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Class Roles + Rebalancing


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#21 _Retribute_

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:09 AM

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?

Personally, I would give up 10% of my DPS as a hunter if it meant I brought something more to the raid other then DPS. DPS is fun and all, but I can still do that while providing some form of Utility other then Misdirect.


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.

#22 crimsonsentinel

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:15 AM

As hero classes get implemented, blizzard also needs to be wary that they bring so many synergistic buffer classes that there is no room left for the "pure" classes. Melee groups are already suffering from this, with the potential for 3 different non-pure classes in a single group all synergizing with each other.

What if death knights provided yet another great +melee dps group buff? Will groups be warrior/shaman/druid/death knight, with a lone rogue as the pure-dps? What if in expac 5 they add blademasters?

There needs to be a long term plan for player progression, not simply 10 levels of progression tacked on every 1-2 years. Otherwise, class balance is going to go haywire (as if it wasn't already)

#23 Grogzor

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:22 AM

If they choose to add more Hero Classes to the game, it would be very detrimental to add another DPS class. As someone said earlier, there are 3x Tanks, 4x Healers, 11x DPS and with the new expansion, there will be 4x, 4x and 12x. More healers please.

#24 topojijo

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:23 AM

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.


Please no, tranq required bosses were just silly, hunters and raids hated it. You weren't taken because you were wanted you were taken because the entire raid was completely hosed if they didn't have tranq shot. As a hunter I want to be taken because I'm genuinely wanted.

One thing many people miss when they try to really start differentiating things is that you can run into very big problems like the whole tranq situation. Not all guilds are min/max or have an ideal class distribution. However you should reasonably be able to complete a dungeon even if its a bit tougher if you have others to fill that roll.

#25 Nadiar

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:57 AM

Well they didn't see the fundamental flaws in the original model: when you look at the trees and their intended major role right now:

3 Tanking talent trees
5 Healing talent trees
19 DPS talent trees


These are irrelevant without class distributions. Something like 90% of the Raid capable (i.e. level 70) Paladins are specced into Holy. If they were evenly split 1/3 into each tree, you'd have a point that the DPS spec's 'vastly' outnumber the Tanking spec, but when you start taking into account distribution, it ends up being a lot more balanced.

Also, if EQ taught us anything, it should be how obnoxiously long fights have to be when you require over a third of your raid force to be healing spec.

#26 Linnet

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 04:37 AM

I don't think you can ever settle down and be sure Blizzard won't tweak your class such that your preferred playstyle goes 'out of fashion' for some particular aspect of the game. It's just the nature of the beast. And that means that sometimes you can roll your class for some perceived role and later find that tweaks have meant that another class might have been a better option.

I also don't think they have a big vision for where the classes are supposed to be. Among game designers, it's largely assumed that balance is something you can easily tweak for once the rest of the game is in place, so if one tweak doesn't work maybe another will. I think they do want to give every class a variety of viable specs for PvE and PvP, but viable doesn't mean the same as optimal.

Talent trees largely fail as a game design mechanic - but it has been fun and it's given players access to a wider variety of play styles than a more streamlined approach would have done, imo. ObBalancingPrediction: I believe shadow priests will be 'nerfed' in the next expansion, not by an actual nerf but by a rehauling of the mana regen mechanics which will make them less essential.

#27 Macblade

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 04:39 AM

Please no, tranq required bosses were just silly, hunters and raids hated it. You weren't taken because you were wanted you were taken because the entire raid was completely hosed if they didn't have tranq shot. As a hunter I want to be taken because I'm genuinely wanted.

One thing many people miss when they try to really start differentiating things is that you can run into very big problems like the whole tranq situation. Not all guilds are min/max or have an ideal class distribution. However you should reasonably be able to complete a dungeon even if its a bit tougher if you have others to fill that roll.


Yeah that's exactly what I meant by a gimmick fight. I think that the idea of breaking down the different classes into CC sections would also basically be a gimmick. I think in order for it to work it really has to be a case where there are more utility classes. Thus you are optimized if you have an enhance shaman in the melee group but you aren't totally screwed like you are when you need mages to sheep in TK and don't have enough on.

Another idea that I've though about would be the idea of differentiating more between physical damage (melee/hunters) and magical damage. I think that it would be really interesting if blizz made it possible to have versions of either so that you could run an all physical damage raid or an all magical damage raid. I think the latter is possible already, but the former would require a class that has better aoe. Blademaster that has a whirlwind type ability that can be spammed like arcane nova?

#28 Bop

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 04:40 AM

There are fights that do require a specific class when theres multiple classes available to do a single job in order to make the fight go smoothly.

Take the Kael'thas fight for example; You require a warrior to tank lord Sanguinar to counter his AoE fear, a warlock is helpful when dealing with Capernian as they can mitigate some of the damage with soullink while still keeping a decent amount of TPS and Kael'thas himself is alot safer to tank with a warrior due to shield wall and the health they can get from last stand and a nightmare seed if a pyro is going to hit more then once.

Theres also fights such as fathom lord that warriors struggle to tank well because he hits so fast, shield block is used up before it's ready again and the warrior is open to crushings alot. it's fights like that where a druid shines with high AC and health to lessen the damage crushings inflict. and theres the murloc adds that are summoned where a protection specced paladin is great to use.

I think Blizzard need to keep those things in mind when making raid encounters to ensure the unique abilities and strengths a class brings when theres more then 1 class doing the same job is wanted, and if they add further unique strengths, they give them the opportunity to use them.

Giving classes dinstinct strengths over another class doing the same job isn't going to work if they make a fight that doesn't require those strengths. It seems a difficult task though when trying to ensure DPS are also given such diverse roles as theres only 3 types, melee, ranged and AoE. if a fight is melee unfriendly then you simply stack the raid with more ranged dps which could be any of the 3 'pure' ranged DPS classes and if an enounter requires AoE dps, just stick a mage of any type in there.

As for healing, my experience healing most encounters is non-existant so I won't comment on that.

#29 Axanor

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 04:46 AM

It's the reason we're not seeing a legitimate attempt to make Ret a viable PvE raid spec: There's just really not room for them. Without bumping the raid cap to 30, they're going to have 5 classes with 3 members in a raid and 5 classes with 2 members in a raid. And when you're cutting classes, you tend to cut the "pure" DPS classes, as they don't offer the synergies of the others.

#30 Macblade

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 05:09 AM

There are fights that do require a specific class when theres multiple classes available to do a single job in order to make the fight go smoothly.

Take the Kael'thas fight for example; You require a warrior to tank lord Sanguinar to counter his AoE fear, a warlock is helpful when dealing with Capernian as they can mitigate some of the damage with soullink while still keeping a decent amount of TPS and Kael'thas himself is alot safer to tank with a warrior due to shield wall and the health they can get from last stand and a nightmare seed if a pyro is going to hit more then once.

Theres also fights such as fathom lord that warriors struggle to tank well because he hits so fast, shield block is used up before it's ready again and the warrior is open to crushings alot. it's fights like that where a druid shines with high AC and health to lessen the damage crushings inflict. and theres the murloc adds that are summoned where a protection specced paladin is great to use.

I think Blizzard need to keep those things in mind when making raid encounters to ensure the unique abilities and strengths a class brings when theres more then 1 class doing the same job is wanted, and if they add further unique strengths, they give them the opportunity to use them.

Giving classes dinstinct strengths over another class doing the same job isn't going to work if they make a fight that doesn't require those strengths. It seems a difficult task though when trying to ensure DPS are also given such diverse roles as theres only 3 types, melee, ranged and AoE. if a fight is melee unfriendly then you simply stack the raid with more ranged dps which could be any of the 3 'pure' ranged DPS classes and if an enounter requires AoE dps, just stick a mage of any type in there.

As for healing, my experience healing most encounters is non-existant so I won't comment on that.


I don't know if I will really be able to explain the difference, maybe it is just me. But what you describe above is min/maxing in my eyes. That's fine there there are differences between tanks. It adds flavor while at the same time not being such a huge difference that you can't go ahead and do the fight without the optimal tank (well you probably couldn't for Keal, but who doesn't have at least one warrior or pally tank in their guild?).

#31 Cohren

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 06:13 AM

I've seen EQ mentioned a few times in this thread and I have to say the one fundamental thing that WoW lacks in raids that EQ had as far as raids in rolls was a debuff role. Originally Warlocks were said to be the "debuff class." When I say debuff I don't mean a single curse or something I'm talking about the role of a Shamen and Enchanters in EQ. Tash, Mala, Slow etc... Somehow between Beta and now the line between debuffer and high DPS got obliterated and this game is too far along to change a current class to this role, its going to have to come from one of the Hero classes.

#32 Mearis

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 08:23 AM

I'm with you here, about the trees in general. Warlocks have affliction/destro raid viability choices and affliction/demonolgy PVP viability choices and Druids have 2 (more or less) raid-and-PVP viable talent trees (with feral being maybe the most successful 2-role talent tree already,) and now they keep working on inching towards 3 when some classes are kinda scraping by on one or one and a half? Its silly.


Because everyone wants an option for a valid dps tree, regardless of class. A lot of people who rolled classes that in theory were in support roles are really upset that somehow they are pigeonholed into not being a dps class, expecially at the lower end of the raiding spectrum.

#33 Veneda

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 08:42 AM

I've seen EQ mentioned a few times in this thread and I have to say the one fundamental thing that WoW lacks in raids that EQ had as far as raids in rolls was a debuff role. Originally Warlocks were said to be the "debuff class." When I say debuff I don't mean a single curse or something I'm talking about the role of a Shamen and Enchanters in EQ. Tash, Mala, Slow etc... Somehow between Beta and now the line between debuffer and high DPS got obliterated and this game is too far along to change a current class to this role, its going to have to come from one of the Hero classes.


Problem is balancing such role in small scale PvE, raids, solo and PvP. Additionally, you got to make debuffing fun. I mean, think about that - after the fight, people are checking their DPS meters. What can our debuffing warlock boast about? "Hey, I was channeling Slow for 80% of the fight and used Weakness twice when boss were about to use his special, yay!" Then after 10 raids warlock is spent and rerolls. It would be something along the lines of healing, but significantly less challenging.

Additionally, gear-focus of the game would make debuffing class unable to progress. You reach lev. 70, you get your max. lev. spells... then what? Gear only makes your DPS, healing OR mitigation better - but there is no gear that makes you buffs or debuffs more powerfull. Basically, fresh lev. 70 pally got just as powerful buffs as pally-the-Illidan-killer. It would be the same with debuffer class.

For debuffer and buffer classes work game would require completly different reward and character development system, that actually rewards acts of buffing and debuffing alone, also making them much more engaging then right now. People like to click buttons, preferably different buttons in different combinations that depend on situation around.

#34 Mearis

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 08:44 AM

Debuffs in EQ were only relevant in one expansion, and that was velious, that featured mobs with magic resistence so high that landing the debuff was absolutely crucial. It also made mobs absolutely retarded, since debuffs were so powerful that you needed them on the entire time, and bosses were balanced assuming they had the best debuff on the entire time (Tugur's reduced a mob's dps by 75% before slow mitigation).

#35 Cohren

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 09:10 AM

Problem is balancing such role in small scale PvE, raids, solo and PvP. Additionally, you got to make debuffing fun. I mean, think about that - after the fight, people are checking their DPS meters. What can our debuffing warlock boast about? "Hey, I was channeling Slow for 80% of the fight and used Weakness twice when boss were about to use his special, yay!" Then after 10 raids warlock is spent and rerolls. It would be something along the lines of healing, but significantly less challenging.

Additionally, gear-focus of the game would make debuffing class unable to progress. You reach lev. 70, you get your max. lev. spells... then what? Gear only makes your DPS, healing OR mitigation better - but there is no gear that makes you buffs or debuffs more powerfull. Basically, fresh lev. 70 pally got just as powerful buffs as pally-the-Illidan-killer. It would be the same with debuffer class.

For debuffer and buffer classes work game would require completly different reward and character development system, that actually rewards acts of buffing and debuffing alone, also making them much more engaging then right now. People like to click buttons, preferably different buttons in different combinations that depend on situation around.



Yeah I agree, its boring to me thats why I never played one of those classes in EQ but there are people out there that enjoy that type of play style and WoW doesn't offer it. Only reason I stuck with a Warlock was because of how the class played in Beta.

As for progress as a character, those classes were sort of hybrids and could do other things, Shamen could heal, cure and Enchanters were CC and DPS(lol). If you can remember there wasn't anything in EQ that improved those classes debuffs. If you think character progression is through gear entirely then class sets could have set bonuses that increase their potency.

I'm not advocating for this type of class to beput in I'm just saying had blizzard chosen a debuffer path I am sure they could of come up with something and I am sure people would play it and stick with it and it would help alleviate the pressure that 19 DPS talent trees has on raids today.

To go slightly off topic, Mearis bosses like Tunat still quaded for 8k after full debuffs so they were relevant after velious.

#36 Mearis

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 09:31 AM

They weren't relevant in the sense that Tunat started off rooted, and you could sit there and take 35 minutes to make sure every single debuff was stuck on him before the pull - expecially given his incredible MR.

After Luclin every boss either incredibly mitigated slow, was unslowable, or slow was assumed to be on the boss at all times. A shaman tipically spent 30 seconds getting slow on then started spamming shitty heals on the tank. Enchanters, well the class right now is such a joke that it isn't worth talking about. They had a brief period of glory with pre-nerf charm in PoP and GoD but that got quickly reigned in

#37 Veneda

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 09:39 AM

(..)As for progress as a character, those classes were sort of hybrids and could do other things, Shamen could heal, cure and Enchanters were CC and DPS(lol). If you can remember there wasn't anything in EQ that improved those classes debuffs. If you think character progression is through gear entirely then class sets could have set bonuses that increase their potency.(...)


It's a bit more complicated.

Debuffs and buffs would have to be designed completly differently then they are now (or that they were in EQ) to become valid class/build role. By valid I mean engaging on its own and giving player a feeling that he is getting better (progress) in that over time. EQ debuffs were basically tranquil shots. It's bad design to build class around tranq shot.

Let's take a tank role for example - main areas of interest for a tank is mitigation (of various types) and threat building, coupled with "oh shit" reactions. All those tasks are highly engaging (through innate abilities and consumables/on use items) and scale with gear obtained as character progresses. Same can be said about healing - main tasks are keeping ability to sustain healing, while maximizing healing output and being able to react in "oh shit" situations. Ability to do that also changes as character progresses. For DPS classes it's similarly 3 main aspects - maximizing damage while keeping aggro at bay and ability to do some burst in "oh shit" moments.

Debuffer/buffer class would have to use similar system to become interesting. Something that would allow to say "hey, guy X is great debuffer and Y not so much".

#38 Prinsesa

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 09:47 AM

I think part of the "problem" lies in the class design requirements that Blizzard has taken upon themselves to fulfill.

Blizzard wants every class to be able to solo. That alone makes the 10 classes competing for DPS slots and (relatively) DPS gear.

On the other hand, a mob can only attack one target at a time. This effectively caps the number of tanks at one per mob, or possibly two if you add a gimmick like Hateful Strike.

As a direct extension of the tank design comes the theoretical maximum amount of damage that can be healed through before the tank gets oneshot or before it's humanly possible for a healer to react, which also serves as a cap on the number of healers.

So 2-3 tanks, 6-8 healers and 15-17 DPS. I think it's pretty obvious that one side of the so-called Holy Trinity is heavier than the order by an order of magnitude.
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#39 Cohren

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 09:52 AM

I'm not saying its viable at this stage of the game, was just saying that had the game originally been designed with a debuff type class in the more EQ style of things(Primary Debuff, shitty at everything else) it would add more variety and interesting and unique aspects to the game as the OP was originally posting about. Outside of Tank/Healer/DPS what other rolls could they add that the classes currently in the game can't already do? The only answer I can come up with right now(6AM) is a true debuffer.

#40 Shakkha

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 10:12 AM

Problem is balancing such role in small scale PvE, raids, solo and PvP. Additionally, you got to make debuffing fun. I mean, think about that - after the fight, people are checking their DPS meters. What can our debuffing warlock boast about? "Hey, I was channeling Slow for 80% of the fight and used Weakness twice when boss were about to use his special, yay!" Then after 10 raids warlock is spent and rerolls. It would be something along the lines of healing, but significantly less challenging.

Not everyone live for the damage meter and live to feel special because they are on a top of a chart. Being usefull for the raid is more important that one's epenis.

But you need skill for any type of players, that's why you have various classes i guess.

I don't see how keeping debuffs and refreshing them would be less fun than keeping dots up and refreshing them. Of course you gotta have something to do in between, but that's just doing your task as pretty much every task of every player is, like doing ss ss ss ss snd is way funnier... not!




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