Hmm. Does itemisation count for adding new WoW classes?

Another happy random topic out on WowInsider – What classes would you like to see come to WoW? I wrote:

I think they got the monk very right, except that the Monk wears leather as implemented in WoW. The game’s presentation of monks before this (via Scarlet Mon and others) was as cloth wearers and it would have been interesting to see them as cloth wearers.

So hmm, on reflection my comment was not especially on topic, but I felt it needed to be said.

Itemisation in the game wold have to change a lot to add cloth which is agility based from level 2 upward, and it would also have not helped that only a small range of uses are out there for leather with intellect and spirit. So perhaps the leather wearing monks were an easier path to introduce.

(…note: I’ll say as a lead in to this post that I liked the amalgamation of armour type with stats that was performed. Having some classes gain Hit from Spirit to reduce the range of stat combos which needed to be supplied by boss kills was clever.

I’ll say too that I am mostly for leaving the classes as they are. This is more a post about options, rather than an actual wishlist. I got the Monk class I said I wanted, but now that I have it I’m not keen as it was implemented. That is all my problem, as I accept the choices that Blizzard made happily.

Lastly I know that opening all the classes to all the races is an option, and it is another option that I’d like to see never happen. The story reason for adding anything to the game should be profound and strong. A Pandaren Death Knight is just not likely, especially in the numbers of players who would do it. Saying no to that spread of class race mixes is not a bad thing.

The ideas below conflict with that. Sorry.)

So then now we could see (but probably won’t) a cloth wearing class added? Not so sure. We have 34 specs in play at the moment, with 3x wearing plate, 3x wearing leather, 3x cloth and only 2x wearing mail.

spirit-healer

We’ve had Monks and Death Knights as new classes, so having more plate and leather conflict is going to be disruptive. We still have a single class using Plate with Intellect (caster plate) though, and the same problem in Mail caster gear. Perhaps that is a major force in what class style is introduced – add something which has less major rework required at the low end, and can give diversity to the gear spread at the high end.

So if a class was to be added it could be added to the mail category wearing Agi based and Intellect based armour. Hmm, what classes might use intellect based mail armour?

  • Demon Hunter? Uhh blarg. Too much like hunter.
  • Warmage? Or call it a Warden. A dps caster, a healer, plus melee, plus Tank who wears heavier armour than cloth, but still not a plate wearing, weapon wielding melee guy. Mail suits that concept a lot. It might have 4x spec options to keep adding breadth of choice into the game. It makes for a further mess in the spec line-up.

And now onto even stranger thoughts…

Or perhaps a class is added where their armour sub-type changes according to their active spec? Just because we have the alignment to date does not mean it actually needs to be maintained. We’ve always seen classes change their choice in weapons to suit a role, so why not their choice of armour?

Or perhaps we might see every class which has current specs which are very similar redone? i.e. Fire mage vs Frost mage, vs Arcane mage is essentially a range caster dps with a flavour and play-style. Good on them. Same kind of thing with Rogues, and certainly same kind of thing with Death Knight unholy and frost. A disc priest and holy priest also both heal, but do so in very different ways.

What if those differences were rolled into the Talent choices in the early talent trees and new and very different spec choices were added? Such as:

  • Unholy DK becomes a range caster and summoner. It suits a nice little angle of on the lore which has always been present and I do not think it would hurt greatly. It also has the advantage of adding Plate Int a new use, although also makes itemisation in the class more painful. Perhaps they also use staves and such of the casters too. The cross-itemisation might make the fight for gear more prolific, but it would also widen the range of use.
  • One of Disc & Holy is subsumed and Priests get a melee “pugilist” spec. Friar tuck with a staff, maces, or some such? (very close to what I thought a Monk would be like)
  • Hunters get a spec where they have no pet at all, but instead move into melee mode. I know that “melee hunter” is a great meme, but it would finally make my Hunter playable o suit my style.
  • I don’t know what to do with Mages and Rogues, except to make their alt-odd-spec something which changes their mode of play. How do you alter a Rogue to be either range or a heal/tank? I don’t think it can be done well. Perhaps these guys are the real straight dps in their role.

And finally what other classes might we see have a go?

  • A summoner type. Ala the Witch Doctor in D3? Hmm a clothie. It makes a sort of sense except it feels overtly niche. What is the Warcraft lore reference?
  • An engineer-ish Tinker? Very odd cross-over with the Engineering skill, and it would make an overly bold steam/magic-punk addition for my taste.
  • Bloody Bards. As healers and damage they make sense, they could provide the cross range of buffs. Armor type for bards feels like Mail as well.

cropped-nerbian-entrance.jpg

Happy hunting.

+100 Need rolls in Raid Finder

The Raid Finder will give Need rolls a +100 modifier if your Role in the instance matches the item. This is excellent. In fact, put that in the LFG system too please.

How do they tell what is a Tank item vs a Dps item?

Well they’d either classify each item which would take ages or they have an algorithm (a previous post about exactly that type of algorithm in April). Its like they’re reading the blog.

Clarified some Main and Alt thoughts

The feedback on my help-im-frustrated-by-mains-and-alts post was really good. Well great actually, as it had a range of side, which both challenged what I thought about the issues, and also supported many of the doubts I had – which is to say that nothing in that topic is straight forward.

I’d really like to know if I’m off my rocker on this issue.

Well I wasn’t incorrect, but I wasn’t 100% perfect either.

A some key points of differentiation on the issue were:

  • Longevity of the raider within the team. Some even said 10 vs 25s were different, and while I disagree I can see that it may make a difference. Churn within the team is exacerbated when somebody switches.
  • Attitude and level of cohesion within the team, which really tempered the level of support vs the impact.
  • The reason for the switch, being Gear greed, Need of the team, burnout, or preference. This was key for basically everyone, a player who witches for gear only was pretty much reviled by the information I found, and I support that view too. The other areas are gray, especially if you have a raider doing something that they’d not prefer for the goals of the raid.
  • Another key point was consistency. Applying a rule without bias was important to a large number of players, and I can understand why. Nobody want to feel that they are on the detrimental side of an exception. We all like to be special, unless it is to our disadvantage, but most people are happy if the dice come out in their favour.

As part of the post I also went digging on my own and found a large number of articles that helped. The short version of the outcome is that I’m now more confident that my overall approach is good, but also humbled a bit in terms of approach. I took the stance of being a neutral guildmaster, rather than a people person (I’m not an overly emotional people person by nature). I think I missed the emotional impact that this discussion could have on the team, especially the guys pondering a switch. I suspected that there would be impact, but not the degree of impact I saw.

I’ve promised to be typing up the official version of the policy this week (what an idiot I am for creating my own deadline), and it will be largely as drafted, but with tempered delivery. The clarifications I had to think about in response to the post really were the items that might have helped some of the discussion, if only I’d had 6 brains to draw from in the beginning.

Some of the sources I went to read are listed below. Now this list is not all articles devoted to the actual topic, it also contains perspectives on Alt-ism, and why it is good and bad. Often a good point is well made in parallel:

Wow ‘eh? Of course I’d have you re-read the my post and the discussion after it too, as there were some damn fine raiders who spoke up, but these links are good.

Thanks to Isisxotic, Jez,  Leit, Karegina, and Rakk.

Should DPS Death Knights learn to Tank?

Good topic on wow insider a while ago asking if Healing priests should learn shadow, and it has resonance with a DK’s dps role. So I’ll rhetorically ask:

Should DPS Death Knights learn to Tank? And vice versa?

I’d like to give you a balanced and well rounded opinion on this, complete with examples and war stories, but I can’t. The answer is so bloody obvious it makes me wonder how you could have the opposite view – my answer is by hell and damnation they should.

Everyone will play better and understand roles better when they have a wider set of experience. If you have not done it, go try a different role in 5 mans. Do 20 runs in each role, and then see if it changed your attitude.

Disagree? Please tell me why.

Dual Specs are L40+, 1000g, all wonderful

Forever a Noob dislikes the idea of dual specs mid raid. I like it. Go read the post and my rant-ish response if you’re interested in two divergent views of dual spec.

In short: If you don’t like the idea of dual spec, don’t use it. Likewise epic flying mount, badge gear, welfare epics, ans all the other topics that players like to gripe about. I like to think of World of Warcraft as a game that I enjoy, not a system of mechanical restrictions. Anything that makes the game more accessible is good, particularly as this has little negative impact on the players that choose not to use it.

eg. If your raid leader wants a Healer and you’re spec’ed for Priest DPS, then you can’t go. He can ask you to re-spec, but you can refuse. Your choice, and if you keep to a strict “not holy priest” choice then you’re still happy. You have not lost any options. The raid leader will go find another healer anyway. But if you can switch modes, then you get to do the run too.

Why is this bad? See also Blog Azeroth shared topic.