with a druid. Enter roots, enter CC.

I agree with Tobold completely, that the Hybrids are way too 'balanced' when compared to the specified single classes. Warrior should be able to be The Tank or The Damage, depending on the build. Priest should be The Healer instead of the emergency button. And Rogue's melee DPS should be able to strike fear into the hearts of the AI mobs. Not just the stunlock, but also the damage. And Mages... well, they are pretty good on the ranged dps and cc already, but then again, I don't have intimate knowledge of their current situation.

Hybrids should be hybrids: jacks of all trades, but masters of none. That's what they were when I started almost 3 years ago: laughing stock but surviving almost everything.

So yes, we had fun run in Dire Maul: East, and for a change the only one gaining from the run was Förgelös who finally got a very nice shoulder replacement to compliment his new Assasin build.

Off we go and we'll see what West and North holds for us next time.

It was fun.


Gwaendar said...

As I was tweeting, I believe this whole argument is inherently flawed. You build your case on the one tanking class which also has CC and which by design can seamlessly switch to 4 different roles, to extend it to all hybrids.
Yet by the same measure, a paladin tank is no different than a warrior, or a death knight. A DPS warrior, paladin or DK are exactly in the same situation in this particular regard.

You don't consider warriors as hybrids, yet there is no difference at all with a death knight in what they can do (in particular for leveling content). A shadow priest can heal quite decently, like an elemental shaman (coincidentally, both of their gearsets nowadays support role switching when required).

In practice, there is no pure tanking class in the game, nor pure healer. For obvious reasons, too. They'd be entirely dependent on groups for leveling, while the dps classes could happily saunter their merry way to 80.

At the endgame, why would a group even take a WoW 1.0 druid, paladin or shaman on a heroic run (let alone a raid) nowadays? To heal? Well, even if you have a class which is technically capable of being a jack of all trades, if he is in practice pigeonholed into one single role (and mind you, it took TBC and the boosting of druids and paladins in the tanking roles to actually empower warriors to go DPS endgame), he is effectively no hybrid. He's an extremely gimped cripple even in the only admissible role he has.

I'm quite glad this game no longer exists.

Unknown said...

I stand corrected about the hybrids, in the sense that warrior is dps/protection hybrid as well as priest is healing/dps. Bun inherently I agree with Tobold still, as he so cleverly corrected himself in the commentary of the forementioned post stating that by hybrids he meant triple-hybrids. In the same comment he states that "...that a mage should deal more damage than a shadow priest, because the mage is more specialized in damage dealing, while a priest can either do damage dealing or healing. But as we don't have a class that only heals, and can't deal damage in another spec, the same consideration doesn't apply to healing."

Which is exactly what I have been meaning from the beginning. Pardon my french, but as English isn't my native language, my means of expressing my thoughts may be a bit hindered, darn it.

A hybrid as such should have the versatility that the 'purer' class is lacking, but in the cost of being less able to perform the 'purer' class' specialty at the same level.

The moment there is the question rised that a warrior isn't needed or preferred as a tank, or priest not preferred for healing, I think the system starts to get off course.

I want to see my warrior tanking and spanking, and my healer healing and performing miracles! Not some DK tanking, AoEing and spanking instead, or a druid healing and healing again.

Then again, I have to take my rant back a bit: as I have been wondering around the net (comments, blogs, Twitter) how come my warrior has started to get requests to join groups to tank for them... There seems to be some need for the single purpose classes, too.


PS. In the end, it's the lack of dedication that can be seen in here as well as the guild hopping: the grass is greener on the other side, so I have to have my share of that, too. Thus the classes are mixed into bland hybrids instead of taking pride in being The Healer (ala Matticus) or The Tank (ala Veneretio)...