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Off-specs and TBC


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#41 Nite_Moogle

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 09:44 PM

I would argue that it's not a flaw at all, rather a conscious design decision.

To the fact they need other people to take advantage of their abilities? Yes. It's great, and I like it. That they stack poorly as a result of the way these talents work? Not so much. You never need more than 1 Ret paladin because he keeps up all Judgements and JotCrusader is his raid-wide buff. Why not give the tree another bonus to a different Judgement that works in the same way so multiple Ret Paladins can overlap responsibilities without obsoleting the other? Judgements are already a mutually exclusive ability, the same Paladin could never keep both up at once and would be essentially wasting talents to have both if there was another paladin that could do something similar.

Eh, my nostalgia goggles aren't as good as they used to be.


#42 Tyvi

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 09:57 PM

I just wanted to add this to the discussion seeing some similar posts about hybrids only being able to do the job if it's an easy one to begin with (because it was tuned to be with a bigger error margin) etc.

I can only speak from the Feral Druid tanking PoV since that is basically all I do. Some stuff you notice while tanking is that, although the content is not tuned to be very forgiving, very few fights actually require a Warrior to tank. Apart from the asinine "Hey, I am enraging soon, hit Shield Wall please" bosses, a Bear can do it as well. He might not be the best at times, but it is still viable while not being detrimental to the raid. I can't say much about Naxx because I have only seen Noth, Anub, Faerlina and Raz there, but in all the fights a Bear could MT as well (in progression nights that is). The second reason I won't talk about Naxx is because the itemization of off spec basically stopped there, so the comparison is not fair for the off specs to begin with. Thus, I'll like to shift your attention to AQ40: I have "mistakingly" tanked the first kill of Huhu post 30% enrage because we messed up the aggro swap (we don't use threatmeters) although it was planned to give it over to the Warrior because of Shield Wall and LGG etc. Did it work? Yes. Would a Warrior have been slightly better? Yes of course. Was a Bear still viable? Obviously. Nowadays we can perform the aggro swap easily pre-enrage, and that is what we do.
Likewise with Twin Emps; I had the pleasure of MTing our first kill there as well, sporting a few blues on our first kills. And when we wiped in our progression nights, it was never because I died to Nilash but because of the random things that can go wrong such as aggroing the neutral bugs, healers not running out of AoE etc.

Would any of you consider Huhu (pre-NR resist patch) and TE (pre-AoE fix) a "joke" or "trivial" while learning? I know I wouldn't; they are both very nice fights, hard and intense.

To sum it up: Blizzard has shown they can design fights where hybrids can do an off spec role without being detrimental to the raid WHILE the fights are still achallenge for the raid. All they have to do is creating bosses that can be tanked by Warriors, Paladins and Druids alike, with Warriors having a slight edge, but not as much that it is impossible for Druids and Paladins to compete with them.

That's why I am expecting alot more of those fights in TBC, and less of the Naxx/Shieldwall Enrage fights.

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#43 Monsanto

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 10:22 PM

Top-end raiding has always been about min-maxing. Blizzard is a creative company, but I fail to see how they could possibly design the raiding universe to discourage min-maxing.

However, it is my belief that Blizzard is just going to make the whole game easier. Everything they've said indicates this. Smaller instance sizes make it easier for casual guilds to raid. Raid spots for hybrids imply the content will be easier. Difficulty sliders for instances. It all points to easier content. Only in this context can hybrids actually play as hybrids in the raid game.

#44 Judia

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 10:38 PM

I absolutely trust my raiding Druids to heal well in whatever spec they choose because the are incredibly skilled.

How does skill reduce a 3.5 second heal to a 3second heal making you a viable offtank healer on Patchwerk ?
Ive seen this a thousand times, simply throwing all your points in the "off" tree doesnt mystically make you more skilled, nor does putting all your talents in healing make you a "noob" who is unskilled.

WoW is NOT a game of skill, it is a game of numbers and a small amount of movement, with an even smaller amount of timing. So lets please leave the whole "but Im skilled" argument to another thread please.

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You can tank Ragnaros with a priest, hell you could do it on your first kill. That doesnt make it a good idea.
Paladins and druids can tank, but generally speaking the amount of inconveniece involved in them doing so make it not worth the additional effort from the rest of the raid.
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#45 Vhex

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 10:45 PM

Nite-moogle pretty much summed it up. So long as there are "Best at DPS!" classes and hybrids are unable to do multiple roles with neither negatively impacting the other (IE: Global Cooldowns afffecting both offensive and defensive abilities, mana used for everything, switching to a 'dps' stance preventing you from healing, etc...etc....) we won't see off-spec's every really becomming mainstream.

Let's be honest, the ideal raid in WoW for 90% of encounters is 3 warriors, 5 priests, 1 paladin, 1 druid and 30 rogues or mages. It was much the same in EQ. 1 warrior, 1 bard, 10 clerics, 60 wizards.

#46 Vhex

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 10:49 PM

WoW is NOT a game of skill, it is a game of numbers and a small amount of movement, with an even smaller amount of timing. So lets please leave the whole "but Im skilled" argument to another thread please.

Not to flame or anything...but it's a game with alot of numbers, alot of movement, and lot of timing. The only thing really left is requiring you to aim straight but that would just be a disaster...

How is that not skill?

#47 Cathela

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 10:59 PM

To the fact they need other people to take advantage of their abilities? Yes. It's great, and I like it. That they stack poorly as a result of the way these talents work? Not so much. You never need more than 1 Ret paladin because he keeps up all Judgements and JotCrusader is his raid-wide buff. Why not give the tree another bonus to a different Judgement that works in the same way so multiple Ret Paladins can overlap responsibilities without obsoleting the other? Judgements are already a mutually exclusive ability, the same Paladin could never keep both up at once and would be essentially wasting talents to have both if there was another paladin that could do something similar.

I think the key here is the "if there was another paladin that could do something similar" clause. Harcore min-maxing guilds will probably try to recruit and spec everyone optimally, so they'll presumably have access to exactly the specs they want, and they'll never bring two Ret paladins to a raid. That's fine with me; I don't think the game needs to be designed to stop that.

But for the other 95% of guilds, if they have two paladins who they know are capable, smart, and familiar with how to play in a raid, they'll take them both, regardless of whether both of them happen to be Ret or not. The second Ret paladin doesn't bring another CS or SC, but it's still another off-healer, cleanser, blesser, aura-provider, etc. and for most guilds that'll be good enough.
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#48 Fres

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 11:05 PM

I absolutely trust my raiding Druids to heal well in whatever spec they choose because the are incredibly skilled.

How does skill reduce a 3.5 second heal to a 3second heal making you a viable offtank healer on Patchwerk ?
Ive seen this a thousand times, simply throwing all your points in the "off" tree doesnt mystically make you more skilled, nor does putting all your talents in healing make you a "noob" who is unskilled.

I'd argue that Patchwek offtank healing isn't a huge concern for the vast majority of WoW's playerbase, and for their bumbling 5-man runs "skill" matters a heck of a lot more than spec. More to the point, until we see TBC 25-mans requiring that level of healing precision (don't get me wrong, I do expect that sort of requirement from the last raid challenges before their 2008 expansion), spec will remain largely irrelevant when compared to having proper judgement.
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#49 Cathela

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 11:16 PM

I absolutely trust my raiding Druids to heal well in whatever spec they choose because the are incredibly skilled.

How does skill reduce a 3.5 second heal to a 3second heal making you a viable offtank healer on Patchwerk ?

It doesn't, nor has anyone claimed it does. Snape actually addressed that kind of thing in the post you're responding to.

Ive seen this a thousand times, simply throwing all your points in the "off" tree doesnt mystically make you more skilled, nor does putting all your talents in healing make you a "noob" who is unskilled.

Nobody's claimed that in this whole thread. What people are claiming is that there's no causal relationship between speccing for healing and actually being good at it, and that the latter is by far the more important of the two. And for the vast majority of the extant content, that's true. The most you can say about Naxx in this regard is that it pushes things to the point where spec approaches skill in terms of importance.
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#50 warrinn

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 11:31 PM

I absolutely trust my raiding Druids to heal well in whatever spec they choose because the are incredibly skilled.

How does skill reduce a 3.5 second heal to a 3second heal making you a viable offtank healer on Patchwerk ?
Ive seen this a thousand times, simply throwing all your points in the "off" tree doesnt mystically make you more skilled, nor does putting all your talents in healing make you a "noob" who is unskilled.

Because we are talking about off specs in the expansion, a lot of the resto talents are being rolled into some of the feral ones. Natural weaps now decreases HT cast time by .5 secs

#51 Spazmo

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:51 AM

It seems to me that Blizzard is not so much making hybrids that can change roles easily and be good at everything all at once... I think they are giving players more choice when it comes to speccing their character a certain way, but once you've chosen your spec then you're generally as specialised as the next guy.

I think the real benefit that a lot of these "off specs" will bring are the extra benefits they give to others. Moonkins will give benefits to other casters, ferals will give benefits to other melee, shadow priests will benefit mana users, shamans will have totems to benefit others depending on their talents.

I see the struggle for a good raid make-up will be having enough off-specs to benefit the "purer" classes/specs while not going overboard and diluting your healing and dps. It feels like there will be a lot more options, and a lot more choices to make things interesting.

#52 Tecton

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 01:09 AM

Moonkins will give benefits to other casters

Moonkin benefit melee now too, just for the record, with Improved Faerie Fire, something that will be more useful towards the start of the new 25 man raids, due to the new hit rating system. Improved Faerie Fire provides a flat 3% hit to all melee and ranged, as well as the moonkin aura giving your 4 best fire mages an extra 5% crit. Will be very nice indeed, especially when crit and hit levels are much decreased from their level now.

#53 Zephro

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 05:02 PM

It seems to me that Blizzard is not so much making hybrids that can change roles easily and be good at everything all at once... I think they are giving players more choice when it comes to speccing their character a certain way, but once you've chosen your spec then you're generally as specialised as the next guy.

This does rather raise a question as to the wisdom of having talent trees in a class-based game, though. If a Druid is just a Priest that you can turn into a Mage or a Rogue by spending 50g - that seems a little pointless.

#54 Lhivera

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 06:10 PM

We cant comment on "off specs" because we have no idea what the "mainstream spec" of the hybrid classess will be come expansion.

I think if Blizzard achieves their goal (which might be a big "if"), there will be no such thing as a "mainstream spec." Hybrid classes will be judged not on their ability to perform a single role, but rather on their ability to change roles as required by the situation.

I'm guessing that we can expect 25-man content that requires a total of 35 roles to be filled at various points in the content. Hybrids will need to be able to switch between tanking, healing and DPS as the raid moves from encounter to encounter (or even from phase 1 to phase 2 of an encounter).
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