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Vectivus

Class Roles + Rebalancing

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I think it does for healers and tanks (certainly off-tanks) also, with respect to their raid utility.

I disagree.

For Healers it comes down to:

-Can you output an acceptable amount of healing?

-How much added value do you bring to the raid?

For Tanks it comes down to:

-Can you generate an acceptable amount of threat? (that is, are the majority of our dpsers not threat capped?)

-Can you mitigate an acceptable amount of damage? (that is, can our healers reliably keep you up without going oom?)

The difference here is that the first question for healers is a "Yes/No" question instead of a value amount. Almost no healer can tell you their "hps." Tanks can often tell your their "tps" but the fact is that past a certain point (the amount of threat generated on that target by your highest dpser) more threat doesn't really matter. On many encounters, multiple targets or other stops to boss dps make threat generated after the first few seconds completely irrelevant. And, as far as the damage goes, it's generally pretty much whether a tank takes an unhealable level of damage or not. We have a Main Tank and two other Prot warriors guilded. Our MT takes less damage. However, when the OTs take over it rarely has any impact on our raid whatsoever. If asked, the healers will say that they took "a little more damage, but nothing we couldn't heal."

Thus I would say that past a certain point tanking comes down to "Yes/No" questions. Healing output is a "Yes/No" question... What healers you bring depends mostly on their "added value." Thus there's little reason for healers to get too worked up about how much they can heal unless someone drops below the 'acceptable' level.

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As a rogue, I look at everyone wanting to do more DPS and think "geez, why bring me, a squishy who sucks up more healing, if you could take a ret pally who did 90% of my damage?" And this was my very first thought at Blizzcon when they announced Death Knights as a tanking/DPS class - "Oh great, a plate wearing DPS class.... If they can do a high percentage of my damage... "

To the OP's point, Blizzard is of two minds about this. They clearly stated several times at Blizzcon that the want there to be real distinctions between the classes and that it was for this reason that they don't have a lot more classes - then they introduced another class.

I just don't see how WoW will accommodate adding all of the Hero classes with the existing classes and not have it be a confusing mess. A game with many different spins on hybrids seems... well, confused.

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At the end of the day, if someone only does 90% of your damage, and you aren't a harrowing liability to bring along, you will get invited to raids - assuming your guild min/maxes.

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I just don't see how WoW will accommodate adding all of the Hero classes with the existing classes and not have it be a confusing mess.

I'd suggest increasing the raid cap to ~40 people or so.

Oh, wait...

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Didn't EQ have a few pure DPS classes that were left to the wayside because they didn't offer anything more to a raid?

EQ's pure DPs classes did lots and lots and lots of damage (read: you weren't getting close if you weren't one). The EQ classes that started falling by the wayside were the ones that had their damage gimped for buffs / cc's / summons that proved largely pointless in upper end raiding outside specific fights. You ran 2 (maybe 3, depending) enchanters because you didnt want to have to use more. You gained more by using a knight to offtank trash (which was all you could mez, and bards could do that too, and bards were just stupidly amazing if you found good ones, while enchanters were pretty craptacular unless they were god) than by using an enchanter as a non-tank non-healer spot.

EQ is different though. It has (or had, I stopped paying attention about a year ago) focus among its classes, and its hybrids were actually hybrids.

For instance, In the same zone, in the same gear (swapping from sword and shield to 2hander to DA hammer and shield depending), I, as a paladin, would be spamming Greater Remove Curse on the first fight, healing and light curing on the 2nd, tanking the 3rd, tanking/dps/curing on the 4th in different phases, healing/curing the 5th and healing/dps'ing the 6th. To do that in WoW... you simply cannot, its impossible. (For one thing, it would require a 43/48 talent build with permanent fear ward)

As I see it, the biggest problem with WoW is that it fails in equal distribution. This is to say that if you took 1 member of each spec of each class, geared for that spec's purpose, performing that specs purpose in a raid, your raid would fail.

This is one of the comparisons people are drawing to EQ, where in an equal distribution of 15 classes into a 54man raid left you with 3 primary healers, 9 secondary healers, 3 primary tanks, 6 secondary tanks, 6 cc'ers, ect ect ect. Enough to do anything.

WoW breaks 9 classes into 27 focused trees into... 140? sub-builds with a different focus. Surely there is a difference between a warlocks 41/20 and 41/0/20 and 40/21 and 40/0/21 builds. Thats just affliction base. But sticking at 27 broken into 25 raid spots (assuming the subtelty rogue and survival hunter are nowhere to be found), you're still short necessary classes (your healing is light, you have 1 shadow priest, and you're using some pretty bad specs all at the same time to boot. Its simply not feasible to use every class as is intended for them to be used (which is why you have a lot of grumbling paladin... still. And so on for most classes)

The underlying problem, though, is rather complex. To paraphrase an old professor of mine, "Reform just pretties up the problems". Why the Wow system of class balance is broken, and how that brokeness is core to the game as a whole, would be an adequate (if grammatically incorrect) title.

1. Talent trees disallow coherent customization for specific roles.

Talent trees are not designed as an AA system, and are instead designed to give players hoices in character development. However, the construction of talent trees result in taking several, or, in some cases, many, purely worthless talents for what you want to spec to. Additionally, for what are considered hybrid roles, some classes cannot properly spec to fill them adequately (the true paladin offtank healer requires more points than possible even if you just limit it to the snap aggro talent and the shield block talent sorely needed in this game due to mechanics, and ignore deeper talents, which make your hybrid more of a waste of space).

The inability to correctly talent your character COULD be made up through gear.

2. The inability to outgear the lack of talents is not allowable due to Blizzard's rather horrid itemization system.

Repeat after me. Mudflation is not always a bad thing. Mudflation allows classes the ability to function in non-pure roles. Most classes in Wow are hybrids. (you can stop repeating now). WoW's system does not allow gear to be designed for specific classes (its changing somewhat, with feral AP and sd based on +heal) but to truly build on this, you need a system that doesnt scale cost exponentially with stats, allowing gear to serve multiple purposes, and stay away from having to chose between 2-3 (and with druids, it should be 4) sets that are situationally useful, but limit hybrid classes to specific roles.

With the talent system in place to already check players, theres no reason a paladin piece couldnt have the same tank stats the paladin sets have now, with +healing and mana5 or spellcrit thrown on for 'no charge' (much like feral AP is/was free with spellpower) because you cannot, if you are getting use out of all of those stats, get maximum use out of ANY of those stats. See also shaman, druid, warrior, priest.

The ONLY benefit of modular equipment is the ability to change it in the heat of combat, to use the best for that particular situation, regardless of what that is.

3. You cannot change gear in combat.

This goes hand in hand with problems seen in #2. In fact, if you could change gear in combat, modular gear would be somewhat acceptable (though nowhere near ideal). You cannot, however, change gear in combat, nor will you likely ever (until the death penalty is changed up to something like taking a durability hit equal to 90% spread out across every piece of gear you have equipped during the last x amount of time before your death [or same combat as your death for scripted encounters].

Its also established you cannot change gear for another reason...

4. WoW is balanced around FAR too many different situations.

Quite honestly, and theres a billion examples floating around, you cannot balance a game around Solo and group and raiding and world pvp and 5man arena and large scale pvp and expect it to resemble what it would look like if balanced for any one of those separately. Even just saying PvE and PvP balancing, its still two completely different worlds (I could write a book on the specifics of balancing for each in WoW, but this post is long enough really),

Honestly, to properly balance the classes in terms of upper-end PvE, you really just need to gut the gear and talents of all but 2 concrete roles, and let the talents work on allowing completely viable roles of either of those specialized (ie. Paladin as healbot or tank. Shaman as a healer or a lightning mage) with a hybrid version of them (ie paladin as a viable offtank plus spot healer) as a third tree, with NO (none, nada, zilch) ability to take points from a different tree, with gear focusing on the hybrid roles (ie paladin stuff designed for a heal casting tank) to allow talent selection to be the deciding factor of uniqueness.

Its the attempt to not have a square peg (35+ unique subsets of classes) fitting into a smaller triangular hole (25 raid spots) with special notches (healer requirements greater than existing unique healer subsets)

This, however, is nowhere close to an elegant solution.

The other way requires an overhaul of balance mechanics (spells and abilities working differently in PvP and PvE), the deatpenalty, gear swapping, and several other core fundamentals of WoW.

edit -

They clearly stated several times at Blizzcon that the want there to be real distinctions between the classes and that it was for this reason that they don't have a lot more classes - then they introduced another class.

We almost got a second added, with another 2 more in late-stage development. Imagine the fun THAT would be right now.

edit2 - Math of balancing is another funny thing. 50% effectiveness tank + 50% effectiveness healer = spot on the bench. even 755 and 75% is quite often a liability, assuming that 25% is base and not added from unique talents.

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I agree that the preponderance of DPS trees/options is a large source of the problems in WoW, but consider that the game is intended to be an MMO for everybody, and "everybody" has some pretty severe ADD and doesn't see the larger picture. Basically, most people would rather play a DPS class and see big numbers on their screens than the help-other-people roles of tanking and healing. That's why a lot of Warriors don't want to spec for tanking and a lot of healers would rather spec Moonkin/Ret/Elemental/Shadow. Those roles just don't offer the quick visceral thrill that DPS does...it's not really a criticism of WoW, it's the difference Tycho from Penny Arcade draws between "achieving victory" and "enabling victory." Most people enjoy the former more than the latter. Honestly, when I rolled my Shaman years ago with no knowledge of MMOs whatsoever, I wanted to be a lightning mage and that seemed pretty cool.

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@ Barraind

I remember talking to a friend that had raided a lot in vanila wow and then quit before BC, myself on the otherhand, I was still 50 when BC came out, so I have no previous raiding knowledge. Anyway, one thing that I realized in the course of this conversation was that Blizz might have shot themselves in the foot as far as hybrids, when they bumped the trees up 10 points each but only bumped the talent point up 10. So in old wow, you could spec 31/20 which was probably a lot more of a hybrid than 41/20 is right now. Maybe I'm totally off base and someone that did raid a lot in old wow could comment, but it seems like the difference in the two talent point systems pushed towards never having a true hybrid around. Maybe the new top talent should have been 36 instead of 41 (Thus, even a pure spec would be 36/25)?

Of course this would still be limited by gear, but the new 1/3 damage from healing makes it seem like blizz wouldn't be totally against re- working gear a bit to enable hybrids.

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/agree Barraind, you said it far better than I ever could of. Blizzard's inability to be able to address class roles may end up hurting them in the long run should another game come along that can offer unique, well designed class roles and a decent game.

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So...do you think World of Warcraft would be a better game if they rebalanced the Talent Trees and made it so that you could pick and choose which talents you wanted from each tree without having the current system of "You need 15 points in Marksman"?

They would have to retune somehow because a hunter with +10% RAP, Beastial Wrath, The Beast Within, Readiness, Lightning Reflexes and such would be overpowered but...

...it would allow for the ultimate in customization and let true hybrids shine, no longer do you completely gimp your healing by going 41 points or whatever into Enhancement.

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So...do you think World of Warcraft would be a better game if they rebalanced the Talent Trees and made it so that you could pick and choose which talents you wanted from each tree without having the current system of "You need 15 points in Marksman"?

They would have to retune somehow because a hunter with +10% RAP, Beastial Wrath, The Beast Within, Readiness, Lightning Reflexes and such would be overpowered but...

...it would allow for the ultimate in customization and let true hybrids shine, no longer do you completely gimp your healing by going 41 points or whatever into Enhancement.

WorldofWarcraft.com -> Info -> Classes -> Warlock -> Talent Calculator

delicious

But really, I think Blizzard intentionally tucks the best talents behind less useful ones as their way of balancing trees.

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So...do you think World of Warcraft would be a better game if they rebalanced the Talent Trees and made it so that you could pick and choose which talents you wanted from each tree without having the current system of "You need 15 points in Marksman"?

They would have to retune somehow because a hunter with +10% RAP, Beastial Wrath, The Beast Within, Readiness, Lightning Reflexes and such would be overpowered but...

...it would allow for the ultimate in customization and let true hybrids shine, no longer do you completely gimp your healing by going 41 points or whatever into Enhancement.

It would be basically impossible to balance and still have actual choices. It'd remove a huge number of the tools they have to balance talents, and would pretty much force the removal of the 1-point talents, as I can't imagine a build that wouldn't have every single one of them (other than the useless ones, such as lolwell or mutilate in a sword build). It also would do nothing to make hybrids more valuable -- someone with 61 points in doing damage would still be better than someone with 41 points in damage and 20 points in healing (and probably moreso, as in many cases you have to waste some points to get to the useful talents in your off tree).

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Thats one thing I hated about playing a hunter on my dead end server, It was very difficult to get a raid spot. I hope blizzard tries to put more tranq bosses in WOTLK to make useful besides auto attacking and going afk.

Misdirect makes quite a few boss fights a lot easier. Another ability that helped with raid add/spawn management would be helpful.

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I'm wondering how people feel about the direction the different classes are going with the continued (and increasingly more significant) changes that are being made to the classes within WoW. Is Blizzard trying to open up new avenues to incorporate additional Hero Classes? Or are they trying to dilute the class discrepancies, so that no class brings something that can't be done (comparably, if not as well) by another?

I honestly don't think they have a solid plan one way or the other. The addition of Death Knights strikes me as a marketing idea first and gameplay idea second. Now they have to backengineer how it is going to work in the raiding scheme... which they've painted themselves into a corner with the 25-man paradigm. The end result -- unless they cave in and increase raid size again -- is definately going to be a dilution of the defining characteristics of classes

Look at the progression towards that in TBC alone. Paladins and druids as raiding tanks was a laughable idea a year ago and now you have druids being able to MT most encounters not involving fear. Paladins biggest knock was their lack of hp and now they are getting a talent that adds an additional 10%. I saw a prot-spec paladin in Tier5/6 on the PTR with 15k health unbuffed. With the advent of Death Knights you have to wonder where the viability of Arms/Fury warrior OT's go if a DK's DPS output and tanking ability is similar.

And what will come after Death Knights? A new healer hybrid? If it's a pure DPS class then I can easily see one or even no hunters in 25 man raids. Shadow priests, too, are fairly expendable at this point beyond the first one for the mob debuffs. The boosts to spirit/regen talents in 2.3 combined with the fact they will be 'looking at spirit' in the expansion means that the mana return feature won't be nearly as valuable as it is in TBC (unless they start making encounters absurdly long like 15-25 minute average with no rest periods during combat). MD was a decent way of giving hunters better raid utility but it seems like they are going to keep having to invent these marginal hooks to sell each and every spec and class and eventually it will just get watered down.

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They have definitely moved towards giving every class and spec viability or something to offer in the game. And by that I don't mean the classes themselves, but the actual dynamics in the game, such as raid encounters, Arena's, farming etc. This is very evident in the way raid content is designed. Every encounter entails a certain number of classes to outshine others, and this rotates on an encounter-to-encounter basis. While this can lead to raid-stacking, its actually working pretty well (with the exception of Hunters). I mean would anyone have ever thought that a Elemental/enhance Shaman, Spriest, Feral Druid etc would ever be viable before TBC was released?

I think its also very important that at the end of the day, that a DPS spec/class is a DPS class. A tanking spec/class is a tanking class. etc. The last thing we want to see is a DPS class/spec given shitty DPS output because they have the ability to FD, or CC, or have totems. Or a tanking class/spec being inferior to another, because they can also do DPS when in Cat form.

As long as every class gets a (close to) equal time to shine.

I think this is pretty accurate; I think blizzard is making a strong attempt at making every class/spec combination have something to offer a raid ever since they reduced the raid instance limit to 25 players. However I think they really forced themselves to face their initial poor class designs for certain single-role classes when taking this route.

It seems like they found it infinitely easier to start with hybrid classes when developing individual roles for each class/spec combo, and understandably so. Elemental shaman got caster synergy, enhance melee synergy, shadow priests got caster synergy, and feral got melee synergy while balance druids got caster synergy (to an extent, I still think there will be changes soon for moonkin), etc.. It is easier to define these roles since their respective roles already existed in a way, they just needed to develop incentives for raids to include them, re: totem of wrath/wrath of air, unleashed rage, VT, etc.. That was the easy part.

The problem that seems to be arising now is that the hybrid role development stages are coming to a completion and single-role classes are starting to wonder where their incentives are for each spec. I think this is being most significantly realized by rogues, mages and hunters as well as warriors to an extent. Rogues and mages are DPS classes that offer no real value to the raid that depends on their talent spec, they are left to min/max DPS and all pigeonholed into that spec (just like hybrids were once pigeonholed into a healbot role). These classes aren't really given much synergy and rightfully so because synergy comes at a cost of DPS which is the primary role of these classes. However what's left is the vagrance that blizzard can't quite figure out how to create incentives for raids to desire each spec of a class with only one true role.

I really don't have an answer for how it could be done other than simply creating new roles (re: more AOE-centric role in raids like MH effecting a total redesign of a mage talent tree to focus specifically on AOE). Hybrids will always have multiple specs to fill multiple roles and a raid's incentive to include them will always come from their utility supporting each role, but primary classes will never fill multiple roles so the challenge is arising to design them in such a way that each of single-role class' specs is desired in a raid ... something that is currently most definately not the case.

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@Qbert One comment that I would like to make is that there is synergy and then there are perks. Enhance shaman, and Spreists are certianly synergy, moonkin and feral only a little bit, but then there is Mage food and Lock candy. These aren't things that are really make or break but they are nice. Assuming your lock have it together it is always nice to have 3 or at least 2 locks dropping different candy. There will always be room for at least one mage if only for the water. Part of the problem that rogues have, or will have if competition increases, is that they don't have even these token niceties.

In general though, Wow already has a couple of true buffer/utility roles in Spreists and Enhance shaman. I would hope that any changes that they make in pushing forward would be to add more role to this list. Sure 5% crit is nice from a feral or mookin druid, but its not even on the same order of magnitude than enhance shammy/spreists are on.

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Class roles have been an issue in EVERY single MMO I can remember. Someone hit the nail on the head that the vast majority of players would rather see big damage numbers than be responsible for keeping the tanks alive.

The end result is that we have far more DPS classes then you could ever slot into a raid. I know that in my guild, many of our DPS players also rolled healer alts just to help out.

I fully believe that the Death Knight announcement and the new x-pac were brought out with the sole purpose of trying to hold players in the game. Server populations aren't growing anymore, many "casual" groups are stuck unable to move into 25 man content, and numerous guilds already finished the current round of content, I think Blizzard is scared. It was time to bring out the next carrot and see if they couldn't hold players with a "new" set of classes.

With the current raid set up, people are correct in assuming these "hero" classes will seriously hurt the utility of current classes. If Death Knights prove to be effective melee DPS, this will cut into the rogue and fury/arms warriors spots. Spots that aren't really plentiful.... and what does that rogue or warrior do?? Warriors can still tank, but a rogue is stuck.

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I wrote an enormous post here and ended up deleted it because I'd gone off on a tangent for part (most) of it.

Let me just say this. It is very interesting how dps classes with only one role cite that they should do more DPS than classes that have the potential to spec other roles because of that option they have. Yet say a Shaman who can only spec 2 roles doesn't whine about a Druid (3 roles) being as good a healer as him. Healers tend to be just happy if the healing team managed to keep everyone alive till the boss is down/enrage timer. DPS seem to care far more about their personal performance in comparison vs other players in the raid.

I suppose the competetive and aggressive nature could be spawned by the large number of DPS specs out there as mentioned earlier, and having to fight for raid spots. Still fascinating the difference though.

Actually, this has to do with the functionality of a class, not the mentality of the player.

Players want to be useful. They don't want to be marginalized. Especially when the raid cap was dropped to 25 players. Raid spots are tight now. When a hybrid/utility class does as much or more damage than a pure DPS, why bring the pure DPS? The hybrid brings more to the table without a sacrifice in output. The pure DPS'er sees this, and sees his spot in the raid is threatened.

As a Hunter, I'm very used to struggling to justify my existence in a raid. Gimmicks (Tranq/Misdirect) help a bit, but it sucks that your presence hinges on them. (Obviously, this is far less of an issue since 2.1)

I think that Blizzard has tried to remedy this by giving all classes buffs and debuffs. The only real exception is the Rogue, as they have no party/raid buffs, and minimal utility debuffs. (PVP is another matter) Not suprisingly, it's usually rogues who are most sensitive to Hybrid DPS output.

Regarding the original topic:

It seems that many of the drastic changes are just reactions to previous drastic changes. Hunters are again a prime example. In 1.X WoW, Aimed Shot was king. It was the heart of a shot rotation, and completely dictated weapon choice. In 2.0 WoW, they attempted to break our reliance on this ability, and made it essentially useless. The only reason people have this ability is to get to Mortal Shots. Now, trying to give this ability some purpose, they're talking about adding a MS debuff to it. Arcane Shot has a similar history. The deadzone is a screw-up that simply should never have happened, and is finally getting fixed.

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@Qbert One comment that I would like to make is that there is synergy and then there are perks. Enhance shaman, and Spreists are certianly synergy, moonkin and feral only a little bit, but then there is Mage food and Lock candy. These aren't things that are really make or break but they are nice. Assuming your lock have it together it is always nice to have 3 or at least 2 locks dropping different candy. There will always be room for at least one mage if only for the water. Part of the problem that rogues have, or will have if competition increases, is that they don't have even these token niceties.

In general though, Wow already has a couple of true buffer/utility roles in Spreists and Enhance shaman. I would hope that any changes that they make in pushing forward would be to add more role to this list. Sure 5% crit is nice from a feral or mookin druid, but its not even on the same order of magnitude than enhance shammy/spreists are on.

Those 'perks' however aren't talent-specific which is what I was trying to discuss. I agree that some perks are along the same lines as synergy when they provide more perks the more members of that class exist in the raid (re: more locks = more healthstones, more soulstones, more imp buffs, more imp shadowbolt procs ... mages don't really fall in the same category outside sheep since 1 mage = int, food, water, etc), however these perks aren't talent-spec-specific. I'm hoping to see enough diversity, direction and role-defining characteristics in single-role classes to promote a raid to desire a player of each spec.

In the meantime, you're right, perks are a nice medium-ground that rogues don't enjoy, but I'm thinking more along the lines of talent-balance not class balance.

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This issue has been on my mind for the past month. My raid crew disbanded last month, and I've thus found myself as a Rogue Without A Home. The server I'm on has exactly 1 T6 Guild, and a smattering of T5's (a pair at or done with Vashj, several in the "VR + some SSC" range, etc). In looking for a new place to raid, challenge myself and others on raid content, etc, I've found that, as expected, Rogues are not in high demand. I've received several compliments on my gear, skill, damage and history... but even with the onus on DPS in raids, there just isn't room for a rogue. (edit: another rogue that is. These groups already run with competant and geared members of the class, and rightfully, aren't necessarily interested in expanding those numbers)

It's led me to ponder what other class might be both enjoyable and desirable to a raid, and honestly, the hybrids are becomming more and more appealing. While I've never met a druid at my gear level that could match me in damage, they can put out respectable damage. And tank, if geared for it. And heal, though not incredibly well until spec'd for it, etc. It's versatile, either between swapping specs, swapping gear or just swapping forms. I wouldn't want to tank as a resto druid or heal a 25 man (I've done Karazhan though) as a feral druid, but the ability to adequately perform all these tasks is there.

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Any attempt to "fix" the raidworthiness/deisrability of a class by adding gimmicks will simply leave everyone dissatisfied. Blizzard can force the issue by having fights which requre said gimmick in order to defeat, the way we had Tranq Shot in vanilla, but otherwise nobody is being fooled.

Speaking as a hunter, the ONLY change on the table which doesn't scream 'worthless gimmick' is the deadzone change, if that actually happens.

All the other stuff - MS via Aimed Shot (good luck getting that off in an arena), Arcane Shot dispel (very cool but will either be overpowered and nerfed or underpowered and useless), more damage on abilities which still won't be worth the mana cost (serpent sting, damaging traps) - fails to address the hunter's core issue: the Autoshot timer.

The only thing Blizzards NEEDS to do for hunters is to prevent Arcane Shot and Multishot from clipping Autos. Aimed and Steady have a cast time, so those shots should still clip, but this basic change would remove the insane timing required for top-flight hunter DPS. Only after doing this should Blizzard worry about tweaking what a hunter brings to the table.

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Personally I think some specs for hybrid classes don't fit the game. For example oomkins and retribution paladins. Any real fix to retribution paladins renders them borderline overpowered, so by their very nature they are endlessly nerfed. Attempts to make these specs viable inevitably results in adding buffs to other classes that are not needed.

Now that they buffed the ret paladin tree, they are making all kinds of changes to warriors/hunters/shamans/priest. Then again like a previous poster said, if they don't add something new and exciting every couple of months the game becomes stale and boring.

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I'd actually like to see the raid cap dropped to 10 in WotLK, to make raiding even more accessible (what % of guilds are even going to clear BT before WotLK?) and to balance raids around one of each class (tanks: war, dru, pal, dk; heals: pri, pal, shm, dru; pure dps: rog, mag, hunt, lock; hybrid dps: war, dru, pal, dk, pri, shm)

10 man raid caps are certianly easier to get going. But to some extent it brings into question the whole concept of a "raid." I didn't raid pre-BC so the largest raid that I'm at all used to is 25 and even that is large enough to make 10 mans seem like only a small step up from from 5 mans. I'm on a server that has 1 T6 guild and a number of T5 guilds so we are by no means as progressed as a server as some are, and we still have people pugging Kara. That just seems wrong somehow.

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The reason why raid will never be capped at 10 is for marketing purposes, though hardcore raiding is a small segment Blizzard needs to offer content for those that enjoy it. Hardcore raiders want to raid and frankly 10 man "raid" is just a glorified group and you don't get the raid feeling and as soon as that raid feeling is gone, they will go to other games not on a magnitude of 1 or 2, but entire guilds will pick up and switch games much like they did coming from EQ to WoW.

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Said better than I did, but that's exactly what I was getting at...for those who can/do organise a guild for the purpose of raiding, 10 mans just don't cut it. That being said, I do think that Wow would do itself a service if they didn't wait as long to release a second 10 man as they have this time around. Something staggered so that it was possible for a 10 man guild to progress smoothly and then something that was half to a whole step ahead for a 25 man. Other than people who didn't even start wow until after the expansion, I can't imagine anyone not being done with Kara for months now. They might have done better to swtich ZA with BT in terms of release dates.

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I can understand that, and I don't want to derail this thread to a dead horse discussion of raiding's content consumption.

Returning to class balance considerations, I think that the 'smaller raid' and 'larger raid' (currently 10 and 25) should 'fit into' each other, which they currently do not (25/10 = 2.5). 12 & 24 or 10 & 20 would be far superior in my eyes (and I realize it used to be 5, 20, 40, which 'fit' nicely).

The problem is that we have:

Classes that can heal: priest paladin shaman druid

Classes that can tank: warrior paladin druid deathknight

Classes that can dps: all classes

Classes that can only dps: rogue hunter warlock mage

All of the pure dps classes, especially rogue and hunter, are suffering because they are pure dps and have nothing else to bring to the table. They are one-trick ponies, whereas all other classes can switch gear and talent specs and garner a raid spot if necessary, whereas pure dps has no choice.

Yup, that's why I'll be leveling my druid up to 80 if I'm still around by the time WotLK comes out.

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